Lecture 5: Telling a Free Story

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Professor Blight discusses the rise of abolitionism. Blight begins with an introduction to the genre of slave narratives, with particular attention to Frederick Douglass' 1845 narrative. The lecture then moves on to discuss the culture in which antebellum reform grew--the factors that encouraged its growth, as well as those that retarded it. Professor Blight then describes the movement towards radical abolitionism, stopping briefly on colonization and gradualism before introducing the character and ideology of William Lloyd Garrison.

Reading assignment:

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave

William Gienapp, Civil War and Reconstruction: A Documentary Collection, part 1, pp. 27-39