The roving editor : or, Talks with slaves in the southern states. By James Redpath Redpath, James 1833-1891

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Redpath, James 1833-1891
Slaves -- United States -- Social conditions; Southern States -- Description and travel; Slaves - Social conditions.
While a reporter at Horace Greeley's New York Tribune in the 1850s, James Redpath developed a strong curiosity about slavery and decided that he would travel south "to see slavery with my own eyes." Redpath interviewed slaves, recorded their opinions, and recounted them in the form of letters which he then published in antislavery newspapers under the pseudonym "John Ball, Jr." Redpath later collected these letters into book form, publishing them in 1859 as The Roving Editor. This new edition reproduces the text of The Roving Editor together with important supplemental documents and extensive editorial apparatus. Some historians over the years have dismissed Redpath's interviews as the fabrication of a radical abolitionist, but John R. McKivigan has uncovered important historical records that for the first time certify their authenticity. He presents here the original newspaper articles that supply the places and times of many of the slave encounters, which Redpath had edited out of the book. Furthermore, using Redpath's unpublished correspondence, McKivigan verifies his residence in southern communities at the times these interviews were reported to have taken place, making The Roving Editor one of the most valuable and compelling sources of the slaves' own testimony regarding their treatment in the late antebellum period.
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