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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. By Marina Wikramanayake. (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1973. Pp. xviii, 219. $9.95.) This volume is an adequately researched, well organized, straightforward examination of free blacks in South Carolina. Mrs. Wikramanayake examines the religious, economic and social activities of free blacks, as well as a number of specific topics: "Denizens of the State" or free blacks and the law, "the politics of manumission" and the 1822 Denmark Vesey plot. Clustered near the Atlantic seaboard and in Charleston, free blacks never numbered more than 10,000, or 2 per cent of the state's population. But these statistics are misleading. In one of the most interesting sections of the book, the author suggests that a large number of slaves were actually "de facto free blacks." Some achieved this status by a device known as "trusteeship," whereby a master allowed his slave some freedom of movement, while others were simply slaves without masters. Though legally bondsmen, these book reviews275 blacks, whom the author calls "nominal slaves," "virtually free blacks," or "quasi free blacks," purchased property, hired out, and achieved a degree of independence much the same as blacks who were "legally free." In considering the rigidity of slavery, especially in the cradle of secessionism, it would be well to keep in mind the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of "de facto free blacks." The author also examines the legal status of free Negroes. One South Carolina judge, expressing the opinion of most whites in the state, asserted: "The presumptions of our law is against the Negro's freedom," and another added: "A free colored person [is] guilty of a higher crime than a white person would be under the same circumstances." State statutes required free blacks to pay a capitation tax, register twice a year, procure "a guardian," and carry "free papers," while local laws prohibited free Negroes from "whooping or hallooing," singing or dancing, carrying a cane, shouting, or smoking a pipe. To compensate for their subordinate legal status, free Negroes purchased large amounts of land, entered a number of skilled occupations (carpentry, barbering, seamstressing, and mantuamaking), and found jobs as carters, bricklayers, and washers. In addition, in 1817, they formed their own church. After a fight with white Methodists over collections methods (black contributions going to whites), free black lay preacher Morris Brown organized the Charleston African Methodist Episcopal Church. He and his followers used the new church as a place of worship as well as a location for the organization of various associations. For instance, the members soon organized The Brown...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 274-276
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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