Prophesying the Multiracial Republic

Sandra M. Gustafson

in Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780226311296
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226311302 | DOI:
Prophesying the Multiracial Republic

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This chapter explores deliberations on the multiracial American republic. William Apess, Maria Stewart, and David Walker are stated to have employed prophetic rhetoric to advance a multiracial ideal of the modern republic based on full citizenship rights, equality before the law, and inclusive deliberations. Each author shaped a distinctive version of the jeremiad to address specific activist communities: Walker wrote as a member of a developing and predominantly male transnational black public sphere; Stewart sought to engage and reform the civil society of black Boston, with the ultimate aim of ending white oppression; and Apess contributed to a multiracial opposition effort that supported the Cherokee republic and focused on native rights. Collectively these classics of American protest writing make visible the deliberative crisis produced by racial prejudice and legal exclusion that needed to be remedied if the ideals of the multiracial republic were to be realized.

Keywords: multiracial republic; American republic; William Apess; Maria Stewart; David Walker; rhetoric; citizenship; Cherokee

Chapter.  11602 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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