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Iola Leroy

Book cover
By: (1825-1911)

This is the story of Iola Leroy, a free-born, mixed-race woman who passed as white. Her true racial identity eventually discovered, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Later freed by the Union Army, she journeyed to find others of her family who had been disunited from each other and strewn across the south by the forces of slavery. In the process she also struggled to improve the economic and social station of African Americans. Iola Leroy is a story about race and gender roles during the antebellum and post-Civil War eras, "passing" and the associated socio-political consequences.

First Page:

IOLA LEROY,

OR

SHADOWS UPLIFTED.

BY

FRANCES E.W. HARPER.

1893, Philadelphia

TO MY DAUGHTER

MARY E. HARPER,

THIS BOOK IS LOVINGLY DEDICATED.

INTRODUCTION.

I confess when I first learned that Mrs. Harper was about to write "a story" on some features of the Anglo African race, growing out of what was once popularly known as the "peculiar institution," I had my doubts about the matter. Indeed it was far from being easy for me to think that she was as fortunate as she might have been in selecting a subject which would afford her the best opportunity for bringing out a work of merit and lasting worth to the race such a work as some of her personal friends have long desired to see from her graphic pen. However, after hearing a good portion of the manuscript read, and a general statement with regard to the object in view, I admit frankly that my partial indifference was soon swept away; at least I was willing to wait for further developments.

Being very desirous that one of the race, so long distinguished in the cause of freedom for her intellectual worth as Mrs... Continue reading book >>


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