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Antislavery Poetry from San Francisco

Running man image from workshop poster

The Pacific Appeal was the leading African American newspaper on the West Coast during the early 1860s.  A newly-published set of eight antislavery poems from the journal's inaugural 1862 volume captures the sense of expectancy within the African American community for the imminent end of US slavery.  These poems include the work of James Madison Bell, a San Francisco plasterer, brickmason, and poet.  Read more... 
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Digital Editions List

An updated checklist of digital editions and multimedia produced by the Antislavery Literature Project.



Joe Lockard and Shih Penglu, Teaching Guide to Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Chinese edition



James Weldon Johnson, "Fifty Years (1863-1913)," 1913 (legacies)

Gilbert Haven, "America's Past and Future," 1868 (legacies)

Pacific Appeal Antislavery Poetry, 1862 (poetry)

Carmen de Urisote, Vida de un esclavo americano, escrita por él mismo, 2009 (Spanish-language podcast reading)

Ernestine L. Rose, "Address on the Anniversary of West Indian Emancipation, at Flushing, Long Island, N.Y." 1853 (tracts)

Mark Twain, "A Scrap of Curious History," 1914 (legacies)

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, "Then and Now," 1900 (legacies)

Joe Lockard, "John Brown: Post-execution Poetry" (poetry - podcast)

Joe Lockard, "John Brown: Pre-execution Poetry" (poetry - podcast)

Joe Lockard, "John Brown and Public Poetry" (poetry - podcast)

Artemus Ward [Charles Farrar Browne], "Ossawatomie Brown," 1859-60 (legacies)

Arieh Saposnik, Frederick Douglass eved amerikani, 2009 (Hebrew-language podcast reading)

Frederick Douglass, On the Twenty-First Anniversary of Emancipation, 1883 (legacies)

Frederick Douglass, The Lessons of the Hour, 1884 (legacies)

Abraham Lincoln DeMond, The Negro Element in American Life, 1900 (legacies)

Charles H. Langston, "Should Colored Men be Subject to the Pains and Penalties of the Fugitive Slave Law?", 1859 (tracts)

Mary Church Terrell, The Progress of Colored Women, 1898 (legacies)

John Brown Poetry Collection, 1859-1920 (poetry)



Ros's Narrative, 2007 (contemporary slave narratives)

Rini's Narrative, 2007 (contemporary slave narratives)

Cambodian Narrative, 2007 (contemporary slave narratives)

Indonesian Narratives, 2005 (contemporary slave narratives)

Ida B. Wells, "Lynch Law in All its Phases", 1893 (legacies)

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, "An Address Delivered at the Centennial Anniversary of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery", 1875 (legacies)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "Frederick Douglass", 1895 (legacies)

Fanny Garrison Villard, "How Boston Received the Emancipation Proclamation," 1913 (legacies)

Theodore Tilton, Sonnets to the Memory of Frederick Douglass, 1895 (legacies)

Henry Ward Beecher, "Wendell Phillips", 1884 (tracts)

Paul Laurence Dunbar, "Frederick Douglass", 1895 (legacies)

John Haynes Holmes, "Mob Murder Must Stop", 1911 (legacies)

W.E.B. Du Bois, "John Brown", 1909 (legacies)

Kelly Miller, "Frederick Douglass", 1909 (legacies)

Eugene V. Debs, "Prison Labor", 1899 (legacies)

Eugene V. Debs, "John Brown: History's Greatest Hero", 1907 (legacies)

Eugene V. Debs, "The Coppock Brothers: Heroes of Harper's Ferry", 1914 (legacies)

Emma Goldman, "Minorities versus Majorities", 1917 (legacies)

Wendell Phillips, "Speech" (Woman's Rights Tract - no. 1) 1852 (legacies)

Robert G. Ingersoll, "An Address to the Colored People", 1867 (legacies)

"American 'Lynch Law' Murders - in Support of Slavery", 1835 (legacies)

Alfred Gibbs Campbell, Poems, 1883 (poetry)

George Barrell Cheever, The Fire and Hammer of God's Word Against the Sin of Slavery, 1858 (religious literature)

Lydia Maria Child & Eliza Mason, John Brown of Harper's Ferry, 1860 (tracts)

Thomas Henry Huxley, "Emancipation--Black and White", 1865 (proslavery)

Sylvain Gallais, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" (French-language podcast reading of chaps. 1 & 10)

Joe Lockard, "Witness and Resistance Anthologies" (podcast & text)

Joe Lockard, "Secular-Sacred Tensions in Antebellum Abolitionist Songbooks" (podcast)

Joe Lockard, "Reflections on Captain Swinton's Journal of a Voyage with Coolie Emigrants" (podcast)

Wendell Phillips, "Irish Sympathy with the Abolition Movement", 1842 (tracts)

Wendell Phillips, "The Puritan Principle and John Brown", 1859 (tracts)

Nathaniel Peabody Rogers, "Color-Phobia", 1838 (tracts)

George Russell Commonplace Book, 1839-40 (poetry)

Zoe Trodd, "A Torch for Tomorrow: Civil Rights Protest Literature and the Historical Memory of Abolitionism" (video)

Stephen Wise, "Theodore Parker: Preacher-Prophet", 1910 (tracts)



Ralph Waldo Emerson, On the Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies, 1844 (tracts)

Henry T. Cheever, A Tract for the Times, on the Question, Is It Right to Withhold Fellowship from Churches or from Individuals that Tolerate or Practise Slavery?, 1859 (religious literature)

Harry Stillwell Edwards, Eneas Africanus, 1919 (pro-slavery)

Helia's Narrative, 2007 (contemporary slave narratives)

Aye's Narrative, 1995 (contemporary slave narratives)

Philippine Narratives, 2005 (contemporary slave narratives)

Faith's Narrative, 2005 (contemporary slave narrative)

Goma's Narrative, 2002 (contemporary slave narrative)

William Grayson, The Hireling and the Slave, Chicora, and Other Poems, 1856 (proslavery)

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Massachusetts in Mourning, 1854 (religious literature)

Guo Jiang's Narrative, 1999 (contemporary slave narrative)

Lin Shenli's Narrative, 2003 (contemporary slave narrative)

Longfellow and Whittier on Slavery, 1840s (poetry)

Sabitha-Jayanthi's Narrative, 2002 (contemporary slave narrative)

Shivnarayan's Narrative, 2005 (contemporary slave narrative)

Sumalee's Narrative, 1995 (contemporary slave narrative)



Abirami's Narrative, 2002 (contemporary slave narrative)

Aida's Narrative, 2002 (contemporary slave narrative)

Alexia's Narrative, 1999 (contemporary slave narrative) 

Ann Alexander, An Address to the Inhabitants of Charleston, South Carolina, 1805 (travel)

American Anti-Slavery Society, Letters on American Slavery, 1860 (tracts)

American Anti-Slavery Society, The Anti-Slavery History of the John Brown Year, 1861 (treatises)

Anonymous, Slavery - A Poem, 1856 (poetry)

Anonymous, Voices from Slavery, 1848 (poetry)

Anonymous, The New Pantheon, or the Age of Black, 1860 (pro-slavery)

Adin Ballou, The Voice of Duty, 1843 (tracts)

Charles Beecher, The Duty of Disobedience to Wicked Laws, 1851 (religious literature)

Charles C. Burleigh, Slavery and the North, 1855 (tracts)

Elihu Burritt, Twenty Reasons for Total Abstinence from Slave-Labour Produce, 185- (tracts)

Susan Cabot, What Have We, as Individuals, to Do with Slavery? 1855 (tracts)

Andrew Caffrey, An Essay on Slavery, with a Reasonable Proposition Made How to Dispense with It, 1859? (tracts)

Maria Weston Chapman, "How Can I Help Abolish Slavery?" or, Counsel to the Newly Converted, 1855 (tracts)

Maria Weston Chapman, Pinda: A True Tale, 1840 (prose fiction)

Lucien Chase, English Serfdom and American Slavery, 1854 (pro-slavery)

John Collins, The Slave-Mother, 1855 (poetry)

Denise's Narrative, 2002 (contemporary slave narrative)

Cecilia Devere, The Underground Railroad, [1860s?] (poetry)

Eliza Lee Follen, The Liberty Cap, 1846 (children's literature)

Stephen Symonds Foster, Revolution the Only Remedy for Slavery, 1855 (tracts)

William Henry Furness, The Blessings of Abolition, 1860 (religious literature)

William Henry Furness, A Discourse Delivered before Theodore Parker's Society, at the Music Hall, Boston, 1860 (religious literature)

William Lloyd Garrison, An Address Delivered in Marlboro Chapel, Boston, July 4, 1838 (tracts)

Giselle's Narrative, 2002 (contemporary slave narrative)

Jeremiah Gloucester, An Oration, Delivered on January 1, 1823 in Bethel Church: On the Abolition of Slave Trade, 1823 (religious literature)

Sarah Grimke, An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States, 1836 (religious literature)

Gun's Narrative, 1999 (contemporary slave narrative)

Elias Hicks,

Observations on the Slavery of the Africans and Their Descendants and on the Use of the Produce of Their Labour

, 1814 (tracts)

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, A Ride Through Kanzas, 1856 (travel)

Richard Hildreth, The "Ruin" of Jamaica, 1855 (tracts)

Thomas Hill, Christmas, and Poems on Slavery for Christmas, 1843 (poetry)

John Hossack, Speech of John Hossack, Convicted of a Violation of the Fugitive Slave Law, 1860 (tracts)

John Hough, A Sermon Delivered before the Vermont Colonization Society, 1824 (pro-slavery)

Absalom Jones, A Thanksgiving Sermon, 1808 (religious literature)

George Lawrence, An Oration on the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 1813 (religious literature)

Steven Lewis, Thoughts on Slavery, 1854 (poetry)

Joe Lockard, Teaching Guide to The Blind African Slave, 2006 (narratives)

Joe Lockard, Teaching Guide to Boston King's Memoirs, 2006 (narratives)

Joe Lockard, Teaching Guide to Early African American Antislavery Sermons, 2006 (religious literature)

Joe Lockard, Teaching Guide to the Natick Resolution, 2006 (tracts)

Benjamin Lundy, A Plan for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in the United States, without Danger or Loss to the Citizens of the South, 1825 (tracts)

Lucius Matlack, Narrative of the Anti-Slavery Experience of a Minister of the Methodist E. Church, Who was Twice Rejected by the Philadelphia Annual Conference, and Finally Deprived of a License to Preach for being an Abolitionist, 1845 (religious literature)

William Miller, A Sermon on the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 1810 (religious literature)

Jedidiah Morse, A Discourse, Delivered at the African Meeting-House, 1808 (religious literature)

Lucretia Mott, A Sermon to the Medical Students, 1849 (religious literature)

Theodore Parker, The Effect of Slavery on the American People, 1858 (religious literature)

Russell Parrott, An Oration on the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 1812 (religious literature)

Thomas Pearne, Color-Caste, 1876 (religious literature)

Wendell Phillips, 'The State of the Country', 1863 (tracts)

Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, and Charles C. Burleigh, No Slave-Hunting in the Old Bay State: An Appeal to the People and Legislature of Massachusetts, 1860 (tracts)

John Pierpont, A Word from a Petitioner to Congress, 1837 (poetry)

John Pierpont, The Tocsin, [1843?] (poetry)

David Plumb, The Slaveholders Rebellion, 1865 (poetry)

Noah Porter, Civil Liberty: A Sermon, 1856 (religious literature)

Society of Friends, An Address to the Quarterly, Monthly and Preparative Meetings, and the Members Thereof, composing the Yearly Meeting of Friends, held in Philadelphia, by the Committee appointed at the late Yearly Meeting to have charge of the subject of Slavery, 1839 (religious literature)

Sonya's Narrative, 2004 (contemporary slave narrative)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The Slave's Appeal, 1860 (tracts)

Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Two Altars: or, Two Pictures in One, 1853 (prose fiction)

Sudan Narratives, 1999 (contemporary slave narrative)

Mortimer Thompson, Great Auction Sale of Slaves in Savannah, Georgia, 1859 (travel)

Vasanthi's Narrative, 2002 (contemporary slave narrative)

John Greenleaf Whittier, Address Read at the Opening of Pennsylvania Hall, 1837 (poetry)



Anonymous, The Star of Freedom (children's literature)

Anonymous, Little Laura, the Kentucky Abolitionist, 1859 (children's literature)

Anonymous, Slaves Bought and Sold, 1842 (religious)

Anonymous, The Earnest Laborer; or, Myrtle Plantation, 1864 (children's literature)

Goodsell Buckingham, The Bible Vindicated from the Charge of Sustaining Slavery, 1837 (religious)

Tract Association of Friends, The Teaching of the Spirit, Exemplified in the History of Two Slaves, 1870 (religious)

Eastern Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, Captains Drayton and Sayres; Or the way in which Americans are treated, for aiding the cause of Liberty at Home, 1848 (tract)

William Wallace Hebbard, The Night of Freedom, 1857 (poetry)

Charles Jared Ingersoll, African Slavery in America, 1856 (pro-slavery)

Benjamin Lay, All Slave-Holders that Keep Slaves in Bondage, Apostates, 1738 (religious)

Evan Lewis, Address to Christians of All Denominations, on the Inconsistency of Admitting Slave-holders to Communion and Church Membership, 1831 (religious tract)

Boston King, Memoirs of the Life of Boston King, a Black Preacher, 1798 (slave narrative)

Charles Peterson, The Cabin and the Parlor; or, Masters and Slaves, 1852 (pro-slavery)

John Pierpont, Anti-Slavery Poems, 1840 (poetry)

Joseph Samson, A Poetical Epistle to the Enslaved Africans, 1790 (poetry)

Henry Clarke Wright, The Natick Resolution, 1859 (tract)



Jane Grey Swisshelm, Half a Century (autobiography) (unannotated – used as a database project for English 241, Fall 2003, Arizona State University)

Mattie Griffith [attrib.] -- A Daughter of Kentucky, Sunlight Upon the Landscape and Other Poems, 1853 (poetry)



Theodore Parker, The Slave Power, 1910 (treatises)

Lucy Colman, Reminiscences, 1891 (treatises)

George Bungay, Nebraska, 1854 (poetry)

Iron Gray [Abel Thomas], The Gospel of Slavery, 1864 (children's literature)



Mattie Griffith, Madge Vertner, 1859-60 (prose fiction)