Black Puritan, Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes, 1753-1833

By John Saillant | Go to book overview

5
American Genesis, American Captivity

The abolitionist and egalitarian potential of the American Revolution remained unfulfilled in Haynes's lifetime. The covenant that Haynes and other blacks believed had been made in the 1770s was broken by the citizens and government of the new nation. Haynes died in 1833, shortly after the beginning of the organized abolitionist movement. His last few decades were influenced by two forces in American thought and society. One force was the persistence, indeed the expansion, of slavery in the South. After about 1795, Virginia represented southern slavery in Haynes's mind; around 1820, he added Missouri to its offending older partner. 1 The other force was a new, modern notion of race that weakened the possibility of interracial affection and benevolence. The New England states all abolished slavery, but gradual emancipation and the common insistence that free black men and women be expatriated to colonies in West Africa or the West Indies—the latter previously seen by abolitionists as a hell on earth for blacks—were part of a modern notion of race that cast blacks as unassimilable aliens in America. Both the Revolution and eighteenth-century thought had led Americans to assume that the pressing question about the abolition of slavery was whether blacks and whites could live together affectionately and virtuously in postslavery society. Those who answered in the affirmative, like Richard Allen, Ezra Stiles, and Haynes himself, were integrationists. Those who answered in the negative, like Jonathan Edwards, Jr., Samuel Hopkins, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, were expatriationists. Some, like Levi Hart, straddled the fence. In the last years of Haynes's life, black men like David Walker began to understand slavery and freedom in a way the Calvinist never could have.

Gradual emancipation and colonization, like the more fundamental changes in society that they expressed and fortified, implied a new possibility—that blacks and whites would live in the same nation, yet separately, without the

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Black Puritan, Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes, 1753-1833
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents *
  • Chronology of Lemuel Haynes's Life xi
  • Black Puritan, Black Republican *
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - A Further Liberty in 1776 9
  • 2 - Republicanism Black and White 47
  • 3 - The Divine Providence of Slavery and Freedom 83
  • 4 - Making and Breaking the Revolutionary Covenant 117
  • 5 - American Genesis, American Captivity 152
  • Notes 189
  • Index 229
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