A very important and influential text on the run up to the Civil War. Frederick Law Olmsted was a highly respected architect and planner; Central Park in New York City crested his resume. But his commitment to beautification was more than financial; he was a real believer in the beatific vision of America. He planned parks, gardens, what he thought of as "livable cities." And he believed this for all people, including the black slaves of the south.
In the 1850's he was commissioned by the New York Daily Times to travel to the South and send back his reports. The objective was transparent; tell the story of slavery and galvanize northern sentiment toward abolition. And so he went, to Virginia, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, andLouisiana.
His work celebrates the patience and labor of "negro slaves," and is deeply critical of the Southern structures which confine them. He reports on runaway slaves, tobacco plantations, records a slave funeral, negro church services, the slave trade, how slaves recreate, religious education of slaves, etc., And is illustrated throughout.
The present copy tantalizingly signed "Charles Chandler," perhaps the same as the author of The Story of a Slave. A Realistic Revelation of Slave Times - Hitherto Unwritten - From the Pen of One who has Felt both the Lash and the Caress of a Mistress. Most sources believe Chandler to have been white and writing fictitiously, Olmsted's extensive work would have easily presented him with enough substantiable material to work with.
Olmsted, Frederick Law. A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States, with Remarks on their Economy. New York. Dix & Edwards. 1856. 724pp + Publisher's Catalogue.
Good + to very good with wear just through and frayed at points as shown. Generally solid and very clean; one page with a smudge of something, not obscuring text.