Today, I’m headed up to UVa’s Special Collections Library to plow through some records. I’m looking for slave lists and references to slave purchases and sales. Perhaps in some plantation files, this would be an easier task (not emotionally, of course, but physically), but this collection has at least 640 boxes. This is not a one day endeavor.
The truth is that I’m at a place in this process where I’m pondering the chicken-egg problem. Which comes first, copious amounts of research to be followed by writing? Or writing, which will then guide the research? Since I can’t really get my mind around the structure of this bad boy, I’m going with the research and hoping it will help the structure emerge. Whether research is the chicken or the egg, I’m not sure.
And lest I be negligent in acknowledging reality today, Happy Valentine’s Day to the lovers in us all.