Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Maneuvering Life: Women of Color on the Louisiana Frontier
by Donovan, Mary Magdalene, M.A., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2016, 88; 10163325
Abstract (Summary)

During the colonial and early antebellum periods, women of color on the Louisiana frontier received significant amounts of money and property from white male benefactors for themselves and their mixed-race children. Although state laws placed restrictions on inheritances and donations to concubines and illegitimate children, the majority of such transactions in southwest Louisiana went unchallenged or remained intact after white heirs challenged their legality. This study examines how free women of color or manumitted female slaves and their mixed-race children in southwest Louisiana acquired and maintained control of such property between 1740 and 1840, in spite of the laws that barred them from doing so. Few scholarly works have focused their attention exclusively to the lives of women of color on the Louisiana frontier during the colonial and early American era and those that have typically adhere to a very strict regional or urban focus, leaving out significant swaths of the state. This study scrutinizes the lives of women of color living on the Louisiana frontier between the years of 1740 and 1840, who formed long-term relationships with white men and received property as a result of these relationships.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Martin, Michael S.
Commitee: Hermann, Robin, Skilton, Liz
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: History
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 56/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Black history, American history, Womens studies
Keywords: Colonial law, Colonial louisiana, Concubines, Quadroon, Women of color
Publication Number: 10163325
ISBN: 9781369180176
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