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The fate of Chicago, the Midwest, and perhaps our entire country hinged on the outcome of a momentous debate in the early years of Illinois, when legislators sought to revise the state’s constitution to allow slavery. A spirited response by Gov. Edward Coles and other anti-slavery voices barely prevented this from happening.
This seminar will review arguments made on both sides, and the role Coles and others played in promoting antislavery nationalism.
Joseph S. Harrington holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Connecticut and has led seminars at The Newberry since 2008.
Suzanne Cooper Guasco, Confronting Slavery: Edward Coles and the Rise of Antislavery Politics in Nineteenth-Century America. (Northern Illinois University Press, 2013). ISBN: 978-0-87580-689-1
No first reading assignment