Masters of the Big House: Elite Slaveholders of the Mid-nineteenth-century South

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LSU Press, Apr 1, 2006 - History - 521 pages
2 Reviews

William Kauffman Scarborough has produced a work of incomparable scope and depth, offering the challenge to see afresh one of the most powerful groups in American history -- the wealthiest southern planters who owned 250 or more slaves in the census years of 1850 and 1860. The identification and tabulation in every slaveholding state of these lords of economic, social, and political influence reveals a highly learned class of men who set the tone for southern society while also involving themselves in the wider world of capitalism. Scarborough examines the demographics of elite families, the educational philosophy and religiosity of the nabobs, gender relations in the Big House, slave management methods, responses to secession, and adjustment to the travails of Reconstruction and an alien postwar world.

  

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Review: Masters of the Big House: Elite Slaveholders of the Mid-Nineteenth-Century South

User Review  - Mike - Goodreads

Rare five star rating. I won't reiterate what other reviewers have already said, but yes, this book is a masterpiece. Important for both scholars and students and general interest history readers ... Read full review

Review: Masters of the Big House: Elite Slaveholders of the Mid-Nineteenth-Century South

User Review  - Kent - Goodreads

About time somebody undertook this study. Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
Social and Demographic Characteristics
18
Religious and Cultural Characteristics
52
Wives Mothers and Daughters Gender Relations in the Big House
90
Agrarian Empires Acquisition Production Profits Problems and Management
122
Toiling for Old Massa Slave Labor on the Great Plantations
175
Capitalists All Investments and Capital Accumulation Outside the Agricultural Sector
217
Political Attitudes and Influence The Response of the Elite to the First Sectional Crisis
238
Days of Judgment The Demise of a Slave Society
316
Postwar Adjustment The Legacy of Emancipation and Defeat
373
Lords and Capitalists The Ideology of the Master Class
406
Slaveholders wit 500 or More Slaves 1850
427
Slaveholders wit 500 or More Slaves 1860
431
Elite Slaveholders by State of Residence 1850
439
Elite Slaveholders by State of Residence 1860
456
BIBLIOGRAPHY
485

The Road to Armageddon The Role of the Planter Elite in the Secession Crisis
275
INDEX
503

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About the author (2006)

WILLIAM KAUFFMAN SCARBOROUGH is a professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi and the award-winning author or editor of five books and numerous articles on the Civil War and the plantation-slavery regime of the Old South.

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