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Jack Noe Reading List

Primary Sources for the Historian: An Introduction to Documentary study, 2019/20, Semester 2
Professor Stephen Alford
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue


Primary Sources

Andrews, William L. and Henry Louis Gates, eds., The Civitas anthology of African American slave narratives (Washington: Civitas/Counterpoint, 1999)

Berlin, Ira, Marc Favreau and Steven F. Miller.,eds., Remembering slavery : African Americans talk about their personal experiences of slavery and emancipation (New York: The New Press, 1998)

Bibb, Henry, Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, An American Slave, Written by Himself:

Blassingame, John W. Slave testimony : two centuries of letters, speeches, interviews, and autobiographies (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977)

Botkin, B. A., ed., Lay My Burden Down: A Folk History of Slavery (New York: Dell Publishing, 1973)

Brown, Henry, Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, available online at: < >

Douglass, Frederick, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.) This just one of several editions of Douglass’ narrative available- any edition is fine.

Gates, Henry Louis, ed., The classic slave narratives (New York: Signet, 2002.) This includes the narratives of Olaudah Equiano, Mary Prince and Frederick Douglass.

Jacobs, Harriet, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000.)

Again, any of several available editions will do- also available online at:

Osofsky, Gilbert, ed. Puttin' on Ole Massa : the slave narratives of Henry Bibb, William Wells Brown and Solomon Northup (New York: Harper & Row, 1969.)

Rawick, George, ed., The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography: Mississippi narratives (5 vols)(Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1977)

Yetman, Norman, ed., Voices from slavery : 100 authentic slave narratives (New York: Dover Press, 2012).

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Secondary Sources

Andrews, William L., To tell a free story : the first century of Afro-American autobiography, 1760-1865 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986)

Bailey, David Thomas, “A Divided Prism: Two Sources of Black Testimony on Slavery” The journal of southern history., 46, (August 1980) 381-404.

Bailey, K.K., ‘Protestantism and Afro-Americans in the Old South: Another Look’ The journal of southern history. 41 (1975) 451-472.

Blassingame, John W., “Using the Testimony of Ex-Slaves: Approaches and Problems” The journal of southern history. 41, (November 1975) 473-492

Blassingame, John W., The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979)

Blight, David W., “The Slave Narratives: A Genre and a Source” at

Davis, David Brion, “Slavery and the Post- World War II Historians,” Daedalus., 103, (Spring, 1974) 1-16

Elkins, Stanley, Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.)

Ernest, John, “Beyond Douglass and Jacobs” in Audrey Fisch, ed., The Cambridge companion to the African American slave narrative [electronic resource] (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) pp 218-231.

Escott, Paul D., Slavery remembered : a record of twentieth-century slave narratives (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979)

Fair, John D., “The Georgia Slave Narratives: A Historical Conundrum” Journal of the Historical Society, 10, 3, (September 2010), 235-281

Fogel, Robert William, Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery (London: Norton, 1989)

Fogel, Robert William and Stanley Engerman , Time on the Cross : the economics of American negro slavery (Boston: Little. Brown & Co., 1974)

Foster, Frances Smith, 'Til death or distance do us part : love and marriage in African America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)

Genovese, Eugene D., Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made (New York: 1974)

Griffin, Rebecca, ‘Courtship Contests and the Meaning of Conflict in the Folklore of Slaves,’ The journal of southern history. 71, 4, (November 2005) 769-802

Gutman, Herbert, The black family in slavery and freedom, 1750-1925 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1976)

Johnson, Paul D., “Goodbye to Sambo: TheContribution of the Black Slave Narratives to the Abolition Movement” Negro American literature forum., 6, 3, (Autumn, 1972), 79-84

Jones, Norrece ‘The Black Family as a Mechanism of Planter Control’ in J.W. Harris, ed., Society and culture in the slave South (London: Routledge, 1992) pp. 162-191  

Kolchin, Peter , American Slavery (London: Penguin Books, 1993)

Kolchin, Peter, “Re-evaluating the Antebellum Slave Community: A Comparative Perspective” The Journal of American history., 70, (December 1983) 79-601

Lane, Ann, ed., The debate over Slavery : Stanley Elkins and his critics (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971)

McFeely, William S., Frederick Douglass (New York: Norton, 1991)

McMillen, Neil R., “WPA Slave Narratives” at < >

Mormino, Gary R., “Florida Slave Narratives” Florida Historical Quarterly 66, 4, (April 1988) 399-419

Nichols, Charles H., Many thousand gone : the ex-slaves' account of their bondage and freedom (Leiden: Brill, 1963)

Parish, Peter, Slavery : history and historians (New York: Harper & Row, 1989)

Phillips, Ulrich B., American Negro slavery : a survey of the supply, employment and control of Negro labor as determined by the plantation regime (New York: D. Appleton, 1929)

Quarles, Benjamin, Black Abolitionists (New York: Oxford University Press, 1969)

Rabouteau, Albert, Slave religion : the "invisible institution" in the antebellum South (New York: 1978)

Rawick, George P., From sundown to sunup : the making of the Black community (Westport: Greenwood Press 1972)

Sekora, John, "Black Message, White Envelope" Callaloo. 32  (1987) pp. 482-515. 

Shaw, Stephanie, "Using the WPA Ex-Slave Narratives to Study the Impact of the Great Depression," The journal of southern history. ISSN: 0022-4642, 69, 3 (2003) 623-658

Shore, Laurence, “The Poverty of Tragedy in Historical Writing on Southern Slavery” The South Atlantic quarterly., 85, (Spring 1986) 147-164 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Smith, Stephanie A., “Harriet Jacobs: A Case History of Authentication” in Audrey Fisch, ed., The Cambridge companion to the African American slave narrative [electronic resource] (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) pp. 189-200

Soapes, Thomas F., “The Federal Writers' Project Slave Interviews: Useful Data or Misleading Source” Oral history review, 5, (1977), 33-38

Spindel, Donna, "Assessing Memory: Twentieth-Century Slave Narratives Reconsidered," The journal of interdisciplinary history. 27 (1996): 247-61

Stampp, Kenneth, The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Antebellum South (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956)

Stampp, Kenneth, ‘Rebels and Sambos: The Search for the Negro’s Personality in Slavery', The journal of southern history., 37, 3 (August 1971)

Stauffer, John, “Frederick Douglass’s Self-Fashioning and the Making of a Representative American Man in Audrey Fisch, ed., The Cambridge companion to the African American slave narrative [electronic resource] (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) pp. 201-217

Steckel, Richard H., “Slave Marriage and the Family” Journal of Family History, 5, (Winter 1980) 406-421

Stevenson, Brenda, Life in black and white : family and community in the slave South ISBN: 0195095367 (acid-free paper) (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.)

West, Emily, "Tensions, Tempers, and Temptations: Marital Discord Among Slaves in Antebellum South Carolina," American nineteenth century history , 5,2, (2007) pp. 1-18.  

Wyatt-Brown, Bertram, “The Mask of Obedience: Male Slave Psychology in the Old South” The American historical review., (1988) 1228-1252

Yetman, Norman R., “Ex-Slave Interviews and the Historiography of Slavery” American Quarterly., 36, (Summer 1984) 181-210

Zinn, Howard, A People’s History of the United States (New York: Longman, 2003.) Pages 167-205 are useful.

This list was last updated on 15/01/2019