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Thomas W. Henry was born a slave on a Maryland tobacco plantation in 1794. Until he was twenty-seven, when he was made free according to the slaveholder's will, he was an apprentice blacksmith. His wife Catherine and two of their children remained in bondage until he was able to purchase them. Two other children were lost to the slave trade.
This volume is a reprinting of Henry's memoirs, first published in 1872 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It provides a firsthand account of A.M.E. church politics and denominational relations, as well as a picture of community life as described by a manumitted slave.
This illuminating resource of information about America's black religious heritage conveys Henry's sense of mission and consecration as he ministered to the African Methodist Episcopal churches of Maryland and rural Pennsylvania. Because he spent his early life as a blacksmith, his descriptions of the slave community of the Antietam Ironworks are charged with understanding and authority. His account is an unparalleled primary source for the study of the slave's role in the social history of the iron industry. As Henry documents the harsh economics of life in a free black family, he reveals the changing nature of American slavery in the early nineteenth century as well as the growing hostility of European workers toward the skill of slaves.
Henry's autobiography, prepared for publication in this edition from a rare copy in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University, documents the role of this religious and community mentor and sheds additional light on the history of black leadership in the quest for abolition.
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Libby, a research librarian at the University of California, San Francisco, edited this autobiography of an African American minister. Born a slave, Henry worked as a blacksmith before serving as a minister in the Methodist and then later the A.M.E. [African Methodist Episcopal] Church. His remembrances offer a firsthand account of church politics, of life in the Maryland iron industry, and of economic and social conditions for blacks in antebellum America. He also offers noteworthy observations on the changing attitudes of whites toward African Americans in mid-19th-century America. Recommended for academic libraries and for all libraries with Civil War collections.
Patricia Owens, Wabash Valley Coll., Mt. Carmel, Ill.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Univ Pr of Mississippi, 1994. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0878056904