Without Regard to Race: The Other Martin Robison Delany

By Tunde Adeleke | Go to book overview

FOUR
Second Integrationist Phase
1863–1874

NOTHING IN DELANY’S perception of national politics in the 1850s had prepared him for the sectional conflict. His disillusionment began with the passage of the famous (or infamous) Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and would deepen as the decade wore on. He denounced America as irredeemably racist and offered blacks a new direction and future in an independent black nationality in Africa. In his estimation, the Fugitive Slave Law itself constituted incontrovertible proof of the depth of racism, and most significantly, it revealed the true character of America as a whites-only nation that would never accept blacks as integral members. “By the provisions of this bill,” he declared,

The colored people of the United States are positively degraded beneath
the level of the whites—are made liable at any time, in any place, and
under all circumstances, to be arrested—and upon the claim of any white
person, without the privilege, even of making a defense, sent into endless
bondage.… We are slaves in the midst of freedom, waiting patiently, and
unconcernedly—indifferently, and stupidly, for masters to come and lay
claim to us, trusting to their generosity, whether or not they will own us
and carry us into endless bondage.1

The Fugitive Slave Law, therefore, epitomized the essence of what Delany characterized as the “national compact”—a kind of contract

-70-

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Without Regard to Race: The Other Martin Robison Delany
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction xix
  • One Black Biography - From Instrumentalism to Functionalism 3
  • Two - Delany Historiography 19
  • Three First Integrationist Phase - Moral Suasion, 1830–1849 40
  • Four - Second Integrationist Phase 1863–1874 70
  • Five - Third Integrationist Phase 1875-1877 135
  • Six - Final Years 1878–1885 161
  • Conclusion 178
  • Appendix A - "A Political Review" 194
  • Appendix B - "Trial and Conviction" 210
  • Notes 228
  • Bibliography 256
  • Index 269
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