Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Call of Classical Literature in the Romantic Age$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

K. P. Van Anglen and James Engell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474429641

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474429641.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Remaking the Republic of Letters: James McCune Smith and the Classical Tradition

Remaking the Republic of Letters: James McCune Smith and the Classical Tradition

Chapter:
(p.220) Chapter 8 Remaking the Republic of Letters: James McCune Smith and the Classical Tradition
Source:
The Call of Classical Literature in the Romantic Age
Author(s):

John Stauffer

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474429641.003.0009

James McCune Smith, a leading black abolitionist, physician, and intellectual in nineteenth-century America, believed that classical literature could help Americans abolish slavery. Fluent in Greek and Latin, McCune Smith believed that the ancients offered cautionary tales for Americans. Their writings emphasized the urgency of abolishing slavery in America and establishing a “pure Republic” rather than another slave republic. With inspiration from the classical tradition, the U.S. could create a new “republic of letters” defined by a new vision of freedom and democracy. McCune Smith articulated this vision in the abolitionist press, most notably in Frederick Douglass’s Paper, in which he drew heavily from Anacreon, Terence, Virgil, Demosthenes, and Aristotle. The classical tradition could empower blacks and women as much as senators and statesmen.

Keywords:   James McCune Smith, slavery, republic of letters, abolition, Anacreon, Terence, Virgil, Demosthenes, Aristotle, Frederick Douglass

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.