Advance praise for The First Emancipator
“This luminous book recovers from the fog of historical amnesia a wealthy slave-owning Virginia gentleman (and neighbor of George Washington) who tried to lead the slave-bound new nation toward a better future. A gripping, important must-read that will convince many that the founding fathers could have abolished slavery.”
–GARY B. NASH, professor emeritus, UCLA, author of Red, White & Black: The Peoples of Early North America
“Robert Carter III and his emancipatory Deed of Gift ‘fell out’ of American history for the same reason that racial equality disappeared, until recent times, from the American social contract. Andrew Levy’s engrossing The First Emancipator rescues an amazing contemporary of the Founders from the void.”
–DAVID LEVERING LEWIS, author of the two-volume biography of W.E.B. Du Bois, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1994 and 2001
“Andrew Levy’s vivid biography–of a fabulously rich slaveholder who, imagining the impossible, broke all society’s rules–shatters one of our favorite historical mirrors. In the 1790s, freeing hundreds of slaves became a religious obsession for Robert Carter III. How he hammered out a working model for a radically different American future only to have it instantly and permanently forgotten redefines our past in ways that test the resiliency of the American mythos.”
–FORREST CHURCH, author of The American Creed: A Spiritual and Patriotic Primer
From the Hardcover edition.