Black Mosaic: Essays in Afro-American History and Historiography

Black Mosaic: Essays in Afro-American History and Historiography

Black Mosaic: Essays in Afro-American History and Historiography

Black Mosaic: Essays in Afro-American History and Historiography

Synopsis

Represents the author's work in researching and studying black history, and suggests new directions of study for scholars and history buffs.

Excerpt

During the two years preceding the outbreak of the Civil War a most eloquent friend of the slave, Sarah Parker Remond of Salem, Massachusetts, lectured in many of the large cities and towns of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Her avowed mission was "to extend the active sympathy of the whole British nation toward the cause of abolitionism in America." In pleading the cause of her black brothers, Miss Remond generally avoided the sensational and the sentimental. She might mention that female slaves were "liable to the brutality of the vilest wretches," but the purposeful young miss from Salem was not a four-handkerchief speaker; she did not specialize in heartrending tales of Tom and Topsy. She made her points, wrote one of her admirers, by a "clear elucidation of just principles--no claptrap." Despite her failure to fire her audience with tales of slave derringdo, or to dissolve them in tears, Miss Remond was a most persuasive advocate. An educated young woman, she had a beguiling air of refinement--a genteel pattern of manners so highly esteemed as an ideal of womanhood in Victoria's England. Her speech was dulcettoned and quiet, and her fluent vocabulary was pure of unladylike turns of phrase. She had an air of high seriousness, and she conveyed to others her own belief that tomorrow's sun would set upon a better world. For these reasons the Leeds Young Men's Anti-Slavery Society, at its December 1859 meeting, hired her as its agent.

The society gave her a crowded schedule. On December 23 she spoke at Leeds, followed four days later by an appearance at Wortley, where she addressed an audience composed of "working men and factory operatives." Just before the old year was snuffed out, she went to Bramley, where she won all hearts at the "large and commodious" Wesley Chapel. At Hunslet on the fourth day of the new year, her audience "was enthusiastic and encouraging in the extreme." When she appeared at Warrenton in March, her address was signed by the mayor, by the rector of the parish, by the member of parliament for the borough, and by 3522. inhabitants; no address . . .

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