William Heffernan (essay date 1973)
SOURCE: “The Slave Trade and Abolition in Travel Literature,” in Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 34, No. 2, April-June 1973, pp. 185-208.
[In the following essay, Heffernan surveys the depiction of the slave trade in travel literature by eighteenth-century white authors, which he argues provides greater insight into public opinion than does imaginative writing of the same period. Travel writing about Africa, he maintains, was a genre that shaped white attitudes toward blacks and provided the substance for pro- and anti-abolitionist arguments.]
Much has been written about the relationship between the anti-slavery poems, plays, and novels that appeared with...
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