American Antislavery Writings
Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation
James G. Basker
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Published to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, American Antislavery Writings is a landmark anthology that charts our nation’s long, heroic confrontation with its most poisonous evil. Here is the inspiring moral and political struggle whose evolution parallels the story of America itself. American Antislavery Writings recaptures the centrality of slavery as the defining moral crisis of our early history, the issue around which moral fury, deep conviction, and overpowering emotion crystallized into a movement, a counterculture, and a body of literature of enduring importance. To advance their cause, the opponents of slavery employed every available literary form: fiction and poetry, essay and autobiography, sermons, pamphlets, speeches, hymns, plays, even children’s literature. This is the first collection to take the full measure of this body of writing. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Phillis Wheatley, and Olaudah Equiano offer original, even revolutionary, eighteenth-century responses to slavery. With the nineteenth century, an already diverse movement becomes even more varied: the impassioned rhetoric of Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison joins the fiction of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louisa May Alcott, and William Wells Brown; memoirs of former slaves stand alongside protest poems by John Greenleaf Whittier, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Lydia Sigourney; anonymous editorials complement speeches by statesmen such as Charles Sumner and Abraham Lincoln. The volume includes a 16-page portfolio of illustrations, headnotes to guide the reader, and a chronology of events.
- Category: United States
- Published: Nov 30, 2012
- Publisher: The Library of America
- Seller: The Library of America
- Print Length: 860 Pages
- Language: English