Clotel Or, The President's Daughter: A Narrative of Slave Life in the United States

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-12-22
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Clotel;orThePresident's Daughter(1853), the first published novel by an African American, has recently emerged as a canonical text for courses in African American as well as nineteenth-century American literature courses. The story was inspired by the rumored sexual relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings, and this edition ofClotelis the only one to reprint selections from the key texts and cultural documents that Brown drew on (and even appropriated) when he wrote his novel. The streamlined second edition includes an updated introduction that incorporates the explosion of scholarship on the novel over the past decade, when proof of the relationship between Jefferson and Hemings emerged. In addition to their attention to this relationship, the cultural documents focus more directly on the texts about slavery and race that Brown drew on, and on Brown's own controversial approach to writing and revisingClotel.

Author Biography

ROBERT S. LEVINE is Professor of English and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the editor of a number of volumes, including Martin R. Delany: A Documentary Reader and Frederick Douglass and Herman Melville: Essays in Relation. His books include Martin Delany, Frederick Douglass, and the Politics of Representative Identity and Dislocating Race and Nation: Episodes in Nineteenth-Century American Literary Nationalism.

Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume
List of Illustrations
Clotel; or, The President's Daughter:
The Complete Text
     Introduction: Cultural and Historical Background
     Chronology of Brown's Life and Times   
     A Note on the Text and Annotations  
     Clotel; or, The President's Daughter [1853 Edition]

Clotel; or, The President's Daughter:
Cultural Contexts
1. Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson, A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled
Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia
Benjamin Banneker and Thomas Jefferson, Letter Exchange (1791)
David Walker, from Walker's Appeal
William Lloyd Garrison, To the Public
Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?
2. Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
James Callender, The President, Again
Frances Trollope, from Domestic Manners of the Americans
William Goodell, Sale of a Daughter of Tho's Jefferson
Jefferson's Daughter
James McCune Smith, Letter to Frederick Douglass' Paper
Madison Hemings, from Life among the Lowly
3.  “All These Combined Have Made Up My Story”:  Source Texts about Slavery and Race
Thomas Bacon, from Sermons Addressed to Masters and Servants
Andrew Jackson, Two Proclamations
Thomas R. Gray, from The Confessions of Nat Turner
Theodore Dwight Weld, from American Slavery As It Is
Harriet Martineau, from Society in America
Lydia Maria Child, The Quadroons
Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Quadroon's Story
Frederick Douglass, from Reception Speech at Finsbury Chapel
Grace Greenwood, The Leap from Long Bridge
Daniel Webster, from The Constitution and the Union
Martin R. Delany, from The Condition, Elevation, Emigration and Destiny of the  Colored People of the United States
4. Writing and Revising Clotel
William Wells Brown, from Narrative of William W. Brown
Josephine Brown, from Biography of an American Bondman
William Wells Brown, from The New Liberty Party
William Wells Brown, from A Lecture Delivered before the Female Anti-Slavery  Society  of Salem
William Wells Brown, Singular Escape
William Wells Brown, from Original Panoramic Views
William Wells Brown, A True Story of Slave Life
William Wells Brown, Letters from London
Selected Reviews of Clotel
William Wells Brown, from St. Domingo: Its Revolutions and Its Patriots
William Wells Brown, from Clotelle: A Tale of the Southern States
William Wells Brown, from Clotelle; or, The Colored Heroine
William Wells Brown, Battle of Milliken's Bend
William Wells Brown, from My Southern Home
Selected Bibliography

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