The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985 Page: 102

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

To most white Southerners the emergence of the Republican party
represented a threat to their continued right to own slaves. "From
the southern perspective the Republican Party loomed like a giant
tidal wave ready to thunder over and crush the political world finely
crafted by three generations of southern politicians" (p. 257). Abra-
ham Lincoln's victory in 186o was the final blow. From South Carolina
to Texas, Southerners were convinced that secession was necessary to
preserve their freedom. In this regard Cooper sides with those scholars
who treat secession as a popular movement supported by a majority
of white Southerners.
This reviewer was particularly impressed by the graceful prose and
literary style with which Cooper describes significant developments in
southern politics and society. The maps and illustrations that accom-
pany the text further enhance the overall utility of the volume.
Lamar University RALPH A. WOOSTER
Black Southerners, z6z9-z869. By John B. Boles. (Lexington: Univer-
sity Press of Kentucky, 1983. Pp. xi+244. Preface, introduction,
bibliographical essay, index. $24.)
The study of black individuals and institutions is one of the most
rapidly developing- fields of American history. One of the best short
introductions to the variety and richness of this topic is John B. Boles's
Black Southerners, z619-869-a well-written, analytical, interpretive
synthesis of most of the major issues of the segment of black studies
delineated by the title.
Boles begins and concludes with a chronological survey from the
start of European trade with Africa and the Americas (14oo00s) through
the failure of Reconstruction (187os). The current winding through
these sections of the book is the development of various slaveries-
from African and European, ancient and medieval, domestic slavery
to American, commercial-revolution chattel slavery; from benign,
seventeenth-century Chesapeake to harsh, racist, nineteenth-century
Deep South; and from slavery through emancipation to crop-lien
The mainstreams of Boles's middle, topical chapters are the di-
versity of black experiences and the differences black Americans made
in southern culture. Black experiences included life and work-do-
mestic and artisan, overseer and field hand, agricultural (sugar, tobac-
co, rice, cotton) and industrial (lumbering-naval stores, mining, iron,
tobacco, textile), rural and urban, slave and free. Boles stresses that


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985, periodical, 1984/1985; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.