This book begins with a provocative paradox: George Fitzhugh of
Virginia, one of the most eloquent defenders of Southern chattel
slavery, appealed to a New York abolitionist for support. How can
this be? The abolitionist in question, Charles Edwards Lester, had
confessed that "he would sooner subject his child to Southern
slavery, than have him to be a free laborer of England." Lester was
in fact referring to the "white" or "wage" slavery of the mother
In a three part study, Cunliffe explores the context of chattel
and wage slavery in Britain and the United States. He first
outlines the evolution of the concept of wage slavery in Europe and
the United States, demonstrating how this concept bore upon
opinions about chattel slavery in America.
In his second section, Cunliffe discusses the precariousness of
Anglo-American relationships during the period of 1830 to 1860. In
their resentment of British rebukes aimed at the persistence of
slavery in a democracy, Americans retaliated by claiming that
British wage slavery was worse than American plantation
Cunliffe concludes by charting the career of Lester, the
seemingly atypical New York abolitionist. Lester displayed a
conviction that Britain was a corrupt and brutal society, most of
whose leading citizens detested America. Cunliffe maintains that
Lester's opinions were shared by many of his countrymen during the
antebellum decades; in this sense he may have been more truly
representative of American attitudes than either Southerners like
Fitzhugh or Northerner abolitionists like William Lloyd
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
No reviews yet - be the first to create one!