In Search of the Promised Land

In Search of the Promised Land : A Slave Family in the Old South

3.81 (61 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Electronic book text
By (author)  , By (author) 

List price: US$20.00

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

The matriarch of a remarkable African American family, Sally Thomas went from being a slave to a "virtually free" slave who ran her own business and purchased one of her sons out of bondage. This book offers a vivid portrait of Thomas, her extended family, and of the life of slaves before the Civil War.
show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 305 pages
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 1423746627
  • 9781423746621

About John Hope Franklin

John Hope Franklin is Professor of History Emeritus at Duke University and the author of numerous books, including From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans and Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation (co-authored with Loren Schweninger). One of the most revered historians at work today, he is past president of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Southern Historical Association. Loren Schweninger is Elizabeth Rosenthal Excellence Professor and Director of the Race and Slavery Petitions Project at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is the author of Black Property Owners in the South, 1790-1915.
show more

Review quote

"A compelling narrative of African American lives.... Using primary sources, including letters, diaries, legal records, reminiscences, and newspaper clippings, as well as the autobiography of Sally Thomas's son James, the authors have presented an account unique in its archival richness, further illuminated by images and maps. This is a distinguished contribution to American history and social sciences."--Library Journal (starred review)
"For an African-American family in the early-19th-century South, the Thomas-Rapiers had a surprising amount of control over their lives. With her master's benign neglect, Sally Thomas earned enough money as a laundress to buy property, and she saw her three sons into freedom.... The authors argue that this 'highly unusual family' illuminates relatively unexplored aspects of Southern history, and they tell its story elegantly."--Caleb Crain, New York Times Book Review


"A marvelous and rare piece of historical research that is both rigorous in its construction and accessible in its presentation, making it an invaluable resource for academics and non-experts alike."--Atlanta Journal Constitution


"This slim but fascinating book about the Thomas-Rapier family seeks to add another layer to our understanding of American slavery.... The authors might be academics, but their book reads like a novel."-- Sharon Broussard, Cleveland Plain Dealer


"An absorbing, impeccably researched account.... From Tennessee, Thomas-Rapiers travel widely (sometimes as slaves), and there is a panoramic quality to their immersion in American historical events: one attends a Jenny Lind concert; one seeks gold in California; one escapes to Buffalo and later settles in Canada; one is involved with the filibusters in Nicaragua. They become entrepreneurs and adventurers, gamblers and teachers, churchmen and a congressman. They talk politics; they worry about their children. The brutalization endemic in slave culture is ever present. The aut "A compelling narrative of African American lives.... Using primary sources, including letters, diaries, legal records, reminiscences, and newspaper clippings, as well as the autobiography of Sally Thomas's son James, the authors have presented an account unique in its archival richness, further illuminated by images and maps. This is a distinguished contribution to American history and social sciences."--Library Journal (starred review)
"For an African-American family in the early-19th-century South, the Thomas-Rapiers had a surprising amount of control over their lives. With her master's benign neglect, Sally Thomas earned enough money as a laundress to buy property, and she saw her three sons into freedom.... The authors argue that this 'highly unusual family' illuminates relatively unexplored aspects of Southern history, and they tell its story elegantly."--Caleb Crain, New York Times Book Review
"A marvelous and rare piece of historical research that is both rigorous in its construction and accessible in its presentation, making it an invaluable resource for academics and non-experts alike."--Atlanta Journal Constitution
"This slim but fascinating book about the Thomas-Rapier family seeks to add another layer to our understanding of American slavery.... The authors might be academics, but their book reads like a novel."-- Sharon Broussard, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"An absorbing, impeccably researched account.... From Tennessee, Thomas-Rapiers travel widely (sometimes as slaves), and there is a panoramic quality to their immersion in American historical events: one attends a Jenny Lind concert; one seeks gold in California; one escapes to Buffalo and later settlesin Canada; one is involved with the filibusters in Nicaragua. They become entrepreneurs and adventurers, gamblers and teachers, churchmen and a congressman. They talk politics; they worry about their children. The brutalization endemic in slave culture is ever present. The authors bring it all to life with startling clarity, using documents, letters and diaries with such judiciousness that the scholarly apparatus enlivens rather than deadens. A genealogy that keeps the family connections clear, maps that trace their peregrinations and the fully informative captions that accompany the illustrations supplement this remarkable text."--Publishers Weekly
"A unique and exciting addition to the literature on slavery and 19th-century history. It shows the complexity of slave life and challenges existing historical interpretations without completely overturning the studies of the last thirty years. I love the story itself--what a story!" --James Fuller, University of Indianapolis
"One of the more vivid presentations of antebellum race relations I have seen. So much of scholarship on slave life tends to lose sight of individuals who had to confront life in a slave society. This book brings individuals back into the picture." --Dickson D. Bruce, University of Irvine California
"This work is unique in its combination of archival richness, narrative accessibility, and interpretive range. I'm impressed by the authors' abilities to maintain a focus on the big picture of slavery and emancipation while bringing to life related histories of gender, the city, and filibustering, among others. The 'wholes and parts' dilemma seems to be reconciled in this telling of one family's remarkablehistory." --David Quigley, Boston College "A compelling narrative of African American lives.... Using primary sources, including letters, diaries, legal records, reminiscences, and newspaper clippings, as well as the autobiography of Sally Thomas's son James, the authors have presented an account unique in its archival richness, further
illuminated by images and maps. This is a distinguished contribution to American history and social sciences."--Library Journal (starred review)
"For an African-American family in the early-19th-century South, the Thomas-Rapiers had a surprising amount of control over their lives. With her master's benign neglect, Sally Thomas earned enough money as a laundress to buy property, and she saw her three sons into freedom.... The authors argue
that this 'highly unusual family' illuminates relatively unexplored aspects of Southern history, and they tell its story elegantly."--Caleb Crain, New York Times Book Review
"A marvelous and rare piece of historical research that is both rigorous in its construction and accessible in its presentation, making it an invaluable resource for academics and non-experts alike."--Atlanta Journal Constitution
"This slim but fascinating book about the Thomas-Rapier family seeks to add another layer to our understanding of American slavery.... The authors might be academics, but their book reads like a novel."-- Sharon Broussard, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"An absorbing, impeccably researched account.... From Tennessee, Thomas-Rapiers travel widely (sometimes as slaves), and there is a panoramic quality to their immersion in American historical events: one attends a Jenny Lind concert; one seeks gold inCalifornia; one escapes to Buffalo and later
settles in Canada; one is involved with the filibusters in Nicaragua. They become entrepreneurs and adventurers, gamblers and teachers, churchmen and a congressman. They talk politics; they worry about their children. The brutalization endemic in slave culture is ever present. The authors bring it
all to life with startling clarity, using documents, letters and diaries with such judiciousness that the scholarly apparatus enlivens rather than deadens. A genealogy that keeps the family connections clear, maps that trace their peregrinations and the fully informative captions that accompany the
illustrations supplement this remarkable text."--Publishers Weekly
"A unique and exciting addition to the literature on slavery and 19th-century history. It shows the complexity of slave life and challenges existing historical interpretations without completely overturning the studies of the last thirty years. I love the story itself--what a story!" --James Fuller,
University of Indianapolis
"One of the more vivid presentations of antebellum race relations I have seen. So much of scholarship on slave life tends to lose sight of individuals who had to confront life in a slave society. This book brings individuals back into the picture." --Dickson D. Bruce, University of Irvine
California
"This work is unique in its combination of archival richness, narrative accessibility, and interpretive range. I'm impressed by the authors' abilities to maintain a focus on the big picture of slavery and emancipation while bringing to life related histories of gender, the city, andfilibustering,
among others. The 'wholes and parts' dilemma seems to be reconciled in this telling of one family's remarkable history." --David Quigley, Boston College "A compelling narrative of African American lives.... Using primary sources, including letters, diaries, legal records, reminiscences, and newspaper clippings, as well as the autobiography of Sally Thomas's son James, the authors have presented an account unique in its archival richness, further
illuminated by images and maps. This is a distinguished contribution to American history and social sciences."--Library Journal (starred review)
"For an African-American family in the early-19th-century South, the Thomas-Rapiers had a surprising amount of control over their lives. With her master's benign neglect, Sally Thomas earned enough money as a laundress to buy property, and she saw her three sons into freedom.... The authors argue
that this 'highly unusual family' illuminates relatively unexplored aspects of Southern history, and they tell its story elegantly."--Caleb Crain, New York Times Book Review
"A marvelous and rare piece of historical research that is both rigorous in its construction and accessible in its presentation, making it an invaluable resource for academics and non-experts alike."--Atlanta Journal Constitution
"This slim but fascinating book about the Thomas-Rapier family seeks to add another layer to our understanding of American slavery.... The authors might be academics, but their book reads like a novel."-- Sharon Broussard, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"An absorbing, impeccably researched account.... From Tennessee, Thomas-Rapiers travel widely (sometimes as slaves), and there is a panoramic quality to their immersion in American historical events: one attends a Jenny Lind concert; one seeks gold in California; one escapes to Buffalo andlater
settles in Canada; one is involved with the filibusters in Nicaragua. They become entrepreneurs and adventurers, gamblers and teachers, churchmen and a congressman. They talk politics; they worry about their children. The brutalization endemic in slave culture is ever present. The authors bring it
all to life with startling clarity, using documents, letters and diaries with such judiciousness that the scholarly apparatus enlivens rather than deadens. A genealogy that keeps the family connections clear, maps that trace their peregrinations and the fully informative captions that accompany the
illustrations supplement this remarkable text."--Publishers Weekly
"A unique and exciting addition to the literature on slavery and 19th-century history. It shows the complexity of slave life and challenges existing historical interpretations without completely overturning the studies of the last thirty years. I love the story itself--what a story!" --James Fuller,
University of Indianapolis
"One of the more vivid presentations of antebellum race relations I have seen. So much of scholarship on slave life tends to lose sight of individuals who had to confront life in a slave society. This book brings individuals back into the picture." --Dickson D. Bruce, University of Irvine
California
"This work is unique in its combination of archival richness, narrative accessibility, and interpretive range. I'm impressed by the authors' abilities to maintain a focus on the big picture of slavery and emancipation while bringing to life related histories of gender, the city, and filibustering,
among others. The 'wholes and parts' dilemma seems to be reconciled in this telling ofone family's remarkable history." --David Quigley, Boston College
show more

Rating details

61 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 30% (18)
4 33% (20)
3 28% (17)
2 10% (6)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X