What is the history of slavery in the United States?Is there some significant books, articles and references you would advise me to read about slavery?  

Expert Answers
larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are any number of scholarly works on American Slavery that you might consult; however there are four which have won scholarly acclaim and which I can personally recommend to you:

  • The Slave Ship, by Marcus Reddiker provides chilling anecdotes of the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade. It is troubling at times, but quite realistic. There is an enotes page on the book which should provide further information. I require my Advanced Placement U.S. History students to read it.
  • Black Majority, by Peter H. Wood, describes Colonial South Carolina, and details the experiences of slaves in the only colony in which they constituted a majority. It also has good information on how slaves coped with the "peculiar institution."
  • American Slavery, American Freedom, by Edmund S. Morgan, a Parkman Prize winner, details slavery in Virginia. It also offers excellent supporting detail.
  • Remembering Slavery, edited by Ira Berlin, et. al, contains first person accounts recorded in the early twentieth century when a number of survivors of slavery were still alive.

Hope this helps. Perhaps other editors can suggest other works.



strawberryblossom | Student

Well, slavery first started when the Dutch actually brought slaves from Africa in like the 16-1700's. And so, from that moemnt on everyone would have slaves particcularitly in the south. They treated their slaves horrible and would punish or kill them cruelly if they tried to run away. That's basically all i know about slavery-led to the civil war too.

etotheeyepi | Student

This book, Black Gotham Carla Peterson, is not about slavery.  It is about a Middle Class black family in New York City before the Civil War.


Compare that with Up From Slavery, by Frederick Douglass, which is  about a slave in Baltimore during the same time period.

etotheeyepi | Student

I don't have a footnote for this, but the Spanish must have had slaves in New Mexico and Florida in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century.

The New England colonists brought slaves from Barbados.  Probably the most famous would be Tichaba, the slave who admitted to being a witch in the Salem Witch Trials.

John Rolfe bought his famous Nigerians in 1619 in Virginia.  One version of the story is that the Nigerians were indentured laborers.

The first laborers, who thought of themselves as permanent slaves rather than indentured laborers must have come from the Caribbean into Carolina when plantations in Carolina began planting rice.

If the first African labor in Virginia were indentured, it made little difference because a court case set a precedent in which indentured Nigerian workers became slaves.  That sounds like a bizarre story.  I'd like to know more about that.

There is a Archaeological in New York City, recently discovered, in which slaves, who participated in the 1712 slave revolt, were buried.  I bet they would have a lot of information about the real story about slavery.