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Michael R. Thompson

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Frank Freeman’s Barber Shop; A Tale. Illustrated by Rush R. Hall.

The present work was one of the many novels published in response to Uncle TomÕs Cabin. It tells the story of Frank, who is persuaded by abolitionists to flee from slavery in the south. The abolitionists promise that Frank can find a prestigious career in the north, but, instead, they press him into the enslavement of low-wage work. In the end, members of the American Colonization Society pay for FrankÕs passage to Liberia, where he can supposedly find a better life. Like Sarah J. HaleÕs Liberia (1853), it asserts that enslaved people should be freed on the condition that they migrate to the colony of Liberia. The notion that free Black people could not coexist with white people in the United States was the guiding principle behind the ÒBack-to-AfricaÓ movement, which was spearheaded by the American Colonization Society. The movement was widely opposed by free Black people and abolitionists in general, as the families of many enslaved people had lived in the United States for generations. The movement was a failure, and thousands of Black people who had been falsely ÒrepatriatedÓ to Liberia died of local diseases. Twelvemo. 343 pp. Frontispiece and five plates. PublisherÕs brown cloth. Spine titled in gilt. Edgewear and sunning to spine. Modern century bookplate to front pastedown. Modern paper slip (with title of book) tipped in on front flyleaf. Some foxing and toning. A good copy of a pro-slavery novel. First edition of one of the earliest anti-Uncle Tom novels, published in the same year as StoweÕs book. Bayard Rush Hall (1793 Ð 1863) was a Pennsylvania-born Presbyterian minister and academic. He was educated at Union College and the Princeton Theological Seminary and served several churches and institutions in the northeast before moving to Indiana. He was the first faculty member of what is now Indiana University. In his later years, he moved back to Pennsylvania and published his final book, The New Purchase (1863), an account of pioneer life in Indiana. BAL 6912. Wright II, 1068.