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A significant number of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Virginians migrated north and west with the intent of extricating themselves from a slave society. All sought some kind of freedom: whites who left the Old Dominion to escape from slavery refused to live any longer as slave owners or as participants in a society grounded in bondage; fugitive slaves attempted to liberate themselves; free African Americans searched for greater opportunity.
In Migrants against Slavery Philip J. Schwarz suggests that antislavery migrant Virginians, both the famous—such as fugitive Anthony Burns and abolitionist Edward Coles—and the lesser known, deserve closer scrutiny. Their migration and its aftermath, he argues, intensified the national controversy over human bondage, playing a larger role than previous historians have realized in shaping American identity and in Americans' effort to define the meaning of freedom.
University of Virginia Press
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|List of Tables|
|1||The Virginia Fugitives' Experience||18|
|2||Fugitive Virginians and the Nation||40|
|3||The National Impact||63|
|4||George Boxley, "Not Found"||85|
|5||The Gilliams' Dilemma||102|
|6||The Gist Settlements in Ohio||122|
|7||The Newby Families in Virginia and Ohio||149|
|"A More Free Land than Virginia"||169|
|App||The Will of Samuel Gist||177|