Browse Exhibits (1 total)

The Real American Colonization Society

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The American Colonization Society and the discourse surrounding it have been thoroughly contested since the Society's very founding. Scholars of late have focused their arguments around the notion that the institution was either fundamentally for or against slavery. This, though, is an oversimplification of both the ACS's purpose and its views on slavery. Rather than doing this, then, I will attempt to establish the ways different groups changed the public's perception of the American Colonization Society, including free blacks and their discourse on colonization, Garrisonian abolitionists, and pro-slavery advocates like Thomas Dew. In effect, the following exhibit hopes to show how such groups misrepresented the Society and that at its core, it was not only an anti-slavery institution but also one that prided itself on compromise and national unity more than anything else.

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