Library of Southern Civilization

Published by: Louisiana State University Press

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Library of Southern Civilization

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Brokenburn

The Journal of Kate Stone, 1861–1868

edited by John Q. Anderson. foreword by Drew Gilpin Faust

This journal records the Civil War experiences of a sensitive, well-educated, young southern woman. Kate Stone was twenty when the war began, living with her widowed mother, five brothers, and younger sister at Brokenburn, their plantation home in northeastern Louisiana. When Grant moved against Vicksburg, the family fled before the invading armies, eventually found refuge in Texas, and finally returned to a devastated home. Kate began her journal in May, 1861, and made regular entries up to November, 1865. She included briefer sketches in 1867 and 1868. In chronicling her everyday activities, Kate reveals much about a way of life that is no more: books read, plantation management and crops, maintaining slaves in the antebellum period, the attitude and conduct of slaves during the war, the fate of refugees, and civilian morale. Without pretense and with almost photographic clarity, she portrays the South during its darkest hours.

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The Ideology of Slavery

Proslavery Thought in the Antebellum South, 1830–1860

edited by Drew Gilpin Faust

In one volume, these essentially unabridged selections from the works of the proslavery apologists are now conveniently accessible to scholars and students of the antebellum South. The Ideology of Slavery includes excerpts by Thomas R. Dew, founder of a new phase of proslavery militancy; William Harper and James Henry Hammond, representatives of the proslavery mainstream; Thornton Stringfellow, the most prominent biblical defender of the peculiar institution; Henry Hughes and Josiah Nott, who brought would-be scientism to the argument; and George Fitzhugh, the most extreme of proslavery writers. The works in this collection portray the development, mature essence, and ultimate fragmentation of the proslavery argument during the era of its greatest importance in the American South. Drew Faust provides a short introduction to each selection, giving information about the author and an account of the origin and publication of the document itself. Faust’s introduction to the anthology traces the early historical treatment of proslavery thought and examines the recent resurgence of interest in the ideology of the Old South as a crucial component of powerful relations within that society. She notes the intensification of the proslavery argument between 1830 and 1860, when southern proslavery thought became more systematic and self-conscious, taking on the characteristics of a formal ideology with its resulting social movement. From this intensification came the pragmatic tone and inductive mode that the editor sees as a characteristic of southern proslavery writings from the 1830s onward. The selections, introductory comments, and bibliography of secondary works on the proslavery argument will be of value to readers interested in the history of slavery and of nineteenth-centruy American thought.

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The Mississippi Delta and the World

The Memoirs of David L. Cohn

edited by James C. Cobb

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The New Orleans of Lafcadio Hearn

Illustrated Sketches from the Daily City Item

edited by Delia LaBarre

Lafcadio Hearn (1850–1904) was a master satirist who displayed a fiery wit both as a writer and as an artist. For seven months in 1880, he surprised and amused the readers of New Orleans with his wood-block "cartoons" and accompanying articles, which were variously funny, scathing, surreal, political, whimsical, and moral. This delightful book collects in their entirety, for the first time, all of the extant satirical columns and woodcut illustrations published in the Daily City Item—181 columns in all. Hearn displays immense range, illuminating in words and prints the unique culture of New Orleans, including its Creole history, debauched underworld, corrupt politicians, and voudou practitioners. The columns are expertly annotated by Delia LaBarre, who places them in their unique Crescent City context. With virtually no training in art of any kind, Hearn began creating his illustrations partly to boost the circulation of a small daily newspaper in a competitive market. He believed in the power of satirical cartoons to communicate big ideas in small spaces—in particular, to reveal the habits, prejudices, and delusions of the current generation. Blind in his left eye (since a boyhood accident) and severely myopic in his right, Hearn nonetheless painstakingly carved out drawings on wood blocks with a penknife to be printed alongside his articles on the newspaper's letterpress. Hearn developed, from the first of these woodcuts to the last, a unique style that expressed the full range of his wit, from razor-sharp condemnation to tender affection. Hearn had a keen eye for the absurd, along with an extraordinary ability to modulate his criticism and praise in a continuum from cauterizing vitriol to palliative balm, from the heaviest sarcasm to the lightest wit. In the pieces collected here, there can be found a unifying thread: Hearn's love/hate relationship with the virtues and vices of New Orleans, a city that continually amused and amazed him. Born in Greece and raised in Ireland, Lafcadio Hearn immigrated to the United States as a teenager and became a newspaper reporter in Cincinnati, Ohio. When he married a black woman, an act that was illegal at the time, the newspaper fired him and Hearn relocated to New Orleans. In the early 1880s his contributions to national publications (like Harper's Weekly and Scribners Magazine) helped mold the popular image of New Orleans as a colorful place of decadence and hedonism. In 1888, Hearn left New Orleans for Japan, where he took the name Koizumi Yakumo and worked as a teacher, journalist, and writer. "And it may come to pass that I shall have stranger things to tell you; for this is a land of magical moons and of witches and of warlocks; and were I to tell you all that I have seen and heard in these years in this enchanted City of Dreams you would verily deem me mad rather than morbid." —Lafcadio Hearn, 1880, describing New Orleans in a letter to a friend

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Peculiar Crossroads

Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and Catholic Vision in Postwar Southern Fiction

Farrell O'Gorman

In Peculiar Crossroads, Farrell O'Gorman explains how the radical religiosity of both Flannery O'Connor's and Walker Percy's vision made them so valuable as southern fiction writers and social critics. Via their spiritual and philosophical concerns, O'Gorman asserts, these two unabashedly Catholic authors bequeathed a postmodern South of shopping malls and interstates imbued with as much meaning as Appomattox or Yoknapatawpha. O'Gorman builds his argument with biographical, historical, literary, and theological evidence, examining the writers' work through intriguing pairings, such as O'Connor's Wise Blood with Percy's The Moviegoer, and O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find with Percy's Lancelot. An impeccable exercise in literary history and criticism, Peculiar Crossroads renders a genuine understanding of the Catholic sensibility of both O'Connor and Percy and their influence among contemporary southern writers.

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Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky

A Narrative by Francis Fedric, Escaped Slave

edited by C. L. Innes. introduction by C. L. Innes

In 1854, faced with the threat of yet another brutal beating, a fifty-year-old slave in Mason County, Kentucky, decided to try again to escape. His first attempt had ended in his near starvation as he hid for nine weeks in a swamp, before hunger compelled him to return to his master. This time the slave sought the help of a neighbor with abolitionist sympathies, and he joined the hundreds of other fugitive slaves fleeing across the Ohio River and north to Canada on the Underground Railroad. After his arrival in Toronto he discarded his master’s surname (Parker), renamed himself Francis Fedric, and married an Englishwoman. In 1857, he traveled with his wife to Great Britain, where he lectured on behalf of the antislavery cause and published two versions of his life story. Born in Virginia circa 1805, Francis Fedric was not unlike thousands of other African Americans who escaped slavery in the southern states and sought refuge in Britain. Many of his fellow ex-slaves also joined the abolitionist lecture circuit and published memoirs to support both the cause and themselves. Addressed to a British audience, these memoirs constitute a distinctive subgenre of the slave narrative, and an essential continuation of the narrative tradition established in England by Olaudah Equiano, Ottobah Cugoano, and Mary Prince. The first of Fedric’s two memoirs, Life and Sufferings of Francis Fedric, While in Slavery: An Escaped Slave after 51 Years in Bondage (1859), offers a brief but vivid and dramatic twelve-page description of his escape. Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky; or, Fifty Years of Slavery in the Southern States of America (1863) provides a much more detailed account of life as a slave and of plantation culture in the southern states. Together the two works present a mesmerizing and distinct perspective on slavery in the South. Amazingly, these narratives, among the most interesting of the genre, remained out of print for nearly a hundred and fifty years. Collected here for the first time and meticulously edited by C. L. Innes, Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky: A Narrative by Francis Fedric, Escaped Slave includes a contextual introduction, substantial biographical information on Fedric, and extensive annotations that situate and illuminate his work. Long forgotten and never before published in the United States, Fedric’s narratives are certain to take their rightful place alongside the most recognizable accounts in the canon of slave memoirs.

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Surveying the Early Republic

The Journal of Andrew Ellicott, U.S. Boundary Commissioner in the Old Southwest, 1796-1800

edited by Robert D. Bush

In Surveying the Early Republic, Robert D. Bush contextualizes the firsthand account of Andrew Ellicott, the United States Boundary Commissioner appointed by President George Washington in 1796. Ellicott and his Spanish counterparts established the boundary line between the United States and Spanish territory in North America, after the United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo and opened the door to navigation of the Mississippi River and the export of American goods from the Spanish-held port of New Orleans. Over the course of this multiyear surveying project (1796-1800), Ellicott found himself entangled in the politics of these frontier lands, including an insurrection by inhabitants who favored the United States against the existing Spanish regime. He also reported to his superiors on various rumors, plots, and political intrigues as well as on the secret activities of individuals in the pay of Spain, including U.S. Army General James Wilkinson.

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Twelve Years A Slave

Solomon Northup. edited by Joseph Logsdon and Sue Eakin

Solomon Northup was a free man, the son of an emancipated Negro Slave. Until the spring of 1841 he lived a simple, uneventful life with his wife and three children in Upstate New York. Then, suddenly, he fell victim to a series of bizarre events that make this one of the most amazing autobiographies ever written. Northup accepted an offer from two strangers in Saratoga, New York, to catch up with their traveling circus and play in its band. But when the chase ended, Northup had been drugged, beaten, and sold to a slave trader in Washington, D.C. Subsequently, he was shipped to New Orleans, where he was purchased by a planter in the Red River region of Louisiana. For the next twelve years Northup lived as a chattel slave under several masters. He might well have died a slave, except for another set of bizarre circumstances which enabled him to get word to his family and finally regain his freedom. These elements alone—the kidnapping, enslavement, and rescue—are sufficient for a sensational story. But Northup provides more. He was a shrewd observer of people and events. His memory was remarkable. He described cultivation of cotton and sugar in the Deep South. He detailed the daily routine and general life of the Negro slave. Indeed, he vividly portrayed the world of slavery—from the underside. Originally published in 1853, Northup’s autobiography is regarded as one of the best accounts of American Negro slavery ever written by a slave. It is reprinted in full here for the first time, as the initial volume in The Library of Southern Civilization. Northup’s account has been carefully checked by the editors and has been found to be remarkably accurate. To his own narrative of a long and tragic adventure, Professors Eakin and Logsdon have added significant new details about Northup and the plantation country where he spent most of his time as a slave. Heretofore unknown information about the capture and trial of Northup’s kidnappers has been included, adding still another fascinating episode to an already astounding story.

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