Antislavery and Abolition in Philadelphia considers the cultural, political, and religious contexts shaping the long struggle against racial injustice in one of early America's most important cities. Comprised of nine scholarly essays by a distinguished group of historians, the volume recounts the antislavery movement in Philadelphia from its marginalized status during the colonial era to its rise during the Civil War.
Philadelphia was the home to the Society of Friends, which offered the first public attack on slavery in the 1680s; the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, the western world's first antislavery group; and to generations of abolitionists who organized some of early America's most important civil rights groups.
These abolitionists -- black, white, religious, secular, male, female -- grappled with the meaning of black freedom earlier and more consistently than anyone else in early American culture. Cutting-edge academic views illustrate Philadelphia's antislavery movement, how it survived societal opposition, and how it remained vital to evolving notions of racial justice.