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The Power to Die – Slavery and Suicide in British North America - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Power to Die: Slavery and Suicide in British North America

Terri L. Snyder


Acts of suicide by enslaved people carried significant cultural, legal, and political implications in the emerging slave societies of British America and, later, the United States. This study a wide range of evidence from ship logs and surgeon's journals, legal and legislative records, newspapers, periodicals, novels, and plays, abolitionist print and slave narratives in order to consider the intimate circumstances, cultural meanings, and political consequences of enslaved peoples' acts of self-destruction in the context of early American slavery. Suicide reflected the struggles between enslav ... More

Keywords: slavery, suicide, Colonial America, U.S., culture, law, history

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780226280561
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226280738.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Terri L. Snyder, author