Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839.
Important first-hand account of slavery in Georgia, especially among female slaves
Pierce Butler was a Georgia-born Philadelphian whose marriage to British actress Fanny Kemble was in discord as his ownership of enslaved African Americans clashed with her antislavery sentiments, eventually leading to the couple’s divorce. With the financial crash of 1857-1858 Butler was forced to sell these enslaved individuals. Journal of a Residence records Kemble’s observations of the poor treatment of slavery in the late 1830s at a cotton and rice plantation; an important first-hand account of slavery for its given locale. “Passionate in its denunciation of oppression, the Journal ... painted a picture of slavery so brutal in its realism it was unacceptable to Victorian society” (Scott: 1961, ix).
Blockson 101: “Her famous Journal ... had a great political influence during this period, epitomizing the split between the North and South. The book undoubtedly provided a greater understanding of the ‘peculiar institution’. The pages burst with the vitality of the period.”
Clark: “This book portrays the mistreatment of the unfortunate blacks and describes in minute detail the clothing, medical care, illiteracy, diseases, food, religious life, and difficulties of the slaves, especially those of the Negro women. Interspersed with bitter comments on slavery are excellent word pictures of the natural life and scenery of Georgia.”
Description: Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839.
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1863. 337pp. + adverts. First American edition, first issue. Publisher’s ornamental cloth. Spine rolled; lower cornertips of title-page and six subsequent leaves lightly ruffled. An exceptionally tight and clean copy; near fine.
Ref. Scott, Editor; Kemble, Journal of a Residence… (Knopf, 1961).) Sabin 37329. Howes K-70. Blockson Catalogue 9586. Blockson 101, #35. Clark III:187. DeRenne, p656. Downs, Books That Changed the South pp83-91. k67