Religion and politics -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Antislavery movements -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
This essay addresses two problems. The first is the political impact of the abolitionist movement (or reputed lack thereof) on the collapse and realignment of parties within the free states that preceded the Civil War. The second is the political claims made by contemporary right wing fundamentalists that the abolitionist movement supplies them with religious, moral, and historical precedents for their political activism today. What puts these problems together on a common ground is centrality of religious activism in defining American politics. This essay, therefore, urges above all, that political historians take religion extremely seriously. The burden of the essay's specific argument is to link the evolution of abolitionist activism to the evolution of the Whig Party in the free states, 1840-1856, arguing that the history of the former is central to understanding the history of the latter. In the process of developing these claims, the essay also contests vigorously contemporary right wing assertions that abolitionism is the moral and spiritual progenitor of today's "pro-life" and "family values" crusades.
abolitionism, evangelical, postmillennial, premillenial, political realignment, northern "Bible Belt," "fellow traveler," political agency, Whig Party, Democratic Party, historiography, religious virtuoso, negative reference group, second party system
Osage Indians -- Arkansas -- History -- 19th century.
Quapaw Indians -- Arkansas -- History -- 19th century.
Cherokee Indians -- Arkansas -- History -- 19th century.
In the early nineteenth century, various native peoples engaged in a multilateral debate over their place in the republic, a debate that revolved around issues of identity, sovereignty, cross-cultural relations, rights to resources, and, increasingly, the concepts of civilization and savagery. This article provides a multicultural intellectual history of various Indians and Anglo-Americans in the Louisiana Purchase. It centers on the Arkansas River Valley, where Thomas Jefferson instructed Indians from the east to settle, and on four of its peoples—native Osages and Quapaws and immigrant Cherokees and Anglo-Americans.
As Indian and white westward migration intensified competition for game and land, Arkansas Valley inhabitants (old and new, Indian and white) began to look to the federal government to help resolve their disputes, and they couched their arguments in terms that appealed to United States policy-makers. But when local Indians and whites employed the concepts of civilization and savagery, they defined them in their own ways and used them for their own purposes—to argue for their rights to government protection and to land.
Although white settlers' desires ultimately prevailed, alternative visions mattered, both in their own right and because they affected the ways in which Anglo-Americans defined themselves and others. Thus, this article presages debates over race and removal later in the century and adds to recent scholarship showing that race is not simply a system of beliefs imposed by whites on nonwhites.
American expansion, Arkansas, William Bradford, Cherokees, Cherokee Phoenix, civilization, policy, William Clark, Clermont, Robert Crittenden, William Dunbar, Thomas Graves, Hekaton, Indian removal, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, Louisiana Purchase, Osages, Pawhuska (White Hair), Quapaws, race, Tally, Tekatoka, Tolluntuskee, John Treat, United States Indian policy
This essay examines the life and autobiography of Horace Lane (1789-1866), an alcoholic sailor who became a thief and convict after his seafaring career ended. Study of Lane's life offers a revealing example of failed manhood in the early republic. It also sheds light on how the dominant society defined acceptable codes of masculinity and how it treated men who violated these codes. Lane's 1839 autobiography The Wandering Boy warrants analysis not only as a historical document illuminating his life but also as a personal narrative interpreting that life. This essay situates Lane's text in the context of memoirs by other ex-sailors, convicts, and alcoholics and suggests resonances among these seemingly disparate narratives. Discussion of The Wandering Boy also offers another perspective from which to view antebellum slave narratives and the evangelical reform literature to "uplift" different groups of men, including alcoholic seamen. Another major goal of this essay is to contribute to several areas of scholarship, including the historiographies of antebellum reform and seafaring life, the burgeoning scholarship on nineteenth-century manhood, and both literary and historical analyses of the autobiographies of nonprivileged people in the early republic.
Horace Lane, New York State, sailor, seamen, autobiography, manhood, impressment, alcoholism, prison, early republic, masculinity, The Wandering Boy, War of 1812, flogging, naval, religion, drinking
Cholera -- Social aspects -- Michigan -- History -- 19th century.
Epidemics -- Social aspects -- Michigan -- History -- 19th century.
The article examines two cholera epidemics that struck Michigan in the early 1830s, arguing that the conflict generated by these crises reveals underlying social tensions between one frontier city and its rural hinterlands. Building on Charles Rosenberg's classic The Cholera Years, it contends that his study underestimates the ferocity of the debate over how cholera spread in 1832 and the conflict that uncertainty generated. In Michigan, unlike the East, a furious dispute raged over the etiology of cholera, with newspapers in the countryside insisting that the disease was contagious and those in Detroit contending that the malady did not spread through human contact. Such disagreements produced different strategies for combating cholera. Although Detroiters shunned quarantines, their counterparts in the countryside quickly established these artificial borders to protect themselves from an urban pestilence associated with poverty, crime, and disorder. Tensions exploded into violence in the summer of 1832, when Ypsilanti officials shot at two stagecoaches allegedly seeking to violate the town's quarantine; the incident transformed the conflict over cholera from a regional into a partisan political battle, with Democrats defending and Whigs attacking the individuals who fired at the travelers.
In examining such questions, the essay demonstrates the vital role that those living in the emerging West assigned to defending cultural and regional boundaries and suggests that tensions along cultural borders may have played a more important role in frontier communities than historians have been able to appreciate. Although historians recently have produced a growing body of work on national and cultural borders, they have not focused as much attention on less clearly defined boundaries, such as those separating cities from the countryside. Examining such barriers, particularly in western locations, may prove fruitful in the future.
Scarborough, William Kauffman. Masters of the big house: elite slaveholders of the mid-nineteenth-century South.
Plantation owners -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century.
Miller, Jacquelyn C.
Across the Continent: Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and the Making of America, and: Exploring with Lewis and Clark: The 1804 Journal of Charles Floyd, and: Jefferson's Western Explorations: Discoveries Made in Exploring the Missouri, Red River, and Washita, and: The Shortest and Most Convenient Route: Lewis and Clark in Context, and: Venereal Disease and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (review) [Access article in HTML][Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
Seefeldt, Douglas, 1964-, ed. Across the continent: Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and the making of America.
Hantman, Jeffrey L., ed.
Onuf, Peter S., ed.
Floyd, Charles, d. 1804. Exploring with Lewis and Clark: the 1804 journal of Charles Floyd.
Holmberg, James J. (James John), 1958-, ed.
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. Jefferson's western explorations: discoveries made in exploring the Missouri, Red River and Washita.
Lewis, Meriwether, 1774-1809.
Clark, William, 1770-1838.
Erickson, D. M. (Doug M.), ed.
Skinner, Jeremy, ed.
Merchant, Paul, ed.
Cox, Robert S., 1958-, ed. Shortest and most convenient route: Lewis and Clark in context.
Lowry, Thomas P. (Thomas Power), 1932- Venereal disease and the Lewis and Clark expedition.