This book focuses on alternative types of slave narratives, especially courtroom testimony, and interrogates how such narratives were produced, the societies (both those that were majority slave societies and those in which slaves were a distinct minority of the population) in which testimony was permitted, and the meanings that can be attached to such narratives. The chapters in this book provide valuable information about the everyday lives—including the inner and spiritual lives—of enslaved African American and Native American individuals in the British and French Atlantic World, from Canada to the Caribbean. It explores slave testimony as a form of autobiographical narrative, and in ways that allow us to foreground enslaved persons’ lived experience as expressed in their own words.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Slave Narratives in British and French America, 1700–1848
Trevor Burnard and Sophie White
Section One: Voices in the Archives
1. "Said Without Being Asked": Slavery, Testimony and Autobiography
2. Fictions in the Archives: Jupiter alias Gamelle or the Tales of an Enslaved Peddler in the French New Orleans’ Court
3. Slave Judiciary Testimonies in the French Caribbean: What to Do with Them
Section Two: Native Americans
4. A "Spanish American Squaw" in New England: Indian Ann’s Journey from Slavery to Freedom
Linford D. Fisher
5. In the Borderlands of Race and Freedom (and Genre): Embedded Indian and African Slave Testimony in Eighteenth-Century New England
Margaret Ellen Newell
6. "She Said Her Answers Contained the Truth": Listening to and with Enslaved Witnesses in Eighteenth-Century New France
Section Three: African Americans
7. Ideologies of the Age of Revolution and Emancipation in Enslaved African Narrative
Aaron Spencer Fogleman
8. Slave Voice and the Legal Archive: The Case of the Freedom Suits Before the Paris Admiralty Court
9. "I Know I Have to Work": The Moral Economy of Labor Among Enslaved Women in Berbice, 1819–1834
10. "An Anomalous Population": Re-captive Narratives in Antigua and the British Colonial Archive, 1807–1828
Conclusion: Slave Testimonies: The Long View
Sophie White is Professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Trevor Burnard is Wilberforce Professor of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull.