Selections from The Cotton Kingdom by Frederick Law Olmsted
First EditionFrederick Law Olmsted; Edited with an Introduction by John Inscoe©2014
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Although the author is primarily known as a premier landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted's observations during his travels in the critical decade of the 1850s help to put the conflicts over slavery into perspective. Selections from The Cotton Kingdom by Frederick Law Olmsted focuses on the extent of Olmsted's travels and how they demonstrate his appreciation for the multiplicity of experiences in the antebellum South.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: A Connecticut Yankee in King Cotton’s Court
Eyewitnesses to Southern Slavery
Olmsted’s Formative Years
Targeting the South
Traveling the South
Writing the South
Assessing the South
Olmsted’s Later Life and Career
Selections from The Cotton Kingdom
Introduction: "The Present Crisis"
Chapter 1: Virginia and the Carolinas
1. Washington, D.C.
2. To Richmond by Train
3. Black Richmond
4. Virginia’s Slave Trade
5. Visit to a Virginia Farm
6. Discussion of Slave States and Slave Labor|
7. Conversation with a White Tobacco Farmer
8. Slaves’ Work Ethic
9. Slave Lumbermen in the Great Dismal Swamp
10. North Carolina’s Turpentine Industry
11. North Carolina’s Slave Economy and Backward Culture
12. From Wilmington to Charleston
13. Northern Hay vs. Southern Cotton
14. Conversation with a Free Black Tobacco Farmer
Chapter 2: Georgia and Alabama
15. Traveling through Coastal Georgia
16. Visit to a Rice Plantation
17. The "Watchman"
18. The Task System and Rice Cultivation
19. Portrait of an Overseer
20. Slaves as Sellers and Thieves
21. Moving toward Freedom
22. Plantation Religion
23. A Bi-Racial Sunday Service
24. From Savannah to Columbus
25. Steamboat from Montgomery to Mobile
26. Conversation with a Red River "Cotton Man"
27. A Crew of Slaves and Irishmen
Chapter 3: Louisiana
29. By Boat and Train to New Orleans
30. Touring New Orleans
31. Quadroon Society
32. The "Licentious" South
33. Visit to a Sugar Plantation
34. The Economy of Sugar
35. Slaves and the "Grinding Season"
36. Poor White Neighbors
37. Conversation with William, a Slave
38. Up the Red River
39. Encounters with Uncle Tom’s Cabin
40. Inside a Poor Cotton Farm Household
41. "The Most Profitable Estate that I Visited"
42. Life in the Slave Quarters
43. Overseers and Drivers
44. The Religious Instruction of Slaves
45. The Economy of Cotton
Chapter 4: On to Texas and Back to Louisiana
46. On the Emigrant Road to Texas
47. Hotel Conversation with Six Texans
48. A Northern Transplant and Her Slaves
49. A Runaway Caught in Houston
50. Conversation with a Slave Trader in Opelousas
51. Louisiana Class Distinctions and Creoles
52. Contrasting New York Farmers and Louisiana Planters
Chapter 5: The Back Country
53. Discussions of Mexico and Runaway Slaves
54. A Slaveholding Abolitionist Host
55. Moving into Alabama Hill Country
56. Hunting Dogs and Their Prey
57. Visit with a Tennessee "Squire"
58. Carolina Highlanders’ Critique of Slavery
59. With Slaves and Without: Two Mountain Farms Compared
A Cotton Kingdom Chronology (1822-1861)
Questions for Consideration