By Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz
This e-book examines a extraordinary selection of twenty-seven letters written by way of a white working-class lady to her African American lover in 1907 and 1908. crammed inside of a black lace stocking, the letters have been hidden less than the floorboards of a home in Northampton, Massachusetts, until eventually their fresh discovery. Reflecting the passions and anxieties of the instant, the letters have been written through Alice Hanley, the daughter of Irish Catholic immigrants, to Channing Lewis, a prepare dinner in Springfield. because the ideas and emotions of girls like Hanley have often been filtered via middle-class reformers, her phrases offer an extraordinary window right into a realm of yankee social existence seldom explored by means of historians. The letters are observed by means of essays that skillfully probe their better meanings. Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz introduces the letters, putting them within the context in their time, whereas journalist Phoebe Rolin Mitchell recounts the tale in their discovery. Kathy Peiss explores Hanley's lifestyles, her negotiation of illicit love, and her hope for respectability, re-creating a dense and textured global of domestic, church, and city. Historian Louis Wilson reveals the path left by means of Lewis and contributors of his in Springfield. Reviewing the studies of African americans in that urban, Wilson clarifies the commercial, social, and political place of a black, middle-aged breadwinner in the course of the tricky years of the early 20th century.