Wednesday, August 01, 2012

New and Noteworthy---Richmond Virginia Before the War

The Richmond Slave Trade: The Economic Backbone of the Old Dominion, Jack Trammell, History Press, 128 pp., 26 b/w illustration, 4 charts, 2 maps, references, 2012, $19.99. 
 Edgar Allan Poe's Richmond: The Raven In The River City, Christopher P. Semtner, History Press, 127 pp, 51 b/w photographs, bibliography, index, 2012, $19.99.  

From the publisher of The Richmond Slave Trade: The Economic Backbone of the Old Dominion: Richmond's 15th Street was known as Wall Street in antebellum times, and like its New York counterpart, it was a center of commerce. But the business done here was unspeakable and the scene heart wrenching. With over sixty-nine slave dealers and auction houses, the Wall Street area saw tens of millions of dollars and countless human lives change hands, fueling the southern economy. 
Local historian and author Jack Trammell traces the history of the city's slave trade, from the origins of African slavery in Virginia to its destruction at the end of the Civil War. Stories of seedy slave speculators and corrupt traders are placed alongside detailed accounts of the economic, political and cultural impact of a system representing the most immense, concentrated human suffering in our nation s history.

From the publisher of Edgar Allan Poe's Richmond: The Raven In The River City:  Acclaimed as one of America's most innovative authors and the inventor of the detective story, Edgar Allan Poe and his works are celebrated around the world. Yet the true story of Poe's time in Richmond, Virginia, is every bit as strange and exciting as his fiction. Poe spent nearly a third of his life in Richmond. It was here that he matched wits with a chess-playing robot, set the record for swimming against the current in the James River, challenged a rival editor to a duel and first revealed his talent for practical jokes. 

Join Christopher P. Semtner, curator of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, as he reveals previously unpublished photographs and little-known source material to shed new light on how the mystery, madness and tragedy that Poe encountered during his Richmond years forever shaped his renowned fiction.

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