The Antislavery Bulwark: The Antislavery Origins of the Civil War

OCT 17, 2014 | 6:30 PM

Details

WHERE:

The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue

ROOM:

1201: Elebash Recital Hall

WHEN:

October 17, 2014: 6:30 PM

ADMISSION:

Free; first-come, first-served

SPONSOR:

Public Programs

Description

Bringing together the best new scholarship in the field, “The Antislavery Bulwark: The Antislavery Origins of the Civil War” points toward an important new way of thinking about the origins of the Civil War. The conference considers how the activities of antislavery Americans ultimately contributed to Southern secession and war. It places less emphasis on the radical abolitionist “vanguard” than on the broader antislavery movement, especially antislavery politics, stressing the common objects and premises of an often divided crusade. The larger intellectual goal is to reaffirm the strength and significance of antislavery politics in the early national and antebellum eras. Topics include the origins and significance of the Somerset case, the legal and political ramifications of the “first emancipation,” and antislavery politics in the new nation from the Missouri Crisis to the fugitive slave crisis of the 1850s and the election of 1860.

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE:

Friday, October 17
 
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm:     
 
Conference Introduction:  Chase Robinson, President, CUNY Graduate Center
 
Keynote Address:  David W. Blight, Yale University
 
Saturday, October 18 
 
9 am – 9:15 am: 

Introduction:

John Stauffer, Harvard University
James Oakes, CUNY Graduate Center
 
9:15 am – 10:30 am:   

SESSION ONE: ANTISLAVERY IN THE REVOLUTIONARY AND EARLY NATIONAL PERIODS
 
Presiding: Christopher Brown, Columbia University  

This Species of Property: Slavery, Subjecthood, and the Somerset Decision
John Blanton, CUNY Graduate Center
     
The Making of an Antislavery Generation: The Children of Gradual Emancipation, Antislavery Legal Culture, and the “General” Abolition of 1827
Sarah Levine-Gronningsater, McNeil Center for Early American Studies/California Institute of Technology

The Origins of the Cordon of Freedom: The Radicalism of Rufus King’s Missouri Crisis Speeches
David Gary, Yale University 
 
10:45 am – 12 pm:

SESSION TWO: ABOLITIONISM AND ANTISLAVERY POLITICS IN THE ANTEBELLUM ERA
 
Presiding: Amy Dru Stanley, Princeton University Center for Human Values/University of Chicago
 
The Slave Power Argument and Abolitionist Partisan Politics
Corey Brooks, York College of Pennsylvania
 
Like the Veiled Prophet of Khorossan: Salmon P. Chase and the Meaning of the Antislavery Platform
Joe Murphy, CUNY Graduate Center

Garrisonian Abolitionists and the Half-Way House of Antislavery Politics
Caleb McDaniel, Rice University   
  
12 pm – 1:30 pm:  Break for Lunch
 
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm:

SESSION THREE: POLITICAL CRISIS OF THE 1850s

Presiding: David Waldstreicher, CUNY Graduate Center

The Underground Railroad Reconsidered: Antebellum Politics and the Challenges of Counting Fugitive Slaves and Their Allies
Matthew Pinsker, Dickinson College
 
The Van and the Rear: Abolition and the Politics of Antislavery
Manisha Sinha, University of Massachusetts Amherst

The King’s Cure: Lincoln, State Abolition, and the Origins of the Thirteenth Amendment
James Oakes, CUNY Graduate Center
 
3 pm – 4:30 pm:         
 
PANEL DISCUSSION:  IMPLICATIONS

Moderator: Catherine Clinton, University of Texas San Antonio
 
Speakers:                        

Eric Foner, Columbia University
James Brewer Stewart, Macalester College
Sean Wilentz, Princeton University

NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. For more information, call 212-817-8215.