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University of South Carolina Press

A Plantation Mistress on the Eve of the Civil War

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The Diary of Kezia Goodwyn Hopkins Brevard, 1860-1861

An insightful prelude to the well-known wartime diaries of Mary Boykin Chesnut and Emma Holmes

The diary Keziah Brevard documents one plantation mistress's reflections on the momentous events that shook the South during the months leading up to the Civil War: the election of Abraham Lincoln, South Carolina's secession convention, and the attack on Fort Sumter. A childless middle-aged widow, Brevard lived nine miles from Columbia, South Carolina, with her slaves as her only companions. In her diary she recorded everyday stewardship of two plantations, a farm, and a gristmill. In the journal Brevard also grappled with her most private struggles, including her vacillation about the morality of secession and slavery, her fear of abolitionists, and her sense of foreboding about the coming conflict.

Edited by John Hammond Moore
1993 University of South Carolina Press

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