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How did witnesses of slavery relate their experiences and what effect did their reports have? This book examines travel accounts, fictions, poetry and legal texts to analyze direct and indirect encounters with slavery in the antebellum United States. It discusses the rhetorical politics of British and American, and black and white, observations of slavery. The discussion raises critical questions about the role of witness and its link with political action, both in antebellum and contemporary America.
"Joe Lockard has been doing some of the most creative work to be found on the literature and culture of antislavery. 'Watching Slavery' powerfully proves this point."