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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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The Slave Power

First collected edition of the antislavery writings and speeches of abolitionist Theodore Parker (Boston: American Unitarian Association, 1910). Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.


Abolitionism contended throughout its history with accusations of fanaticism. Throughout much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the reputation of Theodore Parker (1810-1860) has been tied to political and religious extremism. Parker served as a Unitarian minister in Boston and was a central figure in both the Transcendentalist and antislavery movements. This edition, edited by James K. Hosmer (1837-1927) and for many years the only available edition, contributed substantially towards a revisionist reputation that attributed excessive zeal to Parker and his writings. Hosmer, a distinguished professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and who served as a president of the American Library Association, was also the author of a white supremacist historical study entitled A Short History of Anglo-American Freedom (New York: Scribners, 1890). Such editorial background sheds light on the ideological origins of the mitigations of slavery and appreciation of its alleged civilizational benefits that Hosmer writes in the preface to the present work.

For a positive assessment of Parker's legacy, also published in 1910, see Stephen Wise, Theodore Parker: Preacher-Prophet.

- Joe Lockard