Ida May
  • Publication Date: June 15, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554812257 / 1554812259
  • 400 pages; 5½" x 8½"
Exam Copy

Academics please note: this title is classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. However, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption.

Availability: Worldwide

Ida May

  • Publication Date: June 15, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554812257 / 1554812259
  • 400 pages; 5½" x 8½"

The sentimental antislavery novel Ida May appeared so like its predecessor in the genre, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, that for the month of November 1854 reviewers looked for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s hand in the narrative. Ida May explores the “possibility” of white slavery from the safety of an exciting, romantic narrative; Ida is kidnapped on her fifth birthday from her white middle-class family in Pennsylvania, stained brown, and sold into slavery in the South. Traumatic amnesia brought about by a severe beating keeps her from knowing whom she really is, until after five years in slavery, her identity is recovered in a dramatic flash of recognition. To the abolitionists of the period, fictional narratives of white enslaved children offered a crucial possibility: to unsettle the legitimacy of a race-based system of enslavement.

The historical appendices to this Broadview Edition provide context for the novel’s reception, Pike’s racial politics, and the “problem” of white slavery in nineteenth-century abolitionist writing.

Mary Hayden Green Pike: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

Ida May

Appendix A: “Who Wrote Ida May?” The Sentimental Antislavery Novel and Genre Formation

  1. William Cullen Bryant’s New York Evening Post, November and December 1854
  2. Boston Daily Atlas, November 1854
  3. Portland Inquirer, November 1854
  4. Richard Hildreth’s Boston Evening Telegraph, November 1854
  5. Boston Courier, December 1854

Appendix B: Contemporary Response & Selected Reviews of Ida May

  1. New York Independent, November 1854
  2. The National Era, November 1854
  3. The Liberator, November 1854
  4. Frederick Douglass’ Paper, November 1854, January 1855
  5. Advertisements for Ida May
  6. Negative Reviews
  7. Southern Reviews

Appendix C: Contextual Documents on Kidnapping and the “Problem” of White Slavery

  1. “The Story of Ida May,” Boston Daily Atlas, December 1854
  2. From William Craft, Running A Thousand Miles for Freedom, 1860
  3. Lydia Maria Child, “Mary French and Susan Easton,” 1834
  4. From Francis Coburn Adams, Our World, The Slaveholder’s Daughter, 1855
  5. Charles Sumner, “Another Ida May,” Boston Telegraph, February 1855.

Appendix D: About the Author—Mary Hayden Green Pike’s Racial Politics

  1. Caroline F. Putnam, The Liberator, October 1859
  2. From Mary Hayden Green Pike, Caste: A Story of Republican Equality 1856
  3. Frederick A. Pike Congressional address, “Tax, Fight, Emancipate,” February, 1862
  4. Mary Hayden Green Pike, “John Brown in Prison,” c. 1859

Works Cited and Select Bibliography

Jessie Morgan-Owens is Academic Director at Bard Early College in New Orleans.

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