Added: June 29, 2005 – Last updated: March 5, 2016

TITLE INFORMATION


Author: Diane Miller Sommerville

Title: Rape, Race, and Castration in Slave Law in the Colonial and Early South

Subtitle: -

In: The Devil's Lane: Sex and Race in the Early South

Edited by: Catherine Clinton and Michele Gillespie

Place: New York and London

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Year: 1997

Pages: 75-82

ISBN-10: 0195112423 (cloth) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-10: 0195112431 (paper) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 18th Century, 19th Century | American History: U.S. History | Offenders: Punishments / Castration; Offenders: Slaves; Prosecution: Laws; Types: Attempted Rape, Interracial Rape



FULL TEXT


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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


Author: Diane Miller Sommerville, History Department, State University of New York at Binghamton

Abstract: »This chapter examines several cases of slaves who were charged of attempted rape of white women. The rape of a white female by a slave was indeed a capital crime in Virginia as well as the rest of the slave-holding South during the 19th century. Attempted rape by a slave, however, was not yet punishable by death in Virginia. Instead, slaves convicted of the attempted rape of a white female were castrated. The treatment of black males in southern rape statues reflected not white anxiety about black rape but rather the codified belief that blacks, specifically slaves, had to abide by a different, stricter set of legal standards to ensure greater control of the region's bonded labor force. The life of a slave was also balanced against not merely the race of the accuser, but by her behavior and demeanor as well.« (Source: Oxford Scholarship Online)

Reviews:

Bynum, V. The Journal of Southern History 66(2) (May 2000): 397-398. – Full Text: JSTOR (Restricted Access)

Games, Alison. Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies 19(3) (1998): 141-143. – Full Text: (Restricted Access)

Grant, Susan-Mary. Continuity and Change: A Journal of Social Structure, Law and Demography in Past Societies 14(2) (August 1999): 302-304. – Full Text: Cambridge University Press (Restricted Access)

Hodes, Martha. The Journal of American History 85(2) (1998): 651. – Full Text: JSTOR (Restricted Access), Oxford University Press (Restricted Access)

Kleinberg, S.J. »Race, Region, and Gender in American History.« Journal of American Studies 33(1) (April 1999): 83-88. – Full Text: Cambridge University Press (Restricted Access)

Morton, Patricia. The William and Mary Quarterly: A Magazine of Early American History and Culture 55(3) (July 1998): 477-479. – Full Text: JSTOR (Restricted Access)

Sharpless, R. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly 102(4) (April 1999): 535-536. – Full Text: (Restricted Access)

Synnott, Marcia G. The Florida Historical Quarterly 77(4) (Spring 1999): 541-544. – Full Text: JSTOR (Restricted Access)

Wolfe, Margaret R. Arkansas Historical Quarterly 58(4) (Winter 1999): 450-451. – Full Text: (Restricted Access)

Wood, Kirsten. Journal of the Early Republic 18(3) (Fall 1998): 554-556. – Full Text: JSTOR (Restricted Access)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States | Slavery Slavery in the United States