Was Abolitionism a Failure? – NYTimes.com

In The New York Times Jon Grinspan argues that it was “the Northern moderates,” not the abolitionists, who ended slavery. According to Grinspan, we have credited the abolitionists with the victory because “[w]e like the idea of sweeping change, of an idealistic movement triumphing over something so clearly wrong.” While his article implies that these types of movements are ineffective, at the same time he seems to cheer them on concluding: “We can only wonder which of today’s unpopular causes will, in 150 years, be considered the abolitionism of 2015.”

Grinspan’s argument seems to rest on the assumption that only concrete changes count. It was the abolitionists who laid the moral foundation that made the actions of the Northern moderates possible. I count that as a victory!

Read the entire article here:

Was Abolitionism a Failure? – NYTimes.com.

Abolition in US

What Counts as Historical Evidence? The Fracas over John Stauffer’s Black Confederates | Historista

John Stauffer, a Professor of English and African-American Studies at Harvard, received a flurry of criticism after he claimed that “between 3,000 and 6,000 [blacks] served as Confederate soldiers.” Apparently he used literary sources to make the claim without checking out the historical evidence. Opps! Literary sources can be useful to a historian, but the claims made in must either verified by other types of evidence or used as windows into the perceptions of those who wrote the literature. For more on this story:

What Counts as Historical Evidence? The Fracas over John Stauffer’s Black Confederates | Historista.

andrew and silas chandler civil war