Paternalism in a Southern City: Race, Religion, and Gender in Augusta, Georgia

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Edward J. Cashin, Glenn T. Eskew
University of Georgia Press, 2001 - History - 240 pages
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These essays look at southern social customs within a single city in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, the volume focuses on paternalism between masters and slaves, husbands and wives, elites and the masses, and industrialists and workers. How Augusta's millworkers, homemakers, and others resisted, exploited, or endured the constraints of paternalism reveals the complex interplay between race, class, and gender.

One essay looks at the subordinating effects of paternalism on women in the Old South--slave, free black, and white--and the coping strategies available to each group. Another focuses on the Knights of Labor union in Augusta. With their trappings of chivalry, the Knights are viewed as a response by Augusta's white male millworkers to the emasculating "maternalism" to which they were subjected by their own wives and daughters and those of mill owners and managers. Millworkers are also the topic of a study of mission work in their communities, a study that gauges the extent to which religious outreach by elites was a means of social control rather than an outpouring of genuine concern for worker welfare. Other essays discuss Augusta's "aristocracy of color," who had to endure the same effronteries of segregation as the city's poorest blacks; the role of interracial cooperation in the founding of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church as a denomination, and of Augusta's historic Trinity CME Church; and William Jefferson White, an African American minister, newspaper editor, and founder of Morehouse College.

The varied and creative responses to paternalism discussed here open new ways to view relationships based on power and negotiated between men and women, blacks and whites, and the prosperous and the poor.

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About the author (2001)

Edward J. Cashin (1927-2007) was professor emeritus of history and former director of the Center for the Study of Georgia History at Augusta State University. His books include The King's Ranger: Thomas Brown and the American Revolution on the Southern Frontier (Georgia), which won the 1990 Fraunces Tavern Book Award of the American Revolution Round Table, and Lachlan McGillivray, Indian Trader: The Shaping of the Southern Colonial Frontier (Georgia), which won the 1992 Malcolm and Muriel Barrow Bell Award of the Georgia Historical Society. Glenn T. Eskew is a professor of history at Georgia State University. He is the author of But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle, editor of Labor in the Modern South, and coeditor of Paternalism in a Southern City.

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