Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

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.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.