Of Times and Race
Essays Inspired by John F. Marszalek
Contributions to the study of race relations from the Civil War to the early 1950s
Of Times and Race contains eight essays on African American history from the Jacksonian era through the early twentieth century. Taken together, these essays, inspired by noted scholar John F. Marszalek, demonstrate the many nuances of African Americans' struggle to grasp freedom, respect, assimilation, and basic rights of American citizens.
Essays include Mark R. Cheathem's look at Andrew Jackson Donelson's struggle to keep his plantations operating within the ever-growing debate over slavery in mid-nineteenth century America. Thomas D. Cockrell examines Southern Unionism during the Civil War and wrestles with the difficulty of finding hard evidence due to sparse sources. Stephen S. Michot examines issues of race in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, and finds that blacks involved themselves in both armies, curiously clouding issues of slavery and freedom. Michael B. Ballard delves into how Mississippi slaves and Union soldiers interacted during the Vicksburg campaign. Union treatment of freedmen and of U. S. colored troops demonstrated that blacks escaping slavery were not always welcomed. Horace Nash finds that sports, especially boxing, played a fascinating role in blending black and white relations in the West during the early twentieth century. Timothy B. Smith explores the roles of African Americans who participated in the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the creation of the Shiloh National Military Park. James Scott Humphreys analyzes the efforts of two twentieth-century historians who wished to debunk the old, racist views of Reconstruction known as the Dunning school of interpretation. Edna Green Medford provides a concluding essay that ties together the essays in the book and addresses the larger themes running throughout the text.
"This splendid collection includes little-known but fascinating accounts of life along the color line. We meet a failed slave owner who could not live up to his famous name, Union patriots (traitors?) in Civil War Mississippi, and African American boxers in--of all places--Columbus, New Mexico, during World War I. John F. Marszalek set exacting standards of scholarship for his doctoral students at Mississippi State University, and here they do their mentor proud!"
--John Dittmer, author of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi, winner of the Bancroft Prize in History- UPM
"Professor John F. Marszalek has been a versatile and prolific producer of top-flight scholarship and doctoral students. These probing, finely crafted essays by his former students on race in American history from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century offer an apt tribute to the work of a distinguished historian. "
--Daniel Feller, editor/director of The Papers of Andrew Jackson and author of The Jacksonian Promise: America, 1815-1840- UPM