Presentation on theme: "Abolition II AAS 101 Review Slides for Prof. French’s Lecture Nov. 18."— Presentation transcript:
Abolition II AAS 101 Review Slides for Prof. French’s Lecture Nov. 18
Outline The National Context of Antislavery Agitation Roots of Abolitionism in Anticolonization/Moral Reform Movements (1810s-20s) Rise of a Northwide, Interracial Campaign to Abolish Slavery (1830s) Schisms over Women Suffrage, Political Action, Disunion Emergence of Black Abolitionism as an Independent Movement (1840s) The Sectional Crisis of 1840s and 1850s
The Social and Political Context of Antislavery Agitation A growing slave population
A Proslavery Constitution? Strengthened the political power of the slaveholding states by adoption of the Three-Fifths Clause as the basis for apportionment of congressional representation. Because of this clause, slaveholding states received extra votes in Congress on the basis on their non-voting slave population. The Three-Fifths Clause Article 1, Sect. 2: Clause 3: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
A Proslavery Constitution? Mandated that fugitive slaves who crossed state lines be returned to their owners. The Fugitive Slave Clause Art. IV, Sect. 2: Clause 3: No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
A Proslavery Constitution? Pledged full power of the federal government to put down slave insurrections. Suppression of Insurrection Clause Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.
A Proslavery Constitution? Extended African slave trade by no less than twenty years. Ban on Laws Abolishing Slave Trade Before 1808 Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1: The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
Early National Context of Antislavery Movement 1777-1804: Long slow death of slavery begins in Northern states; gradual emancipation achieved by constitutional or judicial enactment 1787: U.S. Constitution protects slavery/gives slave states disproportionate political power based on non-voting slave population 1787: Northwest Ordinance abolishes slavery in the area north of the Ohio River known as the Northwest Territory, including present states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 1793: Fugitive Slave Act becomes a federal law. Allows slaveowners, their agents or attorneys to seize fugitive slaves in free states and territories. 1800: Haitian Revolution/Gabriel’s Conspiracy in Virginia generate interest in state- sponsored colonization of free blacks and newly manumitted slaves 1812-1817: Slavery’s expansion into the new Gulf States (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama); emergence of cotton as major export; rise of interstate/domestic slave trade 1820: Missouri Compromise maintains balance of power in Senate by admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free states; temporarily settles argument over slavery in the western territories 1822: Denmark Vesey’s Conspiracy, Charleston, S.C. 1829: Cincinnati Riots lead to expulsion of hundreds; many take refuge in Canada New western states extend democracy to whites; limit black suffrage/restrict immigration
2. Roots of Abolitionism in Anticolonization/Moral Reform Movements (1810s/20s)
Early Support for Colonization African colonization enjoyed some support among prominent African Americans in the North before 1817. Prince Hall, Boston -- founder of the African Lodge of the Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons; sent a petition in 1787 to the general court of Boston to provide "Africans... one day a week to work for themselves" to purchase themselves and transport themselves "to some part of the Coast of African, where we propose a settlement." Paul Cuffe, Massachusetts – merchant, ship owner -- led expeditions to British free black settlement in Sierra Leone James Forten, Philadelphia – sailmaker, friend of Cuffee’s, early supporter of African colonization
Founding of American Colonization Society (1817) Chairman Henry Clay of Kentucky insisted on constitutional guarantees that the group would not “touch or agitate, in the slightest degree,” the issue of slavery. “It was upon that condition alone, he was sure, that many gentlemen from the south and the west, whom he saw present, had attended, or could be expected to cooperate. It was on that condition, only, that he himself had attended.”
Founding of American Colonization Society (1817) John Randolph of Roanoke (proslavery advocate) makes case for removal of free blacks only: “It was a notorious fact, he said, that the existence of this mixed and intermediate population of free negroes was viewed by every slave holder as one of the greatest sources of the insecurity, as well as the unprofitableness, of slave property; that they serve to excite in their fellow beings a feeling of discontent, of repining at their situation, and that they act as channels of communication not only between different slaves, but between slaves of different districts; that they are the depositories of stolen goods, and the promoters of mischief.”
Opposition from the Masses With the founding of the American Colonization Society in 1817, African Americans increasingly spoke out against efforts schemes for the removal of free blacks and manumitted slaves.
Black Philadelphians Respond to Founding of ACS (1817) On January 15, 1817, James Forten and other black leaders called a meeting at Bethel to discuss the ACS and the idea of colonization. Almost 3,000 black men packed the church. Three prominent black ministers, Richard Allen, Absalom Jones and John Gloucester, spoke in favor of immigrating to Africa. However, when Forten called for those in favor to say "yea," not a single voice was heard. When he called for those opposed, one tremendous "no" rang out that seemed "as it would bring down the walls of the building." As Forten wrote to Paul Cuffe on January 25, "there was not one sole [sic] that was in favor of going to Africa."
Black Philadelphians Respond to Founding of ACS (1817) “Whereas our ancestors (not of choice) were the first successful cultivators of the wilds of America, we their descendants feel ourselves entitled to participate in the blessings of her luxuriant soil, which their blood and sweat manured; and that any measure or system of measures, having a tendency to banish us from her bosom, would not only be cruel, but in direct violation of those principles, which have been the boast of this republic.”
Black Richmonders Respond to Founding of ACS (1817) “At a meeting of a respectable portion of the free people of color of the city of Richmond, on Friday, January 24, 1817, William Bowler was appointed chairman, and Lentey Craw, secretary. The following preamble and resolution were read, unanimously adopted, and ordered to be printed. Whereas a Society has been formed at the seat of government, for the purpose of colonizing, with their own consent, the free people of color of the United States; therefore, we, the free people of color of the city of Richmond, have thought it advisable to assemble together under the sanction of authority, for the purpose of making a public expression of our sentiments on a question in which we are so deeply interested.
Black Richmonders Respond to Founding of ACS (cont’d) “We perfectly agree with the Society, that it is not only proper, but would ultimately tend to the benefit and advantage of a great portion of our suffering fellow creatures, to be colonized; but while we thus express our approbation of a measure laudable in its purposes, and beneficial in its designs, it may not be improper in us to say, that we prefer being colonized in the most remote corner of the land of our nativity, to being exiled to a foreign country -and whereas the president and board of managers of the said Society have been pleased to leave it to the entire discretion of Congress to provide a suitable place for carrying these laudable intentions into effect -- Be it therefore “Resolved, That we respectfully submit to the wisdom of Congress whether it would not be an act of charity to grant us a small portion of their territory, either on the Missouri river, or any place that may seem to them most conducive to the public good and our future welfare, subject, however, to such rules and regulations as the government of the United States may think proper to adopt.”
Bishop Richard Allen on African Colonization (1827) From Freedom's Journal, Nov., 1827 Dear Sir, I have been for several years trying to reconcile my mind to the Colonizing of Africans in Liberia, but there have always been, and there still remain great and insurmountable objections against the scheme. We are an unlettered people, brought up in ignorance, not one in a hundred can read or write, not one in a thousand has a liberal education; is there any fitness for such to be sent into a far country, among heathens, to convert or civilize them, when they themselves are neither civilized or Christianized?
Bishop Richard Allen on African Colonization (1827) “We were stolen from our mother country, and brought here. We have tilled the ground and made fortunes for thousands, and still they are not weary of our services. But they who stay to till the ground must be slaves. Is there not land enough in America, or 'corn enough in Egypt?' Why should they send us into a far country to die? See the thousands of foreigners emigrating to America every year: and if there be ground sufficient for them to cultivate, and bread for them to eat, why would they wish to send the first tillers of the land away? Africans have made fortunes for thousands, who are yet unwilling to part with their services; but the free must be sent away, and those who remain, must be slaves. “I have no doubt that there are many good men who do not see as I do, and who are for sending us to Liberia; but they have not duly considered the subject--they are not men of colour.--This land which we have watered with our tears and our blood, is now our mother country, and we are well satisfied to stay where wisdom abounds and the gospel is free." RICHARD ALLEN Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal "Church in the United States
David Walker on African Colonization (1829) Will any of us leave our homes and go to Africa? I hope not. Those who are ignorant enough to go to Africa, the coloured people ought to be glad to have them go, for if they are ignorant enough to let the whites fool them off to Africa, they would be no small injury to us if they reside in this country. Let them commence their attack upon us as they did on our brethren in Ohio, driving and beating us from our country, and my soul for theirs, they will have enough of it. Let no man of us budge one step, and let slave-holders come to beat us from our country. America is more our country, than it is the whites--we have enriched it with our blood and tears. The greatest riches in all America have arisen from our blood and tears:--and will they drive us from our property and homes, which we have earned with our blood? They must look sharp or this very thing will bring swift destruction upon them. The Americans have got so fat on our blood and groans, that they have almost forgotten the God of armies. But let them go on.
Black abolitionism’s influence: William Lloyd Garrison on African Colonization (1832) Garrison’s abolitonist indictment of the American Colonization of Society (which he supported until 1829) The ACS –Is pledged not to oppose the system of slavery –Apologizes for slavery and slaveholders –Recognizes slaves as property –Increases the value of slaves –Is the enemy of immediate abolition –Is nourished by fear and selfishness –Aims at the utter expulsion of the blacks –Is the disparager of the free blacks –Denies the possibility of elevating the blacks in this country –Deceives and misleads the nation
Second Annual Convention for the Improvement of the Free People of Color Philadelphia, June 1832. While generally opposed to colonization, committee members acknowledged “that the rigid oppression abroad in the land is such, that a part of our suffering brethren cannot live under it.” Delegates to the Convention resolved, at the urging of the committee, to establish an agent in Upper Canada “for the purpose of purchasing lands and contributing to the wants of our people generally who may be, by oppressive legislative enactments, obliged to flee from these United States and take up residence within her borders.”
2. Rise of a Northern Interracial Campaign to Abolish Slavery (1830s)
African American Antecedents Massachusetts General Colored Association (1826) Convention Movement of Free People of Color (first meeting at Mother Bethel Church in Philadelphia, 1830)
-- early phase of national movement dominated by whites -- paternalist ethos; former slaves counseled on how best to present themselves and their experience of slavery -- earlier work of black abolitionists minimized/obscured
American Antislavery Society Founded in Philadelphia (December 1833) --- 66 delegates from eleven northern states; only three of them were African Americans -- dedicated to “the entire abolition of slavery in the United States” and the elevation of “the character and condition of the people of color” -- no stated commitment to “social equality”
African Americans took active part in organization of AAS state and local affiliates Black and white women join interracial female auxiliaries Philadelphia – daughters of James Forten Boston– Sarah and Angelina Grimke of S.Carolina
Antislavery/Abolitionist Newspapers Freedom’s Journal (New York) Genius of Universal Emancipation (Baltimore/DC) The Liberator (Boston) The Antislavery Standard Northern Star and Freedmen’s Advocate (Albany) The Colored American (New York) Published speeches, poetry, news of noteworthy African- Americans, ads for businesses Several of these papers are available on line: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/accessible/afrnews/ http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/accessible/afrnews/
Abolitionism Merged with Other “Moral Reform” Movements 1835 Convention of Free People of Color establishes American Moral Reform Society – seeks peace, temperance, integration, equality of women, brotherly love, nonresistance under all circumstances
Repression/Mob Violence Against Abolitionists 1835: Efforts to close the Southern mails to abolitionist literature 1836-44: U.S. House adopts “gag rule” against all anti-slavery petitions 1837: Illinois newspaper editor Elijah Lovejoy’s presses thrown into river; Lovejoy shot and killed by a mob Riots in Boston, Philadelphia, other Northern cities
By the late 1830s, as mob violence against abolitionists in the North increased, some antislavery activists openly questioned the Garrisonian doctrine of non-resistance.
Schisms within the Movement Disagreement over Garrison’s ideological and tactical positions His pacifist strategy/philosophy of non-resistance (Elijah Lovejoy had armed himself in self-defense; viewed by many as martyr to cause) His interpretation of the Constitution as a pro-slavery document/calls for disunion His rejection of political action (including voting and office-holding) in favor of moral suasion His support of woman suffrage (refusal to participate in 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention because women were excluded)
1840: National Movement Split The “old” organization – the American Anti- Slavery Society-- retained support of African Americans from New England and Philadelphia The “new” organization -- American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society -- advocated moral suasion and political action and led directly to the birth of the Liberty Party in 1840.
Black Abolitionists Assert Their Independence 1840: Calls for a national Negro convention in New Haven seen by some as “separatist” – others favored an independent movement as a form of group self-expression, free from white coercion. Not necessarily an either-or question. Many black abolitionists participated in both the Negro convention movement and the mainstream interracial abolitionist societies dominated by whites.
American expansionism under the doctrine of “Manifest Destiny” widened the sectional divide over slavery in the 1840s and 1850s.
The annexation of Texas in 1845 thrust the United States into war with Mexico and fueled abolitionist suspicions of a plot to expand the South’s slaveholding empire across the continent.
At war’s end, a defeated Mexico ceded its vast western holdings to the United States, reopening a debate over slavery’s borders that had been quelled since the Missouri Compromise. When newly acquired California bypassed the formation of a territorial government and applied for admission as a free state, the two major political parties – the Whigs and Democrats - fractured along sectional lines.
The Compromise of 1850, negotiated by Henry Clay, included a mix of antislavery and proslavery legislation designed to appease the Northern and Southern factions in each party. Under the terms of the compromise: California was to be admitted as a free state Utah and New Mexico territories were to be organized with no explicit ban on slavery Slave trading was to be abolished in the District of Columbia Slave hunting would be encouraged under a new fugitive slave law. Link to exhibit on Compromise of 1850 and Fugitive Slave Acts (PBS)
Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 Allowed slaveholders to more easily reach into any state to retrieve runaways An accused fugitive need no longer be brought before a court. A slaveholder or his representative could simply present an affidavit with a physical description of the runaway, and federal commissioners could turn over any person presumed to be that slave Empowered federal marshals to compel bystanders to assist in the capture of a fugitive. Stiff fines and imprisonment for those who obstructed the application of the law. Federal funds provided to pay costs of recovering a fugitive. Fugitives denied right to speak in own defense; no right of habeas corpus.
Reaction to Fugitive Slave Act Militant abolitionists vowed to prevent the kidnapping and return of fugitive slaves through acts of civil disobedience and, if necessary, mob violence. Despite several well- publicized rescues, more than three hundred alleged fugitives were hauled into federal courts and forcibly re-enslaved. Link to “The Attempted Rescue of Anthony Burns” “The Attempted Rescue of Anthony Burns”
Uncle Tom’s Cabin The passage of the Fugitive Slave Law and a series of highly publicized kidnapings and forcible re-enslavements, inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In February 1851, while living in Maine, she asked her brother Henry to furnish her with “suggestions and materials for some graphic sketches that shall have some bearing on the slave power & principle – something to make slavery a picture instead of a political idea.” For all of her sentimental tributes to faithful Uncle Tom, Stowe warned her readers that the brutalizing, dehumanizing effect of slavery might turn the humblest, most obedient slave into a desperado.
The sectional crisis escalated with passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which erased the geographical line between free states and slave states established under the Missouri Compromise. The act, sponsored by Democratic presidential hopeful Stephen A. Douglas, provided for the establishment of territorial governments on the basis of “popular sovereignty,” leaving “all questions pertaining to slavery” to the inhabitants of the territories. Link to text of Kansas-Nebraska Act (Avalon Project at Yale)
A small-scale civil war ensued as pro-slavery forces, aided by “Border Ruffians” from Missouri, and anti-slavery forces, joined by gun-toting abolitionists from New England, vied for control of the new territorial government in Kansas. Rival governments were established, guerilla warfare broke out, and “Bleeding Kansas” became a symbol of the nation’s open wound. Link to Bleeding Kansas exhibit and related entries (PBS)
Link to “The Caning of Sen. Charles Sumner” (U.S. Senate) Link to Secession Era Editorials Project (Furman) The violence spread to the halls of Congress, where South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks brutally caned Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner over remarks Sumner had made in a speech denouncing “The Crime Against Kansas.”
By the late 1850s, the nation had become, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, a “house divided” – politically and culturally – along sectional lines. The Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, which denied U.S. citizenship to all persons of African descent and invalidated the Missouri Compromise, left abolitionists and Republicans convinced that the “slave power conspiracy” extended to the highest court in the land.
Dred Scott Case (1856): U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Persons of African Descent are Permanently Barred from U.S. Citizenship Key clauses in majority decision: “A free negro of the African race, whose ancestors were brought to this country and sold as slaves, is not a "citizen" within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States. “When the Constitution was adopted, they were not regarded in any of the States as members of the community which constituted the State, and were not numbered among its "people or citizens." Consequently, the special rights and immunities guarantied to citizens do not apply to them. And not being "citizens" within the meaning of the Constitution, they are not entitled to sue in that character in a court of the United States, and the Circuit Court has not jurisdiction in such a suit.” “The only two clauses in the Constitution which point to this race treat them as persons whom it was morally lawful to deal in as articles of property and to hold as slaves.”
Dred Scott ruling (cont’d) “The change in public opinion and feeling in relation to the African race which has taken place since the adoption of the Constitution cannot change its construction and meaning, and it must be construed and administered now according to its true meaning and intention when it was formed and adopted.”
Judge Curtis’s dissent in Dred Scott case “The Constitution was ordained and established by the people of the United States through the action, in each state, of those persons who were qualified by its laws to act thereon in behalf of themselves and all other citizens of the state. In some of the states, as we have seen, colored persons were among those qualified by law to act on the subject. These colored persons were not only included in the body of "the people of the United States" by whom the Constitution was ordained and established, but in at least five of the states they had the power to act, and doubtless did act, by their suffrages, upon the question of its adoption.”
Stephen A. Douglas supports the Dred Scott decision (1857) “No man can vindicate the character, motives, and conduct of the signers of the Declaration of Independence except upon the hypothesis that they referred to the white race alone, and not to the African, when they declared all men to have been created equal; that they were speaking of British subjects on this continent being equal to British subjects born and residing in Great Britain; that they were entitled to the same inalienable rights, and among them were enumerated life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Abraham Lincoln responds to Stephen A. Douglas’s narrow reading of Founder’s “original intent’ (1857) “’They were speaking of British subjects on this continent being equal to British subjects born and residing in Great Britain!’ Why, according to this, not only Negroes but white people outside of Great Britain and America were not spoken of in that instrument. The English, Irish, and Scotch, along with white Americans, were included, to be sure, but the French, Germans, and other white people of the world are all gone to pot along with the judge's inferior races!”
Abraham Lincoln on the language of the Declaration (cont’d) “Chief Justice Taney, in his opinion in the Dred Scott case, admits that the language of the Declaration is broad enough to include the whole human family, but he and Judge Douglas argue that the authors of that instrument did not intend to include Negroes by the fact that they did not at once actually place them on an equality with the whites. Now this grave argument comes to just nothing at all, by the other fact that they did not at once, or ever afterward, actually place all white people on an equality with one another.”
Abraham Lincoln on the meaning of the Declaration of Independence (cont’d) “I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness in what respects they did consider all men created equal--equal with "certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This they said, and this they meant. “They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth that all were then actually enjoying that equality, nor yet that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In fact, they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to declare the right, so that enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit. “They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society which should be familiar to all and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere.”