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Freedom's GardenerJames F. Brown, Horticulture, and the Hudson Valley in Antebellum America$
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Myra B. Young Armstead

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814705100

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814705100.001.0001

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date: 22 April 2019

A Whiggish Sensibility

A Whiggish Sensibility

(p.99) 7 A Whiggish Sensibility
Freedom's Gardener

Myra B. Young Armstead

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on James F. Brown's politics. Brown was influenced by the Whiggish ideals held by William E. Williams, his slavemaster in Maryland, and the Verplancks, his New York employers. There were two dimensions to Whiggery. First, it was a general, abstract philosophy of government and authority pioneered in eighteenth-century England but adapted by colonial Americans to criticize British taxation policies. Second, it was a specific party and political platform developed in the antebellum United States. Williams, the Verplancks, and Brown demonstrated their attitudes toward slavery via private acts, valuing decorum and order in public discourse. From his last owner and from his employer, Brown would not have observed or learned a politics of radical abolitionism. Rather, he would have witnessed and experienced a politics of gradualism and tempered progressivism.

Keywords:   James F. Brown, Whiggery, Whigs, slavery, political disposition, gradualism, progressivism

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