5 Austl. J. Legal Hist. 93 (1999)
Partus Sequitur Ventrem: Slavery, Property Rights, and the Language of Republicanism in Virginia's House of Delegates, 1831-1832

handle is hein.journals/ausleghis5 and id is 97 raw text is: Christopher M Curtis
PARTUS SEQUITUR VENTREM:
Slavery, Property Rights, and the Language of Republicanism
in Virginia's House of Delegates, 1831-1832
INTRODUCTION
In 1831, Virginia was the largest slaveholding-state in the Union. While the
largest portion of the slave population was involved in the production or
distribution of tobacco, the institution extended far beyond the tobacco
fields. Virginians in every region of the state benefited, either directly or
indirectly, from the produce of slave labour. But in August of that year, Nat
Turner's insurrection in Southampton County shattered public confidence,
undermined the myth of the 'contented slave', and generated open public
debate about the future of slavery. Public discussion culminated that
winter in the House of Delegates where Thomas Jefferson Randolph, the
grandson of his namesake, proposed a plan of emancipation post nati.
After weeks of intense debate and political maneuvering, however,
MA (VA Tech); Doctoral candidate, Department of History, Emory University,
USA. The author wishes to thank the following people for their comments and
assistance: Crandall Shifflett, Larry Shumsky, Peter Wallenstein, Lou Potts, James
Oakes, James Roark, Eugene Genovese, David Sugarman, and most especially
Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. He also wishes to extend his gratitude to Nancy Wright
and Andrew Buck for their efforts in hosting the Land and Freedom Conference.
U.S. Census Office, Fifth Census, Tables [10]-[13]. The 1830 census listed
Virginia's slave population at 469, 755. This was 38.7 percent of the state's total
population. On slavery in nineteenth-century Virginia see: Joseph Clarke Robert,
Tobacco Kingdom: Plantation, Market, and Factory in Virginia and North
Carolina, 1800-1860 (1938); Robert McColley, Slavery in Jeffersonian Virginia
(Second edition, 1964); Ronald L Lewis, Coal, Iron, and Slaves: Industrial Slavery
in Maryland and Virginia, 1715-1865 (1979); Charles B Dew, Bond of Iron:
Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge (1994); and Lynda J Morgan, Emancipation in
Virginia's Tobacco Belt, 1850-1870 (1992). On Nat Turner's insurrection: The
Confessions of Nat Turner (1832); Hebert Aptheker, Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion
(1966); and Stephen B Oates, The Fires of Jubilee (1976).

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