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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a Unitarian minister, was a fervent member of New England's abolitionist movement, an active participant in the Underground Railroad, and not only corresponded with John Brown before the ill-fated raid on Harper's Ferry, but was part of a group that supplied material aid to Brown. When the Civil War broke out, his reputation, enhanced by his impassioned articles about Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner in the Atlantic, made him the perfect candidate to head the first regiment of emancipated slaves, and in 1862, he was commissioned as a colonel for the troops training in the Sea Islands off the coast of the Carolinas. Army Life in a Black Regiment is Higginson's stirring account of his wartime experiences. Shaped by American Romanticism and imbued with Higginson's interest in both man and nature, the narrative ranges from detailed reports on daily life to a vivid description of the author's near escape from cannon fire to sketches that conjure up the beauty and mystery of the Sea Islands.
A stirring account of wartime experiences from the leader of the first regiment of emancipated slavesThomas Wentworth Higginson, a Unitarian minister, was a fervent member of New England's abolitionist movement, an active participant in the Underground Railroad, and part of a group that supplied material aid to John Brown before his ill-fated raid on Harpers Ferry. When the Civil War broke out, Higginson was commissioned as a colonel of the black troops training in the Sea Islands off the coast of the Carolinas. Shaped by American Romanticism and imbued with Higginson's interest in both man and nature, Army Life in a Black Regiment ranges from detailed reports on daily life to a vivid description of the author's near escape from cannon fire, to sketches that conjure up the beauty and mystery of the Sea Islands. This edition of Army Life features as well a selection of Higginson's essays, including 'Nat Turner's Insurrection' and 'Emily Dickinson's Letters. ''Has some claim to be the best written narrative to come from the Union during the Civil War. '- Henry Steele CommagerIntroduction and Notes by R. D. MADISON
Black Rebellion, a fascinating account of five slave insurrections, among them the story of the Maroons, escaped slaves in the West Indies and South America who successfully resisted larger British armies while living an independent existence for generations in the mountains and jungles of Jamaica and Surinam; of Gabriel Prosser, who recruited about 1,000 fellow slaves in 1800 to launch a rebellion throughout Virginia; of Denmark Vesey, an ex-slave, seaman, and artisan, fluent in several languages, who conspired in 1822 to kill the white citizens of Charleston, South Carolina, and take over the city; and of the revolutionary mystic Nat Turner, who in 1831 organized and led the most successful and dramatic slave revolt in North America. The author also describes how whites responded with panic, sweeping arrests, mass executions, and more repressive laws in a futile effort to crush the slaves' insatiable desire to be free.
Hawthorne in his 'Wonder Book' has described the beautiful Greek myths and traditions, but no one has yet made similar use of the wondrous tales that gathered for more than a thousand years about the islands of the Atlantic deep. Although they are a part of the mythical period of American history, these hazy legends were altogether disdained by the earlier historians; indeed, George Bancroft made it a matter of actual pride that the beginning of the American annals was bare and literal. But in truth no national history has been less prosaic as to its earlier traditions, because every visitor had to cross the sea to reach it, and the sea has always been, by the mystery of its horizon, the fury of its storms, and the variableness of the atmosphere above it, the foreordained land of romance.
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