Beyond Garrison: Antislavery and Social Reform

Beyond Garrison: Antislavery and Social Reform

  • £16.99
  • Save £8

Bruce Laurie
Cambridge University Press, 5/27/2011
EAN 9780521605175, ISBN10: 0521605172

Paperback, 366 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.1 cm
Language: English

Why was Massachusetts one of the few Northern states in which African-American males enjoyed the right to vote? Why did it pass personal liberty laws, which helped protect fugitive slaves from federal authorities in the two decades immediately preceding the Civil War? Why did the Bay State at the time integrate its public facilities and public schools as well? Beyond Garrison, first published in 2005, finds answers to these important questions in unfamiliar and surprising places. Its protagonists are not the leading lights of American abolitionism grouped around William Lloyd Garrison, but lesser men and women in country towns and villages, encouraged by African-American activists throughout the state. Laurie's fresh approach trains the spotlight on the politics of such antislavery advocates. He demonstrates their penchant for third-party politics with a view toward explaining the relationship between social movements based on race, class, and nationality, on the one hand, and political insurgency, on the other.

1. An experiment of immense consequences
from moral suasion to politics
2. The . . . evil from a small party
the rise of the liberty party
3. Our colored friends
Libertyism and the politics of race
4. To favor the poorest and the weakest
Libertyism and Labor Reform
5. Fifty thousand might have assembled
sources of free soilism
6. Our own time
free soilers and labor reformers
7. As easy as lying
complications of political reform
8. Prejudices against us
the limits of paternalism
9. Epilogue.

"This carefully researched study includes extensive footnotes, eight appendixes on Massachusetts voting patterns, a 20-page bibliography of primary and secondary sources, and 29 illustrations that enliven the text. Highly recommended."

"Beyond Garrison is one of the best and most innovative studies of the abolition movement yet published. Laurie's discovery of important links between the antebellum labor movement and the anti-slavery crusade will force historians to reconsider their preconceived notions concerning the abolitionists' constituency. The book's insights into the means by which opponents of slavery translated their movement into grass-roots political action are also invaluable."
Tyler Anbinder, George Washington University

"Beyond Garrison is a tremendous contribution to the history of abolitionism, anti-slavery, and antebellum politics. Through his careful biographical studies and reconstruction of electoral coalitions and campaigns, Bruce Laurie casts light on significant numbers of important but neglected anti-slavery activists and leaders and the crusades they waged at the ballot box and state house. Equally important, he takes seriously the passion that African American and white Bay Staters brought to their campaigns, forcing us to reevaluate our dominant understandings of Garrisonianism. Archivally grounded and historiographically engaged, Beyond Garrison is an important and original book."
Eric Arnesen, author of Brotherhoods of Color: Black Railroad Workers and the Struggle for Equality

"Written with clarity and passion and researched with unfailing energy, Bruce Laurie's Beyond Garrison puts politics back at the center of the story of American abolitionism. In Massachusetts, Laurie shows, coalitions of antislavery political activists won the day at the local and state level over the moral suasion of Garrisonians and the white supremacy of Democrats. Guided by a sure-handed scholar, this book is an illuminating and original journey through the thickets of political antislavery among the voters of the most important abolitionist state. New Englanders, Laurie brilliantly shows, voted slavery's death long before the Union armies destroyed it in war. This is scholarship in the form of a compelling cautionary tale about the importance of grassroots politics in great historical change."
David W. Blight, Yale University, author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory

"Beyond Garrison is a major contribution to the history of the antislavery movement. Bruce Laurie demonstrates persuasively the social significance and wide-ranging outlook of those who worked within the political system to oppose slavery."
Eric Foner, Columbia University

"Beyond Garrison has traced clearly and persuasively the interaction between the antislavery struggle in Massachusetts politics and other mobilizations of white and black working people in both Boston and in rural towns seeking to reform the state's industrial and political life. Laurie has effectively challenged currently fashionable paradigms of "whiteness" and "negative reference groups," by recreating the fervor of antebellum community life and party politics. Moreover, his well chosen illustrations transport the reader directly into the times and places under discussion."
David Montgomery, Yale University

"Beyond Garrison: Antislavery and Social Reform is a significant contribution to the study of party politics and aboliton from the 1830s through the 1850s. Laurie also offers valuable insights into the social and economic climates of antebellum Massachusetts. His analysis includes labor constituencies within the antislavery movement and the contributions and failures of antislavery politics in confronting issues of industrialism. The book deserves a wide readership."
Journal of Southern History, Robert D. Sayre, Millersville University of Pennsylvania

"Political abolitionism has too often received a historiographical back seat to radicalism and idealism of Garrisonian immediatism. What Laurie shows us is that practical politics outdid moral ardor in Massachusets; antislavery politicians and their supporters went beyond Garrison and actuated the ideals that fueled not only moral suasion but also political action."
Kristen Tegtmeier, Milsaps College

"The book offers something new and difficult: a synthesis of labor, social, and political history, with a good dose of black history as well."
Journal of Social History, Patrick Rael, Bowdoin College

"What Bruce Laurie has done is to add an important element to the growing literature on political antislavery. And in providing this well-researched and -documented account, one which includes effective historiographical analysis, he has described Massachusetts' unique role in advancing racial equality and the status of labor, while at the same time focusing on the state's central place in antislavery politics. We can hope that other historians will follow Laurie's lead...."
H-SHEAR, Frederick J. Blue, Department of History, Youngstown State University

"Castro does an excellent job describing the naval war- particularly the role of privateers--and the subsequent handling of specific cases by Washington's cabinet and the U.S. judiciary." - Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State University, Tempe

"Laurie's detailed study of the roots and multiple manifestations of antislavery politics in Massachusetts offers historians a fresh interpretation of th demographic and ideological base of the antislavery movement."
Michael B. Chesson, Civil War History

"...a richly detailed local history that describes both the ideological battles and the political horse-trading engaged in by antislavery politicians in antebellum Massachusetts." -Rachel Hope Cleves, JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC