A Plantation Mistress on the Eve of the Civil War: The Diary of Keziah Goodwyn Hopkins Brevard, 1860-1861

John H. Moore, Editor, Keziah G. Brevard, Author University of South Carolina Press $24.95 (137p) ISBN 978-0-87249-841-9
This diary by a 57-year-old widowed South Carolina plantation owner vividly evokes the mundane concerns of the antebellum plantation period as well as events leading up to the fall of Fort Sumter and the beginning of the Civil War. Skillfully edited by Moore, a chronicler of South Carolina's history and society, the book is the sixth in the publisher's series of diaries and letters by 19th-century Southern women. Keziah's account of her stewardship of a large plantation and her reports on crops, wine-making and weather reflect a keen mind and a capable, independent though spiritually tormented character. Significant, also, are her observations about many of her 200 slaves whose hostility, with the exception of a few favorites, she deplores and whom she considers for the most part a ``multitude of half barbarians . . . not prepared for the freedom'' advocated by ``the rabble of the North.'' Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!