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Diary of a Contraband: The Civil War Passage of a Black Sailor

Gould, William Benjamin IV

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ISBN 10: 0804746400 / ISBN 13: 9780804746403
Published by Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.: Stanford Univ Press, 2002
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Fine Old Books Coastside (Moss Beach, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Stanford University 2002 First Edition, First Printing (Stated Original Printing 2002.) Condition: fine/fine; appears to be unread. Red clothboards with gold printing on spine; corners sharp; spine lightly tucked at bottom. Textblock clean, tight, square, unmarked, appears to be unread; illustrated with 3 black and white photo sections. Unclipped satin-gloss pictorial dust jacket, no price on flap as per Stanford U. conventions; photo portrait of William B. Gould III. Extremely slight rubbing to dust jacket; appears to be new; now protected in clear archival Brodart wrapper. Packaged with care and shipped in a box to arrive in best condition. Complete satisfaction guarantee; no sale is final until you are satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 090219-7

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Diary of a Contraband: The Civil War Passage...

Publisher: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.: Stanford Univ Press

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


The heart of this book is the remarkable Civil War diary of the author’s great-grandfather, William Benjamin Gould, an escaped slave who served in the United States Navy from 1862 until the end of the war. The diary vividly records Gould’s activity as part of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia; his visits to New York and Boston; the pursuit to Nova Scotia of a hijacked Confederate cruiser; and service in European waters pursuing Confederate ships constructed in Great Britain and France.

Gould’s diary is one of only three known diaries of African American sailors in the Civil War. It is distinguished not only by its details and eloquent tone (often deliberately understated and sardonic), but also by its reflections on war, on race, on race relations in the Navy, and on what African Americans might expect after the war.

The book includes introductory chapters that establish the context of the diary narrative, an annotated version of the diary, a brief account of Gould’s life in Massachusetts after the war, and William B. Gould IV’s thoughts about the legacy of his great-grandfather and his own journey of discovery in learning about this remarkable man.

From the Back Cover:

“[Diary of a Contraband provides] modern readers with vivid insight into the life and thought of a man who overcame the degradations of slavery, actively sought his own freedom and fought to make it permanent, and in the end forged a new life as a full citizen . . . .An unusual work, [it is] one of only three wartime diaries kept by black sailors.”—Library Journal
“Diary of a Contraband offers a fascinating picture of everyday life for sailors and cilivians in the 1860s. It also provides tantalizing details of antebellum Willington that have seldom made their way into written history.”—Willmington Star-News

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