Kentucky Abolitionists in the Midst of Slavery (1854-1864): Exiles for Freedom

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An examination of the relationship between the lives and thought of Cassius M. Clay and Rev. John G. Fee, Kentucky's most famous and controversial antislavery leaders. It provides the most thorough treatment yet written of Fee's thinking in relation to his background and experiences, and by far the most complete estimation of influences on his religious convictions. It presents a detailed account of virtually all the abolitionists active in Kentucky from 1854-1864, including leaders and followers, both out of state and indigenous. Includes a complete narrative of the founding of Berea, KY as an abolitionist colony, and information about the first, abortive establishment of what is now Berea College. Relates the events after John Brown's Harpers Ferry raid when all the KY abolitionists were forced into exile by vigilante mobs. Follows Fee and others up to the point of his return to the mission field in Kentucky in 1864.


"Sears . . . offers the reader in this new work a detailed history and a clearly defined narrative enriched and enlivened by extensive quotation. Even the casual reader will find in the efforts of these abolitionists an appealing congruity between the strength of their cause and the simplicity of their rhetoric. . . . Sears effectively welds this political history and the series of biographies which formed it into an attractive whole." - Raymond Betts

"Professor Sears has told this story well. His in-depth character sketches of the key players make an abstract struggle become real, while showing the diversity of the people involved. . . . he presents his well-researched work with flashes of subtle humor. In short, this a book that deserves much attention. . ." -- James C. Klotter

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