Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana

TitleVoices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsWhite, Sophie
Number of Pages286
PublisherOmohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
CityWilliamsburg, VA

White's evocative reading of enslaved women's testimony in French Louisiana in the eighteenth century is also a meditation on French colonial law and on the historians' craft. Supplementing the extensive judicial records in New Orleans with manumission documents, parish records, and correspondence, she listens for the perspectives of the seven enslaved Africans and one enslaved Native girl who people her four major chapters. In a text richly illustrated with maps and architectural drawings, she attends to the local environments in which enslaved people circulated, labored and built their lives while drawing comparisons to the workings of French law in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean colonies. Moving beyond the accusations of assault, bestiality, infanticide, and theft, White narrates stories of labor and kinship, conflict and care among the enslaved. The testimony of the enslaved, in White's reading, is a form of "autobiographical expression" that extends the genre of "slave autobiography."

Entry by GWC Assistants / Work by GWC Assistants : 

Type of Literature:

Time Period:


Library Location: 
Call Number: