- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (October 9, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1316643484
- ISBN-13: 978-1316643488
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Weeping Time: Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History Paperback – October 9, 2017
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Advance praise: 'Here is a graceful chronicle of a wretched moment in history. This is a work of restoration, culling a crucial narrative from the silences of the past. But most crucially, this is a restoration of the humanity to those enslaved black people who were so commonly denied it.' William Cobb, Columbia University
Advance praise: 'The Weeping Time offers a remarkable prism through which to explore the human dimensions of slavery and reconstruction in the American South. Using the March 1859 auction of some 440 slaves in Savannah, Georgia as a focal point, Anne C. Bailey explores the history of the slave owning Butler family, the history of the Butler plantations on the Georgia Sea Islands, and the post-slavery experiences of the slaves sold at that auction to illuminate broader themes of race in American history. She offers a moving and engaging social history of an understudied aspect of American slavery.' Thomas Dublin, Co-editor, Women and Social Movements in the United States and Bartle Distinguished Professor, State University of New York, Binghamton
Advance praise: 'Bailey's engrossing saga reminds us that the auction block was a crucial shared experience that shaped the consciousness of millions of African Americans. The Weeping Time is about the largest slave auction in American history, but it is also a remarkably vivid story of individual lives forever transformed when people are treated as property.' Clayborne Carson, Stanford University, California
Advance praise: 'A meticulously researched and beautifully told story of slavery. Bailey makes us see and feel the experiences of those enslaved on the Butler plantation and their descendants.' Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine Segal Professor of American Social Thought, Professor of History, Professor of Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Advance praise: 'The black body on slavery's auction block was at once commerce, exhibit, and spectacle; it was also the stuff of mourning, memorialization and mobilization. Such is the grand and grave subject of this absorbing book on the mother of all slave auctions in the United States, a tale told with verve and an eye for detail. A bedrock work.' Michael West, Binghamton University, State University of New York
Advance praise: 'Bailey has written a powerful study of African chattel slaves sold at huge profit, on the eve of the Civil War, to brokers from New York to Louisiana. Her approach to the experience of the auction block, like her portrayals of the modern black family, intent today on assembling fragments of their fractured past, is both interdisciplinary and humane. This outstanding contribution to understanding American capitalism should be compulsory reading in American history courses.' Herbert P. Bix, Emeritus Professor of History and Sociology, Binghamton University, State University of New York
Drawing on victims' accounts and descendants' memories, The Weeping Time uses the largest slave auction in US history as a lens to explore the legacies of diaspora, slavery, and the Civil War.
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In this second book she not only describes the largest slave auction in our history, but goes far beyond that. Among other things, we learn of the Butler family and how the first Butler, a signer of the constitution, became a wealthy slaveholder and how his grandson, Pierce, inherited those slaves and eventually was forced to sell them at that dreadful auction in 1859; how slaves’ lives were shattered by that auction; of the impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on slavery; of the Emancipation Proclamation and General Sherman’s Field Order No. 15 and its promise to veteran slaves of 40 acres of land and a mule (shortly thereafter rescinded by President Andrew Johnson); how slave families sought reconnection after the war; how black Civil War veterans received unfulfilled promises; and much much more.
Meticulously researched (and assisted by the writings of NY Tribune journalist Mortimer “Doesticks” Thompson who actually attended the auction incognito), what Professor Bailey recounts in this book is an important addition to our history. In a number of ways it helped me understand racism’s background and why it continues to flourish with such intensity today.
A compelling read. Highly recommended!