Manuscripts

121 Wall Street | Library Home | Hours

Draft, holograph, corrected, of a novel about a young woman from New York who learns of her African-American ancestry while travelling through Florida, Tennesee, and other parts of the southern United States in the mid to late nineteenth century. The novel, by an unidentified author, addresses issues of race, slavery, and women’s rights during the Reconstruction.

Bound holograph draft, revised, of a fictional or semi-fictional autobiography of a former slave. It details her experiences as a maid in several households in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and North Carolina, and her subsequent escape to the North, where she settled in New Jersey. The narrator also tells the stories of other slaves she knows or comes into contact with, and to some extent the histories of the families she works for, identified as the De Vincents, the Henrys, and the Wheelers. An edited editionof this manuscript was published by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Holograph manuscript, corrected, of a memoir by a young African-American, circa 1858. The memoir documents the major events in the author’s life leading up to and including incarcerations in the New York House of Refuge, the first juvenile reformatory in the United States, and Auburn Prison, the first state prison in New York, from 1833 to the late 1850s. The author compares the New York penal system to the slaveholding South.

128 Wall Street | Archives Home | Hours

Includes seven scrapbooks titled “Tracts on Slavery in the United States, and on the U.S. Constitution and Organic Laws.” Also includes a manuscript book containing records of punishments administered to slaves in a South American mining camp between 1836 and 1847, numerous deeds for slaves dating from 1783 to 1848, newspaper clippings from the 1840s through the 1860s relating to the anti-slavery movement in Kansas, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, and a manuscript census of slaves in Chester County, Pennsylvania, from 1780 to 1815.

The papers consist of diaries, weather journals, commonplace books, reading notes and other material documenting the life, work, and intellectual interests of the Jamaican planter and slaveowner Thomas Thistlewood. Thistlewood’s 37 diaries, in Series I, contain daily entries dating between 1750 and 1786. Topics include Thistlewood’s work as an overseer, and later owner, of slaves, including his methods of assigning work, alloting provisions, and discipline; his personal and sexual relationships with several, including his lengthy relationship with Phibbah; and slave rebellions and rumors of rebellions, including Tacky’s Revolt (1760).

Pages