Warner Mifflin—energetic, uncompromising, and reviled—was the key figure connecting the abolitionist movements before and after the American Revolution. A descendant of one of the pioneering families of William Penn's "Holy Experiment," Mifflin upheld the Quaker pacifist doctrine, carrying the peace testimony to Generals Howe and Washington across the blood-soaked Germantown battlefield and traveling several thousand miles by horse up and down the Atlantic seaboard to stiffen the spines of the beleaguered Quakers, harried and exiled for their neutrality during the war for independence. Mifflin was also a pioneer of slave reparations, championing the radical idea that after their liberation, Africans in America were entitled to cash payments and land or shared crop arrangements. Preaching "restitution," Mifflin led the way in making Kent County, Delaware, a center of reparationist doctrine.
After the war, Mifflin became the premier legislative lobbyist of his generation, introducing methods of reaching state and national legislators to promote antislavery action. Detesting his repeated exercise of the right of petition and hating his argument that an all-seeing and affronted God would punish Americans for "national sins," many Southerners believed Mifflin was the most dangerous man in America—"a meddling fanatic" who stirred the embers of sectionalism after the ratification of the Constitution of 1787. Yet he inspired those who believed that the United States had betrayed its founding principles of natural and inalienable rights by allowing the cancer of slavery and the dispossession of Indian lands to continue in the 1790s.
Writing in beautiful prose and marshaling fascinating evidence, Gary B. Nash constructs a convincing case that Mifflin belongs in the Quaker antislavery pantheon with William Southeby, Benjamin Lay, John Woolman, and Anthony Benezet.
This is the story of an ordinary man. But it is not an ordinary story. It is a journey which, if the reader allows, will take him or her along an unusual but very important path. Along the way of this path are some nuggets of understanding and, at the journey’s end, some revelations which some may find uncomfortable. And yet which, for some, might ignite their own answers. Such were the days of John Brown. Let them not be forgotten.
DUST JACKET NOTES: As Vincent Scully writes in his foreword, "this collection of interviews represents one of the most successful attempts to get architects to talk that I have seen to date." These are real conversations - lively and informal - with some of America's foremost architects. The architects talk frankly about themselves, their own work, and other architects and their work; the tone is buoyant throughout and stays clear of stuffy aesthetics and esoteric diatribes. No specialized vocabulary is necessary for comprehension, merely an interest n the spirit and diversity of modern architecture and the men behind it. The eight architects interviewed were selected not on the basis of fame, although all are widely known, but as representatives of major movements determining the direction of architecture today. Their works and opinions express an age seeking to relate architecture and society, an age with no father figures or dogma but a pluralism of tendencies. Similar questions and problems have been posed with each architect; the answers are more often contradictory than not, and in these differences lies the significance. This is a uniquely informal way to introduce the layman to contemporary architecture not only in the United States but throughout the world. The candid, often witty observations of the architects make the process and priorities of architecture accessible to everyone. Professionals and students will want to read the book for its documentary value.
This book examines African Americans' strategies for resisting white racial violence from the Civil War until the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 and up to the Clinton era. Christopher Waldrep's semi-biographical approach to the pioneers in the antilynching campaign portrays African Americans as active participants in the effort to end racial violence rather than as passive victims.
In telling this more-than 100-year-old story of violence and resistance, Waldrep describes how white Americans legitimized racial violence after the Civil War, and how black journalists campaigned against the violence by invoking the Constitution and the law as a source of rights. He shows how, toward the end of the 19th century and into the 20th, anti-lynching crusaders Ida B. Wells and Monroe Work adopted a more sociological approach, offering statistics and case studies to thwart white claims that a black propensity for crime justified racial violence. Waldrep describes how the NAACP, founded in 1909, represented an organized, even bureaucratic approach to the fight against lynching. Despite these efforts, racial violence continued after World War II, as racists changed tactics, using dynamite more than the rope or the gun. Waldrep concludes by showing how modern day hate crimes continue the lynching tradition, and how the courts and grass-roots groups have continued the tradition of resistance to racial violence.
A rich selection of documents helps give the story a sense of immediacy. Sources include nineteenth-century eyewitness accounts of lynching, courtroom testimony of Ku Klux Klan victims, South Carolina senator Ben Tillman's 1907 defense of lynching, and the text of the first federal hate crimes law.
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