[]
[]

John Washington's Civil War

A Slave Narrative
Washington, John (Book - 2008)
John Washington's Civil War
Print

Item Details

In 1872, just seven years after his emancipation, a thirty-four-year-old former slave named John Washington penned the story of his life, calling it "Memorys of the Past." One hundred and twenty years later, in the early 1990s, historian Crandall Shifflett stumbled upon Washington's forgotten manuscript at the Library of Congress while researching Civil War Fredericksburg. Over the ensuing decade, Shifflett sought to learn more about this Virginia slave and the people and events he so vividly portrays. John Washington's Civil War presents this remarkable slave narrative in its entirety, together with Shifflett's detailed annotations on the life-changing events Washington records. While joining the canon of better-known slave narratives by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Solomon Northup, Washington's account illuminates a far different world. The son of a slave woman and an unknown white man, Washington never lived outside the seventy-five-mile radius that included Richmond and Fredericksburg, until his emancipation. His narrative spans his experiences as a household slave, a laborer in the Fredericksburg tobacco factory, and a hotel servant on the eve of the Civil War. He also tells of his bold venture across Union lines and his experiences as a slave under Union officers. Washington's recollections allow for a singular look at the more personal aspects of slave life. Forced attendance at the slaveowner's church, much-anticipated gatherings of neighboring slaves at harvesttime, even a brief episode of courtship among slaves are among the events described in this remarkable narrative. On a broader scale, Washington was a witness to key moments of the Civil War, and his chronicle includes his thoughts about the wider political turmoil surrounding him, including his dramatic account of watching the Union Army mass around Fredericksburg as it prepared to invade the town. An excellent introduction and expert annotations by Shifflett reconstruct Washington's life through his death in 1918 and provide informative historical background and context to Washington's recollections. An unprecedented window into the life of a Virginia bondsman, John Washington's Civil Warcommunicates with real urgency what it meant to be a slave during a period of extreme crisis that sounded the notes of freedom for some and the end of a way of life for others.
Authors: Washington, John, 1838-1918
Title: John Washington's Civil War
a slave narrative
Publisher: Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2008
Characteristics: xxxiii, 106 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Shifflett, Crandall A.
ISBN: 0807133027
9780807133026
0807133019
9780807133019
Branch Call Number: 973.7115 Wa
Statement of Responsibility: edited, with an introduction and notes, by Crandall Shifflett
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 95-101) and index
Subject Headings: Fredericksburg (Va.) Biography United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 African Americans United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Personal narratives Virginia History Civil War, 1861-1865 Personal narratives Fredericksburg (Va.) History 19th century Slave narratives African Americans Biography Slaves Virginia Fredericksburg Biography Fugitive slaves Biography Washington, John, 1838-1918
Topical Term: Slave narratives
African Americans
Slaves
Fugitive slaves
LCCN: 2007025213
MARC Display»

Opinion

From the critics


From Library Staff

This local slave's narrative was unearthed by a researcher at the Library of Congress 120 years after it was written. An important book that includes notes with every chapter to flesh out the world in which John Washington lived.


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Videos

Add a Video

There are no videos for this title yet.

Find it at CRRL

  Loading...

Powered by BiblioCommons.
app02 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41