Beacons of Liberty: International Free Soil and the Fight for Racial Justice in Antebellum America


Product Details

Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
7.7 X 8.9 X 0.7 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Elena K. Abbott is a Seattle-based author, editor, and historian whose scholarship focuses on slavery and antislavery in the Atlantic world. She received her PhD from Georgetown University, where she was awarded the Harold N. Glassman Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Humanities.


'This encyclopedic study of international free-soil geopolitics, from intellectual debates to creating actual 'free-soil havens, ' illuminates the manifold contributions of fugitive slaves, free black nation seekers and builders, and antislavery thinkers, black and white, to a vast enterprise: conceiving alternate models of a truly free and equitable society. I can't imagine a more comprehensive or instructive examination of this immense subject than Beacons of Liberty.' William L. Andrews, E. Maynard Adams Professor of English Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
'A first-rate study of international freedom struggles in the nineteenth century, Beacons of Liberty is a terrific book that deepens our understanding of trans-national abolitionism. As Abbott shows in rich and compelling detail, African Americans and their abolitionist allies built vibrant Free Soil communities across the Atlantic world.' Richard Blackett, author of The Captives Quest for Freedom and Andrew Jackson Professor of History, Vanderbilt University
'Elena Abbott's careful interrogation of the parallel movement of fugitive slaves and black emigrants to free spaces surrounding the slaveholding American republic unearths a significant facet of the abolition movement. Building on recent historical work, she reveals the political as well as ideological significance of international free soil for antislavery activism. This book makes an important intervention in the history of abolition and African Americans.' Manisha Sinha, author of The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition and Draper Chair in American History, University of Connecticut
'Elena K. Abbott's Beacons of Liberty is one of the most original contributions to the history of the American antislavery movement, and antislavery thought more broadly, in the last decade.' Kate Rivington, Civil War Book Review
'... a deeply researched and well-crafted narrative of how international antislavery movements shaped the thinking of American activists.' Jonathan Daniel Wells, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History
'Recommended.' E. R. Crowther, Choice Connect