Published in Boston in 1833, Lydia Maria Child’s An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans provided the abolitionist movement with its first full-scale analysis of race and enslavement. Controversial in its own time, the Appeal surveyed the institution of slavery from historical, political, economic, legal, racial, and moral perspectives and advocated for the immediate emancipation of the enslaved without compensation to their enslavers. By placing American slavery in historical context and demonstrating how slavery impacted—and implicated—Americans of all regions and races, the Appeal became a central text for the abolitionist movement that continues to resonate in the present day.
This revised and updated edition is enhanced by Carolyn L. Karcher’s illuminating introduction, a chronology of Child’s life, and a list of books for further reading.
Preface to the Revised Edition
Preface to the First Edition and Acknowledgments
Chronology of Lydia Maria Child
Suggestions for Further Reading
An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans
Chapter I. Brief History of Negro Slavery.—Its Inevitable Effect upon All Concerned in It
Chapter II. Comparative View of Slavery, in Different Ages and Nations
Chapter III. Free Labor and Slave Labor.—Possibility of Safe Emancipation
Chapter IV. Influence of Slavery on the Politics of the United States
Chapter V. Colonization Society, and Anti-Slavery Society
Chapter VI. Intellect of Negroes
Chapter VII. Moral Character of Negroes
Chapter VIII. Prejudices against People of Color, and Our Duties in Relation to This Subject
“Karcher’s new edition of Lydia Maria Child’s 1833 groundbreaking study of slavery and racial prejudice in the United States provides an invaluable text for students of American history and literature, African American studies, women’s studies, and the history of political reform movements . . . Karcher has done a great service to students and teachers in making Child’s Appeal available in an accessible, attractive, scholarly edition.”—MELUS