Item Details

Designing Incendiaries: The Haitian Revolution and White Americans' Fears of Arson inEarly American Cities

McInerney, Adele
Format
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Author
McInerney, Adele
Advisor
Taylor, Alan
Abstract
Fires raged up and down the East Coast of the United States in the 1790s, set by slaves and free blacks in apparent imitation of the bloody insurrection taking place in the French West Indian colony of Saint Domingue. That is, at least, the impression advanced by some contemporary historians. White Americans read voraciously news of the racial unrest in Saint Domingue. No doubt some pictured Saint Domingue's ashen fields and burning port cities and worried that their own slaves dreamed of the same. Historians focused mainly on trans-Atlantic approaches or the history of black resistance expand our understanding of this era, but do not entirely account for white Americans' fears of arson. White Americans' images of “designing incendiaries” related as much to their general fear of urban fire as racial anxiety. White Americans' fears of black arson cannot be fully comprehended without also giving attention to the growing problem of fire in American cities.
Language
English
Date Received
20171108
Published
University of Virginia, Department of History, MA (Master of Arts), 2017
Published Date
2017-11-29
Degree
MA (Master of Arts)
Collection
Libra ETD Repository
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