(BIOGRAPHY AND DATES UNKNOWN)
Published as part of John P. Jewett’s Juvenile Anti-Slavery Toy Books series, Grandmother’s Stories for Little Children1 (1854) cleverly depicts girls and women giving voice to an abolitionist agenda. In “Grandmother’s Story,” Lizzy Howard and her brothers, Charlie and Willie, live with their maternal grandmother in the North because on her deathbed, their dying mother requested that her children not grow up in the South, where their experience with slavery would most likely lead to their support for the institution and the ownership of slaves. Despite their geographical separation from Southern slavery, the children still come to learn about slavery from “Grandmother’s Story” and “Aunt Nelly,” the African American servant whom grandmother conceals from slave-catchers. Although it grieves Lizzie to hear these stories, she must listen. Her own mother’s act of intercession serves as a model for a series of rebellious women (Nelly, Mrs. Walberg, and Grandmother) who tactfully subvert men and their laws that support slavery so as to restore a semblance of American familial and political ideals (De Rosa 66).
Grandmother’s collection also includes two pseudo-slave narratives that give a fictional child first-hand knowledge of slavery. In “Aunt Nelly,” the former slave gives Lizzie a detailed narrative that adds to the information the child learns from her grandmother. Similarly, in “Old Caesar” a young white child (perhaps Lizzie?) asks a former slave to narrate his life history. In the only recovered work from a slave father’s perspective, Caesar’s narrative follows the pattern of an authentic slave narrative in that he reveals the sorrow that ensued from being torn from his family, his new consciousness about his powerlessness as a slave father and husband, which in turn motivates his escape. Like Henry Box Brown (see 167–169), Caesar secures his freedom (though he does not