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Freedom's Gardener : James F. Brown, Horticulture, and the Hudson Valley in Antebellum America - Myra Beth Young Armstead

Freedom's Gardener

James F. Brown, Horticulture, and the Hudson Valley in Antebellum America

Hardcover Published: 1st February 2012
ISBN: 9780814705100
Number Of Pages: 219

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In 1793 James F. Brown was born a slave, and in 1868 he died a free man. At age 34 he ran away from his native Maryland to pass the remainder of his life as a gardener to a wealthy family in the Hudson Valley. Two years after his escape and manumission, he began a diary which he kept until his death. In Freedom’s Gardener, Myra B. Young Armstead uses the apparently small and domestic details of Brown’s diaries to construct a bigger story about the transition from slavery to freedom. In this first detailed historical study of Brown’s diaries, Armstead utilizes Brown’s life to illuminate the concept of freedom as it developed in the United States in the early national and antebellum years. That Brown, an African American and former slave, serves as such a case study underscores the potential of American citizenship during his lifetime.

Industry Reviews

"Armstead explores the meaning of northern African American identity through her deft decoding of a ten-volume diary left by James F. Brown... Recommended for historians of antebellum America or the social aspects of horticulture and for those interested in historical diaries. Incipient researchers will learn the differences among term, life, and wage slaves and much else." Frederick J. Augustyn Jr., Libray Journal, January 2012 "With this meticulously sourced and carefully reasoned portrait, Armstead reclaims an outstanding American who helped freedom grow." Booklist "This in-depth study of the life of an African American slave turned master gardener is an enlightening examination of a period of American history that seems to have slipped from public scrutiny in recent years." ChicagoBotanic.org "Diaries are a great resource for historians and biographers, a truism reinforced by Freedom's Gardener... His efforts 'signal that James Brown believed that his life as a former slave and free African American living in the Hudson Valley meant something.' Contemporary readers will certainly agree." Sam Roberts, New York Times, March 2012

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Life as a Slave
What Can a Man Do?p. 11
Into the Promised Landp. 28
Free Man and Free Laborer
A Horticultural Communityp. 41
A Gardening Careerp. 54
Cultural Meanings of Gardening,p. 70
Escaping Wage Slaveryp. 88
Free Man and Citizen
A Whiggish Sensibilityp. 99
James F. Brown, Voting Rights Politics, and Antislavery Activismp. 112
The Informal Politics of Associationp. 129
Conclusionp. 152
Notesp. 163
Indexp. 205
About the Authorp. 209
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814705100
ISBN-10: 0814705103
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 219
Published: 1st February 2012
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.3  x 1.42
Weight (kg): 0.44

Earn 230 Qantas Points
on this Book