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Poor Whites of the Antebellum South: Tenants and Laborers in Central North Carolina and Northeast Mississippi Paperback – December 21, 1993


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Poor Whites of the Antebellum South: Tenants and Laborers in Central North Carolina and Northeast Mississippi + Honor and Violence in the Old South + The Confessions of Edward Isham: A Poor White Life of the Old South
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a fine book that sheds new light on the common whites of the South. Bolton looks at his subject from a different perspective and arrives at sensible and reasonable conclusions." --Richard Lowe," American Historical Review"

About the Author

Charles C. Bolton is Director of the Mississippi Oral History Program and Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books; First Edition edition (December 21, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822314681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822314684
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "teamfound" on March 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
In Poor Whites of the Antebellum South, Charles Bolton effectively reveals the economic, social, and political complexity of landless white tenants and laborers in antebellum North Carolina and Mississippi. Through census and tax records, court and insolvent debtor documentation, and personal accounts, the lives of Old South poor whites paint a picture that tells far more of their dynamic story than does the stereotypical label "white trash." Bolton focuses on four counties of the South: Randolph and Davidson counties in the central Piedmont of North Carolina and Pontotoc and Tishomingo counties in northeast Mississippi. Arguably the most notable characteristic of the poor whites was their mobility and versatility. Many of them made frequent relocations because of their need to look for employment and the desire to make economic advancements. Poor whites, such as Edward Isham, possessed a wide range of marketable skills since the slave labor in the South made long-term jobs hard to find. Although the most common occupation was a tenant farmer or farm laborer, some poor white males worked as railroad workers, miners, and stock drivers. The wives of these men, like the yeomen, were responsible for many domestic chores, as were the children; however, unlike the yeomen, many poor white women worked outside the home. The meager wages of the poor whites gave them enough money to pay for food, but personal property was scarce (the lack of material possessions facilitated their frequent moves). With regards to the slave society of the antebellum South, poor whites basically disrupted the line between white independence and black dependence.Read more ›
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