Sitting in Darkness:

New South Fiction, Education, and the Rise of Jim Crow Colonialism, 1865-1920


Peter Schmidt

University Press of Mississippi, 2008





table of contents is below

see also links below for the full notes and bibliography for this book, supplementing the print edition



"School Begins," by Louis Dalrymple

Punch 1899

The four students in the front row represent Hawaii, the Philippines, "Porto Rico," and Cuba.

Click here for an enlarged version of the cartoon.

Thanks to the Literature Department, The Free Library of Philadelphia, including David Ninemire, Head; Karen Lightner; and Will Brown, photographer, for assistance in digitizing this image.




Table of Contents



Part I:  Black Education in Fiction from Reconstruction to Jim Crow: Discovering a Liberal Arts Model for Citizen-Building in a Multiracial Democracy

Chapter One: Changing Views of Post-Civil War Black Education in the Fiction of Lydia Maria Child, Ellwood Griest, and Constance Fenimore Woolson, 1867-1878           54

Chapter Two:  A Fool’s Education:  Albion Tourgée’s A Fool’s Errand, The Invisible Empire, and Bricks Without Straw (1879-1880)         87

Chapter Three:  Of the People, By the People, and For the People:  Frances E. W. Harper’s Cultural Work in Iola Leroy (1892)            103

Chapter Four:  Conflicted Race Nationalism:  Sutton Griggs’ Imperium in Imperio (1899)   121

Chapter Five:  Lynching and the Liberal Arts: Rediscovering George Marion McClellan’s Old Greenbottom Inn and Other Stories (1906)            133


Part II:  Jim Crow Colonialism’s Dependency Model for “Uplift”:  Promotion and Reaction

Chapter Six:  Ghosts of Reconstruction: Samuel C. Armstrong, Booker T. Washington, and the Disciplinary Regimes of Jim Crow Colonialism            167

Chapter Seven: From Planter Paternalism to Uncle Sam’s Largesse Abroad: Ellen M. Ingraham’s Bond and Free (1882) and Marietta Holley’s Samantha at the St. Louis Exposition (1904)            204

Chapter Eight:  Counter-Statements to Jim Crow Colonialism:  Mark Twain’s “To the Person Sitting in Darkness” (1901) and Aurelio Tolentino’s Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (1905)       220

Chapter Nine:  Educating Whites to Be White on the Global Frontier:  Hypnotism and Ambivalence in Thomas Dixon and Owen Wister (1900-1905)         247


Part III:  The Dark Archive:  Early Twentieth-Century Critiques of Jim Crow Colonialism by New South Novelists

Chapter Ten:  The Education of Walter Hines Page:  A Gentleman’s Disagreement with the New South in The Southerner: Being the Autobiography of “Nicholas Worth” (1909)                        290

Chapter Eleven:  Anti-Colonial Education?  W. E. B. Du Bois’ Quest of the Silver Fleece (1911) and Darkwater (1920)                        317

Chapter Twelve:  Romancing Multiracial Democracy:  George Washington Cable’s Lovers of Louisiana (To-Day)  (1918)            340

Full Notes

Full Bibliography