Normal view MARC view ISBD view

Slavemaster President : The Double Career of James Polk

By: Dusinberre, William.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2003Description: 1 online resource (273 p.).ISBN: 9781602569393.Subject(s): Plantation owners | Polk, James K | Presidents | Presidents - United States - Biography | SlaveryGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Slavemaster President : The Double Career of James PolkDDC classification: 973.61092B Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Contents; The Polk Family Tree; Some Polk Slaves; INTRODUCTION; 1 A Market for Labor Power; 2 Flight (I) Tennessee; 3 Flight (II) The Mississippi Plantation; 4 Profit; 5 The Nature of the Regime; 6 The Spirit of Governance; 7 Births and Deaths; 8 Family and Community; 9 Privileges; 10 Polk's Early Response to the Antislavery Movement; 11 Texas and the Mexican War; 13 Alternatives; 12 Slavery and Union; EPILOGUE: Slavery and the Civil War; Appendixes; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index
Summary: James Polk was US president from 1845-49, when slavery began to dominate its politics. He also owned a substantial plantation in Mississippi and 54 slaves. This book reconstructs the world of his estate and lives of his slaves, analysing how this affected his stance on slavery issues.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
E417.D87 2003 (Browse shelf) http://uttyler.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=279679 Available EBL279679

Contents; The Polk Family Tree; Some Polk Slaves; INTRODUCTION; 1 A Market for Labor Power; 2 Flight (I) Tennessee; 3 Flight (II) The Mississippi Plantation; 4 Profit; 5 The Nature of the Regime; 6 The Spirit of Governance; 7 Births and Deaths; 8 Family and Community; 9 Privileges; 10 Polk's Early Response to the Antislavery Movement; 11 Texas and the Mexican War; 13 Alternatives; 12 Slavery and Union; EPILOGUE: Slavery and the Civil War; Appendixes; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index

James Polk was US president from 1845-49, when slavery began to dominate its politics. He also owned a substantial plantation in Mississippi and 54 slaves. This book reconstructs the world of his estate and lives of his slaves, analysing how this affected his stance on slavery issues.

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In this excellent book, historian Dusinberre (Them Dark Days: Slavery in the American Rice Swamps) combines first-rate scholarship and a wealth of data to create a compelling narrative on the dual roles of President Polk. The book is not a biography, instead focusing on Polk's management of his slaves and his public positions on slavery and related issues. The author suggests that Polk's policies were critical to the development of the secessionist movement in the South and that these policies derived from his personal financial interests. As the owner of a plantation in Mississippi, Polk needed to secure the persistence of slavery in territories where it already existed in order to insure that slavery on his plantation could continue, thus affording him a comfortable lifestyle upon retirement. As an expansionist, Polk supported annexing Texas and other Mexican territories, and here, too, personal interests caused him to press the states' rights/pro-slavery position. Dusinberre's research also expands our understanding of the management of plantations. Essential reading for anyone wanting greater insight into the factors that led to the Civil War, this work is highly recommended for all academic and larger public libraries.-Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Dusinberre's book on President James K. Polk can be divided into two parts. The first part describes slave life on the president's two plantations in Tennessee and Mississippi. Polk was an absentee owner and often distracted, particularly from management of his new plantation in Mississippi, due to his involvement in Tennessee and, later, national politics. He had a series of incompetent overseers come and go, which probably contributed to the high slave mortality rates and low crop yields and profitability. Regardless, Polk tried to improve life on his plantations. Although there was a steady stream of runaways, their flight was apparently often only temporary, as many returned once Polk had addressed their grievances. He granted privileges to favored slaves, the most innovative being an incentive plan in which slaves grew cotton in their free time for themselves. This part is a good look at the very hard, often harsh, conditions on a new plantation in a frontier area. In the second part, Dusinberre (Univ. of Warwick) makes the old argument that President Polk's political stance toward expansionism was influenced by his involvement in the plantation system; his argument is not persuasive. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate libraries and faculty. E. M. Thomas Gordon College

There are no comments for this item.

Log in to your account to post a comment.