English 357

Slavery is the great shame of American history, rivaled only by American Indian removal. Now, we regard the idea of human slavery as abhorrent, but in the nineteenth century Americans formulated sincere arguments both for and against slavery. The issue dominated the literature of the U.S. South.

In this course we will follow the debate from the emergence of the slave trade, through the abolition debate, secession, Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow, and the New South.

slave coffle
Illustration of slave coffle passing the U.S. Capitol, 1819