Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America

Death or Liberty African Americans and Revolutionary America In Death or Liberty Douglas R Egerton offers a sweeping chronicle of African American history stretching from Britain s victory in the Seven Years War to the election of slaveholder Thomas Jeffe

  • Title: Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America
  • Author: Douglas R. Egerton
  • ISBN: 9780195306699
  • Page: 405
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In Death or Liberty, Douglas R Egerton offers a sweeping chronicle of African American history stretching from Britain s 1763 victory in the Seven Years War to the election of slaveholder Thomas Jefferson as president in 1800 While American slavery is usually identified with the cotton plantations, Egerton shows that on the eve of the Revolution it encompassed everythiIn Death or Liberty, Douglas R Egerton offers a sweeping chronicle of African American history stretching from Britain s 1763 victory in the Seven Years War to the election of slaveholder Thomas Jefferson as president in 1800 While American slavery is usually identified with the cotton plantations, Egerton shows that on the eve of the Revolution it encompassed everything from wading in the South Carolina rice fields to carting goods around Manhattan to serving the households of Boston s elite More important, he recaptures the drama of slaves, freed blacks, and white reformers fighting to make the young nation fulfill its republican slogans Although this struggle often unfolded in the corridors of power, Egerton pays special attention to what black Americans did for themselves in these decades, and his narrative brims with compelling portraits of forgotten figures such as Quok Walker, a Massachusetts runaway who took his master to court and thereby helped end slavery in that state Absalom Jones, a Delaware house slave who bought his freedom and later formed the Free African Society and Gabriel, a young Virginia artisan who was hanged for plotting to seize Richmond and hold James Monroe hostage Egerton argues that the Founders lacked the courage to move decisively against slavery despite the real possibility of peaceful, if gradual, emancipation Battling ouge odds, African American activists and rebels succeeded in finding liberty if never equality only in northern states Canvassing every colony and state, as well as incorporating the wider Atlantic world, Death or Liberty offers a lively and comprehensive account of black Americans and the Revolutionary era in America.

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      Published :2018-09-05T19:07:30+00:00

    One thought on “Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America”

    1. That the American revolutionaries were inconsistent in their application of theory to practice was clearly evident in the case of slavery, an institution the rebels accused Britain of wanting to impose on them, but which they in turn inflicted on African slaves before, during, and after the Revolution. "How is it," Samuel Johnson consequently asked, "that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from the drivers of negroes?"In this 2009 monograph, Douglas Egerton does not dispute Johnson's underlyi [...]

    2. Extremely well documented book. Lots of forgotten American history. The thousands of Americans of African descent who fought in the Revolutionary War thinking that the Declaration of Independence would lead to its natural conclusion and free there brethren. Thousands more joined the British when they were promised freedom from slavery if they fought for the King. Cheated and treated poorly by both sides it's a cautionary tale and if a few more politicians had shown any courage, slavery, after th [...]

    3. Read it for a research projectHad good tidbits of information but was awfully dry but then again I'm not really a history reader, more of a historical fiction reader.What really annoyed me was how poorly written it was. Egerton often wrote something and then repeated it almost word for word a paragraph or page latter, as if he forgot he said it already. The title is witty, but there is nothing in this book that cannot be found in other books. I would suggest Wilkin'sJefferson's Pillowinstead.

    4. Not really gripping. Basic point seems to be that Americans of the Revolutionary generation didn't live up to its rhetoric, at least in the matter of how they treated the suppliers of lifelong "unfree labor." (i.e black people.)One interesting note: in the northern states slavery seems to have been mostly an urban rather than a rural phenomenon.

    5. Hard to get through and a bit dry, but enlightening enough to make up for it. This book provides a lot of context for the situation people in places like Ferguson find themselves in.

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