Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Co., 1955. 52pp. Original printed wrappers, stapled. Moderate edge wear to wrappers, short vertical tear to top edge of front wrapper, mild soiling and rubbing. Light dampstain at bottom of gutter throughout. Very good. Item #3898
The rare 1955 reprint of Etienne Maxson's 1930 history of the progress of African Americans in several towns in Mississippi, including vital biographical information on African-American riverboat captains along the Pearl River. Maxson includes short histories of four Mississippi river towns - Pearlington, Logtown, Napoleon, and Gainesville - with details on the businesses and business men in the areas, mainly those working in the lumber industry. Further, Maxson states in his Preface that the work has "endeavored to show the progress of the colored people under the headings of Industrial Progress, Educational Progress, Business Progress, Political Progress, and Religious Progress." In addition, Maxson states that "the names of eighty-nine colored captains on Pearl River are given, besides, colored engineers, carpenters, bricklayers, blacksmiths, etc., as well as what they owned, the kinds of businesses they carried on, and the schools and the churches that they built." As such, this work is likely the only place some or all of these names are recorded for posterity. The author also includes a portrait of himself as a frontispiece. Finally, the Appendix includes short sections on such subjects as "Bill Asks to Adjust Claims for Slaves Freed by Lincoln," "Why Are There Different Colors of the Human Race?," "Railroads and the Fugitive Slaves," and more. Though a reprint twenty-five years after the original edition, both works are exceedingly rare in OCLC, with a total of six copies of the 1930 edition (Library of Congress, Emory, Tulane, University of Mississippi, Jefferson Parish Library, and Southern Mississippi) and three copies of this 1955 reprint (UC Santa Barbara, Mississippi State, and Southern Mississippi).