The Debate Over Slavery
Michael O'Malley, Associate Professor of History and Art History, George Mason University
Here is a selection of documents from both sides of the slavery debate. In this exercise we are asking you to read the documents, then come to class prepared to argue one of the two sides--either for or against slavery. It is easy to argue against slavery--no modern American would have any trouble arguing against slavery. it is harder to recapture how Americans defended slavery. It is also suprising how abolitionists argued against slavery. Again, read the arguments on both sides, and come to class prepapred to debate both positions.
- J. D. B. De Bow, The Industrial Resourses, etc.., of the Southern and Western States.
- Samuel Morton, Crania Americana.
- George Fitzhugh, Cannibals All!
- The Staunton Spectator (Virginia).
- The Spectator, part two.
- Hinton Rowan Helper, The Impending Crisis.
- Theodore Weld, American Slavery As It Is.
- Constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society.
- Frederick Douglass, “I Am Here to Spread Light on American Slavery”
Last Updated | April 2004