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The Hart Sisters: Early African Caribbean Writers, Evangelicals, and Radicals

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Overview

Daughter of a black slaveholder father, Anne Hart Gilbert and Elizabeth Hart Thwaites were among the first educators of slaves and free African Caribbeans in late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Antigua. These members of the "free colored" community who married white men and played an active role as educators, antislavery activists, and Methodist evangelicals were also among the first African Caribbean female writers. This exceptional volume offers for the first time a collection of their writings.

Because the records of the Hart sisters are rare and original testimony from black women of the time, they will be of great interest to the modern scholar. Autobiographical and biographical narrative, along with antislavery tracts, hymns, devotional poetry, and religious documents vividly reveal the lives of these courageous women. Their writings illuminate the complex of racial, spiritual, and class- and gender-based divisions, as well as attitudes, of Anglophone Caribbean society. Moira Ferguson's introduction situates the Hart sisters in historical context and explains how their writings helped establish a specific black Antiguan cultural identity.

Moira Ferguson is a professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the author of Subject to Others: British Women Writers and Colonial Slavery and East Caribbean: Gender and Colonial Relations from Mary Wollstonecraft to Jamaica Kincaid.

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Editorial Reviews

Cora Kaplan

"The Hart Sisters will be of great importance for social and cultural historians, literary and cultural critics working in Afro-Caribbean, African-American, and Afro-British studies, as well as those scholars working across national and disciplinary boundaries to construct the interwoven narratives of the African diaspora, antislavery movements, and the history of colonialism."

—Cora Kaplan, author of Sea Changes: Culture and Feminism

Cora Kaplan

"The Hart Sisters will be of great importance for social and cultural historians, literary and cultural critics working in Afro-Caribbean, African-American, and Afro-British studies, as well as those scholars working across national and disciplinary boundaries to construct the interwoven narratives of the African diaspora, antislavery movements, and the history of colonialism."—Cora Kaplan, author of Sea Changes: Culture and Feminism
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803219847
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 228
  • Lexile: 1400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author


Moira Ferguson is a professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the author of Subject to Others: British Women Writers and Colonial Slavery and East Caribbean: Gender and Colonial Relations from Mary Wollstonecraft to Jamaica Kincaid.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Map of Caribbean Region
Map of Antigua
Introduction 1
Chronologies 57
Anne Hart Gilbert
History of Methodism 57
Memoir of John Gilbert 76
Elizabeth Hart Thwaites 89
History of Methodism 89
Hymns and Verse by Elizabeth Hart Thwaites 97
Letter from Elizabeth Hart to a Friend 104
Extracts from Elizabeth Hart Thwaites's Correspondence with Her Friend, Miss Lynch 112
Appendixes 115
A A Brief Sketch of Mrs. Anne Gilbert, by the Reverend William Box, Wesleyan Missionary 117
B Additional Remarks on John and Anne Gilbert by a Friend 124
C Extracts from Charles Thwaites's Journal, 1829 133
D Biography of Elizabeth Lynch 141
E Letter from John Baxter to a Fellow Methodist in London 158
F Chronology of John Gilbert 162
G Charles Thwaites's Report 164
H The Case of the Neglected and Deserted Negroes in the Island of Antigua 167
I Antigua: An Act to Provide for the More Effectual Support of Poor Children 174
J Thomas Coke, To the Benevolent Subscribers for the Support of the Missions 181
K Extract of a Letter from Thomas Coke to John Wesley 195
I James Macqueen, "The Colonial Empire of Great Britain" 197
Index 211
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