The Claims of Kinfolk

The Claims of Kinfolk
African American Property and Community in the 19th-Century South
©2002

Dylan Penningroth's book, The Claims of Kinfolk, is one of the best books about property, slavery, and freedom that I've read. By pouring through the Claims Court documents from after the Civil War, Penningroth was able to establish the system by which enslaved African Americans staked claim over their property. An astonishing fact considering slaves were property themselves. Penningroth's book is a rare glimpse into the material world of slavery written by a historian, and has plenty of opportunity to provide testable frameworks for archaeologists. Highly recommended.

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