Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Emancipation and Independence 1

      Since 1996, I have been working on a long manuscript called Emancipation and Independence, to be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2010.  Since I am currently completing the final edits, I am posting here the Preface and then the Introduction which emphasize the new interpretation of the American Revolution which arises from focusing on the central role of blacks.  The Preface stresses the peculiar, Eurocentric or white-centered study of comparative revolutions, even among progressive scholars, in history and political science which makes the American Revolution a dark star in the bright firmament of revolutions,  Even Barrington Moore, whom I studied with, began from the Puritan Revolution, moved onto the French and the failed German Revolution of 1848, and then the Russian Revolution.  Revolutions by nonwhites in China or India, or the Civil War in America were afterthoughts to this central picture. 

       But one merely has to look South, to independence movements in this hemisphere to realize that this way of looking at Revolutions is blinded by racism.  In the greatest social uprising of the 18th century, slaves made Haiti.  In Venezuela, when Bolivar was losing, he came to republican Haiti and received support in exchange for gradual emancipation. Yet in comparative revolutions, until Robin Blackburn’s The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery (1988), Toussaint and the Great Liberators do not exist.  An anti-racist appraisal of the evidence of comparative revolutions isolates the great question of the North American independence movement: why, alone in the Hemisphere, did the American Revolution fail to emancipate gradually, the slaves?


Americans launched the first Revolution for Independence to defeat Colonial oppression.  They founded their movement on a democratic refusal to pay taxes without representation and on equal freedom of conscience for each person.  Yet for a commercial audience,  American historians retell the Revolution as a story of leaders – of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Franklin - more often than do the historians of other nations.[i]    They see the American Revolution as a political but not social uprising. 

Most celebrate it.  For instance, as R.R. Palmer stresses in The Age of Democratic Revolutions,  the American Revolution helped trigger a series of rebellions across Europe, including the French  German, and Polish revolutions.[ii]   In contrast,  historians of comparative revolutions in social history and political science dismiss the American Revolution as but a change of political institutions with no underlying social rebellion. According to Barrington Moore Jr. and Theda Skocpol, social history begins with the Puritan Revolution and passes to the French, German, Russian, and Chinese. 

Curiously, during the Cold War, American political scientists and historians disparaged all revolutions, and, by implication, the American Revolution.[iii]   Even Hannah Arendt, the great political theorist, sought to differentiate the American uprising, with its emphasis on the creation of representative institutions de novo, from the French Revolution, the enormous social explosion on which she blamed the downfall of subsequent Revolutions.  Palmer, too, emphasizes American constitutionalism.   Yet even more progressive historians, like my teacher,  Barrington Moore, treat the Haitian Revolution - the one successful slave uprising in all history and the greatest social revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries - as somehow outside a canon of Revolutions: the English, the French, the Russian, the Chinese, and the American Civil War against slavery.  For Moore, the American Revolution shifted political power yet achieved no fundamental social change.[iv]  

None of these accounts relate the American Revolution to other revolutionary independence movements in the Western Hemisphere,  and the emancipation of slaves which marked them.  These arguments ignore the incendiary, thirteen-year insurrection in Saint Domingue against French colonialism in which slaves created Haiti in 1804, the freedom movements of the great Liberators like Simon Bolivar in Spanish America, and the Jamaican Black Baptist revolt. 

Yet these independence and anti-slavery revolutions were, I will suggest, intimately linked to the American.[v]  Circuitously, the American blossom spread seeds of freedom, particularly among blacks in Spanish America and the Carribbean, as well as in Nova Scotia and in Sierra Leone. In contrast to the American Revolution, however, the French and Haitian Revolutions are paradigm social uprisings; though gradually emancipating slaves like the Northern United States, the Venezuelan Revolution seems mainly political and, thus, comparable to the American Independence movement.  Still, looking to the South confirms the neglected social impact of the American Revolution.  

 Historians limn some social elements in the American Revolution.  For instance, in The Radicalism of the American Revolution, Gordon Wood argues that participants dreamed of equality and a social revolution.  “The republican revolution was the greatest utopian movement in American history.  The revolutionaries aimed at nothing less than the reconstitution of American society.  They hoped to destroy the bonds holding together the older monarchical society – kinship, patriarchy, and patronage – and to put in [its] place new social bonds of love, respect and consent.”[vi]   Yet,  Wood notes, the leaders concluded that the American people “lacked virtue: a concern for a common good.   In the aftermath,  these leaders remarked, the elite engaged furiously in commerce or profit-seeking, which undercut virtue.

 More fundamentally, however,  Wood does not see that the revolution for equality occurred only among whites.[vii]  Wood also fails to notice the crowds, made up of sailors and artisans, black and white, who participated in pre-Revolutionary uprisings against press-gangs (which forced civilians into the navy) and the Stamp Act, or who dumped tea in Boston harbor.  Sailors considered impressment a form of slavery and often demanded abolition of bondage.[viii] Finally, Wood does not notice that in the Shays Rebellion of 1787, soldier-farmers rose up to defend their small properties against dispossession by merchants and the new central,  misleadingly called “federal” government. Wood identifies an egalitarian spirit – a spirit embodied in ideals - in the American Revolution,  but his account does not challenge the older historical conception of a political rather than a social uprising.

        In contrast,  Gary Nash’s The Urban Crucible emphasizes the turbulence of the ports, which gave the Revolution a tinge of social rebellion:

Although no social revolution occurred in America in the 1770s,[ix] the American Revolution could not have unfolded when or in the manner it did without the self-conscious action of urban laboring people – both those at the bottom and those in the middle – who became convinced that they must create power


where none had existed before or else watch their position deteriorate…Thus,  the history of the Revolution is in part the history of popular collective action and the puncturing of the gentry’s claim that their rule was legitimized by custom, law, and divine will.  Ordinary people, sometimes violently,  took over the power and the procedures of the constituted authorities.[x]


Markus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh’s The Many-headed Hydra also calls sailors an international proletariat who made port towns – New York,  Boston, Philadelphia and Charlestown - centers of democratic protest from below.  Yet both accounts  treat precursors, not the American Revolution itself. 

Thus, for a broad audience,  aside from attention to leadership and a ritualized recasting of personal stories, the American Revolution remains a dark star, eclipsed in a bright firmament of social Revolutions.  As Arendt illustrates, even admirers separate it from the “excesses” of other Revolutions.  In the French Revolution,  exploited farmers burned the chateaux.  The urban artisans,  the sans culottes,  led by radicals like Jacques Hebert,  curtailed the “freedom”merchants claimed to gouge them.  Responding to high prices, washer women gathered along the quais and emptied a warehouse of soap.[xi]   The sans culottes and the Jacobins pressed for the Terror against aristocrats and monarchs, which also consumed the Revolution’s leaders, including Robespierre.  Even historians like Moore who see the French Revolution as positive emphasize its social character in contrast to the merely political independence movement in the United States.[xii]

 American political scientists and historians also ignore the Revolutions of enslaved blacks in Saint Domingue and Latins and blacks in Spanish America.  Composed entirely of non-whites, these stars are darker even than the North American Revolution. Yet in the battles of Savannah and Charlestown in 1779 and 1780, soldiers from Saint Domingue participated along with the French on the side of the Patriots.  Henri Christophe and other leaders of the Haitian insurrection apprenticed in the American Revolution. [xiii]

Even the greatest historian of the Haitian uprising, C.L.R. James, the West Indian radical,  entitled his book The Black Jacobins (1938).  He thus characterized Haiti as but a satellite of the French Revolution.[xiv]   Yet slaves catalyzed the Revolution in St. Domingue, a more profound social revolution than the French.[xv]   Furthermore,  the Haitian Revolution heroically crushed French republican,  English, and Napoleonic invasions.  In 1793, a delegation of three revolutionaries came to France from Saint Domingue.  They spoke to the National Convention about the evils of bondage.  In 1794, in the Revolution’s greatest social act, the Jacobins outlawed slavery: “The National Convention declares that the Slavery of Negroes is abolished in all the Colonies.  In consequence,  it declares that all men, without distinction of colour, domiciled in the colonies, are French Citizens and enjoy all the rights assured under the Constitution.”[xvi] 

Yet even Moore ignores the central issue of slavery in the French Revolution.  Through Empire and bondage abroad, French reactionaries rebuilt the Bastilles torn down in the metropolis.  After James, the next compelling, full-length book on the Haitian Revolution,  Elizabeth Fick’s The Making of a Nation, appeared only in 1990…[xvii]  Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the creation of Haiti, the United Nations Educational,  Social, and Cultural Organization - UNESCO - named 2004 the Year of the Slave.  Old intellectual errors are slowly being put right. Sadly, the U.S. government’s  second coup against an elected Aristide regime in Haiti reveals relentless enmity toward blacks.

In the 19th Century, the German philosopher Hegel stressed the liberating movements in Venezuela, which - dialectically - freed the colonizers as well as the colonized.[xviii]  Ruling over others strengthens the most reactionary forces in a society.  Appeals to nationalism can be used,  ever more wantonly,  to discredit movements for reform and decent social change as well as revolution.[xix]   A great liberal theorist, Hegel stresses the importance for the Enlightenment of overthrowing bondage: “slavery is an outrage on the very conception of man.”[xx]  Modern liberalism emerges in two Enlightenment demands.  First, each person is free to worship or not, as she chooses.  States must not inquisitorially join with  Churches to torture people for their beliefs.  Second, every person is free.  Slavery and serfdom, colonialism, the subjection of women, and every other form of oppression - one person being held in bondage by another - must cease.  Yet social historians have largely ignored the issue of slavery within independence movements.

 Even for historians engaged in Latin American studies, the great Liberations, too, are dark stars. Latin Americanists downplay the gradual emancipation of slaves that accompanied independence in Venezuela.[xxi]   When Spain first defeated Bolivar,  he retreated to republican Haiti to regroup.  Bolivar proclaimed gradual emancipation; Haiti supported him.  Until Robin Blackburn’s The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery (1988), however,   the Revolutions of blacks and “Spanish” Americans and the overturning of bondage did not shine in the intellectual firmament.   

In 1996, as part of a manuscript entitled Friendless Aliens, Friendless Citizens, I wrote an essay on democratic institutional design in the Federalist Papers in the context of the Alien and Sedition Acts.  I had taken Barrington Moore’s course on comparative revolutions – the basis for Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy - at Harvard in 1965 and joined Students for a Democratic Society the next year.  As an anti-racist long interested in revolutions,  I found myself reluctant to probe racism in the American Revolution,  for this event pitted the independence of slave-owners against the biggest slave-trading Empire in the world.  As an emblem of human freedom, I thought, there would have been a few black revolts but little else... 

But Nash’s Race and Revolution (1993) offered a more interesting tale than I had imagined:

In the North and South, thousands of slaves fled whenever  the British forces were within reach.  Although the number can never be exactly calculated,  it was very large.  Jefferson reported that 30,000 slaves had fled their masters during the Invasion of Virginia in 1781.  Knowing that more than half of Virginia’s blacks were in situations that would have made flight nearly unthinkable – because they were children under 15, physically depleted men and women over 45, women with young children, or men whose flight would have left their families at the mercy of revengeful masters – this is a gigantic number….In South Carolina, a similar proportion of adult males – about half – probably fled to the British during the Southern campaigns from 1779 to 1781.[xxii]


Nash gives several  reasons why emancipation should have occurred during or immediately after the Revolution: 1) many leaders, including slave-owners in the Middle South, recognized the inconsistency of bondage and American freedom,  2) the Revolution in Saint Domingue reinforced this sentiment,[xxiii]  3) only an environmental,  not a biological, theory of slave “inferiority” existed,  4) the federal government could have sold unsettled territory in the West to compensate owners for emancipating slaves,  5)  the government could have compelled South Carolina and Georgia, in exchange for protection against the Creek Indians, to give up bondage, and 6) the cotton gin was not invented until after the Revolution,  and bondage was not, compared to what it later became,  exceptionally profitable.[xxiv]  Nash attributes the failure of emancipation to weak leadership from the North.  Yet, in a chapter entitled “Black Americans in a White Republic,” he devotes only a few pages to this theme.

His words, however,  pose a vital question.  A gigantic movement for freedom among blacks set the stage for a British response – the freeing of many in exchange for fighting.  Surely, I realized,  emancipation by the Imperialists must recast how we think about the American Revolution.  English abolition legitimized and helped constitute a Second Revolution and undercut the Revolution for Independence.  In comparative  terms,  imagine if peasants and sans-culottes in the French Revolution had fought for the aristocrats rather than destroying their power.  Imagine if Napoleon had freed most slaves in Saint-Domingue to fight Toussaint L’Ouverture as the representative of the comparatively less oppressed, “the colored.”  Imagine if Lenin had opposed workers and represented only intellectuals, but the Tsar had relied on strikes to combat the Russian Revolution.  Imagine if the United States and not the Vietnamese National Liberation Front had mobilized peasant radicalism and overturned landlords…

        Led by Gary Nash, Peter Wood, Sylvia Frey, Graham Hodges, and Simon Schama,[xxv]  historians have recently begun to explore this material.  Nonetheless, a deep story lies hidden here.

         This book’s idiom differs from many previous histories of the Revolution.  First, historians sometimes re-imagine and rephrase the words of those distant from them in time and situation.[xxvi]  A style like that often goes down easily with the reader and makes a book attractive.  But it can also superimpose the historian’s musings over the authentic voices of the period.

         In this text, the original voices have been emphasized so that  the conversations  of these great public movements will be audible to the reader.  This style allows the reader  to hear an enormous, multivocal  demonstration of the centrality of blacks in the Revolution, the Imperial/Patriot dynamic of recruitment and emancipation,  and the seeds of liberty which these movements spread.  This style honors the voices of the past and allows them to carry their significance into the present.  It enables the reader to feel the texture of documents,  to recover buried evidences of a Second Revolution.    

         Some historians have concentrated on particular stories, say of black Loyalists in South Carolina, and, thus, have circumscribed the archival evidence they consult.  In contrast,  since beginning this project in 1996,  I have journeyed to 13 research libraries in the United States,  London,  Paris, and Spain, and explored documents from the South Carolinian and Canadian archives on the web.

          Second, this story is set, for the most part, chronologically.  Much of the evidence is fragmentary. No one tale unfolds in the broad pattern of Two Revolutions, competitive Royal and Patriot emancipations and the seeds of freedom spread after Independence. But when all the strands are woven together, the record is overwhelming.    Sometimes I have had to skip ahead in time to adduce evidence for the shadowy role of, say, The Bucks of America, or highlight the determined account of Elleanor Elldridge, heir of blacks who fought in the First Rhode Island Regiment.  More important,  surviving documents tell particular stories which I have relied on, along with my own commentary,  to knit together many chapters. These documents often do not tell a full tale. But I have not smoothed over the storytelling with imagined detail. The chapters may sometimes have the feel of photographs juxtaposed with commentary to reveal a theme.  Rather than compose a seamless tale,  I want to acquaint the reader with fragmentary sources and show how the many fragments – Dunmore’s Royal Ethiopian Regiment, the Patriot First Rhode Island Regiment,  Captain Tye and the Imperial “black dragoons,” the observations of the Germans Flohr and von Closen on black Patriots at Yorktown,  the emigration of black Loyalists to Nova Scotia, analysis of “Returns” (rosters of soldiers) or “Musters” (lists of settlers), and the like - come together.   

        Third, where possible, I have analyzed lists.  Two kinds of numbers circulate widely in the literature.  One estimates how many blacks escaped to the British. As Gary Nash says, this is a “gigantic number,” but one which will never be known exactly.  Estimates range between 60,000 and 100,000.  By analyzing rosters of British troops, I show that the number of blacks is large.  If one adds in the “Followers of Army and Camp” – thousands who trailed behind all the major British forces and provided a continuing source of economic support and military replacement – the number of black Red-coats takes on dimensions accurately called “gigantic.” 

            Historians have offered wildly conflicting estimates of the blacks who emigrated with the British after their defeat,  as well as the number freed (sometimes all) as opposed to those still enslaved (sometimes all,  except those emigrating from New York).   Detailed  lists survive of blacks who left New York on ships with the British as well as of black settlers from Canadian settlements.  In breaking these down,  I show that many more free blacks left with the British for Canada than earlier estimates suggest.  I also analyze the number of free blacks who emigrated from Southern ports. 

           In a second set of numbers, historians surmise how many blacks fought for the Patriots in different states.  Here, the counts tend to be short, an estimated 5,000.  But many more blacks fought for the Patriots than historians have heretofore imagined. For instance, until Henry Wiencek’s The Imperfect God (2003), the First Rhode Island Regiment made up of freed slaves and indigenous people was rarely known beyond specialists.  Even they highlighted soldiers whose freedom the Patriots had purchased.  Yet at the Rhode Island Historical Society, I found a relatively complete list of blacks and Narragansett Indians who fought for Rhode Island, compiled by the historian Louis Wilson.  Analyzing the numbers, I discovered that in 1778, the state purchased the freedom of only 11 per cent of these people.  Many more joined throughout the War.

              Fourth, most of the blacks who are the heroes of this story could not read or write.  They were enslaved,  tortured,  raped,  sold away from their families, degraded and murdered by owners.[xxvii]   Many fought back.  Yet the writings of the time and of many later historians honor the slave-owners,  our “Founding Fathers.”  For instance, The Greatness of the American Republic, a 1950 textbook by Samuel Eliot Morrison of Harvard and Henry Steele Commager of Columbia says:

       As for Sambo, whose wrongs moved the abolitionists to wrath and tears,  there is some reason to believe that he suffered less than any other class in the South from ‘its peculiar institution.’  Most slaves were adequately fed, well cared for, and apparently happy…Although brought to America by force,  the incurably optimistic Negro soon became attached to the country, and devoted to his ‘white folks.’[xxviii]


         Until challenged from below by the civil rights movement and by students, such racist drivel served as the ordinary intellectual currency of “distinguished American historians.”  In 1943,  Herbert Aptheker,  a Marxian scholar, published American Negro Slave Revolts.  During the Cold War, however,  his work was veiled in silence.  Upon finally reading Aptheker,  Peter Wood registers amazement:

       I sensed it would be of little value.  No one had told me specifically not to look at the volume but no one had mentioned it positively to me either.  Growing up among Cold War liberals, I had learned somehow through osmosis that Herbert Aptheker was beyond the pale.  I had been led to believe by veiled inferences that his work would be shallow, dated and dogmatic…Imagine my surprise.  For here was a book that did for all the colonies what no other writer had yet done for any one of them.  Listen to the first eye-opening sentences:


     ‘Writing on slave unrest in the United States – and doing this in 1969 [a new edition]-  one feels more like a news reporter than a historian.  While recently the California statesman,  Ronald Reagan,  found the ghetto rebels of today to be ‘mad dogs,’ a South Carolina statesman of 1823 found plantation rebels of his day to be ‘monsters in human shape…’


     I was struck not only by the book’s broad overview and democratic principles… but by its evidence. [xxix]  


          In 1961, Benjamin Quarles, a black historian, wrote The Negro in the American Revolution.[xxx]  Dedicated to the truth,  his voice has ultimately proven influential among historians; yet he was not asked to write a textbook read by large numbers of high school students.[xxxi]   Until recently, otherwise intelligent historians have tended to share the revolutionary Jefferson’s horror at the slave uprising in Haiti.  Until Douglas Egerton’s Gabriel’s Revolt  (1994), historians spoke of Gabriel’s “Conspiracy” although no one, outside of England, would speak of George Washington as merely a conspirator.  Historians have spoken of blacks who fought for democracy in Sierra Leone as mere nationalists.  They have regarded abolitionist but patronizing whites who have left a written record,  including Benjamin Franklin, as noble; blacks, as silent and diminished. 

         I have no sympathy for racist cant. I have often questioned the language of those active in the events at the time as well as subsequent historians.  This history of Two Revolutions honors the efforts of blacks to free themselves,  and of anti-racist whites such as James Otis and John Laurens to make American liberty genuine.  The actions of many tens of thousands of blacks who escaped and fought are also eloquent. Most could not write and have left no other tale. Luckily, some direct accounts from Murphy Steele, Boston King, Elleanor Eldridge,  John and Paul Cuffe, Phyllis Wheatley, and Thomas Peters survive.  They do not speak for all, but they describe unforgettably common oppressions and heroic efforts to overturn them.  Hegel envisioned all history as the working out, in the social and political institutions of a state and internationally, of the insight that all humans are free.  These struggles illuminate his insight.


[i] Gordon Wood, “Never Forget: They had Lots of Slaves,” New York Times Book Review, December 14, 2003.

[ii] Seymour M. Lipset, Continental Divide, ch. 1. A Canadian political scientist, Lipset praises the political revolution and even imagines that the American resembles the French Revolution in social radicalism. This exaggeration may stem from a nonrevolutionary, Canadian optic.

[iii]  For instance, in the 1950s, the historian Crane Brinton’s The Anatomy of Revolution stigmatized revolt as “a fever.”

[iv] Harvard University Press turned down The Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, Moore told me in 1965, because it stressed the contributions of revolutionary violence to gradualism in England. It was thus “Marxist.” Published by Beacon Press, it stands out as one of the most important works in social history and comparative politics of the last half century. 

[v] The term “American” has a certain chauvinism since Central and South Americans are also “American.”  But for simplicity of style, I use the common North American expression.

[vi]Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992), pp.  229-30.

[vii] Shklar’s American Citizenship emphasizes work and equality in America.  But Southern republicans often lived off slaves.

[viii] With Egerton’s Gabriel’s Rebellion (1994), social historians had come to speak of “artisan republicanism,” black and white.

[ix] In his 2006 The Forgotten Fifth, Nash would change his view on social revolution among blacks.

[x] Nash, Urban Crucible (1986), pp. 383-84.

[xi] Gilbert, Marx’s Politics, [cited hereafter as MP], ch. 2.

[xii] In the German Revolution of 1848, Marx  contrasted “plain republicans”  with “social republicans.”  Gilbert, MP, pp. 35-36, 67. On the standard view, in the United States, there were no “social republicans.” 

[xiii] I name this in part 3 a “seed of freedom” spread by the American Revolution. This successful uprising renamed St. Domingue Haiti (from the Indian word: “Ayiti”) in 1804.

[xiv]A radical press published James’s work.

[xv] Unlike many great revolutionary leaders, Toussaint L’Ouverture was himself a slave.

[xvi] Copies of the resolution from Saint Domingue, signed by the abolitionist Governor Sonthonax, and the Secretary-General Pascal, February 5, 1794 (16 pluviose, l’an 2) are in PPAS, LOC, microfilm, reel 2.

[xvii]Blackburn’s The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery appeared at Verso, another radical publisher.  The University of Tennessee Press, a good but not major academic press, published Fick’s work.

[xviii] G.W.F. Hegel,  Grundlinien einer Philosophie des Rechts [Elements of a Philosophy of Right], par 248 {cited hereafter as PR}.

[xix] Christopher Hedges, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, p. 42.  Gilbert, Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy? [cited hereafter as MGPCD?]. Inconsistently, Hegel’s Philosophy of Right recommended that the King stir up nationalism to stifle reform.  Marx, however, had a coherent internationalist and pro-reform (as well as pro-revolution) conception.

[xx] Gilbert, Democratic Individuality [cited hereafter as DI], ch. 1, pp. 21, 52-53.  Hegel, PR, “Introduction,” par 2 addition.

[xxi] Blackburn’s Overthrow dramatically altered this anti-liberal emphasis.

[xxii] Nash, Race and Revolution, p. 60

[xxiii] Nash, Forgotten Fifth, pp. 74-75, adds this thought. 

[xxiv]  Some of these causes, do not undermine bondage.  Slave-owning was still profitable.  The Haitian Revolution struck fear into slave-owners like Jefferson and gave many “an elective affinity” for biological racism.

[xxv]  Nash published Race and Revolution in 1993, but sees the issue anew in The Forgotten Fifth in 2006.  Schama published Rough Crossings in 2006; Cassandra Pybus, Epic Journeys of Freedom in 2005.

[xxvi]  For instance, Joseph Ellis, author of Founding Brothers which won a Pulitzer Prize, has gotten into trouble by substituting his own imaginings about his experiences in Vietnam for fact. 

[xxvii] See Appendix.

[xxviii]  Leon F. Litwack, “Forgotten Heroes of Freedom,” p. 116.

[xxix]  Wood, “’Dream Deferred,’” pp. 166-67.

[xxx] The University of North Carolina Press published it.  Quarles taught at Howard.

[xxxi] Similarly, one would learn far more from W.E.B. Dubois in the early Twentieth Century about John Brown or Black Reconstruction in South Carolina than from employed historians, particularly at prestigious universities. Only after the civil rights movement, and, for example, the appointment of Eric Foner at Columbia did employed historians produce significant work.   Nonetheless, John Rawls taught in the Harvard Philosophy Department his entire career.  In history and the social sciences, scholars of great distinction sometimes teach at such institutions.  

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