Still in his twenties but already famous for his fiery orations and controversial autobiography, black abolitionist Frederick Douglass traveled to Great Britain in 1845 on an eighteen-month lecture and fund-raising tour. This book examines how that visit affected transatlantic reform movements and Douglass's own thinking. The first book dedicated specifically to the trip, it features the work of scholars from both sides of the Atlantic--including Douglass biographer William McFeely and abolitionist scholar R. J. M. Blackett--who use Douglass's visit to reexamine aspects of his life and times. The contributors reveal the visit's significance to an understanding of transatlantic gender relations, religion, radicalism, and popular views of African Americans in Britain and also examine such topics as Douglass's attitudes toward the Irish and his campaign against the Free Church of Scotland for accepting southern money. Together, these essays show that Douglass's journey was a personal and political triumph and a key event in his development, leaving him better prepared to set the strategies and ideologies of the abolitionist movement.
Alan J. Rice is senior lecturer in American studies and cultural theory at the University of Central Lancashire. Martin Crawford is a professor of Anglo-American history at Keele University. His books include "Liberating Sojourn," "Reading Southern Poverty between the Wars," "William Howard Russell's Civil War," (all Georgia), and "Ashe County's Civil War."