Death of an Overseer by Michael Wayne
Look inside with Google Book Preview
Death of an Overseer
By Michael Wayne

Death of an Overseer

Reopening a Murder Investigation from the Plantation South

By (author) See other recent books by Michael Wayne
Format: Paperback

Normal Price: $70.95
Your Price: $63.86 AUD, inc. GST
Shipping: $7.95 per order
You Save: $7.09! (10% off normal price)
Plus...earn $3.19 in Boomerang Bucks
Availability: Available Available to Backorder, No Due Date for Supply



Death of an Overseer by Michael Wayne

Book Description

In May of 1857, the body of Duncan Skinner was found in a strip of woods along the edge of the plantation near Natchez, Mississippi, where he worked as an overseer. Although a coroner's jury initially ruled his death to be accidental, an investigation organized by planters from the community concluded that he had been murdered by three slaves acting under instructions from John McCallin, an Irish carpenter. Now, almost a century and a half later, Michael Wayne has reopened the case to ask whether the men involved in the investigation arrived at the right verdict. Part essay on the art of historical detection, part seminar on the history of slavery and the Old South, Death of an Overseer is, above all, a murder mystery-a murder mystery that allows readers to sift through the surviving evidence themselves and come to their own conclusions about who killed Duncan Skinner and why.

Buy Death of an Overseer book by Michael Wayne from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.


Book Details

ISBN: 9780195140040
ISBN-10: 0195140044
Format: Paperback
(236mm x 154mm x 20mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 5-Apr-2001
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Michael Wayne

Imagining Black America by Michael Wayne Imagining Black America, Hardback (May 2014)

A fascinating and challenging inquiry into black identity and its shifting meaning throughout U.S. history

Death of an Overseer by Michael Wayne Death of an Overseer, Hardback (March 2001)

Reopening an investigation into the death of a plantation overseer - Duncan Skinner - almost a century and a half ago, this work is is part murder mystery, part essay on the art of historical detection, and part seminar on the history of the slavery and the "Old South".

» View all books by Michael Wayne

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A comprehensive exploration of a bizarre, contested murder in the plantation South on the eve of the Civil War..Wayne ("The Reshaping of Plantation Society", not reviewed) describes an incident that obliquely dramatizes the cruelties and absurdities of the "peculiar institution." Shortly after overseer Duncan Skinner was reported missing by the slaves of Clarissa Sharpe's plantation, a search party was organized and Skinner was found dead, apparently killed in a riding accident (or so a coroner's jury concluded). But local planters soon discovered that all the slaves believed a different story: namely, that three male slaves had killed the overseer for his money and arranged the scene. The three killers were accorded representation in what was essentially a show trial, and were then hanged. The local planters, however, attributed the conspiracy to a non-slave - owning white carpenter, John McAllin, who was believed to have had designs on Miss Sharpe. They subsequently threatened him with retaliatory violence via a newspaper ad that urged him to leave town. McAllin in turn asserted his innocence in an equally fiery ad that put the planters in an untenable position, as it struck at the severe class differences between slaveholders and white laborers in the antebellum South. At the time, McAllin's culpability was generally accepted. Using many obscure primary-source documents, Wayne debates this thesis, pursuing alternative explanations that centered upon the need of pro-slavery whites to manipulate perceptions of their African chattel as alternately childlike and brutal, and maintain their authority over the restive group of impoverished whites represented by McAllin. He astutely concludes that Southern whites "held to contradictory interpretations of black character and drew on them as circumstances and their own psychological needs dictated." .A fascinating history that faces still-difficult questions of injustice and responsibility.. (Kirkus Reviews)


» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Death of an Overseer book by Michael Wayne and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a member - it's free to sign up!)

Write a book review


Author Biography - Michael Wayne

Michael Wayne teaches history at University College, the University of Toronto. His first book, The Reshaping of Plantation Society, won multiple prizes, including the Francis Butler Simkins Award of the Southern Historical Association.

Boomerang Bucks close

For every $20 you spend on books, you will receive $1 in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars. You can use your Boomerang Bucks as a credit towards a future purchase from Boomerang Books. Note that you must be a Member (free to sign up) and that conditions do apply.

Recent books by Michael Wayne close
Red Kant: Aesthetics, Marxism and the Third Critique by Michael Wayne
Red Kant: Aesthetics, Marxism and the Third Critique by Michael Wayne
Imagining Black America by Michael Wayne
Marx's Das Kapital for Beginners by Michael Wayne
Death of an Overseer by Michael Wayne
»
BoomerangBooks.com.au close