This substantial treasury contains hundreds of lettersexchanged by African Americans and abolitionists in thetumultuous decades preceding the Civil War. It recapturesthe voices of slaves and freemen, lawyers, ministers, andpolitical and philosophical leaders, including FrederickDouglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and many others. Notavailable elsewhere, this essential reference for students ofAmerican history and politics provides a nuanced portrait ofabolitionist politics during the sixty years that led up to theCivil War.Reprint of The Association for the Study of Negro Life andHistory, Washington, DC, 1926 edition.
the mind of the negro as reflected in letters during the crisis 1800 1860
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This volume chronicles the media's role in reshaping American life during the tumultuous nineteenth century by focusing specifically on the presentation of race and gender in the newspapers and magazines of the time. The work is divided into four parts: Part I, "Race Reporting," details the various ways in which America's racial minorities were portrayed; Part II, "Fires of Discontent," looks at the moral and religious opposition to slavery by the abolitionist movement and demonstrates how that opposition was echoed by African Americans themselves; Part III, "The Cult of True Womanhood," examines the often disparate ways in which American women were portrayed in the national media as they assumed a greater role in public and private life; and Part IV, "Transcending the Boundaries," traces the lives of pioneering women journalists who sought to alter and expand their gender's participation in American life, showing how the changing role of women led to various journalistic attempts to depict and define women through sensationalistic news coverage of female crime stories.
A bibliography of writing by and about African-American women lists writing by African-American women whose earliest publication appeared before 1910, and includes a supplemental bibliography listing writings published 1911 to the present day.
On a September afternoon in 1853, three African American men from St. Philip's Church walked into the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and took their seats among five hundred wealthy and powerful white church leaders. Ultimately, and with great reluctance, the Convention had acceded to the men's request: official recognition for St. Philip's, the first African American Episcopal church in New York City. In Faith in Their Own Color, Craig D. Townsend tells the remarkable story of St. Philip's and its struggle to create an autonomous and independent church. His work unearths a forgotten chapter in the history of New York City and African Americans and sheds new light on the ways religious faith can both reinforce and overcome racial boundaries. Founded in 1809, St. Philip's had endured a fire; a riot by anti-abolitionists that nearly destroyed the church; and more than forty years of discrimination by the Episcopalian hierarchy. In contrast to the majority of African Americans, who were flocking to evangelical denominations, the congregation of St. Philip's sought to define itself within an overwhelmingly white hierarchical structure. Their efforts reflected the tension between their desire for self-determination, on the one hand, and acceptance by a white denomination, on the other. The history of St. Philip's Church also illustrates the racism and extraordinary difficulties African Americans confronted in antebellum New York City, where full abolition did not occur until 1827. Townsend describes the constant and complex negotiation of the divide between black and white New Yorkers. He also recounts the fascinating stories of historically overlooked individuals who built and fought for St. Philip's, including Rev. Peter Williams, the second African American ordained in the Episcopal Church; Dr. James McCune Smith, the first African American to earn an M.D.; pickling magnate Henry Scott; the combative priest Alexander Crummell; and John Jay II, the grandson of the first chief justice of the Supreme Court and an ardent abolitionist, who helped secure acceptance of St. Philip's.
Religion has always been a focal element in the long and tortured history of American ideas about race. In The Burden of Black Religion, Curtis Evans traces ideas about African American religion from the antebellum period to the middle of the twentieth century. Central to the story, he argues, was the deep-rooted notion that blacks were somehow "naturally" religious. At first, this assumed natural impulse toward religion served as a signal trait of black people's humanity -- potentially their unique contribution to American culture. Abolitionists seized on this point, linking black religion to the black capacity for freedom. Soon, however, these first halting steps toward a multiracial democracy were reversed. As Americans began to value reason, rationality, and science over religious piety, the idea of an innate black religiosity was used to justify preserving the inequalities of the status quo. Later, social scientists -- both black and white -- sought to reverse the damage caused by these racist ideas and in the process proved that blacks were in fact fully capable of incorporation into white American culture. This important work reveals how interpretations of black religion played a crucial role in shaping broader views of African Americans and had real consequences in their lives. In the process, Evans offers an intellectual and cultural history of race in a crucial period of American history.
Gathers writings on Black nationalism from Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, and Alexander Crummell
Against Wind and Tide tells the story of African American’s battle against the American Colonization Society (ACS), founded in 1816 with the intention to return free blacks to its colony Liberia. Although ACS members considered free black colonization in Africa a benevolent enterprise, most black leaders rejected the ACS, fearing that the organization sought forced removal. As Ousmane K. Power-Greene’s story shows, these African American anticolonizationists did not believe Liberia would ever be a true “black American homeland.” In this study of anticolonization agitation, Power-Greene draws on newspapers, meeting minutes, and letters to explore the concerted effort on the part of nineteenth century black activists, community leaders, and spokespersons to challenge the American Colonization Society’s attempt to make colonization of free blacks federal policy. The ACS insisted the plan embodied empowerment. The United States, they argued, would never accept free blacks as citizens, and the only solution to the status of free blacks was to create an autonomous nation that would fundamentally reject racism at its core. But the activists and reformers on the opposite side believed that the colonization movement was itself deeply racist and in fact one of the greatest obstacles for African Americans to gain citizenship in the United States. Power-Greene synthesizes debates about colonization and emigration, situating this complex and enduring issue into an ever broader conversation about nation building and identity formation in the Atlantic world.
In the spring of 1848 seventy-six slaves from the nation's capital hid aboard a schooner called the Pearl in an attempt to sail down the Potomac River and up the Chesapeake Bay to freedom in Pennsylvania. When inclement weather forced them to anchor for the night, the fugitive slaves and the ship's crew were captured and returned to Washington. Many of the slaves were sold to the Lower South, and two men sailing the Pearl were tried and sentenced to prison. Recounting this harrowing tale from the preparations for escape through the participants' trial, Josephine Pacheco provides fresh insight into the lives of enslaved blacks in the District of Columbia, putting a human face on the victims of the interstate slave trade, whose lives have been overshadowed by larger historical events. Pacheco also details the Congressional debates about slavery that resulted from this large-scale escape attempt. She contends that although the incident itself and the trials and Congressional disputes that followed were not directly responsible for bringing an end to the slave trade in the nation's capital, they played a pivotal role in publicizing many of the issues surrounding slavery. Eventually, President Millard Fillmore pardoned the operators of the Pearl.
In the early morning of April 12, 1861, Captain George S. James ordered the bombardment of Fort Sumter, beginning a war that would last four horrific years and claim a staggering number of lives. Since that fateful day, the debate over the causes of the American Civil War has never ceased. What events were instrumental in bringing it about? How did individuals and institutions function? What did Northerners and Southerners believe in the decades of strife preceding the war? What steps did they take to avoid war? Indeed, was the great armed conflict avoidable at all? Why the Civil War Came brings a talented chorus of voices together to recapture the feel of a very different time and place, helping the reader to grasp more fully the commencement of our bloodiest war. From William W. Freehling's discussion of the peculiarities of North American slavery to Charles Royster's disturbing piece on the combatants' savage readiness to fight, the contributors bring to life the climate of a country on the brink of disaster. Mark Summers, for instance, depicts the tragically jubilant first weeks of Northern recruitment, when Americans on both sides were as yet unaware of the hellish slaughter that awaited them. Glenna Matthews underscores the important war-catalyzing role played by extraordinary public women, who proved that neither side of the Mason-Dixon line was as patriarchal as is thought. David Blight reveals an African-American world that "knew what time it was," and welcomed war. And Gabor Boritt examines the struggle's central figure, Lincoln himself, illuminating in the years leading up to the war a blindness on the future president's part, an unwillingness to confront the looming calamity that was about to smash the nation asunder. William E. Gienapp notes perhaps the most unsettling fact about the Civil War, that democratic institutions could not resolve the slavery issue without resorting to violence on an epic scale. With gripping detail, Why the Civil War Came takes readers back to a country fraught with bitterness, confusion, and hatred--a country ripe for a war of unprecedented bloodshed--to show why democracy failed, and violence reigned.
Although nine of the former British colonies joined the United States before Virginia, the fate of the new republic depended heavily on the Commonwealth. With four of the first five American presidents, and many other founding fathers and framers of the Constitution, calling Virginia their home, the roots of American democracy are firmly planted within the borders of the Old Dominion. Similarly, several Southern states preceded Virginia in seceding from the Union, but until Virginia joined them in April 1861, the Confederacy lacked cohesion. Richmond was immediately named the capital of the fledgling nation, and by the end of spring, Virginia had become the primary political and military theater in which the grand tragedy of the Civil War was enacted. Virginia at War, 1861, edited by acclaimed historians William C. Davis and James I. Robertson Jr., vividly portrays the process of secession, the early phases of conflict, and the struggles of Virginians to weather the brutal storms of war. Virginia at War, 1861 is the first in a series of volumes on each of Virginia's five years as a Confederate state. Essays by eight noted Civil War scholars provide a three-dimensional view of Virginians' experiences during the first year of the War Between the States. In addition to recounting the remarkable military events taking place in Virginia in 1861, this collection examines a civilian population braced for war but divided on crucial questions, an economy pressed to cope with the demands of combat, and a culture that strained to reconcile its proud heritage with its uncertain future. In 1861, the outcome of the Civil War was far from determined, but for Virginians there was little doubt that the war experience would alter nearly everything they had known before the outbreak of hostilities. In exacting detail, Virginia at War, 1861 examines the earliest challenges of the Civil War, the changes war wrought, and the ways in which Virginians withstood and adapted to this profound, irrevocable upheaval.