Elizabeth Johnson Harris Memoir

Handwritten memoir of poet and writer Elizabeth Johnson Harris

Source Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Elizabeth Johnson Harris memoir 1922-1923

Collection #RL.11362 | .1 Linear Feet (1 notebook)

Photocopies and original of a bound handwritten memoir (85 p.) by an African American woman from Summerville and Augusta, Georgia, Elizabeth Johnson Harris (1867-1942). Begun in September, 1922, the memoir describes Harris' childhood in Augusta, Georgia, race relations in Boston, Massachusetts and in Augusta, Georgia, her ambivalence about her place in society as an African American, and the history of her church activities and schooling from childhood through adulthood. She conveys anecdotes and histories about her ancestors during Reconstruction, including her grandfather's grant of land in Summerville (Augusta) from a former enslaver, James W. Bones. She includes many details about her courtship and marriage, as well as descriptions of the adult lives of several of her children. There are also tipped-in photographs and newsclippings. The appendix (12 p.) contains poetry and news stories by Harris, folk tales, and two obituaries about Harris. Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture and the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

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