White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812

White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812

University of North Carolina Press
1968-09-25 (Republished: September 1995)
671 pages
8.9 x 6 x 1.4 inches
ISBN: 978-0-8078-4550-9
Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia

Winthrop D. Jordan (1931-2007)

  • Winner of the 1968 Francis Parkman Prize, Society of American Historians
  • Winner of the 1969 National Book Award
  • Winner of the 1969 Bancroft Prize, Columbia University
  • Winner of the 1968 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award, Phi Beta Kappa

The paperback edition of Jordan’s classic and award-winning work on the history of American race relations.

Table of Contents


Part One. GENESIS 1550-1700

I. First Impressions: Initial English Confrontation with Africans

  1. The Blackness Without
  2. The Causes of Complexion
  3. Defective Religion
  4. Savage Behavior
  5. The Apes of Africa
  6. The Blackness Within

II. Unthinking Decision: Enslavement of Negroes in America to 1700

  1. The Necessities of a New World
  2. Freedom and Bondage in the English Tradition
  3. The Concept of Slavery
  4. The Practices of Portingals and Spanyards
  5. Enslavement: The West Indies
  6. Enslavement: New England
  7. Enslavement: Virginia and Maryland
  8. Enslavement: New York and the Carolinas
  9. The Un-English: Scots, Irish, and Indians
  10. Racial Slavery: From Reasons to Rational

Part Two. PROVINCIAL DECADES 1700-1755
III. Anxious Oppressors: Freedom and Control in a Slave Society

  1. Demographic Configurations in the Colonies
  2. Slavery and the Senses of the Laws
  3. Slave Rebelliousness and the White Mastery
  4. Free Negroes and Fears of Freedom
  5. Racial Slavery in a Free Society

IV. Fruits of Passion: The Dynamics of Interracial Sex

  1. Regional Styles in Racial Intermixture
  2. Masculine and Feminine Modes in Carolina and America
  3. Negro Sexuality and Slave Insurrection
  4. Dismemberment, Physiology, and Sexual Perceptions
  5. The Secularization of Reproduction
  6. Mulatto Offspring in a Biracial Society

V. The Souls of Men: The Negro’s Spiritual Nature

  1. Christian Principles and the Failure of Conversion
  2. The Question of Negro Capacity
  3. Spiritual Equality and Temporal Subordination
  4. The Thin Edge of Antislavery
  5. Inclusion and Exclusion in the Protestant Churches
  6. Religious Revivial and the Impact of Conversion

VI. The Bodies of Men: The Negro’s Physical Nature

  1. Confusion, Order and Hierarchy
  2. Negroes, Apes, and Beasts
  3. Rational Science and Irrational Logic
  4. Indians, Africans, and the Complexion of Man
  5. The Valuation of Color
  6. Negroes Under the Skin

Part Three. THE REVOLUTIONARY ERA 1755-1783
VII. Self-Scrutiny in the Revolutionary Era

  1. Quaker Conscience and Consciousness
  2. The Discovery of Prejudice
  3. Assertions of Sameness
  4. Environmentalism and Revolutionary Ideology
  5. The Secularization of Equality
  6. The Proslavery Case of Negro Inferiority
  7. The Revolution as Turning Point

VIII. The Imperatives of Economic Interest and National Identity

  1. The Economics of Slavery
  2. Union and Sectionalism
  3. A National Forum for Debate
  4. Nationhood and Identity
  5. Non-English Englishment

IX. The Limitations of Antislavery

  1. The Pattern of Antislavry
  2. The Failings of Revolutionary Ideology
  3. The Quaker View Beyond Emancipation
  4. Religious Equalitarianism
  5. Humanitarianism and Sentimentality
  6. The Success and Failure of Antislavery

X. The Cancer of Revolution

  1. St. Domingo
  2. Non-Importation of Rebellion
  3. The Contagion of Liberty
  4. Slave Disobedience in America
  5. The Impact of Negro Revolt

XI. The Resulting Pattern of Separation

  1. The Hardening of Slavery
  2. Restraint of Free Negroes
  3. The Walls of Separation
  4. Negro Churches

Part Five THOUGH AND SOCIETY 1783-1812
XII. Thomas Jefferson: Self and Society

  1. Jefferson: The Tyranny of Slavery
  2. Jefferson: The Assertion of Negro Inferiority
  3. The Issue of Intellect
  4. The Acclaim of Talented Negroes
  5. Jefferson: Passionate Realities
  6. Jefferson: White Women and Black
  7. Interracial Sex: The Individual and His Society
  8. Jefferson: A Dichotomous View of Triracial America

XIII. The Negro Bound by the Chain of Being

  1. Linnaean Categories and the Chain of Being
  2. Two Modes of Equality
  3. The Hierarchies of Men
  4. Anatomical Investigations
  5. Unlinking and Linking the Chain
  6. Faithful Philosophy in Defense of Human Unity
  7. The Study of Man in the Republic

XIV. Erasing Nature’s Stamp of Color

  1. Nature’s Blackball
  2. The Effects of Climate and Civilization
  3. The Disease of Color
  4. White Negroes
  5. The Logic of Blackness and Inner Similarity
  6. The Winds of Change
  7. An End of Environmentalism
  8. Persistent Themes

XV. Toward a White Man’s Country

  1. The Emancipation and Intermixture
  2. The Beginning of Colonization
  3. The Virginia Program
  4. Insurrection and Expatriation in Virginia
  5. The Meaning of Negro Removal

XVI. Exodus

Note on the Concept of Race
Essay on Sources
Select List of Full Titles
Map: Percentage of Negroes in Total Non-Aboriginal Population, 1790

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