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Abolition's Public Sphere
Echoes of Thomas Paine and Enlightenment thought resonate throughout the abolitionist movement and in the efforts of its leaders to create an anti-slavery reading public. In Abolition's Public Sphere Robert Fanuzzi critically examines the writings of William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, and Sarah and Angelina Grimke and their massive abolition publicity campaign--pamphlets, newspapers, petitions, and public gatherings--geared to an audience of white male citizens, free black noncitizens, women, and the enslaved. Including provocative readings of Thoreau's Walden and of the symbolic space of Boston's Faneuil Hall, Abolition's Public Sphere demonstrates how abolitionist public discourse sought to reenact eighteenth-century scenarios of revolution and democracy in the antebellum era. Fanuzzi illustrates how the dissemination of abolitionist tracts served to create an "imaginary public" that promoted and provoked the discussion of slavery. However, by embracing Enlightenment abstractions of liberty, reason, and progress, Fanuzzi argues, abolitionist strategy introduced aesthetic concerns that challenged political institutions of the public sphere and prevailing notions of citizenship. Insightful and thought-provoking, Abolition's Public Sphere questions standard versions of abolitionist history and, in the process, our understanding of democracy itself.
The Abolitionist Imagination
The abolitionists of the mid-nineteenth century have long been painted in extremes--vilified as reckless zealots who provoked the catastrophic bloodletting of the Civil War, or praised as daring and courageous reformers who hastened the end of slavery. But Andrew Delbanco sees abolitionists in a different light, as the embodiment of a driving force in American history: the recurrent impulse of an adamant minority to rid the world of outrageous evil. Delbanco imparts to the reader a sense of what it meant to be a thoughtful citizen in nineteenth-century America, appalled by slavery yet aware of the fragility of the republic and the high cost of radical action. In this light, we can better understand why the fiery vision of the "abolitionist imagination" alarmed such contemporary witnesses as Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne even as they sympathized with the cause. The story of the abolitionists thus becomes both a stirring tale of moral fervor and a cautionary tale of ideological certitude. And it raises the question of when the demand for purifying action is cogent and honorable, and when it is fanatic and irresponsible. Delbanco's work is placed in conversation with responses from literary scholars and historians. These provocative essays bring the past into urgent dialogue with the present, dissecting the power and legacies of a determined movement to bring America's reality into conformity with American ideals.
The Abolitionists and the South, 1831-1861
Within the American antislavery movement, abolitionists were distinct from others in the movement in advocating, on the basis of moral principle, the immediate emancipation of slaves and equal rights for black people. Instead of focusing on the "immediatists" as products of northern culture, as many previous historians have done, Stanley Harrold examines their involvement with antislavery action in the South--particularly in the region that bordered the free states. How, he asks, did antislavery action in the South help shape abolitionist beliefs and policies in the period leading up to the Civil War? Harrold explores the interaction of northern abolitionist, southern white emancipators, and southern black liberators in fostering a continuing antislavery focus on the South, and integrates southern antislavery action into an understanding of abolitionist reform culture. He discusses the impact of abolitionist missionaries, who preached an antislavery gospel to the enslaved as well as to the free. Harrold also offers an assessment of the impact of such activities on the coming of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
This powerful narrative tells the triumphant story of the men and women who spent their lives and fortunes trying to abolish the institution of slavery in the United States. * Contains excerpts from speeches and writings of William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, John C. Calhoun, and others, as well as documents from the American Anti-Slavery Society and the Liberty party * Provides a chronological history beginning with the colonial era and ending with the Civil War, covering every major event in the abolition movement * Includes a biographical profiles section containing several mini-biographies of the most important abolitionists * A glossary defines terms used commonly in discussing American slavery and abolitionism such as "chattel," "mulatto," and "moral suasion"
The Black Hearts of Men : Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race
At a time when slavery was spreading and the country was steeped in racism, two white men and two black men overcame social barriers and mistrust to form a unique alliance that sought nothing less than the end of all evil. Drawing on the largest extant bi-racial correspondence in the Civil War era, John Stauffer braids together these men's struggles to reconcile ideals of justice with the reality of slavery and oppression. Who could imagine that Gerrit Smith, one of the richest men in the country, would give away his wealth to the poor and ally himself with Frederick Douglass, an ex-slave? And why would James McCune Smith, the most educated black man in the country, link arms with John Brown, a bankrupt entrepreneur, along with the others? Distinguished by their interracial bonds, they shared a millennialist vision of a new world where everyone was free and equal. As the nation headed toward armed conflict, these men waged their own war by establishing model interracial communities, forming a new political party, and embracing violence. Their revolutionary ethos bridged the divide between the sacred and the profane, black and white, masculine and feminine, and civilization and savagery that had long girded western culture. In so doing, it embraced a malleable and "black-hearted" self that was capable of violent revolt against a slaveholding nation, in order to usher in a kingdom of God on earth. In tracing the rise and fall of their prophetic vision and alliance, Stauffer reveals how radical reform helped propel the nation toward war even as it strove to vanquish slavery and preserve the peace.
Defining Moments: The Underground Railroad
Provides users with a detailed and authoritative overview of the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses and secret routes used by thousands of enslaved African Americans in the 1800s to escape to free states. Includes biographies of principal figures involved in these efforts, primary source documents, and more.
From Abolition to Rights for All : The Making of a Reform Community in the Nineteenth Century
The Civil War was not the end, as is often thought, of reformist activism among abolitionists. After emancipation was achieved, they broadened their struggle to pursue equal rights for women, state medicine, workers' rights, fair wages, immigrants' rights, care of the poor, and a right to decent housing and a healthy environment. Focusing on the work of a key group of activists from 1835 to the dawn of the twentieth century, From Abolition to Rights for All investigates how reformers, linked together and radicalized by their shared experiences in the abolitionist struggle, articulated a core natural rights ideology and molded it into a rationale for successive reform movements. The book follows the abolitionists' struggles and successes in organizing a social movement. For a time after the Civil War these reformers occupied major positions of power, only to be rebuffed in the later years of the nineteenth century as the larger society rejected their inclusive understanding of natural rights. The narrative of perseverance among this small group would be a continuing source of inspiration for reform. The pattern they established--local organization, expansive vision, and eventual challenge by powerful business interests and individuals--would be mirrored shortly thereafter by Progressives.
Historical Dictionary of Slavery and Abolition by Martin A. Klein
For almost four thousand years, men and women with power have exploited vulnerable populations for cheap or free labor. These slaves, serfs, helots, tenants, peons, bonded or forced laborers, etc., built pyramids and temples, dug canals and mined the earth for precious metals and gemstones. They built the palaces and mansions in which the powerful lived, grown the food they ate, spun the cloth that clothed them. This second edition of Historical Dictionary of Slavery and Abolition relates the long and brutal history of slavery and the struggle for abolition using several key features: -Chronology -Introductory essay -Appendixes -Extensive bibliography -Over 500 cross-referenced entries on forms of slavery, famous slaves and abolitionists, sources of slaves, and current conditions of modern slavery around the world This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about slavery and abolition.
In the Service of God and Humanity by Tunde Adeleke
Martin R. Delany (1812-1885) was one of the leading and most influential Black activists and nationalists in American history. His ideas have inspired generations of activists and movements, including Booker T. Washington in the late nineteenth century, Marcus Garvey in the early 1920s, Malcolm X and Black Power in 1960s, and even today's Black Lives Matter. Extant scholarship on Delany has focused largely on his Black nationalist and Pan-Africanist ideas. Tunde Adeleke argues that there is so much more about Delany to appreciate. In the Service of God and Humanity reveals and analyzes Delany's contributions to debates and discourses about strategies for elevating Black people and improving race relations in the nineteenth century. Adeleke examines Delany's view of Blacks as Americans who deserved the same rights and privileges accorded Whites. While he spent the greater part of his life pursuing racial equality, his vision for America was much broader. Adeleke argues that Delany was a quintessential humanist who envisioned a social order in which everyone, regardless of race, felt validated and empowered. Through close readings of the discourse of Delany's humanist visions and aspirations, Adeleke illuminates many crucial but undervalued aspects of his thought. He discusses the strategies Delany espoused in his quest to universalize America's most cherished of values-life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness-and highlights his ideological contributions to the internal struggles to reform America. The breadth and versatility of Delany's thought become more evident when analyzed within the context of his American-centered aspirations. In the Service of God and Humanity reveals a complex man whose ideas straddled many complicated social, political, and cultural spaces, and whose voice continues to speak to America today.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was an ex-slave and a great orator in early 19th-century USA. His autobiography details his experiences as a slave and is considered the most famous such work, though many similar were written by his contemporaries. This work also influenced and fueled the abolitionist movement, in which Douglass was an important figure.
Of One Blood : Abolitionism and the Origins of Racial Equality
The abolition movement is perhaps the most salient example of the struggle the United States has faced in its long and complex confrontation with the issue of race. In his final book, historian Paul Goodman, who died in 1995, presents a new and important interpretation of abolitionism. Goodman pays particular attention to the role that blacks played in the movement. In the half-century following the American Revolution, a sizable free black population emerged, the result of state-sponsored emancipation in the North and individual manumission in the slave states. At the same time, a white movement took shape, in the form of the American Colonization Society, that proposed to solve the slavery question by sending the emancipated blacks to Africa and making Liberia an American "colony." The resistance of northern free blacks was instrumental in exposing the racist ideology underlying colonization and inspiring early white abolitionists to attack slavery straight on. In a society suffused with racism, says Goodman, abolitionism stood apart by its embrace of racial equality as a Christian imperative. Goodman demonstrates that the abolitionist movement had a far broader social basis than was previously thought. Drawing on census and town records, his portraits of abolitionists reveal the many contributions of ordinary citizens, especially laborers and women long overshadowed by famous movement leaders. Paul Goodman's humane spirit informs these pages. His book is a scholarly legacy that will enrich the history of antebellum race and reform movements for years to come. "[God] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth."--Acts 17:26
Quakers and Abolition
This collection of fifteen insightful essays examines the complexity and diversity of Quaker antislavery attitudes across three centuries, from 1658 to 1890. Contributors from a range of disciplines, nations, and faith backgrounds show Quaker's beliefs to be far from monolithic. They often disagreed with one another and the larger antislavery movement about the morality of slaveholding and the best approach to abolition. Not surprisingly, contributors explain, this complicated and evolving antislavery sensibility left behind an equally complicated legacy. While Quaker antislavery was a powerful contemporary influence in both the United States and Europe, present-day scholars pay little substantive attention to the subject. This volume faithfully seeks to correct that oversight, offering accessible yet provocative new insights on a key chapter of religious, political, and cultural history. Contributors include Dee E. Andrews, Kristen Block, Brycchan Carey, Christopher Densmore, Andrew Diemer, J. William Frost, Thomas D. Hamm, Nancy A. Hewitt, Maurice Jackson, Anna Vaughan Kett, Emma Jones Lapsansky-Werner, Gary B. Nash, Geoffrey Plank, Ellen M. Ross, Marie-Jeanne Rossignol, James Emmett Ryan, and James Walvin.
She Came to Slay by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
In the bestselling tradition of The Notorious RBG comes a lively, informative, and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history--Harriet Tubman--a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today. Harriet Tubman is best known as one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad. As a leading abolitionist, her bravery and selflessness has inspired generations in the continuing struggle for civil rights. Now, National Book Award nominee Erica Armstrong Dunbar presents a fresh take on this American icon blending traditional biography, illustrations, photos, and engaging sidebars that illuminate the life of Tubman as never before. Not only did Tubman help liberate hundreds of slaves, she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the Civil War, worked as a spy for the Union Army, was a fierce suffragist, and was an advocate for the aged. She Came to Slay reveals the many complexities and varied accomplishments of one of our nation's true heroes and offers an accessible and modern interpretation of Tubman's life that is both informative and engaging. Filled with rare outtakes of commentary, an expansive timeline of Tubman's life, photos (both new and those in public domain), commissioned illustrations, and sections including "Harriet By the Numbers" (number of times she went back down south, approximately how many people she rescued, the bounty on her head) and "Harriet's Homies" (those who supported her over the years), She Came to Slay is a stunning and powerful mix of pop culture and scholarship and proves that Harriet Tubman is well deserving of her permanent place in our nation's history.
Terrible Swift Sword : The Legacy of John Brown
More than two centuries after his birth and almost a century and a half after his death, the legendary life and legacy of John Brown go marching on. Variously deemed martyr, madman, monster, terrorist, and saint, he remains one of the most controversial figures in America's history. Brown's actions in Kansas and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, provided major catalysts for the American Civil War, actions that continue today to evoke commendation or provoke condemnation. Through the prisms of history, literature, psychology, criminal justice, oral history, African American studies, political science, film studies, and anthropology, Terrible Swift Sword offers insights not only into John Brown's controversial character and motives, but also into the nature of a troubled society before, during, and after the Civil War. The discussions include reasons why Brown's contemporaries supported him, attempts to define Brown using different criteria, analyses of Brown's behavior, his depiction in literature, and examinations of the iconography surrounding him.The interdisciplinary focus marshalled by editor Peggy A. Russo makes Terrible Swift Sword unique, and this, together with the popular mythology surrounding the legend of John Brown, will appeal to a broad audience of readers interested in this turbulent moment in American history.Paul Finkelman is Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law. He is the author of many articles and books, including His Soul Goes Marching On: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid and the Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference Peggy Russo is an assistant professor of English at the Mont Alto Campus of Pennsylvania State University. She has published in Shakespeare Bulletin, The Southern Literary Journal, Journal of American Culture, Shakespeare and the Classroom, and Civil War Book Review.