The House of Bondage, Or, Charlotte Brooks and Other Slaves

By Octavia V. Rogers Albert | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION.

Frances Smith Foster

Who shall return to tell Egypt the story . . .?

-- OCTAVIA V. ROGERS ALBERT, ca. 1890

What did it mean for a black woman to be an artist in our grandmothers' time? In our great-grandmothers' day? It is a question with an answer cruel enough to stop the blood.

-- ALICE WALKER, 1974

The House of Bondage: or Charlotte Brooks and Other Slaves is a remarkable book with special appeal for modern readers. It is, first of all, a book about American slavery, a subject that continues to claim our interest and to excite our imaginations. Its narrator serves as an interpreter between us and those who participated in this experience, offering the immediacy of the first-person account mediated by a sensitivity to our particular questions and concerns. First published in 1890, the book is also an example of nineteenth-century literature, of nineteenth-century Afro-American literature, and of nineteenth-century Afro-American women's literature. As such it offers fascinating comparisons between our expectations and desires as readers and those of readers of almost a century ago and between its treatment of slavery and the treatment that topic received by popular nineteenth-century Anglo-American writers. Finally, it exemplifies some of the

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The House of Bondage, Or, Charlotte Brooks and Other Slaves
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Publisher's Note vi
  • Foreword - In Her Own Write vii
  • A Note from the Schomburg Center xxiii
  • Introduction xxvii
  • Works Cited xlii
  • Preface xlvii
  • Contents xlix
  • Introduction liii
  • The Author lvii
  • Chapter I - Charlotte Brooks 1
  • Chapter II - Charlotte's Story 7
  • Chapter III - Aunt Charlotte's Friends 14
  • Chapter IV - Cruel Masters 21
  • Chapter V - Great Tribulations 27
  • Chapter VI - A Kind Mistress 35
  • Chapter VII - Broken-Down Freedmen 42
  • Chapter VIII - The Curse of Whisky 49
  • Chapter IX - John and Lorendo 57
  • Chapter X - A Converted Catholic 65
  • Chapter XI - Prison Horrors 75
  • Chapter XII - Sallie Smith's Story 86
  • Chapter XIII - In the Woods 94
  • Chapter XIV - Uncle Stephen Jordon 101
  • Chapter XV - Counterfeit Free Papers 109
  • Chapter XVI - Uncle Cephas's Story 119
  • Chapter XVII - A Colored Soidier 129
  • Chapter XVIII - Negro Government 138
  • Chapter XIX - The Colored Delegates 148
  • Chapter XX - A Touching Incident 156
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