10/27 Malgeri Seminar at the MHS: Writing Uncompensated Emancipation into the Lost Cause

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Writing Uncompensated Emancipation into the Lost Cause

Author: Amanda Kleintop, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Comment: Nina Silber, Boston University

Tuesday 27 October
5:15 PM

Virtual Event


After the US Civil War, white southerners claimed federal reimbursements for the value of freed slaves. Federal lawmakers rejected these claims in the Fourteenth Amendment. Yet, historians have long concluded that white southerners accepted uncompensated emancipation. Why did Americans forget these claims? This paper argues that white southerners abandoned them in the 1880s-1890s and rewrote history. They insisted that property in humans was “unprofitable,” and they did not need compensation after Confederate defeat. This narrative helped them reestablish political power and absolve themselves of four years of bloodshed and generations of enslavement. 


The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture Seminar invites you to join the conversation on Tuesday 27 October at 5:15 PM. The seminar brings together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. After brief remarks from the author and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. All are encouraged to ask questions, provide feedback on the circulated essay, and discuss the topic at hand. Our sessions are free and open to everyone. Register above to attend, and you will receive a confirmation message with instructions for attending this virtual session. 

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Questions? Email seminars@masshist.org.