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The first biographical account of the life of James Gillespie Birney in more than fifty years, this fabulously insightful history illuminates and elevates an all-but-forgotten figure whose political career contributed mightily to the American political fabric. Birney was a southern-born politician at the heart of the antislavery movement, with two southern-born sons who were major generals involved in key Union Army activities, including the leadership of the black troops. The interaction of the Birneys with historical figures (Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Henry Clay) highlights the significance of the family’s activities in politics and war. D. Laurence Rogers offers a unique historiography of the abolition movement, the Civil War, and Reconstruction through the experiences of one family navigating momentous developments from the founding of the Republic until the late 19th century.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Part 1: The Birneys
  2. p. 1
  1. 1. Rising Immigrant Tides
  2. pp. 3-11
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  1. 2. Birthing Kentucky and a Birney
  2. pp. 13-29
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  1. 3. Roots of the Conflict over Slavery
  2. pp. 31-47
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  1. 4. Trapped in the Golden Circle
  2. pp. 49-63
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  1. 5. Defending the Cherokee, Launching Abolition
  2. pp. 65-72
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  1. 6. The Colonization Debacle
  2. pp. 73-80
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  1. 7. Birney’s Epiphany
  2. pp. 81-93
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  1. 8. Saving the South from Destruction
  2. pp. 95-105
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  1. 9. The Tar and Feathers Agenda [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 107-117
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  1. Part 2: The Republicans
  2. p. 119
  1. 10. Lincoln’s Prophet
  2. pp. 121-134
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  1. 11. Henry Clay’s Nemesis
  2. pp. 135-144
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  1. 12. Uncle Tom Comes Alive
  2. pp. 145-152
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  1. 13. Michigan’s “Wonderful Revolution”
  2. pp. 153-168
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  1. 14. Flight to Eagleswood
  2. pp. 169-173
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  1. 15. The Republican Phenomenon
  2. pp. 175-192
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  1. Part 3: The Civil War
  2. p. 193
  1. 16. The Birneys in Battle
  2. pp. 195-210
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  1. 17. The U.S. Colored Troops Tip the Balance
  2. pp. 211-222
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  1. 18. Appomattox Sundays
  2. pp. 223-234
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 235-252
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  1. Appendix 1: Birney’s Writings
  2. pp. 253-255
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  1. Appendix 2: First Republican Platform
  2. pp. 257-261
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 263-290
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  1. Bibliographic Essay
  2. pp. 291-296
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 297-315
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781609172336
Related ISBN
9781611860153
MARC Record
OCLC
778436392
Pages
250
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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