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North of Slavery: The Negro in the Free States, 1790-1860 by Leon F. Litwack
Publication Date: Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961
". . . no American can be pleased with the treatment of Negro Americans, North and South, in the years before the Civil War. In his clear, lucid account of the Northern phase of the story Professor Litwack has performed a notable service."--John Hope Franklin, Journal of Negro Education "For a searching examination of the North Star Legend we are indebted to Leon F. Litwack. . . ."--C. Vann Woodward, The American Scholar
This is an extraordinary collection of primary and secondary source material on slavery. It includes full runs of many abolitionist and contemporary newspapers and periodicals, extensive collections of other primary documents, an extensive library of legal materials, and much more.
This library guide, produced by HeinOnline, provides excellent resources for making the best use of the Slavery in America and the World database.
Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies. Library of America. Contains his three autobiographies. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and American Slave (1845), My Bondage and My Freedom (1855), and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881). by Frederick Douglass; Henry Louis Gates (Editor).
Call Number: Essential Read
Publication Date: New York: Penguin, 1994
In this Library of America volume are collected Frederick Douglass's three autobiographical narratives. Writing with the eloquence and fierce intelligence that made him a brilliantly effective spokesman for the abolition of slavery and equal rights, Douglass shapes an inspiring vision of self-realization in the face of monumental odds. This volume contains a detailed chronology of Douglass's life, notes providing further background on the events and people mentioned, and an account of the textual history of each of the autobiographies.
Let Justice Be Done: Writings from American Abolitionists, 1688-1865 by Kerry Walters (Editor)
Publication Date: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2020
Almost from the first arrival of enslaved Africans in 1619 until the end of the antebellum period, a prophetic crusade to eliminate the sin of slavery stirred the American conscience. The abolitionists were deeply faithful Christians who believed that if anything was contrary to the will of God, it was human bondage. Mocked, threatened, and abused, their influence was ultimately profound.Let Justice Be Done includes representative voices of the abolitionist cause-women and men, black and white. Among them are towering figures such as William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Lucretia Mott. Their struggle against one of the greatest evils to blemish American history demonstrated that religious faith can and rightfully should be a powerful force in calling out injustice, speaking truth to power, and planting seeds of change.
Slavery - Secondary Sources
Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery by Charles Johnson; Patricia Smith; WGBH Series Research Team Staff
Publication Date: New York: Harcourt Brace,1998
The companion volume to the public television series. This extraordinary examination of slavery in America features a four-part history by poet and performance artist Patricia Smith and a dozen fictional narratives by National Book Award-winning novelist Charles Johnson.
Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America by Ira Berlin
Publication Date: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998
Today most Americans, black and white, identify slavery with cotton, the deep South, and the African-American church. But at the beginning of the nineteenth century, after almost two hundred years of African-American life in mainland North America, few slaves grew cotton, lived in the deep South, or embraced Christianity. Many Thousands Gone traces the evolution of black society from the first arrivals in the early seventeenth century through the Revolution. In telling their story, Ira Berlin, a leading historian of southern and African-American life, reintegrates slaves into the history of the American working class and into the tapestry of our nation. Laboring as field hands on tobacco and rice plantations, as skilled artisans in port cities, or soldiers along the frontier, generation after generation of African Americans struggled to create a world of their own in circumstances not of their own making.
The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist
Publication Date: New York : Basic Books, 2014
River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom by Walter Johnson
Publication Date: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013
Deliver Us from Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South by Lacy K. Ford
Publication Date: New York: Oxford University Press, 2009
The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation by Daina Ramey Berry
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Press, 2017
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez
Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering book The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of Natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors. Reséndez builds the incisive case that it was mass slavery--more than epidemics--that decimated Indian populations across North America. Through riveting new evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, and Indian captives, this book reveals a key missing piece of American history. For over two centuries we have fought over, abolished, and tried to come to grips with African American slavery. It is time for the West to confront an entirely separate, equally devastating enslavement we have long failed truly to see.
Slaves in the Family by Robert Edward Ball
Publication Date: New York: Ballantine Books, 1998
This is the National Book Award winning exploration of the slave-holding dynasty of Elias Ball, a South Carolina plantation owner, the history of slave uprisings, and the memories of the descendants of those slaves.
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed
Publication Date: New York: W. W. Norton, 2008
This epic work tells the story of the Hemingses, a slave family whose close blood ties to American president Thomas Jefferson had been systematically edited out from American history until very recently. This book sets the family's compelling saga against the backdrop of Revolutionary America, Paris on the eve of its own revolution, 1770s Philadelphia and plantation life at Monticello. Gordon-Reed won both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for this work.
The Underground Railroad and the Geography of Violence in Antebellum America by Robert H. Churchill
Publication Date: New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020
Historian Robert H. Churchill places the Underground Railroad in the context of a geography of violence, a shifting landscape in which clashing norms of violence shaped the activities of slave catchers and the fugitives and abolitionists who defied them. Churchill maps four distinct cultures of violence: one that prevailed in the South and three more in separate regions of the North: the Borderland, the Contested Region, and the Free Soil Region. Slave catchers who followed fugitives into the North brought with them a Southern culture of violence that sanctioned white brutality as a means of enforcing racial hierarchy and upholding masculine honor, but their arrival triggered vastly different violent reactions in the three regions of the North. Underground activists adapted their operations to these distinct cultures of violence, and the cultural collisions between slave catchers and local communities transformed Northern attitudes, contributing to the collapse of the Fugitive Slave Act and the coming of the Civil War.
Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad by Eric Foner
Publication Date: New York: W. W. Norton, 2015
The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner has written a must read historical account of the Underground Railroad, with a focus on its operation in New York City. According to scholar Matthew Salafia (Journal of the Civil War Era), Foner makes two major contributions: First "he relies on the accounts of operatives to explain how the Underground Railroad actually functioned. Using these sources, Foner explains in detail how enslaved
African Americans escaped, and how northerners aided them"; secondly he sets these actions of the Underground Railroad in the proper context of the abolition movement. In particular Foner draws on the detailed records of Sydney Howard Gay, an Underground Railroad operative, to learn new details about the characteristics of fugitive slaves such as age, reasons for flight, and whether they traveled in groups or individually.