Introduction The Emergence of the Family Politics Campaign and Antislavery Sentimentality Marketplace Politics in The Scarlet Letter Lydia Maria Child and the Mothering State The Invisible Hand of the Marketplace: E.D.E.N. Southworth's Southern Reforms 'The White Slave of the North': Lowell Mill Women and the Evolution of 'Free Labour' The End of Antislavery Sentimentality: Frederick Douglass's Post-Civil War Performance of Masculinity
Antislavery Discourse and Nineteenth-Century American Literature examines the relationship between antislavery texts and emerging representations of "free labor" in mid-nineteenth-century America. Husband shows how the images of families split apart by slavery, circulated primarily by women leaders, proved to be the most powerful weapon in the antislavery cultural campaign and ultimately turned the nation against slavery. She also reveals the ways in which the sentimental narratives and icons that constituted the "family protection campaign" powerfully influenced Americans sense of the role of government, gender, and race in industrializing America. Chapters examine the writings of ardent abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, non-activist sympathizers, and those actively hostile to but deeply immersed in antislavery activism including Nathaniel Hawthorne.