Bedford Literature of the American Slave History Before 1865 Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1149 Words
Date:  2022-12-06


American slave history has been narrated in different traditional literature sources. The Bedford narrative of the American slave literature before 1865 gives an interesting account of how the colonial entities practiced slave trade and slavery almost as a legal activity until the attainment of independence of the United States. The Bedford resources equally highlight the pre-historical America from the time of Christopher Columbus and his letter that describes the results of his voyage around the world. It also captures various aspects of the slavery and specific events that took place through American independence in 1776 until 1865 when slavery was abolished officially by the 13th amendment.

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According to Bedford sources, the literature of the thirteen colonies that perpetuated the act of slavery even after independence in 1776 is told. The sources indicate that by 1583, the English explorers had started writing about a new continent (The United States). The thirteen colonies highlighted by the Bedford narrative were British settlements around the Coast of America between the 17th and 18th centuries. England literally had developed colonies in the Northern parts of America to advance their strong empire against the rival Spanish.

Around 1619, the colonies captured the first batch of the African slaves into their colony. The enslaved African slaves became the most fundamental factor for the masters to maintain their large tobacco plantations. According to Bedford sources, there were three main divisions of the colonies; The New England, Southern Colonies and the Middle colonies. The majority of the Southern colonies were entirely depending on the labor services from the African Slaves as they were slave traders.

Sources reveal that when the French war ended in 1763, the British parliament introduced tax levies on the thirteen colonies through the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and the Currency Act.

Even after the independence of the United State, some states still continued with their slave business. The narrative of William Garrison became stronger as he radically led the anti-slave abortionist movement. Garrison is the publisher of the most predominant newspaper of the anti-slavery newspaper (The Liberator), he teamed up with like-minded crusaders to call for the uncompromising end of slavery. William Garrison believed in the equality of all races and the capability of free African-Americans to mingle and get assimilated into the white society.

Even though Garrison called for a peaceful strategy to abolish the act of slavery, some American anti-slavery quit the movement as they thought that Garrison was too radical. In 1839, The criticism of the constitution as a pro-slavery document and the ultimate inclusion of women into the slave abolition movement angered the whites and some of them walked away. According to sources, Garrison gave a historic speech in 1853 that changed the entire spirit of the fight for freedom. After that time, there were spontaneous calls for a national dialogue on how to end slavery in the United States. All voices that were pro-slavery saw the sense and agreed to undergo a constitutional amendment. 1n 1965, the 13th amendment saw the official abolition of slavery in the entire United States. After that, African slaves and fugitives were now free from slavery.

The American Slaves Narrative from The Confessions of Nat Turner, by Thomas R. Gray

Slavery had been legally practiced in America from the early colonial days by all the thirteen colonies around the time of the declaration of independence in 1776. Even after independence, the culture and practice continued in more than half the States of America until 1865 when the 13th Amendment nationally prohibited it. The Confessions of Nat Turner by Thomas Gray provide a reliable resource that describes the early U.S slave narrative until the time of its abolition in the year 1865. The reason why I chose the confessions of Nat Turner is that his narrative gives a clear picture of bravery and the determination to change the slavery mentality during the pre-colonial period

The resource gives an overview of the American historical tradition. The slave narrative is one of the most significant traditions in the American literature which gives specific shaping forms and lessons of the most historically celebrated writings. Even though a lot of the American slave narrative work were done by people of the African descent, it is also imperative to note that Muslims who were African born, Juan Manzano Francisco the Cuban poet equally did some remarkable work. It cannot go without recognition that a few white Americans sailors held in captivity by the African pirates equally authored significant narratives regarding their captivity during the 19th century. It is estimated that between 1760 to the end of the US civil war, about 100 autobiographies concerning former slaves and fugitives came to exist.

According to Thomas Gray's narrative, Nat Turner was a black clergy who crystallized the fight against the slave crisis and the direction the nation was going. Nat and his small group of army killed sixty whites including his master's family. He hurried his quickly dictated narrative into publication (the Confessions of Nat Turner) before being caught by the Federal troops of the State and hanged in November 1831. Nat Turner was regarded as the leader of the most progressive anti-slave rebellion in the U.S. After Turner's death, a new anti-slave generation declared an uncompromising resistance towards slavery. Under the leadership of the white anti-slavery crusader and journalist Lloyd Garrison, the abolition campaign got stronger through various conventions, public protests, and newspaper highlights. It now became a more powerful generation of both black and white abolitionists fighting for the same course. Through the anti-slavery society, they demanded that the Government free all blacks.

In 1845, Fredrick Douglass and other American literature authors began to inject a new strategy of combining anti-slavery with literacy and education. They were former slaves and shared their experience through the literature in an effective manner. Douglas became an abolitionist lecturer before he wrote his autobiography which became the epitome of the slave narrative in the entire U.S. in the late 1940s, more fugitive slaves like William Brown, Henry Bibb, and others added more strength in the rhetorical of the slave narrative by encompassing their stories into the African-American culture. In the 1950s, the slave narratives triggered a national discussion on slavery. Out of the national debate, it was resolved that slavery was to be abolished by the introduction of the 13th amendment. The struggle to end slavery continued until 1865 when the 13th amendment abolished it in the United States.

Work Cited

Bedford, Anna. "Ecofeminist, Post-colonial, and Anti-capitalist Possibilities in Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring." Ecofeminism in Dialogue (1850): 15.

Rael, Patrick. "Nat Turner and the Rising in Southampton County by Jr. David F. Allmendinger." Journal of the Early Republic 37.2 (1860): 390-392.

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