Sons of the Fathers
shows Virginians struggling with their dual inheritance of liberty and slavery, a struggle that ultimately convulsed the United States. The debates it makes available offer valuable insight into the forces that shaped ante-bellum politics and should be read by anyone who cares to understand those politics. (David Tucker, Naval Postgraduate School)
Virginians decided in drafting Article I of the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights that they would endeavor at once to maintain slavery and to establish a republican society. Yet, their decision became increasingly problematic as time wore on. Nat Turner's 1831 slave uprising brought the issue of slavery's future to the fore. This volume does a great service in providing a collection of the surviving speeches and some related materials from the Virginia General Assembly's 1831-32 emancipation debate, a debate that ultimately was resolved by Virginians' deciding, as in 1776, to maintain enslaved Africans among the citizens of the Virginia republic. (Kevin Gutzman Kevin Gutzman, Western Connecticut State University)
About the Author
Erik S. Root
is chair of economic philosophy at West Liberty University. He is also the author of All Honor to Jefferson?