Helper, Hinton Rowan, 1829–1909, American writer, b. Davie co., N.C. He was in California during the gold rush and later returned east to write The Land of Gold (1855). His next book, The Impending Crisis of the South (1857), an attack on slavery, enraged the South. In 1860 the Republican party distributed 100,000 copies of the book. Helper condemned slavery not on humanitarian or moral grounds, but because it was an economic threat to the poor whites of the South. Three subsequent books, including Nojoque (1867), were vicious attacks on African Americans for their alleged basic inferiority.
See biography by H. C. Bailey (1965); study by H. Wish (1960).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.