Information about our holdings

Recent Acquisitions: Books

Search Orbis for the complete records of the following nineteenth and twentieth century titles recently added to the James Weldon Johnson Collection.

W. L. Haskell, “Onward,” [Alabama], 1903.
An inspirational broadside printed in honor of W. E. B. DuBois and featuring captioned portraits of DuBois, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Black Patti, and others.

William Hayden, Narrative of William Hayden, Containing a Faithful Account of his Travels for a Number of Years, Whilst a Slave in the South. Written By Himself, Cincinnati: Privately Printed, 1846.
A rare slave narrative documenting the life of William Hayden, a slave born in 1785 in Bell-plains, Stafford County, Virginia. Hayden recounts his experiences traveling throughout the South as an enslaved man, and gives an account of his education and of the development of the skills that eventually allowed him to earn enough money to buy his freedom and that of his mother and sister.

J. Willis Menard, Lays in Summer Lands, Washington: Enterprise Publishing Company, 1879.
The first and only edition of poetry written by J. Willis Menard, the first African American elected to the U.S. Congress in 1868. Menard’s white opponent appealed the vote and was awarded the congressional seat in spite of Menard’s clear victory in the polls. When he spoke before Congress in defense of his election, Menard became the first African American to address the U.S. Congress.

E.P. (Elymas Payson) Rogers, The Repeal of the Missouri Compromise Considered, Newark: A Stephen Holbrook, 1854.
A very rare first edition of a long poem by an African-American poet attacking the repeal of the Missouri Compromise which would allow slavery in territories where the Missouri Compromise had outlawed it.

Bethany Veney, Narrative of Bethany Veney: A Slave Woman, Worcester, Mass, 1889.
A first edition of this uncommon title, including a frontispiece portrait of the author.


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