We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

Abolitionists Remember

Antislavery Autobiographies and the Unfinished Work of Emancipation

Julie Roy Jeffrey

Publication Year: 2008

In ###Abolitionists Remember#, Julie Roy Jeffrey illuminates a second, little-noted antislavery struggle as abolitionists in the postwar period attempted to counter the nation's growing inclination to forget why the war was fought, what slavery was really like, and why the abolitionist cause was so important. In the rush to mend fences after the Civil War, the memory of the past faded and turned romantic--slaves became quaint, owners kindly, and the war itself a noble struggle for the Union. Jeffrey examines the autobiographical writings of former abolitionists such as Laura Haviland, Frederick Douglass, Parker Pillsbury, and Samuel J. May, revealing that they wrote not only to counter the popular image of themselves as fanatics, but also to remind readers of the harsh reality of slavery and to advocate equal rights for African Americans in an era of growing racism, Jim Crow, and the Ku Klux Klan. These abolitionists, who went to great lengths to get their accounts published, challenged every important point of the reconciliation narrative, trying to salvage the nobility of their work for emancipation and African Americans and defending their own participation in the great events of their day. Jeffrey illuminates a second, little-noted battle over slavery: the postwar struggle of abolitionists to counter the nation's growing inclination to forget why the war was fought, what slavery was really like, and why the abolitionist cause was so important. In the rush to mend fences after the Civil War, the memory of the past faded and turned romantic--slaves became quaint, owners kindly, and the war itself a noble struggle for the Union. Jeffrey examines the autobiographical writings of former abolitionists such as John Quincy Adams, Frederick Douglass, Henry Stanton, and Samuel J. May, revealing that they wrote not only to counter the popular image of themselves as fanatics, but also to remind readers of the harsh reality of slavery and to advocate equal rights for African Americans in an era of growing racism, Jim Crow, and the Ku Klux Klan. These abolitionists challenged every important point of the reconciliation narrative, trying to salvage the nobility of their work for emancipation and African Americans and defending their own participation in the great events of their day. Julie Roy Jeffrey illuminates a second antislavery struggle as abolitionists in the postwar period attempted to counter the nation's growing inclination to forget why the war was fought, what slavery was really like, and why the abolitionist cause was so important. Jeffrey examines the autobiographical writings of former abolitionists such as Laura Haviland, Frederick Douglass, Parker Pillsbury, and Samuel J. May, revealing that they wrote not only to counter the popular image of themselves as fanatics, but also to remind readers of the harsh reality of slavery and to advocate equal rights for African Americans. These abolitionists, who went to great lengths to get their accounts published, challenged every important point of the reconciliation narrative, trying to salvage the nobility of their work for emancipation and African Americans and defending their own participation in the great events of their day. In ###Abolitionists Remember#, Julie Roy Jeffrey illuminates a second, little-noted antislavery struggle as abolitionists in the postwar period attempted to counter the nation's growing inclination to forget why the war was fought, what slavery was really like, and why the abolitionist cause was so important. In the rush to mend fences after the Civil War, the memory of the past faded and turned romantic--slaves became quaint, owners kindly, and the war itself a noble struggle for the Union. Jeffrey examines the autobiographical writings of former abolitionists such as Laura Haviland, Frederick Douglass, Parker Pillsbury, and Samuel J. May, revealing that they wrote not only to counter the popular image of themselves as fanatics, but also to remind readers of the harsh reality of slavery and to advocate equal rights for African Americans in an era of growing racism, Jim Crow, and the Ku Klux Klan. These abolitionists, who went to great lengths to get their accounts published, challenged every important point of the reconciliation narrative, trying to salvage the nobility of their work for emancipation and African Americans and defending their own participation in the great events of their day.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (66.3 KB)
pp. 2-5

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (86.2 KB)
pp. 6-9

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF (39.4 KB)
pp. ix-x

As everyone who has undertaken a major research and writing project knows, the completed book would never have been possible without support and critical feedback from colleagues, friends, librarians, family ...

Chronology

pdf iconDownload PDF (85.9 KB)
pp. xi-xii

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (109.5 KB)
pp. 1-9

In 1874, John Greenleaf Whittier, one of the poets of the abolitionist movement, contributed an article to the Atlantic Monthly in which he recalled the founding of ...

read more

RITUAL REMEMBRANCES I: The Dissolution of the Antislavery Societies

pdf iconDownload PDF (128.4 KB)
pp. 11-23

In 1865, only weeks after the Civil War’s end, reform, religious, and benevolent organizations held their annual meetings in New York City. Long one of the high points of the benevolent and reform calendar, Anniversary ...

read more

CHAPTER 1: The First Recollections

pdf iconDownload PDF (386.0 KB)
pp. 25-59

When Harper’s editor George W. Curtis described the 1865 debate within the American Anti-Slavery Society over the question of disbandment, he saw the success of those wishing to continue the Society as ...

read more

CHAPTER 2: Fugitives as Part of Abolitionist History

pdf iconDownload PDF (440.3 KB)
pp. 61-95

In 1870 and 1871, Harper’s Weekly featured an advertisement for plaster statuary suitable for display in genteel parlors. The piece pictured, created by the popular sculptor John Rogers, was called ...

read more

RITUAL REMEMBRANCES II: Reunions

pdf iconDownload PDF (115.3 KB)
pp. 97-110

Soon after the antislavery societies disbanded, abolitionists began to gather to commemorate their long years in the antislavery struggle, to regain the sense of camaraderie that reform commitments had once provided, and to ...

read more

CHAPTER 3: “Nigger Thieves”: Whites and the Underground Railroad

pdf iconDownload PDF (451.9 KB)
pp. 111-154

As William Still was completing The Underground Rail Road, he received a letter inquiring whether his book would include accounts of Underground Railroad activities in Illinois and Missouri, stories the writer ...

read more

CHAPTER 4: Defending the Past: The 1880s

pdf iconDownload PDF (571.3 KB)
pp. 155-201

In 1887, a story titled “Mrs. Stowe’s ‘Uncle Tom’ at Home in Kentucky” appeared in Century magazine. An illustration showing a slave owner reaching into his pocket for coins for three black boys captured the spirit ...

read more

RITUAL REMEMBRANCES III: The Last Gatherings

pdf iconDownload PDF (252.1 KB)
pp. 203-215

December held a special place in the prewar antislavery calendar. It was during this month in ....

read more

CHAPTER 5: The Remembrance Is Like a Dream: Reminiscences of the 1890s

pdf iconDownload PDF (217.0 KB)
pp. 217-245

Surviving abolitionists who had hoped to eliminate both slavery and racial prejudice and also to provide free blacks with civil rights must have found the 1890s a depressing ...

read more

Afterword

pdf iconDownload PDF (270.6 KB)
pp. 247-254

Mary Grew had never undertaken to write the story of her life. But she did compose the history of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society and participate in the process of collective reminiscences when she attended ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF (290.0 KB)
pp. 255-302

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF (141.1 KB)
pp. 303-323

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (939.0 KB)
pp. 325-337


E-ISBN-13: 9781469602271
E-ISBN-10: 146960227X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807832080
Print-ISBN-10: 0807832081

Page Count: 352
Illustrations: 11 illus.
Publication Year: 2008