Gleanings of Freedom

Gleanings of Freedom : Free and Slave Labor along the Mason-Dixon Line, 1790-1860

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Late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century landowners in the hinterlands of Baltimore, Maryland, cobbled together workforces from a diverse labor population of black and white apprentices, indentured servants, slaves, and hired workers. This book examines the intertwined lives of the poor whites, slaves, and free blacks who lived and worked in this wheat-producing region along the Mason-Dixon Line. Drawing from court records, the diaries, letters, and ledgers of farmers and small planters, and other archival sources, Max Grivno reconstructs how these poorest of southerners eked out their livings and struggled to maintain their families and their freedom in the often unforgiving rural more

Product details

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 148 x 230 x 30mm | 589.67g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0252036522
  • 9780252036521

Review quote

"Grivno's significant study speaks to a number of themes in the recent historiography of slavery and labor: the similarities and differences between slavery and freedom, the important role of the interstate slave trade, and the importance of family and household as a key to workers' means of survival and employers' influence over them. A powerful analysis of these key topics that will shape debate in the field for some time."--Christopher Clark, author of Social Change in America: From the Revolution through the Civil War "Max Grivno's engaging and often harrowing narrative of agricultural workers along the northern Maryland border, investigates a place where 'slavery's roots ran shallow,' yet where free landless laborers face severe constraints in a changing market. . . . Grivno's book brilliantly succeeds in analyzing local and regional changes in terms of broader developments, portraying the distinctiveness of an understudied corner of the South."--The Journal of Southern History"A splendid volume, interestingly written, engaging a broad historiography, and formulating convincing arguments concerning the evolution and racial complexity of the rural labor force."--The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society "A thickly descriptive and nuanced account of the 'evolution of race, class, and labor regimes' in Maryland from just after the American Revolution up to the Civil War."--Civil War Book Review"Gleanings of Freedom shines light on an important, underappreciated site in the history of slavery and makes a lasting contribution to the study of American workers and the slave South."--American Historical Review "Grivno's carefully documented interpretation of rural life and labor challenges readers to think hard about the meanings of slavery, freedom, and borders in antebellum America."--The Journal of American History "Subtle and remarkably textured history of labor in northern Maryland and southern Pennsylvania."--Southern Spacesshow more

About Max L. Grivno

Max Grivno is an assistant professor of history at the University of Southern more

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