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Overshadowed A Novel   By: (1872-1933)

Overshadowed A Novel by Sutton E. Griggs

First Page:

E text prepared by Suzanne Shell, Mary Meehan, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team ( from page images generously made available by Internet Archive/American Libraries (

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A Novel.



Author of "Imperium in Imperio."

Nashville, Tenn.: The Orion Publishing Co. 1901.

Copyrighted Sutton E. Griggs 1901.


To the Memory of ALBERTA, Who, in the absence of this her oldest brother, crossed over the dark stream, smiling as she went, this volume is most affectionately dedicated by



The task assigned to the Negroes of the United States is unique in the history of mankind.

He whose grandfather was a savage and whose father was a slave has been bidden to participate in a highly complex civilization on terms of equality with the most cultured, aggressive and virile type of all times, the Anglo Saxon.

The stupendous character of the task is apparent when it is called to mind that the civilization in which they are to work out their respective destinies is fitted to the nature of the Anglo Saxon, because he evolved it; while, on the other hand, the nature of the Negro must be fitted to the civilization , thus necessitating the casting aside of all that he had evolved.

This attempt on the part of the infant child of modern civilization to keep pace with the hale and hearty parent thereof, has served to contribute its quota of tragedies to the countless myriads that have been enacted under the sun, since the Cosmic forces first broke forth out of night into light, and began their upward, sightless, or shall we rather say, full visioned tread in quest of the "music of the spheres" and the higher purposes of the GREAT BEYOND.

What part in the great final programme these Cosmic forces have assigned to the attempt of the Negro to journey by the side of the white man, none are yet able to say, the situation being still in process of unfoldment.

While we watch with becoming reverence and muse thereon, we catch up our lyre to sing to the memory of those slain in their name, if not by their order.

Very respectfully yours, THE AUTHOR.


I. A Girl Perplexed

II. The Cause Revealed but not Removed

III. Other Actors

IV. A Lady who did not know that she was a Lady

V. What a Kiss Did

VI. Up to Date Aristocracy in a Negro Church

VII. Rev. Josiah Nerve, D. D. S.

VIII. He Narrowly Escapes

IX. The Pit is Dug

X. The Victims

XI. Murder

XII. The Visit of a Policeman

XIII. Backward, then Forward

XIV. As Least Expected

XV. An Awful Resolve

XVI. A Political Trick

XVII. Paving the Way

XVIII. John Wysong Confesses

XIX. Added Sorrows

XX. Speaker Lanier

XXI. The Hanging

XXII. Worse than Death

XXIII. Full of Joy

XXIV. Opposing the Wedding

XXV. Erma and an Assassin

XXVI. Name the Chapter After you Read It

XXVII. The Funeral


A farmer who is planting corn in a fertile field, halts beneath the shade of a huge oak to rest at noon.

Accidentally a grain of corn drops from his bag, finds lodgement in the soil, and in time begins to grow.

The grains that fell in the field will have their difficulties in reaching maturity.

There is the danger of too much water, of the drought, of the coming worms.

But the grain that came to life under the oak has its peculiar struggles.

It must contend for sustenance with the roots of the oak.

It must wrestle with the shade of the oak.

The life of this isolated grain of corn is one continuous tragedy.

OVERSHADOWED is the story of this grain of corn, the Anglo Saxon being the oak, and the Negro the plant struggling for existence... Continue reading book >>

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