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The Resource From slave ship to Harvard : Yarrow Mamout and the history of an African American family, James H. Johnston

From slave ship to Harvard : Yarrow Mamout and the history of an African American family, James H. Johnston

Label
From slave ship to Harvard : Yarrow Mamout and the history of an African American family
Title
From slave ship to Harvard
Title remainder
Yarrow Mamout and the history of an African American family
Statement of responsibility
James H. Johnston
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • In 1752, a 16-year-old literate Muslim was transported from Africa into North American enslavement; in 1923, his great-great-grandson entered Harvard. From the dusty bins of history (wills, estate inventories, ledgers, deeds, census records), and, befitting the lawyer he is, “circumstantial evidence” and the serendipitous discovery of living descendants, Johnston brings fresh dimension to Yarrow Mamout, known primarily as the subject of Charles Willson Peale’s 1819 painting. Manumitted in 1796, having already secured the freedom of his son, acquired property, and purchased bank stock, Yarrow died in 1823 in Washington, D.C. The network of extended families and the world of small towns, along with memories rife with variations, make for a thorny thicket of intertwined histories as the lives of his owner Bealls, the painter Peale, and Yarrow’s family converge and diverge. Johnston helpfully provides both a family tree and an epilogue locating the historical places (some obliterated by development) in contemporary sites. Yarrow enters art history through Peale’s portrait; Johnston’s book gives him a tangible, if sometimes speculative, life and legacy. Together, they portray an illuminating, thought-provoking, relatively unusual moment in early American history. (May) --Staff (Reviewed February 13, 2012) (Publishers Weekly, vol 259, issue 07, p)
  • Born in 1736 in West Africa, Yarrow Mamout was enslaved, transported to America, and purchased by Marylander Samuel Beall in 1752. Freed in 1797, Yarrow accumulated sufficient capital to invest in bank stock and to purchase a house in Washington, DC. Today, he is remembered primarily because in 1819 the artist Charles Willson Peale painted an intriguing portrait of him (as did James Alexander Simpson, in 1822). Johnston, an attorney and journalist, tells the story of Yarrow and his relatives, including Yarrow's sister, son, and later descendant Robert Turner Ford, who, in 1927, graduated from Harvard University. Chapters reconstruct Yarrow's life in Africa, his slave life in early America, the circumstances surrounding Peale's portrait, and Yarrow's family tree through to the present. An epilog offers remarks on 29 "tangible things" (e.g., art, buildings, and documents) that relate to the book's themes and still survive. Johnston draws on primary documents, secondary scholarship, and scores of interviews with living authorities. VERDICT Part historical narrative, part genealogical detective work, this book will appeal to a range of academic and general readers, especially those interested in race relations in early America.— Mark G. Spencer, Brock Univ., St. Catharines, Ont. --Mark G. Spencer (Reviewed March 1, 2012) (Library Journal, vol 137, issue 04, p105)
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10109898
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1944-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Johnston, James H.
Dewey number
  • 306.3/62092
  • B
Index
index present
LC call number
E185.93.M2
LC item number
J65 2012
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Mamout, Yarrow
  • Mamout, Yarrow
  • Slaves
  • Free African Americans
  • African Americans
  • Slavery
  • African American families
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
Yarrow Mamout and the history of an African American family
Label
From slave ship to Harvard : Yarrow Mamout and the history of an African American family, James H. Johnston
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
854435
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9780823239504
Lccn
2011047006
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780823239504
Label
From slave ship to Harvard : Yarrow Mamout and the history of an African American family, James H. Johnston
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
854435
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9780823239504
Lccn
2011047006
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780823239504

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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