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Voices of the EnslavedLove, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana$
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Sophie White

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469654041

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469654041.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

“Asleep in Their Bed at the Door of Their Cabin”

“Asleep in Their Bed at the Door of Their Cabin”

Kenet and Jean-Baptiste

(p.172) Chapter 5 “Asleep in Their Bed at the Door of Their Cabin”
Voices of the Enslaved

Sophie White

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter Five shifts the action to 1767 and a swampy bayou beyond New Orleans as it traces the love story of Kenet and Jean-Baptiste and their search for a way to be permanently united. Where enslaved women are concerned, testimony about courtship, love, labor, and longing is especially rare. This man and woman belonged to different owners, and their testimony illuminates the multiple and sustained steps they took to secure, over the long term, their affective and physical union, steps which included negotiating with their owners, a perilous escape via waterways towards Mobile, and running away to set up house together. Their words also illuminate what they envisioned when granted autonomy over two gendered corollaries of spousal relationships: domestic organization and household labor, themes that find parallels in the concerns of by free people of color in Louisiana.

Keywords:   New Orleans, Mobile, Marronnage, Sexuality, Slave marriage, West African households, Colonial America, Intimacy, Free people of color, Slave narratives

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