Contentious Liberties: American Abolitionists in by Gale L. Kenny

By Gale L. Kenny

The Oberlin university project to Jamaica, began within the 1830s, was once an formidable, and finally stricken, attempt to take advantage of the instance of emancipation within the British West Indies to develop the household time table of yankee abolitionists. White americans was hoping to argue that American slaves, as soon as freed, will be absorbed productively into the society that had formerly enslaved them, yet their "civilizing mission" didn't move as expected. Gale L. Kenny's illuminating learn examines the differing rules of freedom held by way of white evangelical abolitionists and freed humans in Jamaica and explores the results in their come upon for either American and Jamaican heritage. Kenny reveals that white Americans-who went to Jamaica desiring to help with the transition from slavery to Christian perform and good citizenship-were pissed off through liberated blacks' unwillingness to comply to Victorian norms of gender, kin, and faith. In tracing the historical past of the thirty-year undertaking, Kenny makes inventive use of accessible resources to unpack assumptions on either side of this American-Jamaican interplay, displaying how liberated slaves in lots of instances have been capable not only to withstand the imposition of white mores yet to redefine the phrases of the encounter.


“In this insightful publication Kenny takes readers deep into the area of the yank Missionary organization project to Jamaica in the course of the first thirty years after slavery. . . . With deft research of ideologies in motion, Kenny tells the tale of ways those women and men from the yank frontier city of Oberlin attempted to actuate in Jamaican society their firm—almost rigid—beliefs approximately human nature. She additionally tells of the unexpected, now and then remarkable, outcomes in their efforts.”—Edward Bartlett Rugemer, writer of the matter of Emancipation: The Caribbean Roots of the yank Civil War

“Contentious Liberties is nuanced and intelligible and provides significantly to the literature on emancipation and the that means of freedom. The writing is sharp and the scholarly content material significant.”—Trevor G. Burnard, writer of Mastery, Tyranny, and hope: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves within the Anglo-Jamaican World

"This e-book increases interesting questions about how radical abolitionists concerned about black independence needed to adapt their undertaking given black Jamaicans’ personal rules and the commercial realities of white land ownership."—H-NET Reviews

"In Contentious Liberties, Gale L. Kenny illuminates the problems American missionaries confronted attempting to convert former bondspeople to Anglo-American faith and tradition in postemancipation Jamaica."—Journal of the Civil struggle Era

"More than a historic sidebar a couple of West Indian position and folks. It is going to the guts of struggles for freedom."--Journal of Southern History

“Contentious Liberties matches into the scholarship on Atlantic and transnational stories, providing views at the interplay among abolitionist and post-emancipation efforts within the U.S. and Caribbean.…For these drawn to the background and current acclaim for U.S. missionaries within the Western Hemisphere sooner than and because, this e-book is essential.” —Susan J. Fernandez, Florida historic Quarterly

"A welcome boost to the . . . literature on Christian missions in Jamaica . . . Kenny's paintings at the AMA is a massive contribution."—Veront M. Satchell, American historic Review

“A interesting, in-depth account of conflicts among disparate cultures within the 1800’s, Contentious Liberties is very prompt as an exceptional choose for foreign historical past shelves.”—Midwest booklet evaluate

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Extra info for Contentious Liberties: American Abolitionists in Post-Emancipation Jamaica, 1834-1866 (Race in the Atlantic World, 1700-1900)

Sample text

At one revival meeting, for example, Finney prayed, “Lord wake up these stupid sleeping ministers; [else] . . ”9 In the opinions of many, Finney’s disregard for the church’s traditional stances was fast leading to the disintegration of civilization. Although time and institutionalization reined in Finney’s radicalism, the antiauthoritarianism and self-righteousness that animated it in the 1820s would occasionally resurface, even among the order-seeking missionaries in Jamaica. Aside from the theological differences, orthodox Calvinists also feared the more general social disorder that accompanied religious enthusiasm— the new measures Finney and others had instituted to elicit conversions.

64 The orderliness of their manual-labor obligations also appeared in their daily schedules, and it structured their days just as it had done at { 40 } chapter one the Oneida Institute in the 1820s. 65 Just as men and women had interpreted their conversion experiences in gendered ways, young women at Oberlin did not see the manual-labor requirement as a means to greater autonomy and independence, as did young men. Female students praised the manual-labor system, and one, writing to the school’s agent in England, explained that it was “the very thing we need.

Cultivate a cheerful countenance . . 60 These were not the lessons of sexual equality. Instead, they harmonized with the position of the Lane Rebels’ old nemesis, Catharine Beecher, and her growing opus on domesticity. While Oberlin’s professors might have disagreed with the Beecher family’s moderate antislavery and support of colonization, they fully supported the family’s views about the roles of women in public life. The radicalism of Oberlin’s male students and its obvious attachment to the abolitionist movement was therefore tempered by an emphasis on particular gender roles.

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