Notorious in the Neighborhood Sex and Families Across the Color Line in Virginia, 1787-1861

ISBN-10: 0807854409
ISBN-13: 9780807854402
Edition: 2003
List price: $32.50 Buy it from $9.79
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Description: Laws and cultural norms militated against interracial sex in Virginia before the Civil War, and yet it was ubiquitous in cities, towns, and plantation communities throughout the state. InNotorious in the Neighborhood, Joshua Rothman examines the  More...

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Book details

List price: $32.50
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 3/31/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 360
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

Laws and cultural norms militated against interracial sex in Virginia before the Civil War, and yet it was ubiquitous in cities, towns, and plantation communities throughout the state. InNotorious in the Neighborhood, Joshua Rothman examines the full spectrum of interracial sexual relationships under slavery--from Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings, and the intertwined interracial families of Monticello and Charlottesville to commercial sex in Richmond, the routinized sexual exploitation of enslaved women, and adultery across the color line. He explores the complex considerations of legal and judicial authorities who handled cases involving illicit sex and describes how the customary toleration of sex across the color line both supported and undermined racism and slavery in the early national and antebellum South. White Virginians allowed for an astonishing degree of flexibility and fluidity within a seemingly rigid system of race and interracial relations, Rothman argues, and the relationship between law and custom regarding racial intermixture was always shifting. As a consequence, even as whites never questioned their own racial supremacy, the meaning and significance of racial boundaries, racial hierarchy, and ultimately of race itself always stood on unstable ground--a reality that whites understood and about which they demonstrated increasing anxiety as the nation's sectional crisis intensified.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Interlude: Stories Told about Monticello
Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings, James Callender, and Sex across the Color Line under Slavery
Interlude: The Community of Mary Hemings
Notorious in the Neighborhood: An Interracial Family in Early National and Antebellum Virginia
Interlude: The Funeral of David Isaacs
The Church and the Brothel Are Only Separated by a Pane of Glass: Sex and Race on the Streets of Richmond
Interlude: The Context for Lawmaking
The Strongest Passion That Can Possibly Aggitate the Human Mind: Sexual Violence, Slave Crime, Law, and the White Community
Interlude: The Fate of Lucy Bowman
To Be Freed from Thate Curs and Let at Liberty: Interracial Adultery and Divorce
Interlude: The Mysteries of William Carlton
Let There Be but Two Races among Us: Mixed Bloods in Early National and Antebellum Law and Society
Interlude: Toward a New Racial Order
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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