Campaigns Against Corporal Punishment

Prisoners, Sailors, Women, and Children in Antebellum America

By Myra C. Glenn

Subjects: Corrections
Paperback : 9780873958134, 221 pages, June 1984
Hardcover : 9780873958127, 221 pages, June 1984

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Table of contents

1. The Antebellum Crusade against Corporal Punishment: Origins and Leaders
2. Reform Campaigns against Corporal Punishment: Institutional Concerns
3. Reform Campaigns against Corporal Punishment: Cultural Concerns
4. Wife Beating and the Limits of the Anti-Corporal Punishment Crusade
5. A Victim's Perspective: Nineteenth-Century Seamen and Convict Writings on Punishment
6. A House Divided: Public Debates Over Corporal Punishment, 1843-1852
7. From Theory to Practice: The Decline of Corporal Punishment in Antebellum America


Campaigns against Corporal Punishment explores the theory and practice of punishment in Antebellum America from a broad, comparative perspective. It probes the concerns underlying the naval, prison, domestic, and educational reform campaigns which occurred in New England and New York from the late 1820s to the late 1850s. Focusing on the common forms of physical punishment inflicted on seamen, prisoners, women, and children, the book reveals the effect of these campaigns on actual disciplinary practices.

Myra C. Glenn also places the crusade against corporal punishment in the context of various other contemporary reform movements such as the crusade against intemperance and that against slavery. She shows how regional and political differences affected discussions of punishment and discipline.

Myra C. Glenn is currently Assistant Professor of History at Bucknell University.