As all of you are aware, Edmund S. Morgan’s June 1972 Journal of American History article“Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox” was the victor of “March Madness” tournament for best journal article in American history. This victory shouldn’t have been a surprise, as such a thing is old hat for Morgan. His larger book, American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (1975), already won for best book in 2013. The timing was perfect: just a month ago, Benjamin Carp, the Daniel M. Lyons Professor of American History at Brooklyn College, published a fantastic review essay “In Retrospect: Edmund S. Morgan and the Urgency of Good Leadership,” in Reviews in American History (see his #edmorgan100 tweets storified by our own Michael D. Hattem’s here). The OAH’s blog Process History invited Dr. Carp to write his reflections on the article (see here), and they kindly invited us to cross-post it.
“Slavery and Freedom” is an article about Puritans, even though it doesn’t mention them at all; it’s about what happens when you try to colonize a place without them. Continue reading