A Yankee Scholar in Coastal South Carolina: William Francis by James Robert Hester

By James Robert Hester

New Englander William Allen (1830–1889) is usually recognized this day because the lead editor of the 1867 anthology Slave Songs of the us, the earliest released choice of Negro spirituals, and as a unique historical past professor on the college of Wisconsin. throughout the Civil conflict, he served from past due 1863 via mid-1864 as a member of the “Gideonite band” of businessmen, missionaries, and lecturers who migrated to the South Carolina Sea Islands as a part of the Port Royal test. After the warfare, he served as assistant superintendent of colleges in Charleston from April via July 1865. Allen stored journals in the course of his assignments in South Carolina during which he recorded occasions and impressions of approximately numerous hundred humans, particularly ex-slaves, in addition to fellow Gideonites, Union squaddies and officers, and ex-Confederates.

In A Yankee pupil in Coastal South Carolina, editor James Robert Hester has transcribed Allen’s journals and entirely annotated them to create an important documentary resource of data on Civil conflict South Carolina. Hester notes that Allen’s journals are greater than travelogues, as he usually analyzed the folk, occasions, and ideas he encountered. as well as being a reliable beginner musician, Allen used to be a Harvard-trained historian and philologist and taken his outstanding abilities to his writing. Later in his lifestyles he grew to become an eminent professor of background on the college of Wisconsin.

Hester’s introductory bankruptcy summarizes Allen’s existence from his early youth in Northborough, Massachusetts, via his schooling at Harvard, his tasks as affiliate significant of the West Newton (Massachusetts) English and Classical tuition, and his engagement within the Port Royal test. The advent additionally surveys Allen’s essays at the South released within the Christian Examiner throughout the Civil conflict and his articles written for The country on the war’s finish. chapters disguise Allen’s St. Helena and Charleston journals, respectively, and the ebook closes with a quick epilogue. The paintings is generously annotated, containing virtually six hundred endnotes, which magnify Allen’s narrative and supplement Allen’s shiny glimpses of coastal South Carolina in the course of the Civil War.

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