Advanced Topics in Liberty

Liberty and Responsibility in the American Anti-slavery Movement

Conference for All Students - Feb 28 - Mar 1, 2014

Discussion Leader: Brad Birzer

Session I - Discussion: Slavery and Freedom.

Thompson, C. Bradley, editor. Antislavery Political Writings, 1833–1860: A Reader. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2004. Chapter 1, Lydia Maria Child’s “The Patriarchal Institution, as Described by Members of Its Own Family (1860)” (pages 3–23), Chapter 2, Frederick Douglass’s “Lecture on Slavery, No. 1 (1850)” (pages 24–30), and Chapter 3, William E. Channing’s “Selections from Slavery (1836)” (pages 31–38).

Session II - Discussion: Strategies and Tactics.

Thompson, C. Bradley, editor. Antislavery Political Writings, 1833–1860: A Reader. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2004. Chapter 4, William Lloyd Garrison’s “Declaration of Sentiments of the National Anti-Slavery Convention (1833)” (pages 41–45), Chapter 7, James G. Birney’s “A Letter on the Political Obligation of Abolitionists, with a Reply by William Lloyd Garrison (1839)” (pages 75–97), and Chapter 8, Lydia Maria Child’s “Talk About Political Party (1842)” (pages 98–103).

Spooner, Lysander. The Unconstitutionality of Slavery. Boston: Bela Marsh, 1860. Chapter 1, “What is Law?” (pages 5–15), Chapter 2, “Written Constitutions” (pages 15–20), and Chapter 3, “The Colonial Charters” (pages 21–31).

Session III - Discussion: International Anti-slavery and the American Question.

Hirst, Francis W, editor. Free Trade and Other Fundamental Doctrines of the Manchester School, Set Forth in Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Its Founders and Followers. London: Harper & Brothers, 1903. John Bright’s “The Civil War in America” (pages 360–368) and Richard Cobden’s “The Civil War in America” (pages 369–379).

Carlyle, Thomas. “Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question.” Fraser’s Magazine for Town and Country XL, No. 1 (February 1849): 527–538.

Mill, John Stuart. Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume 21: Essays on Equality, Law, and Education. Edited by John M. Robson. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1963. “The Negro Question” (pages 85–95).

Somerset v. Stewart, 98 ER Lofft 1 (EngR 57 1772) (pages 499–510).

Session IV - Discussion: Liberty, Slavery, and the Constitution.

Thompson, C. Bradley, editor. Antislavery Political Writings, 1833–1860: A Reader. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2004. Chapter 9, Arnold Buffum’s “Lecture Showing the Necessity for a Liberty Party, and Setting Forth Its Principles, Measures, and Object (1844)” (pages 107–113), Chapter 11, William I. Bowditch’s “Slavery and the Constitution (1849)” (pages 133–143), and Chapter 12, Frederick Douglass’s “The Constitution of the United States: Is It Pro-Slavery or Anti-Slavery? (1860)” (pages 144–156).

Spooner, Lysander. The Unconstitutionality of Slavery. Boston: Bela Marsh, 1860. Chapter 8, “The Constitution of the United States” (pages 54–114).

Session V - Discussion: Duty, Responsibility, and the Abolition of Slavery.

Thompson, C. Bradley, editor. Antislavery Political Writings, 1833–1860: A Reader. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2004. Chapter 13, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “The Two Altars; Or, Two Pictures in One (1851)” (pages 159–169), Chapter 14, Charles Sumner’s “Speech on Our Present Anti-Slavery Duties (1850)” (pages 170–184), Chapter 15, “Moral Responsibility of Statesmen (1854)” (pages 187–201), and selections from Chapter 16, Frederick Douglass’s “What Is My Duty as an Anti-Slavery Voter?” and “Fremont and Dayton (1856)” (pages 202–206).

Session VI - Discussion: Disunion.

Thompson, C. Bradley, editor. Antislavery Political Writings, 1833–1860: A Reader. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2004. Chapter 18, Henry Highland Garnet’s “Address to the Slaves of the United States of America (1843)” (pages 223–229), Chapter 19, William Lloyd Garrison’s “No Compromise With Slavery (1854)” (pages 230–245), Chapter 20, Henry C. Wright’s “No Rights, No Duties: Or, Slaveholders, as Such, Have No Rights; Slaves, as Such, Owe No Duties (1860)” (pages 246–260), and Chapter 21, Lysander Spooner’s “A Plan for the Abolition of Slavery (1858)” (pages 261–263).