The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis

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9780826212368: The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis

In 1858, Cyprian Clamorgan wrote a brief but immensely readable book entitled The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis. The grandson of a white voyageur and a mulatto woman, he was himself a member of the "colored aristocracy." In a setting where the vast majority of African Americans were slaves, and where those who were free generally lived in abject poverty, Clamorgan's "aristocrats" were exceptional people. Wealthy, educated, and articulate, these men and women occupied a "middle ground." Their material advantages removed them from the mass of African Americans, but their race barred them from membership in white society.

The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis is both a serious analysis of the social and legal disabilities under which African Americans of all classes labored and a settling of old scores. Somewhat malicious, Clamorgan enjoyed pointing out the foibles of his friends and enemies, but his book had a serious message as well. "He endeavored to convince white Americans that race was not an absolute, that the black community was not a monolith, that class, education, and especially wealth, should count for something."

Despite its fascinating insights into antebellum St. Louis, Clamorgan's book has been virtually ignored since its initial publication. Using deeds, church records, court cases, and other primary sources, Winch reacquaints readers with this important book and establishes its place in the context of African American history. This annotated edition of The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis includes an introductory essay on African Americans in St. Louis before the Civil War, as well as an account of the lives of the author and the members of his remarkable family—a family that was truly at the heart of the city's "colored aristocracy" for four generations.

A witty and perceptive commentary on race and class, The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis is a remarkable story about a largely forgotten segment of nineteenth-century society. Scholars and general readers alike will appreciate Clamorgan's insights into one of antebellum America's most important communities.

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About the Author:

Julie Winch is Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She is the author of Philadelphia's Black Elite: Activism, Accommodation, and the Struggle for Autonomy.

Review:

"Though colorful vignettes and often humorous comments, the reader meets the African American elite while also receiving, in Winch's view, 'a serious message about race, class, and power.'"—Journal of Southern History

"Cyprian Clamorgan's volume is one of very few works that deal with the black elite in antebellum America, and it contributes substantially to our understanding of the interplay of class and race in that era."—Willard B. Gatewood



"Julie Winch succeeds in telling the complicated story of the Clamorgan family, while fully developing the characters in Cyprian's 'aristocracy.' She enriches our understanding of African American society in St. Louis."—Lawrence O. Christensen

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Cyprian Clamorgan
Published by University of Missouri Press, United States (1999)
ISBN 10: 0826212360 ISBN 13: 9780826212368
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Book Description University of Missouri Press, United States, 1999. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In 1858, Cyprian Clamorgan wrote a brief but immensely readable book entitled The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis. The grandson of a white voyageur and a mulatto woman, he was himself a member of the colored aristocracy. In a setting where the vast majority of African Americans were slaves, and where those who were free generally lived in abject poverty, Clamorgan s aristocrats were exceptional people. Wealthy, educated, and articulate, these men and women occupied a middle ground. Their material advantages removed them from the mass of African Americans, but their race barred them from membership in white society. The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis is both a serious analysis of the social and legal disabilities under which African Americans of all classes labored and a settling of old scores. Somewhat malicious, Clamorgan enjoyed pointing out the foibles of his friends and enemies, but his book had a serious message as well. He endeavored to convince white Americans that race was not an absolute, that the black community was not a monolith, that class, education, and especially wealth, should count for something. Despite its fascinating insights into antebellum St. Louis, Clamorgan s book has been virtually ignored since its initial publication. Using deeds, church records, court cases, and other primary sources, Winch reacquaints readers with this important book and establishes its place in the context of African American history. This annotated edition of The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis includes an introductory essay on African Americans in St. Louis before the Civil War, as well as an account of the lives of the author and the members of his remarkable family--a family that was truly at the heart of the city s colored aristocracy for four generations. A witty and perceptive commentary on race and class, The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis is a remarkable story about a largely forgotten segment of nineteenth-century society. Scholars and general readers alike will appreciate Clamorgan s insights into one of antebellum America s most important communities. Bookseller Inventory # TNP9780826212368

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CLAMORGAN
Published by University of Missouri Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0826212360 ISBN 13: 9780826212368
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Book Description University of Missouri Press, 1999. Hardback. Book Condition: NEW. 9780826212368 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. For all enquiries, please contact Herb Tandree Philosophy Books directly - customer service is our primary goal. Bookseller Inventory # HTANDREE0800812

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Clamorgan, Cyprian
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Book Description University of Missouri, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110826212360

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Julie Winch (Editor), Julie Winch (Introduction)
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Book Description University of Missouri, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0826212360

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Clamorgan, Cyprian
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Book Description University of Missouri. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0826212360 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0431094

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