Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2017 James Wallace-Lee. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Allison Dorsey

Second Advisor

Bruce Dorsey

Third Advisor

Marjorie Murphy


Black activism in 1830s New York was centered around antislavery and abolitionism, and as such was deeply connected to white reform of all forms. Though this connection provided an economic base for black organization, it also fueled racist sentiment among white workers who were increasingly exploited by the transition to wage labor. Though some recent historians and some white reformers in the era embraced a liberal notion of freedom that denied the continued harm of slavery, black reformers understood slavery and capitalism to be intimately connected, and articulated a politics that saw racial and economic exploitation as part of the same emerging system.


Recipient of the Paul H. Beik Prize in History, awarded in 2017.

Included in

History Commons