A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War

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A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War
Title A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War
Author
Publisher Yale University Press
Release DateNovember 24, 2020
Category Law
Total Pages 432 pages
ISBN 0300234120
Book Rating 5 out of 5 from 5 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

The story of the longest and most complex legal challenge to slavery in American history "A rich, roiling history that Thomas recounts with eloquence and skill. . . . The very existence of freedom suits assumed that slavery could only be circumscribed and local; what Thomas shows in his illuminating book is how this view was eventually turned upside down in decisions like Dred Scott. 'Freedom was local,' Thomas writes. 'Slavery was national.'"—Jennifer Szalai, New York Times For over seventy years and five generations, the enslaved families of Prince George’s County, Maryland, filed hundreds of suits for their freedom against a powerful circle of slaveholders, taking their cause all the way to the Supreme Court. Between 1787 and 1861, these lawsuits challenged the legitimacy of slavery in American law and put slavery on trial in the nation’s capital. Piecing together evidence once dismissed in court and buried in the archives, William Thomas tells an intricate and intensely human story of the enslaved families (the Butlers, Queens, Mahoneys, and others), their lawyers (among them a young Francis Scott Key), and the slaveholders who fought to defend slavery, beginning with the Jesuit priests who held some of the largest plantations in the nation and founded a college at Georgetown. A Question of Freedom asks us to reckon with the moral problem of slavery and its legacies in the present day.

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A Question Of Freedom by William G. Thomas

Title A Question of Freedom
Author William G. Thomas
Publisher Yale University Press
Release Date 2020-11-24
Category History
Total Pages 416
ISBN 9780300256277
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The story of the longest and most complex legal challenge to slavery in American history For over seventy years and five generations, the enslaved families of Prince George’s County, Maryland, filed hundreds of suits for their freedom against a powerful circle of slaveholders, taking their cause all the way to the Supreme Court. Between 1787 and 1861, these lawsuits challenged the legitimacy of slavery in American law and put slavery on trial in the nation’s capital. Piecing together evidence once dismissed in court and buried in the archives, William Thomas tells an intricate and intensely human story of the enslaved families (the Butlers, Queens, Mahoneys, and others), their lawyers (among them a young Francis Scott Key), and the slaveholders who fought to defend slavery, beginning with the Jesuit priests who held some of the largest plantations in the nation and founded a college at Georgetown. A Question of Freedom asks us to reckon with the moral problem of slavery and its legacies in the present day.

Title A People s History of the United States
Author Howard Zinn
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ISBN 9203456XXXX
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In this Second Edition of this radical social history of America from Columbus to the present, Howard Zinn includes substantial coverage of the Carter, Reagan and Bush years and an Afterword on the Clinton presidency. Its commitment and vigorous style mean it will be compelling reading for under-graduate and post-graduate students and scholars in American social history and American studies, as well as the general reader.

Title What to the Slave is the Fourth of July
Author Frederick Douglass
Publisher Graphic Arts Books
Release Date 2021-04-23
Category History
Total Pages 30
ISBN 9781513293820
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? (1852) is a novella by Frederick Douglass. Having escaped from slavery in the South at a young age, Frederick Douglass became a prominent orator and autobiographer who spearheaded the American abolitionist movement in the mid-nineteenth century. In this famous speech, published widely in pamphlet form after it was given to a meeting of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society on July 5th, 1852, Douglass exposes the hypocrisy of America’s claim to Christian and democratic ideals in spite of its legacy of enslavement. Personal and political, Douglass’ speech helped inspire the burgeoning abolitionist movement, which fought tirelessly for emancipation in the decades leading up to the American Civil War. “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?...What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.” Drawing upon his own experiences as an escaped slave, Douglass offers a critique of American independence from the perspective of those who had never been free within its borders. Hopeful and courageous, Douglass’ voice remains an essential part of our history, reminding us time and again who we are, who we have been, and what we can be as a nation. While much of his radical message has been smoothed over through the passage of time, its revolutionary truth continues to resonate today. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Frederick Douglass’ What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? is a classic of African American literature reimagined for modern readers.

Title Gateway to Freedom The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad
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Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date 2015-01-19
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Total Pages 320
ISBN 9780393244380
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The dramatic story of fugitive slaves and the antislavery activists who defied the law to help them reach freedom. More than any other scholar, Eric Foner has influenced our understanding of America's history. Now, making brilliant use of extraordinary evidence, the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian once again reconfigures the national saga of American slavery and freedom. A deeply entrenched institution, slavery lived on legally and commercially even in the northern states that had abolished it after the American Revolution. Slaves could be found in the streets of New York well after abolition, traveling with owners doing business with the city's major banks, merchants, and manufacturers. New York was also home to the North’s largest free black community, making it a magnet for fugitive slaves seeking refuge. Slave catchers and gangs of kidnappers roamed the city, seizing free blacks, often children, and sending them south to slavery. To protect fugitives and fight kidnappings, the city's free blacks worked with white abolitionists to organize the New York Vigilance Committee in 1835. In the 1840s vigilance committees proliferated throughout the North and began collaborating to dispatch fugitive slaves from the upper South, Washington, and Baltimore, through Philadelphia and New York, to Albany, Syracuse, and Canada. These networks of antislavery resistance, centered on New York City, became known as the underground railroad. Forced to operate in secrecy by hostile laws, courts, and politicians, the city’s underground-railroad agents helped more than 3,000 fugitive slaves reach freedom between 1830 and 1860. Until now, their stories have remained largely unknown, their significance little understood. Building on fresh evidence—including a detailed record of slave escapes secretly kept by Sydney Howard Gay, one of the key organizers in New York—Foner elevates the underground railroad from folklore to sweeping history. The story is inspiring—full of memorable characters making their first appearance on the historical stage—and significant—the controversy over fugitive slaves inflamed the sectional crisis of the 1850s. It eventually took a civil war to destroy American slavery, but here at last is the story of the courageous effort to fight slavery by "practical abolition," person by person, family by family.

South To Freedom by Alice L Baumgartner

Title South to Freedom
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Publisher Basic Books
Release Date 2020-11-10
Category History
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9781541617773
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Book Summary:

A brilliant and surprising account of the coming of the American Civil War, showing the crucial role of slaves who escaped to Mexico. The Underground Railroad to the North promised salvation to many American slaves before the Civil War. But thousands of people in the south-central United States escaped slavery not by heading north but by crossing the southern border into Mexico, where slavery was abolished in 1837. In South to Freedom, historianAlice L. Baumgartner tells the story of why Mexico abolished slavery and how its increasingly radical antislavery policies fueled the sectional crisis in the United States. Southerners hoped that annexing Texas and invading Mexico in the 1840s would stop runaways and secure slavery's future. Instead, the seizure of Alta California and Nuevo México upset the delicate political balance between free and slave states. This is a revelatory and essential new perspective on antebellum America and the causes of the Civil War.

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Canada is not one nation, but three: English Canada, Quebec, and First Nations. Yet as a country Canada is very successful, in part because it maintains national diversity through bilingualism, multiculturalism, and federalism. Alongside this contemporary openness Canada also has its own history to contend with; with a legacy of broken treaties and residential schools for its Indigenous peoples, making reconciliation between Canada and First Nations an ongoing journey, not a destination. Drawing on history, politics, and literature, this Very Short Introduction starts at the end of the last ice age, when the melting of the ice sheets opened the northern half of North America to Indigenous peoples, and covers up to today's anthropogenic climate change, and Canada's climate politics. Donald Wright emphasizes Canada's complexity and diversity as well as its different identities and its commitment to rights, and explores its historical relationship to Great Britain, and its ongoing relationship with the United States. Finally, he examines Canada's northern realities and its northern identities. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Slavery By Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon

Title Slavery by Another Name
Author Douglas A. Blackmon
Publisher Icon Books
Release Date 2012-10-04
Category Social Science
Total Pages 496
ISBN 9781848314139
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the mistreatment of black Americans. In this 'precise and eloquent work' - as described in its Pulitzer Prize citation - Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history - an 'Age of Neoslavery' that thrived in the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II. Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude thereafter. By turns moving, sobering and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals these stories, the companies that profited the most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.

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The Gettysburg Address is a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known in American history. It was delivered by Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg. Abraham Lincoln's carefully crafted address, secondary to other presentations that day, was one of the greatest and most influential statements of national purpose. In just over two minutes, Lincoln reiterated the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed the Civil War as a struggle for the preservation of the Union sundered by the secession crisis, with "a new birth of freedom" that would bring true equality to all of its citizens. Lincoln also redefined the Civil War as a struggle not just for the Union, but also for the principle of human equality. Beginning with the now-iconic phrase "Four score and seven years ago"—referring to the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776—Lincoln examined the founding principles of the United States as stated in the Declaration of Independence. In the context of the Civil War, Lincoln also memorialized the sacrifices of those who gave their lives at Gettysburg and extolled virtues for the listeners (and the nation) to ensure the survival of America's representative democracy: that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Despite the speech's prominent place in the history and popular culture of the United States, the exact wording and location of the speech are disputed. The five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln's hand differ in a number of details, and also differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech.

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A groundbreaking, must-read history demonstrating that America's economic supremacy was built on the backs of slaves Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution -- the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward E. Baptist reveals in the prizewinning The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. Bloomberg View Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2014 Daily Beast Best Nonfiction Books of 2014 Winner of the 2015 Avery O. Craven Prize from the Organization of American HistoriansWinner of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize

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ISBN 039308082X
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Book Summary:

“A masterwork [by] the preeminent historian of the Civil War era.”—Boston Globe Selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, this landmark work gives us a definitive account of Lincoln's lifelong engagement with the nation's critical issue: American slavery. A master historian, Eric Foner draws Lincoln and the broader history of the period into perfect balance. We see Lincoln, a pragmatic politician grounded in principle, deftly navigating the dynamic politics of antislavery, secession, and civil war. Lincoln's greatness emerges from his capacity for moral and political growth.

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Publisher Unknown
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Book Summary:

Twelve Years a Slave (1853) is a memoir and slave narrative by Solomon Northup, as told to and edited by David Wilson. Northup, a black man who was born free in New York, details his kidnapping in Washington, D.C. and subsequent sale into slavery. After having been kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana by various masters, Northup was able to write to friends and family in New York, who were in turn able to secure his release. Northup's account provides extensive details on the slave markets in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans and describes at length cotton and sugar cultivation on major plantations in Louisiana.

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Book Summary:

Looks at the life of the first black pamphleteer, abolitionist, and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Ain T I A Woman by Sojourner Truth

Title Ain t I A Woman
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Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

'I am a woman's rights. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I am as strong as any man that is now' A former slave and one of the most powerful orators of her time, Sojourner Truth fought for the equal rights of black women throughout her life. This selection of her impassioned speeches is accompanied by the words of other inspiring African-American female campaigners from the nineteenth century. One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our world today, from anarchists to stoics, feminists to prophets, satirists to Zen Buddhists.

The Iron Way by William G. Thomas

Title The Iron Way
Author William G. Thomas
Publisher Yale University Press
Release Date 2011-10-25
Category History
Total Pages 291
ISBN 9780300171686
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

How railroads both united and divided us: “Integrates military and social history…a must-read for students, scholars and enthusiasts alike.”—Civil War Monitor Beginning with Frederick Douglass’s escape from slavery in 1838 on the railroad, and ending with the driving of the golden spike to link the transcontinental railroad in 1869, this book charts a critical period of American expansion and national formation, one largely dominated by the dynamic growth of railroads and telegraphs. William G. Thomas brings new evidence to bear on railroads, the Confederate South, slavery, and the Civil War era, based on groundbreaking research in digitized sources never available before. The Iron Way revises our ideas about the emergence of modern America and the role of the railroads in shaping the sectional conflict. Both the North and the South invested in railroads to serve their larger purposes, Thomas contends. Though railroads are often cited as a major factor in the Union’s victory, he shows that they were also essential to the formation of “the South” as a unified region. He discusses the many—and sometimes unexpected—effects of railroad expansion, and proposes that America’s great railroads became an important symbolic touchstone for the nation’s vision of itself. “In this provocative and deeply researched book, William G. Thomas follows the railroad into virtually every aspect of Civil War history, showing how it influenced everything from slavery’s antebellum expansion to emancipation and segregation—from guerrilla warfare to grand strategy. At every step, Thomas challenges old assumptions and finds new connections on this much-traveled historical landscape."—T.J. Stiles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

Title The Thin Light of Freedom The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America
Author Edward L. Ayers
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date 2017-10-24
Category History
Total Pages 640
ISBN 9780393292640
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Winner of the Lincoln Prize A landmark Civil War history told from a fresh, deeply researched ground-level perspective. At the crux of America’s history stand two astounding events: the immediate and complete destruction of the most powerful system of slavery in the modern world, followed by a political reconstruction in which new constitutions established the fundamental rights of citizens for formerly enslaved people. Few people living in 1860 would have dared imagine either event, and yet, in retrospect, both seem to have been inevitable. In a beautifully crafted narrative, Edward L. Ayers restores the drama of the unexpected to the history of the Civil War. From the same vantage point occupied by his unforgettable characters, Ayers captures the strategic savvy of Lee and his local lieutenants, and the clear vision of equal rights animating black troops from Pennsylvania. We see the war itself become a scourge to the Valley, its pitched battles punctuating a cycle of vicious attack and reprisal in which armies burned whole towns for retribution. In the weeks and months after emancipation, from the streets of Staunton, Virginia, we see black and white residents testing the limits of freedom as political leaders negotiate the terms of readmission to the Union. With analysis as powerful as its narrative, here is a landmark history of the Civil War.

Uncle Tom S Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Title Uncle Tom s Cabin
Author Harriet Beecher Stowe
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 1879
Category African Americans
Total Pages 566
ISBN HARVARD:HN6IN4
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Title A Little History of the United States
Author James West Davidson
Publisher Yale University Press
Release Date 2015-09-15
Category History
Total Pages 256
ISBN 9780300182521
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

How did a land and people of such immense diversity come together under a banner of freedom and equality to form one of the most remarkable nations in the world? Everyone from young adults to grandparents will be fascinated by the answers uncovered in James West Davidson’s vividly told A Little History of the United States. In 300 fast-moving pages, Davidson guides his readers through 500 years, from the first contact between the two halves of the world to the rise of America as a superpower in an era of atomic perils and diminishing resources. In short, vivid chapters the book brings to life hundreds of individuals whose stories are part of the larger American story. Pilgrim William Bradford stumbles into an Indian deer trap on his first day in America; Harriet Tubman lets loose a pair of chickens to divert attention from escaping slaves; the toddler Andrew Carnegie, later an ambitious industrial magnate, gobbles his oatmeal with a spoon in each hand. Such stories are riveting in themselves, but they also spark larger questions to ponder about freedom, equality, and unity in the context of a nation that is, and always has been, remarkably divided and diverse.

Armies Of Deliverance by Elizabeth R. Varon

Title Armies of Deliverance
Author Elizabeth R. Varon
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date 2019
Category HISTORY
Total Pages 528
ISBN 9780190860608
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Loyal Americans marched off to war in 1861 not to conquer the South but to liberate it. In Armies of Deliverance, Elizabeth Varon offers both a sweeping narrative of the Civil War and a bold new interpretation of Union and Confederate war aims. Lincoln's Union coalition sought to deliver the South from slaveholder tyranny and deliver to it the blessings of modern civilization. Over the course of the war, supporters of black freedom built the case that slavery was the obstacle to national reunion and that emancipation would secure military victory and benefit Northern and Southern whites alike. To sustain their morale, Northerners played up evidence of white Southern Unionism, of antislavery progress in the slaveholding border states, and of disaffection among Confederates. But the Union's emphasis on Southern deliverance served, ironically, not only to galvanize loyal Amer icans but also to galvanize disloyal ones. Confederates, fighting to establish an independent slaveholding republic, scorned the Northern promise of liberation and argued that the emancipation of blacks was synonymous with the subjugation of the white South.

Title Black Lives Matter at School
Author Denisha Jones
Publisher Haymarket Books
Release Date 2020-12-01
Category Political Science
Total Pages 415
ISBN 9781642595307
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

After a powerful webinar that included educators from ten cities explaining the many incredible actions they took in support of the national Black Lives Matter at School week of action, Denisha Jones, contacted Jesse Hagopian to propose that they collect these stories in a book.Black Lives Matter at School sucinctly generalizes lessons from successful challenges to institutional racism that have been won through the BLM at School movement. This is a book that can inspire many hundreds or thousands of more educators to join the BLM at School movement.

At The Threshold Of Liberty by Tamika Y. Nunley

Title At the Threshold of Liberty
Author Tamika Y. Nunley
Publisher UNC Press Books
Release Date 2021-01-29
Category History
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9781469662237
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The capital city of a nation founded on the premise of liberty, nineteenth-century Washington, D.C., was both an entrepot of urban slavery and the target of abolitionist ferment. The growing slave trade and the enactment of Black codes placed the city's Black women within the rigid confines of a social hierarchy ordered by race and gender. At the Threshold of Liberty reveals how these women--enslaved, fugitive, and free--imagined new identities and lives beyond the oppressive restrictions intended to prevent them from ever experiencing liberty, self-respect, and power. Consulting newspapers, government documents, letters, abolitionist records, legislation, and memoirs, Tamika Y. Nunley traces how Black women navigated social and legal proscriptions to develop their own ideas about liberty as they escaped from slavery, initiated freedom suits, created entrepreneurial economies, pursued education, and participated in political work. In telling these stories, Nunley places Black women at the vanguard of the history of Washington, D.C., and the momentous transformations of nineteenth-century America.

Black Power Jewish Politics by Marc Dollinger

Title Black Power Jewish Politics
Author Marc Dollinger
Publisher Brandeis University Press
Release Date 2018-06-05
Category History
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9781512602586
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Marc Dollinger charts the transformation of American Jewish political culture from the Cold War liberal consensus of the early postwar years to the rise and influence of Black Power-inspired ethnic nationalism. He shows how, in a period best known for the rise of black antisemitism and the breakdown of the black-Jewish alliance, black nationalists enabled Jewish activists to devise a new Judeo-centered political agenda - including the emancipation of Soviet Jews, the rise of Jewish day schools, the revitalization of worship services with gender-inclusive liturgy, and the birth of a new form of American Zionism. Undermining widely held beliefs about the black-Jewish alliance, Dollinger describes a new political consensus, based on identity politics, that drew blacks and Jews together and altered the course of American liberalism.

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