Violence and Terrorism in American Slavery

Prof Craig Hammond joins us to discuss the violence used in maintaining slavery, both on the farm/plantation, and in broader society before the Civil War. The violence and terror inflicted on slaves is horrific by our 21st standards. Yet, slave-owners did not consider themselves sadistic torturers. But how did they justify the punishments inflicted on insubordinate slaves, or on slaves suspected of rebellion?

PLEASE NOTE: At a few places in this episode, Professor Hammond and I referred to “Robert Byrd,” when, in fact, we meant “William Byrd.”

Buzzkill Bookshelf

John Craig Hammond and Matthew Mason (editors), Contesting Slavery: The Politics of Bondage and Freedom in the New American Nation

The essays collected here analyze the Revolutionary era and the early republic on their own terms to produce fresh insights into the politics of slavery before 1840. The collection forces historians to rethink the multiple meanings of slavery and antislavery to a broad array of Americans, from free and enslaved African Americans to proslavery ideologues, from northern farmers to northern female reformers, from minor party functionaries to political luminaries such as Henry Clay.

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