On Slavery 9 – Partus Sequitur Ventrem

When considering slaves, Colonial Virginians abandoned the English tradition of partus sequitur patrem (one’s status was determined by the disposition of their father) in favor of the Roman principle of partus sequitur ventrem, a “child inherits the condition of the mother.” (1) Thus offspring of slave women were the property of their mother’s owner whether […]

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2008 National Book Award Winner: The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

Congratulations to Annette Gordon-Reed for winning the 2008 National Book Award for non-fiction. Annette Gordon-Reed The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family W.W. Norton & Company CITATION “In the mesmerizing narrative of Annette Gordon-Reed’s American family saga, one feels the steady accretion of convincing argument: Her book is at once a painstaking history of slavery, […]

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