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An Abolitionist in the Appalachian South Ezekiel Birdseye on Slavery, Capitalism, and Separate Statehood in East Tennessee, 1 841—1846 By Durwood Dunn University ofTennessee Press, 1997 306 pp. Cloth $36.00 Reviewed by Noel Fisher, who received his Ph.D. from Ohio Sate University and audiored War at Every Door: Partisan Politics and Guerilla Violence in East Tennessee, 1860—1869, published by die University of Nordi Carolina Press, 1 997. Dunn offers readers not only a well-chosen collection of Ezekiel Birdseye's provocative letters to New York Abolitionist Gerrit Smith, but also a richly insightful , solidly grounded essay on antebellum East Tennessee. Birdseye, a businessman and abolitionist, possessed a coherent social and moral philosophy— and a wide-ranging curiosity—and his letters take up such topics as the degrading moral effects of slavery, its harmful influence on the southern economy, farming practices, the progress of temperance and abolitionism, and church affairs. Unfortunately , Dunn does not fully consider the validity ofBirdseye's observations. But historians concerned widi slavery and economics, the social and political structure of the Appalachian South, abolitionism, and die sources of southern unionism will find much to ponder in his work. 90 southern cultures, Summer2000 : Reviews ...


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