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Book Cover
Author Stanley, Amy Dru, author

Title From bondage to contract : wage labor, marriage, and the market in the age of slave emancipation / Amy Dru Stanley
Published Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1998
Online access available from:
ACLS Humanities E-Book    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (xvi, 277 pages)
Contents Preface -- Legends of contract freedom -- Merchants of time: the labor question and the sale of self -- Beggars can't be choosers -- The testing ground of home life -- Wage labor and marriage bonds -- The purchase of women -- Afterword
Summary "This book explores how a generation of American thinkers and reformers - abolitionists, former slaves, feminists, labor advocates, jurists, moralists, and social scientists - drew on contract to condemn the evils of chattel slavery as well as to measure the virtues of free society. Their arguments over the meaning of slavery and freedom were grounded in changing circumstances of labor and home life on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. At the heart of these arguments lay the problem of defining which realms of self and social existence could be rendered market commodities and which could not. From Bondage to Contract reveals how the problem of distinguishing between what was saleable and what was not reflected the ideological and social changes wrought by the concurrence of abolition in the South and burgeoning industrial capitalism in the North."--Jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Contract labor -- United States -- History.
Labor -- United States -- History.
Marriage -- United States -- History.
Slavery -- United States -- History.
Women -- United States -- Social conditions.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0521414709 (hb)
0521635268 (paperback)
9780521414708 (hb)
9780521635264 (paperback)