Document sources and Copyright Permissions

The primary source documents on this website come from four main sources:  Google Books, published primary source anthologies, online subscription databases and library collections.  Though none of the original documents retain U.S. copyright protection, since all are substantially more than 100 years old, we have sought permission from all publishers that fall into the first three categories.  For the last category, we have not sought permission since, in all cases, we scanned the original 19th century versions.  The library collections utilized are listed below.

Google Books

The majority of the site’s documents come from Google Books.  Through its partnerships with major universities, Google Books has digitized an impressive number of 19th century publications.  Google Books has generously granted  us permission to “host a reasonable amount” of documents from its collection.

Online Subscription Databases

The next largest group of documents comes from online subscription databases.  By far, the most useful has been Accessible Archives.  For a small annual fee, this company provides full access to several important abolitionist newspapers, including The Liberator, The North Star (edited by Frederick Douglass), Frederick Douglass' Paper, Freedom's Journal, The Colored American and Provincial Freeman.  Accessible Archives has generously provided us permission to reproduce selected documents from its collection.  Its website can be found at the following URL:

We have submitted a permission request to the owner of the following database but have not yet received a response:

Published Primary Source Anthologies

Several documents have been drawn from published primary source anthologies.  Thus far, we have received permission to reproduce selected documents from:

  • Ripley, C. Peter. The Black Abolitionist Papers. 5 vols. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985.

Permission has been sought from the publishers of the following books but no response has yet been received:

  • Brookes, George S., ed. Friend Anthony Benezet. Philadelphia, London: University of Pennsylvania Press; H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1937.
  • Cuffe, Paul, and Rosalind Cobb Wiggins. Captain Paul Cuffe's Logs and Letters, 1808-1817: A Black Quaker's "Voice from within the Veil". Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1996.
  • Douglass, Frederick, Philip Sheldon Foner, and Yuval Taylor. Frederick Douglass: Selected Speeches and Writings. 1st ed, The Library of Black America. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1999.
  • Moses, Wilson Jeremiah. Liberian Dreams: Back-to-Africa Narratives from the 1850s. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998.
  • Taylor, Clare. British and American Abolitionists : An Episode in Transatlantic Understanding. Edinburgh, Chicago: Edinburgh University Press, 1974.

Permission has not been sought for excerpts from the following books, since none of the associated publishers still exist as independent entities and since we were unable to determine if any had transferred their copyrights to other publishers.

  • Abel, Annie Heloise, and Frank Joseph Klingberg, eds. A Side-Light on Anglo-American Relations, 1839-1858, Furnished by the Correspondence of Lewis Tappan and Others with the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, Reprints of Economic Classics. New York: A. M. Kelley, 1970.
  • Barnes, Gilbert Hobbs, and Dwight Lowell Dumond, eds. Letters of Theodore Dwight Weld, Angelina Grimké Weld and Sarah Grimké, 1822-1844. New York, London: D. Appleton-Century Company, 1934.
  • Delany, Martin Robison. The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States. New York: Arno Press, 1968.
  • Woodson, Carter Godwin. The Mind of the Negro as Reflected in Letters Written During the Crisis, 1800-1860. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969.

Library Collections

San Francisco Public Library

Stanford University

University of California, Berkeley