History 231 Reading Guide

Discussion:  Evolution of a Chesapeake Community

  • Lorena S. Walsh, From Calabar to Carter’s Grove:  The History of a Virginia Slave Community (1997).


  • What about this study is familiar?  What is new?
  • How does Walsh’s study reinforce and revise what we have already encountered and discussed about the Chesapeake?  How does her study support and challenge Greene’s description of Chesapeake slavery, economy, and society?
  • What is her thesis?
  • What argument does she make about the history (change and continuity over time) of this slave community?
  • What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of this kind of close study of a single plantation (broadened primarily to the plantations of Burwell relatives)?
  • As a “community” study, how does this study address and alter what we have discussed when we have considered community, and a communal ethos?