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History Lecture - The Politics of Plantation Provisioning in the New American Nation: A Story of Shoes, Shovels, Hoes, and Hats

Wednesday, 10 April, 2013

The 2013 Milton M. Klein history lecture will be held April 10, 4-5pm in the Toyota Auditorium of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center.

Dr. Seth Rockman (PhD UC-Davis, 1999) is an Associate Professor at Brown University in the History Department.  He specializes in Revolutionary, Early Republic, and Antebellum US History.  He has held prestigious NEH, ACLS, and Gilder Lehrman research fellowships.  His book Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2009.  This wonderful book won the Organization of American Historian's Merle Curti Prize; the Southern Historical Association's H.L. Mitchell Prize, and the Philip Taft Labor History Book AwardHe is currently working on two books.  He is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society.  He is a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.  Dr. Rockman also serves on the editorial board for the Journal of the Civil War Era.

He will lecture on Northern manufacturers who supplied Southern plantations with provisions.  The North's investment in slavery was vivid during the Colonial Era, when New England merchants delivered food supplies to Caribbean plantations in exchange for molasses they manufactured into rum for sale in West African slave markets.  By the early nineteenth century, the close of the Atlantic slave trade had reconfigured the North's relationship to slavery.  Seeking new markets, New Englanders began to envision Southern planters as prime customers for new manufactured goods.  Massachusetts boots, Connecticut axes, and Rhode Island woolens found ready markets stretching from Maryland to Louisiana.  The business of plantation provisioning generated new economic ties between North and South, linked factory hands and field hands as producers and consumers, and forced a national conversation about the relationship of slavery and capitalism in the rapidly-growing United States. 

There is no charge to attend the event.  Everyone is welcome.  Free food and drinks will be served.




Baker Center- Toyota Auditorium
1640 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996

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Event Contact

Dr. Christopher P. Magra

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