Helper, Hinton Rowan

Life Span
    Full name
    Hinton Rowan Helper
    Place of Birth
    Birth Date Certainty
    Death Date Certainty
    Sectional choice
    Slave State
    No. of Spouses
    No. of Children
    Daniel Helper (father), Sally Brown (mother), Maria Louisa Rodriguez (wife, 1863)
    Other Education
    Mocksville Academy, NC
    Writer or Artist
    Political Parties

    Hinton Rowan Helper (American National Biography)

    Helper's career as a writer began with the publication in 1855 of Land of Gold, a little-noticed account of how California had failed to live up to his expectations. His next book, The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It (1857), became the center of a national controversy. The book called for the abolition of slavery because it was retarding the economic development of the South and limiting the opportunities of its nonslaveholding white majority. Helper argued that slavery was responsible for a one-crop system of plantation agriculture that benefited the slaveholding minority but denied to lower class whites the range of opportunities that a more diversified economy, like that of the North, would have provided. Since it appeared in the midst of the national debate over the fate of slavery in the federal territories, Helper's book attracted great public attention, being praised by northern free soilers and condemned by southern sectionalists. In 1859 an inexpensive Compendium, or digest, of The Impending Crisis was published with the endorsement of some leading members of the Republican party, who hoped to use it as a campaign document. Approximately 75,000 copies of the book and the Compendium were sold or distributed. Helper's work became a central issue in the bitter and prolonged contest for the Speakership of the House of Representatives that began in December 1959 and lasted for two months.
    George M. Fredrickson, "Helper, Hinton Rowan," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
    Chicago Style Entry Link
    Bailey, Hugh C. Hinton. Rowan Helper: Abolitionist-Racist. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1965. view record
    Brown, David. Southern Outcast: Hinton Rowan Helper and The Impending Crisis of the South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006. view record
    Crenshaw, Ollinger. "The Speakership Contest of 1859-1860: John Sherman's Election a Cause of Disruption?" Mississippi Valley Historical Review 29, no. 3 (December 1942): 323-338. view record
    Helper, Hinton Rowan. Compendium of the Impending Crisis of the South. New York: A. B. Burdick, 1860. view record
    Helper, Hinton Rowan. Nojoque: A Question for a Continent. New York: G. W. Carleton, 1867. view record
    Helper, Hinton Rowan. The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It. New York: Burdick Brothers, 1857. view record
    Helper, Hinton Rowan. The Land of Gold: Reality Versus Fiction. Baltimore, 1855. view record
    Wolfe, Samuel M. Helper’s Impending Crisis Dissected. Philadelphia: J. T. Lloyd, 1860. view record
    How to Cite This Page: "Helper, Hinton Rowan," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,