Bloody Dawn: The Christiana Riot and Racial Violence in the Antebellum North / Edition 1

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Overview

A compelling analysis of racial violence in pre-Civil War America as seen through the prism of the September 1851 riot in Christiana, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania....Slaughter...is a very good storyteller....He neatly weaves together the threads of local, regional, and national crises to offer a persuasive account of the importance of the Christiana Riot in the coming Civil War...An eloquent and insightful story that is respectful of the past, yet speaks to our present concerns with clarity and conviction.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A compelling analysis of racial violence in pre-Civil War America as seen throgh the prism of the September 1851 riot in Christiana, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania....Slaugher...is a very good storyteller....He neatly weaves together the threads of local, regional, and national ises to offer a persuasive account of the importance of the Christiana Riot in the coming Civil War....An eloquent and insightful story that is respectful of the past, yet speaks to our present concerns with clarity and conviction."--Philadelphia Inquirer

"Admirably researched....Slaughter...has reconstructed a sequence of events that goes to the heart of American slavery."--New York Review of Books

"Mr. Slaughter relates this story deftly, sifting the evidence with an eye observant of telling details and alert to embedded prejudices."--New Yorker

"An important, well-written book with a clearly stated point of view, one that can throw light on contemporary violence as well as on bloody incidents in the past."--Civil War History

"Slaughter's recounting of the events leading up to the riot, the fight itself, and its aftermath is excellent. He is at his best in weaving the intricacies that characterize American race relations into an engrossing stroy."--The Journal of Southern History

"Marshals impressive evidence that this racial conflict illustrated major patterns of racial, class, gender, political, legal, and regional differences during its time....Engages the reader's attention with the lives that it recreates and the author's intriguing interpretations."--History: Reviews of New Books

"Slaughter's book goes well beyond Jonathan Katz's Resistance at Christiana...to use the riot as a means of exploring the master-slave relationship, the significance of freedom for free blacks, and the nature of relations between black and white Northerners before the Civil War....He makes a further contribution with his imaginative and deeply probing readings of late-eighteenth and nineteenth-century Lancaster County newspapers and court records....Slaughter illuminates a domain of black poverty and race relations in the antebellum rural North of which we heretofore knew little, and...demonstrates the central, animating role that popular black activism played in the culture and politics of the pre-Civil War North....Compelling and timely."--American Historical Review

"A dramatic rendering of the confrontation between African Americans and Gorsuch's federal posse and of the treason trial that followed the incident."--Choice

"Tells the fascinating story of the Christiana Riot of 1851 with the sense of narrative and subtlety of texture that a reader expects from a first-rate novel but seldom finds in a work of history....Goes beyond unraveling the violent events in rural Pennsylvania that challenged the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. His exploration on pre-Civil War racism, free-black poverty, and rioting in the North casts new light on subjects too long neglected."--Bertram Wyatt-Brown, University of Florida

"A great history: a riveting story, full of fascinating characters, and a powerful evocation of the impending conflict of the sections and the perennial conflict of the races. But it is more than that: an unblinking insistence on the prevalence of violence in the lives of Americans, and an eloquent pondering of its causes and costs."--Michael Zuckerman, University of Pennsylvania

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195046342
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1994
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Lexile: 1460L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author:
Thomas P. Slaughter lives in Trenton, New Jersey, and is Professor of History at Rutgers University. He is the author of The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
1. The Escape 3
2. Black Images in White Minds 20
3. The Chase 43
4. The Riot 59
5. Aftermath 76
6. Stratagems 94
7. The Trial 112
8. Race, Violence, and Law 139
9. Race, Riots, and Law 164
Conclusion 182
Afterword 187
Abbreviations Used in the Notes 197
Notes 199
Index 241
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