Enslavement in Memphis

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During the first forty-five years of the city’s existence, slavery dominated the cultural and economic life of Memphis. The lives of enslaved people reveal the brutality, and their perseverance contributed greatly to the city’s growth. Henry Davidson played a crucial role in the development of the city’s first Methodist church and worship services for slaves. Mary Herndon was purchased by Nathan Bedford Forrest and sold to Louis Fortner, for whom she was put to work in the field, where she “chopped cotton, plowed it and did everything any other slave done.” Thomas Bland secretly learned to read and write from a skilled slave and later used that knowledge to escape to Canada. Author G. Wayne Dowdy uncovers the forgotten people who built Memphis and the American South.
ISBN: 9781467150149
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Tennessee
Series: American Heritage
Images: 38
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
G. Wayne Dowdy is the senior manager of the Memphis Public Libraries history department. He holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Arkansas. Dowdy is a contributing writer for the Best Times magazine and Storyboard Memphis. He is the author of seven books, including A Brief History of Memphis, Hidden History of Memphis, Lost Restaurants of Memphis and On This Day in Memphis History, which was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Tennessee Historical Commission.
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