Press "Enter" to skip to content

River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom

By Walter Johnson

When Jefferson got the Louisiana Territory, he anticipated an “empire for liberty” populated via self-sufficient white farmers. Cleared of local american citizens and the remnants of ecu empires by way of Andrew Jackson, the Mississippi Valley used to be remodeled as an alternative right into a booming capitalist financial system commanded by means of prosperous planters, powered via steam engines, and depending on the coerced exertions of slaves. River of darkish Dreams locations the Cotton country on the middle of globally webs of trade and exploitation that prolonged throughout oceans and drove an insatiable starvation for brand new lands. This daring reaccounting dramatically alters our realizing of yankee slavery and its function in U.S. expansionism, worldwide capitalism, and the impending Civil War.

Walter Johnson deftly strains the connections among the planters’ pro-slavery ideology, Atlantic commodity markets, and Southern schemes for worldwide ascendency. utilizing slave narratives, well known literature, criminal files, and private correspondence, he recreates the harrowing information of way of life less than cotton’s darkish dominion. We meet the arrogance males and gamblers who made the Valley shimmer with promise, the slave purchasers, steamboat captains, and retailers who provided the markets, the planters who wrung their civilization out of the minds and our bodies in their human estate, and the genuine believers who threatened the Union via attempting to extend the Cotton nation on a world scale.

yet on the middle of the tale Johnson tells are the enslaved those that pulled down the forests, planted the fields, picked the cotton—who worked, suffered, and resisted at the darkish underside of the yank dream.

Show description

Quick preview of River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom PDF

Show sample text content

15 For either proprietors and passengers, the temporary exchange used to be characterised via a always transferring set of speculative chances; it had the entire predictability of a riverboat card online game. Packets ran mounted routes in accordance with mounted schedules. reinforced through mail contracts, which assured the packets shipment and assured the put up of�fice an elevated measure of regularity, the packet exchange grew in the course of the 1840s and 1850s. sixteen In go back for greater price ticket costs and freight charges, packets absorbed the€risk of doubtful cargoes; even if the staterooms have been complete and the deck packed, the packet would go away on agenda.

Is it in person villainy? ”61 there have been no effortless solutions to those questions. The multiplicity of attainable explanations frequently summed as much as not anything within the means of clear-Â�cut responsibility. which didn't suggest that litigants and attorneys stopped attempting. The criminal Limits to Capitalâ•… 119 lllllllllllllllllllllll Â� motion that the collision of the steamboat Abeona was once instructive in that regard. touring upriver on December€20, 1834, with a ship in tow, the Abeona struck the clipper Cultivator, which was once hauling a load of sugar downriver from Donaldsonville.

6 Malnutrition was once seen to the attention. 7 Diets low in energy and particularly in protein resulted in the losing away of subcutaneous fats, during which the human physique shops strength. the surface of malnourished slaves might hold in unfastened folds, dry and wasted for wish of meals; their hair might develop into brittle and discolored. Charles Ball back: “A half-Â�starved Negro is a miserable-Â�looking creature. His pores and skin beÂ�comes dry, and looks to be sprinkled over with whitish husks, or scales; the glossiness of his face vanishes, his hair loses its colour, beÂ� comes dry and whilst with a rod, the airborne dirt and dust flies from it.

It really is difÂ�fiÂ�cult to underestimate the beneÂ�fits which manure-Â�minded planters suggestion could develop out of the advancements they have been prescribing. As M. €W. Phillips of Mississippi placed it, “It is, I admit, a tedious proÂ�cess to haul out 3 or 400 bushels of solid manure; yet no much less so is it to transparent, fence, and get a divorce new ground—nor extra tedious than pulling up stakes, severing the entire soft endearments of ‘mine personal local land,’ to hunt at a heavy rate of time and cash, a house within the western wilds, there to sufÂ�fer the mixed assaults of mosquitoes and fever and ague!

Stewart later defined that he have been in a position to remain through Murrell’s part all of the means throughout Tennessee and into Arkansas through claiming that, as well as trying to find a horse, he was once trying to find land. “The land east of the Mississippi River,” he confided to his spouse, “is all entered and it truly is 60 r i ver o f d a r okay d r ea ms lllllllllllllllllllllll very expensive. ” Their trip quick veered off the turnpike and into the woods, heading towards Randolph, Tennessee, the place Murrell deliberate to go the river.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.05 of 5 – based on 46 votes