Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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CONTENTS

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-x

This book could not have been written without the work of dedicated scholars who first compiled and edited for publication antebellum African American materials from obscure archival holdings. I am forever in Dorothy Porter’s debt. Her compilation and editing of Early Negro Writing, 1760–1837, sparked my interest in exploring the values and ideas of free blacks in this period. ...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-12

Since the late 1980s, northern free black experience has come under increased scholarly scrutiny. The pathbreaking studies of W.E.B. DuBois’s The Philadelphia Negro (1899), Leon Litwack’s North of Slavery (1961), Benjamin Quarles’s Black Abolitionists (1969), and James Horton and Lois Horton’s ...

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1. Becoming African, Becoming Christian: Religion and the Evolution of a Common Identity

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pp. 13-43

Timing was almost everything. For a small and growing population of northern free blacks, conversion to Christianity, beginning with the First Great Awakening, set the stage for the reception and appropriation of the Revolutionary ideals pervasive in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. These two belief systems, Christianity and late eighteenth-century Anglo-American ideology, or ...

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2. Becoming American: Christian Republicanism and African American Identity

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pp. 44-72

During the political crisis between Great Britain and her North American colonies, several black Christians living in the North embraced specific Revolutionary principles that coincided with their understanding and interpretation of the Bible. Consequently, these men and women created a dual identity that affirmed ties with their native “country” and testified, at the same time, to their growing identification with the emerging nation. Many free blacks in the ...

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3. They Want Us Slaves Forever: Evangelical Reform and the Expansion of Slavery

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pp. 73-102

To the horror of those involved in creating free black communities, rather than gradually declining, as was occurring in the North, slavery in the South was expanding dramatically after the first decade of the new century, and arguments defending slave labor as a positive good for the nation and for the slaves evolved and intensified. Likewise, the American Colonization Society ...

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4. We Do Not All of Us Think Alike: Evangelicalism and Conflicting Strategies for Citizenship

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pp. 103-130

By the late 1820s and especially the 1830s and 1840s, many northern blacks had distanced themselves from Africa. While there is no doubt that the “back to Africa” focus of the American Colonization Society (ACS) accelerated black commitment to American national identity, conversion to republican Christianity with its expansive principles coming out of the Revolution had already ...

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5. They Despise Us for Our Color: The Problem of Race and Black Evangelical Reform

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pp. 131-166

Sarah Mapps Douglass was an accomplished, self-confident woman. As a member of the Female Literary Association and the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, a contributor to the Liberator, and most of all a teacher, she opened an academy for black girls, the only such high school in Philadelphia and for a time in the country. When she became a teacher of English ...

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6. We Love Our Country . . . But We Love Liberty More: Emigrationism, Nationalism, Evangelicalism, and the Beginning of the Civil War

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pp. 167-199

On the eve of the Civil War, many African Americans living in the North had all but given up hope for the abolition of slavery and equality with white America. The 1850 Fugitive Slave Law and the Dred Scott decision in 1857 further protected slavery and put free black life in even greater jeopardy. In spite of the abolitionist movement and antiracist struggles, little change ...

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EPILOGUE

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pp. 200-204

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a significant portion of northern blacks were heavily influenced by the thoughts and values, political and religious, coming out of the Revolutionary era. As a consequence, many converted to evangelical Christianity and embraced the principles of republicanism. These men and women of African descent cast their lot with the new ...

NOTES

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pp. 205-231

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 233-246

INDEX

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pp. 247-261