The Negro Question. [Provenance]
First edition. Toward the end of his literary career, New Orleans-native and Southern author George W. Cable turned from popular novels—e.g. Old Creole Days, Madame Delphine, and The Grandissimes—to writing about social reform. “[H]is best-known writings from this period are The Silent South (1885) and The Negro Question (1890), which served only to alienate further the southerners who had once been his most ardent supporters…” (ANB)
This copy has the private library rubber stamp of “Rev. H.P. Anderson,” a Black Episcopal pastor in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Additionally, it has a gift presentation inscription from African American journalist, John E. Bruce (1856–1924), also known as “Bruce Grit” from the Washington, D.C. newspaper he published. Curiously, there is also a printed ink inscription on the upper cover referencing Bruce, though it is unclear who penned it.
“Between 1879 and 1884 Bruce, under the pen name “Rising Sun,” started three newspapers: the Argus (1879), the Sunday Item (1880), which was the first African-American daily, and the Washington Grit (1884). ... Throughout his life Bruce was an active proponent of African-American civil rights. Recognized as a talented speaker, Bruce addressed delegates at the AAL [Afro American League] inaugural convention in Washington, D.C. Citing the Constitution, Bruce examined the legal justification of African-American citizenship; [and] he contended that the federal government had failed to protect African-American civil rights ...” (ANB)
The Negro Question includes sections entitled “The Social Basis of Slavery Still Exists,” “Enfranchisement a Cause of Apprehension,” “Responsibility of Southern White Men,” and “What Makes the Color Line?” An entire chapter—the final third of the book—deals with issues of race, politics, and government in the American South.
An interesting association copy linking a social and political text on race and society to a prominent journalist, historian, and civil rights leader.
Description: The Negro Question. [Provenance]
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1890. Octavo. vi, , –173pp.Publisher’s maroon cloth with red titling. Spine ends rubbed; corners bumped; cover stains; front free endpaper excised; a few leaves with creasing; otherwise, good.