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This study of a January 1811 slave uprising and march on New Orleans exhumes the deliberately obscured and "largest act of armed resistance against slavery in the history of the United States." Historian Rasmussen expands on scarce source material to provide a complex context for a revolt that dwarfed such better-known rebellions as Nat Turner's and Denmark Vesey's, a stealthily organized uprising of 500 armed slaves dressed in military uniforms marching on and trying to conquer New Orleans. The author ties together diverse political, economic, and cultural threads in describing the rise (and brutal suppression) of the "ethnically diverse, politically astute, and highly organized" army, and investigates why this "story more Braveheart than Beloved" was consigned to historical footnote. While the book's ambition occasionally exceeds its grasp, it vividly evokes the atmosphere of New Orleans of the early 19th century and how a recalcitrant, French-rooted Louisiana and some Spanish possessions in the Deep South were incorporated into the expanding American nation though brutal revenge justice and political pressures. (Jan.) (c)
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When Americans think of slave rebellions, Nat Turner and John Brown come to mind, but the largest armed resistance to slavery in U.S. history was commanded by Kook, Quamana, Harry Kenner, and Charles Deslondes. The four led an army of several hundred slaves in 1811 to revolt against plantation masters and to march on New Orleans. Historian Rasmussen details the political climate of the time, including French sugar plantation owners destabilized by efforts of the U.S. government to Americanize the region, threats from nearby Spanish-held territories, and the recent slave revolts in Haiti, 6,000 miles away. The slaves were emboldened by Haiti and aided by a cosmopolitan mix of ethnic groups—Africans, Native Americans, people of mixed race, slaves, and Maroons—who enjoyed fairly free movement around the area. Rasmussen details the history and politics of the region, the revolt itself, and the vengeful reprisals that followed, including efforts to rewrite the history of the revolt. Readers will appreciate not just the historic recollection of the attempt to overcome the oppression of slavery but also the more recent developments that have recovered it from obscurity. --Vanessa BushSee all Editorial Reviews
I was interested in this book American Uprising because I find the whole idea of slavery repellent and am proud of my ancestors who fought against it. Read morePublished 8 days ago by E. Borgman
There as a lot of information in the book, but somewhat boring to read. A quick browsing of a Wikipedia site would give much of this information. Read morePublished 1 month ago by R.L.D.
Amazing history that deserves to be widely read and understood. The level of violence that pervaded the South throughout its slaveholding history, the ruthlessness of the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Reckless Reader
I loved the story telling in this book. I had to read it for a slave history class in college, and I have re-read it several times since then. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Angela Miller
A must read!
We're living in the age of "information and ignorance"! Education is key.
We must get in touch with our humanity. Read more
I was looking for an unbiased history book on American Slavery. It is an interesting topic which I am trying to understand. The authors bias is present throughout the book. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jeff Jensen