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The Ebony Column: Classics, Civilization, and the African American Reclamation of the West by Eric Ashley Hairston (review)

The Ebony Column: Classics, Civilization, and the African American Reclamation of the West by... REVIEWS Chaput's analysis demonstrates the national impact Dorr's rebellion had on the debate over race and slavery. While Dorr toned down his abolitionist leanings, he never relented on the concept of popular sovereignty until his death in the 1850s. As Chaput explains, ``Dorr became a Democratic martyr in 1844, helping James K. Polk to defeat . . . Henry Clay'' (230). Popular sovereignty was Dorr's rallying cry, and it would exacerbate sectional differences in the 1850s. Chaput ends The People's Martyr by referencing Lincoln's condemnation of popular sovereignty: ``For Lincoln, democracy included a moral component that was at odds with the ideal of the people's sovereignty'' (232). It is a stunning summation: An ideal forged in the Revolution by Jefferson and others, fought for in the name of the ``people'' in Rhode Island by Dorr, did by Lincoln's own assessment bring the country to civil war. These two fine books indicate that white supremacy in America is not an artifact totally divorced from the present. They also indicate that racial hierarchies have long been tied to class distinctions. ``If history is a search for distant truths,'' Wilder writes at the end of Ebony and Ivy, ``then it is http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

The Ebony Column: Classics, Civilization, and the African American Reclamation of the West by Eric Ashley Hairston (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 34 (3) – Aug 12, 2014

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

REVIEWS Chaput's analysis demonstrates the national impact Dorr's rebellion had on the debate over race and slavery. While Dorr toned down his abolitionist leanings, he never relented on the concept of popular sovereignty until his death in the 1850s. As Chaput explains, ``Dorr became a Democratic martyr in 1844, helping James K. Polk to defeat . . . Henry Clay'' (230). Popular sovereignty was Dorr's rallying cry, and it would exacerbate sectional differences in the 1850s. Chaput ends The People's Martyr by referencing Lincoln's condemnation of popular sovereignty: ``For Lincoln, democracy included a moral component that was at odds with the ideal of the people's sovereignty'' (232). It is a stunning summation: An ideal forged in the Revolution by Jefferson and others, fought for in the name of the ``people'' in Rhode Island by Dorr, did by Lincoln's own assessment bring the country to civil war. These two fine books indicate that white supremacy in America is not an artifact totally divorced from the present. They also indicate that racial hierarchies have long been tied to class distinctions. ``If history is a search for distant truths,'' Wilder writes at the end of Ebony and Ivy, ``then it is

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Aug 12, 2014

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