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George Washington Williams : a biography

Author: John Hope Franklin
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1985.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In George Washington Williams, John Hope Franklin reconstructs the life of the controversial, self-made black intellectual who wrote the first history of African Americans in the United States. Awarded the Clarence L. Holte Literary Prize, this book traces Franklin's forty-year quest for Williams's story, a story largely lost to history until this volume was first published in 1985. The result, part biography and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Biographies
Named Person: George Washington Williams; George Washington Williams; George Washington Williams; George Washington Williams
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Hope Franklin
ISBN: 0226260836 9780226260839
OCLC Number: 12050020
Notes: Includes chronology and index.
Description: xxiv, 348 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations, facsimiles, maps ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction : stalking George Washington Williams --
Soldier and student: William Steward ; Fort Arbuckle ; U.S. colored troops --
Successful clergyman: Elijah W ; Watertown ; Massachusetts --
Editor and publisher: Freedom's journal ; Frederick Douglass ; Mississippi --
A star in the Midwest: Cincinnati daily enquirer ; Republican Party ; Toussaint L'Ouverture --
Republican yeoman: Hamilton County ; Republican Party ; Cincinnati --
On the campaign trail: Hamilton County ; Cincinnati enquirer ; John Sherman --
Lawmaker from Hamilton County: Avondale ; Republican ; Blanche K --
Historian of the race: Moorland-Spingarn Research Center ; Slavery ; George W --
The historian and his public: York globe ; Thomas Fortune ; Fort Pillow --
A touch of distinction: Lewis Hayden ; Emancipation Day ; Cleveland gazette --
A diplomatic appointment: Haiti ; Thomas Hendricks ; Blanche K --
Advancing his people: Robert Gould Shaw ; Sharecrop ; Judge Advocate --
African journey: Bolobo ; Congo Free ; Congo River --
Observer and critic: Sir William Mackinnon ; Lord Vivian ; Congo River --
The final phase --
Appendix 1. An open letter to His Serene Majesty Leopold II --
Appendix 2. A report on the proposed Congo railway --
Appendix 3. A report upon the Congo-state and country to the President of the Republic of the United States of America.
Responsibility: John Hope Franklin.

Abstract:

In George Washington Williams, John Hope Franklin reconstructs the life of the controversial, self-made black intellectual who wrote the first history of African Americans in the United States. Awarded the Clarence L. Holte Literary Prize, this book traces Franklin's forty-year quest for Williams's story, a story largely lost to history until this volume was first published in 1985. The result, part biography and part social history, is a unique consideration of a pioneering historian by his most distinguished successor. Williams, who lived from 1849 to 1891, had a remarkable career as soldier, minister, journalist, lawyer, politician, freelance diplomat, and African traveler, as well as a historian. While Franklin reveals the accomplishments of this neglected figure and emphasizes the racism that curtailed Williams's many talents, he also highlights the personal weaknesses that damaged Williams's relationships and career. Williams led the way in presenting African American history accurately through the use of oral history and archival research, sought to legitimize it as a field of historical study, and spoke out in support of an American Negro Historical Society and as a critic of European imperialism in Africa. He also became erratic and faithless to his family and creditors and died at the age of forty-one, destitute and alienated from family and friends. George Washington Williams is nothing less than a classic biography of a brilliant though flawed individual whose History of the Negro Race in America remains a landmark in African American history and American intellectual history.

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