Cover: Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century, from Harvard University PressCover: Bound in Wedlock in HARDCOVER

Bound in Wedlock

Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$29.95 • £23.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674045712

Publication: May 2017

Trade

416 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

17 halftones, 4 charts

Belknap Press

World

[A] remarkable book… Her powerful, meticulously researched book describes how the grinding demands of slavery, white standards of marriage and the steady retreat from the qualified gains of the Civil War not only posed abiding challenges to African-American families but also inspired in them a tenacious commitment to marriage… Through careful use of difficult legal sources and close reading of slave narratives, ex-slave interviews, government agency reports, congressional debates, pension records and church minutes, Hunter gives resonant voice to the often illiterate people she studies… Hunter has harvested stories of human resilience from the cruelest of soils. Bound in Wedlock is an impeccably crafted testament to the African-Americans whose ingenuity, steadfast love and hard-nosed determination protected black family life under the most trying of circumstances.—Mark M. Smith, Wall Street Journal

An important and comprehensive work that is worth reading by all, especially those interested in the affects of slavery on society today.—Amy Lewontin, Library Journal (starred review)

In this extraordinary book, Tera Hunter builds on vast research to discern the resilient marriage forms that African Americans devised during the nineteenth century to cope with the havoc of bondage, the fleeting promise of emancipation, and the fresh compulsions that came with freedom. Written with eloquence, teeming with evidence, comprehensive in its sweep, challenging in its conclusions, Bound in Wedlock is a momentous achievement.—Sydney Nathans, author of A Mind to Stay: White Plantation, Black Homeland

Tera Hunter’s fascinating and intensive assessment of slave and free marriages in the nineteenth century details powerfully both the supreme importance of kinship relations and the complex ways that the persistence of post–Civil War white supremacy vexed and hampered African American family integrity even more directly than legacies of slavery did.—Nancy F. Cott, author of Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation

Bound in Wedlock is a groundbreaking history that challenges the belief that the crisis of black marital and familial relations can be traced directly to slavery. With a vast arsenal of archival evidence, Hunter illuminates the complex and flexible character of black intimacy and kinship and the precariousness of marriage in the context of racial and economic inequality. It is a brilliant book and one destined to invite vigorous debate.—Saidiya Hartman, author of Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route

Bound in Wedlock demonstrates that the history of African American marriage is far more than a legacy of slavery. Instead, it is a story at once rooted in a distinctive collective experience, intensely personal, and at the same time bound up in the legal, social, and cultural transformations that re-made marriage for all Americans. Wide-ranging, learned, and deeply researched, it is a splendid accomplishment.—Dylan C. Penningroth, University of California, Berkeley, and the American Bar Foundation