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Hearts Beating for Liberty: Women Abolitionists in the Old Northwest
     

Hearts Beating for Liberty: Women Abolitionists in the Old Northwest

by Stacey M. Robertson
 

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Challenging traditional histories of abolition, this book shifts the focus away from the East to show how the women of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin helped build a vibrant antislavery movement in the Old Northwest.

Stacey Robertson argues that the environment of the Old Northwest--with its own complicated history of slavery and

Overview

Challenging traditional histories of abolition, this book shifts the focus away from the East to show how the women of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin helped build a vibrant antislavery movement in the Old Northwest.

Stacey Robertson argues that the environment of the Old Northwest--with its own complicated history of slavery and racism--created a uniquely collaborative and flexible approach to abolitionism. Western women helped build this local focus through their unusual and occasionally transgressive activities. They plunged into Liberty Party politics, vociferously supported a Quaker-led boycott of slave goods, and tirelessly aided fugitives and free blacks in their communities. Western women worked closely with male abolitionists, belying the notion of separate spheres that characterized abolitionism in the East. The contested history of race relations in the West also affected the development of abolitionism in the region, necessitating a pragmatic bent in their activities. Female antislavery societies focused on eliminating racist laws, aiding fugitive slaves, and building and sustaining schools for blacks. This approach required that abolitionists of all stripes work together, and women proved especially adept at such cooperation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This book…sheds light on two critical issues in U.S. history. It adds valuable information to our conceptualization of the abolition movement, and it also demonstrates the pre-Civil War foundation of women's activism in the Old Northwest.--American Historical Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807899489
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
10/11/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
2 MB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Hearts Beating for Liberty offers a fresh and necessary perspective on grassroots abolitionism. Stacey Robertson makes a compelling case for the distinctiveness both of midwestern abolitionism and of midwestern women's activism within the antislavery movement. This book presents an important new argument about the significance of both region and gender in shaping abolitionist agitation.--Anne M. Boylan, author of The Origins of Women's Activism: New York and Boston, 1797–1840

Meet the Author

Stacey Robertson is the Oglesby Professor of American Heritage at Bradley University. She is author of Parker Pillsbury: Radical Abolitionist, Male Feminist.

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