2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

The Influence of the Southern Literary Messenger
Sarah K. Bell
Dr. David Robinson, Faculty Mentor

The opinions of the Southern Literary Messenger, a Southern periodical published in the mid-1800s, was reflective of the southern view of slavery during the 1840s and 50s. Using articles from this periodical, I showed how the Messenger was an instrument for pro-slavery writers to communicate their beliefs to the public. During this time in American history, abolitionists were increasing in popularity and power, and I show how the Messenger was one way to issue rebuttals to the abolitionists' accusations. Authors submitting works to the Messenger used different means of support for their beliefs. These included biblical justifications and examples of slaves' improved lifestyles. Reading articles from this time period, before the Civil War started, shows the tension that existed between the North and the South. The writings of the Messenger demonstrated the Southern attitudes about the North and their anti-slavery opinions and their desire to keep slavery.

Keywords: U.S. South, Abolitionism, Civil War, Slavery, Periodical

Topic(s):History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 42-3
Location: OP 2115
Time: 1:45

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