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Hinton Helper


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Hinton Rowan Helper was a Southern critic of slavery during the 1850s. In 1857, he published a book which he dedicated to the "nonslaveholding whites" of the South. The Impending Crisis of the South put forth the notion that slavery hurt the economic prospects of non-slaveholders, and was an impediment to the growth of the entire region of the South. The book, which was a combination of statistical charts and provocative prose, might have passed unnoticed if Northern opponents of slavery had not reprinted it, leading to a furor in parts of the South, where authorities banned its possession and distribution and burned copies that could be seized. Between 1857 and 1861 nearly 150,000 copies of the book were circulated, and in 1860 the Republican party distributed it as a campaign document.

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