Notes from a Colored Girl
The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
My research into the life of Emilie Davis actually began about six years ago when I received photocopies of her pocket diaries and began the painstaking process of transcribing and annotating her entries. Since Emilie’s diary pages and a different transcription can now be found online, my goal was to present a heavily annotated...
The history of how the free and enslaved black communities were able to both survive and prosper within a slave society is both engaging and fraught with confusion, half-truths, and in some cases, unsubstantiated claims. Sifting through the history is particularly difficult for anyone who is attempting to understand how...
1. Emilie Davis, 1863
In the 1850 U.S. Census, when she was twelve years old, Emilie lived with her parents, her sister, and three of her four brothers in Roxbury, Philadelphia. (Her oldest brother, Alfred, either lived on his own or was not home when the census taker came to the house.) In the 1860 U.S. Census, Emilie and two of her...
2. A World Imagined
During the nineteenth century, the church, the schools, and the clubs were places of refuge and stability for the free black community. The pastors and the teachers were often actively involved in the political arena and were considered to be part of the leadership, providing guidance and direction. These places were...
3. A World Created
Within the black community, freedom—as a concept, an idea, and a dream— had probably been talked about since slavery was first legalized. Within the enslaved communities, the further the generations were removed from Africa, the harder it probably was to imagine a life without being owned. Within the free...
4. Emilie Davis, 1864
In 1863 Emilie had many changes in her life: her father, Charles, after battling a short illness, moved (back?) to Harrisburg; her sister-in-law, Mary (Alfred’s wife), passed away from consumption of the lungs (tuberculosis); and her brother, Alfred, was reluctantly drafted into the United States Colored Troops (USCT)...
5. A World of Women
At the end of every year, Emilie would summarize some of the major events that happened in her life and in the world in the back section of her pocket diaries. At the end of her 1863 pocket diary, in what seems to be an uncharacteristic practice for her, she wrote a poem. It is the only time within the three-year period...
6. A World Expanded
Outside of her diaries and a few primary sources, Emilie Frances Davis is an invisible woman. Unfortunately she came of age during a time when the lives of women and black people were not seen as important enough to be recorded or remembered. If it were not for her diaries—her unconscious act of defiance against...
7. Emilie Davis, 1865
By the end of 1864, the country looked and felt different. African Americans were actively serving in the Union Army, proving more than once that they were indeed worthy sons of the nation; hundreds of thousands of enslaved men, women, and children had been freed by the soldiers or had taken it upon themselves...
On October 18, 1914, at the weekly meeting for the trustees and elders of First African Presbyterian Church, an issue was raised about how the standard and quality of the Sunday School classes had gone down. After some discussion, the committee decided that changes needed to be made and that during this time...
Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2014
OCLC Number: 881243831
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Notes from a Colored Girl