Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Voices of the EnslavedLove, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

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: 01 July 2022



Toward an Intellectual Critique of Slavery?

(p.216) Epilogue
Voices of the Enslaved

Sophie White

University of North Carolina Press

The Epilogue foregrounds the enslaved African François-Xavier, whose dogged attempts in 1753 Mobile to get a soldier shamed for a profoundly disturbing act reads at times like a searing indictment of slavery. In this highly unusual court case, François-Xavier’s actions and words signal how he made sense of his world and his place within it and, especially, how well he understood the limits imposed on his person because of his status as a slave. François-Xavier had witnessed a shocking and disturbing act but he knew that he was powerless to stop it simply because he was a slave and the soldier was not. His testimony served as a damning intellectual critique of slavery, one that he could not explicitly verbalize in court but that hung in the silence. By stepping away from the specific allegation against the soldier and parsing François-Xavier’s words, it is possible to recognize once again how testimony served as a form of autobiographical expression. Spoken in the moment, often in mere slivers, such narratives remind us to consider how—and why—some enslaved individuals spoke, often so fearlessly, about themselves, and how tenaciously they strove to keep the focus on their own humanity.

Keywords:   Mobile, soldiers, Intellectual history, Slave narratives, archives, French Atlantic, Louisiana, African-Americans, Colonial America

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .