Black Walden: slavery and its aftermath in Concord, Massachusetts

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
University of Pennsylvania Press,
Pub. Date:
c2009.
Language:
English
Description

Concord, Massachusetts, has long been heralded as the birthplace of American liberty and American letters. It was here that the first military engagement of the Revolutionary War was fought and here that Thoreau came to "live deliberately" on the shores of Walden Pond. Between the Revolution and the settlement of the little cabin with the bean rows, however, Walden Woods was home to several generations of freed slaves and their children. Living on the fringes of society, they attempted to pursue lives of freedom, promised by the rhetoric of the Revolution, and yet withheld by the practice of racism. Thoreau was all but alone in his attempt "to conjure up the former occupants of these woods." Other than the chapter he devoted to them in Walden, the history of slavery in Concord has been all but forgotten.

In Black Walden: Slavery and Its Aftermath in Concord, Massachusetts, Elise Lemire brings to life the former slaves of Walden Woods and the men and women who held them in bondage during the eighteenth century. After charting the rise of Concord slaveholder John Cuming, Black Walden follows the struggles of Cuming's slave, Brister, as he attempts to build a life for himself after thirty-five years of enslavement. Brister Freeman, as he came to call himself, and other of the town's slaves were able to leverage the political tensions that fueled the American Revolution and force their owners into relinquishing them. Once emancipated, however, the former slaves were permitted to squat on only the most remote and infertile places. Walden Woods was one of them. Here, Freeman and his neighbors farmed, spun linen, made baskets, told fortunes, and otherwise tried to survive in spite of poverty and harassment.

Today Walden Woods is preserved as a place for visitors to commune with nature. Lemire, who grew up two miles from Walden Pond, reminds us that this was a black space before it was an internationally known green space. Black Walden preserves the legacy of the people who strove against all odds to overcome slavery and segregation.

More Details
ISBN:
9780812241808
Also in this Series
More Like This
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 6be30cb0-5a86-39a5-ceba-885fd428f01e
full_title black walden slavery and its aftermath in concord massachusetts
author lemire elise virginia
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-31 04:59:24AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Lemire, Elise Virginia.
author_display Lemire, Elise Virginia
available_at_arlington Aurora Hills
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
detailed_location_arlington Aurora Hills Adult Nonfiction
display_description
format_arlington Book
format_category_arlington Books
id 6be30cb0-5a86-39a5-ceba-885fd428f01e
isbn 9780812241808
item_details ils:.b13120335|.i14087765|Aurora Hills Adult Nonfiction|974.4 LEMIR|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Aug 30, 2017|aan||
itype_arlington Hardback
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 974.4 LEMIR
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Aurora Hills
primary_isbn 9780812241808
publishDate 2009
record_details ils:.b13120335|Book|Books||English|University of Pennsylvania Press,|c2009.|232 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_arlington ils:.b13120335|.i14087765|On Shelf|On Shelf|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||
subject_facet Concord (Mass.) -- Social conditions -- 18th century
title_display Black Walden : slavery and its aftermath in Concord, Massachusetts
title_full Black Walden : slavery and its aftermath in Concord, Massachusetts / Elise Lemire
title_short Black Walden :
title_sub slavery and its aftermath in Concord, Massachusetts