Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

A Mountaineer in Motion: The Memoir of Dr. Abraham Jobe, 1817-1906

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

A Mountaineer in Motion: The Memoir of Dr. Abraham Jobe, 1817-1906

Article excerpt

A Mountaineer in Motion: The Memoir of Dr. Abraham Jobe, 1817-1906. Edited by David C. Hsiung. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2009. Pp. [xviii], 206. $37.95, ISBN 978-1-57233-489-2.)

The title of this memoir, A Mountaineer in Motion: The Memoir of Dr. Abraham Jobe, 1817-1906, is certainly apt, for while Abraham Jobe seems to have been an unexceptional man, he experienced a number of remarkable events in his life. Because of this record, those interested in various facets of Appalachian, Native American, medical, and Civil War history will fred Jobe's account most valuable.

Abraham Jobe was born in East Tennessee in 1817, and as a boy and young man "he lived within the Cherokee and Creek nations" during the 1830s, worked as a merchant, and studied medicine at Transylvania University in Kentucky (p. ix). Jobe practiced medicine in Tennessee and North Carolina during the late antebellum period. Later, he survived the brutal violence the Civil War visited on East Tennessee. During Reconstruction, Jobe, a strong Unionist like most of his neighbors, benefited from his political connections and obtained a position with the U.S. Postal Office in Raleigh, North Carolina, and later was appointed special agent of Indian affairs in Minnesota. By 1868 he had "returned to the mountains of East Tennessee and western North Carolina," where he operated a tanning, shoe, and boot manufacturing business and a woolen plant, both of which failed. Miscellaneous business ventures, a sporadic medical practice, and tending to his and his wife's physical maladies consumed the last third of Jobe's life. He died in 1906. For someone characterized as a "common person" in the introduction, Jobe's memoir abounds with interesting stories and observations (p. xi). In many respects, Jobe's description of Native American society as well as the anecdotes he relates from his medical practice will be most useful to historians. …

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