Three times, at intervals of thirty years, did a wave of unutterable terror sweep across the Old Dominion, bringing thoughts of agony to every Virginian master, and of vague hope to every Virginian slave. Each time did one man's name become a spell of dismay and a symbol of deliverance. Each time did that name eclipse its predecessor, while recalling it for a moment to fresher memory: John Brown revived the story of Nat Turner, as in his day Nat Turned recalled the vaster schemes of Gabriel.
-from "Gabriel's Defeat"
Fired with an abolitionist's passion, these five true accounts of slave uprisings in Latin America and the United States are among the best writings we have of the struggle to end slavery in the Western hemisphere.
Written by a dedicated antislavery crusader and first published in the Atlantic Monthly in the 1850s and 1860s, these highly readable essays combine in-depth research with assured, absorbing prose to tell fascinating and important stories: of black warrior societies of the "Maroons," descendents of escaped slaves who lived in the jungles of the West Indies and South America; of Gabriel, whose dedication to throwing off the shackles of oppression turned him into a figure with an almost mystical aura; and Nat Turner's furious insurrection; and more.
American author and civil-rights activist THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON (1823¬-1911) also wrote Army Life in a Black Regiment (1870) and Common Sense About Women (1881).