Some New Books.
THE MARROW OF TRADITION.--In this story, written by Charles W. Chesnutt, and published by Houghton, Mifflin & Col, Boston, is presented a thrilling picture of the condition of the colored race in the South. Older people have no difficulty in recalling their sensations when they read Uncle Tomís Cabin and Caste. Those tales of fifty years ago did their part in awakening the American public to the enormities of African slavery. The situation as then existing has passed away, but the problem is by no means solved. The writer, himself possessing a fraction of negro blood in his veins, tells his story in a masterly way, one calculated to excite the sympathies of those who believe that the ex-slave should have a chance. It will not please the old slave-driving contingent nor their later successors, who are resorting to all sorts of means to disfranchise the negro. Already is heard the protest, and from Boston sources too, against the tone of the book as calculated to exasperate the southerner. And if it should accomplish such a result, what then! Many northern people are beholding the condition of affairs in the South with something akin to exasperation. We ask for fair play. We have heard the southern man say that the negro can be nothing, but we know that in the majority of cases the wish is simply parent to the thought. Dunbar, Dubois, Chesnutt, and Washington are palpable facts that can not be obscured by a breath of disdain. The book will work a great change in the hearts of readers, and should have a large circulation. The closing chapters of the book portray scenes, when written, purely imaginative, but which in the horrors of Louisiana massacres, since then, have been fully realized. Mr. Chesnutt is seer as well as author. Price, $1.50.
Rev. of The Marrow of Tradition in "Some New Books," The Worchester Magazine 2 (Nov 1901): 169.