Date of Award

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

History

Advisor

Anderson, Paul C.

Committee Member

Grubb , Alan C.

Committee Member

Jeffries , James B.

Abstract

The following thesis examines multiple social and political topics in the largely unstudied writings of Reverend Anthony Walke (c. 1755-1814) of Princess Anne County, Virginia. His papers reside at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as appearing in Virginia newspapers of the period. Walke's works comprise more than four hundred pages of primary source documents that relate to late eighteenth-century Virginia, and span the period of 1786 through 1805.
My research emphasizes his Revolutionary War pamphlet, Remarkable Occurrences during the unhappy American War, & a concise & impartial Account of the Causes of its Origin & Progress: a Pamphlet, 1786; his essay on slavery, Short Remarks on the Treatment of Negros, 1793; and, his writings on the French Revolution. This small fraction of his entire body of work contains important reflections on eighteenth-century American society and the ideological changes with which it was confronted. Central to these changes was the question of slavery and the definition of liberty. Walke's writings reveal the scope of the debates that were occurring during the birth of the American republic and the demise of the old colonial world that had come before it.

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