Nineteenth Century

121 Wall Street | Library Home | Hours

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.

120 High Street | Reading Room Home | Hours

The collection contains, 2,604 letters, 2,228 of which are from Lydia Maria Child. Topics include antislavery, politics, Childs’ professional writing experience, her work as an editor of a children’s magazine, her financial assistance to musicians and artists, feminism, and Child’s personal life. Recipients include Ralph Waldo Emerson, George Eliot, Margaret Fuller, Charles Dickens, James T. Fields, William Cullen Bryant and other prominent cultural figures.

1080 Chapel Street | Gallery Home | Hours

A rare line engraving, produced by Robert Brandard at some point in the first half of the nineteenth century. Based on an earlier image by George Cattermole.

409 Prospect Street | Library Home | Hours

This newspaper was printed by students at the Mendi Mission in Sherbro, West Africa, beginning in March 1861. Established by American abolitionists in the wake of theAmistad slave revolt, the Mendi Mission served as a bridge connecting the struggle against slavery across two continents. The Divinity Library also holds a rare copy of the Sherbro and English Book published by the mission in 1862.

1111 Chapel Street | Gallery Home | Hours

The Greek Slave, by Hiram Powers, was the single most celebrated work of sculpture in nineteenth-century America. Its pose—inspired by the well-known Medici Venus—represents a Christian girl captured by the Turks during the Greek War of Independence, for sale in the slave market of Constantinople. The statue inspired an outpouring of prose and poetry and became an anti-slavery symbol for abolitionists.

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