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Freedom's Gardener
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Freedom's Gardener: James F. Brown, Horticulture, and the Hudson Valley in Antebellum America

Myra B. Young Armstead


In 1793 James F. Brown was born a slave, and in 1868 he died a free man. At age 34 he ran away from his native Maryland to pass the remainder of his life as a gardener to a wealthy family in the Hudson Valley. Two years after his escape and manumission, he began a diary which he kept until his death. This book uses the apparently small and domestic details of Brown's diaries to construct a bigger story about the transition from slavery to freedom. This book—the first detailed historical study of Brown's diaries—utilizes Brown's life to illuminate the concept of freedom as it developed in the U ... More

Keywords: James F. Brown, slave, Hudson Valley, manumission, diary, freedom, antebellum years, African American, American citizenship

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780814705100
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814705100.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Myra B. Young Armstead, author