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[Review Of The Book William Johnson’S Natchez: The Ante-Bellum Diary Of A Free Negro], Nick Salvatore
[Excerpt] To raise this issue of Johnson's silences and social isolation is not to engage in historical pity. He made choices from the options available to him and suffered the consequences as they developed. But his history underscores the fact that slavery generated a corresponding social system that was unforgiving to the individual caught in its contradictory currents. As Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roark suggest in Black Masters, their sensitive study of another slave owner and ex-slave, William Ellison of South Carolina, a purely personal solution to such volatile social relations proved impossible. What bound William Johnson ...