Race, Romance, and Rebellion
Literatures of the Americas in the Nineteenth Century
Publication Year: 2013
As in many literatures of the New World grappling with issues of slavery and freedom, stories of racial insurrection frequently coincided with stories of cross-racial romance in nineteenth-century U.S. print culture. Colleen O’Brien explores how authors such as Harriet Jacobs, Elizabeth Livermore, and Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda imagined the expansion of race and gender-based rights as a hemispheric affair, drawing together the United States with Africa, Cuba, and other parts of the Caribbean. Placing less familiar women writers in conversation with their more famous contemporaries—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Lydia Maria Child—O’Brien traces the transnational progress of freedom through the antebellum cultural fascination with cross-racial relationships and insurrections. Her book mines a variety of sources—fiction, political rhetoric, popular journalism, race science, and biblical treatises—to reveal a common concern: a future in which romance and rebellion engender radical social and political transformation.
Published by: University of Virginia Press
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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright
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...that I cannot measure the debts incurred along the way. My mentors at the University of Michigan—Simon Gikandi, Arlene Keizer, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, and Patsy Yaeger—helped me build a foundation in postcolonial and feminist American studies. Ron Walters and Rafia Zafar have continued to support me intellectually in the years since I ...
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...and expansion, a set of interrelated terms that reshape the way we might think about race, gender, sex, and the revolutionary concept of rights that emerged in the New World in the long eighteenth century. The idea of equality, which evolved in the Americas as colonies became states, was always troubled by exclusions that came to be defined as racial and ...
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I long to hear that you have declared an independency—and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies. . . . If perticuliar care and attention is not payed to the Laidies we are obedient—that schools and Colledges were grown turbulent—that ...
1 “What Mischief Would Follow?”
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The strong attractions of mind, person, manners, fortune, should ble . . . the descendants of the European should covet alliance with the descendants of the African. There is no harm in the supposition, be the improbability of the thing what it may—the only question is, if the fact should happen so to turn out, what mischief would ...
2 Colored Carpentersand White Gentlemen
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After the alarm caused by Nat Turner’s insurrection had subsided, the slaveholders came to the conclusion that it would be well to give the slaves enough of religious instruction to keep them from of the coincidence of cross-racial relationships and incidents of rebel-lion. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl contests the manifestations of ...
3 Desire, Conquest, and Insurrection in Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda’s Sab
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The earth that was once drenched in blood will be so again: the de-scendants of the oppressors will themselves be oppressed, and black y Arteaga’s 1841 novel Sab is a former slave with the potential to level social hierarchies in racially striated Cuba and, supposedly, “avenge” the conquest and genocide of Cuba’s First Nations. His musings about ...
4 Republicanism and Soul Philosophy in Elizabeth Livermore’s Zoë
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She thought over the principal characters among her tribe, who had made their mark upon the world, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Payenga, Placido, and Dumas, besides others known in history and the pres-minister moved into Harriet Beecher Stowe’s old haunts in Cincinnati, Ohio. This preacher’s wife also had authorial aspirations and antislavery ...
5 Reconstruction Optimism inJulia Collins’s The Curse of Caste
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The institution of slavery is itself accursed, and will yet prove the fatal Nemesis of the South, for do not think that a just God will al-title, even for a story that begins with a tragic cross-racial affair that took place in the antebellum period and concludes with a happy postwar family reunion. This novel’s author, Julia C. Collins, began contributing ...
6 The End of Romance inFrances Watkins Harper’sMinnie’s Sacrifice
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Le Croix was the only son of a Spanish lady, and a French gentle-. . . Le Grange, like Le Croix, was of French and Spanish descent, and his father had also been a Haytian refugee. . . . [H]e had grown up a gay and reckless young man, fond of sports and living an aim-tion optimism—the hope that the end of slavery would signal a new era of ...
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...convert the genre of tragedy—the tragic mulatta story that she helped shape in her short story “The Quadroons”—into a historical romance that resolved the problems of slavery. But as Frances Harper’s Minnie’s Sacrifice clearly articulates, the romantic ideals of racial and gender equality that inspired Julia Collins’s Reconstruction optimism or Eliza-...
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: New World Studies