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The Invisibles : The Untold Story of African American Slaves in the White House
by Jesse Holland


Overview - THE INVISIBLES: Slavery Inside The White House and How It Helped Shape America is the first book to tell the story of the executive mansion's most unexpected residents, the African American slaves who lived with the U.S. presidents who owned them.  Read more...

 
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More About The Invisibles by Jesse Holland
 
 
 
Overview
THE INVISIBLES: Slavery Inside The White House and How It Helped Shape America is the first book to tell the story of the executive mansion's most unexpected residents, the African American slaves who lived with the U.S. presidents who owned them. Interest in African Americans and the White House are at an all-time high due to the historic presidency of Barack Obama, and the soon-to-be-opened Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture and History. The Invisibles chronicles the African American presence inside the White House from its beginnings in 1782 until 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that granted slaves their freedom. During these years, slaves were the only African Americans to whom the most powerful men in the United States were exposed on a daily, and familiar, basis. By reading about these often-intimate relationships, readers will better understand some of the views that various presidents held about class and race in American society, and how these slaves contributed not only to the life and comforts of the presidents they served, but to America as a whole.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781493008469
  • ISBN-10: 1493008463
  • Publisher: Lyons Press
  • Publish Date: January 2016
  • Page Count: 240
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > African American
Books > Social Science > Slavery
Books > History > United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-12-14
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this powerful follow-up to 2007's Black Men Built the Capitol, Holland, Washington correspondent for the Associated Press, shares the story of the slaves who worked inside the White House from its early years until President Lincoln's 1862 Emancipation Proclamation. Holland makes sure to note that 12 out of the first 18 American presidents owned slaves, putting them to work as cooks, butlers, maids, body servants, and doormen. Among Holland's superb slave portraits are several standouts, including those of William Lee (enslaved by George Washington), Oney Judge (Martha Washington), Sally Hemings (Thomas Jefferson), Paul Jennings (James Madison), and Elias Polk (James K. Polk)who later partnered with the southern Democratic Party in defending the rights of white elites. Holland effectively captures the financial and political history of slavery, federal laws regarding fugitive slaves, race mixing, anxieties over slave revolts, and the rigid skin colorbased caste system of house and field help. Holland's account of slaves who built and sustained the White House answers many hard historical questions, and it reveals how little tribute has been given to the enslaved persons who contributed extensively to the functioning of early American institutions. (Jan.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews