SLAVERY IN NORTH AMERICA:
ORIGIN, PRACTICE AND PRODUCTION OF CASH CROPS
Civil War historian Murphy Wood will present “Slavery in North America: Origin, Practice,
and Production of Cash Crops” at the next meeting of the Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society on January 19. The quarterly meeting will be held at 3:00 pm ET at the Bradshaw Library in Valley, AL.
Slavery first emerged in the western hemisphere during the colonial period as a result of the triangular trade between New England and Africa. Slaves were brought to the Caribbean islands to work sugar plantations, producing molasses for the New England rum trade. Wood's research compares and contrasts the practice of slavery in North America, from the sugar plantations of the Caribbean, to rice production in the Carolinas, to the cotton fields that spread across the South.
Ultimately a two-part lecture series, Wood's presentation at the upcoming CVHS meeting will focus on the earliest practice of North American slavery, the sugar plantations of the West Indies. “CVHS is fortunate to have such a scholar as Wood on our board of directors”, says CVHS President Dr. Mac Holderfield. “We are not only looking forward to his initial presentation, but are excited about his return to the speaker's podium the following January to discuss slavery in the context of rice and cotton production. We have been working towards developing a special series event for our January program slate, and Murphy Wood is an excellent choice as our first speaker.”
A native of northern Chambers County, Wood teaches AP History at his alma mater, Springwood School in Lanett. Wood's students recently partnered with the Cobb Archives in an oral history project. He also uses his talents as a Civil War re-enactor to create school-wide learning opportunities. Last summer he was chosen to be part of a select review committee, made up of high school history teachers from across America, to grade the essay portion of the AP History Exam. Before returning to his roots, he lived and worked in Virginia, where he received a master’s degree in Early American History from James Madison University. He has appeared as guest speaker and has presented research papers at numerous Civil War conferences and lecture series in Virginia and Kentucky. In addition, he has served as tour guide for several Civil War motor coach tours of the Shenandoah Valley and as a private guide for a variety of tour groups.
The Bradshaw Library is located on Highway 29 in Valley, Alabama, approximately one mile south of I-85 Exit 79. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.