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Masters of the big house : elite slaveholders of the mid-nineteenth-century South / William Kauffman Scarborough.

By: Scarborough, William Kauffman.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2003Description: xviii, 521 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0807128821 (alk. paper); 9780807128824 (alk. paper); 9780807131558 (pbk); 0807131555 (pbk).Subject(s): Plantation owners -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century | Slaveholders -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century | Elite (Social sciences) -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century | Slavery -- Social aspects -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century | Slavery -- Economic aspects -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century | Slavery -- Political aspects -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century | Plantation life -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century | Southern States -- History -- 1775-1865 | Southern States -- Social conditions -- 19th century | Southern States -- Race relationsDDC classification: 975/.03/08621 Other classification: 15.85
Contents:
Social and demographic characteristics -- Religious and cultural characteristics -- Wives, mothers, and daughters : gender relations in the big house -- Agrarian empires : acquisition, production, profits, problems, and management -- Toiling for old "massa" : slave labor on the great plantations -- Capitalists all : investments and capital accumulation outside the agricultural sector -- Political attitudes and influence : the response of the elite to the first sectional crisis -- The road to Armageddon : the role of the planter elite in the secession crisis -- Days of judgment : the demise of a slave society -- Postwar adjustment : the legacy of emancipation and defeat -- Lords and capitalists : the ideology of the master class -- Appendix A. Slaveholders with 500 or more slaves, 1850 -- Appendix B. Slaveholders with 500 or more slaves, 1860 -- Appendix C. Elite slaveholders by state of residence, 1850 -- Appendix D. Elite slaveholders by state of residence, 1860.
Review: "In this volume, William Kauffman Scarborough unveils new information about one of the most powerful groups in American history, the 340 wealthiest aristocratic planters who owned 250 or more slaves in the census years of 1850 and 1860. The identification and tabulation in every slaveholding state of these lords of economic, social, and political influence reveals a highly learned class of men who set the tone for southern society and - despite their racism and Yankeephobia - evinced the qualities of honor, generosity, and even grandeur associated with the term "southern gentleman." Scarborough examines in detail the demographics of elite families, the educational philosophy and religiosity of the nabobs, their responses to the sectional crisis of their time, and gender relations in the Big House." "Also recounted are planters' slave management methods, their contributions and sacrifices during the Civil War, and their adjustment to the travails of Reconstruction and a postwar world alien to the one they had dominated."--BOOK JACKET.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
F213 .S35 2003 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001951409

Includes bibliographical references (p. [485]-501) and index.

Social and demographic characteristics -- Religious and cultural characteristics -- Wives, mothers, and daughters : gender relations in the big house -- Agrarian empires : acquisition, production, profits, problems, and management -- Toiling for old "massa" : slave labor on the great plantations -- Capitalists all : investments and capital accumulation outside the agricultural sector -- Political attitudes and influence : the response of the elite to the first sectional crisis -- The road to Armageddon : the role of the planter elite in the secession crisis -- Days of judgment : the demise of a slave society -- Postwar adjustment : the legacy of emancipation and defeat -- Lords and capitalists : the ideology of the master class -- Appendix A. Slaveholders with 500 or more slaves, 1850 -- Appendix B. Slaveholders with 500 or more slaves, 1860 -- Appendix C. Elite slaveholders by state of residence, 1850 -- Appendix D. Elite slaveholders by state of residence, 1860.

"In this volume, William Kauffman Scarborough unveils new information about one of the most powerful groups in American history, the 340 wealthiest aristocratic planters who owned 250 or more slaves in the census years of 1850 and 1860. The identification and tabulation in every slaveholding state of these lords of economic, social, and political influence reveals a highly learned class of men who set the tone for southern society and - despite their racism and Yankeephobia - evinced the qualities of honor, generosity, and even grandeur associated with the term "southern gentleman." Scarborough examines in detail the demographics of elite families, the educational philosophy and religiosity of the nabobs, their responses to the sectional crisis of their time, and gender relations in the Big House." "Also recounted are planters' slave management methods, their contributions and sacrifices during the Civil War, and their adjustment to the travails of Reconstruction and a postwar world alien to the one they had dominated."--BOOK JACKET.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Representing the culmination of more than three decades of research, this volume examines the wealthiest slaveholders in the antebellum US. Scarborough (Univ. of Southern Mississippi) identified the several hundred people who owned at least 250 slaves according to the federal censuses of 1850 or 1860, and then examined the extant letters, diaries, and business and legal papers of this small but important group, the overwhelming majority of whom lived in South Carolina, Mississippi, or Louisiana. The first half of his book focuses on family life and gender relations, religious beliefs, economic activity, plantation management, and relationships between enslaver and enslaved. The second half examines the Southern elite's critical and complex role in the move toward secession and Civil War, and their efforts to adjust to the profound changes brought by the war. The final chapter argues that these wealthiest Southerners thought and acted as capitalists. While this book eschews much of the most recent secondary literature, it is valuable because it thoroughly examines mountains of primary materials and allows Southern elites to speak largely in their own words. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels, especially libraries with strong collections in Southern history. S. Condon Adrian College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

William Kauffman Scarborough is a professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi and the award-winning author or editor of five books and numerous articles on the Civil War and the plantation-slavery regime of the Old South. He is a past president of the Mississippi Historical Society and the St. George Tucker Society. For the entire body of his work, he received the 2004 Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence

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