Moorfield Storey and the Abolitionist Tradition

By Jr. William Hixson B. | Go to book overview

1 The Making of a Reformer

B OUND together by their conviction that they were the agents of God, the founders of Massachusetts saw themselves as the vanguard of the Reformation. They had come to the New World to construct a "holy commonwealth" of the elect, and they were made acutely aware of the responsibilities of their divinely appointed mission by their leader, John Winthrop:

... we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word throughout the world.

Moorfield Storey's ancestors had been part of that first great wave of Puritan migration to the American continent. By the time he was born, in 1845, the theological content of Puritanism had long been weakened, but its moral imperatives remained the basis of New England life.

The first principle I would inculcate in my children [his grandmother wrote] is independence of mind, a determination to act as a rational, accountable, immortal being un

-3-

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Moorfield Storey and the Abolitionist Tradition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - The Making of a Reformer 3
  • 2 - Anti-Imperialism 45
  • 3 - Civil Equality 98
  • 4 - Obedience to the Law 146
  • 5 - The Abolitionist Tradition 191
  • Bibliographical Guide 247
  • Index 249
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