BOOK: Finkelman and Kennon Edited Volume on Slavery in D.C.

Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon, eds. In the Shadow of Freedom: The Politics of Slavery in the National Capital. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2011.

“Few images of early America were more striking, and jarring, than that of slaves in the capital city of the world’s most important free republic. Black slaves served and sustained the legislators, bureaucrats, jurists, cabinet officials, military leaders, and even the presidents who lived and worked there. While slaves quietly kept the nation’s capital running smoothly, lawmakers debated the place of slavery in the nation, the status of slavery in the territories newly acquired from Mexico, and even the legality of the slave trade in itself.

This volume, with essays by some of the most distinguished historians in the nation, explores the twin issues of how slavery made life possible in the District of Columbia and how lawmakers in the district regulated slavery in the nation.”

Table of Contents:

David Brion Davis – The Impact of British Abolitionism on American Sectionalism

James B. Stewart – Christian Statesmanship, Codes of Honor, and Congressional violence: The Antislavery Travails and Triumphs of Joshua Giddings

Stanley Harrold – Gamaliel Bailey, Antislavery Journalist and Lobbyist

Jonathan Earle – Saturday Nights at the Baileys’: Building an Antislavery Movement in Congress, 1838–1854

Susan Zaeske – “A nest of rattlesnakes let loose among them”: Congressional Debates over Women’s Antislavery Petitions, 1835–1845

David Zarefsky – Debating Slavery by Proxy: The Texas Annexation Controversy

Glenn Crothers – The 1846 Retrocession of Alexandria: Protecting Slavery and the Slave Trade in the District of Columbia

Mary Beth Corrigan – “Whether they be ours or no, they may be heirs of the kingdom”:
The Pursuit of Family Ties among enslaved People in the District
of Columbia

Mary K. Ricks – The 1848 Pearl escape from Washington, D.C.: A Convergence
of Opportunity, Motivation, and Political Action in the
Nation’s Capital

Mitch Kachun – Celebrating emancipation and Contesting Freedom in
Washington, D.C.

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