Search Results for: Natalie

Reprise: French seams

Some slaves/servants were highly-skilled domestic craftsmen. The novel’s widow Parthenia Leila Ellis’s housekeeper/slave Natalie, for instance. Natalie was skilled at sewing French seams even in silk, while her mistress was afraid of sewing silk at all. The French seam remains in use … Continue reading

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A Visit From the Old Mistress

This poignant 1876 painting by Winslow Homer is rarely seen except in art gallery presentations. The Smithsonian’s collection interprets it this way: “…the living conditions of these former slaves would appear not to have improved since before the time of … Continue reading

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Slavery in the North

Brutus and Natalie, the slaves/servants of widow Leila Ellis, are fictitious. But they represent what some moderns, in a simplistic good/evil dichotomy of the complicated Civil War, consider a unique Southern evil. They probably never heard of the Northern-financed slave … Continue reading

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The College Hill battery

Captain Jacob Roemer commanded the Thirty-Fourth Battery, New York Artillery, which was situated on the College Hill to the south of Fort Sanders. The battery’s four three-inch (76 mm) rifled guns took turns firing from about 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. … Continue reading

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Slavery in Tennessee

The novel’s Leila Ellis’s inheritance of the house slaves Natalie and Brutus from her wealthy late husband Clayton is in keeping with the facts of Tennessee slavery, according to Bobby Lovett, a historian of slavery at Tennessee State University: “In … Continue reading

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French seams

Some slaves/servants were highly-skilled domestic craftsmen. The widow Ellis’s housekeeper/slave Natalie, for instance, was skilled at sewing French seams in silk, while her mistress was terrified of sewing silk at all. The French seam remains in use because it is … Continue reading

Posted in "Knoxville 1863", Parthenia Leila Ellis, Slavery | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment