Black Abolitionist Papers



Black Abolitionist Papers

This edition

Black Abolitionist Papers. Ed. C. Peter Ripley. 5 vols. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1985-92.

Vol. 1, The British Isles, 1830-1865 (1985). xxx+609 pp.
Vol. 2, Canada, 1830-1865 (1986). 588 pp.
Vol. 3, The United States, 1830-1846 (1991). xxx+521 pp.
Vol. 4, The United States, 1847-1858 (1992?). xxvi+443 pp.
Vol. 5, The United States, 1859-1865 (1992). xxviii+435 pp.

Other editions, reprints, and translations

Also available as a full-text database of about 14,000 items from ProQuest. This is based on the microfilm edition (17 microfilm reels, plus guide [ix+571 pp.]) published: Sanford, NC: Microfilming Corp. of America, 1981. But it also includes the five print volumes, edited by Peter Ripley and published by the U of North Carolina Press: "The companion volumes add commentary, annotations and images to about ten percent of the primary sources in ["Black Abolitionist Papers"] . . . Look for the "Full Text" links in the search results to locate commentary, notes and images or browse the companion volumes" (Seibert 2012).
The original project, "centered at Florida State University under the skilled direction of C. Peter Ripley, began in 1976 and resulted in the collection of 14,000 letters, speeches, essays, books and pamphlets, editorials, and other writings from depositories in England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. In 1981-84 these were issued on microfilm" (Taylor 1988: 71).
"The original documents are located in over one hundred archives and libraries. Over thirty percent of the sources are handwritten letters and documents [i.e. are manuscript sources]" (Seibert 2012).

Table of contents

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

v.IIITheColonization Controversy: John B. Russwurm to [Edward Jones], 20 March 1830; Joseph R. Dailey to Robert Purvis, 12 April 1833
v.III.James Forten to William Lloyd Garrison, 31 December 1830, 6 May 1832
v.III.William Watkins to William Lloyd Garrison, 12 February 1831
v.III.William Watkins to William Lloyd Garrison, May 1831
v.III.Address /Abraham D. Shadd, /Peter Spencer, and /William S. Thomas, 12 July 1831
v.III.Address /Abraham D. Shadd, /William Hamilton, and /William Whipper, 13 July 1832
v.III.Speech /Sarah M. Douglass, Delivered before the Female Literary Society of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [June 1832]
v.III.Speech /William Whipper, Delivered before the Colored Temperance Society of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 8 January 1834
v.III.Constitution of the Colored Anti-Slavery Society of Newark, 9 May 1834
v.III.James R. Bradley to Lydia Maria Child, 3 June 1834
v.III.Sarah L. Forten to Elizabeth H. Whittier, 23 March 1835
v.III.Address /William Whipper, /Alfred Niger, and /Augustus Price, 3 June 1835
v.III.Speech /James Forten, Jr. Delivered before the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 14 April 1836
v.III.Founding the New York Committee of Vigilance: David Ruggles to Editor, New York "Sun" [July 1836]; Resolutions /Thomas Van Rensellaer, /Jacob Francis, and /David Ruggles, Delivered at Phoenix Hall, New York, New York, 27 September 1836; Proceedings of a Meeting of the New York Committee of Vigilance, Convened at 165 Chapel Street, New York, New York, 21 November 1836
v.III.Theodore S. Wright and Racial Prejudice; Theodore S. Wright to Archibald Alexander, 11 October 1836; Speech /Theodore S. Wright, Delivered at the Bleecker Street Church, Utica, New York, 20 October 1836
v.III.Address /William Wartkins, /Jacob M. Moore, and /Jacob C. White, Sr., [November 1836]
v.III.Sarah L. Forten to Elizabeth H. Whittier, 25 December, 1836
v.III.Speech /Charles W. Gardner, Delivered at the Broadway Tabernacle, New York, New York, 9 May 1837
v.III.Editorial /Samuel E. Cornish, 4 March 1837
v.III.Editorial /Samuel E. Cornish, 4 March 1837
v.III.Sarah L. Forten to Angelina E. Grimke, 15 April 1837
v.III.Debating the Causes of Racial Prejudice: "W." to Samuel E. Cornish, [June 1837]; Editorial /Samuel E. Cornish, 8 July 1837
v.III.William Watkins to Samuel E. Cornish, 8 June 1837
v.III"AColored American" to Samuel E. Cornish, 2 August 1837
v.III.Speech /William Whipper, Delivered at the First African Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 16 August 1837
v.III.Memorial /Charles W. Gardner and /Frederick A. Hinton, 6 January 1838
v.III.Lewis Woodson to Samuel E. Cornish, 7 February 1838
v.III.Editorial /Samuel E. Cornish, 10 February 1838
v.III.Editorial /Samuel E. Cornish, 15 March 1838
v.III.Editorial /Samuel E. Cornish, 9 June 1838
v.III.Benjamin F. Roberts to Amos A. Phelps, 19 June 1838
v.III.Editorial /Samuel E. Cornish, 30 June 1838
v.III."Junius" to Samuel E. Cornish [July 1838]
v.III.William Watkins to John P. Burr, 13 August 1838
v.III.Augustus W. Hanson to William Lloyd Garrison, 3 November 1838
v.III.Speech /Peter Paul Simons, Delivered before the African Clarkson Association, New York, New York, 23 April 1839
v.III.Speech /Andrew Harris, Delivered at the Broadway Tabernacle, New York, New York, 7 May 1839v.III.Boston Blacks Defend William Lloyd Garrison: William P. Powell to William Lloyd Garrison, 10 July 1839; Resolutions /Committee of Boston Blacks, Presented at the First Independent Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts, 19 March 1840
v.III.Editorial /Charles B. Ray, 13 July 1839
v.III.Charles Lenox Remond to Austin Willey, 27 October 1839
v.III.David J. Peck and George B. Vashon to Charles B. Ray and Philip A. Bell, 14 November 1839
v.III.Essay /Lewis Woodson, 29 November 1839
v.III.Essay /"A Colored Woman," [November 1839]
v.III.Thomas Van Rensellaer to "Colored Abolitionists," [April 1840]
v.III.Charles B. Ray to James G. Birney and Henry B. Stanton, 20 May 1840
v.III.Samuel Ringgold Ward to Nathaniel P. Rogers, 27 June 1840
v.III.Reviving the Black Convention Movement: James McCune Smith to Charles B. Ray, 12 August 1840, Editorial /Charles B. Ray, 12 September 1840
v.III.John W. Lewis to the Executive Committee of the New Hampshire Anti-Salvery Society, 28 December 1840
v.III.Essay /"Sidney," [February 1841]
v.III.William C. Nell to William Lloyd Garrison, July 1841
v.III.Lewis Woodson to [Lewis Tappan], 31 January 1842
v.III.Testimony /Charles Lenox Remond, Delivered at the Massachusetts State House, Boston, Massachusetts, 10 February 1842
v.III.Editorial /Stephen A. Myers, 3 March 1842
v.III.Editorial /Stephen A. Myers, 10 March 1842
v.III.Samuel Ringgold Ward to Gerrit Smith, 18 April 1842
v.III.Jeremiah B. Sanderson to William C. Nell, 19 June 1842
v.III.Robert Purvis to Henry Clarke Wright, 22 August 1842
v.III.Narrative /Lewis G. Clarke, October 1842
v.III.Annual Report of the Colored Vigilant Committee of Detroit, Delivered at Detroit City Hall, Detroit, Michigan, 10 January 1843
v.III.Speech /Henry Highland Garnet, Delivered before the National Convention of Colored Citizens, Buffalo, New York, 16 August 1843
v.III.Henry Johnson to Austin Willey, 31 August 1843
v.III.Charles Lenox Remond to Isaac and Amy Post, 27 September 1843
v.III.Antislavery and the Black Clergy: Samuel Ringgold Ward to John A. Murray, 10 November 1843; Henry Highland Garnet to Charles Hall, 28 June 1844
v.III.William Jones to the United States Congress, 28 December 1843
v.III.James McCune Smith to Horace Greely, 29 January 1844
v.III.Speech /Charles Lenox Remond, Delivered at Marlboro Chapel, Boston, Massachusetts, 29 May 1844
v.III.Resolutions /Meeting of Boston Blacks, Convened at the First Independent Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts, 18 June 1844
v.III.Jehiel C. Beman to Joshua Leavitt, 10 August 1844
v.III.William P. Powell to the Members of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, 21 January 1845
v.III.Henry Bibb to James G. Birney, 25 February 1845
v.III.Jeremiah B. Sanderson to Amy Post, 8 May 1845
v.III.Ranson F. Wake, John Peterson, Alexander Crummell, Henry Williams, Daniel J. Elston, George Montgomery, Benjamin Stanly and John J. Zuille to Gerrit Smith, 13 June 1845
v.III.J. W. C. Pennington to J. P. Williston, 20 February 1846
v.III.James McCune Smith to Gerrit Smith, 28 December 1846

Volume 4

Volume 5

About the anthology

● (from National Historical Publications & Records Commission):
"The Black Abolitionist Papers is a five-volume documentary collection culled from an international archival search that turned up over 14,000 letters, speeches, pamphlets, essays, and newspaper editorials by nearly 300 black men and women. The first two volumes consider black abolitionists in the British Isles and Canada (the home of some 60,000 black Americans on the eve of the Civil War), and the remaining volumes examine the activities and opinions of black abolitionists in the United States from 1830 until the end of the Civil War. In particular, these volumes focus on their reactions to African colonization and the idea of gradual emancipation, the Fugitive Slave Law, and the promise brought by emancipation during the war."

Reviews and notices of anthology

● McColley, Robert. Review of vols. 3-5. "Civil War History" 39.1 (1993): 84-86.
● Taylor, Orville W. Review of Vol. 1. "Explorations in Sights and Sounds" 8.1 (Summer 1988): 71-72.
"From 1830 until 1865, hundreds of American, Canadian, and West Indian blacks went to the British Isles and became active in the antislavery movement, which in 1833 reached a peak there with abolition of slavery in the Empire but was only beginning to gain momentum in the United States. . . . From diverse backgrounds and with no central organization, they nevertheless successfully pursued the common goal of persuading 'the British public to place its moral [and financial] support behind the crusade to end American slavery'" (71).
This first volume includes 96 representative items; "Most were previously unpublished" (71).
"The editorial statement on method, thirty-five page introduction, and extensive headnotes and footnotes contribute additional detail and color to the volume" (71).
● Seibert, Jutta. "The Other Side of the Story: Black Abolitionist Papers, 1830-1865." [Commentary on the ProQuest database edition.] Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova University (blog) 30 April 2012.
● "The Black Abolitionist Papers" represents one of the foremost examples of the art of documentary editing."Southern Historian"
● Fladeland, Betty. Review of Vol. 2, Canada, 1830-1865. "Journal of Southern History" 54.2 (1988): 332.

Item Number


Item sets

Linked resources

Filter by property

Title Alternate label Class
Witness for Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery, and Emancipation See also Bibliographic Resource
Black Abolitionist Archive See also Bibliographic Resource