Reading List

This is a frequently changing list of things I want to read or re-read for this project, organized roughly by topic or theme. I’m not using it as a complete list, but more like a syllabus clustering key works so that I can digest topics in chunks. Books or articles that have been completed are followed by a link to my notes.

General Slavery and Emancipation

  • Glymph, Out of the House of Bondage glymph2008
  • Berlin et al., Slavery No More
  • Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet hahn2003
  • Williams, Help Me to Find My People williams2012a
  • O’Donovan, Becoming Free in the Cotton South
  • Downs, Sick from Freedom downs2012
  • Emberton, Beyond Redemption
  • Oakes, Freedom National oakes2013
  • Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom
  • Kaye, Joining Places kaye2007
  • Johnson, River of Dark Dreams johnson2013
  • Robinson, Bitter Fruits of Bondage
  • Oakes, The Ruling Race oakes1982
  • Feimster, Southern Horrors
  • Ransom and Sutch, One Kind of Freedom
  • Hilliard, Masters, Slaves, and Exchange
  • Baptist, Half Has Never Been Told baptist2014
  • Neil Roberts, Freedom as Marronage, roberts2015
  • Christopher Hager, Word by Word
  • Rothman, Flush Times and Fever Dreams, rothman2012
  • Fields, Racecraft
  • Roediger, Seizing Freedom
  • Jones, “‘My Mother Was Much of a Woman’”, link

Urban Domestic Slavery and Labor

  • Virginia Meacham Gould, “‘The House that Was Never a Home’” link
  • Sally McMillen, “Mothers’ Sacred Duty: Breast-feeding Patterns …” link
  • Dabel, “My Ma Went to Work Early Every Mornin,” link
  • Dudden, Serving Women
  • Cole, “Servants and Slaves in Louisville” cole2011
  • May, “Working at Home” link
  • Gamber, “Tarnished Labor” link

Slave Trade

  • Gudmestad, Troublesome Commerce gudmestad2003
  • Pargas, Slavery and Forced Migration in the Antebellum South pargas2015
  • Tadman, Speculators and Slaves tadman1996
  • Schermerhorn, The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism schermerhorn2015
  • Johnson, ed., Chattel Principle
  • Grivno, Gleanings of Freedom
  • Andrew Fede, Legal Protection for Slave Buyers … fede1987

Panic of 1837

  • Baptist, “Toxic Debt” in Zakim and Kornblith baptist2012
  • Lepler, The Many Panics of 1837

Great Migration

  • Chatelain, South Side Girls
  • Reed, Knock at the Door of Opportunity
  • Reed, Rise of Chicago’s Black Metropolis
  • Spear, Black Chicago


  • Wayne, Death of an Overseer
  • Davis, Women on the Margins
  • Rothman, Beyond Freedom’s Reach rothman2015
  • Simona Cerutti, “Microhistory: Social Relations versus Cultural Models?,” in Anna Majia Castre ́n, ed., Between Sociology and History: Essays on Microhis- tory, Collective Action, and Nation-Building (Helsinki, 2004), 17–40.
  • Carlo Ginzburg, “Microhistory: Two or Three Things that I Know About It,” link
  • Fuentes, Dispossessed Lives - forthcoming
  • “Four Arguments for Microhistory,” link
  • Rebecca J. Scott, “Small-Scale Dynamics of Large-Scale Processes,” American Historical Review 105, no. 2 (2000): 472–479
  • Lara Putnam, “To Study the Fragments/Whole: Microhistory and the Atlantic World,” Journal of Social History 39, no. 3 (2006): 615–630
  • Filippo de Vivo, “Prospect or Refuge? Microhistory, History on the Large Scale,” Cultural and Social History 7, no. 3 (2010): 387–397
  • Francesca Trivellato, “Is There a Future for Italian Microhistory in the Age of Global History?,” California Italian Studies 2, no. 1 (2011),


  • Sternhell, Routes of War sternhell2012
  • Rolle, The Lost Cause
  • Massey, Refugee Life in the Confederacy massey1964
  • Guterl, American Mediterranean guterl2008
  • Ash, When the Yankees Came
  • Cashin, “Into the Trackless Wilderness,” in A Woman’s War
  • Taylor, The Internal Enemy (for comparative purposes)

Reenslavement / State Labor / Convict Leasing

  • Novak, The Wheel of Servitude
  • Martinez, Confederate Slave Impressment in the Upper South martinez2013
  • Oshinsky, Parchman Farm oshinsky1996
  • Mancini, If One Dies, Get Another mancini1996
  • Blackmon, Worse than Slavery
  • Lichtenstein, Twice the Work of Free Labor
  • Walker, Penology for Profit walker1988
  • Carleton, Politics and Punishment
  • Perkinson, Texas Tough perkinson2010
  • McKelvey, “Penal Slavery and Southern Reconstruction,” link
  • Johnson, A Short History of the Sugar Industry in Texas
  • Potts, “The Convict Lease System of Texas”
  • Cable, The Silent South, 156-164
  • Lucko, “Prison Farms, Walls, and Society” (1999)
  • Furse, Hawkins Ranch, link, suggested by Randal as example of former slave plantation on which convicts worked after war
  • Childs, Slaves of the State

State Building in the South

  • Quintana, “Planners, Planters, and Slaves,” JSH (February 2015) quintana2015
  • Heath, Constructive Liberalism heath1954

Hiring Out / Industrialization

  • Martin, Divided Mastery
  • Zaborney, Slaves for Hire
  • Schermerhorn, Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom schermerhorn2011
  • McDonnell, “Money Knows No Master: Market Relations and the American Slave Community” in Developing Dixie: Modernization in a Traditional Society eds. W. B. Moore, et al. (New York, 1988);
  • Chad Morgan, Planters’ Progress morgan2005
  • DeCredico, Patriotism for Profit
  • Starobin, Industrial Slavery in the Old South (see review essay by Lichtenstein)
  • Dew, Ironmaker to the Confederacy
  • Dew, Bond of Iron
  • T. Stephen Whitman, “Industrial Slavery at the Margin”
  • Goff, Confederate Supply
  • Bruce Eelman, Entrepreneurs in the Southern Upcountry (recommended by Randal)
  • Tom Downey, Planting a Capitalist South (recommended by Randal)
  • Sarah S. Hughes, “Slaves for Hire” link

Slave Narratives



  • Moore, The Emergence of the Cotton Kingdom in the Old Southwest: Mississippi, 1770-1860
  • Cobb, The Most Southern Place on Earth
  • Behrend, Reconstructing Democracy
  • Wayne, Reshaping of Plantation Society
  • Anderson, Builders of a New South
  • Falck, Black and White Memory Making in Postwar Natchez (Ph. D diss)
  • Davis, “Black Experience in Natchez” link
  • Henry, Pearl’s Secret
  • Behrend on Natchez in Confederate Cities


  • D. W. Meinig
  • Hudson, Creek Paths and Federal Roads


Slavery in Texas

Civil War and Reconstruction in Texas

  • Kerby, Kirby Smith’s Confederacy kerby1972
  • Oates, Rip Ford’s Texas
  • Howell, ed., Still the Arena of Civil War howell2012
  • Richter, Overreached on All Sides
  • Cohen-Lack article in JSH cohen-lack1992
  • Campbell, Grass-Roots Reconstruction in Texas campbell1997
  • Campbell, Southern Community in Crisis
  • Carrigan, Making of a Lynching Culture
  • Buenger, “Texas and the Riddle of Secession”
  • Crouch and Brice, The Governor’s Hounds
  • Crouch, Freedmens Bureau and Black Texans
  • Derbes, “Prison Productions” derbes2011
  • Daddyman, The Matamoras Trade
  • Smallwood, Time of Hope, Time of Despair
  • Williams, Beyond Redemption
  • Thomas on African Americans at Camp Ford thoms2008
  • Marten, Texas Divided marten1990
  • Spratt, The Road to Spindletop
  • Crouch, “A Spirit of Lawlessness”


  • Mooney, Race Horse Men (recommended by Lou Moore) mooney2014
  • Coleman, Slavery Times in Kentucky
  • Wall, How Kentucky Became Southern (recommended by Katherine Mooney for info about Zebulon Ward) ward2010
  • Howard, Black Liberation in Kentucky
  • Smith, “The Recruitment of Negro Soldiers in Kentucky,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 72, no. 4 (1974)
  • Sears, Camp Nelson, Kentucky
  • Lewis, “The Democratic Partisan Militias and the Black Period,” Civil War History 56, no. 2 (2010): 145-71
  • Marshall, Creating a Confederate Kentucky
  • Smardz, I’ve Got a Home in Gloryland
  • Asher, Cecelia and Fanny
  • Turner, “Kentucky Slavery in the Last Ante Bellum Decade,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 58 (October 1960): 291-307
  • Aron, How the West was Lost
  • Friend, ed., The Buzzel About Kentuck friend1999
  • Keith C. Barton, “‘Good Cooks and Washers’: Slave Hiring, Domestic Labor, and the Market in Bourbon County, Kentucky” barton1997
  • Ellen Eslinger, “Shape of Slavery on the Kentucky Frontier” eslinger1994
  • Hudson, “Slavery in Early Louisville …” link


  • Henry Louis Taylor, ed., Race and the City (on Cincinnati)
  • Nikki Taylor, Frontiers of Freedom
  • Bigham, On Jordan’s Banks
  • Salafia, Slavery’s Borderland salafia2013
  • Trotter, River Jordan
  • Gruenwald, “Space and Place on the Early American Frontier,” link


  • Adams and Gould, Inside the Natchez Trace Collection



  • Kilbourne, Debt, Investment, Slaves kilbourne1995
  • Follett, Sugar Masters follett2005
  • McDonald, The Economy and Material Culture of Slaves
  • Kotlikoff, “Structure of Slave Prices in New Orleans” kotlikoff1979
  • Brown, The Valuation and Commodification of Slave Women … link

New Orleans

Civil War and Reconstruction in LA

  • Lathrop, “The Pugh Plantations” lathrop1945
  • Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana winters1963
  • Rodrigue, Reconstruction in the Cane Fields


  • Paul D. Lack, “An Urban Slave Community: Little Rock,” link


  • Campanella, Geographies of New Orleans
  • Campanella, Bienville’s Dilemma
  • Evans, Congo Square evans2011
  • Lewis, New Orleans: Making of an Urban Landscape
  • Lawrence, The Accidental city
  • Lake Douglas, Public Spaces, Private Gardens: A History of Designed Landscapes in New Orleans

  • Gail Terry, “Family Empires” Weiner, Race and Rights