The Waterman's Song

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2001-09-01
  • Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Pr

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Supplemental Materials

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The first major study of slavery in the maritime South, The Waterman's Song chronicles the world of slave and free black fishermen, pilots, rivermen, sailors, ferrymen, and other laborers who, from the colonial era through Reconstruction, plied the vast inland waters of North Carolina from the Outer Banks to the upper reaches of tidewater rivers. Demonstrating the vitality and significance of this local African American maritime culture, David Cecelski also reveals its connections to the Afro-Caribbean, the relatively egalitarian work culture of seafaring men who visited nearby ports, and the revolutionary political tides that coursed throughout the black Atlantic. Black maritime laborers played an essential role in local abolitionist activity, slave insurrections, and other antislavery activism. They also boatlifted thousands of slaves to freedom during the Civil War. But most important, Cecelski says, they carried an insurgent, democratic vision born in the maritime districts of the slave South into the political maelstrom of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Author Biography

David S. Cecelski is the Lehman Brady Joint Chair Professor in Documentary and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Waterman's Song xi
Prologue 3(22)
Part One. Working on the Mater
As Far as a Colored Man Can There Be Free: A Slave Waterman's Life
Common as Gar Broth: Slave Fishermen from Tidewater Plantations to the Outer Banks
Like Sailors at Sea: Slaves and Free Blacks in the Shad, Rockfish, and Herring Fishery
A March Down into the Water: Canal Building and Maritime Slave Labor
Part Two. The Shuggle for Freedom
All of Them Abolitionists: Black Watermen and the Maritime Passage to Freedom
The Best and Most Trustworthy Pilots: Slave Watermen in Civil War Beaufort
A Radical and Jacobinical Spirit: Abraham Galloway and the Struggle for Freedom in the Maritime South
Afterword: The Last Daughter of Davis Ridge 203(10)
Glossary of North Carolina Watercraft, 1790 --- 1865 213(8)
Notes 221(66)
Acknowledgments 287(2)
Index 289

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