Abolitionists Remember: Antislavery Autobiographies & the Unfinished Work of Emancipation

By Julie Roy Jeffrey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Defending the Past
THE I880S

In 1887, a story titled “Mrs. Stowe’s ‘Uncle Tom’ at Home in Kentucky” appeared in Century magazine. An illustration showing a slave owner reaching into his pocket for coins for three black boys captured the spirit of the piece. The author, James Lane Allen, had grown up in Kentucky and suffered through the years of war and Reconstruction. Now he looked back fondly on the past, depicting slavery in Kentucky as a benign institution. “Tenderly associated” from infancy with black slaves, kindly masters sought to transform their blacks into capable and contented workers all the while caring for those who were too old to labor. “How unjust,” then, to declare that such masters “did not feel affection for … [their] slaves,” Allen asserted. He lavished special praise on slave mistresses as “the real practical philanthropists of the negro race.” And northern women had never given southern plantation mistresses any credit for furnishing the guidance and training necessary to mold their slaves’ “superstitious, indolent … most impressionable nature”.1

Sometimes these admirable slave owners, Allen continued, emancipated their slaves, and the slaves, in turn, headed to Canada only to return voluntarily to serve their former masters. The slaves remaining on Kentucky farms never “felt any burning desire for freedom.” In fact, the author proclaimed, some of them actually resented “agitators of forcible and immediate emancipation.” Now free, Kentucky blacks remained “content with their inferiority, and lazily drift[ed] though life”.2

Such a view of Kentucky slavery and the slaves’ disinterest in freedom sharply contrasted with the picture Laura Haviland and Levi Coffin painted of Kentucky fugitives desperate to leave servitude behind. Allen’s article was but one sign of the diffusion of historical and racial perspectives in middle-class magazines during the 1880s that contested the meaning and achievements of abolitionism, its connection to the Civil War, and the need to remain committed to free black rights. Abolitionists writing their reminiscences in the 1880s thus faced formidable obstacles in correcting what they saw as false interpretations of their work and the meaning of their

-155-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Abolitionists Remember: Antislavery Autobiographies & the Unfinished Work of Emancipation
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 337

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.