Paperback, 9781519450395, 1519450397 In 1868, Elizabeth Keckley published Behind the Scenes, which told her story of slavery and provided insight into the lives of the Lincolns. This is the autobiography of Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who bought her freedom with the money she earned as a seamstress. Keckley, Elizabeth. Lincolns’ years in the White House . Keckley and the first lady formed a close friendship as they endured tragedies together, including the deaths of their sons and the assassination of President Lincoln. Mrs. Lincoln wanted to see you, but I fear that now you are too late.”, “I am sorry, Mrs. McClean. of Elizabeth Keckley’s book entitled . If you do not charge too much, I shall be able to give you all my work.”, “I do not think there will be any difficulty about charges, Mrs. Lincoln; my terms are reasonable.”, “Well, if you will work cheap, you shall have plenty to do. Read an excerpt from the memoir of Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker Elizabeth Keckley: 'Behind the Scenes, Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four in the White House.' Elizabeth Keckley, frontispiece . In the waiting-room I found no less than three mantua-makers waiting for an interview with the wife of the new President. Keckly tells us how she worked her way up to financial independence by being a skilled seamstress, eventually serving as Mrs Lincoln’s private tailor (or modiste as she pointedly calls herself, drawing attention to the artistry and skill that this label suggests). Consider such acts of quiet resistance in this excerpt, and perhaps too the ways that they may relate to other personal and peaceful resistances in the history of civil rights. About Behind the Scenes. Another way of reading this text alongside others might be in relation to other female slave narratives (Mary Prince, Mary Seacole, Harriet Jacobs). “Behind the Scenes of Black Labor: Elizabeth Keckley and the Scandal of Publicity.” Feminist Studies 28, no. All the more remarkable, then, that she transcends the ingrained prejudices against this status and, instead, celebrates it. Originally published in 1868—when it was attacked as an “indecent book” authored by a “traitorous eavesdropper”—Behind the Scenes is the story of Elizabeth Keckley, who began her life as a slave and became a privileged witness to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. This was what shocked white readers at the time: that a black ex-slave woman should dare to narrate white lives, let alone the most famous in the country; that she should have had such privileged access to them, and that she was an expert eye-witness to their behaviour. Born into slavery, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (ca. 1868 . Keckley moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a seamstress and dressmaker for the wives of influential politicians. This TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) research network and its blog facilitates conversations about race, racism, resistance, and liberation within Oxford and beyond. It seems that Mrs. Lincoln had told several of her lady friends that she had urgent need for a dress-maker, and that each of these friends had sent her mantua-maker to the White House. Keckley, you have disappointed me-- deceived me. “You seem to be in a poetical mood to-night,” said his wife. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House. She eventually worked for Mary Lincoln. Image Credits: Keckley, Elizabeth. Elizabeth KECKLEY (1818 - 1907) This is the autobiography of Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who bought her freedom with the money she earned as a seamstress. Web. Behind the Scenes, 1868 . EXCERPTS: Dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln . The other ladies wore morning robes. My long-cherished hope was about to be realized, and I could not rest. With so many rivals for the position sought after, I regarded my chances for success as extremely doubtful. “I am sorry,” I began, but she interrupted me. But for Keckly, as a black woman, the struggle is so much harder; the intersection of race, gender, and class determines her status in the world. I would undertake the dress if I should have to sit up all night--every night, to make my pledge good. By: Elizabeth Keckley (1818-1907). Mrs. Lincoln this morning was dressed in a cashmere wrapper, quilted down the front; and she wore a simple head-dress. 1818-1907. Around Willard’s hotel swayed an excited crowd, and it was with the utmost difficulty that I worked my way to the house on the opposite side of the street, occupied by the McCleans. Monday morning came, and nine o’clock found me at Mrs. McC.’s house. “Yes, mother, these are poetical times,” was his pleasant reply. Behind the Scenes. A slave, friend and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln, and a proprietor with more than twenty employees of her own tells her tale. Senator Douglas, one of the loveliest ladies that I ever met, Mrs. Secretary Wells, Mrs. Secretary Stanton, and others. Behind the Scenes Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House is an autobiographical narrative by Elizabeth Keckley. Wartik, Nancy. Equally galling to white readers was the fact that she possessed such power in Washington, albeit a very different kind from political power. LibriVox recording of Behind the Scenes, by Elizabeth Keckley. Mrs. Keckley, who have you worked for in the city?”. Born a slave in Virginia, Elizabeth Keckley (c. 1824-1907) went on to become a talented dressmaker and designer, with some twenty employees of her own. While in this situation I called at the Ringolds, where I met Mrs. Captain Lee. She eventually worked for Mary Lincoln. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Behind the Scenes, by Elizabeth Keckley This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. Never was such deep interest felt in the inauguration proceedings as was felt to-day; for threats of assassination had been made, and every breeze from the South came heavily laden with the rumors of war. Work came in slowly, and I was beginning to feel very much embarrassed, for I did not know how I was to meet the bills staring me in the face. https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/87/behind-the-scenes/, Chapter 4: In the Family of Senator Jefferson Davis, Chapter 5: My Introduction to Mrs. Lincoln, Chapter 11: The Assassination of President Lincoln, Chapter 12: Mrs. Lincoln leaves the White House Behind the Scenes, Chapter 13: The Origin of the Rivalry between Mr. Douglas and Mr. Lincoln, Chapter 15: The Secret History of Mrs. Lincoln's Wardrobe in New York, Appendix—Letters from Mrs. Lincoln to Mrs. Keckley, Florida Center for Instructional Technology. These ladies, I learned, were relatives of Mrs. L.’s,--Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. Kellogg, her own sisters, and Elizabeth Edwards and Julia Baker, her nieces. Report, I soon saw, was wrong. Biography of Elizabeth Keckley (archived page). Mrs. Douglas always dressed in deep mourning, with excellent taste, and several of the leading ladies of Washington society were extremely jealous of her superior attractions. Notice how Keckley navigates the world of these Washington women (for it is, strikingly, a female-dominated network that we see): she quietly resists being ordered around, for instance in deliberately not attending the meeting she had been brusquely ordered to attend to be introduced to Mrs Lincoln. Mrs. Lincoln looked elegant in her rose-colored moire-antique. Mrs. Lincoln was protesting that she could not go down, for the reason that she had nothing to wear. Mrs. Keckley has met with great success.” And then he proceeded to compliment the other ladies. ... By 1868, when Behind the Scenes was published, readers were familiar with the genre of the slave narrative, which gave vital and moving eyewitness accounts of the atrocities of slavery and helped to fuel the abolition movement. Although it begins as a slave narrative, revealing in a matter-of-fact way the horrors Keckly had to endure until her thirties when she bought her own freedom – including familial separation, cruel owners, brutal beatings, rape and ensuing pregnancy – the narrative shifts focus and form halfway through and becomes the story of a successful businesswoman with unparalleled insight into the lives of the highest-ranking political couple in the land: President and Mrs Lincoln. Elizabeth Keckley, ca. November 30, 2020. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. She intended to teach young "colored women" her method of cutting and fitting dresses, but found that she would not be able to earn a sufficient living for herself and her son. 1 This revealing narrative reflected on Elizabeth’s fascinating story, detailing her life experiences from slavery to her successful career as First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker. Behind the Scenes by Elizabeth Keckley. Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House, the book that was meant to help ease some of Mrs. Lincoln’s public-image woes. Keckley, 22-23. For this reason, Keckly’s book has often been referred to as a Reconstruction parable, revealing in a nutshell the problems of that period just after the Civil War and until the 1920s when the legal and political reforms established by the government to abolish racism failed catastrophically and prolonged the struggle of African Americans to gain genuine equality in America. I trust that your terms are reasonable. Behind the Scenes Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House is an autobiographical narrative by Elizabeth Keckley.In it she tells the story of her life as a slave and her time as a seamstress for Mrs. Lincoln in the White House. Elizabeth Keckley's post-Civil War life story is part slave narrative, part gossip column, part Horatio Alger story. 1818-1907 Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House New York: G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, 1868. ###Behind the Scenes# is the life story of Elizabeth Keckley, a shrewd entrepreneur who, while enslaved, raised enough money to purchase freedom for herself and her son. When I reminded him that I was a stranger, and that the goods were valuable, he remarked that he was not afraid to trust me--that he believed my face was the index to an honest heart. She eventually worked for Mary Lincoln. Behind the scenes, by Elizabeth Keckley, ca. View all » Common terms and phrases. This is the autobiography of Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who bought her freedom with the money she earned as a seamstress. Carleton & Company, 1868. Today's post profiles Elizabeth Keckley, a remarkable 19th century African American businesswoman. She was one of the first African-American women to publish a book (Wartik). Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House - Ebook written by Elizabeth Keckley. Behind the Scenes Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House is an autobiographical narrative by Elizabeth Keckley. Davis! Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. Keckley became Mary Lincoln’s favorite dressmaker and later her personal companion, confidante, and Behind the Scenes. Hello Select your address Best Sellers Today's Deals New Releases Electronics Books Customer Service Gift Ideas Home Computers Today's Deals New Releases Electronics Books Customer Service Gift Ideas Home Computers She is also the co-creator of The Contagion Cabaret, which is available to stream online. Catering to the wives, daughters, and sisters of Washington's political elite, she included among her clientele Mary Todd Lincoln, who became her close friend and confidante. One of the key things that emerges is Keckley’s use of sentimental fiction genre characteristics of narrative, compared with Douglass’s direct, factual tone. Behind the Scenes Full Audiobook by Elizabeth KECKLEY by Non-fiction Audiobook - Duration: 6:08:00. She is a Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Oxford. It is a fascinating book, filled with many recollections of her own life and her interactions with the Lincolns and other members of the government elite. The publisher's advertisements following p. 371 have been scanned as images. This vintage book contains Elizabeth Keckley's 1868 work, "Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House". 3 (2002): 515-37. Well, I have it in my power to obtain you this privilege. drove up to my apartments, came in where I was engaged with my needle, and in her emphatic way said: “Lizzie, I am invited to dine at Willard’s on next Sunday, and positively I have not a dress fit to wear on the occasion. In her riveting memoir, Elizabeth Keckley (1818–1907) takes us behind the scenes of her amazing story, set against some of the most dramatic elements of American history. Behind the Scenes. By Elizabeth Keckley. In the mean time I was employed by Mrs. Behind the scenes, or, Thirty years a slave and four years in the White House. Keckley moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a seamstress and dressmaker for the wives of influential politicians. You did not say what you wanted with me yesterday, so I judged that this morning would do as well.”, “You should have come yesterday,” she insisted. The excerpt we have chosen from Behind the Scenes perfectly illustrates this power, her awareness of it, and her ability to wield it. “Mrs. She eventually worked for Mary Lincoln. Behind the Scenes Elizabeth Keckley Limited preview - 2016. I became the regular modiste of Mrs. Lincoln. It was pleasant to be spoken to thus, and I shall never forget the kind words of Mr. Harper. I was the last one summoned to Mrs. Lincoln’s presence. Santamarina, Xiomara. Santamarina, Xiomara. One day when I was very busy, Mrs. McC. That year, she moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where she stayed for six weeks. Behind the Scenes, Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years In the White House.New York City, G.W. An entire network of influential politicians’ wives and sometimes their husbands was dependent on her. After purchasing her own and her son’s freedom in St. Louis, Missouri in 1855, Keckley has moved to Washington, D.C. and established her reputation as a modiste, or seamstress, with the wives of many powerful politicians as her clients. Professor Shepherd-Barr is also one of the founders of the Ten-Minute Book Club, and together with Dr Alexandra Paddock she is the founder of the project that helped to inspire it, LitHits. “Behind the Scenes of Black Labor: Elizabeth Keckley and the Scandal of Publicity.” Feminist Studies 28, no. Of course you gave satisfaction; so far, good. Her skills brought her to the attention of Mary Todd Lincoln, who hired Keckley in 1861. It is impossible for me to make a dress for you to wear on Sunday next.”. Half memoir, half fiction, this volume chronicles Keckley's time spent as a slave and her later life in the White House during the American Civil War. I crossed the street, and on entering the hotel was met by Mrs. McClean, who greeted me: “Lizzie, why did you not come yesterday, as I requested? In it she tells the story of her life as a slave and her time as a seamstress for Mrs. Lincoln in the White House. In it she tells the story of her life as a slave and her time as a seamstress for Mrs. Lincoln in the White House. Instead, she goes the next day. We are just from the West, and are poor. This collection of children's literature is a part of the Educational Technology Clearinghouse and is funded by various grants. I often recall them, for they are associated with the dawn of a brighter period in my dark life. Keckly’s dressmaking skill was sought after by the most famous families in the capital. A cheery voice bade me come in, and a lady, inclined to stoutness, about forty years of age, stood before me. The handkerchief found, all became serene. Keckly is the paragon of virtue and dignity, morally spotless and fiercely sensible, clear-headed, and calm under pressure. In 1868, Keckley published a detailed account of her life in the autobiography Behind the Scenes: Or, ... Elizabeth Keckley was an incredible businesswoman and was also known for her beauty. Keckly can be terse, dry, and even silent at times on major issues; she narrates the personal costs of slavery in a spare factual way, commenting only that ‘slavery had its dark side as well as its bright side’ (30), when describing the events that led to the tragic premature death of her Uncle. Shall I send her to you?”, “If you please. As with other slave narratives such as those of Mary Prince, Frederick Douglass, Mary Seacole, and Harriet Jacobs, the facts speak for themselves. One of my patrons was Mrs. Gen. McClean, a daughter of Gen. Sumner. Senator Davis has been one of my best patrons,” was my reply. This bold and original move outraged many white critics, who poured scorn on what ‘the Keckley woman’ had written. Elizabeth Keckley, née le 26 mai 1818 à Dinwiddie et morte le 26 mai 1907 à Washington, est une femme de lettres américaine.. Biographie. Hope fell at once. Elizabeth Keckley BEHIND THE SCENES, or, Thirty Years a Slave, and . Source: This fifth chapter in the autobiography of Elizabeth Keckley, who had endured a brutal period of enslavement in her earlier life, depicts the moment when she is first introduced to the Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady. I had heard so much, in current and malicious report, of her low life, of her ignorance and vulgarity, that I expected to see her embarrassed on this occasion. Keckley, E. (1868) Behind the Scenes London, England: Partridge and Oakey, Keckley, E. (1868). This week’s excerpt shows Keckley in a similar position to Jane when she is being sized up and interviewed by prospective employers. I was shown into a waiting-room, and informed that Mrs. Lincoln was at breakfast. Elizabeth Keckley BEHIND THE SCENES, or, Thirty Years a Slave, and . However, as Elizabeth stat-ed regretfully in 1901, “I never received a dollar from the publication of that book. Mr. Lincoln came in, threw himself on the sofa, laughed with Willie and little Tad, and then commenced pulling on his gloves, quoting poetry all the while. These qualities shine through in the narrative style, as in this excerpt when she relates how she met Mrs Lincoln and how she eventually won her confidence. 2017 Reprint of 1868 Edition. The streets of the capital were thronged with people, for this was Inauguration day. This portrait of Elizabeth Keckley was included in the 1868 publication of her autobiography, "Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House." Buy Behind the Scenes by Keckley, Elizabeth online on Amazon.ae at best prices. EXCERPTS: Dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln . “The dress-maker that Mrs. McClean recommended?”, “Very well; I have not time to talk to you now, but would like to have you call at the White House, at eight o’clock to-morrow morning, where I shall then be.”. I bowed myself out of the room, and returned to my apartments. Her autobiography entitled, Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House was published in 1868. “Go up to Mrs. Lincoln’s room”--giving me the number--”she may find use for you yet.”. With a nervous step I passed on, and knocked at Mrs. Lincoln’s door. Elizabeth Keckley Limited preview - 2009. Click here for the lowest price! It is true, the bills were small, but then they were formidable to me, who had little or nothing to pay them with. But this is no ‘kiss and tell’ book. I dressed her hair, and arranged the dress on her. Behind the Scenes: Formerly a Slave, But More Recently Modiste, and a Friend ... Elizabeth Keckley, Frances Smith Foster Limited preview - 1868. Lit2Go Edition. https://www.virginiahistory.org/.../virginia-history-explorer/elizabeth-keckley It appears that Mrs. Lincoln had upset a cup of coffee on the dress she designed wearing on the evening of the reception after the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, which rendered it necessary that she should have a new one for the occasion. This ex-slave has kept the President’s wife waiting, and on Inauguration Day itself! of Elizabeth Keckley’s book entitled . Why do you bring my dress at this late hour?”, “Because I have just finished it, and I thought I should be in time.”, “But you are not in time, Mrs. Keckley; you have bitterly disappointed me. Can you do my work?”, “Yes, Mrs. Lincoln. One of the themes that emerges most strongly from Keckley’s account is her autonomy and agency, which were rare for a black woman of her time, and which emanated from her skill as a seamstress. Just before starting down-stairs, Mrs. Lincoln’s lace handkerchief was the object of search. Ever since arriving in Washington I had a great desire to work for the ladies of the White House, and to accomplish this end I was ready to make almost any sacrifice consistent with propriety. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Behind the Scenes: Keckley, Elizabeth: Amazon.nl Selecteer uw cookievoorkeuren We gebruiken cookies en vergelijkbare tools om uw winkelervaring te verbeteren, onze services aan te bieden, te begrijpen hoe klanten onze services gebruiken zodat we verbeteringen … by Keckley, Elizabeth online on Amazon.ae at best prices. Keckley, Elizabeth. Mr. Lincoln can go down with the other ladies.”, “But there is plenty of time for you to dress, Mary,” joined in Mrs. Grimsly and Mrs. Edwards. This item: Behind the Scenes by Elizabeth Keckley Paperback $6.85. Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Elizabeth Keckley, frontispiece . In it she tells the story of her life as a slave and her time as a seamstress for Mrs. Lincoln in the White House. Can you recommend her to me?”, “With confidence. The text, whose title already signals a kind of looking or spectating through the theatrical word ‘scenes,’ engages with and radically revises standard visual images in the visual culture of the period with regard to race and slave narratives. Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House, the book that was meant to help ease some of Mrs. Lincoln’s public-image woes. I can have you ready in a few minutes.”, “No, I won’t be dressed. Elizabeth Keckley was a formerly enslaved person who became the dressmaker and friend of Mary Todd Lincoln and a frequent visitor to the White House during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. “Now don’t say no again.
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