From Sunrise to Sunset: Beneath the Underground Interns' Essays on Slave Life in Maryland
Part of the internship program at the Maryland State Archives was structured towards original research on how ex-slaves depicted their lives in Maryland before they became free. The following series of essays are the result of the interns' study.



Masculinities and Femininities in Antebellum Maryland Slave Society (Notes)
by Rhiannon Theurer

1. John Thompson, The Life of John Thompson, a Fugitive Slave; Containing His History of 25 Years in Bondage, and His Providential Escape. Written by Himself, (Worcester, MA: J. Thompson, 1856), 17. http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/thompson/menu.html This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

2. Sarah Hopkins Bradford, Harriet, the Moses of Her People, (New York: George R. Lockwood, 1886), 73. This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

3. Bradford, 90.

4. Charles Ball. Slavery In The United States, (New York: John S. Taylor, 1837), 41. This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

5. Samuel Ringgold Ward, Autobiography of a Fugitive Negro: His Anti-slavery Labours in the United States, Canada and England, (London: John Snow, 1855), 17. This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

6. Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom, (New York: Miller, Orton and Mulligan, 1855), 94. http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/douglass55/menu.html This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

7. Douglass, 88.

8. Sarah Hopkins Bradford, Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman, 119. http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/bradford/menu.html This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

9. Jacob D. Green, Narrative of the Life of J. D. Green, a Runaway Slave, from Kentucky, Containing an Account of His Three Escapes, in 1839, 1846, and 1848, (Huddersfield, Eng.: Henry Fielding, 1864), 22. http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/greenjd/menu.html This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

10. Bradford, Harriet, the Moses of Her People, 57.

11. Douglass, 212.

12. Interestingly, none of the female narrators - Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth, or Amanda Smith - make any specific comments on a difference between slaves based on gender.

13. Josiah Henson, The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, As Narrated by Himself. Ed. Samuel A. Eliot, (Boston: A. D. Phelps, 1849), 48. http://docsouth.unc.edu/ballslavery/menu.html This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. ; James Williams, Life and Adventures of James Williams, a Fugitive Slave, with a Full Description of the Underground Railroad (San Francisco: Women's Union, 1873), 86. http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/williams/menu.html This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

14. Douglass, 41; Bradford, 1886, 67.

15. Samuel Ward, Autobiography of a Fugitive Negro, 20.

16. Bradford, Harriet, the Moses of Her People, 33.

17. Bradford, Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman, 86.

18. Thompson, 71.

19. Green, 20.

20. Douglass, 93.

21. A largely avoided area of gender relations is sex between masters and slaves (primarily between white men and slave women), and its absence may indicate anxieties about masculinity as well. Of course, slaves may have initially recorded master-slave sex, only to have those sections cut out by squeamish editors. If the slaves censored themselves, it could have been for a variety of reasons. John Blassingame analyzed interviews from the Works Progress Administration and determined that ex-slaves "talked much more freely to black than to white interviewers about miscegenation" (John Blassingame, ed., Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977), liv.) Keeping quiet about this topic may have been a way for ex-slave authors to protect slave women from a second violation at the hands of the reading public. Silence may also be related to shame about the powerlessness of slave men (and most of the narrators were men) to stop such abuses. Generally, the closest most narrators come to discussing master-slave relations is a passing reference to a light-skinned or mulatto slave.

22. Green, 16.

23. Ibid., 20.

24. Ibid, 10.

25. Thompson, 31.

26. Ibid., 30.

27. Bradford, Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman, 15.

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