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Crusade Against Slavery: Edward Coles, Pioneer of Freedom Hardcover – May 18, 2011

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About the Author

Kurt E. Leichtle is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. His articles have been published in the Magazine of History, The Historical Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of War

Bruce Carveth is a writer and former editor for business publications.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; First Printing edition (May 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809330423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809330423
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,319,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clifton C. Hawkins on September 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A monument to Edward Coles should replace that of Jefferson in the National Mall. Coles detested slavery, and went against the wishes of his family to emancipate his slaves and move them to the free territory of Illinois. This was so fraught with risk that he could not even tell the slaves of his plans to free them until they were in a raft in the middle of the Ohio River and thus immune [he thought] from re-enslavement. The troubles he endured in liberating his slaves, moving them to Illinois, preventing their re-enslavement even after that move, and leading the fight to exclude slavery from Illinois when it became a state, defy belief, and cast amazing light on this crucial period in American history. This eye-opening book will astound even historians well-read in this era, and yet it is engagingly written and fascinating throughout. Coles is not well-known; yet he changed the entire course of American history. I would almost claim that we cannot understand United States history without reading this book. It certainly increases greatly our understanding of Jefferson, Madison, and Lincoln, among others. We should erect monuments to Coles everywhere, and praise the authors of this book for making him better known.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kathy mullin on September 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On the eve of the Civil War LIncoln's Illinois was not among the slave states that seceded. A great deal of credit can be given to Illinois' governor in l823, Edward Coles. The political maneuverings of the anti-slavery and slavery parties in the state's first capital, Vandalia are fascinating to follow. Illinois came very close to becoming a slave state and the implications would have been tremendous. This book is more than just a biography of Coles. Its story of the violence and political intrigues that dominated the state in the l820's are well researched and very informative. The authors, Kurt Leichtle and Bruce Carveth, have completed extensive research on the Northwest Ordinance of l787 and the historiography of Jefferson's ownership of that document. The book is well worth the read.

Kathleen Mullin
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Coles was a firm opponent of slavery and an active campaigner against its spread into Illinois. However, his actual activities are almost summarized in this presentation of his life. There is greater detail about his life pre and post his time as Governor of Illinois. I came away feeling that I had gained maybe a little more information about his heroic efforts, but feeling as though I still had not learned anything but the broad brush strokes of his fight against slavery. On the other hand, I suppose it is possible that his actual efforts have been mythicized, and maybe the extent of his efforts in the struggle to oppose slavery were not so involved after all. I will have to read other works to try to determine if that is so; but this book just did not satisfy my desire to know more about Coles actual efforts.
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