Neither Fugitive Nor Free: Atlantic Slavery, Freedom Suits, and the Legal Culture of Travel

New York University Press, 2009

Professor Edlie L. Wong contends that slavery and its logic of property had a profound effect on the notion of travel and freedom in the Atlantic World. British and American slaveholders traveled with the assumption that their right to free mobility extended to their enslaved servants. But slaves are rarely mentioned in travel accounts of the time that romanticized mobility as a unique expression of individual freedom and autonomy.Recuperating the untold narratives of slaves who accompanied their masters on trips to free territories, Professor Wong argues that these journeys between free and enslaved territories challenge the cultural logic of slavery and freedom and offer an alternative view of history to the already established genres of abolitionist and fugitive slave narratives. A volume in the new series America and the Long 19th Century.