The Abolitionists and the South, 1831-1861

The Abolitionists and the South, 1831-1861

Stanley Harrold
Copyright Date: 1995
Edition: 1
Pages: 234
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt130j2tz
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  • Book Info
    The Abolitionists and the South, 1831-1861
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4824-3
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Map
    (pp. vi-viii)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-8)

    This is a book about the American antislavery movement, the nation’s most important reform movement of the nineteenth century. The antislavery effort contributed to the coming of the Civil War and affected issues of race in ways that continue to impact American society on the verge of the twenty-first century. Because of its importance, the antislavery movement has inspired countless studies. Many of them focus on the abolitionists—the men and women who were the most outspoken opponents of slavery. The purpose of this book is to clarify the characteristics and role of these individuals by analyzing their involvement in...

  6. Chapter One THE SOUTH IN ANTISLAVERY HISTORY
    (pp. 9-25)

    Now and then during the past century and a half historians have investigated the role of the border slave states in the development of the antislavery movement in nineteenth-century America. The subject is difficult to resist. In the tier of states stretching westward from Delaware to Missouri, northerners and southerners, slaves and free laborers, slaveholders and abolitionists met on what historian Barbara Jeanne Fields calls the “middle ground.” Such a setting, where different economies, politics, cultures, and ethics mingled, has high potential for historical drama. In recent studies focused on the South, Fields, William W. Freehling, and Merton L. Dillon...

  7. Chapter Two AN IMAGE OF A SOUTHERN WHITE EMANCIPATOR
    (pp. 26-44)

    In 1857 Hiram Foote was a twenty-five-year veteran in the antislavery cause. He had lectured against slavery in New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin. But to his mind none of his efforts measured up to those of William S. Bailey, an obscure opponent of slavery who, with the aid of his family, published an abolitionist newspaper in the slaveholding commonwealth of Kentucky. Foote pictured the Baileys, “father, mother and children, even the little ones, toiling amid obloquy, reproach, and savage foes, to redeem their noble State from the dreadful sin and curse of slavery! Mortgaging the homestead, working till midnight...

  8. Chapter Three AN IMAGE OF A SOUTHERN BLACK LIBERATOR
    (pp. 45-63)

    “Slaveholders have but one alternative, either to emancipate their slaves voluntarily, and thus escape the danger they dread, or have the slaves emancipate themselves by force,” said the Reverend Amos A. Phelps of Massachusetts in 1834. Phelps, who had a year earlier helped organize the AASS, observed that “the colored population of the South is rapidly increasing” and predicted that '' half a century will not pass, before they will have become a great mighty people . . . . a mass of physical strength that will not always sleep.”¹ Phelps’s prediction was blunt The South had to free the...

  9. Chapter Four JOHN BROWN’S FORERUNNERS
    (pp. 64-83)

    “Seven of our citizens are now in southern prisons,” the abolitionist editor of theGreen Mountain Freemanobserved in December 1844.¹ The seven included two students and a carpenter from a school for missionaries in Illinois, two ministers from New York, a Cape Cod seaman, and a schoolteacher from Vermont. They were only the better known of scores of people from the North who had ventured into the slave states to undertake what theFreeman’seditor believed was a holy mission to help slaves escape from bondage. During the next six years there would be other well-publicized cases in which...

  10. Chapter Five PREACHING AN ABOLITIONIST GOSPEL IN THE SOUTH
    (pp. 84-106)

    As images of southern white emancipators, daring slave rescuers, and heroic slave rebels proliferated within northern abolitionist reform culture in the 1840s, evangelical and political abolitionists of diverse backgrounds began to demand a revival of a religious campaign to directly impact the South. As early as 1839 Charles T. Torrey publicly asked, “What say you to a NEW MISSIONARY SOCIETY, to ‘evangelize the slaveholders’ and their slaves? whose missionaries shall preach that ‘the laborer isworthyof his hire?’ . . . who shall in spite of slavery and its bloody laws,teach the slaves to read the Bible,and...

  11. Chapter Six ANTISLAVERY COLONIES IN THE UPPER SOUTH
    (pp. 107-126)

    In the spring of 1859 John C. Underwood wrote to Oliver Johnson of the GarrisonianNational Anti-Slavery Standardto promote a “plan of Christian colonization of the border slave States by organized emigration.” Underwood, a Republican, a former Liberty party abolitionist, and a sometimes resident of the slave state of Virginia, was the leader of the American Emigrant Aid and Homestead Company. Claiming that his experience in Virginia had convinced him “that a given amount of effort in favor of freedom in the presence of slavery will produce ten times the effect of the same effort at a distance,” he...

  12. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  13. Chapter Seven THE INTERSECTIONAL POLITICS OF SOUTHERN ABOLITIONISM
    (pp. 127-148)

    “I greatly rejoice at your visit to our state. The effect has been, and will continue to be most salutary,” John G. Fee told George W. Julian of Indiana in November 1852. Julian was the Free Soil vice presidential nominee that year, and by coming to Kentucky he became the first member of an antislavery national ticket to campaign in a slave state. Historians of the sectional conflict have regarded such forays of northern antislavery politicians into the upper South as quixotic. They have portrayed the hopes of liberty abolitionists, Free Soilers, and Republicans for political antislavery progress in the...

  14. Chapter Eight LEGACIES
    (pp. 149-171)

    In 1877, sixty-one-year-old Calvin Fairbank served as the superintendent of the Moore Street Missionary Society of Richmond, Virginia, which provided an industrial education to African Americans. Fairbank, who was remembered for the imprisonment he had suffered as a result of his efforts to rescue slaves, retained the respect of black leaders. He joined with them in the belief that the risks he took three decades earlier had helped prepare the way for general emancipation after the Civil War. He regarded that war as the culmination of his antislavery actions and revered Abraham Lincoln as the instrument of God’s design. Fairbank...

  15. NOTES
    (pp. 172-218)
  16. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 219-236)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 237-245)