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The Chattel PrincipleInternal Slave Trades in the Americas$
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Walter Johnson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300103557

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300103557.001.0001

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“Cuffy,” “Fancy Maids,” and “One-Eyed Men”

“Cuffy,” “Fancy Maids,” and “One-Eyed Men”

Rape, Commodification, and the Domestic Slave Trade in the United States

(p.165) 8 “Cuffy,” “Fancy Maids,” and “One-Eyed Men”
The Chattel Principle

Edward E. Baptist

Yale University Press

This chapter aims to explain the ideas about slavery, rape, and commerce embedded in and produced by the passionate desires of Franklin and his partners. For years, historians interpreting the institutions and ideology of nineteenth-century southern slavery focused their attentions on explaining slaveholders' paternalist defenses of their planter institution. Like some of their sources, such histories have often explicitly or implicitly portrayed the domestic slave trade as a contradiction within an otherwise stable system. Recent works have returned the issue of that trade to the forefront, arguing that the commerce in human beings was an inescapable and essential feature of the region's pre-Civil War society and culture. Franklin, Ballard, and their associates reveal themselves as being so devoted to their picture of the slave trade as a fetishized commodification of human beings that it may be necessary to insist on mystification as one of the necessary bases of the economic expansion of the antebellum South.

Keywords:   southern slavery, paternalist defenses, planter institution, pre-Civil War society, Franklin, Ballard, slave trade, fetishized commodification, antebellum South

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