A Biography of Oliver Johnson, Abolitionist and Reformer, 1809-1889 (Studies in American History v. 44 illustrated edition)
By: Steven M. Raffo (author)Hardback
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The abolitionist movement in America before the Civil War was as intensely idealistic as it was supremely successful. Slavery ended, albeit in the fires of war. Dr. Raffo's fine study of Oliver Johnson brings the life of this intriguing and admirable man to our attention. Raffo's work is solidly grounded in the relevant archival sources, as well as the abundant literature on abolitionism of the last half century. The abolitionist movement in America before the Civil War was as intensely idealistic as it was supremely successful. Slavery ended, albeit in the fires of war. Abolitionism had roots in the British antislavery movement in the latter part of the Eighteenth century and ultimately it grew out of simple human disgust at the horrors of slavery itself. And yet the story of abolitionism is a unique American drama. In one sense it was delayed. Where were those feelings of empathy for enslaved African Americans in the first 200 years of the institution? But when at least in the 1830s northern intellectuals, preachers, and concerned citizens came together with a unified voice against slavery, the effect was electric. We would never again as a people be quite the same.
One important early, continuing, and consistent figure in the long struggle to end slavery was Oliver Johnson. Born in 1809, Johnson joined political passion and Quaker beliefs. He worked tirelessly as an aide and follower of William Lloyd Garrison. He wrote and edited for The Liberator. He struggled through the byzantine squabbles in the movement. He raised money for the cause and helped good candidates run for office where it was feasible. He also never lost sight of his goal-to end the abominable institution of slavery in America. Steven Raffo's fine study of Oliver Johnson brings the life of this intriguing and admirable man to our attention. Raffo's work is solidly grounded in the relevant archival sources, as well as the abundant literature on abolitionism of the last half century. This book is an engaging story. It is that of a man and a time long past but worth remembering. If there is a moral, it is that good people can do good things to overcome evil.
Preface... i Foreword... iii Acknowledgments... vii Introduction... ix Chapter One - Vermont Youth and Apprenticeship... 1 Chapter Two - National Organization... 31 Chapter Three - Schism... 57 Chapter Four - Politics... 83 Chapter Five - Utopian Idealism... 123 Chapter Six - Coalitions... 151 Chapter Seven - Civil War and Emancipation... 203 Chapter Eight - Freedom and the End of a Crusade... 243 Chapter Nine - Reconstruction and Post-War Reform... 277 Epilogue - Final Years... 319 Selected Bibliography... 335 Index... 355
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- ID: 9780773470279
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