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Sisters of the Spirit

Three Black Women's Autobiographies of the Nineteenth Century

Edited with an Introduction by William L. Andrews

Publication Year: 1986

"Sisters of the Spirit... should interest a wider audience.... These fascinating accounts can stand on their own.... Mr. Andrews has made them even more accessible by providing a comprehensive introduction and helpful footnotes... but he does not intrude on the text itself." -- New York Times Book Review

"... informative and inspiring reading." -- The Journal of American History

Jarena Lee, Zilpha Elaw, and Julia Foote underwent a revolution in their own sense of self that helped to launch a feminist revolution in American religious life and in American society as a whole.

Published by: Indiana University Press

CONTENTS

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PREFACE

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pp. vi-vii

William L. Andrews here presents the autobiographies of Jarena Lee, Zilpha Elaw, and Julia Foote, three black women whose narratives are remarkable in a number of ways. The memoirs of all three are rich personal documents, casting important light on a series of themes in mid-nineteenth-century black religion and in American religion in ...

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FOREWORD

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pp. viii-ix

The voices of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century black American women are beginning to be heard again, across the barriers of time and the disltortions of historical record. A few of these women-Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, most notably-have long been considered heroines of their race and sex. While it is always ...

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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p. x-x

I wish to thank Catherine L. Albanese, Sargent Bush, and Stephen J.Stein for their helpful criticism and suggestions for the introduction to this book; my student assistants, Calvin Rosa and Michael Scherf, for their library spadework on many of the annotations for these autobiographies; and my wife, Charron, for her aid in the proofread ...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-22

The earliest forms of autobiography in Afro-American literature are the conversion and captivity narratives that began to appear in England and America during the second half of the eighteenth century. Antedating the fugitive slave narrative by almost fifty years, the spiritual autobioraphies of James Gronniosaw (1770), John Marrant ...

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TEXTUAL NOTE

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pp. 23-24

The texts used in this edition are the 1836 edition of The Life and Religious Experience of ]arena Lee, the 1846 edition of Zilpha Elaw's Memoirs, and the 1879 edition of Julia Foote's A Brand Plucked from the Fire. Lee published a second, expanded edition of her autobiography in 1849 under the title Religious Experience and ]ournal of Mrs. Jarena ...

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I. The Life and Religious Experience of Jarena Lee, A Coloured Lady, GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF HER CALL TO PREACH THE GOSPEL. REVISED AND CORRECTED FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT, WRITTEN BY HERSELF.

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pp. 25-48

I was born February 11th, 1783, at Cape May, state of New Jersey. At the age of seven years I was parted from my parents, and went to live as a servant maid, with a Mr. Sharp, at the distance of about sixty miles from the place of my birth. ...

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II. MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE, RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE, MINISTERIAL TRAVELS AND LABOURS OF MRS. ZILPHA ELAW, AN AMERICAN FEMALE OF COLOUR; Together with Some Account of the Great Religious Revivals in America [Written by Herself]

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pp. 49-160

Dear Brethren and Friends, After sojourning in your hospitable land, and peregrinating among you during these last five years; in the course of which period, it has been my happiness to enjoy much spiritual intercourse with many of you in your family circles, your social meetings, and in the house of God, I feel a strong desire again to cross the pathless bosom of the foaming Atlantic and rejoin my ...

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III. A Brand Plucked from the Fire: An Autobiographical Sketch by Mrs. Julia A. J. Foote

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pp. 161-234

I have written this little book after many prayers to ascertain the will of God-having long had an impression to do it. I have a consciousness of obedience to the will of my dear Lord and Master. My object has been to testify more extensively to the sufficiency of the blood of Jesus Christ to save from all sin. Many have not the ...

NOTES

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pp. 235-245


E-ISBN-13: 9780253115249
E-ISBN-10: 0253115248
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253287045

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 1 b&w photos
Publication Year: 1986

Series Title: Religion in North America