Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
My Brother Slaves"Friendship, Masculinity, and Resistance in the Antebellum South"$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sergio A. Lussana

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813166940

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813166940.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Enslaved Men, the Grapevine Telegraph, and the Underground Railroad

Enslaved Men, the Grapevine Telegraph, and the Underground Railroad

(p.125) 5 Enslaved Men, the Grapevine Telegraph, and the Underground Railroad
My Brother Slaves

Sergio A. Lussana

University Press of Kentucky

Slaveholders tightly regulated enslaved people’s access to the outside world; however, as this chapter demonstrates, despite their best efforts, owners failed to prevent the operation of an illicit “grapevine telegraph”—a network spreading news and correspondence between enslaved communities maintained by mobile bondpeople. Enslaved men were key players in this network. Their mobility presented them with more opportunities than their female counterparts to acquire geographical knowledge and make contact with abolitionist sources. This chapter unravels the secret operations of this network. Through this system of communication, enslaved men exchanged subversive ideas as well as daily news. Indeed, evidence shows that men used the grapevine telegraph to forge an inter-plantation network with other men and hold conspiratorial meetings. The nucleus of slave insurrectionary plots in the South can be found in this subversive homosocial space.

Keywords:   Slavery, Antebellum South, Grapevine telegraph, Resistance to slavery, Underground Railroad, Slave insurrection, Slave runaways

Kentucky Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .