A Plantation Mistress on the Eve of the Civil War: The Diary of Keziah Goodwyn Hopkins Brevard, 1860-1861 (WOMEN'S DIARIES AND LETTERS OF THE SOUTH)

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9780872498419: A Plantation Mistress on the Eve of the Civil War: The Diary of Keziah Goodwyn Hopkins Brevard, 1860-1861 (WOMEN'S DIARIES AND LETTERS OF THE SOUTH)

An excellent prelude to the well-known wartime diaries of Mary Boykin Chesnut and Emma Holmes, the diary of Keziah Brevard documents one plantation mistress's personal reflections on the events that were to shape both her world and her Southern homeland for years to come: the election of Abraham Lincoln, South Carolina's secession convention, and the attack on Fort Sumter.
In 1860 Keziah Brevard was a fifty-seven-year-old widow living nine miles from Columbia, South Carolina, with her slaves as her only companions. She kept a diary to record thoughts and a great variety of matters - from dramatic events of national importance to her management of three plantations and a grist mill. Brevard reacted strongly to the political ferment of the period. Entries during the month of October 1860 were outright assaults on "the rabble of the North." And her words of November 9 showed extreme emotion: "Oh My God!!! This morning heard that Lincoln was elected." The act of secession, however, failed to stir similar passions; nor did the firing on Fort Sumter elicit extensive comment. But her relatively long entries of January and February are quite another matter; during those weeks in early 1861 Brevard wrestled privately with the morality of secession and slavery.
In the difficult times of the Old South's twilight, Keziah Brevard had several distinct advantages including a keen mind, shrewd business sense, relatively good health, and substantial financial resources. Her diary reveals a competent, no-nonsense woman capable of successfully leading a large household as well as several business enterprises.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This diary by a 57-year-old widowed South Carolina plantation owner vividly evokes the mundane concerns of the antebellum plantation period as well as events leading up to the fall of Fort Sumter and the beginning of the Civil War. Skillfully edited by Moore, a chronicler of South Carolina's history and society, the book is the sixth in the publisher's series of diaries and letters by 19th-century Southern women. Keziah's account of her stewardship of a large plantation and her reports on crops, wine-making and weather reflect a keen mind and a capable, independent though spiritually tormented character. Significant, also, are her observations about many of her 200 slaves whose hostility, with the exception of a few favorites, she deplores and whom she considers for the most part a "multitude of half barbarians . . . not prepared for the freedom" advocated by "the rabble of the North." Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Brevard, Keziah Goodwyn Hopkins
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Book Description Univ of South Carolina Pr, Columbia, SC, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, square tight and crisp book, no edgewear. DJ new, no tears no chips no edgewear, Not clipped. 8vo, VIII + 137 pages. No markings of any kind, no names no underlinings no highlights no bent pages. Not a reminder. Bookseller Inventory # 009795

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