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The First ReconstructionBlack Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War$
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Van Gosse

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781469660103

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469660103.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

We Think for Ourselves

We Think for Ourselves

Making the Battleground, 1822–1846

Chapter:
(p.377) Chapter 9 We Think for Ourselves
Source:
The First Reconstruction
Author(s):

Van Gosse

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469660103.003.0012

Beginning in the late 1830s, Black New Yorkers mobilized statewide to regain unrestricted suffrage, offering an organizing model for free people of color nationwide. Leaders like the young Henry Highland Garnet, Dr. James McCune Smith, Samuel Ringgold Ward, and the veteran Stephen Myers (an associate of Governor William Seward) built a network covering dozens of counties. With the radical antislavery Liberty Party putting pressure on the Whigs, this effort culminated in an 1846 referendum in which “Equal Suffrage for colored persons” was overwhelmingly defeated.

Keywords:   James McCune Smith, Henry Highland Garnet, Liberty Party, William Seward, Stephen Myers, 1846 Referendum, Samuel Ringgold Ward, New York, Suffrage

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