Source On Southern Abolitionists

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brass napoleon

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Stanley Harrold has a good book called "The Abolitionists and the South, 1831 - 1861". It's not exclusively about Southern abolitionists, but instead about abolitionists, both Northern and Southern, who operated in the South.

I started a series of threads here about Southern abolitionists, but so far have only made it to 3 of them:

http://civilwartalk.com/posts/897012/

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/southern-abolitionists-part-2-reverend-john-rankin.107887/

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/southern-abolitionists-part-3-levi-coffin-and-the-quakers.115158/
 

kepi

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Stanley Harrold has a good book called "The Abolitionists and the South, 1831 - 1861". It's not exclusively about Southern abolitionists, but instead about abolitionists, both Northern and Southern, who operated in the South.

I started a series of threads here about Southern abolitionists, but so far have only made it to 3 of them:

http://civilwartalk.com/posts/897012/

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/southern-abolitionists-part-2-reverend-john-rankin.107887/

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/southern-abolitionists-part-3-levi-coffin-and-the-quakers.115158/

Thanks so much!
 
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Joshism

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Hinton Helper's "The Impending Crisis" is probably one of the best examples of Southern abolitionists, yes?
 

brass napoleon

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Hinton Helper's "The Impending Crisis" is probably one of the best examples of Southern abolitionists, yes?
I don't think Helper would really qualify as a "good example" of a Southern abolitionist. He was in many ways out of sync with the vast majority of Southern abolitionists. Helper was an extremely racist man who believed that slavery was wrong for what it did to the South. While there were certainly other Southerners who felt that way, they wouldn't be classified as abolitionists, because they didn't advocate "immediate and unconditional emancipation". It's questionable whether Helper advocated that himself.

I think better examples of southern abolitionists were Reverend John Rankin, the Grimke sisters, William Brisbane, John Fee, James Birney, Levi Coffin, and a good many of Quakers and southern blacks. These people advocated immediate emancipation because they believed slavery was a sin, mainly for its injustice to the slaves. And a necessary by-product of immediate emancipation was the integration of the freed slaves into American society, something that Helper was vehemently opposed to.
 
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leftyhunter

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Can someone direct me to a good source on southern abolitionists? I’m interested in learning more.
Newt Knight might be interesting. Newt was a Unionist guerrilla in Southern Mississippi and of course the protagonist of the soon to be released film "Jones County ". Newt was not adverse to inter racial romance so he may of liberated slaves.
By far the most important Southern abolitionists where the Southern born men black and white who fought in the Union Army post Emancipation Proclamation.
Leftyhunter
 
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Joshism

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I don't think Helper would really qualify as a "good example" of a Southern abolitionist. He was in many ways out of sync with the vast majority of Southern abolitionists. Helper was an extremely racist man who believed that slavery was wrong for what it did to the South. While there were certainly other Southerners who felt that way, they wouldn't be classified as abolitionists, because they didn't advocate "immediate and unconditional emancipation". It's questionable whether Helper advocated that himself.
I didn't realize the definition of abolitionist was that specific, especially in the context of the OP's question.
 

brass napoleon

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I didn't realize the definition of abolitionist was that specific, especially in the context of the OP's question.
The definition became quite specific in the mid-1830s, and has remained so since then. Prior to that time, the term referred to pretty much anybody who was opposed to slavery, almost all of whom were colonizationists. But in the 1830s a movement began, led by William L. Garrison, to denounce colonization as a fraud that delayed emancipation and perpetuated slavery. The movement quickly caught on and split the anti-slavery movement into two camps: colonizationists and abolitionists. The abolitionists maintained that emancipation should begin immediately and unconditionally, and that the emancipated slaves should be integrated into American society rather than waiting for enough boats to transport them to a distant continent. It was this latter sentiment that made the abolitionists so unpopular, particularly in the South.
 
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leftyhunter

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The definition became quite specific in the mid-1830s, and has remained so since then. Prior to that time, the term referred to pretty much anybody who was opposed to slavery, almost all of whom were colonizationists. But in the 1830s a movement began, led by William L. Garrison, to denounce colonization as a fraud that delayed emancipation and perpetuated slavery. The movement quickly caught on and split the anti-slavery movement into two camps: colonizationists and abolitionists. The abolitionists maintained that emancipation should begin immediately and unconditionally, and that the emancipated slaves should be integrated into American society rather than waiting for enough boats to transport them to a distant continent. It was this latter sentiment that made the abolitionists so unpopular, particularly in the South.
Would you agree with the proposition that the most important Southern Abolitionists by far where does Southern men who bore arms for the Union? Yes the Gremke sister's helped the abolitionist cause but at the end of the day it was Unionist soldiers and guerrillas that did the heavy lifting?
Leftyhunter
 

brass napoleon

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Would you agree with the proposition that the most important Southern Abolitionists by far where does Southern men who bore arms for the Union? Yes the Gremke sister's helped the abolitionist cause but at the end of the day it was Unionist soldiers and guerrillas that did the heavy lifting?
Leftyhunter
I don't know, that would be a hard call. It's not an apples to apples comparison so it would be very subjective. The Southern abolitionists like Charles Osborn, John Rankin, and David Walker were the ones who got the whole ball rolling in the first place. There might never have been a need for Southern Unionists or guerillas if it wasn't for them.

But where there could be common ground is on black southern abolitionists. Those like David Walker, Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, etc., did a lot to change Northern perceptions about slavery in the antebellum years, as did the tens of thousands who risked it all to escape from slavery. And the tens of thousands who took up arms during the Civil War helped finish what the others started.
 
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leftyhunter

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I don't know, that would be a hard call. It's not an apples to apples comparison so it would be very subjective. The Southern abolitionists like Charles Osborn, John Rankin, and David Walker were the ones who got the whole ball rolling in the first place. There might never have been a need for Southern Unionists or guerillas if it wasn't for them.

But where there could be common ground is on black southern abolitionists. Those like David Walker, Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, etc., did a lot to change Northern perceptions about slavery in the antebellum years, as did the tens of thousands who risked it all to escape from slavery. And the tens of thousands who took up arms during the Civil War helped finish what the others started.
Your right it is a complex equation. All political causes have to start somewhere and the Abolitionists helped roll things along. Of course most Northerners where anti-slavery more out of economic concern then as a human rights issue although as the war progressed that view point changed somewhat. From what I know in terms of actual numbers their was a literal handful of Southern Abolitionists vs close to 300k white and black Southern men serving in the Union Army and Navy plus as guerrillas . I agree that the abolitionists where the kindling but the Unionist troops and guerrillas where the fire.
Leftyhunter
 
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brass napoleon

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Your right it is a complex equation. All political causes have to start somewhere and the Abolitionists helped roll things along. Of course most Northerners where anti-slavery more out of economic concern then as a human rights issue although as the war progressed that view point changed somewhat. From what I know in terms of actual numbers their was a literal handful of Southern Abolitionists vs close to 300k white and black Southern men serving in the Union Army and Navy plus as guerrillas . I agree that the abolitionists where the kindling but the Unionist troops and guerrillas where the fire.
Leftyhunter
The sad thing is that the slaveholders banished the Southern abolitionists to the North and wouldn't listen to them. If they had, there might not ever have been a need for a fire.
 

leftyhunter

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The sad thing is that the slaveholders banished the Southern abolitionists to the North and wouldn't listen to them. If they had, there might not ever have been a need for a fire.
The sad thing is that the slaveholders banished the Southern abolitionists to the North and wouldn't listen to them. If they had, there might not ever have been a need for a fire.
A classic example of the old saying "it seemed like a good idea at the time "
Leftyhunter
 
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