Cover

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Contents

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p. v

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Preface

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pp. vii-x

In May 1876 the advertisements for one of America’s longest- running stage productions, the Howards’ touring Tom Show, underwent a significant shift. George C. Howard’s company had been performing Tom Shows since 1852, and their postbellum performances thus functioned as a reminder of the sectional division and Civil War that Uncle Tom had ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

This project has benefi ted enormously from conversations with many colleagues and friends, especially Michael Kaufmann, Allen Davis, Jeff Renye, Sari Edelstein, Mark Rennella, Ian Williams, Heidi Kim, Maria Gapotchenko, and Dan O’Hara. Thanks also to Paula Bernat Bennett, Carolyn Sorisio, Michael Hoberman, Patrice Gray, Lorene Lamothe, ...

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Introduction: An Ahistorical Exposition and a Historicist Argument

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pp. 1-22

The 1876 Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia was, above all, a celebration of America’s material progress and prowess. Of the Centennial’s ten categories of exhibits, nine were direct manifestations of material culture (“I. Raw Materials,” “V. Tools, Implements, Machines, and Processes”); only the tenth, “Objects illustrating efforts for the improvement of the Physical, Intellectual, and Moral Condition...

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1. “He Wouldn’t Ever Dared to Talk Such Talk in His Life Before”: Dialect, Slavery, and the Race Question

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pp. 23-70

On May 30, 1885, Alexander Crummell delivered the commencement address to the graduating class of Storer College, a freedmen’s college located in Harper’s Ferry. Despite that West Virginia town’s singular importance in the histories of slavery and African Americans, “thrilling memories” that Crummell could not entirely ignore, he nonetheless...

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2. “If We Had Known How to Write, We Would Have Put All These Things Down, and They Would Not Have Been Forgotten”: Silenced Voices, Forgotten Histories, and the Indian Question

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pp. 71-112

In the post- Centennial decade, the mythic identity of the American West was undergoing an important shift: the early- nineteenth- century image of the West as an alternative to Eastern progress and development was being replaced by a vision of the West as the best example of American growth and democracy, a progressive vision which found its apotheosis ...

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3. “That’s the Worst of Being a Woman. What You Go Through Can’t Be Told”: Private Histories, Public Voices, and the Woman Question

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pp. 113-160

Speaking before the Congressional Committee on Privileges and Elections in January 1876, the Unitarian reverend Olympia Brown emphasized her role as a representative female voice. Responding to male attempts to marginalize the suffragists, to the fact “that men are continually saying to us that we do not want the ballot; that it is only a handful of women ...

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4. “Quite the Southern Version”: The Lure of Alternative Voices and Histories of the South Question

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pp. 161-202

The Centennial Exposition’s May 10, 1876, opening featured a Southern author in a prominent and reconciliatory role. Foremost among the opening ceremony’s artistic works was the Centennial Cantata, a short poem set to music; the Centennial Commission had specifically desired a Southern poet to write the Cantata’s words and musical cues, and ...

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5. “The Way They Talked in New Orleans in Those Days”: Voice and History in and on The Grandissimes

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pp. 203-225

The short opening chapter of George Washington Cable’s novella “Madame Delphine,” published in 1881 and included in subsequent editions of the collection Old Creole Days, makes explicit the geographical, historical, and linguistic project with which Cable’s early fictional works were constantly engaged. The four page chapter, entitled “An Old ...

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6. Conclusion

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pp. 226-237

Despite the dialogic complications provided by my chapters’ literary texts, the period under consideration ended with the monologue clearly triumphant. If the 1876 Centennial Exposition represented a strong and distinctive recurrence of a progressive national historical narrative, and a series of 1886 events illustrated that narrative’s firm entrenchment ...

Notes

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pp. 239-263

Works Cited

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pp. 265-304

Index

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pp. 305-312