By Ann Patton Malone
Sweet Chariot is a pathbreaking research of slave households and loved ones composition within the nineteenth-century South. Ann Malone offers a delicately drawn photo of the ways that slaves have been constituted into households and families inside of a neighborhood and indicates how and why that association replaced over the years. Her booklet, in line with great study, is either a statistical research through the years of one hundred fifty five slave groups in twenty-six Louisiana parishes and a descriptive learn of 3 plantations: Oakland, Petite Anse, and Tiger Island.
Malone first offers a nearby research of relatives, loved ones, and neighborhood association. Then, drawing on qualitative assets, she discusses styles in slave kinfolk family association, making a choice on the main major ones in addition to those who consistantly acted as symptoms of switch. Malone exhibits that slave neighborhood association strongly mirrored the place every one neighborhood was once in its personal developmental cycle, which in flip used to be prompted by way of myriad components, starting from impersonal monetary stipulations to the arbitrary judgements of person vendors. She additionally tasks a statistical version that may be used for comparisons with different populations.
The chronic issues that Malone uncovers are the mutability and but the fidelity of Louisiana slave family association. She exhibits that the slave relations and its extensions, the slave loved ones and group, have been way more diversified and adaptable than formerly believed. the true power of the slave comunity was once its multiplicity of kinds, its tolerance for numerous household devices and its adaptability. She reveals, for instance, that the popular kin shape consisted of 2 mom and dad and youngsters yet that every one different types of households and families have been approved as functioning and contributing participants of the slave community.
"Louisiana slaves had a well-defined and collective imaginative and prescient of the constitution that will serve them most sensible and an iron selection to achieve it, " Malone observes. "But besides this fidelity in imaginative and prescient and perseverance was once flexibility. Slave family kinds in Louisiana bent like willows within the wind to maintain from shattering. The suppleness in their types avoided household chaos and enabled so much slave groups to get over even severe crises."