"An important addition to the growing literature on the antebellum South's non-slaveowners . . . Lockley has done more than any other scholar to illuminate the broad range of relationships that existed between poor whites and African Americans during the era of slavery."
—Journal of American History
"A compelling and engaging depiction of the flavor and complexity of lowcountry life."
—William and Mary Quarterly
Lines in the Sand is Timothy Lockley’s nuanced look at the interaction between nonslaveholding whites and African Americans in lowcountry Georgia from the introduction of slavery in the state to the beginning of the Civil War. The study focuses on poor whites living in a society where they were dominated politically and economically by a planter elite and outnumbered by slaves. Lockley argues that the division between nonslaveholding whites and African Americans was not fixed or insurmountable. Pulling evidence from travel accounts, slave narratives, newspapers, and court documents, he reveals that these groups formed myriad kinds of relationships, sometimes out of mutual affection, sometimes for mutual advantage, but always in spite of the disapproving authority of the planter class.
Lockley has synthesized an impressive amount of material to create a rich social history that illuminates the lives of both blacks and whites. His abundant detail and clear narrative style make this first book-length examination of a complicated and overlooked topic both fascinating and accessible.