An American Planter: Stephen Duncan of Antebellum Natchez by Martha Jane Brazy

By Martha Jane Brazy

terribly filthy rich and influential, Stephen Duncan (17871867) used to be a landowner, slaveholder, and financier with a outstanding array of social, monetary, and political contacts in preCivil conflict the US. within the first biography of Duncan, Martha Jane Brazy paints a brand new portrait of antebellum existence via exploring Duncan's multifacted networks between elites in either the South and the North. Duncan grew up in a well-to-do Pennsylvania kinfolk with robust enterprise ties in Philadelphia. there has been little indication, although, that he could turn into a sophisticated entrepreneur who might personal over fifteen plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana, jointly enslaving greater than thousand slaves. With sort and substance, Martha Jane Brazy describes either the improvement of Duncan's companies and the lives of the slaves on whose exertions his empire used to be built. in keeping with Brazy, Duncan was once a "hybrid," no longer absolutely a southerner or a northerner. He was once additionally, Brazy indicates, a paradox. even if he placed down deep roots in Natchez, his sphere of impact used to be nationwide in scope. even though his wealth was once tremendously depending on the slaves he owned, he expected a conflict over the problem of slave possession approximately 3 many years prior to the onset of the Civil warfare. A manufactured from either North and South, Duncan illuminates how and whilst the areas have been contradictory and after they should be made suitable. might be greater than the other planter studied to this point, Duncan breaks the mildew created by way of historians to give an explanation for the southern slaveholding aristocracy. through connecting and contrasting the networks of this elite planter and people he enslaved, Brazy presents new insights into the "slaveocracy" of antebellum America.
AUTHOR BIO: Martha Jane Brazy is an assistant professor of heritage on the college of South Alabama in Mobile.

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