U.s. History - Antebellum Period 1840-1860
American Expansionism, 1783-1860: A Manifest Destiny?
American Expansionism, 1783-1860
A Manifest Destiny?
Hardcover      ISBN: 1138835617

This new Seminar Study surveys the history of U.S. territorial expansion from the end of the American Revolution until 1860.

The book explores the concept of 'manifest destiny' and asks why, if expansion was 'manifest', there was such opposition to almost every expansionist incident. Paying attention to key themes often overlooked - Indian removal and the US government land sales policy, the book looks at both 'foreign' expansion such as the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and the war with Mexico in the 1840s and 'internal' expansion as American settlers moved west .

Finally, the book addresses the most recent historiographical trends in the subject and asks how Americans have dealt with the expansionist legacy.

Antebellum American Culture: An Interpretive Anthology
Antebellum American Culture
An Interpretive Anthology
Paperback      ISBN: 0271031255

First published in 1979, this volume offers students and teachers a unique view of American history prior to the Civil War. Distinguished historian David Brion Davis has chosen a diverse array of primary sources that show the actual concerns, hopes, fears, and understandings of ordinary antebellum Americans. He places these sources within a clear interpretive narrative that brings the documents to life and highlights themes that social and cultural historians have brought to our attention in recent years. Beginning with the family and the issue of socialization and influence, the units move on to struggles over access to wealth and power; the plight of "outsiders" in an "open" society; and ideals of progress, perfection, and mission. The reader of this volume hears a great diversity of voices but also grasps the unities that survived even the Civil War.

The Approaching Fury: Voices of the Storm, 1820-1861
The Approaching Fury
Voices of the Storm, 1820-1861
Paperback      ISBN: 0803269315

Biographer and historian Stephen B. Oates tells the story of the coming of the American Civil War through the voices and perspectives of thirteen principal players in the drama, from Thomas Jefferson and Henry Clay in the Missouri crisis of 1820 down to Stephen A. Douglas, Jefferson Davis, and Abraham Lincoln in the final crisis of 1861. This innovative approach shows the crucial role that perception of events played in the sectional hostilities that pushed the United States irreversibly toward a national calamity. Nat Turner, William Lloyd Garrison, John C. Calhoun, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Fitzhugh, John Brown, and Mary Boykin Chesnut also provide perspectives. Each character takes a turn onstage, narrating critical events in which he or she was a major participant or eyewitness. For the dramatic monologues, Oates draws on the actual words of his speakers-in letters, speeches, interviews, recollections, and other recorded utterances-and then simulates how, were they reminiscing aloud, they would describe these events in which they were the principal actors or witnesses. All the events and themes reflect the historical record. Stephen B. Oates is professor emeritus of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of sixteen books, including With Malice Toward None: A Life of Abraham Lincoln, winner of the Christopher Award; Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr., winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award; and The Whirlwind of War: Voices of the Storm, 1861-1865, available in a Bison Books edition.

Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad
Beyond the River
The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad
Paperback      ISBN: 0684870665
Beyond the River brings to brilliant life the dramatic story of the forgotten heroes of the Ripley, Ohio, line of the Underground Railroad.

From the highest hill above the town of Ripley, Ohio, you can see five bends in the Ohio River. You can see the hills of northern Kentucky and the rooftops of Ripley's riverfront houses. And you can see what the abolitionist John Rankin saw from his house at the top of that hill, where for nearly forty years he placed a lantern each night to guide fugitive slaves to freedom beyond the river.

In Beyond the River, Ann Hagedorn tells the remarkable story of the participants in the Ripley line of the Underground Railroad, bringing to life the struggles of the men and women, black and white, who fought "the war before the war" along the Ohio River. Determined in their cause, Rankin, his family, and his fellow abolitionists--some of them former slaves themselves--risked their lives to guide thousands of runaways safely across the river into the free state of Ohio, even when a sensational trial in Kentucky threatened to expose the Ripley "conductors." Rankin, the leader of the Ripley line and one of the early leaders of the antislavery movement, became nationally renowned after the publication of his Letters on American Slavery, a collection of letters he wrote to persuade his brother in Virginia to renounce slavery.

A vivid narrative about memorable people, Beyond the River is an inspiring story of courage and heroism that transports us to another era and deepens our understanding of the great social movement known as the Underground Railroad.
The Black Newspaper and the Chosen Nation
The Black Newspaper and the Chosen Nation
Hardcover      ISBN: 0820349402

The Black Newspaper and the Chosen Nation shows how antebellum African Americans used the newspaper as a means for translating their belief in black "chosenness" into plans and programs for black liberation. During the decades leading up the Civil War, the idea that God had marked black Americans as his chosen people on earth became a central article of faith in northern black communities, with black newspaper editors articulating it in their journals.

Benjamin Fagan shows how the early black press helped shape the relationship between black chosenness and the struggles for black freedom and equality in America, in the process transforming the very notion of a chosen American nation. Exploring how cultures of print helped antebellum black Americans apply their faith to struggles grand and small, The Black Newspaper and the Chosen Nation uses the vast and neglected archive of the early black press to shed new light on many of the central figures and questions of African American studies.
The Black Newspaper and the Chosen Nation
The Black Newspaper and the Chosen Nation
Paperback      ISBN: 0820354694

The Black Newspaper and the Chosen Nation shows how antebellum African Americans used the newspaper as a means for translating their belief in black "chosenness" into plans and programs for black liberation. During the decades leading up the Civil War, the idea that God had marked black Americans as his chosen people on earth became a central article of faith in northern black communities, with black newspaper editors articulating it in their journals.

Benjamin Fagan shows how the early black press helped shape the relationship between black chosenness and the struggles for black freedom and equality in America, in the process transforming the very notion of a chosen American nation. Exploring how cultures of print helped antebellum black Americans apply their faith to struggles grand and small, The Black Newspaper and the Chosen Nation uses the vast and neglected archive of the early black press to shed new light on many of the central figures and questions of African American studies.
Blood from the Sky: Miracles and Politics in the Early American Republic
Blood from the Sky
Miracles and Politics in the Early American Republic
Hardcover      ISBN: 0813939585

In the decades following the Revolution, the supernatural exploded across the American landscape--fabulous reports of healings, exorcisms, magic, and angels crossed the nation. Under First Amendment protections, new sects based on such miracles proliferated. At the same time, Enlightenment philosophers and American founders explicitly denied the possibility of supernatural events, dismissing them as deliberate falsehoods--and, therefore, efforts to suborn the state. Many feared that belief in the supernatural itself was a danger to democracy. In this way, miracles became a political problem and prompted violent responses in the religious communities of Prophetstown, Turtle Creek, and Nauvoo.

In Blood from the Sky, Adam Jortner argues that the astonishing breadth and extent of American miracles and supernaturalism following independence derived from Enlightenment ideas about proof and sensory evidence, offering a chance at certain belief in an uncertain religious climate. Jortner breaks new ground in explaining the rise of radical religion in antebellum America, revisiting questions of disenchantment, modernity, and religious belief in a history of astounding events that--as early Americans would have said--needed to be seen to be believed.

Bloody Dawn: The Christiana Riot and Racial Violence in the Antebellum North
Bloody Dawn
The Christiana Riot and Racial Violence in the Antebellum North
Paperback      ISBN: 019504634x

When four young men, slaves on Edward Gorsuch's Maryland farm, escaped to rural Pennsylvania in 1849, the owner swore he'd bring them back. Two years later, Gorsuch lay dead outside the farmhouse in Christiana where he'd tracked them down, as his federal posse retreated pell-mell before the armed might of local blacks--and the impact of the most notorious act of resistance against the federal Fugitive Slave Law was about to be felt across a divided nation.
Bloody Dawn vividly tells this dramatic story of escape, manhunt, riot, and the ensuing trial, detailing its importance in heightening the tensions that led to the Civil War. Thomas Slaughter's engaging narrative captures the full complexity of events and personalities: The four men fled after they were detected stealing grain for resale off the farm; Gorsuch, far from a brutal taskmaster, had pledged to release all his slaves when they reached the age of twenty-eight, but he relentlessly pursued the escapees out of a sense of wounded honor; and the African-American community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania that provided them refuge was already effectively organized for self-defense by a commanding former slave named William Parker. Slaughter paints a rich portrait of the ongoing struggles between local blacks and white kidnapping gangs, the climactic riot as neighbors responded to trumpet calls from the besieged runaway slaves, the escape to Canada of the central figures (aided by Frederick Douglass), and the government's urgent response (including the largest mass indictment for treason in our history)--leading to the trial for his life of a local white bystander accused of leading the rioting blacks. Slaughter not only draws out the great importance given to the riot in both the North and the South, but he uses legal records reaching back over half a century to uncover the thoughts of average people on race, slavery, and violence.
The Whiskey Rebellion, Slaughter's previous work of history, received widespread acclaim as "a vivid account" (The New York Times) and "an unusual combination of meticulous scholarship and engaging narrative" (The Philadelphia Inquirer). It was a selection of the History Book Club, and won both the National Historical Society Book Prize and the American Revolution Round Table Award. In Bloody Dawn, he once again weaves together the incisive insights of a professional historian with a gripping account of a dramatic moment in American history.

Class, Conflict, and Consensus: Antebellum Southern Community Studies
Class, Conflict, and Consensus
Antebellum Southern Community Studies
Hardcover      ISBN: 0313213100

Each the work of a specialist on the antebellum South, these essays address broad issues such as the slavery system, the growth of the cotton industry, and the growing sectional self-consciousness of the South. The authors' local, microcosmic approaches permit examination of subjects such as local justice, economic failure, slave marriages, and slave insurrection with an in-depth attention rarely possible in general works.

The Complete Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858
The Complete Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858
Paperback      ISBN: 0226020843

The Lincoln-Douglas debates remain our culture's model of what public political debate ought to be. This new edition of the complete transcripts of the debates and eyewitness interpretations of them (previously published under the title Created Equal?) includes a new Foreword by David Zarefsky.

Zarefsky analyzes the rhetoric of the speeches, showing how Lincoln and Douglas chose their arguments and initiated a debate that shook the nation. Their eloquent, statesmanlike discussion of the morality of slavery illustrates the masterful use of rhetorical strategies and tactics in the public forum: a form of discourse that has nearly disappeared from the political scene today.