The Rev. J.W. Loguen, as a slave and as a freeman : a narrative of real life, including previously uncollected letters / J.W. Loguen ; edited and with a critical introduction by Jennifer A. Williamson.

By: Loguen, Jermain Wesley [author.]Contributor(s): Williamson, Jennifer A, 1978- [editor.]Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooksPublisher: Syracuse : Syracuse University Press, 2016Edition: First editionDescription: 1 online resourceContent type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780815653691; 0815653697Other title: Reverend J.W. Loguen, as a slave and as a freemanSubject(s): African American abolitionists -- United States -- Biography | Fugitive slaves -- United States -- Biography | Antislavery movements -- United States | Underground RailroadAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Rev. J.W. Loguen, as a slave and as a freeman.DDC classification: 326/.8092 | B LOC classification: E444Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
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Includes index.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics


The slave narrative of Jermain Wesley Loguen (1813-72) has long been viewed a bit askance because--like Harriet Wilson's Our Nig (1859)--it is presented as a novelized biography. This leads some critics to question its reliability; other critics defend it as essentially factual regarding Loguen's life in slavery, his escape in 1835, and his subsequent position as a stalwart of the Underground Railroad while evading recapture himself under the Draconian Fugitive Slave Act (1850). Challenging slave narratives as bogus was a notorious tool slavers used to discredit abolition. In an introduction and appendix, editor Williamson combs through the facts surrounding the tale, rehabilitating it by illuminating the reprinted text as belonging to period rhetoric common to abolitionists. As long as the text focuses on Loguen's direct, personal experiences, it is a fast, fascinating read, but when it veers into rhetoric, primarily sampling the theological arguments around slavery, it becomes turgid and even insulting, as in, for instance, its casual, recurring anti-Semitism. For the historically savvy, this presents no issue, but for undergraduates--who tend to accept, not quiz, anything in print--it presents danger as a textbook, requiring able instructional parsing. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. --Barbara Alice Mann, University of Toledo

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Jennifer A. Williamson is director of Gender Mainstreaming and Women's Empowerment at ACDI/VOCA, a global development organization. She is the author of Twentieth-Century Sentimentalism: Narrative Appropriation in American Literature.

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