Long out of print and found only in rare-book stores, it is now available to a contemporary audience with this new paperback edition.
When slavery was abolished by the Emancipation Proclamation, there were slaves in every county of the state, and almost half the population was directly involved in slavery as either a slave, a slaveowner, or a member of an owner’s family. Orville Taylor traces the growth of slavery from John Law’s colony in the early eighteenth century through the French and Spanish colonial period, territorial and statehood days, to the beginning of the Civil War. He describes the various facets of the institution, including the slave trade, work and overseers, health and medical treatment, food, clothing, housing, marriage, discipline, and free blacks and manumission.
While drawing on unpublished material as appropriate, the book is, to a great extent, based on original, often previously unpublished, sources. Valuable to libraries, historians in several areas of concentration, and the general reader, it gives due recognition to the signficant place slavery occupied in the life and economy of antebellum Arkansas.