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The Correspondence of Sarah Morgan and Francis Warrington Dawson, with Selected Editorials Written by Sarah Morgan for the Charleston News and Courier

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2004


    Students of Civil War history well know Sarah Morgan who wrote a diary that remains an unparalleled portrait of her time. The daughter of privilege, Sarah was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and began her diary in her late teens. By the time Union soldiers had taken over Baton Rouge she had lost both her father and brother. Sarah, along with her sister, Miriam, and her mother eventually fled to the outskirts and later to New Orleans where they remained until the war's closing days. At one time she wrote, 'Oh, how I hate to be like other women.' She most certainly was not. She wrote in clear precise prose with an unflinching eye for the reasons behind battle and the horrors of war. Sarah would become the first woman to have a byline when she wrote for the Charleston News and Courier, covering such subjects as race relations, funerals, Spanish and French politics. These editorials by, of all people, a woman caused considerable comment in Charleston. Her original diary was first published in 1913, almost immediately becoming a source for historians and students alike. Now, with this volume from The University of Georgia Press we are fortunate to find not only the letters exchanged between Sarah and her husband, Francis Warrington Dawson but these missives are accompanied by articles Sarah wrote. Thus, we now have a complete picture of Sarah the woman as found in her original diary tracing the years of the War and then tin his volume encompassing her years following the war. When the couple first met Dawson was a widower and owner of the Charleston News and Courier. Sarah was reluctant to marry, and the notes exchanged reveal much about each of them as their courtship continued. Of special interest are Sarah's views on the state of women at that time. This well conceived and executed volume sheds much light on an important part of our country's history.

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