Essay on Black Majority Book Review

817 Words Apr 24th, 2008 4 Pages
Peter Wood’s Black Majority is a social history examining the cause and effects, both explicit and implicit, of the black majority that emerged in colonial South Carolina. His study spans the time period from the settlement of Carolina through the Stono Rebellion, which took place in 1739. He also takes into consideration and examines certain events that took place in the years immediately preceding the settlement of 1670, as well as those that immediately followed, as a direct result of, the Stono Rebellion and their respective relationships to the black majority that existed in the colony. Wood introduces the book as possibly the first real study of this black majority and its impact on the colony in its earliest years. Wood also …show more content…
The next day, mounted militia caught up with the group numbering 80 slaves. Twenty white Carolinians and forty-four of the slaves were killed before the rebellion was suppressed. The captured slaves were then decapetated and their heads were spiked on every mile post between that spot and Charles Town.
While that effectively ended the revolt, some of the rebels remained at large for days and weeks following the initial violence. For early South Carolinians theses benefits outweighed the difficulties that arose such as a language barrier and, decades later, the expense involved in importing slaves directly from Africa. Granted, this is not necessarily through any fault of Wood’s, since primary sources from the earliest slaves would be difficult, if not impossible, to find. However, the rebel force eventually stopped in a field where they were engaged by a group of white planters and dispersed. His work is well documented and many of his footnotes go beyond giving reference and give further information pertaining to and supporting his arguments. Among these actions were punishments for masters who might be “driving” their slaves to run away or rebel, and the teaching of Christian doctrines of submission and obedience to slaves. As a result of this headright system, many of the first slaves brought into the colony were forced to migrate along with their owners, primarily coming with settlers emerging out of Barbados. All in all, Black Majority is a thorough and impressive

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