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[Brown] Catharine S. Brown (ed by Tom Calarco), ABEL BROWN, ABOLITIONIST. NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (McFarland, 2006). Illustrations, appendices, notes, index, 238 pp.

Abel Brown was born November 9, 1810, in Springfield, Massachusetts, and moved with his parents to New York State at age 11. As a young man, he entered the Christian ministry and soon felt called to action in the abolitionist movement. Brown was an eloquent voice crying out against slavery, publishing letters and reports in The Liberator and other periodicals with abolitionist leanings, as well as in his own paper, The Tocsin of Liberty (later The Albany Patriot). The founder and corresponding secretary of the Eastern New York Anti-Slavery Society, he traveled widely, preaching the message of abolition, often accompanied by fugitive slaves.
~~~ Brown’s death one day before his 34th birthday was a blow to New York’s abolitionist movement and devastating for his wife, Catharine, who published this biography in 1849 as a way of keeping his memory alive. The work draws heavily on Abel Brown’s correspondence, journals, and newspaper articles, allowing him to tell the story in his own words. This newly edited version preserves the 1849 original while offering clarification and context. The result is an unusual first-hand look at America’s anti-slavery movement. Appendices contain excerpts from additional correspondence and sermons of Abel Brown.


Douglass, Frederick (John W. Blassingame, John R. McKivigan & Peter P. Hinks, eds), THE FREDERICK DOUGLASS PAPERS: SERIES TWO: Autobiographical Writings: NARRATIVE, Volume 1. NEW copy, still in shrinkwrap. Hardcover, issued without dust jacket. (Yale University Press, 1999). 288 pages.

This volume contains the first and most famous of Frederick Douglass's three autobiographies, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. First published in Boston in 1845, only seven years after Douglass's escape from bondage, the Narrative provided the foundation for its author's antebellum reputation as a writer. Douglass went on to write two more autobiographies, becoming one of a very small number of nineteenth-century Americans to publish more than one account of their lives. His books provide an unparalleled record not only of the events of his life but also of his shifting perceptions of the complex worlds of slavery and freedom that he inhabited. The autobiographies reflect the differences in his age (the first was written when he was twenty-seven, the last when he was in his seventies), his memory, and his objectives at the various times of his writing.
~~~ Currently in print at $60.


Julius, Kevin C., THE ABOLITIONIST DECADE, 1829-1838. NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (McFarland, 2004). Appendices, bibliography, notes, index, 281 pp.

The years between America’s founding and the cusp of the Civil War are often overlooked in discussions of America’s struggle over slavery. The conflagration that nearly destroyed the country did not ignite quickly, but was the culmination of a long-smoldering debate that saw significant developments in those intervening decades. In particular, the period from 1829 to 1838 witnessed the growth of the Abolitionist movement, begun by determined visionaries bent on bringing the evils of slavery to the forefront of America’s consciousness and ending a glaring injustice. Attacked by their opponents, scorned by both sides for their missionary zeal, often relegated to a footnote in history, the Abolitionists were key in shaping the argument over slavery and bringing America’s greatest internal struggle to its conclusion.
~~~~ This examination of the Abolitionist movement presents a year-by-year outline of the period from 1829 to 1838, chronicling the growth of the Abolitionists as a social and political group. By giving an overview of other important occurrences each year, it depicts the movement in a broader context, cementing relationships between seemingly disparate elements of American history and giving the movement its full due in the struggle to end slavery.


Brennan, Denis, THE MAKING OF AN ABOLITIONIST: William Lloyd Garrison's Path to Publishing The Liberator. NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (McFarland, 2014). Bibliography, notes, index, 224 pp.

William Lloyd Garrison’s life as an abolitionist and advocate for social change was dependent on his training as a printer. None who have studied Garrison can ignore his editorship of The Liberator but many have not fully understood his belief in the central role of a well-edited newspaper in the maintenance of a healthy republic and the struggle to reform society. Church, politics and publishing were the three foundations of Garrison’s life. Newspapers, he believed, were especially important, for they provided citizens in a democracy the information necessary to make their own choices. When ministers and politicians in the North and the South refused to address the horror of slavery and became tacit advocates for the “peculiar institution,” he was compelled to employ the printing press in protest.
~~~~~~This book traces his path from printer to publisher of The Liberator. Garrison had not become a publisher to advocate abolition; he was a mechanic and an editor, later a reformer, but always a printer. His expertise with the printing press and the practice of journalism became for him the natural means for ending slavery.


[Garrison] Henry Mayer, ALL ON FIRE: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery. NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (St Martin's Press). 707 pages.

William Lloyd Garrison, the most significant abolitionist in American history, is brought to life in this extensively researched and exquisitely nuanced biography. Long denied his well-deserved acknowledgment, Garrison finally appears in all his thunderous and prophetic brilliance in this inspiring work.


Julius, Kevin C., WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON AND AMERICAN ABOLITIONISM IN LITERATURE AND MEMORY. NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (McFarland, 2016). Bibliography, notes, index, 281 pp.

For nearly 150 years, William Lloyd Garrison, founder of the famed antislavery newspaper The Liberator, has been represented by scholars, educators, politicians and authors as the founder of the American abolitionist movement. Yet the idea that Garrison was the leader of a coherent movement was strongly contested during his lifetime. Drawing on private letters, diaries, newspapers, novels, memoirs, eulogies, late 19th century textbooks, poetry and monuments, this study reveals the dramatic social and political forces of the postwar period which transformed our perceptions of Garrison, the abolitionist movement and the first histories of the Civil War.