On Tuesday, I submitted the draft of chapter two of my thesis to the History Department for my presentation on December 11. Even after spending the whole semester working on this chapter, upon rereading it, I realize there are still many parts that are unclear, confusing, and not as well-researched as they could be. When I give my presentation, I will be receiving questions and advice from the department regarding the challenges I am facing in this project. I am hoping that members of the department can advise me in answering the following questions:

  1. When I was looking at newspaper articles, I decided I wanted to use the phrase “the impending crisis” despite its original intent. How can I more clearly explain how the phrase applies to the abolitionists’ struggle between themselves as I move throughout the entirety of the chapter?
  2. I am struggling in switching back and forth between narrative, close reading, and historiography. One specific instance is my discussion of why McKim chose to leave the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. How can I improve my explanation of McKim’s reasons through intertwining these three elements?
  3. I chose to cover quite a few major events that occurred between 1859-1862. The main topics I wanted to cover were the abolitionists’ debates over John Brown’s execution/funeral, secession and the start of the war, and the results of the First Confiscation Act. Did you find these years and events effective, or was I trying to cover too much material? How can I better link these events together?