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River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom

By Walter Johnson

When Jefferson received the Louisiana Territory, he anticipated an “empire for liberty” populated via self-sufficient white farmers. Cleared of local american citizens and the remnants of eu empires by way of Andrew Jackson, the Mississippi Valley used to be reworked in its place right into a booming capitalist economic climate commanded by way of prosperous planters, powered through steam engines, and depending on the coerced exertions of slaves. River of darkish Dreams locations the Cotton nation on the heart of globally webs of alternate and exploitation that prolonged throughout oceans and drove an insatiable starvation for brand spanking new lands. This daring reaccounting dramatically alters our figuring out of yank slavery and its function in U.S. expansionism, international capitalism, and the approaching Civil War.

Walter Johnson deftly strains the connections among the planters’ pro-slavery ideology, Atlantic commodity markets, and Southern schemes for international ascendency. utilizing slave narratives, well known literature, criminal files, and private correspondence, he recreates the harrowing information of way of life below cotton’s darkish dominion. We meet the boldness males and gamblers who made the Valley shimmer with promise, the slave buyers, steamboat captains, and retailers who provided the markets, the planters who wrung their civilization out of the minds and our bodies in their human estate, and the genuine believers who threatened the Union through attempting to extend the Cotton state on an international scale.

yet on the middle of the tale Johnson tells are the enslaved those that pulled down the forests, planted the fields, picked the cotton—who worked, suffered, and resisted at the darkish underside of the yankee dream.

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Shotwell five fifty two 1860. Atlantic five eleven 1855. Eclipse five forty two 1860. Gen. Quitman five 6 1854. Sultana five 12 1865. Ruth four forty three 1856. Princess four fifty one 1870. R. €E. Lee four fifty nine FROM NEW ORLEANS TO ST. LOUIS—1,218 MILES Run made in € D. € H. € M. € 1844. J. €M. White three 23 nine 1870. Natchez 1849. Missouri four 19 zero 1870. R. €E. Lee 1869. Dexter four nine zero FROM LOUISVILLE TO CINCINNATI—141 MILES Run made in € D. € H. € M. € 1819. Gen. Pike 1 sixteen zero 1843. Congress 1819. Paragon 1 14 20 1846. Ben Franklin (No. 6) 1822. Wheeling Packet 1 10 zero 1852. Alleghaney 1837. Moselle 12 zero 1852. Pittsburgh 1843. Duke of Orleans 12 zero 1853. Telegraph (No. three) 1842. Congress 1854. Pike FROM LOUISVILLE TO ST. LOUIS—750 MILES Run made in € D. € H. € M. € 2 1 zero 1854. Northerner 1 23 zero 1855. Southerner FROM CINCINNATI TO PITTSBURG—490 MILES Run made in € D. € H. 1850. Telegraph (No. 2) 1 17 1852. Pittsburgh 1851. Buckeye country 1 sixteen 1853. Altona 1876. Golden Eagle FROM ST. LOUIS TO ALTON—30 MILES Run made in € H. € M. 1 35 1876. warfare Eagle 1 37 Run made in D. € H. € M. three 21 fifty seven three 18 14 Run made in € H. € M. 12 20 eleven forty five 10 38 10 23 nine fifty two Run made in D. € H. € M. 1 22 30 1 19 zero € Run made in € D. € H. 1 15 € Run made in € H. € M. 1 37 MISCELLANEOUS RUNS â•… In June 1859, the St. Louis and Keokuk Packet, urban of Louisiana, made the run from St. Louis to Keokuk (214 miles) in sixteen hours and 20 mins, the easiest time on recÂ�ord. â•… In 1868 the steamer Hawkeye nation, of the Northern Line Packet corporation, made the run from St. Louis to St. Paul (800 miles) in an afternoon and 20 hours. by no means used to be overwhelmed. â•… In 1854, the steamer Polar megastar made the run from St. Louis to St. Joseph, at the Missouri River, in sixty four hours. In July 1856, the steamer Jas. H. Lucas, Andy Wineland, grasp, made an identical run in 60 hours and fifty seven mins. the gap among the ports is six hundred miles, and while the difÂ�fiÂ�culties of navigating the turbulent Missouri are considered, the functionality of the Lucas merits especial point out. (cont. ) Table 2Â�(continued) THE RUN OF THE ROBERT E. LEE â•… The time made by means of the R. €E. Lee from New Orleans to St. Louis in 1870, in her well-known race with the Natchez, is the easiest on recÂ�ord, and inasmuch because the race created a countrywide curiosity, we supply under her schedule from port to port. â•… Left New Orleans, Thursday, June 30, 1870, at four o’clock and fifty five mins, p. m. ; reached D. H. M. D. H. M. Carrollton 27 ½ Vicksburg 1 zero 38 Harry Hills 1 zero½ Milliken’s Bend 1 2 37 pink Church 1 39 Bailey’s 1 three forty eight Bonnet Carre 2 38 Lake windfall 1 five forty seven university element three 50 ½ Greenville 1 10 fifty five Donaldsonville four fifty nine Napoleon 1 sixteen 22 Plaquemine 7 five½ White River 1 sixteen fifty six Baton Rouge eight 25 Australia 1 19 zero Bayou Sara 10 26 Helena 1 23 25 pink River 12 fifty six part Mile lower than St. Francis 2 zero zero Stamps thirteen fifty six Memphis 2 6 nine Bryaro 15 fifty one ½ Foot of Island 37 2 nine zero Hinderson’s sixteen 29 Foot of Island 26 2 thirteen 30 Natchez 17 eleven Tow-head, Island 14 2 17 23 Cole ’s Creek 19 21 New Madrid 2 19 50 water resistant 18 fifty three Dry Bar No. 10 2 20 37 Rodney 20 forty five Foot of Island eight 2 21 25 St. Joseph 21 2 top Tow-head— â•… Lucas Bend three zero zero Grand Gulf 22 6 Cairo three 1 zero demanding instances 22 18 St.

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