Masters of the Big House: Elite Slaveholders of the Mid-Nineteenth-Century South (Jules And Frances Landry Award)

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9780807131558: Masters of the Big House: Elite Slaveholders of the Mid-Nineteenth-Century South (Jules And Frances Landry Award)
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William Kauffman Scarborough has produced a work of incomparable scope and depth, offering the challenge to see afresh one of the most powerful groups in American history--the wealthiest southern planters who owned 250 or more slaves in the census years of 1850 and 1860. The identification and tabulation in every slaveholding state of these lords of economic, social, and political influence reveals a highly learned class of men who set the tone for southern society while also involving themselves in the wider world of capitalism. Scarborough examines the demographics of elite families, the educational philosophy and religiosity of the nabobs, gender relations in the Big House, slave management methods, responses to secession, and adjustment to the travails of Reconstruction and an alien postwar world.

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Review:

In a remarkable feat of archival excavation, Scarborough probes the world of this cosmopolitan, highly educated, remarkably capable, and largely racist group.--Atlantic Monthly

An ambitious book that sheds light on a number of controversies. . . . [It] will force a reexamination of much that historians have thought about the Old South and its slaveholding elite. All who read it will be indebted to Scarborough for this deeply researched and clearly argued historical interpretation of an important subject.--American Historical Review

About the Author:

William Kauffman Scarborough, professor emeritus of history at the University of Southern Mississippi, is the author of The Overseer and The Allstons of Chicora Wood and editor of the three-volume The Diary of Edmund Ruffin.

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9780807128824: Masters of the Big House: Elite Slaveholders of the Mid-Nineteenth-Century South

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ISBN 10:  0807128821 ISBN 13:  9780807128824
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press, 2003
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