In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS273 lowing the Portsmouth conference, he was retired by the Times. His last years were spent in London writing. Professor Mathews is to be commended for his treatment of Smalley who was a difficult person. This highly readable book, clearly written and logically organized, treats Smalley kindly yet fairly and the reader recognizes Smalley for what he was—an important journalist. Several of Smalley's news stories and writings are included in the appendices. The choice of inclusions are good. They reflect Smalley's skills as a journalist and his ability as a writer. R. J. Amundson Columbus College "Let Your Motto Be Resistance": The Life and Thought of Henry Highland Garnet. By Earl Ofari. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1972. Pp. ix, 221. $7.95.) Henry Highland Garnet, an undaunted opponent of slavery, was a preeminent Black spokesman during the nineteenth century, rivaling even Frederick Douglass. Prior to the publication of this slender but informative volume, Garnet was almost exclusively associated with his 1843 Address to the Shves. In that statement, he called upon the bondsmen to ". . . rather die freemen than live to be slaves." The virtual dismissal of Garnet as a firebrand obscured his deep involvement in the struggle to end slavery and to secure racial equality. Garnet was born into slavery on December 23, 1815 in New Market, Kent County, Maryland. His grandfather was a Mandingo Prince in Africa, and the Garnet family remained a unit even under bondage. When Garnet was nine, his family escaped from slavery eventually settling in New York City. Garnet was educated at the African Free School, a high school established in the city by free Blacks, Noyes Academy in Canaan, New Hampshire, and Oneida Theological Institute . After completing his education, he became a Presbyterian minister , newspaper publisher, and anti-slavery activist. In New York, Garnet fought for Black enfranchisement and against segregated seating in public transportation. A member of several temperance societies, Garnet also joined the Liberty party, opposed monopolistic land ownership, criticized hypocritical Christianity, and supported the international peace movement. He spent four years in Jamaica as a missionary. After his return to America, Garnet organized the African Civilization Society with a membership of Blacks and interested whites. Although he remained the president of this organization, in 1860 Garnet became an agent for the Haitian Bureau. During the Civil War, Garnet recruited Black soldiers for the Union Army. He later moved to Washington, D.C. where he became the first Black man to deliver a sermon before the U.S. House of Representa- 274CIVIL WAR HISTORY tives. Reconstruction's success, Garnet maintained, hinged upon enfranchisement and land redistribution. In 1881, he became U.S. Consul to Liberia where he died on February 12, 1882. Earl Ofari, working chiefly from fugitive sources, has commendably constructed Garnet's life and thought. Ofari was forced to rely heavily upon newspapers and scattered material because the Garnet Papers were destroyed by fire. He has performed a yeoman's job and has provided an invaluable appendix of Garnet's speeches and writings. Ofari concludes that ". . . Garnet gave black nationalism a theoretical and political dimension, which it previously had lacked." Although Garnet's nationalism in general is not subject to question, there are several specific issues that indicate the shape of his ideological commitment . Garnet pastured several Black churches, but he remained in a white denomination. He believed that the white antislavery movement was rife with racism while supporting the Liberty party. At the 1847 Black National Convention, Garnet opposed the establishment of a Black college because some white colleges did admit Black students. Moreover, he rejected the idea of a Black bank on the ground of insufficient capital and community resources. These examples conflict with Ofari's assertion that Garnet was convinced that Black people had to develop independent bases of political and economic power. Henry Highland Garnet was a complex individual whose formulation of Black nationalism changed over time. While Ofari must be credited with revealing the many aspects of Garnet's life and thought, he offers a very static interpretation of Garnet as a Black nationalist. Robert L. Harris Jr. University of Illinois A World in Shadow: The Free Black in Antebellum South Carolina...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 273-274
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.