Gleanings of Freedom
Free and Slave Labor Along the Mason-Dixon Line, 1790-1860eBook - 2011
Late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century landowners in the hinterlands of Baltimore, Maryland, cobbled together workforces from a diverse labor population of black and white apprentices, indentured servants, slaves, and hired workers. This book examines the intertwined lives of the poor whites, slaves, and free blacks who lived and worked in this wheat-producing region along the Mason-Dixon Line. Drawing from court records, the diaries, letters, and ledgers of farmers and small planters, and other archival sources, Max Grivno reconstructs how these poorest of southerners eked out their livings and struggled to maintain their families and their freedom in the often unforgiving rural economy.
Grivno (history, U. of Southern Mississippi) set out to write about enslaved people in northern Maryland, but found their story so enmeshed in the whole world of rural labor that he had to incorporate it all. He covers agriculture and labor in the early republic; panic, depression, and the transformation of labor; managing farms and farmhands in antebellum Maryland; finding freedom along the Mason-Dixon Line; and rural wage laborers in antebellum Maryland. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)