Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Novel BondageSlavery, Marriage, and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Tess Chakkalakal

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036330

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036330.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Free, Black, and Married

Free, Black, and Married

Frank J. Webb’s The Garies and Their Friends

(p.47) 3. Free, Black, and Married
Novel Bondage

Tess Chakkalakal

University of Illinois Press

This chapter concerns the importance of marriage to the formation of a free black antebellum community. It discusses Frank J. Webb's 1857 novel, The Garies and Their Friends, which depicts the trials and tribulations of the growing free, black middle class of Philadelphia of which he and his first wife, the distinguished performer Mary E. Webb, were prominent members. Drawing upon Stowe's concept of the nonlegal slave-marriage as offering a more equitable and fruitful relationship between a husband and wife than the proprietary terms of a legal marriage, Webb's novel develops the terms of a free black marriage. Moving away from the legal rhetoric of marriage, The Garies and Their Friends imagines marriage—based perhaps on the author's own exemplary marriage—as an equal exchange between husband and wife.

Keywords:   nonlegal marriage, slave-marriage, Frank J. Webb, The Garies and Their Friends, black community, husband, free blacks, antebellum

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.