"My husband considered you a dear friend," Mary Todd Lincoln wrote to Frederick Douglass in the weeks after Lincoln's assassination. The frontier lawyer and the former slave, the cautious politician and the fiery reformer, the President and the most famous black man in America--their lives traced different paths that finally met in the bloody landscape of secession, Civil War, and emancipation. Opponents at first, they gradually became allies, each influenced by and attracted to the other. Their three meetings in the White House signaled a profound shift in the direction of the Civil War, and in the fate of the United States. James Oakes has written a masterful narrative history, bringing two iconic figures to life and shedding new light on the central issues of slavery, race, and equality in Civil War America.
At Buffalo Forge, an extensive ironmaking and farming enterprise in Virginia before the Civil War, a unique treasury of materials yields an "engrossing, often surprising record of everyday life on an estate in the antebellum South" (Kirkus Reviews).
Originally published in 1863, out-of-print and unavailable for almost a century, Frances Anne Kemble's Journal has long been recognized by historians as unique in the literature of American slavery and invaluable for obtaining a clear view of the "peculiar institution" and of life in the antebellum South.Fanny Kemble was one of the leading lights of the English stage in the nineteenth century. During a tour of America in the 1830s she met and married a wealthy Philadelphian, Pierce Butler, part of whose fortune derived from his family's vast cotton and rice plantation on the Sea Islands of Georgia. After their marriage she spent several months living on the plantation. Profoundly shocked by what she saw, she recorded her observations of plantation life in a series of journal entries written as letters to a friend. But she never sent the letters, and not until the Civil War was on and Fanny was divorced from Pierce Butler and living in England were they published. This Brown Thrasher edition incorporates the valuable introduction written by John A. Scott for the 1961 edition published by Alfred A. Knopf, together with the editor's appendices to that edition. It provides the modern reader with the historical and biographical background to move freely and with ease in Mrs. Kemble's world.
" Kaplan] tells this story with precision and eloquence." --Seattle Times
"An eye-opening biography from a trusted source on the topic." --Kirkus Review
"Elegantly written and thoroughly researched." --Publishers Weekly
The acclaimed biographer, with a thought-provoking exploration of how Abraham Lincoln's and John Quincy Adams' experiences with slavery and race shaped their differing viewpoints, provides both perceptive insights into these two great presidents and a revealing perspective on race relations in modern America.
Lincoln, who in afterlife became mythologized as the Great Emancipator, was shaped by the values of the white America into which he was born. While he viewed slavery as a moral crime abhorrent to American principles, he disapproved of anti-slavery activists. Until the last year of his life, he advocated voluntary deportation, concerned that free blacks in a white society would result in centuries of conflict. In 1861, he had reluctantly taken the nation to war to save it. While this devastating struggle would preserve the Union, it would also abolish slavery--creating the biracial democracy Lincoln feared. John Quincy Adams, forty years earlier, was convinced that only a civil war would end slavery and preserve the Union. An antislavery activist, he had concluded that a multiracial America was inevitable.
Lincoln and the Abolitionists, a frank look at Lincoln, warts and all, provides an in-depth look at how these two presidents came to see the issues of slavery and race, and how that understanding shaped their perspectives. In a far-reaching historical narrative, Fred Kaplan offers a nuanced appreciation of both these great men and the events that have characterized race relations in America for more than a century--a legacy that continues to haunt us all.
The book has a colorful supporting cast from the relatively obscure Dorcas Allen, Moses Parsons, Violet Parsons, Theophilus Parsons, Phoebe Adams, John King, Charles Fenton Mercer, Phillip Doddridge, David Walker, Usher F. Linder, and H. Ford Douglas to Elijah Lovejoy, Francis Scott Key, William Channing, Wendell Phillips, and Rufus King. The cast includes Hannibal Hamlin, Lincoln's first vice president, and James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, the two presidents on either side of Lincoln. And it includes Abigail Adams, John Adams, Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and Frederick Douglass, who hold honored places in the American historical memory.
The subject of this book is slavery and racism, the paradox of Lincoln, our greatest president, as an antislavery moralist who believed in an exclusively white America; and Adams, our most brilliant statesman, as an antislavery activist who had no doubt that the United States would become a multiracial nation. It is as much about the present as the past.
"The time has come now," Abraham Lincoln told his cabinet as he presented the preliminary draft of a "Proclamation of Emancipation." Lincoln's effort to end slavery has been controversial from its inception-when it was denounced by some as an unconstitutional usurpation and by others as an inadequate half-measure-up to the present, as historians have discounted its import and impact. At the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, Louis Masur seeks to restore the document's reputation by exploring its evolution.
"Lincoln's Hundred Days" is the first book to tell the full story of the critical period between September 22, 1862, when Lincoln issued his preliminary Proclamation, and January 1, 1863, when he signed the final, significantly altered, decree. In those tumultuous hundred days, as battlefield deaths mounted, debate raged. Masur commands vast primary sources to portray the daily struggles and enormous consequences of the president's efforts as Lincoln led a nation through war and toward emancipation. With his deadline looming, Lincoln hesitated and calculated, frustrating friends and foes alike, as he reckoned with the anxieties and expectations of millions. We hear these concerns, from poets, cabinet members and foreign officials, from enlisted men on the front and free blacks as well as slaves.
Masur presents a fresh portrait of Lincoln as a complex figure who worried about, listened to, debated, prayed for, and even joked with his country, and then followed his conviction in directing America toward a terrifying and thrilling unknown.
On the night of Sunday, October 16, 1859, hoping to bring about the eventual end of slavery, radical abolitionist John Brown launched an armed attack at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Among his troops, there were only five black men, who have largely been treated as little more than "spear carriers" by Brown's many biographers and other historians of the antebellum era. This book brings one such man, John Anthony Copeland, directly to center stage. Copeland played a leading role in the momentous Oberlin slave rescue, and he successfully escorted a fugitive to Canada, making him an ideal recruit for Brown's invasion of Virginia. He fought bravely at Harpers Ferry, only to be captured and charged with murder and treason. With his trademark lively prose and compelling narrative style, Steven Lubet paints a vivid portrait of this young black man who gave his life for freedom.
12 Years a Slave is the harrowing account of a black man, born free in New York State, who was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in 1841. Having no way to contact his family, and fearing for his life if he told the truth, Solomon Northup was sold from plantation to plantation in Louisiana, toiling under cruel masters for twelve years before meeting Samuel Bass, a Canadian who finally put him in touch with his family, and helped start the process to regain his freedom. This extraordinary text is the basis for the major motion picture starring Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The practice of African slavery has been described as the United States's most shameful sin. Undoing this practice was a long, complex struggle that lasted centuries and ultimately drove America to a bitter civil war.
After an introduction that places the United States's form of slavery into a global, historical perspective, author T. Adams Upchurch shows how an ancient custom evolved into the American South's peculiar institution. The gripping narrative will fascinate readers, while excerpts from primary documents provide glimpses into the minds of key abolitionists and proslavery apologists. The book's glossary, annotated bibliography, and chronology will be indispensable tools for readers researching and writing papers on slavery or abolitionists, making this text ideal for high school and college-level students.
From early slave rebels to radical reformers of the Civil War era and beyond, the struggle to end slavery was a diverse, dynamic, and ramifying social movement. In this succinct narrative, Richard S. Newman examines the key people, themes, and ideas that animated abolitionism in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries in the United States and internationally. Filled with portraits of key abolitionists - including Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Anthony Benezet, Toussaint L'Ouverture, Elizabeth Heyrick, Richard Allen, and Angelina Grimk - the book highlights abolitionists' focus on social and political action. From the Underground Railroad and legal aid for oppressed people to legislative lobbying and military service, abolitionists employed every conceivable means to attack slavery and racial injustice. Their collective struggles helped bring down slavery - the most powerful economic and political institution of the age - across the Atlantic world and inspired generations of reformers.Sharply written and highly readable, Abolitionism: A Very Short Introduction offers an inspiring portrait of the men and women who dedicated their lives to fighting racial oppression. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
A small group of black and white American women who banded together in the 1830s and 1840s to remedy the evils of slavery and racism, the antislavery females included many who ultimately struggled for equal rights for women as well. Organizing fundraising fairs, writing pamphlets and giftbooks, circulating petitions, even speaking before promiscuous audiences including men and women--the antislavery women energetically created a diverse and dynamic political culture. A lively exploration of this nineteenth-century reform movement, The Abolitionist Sisterhood includes chapters on the principal female antislavery societies, discussions of black women's political culture in the antebellum North, articles on the strategies and tactics the antislavery women devised, a pictorial essay presenting rare graphics from both sides of abolitionist debates, and a final chapter comparing the experiences of the American and British women who attended the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London.-- "Slavery and Abolition"