A dramatic, revealing chronicle of enslaved people resisting their oppressors through acts of defiance, escape, sabotage, organized rebellion and vengeful murder.
This entry in the A Peculiar History series opens dramatically with a description of the German Coast Uprising, a violent, widespread rebellion in French Louisiana in 1811, and proceeds with a mostly chronological account of acts of resistance and rebellion from the beginning of the Atlantic slave trade in the early 15th century. Subjects briefly touched upon include a 1712 New York City rebellion as well as revolts led by Gabriel Prosser, Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey. Aretha discusses the Haitian revolution but curiously fails to mention its leader, Toussaint L’Ouverture. In addition, Aretha covers everyday acts of rebellion by slaves such as burning barns, killing livestock, sabotaging crops, suicide, and infanticide by mothers who wished to keep their children from enslavement. There is good information on the draconian lengths colonies and states went to to discourage slave resistance of any kind. With an attractive design, the text is complemented with photographs, maps and reproductions of archival materials, many in color.
An informative, engaging chronicle of organized and individual acts of resistance to slavery. (timeline, source notes, bibliography, websites, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)