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Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, 1820-1920 (review)

Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, 1820-1920 (review) 07-reviews (Bio 26-3) 9/4/03 8:23 AM Page 494 494 Biography 26.3 (Summer 2003) James M. O’Toole. Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, 1820–1920. Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 2002. 286 pp. ISBN 1- 55849-341-7, $34.95. Scholars looking for heroes in the history of nineteenth century American race relations don’t usually turn to the Catholic Church. The common Catholic practice of tolerating slavery itself, if not directly the trading or traf- ficking in slaves, has excluded most prominent nineteenth century American Catholics from the pantheon of abolitionist heroes. Indeed, not only did many Catholics own slaves in the early years of American history, but Jesuit orders in the United States collectively owned slaves. James M. O’Toole’s new book, Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, 1820–1920, doesn’t argue that any new abolitionist medals need to be distributed, but it does offer a remarkable vision of how race and religion were uniquely inter- twined in the nineteenth century. By exposing the history of the Healys, a family of mulatto slaves that rose to shockingly high positions in education, the coast guard, and—most significantly—the Catholic Church, O’Toole illustrates how class and religious affiliation can occasionally trump racial http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, 1820-1920 (review)

Biography , Volume 26 (3) – Oct 30, 2003

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

07-reviews (Bio 26-3) 9/4/03 8:23 AM Page 494 494 Biography 26.3 (Summer 2003) James M. O’Toole. Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, 1820–1920. Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 2002. 286 pp. ISBN 1- 55849-341-7, $34.95. Scholars looking for heroes in the history of nineteenth century American race relations don’t usually turn to the Catholic Church. The common Catholic practice of tolerating slavery itself, if not directly the trading or traf- ficking in slaves, has excluded most prominent nineteenth century American Catholics from the pantheon of abolitionist heroes. Indeed, not only did many Catholics own slaves in the early years of American history, but Jesuit orders in the United States collectively owned slaves. James M. O’Toole’s new book, Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, 1820–1920, doesn’t argue that any new abolitionist medals need to be distributed, but it does offer a remarkable vision of how race and religion were uniquely inter- twined in the nineteenth century. By exposing the history of the Healys, a family of mulatto slaves that rose to shockingly high positions in education, the coast guard, and—most significantly—the Catholic Church, O’Toole illustrates how class and religious affiliation can occasionally trump racial

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 30, 2003

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