Emilie Davis's Civil War: The Diaries of a Free Black Woman in Philadelphia, 1863-1865 by Judith GiesbergEmilie Davis's Civil War: The Diaries of a Free Black Woman in Philadelphia, 1863-1865 by Judith Giesberg

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

EditorJudith GiesbergContribution byThe Memorable Days Project

Paperback | June 3, 2014

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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, 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 community’s reactions 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 social life in Philadelphia’s black community. Her diaries allow the reader to experience the Civil War in “real time” and are a counterpoint to more widely known diaries of the period.

Judith Giesberg has written an accessible introduction, situating Davis and her diaries within the historical, cultural, and political context of wartime Philadelphia. In addition to furnishing a new window through which to view the war’s major events, Davis’s diaries give us a rare look at how the war was experienced as a part of everyday life—how its dramatic turns and lulls and its pervasive, agonizing uncertainty affected a northern city with a vibrant black community.

Judith Giesberg is Professor of History at Villanova University. Judith Giesberg is Professor of History at Villanova University.
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Title:Emilie Davis's Civil War: The Diaries of a Free Black Woman in Philadelphia, 1863-1865Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.67 inPublished:June 3, 2014Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271063688

ISBN - 13:9780271063683

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Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

List of People and Institutions Mentioned in the Diary

A Note on Method

Introduction

Chapter 1 1863

Chapter 2 1864

Chapter 3 1865

Coda: All’s Well that Ends Well

Bibliography

The Memorable Days Project Editorial Team

Index

Editorial Reviews

“This book and its digital counterpart are priceless additions to the study of the northern Civil War home front.”

—Tyler Sperrazza, Civil War Monitor