Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Mark of SlaveryDisability, Race, and Gender in Antebellum America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jenifer L. Barclay

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043727

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043727.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Disability, Embodiment, and Slavery in the Old South

Disability, Embodiment, and Slavery in the Old South

Chapter:
(p.13) 1 Disability, Embodiment, and Slavery in the Old South
Source:
The Mark of Slavery
Author(s):

Jenifer L. Barclay

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252043727.003.0002

Centering on disabled people’s experiences of complex embodiment under slavery, this chapter highlights the shifting boundaries of “unsoundness.” Enslaved people experienced congenital disabilities but also acquired impairments as a result of labor accidents, punishments, and aging. Bondpeople were valuable “property” as laborers and potential reproducers of future generations of slaves, so the condition of their bodies and minds were central to slaveholders’ pursuit of economic gain. This emphasis on sound bodies and minds dominated the historical record left by slaveholders and, in turn, shaped scholarship about the institution. Clinical and detached assessments of “slave health” and assumptions about labor potential obscure the point that many people navigated a lifetime of enslavement with various disabilities.

Keywords:   acquired impairment, accidents, aging, complex embodiment, congenital disability, punishments, slave health, unsoundness

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.