Hearts of Gold
Publication Year: 2010
J. McHenry Jones’s Hearts of Gold is a gripping tale of post-Civil War battles against racism and systemic injustice. Originally published in 1896, this novel reveals an African American community of individuals dedicated to education, journalism, fraternal organizations, and tireless work serving the needs of those abandoned by the political process of the white world. Jones challenges conventional wisdom by addressing a range of subjects—from interracial relationships to forced labor in coal mines—that virtually no other novelist of the time was willing to approach. With the addition of an introduction and appendix, this new edition reveals the difficult foundations upon which African Americans built a platform to address injustice; generate opportunities; and play a prominent role in American social, economic, and political life.
Published by: West Virginia University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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West Virginia University Press's Regenerations series is devoted to collaborations among scholars working to recover and broaden our understanding of African American literary and cultural history, and I have benefited greatly from those collaborations in playing my part to prepare this edition...
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In 1989, the historian Dickson D. Bruce Jr. observed that although scholars have learned a great deal about "the dynamics of post-Reconstruction white racism," there was still a great deal to learn about "black responses to the racism of the period" and he noted especially "a need to go below the surface of black thought and action...
Hearts Of Gold
1. A TEMPORARY EXODUS
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"We cannot stem the tide. The cumulative force of discouraging circumstances stands as a bar sinister to every new fledged hope. I wish I had your sanguine disposition, Lotus, but five years of buffeting with the white caps of real life, destroy many of the sea-sand castles of our old high school days," said Clement St. John...
2. KNIGHTS IN LINE
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Mt. Clare was literally alive with visiting Knights and their friends. Each new arrival was met at the depot with a band of music, the Committee of Reception, and an escort of their fraters. Music filled the air. The streets were lined with people decked in holiday attire...
3. THE PRIZE CONTEST
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Everything was bustle and excitement as Lotus and Clement entered Recreation Park. Covered with dust and reeking with perspiration, the Knights look anything but the gay gallants that rendezvoused at the city building a few hours before. Hunger and fatigue had robbed them of their soldierly bearing, but not even these could...
4. MRS. UNDERWOOD'S CHARGE
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Regenia Underwood could scarcely remember when she did not live at the Elms. She was born in Canada. Around her life hung a mystery, as impenetrable as Egyptian darkness, to the curious, but perfectly clear to those who knew the history of Judge...
5. THE FLAMBEAU DRILL
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Not only the visitors, but apparently the entire population of Mt. Clare had preceded the carriage in which Regenia, Lucile, Mrs. Levitt and Mrs. Underwood were seated, to the square where the flambeau drill was to be conducted. Strung to the highest pitch of expectation, the nervous crowd, with frequent signs of impatience...
6. FROM LAKE TO LAKE
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The last day of the conclave had come. It was the intention of the committee to make the festivities of the day equal, if they did not surpass, the pleasure of the preceding one. An excursion up the river to an island, located in a not distant lake, and the banquet at night were to round out the closing hours of the conclave in blaze...
7. THE FETE TERPSICHOREAN
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Fraternity hall was a study on the evening of the banquet. As carriage after carriage drove up and their occupants alighted and tripped into the hall, they looked, and without doubt were, the equals in appointments and bearing of any Americans. The ladies were attired in evening costume; the men wore the conventional black. Here was to be seen the Afro-American at his best...
8. SEVEN CORNERS
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The office of Dr. Frank Leighton was called "Hub of Seven Corners." Four streets converged to form the circle, in the centre of which stood his office, like the hub of a wheel. The drugstore on one corner ended the square like the apex of a triangle. Each of the other three blocks was in the form of a trapezoid, whose lesser base faced the circle. Although a physician, Dr. Leighton did not practice medicine as...
9. HOMEWARD BOUND
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Our two friends were among the last detachment of Knights to leave Mt. Clare. The great multitude had returned on the "Carrier Pigeon" at an early hour that morning. The grand officers and a selected few of the other distinguished visitors, the majority of whom were from the far away south-land, had lingered until the last possible moment, drinking to its very dregs the delights of this, the happiest reunion of their knightly organization...
10. THE SHADOW OF A DREAM
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It was late on the morning after the scene described in a previous chapter when Lucile and Regenia made their appearance at the breakfast table. The fierce rays of an August sun had been gilding the turrets and spires of the beautiful little city between...
11. LUCILE AND REGENIA
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"That is the famous Seven Corners," remarked Regenia, as they drove past Dr. Leighton's office. "Seven Corners is not a new place, but I refer to the office in the center of the circle." "A Specialist of Symptoms," repeated Lucile, slowly...
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We left Lotus Stone and his friend dreaming sweet dreams on the bosom of the lake. In due time the next morning they reached Minton; Clement to look after his paper and Lotus to drift about for a few weeks in the further enjoyment of his vacation...
13. WEDDING BELLS
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August and September have been numbered with the past since last we saw Regenia Underwood and Mrs. Levitt sitting on the steps of their home at the "Elms," dreaming over the gilded romance and stern realities of bygone days. The leaves which at that season clothed the oaks and elms in nature's royal green, had grown sere and yellow and left their former associates in winter's rough undress. The crisp wind and biting frost of October had stripped bush and tree of their drooping...
14. A COMPULSORY DESERTION
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All the way from Minton to Mt. Clare Regenia sat with her head in her hands. Still wearing the gown in which she had gone to the wedding, she had not even divested herself of the flowers, which a few hours since were fresh and beautiful, but now as wilted and lifeless as her smitten heart. Dazed by the suddenness...
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Regenia had retired earlier than usual the evening of Mrs. Levitt's mysterious disappearance, therefore she did not learn of her absence until the next morning at breakfast. She had felt some surprise before coming down to her morning's meal that she had not heard the usual rap upon her chamber door and the usual admonition...
16. ALONE AND PENNILESS.
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The train on which Regenia Underwood was a passenger, had left in the distance many a mile post, before the excitement under which she labored had sufficiently subsided to permit her to take a sober inventory of the events which had transpired in the past few hours. She did not question the wisdom of leaving...
17. AT WORK.
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It was with feelings of fear bordering on despair that Regenia Underwood alighted from the coach the second morning after leaving Minton. She had pierced through to the very heart of the South, an absolute stranger. Armed with a letter to Rev. Mr. Foggs, she set out, carrying her traveling bag, on a hunt for this much desired...
18. TEACHING THE YOUNG IDEA.
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Too much praise cannot be awarded the brave-hearted girls who leave without a murmur their pleasant homes and agreeable companions and in answer to the call of duty or necessity, go forth alone into an untried...
19. AN OLD NEW FRIEND.
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It was with premonitions of dreaded contact with Dr. Leighton that Regenia left her home for the school room the morning after the meeting described in the previous chapter. Around every corner, as she hastened to and from school she expected to come face to face with him. During the morning and until the last tardy pupil had come...
20. THE CLOSE OF SCHOOL.
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When Lotus Stone graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, he was for weeks undecided where he would begin the practice of his profession. He certainly did not intend to settle in Grandville. From the very first he had, however, turned his eyes southward. Why he preferred the South has been...
21. MRS. LEVITT.
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Standing at the one window of the room where we left her six months ago, prematurely old and gray beyond recognition, looking out at the grim lighthouse and watching the glinting rays of the setting sun as their reflections fall aslant the restless waters, is Mrs. Levitt. Sometimes praying, oftener singing and talking to herself, she passes her days within the enclosure of those four walls...
22. A NEW EXPERIENCE.
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Time sped on wings, so rapidly did it pass during Regenia's stay in the North with her pleasant friends. She did not visit Mt. Claire during her stay. Why should she, when everything there would but serve to recall sad memories of past happiness, which she verily believed could never return. She remained in Minton three months...
23. BEHIND PRISON BARS.
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When Regenia awakened the next morning the sun was high in the heavens. The accusation made by Mr. Foggs, together with his coarse familiarity, had served to keep her sleeplessly tossing from one side of the bed to the other the most of the night. She came down to a late breakfast still nervous and excited. For the first time during her short life she felt the poisonous sting of slander...
24. THE LYNCHING BEE.
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A shiver of horror crept over Dr. Stone as he raised himself heavily from the iron bed upon which he had passed the night, on the morning after we last saw him slowly driving away from the parsonage, self admitted "the happiest man in the world." The events of that night the reader has been led to anticipate from...
25. AT THE TRIBUNE OF JUSTICE.
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When the mob which murdered poor Harvey Meeks left the jail, the night of the lynching, Lotus Stone was so shocked at the fate of his friend that it never occurred to him to walk out of the open doors and make his escape. For two hours the egress from his place of confinement was unguarded. The sheriff, the jailor and everybody else were having a two hours' respite...
26. THE CONVICT MINES.
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In the midst of a dense woods, flanked on the east by a broken chain of low-lying hills, stood a convict mining camp, operated by a millionaire senator, wined and dined as a social magnate in the capital of the nation. Here, before man came to curse it with his cruelties, Nature exulted in surroundings the most picturesque and beautiful. All day long the pure mountain stream, gushing forth from a perennial spring in the solitudes of the forest, pitched over miniature...
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Two events which occurred on the night that "47" was injured served to make the day memorial: the escape of two convicts and the wounding of the guards that attempted their capture. "47" was buried under a fall of slate about noon, and although his sad plight was discovered soon after the accident, no effort...
28. CLEMENT ST. JOHN.
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The trip made by the captain of the convict mines and his troop of horsemen to Welshtown proved to be an event pregnant with thrilling experiences. The air of conscious superiority, which the company had worn, when riding away from the camp was changed to the crestfallen look of the vanquished, before it returned. The arm of the law was not only challenged, but an appeal was made to the higher, if unwritten statute, which makes right more potent...
29. EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY.
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By the smoldering wood fire, the evening paper having fallen from her slender hands, her eyes closed, her head resting on the back of the big arm chair, sits Regenia Underwood, thinking of the past. She has just finished reading Clement St. John's stirring report of the events at the mines...
30. CLOUDS LIFTING.
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Armed with the governor's permit, the morning after Regenia left for Minton, Clement bade farewell to his kind friends at the parsonage and made his way a second time to the convict mines. His arrival was indeed opportune. Lotus, grown restless on account of the constant tumult kept up by the drunken citizen soldiers, had given away to a fretful impatience that had materially lessened...
31. HEARTS OF GOLD.
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Dr. Stone was the lion of the hour for the next few weeks in Minton. The social world was at his feet. No lawn fete, private picnic or excursion was thought complete without his presence. Doting mothers courted his favor and men of high and low degree vied with each other in expressions of respect for him...
32. BY THE RESTLESS SEA.
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Regenia and Lucile were cosily situated at Breeze Nook. The freedom from care, together with the salt-laden sea breeze, had not been long in bringing the roses back to Regenia's cheeks. Lucile, too, had been benefited by her sojourn at Breeze Nook...
33. THE CONVOCATION.
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Four years have passed since we last saw Dr. Lotus Stone and Regenia Underwood renewing their vows of undying affection at Breeze Nook. During the following summer they were quietly married and took up life's joys and sorrows at Mt. Clare. Nothing particularly noteworthy has occurred since their marriage to distinguish them from the thousand and one happy families that pass unnoticed day by day...
About the Editors
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2010