Border War

Stanley Harrold’s book, Border War, examines the tensions and violence that erupted in the border states for at least a decade before the formal start of the Civil War. Harrold foregrounds the experiences of runaway slaves traveling through New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and Kentucky, making it undeniable that slavery was at the root of all the political and social upheaval that marked the 1840s and 1850s. Taken together, the activities of the underground railroad, the enforcement of fugitive slave laws, mob violence, and political dealings all gave shape, in Harrold’s estimation, to a war before the war.

Adapted from Review: Border War by Stanley Harrold by Gregory Williams

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