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The insolent slave

Author: William E Wiethoff
Publisher: Columbia : University of South Carolina Press, ©2002.
Series: Studies in rhetoric/communication.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"While scholars of American history have written extensively about slave insurgency in the form of rebellion, William E. Wiethoff considers a more subtle form of resistance that caused considerable consternation among the slaveholders - that of insolence." "In this original contribution to the study of seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century rhetoric, Wiethoff assesses the southern gentry's attempts to  Read more...
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Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: William E Wiethoff
ISBN: 1570034141 9781570034145
OCLC Number: 46732278
Description: 223 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: pt. 1. The legislative perspective --
1. "Subordination not susceptible of any modification or restriction" --
2. The master of Westover --
pt. 2. The business perspective --
3. "A perfect understanding between a master and a slave" --
4. The Polk overseers --
pt. 3. The social perspective --
5. "An offence which consists of inconsistency" --
6. The reluctant mistress --
pt. 4. The moral perspective --
7. "The crowning glory of this age" --
8. The judge and patriarch.
Series Title: Studies in rhetoric/communication.
Responsibility: William E. Wiethoff.

Abstract:

While a lot has been written about slave insurgency in the form of rebellion, this study considers a different form - insolence. The author demonstrates that slaves learned quickly when to move  Read more...

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   schema:reviewBody ""While scholars of American history have written extensively about slave insurgency in the form of rebellion, William E. Wiethoff considers a more subtle form of resistance that caused considerable consternation among the slaveholders - that of insolence." "In this original contribution to the study of seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century rhetoric, Wiethoff assesses the southern gentry's attempts to manage what they interpreted as insolence, sheds light on the power of slave speech, and illumines long-term implications for African American code-switching and other forms of rhetoric." "Through surveys and case studies that include Fanny Kemble's firsthand narrative and entries from William Byrd's diary, Wiethoff evaluates the steps taken by slaveowners to suppress presumed slave insolence. Employing rhetorical, historical, and legal analyses, he examines expressions of unreflective judgment, self-persuasion, and sectional propaganda developed by the gentry to explain the insolent slave. Wiethoff identifies as especially noteworthy the related responses of overseers and plantation mistresses who were forced into an intermediary position between the higher authority of the plantation owner and the special manipulation directed at them by the slaves." "Wiethoff demonstrates that slaves learned quickly when to move toward the insolent and how to disguise their expressions of criticism and contempt. Though he finds insolence to be a rarely and carefully used "rhetoric of resistance," Wiethoff also finds that slaveowners attached legislative, social, moral, and commercial meanings to this discourse."--Jacket." ;
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