The Denmark Vesey Affair
A Documentary History

Edited by Douglas R. Egerton and Robert L. Paquette

Foreword by Stanley Harrold and Randall M. Miller, Series Editors
Hardcover: $150.00
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Choice Outstanding Academic Title 
“A truly invaluable collocation of documents. Highly Recommended.”—Choice
“This volume will prove a boon to future studies of the Vesey scare and the scholars doing those studies will greatly appreciate the richness and convenience offered by this impressive volume.”—Reviews in American History
“This is the most comprehensive collection of source materials related to Denmark Vesey ever assembled. . . . An exhaustively researched volume that will prove indispensable to historians of slavery in the United States.”—Slavery and Abolition 
“A monumental achievement. . . . Essential reading for understanding not just race and slavery but also the entirety of the nineteenth-century Atlantic world.”—Journal of the Early Republic

"Brilliantly conceptualized, exhaustively researched, and eloquently written, it is a gold mine for anyone interested in America's ongoing dilemma with slavery and race."--John Stauffer, author of Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln

"This stunning and magisterial documentary history accumulates and analyzes much evidence never before considered adequately, if at all. The work of fifteen years by assiduous senior historians of slave rebellions, it not only considers the prehistory of the affair but also the long aftermath."--David Moltke-Hansen, editor of William Gilmore Simms’s Unfinished Civil War: Consequences for a Southern Man of Letters

"Will surely become the definitive source on the Vesey conspiracy. Such an impressive assemblage and explication of records show not only how Vesey's actions contributed to America's Civil War but also why he continues to influence us, particularly in the South."--Bernard E. Powers Jr., author of Black Charlestonians: A Social History, 1822-1885

"Places the Denmark Vesey conspiracy in a broad context. This volume should put to rest the argument by some historians that the conspiracy was little more than 'loose talk' among those held in bondage."--Loren Schweninger, author of Families in Crisis in the Old South: Divorce, Slavery, and the Law

In 1822, thirty-four slaves and their leader, a free black man named Denmark Vesey, were tried and executed for "attempting to raise an insurrection" in Charleston, South Carolina. In The Denmark Vesey Affair, Douglas Egerton and Robert Paquette annotate and interpret a vast collection of contemporary documents that illuminate and contextualize this complicated saga, ultimately arguing that the Vesey plot was one of the most sophisticated acts of collective slave resistance in the history of the United States. This is the definitive account of a landmark event that spurred the South to secession.

Douglas R. Egerton, professor of history at Le Moyne College, is the author of Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America. Robert L. Paquette, executive director of The Alexander Hamilton Institute in Clinton, New York, is coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas.

A volume in the series Southern Dissent, edited by Stanley Harrold and Randall M. Miller
Sample Chapter(s):
Table of Contents

Choice Outstanding Academic Title - 2017

Aims to prove that even if the revolt itself didn’t actually happen, the plot did exist, and that it was the most sophisticated collective plot against slavery in the U.S.

A truly invaluable collocation of documents. Highly Recommended.

Presents a panoply of documents pertinent to the Vesey conspiracy’s origins, unraveling, and aftermath [and]. . . . will provide specialists and lay readers alike with the tools they need t think critically about Denmark Vesey and his milieu.
--H-Net Reviews

This is the most comprehensive collection of source materials related to Denmark Vesey ever assembled. . . . An exhaustively researched volume that will prove indispensable to historians of slavery in the United States.
--Slavery and Abolition

A major contribution to the study of not only the Denmark Vesey conspiracy but also how white people from both the North and the South responded to possibility of racial violence. . . . This book will be one that all scholars of this era will want to have on their shelves.
--Journal of Southern History

An essential source for researchers and students -- the first such edition capable of becoming a guide to themes and problems in the interpretation of the 1822 slave conspiracy and its archive. . . . No volume collecting Vesey documents have ever been as complete.

A massive, extraordinary resource.
--North Carolina Historical Review

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