The traditional image of slavery begins with a master and a slave. However, not all slaves had traditional masters; some were owned instead by institutions, such as church congregations, schools, colleges, and businesses. This practice was pervasive in early Virginia; its educational, religious, and philanthropic institutions were literally built on the backs of slaves. Virginia's first industrial economy was also developed with the skilled labor of African American slaves. This book focuses on institutional slavery in Virginia as it was practiced by the Anglican and Presbyterian churches, free schools, and four universities: the College of William and Mary, Hampden-Sydney College, the University of Virginia, and Hollins College. It also examines the use of slave labor by businesses and the Commonwealth of Virginia in industrial endeavors. This is not only an account of how institutions used slavery to further their missions, but also of the slaves who belonged to institutions.
Jennifer Oast is an Associate Professor of History at Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania.
Introduction; 1. 'Unlawful for any Christian': slave-owning Anglican churches in Virginia; 2. 'The legacies of well inclin'd gentlemen': slave-owning free schools in Virginia; 3. 'The worst kind of slavery': slave-owning Presbyterian churches in Virginia; 4. 'So large a family as the college': slavery at the College of William and Mary; 5. 'Faithful and valuable': slavery at Hampden-Sydney College, the University of Virginia, and Hollins College; 6. 'To make a trifle for themselves': industries as institutional slaveholders; Conclusion.