Whither Horatio Alger? Monday, Aug 23 2010 

You’ve probably gathered by now that a lot of my interest lies in the performance of status Issac Royall and John Brown were gave.  What kind of men were they?  What kind of men did they want to be perceived as?  As an anthropologist ([ahem] in training) those are questions I’m obligated to get to the bottom of.  The trouble is is that the answers are not exactly clear.  They probably weren’t even clear to Royall and Brown.

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Religioulousness. Tuesday, Aug 10 2010 

It’s pretty commonly understood that religion had a rather schizophrenic relationship with slavery.  Some denominations and clerics endorsed it, citing Biblical exhortations for slaves to “obey their masters.”  Others were abolitionist pioneers.  One finds, with almost everything, that religion’s role was contingent upon many other factors: location and economics, to name just two.  The first in what will likely be multiple entries centering on religion.

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The good doctor wonders again whether this is his place. Saturday, Aug 7 2010 

Because, to put it bluntly, I’m a white guy.

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Or maybe Adam wasn’t slowly dying inside. Friday, Aug 6 2010 

Come on; I couldn’t leave posting on that kind of downer.  Maybe, just maybe, Adam did what countless people in his situation did.  Maybe he, in the words of Frederick Douglass on slave experience, “endured.”

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A summary of textual evidence. Friday, Aug 6 2010 

For slaves, that is.  I have, comparatively speaking, ample information regarding the Royalls, the Browns and quite a few folks on Tory Row.  The scant about I have on enslaved Africans, on the other hand, serves only to tantalize.

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God’s Little Acre Monday, Aug 2 2010 

I’m skulking through Newport’s Common Ground Cemetery, searching for the slave plots.  Night is beginning to fall in earnest and a light drizzle is blanketing the ground.  As I step in a divet and faceplant I curse myself for leaving my flashlight in my friend’s car (thanks, M, for letting me drive all over the Rhode Island coast).  The rain and the rapidly darkening sky add a certain degree of atmosphere to this whole thing but, having been an avid watcher of both Buffy and the X Files I’m feeling a little bit . . . well . . . bite-able.  Thanks to all the cars slowing down to watch the strange, bearded, damp, and shabby-looking prowler trawl through a cemetery squinting at headstones and snapping pictures I’m also feeling rather ghoulish.

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