Daily Life of African Americans in Primary Documents, 1st Edition

  • Herbert C. Covey
  • Dwight Eisnach
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 1440866651
  • ISBN-13: 9781440866654
  • DDC: 305.896
  • 872 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2020 | Published/Released January 2021
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2020

  • Price:  Sign in for price



This collection of materials captures the wide-ranging experiences of African American people over the history of America, from the enslavement and transportation of slaves to North America to the Civil War, the beginning of Reconstruction through the election of Barack Obama as president. Each volume provides a chronology of major events, a historic overview, and sections devoted to domestic, material, economic, intellectual, political, leisure, and religious life of African Americans for the respective time spans. Topics include enslavement, life during the Civil War, common foods, housing, clothing, political opinions, the civil rights movement, court cases, life under Jim Crow, Reconstruction, busing, housing segregation, and more. Includes primary sources with suggested readings from government publications, court testimony, census data, interviews, newspaper accounts, period appropriate letters, Works Progress Administration interviews, sermons, laws, diaries, and reports.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Set Introduction.
Chronology of Selected Events, 1492–1865.
Historical Overview, 1492–1865.
1: Setting the Stage for Enslavement/The Middle Passage.
2: Plantation Life.
3: Resistance to Slavery.
4: Clouds Before the Storm.
5: The Civil War.
Domestic Life.
6: Exploration and Setting the Stage for Enslavement.
7: Capture and the Middle Passage.
8: Laws.
9: Domestics Versus Field Hands.
10: The Treatment of Slaves.
11: Acts of Resistance.
12: Community.
13: Marriage and Family.
Exploration and Its Connection to Slavery.
14: The Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea (1453).
15: Christopher Columbus Journal Entries (1492).
The Initial Capture.
16: On Being Brought from Africa to America, Phillis Wheatley (1773).
17: Olaudah Equiano on Capture and the Middle Passage (1789).
18: Memoir of Boyrereau Brinch, the Blind African Slave (1810).
19: Former Slave John Brown's Narrative and the Capture of His Grandmother (1937).
20: John Punch Sentenced to Slavery for Life for Escape (1640).
21: John Casor Becomes First African American Declared a Slave for Life (1655).
Colonies Begin to Codify Slavery.
22: Maryland Slave Law (1664).
23: Letter to Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Banneker, August 19 (1791).
Working the Plantation.
24: A Slave's Day on a Virginia Tobacco Plantation (1770).
25: John Adams on Slave Communications, September 24 (1775).
26: Letters from the South and West, Henry Cogswell Knight (1824).
27: The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave on Working in the Salt Pans (1831).
28: Maria W. Stewart's “Address Delivered at the African Masonic Hall, Boston,” February 27 (1833).
29: Slave Communities, Recollections of Former Slaves (c. 1850–1865).
30: A Traveler's Observations of Life on the Plantation, Frederick Law Olmsted (1861).
Cruelty Toward Slaves.
31: Frederick Douglass on Cruelty to Slaves (1845).
32: Recollections of Cruelty from Former Slaves (c. 1850–1865).
33: Treatment and Objectification of Women, Harriet Jacobs (1861).
Slave Sales.
34: “The Selling of Joseph: A Memorial,” Samuel Sewall (1700).
35: A Bill of Sale for a Slave Woman and Her Child (1850).
36: Twenty-Eight Years a Slave or the Story of My Life in Three Continents, Thomas L. Johnson (1909).
Freedom at Any Risk.
37: Fugitive Slave Advertisements from Virginia and Louisiana (1775–1865).
38: The Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave (1825).
39: Twice Escaped from Slavery, Charity Still (c. 1850).
40: Advertisement for Escaped Slave Tom Matthews (1856).
41: William Peel, Alias William Box Peel Jones. Arrived per Ericsson Line of Steamers, Wrapped in Straw and Boxed Up, April (1859).
42: Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom, William and Ellen Craft (1860).
43: “The Steamer ‘Planter’ and Her Captor,”Robert Smalls (1862).
44: Slave Conspiracy in Virginia (1709).
45: The New York Slave Revolt (1712).
46: Barn Burnings in South Carolina (1732).
47: Nat Turner Slave Rebellion (1831).
48: An Address to the Slaves of the United States, Henry Highland Garnet (1843).
49: A Slave Marriage, Francis Fedric (1863).
50: Separation of Enslaved Children from Their Parents, Charles Ball and Frederick Douglass (1837 and 1845).
51: Letter from Maria Perkins to Her Husband, Richard: Charlottesville, October 8 (1852).
52: Newspaper Personal Ad Seeking Lost Mother, Thornton Copeland (1865).
53: Francis Fedric on the Separation from His Family (1863).
54: Former Slave Recollections of the Separations of Families (c. 1850–1865).
55: Virginia Law Attaching Slave Status of Children to Their Mother (1662).
56: James Curry's Childhood in Slavery (1840).
Economic Life.
57: Plantation Management and Control.
58: Self-Reliance.
59: Free African Americans.
Managing the Plantation.
60: “Plantation Management—Police,” Mr. St. George Cocke (1853).
61: “Negro Life at the South,” DeBow's Review (1857).
Seeking Independence.
62: Slave Gardens (Antebellum South).
63: “Some Undistinguished Negroes” (1833).
Free Black Americans.
64: A Camp of Free Blacks in North Carolina, William Byrd II (1728).
65: Preamble and Articles of the Free African Society, Absalom Jones and Richard Allen (1787).
66: Abolitionist Amos Dresser Violates No Law but Flogged Anyway (1835).
67: The Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony (1863).
Material Life.
68: Housing.
69: Food.
70: Clothing.
71: Medical Care and Health.
Slave Quarters.
72: Descriptions of Slave Housing and Quarters (1789–1849).
Meals and Preparation.
73: Examples of Recipes Used by Slaves (c. 1850–1865).
74: Former Slave Memories of Everyday Cooking Items from the WPA Narratives (c. 1850–1865).
75: Planter Advice on Slave Rations and Diets (1849–1853).
76: Former Slaves Recall Mealtimes on the Plantation (c. 1850–1865).
Descriptions of Slave Attire in Runaway Ads.
77: Runaway Advertisements Reflecting Slave Clothing (1750s–1860s).
78: George Washington's Notes on the Cost of Clothing Slaves (1792–1797).
79: Slave Clothing Rations, Frederick Douglass and Josiah Henson (1845–1849).
80: Examples from Works Progress Administration Interviews of Emma Knight and Lewis Mundy that Reference Clothing (c. 1850–1865).
Addressing Slave Health.
81: Medical Care of Slaves from the Diary of William Byrd II (1710–1711).
82: Reverend Richard Allen on the Yellow Fever Outbreak (1793).
83: Dr. Samuel A. Cartwright, “Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race” (1851).
84: Memories of African American Medical Care from Former Slaves (c. 1850–1865).
Intellectual Life.
85: Abolition.
86: The Struggle for Education.
87: Free Black Americans.
The Fire to Free Slaves.
88: “Ain't I a Woman?” Sojourner Truth, Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio (1851).
89: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852).
90: The Case of Margaret Crittendon Douglass (1854).
91: Dred Scott Case and Opinion (1857).
92: Antislavery Feeling in the Mountains, Frederick Law Olmsted (1860).
Examples of Learning.
93: The Training of a Young Kentucky House Slave (1863).
94: Attempts at Learning, Thomas L. Johnson (1909).
Struggling to be Free.
95: Prince Hall Speaks to the African Lodge, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1797).
96: Report of the Board of Education for Freedmen (1864).
Political Life.
97: Laws and Proclamations.
98: Manumission.
99: Black Codes.
Fugitives, Suffrage, and Emancipation.
100: Fugitive Slave Act (1793).
101: Fugitive Slave Act (1850).
102: “Speech on the Fugitive Slave Bill,” Samuel Ringgold Ward (1850).
103: Editorial on “Negro Suffrage,”The New Paltz Times, September 14 (1860).
104: The Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln (1863).
Granting Freedom.
105: Petition of a Great Number of “Negroes” for Freedom (1777).
106: An Act to Authorize the Manumission of Slaves, Virginia Commonwealth (1782).
Laws Restricting Blacks.
107: Louisiana's Code Noir (Black Code) (1724).
108: Charles Sumner's Speech Made in Congress on July 7, 1862, Attacking President Lincoln's Decision to Allow the Black Codes to Continue (1862).
Black Nationalism.
109: A Black Nationalist Manifesto, Proceedings of the National Emigration Convention of Colored People, Held at Cleveland, Ohio, August 24, Martin R. Delany (1854).
Civil War Life.
110: The Civil War'S Impact on Everyday Life.
111: African American Civil War Military Experience.
112: Memoirs of General Benjamin Butler on the Decision to Create Contrabands (1861).
113: Executive Order Authorizing Employment of “Contrabands,” President Abraham Lincoln, July 22 (1862).
Civil War Military Experiences.
114: Former Slaves Recall Civil War and Military Service (c. 1862–1865).
115: Letter from Jacob Bruner to Martha J. Bruner, April 9 (1863).
116: Letter from Governor John A. Andrew to President Abraham Lincoln Regarding the Confederate Treatment of African American Soldiers, July 27 (1863).
117: Newspaper Account of the Fort Pillow Massacre (1864).
Leisure Life.
118: African Americans as Entertainment.
119: Holidays, Frolics, and Celebrations.
120: The Arts and Recreation.
Black Americans Put On Display.
121: The Greatest Natural and National Curiosity in the World Joice Heth (c. 1835).
Memories of Slave Celebrations.
122: Negro Ball in Virginia, Nicholas Cresswell (1774).
123: Holidays and Celebrations, Memories from Ex-slave Autobiographies and the Works Progress Administration Interviews (c. 1850–1865).
124: Solomon Northup and Harriet Jacobs Describe Christmas (1853 and 1857).
Arts and the Power to Create.
125: To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Work, Phillis Wheatley (1773).
126: Frances Anne “Fanny” Kemble's Journal Entries on the Songs of Enslaved Boatmen (1838–1839).
127: Frederick Douglass Observations on Slave Songs (1847).
128: Recreation and Its Importance to Domestic Slave Life (c. 1850–1865).
129: Former Slave Wash Wilson on Musical Instruments (c. 1850–1865).
130: Frederick Douglass Comments on “O Canaan, Sweet Canaan” (1855).
131: “Michael, Row the Board Ashore” (c. 1863).
132: “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” and “Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Had” [Seen] (1867).
133: The Spirituals “Go Down Moses” and “Oh, Let My People Go” (1862 and 1869).
Religious Life.
134: Religion and Abolition.
135: Religious Conversion.
136: Spirituals.
Religious Leaders Among First Abolitionists.
137: Religion and Abolition, Angelina Emily Grimke Weld and Sarah Grimke (1836 and 1839).
138: Reverend Jermain Wesley Loguen on Abolition (1859).
Modes of Worship.
139: Slave Religion, Both Visible and Invisible (c. 1850–1865).
140: Former Slaves Recall Religion, Interviews of Former Slaves Living in South Carolina (1850–1865).
141: The Church and Slavery, Harriet Ann Jacobs (1861).
Establishing African American Churches.
142: Reverend Richard Allen on Religion (1833).
Choosing Christianity.
143: Conversion of Elizabeth (1863).
144: Excerpt from Africa for Christ: Twenty-Eight Years a Slave; or, the Story of My Life in Three Continents, Thomas L. Johnson (1909).
Alternative Religion.
145: References Conjuring from a Former Slave (c. 1850–1865).
146: Suggested Readings.