Abolition and the Press

E-book – $24.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-6264-8

Trade Paper – $24.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2507-0
Publication Date
October 2008
Page Count
248 pages
Trim Size
5.25 x 8

Abolition and the Press

The Moral Struggle Against Slavery
Ford Risley

This examination of nineteenth-century journalism explores the specific actions and practices of the publications that provided a true picture of slavery to the general public. From Boston’s strident Liberator to Frederick Douglass’ North Star, the decades before the Civil War saw more than forty newspapers founded with the specific aim of promoting emancipation. Not only did these sheets provide a platform for discourse, but they also gave slavery a face for a wider audience. The reach of the abolitionist press only grew as the fiery publications became objects of controversy and targets of violence in both South and North. These works kept the issue of slavery in the public eye even as mainstream publications took up the call for emancipation, as the nation went to war, up to the end of slavery. Their legacy has endured, as dedicated reform writers and editors continue to view the press as a vital tool in the fight for equality.

About the Author

Ford Risley is the head of the department of journalism at the College of Communications at Penn State University. where he has taught since 1995. He is the author of The Civil War: Primary Documents on Events from 1860 to 1865. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania.