Flagpole, November 17, 1999, pp. 8-9


“Nothing is more susceptible to oblivion than an argument, however ingenious, that has been discredited by events; and such is the case with the body of writing which was produced in the antebellum South in defense of Negro slavery.” So wrote Eric McKitrick in a history book he edited, Slavery Defended: The Views of the Old South (1963). McKitrick was correct. At the end of the twentieth century very few people are aware of the existence, much less the contents, of the vast mass of books, essays, pamphlets, magazine and newspaper articles, and printed sermons and speeches in which the institution of black slavery was enthusiastically and aggressively defended, even extolled, by proslavery advocates in the Old South.

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