Inventory of the Peter H. Wood Papers, 1964-1974

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Peter Hutchins Wood (1943-), is a American historian who authored, "Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion." Wood was a Humanities Officer for the Rockefeller Foundation before teaching Colonial American history at Duke University from 1975 to 2008, where he was named Professor Emertius of History. Wood wrote the original version of "Black Majority" as his PhD dissertation at Harvard University, which was published in 1974.
The collection holds correspondence regarding the book publication; thesis abstract, and full typed written manuscript of "Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion."
Title: Peter H. Wood Papers, 1964-1974
Call Number: AMN 1131
Creator: Wood, Peter H., 1943-
Repository: Avery Research Center
Dates: 1964-1974
Bulk: 1973-1974
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 0.5 linear foot
(1 archival box)

Biographical Note

Peter Hutchins Wood (1943-), the son of Barry and Mary Lee Wood, grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland. Wood was educated at the Gilman School in Baltimore, receiving his scholarly training at Harvard University (Boston, Masschusetts), and at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 1964. He returned to Harvard to obtain his Ph.D. in history.

Wood wrote the original version of "Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion," as his PhD dissertation, which was published in 1974. In demonstrating that Africans contributed their advanced knowledge and skills to the building of America, and not solely by their physical labor, Wood established a new tone in Southern historiography and widen the area of study. Black Majority... has been in print since it's first publication and gave rise to a tradition of scholarship on African roots of rice cultivation in colonial America. The book has influenced the writings of other scholars, including Daniel C. Littlefield's Rice and Slaves, Charles Joyner's Down by the Riverside, Amelia Vernon's African American at Mars Bluff, South Carolina, Julia Floyd Smith's Slavery and Rice Culture in Low Country Georgia, Judith A. Carney's Black Rice, and Edda Fields-Black Deep Roots.

Wood was a Humanities Officer for the Rockefeller Foundation before teaching Colonial American history at Duke University from 1975 to 2008 where was named Professor Emertius of History. Professor Wood was a Guggenheim Fellow, an Andrew Mellon Senior Scholar, and a elected member of the Harvard Board of Overseers. He has received the American Historical Association's Asher Distinguished Teaching Award.

In addition to writing Black Majority and Strange New Land, Wood has also co-authored, Created Equal, a United States survey text. In 1988, Wood worked with art scholar, Karen Dalton on the book and exhibition, Winslow Homer's Images of Blacks: The Civil War and Reconstruction Years. Based on his 2009 Huggins Lectures at Harvard University, Woods wrote Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer's Civil War.

SOURCES: Kolchin, Peter. "The world the historians made: Peter Wood's 'Black Majority' in historiographical context" (http://www.jstor.org/stable/27570404), South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 100, No. 4, Oct 1999, accessed 14 May 2014


Collection Overview

The collection is divided into two series:

1. Correspondence contains letters between Wood and fellow historian St. Julien R. Childs regarding the chapter review and comments of Woods proposed book.

2. Literary Productions: Essays and Manuscripts includes thesis abstract and full typed written manuscript of "Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion." Also includes Wood's 1964 journal essay regarding disease in colonial New England.


Collection Arrangement

1. Correspondence, 1973 and undated

2. Literary Productions: Essay and Manscripts, 1964, 1974


Related Materials

Book: Wood, Peter H. "Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina From 1670 Through The Stono Rebellion." New York: Knopf, 1974.

Subject Headings

  • Childs, St. Julien Ravenel, 1897-1983
  • Wood, Peter H., 1943-
  • Slavery--South Carolina
  • South Carolina--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775


Series 1: Correspondence, 1973 and undated.

Contains letters written by and to Woods regarding the publication of his book, "Black Majority."
Box 1   Folder 1
Letters, 1973
Contains correspondence between Wood and fellow historian St. Julien R. Childs regarding the chapter review and comments of Wood's proposed book

Series 2: Literary Productions: Essays and Manuscripts, 1964, 1974.

Contains thesis abstract, and full typed written manuscript of "Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion." Also, includes Wood's 1964 journal essay regarding disease in colonial New England

2.1: Essays, 1964-1974.

Box 1   Folder 2
Essay and Thesis Abstract, 1964, 1974
Includes Wood's essay, "Sickness and Settlement: Disease as a Factor in the Early Colonization of New England," and Thesis Abstract of "Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion."

2.2: Manuscript: "Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion.", 1964.

Typed manuscript, organized by chapters. Includes footnotes at the end of each chapter. *Note: Some pages are missing in chapters.
Box 1   Folder 3
Introduction, 1974
Includes title page, table of contents and end of chapter footnotes
Box 1   Folder 4
Prologue: "Small Beginnings", 1974
*Note: Pages 8-9 are missing
Box 1   Folder 5
Part One: "African Workers in the Carolina Lowlands", 1974
Includes Chapter I: The Colony of a Colony
Box 1   Folder 6
Chapter II: "Black Labor-White Rice", 1974
Box 1   Folder 7
Chapter III: "The Soveraign Ray of Health", 1974
Box 1   Folder 8
Chapter V: "More Like A Negro Country", 1974
*Note: Pages 10-18 are missing
Box 1   Folder 9
Chapter VI: "Gullah Speech: The Roots of Black English", 1974
Box 1   Folder 10
Part Three: "Rising Tensions", 1974
Includes Chapter VII: "Growing Initative Among Blacks"
Box 1   Folder 11
Chapter VIII: "Mounting Anxiety Among Whites", 1974
Box 1   Folder 12
Chapter IX: "Runaways: Slaves Who Stole Themselves", 1974
Box 1   Folder 13
Part Four: "A Colony In Conflict", 1974
Includes Chapter X: "Patterns Of White Control"
Box 1   Folder 14
Chapter XI: "Patterns Of Black Resistance", 1974
Box 1   Folder 15
Chapter XII: "The Stono Rebellion And Its Consequences", 1974


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

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The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Peter H. Wood Papers, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Papers donated by Peter H. Woods

Processing Information

Processed by Georgette Mayo, May 2014

Edited by Aaron Spelbring, May 2014

Encoded by Aaron Spelbring, May 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

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