American slavery in the antebellum period was characterized by a massive wave of forced migration as millions of slaves were moved across state lines to the expanding southwest, scattered locally, and sold or hired out in towns and cities across the South. This book sheds new light on domestic forced migration by examining the experiences of American-born slave migrants from a comparative perspective. Juxtaposing and contrasting the experiences of long-distance, local, and urban slave migrants, it analyzes how different migrant groups anticipated, reacted to, and experienced forced removal, as well as how they adapted to their new homes.
Damian Alan Pargas is an Associate Professor of Social and Economic History at Leiden University. Specializing in North American slavery, he is the author of The Quarters and the Fields: Slave Families in the Non-Cotton South (2010) as well as numerous academic articles for journals such as Slavery and Abolition, the Journal of Family History, the Journal of Early American History, and American Nineteenth Century History. In 2011, he was granted a prestigious three-year Veni postdoctoral fellowship from the Dutch Council for Scientific Research (NWO) and a visiting research fellowship from the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Freie Universitat of Berlin. Pargas is also an editor for the journal Itinerario: Journal of European Expansion and Globalisation and the secretary of the Netherlands Association for American Studies.
Introduction; Part I. Migration: 1. Valuable bodies; 2. The gathering storm; 3. Changing places; Part II. Assimilation: 4. Cogs in the wheel; 5. Managing newcomers; 6. Slave crucibles; Conclusion.