Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Slavery in Missouri was typically small-scale in nature and featured smallholdings possessing few slaves. Situated on the periphery of the South and the western border of the antebellum United States, Missouri, even after achieving statehood, remained a frontier. This small-scale frontier environment provides an opportunity for the close examination of slave motherhood. Focusing on slave motherhood through the lens of small-scale slavery in Missouri, I am able to closely examine the day-to-day lives of these women and focus on their common experiences as mothers living in bondage. This in turn paints a broader picture of typical slave mother experiences in the South. The prevalence of smallholdings demands a closer examination of the women who lived, labored, and mothered on them. I argue that no study of the lives of slave women is complete without a close examination of motherhood as it defined and shaped the lives of and decisions made by slave women.
Hamilton, Lucy Phelps, ""If De Babies Cried": Slave Motherhood in Antebellum Missouri" (2015). Electronic Thesis Collection. Paper 27.