The Anti-Slavery History of the John Brown Year
The 27th annual report of the American Anti-Slavery Society, published in 1861 and containing an extensive history of social and political events in the final years of US slavery. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.
This history of a single year of the abolitionist movement is one of the most comprehensive human rights documents of its kind. It represents the 27th annual report of the American Anti-Slavery Society, published in 1861, and contains an extensive history of social and political events in the final years of US slavery. There is no identified author, however it may be surmised that William Lloyd Garrison was responsible for most of the report.
The topics covered in this report include constitutional developments in Kansas and Nebraska; contending with efforts to create new slave states in California and New Mexico; control over slave trafficking; descriptions of the state of the domestic slave trade; reports of incidents of kidnapping blacks into slavery; stories of manumission and attempted manumission of slaves; many accounts of fugitive slaves; Fugitive Slave Act renditions; captured fugitive rescues and rescue trials; censorship of the mails and press; commercial boycotts; torture and misuse of slaves; civil rights abridgements of free people of color; denial of education to blacks; Congressional debate over slavery (including reactions to Hinton Helper’s Impending Crisis); state legislative and judicial actions affecting free blacks and slaves; developments concerning slavery in religious denominations, the Board of Missionaries, and tract societies; foreign news relating to slavery and antislavery; obituaries of antislavery activists; and a Treasurer’s report, with minutes.
The report provides prolonged and detailed coverage of events prior to, during, and subsequent to John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. It contains particularly interesting reports that convey the social mood in both southern and northern states in consequence of Brown’s raid, including attacks on blacks and antislavery whites.
- Joe Lockard