Slaves in the Family

Slaves in the Family

Large Print - 1999
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"Elias [Ball] and his progeny built an American dynasty that lasted for six generations, acquiring more than twenty plantations along the Cooper River near Charleston, selling rice known as Carolina gold, and enslaving close to four thousand Africans and African Americans until 1865, when Union troops arrived on the lawns of the Balls' estates to force emancipation." This is "the story of one man's exploration of his family's slave-owning past and his search for the descendants of the people his ancestors kept as slaves."--Jacket
Publisher: Thorndike, Me. : G.K. Hall, 1999
ISBN: 9780783886282
Characteristics: 843 pages (large print) : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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Jan 03, 2019

There are no words to describe the depth of research that went into discovering the lineage of his family's 300 years as slave owners-the author himself, a distant decedent of a slave-at one time the collective Ball family, over the centuries owned over 4,000 slaves on many rice plantations-the horror

Jul 07, 2015

I checked this out a few days before the shooting in Charleston. It goes into depth on the whites' and blacks' lives on the 20 plantations owned by the Ball family, starting from Elias Ball in the late 1600s. His white relatives' comments ("we treated our slaves well;" "the slaves loved us," "we didn't break up families;" "we rarely beat them," etc.) are strongly contradicted by his black relatives' bitterness about their great-great-greats' experiences as handed down in family stories through generations.

Jun 28, 2014

In revealing the history of the Ball Family, "Slaves in the Family" reveals much insight about slavery in South Carolina (the U. S.) from its earliest colonial beginnings, (beginning on the shores of Africa) to its end and into the 20th century. I was again struck by the amount of resources, time, determination, and maybe even luck it takes to identify individual slaves brought from Africa to the plantations, as well as to trace their lineage to their present day descendants. In my opinion, Slaves in the Family gives a broad perspective of the Black experience that is especially enhanced when both Slaves in the Family and Warmth of Other Suns are treated as paired reading.


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