Yevan Terrien—Enslavement, Freedom, and Belonging in Early New Orleans

In this episode of the Journal of American History Podcast Steven Andrews speaks with Yevan Terrien about his article, ““Baptiste and Marianne’s Balbásha’: Enslavement, Freedom, and Belonging in Early New Orleans, 1733–1748,” which appeared in the September 2023 issue of the Journal of American History. Yevan Terrien’s microhistory of slavery and marronage (slave desertion) focuses on the remarkable case of Baptiste and Marianne, Chickasaw-descendant siblings who grew up as captives in eighteenth-century New Orleans. Despite running away sixty-one times over nine years, they remained enslaved and, upon reaching adulthood, were eventually sold. Their actions helped them forge cultural ties to their Indigenous people and a network of Native, African, and European relations in French colonial Louisiana. As evidenced by their mapped desertions, Baptiste and Marianne succeeded in breaking their social isolation, including from each other, while petitioning with their feet for the freedom once promised them. Steve and Yevan discuss sources, research, and behind the scenes creation of this article, and also the significance and implications of this type of research in the broader historiography. 

Read the Article here: https://academic.oup.com/jah/article/110/2/230/7281085

Music: King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band’s Mabel’s Dream, 1923

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