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Religion, Community, and Slavery on the Colonial Southern Frontier

$108.00 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies on the American South

  • Date Published: June 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107063280

$ 108.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book tells the story of Ebenezer, a frontier community in colonial Georgia founded by a mountain community fleeing religious persecution in its native Salzburg. This study traces the lives of the settlers from the alpine world they left behind to their struggle for survival on the southern frontier of British America. Exploring their encounters with African and indigenous peoples with whom they had had no previous contact, this book examines their initial opposition to slavery and why they ultimately embraced it. Transatlantic in scope, this study will interest readers of European and American history alike.

    • Transatlantic scope of the book, which begins in alpine Europe and ends on the southern frontier of British America, will appeal to a broad audience interested in both European and American history
    • Takes a fresh look at an important episode in the struggle over slavery on the southern frontier of Britain's North American Empire
    • Written in a clear and fluid style designed to engage a broad readership
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Deftly navigating central European and North American archival sources and using micro-biography techniques, James V. H. Melton brings to life the religious and material dimensions of the Salzburger community, the First Peoples of the North American Southeast, and the enslaved Africans in the context of Atlantic history. No other study of this eighteenth-century British colonial experiment illustrates as succinctly both the admirable and the lamentable adaptability of human actors and whole communities to dominant religious, cultural, economic, and social attitudes and practices."
    Gregg Roeber, Max Kade German-American Research Institute, Pennsylvania State University

    "The astonishing story of the Salzburgers, famous opponents of slavery in early Georgia, comes to life here as never before. A model of Atlantic history, this book shows how religious and political conflict in central Europe left a deep imprint on the early American South. It is also a moving meditation on the challenges and compromises faced by immigrants in America."
    Jon Sensbach, University of Florida, author of Rebecca’s Revival: Creating Black Christianity in the Atlantic World

    "Melton's work is impressive, and his use of previously underused archival sources brings important new insights … [he] skillfully sets the experience of Ebenezer within the larger context of the political and social environment of Georgia, showing the non-religious as well as religious factors that shaped the community and its stance toward slavery. His book informs and illuminates interests in several directions at once, the issue of slavery in colonial America, the story of the Salzburger refugees and Ebenezer, and the role of religion."
    Russell Kleckley, Lutheran Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107063280
    • length: 332 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 1 map 3 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. From the Old World to the New:
    1. The alpine world of Thomas Geschwandel
    2. Expulsion
    3. From Salzburg to Savannah
    Part II. Ebenezer:
    4. The making of a Pietist Utopia
    5. Governing Ebenezer: the early years
    6. Ebenezer and the struggle over slavery
    7. After slavery
    Epilogue: Ebenezer is no more.

  • Author

    James Van Horn Melton, Emory University, Atlanta
    James Van Horn Melton is Professor of History at Emory University, where he has served as Chair of both the Department of History and the Department of German Studies. His book The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2001) has appeared in Turkish and Spanish translation, and his book Absolutism and the Eighteenth-Century Origins of Compulsory Schooling in Prussia and Austria (Cambridge University Press, 1988) won the 1990 Biennial Book Prize awarded by the Central European History Society. Melton has held fellowships from the NEH, the SSRC, the Fulbright Program, the Max-Planck-Institut für Geschichte in Göttingen, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2012–13 he served as President of the Central European History Society.

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