The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870

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Comprehensive, well-documented 1896 classic draws upon a wealth of primary source materials to examine the South's plantation economy and its influence on the slave trade, the role of Northern merchants in financing the slave trade during the 19th century, and much else.

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Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America: 1638-1870

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Comprehensive, well-documented 1896 classic draws upon a wealth of primary source materials to examine the South's plantation economy and its influence on the slave trade, the role of Northern merchants in financing the slave trade during the 19th century, and much else.

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Editorial Reviews

W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was a champion of civil rights and the political and cultural voice of black Americans of his day. This is his doctoral dissertation for Harvard, examining slavery in Colonial America, its consideration by the Constitutional Convention, the plantation economy of the South and its influence on the slave trade, and the role of Northern merchants in financing the slave trade. This 1896 classic remains a model of historical research and writing. This is an unabridged republication of the edition first published by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1896. It includes a new, brief introduction. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486409108
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 5/27/1999
  • Series: African American Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

John Hope Franklin is James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus and professor of legal history at Duke University. He has received more than eighty honorary degrees. His books include From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans; Racial Equality in America; A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Antebellum North;and George Washington Williams: A Biography.

LSU Press

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Table of Contents

Chapter I. Introductory
1. Plan of the Monograph 1
2. The Rise of the English Slave-Trade 1
Chapter II. The Planting Colonies
3. Character of these Colonies 7
4. Restrictions in Georgia 7
5. Restrictions in South Carolina 9
6. Restrictions in North Carolina 11
7. Restrictions in Virginia 12
8. Restrictions in Maryland 14
9. General Character of these Restrictions 15
Chapter III. The Farming Colonies
10. Character of these Colonies 16
11. The Dutch Slave-Trade 17
12. Restrictions in New York 18
13. Restrictions in Pennsylvania and Delaware 20
14. Restrictions in New Jersey 24
15. General Character of these Restrictions 25
Chapter IV. The Trading Colonies
16. Character of these Colonies 27
17. New England and the Slave-Trade 27
18. Restrictions in New Hampshire 29
19. Restrictions in Massachusetts 30
20. Restrictions in Rhode Island 33
21. Restrictions in Connecticut 37
22. General Character of these Restrictions 37
Chapter V. The Period of the Revolution, 1774-1787
23. The Situation in 1774 39
24. The Condition of the Slave-Trade 40
25. The Slave-Trade and the "Association" 41
26. The Action of the Colonies 42
27. The Action of the Continental Congress 44
28. Reception of the Slave-Trade Resolution 45
29. Results of the Resolution 47
30. The Slave-Trade and Public Opinion after the War 48
31. The Action of the Confederation 50
Chapter VI. The Federal Convention, 1787
32. The First Proposition 53
33. The General Debate 54
34. The Special Committee and the "Bargain" 58
35. The Appeal to the Convention 59
36. Settlement by the Convention 61
37. Reception of the Clause by the Nation 62
38. Attitude of the State Conventions 65
39. Acceptance of the Policy 68
Chapter VII. Toussaint L'Ouverture and Anti-Slavery Effort, 1787-1807
40. Influence of the Haytian Revolution 70
41. Legislation of the Southern States 71
42. Legislation of the Border States 72
43. Legislation of the Eastern States 73
44. First Debate in Congress, 1789 74
45. Second Debate in Congress, 1790 75
46. The Declaration of Powers, 1790 78
47. The Act of 1794 80
48. The Act of 1800 81
49. The Act of 1803 84
50. State of the Slave-Trade from 1789 to 1803 85
51. The South Carolina Repeal of 1803 86
52. The Louisiana Slave-Trade, 1803-1805 87
53. Last Attempts at Taxation, 1805-1806 91
54. Key-Note of the Period 92
Chapter VIII. The Period of Attempted Suppression, 1807-1825
55. The Act of 1807 94
56. The First Question: How shall illegally imported Africans be disposed of? 96
57. The Second Question: How shall Violations be punished? 102
58. The Third Question: How shall the Interstate Coastwise Slave-Trade be protected? 104
59. Legislative History of the Bill 105
60. Enforcement of the Act 108
61. Evidence of the Continuance of the Trade 109
62. Apathy of the Federal Government 112
63. Typical Cases 117
64. The Supplementary Acts, 1818-1820 118
65. Enforcement of the Supplementary Acts, 1818-1825 123
Chapter IX. The International Status of the Slave-Trade, 1783-1862
66. The Rise of the Movement against the Slave-Trade, 1788-1807 131
67. Concerted Action of the Powers, 1783-1814 133
68. Action of the Powers from 1814 to 1820 134
69. The Struggle for an International Right of Search, 1820-1840 136
70. Negotiations of 1823-1825 138
71. The Attitude of the United States and the State of the Slave-Trade 141
72. The Quintuple Treaty, 1839-1842 143
73. Final Concerted Measures, 1842-1862 146
Chapter X. The Rise of the Cotton Kingdom, 1820-1850
74. The Economic Revolution 151
75. The Attitude of the South 154
76. The Attitude of the North and Congress 155
77. Imperfect Application of the Laws 158
78. Responsibility of the Government 161
79. Activity of the Slave-Trade, 1820-1850 162
Chapter XI. The Final Crisis, 1850-1870
80. The Movement against the Slave-Trade Laws 168
81. Commercial Conventions of 1855-1856 169
82. Commercial Conventions of 1857-1858 170
83. Commercial Convention of 1859 172
84. Public Opinion in the South 173
85. The Question in Congress 175
86. Southern Policy in 1860 176
87. Increase of the Slave-Trade from 1850 to 1860 178
88. Notorious Infractions of the Laws 180
89. Apathy of the Federal Government 183
90. Attitude of the Southern Confederacy 188
91. Attitude of the United States 191
Chapter XII. The Essentials in the Struggle
92. How the Question Arose 194
93. The Moral Movement 195
94. The Political Movement 196
95. The Economic Movement 197
96. The Lesson for Americans 197
A. A Chronological Conspectus of Colonial and State Legislation restricting the African Slave-Trade, 1641-1787 201
B. A Chronological Conspectus of State, National, and International Legislation, 1788-1871 230
C. Typical Cases of Vessels engaged in the American Slave-Trade, 1619-1864 289
D. Bibliography 299
Index 327
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013


    Get draged in and chain to the wall

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    Brilliantly researched from original sources. Reliable glimpse into the rationalization of the slave trade despite rising opposition to the trade on moral, political, and economical grounds.

    A most brilliant book, published in 1898, and highlighting extraordinary scholarship, not often seen today. Few works are written with such clean prose, driving home the lessons of history in stunning clarity and power. A must read. By analogy, the failure of our "founders" to address the question of slavery and its irrefutable immorality suggests a calamity far greater than the civil war when one contemplates the same fecklessness and dithering concerning the moral imperative of "global warming" and the same failure to act on political and economic excuses. Most instructive.

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