Fighting for a Free Missouri by Sydney J. Norton

University of Missouri Press

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Fighting for a Free Missouri: German Immigrants, African Americans, and the Issue of Slavery by Sydney J. Norton

Missouri is well-known for its German American heritage, but the story of nineteenth-century German immigrant abolitionists is often neglected in discussions of the state’s history. This collection of ten original essays (with a foreword by renowned Missouri historian Gary Kremer), relates what unfolded when idealistic Germans, many of whom were highly educated and devoted to the ideals of freedom and democracy, left their homeland and settled in a pre-Civil War slave state. Fleeing political persecution during the 1830s and 1840s, immigrants such as Friedrich Münch, Eduard Mühl, Heinrich Boernstein, and Arnold Krekel arrived in the area now known as the Missouri German Heritage Corridor in hopes of finding a land more congenial to their democratic ideals. When they witnessed the state of enslaved Blacks, many of them became abolitionist activists and fervent supporters of Abraham Lincoln and the Union in the emerging Civil War. Editor Sydney Norton and the other contributing authors to Fighting for a Free Missouriexplore the Germans’ abolitionist mission, their relationships with African Americans, and their activity in the radical wing of the Republican Party.

About the Author

Sydney Norton is an independent scholar and the director of German Language Solutions, a company that specializes in language teaching, translation, and cultural programming. Her publications include exhibition catalogs and journal articles on contemporary German art and literature, the performing and visual arts of the Weimar Republic, and German immigrants in Missouri.

Product Specifications

Published by University of Missouri Press, 2023. Hardback, 302 pages.