The First Emancipator

Author: Andrew Levy
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781588364692
Format: PDF, ePub
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Robert Carter III, the grandson of Tidewater legend Robert “King” Carter, was born into the highest circles of Virginia’s Colonial aristocracy. He was neighbor and kin to the Washingtons and Lees and a friend and peer to Thomas Jefferson and George Mason. But on September 5, 1791, Carter severed his ties with this glamorous elite at the stroke of a pen. In a document he called his Deed of Gift, Carter declared his intent to set free nearly five hundred slaves in the largest single act of liberation in the history of American slavery before the Emancipation Proclamation. How did Carter succeed in the very action that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson claimed they fervently desired but were powerless to effect? And why has his name all but vanished from the annals of American history? In this haunting, brilliantly original work, Andrew Levy traces the confluence of circumstance, conviction, war, and passion that led to Carter’s extraordinary act. At the dawn of the Revolutionary War, Carter was one of the wealthiest men in America, the owner of tens of thousands of acres of land, factories, ironworks–and hundreds of slaves. But incrementally, almost unconsciously, Carter grew to feel that what he possessed was not truly his. In an era of empty Anglican piety, Carter experienced a feverish religious visionthat impelled him to help build a church where blacks and whites were equals. In an age of publicly sanctioned sadism against blacks, he defied convention and extended new protections and privileges to his slaves. As the war ended and his fortunes declined, Carter dedicated himself even more fiercely to liberty, clashing repeatedly with his neighbors, his friends, government officials, and, most poignantly, his own family. But Carter was not the only humane master, nor the sole partisan of freedom, in that freedom-loving age. Why did this troubled, spiritually torn man dare to do what far more visionary slave owners only dreamed of? In answering this question, Andrew Levy teases out the very texture of Carter’s life and soul–the unspoken passions that divided him from others of his class, and the religious conversion that enabled him to see his black slaves in a new light. Drawing on years of painstaking research, written with grace and fire, The First Emancipator is a portrait of an unsung hero who has finally won his place in American history. It is an astonishing, challenging, and ultimately inspiring book. From the Hardcover edition.

The Founding Fathers Reconsidered

Author: R. B. Bernstein
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195338324
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This concise and elegant book reintroduces us to the history that shaped the founding fathers, the history that they made, and what history has made of them. It gives the reader a context within which to explore the world of the founding fathers and their complex and still-controversial achievements and legacies.

Memories of Madagascar and Slavery in the Black Atlantic

Author: Wendy Wilson-Fall
Publisher: Ohio University Press
ISBN: 0821445464
Format: PDF, Docs
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From the seventeenth century into the nineteenth, thousands of Madagascar’s people were brought to American ports as slaves. In Memories of Madagascar and Slavery in the Black Atlantic, Wendy Wilson-Fall shows that the descendants of these Malagasy slaves in the United States maintained an ethnic identity in ways that those from the areas more commonly feeding the Atlantic slave trade did not. Generations later, hundreds, if not thousands, of African Americans maintain strong identities as Malagasy descendants, yet the histories of Malagasy slaves, sailors, and their descendants have been little explored. Wilson-Fall examines how and why the stories that underlie this identity have been handed down through families — and what this says about broader issues of ethnicity and meaning-making for those whose family origins, if documented at all, have been willfully obscured by history. By analyzing contemporary oral histories as well as historical records and examining the conflicts between the two, Wilson-Fall carefully probes the tensions between the official and the personal, the written and the lived. She suggests that historically, the black community has been a melting pot to which generations of immigrants — enslaved and free — have been socially assigned, often in spite of their wish to retain far more complex identities. Innovative in its methodology and poetic in its articulation, this book bridges history and ethnography to take studies of diaspora, ethnicity, and identity into new territory.

Books on Early American History and Culture 2001 2005 An Annotated Bibliography

Author: Raymond D. Irwin
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1440829225
Format: PDF, Docs
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This volume offers a complete listing and description of books published on early America between 2001 and 2005. • The book is organized thematically to facilitate research • Extensive author indexes and guides to important works for the time period are provided • The most important books in each subject (e.g., gender, politics) are enumerated based on frequency of citation

Slavery s Constitution

Author: David Waldstreicher
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 9781429959070
Format: PDF, Docs
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Taking on decades of received wisdom, David Waldstreicher has written the first book to recognize slavery's place at the heart of the U.S. Constitution. Famously, the Constitution never mentions slavery. And yet, of its eighty-four clauses, six were directly concerned with slaves and the interests of their owners. Five other clauses had implications for slavery that were considered and debated by the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention and the citizens of the states during ratification. This "peculiar institution" was not a moral blind spot for America's otherwise enlightened framers, nor was it the expression of a mere economic interest. Slavery was as important to the making of the Constitution as the Constitution was to the survival of slavery. By tracing slavery from before the revolution, through the Constitution's framing, and into the public debate that followed, Waldstreicher rigorously shows that slavery was not only actively discussed behind the closed and locked doors of the Constitutional Convention, but that it was also deftly woven into the Constitution itself. For one thing, slavery was central to the American economy, and since the document set the stage for a national economy, the Constitution could not avoid having implications for slavery. Even more, since the government defined sovereignty over individuals, as well as property in them, discussion of sovereignty led directly to debate over slavery's place in the new republic. Finding meaning in silences that have long been ignored, Slavery's Constitution is a vital and sorely needed contribution to the conversation about the origins, impact, and meaning of our nation's founding document.

The United States of the United Races

Author: Greg Carter
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 081477251X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Barack Obama’s historic presidency has re-inserted mixed race into the national conversation. While the troubled and pejorative history of racial amalgamation throughout U.S. history is a familiar story, The United States of the United Races reconsiders an understudied optimist tradition, one which has praised mixture as a means to create a new people, bring equality to all, and fulfill an American destiny. In this genealogy, Greg Carter re-envisions racial mixture as a vehicle for pride and a way for citizens to examine mixed America as a better America. Tracing the centuries-long conversation that began with Hector St. John de Crevecoeur’s Letters of an American Farmer in the 1780s through to the Mulitracial Movement of the 1990s and the debates surrounding racial categories on the U.S. Census in the twenty-first century, Greg Carter explores a broad range of documents and moments, unearthing a new narrative that locates hope in racial mixture. Carter traces the reception of the concept as it has evolved over the years, from and decade to decade and century to century, wherein even minor changes in individual attitudes have paved the way for major changes in public response. The United States of the United Races sweeps away an ugly element of U.S. history, replacing it with a new understanding of race in America.

Washington s Decision

Author: Patrick Charles
Publisher: Booksurge Llc
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Washington's Decision explores all the factors that attributed George Washington to reaccept the black soldier in the Continental Army on December 31, 1775. There are three main themes regarding the issue, but none have accurately depicted the events leading up to the General's change of heart. Patrick Charles sets out to finally answer the question, "What are all the factors that atrributed Washington to reenlist the black soldier?" Washington's Decision tells the story of the Revolution's black soldier from this perspective, giving insight into the politics behind blacks serving, the evolution of slaves to soldiers, and the state of the army during the first year of hostilities.

Freedom in My Heart

Author: Cynthia Jacobs Carter
Publisher: National Geographic
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Captures the complete experience of American slavery, as well as the contributions of slaves and their descendants, in a beautifully illustrated volume that brings together artifacts, images, and documents from the United States National Slavery Museum, accompanied by commentary and reminiscences of slaves and their descendants. 15,000 first printing.