Tucson: Published by the author, 1987. ,33pp. Original pictorial front wrapper, stapled. Rear wrapper lacking, if issued. Minor fraying to front wrapper around staples, four paper lifts on front cover, likely from removed tape, some creasing. Internally clean. About very good. Item #4089
A homespun production, being one of fifty copies produced by modern photocopy methods and "especially published as an Offering for Juneteenth, 1987." The work was distributed solely by the author; the colophon on the inside front cover further states that the work was "Self-published by the author as one of a series put out by Wolfclan Homestead Press....all rights reserved, but please use the concepts and point of view presented herein in art, dance, poetry, and historical research." The author, Caitlin Huggins Williams, is a Tucson-based artist, modern and spirit dancer, Voodoo enthusiast, and social justice advocate. According to the preface, Williams wrote the work because the only other version of Pleasant's story she could find was "a grossly distorted version of Mary Ellen's life." The present biography is devoted to the life story of Mary Ellen Pleasant, a prominent slave rescuer, abolitionist, civil rights advocate, and entrepreneur who might have been the first self-made African American millionaire. The work is organized in seven chapters, telling Pleasant's story from her birth into slavery in 1816 to her death in San Francisco in 1904. It opens with a spiritual invocation in which Williams attempts to summon Pleasant, and the text of Pleasant's biography is thereafter written in the first person. A strange but fascinating metaphysical biographical treatment of an important 19th-century African American woman.