By Stephanie McCurry
During this cutting edge examine of the South Carolina Low nation, writer Stephanie McCurry explores where of the yeomanry in plantation society--the complicated internet of family and public relatives during which they have been enmeshed, and the contradictory politics of slave society in which that type of small farmers extracted the privileges of masterhood from the region's strong planters. Insisting at the centrality of ladies as ancient actors and gender as a class of research, this paintings indicates how the fateful political offerings made through the low-country yeomanry have been rooted within the politics of the family, relatively within the general family members of strength male heads of self sustaining families assumed over their dependents, no matter if slaves or unfastened girls and kids. Such masterly prerogatives, practiced within the family sphere and redeemed within the public, clarify the yeomanry's deep dedication to slavery and, finally, their ardent include of secession.
By putting the yeomanry within the middle of the drama, McCurry deals an important reinterpretation of this unstable society at the highway to Civil warfare. via cautious and artistic use of a wide selection of archival resources, she brings vividly to lifestyles the small worlds of yeoman families, and the bigger international of the South Carolina Low state, the plantation South, and nineteenth-century the USA.
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Extra resources for Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations, and the Political Culture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country
The characterizations offered in the text are thus only approximations, based as they are on records ten years previous to the event. See South Carolina Lower Division Tax Returns, [St. Peter's Parish, Beaufort District], 1824, Records of the Comptroller General, SCDAH. 18 MASTERS OF SMALL WORLDS Describing themselves as representatives of "the poorer sort . . compelled by necessity to work their farms and attend to [their] stock," these yeoman citizens petitioned the General Assembly for relief from the depredations of the "wealthy citizens of our community [who] keep a numerous quantity of dogs and can spare the time for the amusement of .
William Rivers, February Term, 1825, in David J. McCord, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of Appeals of South Carolina, vol. : Doyle and Sweeny, 1826), pp. 131-41; and Thomas McKee v. Elizabeth Garrett, Edge-field, Fall Term, 1829, in Bailey, Reports of Cases, vol. 1, pp. 341—42. BOUNDARIES OF POWER 13 etors. The "security of the landowner" assumed the republican mantle. By the end of the antebellum period, common rights, beaten back into privileges or courtesies, were virtually impossible to sustain at law.
427-30. 25. David Gavin Diary, February 11, 1859, SHC; R. B. Rhett to William Elliott, March 11, 1850, Elliott-Gonzales Papers. The case did go to trial, more than once, in fact. See William Elliott to Phoebe Elliott, Oak Lawn, March 25, 1852, Elliott-Gonzales Papers. 16 MASTERS OF SMALL WORLDS constituted, in his inflated rhetoric, nothing less than "the principle of the anti-rent excitement . . " "[I]n a country peculiarly situated as ours is," it was a questionable policy to limit and narrow proprietors' rights.