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Dissension in the Ranks

Dissension in the Ranks

Regarding, Evaluating, and Revealing Slavery in Eighteenth-Century America

(p.35) Chapter 2 Dissension in the Ranks
Calling Out Liberty
Jack Shuler
University Press of Mississippi

In 1731, the South Carolina government offered a reward of 175 pounds sterling to any printer who would set up shop in the colony. Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s first media moguls and connected to printing presses throughout the Americas, accepted the position. He met Lewis Timothy, the first successful printer in South Carolina, who became one of his trusted employees. One of Timothy’s most successful publications was the South Carolina Gazette, which some historians speculate may have influenced the planning of the Stono Rebellion that broke out on September 9, 1739. The hypothesis that the South Carolina Gazette stood in some causal relationship to the Stono Rebellion highlights the growing importance of print technology in the colonies. This chapter examines slavery in eighteenth-century America and how a discourse on natural rights emerged in the writing of Quaker abolitionists Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Lay, and others.

Keywords:   slavery, South Carolina, Benjamin Franklin, printing, Lewis Timothy, South Carolina Gazette, Stono Rebellion, colonies, America, natural rights

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