Disowning Slavery : Gradual Emancipation and "Race" in New England, 1780-1860

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 1998-06-01
Publisher(s): Cornell Univ Pr
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Following the abolition of slavery in New England, white citizens seemed to forget that it had ever existed there. Drawing on a wide array of primary sources--from slaveowners' diaries to children's daybooks to racist broadsides--Joanne Pope Melish reveals not only how northern society changed but how its perceptions changed, and how the collective amnesia about local slavery's existence became a significant component of New England regional identity. 9 photos.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface xi
List of Archives Cited
Introduction 1(10)
New England Slavery
``Short of the Truth'': Slavery in the Lives of Whites
Another Truth: Enslavement in the Lives of People of Color
The Antislavery Impulse
To ``Clear Our Spirits'': Whites' Expectations of Freedom from Slavery
The ``Privilage of Freemen'': Blacks' Expectations of Freedom from Slavery
``Slaves of the Community'': Gradual Emancipation in Practice
A ``Negro Spirit'': Em-bodying Difference
``To Abolish the Black Man'': Enacting the Antislavery Promise
``A Thing Unknown'': The Free White Republic as New England Writ Large
``We Are the Alphabet'': Free People of Color and the Discourse of ``Race''
Index 287

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