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The South and the Mexican War

Description: This thesis examines newspapers and correspondence of public men in the era of the Mexican war to provide some answers to pertinent questions regarding the South's role in the Mexican War. It attempts to reveal to some degree whether Southerners uniformly supported the war, whether their support arose from an expansionist sentiment or a desire to extend the area of slavery, whether any strong opposition to the war existed in the South, and why they supported or opposed it.
Date: December 1970
Creator: Lowe, Billie Lynne Owens
Partner: UNT Libraries

Slavery, Fear, and Disunion in the Lone Star State: Texans' Attitudes toward Secession and the Union, 1846-1861

Description: This work is a study of white Texans' attitudes toward their role in the federal Union and their right to secede from it during the antebellum period. The central question of the study is why did people so strongly Unionist in 1846 became so strongly secessionist by 1861. In tracing this significant shift in Texans' sentiment, the author especially emphasizes the racial attitudes of white Texans, their emotional defense of the institution of slavery, and their strong conviction that the Negroes, if emancipated, would destroy white society. Of special importance to this study is the relationship of Texans' racial attitudes to their attitudes toward the Union.
Date: August 1972
Creator: Ledbetter, Billy D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Henry Clay and the Peculiar Institution

Description: The major concern of this study is an attempt to analyze the attitudes.of Henry Clay, United States Congressman and Senator from Kentucky, 1807-1852, and three time presidential candidate, concerning the institution of slavery by examining its effects upon his political career from 1798 to 1850. The major conclusions of this study are that early in his life Clay made an intellectual commitment that slavery was wrong and maintained this abstract view of the institution until his death. However, Clay never took an active stand against slavery for three reasons: he believed that an antislavery stand would destroy his political career; he realized the explosiveness of the slavery issue as early as 1799, and his misguided love for the Union forced him to attempt to suppress the issue; and Clay was a racist who did not wish to see the United States populated with a sizable number of free blacks.
Date: December 1971
Creator: Boeding, Michael Alexander
Partner: UNT Libraries

John Quincy Adams and Slavery

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to provide for the reader an isolated study based on a thorough research of the Adams Papers, Congressional Globe, and American Foreign Relations Papers, of Adams' views on slavery, both legal and moral.
Date: August 1973
Creator: Rosendahl, Nancy Diane Boydston
Partner: UNT Libraries

Slavery and the Federalist Party, 1789-1808

Description: The growth of antislavery sentiment during this era had origins traceable to several aspects of life in revolutionary America. The two most important were the philosophical basis of the revolution and the evolving economic situation, both of which worked together to destroy slavery in the northern and middle states and to restrict it in the South.
Date: August 1966
Creator: Smith, Stewart D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Economic Mobility into the Planter Class in Texas, 1846-1860

Description: This study examines upward economic mobility into the planter class in Texas during the antebellum statehood period, 1846-1860. Using quantitative methods to analyze data from census and tax records, this study addresses several questions regarding the property owning experience of Texas planters. Did any of the 1860 planters, men or women, rise to that status from another class? If so, how many rose from small slaveholder or small planter origins, and how many advanced from plain folk origins? In what ways did the amount and nature of wealth of these individuals change in the period studied? In what ways do these findings provide insights into the debate over planter dominance versus ‘plain folk’ inclusive herrenvolk democracy and the relationship between the planters and the other classes? Did the experiences of female planters differ from that of male planters? Did female planter experiences in Texas differ from female planters in other parts of the Old South? The results of these questions demonstrate that economic class mobility into the richest class was significant but limited and that women’s experiences were closely tied to those of male kin.
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Date: December 2011
Creator: Nelson, Robert Nicholas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Creole Angel: The Self-Identity of the Free People of Color of Antebellum New Orleans

Description: This thesis is about the self-identity of antebellum New Orleans's free people of color. The emphasis of this work is that French culture, mixed Gallic and African ancestry, and freedom from slavery served as the three keys to the identity of this class of people. Taken together, these three factors separated the free people of color from the other major groups residing in New Orleans - Anglo-Americans, white Creoles and black slaves. The introduction provides an overview of the topic and states the need for this study. Chapter 1 provides a look at New Orleans from the perspective of the free people of color. Chapter 2 investigates the slaveownership of these people. Chapter 3 examines the published literature of the free people of color. The conclusion summarizes the significance found in the preceding three chapters and puts their findings into a broader interpretive framework.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Hobratsch, Ben Melvin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Slaves and Slaveholders in the Choctaw Nation: 1830-1866

Description: Racial slavery was a critical element in the cultural development of the Choctaws and was a derivative of the peculiar institution in southern states. The idea of genial and hospitable slave owners can no more be conclusively demonstrated for the Choctaws than for the antebellum South. The participation of Choctaws in the Civil War and formal alliance with the Confederacy was dominantly influenced by the slaveholding and a connection with southern identity, but was also influenced by financial concerns and an inability to remain neutral than a protection of the peculiar institution. Had the Civil War not taken place, the rate of Choctaw slave ownership possibly would have reached the level of southern states and the Choctaws would be considered part of the South.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Fortney, Jeffrey L., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Richard Thompson Archer and the Burdens of Proprietorship: The Life of a Natchez District Planter

Description: In 1824 a young Virginia aristocrat named Richard Thompson Archer migrated to Mississippi. Joining in the boom years of expansion in the Magnolia State in the 1830s, Archer built a vast cotton empire. He and his wife, Ann Barnes, raised a large family at Anchuca, their home plantation in Claiborne County, Mississippi. From there Richard Archer ruled a domain that included more than 500 slaves and 13,000 acres of land. On the eve of the Civil War he was one of the wealthiest men in the South. This work examines the life of Richard Archer from his origins in Amelia County, Virginia, to his death in Mississippi in 1867. It takes as its thesis the theme of Archer's life: his burdens as proprietor of a vast cotton empire and as father figure and provider for a large extended family. This theme weaves together the strands of Archer's life, including his rise to the position of great planter, his duties as husband and father, and his political beliefs and activities. Archer's story is told against the background of the history of Mississippi and of the South, from their antebellum heyday, through the Civil War, and into the early years of Reconstruction. Archer was an aristocrat but also a businessman, a paternalist but also a capitalist. He enjoyed his immense wealth and the power of his position, but he maintained a heavy sense of the responsibilities that accompanied that wealth and power. Archer pursued his business and his family interests with unyielding tenacity. To provide for the well- being and security of his large extended family and of his slaves was his life's mission. Although the Civil War destroyed much of Archer's empire and left him in a much reduced financial state, his family survived the war and Reconstruction with several of ...
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Date: December 2001
Creator: Hammond, Carol D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Behold the Fields: Texas Baptists and the Problem of Slavery

Description: The relationship between Texas Baptists and slavery is studied with an emphasis on the official statements made about the institution in denominational sources combined with a statistical analysis of the extent of slaveholding among Baptists. A data list of over 5,000 names was pared to 1100 names of Baptists in Texas prior to 1865 and then cross-referenced on slaveownership through the use of federal censuses and county tax rolls. Although Texas Baptists participated economically in the slave system, they always maintained that blacks were children of God worthy of religious instruction and salvation. The result of these disparate views was a paradox between treating slaves as chattels while welcoming them into mixed congregations and allowing them some measure of activity within those bodies. Attitudes expressed by white Baptists during the antebellum period were continued into the post-war years as well. Meanwhile, African-American Baptists gradually withdrew from white dominated congregations, forming their own local, regional, and state organizations. In the end, whites had no choice but to accept the new-found status of the Freedmen, cooperating with black institutions on occasion. Major sources for this study include church, associational, and state Baptist minutes; county and denominational histories; and government documents. The four appendices list associations, churches, and counties with extant records. Finally, private accounts of former slaves provide valuable insight into the interaction between white and black Baptists.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Elam, Richard L. (Richard Lee)
Partner: UNT Libraries

[Letter from David Fentress to Clara Fentress, July 17, 1862 ]

Description: Letter from David Fentress to his wife, Clara, stating that he will be allowed ten days leave so that his uniform can be made at home; he gives information on the welfare of family and friends; and says he gets paid $20.00 monthly; he also gives news of the war including a victory over George McClellan, that Vicksburg still holds out, and the movement of Northern troops.
Date: July 17, 1862
Creator: Fentress, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

Paul and Slavery: a Conflict of Metaphor and Reality

Description: The debate on Paul’s views on slavery has ranged from calling him criminal in his enforcement of the status quo to rallying behind his idea of equal Christians in a community. In this thesis I blend these two major views into the idea that Paul supported both the institution of slavery and the slave by legitimizing the role of the slave in Christian theology. This is done by reviewing the mainstream views of slavery, comparing them to Paul’s writing, both the non-disputed and disputed, and detailing how Paul’s presentation of slavery differed from mainstream views. It is this difference which protects the slave from their master and brings attention to the slave’s actions and devotion. To Paul, slavery was a natural institution which should be emulated Christian devotion. He did not challenge the Romans but called for Christians to challenge the mainstream views of the roles of slavery in the social hierarchy of their communities.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Baker, James C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Southern Roots, Western Foundations: the Peculiar Institution and the Livestock Industry on the Northwestern Frontier of Texas, 1846-1864

Description: This dissertation challenges Charles W. Ramsdell's needless war theory, which argued that profitable slavery would not have existed west of the 98th meridian and that slavery would have died a natural death. It uses statistical information that is mined from the county tax records to show how slave-owners on the northwestern frontier of Texas raised livestock rather than market crops, before and during the Civil War. This enterprise was so strong that it not only continued to expand throughout this period, but it also became the foundation for the recovery of the Texas economy after the war.
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Date: August 2012
Creator: Liles, Deborah Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Selling Humans: the Political Economy of Contemporary Global Slavery

Description: Human trafficking is a growing illegal crime, both in terms of numbers and profits. Thus, important to consider, as it is a human rights, political, criminal justice, national security, and economic issue. Previous studies have these examined these human trafficking factors independently, yet none have really taken into account how they work simultaneously. This study examines why human trafficker continues to occur, particularly at the domestic and transnational level, and also why some countries are better able to effectively deal with this problem in terms of criminalizing human traffickers. It is argued that at the domestic level, traffickers first must take into account the operating costs, illegal risks, bribery, and profits of the business. After considering these basic elements, they then need to consider the world, including economic, political, geographic, and cultural factors that may help facilitate human trafficking. However, human trafficking can occur across large geographic distances, though rare. This is more likely to happen based on the type of human trafficking group, available expatriate or immigrant networks, the origin-transit-destination country connection, or strength of the bilateral economic relationship between origin and destination countries. Finally, looking at why some countries are better able to criminalize traffickers helps us to better understand how human trafficking can be discouraged. In short, conformity of a country’s domestic anti-human trafficking law, as well as the degree of enforcement, should increase the probability of criminalizing a human trafficker. These three theoretical arguments help to better understand the nature of the business, and more importantly, why human trafficking continues.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Balarezo, Christine A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bass Reeves: a History • a Novel • a Crusade, Volume 1: the Rise

Description: This literary/historical novel details the life of African-American Deputy US Marshal Bass Reeves between the years 1838-1862 and 1883-1884. One plotline depicts Reeves’s youth as a slave, including his service as a body servant to a Confederate cavalry officer during the Civil War. Another plotline depicts him years later, after Emancipation, at the height of his deputy career, when he has become the most feared, most successful lawman in Indian Territory, the largest federal jurisdiction in American history and the most dangerous part of the Old West. A preface explores the uniqueness of this project’s historical relevance and literary positioning as a neo-slave narrative, and addresses a few liberties that I take with the historical record.
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Date: August 2015
Creator: Thompson, Sidney
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Afro-British Slave Narrative: The Rhetoric of Freedom in the Kairos of Abolition

Description: The dissertation argues that the development of the British abolition movement was based on the abolitionists' perception that their actions were kairotic; they attempted to shape their own kairos by taking temporal events and reinterpreting them to construct a kairotic process that led to a perceived fulfillment: abolition. Thus, the dissertation examines the rhetorical strategies used by white abolitionists to construct an abolitionist kairos that was designed to produce salvation for white Britons more than it was to help free blacks. The dissertation especially examines the three major texts produced by black persons living in England during the late eighteenth centuryIgnatius Sancho's Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho (1782), Ottobauh Cugoano's Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery (1787), and Olaudah Equiano's The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (1789)to illustrate how black rhetoric was appropriated by whites to fulfill their own kairotic desires. By examining the rhetorical strategies employed in both white and black rhetorics, the dissertation illustrates how the abolitionists thought the movement was shaped by, and how they were shaping the movement through, kairotic time. While the dissertation contends that the abolition movement was rhetorically designed to provide redemption, and thus salvation, it illustrates that the abolitionist's intent was not merely to save the slave, but to redeem blacks first in the eyes of white Christians by opening blacks to an understanding and acceptance of God. Perhaps more importantly, abolitionists would use black salvation to buy back their own souls and the soul of their nation in the eyes of God in order to regain their own salvation lost in the slave trade. But ironically, they had to appear to be saving others to save themselves. So white abolitionists used the black narratives to persuade their overwhelmingly white audience ...
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Date: December 1999
Creator: Evans, Dennis F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Apologist Tradition: A Transitional Period in Southern Proslavery Thought, 1831-1845

Description: Early antebellum defenders of slavery acknowledged that slavery created problems for southern society. They contended, however, that slave society was better and more natural than other forms of social organization. Thomas R. Dew, William Harper, and James Henry Hammond each expressed a social philosophy in which slavery had a crucial role in preserving social order. They argued from the basis of social organicism, the idea that society should have an elite that controlled the masses. For all three men, slavery represented a system of order that helped balance the dangers of democracy. Significantly, however, all three men recognized that the slave system was not perfect, and despite their defense of slavery, argued that it was a human institution and therefore corruptible.
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Date: December 2000
Creator: Austin, Clara
Partner: UNT Libraries