In June 1867, theSan Francisco Elevator-one of the nation\'s premier black weekly newspapers during Reconstruction-began publishing articles by a Californian calling herself \"Ann J. Trask\" and later \"Semper Fidelis.\" Her name was Jennie Carter (1830-1881), and theElevatorwould print her essays, columns, and poems for seven years.
Carter probably spent her early life in New Orleans, New York, and Wisconsin, but by the time she wrote her \"Always Faithful\" columns for the newspaper, she was in Nevada County, California. Her work considers California and national politics, race and racism, women\'s rights and suffrage, temperance, morality, education, and a host of other issues, all from the point of view of an unabashedly strong-minded African American woman.
Recovering Carter\'s work from obscurity, this volume re-presents one of the most exciting bodies of extant work by an African American journalist before the twentieth century. Editor Eric Gardner provides an introduction that documents as much of Carter\'s life in California as can be known and places her work in historical and lite-rary context.
Eric Gardner is chair and professor of English at Saginaw Valley State University. He is the editor ofMajor Voices: The Drama of Slavery, and his work has appeared inAfrican American Review, theAfrican American National Biography, andLegacy.
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