Home » Emilie Daviss Civil War: The Diaries of a Free Black Woman in Philadelphia, 1863-1865 by Emilie Frances Davis
Emilie Daviss Civil War: The Diaries of a Free Black Woman in Philadelphia, 1863-1865 Emilie Frances Davis

Emilie Daviss Civil War: The Diaries of a Free Black Woman in Philadelphia, 1863-1865

Emilie Frances Davis

Published
ISBN : 9780271063676
Hardcover
211 pages
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 About the Book 

Emilie Davis was a free African American woman who lived in Philadelphia during the Civil War. She worked as a seamstress, attended the Institute for Colored Youth, and was an active member of her community. She lived an average life in her day, butMoreEmilie Davis was a free African American woman who lived in Philadelphia during the Civil War. She worked as a seamstress, attended the Institute for Colored Youth, and was an active member of her community. She lived an average life in her day, but what sets her apart is that she kept a diary. Her daily entries from 1863 to 1865, touch on the momentous and the mundane: she discusses her own and her communitys reaction to events of the war, such as the Battle of Gettysburg, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the assassination of President Lincoln, as well as the minutiae of the social life of Philadelphias black community. The diaries allow the reader to experience the Civil War in real time through the perspective of a free black woman, providing a voice in counterpoint to more widely known diaries of the period.Judith Giesberg has written an accessible introduction to the work, situating Davis and her diaries within the historical, cultural, and political context of Philadelphia during the war. In addition to furnishing a new window through which to view the wars major events, Daviss diaries give us a rare look into how the war was lived as a part of personal, everyday life, as its dramatic turns and lulls and its pervasive, agonizing uncertainty affected life in a northern city with a vibrant black community.