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American Abolitionism and Antislavery

Book proposals and CVs should be sent to:
Dr. John David Smith
Department of History
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
9201 University City Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28223–0001 USA
jdsmith4@uncc.edu
John David Smith, Editor
American Abolitionism and Antislavery is a series that presents the best scholarship on antislavery activism and abolitionism in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century United States. The series includes books by promising young scholars as well as by established leaders in the field. Volumes appropriate for the series include biographies, monographs, anthologies, and new editions of classic works on the antislavery and abolitionist crusades.

Her Voice Will Be on the Side of Right

| Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, Explore Women's History, Literature & Literary Criticism, Recent Releases, Understanding Civil War History, Women’s Studies
Kent cover

Decades before the Civil War, the free American public was gripped by increasingly acrimonious debates about the nation’s “peculiar institution” of slavery. Ministers considered the morality of slavery from their pulpits, legislators debated it in the halls of government, professors discussed it in their classrooms, and citizens argued about it in their communities. Antislavery women wrote novels and stories designed to convince free Americans about slavery’s evils, to discuss the future of abolitionism, and to debate the proper roles of free and enslaved women in the antislavery struggle. Many antebellum writers and editors believed fiction was an especially genderappropriate medium for women to express their ideas publicly and a decidedly effective medium for reaching female readers. Believing that women were naturally more empathetic and imaginative than men, writers and editors hoped that powerfully told stories about enslaved people’s sufferings would be invaluable in converting free female readers to abolitionism.

 


African Canadians in Union Blue

| Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, Award Winners, Civil War Era, Discover Black History, Military History, Understanding Civil War History
Reid Cover

When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, he also authorized the U.S. Army to recruit black soldiers for the war effort. Nearly 200,000 men answered the call, and several thousand of them came from Canada. What compelled these men to leave the relative comfort and safety of home to fight in a foreign war? In African Canadians in Union Blue, Richard M. Reid sets out in search of an answer and discovers a group of men whose courage and contributions open a window on the changing understanding of the American Civil War and the ties that held black communities together even as the borders around them shifted and were torn asunder.

 


One Nation Divided by Slavery

| Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, American History, Understanding Civil War History
Conlin cover

In the two decades before the Civil War, free Americans engaged in “history wars” every bit as ferocious as those waged today over the proposed National History Standards or the commemoration at the Smithsonian Institution of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. In One Nation Divided by Slavery, author Michael F. Conlin investigates the different ways antebellum Americans celebrated civic holidays, read the Declaration of Independence, and commemorated Revolutionary War battles, revealing much about their contrasting views of American nationalism.

 


To Plead Our Own Cause

| Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, Civil War Era, Discover Black History, History
Cameron_Plead-hr

The antislavery movement entered an important new phase when William Lloyd Garrison began publishing the Liberator in 1831—a phase marked by massive petition campaigns, the extraordinary mobilization of female activists, and the creation of organizations such as the American Anti-Slavery Society. While the period from 1831 to 1865 is known as the heyday of radical abolitionism, the work of Garrison’s predecessors in Massachusetts was critical in laying the foundation for antebellum abolitionism. To Plead Our Own Cause explores the significant contributions of African Americans in the Bay State to both local and nationwide antislavery activity before 1831 and demonstrates that their efforts represent nothing less than the beginning of organized abolitionist activity in America.

 


Denmark Vesey’s Revolt

and | Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, Discover Black History, History
Lofton cover

In 1822, Denmark Vesey was found guilty of plotting an insurrection—what would have been the biggest slave uprising in U.S. history. In Denmark Vesey’s Revolt, John Lofton draws upon primary sources to examine the trial and provide, as Peter Hoffer says in his new introduction, “one of the most sensible and measured” accounts of the subject. This classic book was originally published in 1964 as Insurrection in South Carolina: The Turbulent World of Denmark Vesey, and then reissued by the Kent State University Press in 1983 as Denmark Vesey’s Revolt: The Slave Plot That Lit a Fuse to Fort Sumter.

 


A Self-Evident Lie

| Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, History
Tewell

A Self-Evident Lie explores and underscores the fear and complex meaning of “slavery” to northerners before the Civil War. Many northerners asked: If slavery was the beneficent and paternalistic institution that southerners claimed, could it not be applied with equal morality to whites as well as blacks? Republicans repeatedly expressed concern that proslavery arguments were not inherently racial. Irrespective of race, anyone could fall victim to the argument that they were “inferior,” that they would be better off enslaved, that their enslavement served the interests of society, or that their subjugation was justified by history and religion.

 


The Imperfect Revolution

| Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, Discover Black History, History
Barker Book Cover

On June 2, 1854, crowds lined the streets of Boston, hissing and shouting at federal authorities as they escorted the fugitive slave Anthony Burns to the ship that would return him to his slaveholders in Virginia. Days earlier, handbills had littered the streets decrying Burns’s arrest, and abolitionists, intent on freeing Burns, had attacked with a battering ram the courthouse in which he was detained, leaving one dead, several wounded, and thirteen in custody. In the end it would take federal officials nearly 2,000 troops and $40,000 to send Burns back to Virginia. No fugitive slave would be captured in Boston again.