Tag Archives: Emancipation

Stephen D. Lee Institute Flips Emancipation 150

slavery textbookI just came across the schedule for the upcoming meeting of the Stephen D. Lee Institute in St. Augustin, Florida next month.  It should come as no surprise that they decided to focus on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  A quick glance at the titles of the presentations suggests that participants will be getting a very different perspective on the events that culminated with the proclamation as well as its short- and long-term consequences.

  • Donald Livingston — “How the North Failed to Respond to the Moral Challenge of Slavery”
  • Thomas Moore — “The War of Emancipation 150 Years Later: How’s that Working Out for You?”
  • Kirkpatrick Sale — “Emancipation Hell: The Disaster the Emancipation Proclamation Wrought”
  • Marshall De Rosa — “Emancipation in the Confederacy: What the Ruling Class doesn’t want you to know and why”
  • Ryan S. Walters — “The Powers of a Usurper: Northern Opposition to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation”
  • Brion McClanahan — “Democracy, Liberty, Equality: Lincoln’s American Revolution”

You just gotta love these titles.  I do hope that they make these talks available on video, especially De Rosa’s.  There will be a cash bar following the last talk between 4:30 and 6pm.  I suggest they move it up to 8am.

 

Beyond the Civil War and Reconstruction With Jonathan Holloway

Many of you have viewed the Open Yale Course on the Civil War and Reconstruction taught by David Blight.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to take a survey course with one of the nation’s most respected Civil War scholars.  I am currently making my way through Professor Jonathan Holloway’s course, African American History: From Emancipation to the Present.  Below is the first lecture.  [Interested in the American Revolution? Check out Joanne Freeman's course.]

 

These Boots Were Made For Walking to Freedom

slavery kaufmann

I am currently reading and thoroughly enjoying James Oakes’s new book, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865.  At some point soon I will share some thoughts, but for now I wanted to highlight the cover art by Theodor Kaufmann.  “On to Liberty” is in my mind the most compelling visual interpretation of the emancipation experience of tens of thousands of slaves during the Civil War.  Here we have a group of fugitive slaves walking confidently toward the sound of Union guns off in the distance.  The flash of the cannon and United States flag function as a beacon for this particular group.  It’s interesting that there are no adult black men present.  But what I want to point out is that apart from one child, who is wearing boots, everyone else is barefoot.  Whose boots might they be?  Are they military?  If so, Confederate?  Perhaps they belong to the boy’s former owner?  What might that mean?

Anyone?

 

USPS Commemorates Emancipation Proclamation 150

Unfortunately, this may be the closest we get to any formal acknowledgement of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation by the federal government.  I love the broadside/poster theme and the use of one of the oldest letterpress print shops in the country to create the image.  In addition to the stamp, you can also purchase a limited number of signed copies of the poster.  Planning on picking up a sheet today.

Update: Thanks to the Virginia Civil War 150 Commission for reminding me that the White House released a Presidential Proclamation acknowledging the EP 150.

emancipation stamp

 

Today Should Be a National Holiday: Emancipation 150

For a nation that prides itself as the leader of the free world, I’ve always found it curious as to why this day is not set aside as a national holiday.  On this day 150 years ago President Abraham Lincoln did what he promised he would do 100 days earlier by issuing his final Emancipation Proclamation.  We can quibble about whether the proclamation ought to be understood narrowly as a military or moral document, but what we are always left with is the fact that it paved the way for the eventual freeing of 4 million slaves.  That it did so can and should be celebrated by all Americans.

Click here for Eric Foner’s excellent Op-ed column on Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation in the New York Times.