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Chocolate CityA History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital$
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Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469635866

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469635866.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Our Boastings of Liberty and Equality Are Mere Mockeries

Our Boastings of Liberty and Equality Are Mere Mockeries

Confronting Contradictions in the Nation’s Capital, 1815–1836

(p.47) Three Our Boastings of Liberty and Equality Are Mere Mockeries
Chocolate City

Chris Myers Asch

George Derek Musgrove

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shows how, in the decades after the War of 1812, slavery and the slave trade in the city invited domestic and international criticism as the movement to abolish slavery focused its efforts on the District. As abolitionism became a national force in American politics in the 1830s, the national battle over slavery was waged in large part in and about the nation’s capital, and local abolitionists, black and white, actively challenged slavery within the city itself. Washington became the national battleground over slavery not only because it was the seat of government but also because of the city’s political impotence. Because Congress had veto power over any legislation passed by the city’s local council, national leaders could (and did) use Washington as a pawn in their political power struggles. Escalating political and racial tensions erupted in an 1835 race riot that concludes the chapter.

Keywords:   Abolitionism, Antislavery, Slavery, Colonization, Free black people

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