The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor PDF


By Alan Taylor

ISBN-10: 0393073718

ISBN-13: 9780393073713

Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for History

This searing tale of slavery and freedom within the Chesapeake by means of a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian finds the pivot within the nation's course among the founding and civil war.

Frederick Douglass recalled that slaves dwelling alongside Chesapeake Bay longingly considered crusing ships as "freedom's swift-winged angels." In 1813 these angels seemed within the bay as British warships coming to punish the americans for mentioning struggle at the empire. Over many nights, hundreds and hundreds of slaves paddled out to the warships looking safeguard for his or her households from the ravages of slavery. The runaways confused the British admirals into turning into liberators. As courses, pilots, sailors, and marines, the previous slaves used their intimate wisdom of the geographical region to remodel the battle. They enabled the British to improve their onshore assaults and to trap and burn Washington, D.C. Tidewater masters had lengthy dreaded their slaves as "an inner enemy." by way of mobilizing that enemy, the warfare ignited the inner most fears of Chesapeake slaveholders. It additionally alienated Virginians from a countrywide govt that had ignored their protection. as a substitute they became south, their pursuits aligning an increasing number of with their part. In 1820 Thomas Jefferson saw of sectionalism: "Like a firebell within the evening [it] woke up and crammed me with terror. I thought of it without delay the knell of the union." The notes of alarm in Jefferson's remark communicate of the phobia aroused via the new trouble over slavery in his domestic country. His imaginative and prescient of a cataclysm to return proved prescient. Jefferson's startling remark registered a flip within the nation's path, a pivot from the nationwide objective of the founding towards the specter of disunion. Drawn from new assets, Alan Taylor's riveting narrative re-creates the occasions that encouraged black Virginians, haunted slaveholders, and set the kingdom on a brand new and unsafe path.

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Extra resources for The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832

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By the way,” the Baptist minister Isaac Backus wrote in his, “Mr. Reed at Abington told me that he was at Boston yesterday and See Willm. ”7 There was nothing unseemly about going to an execution. Indeed, a hanging was considered an especially wholesome experience for children. The midwife Martha Ballard sent her daughter Dolly and her son Ephraim to see Edmund Fortis hanged in Maine, two years after she had helped Fortis’s wife deliver their ªrst child. “Only 13 boys were in school,” the lawyer Henry Van Der Lyn’s son reported the day George Denison was hanged in Chenango County, New York.

25 The managers of most hangings were not experts; they were local ofªcials and contractors who typically had little opportunity to acquire any experience. The everpresent liquor must have been intended in part to strengthen the nerve of the participants in a difªcult and gruesome task. When a sheriff could ªnd no one willing to carry out the work for money and drink, he might induce another condemned prisoner to do the job in exchange for a reprieve. Sheriffs did not have the authority to grant reprieves themselves, but the courts and governors that did possess that authority were willing to cooperate.

In this inestimable privilege, our fellow citizens of color enjoy a mutual share with us; and this unquestionably should dictate to them a correspondent spirit of gratitude and the practice of every social virtue. ”20 Hierarchies of all kinds could be explained and justiªed at hangings by ministers who worked such messages into their sermons. Even apart from their substantive message, the sermons were a form of drama in their own right. “You deserve to suffer the eternal pains of hell, it is just in God to send you to the hopeless regions of the damned,” Timothy Pitkin screeched at the murderer John Jacobs before an appreciative audience.

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The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor

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