Discovering a “Hidden” Collection of Children’s Literature at the Armstrong Browning Library

By Cynthia A. Burgess, Librarian/Curator of Books & Printed Materials, Armstrong Browning Library, Baylor University

Jack and the Bean Stalk

Hallam Tennyson. Jack and the Bean-Stalk. English Hexameters. Illustrated by Randolph Caldecott. London: Macmillan and Co., 1886.

During the fall of 2015 the Baylor University Libraries held a symposium, “Alice at 150,” recognizing the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.  In conjunction with the symposium, I curated an exhibition called “A World of Their Own: Children’s Literature at the Armstrong Browning Library.”

Working on the exhibit gave me the opportunity to do something I wanted to do for a long time — identify items of children’s literature included in the Armstrong Browning Library (ABL) collections.  Although the ABL has never purposefully collected children’s literature, with the exception of editions of Robert Browning’s The Pied Piper of Hamelin, I knew that we had this type of literature scattered throughout our holdings.  After extensive searches of the Baylor University Libraries’ Online Catalog using keywords and subject headings related to literature for children, I was shocked at the number of titles located at the ABL.  In addition to the over 150 editions of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, I uncovered over 240 other children’s literature titles.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Hartford, Conn.: Chicago, Ill.: Cincinnati, Ohio: The American Publishing Co.; San Francisco, Cal.: A. Roman & Co., 1876. First American edition.

During the summer of 2016, Eric Ames, Curator of Digital Collections for the Baylor University Digital Projects Group, created an online exhibit based on the physical exhibition “A World of Their Own: Children’s Literature at the Armstrong Browning Library.” At about the same time, the catalogers in the Baylor University Libraries Delivery Services department worked on linking all the bibliographic records in the online catalog for ABL children’s literature titles by using one simple title search — ABL Children’s Literature Collection.

Now, both an online version of the exhibition and a link to bibliographic records of the larger ABL collection can be found here. Use the right-hand navigation area on the exhibition home page to view the different parts of the exhibit:  Lewis Carroll — Fables — Classics of Children’s Literature — Poetry for Children — Children’s Literature by Famous Authors — Instructional Literature for Children.  And, click on the final link — Learn More . . . — to see a list of all 422 records which describe the variety of materials in the newly-discovered, no longer “hidden,” ABL Children’s Literature Collection.

kate-greenaways-alphabet-abl-childrens-lit-collection

Kate Greenaway. Kate Greenaway’s Alphabet. London and New York: George Routledge & Sons, [1885?]. First edition.

New Exhibit Features Shakespeare and His 18th-Century Editors

Editing Shakespeare PosterIn recognition this year of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, the Armstrong Browning Library’s new exhibit Editing Shakespeare features significant eighteenth-century editions of Shakespeare’s collected works from the library’s Stokes Shakespeare Collection.

The exhibit, currently on display in the Hankamer Treasure Room, was curated by ABL intern Hannah Schwartz, a junior University Scholar with concentrations in linguistics and English literature. Hannah spent the summer at the ABL researching the materials in the Stokes Shakespeare Collection, selecting specific items for display, and writing exhibit labels.

Here are a few things Hannah had to say about her experience as an ABL intern and first-time exhibit curator.

Why were you interested in an internship with the Armstrong Browning Library?

“I was very excited when I heard about the internship at the ABL because it was one of the few humanities research internships that I’d been able to find. The fact that I would be able to do research about Shakespeare (one of my favorite writers) in the ABL (one of my favorite buildings on campus) made me even more interested in the internship.”

Installing Editing Shakespeare

ABL intern Hannah Schwartz installs Editing Shakespeare in the Hankamer Treasure Room

How will the skills you developed during this internship help you in your course work and in your career goals?

“This internship has provided me with valuable research and writing experience that will serve me well as I continue with my education. In addition, I’ve gained a few new skills that may come in handy in a future educational or career setting: exhibit label writing and rare book handling. I’ve had the opportunity to explore library science and exhibit curation, two career fields that I had not previously considered but am now interested in. In addition, the information I’ve learned about printing and editing in the eighteenth century has given me many interesting things to think about as I begin to consider options for my senior honors thesis.”

Portrait of Alexander Pope

Portrait of Alexander Pope from John Bell’s 1788 edition of Shakespeare’s collected works

What is your favorite item in the exhibit? What makes it particularly interesting to you?

“My favorite item in the exhibit is the first volume of the 1788 Bell edition. The books in [John] Bell’s edition are tiny and illustrated, making them neat to look through. The first volume is my favorite because it includes portraits of several of the editors who preceded Bell. It was a fun surprise to open up the book and see engravings of the men I’d spent so much time researching. Several of them don’t look at all like I’d expected!”

Editing Shakespeare is on display until December 22, 2016. The Armstrong Browning Library is grateful for the donor support that makes library internship experiences for graduate and undergraduate students possible.

Imagining Charity for All: Anti-Slavery Writings at the Armstrong Browning Library

Imagining Charity for All posterWhen Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), abolitionist and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, visited the White House in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln purportedly welcomed her by saying, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this Great War!” But Stowe was not alone. As the Baylor University Libraries observe the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War by mounting exhibits under the overarching theme “with charity for all,” taken from President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, the Armstrong Browning Library’s exhibit Imagining Charity for All highlights works by some of the men and women who, like Stowe, used their literary talent to promote freedom and equality. The items on display from the collection of the Armstrong Browning Library represent a small, but powerful, portion of the large body of anti-slavery writings produced prior to and during the Civil War that furthered the cause of ending slavery.

Imagining Charity for All is on display in the Hankamer Treasure Room of the Armstrong Browning Library through June 1, 2015. Items on display can also be viewed below.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe

harriet-beecher-stoweHarriet Beecher Stowe. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. London: J. Cassell, 1852.

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s best-known work Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which originally appeared in serial format in the weekly newspaper The National Era from 5 June 1851 to 1 April 1852, became an immediate bestseller when it was published in Boston as a book in two volumes in 1852. The anti-slavery novel sold 300,000 copies in the United States and 1.5 million copies in Great Britain in its first year of publication and was translated into over 60 languages. This London edition was published the same year in one volume, with illustrations by George Cruikshank. [ABLibrary 19thCent PS2954 .U5 1852]

Stowe UTC***

Harriet Beecher Stowe. The Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Presenting the Original Facts and Documents Upon Which the Story Is Founded. Together with Corroborative Statements Verifying the Truth of the Work. London: Clarke, Beeton, and Co., 148 Fleet Street; and Thomas Bosworth, Regent Street, [1853].

Responding to critics who challenged her depiction of slavery in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe published The Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1853, which contained documentary evidence in the form of newspaper accounts and legal proceedings to support the claims she made in her novel. [ABLibrary 19thCent E449 .S896 1850z]

Stowe Key t.p. finalStowe Key 1 Final***

Little Eva; Uncle Tom’s Guardian Angel. Composed and Most Respectfully Dedicated to Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Poetry by John G. Whittier. Music by Manual Emilio. Boston: Published by John P. Jewett & Company; Cleveland, Ohio: Jewett, Proctor & Worthington, 1852.

As part of his efforts to increase the circulation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe’s American publisher John P. Jewett commissioned John Greenleaf Whittier to write a poem about the novel’s young abolitionist character Little Eva. The poem, which first appeared in the anti-slavery newspaper The Independent, was set to music by Manuel Emilio. [ABLibrary 19thCent Jumbo M1619.5.E45x L5 1852]

Little Eva Song Final***

[Harriet Beecher Stowe]. Pictures and Stories from Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Boston: Published by John P. Jewett & Co., [1853].

This version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published by John P. Jewett as part of his Juvenile Anti-Slavery Toy Books series, was “designed to adapt Mrs. Stowe’s touching narrative to the understandings of the youngest readers and to foster in their hearts a generous sympathy for the wronged negro race of America.” [ABLibrary 19thCent OVZ PS2854 .U5 1853c]

Stowe UTC for children finalThe last page of Picture and Stories from Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which includes John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem “Little Eva Song. Uncle Tom’s Guardian Angel,” printed with music.

Little Eva Song***

Crowe UTC cover finalCatherine Crowe. Uncle Tom’s Cabin for Children. London: George Routledge and Sons, 1867.

This version of Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was adapted for children by Catherine Crowe (1790–1872), an English writer best known for her novels, including The Adventures of Susan Hopley, or, Circumstantial Evidence (1841), The Story of Lilly Dawson (1847), and The Night Side of Nature, or, Ghosts and Ghost Seers (1848). [ABLibrary Offices]

Crowe UTC Final***

Stowe Dred cover finalHarriet Beecher Stowe. Dred; A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp [2 vols.]. Boston: Phillips, Sampson and Company, 1856.

Stowe wrote her second anti-slavery novel Dred in response to the violence that broke out between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces in Kansas following the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which allowed white male settlers in those territories to determine through popular sovereignty whether they would allow slavery within each territory. The novel was popular, selling over 100,000 copies in its first month of publication. [ABLibrary 19thCent PS2954 .D7 1856 v.1-2]

Stowe Dred Final

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John Greenleaf Whittier

John_Greenleaf_Whittier_webJohn Greenleaf Whittier. Anti-Slavery Reporter. A Periodical, Containing Justice and Expediency; or, Slavery Considered with a View to Its Rightful and Effectual Remedy, Abolition. Vol. 1, No. 4. New York: Issued monthly, and for sale at the book stores, September, 1833.

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) was a Quaker, a popular American poet, and a founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society. In this pamphlet published in 1833, he called for the immediate and unconditional emancipation of slaves. With 5,000 copies printed and distributed for free by abolitionist Arthur Tappan, this appeal publicly aligned Whittier with the anti-slavery cause and made him a leading figure of the abolitionist movement. [ABLibrary 19thCent OVZ HT1031 .W54x 1833]

Whittier Justice Final 2***

Whittier Constitution FinalThe Constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society: with the Declaration of the National Anti-Slavery Convention at Philadelphia, December 1833, and the Address to the Public, Issued by the Executive Committee of the Society, in September 1835. New York: Published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1838.

Whittier signed the Declaration of the National Anti-Slavery Convention in 1833, an action he considered more important than any of his literary achievements. The Anti-Slavery Declaration is reprinted in this pamphlet along with the Constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society. [ABLibrary 19thCent OVZ HT853 .A53x 1838]

Whittier Declaration 1 FinalWhittier Declaration 2 Final***

John Greenleaf Whittier. Poems Written During the Progress of the Abolition Question in the United States, Between the Years 1830 and 1838. Boston: Published by Isaac Knapp, 1837.

Whittier’s anti-slavery poems, which appeared in various periodicals during the 1830s, were published collectively in this volume in 1837 by Isaac Knapp, publisher of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator. The volume begins with a tribute to William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879), a prominent abolitionist, editor of The Liberator, and a founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society. [ABLibrary 19thCent PS3250 .E37a]

Whittier Abolition Question t.p. FinalWhittier Abolition Question poem FinalThe conclusion of Whittier’s poem “To William Lloyd Garrison.”

Whittier To William Lloyd Garrison Conclusion***

Narrative of James Williams, an American Slave, Who was for Several Years a Driver on a Cotton Plantation in Alabama. New York: Published by the American Anti-Slavery Society; Boston: Isaac Knapp, 1838.

Despite widespread attacks on escaped slave James Williams’s credibility, the American Anti-Slavery Society published this account of Williams’s life as an enslaved man in Virginia and Alabama. John Greenleaf Whittier, who was working as the secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society at the time, met Williams, heard his story firsthand, and produced the text for this narrative, which he stated in the preface to the published work “presents an unexaggerated picture of slavery as it exists on the cotton plantations of the South and West.” [ABLibrary 19thCent E444 .W743 1838]

James Williams***

John Greenleaf Whittier. Poems. Philadelphia: Published by Joseph Healy; Boston: Weeks, Jordan & Co.; New York: John S. Taylor, 1838.

This collection of Whittier’s poems was edited by Whittier and published by Joseph Healy, financial agent of the Anti-Slavery Society of Pennsylvania. The volume contains 24 anti-slavery poems and 26 poems on miscellaneous subjects. Whittier placed the following quotation from Samuel Taylor Coleridge on the book’s title page:

“There is a time to keep silence,” saith Solomon; but when I proceeded to the first verse of the fourth chapter of the Ecclesiastes, “and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun, and beheld the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of the oppressors there was power;” I concluded this was not the time to keep silence; for Truth should be spoken at all times, but more especially at those times when to speak Truth is dangerous. [ABLibrary 19thCent PS3250 .E38 c.2]

Whittier Poems 1838 FinalWhittier’s poem “The Moral Warfare” in Poems (1838).

Whittier The Moral Warfare ***

John Greenleaf Whittier. The Branded Hand. [Salem, Ohio: The Anti-Slavery Bugle, 1845].

Whittier wrote The Branded Hand in response to an event in 1844 in which a tradesman named Jonathan Walker tried to help seven slaves escape by boat from Florida. Walker was caught, tried, convicted in a federal territorial court, and branded with the initials “S.S.” for “slave stealer,” which is depicted on the first page of this tract. Walker was considered a hero by abolitionists and images of his branded hand and literary praises like Whittier’s were widespread. [ABLibrary 19thCent OVZ E450 .W17]

Whittier Branded Hand p.1 final***

John Greenleaf Whittier. Voices of Freedom. Sixth and Complete Edition. Philadelphia: Published by Thomas S. Cavender; Boston: Waite, Pierce and Co.; New York: William Harned, 1846.

The introductory note to this collection of anti-slavery poems states:

Since the last edition was issued, several years have passed, and a new and vigorous host has entered the service of Freedom. With all classes, Whittier has been a favorite Poet; and the publication of his writings, especially those devoted to that cause, seems to be generally desired. These are all included, it is believed, in the present collection.
[ABLibrary 19thCent PS3269 .V6 1846]

Whittier Voices Final***

Whittier Sabbath cover finalJohn Greenleaf Whittier. A Sabbath Scene. Boston: John P. Jewett and Company; Cleveland, Ohio: Jewett, Proctor, and Worthington; London: Sampson, Low, Son and Company, 1854.

The headnote to Whittier’s poem “A Sabbath Scene,” appearing in the Riverside Edition of The Writings of John Greenleaf Whittier (1888) reads:

This poem finds its justification in the readiness with which, even in the North, clergymen urged the prompt execution of the Fugitive Slave Law as a Christian duty, and defended the system of slavery as a Bible institution.

Passed by the United States Congress on 18 September 1850, the Fugitive Slave Law required that all escaped slaves be returned to their masters upon capture. Law enforcement officers and citizens in the free states were expected to comply with this law. [ABLibrary 19thCent OVZ PS3265 .S2 1854]

The first page of Whittier’s poem “A Sabbath Scene.”

A Sabbath Scene p.1***

Letter from John Greenleaf Whittier to Lucy Larcom. 10 January 1863.

In this letter to poet Lucy Larcom (1824-1893), Whittier mentions the work of Charlotte Forten (later Grimké, 1837-1914), an African-American anti-slavery activist, poet, and educator, who taught freedmen in the South Carolina Sea Islands in a program known as the Port Royal Experiment. He also reflects on the outcome of the Second Battle of Murfreesboro, which had been fought from 31 December 1862 to 2 January 1863, resulting in Confederate withdrawal from Middle Tennessee.

Whittier writes:

Thee remember our young colored friend Charlotte Forten. She is now teaching at Port Royal, & we have been favored with her journal for the last two weeks. It is lively & picturesque. How well, on the whole, the poor contrabands behave!

The gloom of the war is broken by the lurid light of the Murfeesboro battle. One cannot help admiring the daring of Rosecrans—snatching by his own personal prowess victory from the very jaws of defeat. I shudder to think of the lives that must be sacrificed to open the Mississippi at Vicksburg. Ah me! It is hard to be a Quaker at these times! Yet never was I more convinced of the truth of our principles, than now.

Whittier letter with quote final***

John Greenleaf Whittier. In War Time and Other Poems. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1864.

Whittier’s poem “At Port Royal,” first published in the Atlantic in 1862 and reprinted in this collection of poems, contains the “Song of the Negro Boatmen,” in which Whittier imagines the singing of the slaves who were freed in the South Carolina Sea Islands after Union forces captured Port Royal, South Carolina, in November 1861. Written in dialect, the poem became a popular song during the Civil War. [ABLibrary 19thCent PS3259 .I5 1864]

The “Song of the Negro Boatmen” begins:

Oh, praise an’ tanks! De Lord he come
Whittier In War Time FinalTo set de people free;
An’ massa tink it day ob doom,
An’ we ob jubilee.
De Lord dat heap de Red Sea waves
He jus’ as ‘trong as den;
 
He say de word: we las’ night slaves;
To-day, de Lord’s freemen.
De yam will grow, de cotton blow,
We’ll hab de rice an’ corn:
Oh, nebber you fear, if nebber you hear
De driver blow his horn!

***

Lydia Huntley Sigourney

Lydia Huntley Sigourney. Poems by Mrs. L.H. Sigourney. Philadelphia: Key & Biddle, 1834.

Lydia Huntley Sigourney (1791-1865) was a popular American poet in the early and mid-nineteenth century, who supported rights for women and the abolition of slavery, among many other reform causes. Her poem “Slavery: Written for the Celebration of the Fourth of July,” first published in this collected edition of Poems, was set to music in 1844 by lyricist and composer George W. Clark in his anti-slavery songbook The Liberty Minstrel. [ABLibrary 19thCent PS2830 .A2 1834]

Sigourney t.p. finalSigourney slavery poem finalThe poem concludes on page 66:

What hand with shameful stain
Hath marred its heavenly blue?
The yoke, the fasces, and the chain,
Say, are these emblems true?
 
This day doth music rare
Swell through our nation’s bound,
But Afric’s wailing mingles there,
And Heaven doth hear the sound:
O God of power!—we turn
In penitence to thee,
Bid our loved land the lesson learn—
To bid the slave be free.

***

Eliza Lee Cabot Follen

Eliza Lee Cabot Follen. Poems by Mrs. Follen. Boston: William Crosby & Company, 1839.

Eliza Lee Cabot Follen (1787-1860) was an editor, biographer, novelist, poet, playwright, children’s author, and lifelong abolitionist. Her Poems, published in 1839, includes political and religious verse, translations from German, and poems about slavery, including “Children in Slavery” shown here. [ABLibrary 19thCent PS1683 .F4]

Follen t.p. FinalFollen Poems Final***

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Longfellow image FinalHenry Wadsworth Longfellow. Poems on Slavery. Cambridge: Published by John Owen, 1842.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), author of “Paul Revere’s Ride,” The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline, was one of the most popular American poets of the nineteenth century. He expressed his public support of abolitionism in this volume of poems, published in 1842. Considered the most overtly political of his writings, Longfellow composed seven of the eight poems in this small volume on his return voyage to the United States after visiting with and being inspired by radical poet Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810-1876) in Germany and Charles Dickens (1812-1870) in England. [ABLibrary 19thCent PS2265 .A1 1842]

Longfellow Poems FinalLongfellow’s “The Warning” from Poems on Slavery (1842).

Beware! The Israelite of old, who tore
The lion in his path,–when, poor and blind,
He saw the blessed light of heaven no more,
Shorn of his noble strength and forced to grind
In prison, and at last led forth to be
A pander to Philistine revelry,–
 
Upon the pillars of the temple laid
His desperate hands, and in its overthrow
Destroyed himself, and with him those who made
A cruel mockery of his sightless woe;
The poor, blind Slave, the scoff and jest of all,
Expired, and thousands perished in the fall!
 
There is a poor, blind Samson in this land,
Shorn of his strength and bound in bonds of steel,
Who may, in some grim revel, raise his hand,
And shake the pillars of this Commonweal,
Till the vast Temple of our liberties
A shapeless mass of wreck and rubbish lies.

***

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Poems on Slavery. [Boston]: Published by the New England Anti-Slavery Tract Association, J.W. Alden, Publishing Agent, Boston, [1843].

Seven of Longfellow’s anti-slavery poems from his volume Poems on Slavery (1842) were reprinted by the New England Anti-Slavery Tract Society and distributed for free. [ABLibrary 19thCent OVZ PS2265 .A1 1843]

Longfellow Poems Tract Final***

Longfellow Cover FinalHenry Wadsworth Longfellow. Flower-de-Luce. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.

Although he did not return to the theme of slavery in his poetry after 1842, Longfellow did express hope for a reconciliation between the northern and southern states in the poem “Christmas Bells,” which he wrote on Christmas day in 1863 after his son Charles Appleton Longfellow, a soldier in the Union army, was severely injured in the Battle of New Hope Church in Virginia. The poem later served as the basis for the carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” [ABLibrary 19thCent PS2271 .F5 1867 c.2]

Longfellow Christmas Day FinalThe conclusion of Longfellow’s poem “Christmas Bells” from Flower-de-Luce (1867).

Longfellow Christmas Bells Conclusion***

Charles Dickens

Dickens ABLCharles Dickens. American Notes for General Circulation [2 vols.]. London: Chapman and Hall, 1842.

While visiting Charles Dickens in England in 1842, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow read Dickens’s recently-published American Notes for General Circulation, a travel book recounting Dickens’s visit to the United States earlier that year. Dickens offered a scathing critique of the institution of slavery in the penultimate chapter of this book, which English critic John Forster described as “one of the most powerful, effective antislavery tracts yet issued from the press.” [ABLibrary 19thCent E165 .D53 v.1-2]

Dickens American Notes***

Harriet Martineau

Harriet Martineau finalHarriet Martineau. Retrospect of Western Travel [2 vols.]. London: Published by Saunders and Otley; New York: Sold by Harper & Brothers, 1838.

English writer and journalist Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) traveled extensively throughout the United States from 1834 to 1836 and recorded her observations in two books, Society in America (1837) and Retrospect of Western Travel (1838). In both books, Martineau expressed her opposition to slavery which she witnessed firsthand during her travels, finding the practice inconsistent with the idea of American democracy. [ABLibrary 19thCent E165 .M38 v.1-2]

Martineau Retrospect of Western Travel***

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

EBB Image Liberty Bell cover finalThe Liberty Bell by Friends of Freedom. Boston: National Anti-Slavery Bazaar, 1848.

English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) wrote “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point” for the Boston anti-slavery annual The Liberty Bell, published from 1839 to 1858. Barrett Browning was invited to contribute the poem for publication by Maria Weston Chapman (1806-1885), longtime editor of the annual, and poet James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), a correspondent of Barrett Browning’s since 1842. [ABLibrary Rare X 326 C466l 1848]

In a letter written to her American friend Cornelius Mathews in early 1847, Barrett Browning makes these comments about sending the manuscript of the poem to America:

My conscience has been restless about it ever since, (whenever I thought that way,) but neither head nor heart were at liberty sufficiently to do anything. What I have sent at last, my belief is, will never be printed in America, or will, if it should be, bring the writer into a scrape of disfavor. But I did only write conscientiously, you know, in writing at all; and my “Cry of the Children,” was not less written against my own country.

 ***

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point.” Autograph Manuscript. Undated.

This is the first part of a draft of “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point,” which includes stanzas 1-13, without stanza 7. In this draft, the poem is titled “Black and Mad at Pilgrim’s Point.” Robert Browning has annotated the draft in pencil.

Runaway Slave 1 finalRunaway Slave 2 final***

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point.” Autograph Manuscript. Signed “EBB.” Undated.

This final part of the above draft includes stanzas 27-36. On the final page of the manuscript, Robert Browning has enclosed Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s initials and his written word “my” in strong brackets. The middle part of the draft, including stanzas 14-26, is at the British Library. All three parts are annotated by Robert Browning.

Runaway Slave 3 finalRunaway Slave 4 final***

Letter from Elizabeth Barrett Browning to James Russell Lowell. 17 December 1846.

Enclosed with this letter to James Russell Lowell was Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s manuscript of the “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point.”

In the letter, she refers to her recent marriage and to her concern regarding the reception of the poem:

And now for this Slave-poem, which at the eleventh hour, I enclose to you. I ought to have at once answered your request last year, & should have done so but was driven by a great wind of vexatious circumstances, altogether from my purpose. Driven up & down, distracted from writing & reading I have been since, too, .. & you will make allowances for me in remembering that I am only three month’s married, & in the sudden glare of light & happiness, here in Italy, after my long years of imprisonment in sickness & depression, without so much as the hope of this liberty. Ill or well, sad or joyful, however, the great antislavery cause must always be dear to me,—and for the sake, I will say, as much of American honour as of general mercy & right– In the poem I enclose to you I have taken up this double feeling, (with an application of the case to women especially) perhaps you will think too bitterly & passionately for publication in your country. I do not presume to decide—I leave it entirely, of course, to your judgement– I will only say, for my own part, that in writing this poem, I have not forgotten, as an Englishwoman, that we have scarcely done washing our national garments clear of the dust of the very same reproach. Neither would I have it forgotten by any of you, that I have written this poem precisely because, as an Englishwoman ought, I love & honour the American people.

EBB to Lowell p.1EBB to Lowell p.2EBB to Lowell p.3EBB to Lowell p.4***

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. “An Ode to America.” Manuscript Draft. [1846].

This draft, contained in a notebook belonging to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and acquired by the Armstrong Browning Library in 2008, was likely written by the poet around the time she was writing “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point.” The poem was not published during Barrett Browning’s lifetime, but a transcription of this draft was included in The Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, edited by Sandra Donaldson, in 2010.

EBB Ode to America 1EBB Ode to America 2Transcription of the manuscript draft of “An Ode to America” in The Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning [5 vols.] (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2010). [ABLibrary Non-Rare 821.82J D676w 2010 v.5]

Works of EBB final ***

The Liberty Bell by Friends of Freedom. Boston: National Anti-Slavery Bazaar, 1856.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem “A Curse for a Nation,” denouncing slavery in America, first appeared as the opening poem in the 1856 issue of the Boston anti-slavery annual The Liberty Bell. Barrett Browning wrote the poem in response to a request from her Boston anti-slavery contacts just as she had responded some years earlier with “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point.” [ABLibrary Rare X326 C466l 1856]

curse 2 final***

Printer’s copy of “A Curse for a Nation.” [1856].

This printer’s copy of “A Curse for a Nation” shows Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s corrections and additions for publication in The Liberty Bell of 1856.

curse copy 2 final***

Napolean III finalElizabeth Barrett Browning. Napoleon III in Italy and Other Poems. New York: C. S. Francis & Co., 1860.

“A Curse for a Nation” proved to be one of Barrett Browning’s most controversial works when it was reprinted as the last poem in her Poems Before Congress (1860). The majority of the poems in this volume criticized England for its nonintervention in Italy’s struggle for liberation, leading English reviewers to believe that the curse was directed at England not America. Barrett Browning maintained that the poem was about America, but wrote to a friend:

In fact, I cursed neither England nor America … the poem only pointed out how the curse was involved in the action of slave-holding.

This copy of the first American edition of Poems Before Congress, published under the title Napoleon III in Italy and Other Poems, bears an inscription by J.S. Guitean, dated 3 July 1860, to E.N. Biddle, a Union general in the American Civil War. [ABLibrary Rare X 821.82 L F818n c.4]

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Frances Anne Kemble

Fanny Kemble Image Frances Anne Kemble. Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, 1863.

Frances “Fanny” Anne Kemble (1809-1893) was a famous British actress and writer. In 1834, she married Pierce Butler, an American who, two years later, inherited his grandfather’s cotton and rice plantations on the Sea Islands of Georgia. In an effort to convince Fanny, an abolitionist, of the benefits of slavery, Butler took her to the plantations in the winter of 1838-1839. While there Fanny wrote letters to friends and kept a diary. These writings documented her observations of slavery and circulated, against her husband’s wishes, among New England abolitionists. Eventually published in 1863 during the Civil War as Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation, the book was a best-seller. Fanny separated from her husband in 1845, and the marriage ended in divorce in 1849. [ABLibrary Rare X 975.803 K31j 1863]

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Bibliography:

Basker, James G., ed. American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation. New York: Library of America, c2012. Print.

Calhoun, Charles C. Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life. Boston: Beacon Press, c2004. Print.

Clinton, Catherine. Fanny Kemble’s Civil Wars. New York: Simon & Schuster, c2000. Print.

Currier, Thomas Franklin. A Bibliography of John Greenleaf Whittier. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 1937. Print.

De Rosa, Deborah C. Into the Mouths of Babes: An Anthology of Children’s Abolitionist Literature. Westport, Connecticut; London: Praeger, 2005. Print.

Donaldson, Sandra, general ed. The Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 5 vols. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2010. Print.

Gerson, Noel B. Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Biography. New York: Praeger, 1976. Print.

Gray, Janet, ed. She Wields a Pen: American Women Poets of the 19th Century. London: J.M. Dent, 1997. Print.

Hansen, Andrew C. “Rhetorical Indiscretions: Charles Dickens as Abolitionist.” Western Journal of Communication 65.1 (2001): 26-44. Web. 11 March 2015

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, c2015. Web. 11 March 2015 <https://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/>

Hedrick, Joan D. Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life. New York; Oxford: Oxford UP, 1994. Print.

Martineau, Harriet. Writings on Slavery and the American Civil War. Ed. Deborah Anna Logan. DeKalb: Northern Illinois UP, c2002. Print.

Stone, Marjorie, and Beverly Taylor, eds. Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Selected Poems. Buffalo, New York: Broadview Editions, 2009. Print.

Trent, Hank, ed. Narrative of James Williams, an American Slave. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2013.

Woodwell, Roland H. John Greenleaf Whittier: A Biography. Haverhill, Massachusetts: Published under the auspices of The Trustees of the John Greenleaf Whittier Homestead, 1985. Print.

 

Beyond the Brownings–Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894)

NPG P56; The Rossetti Family by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)© National Portrait Gallery, London

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

Christina Georgina Rossetti shared the limelight with Elizabeth Barrett Browning as the greatest female poet of the nineteenth century. After Barrett Browning’s death in 1861, readers saw Rossetti as Barrett Browning’s rightful successor. She wrote a variety of devotional, romantic, and children’s poems, and is perhaps most well-known for the lyrics of the Christmas carol “In the Bleak Midwinter,” her long poem Goblin Market, and her love poem “Remember.”

Christina was the youngest child of an extraordinarily gifted family, Maria Francesca, Gabriel Charles Dante, William Michael, and Christina Georgina, all born between 1827 and 1830. Maria was distinguished by her study of Dante, Dante Gabriel by his poetry and painting, William Michael by his art and literary criticism, and Christina by her poetry.

The Armstrong Browning Library holds over thirty of Christina’s books and two letters.

Goblin-market-1862-3
Goblin-market-1862Goblin-Market-1862-2 Goblin-Marker-18624Goblin-Market-18625Christina Georgina Rossetti. Goblin Market and Other Poems. Cambridge, London: Macmillan and Co, 1862.

This volume is a first edition, advance proof copy sent to the Brownings. There are notes on the flyleaf and an attached postcard noting the provenance of the volume.

Goblin-Market-1902-1 Goblin-Markekt-1905-2Goblin-Market-1905-3Goblin-Market-1905-4Christina Georgina Rossetti. Goblin Market. London : New York: George Routledge and Sons, Limited ; E.P Dutton & Co, 1905. The Broadway Booklets.

This volume contains illustrations by Christina’s brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The volume also contains Robert Browning’s poem, “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.”

Speaking-LikenessesSpeaking-Likenesses-1Speakeing-Likenesses-2Christina Georgina Rossetti. Speaking Likenesses. Illustrated by Arthur Hughes. London: Macmillan and co, 1874.

Christina dedicated this volume:

 To my/ Dearest Mother,/ In Grateful Remembrance Of The/ Stories/ With Which She Used To Entertain Her/ Children. Christina-Rossetti-letterLetter from Christina G. Rossetti to an Unidentified Correspondent. 29 December 1884.

This brief letter to an Unidentified correspondent conveys wishes for a Happy New Year (1885).

Beyond the Brownings–William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919)

NPG P56; The Rossetti Family by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)© National Portrait Gallery, London

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

William Michael Rossetti, along with his brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of English painters, poets, and critics who intended to reform art by rejecting a mechanistic approach and embracing a return to abundant detail, intense colors and complex compositions. Although employed full-time as a civil servant, William Michael managed to produce criticism, biographies, editions, and articles for the Encyclopædia Britannica.

The Armstrong Browning Library holds seven letters written by William Michael Rossetti and over thirty books, some of them rare.

W.-Mwmr2wmr3wmr4wmr5wmr6

Letter from William Michael Rossetti to A. H. Dooley. 12 May 1876.

 In this letter William Michael Rossetti outlines his published works.

Colles-1Colles-2Letter from William Michael Rossetti to Mr. Colles. 28 August 1898.

In this letter, William Michael Rossetti discusses  a photograph of his brother taken by Downey.

PreRaph1PreRaph2PreRaph3PreRaph4PreRaph5PreRaph6William Michael Rossetti. Ruskin: Rossetti: Preraphaelitism; Papers 1854 to 1862. London: George Allen, 1899.

This volume bears the inscription: “Two hundred and fifty copies of this edition have been printed on hand-made paper for England and America, of which this is no. 176.”

Beyond the Brownings–Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

NPG P56; The Rossetti Family by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)© National Portrait Gallery, London

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the second born child in the Rossetti family. Dante Gabriel was a poet, illustrator, painter, translator, and founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Sensuality and Medieval revivalism characterized his art. According to John Ruskin and Walter Pater, Dante Gabriel Rossetti was the most important and original artistic force in the second half of the nineteenth century in Great Britain.

 The Armstrong Browning Library holds six of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s letters and over forty of his books, some of them rare.

D.-G.-Rossetti-to-Mama-1D.-G.-Rossetti-to-Mama-2

Letter from Dante Gabriel Rossetti to [Frances Mary Lavinia Polidori Rossetti]. [ca. 4 February 1864].

Dante Gabriel invites his mother, Maria, Christina, and William to tea on Saturday. He says in a postscript that he is also asking Browning. He also lets her know that

 I have a little picture just finished which will be leaving me for Gambait on Monday morning.

Early-ItalEarly-Ital.-2Early-Ital-3Early-Ital.-4Early-Ital-5Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Dante Alighieri, eds. The Early Italian Poets from Ciullo d’Alcamo to Dante Alighieri (1100-1200-1300): In the Original Metres, Together with Dante’s Vita Nuova. London: Smith, Elder and Co, 1861.

This volume is Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s first regularly published book, said to have been financed by John Ruskin.  This volume is the same edition that was given by Dante Gabriel Rossetti to Robert Browning as a Christmas gift in 1861.

 DCR-poemsDGR-Poems-2DGR-Poems-3DGR-Poems4Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Poems. London: F. S. Ellis, 1870.

This volume is one of twenty-five copies printed on large paper for private circulation only. This is John Ruskin’s copy with his bookplate.

 

Beyond the Brownings–John Ruskin (1819-1900)

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NPG x13293; John Ruskin by Elliott & FryCourtesy of the Armstrong Browning Library

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

John Ruskin, the leading art critic of the nineteenth century, was also an art patron,  a draughtsman, a watercolorist, a prominent social thinker, and a philanthropist. Modern Painters (1843), an extended essay that argued for “truth to nature,” won him widespread appeal. He supported the Pre-Raphaelites and championed social and political causes. Ruskin’s influence has become global, influencing artists, architects, writers, social planners, educators, politicians, and economists.

The Armstrong Browning Library holds seventeen letters written by John Ruskin and over one hundred books, some of them rare.

Ruskin-to-W.-M.-RossettiLetter from John Ruskin to Dante Gabriel Rossetti. [1855].

Ruskin tells Rossetti that he likes his picture and wants him to order the frame and

 Try any experiment you like on it thoroughly.

Ruskin-to-FudgeLetter from [John Ruskin] to [Fudge]. [1871].

David Fudge was the Ruskins’ coachman for nearly fifty years, often taking Mr. Ruskin to out of the way places and waiting while Ruskin went for walks or sketched scenes. In this heavily worn, fragment of a letter, Ruskin  assures his driver, Mr. David Fudge, that he should receive orders from Mrs. Severn just as he would from Mr. Ruskin and assures him that

 Neither she nor I will ever treat you with injustice….You can always appeal to me.

to-David-Rudge-1to-David-Rudge-2Letter from Joan R. Severn to David [Fudge]. [ca. 1898].

Mrs. Severn acknowledges the “pretty Christmas card” sent to her and to Mr. Ruskin and informs David that she has sent a “little Xmas box” to him.

Ruskins-Mornings-in-Florence-1Ruskins-Mornings-in-Florence-2Ruskins-Mornings-in-Florence-3 John Ruskin. Mornings in Florence: Being Simple Studies of Christian Art for English Travellers. Copyright ed. Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1907.

This volume was intended to be used as a travel guide for persons viewing the art in Florence. The text gives Ruskin’s notes relating to Santa Croce, The Golden Gate, Before the Soldan, The Vaulted Book, The Straight Gate, and the Shepherd’s Tower.

Beyond the Brownings– J.M. (James Matthew) Barrie (1860-1937)

 NPG x228; J.M. Barrie by George Charles Beresford© National Portrait Gallery, London

 Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

J.M. Barrie, a Scottish author and dramatist, is best known today as the author of Peter Pan. The ABL owns two letters from Barrie and four books, including a copy of a book owned by Sarianna Browning, a biography of Barrie’s mother’s life, Margaret Ogilvy (1896). The library also owns a rare book entitled The New Amphion (1886).

Barrie-to-Thompson-1webBarrie-to-Thompson-2webBarrie-to-Thompson-3webLetter from Sir J. M. Barrie to [Theodora] Thompson. 13 May 1905.

This letter allows Miss Theodora Thompson to include J. M. Barrie’s quotations in her book, Underneath the Bough: A Posie of Other Men’s Writings ([1905]). Quotations from Barrie occur on pages 167, 181, 247, 250, and 277. The volume also contains quotations from Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning.

The-New-Amphion-1 The-New-Amphion-2The-New-Amphion-3The-New-Amphion-4Amphion-Barrie

University of Edinburgh. The New Amphion; Being the Book of the Edinburgh University Union Fancy Fair, in Which Are Contained Sundry artistick, Instructive, and Diverting Matters, All Now Made Publick for the First Time. Edinburgh: Imprinted at the University press by T. & A. Constable, 1886.

The New Amphion, which also contained an epistolary farce written by J. M. Barrie, entitled “The Scotch Student’s Dream,” also contained the first appearance of Robert Browning’s “Spring Song.” The New Amphion, an anthology contributed to by authors including Robert Browning, Andrew Lang, Margaret Oliphant, and Robert Louis Stevenson, was published as a student fundraising campaign at the University of Edinburgh. Proceeds from the sale helped to fund Teviot Row House, the oldest purpose-built student union in the world.

Barrie-Margaret-Ogilvy-1Barrie-Margaret-Ogilvy-2Barrie, J. M. Margaret Ogilvy. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1896.

This volume is a biographical account of his mother’s life. She was distraught by the death of her son, Barrie’s older brother, and was comforted by believing her dead son would remain a boy forever, never to grow up and leave her, which became the premise for Barrie’s Peter Pan. Sarianna Browning, Robert’s sister owned a copy of this book that is the same edition as this.

Beyond the Brownings–George MacDonald (1824-1905)

MacDonald at ABLCourtesy of the Armstrong Browning Library

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

George MacDonald, Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister, was a leading figure in the field of fantasy writing for children, influencing many other authors such including W. H. Auden, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Walter de la Mare, E. Nesbit, and Madeleine L’Engle. MacDonald is best-known for his fantasy novels,  Phantastes, The Princess and the Goblin, At the Back of the North Wind, and Lilith, and his fairy tales, “The Light Princess”, “The Golden Key”, and “The Wise Woman.” He mentored Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). Carroll was encouraged by the enthusiastic reception of the Alice stories by MacDonald’s eleven children.

The Armstrong Browning Library holds five letters written by George MacDonald, one manuscript, and over fifty books, eleven volumes from MacDonald’s personal library, three presentation volumes, and many first editions.

MacDonald-to-Paton-2-1webMacDonald-to-Paton-2-2webLetter from George MacDonald to Joseph Noel Paton. 31 December 1867.

MacDonald makes an appointment with Paton, assuring him of the importance of the meeting by saying

Let the 16th be as a law of Medes and Persians which altereth not. No lecture shall be permitted to intrude upon the consecrated hours.

MacDonald-to-Paton-1web MacDonald-to-Paton-2webLetter from George MacDonald to Joseph Noel Paton. [January 1868].

MacDonald consoles Paton at the loss of a friend, reminding him that his

 …friend was of more value than the sparrow that cannot fall to the ground without our Father. Macdonald-to-Rooker-1webMacdonald-to-Rooker-2webLetter from George MacDonald to John Rooker. 21 July 1895.

MacDonald makes an appointment with Rooker, reminding him that

We—that is the old ones of us—are too tired, by not of life, now to make what you call a long day of it. But we shall have time for something of a talk.

George-MacDonald-in-Whittier-Albumcroppedweb

George MacDonald. 29 October 1872. “The lightning & thunder. They go and they come;” In the Whittier Autograph Album.

This album, once the property of Elizabeth Whittier Pickard, niece of John Greenleaf Whittier, contains letters, autographs, and inscriptions from Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Julia Ward Howe, J.T. Fields, Phoebe Cary, U.S. Grant, Emily Faithfull, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry W. Longfellow, Daniel Webster, William Cullen Bryant, P.T. Barnum, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and others, and includes this inscription by George MacDonald  and an autograph by Louisa MacDonald. George MacDonald’s inscription is from a poem called “A Baby-Sermon,” published in The Poetical Works of George Macdonald. London: Chatto & Windus, 1893.

The lightning & thunder

         They go and they come;

But the stars and the stillness

         Are always at home.

 MacDonald-The-Vicar's-Daughter-1web MacDonald-The-Vicar's-Daughter-2webGeorge MacDonald. The Vicar’s Daughter. An Autobiographical Story. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1881.

 This presentation copy is inscribed by the author to his son-in-law.

MacDonald-A-Threefold-Cord-1webMacDonald-A-Threefold-Cord-2webMacDonald-A-Threefold-Cord-3webGeorge MacDonald. A Threefold Cord: Poems by Three Friends. London: Mr. W. Hughes, 1883.

This volume contains the author’s signature. The dedication to his son, Greville Matheson MacDonald, reads: “…I give this book,/ In which a friend’s and brother’s verses blend/ With mine.” The poems in the volume were written by George MacDonald, John MacDonald, and Greville Matheson.

Beyond the Brownings–Prince Consort Albert, Consort of Victoria, Queen of Great Britain (1819-1861)

Quote

Prince of Wales ABLCourtesy of the Armstrong Browning Library

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

Prince Consort Albert, consort of Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, married his first cousin at the age of twenty. They had nine children. He was eventually involved in many public causes and running the household, estate, and office of the Queen. He died early at the age of forty-two. The Queen mourned deeply for him the rest of her life, another thirty-nine years.

The Armstrong Browning Library owns a letter from Prince Albert to Lord Palmerston dated 28 June 1859, shortly after the Queen had asked Lord Palmerston to become Prime Minister of England.

Prince-Albert-to-Palmerston-1webPrince-Albert-to-Palmerston-2webLetter from Prince Consort Albert, consort of Victoria, Queen of Great Britain to Henry John Temple Palmerston, Viscount. 28 June 1859.

This letter discusses the Queen’s appointment of Sir William Dunbar as a Lord of the Treasury and the particulars surrounding his swearing in ceremony.