Bound with Them in Chains: A Biographical History of the Antislavery Movement

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Greenwood Press, 1972 - Biography & Autobiography - 334 pages
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From the Blurb: American abolitionists found little upon which to agree beyond the single goal of the emancipation of slaves. To underscore this diversity, Jane and William Pease have presented the biographies of ten reformers, demonstrating the diversity of goals, motives, life styles, and insights of the antislavery leaders. These dissimilarities were mirrored in the anti-slavery societies, so that little was done in chorus. Yet the abolition movement itself was powerful; at first a part of the general reforming impulse of that era, it came to overshadow all other reforms. Each of the ten reformers was involved with the antislavery societies directly or indirectly. Each perceived himself as bound with the slaves, not by physical chains, but by the fact of slavery. Each had been born into post revolutionary America when freedom was a general expectation. The bonds that held them were varied: for many the bonds were those of conscience; others were bound by economic interests, political conditions, or social status. For Henry Garnet, a fugitive slave, slavery was to be feared; for Samuel Cornish, a free black, slavery was a possibility. It was a moral problem for Quaker Benjamin Lundy and Unitarian minister Samuel Joseph May. Hiram Wilson saw in fighting it a route to personal salvation. To Clay of Kentucky or Giddings of Ohio, slavery meant the economic enthrallment of his native state. Maria Chapman found it similar to the restrictions and bonds imposed upon women. Jane and William Pease differ with those who would see the abolitionist movement as a unitary reform, fairly static in its means. They demonstrate that it was a remarkably complex movement whose participants defined slavery in many ways and who chose to act, argue, and work according to their individual perceptions.

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Contents

Prologue
3
Maria Weston Chapman
28
Some Reflections
308
Copyright

About the author (1972)

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