Kate Masur on Lincoln’s emigration proposal and the views of African American delegates

For all the attention to Lincoln’s ideas and motivations, however, there has been very little focus on the delegates’ side of the story. For decades no one even knew who they were, much less what they stood for. Drawing on the work of the historian Benjamin Quarles, many believed that four of the five delegates were uneducated former slaves, hand-picked by Lincoln and his colonization commissioner, James Mitchell, to be pliable and subservient.

In fact, all five of the men who listened to Lincoln’s case for colonization were members of Washington’s free black elite, chosen by a formal meeting of representatives from Washington’s independent black churches. Continue Reading Kate Masur on Lincoln’s emigration proposal and the views of African American delegates

Barbara Sicherman: It Happened in the Archives

Well-Read Lives evolved from my interest in women’s history and biography that my father did not live to witness. He would surely have had his doubts about the gender angle. But I like to think that my admiration for his literary interests informed my choice of subject, if not my approach to it. Continue Reading Barbara Sicherman: It Happened in the Archives

Andre M. Fleche: The “Second American Revolution” in a Global Age

Many scholars have traced the parallels between the American Revolution and the Civil War. But in today’s global age, it is time we recognize that the first American Revolution was not the only revolution to influence America’s Civil War. Continue Reading Andre M. Fleche: The “Second American Revolution” in a Global Age

Book excerpt: Whiting Up, by Marvin McAllister

In this excerpt from Whiting Up: Whiteface Minstrels & Stage Europeans in African American Performance, McAllister describes some 19th-century black fashionistas in New York and Charleston. Continue Reading Book excerpt: Whiting Up, by Marvin McAllister

Book Excerpt: My Southern Home, by William Wells Brown

Slave children, with almost an alabaster complexion, straight hair, and blue eyes, whose mothers were jet black, or brown, were often a great source of annoyance in the Southern household, and especially to the mistress of the mansion. Continue Reading Book Excerpt: My Southern Home, by William Wells Brown

Amrita Chakrabarti Myers: Forging Freedom – An Excerpt

In this excerpt from ‘Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston,’ by Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, we meet a family of free black women who possessed an unusual amount of wealth and autonomy. Continue Reading Amrita Chakrabarti Myers: Forging Freedom – An Excerpt

Your American Indian Heritage Month Reading List

Recent books in Native American and indigenous studies from UNC Press. Continue Reading Your American Indian Heritage Month Reading List

James Edward Miller: Greece and the EU Face Their Walt Kelly Moment

Foreign policy historian James Edward Miller provides background on the current financial and political predicament of Greece and the European Union. Continue Reading James Edward Miller: Greece and the EU Face Their Walt Kelly Moment

Rose Stremlau: History’s Definition of an American Family

The majority of human civilizations across time and place have not organized themselves into nuclear family units based on monogamous, heterosexual coupling. Native North American societies provide hundreds of alternative examples. Continue Reading Rose Stremlau: History’s Definition of an American Family

Encouraging selfishness on the reservation: An excerpt from Cahill’s Federal Fathers & Mothers

The commissioner of Indian affairs urged that “[the Indian] must be imbued with the exalting egotism of American civilization so that he will say ‘I’ instead of ‘We’ and ‘This is mine’ instead of ‘This is ours.'” Continue Reading Encouraging selfishness on the reservation: An excerpt from Cahill’s Federal Fathers & Mothers

Whitman Scholar Kenneth Price Uncovers New Trove of Poet’s Documents

UNC Press author Kenneth M. Price recently uncovered a cache of 3,000 documents written and signed by American poet Walt Whitman at the National Archives. Continue Reading Whitman Scholar Kenneth Price Uncovers New Trove of Poet’s Documents

Award winners: Blair Kelley, Amy Wood, Charles Eagles

We’re delighted to share lots of good news today. The 2010 Lillian Smith Book Award has been awarded to two UNC Press books this year: Amy Louise Wood’s Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America and Charles W. Eagles’s The Price of Defiance: James Meredith and the Integration of Old Miss. The prize, presented… Continue Reading Award winners: Blair Kelley, Amy Wood, Charles Eagles

The starting lineup for The Journal of the Civil War Era

Back in April we mentioned a call for papers for the inaugural edition of The Journal of the Civil War Era, a peer-review journal published in collaboration with UNC Press and the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at Pennsylvania State University. There’s been great response, and the issues are starting to take… Continue Reading The starting lineup for The Journal of the Civil War Era

WATCH: Harlem Book Fair Panel – “Can We Tell the Truth about the Black Past?”

Earlier this month the 12th annual Harlem Book Fair hosted a panel that included UNC Press authors Frank A. Guridy and Stephen Gillroy Hall. A video of the discussion, called “Can We Tell the Truth About the Black Past?”, is available through C-SPAN’s Book TV, which can be viewed here. Guridy is the author of… Continue Reading WATCH: Harlem Book Fair Panel – “Can We Tell the Truth about the Black Past?”