Implements Correspondingly Peculiar’: Slavery, Plantation Goods, and the Politics of Design in Antebellum America

Seth Rockman, Seminar in New York & American Material Culture
October 19, 2011

Professor Rockman’s talk, “'Implements Correspondingly Peculiar’: Slavery, Plantation Goods, and the Politics of Design in Antebellum America,” brings together the histories of production and consumption of plantation goods, looking particularly at the vexed relationship of planters and slaves as dual consumers of northern-made provisions. Issues of design appeared frequently in agricultural improvement journals, Congressional speeches on the tariff, and the voluminous correspondence of planters to their suppliers. These discussions vividly connect the simultaneous expansion of manufacturing and slaveholding in the middle decades of the nineteenth century, while situating northern mill-hands and southern field-hands on the same pages of American history.

Seth Rockman is Associate Professor of History at Brown University and a specialist in Revolutionary and Early Republic United States history.



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