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Geographies of Slave Consumption: French Colonial Louisiana and a World of Goods

Sophie White
Winterthur Portfolio
Vol. 45, No. 2/3 (Summer/Autumn 2011), pp. 229-248
DOI: 10.1086/661557
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/661557
Page Count: 20
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Geographies of Slave Consumption
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Abstract

As revealed in a 1757 criminal investigation, a stunning range of goods were stolen, traded, pawned, and purchased by enslaved Africans and their accomplices in the hinterlands of Louisiana. Such thefts were acts of consumption. This investigation was especially revealing about the role of enslaved Africans in the circulation of consumer objects across the French and Spanish empires, thereby revealing the transnational character of objects in motion in the Atlantic world. But the global dimension of these objects also suggests how problematic the Atlantic world framework becomes when applied to the consumption of material culture, especially dress, in early America.

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