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Edited by Stanley Engerman, Seymour Drescher, and Robert Paquette

Publication Date - May 2001

ISBN: 9780192893024

520 pages

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $124.99

Reveals the true diversity of human experiences of slavery


This new Reader draws on a range of documentary sources to show the origins, history, and realities of slavery and the slave trade. Exploring the economic, cultural, and political role of slavery, the volume shows the similarities as well as the differences in different times and places. While focusing primarily on the Americas, the volume extends to a consideration of slavery in other societies in the classical world, Africa, Asia, and the contemporary world. With over 150 selections, varying from one paragraph to several pages in length, the volume ranges widely, from international slave trade regulations and the individual records of slaveowners, to legislative debate concerning the emancipation of slaves. The volume aims to show the diversity of human experiences of slavery, and explains the causes of both the ending as well as the origins of slavery. Covering many aspects of slavery, the volume considers the ways in which slavery has been justified and attacked, the operations of slave societies, and the experiences of those living in them. Selections are drawn from a wide variety of sources, such as biblical and philosophical discussions, the writings of slaves, slaveowners, abolitionists, economists, lawyers, and historians. In addition, the volume includes selections from many leading historians and economists studying slavery and emancipation.


  • Documents drawn from primary texts enable the student to interpret evidence for themselves, promoting discussion and debate
  • Editors' general introduction and introductions to each section highlight key issues, guiding the reader through the selections and main areas of debate
  • Breadth and range of coverage make this a comprehensive introduction for the student or reader approaching the subject for the first time
  • Thematic approach enables students to focus on particular aspects, such as economic, social, or cultural implications of slavery
  • Material is subdivided geographically and then organised chronologically for ease of reference

About the Author(s)

Stanley L. Engerman is Professor of Economics and History at the University of Rochester, NY. His publications include 'The Colonial Era', volume I of 'The Cambridge Economic History of the United States' (edited with Robert Gallman, 1996). Robert Paquette is Professor of History at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. He is the author of 'Sugar is Made with Blood: The Conspiracy of La Escalera and the Conflict between Empires over Slavery in Cuba' (1998). Seymour Drescher is Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. His publications include 'The Meaning of Freedom: Economics, Politics and Culture after Slavery' (1992).

Table of Contents

    The Bible
    Politics, Aristotle
    Ethics, Aristotle
    De Officis, Cicero
    Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes
    Spirit of the Laws, Baron de Montesquieu
    The Six Books of a Commonweale, Jean Bodin
    A Philosophical Dictionary, Francois Voltaire
    Encyclopedie, Denis Diderot
    Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson
    Science of Right, Immanuel Kant
    Letter to Domingo del Monte, 25 June 1835, Juan Francisco Manzano
    Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche
    Lord and Peasant in Russia, Jerome Blum
    The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823, David Brion Davis
    Roll, Jordan, Roll, Eugene D. Genovese
    Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology, Sir Moses I. Finley
    Slavery in Russia 1405-1725, Richard Hellie
    From Slavery to Feudalism in South-Western Europe, Pierre Bonnassie
    The Origins of Peasant Servitude in Medieval Catalonia, Paul Freedom
    Slavery in Early Medieval England, David A. E. Pelteret
    Slavery in Africa, Suzanne Miers and Igor Kopytoff
    Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, John Thornton
    The Origins and Methods of Enslavement
    The Bible
    The City of God, St. Augustine
    Praeloquia 935-937 AD, Bishop Ratherius of Verona
    Life of Johnson, James Boswell
    Slavery as an Industrial System, H.J. Nieboer
    White over Black, Winthrop D. Jordan
    American Slavery, American Freedom, Edmund S. Morgan
    Slavery in Russia, Richard Hellie
    Slavery and Social Death, Orlando Patterson
    Race and Color in Islam, Bernard Lewis
    Slavery, Race, Ideology, Fields
    Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, John Thornton
    Europeans and the Rise and Fall of Slavery, David Eltis
    Slave Laws
    The Bible
    Digest of Justinian
    Muscovite Society, Richard Hellie
    The Reign of Sovereign, Richard Hellie
    Code Noir 1685
    Commentaries on the Laws of England, William Blackstone
    Southern Slavery and the Law 1619-1860, Thomas D. Morris
    Danish Slave Code 1733
    Codigo Negro 1789
    Cuban Slave Law 1842
    Somersett Decision 1772
    Barbados Laws: Excerpts from 1661
    Rio Branco Law 1871
    Abolitionism: The Brazilian Antislavery Struggle, Joaquim Nabuco
    An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery (1858), T.R. Cobb
    Massachusetts Code 1641
    Virginia Code 1705
    The Babylonian Laws
    The Koran
    The Slave Trade
    Documents Illustrative of the Slave Trade to America, Elizabeth Donnan
    The Journal of a Slave Trader 1750-4, John Newton
    Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery (1787), Ottobah Cugoano
    Parliamentary Papers
    Nouveau Voyage, Jean Baptist Labat
    The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Olaudah Equiano
    The African Slave Trade and its Remedy, Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton
    Cuba-Chinese 1812 Contract, Hamoa
    The Merchant of Prato, Marchesa Iris Origo
    The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census, Philip D. Curtin
    Woolf and Sereer of Senegambia, Martin Klein
    The Middle Passage, Herbert S. Klein
    (Forthcoming on total slave trade), David Eltis
    Transactions in People: The Chinese Market in Slaves, Servants, and Heirs, James L. Watson
    Abolition of the Slave Trade from Senegambia, Philip D. Curtin
    Odious Commerce: Britain, Spain, and the abolition of the Cuban Slave Trade, David Murray
    Transformations in Slavery, Paul E. Lovejoy
    Bali: Slavery and the Slave Trade, Alfons van der Kraan
    Traders, Planters, and Slaves, David W. Galenston
    Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, David Eltis
    Economic Aspects of the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Slave Trade, Herbert S. Klein
    Slavery and Society in Medieval Scandinavia, Ruth Mazo Karras
    Labour in the South Pacific, Clive Moore, Jaqueline Leckie and Doug Munro
    Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society, Stuart Schwartz
    Without Consent or Contract, Robert William Fogel
    Coolies and Mandarins, Ch'ing-Hwang Yen
    The Anthropology of Slavery, Claude Meillassoux
    Flourishing Business ('The Economist' 21.09.1996)
    Trade and Traders in Muslim Spain, Olivia Remie Constable
    Slavery in the Islamic Middle East, Michel Le Gall
    The Experience of Slavery
    Life of St Balthid
    History of Mary Prince, Mary Prince
    Plantation Manual of James Hammond, James Henry Hammond
    Appeal, David Walker
    My Bondage and My Freedom, Frederick Douglass
    Cotton Plantation Book: Duties of Overseers, Thomas Affleck
    Night-Time Meetings, Debien
    Description, Mederic Louis Elie Moreau de Saint Mery
    The Black Jacobins, C.L.R. James
    The Masters and the Slaves, Gilberto Freyre
    The Birth of African-American Culture, Sidney W. Mintz and Richard S. Prince
    Another Dimension to the Black Diaspora, Kenneth F. Kiple
    Plantation Slaves
    Slave Life in Rio de Janeiro 1808-1850, Mary Karasch
    Women in China
    Slave Populations of the British Caribbean, B.W. Higman
    Roll, Jordan, Roll, Eugene D. Genovese
    Without Consent or Contract, Robert W. Fogel
    Unfree Labour, Peter Kolchin
    Within the Plantation Household, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese
    Tobacco and Slaves, Allan Kulikoff
    Slave Counterpoint, Philp D. Morgan
    St. Vincent Interview
    Laws, Plato
    Politics, Aristotle
    Annals, Tacitus
    Lives of Noble Grecians and Romas, Plutarch
    History of Al-Tabari, Jarir al-Tabari
    The Church and Black Slaves in Santo Domingo
    Historia General y natural de las Indias, Gonzalo Fernandez de Ovieto
    Children of God's Fire, Robert Conrad
    The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia
    Curacao (London Magazine 1750)
    In Miserable Slavery, Douglas Hall
    Narrative of a Five Years expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam, John Gabriel Stedman
    Great Lives Observed: Toussaint L'Ouverture, George F. Tyson
    HAHR, Stuart Schwartz
    Monituer dela Louisiane
    Hambelton Letter, Samuel Hambleton
    British Parliamentary Papers: Correspondence relating to Slavery and the Abolition of the Slave Trade 1823-4
    The Trial of Denmark Vesey, John Oliver Killens
    Cuban Resistance
    Confession of Nat Turner
    Death Struggles of Slavery, Henry Bleby
    American Negro Slave Revolts, Herbert Aptheker
    Journal of World History, Sidney W. Mintz
    Roll, Jordan, Roll, Eugene D. Genovese
    From Rebellion to Revolution, Eugene D. Genovese
    Islam and Slave Rebellion in Bahia, Brazil, Joao Jose Reis and P.F. de Moreas Faria
    Testing the Chains, Michael Craton
    Bondsmen and Rebels, David Barry Gaspar
    My Bondage and My Freedom, Frederick Douglass
    Cooper Union Talk 1860, Araham Lincoln
    Slave Resistance and Social History, Robert L. Paquette
    Feast and Riot on the Swahili Coast, Jonathan Glassman
    A Turbulent Time, David Geggus
    Richardson Correspondence 1848
    Domination and the Arts of Resistance, James Scott
    Economics and Demography
    Oeconomicus, Xenophon
    Oeconomica, Aristotle
    Instructions to the Jesuits, Francois Chevalier
    A View of the Art of Colonization, Edward Gibbon Wakefield
    Lectures on Colonization and Colonies, Herman Merivale
    Slave Populations, B.W. Higman
    Without Consent or Contract, Robert W. Fogel
    Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society, Stuart Schwartz
    Slave Trader Newsletter
    Slave Trade Advertisement 1861
    Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
    Economic Sophisms, Frederic Bastiat
    The Negro Question, J.S. Mill
    Principles of Political Economy, J.S. Mill
    An Inquiry into the Priciples of Political Oeconomy, James Stuart
    Capital, Karl Marx
    The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, Max Weber
    Capitalism and Slavery, Eric Williams
    How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Walter Rodney
    The Sugarmill, Manuel Moreno Fraginals
    The Causes of Slavery or Serfdom: A Hypothesis, Evsey D. Domar
    Slavery and African Life, Patrick Manning
    Slavery in the Islamic Middle East, Michel Le Gall
    Abolition and Emancipation
    Ancient and Modern Ideology, Sir Moses I. Finley
    Capitalism and Anti-Slavery, Seymour Drescher
    On Social Reform, Alexis de Toqueville and Beaumont
    Hansard 1843
    Hansard 1846
    The Nigger Question, Thomas Carlyle
    The Diary of Edmund Ruffin, Edmund Ruffin
    Mississippi Legislature 1850
    Black Abolitionist Papers vol. V
    Army Life in a Black Regiment, Thomas Wentworth Higginson
    Emancipation Proclamation 1863
    Thirteenth Amendment
    Defining the Boundaries of Freedom in the World of Cane, Rebecca J. Scott
    The Liberator 1831
    Paris Ethnological Society Debate 1847
    Resolution of 1784
    General Assembly Virginia 1785
    Extract from 'The Economist' (1997)