Slavery in North Carolina, 1748-1775 by Marvin L. Michael Kay and Lorin Lee Cary (review)

Slavery in North Carolina, 1748-1775 by Marvin L. Michael Kay and Lorin Lee Cary (University of North Carolina Press, 1995)

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Slavery in North Carolina, 1748-1775 by Marvin L. Michael Kay and Lorin Lee Cary (review)

by Timothy J. Lockley
Southern Cultures, Vol. 3, No. 2: Summer 1997

University of North Carolina Press, 1995

Marvin Kay and Lorin Cary’s new book is an important study of the system of slavery in colonial North Carolina. As the authors correctly point out, most monographs on slavery concentrate on the antebellum period, often focusing exclusively on the last twenty years of southern slavery. This bias in the scholarship frequently results in historians drawing conclusions about colonial slavery from antebellum evidence. This practice overlooks the peculiarities of colonial slavery, and Kay and Cary have done a great service by reminding us of that distinctiveness. Their work is even more welcome considering that there are few studies of colonial slavery that focus so exclusively on the eighteenth rather than the seventeenth century.