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A Historian's Coast: Adventures into the Tidewater Past
     

A Historian's Coast: Adventures into the Tidewater Past

by David Cecelski
 

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David Cecelski was in a library halfway across the country when he discovered what may be the only existing copy of the memoir of Allen Parker, who grew up a slave in tidewater North Carolina. "I do not know if I can put into words the excitement, almost the sheer joy, that a historian feels at discovering a document like Parker's <i>Reflections</i>,"

Overview

David Cecelski was in a library halfway across the country when he discovered what may be the only existing copy of the memoir of Allen Parker, who grew up a slave in tidewater North Carolina. "I do not know if I can put into words the excitement, almost the sheer joy, that a historian feels at discovering a document like Parker's <i>Reflections</i>," Cecelski writes. "A whole new world opens up before you."

And so it was when he happened upon the journal of a sea traveler stranded at Hatteras Island in 1873, and when his longtime barber unexpectedly gave him a copy of a relative's unpublished reminiscence about growing up in the Great Alligator Swamp.

Originally published in <i>Coastwatch</i> magazine, the 22 essays in <i>A Historian's Coast</i> combine history, ecology, and a homegrown curiosity about the coastal past. Most of them center around a rare travel journal, a long-forgotten book, or a lost diary, excerpts of which are included. But perhaps adventures is a more apt description than essays. In an effort to make musty archives come alive, Cecelski gets in his boat and explores coastal places to see how they have changed since those long-ago days. Maybe you have seen him. "I am the one in the small boat paddling into the swamp and, as always, into the past," he says.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940016262260
Publisher:
Blair, John F. Publisher
Publication date:
03/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
184
File size:
6 MB

Meet the Author

David Cecelski (Ph.D., Harvard) is an independent historian and writer who has taught at Duke University, UNC at Chapel Hill, and East Carolina University, and is affiliated with the Southern Oral History Program at UNC at Chapel Hill. A native of Craven County, in the Tidewater region of North Carolina, he edits the popular oral history series, "Listening to History," for the Raleigh News and Observer.

He also writes a blog for The North Carolina Folklife Institute (http://www.ncfolk.org/ncfood/) that explores the state's traditional cooking and foodways.

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