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Incidents of my life : Edmund Ruffin's autobiographical essays /
edited by David F. Allmendinger, Jr.
Charlottesville : Published for the Virginia Historical Society by the University Press of Virginia, 1990.
274 p., [10] p. of plates : ill. --
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Charlottesville : Published for the Virginia Historical Society by the University Press of Virginia, 1990.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-05:
Antebellum secessionist Edmund Ruffin wished to be remembered as a self-made progressive agriculturist. To ensure that he was, Ruffin wrote three volumes of memoirs in the 1850s, two of which survived and now appear in print as Incidents of My Life. Editor David Allmendinger (University of Delaware), author of Ruffin: Family and Reform in the Old South (CH, Sep,'90) and Paupers and Scholars (1975), provides an interesting historical overview of the Virginian in the introduction. An author and scientific farmer, Ruffin advocated the use of marl to improve poor soil and to enhance crop yields. It was Ruffin's slaves who spread the marl and "altered the entire drainage system" at his farm, Marlbourne, yet Ruffin omitted any reference to slavery. The planter's words reveal much pain and personal suffering, but one wonders if Ruffin's pain came close to that he imposed on those he held in servitude. Despite the omissions, Ruffin's Incidents offers readers glimpses into the daily life of a Virginia planter; one could only wish that he had written even more. Appendixes; illustrations; maps; abbreviations; endnotes. College, university, and public libraries. -P. D. Travis, Texas Woman's University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1991
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