1998 "First Edition, 1998" stated on copyright page; Farrar, Straus and Giroux publishers, New York; hardbound in light grey and black boards with gilt stamp trim and lettering on spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; black and white photos and illustrations; no dust jacket.
In 1698 when Elias Ball sailed into the harbour at Charleston, South Carolina, he was twenty-two. He had travelled 3,500 miles from his home in England, a journey of perhaps six weeks, to claim his inheritance - part of a plantation and twenty-five slaves. Elias and his progency built a slave dynasty that lasted for 167 years, buying more than a dozen plantations along the Cooper River near Charleston, and selling 'Carolina Gold' (rice). The family had assembled close to 4,000 slaves before 1865, when Union troops arrived from the North on the lawns of the Ball estates to force emancipation. In this book, the author, a direct ascendant of Elias, has written a magnificant history. Using the copious plantation records of his family, supplemented by both black and white folklore and interviews with the descendants of the slaves themselves, he uncovers the story of the people who lived and worked on his ancestor's lands - the violence and opulence, the slave uprisings and escapes, the dynastic struggles and the mulatto children of
Ball slaveholders and Ball slaves.
Part history, part journey of discovery, this is the story of black and white families who lived side by side for five generations - a tale of Americans confronting their vexed inheritance together, revealing how slavery lives on in their memory and experience.