Talk:Slave breeding in the United States

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edit suggestions[edit]

The article should probably begin with a brief overview of slavery in the United States for background and the economic benefits. Management of slaves was essentially asset management. The books that discuss the economics of slavery also include discussions about breeding, and how the families of slaves were routinely broken up in servicing the assets. Also, I noticed in the lede it says that this is debatable, but I haven't found any source that debates/denies whether or not slaves were breed for genetic traits and to increase number in general. It seems to be commonly accepted as fact since a number of works point to newspaper ads and bills of sale that specifically refer to 'breeding stock.' Malke 2010 (talk) 15:02, 14 November 2010 (UTC)


To me this article seems to have very little actual information about slave breeding, rather it primarily consists of general information about slavery that could (IMHO) better be contained in an introductory section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 168.97.133.244 (talk) 21:00, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Concur. I got very little out of this article for my research. 155.213.224.59 (talk) 19:48, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

The "external links" section contains two links of extremely dubious value. I suggest deletion of the entire section. There is no information about Eddie Donoghue anywhere I can find - he has self-published several books with a similar theme; they share a lack of good sourcing and an extremely tendentious position on this issue. The other link is to a genealogy site with a few lines on slave breeding and also no sources or data. I would say that this entire article is an example of "original research" except for the short description of the current consensus view among historians of the subject, explained in Time on the Cross, that slave breeding as described was extremely rare or unknown in the United States. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stewart king (talkcontribs) 07:11, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Contrasting scholarly views - "Time on the Cross" vs. "Slavery and the Numbers Game"[edit]

I have several issues with this section. First, it seems to be WP:UNDUE if not even borderline WP:FRINGE - it is one 40 year old book which has been mostly negatively reviewed and debunked several times. Secondly, since the citation is placed on the top of the paragraph, it is unclear if all of the content is sourced to the book or if there is some WP:OR in the section. The claim that 'The reports from witnesses are apocryphal in that they never specify any particular place in which breeding practices were alleged to have taken place" is, on the one hand, very much in conflict to current results on the reliability of oral history, and secondly, is contradicted by more modern sources, e.g. [1]. And finally, Fogel and Engerman don't talk of breeding in general, but about "systematic breeding for the market", with a definition that requires particular methods (and weird ones indeed) for reproduction, and also requires the intend of the sale (not just the use) of slaves. I would tend to remove this section. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:21, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

On the contrary, this weak article might be made truly encyclopedic if the section "Contrasting scholarly views" lived up to its name, with, perhaps, scholarly reviews of "Time on the Cross" cited to establish what the scholarly controversies actually are. See JSTOR reviews of Time On the Cross. Let's look at these easily verifiable and reliable sources and present summaries with a NPOV and avoid what plagues the rest of this stub, synthesis and original research. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 14:50, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
It looks like the major critique is Slavery and the Numbers Game by Herbert Gutman. I've also posted some additional sources on the general topic here. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:08, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, that is the book. This Talk section title updated: I would very interested in accurate summaries of the particular claims, evidence and arguments, from both books and subsequent reviews or extensions of controversy. To supplement my link above, see also JSTOR reviews of Slavery and the Numbers Game If you need anything relevant on JSTOR to flesh out this article, please let me know. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 17:55, 27 September 2015 (UTC)