Book — 1 online resource (x, 224 pages) : illustrations
DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828) was one of the nation's strongest political leaders in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, serving as mayor of New York City, governor of the state, and narrowly losing the Presidential race of 1812 to James Madison. Patrician in his sentiments, Clinton nevertheless invented new forms of party politics. His greatest achievement, the Erie Canal, hastened the economic expansion of the country, altered the political geography of the nation, set an example for activist government, and decisively secured New York City's position as America's first and foremost metropolis. This new book relates the full biography of one of the most important political figures in US history. (source: Nielsen Book Data)
2. The Decline of Slavery in New York City, 1790-1810
3. Impious Prayers
pt. 2. Blacks
4. A Mild Slavery?
5. Running Away
6. Free Blacks
7. A Question of Style.
Throughout the 18th century, New York and New Jersey were more reliant on slave labour than were any other northern colonies. Yet, surprisingly, scholars have paid scant attention to the nature of slavery in this crucial region. This book focuses on the transition from slavery to freedom that blacks in New York City and the surrounding communities made between 1770 and 1810. The author uses a wide range of primary sources - census data, tax lists, city directories, diaries, courtroom testimony, newspapers and magazines - to reconstruct the "content and context" of the slaves' world in New York. He traces the complex demographic patterns of the city's slaves and slaveowners, charts the stages of the institution's decline, shows how blacks were perceived by the white society, describes the role of free blacks, and even portrays aspects of black "style", particularly manners of dress and speech. White's analysis calls into sharp question a number of conventional views. In the face of a long-standing consensus to the contrary, he demonstrates that the institution of slavery revived after the Revolution and persisted stubbornly for many years beyond the passage of the Gradual Manumission Act of 1799, particularly in the rural surroundings of New York. He also disputes the presumed effectiveness of the New York Manumission Society in securing abolition, as well as the view that the day-to-day living conditions of slaves in New York were superior to those of southern slaves. Most important, perhaps, he reveals an emerging and distinctive black culture of slaves and freedmen who were never simply the victims of white institutions. In documenting the instances of runaways, for example, he finds that the slaves were not the "mere passive recipients of white paternalism or the butt of white racism" but were able in many ways to resist the institution of slavery physically as well as culturally. (source: Nielsen Book Data)