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A Place to Live in Peace - Free People of Color in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana

A Place to Live in Peace

Free People of Color in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana

By Evelyn L. Wilson
Hardcover : 9781496852168, 224 pages, 9 b&w illustrations, June 2024
Paperback : 9781496852175, 224 pages, 9 b&w illustrations, June 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-06-17
Expected to ship: 2024-06-17

Table of contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1. West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana
Chapter 2. Free People of Color in West Feliciana Parish
Chapter 3. Land Sales, Loans, and Litigation
Chapter 4. Earning a Living
Chapter 5. Black-White Personal Relationships
Chapter 6. And Then the War Came
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

A fascinating history that centers the experiences of free people of color in rural Louisiana

Description

A Place to Live in Peace: Free People of Color in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana reveals a community where free people of color lived harmoniously with white people even as slavery persisted. Author Evelyn L. Wilson documents the presence, land ownership, business development, and personal relationships of free people of color in this Louisiana parish. In the last decade before the Civil War, tensions over slavery in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, led to the separation of free people of color from their white counterparts. But until the 1850s, free people of color had lived and thrived there.

The free people of color who inhabited West Feliciana Parish were not a settled population with a common background or a long history of freedom. Some entered the parish already free, others purchased their freedom, while others had been freed by slaveholders for differing reasons. Regardless of how they arrived in the parish, they found themselves in a community that valued the talents and skills they had to offer without regard to the color of their skin. These individuals were integrated into their community, lived among white neighbors, provided needed services, and owned successful businesses. Using extensive archival research, including court records, government documents, legal citations, and periodicals, Wilson interprets the lives, experiences, and contributions of free people of color in West Feliciana Parish. The integral role that these free people of color played in the parish complicates common understandings of the antebellum South.

Reviews

"A Place to Live in Peace tells a very human story—or rather a series of stories—about slavery, freedom, and the often confusing and contested boundaries between both conditions. This is an excellent study that will enlighten and inform."

- Julie Winch, author of Between Slavery and Freedom: Free People of Color in America from Settlement to the Civil War