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The Marrow of Tradition
Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company 1901 - 8vo., yellow cloth lettered in black; tender front hinge, minor edge-wear, slightly cocked. First edition of Chesnutt's fourth publication. ---- Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s copy. The noted abolitionist clergyman later gifted the volume to the library of the Harvard Union (this copy bears the bookplate “Library of the Harvard Union – The Gift of Thomas W. Higginson, H.U. 1841”). Higginson, a John Brown-backer, who commanded of the first all-black regiment in the Civil War, championed the works of Paul Dunbar, Emily Dickinson, and Chesnutt. In 1952, Harvard deaccessioned this copy of "The Marrow of Tradition," which historian Sidney Kaplan, University of Massachusetts Amherst, purchased. It contains hundreds of annotations by Kaplan, which were incorporated into articles for the "Journal of Negro History" and a biographical dictionary of African Americans. Kaplan’s most important work, "The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution," appeared in 1973. ---- Teacher, principal, and lawyer, and political activist, Charles W. Chesnutt (1858-1932) became the first African-American writer of fiction to enlist the white-controlled publishing industry in the service of his social message. The nation’s most influential and widely respected African-American writer mesmerized black and white audiences alike with his analyses and indictments of racism in works such as "The Conjure Woman," "The House behind the Cedars," "The Marrow of Tradition," and "The Colonel’s Dream." Published in 1901, at the nadir of American race relations and the zenith of fictional apologies for the Jim Crow South, "The Marrow of Tradition" offered a complex retelling of the 1898 Wilmington, North Carolina, race riot. Its incisive critique of white terrorism, national racial hysteria, and segregationist logic made Chesnutt’s second and most ambitious novel one of the most significant African-American socio-literary statements of its day. A significant literary work with a distinguished provenance [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: North Star Rare Books & Manuscripts]
Last Found On: 2015-03-19           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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