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"A Perilous and Grievous Burden" The Dilemma of the Antislavery Slaveholder in Virginia During the Early National Period: A Case Study of General John Hartwell Cocke of Bremo

Grizzard, Frank Edgar, Jr.
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Grizzard, Frank Edgar, Jr.
Ayers, Edward
The great planter elite that had governed Virginia for generations experienced a time of disturbance and adversity after the Revolutionary War. Although some families managed to retain their position of high esteem and leadership, many others in the era after 1790 experienced a time of disaster. As the economic and population centers of the state shifted westward due to economic and social tensions, the existence of slavery remained one of their most perplexing problems. Their republican moral ideals undermined the system of labor that provided the material base which kept them in power and thus gave a kind of stability to the South. Virginians of the gentry class did not have to be especially introspective or self~critical to realize that their dilemma not only affected their present way of life but also threatened the future happiness of their children. That class included one of central Virginia's most assiduous planters, John Hartwell Cocke.
University of Virginia, Corcoran Department of History, MA (Master of Arts), 1989
Published Date
MA (Master of Arts)
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