Rebels and Runaways

Rebels and Runaways : Slave Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Florida

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This gripping study examines slave resistance and protest in antebellum Florida and its local and national impact from 1821 to 1865. Using a variety of sources, Larry Eugene Rivers discusses Florida's unique historical significance as a runaway slave haven dating back to the seventeenth century. In moving detail, Rivers illustrates what life was like for enslaved blacks whose families were pulled asunder as they relocated and how they fought back any way they could to control small parts of their own lives. Identifying slave rebellions such as the Stono, Louisiana, Denmark (Telemaque) Vesey, Gabriel, and the Nat Turner insurrections, Rivers argues persuasively that the size, scope, and intensity of black resistance in the Second Seminole War makes it the largest sustained slave insurrection in American more

Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 27.94mm | 453.59g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252079663
  • 9780252079665

Review quote

"Rivers' prose is clear yet passionate and wonderfully free of jargon. His research, both primary and secondary, is impressive, and his many comparisons with other sections of the Old South make this book indispensable for those who wish to understand the larger patterns of flight, resistance, and rebellion in the antebellum decades."--Florida Historical Quarterly "Most studies of antebellum slavery have either ignored or forgotten the bold actions of hundreds of enslaved Africans in Florida. Rivers's poignant study makes a strong case that this thrilling human drama--played out over many generations--constitutes perhaps the largest slave rebellion in American history. After reading this splendid book, historians and others interested in America's history will never look at slave resistance in the same way again."--James M. Denham, author of A Rogue's Paradise: Crime and Punishment in Antebellum Florida, 1821-1861 "A masterful, comprehensive, and captivating analysis of resistance and absconding in Florida. Rivers fluidly and movingly examines the complex and highly differentiated experiences of the enslaved in Florida, and their variable reactions to that condition. A must read for those interested in their sweeping and compelling story."--Michael A. Gomez, author of Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora "A sweepingly impressive and admirably provocative study, Rebels and Runaways illuminates changes and meanings of slave resistance and armed rebellion. This important contribution offers a significantly sophisticated understanding of the complexities of resistance and rebellion to the tyranny of slavery."--Darlene Clark Hine, coeditor of Black Europe and the African Diaspora and The Black Chicago Renaissance "While discussing the nature of slave resistance in antebellum Florida, Rivers offers a convincing argument for unique conditions for rebellion in Florida. A fine analysis of slavery and resistance in Florida."--Journal of Social History "River's often insightful investigation of evolving forms and patterns of slave resistance underscores the gross imbalance of forces that slaves, individually and collectively, confronted in trying to acquire the space necessary to even think freedom a remote possibility."--Civil War History "Offered new insightful research on Florida's unique role in slave resistance. . . . Recommended."--Choice"A valuable--indeed indispensable--account that profoundly alters our understanding of slave protests and rebellion. Rivers offers perspectives that reach beyond Florida to embrace a regional and global context for a new understanding of freedom and unfreedom. Steeped in remarkable research, this is a must read book for anyone who studies slavery."--Orville Vernon Burton, author of The Age of Jacksonshow more

About Larry Eugene Rivers

Larry Eugene Rivers is president of Fort Valley State University in central Georgia and the author of Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days to more

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