Catholics in Beulahland: The Church's encounter with anti-Catholicism, nativism, and anti-abolitionism in the Carolinas and Georgia, 1820--1845
Stokes, Christopher Daniel
Boles, John B.
Doctor of Philosophy
In July 1835, a northern anti-slavery society sent bundles of abolitionist literature through the United States postal service to the South. Arriving at South Carolina's port city, the mailing became the focus of white Charlestonians' fears of slave uprisings and those Who might assist a servile insurrection. During an attack on the post office to destroy the papers, someone in the crowd shouted for a lynching of Charleston's Catholic bishop and the destruction of the Catholic cathedral and surrounding buildings, including a parochial school for free black children. Using the Charleston Post Office Raid as a backdrop, this study explores both the connections between anti-abolitionism, anti-Catholicism, and nativism in the antebellum South and the reaction to these pressures from southern Catholics, mostly recent immigrants, as they made a place for themselves in their new homeland. At the heart of the work is a consideration of the effects of the ethnic and racial stereotypes and cultural assumptions at play in the antebellum South.
Black history; Church history; American history