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The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1838–1956A History$
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James Heartfield

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190491673

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190491673.001.0001

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The United States

The United States

(p.131) 6 The United States
The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1838–1956

James Heartfield

Oxford University Press

From its founding the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society campaigned against slavery in the southern United States. The Society highlighted the economic weakness of the southern states and atrocities committed against slaves and anti-slavery campaigners. Popular speaking tours with writer Harriet Beecher Stowe and escaped slave Frederick Douglass were organized across Britain. Still the British society was at odds with William Lloyd Garrison’s American Anti-Slavery Society, preferring more moderate anti-slavery campaigns. Astonishingly, the BFASS’s hostility to America led it to champion the cause of the southern secessionists, with Lord Brougham denouncing Abraham Lincoln’s mob rule. The Society was challenged by a more radical Union Emancipation Society that gathered cotton workers and Garrisonians to fill the gap the mainstream anti-slavery society left when it failed to champion Lincoln’s emancipation.

Keywords:   America, Confederacy, Emancipation, Lincoln, Douglass, Slavery

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