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Slavery On Trial

Author: Jeannine Marie DeLombard
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807887738
Size: 28.95 MB
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America's legal consciousness was high during the era that saw the imprisonment of abolitionist editor William Lloyd Garrison, the execution of slave revolutionary Nat Turner, and the hangings of John Brown and his Harpers Ferry co-conspirators. Jeannine Marie DeLombard examines how debates over slavery in the three decades before the Civil War employed legal language to "try" the case for slavery in the court of public opinion via popular print media. Discussing autobiographies by Frederick Douglass, a scandal narrative about Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist speech by Henry David Thoreau, sentimental fiction by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and a proslavery novel by William MacCreary Burwell, DeLombard argues that American literature of the era cannot be fully understood without an appreciation for the slavery debate in the courts and in print. Combining legal, literary, and book history approaches, Slavery on Trial provides a refreshing alternative to the official perspectives offered by the nation's founding documents, legal treatises, statutes, and judicial decisions. DeLombard invites us to view the intersection of slavery and law as so many antebellum Americans did--through the lens of popular print culture.

Double Character

Author: Ariela J. Gross
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 082032860X
Size: 59.26 MB
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This groundbreaking study of the law and culture of slavery in the antebellum Deep South takes readers into local courtrooms where people settled their civil disputes over property. Buyers sued sellers for breach of warranty when they considered slaves to be physically or morally defective; owners sued supervisors who whipped or neglected slaves under their care. How, asks Ariela J. Gross, did communities reconcile the dilemmas such trials raised concerning the character of slaves and masters? Although slaves could not testify in court, their character was unavoidably at issue--and so their moral agency intruded into the courtroom. In addition, says Gross, "wherever the argument that black character depended on management by a white man appeared, that white man's good character depended on the demonstration that bad black character had other sources." This led, for example, to physicians testifying that pathologies, not any shortcomings of their master, drove slaves to became runaways. Gross teases out other threads of complexity woven into these trials: the ways that legal disputes were also affairs of honor between white men; how witnesses and litigants based their views of slaves' character on narratives available in the culture at large; and how law reflected and shaped racial ideology. Combining methods of cultural anthropology, quantitative social history, and critical race theory, Double Character brings to life the law as a dramatic ritual in people's daily lives, and advances critical historical debates about law, honor, and commerce in the American South.

African American Voices

Author: Steven Mintz
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781444310771
Size: 33.55 MB
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A succinct, up-to-date overview of the history of slavery that places American slavery in comparative perspective. Provides students with more than 70 primary documents on the history of slavery in America Includes extensive excerpts from slave narratives, interviews with former slaves, and letters by African Americans that document the experience of bondage Comprehensive headnotes introduce each selection A Visual History chapter provides images to supplement the written documents Includes an extensive bibliography and bibliographic essay

In The Shadow Of The Gallows

Author: Jeannine Marie DeLombard
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812206339
Size: 38.71 MB
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From Puritan Execution Day rituals to gangsta rap, the black criminal has been an enduring presence in American culture. To understand why, Jeannine Marie DeLombard insists, we must set aside the lenses of pathology and persecution and instead view the African American felon from the far more revealing perspectives of publicity and personhood. When the Supreme Court declared in Dred Scott that African Americans have "no rights which the white man was bound to respect," it overlooked the right to due process, which ensured that black offenders—even slaves—appeared as persons in the eyes of the law. In the familiar account of African Americans' historical shift "from plantation to prison," we have forgotten how, for a century before the Civil War, state punishment affirmed black political membership in the breach, while a thriving popular crime literature provided early America's best-known models of individual black selfhood. Before there was the slave narrative, there was the criminal confession. Placing the black condemned at the forefront of the African American canon allows us to see how a later generation of enslaved activists—most notably, Frederick Douglass—could marshal the public presence and civic authority necessary to fashion themselves as eligible citizens. At the same time, in an era when abolitionists were charging Americans with the national crime of "manstealing," a racialized sense of culpability became equally central to white civic identity. What, for African Americans, is the legacy of a citizenship grounded in culpable personhood? For white Americans, must membership in a nation built on race slavery always betoken guilt? In the Shadow of the Gallows reads classics by J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, George Lippard, and Edward Everett Hale alongside execution sermons, criminal confessions, trial transcripts, philosophical treatises, and political polemics to address fundamental questions about race, responsibility, and American civic belonging.

John Brown S Trial

Author: Brian McGinty
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674035178
Size: 56.99 MB
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Mixing idealism with violence, abolitionist John Brown cut a wide swath across the United States before winding up in Virginia, where he led an attack on the U.S. armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Supported by a "provisional army" of 21 men, Brown hoped to rouse the slaves in Virginia to rebellion. But he was quickly captured and, after a short but stormy trial, hanged on December 2, 1859. Brian McGinty provides the first comprehensive account of the trial, which raised important questions about jurisdiction, judicial fairness, and the nature of treason under the American constitutional system.

The Power To Die

Author: Terri L. Snyder
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022628073X
Size: 19.42 MB
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The history of slavery in early America is a history of suicide. On ships crossing the Atlantic, enslaved men and women refused to eat or leaped into the ocean. They strangled or hanged themselves. They tore open their own throats. In America, they jumped into rivers or out of windows, or even ran into burning buildings. Faced with the reality of enslavement, countless Africans chose death instead. In The Power to Die, Terri L. Snyder excavates the history of slave suicide, returning it to its central place in early American history. How did people—traders, plantation owners, and, most importantly, enslaved men and women themselves—view and understand these deaths, and how did they affect understandings of the institution of slavery then and now? Snyder draws on ships’ logs, surgeons' journals, judicial and legislative records, newspaper accounts, abolitionist propaganda and slave narratives, and many other sources to build a grim picture of slavery’s toll and detail the ways in which suicide exposed the contradictions of slavery, serving as a powerful indictment that resonated throughout the Anglo-Atlantic world and continues to speak to historians today.

Early African American Print Culture

Author: Lara Langer Cohen
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812206290
Size: 10.44 MB
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The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw both the consolidation of American print culture and the establishment of an African American literary tradition, yet the two are too rarely considered in tandem. In this landmark volume, a stellar group of established and emerging scholars ranges over periods, locations, and media to explore African Americans' diverse contributions to early American print culture, both on the page and off. The book's chapters consider domestic novels and gallows narratives, Francophone poetry and engravings of Liberia, transatlantic lyrics and San Francisco newspapers. Together, they consider how close attention to the archive can expand the study of African American literature well beyond matters of authorship to include issues of editing, illustration, circulation, and reading—and how this expansion can enrich and transform the study of print culture more generally.

The Slave S Cause

Author: Manisha Sinha
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300182082
Size: 77.15 MB
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Received historical wisdom casts abolitionists as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. Manisha Sinha overturns this image, broadening her scope beyond the antebellum period usually associated with abolitionism and recasting it as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in causes ranging from feminism and utopian socialism to anti-imperialism and efforts to defend the rights of labor. Drawing on extensive archival research, including newly discovered letters and pamphlets, Sinha documents the influence of the Haitian Revolution and the centrality of slave resistance in shaping the ideology and tactics of abolition. This book is a comprehensive new history of the abolition movement in a transnational context. It illustrates how the abolitionist vision ultimately linked the slave’s cause to the struggle to redefine American democracy and human rights across the globe.

Slave Law In The American South

Author: Mark V. Tushnet
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN:
Size: 71.20 MB
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Slavery in the American South could not have existed without the authority of law defining slaves as the property of their masters. But the fact that slaves were also human beings placed limits on this harsh reality. When the rigor of the law and the complex bonds of sentiment linking master and slave came into conflict, masters looked to the courts. In one such case, "State v. Mann, North Carolina Supreme Court justice Thomas Ruffin ruled that masters could not be prosecuted for assaulting their slaves. In articulating the legal basis for his decision, Justice Ruffin also revealed his own view of the "logic of slavery," in which he sanctioned the owner's rights even as he expressed his own horror at the mistreatment of the slave. Mark Tushnet, one of the foremost living authorities on antebellum slave law, now shows how studying such a simple case can illuminate an entire society. For those who detested slavery, the case represented all that was intolerable about that institution; for those who defended it, it raised vexing and persistent issues that could not be wished away. As further testament to the importance of "State V. Mann, Harriett Beecher Stowe even made it central to her second antislavery novel, "Dred. Tushnet discusses the opinion's place in the novel--in which she quoted liberally from Ruffin's decision--and evaluates other historians' interpretations of both the opinion and Stowe's provocative novel. Tushnet provides a finely detailed analysis of Ruffin's opinion, portraying the judge as a man compelled by law to uphold the slaveowner's right while moved as a Christian by the slave's maltreatment and ever hopeful that communal morality and a deep-seated sense of honorwould moderate the excesses of slave owners. As Tushnet shows, however, slave law was a means for maintaining the ideological hegemony of the Southern master class. "Slave Law in the American South paints a broad picture of a

Women In The World Of Frederick Douglass

Author: Leigh Fought
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199782377
Size: 49.42 MB
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"In his extensive writings, Frederick Douglass revealed little about the private side of his life. But Douglass had a complicated array of relationships with women: white and black, wives and lovers, mistresses-owners, and sisters and daughters. Leigh Fought aims to reveal more about the life of the famed abolitionist off the public stage. She begins with the women he knew during his life as a slave--his mother, whom he barely knew; his grandmother, who raised him; and his slave mistresses, including the one who taught him how to read. Readers will learn about Douglass's two wives--Anna Murray, a free woman who helped him escape to freedom and become a famous speaker herself, and later Helen Pitts, a white woman who was politically engaged and played the public role of the wife of a celebrity. Also central to Douglass's story were women involved in the abolitionist and reform movements, including two white women, Julia Griffiths and Ottilia Assing, critical to the success of his abolitionist newspaper. At the same time, white female abolitionists would be among Douglass's chief critics when he supported the 15th amendment that denied the vote to women, and black women, such as Ida B. Wells-Barnett, would become some of his new political collaborators. Fought also looks at the next generation, specifically through Douglass's daughter Rosetta, who literally acted as a go-between for her parents, since her mother, Anna Murray, had limited literacy. This biography of the circle of women around Frederick Douglass promises to show the connections between his public and private life, as well as reveal connections among enslaved women, free black women, abolitionist circles, and nineteenth-century politics and culture in the North and South before and after the Civil War"--