During the summer of 1800, slaves in and around Richmond conspired to overthrow their masters and abolish slavery. This book uses Gabriel's Conspiracy, and the evidence produced during the repression of the revolt, to expose the processes through which Virginians of African descent built an oppositional culture. Sidbury portrays the rich cultures of eighteenth-century black Virginians, and the multiple, and sometimes conflicting, senses of identity that emerged among enslaved and free people living in and around the rapidly growing state capital. The book also examines the conspirators' vision of themselves as God's chosen people, and the complicated African and European roots of their culture. In so doing, it offers an alternative interpretation of the meaning of the Virginia that was home to so many of the Founding Fathers. This narrative focuses on the history and perspectives of black and enslaved people, in order to develop 'Gabriel's Virginia' as a counterpoint to more common discussions of 'Jeffersonian Virginia'.
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(228mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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