Blacks in Colonial America

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About the Book

By the time of the American Revolution, blacks made up 20 percent of the colonial population. Early in colonial history, many blacks who came to America were indentured servants who served out their contracts and then settled in the colonies as free men. Over time, however, more and more blacks arrived as slaves, and the position of blacks in colonial society suffered precipitous decline.
This book discusses the lives of blacks, both slave and free, as they struggled to make homes for themselves among the white European settlers in the New World. The author thoroughly examines colonial slavery and the laws supporting it (as early as 1686, for example, New Jersey had laws demanding the return of fugitive slaves) as well as the emancipation movement, active from the beginning of the slave trade. Other topics include blacks and the practice of Christianity in the colonies, and the service of blacks in the Revolution.

About the Author(s)

The late Oscar Reiss, was a retired physician and the author of The Jews in Colonial America (2004) and Medicine and the American Revolution (1998). He lived in San Diego.

Bibliographic Details

Oscar Reiss
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 301
Bibliographic Info: notes, index
Copyright Date: 2006 [1997]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2957-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1047-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface     1

1 The Concept of Slavery     3

2 African Roots     17

3 The Slave Trade     23

4 The Slave’s Life in Colonial America     47

5 Africans in New England     65

6 Africans in the Middle Atlantic Colonies     79

7 Africans in the South     97

8 The Freedmen     123

9 Colonization     145

10 Opposition to Slavery in Colonial America     157

11 Miscegenation     181

12 Slave Rebellion and Black Codes     189

13 Blacks and Christianity     217

14 Blacks in War     229

Notes     257

Index     285

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Library Journal; “[a] wealth of detail”—Choice; “one of the few books to focus on slavery and racism in 17th- and 18th-century America…rich in detail and documentation”—C&RL News; “touches upon many important aspects of human bondage in the colonial period”—The Journal of American History.