‘Send Back the Money!’ is a thorough and gripping examination of a fascinating and forgotten aspect of Scottish and American relations and Church history. A seminal period of Abolition activity is exposed by Iain Whyte through a study of the fiery campaign ‘Send back the Money!’ named after ‘the hue and cry of the day’ that encapsulated the argument that divided families, communities, and the Free Church itself.
This examination of the Free Church’s involvement with American Presbyterianism in the nineteenth century reveals the ethical furore caused by a Church wishing to emancipate itself from the religious and civil domination supported by the established religion of the state. The Free Church therefore found an affinity with those oppressed elsewhere, but subsequently found itself financially supported by the Southern slave states of America. Whyte sensitively handles this inherent contradiction in the political, ecclesiastical, and theological institutions, while informing the reader of the roles of charismatic characters such as Thomas Chalmers and Frederick Douglass. These key individuals shaped contemporary culture with action, great oratory, and rhetoric. The author adroitly draws parallels from the twentieth century onwards, bringing the reader to a fuller understanding of the historic and topical issues within global Christianity, and the contentious topic of slavery.
‘Send back the Money!’ throws light upon nineteenth-century culture, British and American Abolitionists, and ecclesiastical politics, and is written in a clear and engaging style that makes the book ideal for scholars and general readers.