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

70CIVIL WAR HISTORY within these pages, those with detailed questions would do well to check other sources. Kurt Hackemer University of South Dakota The Meaning ofSlavery in the North. Edited by David Roediger and Martin H. Blatt. (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998. Pp. xxiv, 192. $40.00.) This volume demonstrates an important new direction in historical studies: the collaboration of historians across the institutional barrier that once divided universities and museums. In this instance, Martin H. Blatt—formerly historian at the Lowell National Historical Park—collaborated with University of Minnesota historian David Roediger to organize a 1993 conference at Lowell on the significance of slavery for New England's industrial revolution. The papers presented at that conference make up this volume. As Blatt recalls, the fact that Lowell owed its existence to the labor of millions ofAfrican American slaves did not immediately seem a necessary part of the Lowell story. The conference undertook to establish the linkages between the Lowell mills and slavery, and Blatt subsequently integrated the two themes in the museum exhibit. The volume pursues two overriding themes: that the North profited enormously from Southern slavery, and, that Northern and Southern whites shared attitudes about race that bound them together in a culture that survived the Civil War to deny African Americans full equality. Ronald Bailey emphasizes the central importance of slave labor to the early industrial economy of the United States. Myron Stachiw observes that despite the importance of profits in the slave trade and later in the manufacture and sale of "negro" cloth and shoes, Northern industrialists moved steadily from a position of accommodating their Southern customers to one of opposing their slave system. Thomas O'Connor concurs on this point and locates the point of transition in theTexas controversy and the Mexican War. Developing the second theme, John McKivigan finds that Northern churches never accepted the Garrisonian moral argument against slavery and reunited with their Southern brethren without embracing a commitment to equal rights for Blacks. Alexander Saxton finds in blackface minstrelsy a powerful expression of racism and democratic culture that served to negotiate the shifting economic and political terrain of the Civil War era. David Roediger offers an overview that links chattel slavery and wage slavery to broaden the meaning of slavery in the North. The essays contributed by Larry Menna, Carolyn William, and Deborah BinghamVan Broekhoven stand somewhat outside ofthese two major themes— although they contribute to developing the broad meanings of slavery for the North. Menna explores the ultimately failed efforts of Southern Whigs (the economic and political allies of the Northern industrialists) to diversify slave BOOK REVIEWS7I labor and bring the South's slave system into greater harmony with the modernizing tendencies of the North. Williams traces a connection between antislavery reform and the origins of feminism. Van Broekhoven examines women work in antislavery fairs to demonstrate their liberating effect for Southern slaves and Northern women. Having established the importance of slavery for an understanding of the Lowell mills, it would be useful to extend the project to suggest to visitors why the unity of interests between the "Lords of the Loom" and the "Lords of the Lash" collapsed, leaving the former eager to deprive the latter of their reason for being. Louis S. Gerteis University of Missouri, St. Louis The Trials of Anthony Burns: Freedom and Slavery in Emerson's Boston. By Albert J. Von Frank. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998. Pp. xix, 409. $27.95.) Mighty oaks from little acorns grow, the saying goes. In the Anthony Burns incident (in which antislavery Bostonians in 1854 tried and failed to liberate Burns, a fugitive slave), Albert J. Von Frank sees the seeds of the mighty Civil War. Tired of interpretations that dismiss the Transcendentalists as insignificant in shaping such events, Von Frank, an English professor, argués that the forcible rendition of Burns under the Fugitive Slave Law came to symbolize the Constitution 's failure to protect the liberty fought for in the American Revolution. Transcendentalists , and especially Emerson, not only pointed to the discrepancy of holding slaves while professing the value of freedom but also insisted on separation from political institutions that failed to protect liberty. They inspired what...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 70-71
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
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.