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Frederick Douglass and Scotland, 1846

by Alasdair Pettinger

Frederick Douglass and Scotland, 1846 Synopsis

The first full-length study of Frederick Douglass' visit to Scotland in 1846 Frederick Douglass (1818-95) was not the only fugitive from American slavery to visit Scotland before the Civil War, but he was the best known and his impact was far-reaching. This book shows that addressing crowded halls from Ayr to Aberdeen, he gained the confidence, mastered the skills and fashioned the distinctive voice that transformed him as a campaigner. It tells how Douglass challenged the Free Church over its ties with the Southern plantocracy; how he exploited his knowledge of Walter Scott and Robert Burns to brilliant effect; and how he asserted control over his own image at a time when racial science and blackface minstrel shows were beginning to shape his audiences' perceptions. He arrived as a subordinate envoy of white abolitionists, legally still enslaved. He returned home as a free man ready to embark on a new stage of his career, as editor and proprietor of his own newspaper and a leader in his own right. Key Features: First full-length study of Frederick Douglass' visit to Scotland in 1846 Reveals fresh information about, and deepens our understanding of, a major 19th-century intellectual at a crucial stage in his political and professional development Subjects Douglass' speeches and letters to close readings and situates them in the immediate context of their delivery and composition Demonstrates the extent to which Douglass was closely acquainted with Scottish literature, history and current affairs Enhances our knowledge of Douglass as a performer, his ability to read audiences, and how he moved and influenced them

Frederick Douglass and Scotland, 1846 Press Reviews

Frederick Douglass and Scotland is an ambitious and highly original work that is an exciting new addition to the historiography. It addresses both the need for more recognition of Douglass in Scottish historiography, and also of Scotland in studies of Douglass in the United States. It is thoroughly researched, and the author does an impressive of using source material to reveal Douglass's visit to Scotland as a truly transformative episode in the abolitionist's life.--Shaun Wallace, University of Bristol History Scotland

Book Information

ISBN: 9781474444262
Publication date: 18th August 2020
Author: Alasdair Pettinger
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 376 pages
Categories: Speeches, Slavery & abolition of slavery,

About Alasdair Pettinger

Alasdair Pettinger is Independent scholar at Scottish Music Centre

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