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Green, Frances Harriet.  Memoirs of Elleanor Eldridge. Providence: B.T. Albro, 1847. 16mo (13.3 cm, 5.25"). Frontis. (incl. in pagination), 128 pp.
$97.50

Early edition, following Albro's first printing of 1838, of this tale of a hardworking but long-suffering free Northern black woman whose grandmother was a Native American of the Narragansett tribe and whose African-American family members had been enslaved prior to the war. The Memoirs describe how Eldridge made use of her profits from working as a dairy woman and as a maid to purchase real estate, but came close to losing everything through some questionable legal shenanigans before successfully defending her rights in court.
        It is unclear how much of Eldridge's biography has here been romanticized (there now seems to be little available evidence regarding her career), but the story nonetheless provides an important perspective on the lives of African-American women prior to the Civil War. Also of interest is the group of women described as helping to rescue Eldridge by way of this literary endeavor, undertaken through the auspices of Green, a Rhode Island–born author, reformer, and spiritualist who went on to publish several abolitionist works.
        => A woodcut frontispiece depicts Eldridge in cleaning-woman guise, holding a small broom.

Sabin 22102 & 103303 (for earlier eds.); Library Company, Afro-Americana, 3446. On Green, see: Dictionary of American Biography, VII, 542. Original quarter cloth with marbled paper sides. Front board missing, some cloth of spine perished. Original paper spine label present. Plate in a decent impression (as it sometimes is not).  (40905)   Please RESHELVE This.


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