In Search of the Promised Land

In Search of the Promised Land

A Slave Family in the Old South

Book - 2006
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The matriarch of a remarkable African American family, Sally Thomas went from being a slave on a tobacco plantation, to a "virtually free" slave who ran her own business and purchased one of her sons out of bondage. In Search of the Promised Land offers a vivid portrait of the extendedThomas-Rapier family and of the life of slaves before the Civil War.Based on family letters as well as an autobiography by one of Thomas' sons, this remarkable piece of detective work follows a singular group as they walk the boundary between slave and free, traveling across the country in search of a "promised land" where African Americans would be treatedwith respect. Their record of these journeys provides a vivid picture of antebellum America, stretching from New Orleans to St. Louis, from the Overland Trail to the California Gold Rush, and from Civil War battles to steamboat adventures. John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger weave a compellingnarrative that illuminates the larger themes of slavery and freedom. To a remarkable degree, this small family experienced the full gamut of slavery, witnessing everything from the breakup of slave families, brutal punishment, and runaways, to miscegenation, insurrection panics, and slave patrols.They also illuminate the hidden lives of " virtually free" slaves, who maintained close relationships with whites, maneuvered within the system, and gained a large measure of autonomy.The Thomas-Rapiers were keen observers of the human condition. Through the eyes of this exceptional family and the indomitable black woman who held them together, we witness aspects of human bondage otherwise hidden from view.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2006
ISBN: 9780195160871
Branch Call Number: 929.20899 T367F 2006
Characteristics: xvii, 286 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm
Additional Contributors: Schweninger, Loren


From Library Staff

Portrait of the extended Thomas-Rapier family from before the Civil War and as they travel across antebellum America seeking a place where African Americans would be treated with respect. A compelling narrative that illuminates the larger themes of slavery and freedom.

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Jan 04, 2019

probably an alright nonfiction history book - but, I couldn't get into it. It seemed a bit repetitive and I was needing a distraction. This book didn't provide that for me.


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