Saturday, January 18, 2020

Booknotes: Owen Lovejoy and the Coalition for Equality

New Arrival:
Owen Lovejoy and the Coalition for Equality: Clergy, African Americans, and Women United for Abolition by Jane Ann Moore and William F. Moore (Univ of Ill Press, 2019).

The three antislavery groups explored in Jane and William Moore's Owen Lovejoy and the Coalition for Equality: Clergy, African Americans, and Women United for Abolition "attributed their common vision of a nation free from slavery to strong political and religious values. Owen Lovejoy’s gregarious personality, formidable oratorical talent, probing political analysis, and profound religious convictions made him the powerful leader the coalition needed." Beginning in 1846, these socially disparate groups "merged their agendas into a single antislavery, religious, political campaign for equality with Lovejoy at the helm."

A younger brother of the murdered abolitionist minister and newspaper editor Elijah Lovejoy, Owen Lovejoy was also a church leader who shared the same views on slavery, the destruction of which he devoted his religious as well as political activities (a Republican, he served Illinois's Third District in the U.S. House of Representatives). 

"Combining scholarly biography, historiography, and primary source material, Jane Ann and William F. Moore" (who are the authors, also through University of Illinois Press, of Collaborators for Emancipation: Abraham Lincoln and Owen Lovejoy, released earlier this year, and the editors of a 2004 collection of Owen's Lovejoy's speeches and writings titled His Brother's Blood) "demonstrate Lovejoy's crucial role in nineteenth-century politics, the rise of antislavery sentiment in religious spaces, and the emerging commitment to end slavery in Congress."

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