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The making of "Mammy Pleasant" : a Black entrepreneur in nineteenth-century San Francisco

Author: Lynn M Hudson
Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2003.
Series: Women in American history.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Born a slave, Mary Ellen Pleasant ultimately became a prominent citizen of San Francisco. Able to pass as white, she worked tirelessly, first with the Underground Railroad and later the courts, to improve the situation of African Americans. Historian Lynn M. Hudson examines the folklore of Mary Ellen Pleasant's real and imagined powers. Addressing the lack of a historical record of black women's lives, Hudson argues  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Pleasant, Mary E
Biography
History
Named Person: Mary Ellen Pleasant; Mary Ellen Pleasant; Mary Ellen Pleasant
Material Type: Biography, Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Lynn M Hudson
ISBN: 025202771X 9780252027710
OCLC Number: 49283619
Description: xi, 193 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Nantucket --
She was a friend of John Brown --
Jim Crow San Francisco --
A madam on trial --
The house of mystery --
Making mammy work for you : Mary Ellen Pleasant in popular culture.
Series Title: Women in American history.
Responsibility: Lynn M. Hudson.
More information:

Abstract:

Born a slave, Mary Ellen Pleasant ultimately became a prominent citizen of San Francisco. Able to pass as white, she worked tirelessly, first with the Underground Railroad and later the courts, to improve the situation of African Americans. Historian Lynn M. Hudson examines the folklore of Mary Ellen Pleasant's real and imagined powers. Addressing the lack of a historical record of black women's lives, Hudson argues that the silences and mysteries of Pleasant's past, whether never recorded or intentionally omitted, reveal as much about her life as what has been documented. This book integrates fact and speculation culled from periodicals, court cases, diaries, letters, Pleasant's interviews with the San Francisco press, and various biographical and fictional accounts. Through Pleasant's remarkable life, Hudson also interrogates the constructions of race, gender, and sexuality during the formative years of California's economy and challenges popular mythology about the liberatory sexual culture of the American West.--From publisher description.

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