[Autographed by Tad and Scip:] Congaree Sketches. Scenes from Negro Life in the Swamps of the Congaree and Tales by Tad and Scip of Heaven and Hell with Other Miscellany. [Autograph Edition]
First edition and “Autograph Edition” of this “collection of authentic stories of Negro life in South Carolina” based upon African-American fables and songs told to the folklorist Edward C.L. Adams by Blacks who worked his land.
This copy is autographed by the African American storytellers Thaddeus ‘Tad’ Goodson (b. 1869) and Scipio ‘Scip’ Shiver. Next to their autographs is an annotation in the author’s hand, signed as “E.C.L.A.,” which reads, “The signatures of Scip and Tad themselves.”
On the same leaf, two handwritten lines read: “Tad says ‘Scip can not write Scip he can only sign what he write.’” Adams also warmly inscribes and signs the book, datelined Columbia, South Carolina, 1928.
An accomplished rhythm bones player, Goodson’s songs were recorded in 1939 for the WPA by Charles Seeger. Aesop Goodson, Tad’s father, served in South Carolina’s House of Representatives during Reconstruction. Scip was “a Gullah preacher and long-term worker on Adams’s farm.” (Meally, editor, 1987 ed.)
The book’s introduction by Paul Green is intriguing; it deviates from a direct reference to the book’s text and instead reads like a substantial essay that celebrates African-American leaders such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. It also offers praise for a world populated by figures like Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, Countee Cullen, Alain Locke, James Weldon, and others.
Description: [Autographed by Tad and Scip:] Congaree Sketches. Scenes from Negro Life in the Swamps of the Congaree and Tales by Tad and Scip of Heaven and Hell with Other Miscellany. [Autograph Edition]
Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1927. 116pp. 41/200 copies. Cloth, patterned boards with light fading and slight edge-wear; pale, minor, and light dampstains to outer margins of first sixty pages; very good.
Work p461. IB100