David Walker’s Appeal

David Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, published in Boston in 1830, was one of the earliest publications by a black abolitionist, and also one of the most radical and angry. His fiery prose invokes the language of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia to make his case for the immediate abolition of slavery. Walker managed to have many copies of the pamphlet smuggled into the South, where it caused enough anxiety among slave owners to cause them to put a bounty on his head, and prompted Georgians temporarily to suspend the entry of black sailors into their ports.

But who was David Walker? He was a free black man born in Wilmington, North Carolina, to a free mother and enslaved father, in 1795 or 1796. In his early adulthood, he moved to Charleston, South Carolina, then made his way northward, first living briefly in Philadelphia, and then settling in Boston in 1825. It was there that he composed his renowned pamphlet. You can read more about Walker here (a pretty decent Wikipedia entry), as well as an interesting entry from an online encyclopedia of North Carolina history, and another good piece from the Virginia State Archives. He died not long after the publication of the pamphlet, in June 1830, the official record stating that he died of tuberculosis, although their have been many claims that he was poisoned.

In this web comment, chose one or two paragraphs from the Appeal from the excerpts here. Read them over carefully, and then in your web comment, note which paragraph you are looking at and then summarize briefly what point Walker is making in that paragraph. In addition, analyze how Walker is making his point: What strategies is he using? Is his argument persuasive? What sort of emotional response does the paragraph elicit in the reader? Your comment should be about two paragraphs in length.

Published in: on November 25, 2011 at 11:00 pm  Comments (19)  

Schedule for the Rest of the Semester

We have to rework the schedule since we’re a little bit behind, so here it goes:

Monday, November 21
Chapter 11: Cotton, Slavery, and the Old South, pp. 266-282 (Note that we are skipping Chapter 10)

Wednesday, November 23
Chapter 11: Cotton, Slavery, and the Old South, pp. 282-286; Chapter 12: Antebellum Culture and Reform, pp. 302-309 (Note that we are only reading the last section of Chapter 12 on the anti-slavery movement.)
QUIZ ON CHAP. 11 & LAST SECTION OF CHAP. 12
THESIS PARAGRAPH DUE ON FREDERICK DOUGLASS PAPER

Monday, November 28
Chapter 13: The Impending Crisis, pp. pp. 310-325.
If time permits, discussion of Frederick Douglass, Chapters I – VI

Wednesday, November 30
Chapter 13: The Impending Crisis, pp. pp. 325-336.
QUIZ ON CHAPTER 13

Monday, December 5
Chapter 14: The Civil War, pp. pp. 337-350.
If time permits, discussion of Frederick Douglass, Chapters VI-XI

Wednesday, December 7
Chapter 14: The Civil War, pp. pp. 350-368.
QUIZ ON CHAPTER 13
FREDERICK DOUGLASS PAPER DUE

Monday, December 12
Chapter 15: Reconstruction and the Old South, pp. 369-380 (Just the first eleven pages of the chapter)

FINAL EXAM: December 21 – 4PM –  Namm 1022 (regular classroom)

Drop me an e-mail at bo’malley@gc.cuny.edu if you have any questions

Published in: on November 20, 2011 at 11:18 am  Leave a Comment