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Germans and African AmericansTwo Centuries of Exchange$
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Larry A. Greene and Anke Ortlepp

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604737844

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604737844.001.0001

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An Unexpected Alliance

An Unexpected Alliance

August Willich, Peter H. Clark, and the Abolitionist Movement in Cincinnati

(p.17) An Unexpected Alliance
Germans and African Americans

Mischa Honeck

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter offers a fresh perspective on the German-speaking refugees of 1848 during the run-up to the Civil War by analyzing their relationship to America’s abolitionists. More specifically, it looks at the companionship of two radicals, the German-born socialist August Willich and the black educator Peter H. Clark, in the immigrant stronghold of antebellum Cincinnati. The chapter considers how the two men and their adherents joined forces in hopes of eliminating slavery, and their quest for emancipation in different, sometimes conflicting ways. It also examines Willich’s support of abolition and opposition to racism and Clark’s embrace of the causes of the “oppressed Hungarians and German socialists in their fight against despotism.”

Keywords:   refugees, America, abolitionists, August Willich, Peter H. Clark, Cincinnati, slavery, emancipation, abolition, racism

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