UTC
The Knickerbocker Monthly Magazine
Unsigned Review
New York: August 1863

[from] Notices of New Publications

JOURNAL OF A RESIDENCE ON A GEORGIAN PLANTATION IN 1838-1839. By FRANCES ANNE KEMBLE. Harper & Brothers.

  THE preface to the London edition of this book, which consists of letters and a diary, informs us that it was written in the winter and spring of 1838-9, on a rice and cotton estate, in the islands at the entrance of the Altamaha, on the coast of Georgia. If we may judge by the time which has elapsed since the work was written, its publication was not originally intended, and why the authoress, (Mrs. BUTLER,) an English lady, who writes under her maiden name, gives it to the world now, we are not told. But


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we surmise, that a desire to expose the horrors of slavery, as they appeared to her on her husband's plantation, has much to do with it. It is rather late in the day, certainly, to rake up old material of this kind, and the animus is not entirely above suspicion. The picture of the domestic condition of the negro, however impartially drawn, twenty-five years ago, can hardly represent with accuracy his condition as it was immediately before the war broke out. Whatever truth or falsehood there may have been in 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' there can be little doubt that the book before us is open to the same criticisms, on the ground of occasional exaggeration, while the writer's prejudices against slavery are evidently no less strong than those of the authoress of that celebrated work. Slavery will die a natural or violent death, but the publication of such books as these only tend to inflame opinion, without hastening or retarding the desired end.