An American Planter: Stephen Duncan of Antebellum Natchez by Martha Jane Brazy

By Martha Jane Brazy

terribly filthy rich and influential, Stephen Duncan (17871867) was once a landowner, slaveholder, and financier with a striking array of social, monetary, and political contacts in preCivil struggle the USA. within the first biography of Duncan, Martha Jane Brazy paints a brand new portrait of antebellum lifestyles via exploring Duncan's multifacted networks between elites in either the South and the North. Duncan grew up in a well-to-do Pennsylvania kin with powerful enterprise ties in Philadelphia. there has been little indication, although, that he might turn into a sophisticated entrepreneur who might personal over fifteen plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana, jointly enslaving greater than thousand slaves. With type and substance, Martha Jane Brazy describes either the advance of Duncan's companies and the lives of the slaves on whose exertions his empire used to be built. based on Brazy, Duncan was once a "hybrid," no longer absolutely a southerner or a northerner. He used to be additionally, Brazy exhibits, a paradox. even though he positioned down deep roots in Natchez, his sphere of effect was once nationwide in scope. even if his wealth was once enormously depending on the slaves he owned, he anticipated a conflict over the problem of slave possession approximately 3 a long time sooner than the onset of the Civil battle. A made of either North and South, Duncan illuminates how and whilst the areas have been contradictory and after they should be made appropriate. possibly greater than the other planter studied so far, Duncan breaks the mould created by way of historians to give an explanation for the southern slaveholding aristocracy. by way of connecting and contrasting the networks of this elite planter and people he enslaved, Brazy offers new insights into the "slaveocracy" of antebellum America.
AUTHOR BIO: Martha Jane Brazy is an assistant professor of historical past on the college of South Alabama in Mobile.

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