Received historical wisdom casts abolitionists as mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. University of Massachusetts Professor Manisha Sinha overturns this image, broadening her scope beyond the antebellum period usually associated with abolitionism and recasting it as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in causes ranging from feminism and utopian socialism to anti-imperialism and efforts to defend the rights of labor. Drawing on extensive archival research, including newly discovered letters and pamphlets, Sinha documents slave resistance in shaping the ideology and tactics of abolition. It illustrates how the abolitionist vision ultimately linked the slave’s cause to the struggle to redefine American democracy and human rights across the globe.
- Tuesday, April 21, 7 pm: James Coogan, “Slavery, Indenture and Abolition on Cape Cod”
Many people on Cape Cod owned slaves right up to the Revolutionary period. Indenture was a common way for people without means to get to this area making an arrangement to be contracted as servants for a set period of time, then to gain their freedom. There were strict rules as to how indenture was carried out here and penalties for those who abused their servants. And the Abolition movement in this area mirrored what was going on in the northeast of the U.S. Falmouth women were some of the early letter writers to Congress opposing slavery. . Much of the negative sentiment in Falmouth reflected the close connection between people in Savannah and Charleston, S.C. who had Falmouth connections either by trade or spending summers on the Cape.