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In Slave Genealogy of the Roulhac Family: French Masters and the Africans They Enslaved, Roy L. Roulhac, a fifth-generation descendant of colonial North Carolina and territorial Florida slaves, shares his well-documented journey through 18th and 19th-century wills, probate records, bills of sales, and other primary and secondary sources of his ancestors’ enslavers to find and connect missing pieces of not only his family’s past but also the past of all African descended Roulhacs. Readers discover how three French Roulhac brothers – members of the French aristocracy – upon arriving in America during the last quarter of the 18th century seeking to capitalize on trade with the colonists, maintained their privileged status by both marrying into affluent and influential families who accumulated their wealth from slave labor, and then themselves becoming slave owners and speculators - driving slaves like cattle from North Carolina to Mississippi. Roy L. Roulhac places front and center the vigilance and self-determination of Roulhac slaves who did not idly accept what most during their time concluded as their fate of oppression but played a significant role in the own liberation.
Inspired by the Gabriel Prosser revolt in nearby Virginia, some were implicated in the 1802 Bertie County North Carolina slave conspiracy, others escaped slavery to fight and die for their own freedom and that of 4 million other oppressed Africans during the Civil War. Slave Genealogy details how former Roulhac slaves and their descendants during their 150-year march to freedom after emancipation resisted de facto re-enslavement by migrating to Liberia, survived Jim Crow, and segregation to become productive contributing members of society. Readers, whether Roulhacs, African Americans, or any other ethnicity can easily reflect on their own heritage in this documentation of despair and triumph.