Cover image for The work of Reconstruction : from slave to wage laborer in South Carolina, 1860-1870
The work of Reconstruction : from slave to wage laborer in South Carolina, 1860-1870
Saville, Julie.
Personal Author:
First paperback edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Physical Description:
xiv, 221 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
General Note:
First published 1994.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library F274 .S38 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In their efforts to achieve freedom, ex-slaves mounted a dual struggle to elude the personal domination of the old order and to blunt new coercions embedded in terms of emerging wage employment. This book draws on a rich documentary record to allow ex-slaves to express in their own words and behavior the aspirations that underlay their efforts. The author discusses the labor disputes that convulsed the post-Civil War South, in which can be read former slaves' critiques of both Southern slavery and Northern freedom.

Table of Contents

Part I Freedom versus Freedom: Competing Visions of Emancipation
1 Antebellum field slaves labor: regional overviews
2 Twilight of slavery, dawn of freedom
3 Rebels and rebels in disguise
Part II A Measure of Freedom: Plantation Workers and the Wartime Introduction of Wage Labor in Port Royal
4 Eluding the confederacys grasp
5 Inducing wage labor behind federal lines
6 Wartime planting
7 A dollar a task+
8 As hard times as they has see with the rebel
Part III Restoration and Reaction: The Struggle for Land in the Sherman Reserve
Part IV The Reconstruction of Work
9 Remaking family life and labor in the interior
10 Control of the crop
11 Control of supplemental plots
12 Working on shares
13 Holding onto land and time in the low country
14 Uncertain harvests: seasonalization of agricultural employment
Part V The Work of Reconstruction
15 Light in August
16 Why can't we be friends?
17 There's a meeting here tonight
18 A perfect system+?
19 On duty in the league
20 We the laboring men out of doors

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