The Struggle Against Slavery: A History in Documents

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From slave ships to plantations to freedom, The Struggle Against Slavery traces the remarkable history of the heroic fight to end slavery, from its North American beginnings in the early 1600s to its violent demise in the mid-1800s with the Civil War. Captured in their own words from transcripts, diaries, memoirs, newspaper clippings, drawings, and other documents are the stories of how slaves and free blacks fought against the dehumanization of slavery by developing anti-racist arguments, creating their own institutions, physically escaping, and fighting with weapons. An exceptional social, political, and cultural history of the period, The Struggle Against Slavery is filled with stirring tales of survival and strength, bringing to life the African-American experience in early America.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a book we've been waiting for, for a long time....Outstanding....Well annotated with wonderful black and white reproductions of art....Children will be fascinated with the letters reproduced...they give a very now feeling to history."--Teaching K-8

"This excellent series entry brings together hundreds of primary documents to tell the history of slavery....The illustrations are carefully chosen to match the text and add a great deal to readers' understanding....A valuable resource for students and for teachers."--School Library Journal

"Each entry is placed in context with a good introduction. Well-captioned reproductions of period documents, photos, engravings, posters, prints, and other artifacts appear throughout the book. With the increasing emphasis on students' learning to interpret primary sources for historical research, this will be a useful addition to many library collections."--Booklist

Children's Literature
Slavery remains one of the darkest chapters in American history. For nearly 250 years, millions of African Americans remained chattel in a society that prided itself on the liberty that it afforded its citizens. Despite the fact that slavery was a "legal" institution, opposition to slavery existed throughout those years. African Americans worked against slavery in a variety of ways. Slave revolts, sabotage, running away, working with the Underground Railroad and fighting as soldiers were all means for black men and/or women to resist the crushing bondage they experienced. In addition, whites who supported the abolitionist cause also worked in many ways to put an end to an institution that they saw as cruel, immoral, unjust and a moral cancer in their beloved land. In the end the Civil War was fought, primarily due to slavery. That war ended the repulsive institution and set the stage for African Americans to become a vibrant part of free society. In this volume of the "Pages from History" series, readers are afforded an opportunity to review the fight against slavery via primary source documents. Selections from memoirs, diaries, publications, letters and illustrations provide readers with a first hand look at what slavery was like as well as the views of those who opposed it. This is a wonderful resource book and one that will help illuminate the nature of slavery in the antebellum world. 2001, Oxford University Press, $32.95. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This excellent series entry brings together hundreds of primary documents to tell the history of slavery. Waldstreicher takes a chronological approach, covering the subject from pre-Colonial America through the end of the Civil War in 1865. Along the way, readers are introduced to slaves and masters, freedmen and abolitionists, the famous and the infamous. The author of each of the featured documents is identified (when known) and commentary addresses its significance. The illustrations are carefully chosen to match the text and add a great deal to readers' understanding. One chapter has an interesting photo-essay on how slaves and ex-slaves were depicted in photographs and illustrations. A valuable resource for students and for teachers.-Elizabeth M. Reardon, McCallie School, Chattanooga, TN Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195108507
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2002
  • Series: Pages from History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David Waldstreicher is Association Professor of History at Temple University. His recent works include Runaway America : Benjamin Franklin, Slavery, and the American Revolution (Hill and Wang, 2004) and The Envisioning America and Notes on the State of Virginia and Confessions of: Nat Turner (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002).

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Table of Contents

What is a Document?
How to Read a Document
Introduction: Vanguards of Freedom

Chapter One: The Making of American Slavery

Capture and Transport
Early Resistance
Slaves' Lives in the Colonies
Rebels and Runaways

Chapter Two: The African-American Revolution

Liberty For All?
Lord Dunmore and the Promise of Freedom
The Declaration of Independence and the Question of Slavery
Revolutionary Soldiers
Equality Disputed
Revolutionary Ideals

Chapter Three: Forging Freedom and Fighting Slavery in the North

First Steps to Freedom
An End to the Slave Trade
Opponents to Colonization
Free Blacks Speak Out
Another Independence Day
The Call for Civil Rights

Chapter Four: Picture Essay: Slavery and Freedom: Dressing the Part

Chapter Five: The Continual Struggle: Southern Slaves and Masters

Private and Public Rebellion
Disobedience and Discipline
Subversion, Suffering, and Escape

Chapter Six: The Second American Revolution and the End of Slavery

Justified Rebellion
A Welcome War

Further Reading
Text Credits
Picture Credits

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