Clemson prof resurrects lives of SC slaves

The State newspaper features an interesting article on Clemson University English professor Susanna Ashton’s work “I Belong to South Carolina,” which offers a rare firsthand accounts of slavery from across the Palmetto State collected together for the first time.

Ashton restores to print seven narratives documenting the realities of slavery as it existed across the Palmetto State’s Upstate, Midlands and Lowcountry, from plantation culture to urban servitude. These accounts were first published between 1798 and 1929.

Unlike the better-known Slave Narratives compiled by the Federal Writers Project in the 1930s, most of the narratives in Ashton’s book were composed by the ex-slaves themselves.
According to the University of South Carolina Press, which published “I Belong to South Carolina,” these detailed firsthand accounts “present a representative cross-section of slave experiences, from religious awakenings and artisan apprenticeships to sexual exploitations and harrowing escapes.