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HISTORY: Helper was a southern abolitionist of the 1850s and 1860s, and author of the classic, The Impending Crisis, and other anti-slavery tracts, making him "the most hated man in the South," as he came to be known during those days of strife and conflict for the American nation. The working library of this southern intellectual was bought from a St. Louis bookseller in the late nineteenth century by the Mercantile Library as a lot, recalling the fact that Helper, a failed businessman and railroad promoter after the Civil War, lived briefly in St. Louis at that time.
SCOPE: The collection includes many of the author's own works, annotated in his hand, concerning slavery and racial issues of the day, as well as hundreds of anti-slavery tracts and other treatises and contemporary speeches concerning the illegality of slavery, mostly from the first half of the nineteenth century.
HOLDINGS: Approximately 100 volumes, and over 300 pamphlets.
ACCESS: Special Collection M-124 is catalogued and special files of the holdings exist on site. Portions of the collection may be photocopied, digitally scanned, or photographed depending on condition.