African-Virginian Extended Kin: The Prevalence of West African Family Forms among Slaves in Virginia, 1740-1870
Runaway slave advertisements from the Virginia Gazette show the cultural makeup of slaves in eighteenth-century Virginia. I use these advertisements to illustrate the prevalence of vast inter-plantation webs of kin that pervaded plantation, county, and even state boundaries. Plantation records, on the other hand, are useful for tracking the development of extended families on a single plantation. William Massie's plantation Pharsalia, located in Nelson County, Virginia, is the focus of my study of intra-plantation webs of kin. Finally, I examine the years after the Civil War to illustrate that even under freedom, former slaves resorted to their extended families for support and survival.
- Masters Theses