@Book{ pargas2015,
    author = {Damian Alan Pargas},
    title = {Slavery and Forced Migration in the Antebellum South},
    address = {New York},
    publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
    year = 2015,

Pargas frames his work in ways similar to gudmestad2003, taking aim at Genoveses on paternalism by showing the workings of the slave trade. But his major concern is to show that the experiences of sale and forced migration differed depending on whether people were moved locally or across state lines, or from rural to urban stetings, and that these differences had implications for “identity formation among American-born slaves during the antebellum period” (p. 3). The book also focuses, at a high level of generality but with lots of specific examples, on the adjustment of forced migrants to new communities.


pp. 27-28, 50-52: estate sales

pp. 36-39: hiring out as profit-seeking:

The idea was simply to profit from a surplus slave in the most convenient manner possible. … For slaveholders, there were a number of advantages to hiring out surplus slaves rather than selling, the most important of which were financial rathre than ideological. … slaves were often hired out for as much as 10 to 20 percent of their market value—in other words, a slaveholder could often earn more money by hiring out a slave for five to ten yearsthan he could if he sold the same slave. (p. 37)

p. 48 - examination of slaves at auction, Natchez

p. 59ff: enslaved people’s awareness of catastrophic effects of relocation on families and communities

pp. 72ff: local removals from countryside to city

p. 101-103: parallels between slave pens and jails/penitentiaries, and examples of sexual exploitation in the pens

p. 109: inspection of a woman being sold in kentucky

p. 117: Henry Bibb’s memory of the steamboat journey to New Orleans

p. 119: … but different experiences on the steamboat for women, not always chained on deck

p. 126: local versus interstate migrants’ journeys compared

p. 135-148: frustration of cotton planters with Upper South slaves who couldn’t pick, and pressure on new arrivals to adapt to cotton cultivation; mention of hoeing in particular on p. 139

p. 159, 166: gendered division of labor, adjustment of rural migrants to housework in the cities

p. 184-186: slave property, internal economies

p. 210: Violence of women against slaves: “A common theme [in testimonies of slave migrants] is the contention that new masters proved to be relatively mild mannered but that new mistresses were impossible to please.”

p. 220: traumatic encounters between migrants and slaves in new places

p. 229: continued connections to former homes

p. 238: collective resistance by slaves in their new environments: “Whether avoiding punishment or stealing food together, newcomers and locals often cooperated to overcome shared experiences of oppression and deprivation.”

pp. 232-241: creation of new communities and fictive kinship ties