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This is a book-length study of free, white craftsmen and tradesmen in the pre-Civil War South. Michele Gillespie details these workers' worlds and tells how they struggled against declining social and ecomic opportunities while skilled slaves increasingly took up the mechanical, building, clothing, and decorative arts trades.
Michele Gillespie is an associate professor of history at Wake Forest University. She is coeditor of three books: Neither Lady nor Slave, Taking Off the White Gloves, and The Devil's Lane.