Tyrannicide

By Emily Blanck, Paul Finkelman (editor), Timothy S. Huebner (editor)

Book cover of Tyrannicide: Forging an American Law of Slavery in Revolutionary South Carolina and Massachusetts

Book description

Tyrannicide uses a captivating narrative to unpack the experiences of slavery and slave law in South Carolina and Massachusetts during the Revolutionary Era. In 1779, during the midst of the American Revolution, thirty-four South Carolina slaves escaped aboard a British privateer and survived several naval battles until the Massachusetts brig…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Tyrannicide as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I’ve been assigning this book to students for a few years now, introducing them to the ways that Americans dueled with one another over slaveholding and Black citizenship.

In 1779, British privateers attacked a few South Carolina plantations and took thirty-four enslaved people away (or maybe they went willingly in search of freedom). After a series of adventures, the men and women arrived in Revolutionary Massachusetts, and their enslavers wanted them back. The resulting dispute foreshadowed the debate over slavery that hides in the heart of the United States Constitution.

Because it’s not too long, I think this book is…

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