By Prof. Erica Armstrong Dunbar
This booklet is the 1st to chronicle the lives of African American girls within the city north through the early years of the republic. a delicate Freedom investigates how African American ladies in Philadelphia journeyed from enslavement to the precarious prestige of “free people” within the many years best as much as the Civil battle and examines related advancements within the towns of recent York and Boston. Erica Armstrong Dunbar argues that early nineteenth-century Philadelphia, the place so much African americans have been unfastened, enacted one of those practice session for the nationwide emancipation that within the post–Civil conflict years. She explores the lives of the “regular” girls of antebellum Philadelphia, the unfastened black associations that took root there, and the formerly unrecognized value of African American ladies to the historical past of yank cities. (20090301)
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Additional resources for A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City (Society and the Sexes in the Modern Worl)
29 As a young female slave familiar with the varied skills necessary for domestic work, she most likely would have fetched a reasonable price. ” Superior culinary skills as well as the ability to iron, wash, and sew were seen as necessary in both the city and the country, and a deficiency in any of these skills could lead to the sale of a slave, as seen in a 1758 advertisement: “A Likely handy Negroe Wench, about 30 years old, very healthy, has been bred up both to Town and Country Work, she is Country born and is sold by her master because she does not answer for a Cook, for which she was bought.
British ships captured by privateers were brought to the Philadelphia port to sell off their cargo. 53 And although Quakers were freeing their slaves, non-Quakers continued to import black men and women. As the Society of Friends released their slaves in rural Pennsylvania, Anglicans, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians remained detached from abolitionist sentiment, especially if their trade was dependent on human labor. Still, it was a major shift. Throughout the chaos of the Revolutionary War, artisans ended their relationship with the system of bound labor.
In a campaign led by John Woolman and Anthony Benezet, the Yearly Meeting eventually accepted the requests made by the Chester County Friends Slavery and the “Holy Experiment” 19 years earlier. John Woolman, a shopkeeper from Burlington County, New Jersey, who pared down his small business to devote much of his time to traveling in the ministry and spreading abolitionist sentiment, worked with Anthony Benezet. 39 Woolman launched a virulent attack against slaveholding and its evils. These two men, along with a handful of “radical” Quaker abolitionists, convinced Pennsylvania Friends to abandon slaveholding because it represented an affront to Quakerism.