Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery, by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank of The Hartford Courant – A Comprehensive Review by Gene Kizer, Jr., Part Thirteen, Chapter Eight: Hated Heroes, Part One

A Comprehensive Review of
How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery
by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank
of The Hartford Courant
Part Thirteen
Chapter Eight: Hated Heroes
Part One
by Gene Kizer, Jr.

At the end of this article beneath the notes I have cited is "Actual Citation from Book," Complicity's notes from Chapter Eight. The picture comes from page 162.

DESPITE HOW GOOD COMPLICITY IS in proving the North's slave trading and barbarism toward its insurrectionist slaves such as burning them at the stake or tying them to a wagon wheel and beating them to death with crow bars, this book is still written by virtue signaling New Englanders who are determined to establish that the War Between the States was fought over slavery.

It never occurs to those people that their book, Complicity, proves the war was not fought over slavery.

The authors show in great detail that the North was utterly dependent on Southern cotton, "the backbone of the American economy." Southerners grew the cotton and Northerners did everything else:1

Northern merchants, shippers, and financial institutions, many based in New York City, were crucial players in every phase of the national and international cotton trade. Meanwhile, the rivers and streams  of the North, particularly in New England, were crowded with hundreds of textile mills. Well before the Civil War, the economy of the entire North relied heavily on cotton grown by millions of slaves---in the South.2

But it never occurs to them that without Southern cotton their country was dead. The imminent economic devastation already had Northerners calling for war, which Lincoln was glad to give them in March and April, 1861, when he sent five hostile naval missions to Pensacola, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina to get it started.

Several Northern newspapers such as the Providence (R.I.) Daily Post saw exactly what Lincoln was doing. In an editorial entitled "WHY?" published the day after the commencement of the bombardment of Fort Sumter, April 13, 1861, it wrote:

We are to have civil war, if at all, because Abraham Lincoln loves a party better than he loves his country. . . . Mr. Lincoln saw an opportunity to inaugurate civil war without appearing in the character of an aggressor.

Northerners were about to lose their shipping industry because most of it was cotton, and they would lose their manufacturing industry because most of it manufactured for its captive market in the South.

Southerners wanted to buy higher quality goods from Europe at competitive market prices and not be forced to buy overpriced Northern goods from Northern monopolies with prices jacked up by Yankee tariffs.

So, Complicity's Chapter Eight opening statement that "The start of the Civil War as a political war over slavery..." is as false as their previous statement that America was founded in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.

I am proud to say that America was founded at Jamestown, Virginia in the South in 1607, thirteen years before the Puritans finally got around to coming here.

Complicity gets back on track stating that immediate abolition of slavery like William Lloyd Garrison wanted "would mean social and economic chaos."3

In 1831

the only kind of abolitionism that had popular support was that promoted by the American Colonization Society, which had chapters in the North and the South. The society's goal was to send freed blacks to Africa. Few white people in America, no matter how strongly they felt about slavery, thought that blacks and whites could or should ever coexist in the same society.4

Abraham Lincoln supported the American Colonization Society and believed all his life that blacks should be sent back to Africa or into a climate they could survive. See Colonization After Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement by Phillip W. Magness (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2011); and Forced into Glory, Abraham Lincoln's White Dream by Lerone Bennett, Jr. (Chicago: Johnson Publishing Company, 2000).

This chapter's "Hated Heroes" are radical abolitionists such as Prudence Crandall, Elijah Lovejoy, and John Brown, though John Brown is a murderer who did more than anybody else to cause a war in which 750,000 died and over a million were maimed.

One of the major reasons for Southern secession was the North's support of Brown's violence and plans for wide-scale murder in the South. Their celebrating him as a hero convinced Southerners they would not be safe in a Union dominated by supporters of John Brown.

Nor would they be safe in a Union controlled by the Republican Party. The Republican Party printed hundreds of thousands of Hinton Helper's The Impending Crisis, which called for the throats of Southerners to be slit in the night. It distributed them coast to coast as a campaign document in the election of 1860.

Prudence Crandall in 1831 was a twenty-eight year old Quaker who "opened a school in Canterbury, Connecticut, to which she would soon welcome black girls and, by doing so, invite its destruction."5

Crandall's school started all white but a young black woman, Sarah Harris, asked to be admitted and after soul searching, Crandall admitted her.

Whites started leaving Crandall's school so she threw out the remaining whites and advertised in Garrison's Liberator that "her school would reopen 'for the reception of young ladies and little misses of color.'"6

Most in Canterbury opposed Crandall:

Andrew Harris, a doctor who lived nearby, refused to treat her black students. A week after the Liberator ad appeared, gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Judson, also a close neighbor and, like Harris, a former trustee of Crandall's school, spoke at a hastily called town meeting. No school for 'nigger girls' would ever stand across the street from his house, he reportedly vowed, promising that if black students did show up he would use a colonial law to have them arrested as paupers.7

Two abolitionists wanted to speak but were shouted down and "confronted with 'fists doubled in their faces' and driven from the church where the meeting was held."8

In the next year there were attempts to "crush the school" that went from "town meetings to court trials to the appeals court" and

Crandall and her students increasingly became targets of community anger. Local merchants would not do business with the school, and the stage driver refused to transport its students. Boys threw manure into the school's well; neighbors refused requests for pails of fresh water. Rotten eggs and rocks were thrown at the school building---Crandall kept one of the rocks on her mantel---and its students were followed through the streets, hooted at and harassed.9

There was hostility to black education across the North.

The Noyes Academy in Canaan, New Hampshire opened in March 1835 and by the summer a "demolition crew hitched a long train of oxen to the academy and dragged it off its foundation" reportedly with students still inside.10

In New Haven, Connecticut in September 1831, residents "voted 700-4 against allowing a school for young black men to open near Yale." Their rationale was:

'What benefit can it be to a waiter or coachman to read Horace, or be a profound mathematician?'11

In May 1833 "The Connecticut legislature passed the 'Black Law,' making it illegal for out-of-state students of color to attend a school without local permission."12


called in a Hartford phrenologist, an expert in the then-credible "science" of determining character from the shape of a person's skull. The phrenologist testified that Negroes could not be educated beyond a certain level and could never be fit citizens. Although the committee report that backed the law decried the 'horrid traffic' in human slavery and admitted a need to help 'the unhappy class of beings, whose race has been degraded by unjust bondage,' it concluded: 'We are under no obligations, moral or political, to incur the incalculable evils of bringing into our own state colored immigrants from abroad.'13

Canterbury's "citizens rang church bells, fired guns, and lit bonfires to celebrate the new law" then a month later "on June 27, 1833, authorities arrested Crandall and her younger sister Almira, who had joined her as a teacher, for breaking the law."14

Almira was let out as a minor and Crandall was offered bail by numerous supporters but she would not accept it and dared them to put her in jail.

She only spent one night because "Respectable white women did not go to jail." Townspeople

complained bitterly that abolitionists spread the lie that Crandall had been placed in the cell that a notorious wife strangler had recently occupied. Later, Crandall explained that she'd been put in a room that the condemned man had stopped in on his way to being hanged.15

She said the jailer had been "'very polite.'"

There were two more court actions. In the first, there was a hung jury.

In the second, Crandall was found guilty, but appealed.

Prominent citizens were part of the trial on both sides and it ended up being an important case because it was decided that blacks could not be citizens. It was quoted later as a precedent in the Dred Scott case.

There was much rhetoric in the appeal in July 1834. The law was called "'obnoxious'" by Crandall's lawyer, William W. Ellsworth, because, supposedly, only Southern states had laws like it: "'It rivets the chains of grinding bondage and makes our State an ally in the unholy cause of slavery itself.'"

The hypocrisy of New Englanders even in this time period is breathtaking. Apparently Ellsworth did not know that Connecticut and the rest of New England were enthusiastic slave traders who had, until recently, been sending their ships to Africa to return with poor Africans chained to their decks in vomit and feces to make the money that built New England and the North.

And after the slave trade was outlawed by the U.S. Constitution in 1808, New Englanders carried on a vigorous illegal slave trade, so much so that W.E.B. Du Bois said Boston and New York were the largest slave trading ports on the planet in 1862, a year into the War Between the States.

Also Ellsworth, on his hypocritical high horse, apparently hadn't heard about the Northern and Western states that had "obnoxious" laws forbidding blacks from even visiting much less living there.

Ellsworth's opposing attorney, chief prosecutor Andrew Judson said:

'The consequences will inevitably destroy the government itself, and this American nation---this nation of white men---may be taken from us and given to the African race!'16

The Appeals Court dismissed the case on technicalities.

Crandall "held on to her school" during the trials. After she lost she said:

'It is my opinion that the colored scholars under my care made as good, if not better progress than the same number of whites taken from the same position in life.'17

Crandall had a lot of courage and determination but:

On the night of September 9, 1834, Crandall, her husband, and some of her students were inside the Canterbury schoolhouse when they heard loud voices outside and then banging on the doors. Glass was shattered and windows were ripped from their frames. Men invaded the first floor of the school and started overturning furniture.18

The attackers "may have tried to set the building on fire."

Crandall gave up and moved west "following in the path of her father, who, threatened for supporting her and her school, had already moved west."

She settled in Elk Falls, Kansas, and died in 1890.19


Next Week:

A Comprehensive Review of


How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery

by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank
of The Hartford Courant

Part Fourteen
Chapter Eight: Hated Heroes
Part Two


(Click Here to go to last week's blog article:

Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery, by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank of The Hartford Courant - A Comprehensive Review by Gene Kizer, Jr., Part Twelve, Chapter Seven: The Other Underground Railroad)

(Scroll down for:
Complicity, Actual Citation from Book)

1 Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank, Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery (New York: Ballantine Books, Copyright 2005 by The Hartford Courant Company), 7.

2 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, xxvi.

3 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 155.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

6 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 157.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

9 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 158.

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid.

12 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 159.

13 Ibid.

14 Ibid.

15 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 160.

16 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 161.

17 Farrow, Lang, Frank, Complicity, 163.

18 Ibid.

19 Ibid.

Actual Citation from Book

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  1. Pingback: Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery, by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank of The Hartford Courant - A Comprehensive Review by Gene Kizer, Jr., Part Fourteen, Chapter Eight: Hated Heroes, Part Two - "Everyo

  2. Gene,
    I agree with your opening paragraph. Farrow, Lang, and Frank have done a very good job discovering the information presented in their book. However, their personal views / interpretation / presentation are their own, and I take them with a grain of salt. Based on your book review, I purchased a copy of Complicity and have read it. In Chapter Nine, the book presents the “race scientists”, one of which was Louis Agassiz – a Swiss national, Harvard professor, hater of black people, and consultant to the Federal Government. When Darwin presented his work in the late 1850’s, Agassiz railed against it. On page 190, last paragraph, the authors claim that Agassiz was, “Wrong about evolution…”. Really? So in their opinion, Darwin was correct. 1) What does such a statement have to do with the primary focus of their book? 2) The authors appear to be secular, and likely consider science as their god and origin. Agassiz was a scientist and was esteemed for at least a decade, until a more popular science came along to usurp his views. The authors pass judgement on Agassiz because they believe in evolution, while they also believe that slavery is the cause of the Civil War, (unfortunately for the authors, science is evolutionary, as are popular viewpoints, and truth is often omitted in the process). Again, the book is full of good information, and I appreciate you bringing it to my attention and my library.

    • Ron,

      Good observation.

      I noticed early-on the way the authors sneak in their biases.

      They do have so much true history, however, that is devastating to the Northern myth that they are the good guys who fought to free the slaves.

      They don’t conclude, logically, from the things they present.

      They aren’t capable since they were raised on Yankee BS and can see no other way.

      Those People can be beaten in a scholarly way.

      I am thankful for Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged and Profited from Slavery. It has been enormously helpful to me, especially the descriptions of how dependent the North and especially New England was on cotton, and the great detail on Northern slave trading. I think they really are trying to tell the truth and own up to it.

      I know we all have our perspective and biases. I can see theirs but I don’t think they are capable of sympathizing with the South.

      Of course, that mindset goes back to the war itself.

      There is a huge amount of hypocrisy and ALWAYS virtue signaling from New Englanders (think Elizabeth Warren). They threatened to secede from the Union several times when their political power was threatened, but then deny the right to the South.

      It is SO easy to expose New England and New York hypocrisy with things like Horace Greeley’s “The Right of Secession” editorial as South Carolina’s secession convention was meeting. Greeley STRONGLY supported the right of secession in great, emotional detail.

      Then a month later, when he realized it would affect his money, he wanted war, like they all did.


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