The peculiar institution used to be quarantined in American history. Safely confined in time and space, slavery was formerly a tragic story of southern exceptionalism, one that did not threaten a master narrative focused on freedom. Recently, however, scholars have upset that narrative by tracing the deep roots and continental reach of bondage. Slaves worked on Mississippi cotton plantations, Ivy League campuses, in Detroit trading posts, Texas missions, urban factories, Massachusetts kitchens, California brothels, and at the governor's mansion in Santa Fe. Much of this reorientation results from historians' expansion of their field of vision to include the experiences of indigenous people. Historian Brett Rushforth has calculated that from the late fifteenth through the mid-nineteenth century, two to four million Native American slaves were traded...

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