Chesnutt's Works

Reviews

Bibliography

Manuscripts

Related Links

Home

Chesnutt in the Classroom

Site Info

Time and the Hour

Of the "Beacon Biographies Series" (Small, Maynard & Co.), the latest volume, and one of the best, by the way, is Charles W. Chesnutt's "Frederick Douglass." Mr. Chesnutt, of the same race as his great subject, and the author of two volumes of stories which have made him both popular and prominent, says in the preface, "Frederick Douglass lived so long, and played so conspicuous a part on the world's stage, that it would be impossible in a work of this size to do more than touch upon the salient features of his career, to suggest the respects in which he influenced the course of events in his lifetime, and to epitomize for the readers of another generation the judgment of his contemporaries as to his genius and his character." Mr. Chesnutt has done what he promised; but he has done more. It was, perhaps, to be expected that he should set his hero up on a pedestal much larger than the figure it bore. It is to his credit that, although he has made much of Douglass, he has yet failed to class him with the gods. The volume is calmly and considerately written, and is an excellent piece of philosophic and historical writing. The author's estimate of Douglass is a careful and just one. His account of the negro statesman's life is well balanced, and those facts upon which he lays stress carefully and wisely chosen.

----- Rev. of Frederick Douglass. In: "Reviews," Time and the Hour [Boston] 11 (16 Dec. 1899): 11-12.