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Emancipation, Emigration, and Antislavery in Antebellum Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania contained the largest concentration of early America's abolitionist leaders and organizations, making it a necessary and illustrative stage from which to understand how national conversations about the place of free blacks in early America originated and evolved, and, importantly, the role that colonization--supporting the emigration of free and emancipated blacks to Africa--played in national and international antislavery movements. Beverly C. Tomek's meticulous exploration of the archives of the American Colonization Society, Pennsylvania's abolitionist societies, and colonizationist leaders (both black and white) enables her to boldly and innovatively demonstrate that, in Philadelphia at least, the American Colonization Society often worked closely with other antislavery groups to further the goals of the abolitionist movement.
In Colonization and Its Discontents, Tomek brings a much-needed examination of the complexity of the colonization movement by describing in depth the difference between those who supported colonization for political and social reasons and those who supported it for religious and humanitarian reasons. Finally, she puts the black perspective on emigration into the broader picture instead of treating black nationalism as an isolated phenomenon and examines its role in influencing the black abolitionist agenda.
Pittsburgh and the Struggle for Authority on the Western Pennsylvania Frontier, 1744-1794
The early settlement of the region around Pittsburgh was characterized by a messy collision of personal, provincial, national, and imperial interests. Driven by the efforts of Europeans, Pennsylvanians, Virginians, and Indians, almost everyone attempted to manipulate the clouded political jurisdiction of the region. A Colony Sprung from Hell traces this complex struggle. The events and episodes that make up the story highlight the difficulties of creating and consolidating authority along the frontier, where the local population’s acceptance or denial of authority determined the extent to which any government could impose its will. Ultimately, what was at stake was the nature of authority itself.
Author Daniel P. Barr demonstrates that deep divisions marked efforts to exercise power over the western Pennsylvania frontier and limited the effectiveness of such attempts. They developed roughly along provincial lines, owing to a fierce competition between Pennsylvania and Virginia to incorporate the region into their colonies. This jurisdictional dispute permeated many social and political levels, impacting all those who sought power and influence along the western Pennsylvania frontier. Individuals, businesses, provincial governments, and British policymakers competed for jurisdiction in the political and legal arenas, while migrants, settlers, and Indians opposed one another on the ground in a contest that was far more confrontational and violent. Although the participants and the nature of the conflict changed over time, the fundamental question—who was going to make the important decisions regarding the region—remained unsettled and unanswered, resulting in a consistent pattern of discord and contention.
A Colony Sprung from Hell is an important contribution to the understanding of power and authority along the late colonial frontier.
Native Americans and the European Fur Trade
Commerce by a Frozen Sea is a cross-cultural study of a century of contact between North American native peoples and Europeans. During the eighteenth century, the natives of the Hudson Bay lowlands and their European trading partners were brought together by an increasingly popular trade in furs, destined for the hat and fur markets of Europe. Native Americans were the sole trappers of furs, which they traded to English and French merchants. The trade gave Native Americans access to new European technologies that were integrated into Indian lifeways. What emerges from this detailed exploration is a story of two equal partners involved in a mutually beneficial trade.
Drawing on more than seventy years of trade records from the archives of the Hudson's Bay Company, economic historians Ann M. Carlos and Frank D. Lewis critique and confront many of the myths commonly held about the nature and impact of commercial trade. Extensively documented are the ways in which natives transformed the trading environment and determined the range of goods offered to them. Natives were effective bargainers who demanded practical items such as firearms, kettles, and blankets as well as luxuries like cloth, jewelry, and tobacco—goods similar to those purchased by Europeans. Surprisingly little alcohol was traded. Indeed, Commerce by a Frozen Sea shows that natives were industrious people who achieved a standard of living above that of most workers in Europe. Although they later fell behind, the eighteenth century was, for Native Americans, a golden age.
William Byrd II (1674-1744) was an important figure in the history of colonial Virginia: a founder of Richmond, an active participant in Virginia politics, and the proprietor of one of the colony's greatest plantations. But Byrd is best known today for his diaries. Considered essential documents of private life in colonial America, they offer readers an unparalleled glimpse into the world of a Virginia gentleman. This book joins Byrd's Diary, Secret Diary, and other writings in securing his reputation as one of the most interesting men in colonial America.
Edited and presented here for the first time, Byrd's commonplace book is a collection of moral wit and wisdom gleaned from reading and conversation. The nearly six hundred entries range in tone from hope to despair, trust to dissimulation, and reflect on issues as varied as science, religion, women, Alexander the Great, and the perils of love. A ten-part introduction presents an overview of Byrd's life and addresses such topics as his education and habits of reading and his endeavors to understand himself sexually, temperamentally, and religiously, as well as the history and cultural function of commonplacing. Extensive annotations discuss the sources, background, and significance of the entries.
New Perspectives on the Stamp Act
The first book-length study of the Stamp Act in decades, this timely collection draws together essays from a broad range of disciplines to provide a thoroughly original investigation of the influence of 1760s British tax legislation on colonial culture, and vice versa. While earlier scholarship has largely focused on the political origins and legacy of the Stamp Act, this volume illuminates the social and cultural impact of a legislative crisis that would end in revolution. Importantly, these essays problematize the traditional nationalist narrative of Stamp Act scholarship, offering a variety of counter identities and perspectives. Community without Consent recovers the stories of individuals often ignored or overlooked in existing scholarship, including women, Native Americans, and enslaved African Americans, by drawing on sources unavailable to or unexamined by earlier researchers.
This urgent and original collection will appeal to the broadest of interdisciplinary audiences.
The Politics of Public Health in Early Philadelphia
By the time William Penn was planning the colony that would come to be called Pennsylvania, with Philadelphia at its heart, Europeans on both sides of the ocean had long experience with the hazards of city life, disease the most terrifying among them. Drawing from those experiences, colonists hoped to create new urban forms that combined the commercial advantages of a seaport with the health benefits of the country. The Contagious City details how early Americans struggled to preserve their collective health against both the strange new perils of the colonial environment and the familiar dangers of the traditional city, through a period of profound transformation in both politics and medicine.
Philadelphia was the paramount example of this reforming tendency. Tracing the city's history from its founding on the banks of the Delaware River in 1682 to the yellow fever outbreak of 1793, Simon Finger emphasizes the importance of public health and population control in decisions made by the city's planners and leaders. He also shows that key figures in the city's history, including Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush, brought their keen interest in science and medicine into the political sphere. Throughout his account, Finger makes clear that medicine and politics were inextricably linked, and that both undergirded the debates over such crucial concerns as the city's location, its urban plan, its immigration policy, and its creation of institutions of public safety. In framing the history of Philadelphia through the imperatives of public health, The Contagious City offers a bold new vision of the urban history of colonial America.
The Politics of Bondage and Freedom in the New American Nation
The fifteen original essays in this collection examine the politics of slavery and antislavery in the traditionally overlooked period between the 1770s and the 1840s, challenging the standard narrative in which slavery played a peripheral role in regional and national politics.
Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crèvecouer, long regarded as a chief figure in American letters of the Revolutionary period, is remembered as the author of Letters from an American Farmer and the posthumous Sketches of Eighteenth Century of America, but his last and most ambitious work has been almost entirely neglected. Published in France as Le Voyage dans la haute Pensylvanie et dans d'état de New York, Crèvecouer's last book was never popular and has not heretofore appeared in English. Yet the Voyage has much to add to Crèvecouer's picture of eighteenth-century America, and to our own picture of the American Farmer as a man and writer. The Voyage, written after Crèvecouer's sojourn in France and his return to America as French consul, records a new phase both in American history and in the author's life.
Adams has arrived at a selection of extracts from Voyage which will be of interest to Crèvecouer's many admirers among students of American history and literature. The editor has translated, arranged, and annotated these selections to form a collection will be a fit companion for Crèvecouer's two volumes of English essays and will supplement the earlier books by recording Crèvecouer's final view of the American scene. In his introduction to this collection, Adams presents a thorough analysis of the content and significance of the Voyage and convincingly justifies his contention that, though the work contains much that is not worthy of translation or republication, the selection here published for the first time in English may be regarded as a significant addition to Crèvecouer's writings.
Essays on Transplantation, Adaptation, and Continuity
Set mostly within an expansive British imperial and transatlantic framework, this new selection of writings from the renowned historian Jack P. Greene draws on themes he has been developing throughout his distinguished career. In these essays Greene explores the efforts to impose Old World institutions, identities, and values upon the New World societies being created during the colonization process. He shows how transplanted Old World components—political, legal, and social—were adapted to meet the demands of new, economically viable, expansive cultural hearths. Greene argues that these transplantations and adaptations were of fundamental importance in the formation and evolution of the new American republic and the society it represented.
The scope of this work allows Greene to consider in depth numerous subjects, including the dynamics of colonization, the development and character of provincial identities, the relationship between new settler societies in America and the emerging British Empire, and the role of cultural power in social and political formation.
Empires, Texts, Identities
Creolization describes the cultural adaptations that occur when a community moves to a new geographic setting. Exploring the consciousness of peoples defined as "creoles" who moved from the Old World to the New World, this collection of eighteen original essays investigates the creolization of literary forms and genres in the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Creole Subjects in the Colonial Americas facilitates a cross-disciplinary, intrahemispheric, and Atlantic comparison of early settlers' colonialism and creole elites' relation to both indigenous peoples and imperial regimes. Contributors explore literatures written in Spanish, Portuguese, and English to identify creole responses to such concepts as communal identity, local patriotism, nationalism, and literary expression.
The essays take the reader from the first debates about cultural differences that underpinned European ideologies of conquest to the transposition of European literary tastes into New World cultural contexts, and from the natural science discourse concerning creolization to the literary manifestations of creole patriotism. The volume includes an addendum of etymological terms and critical bibliographic commentary.
Ralph Bauer, University of Maryland
Raquel Chang-Rodriguez, City University of New York
Lucia Helena Costigan, Ohio State University
Jim Egan, Brown University
Sandra M. Gustafson, University of Notre Dame
Carlos Jauregui, Vanderbilt University
Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel, University of Pennsylvania
Jose Antonio Mazzotti, Tufts University
Stephanie Merrim, Brown University
Susan Scott Parrish, University of Michigan
Luis Fernando Restrepo, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Jeffrey H. Richards, Old Dominion University
Kathleen Ross, New York University
David S. Shields, University of South Carolina
Teresa A. Toulouse, Tulane University
Lisa Voigt, University of Chicago
Jerry M. Williams, West Chester University