Notes Concerning the Author
A native of Marion, Alabama, William Garrott Brown (1868-1913) was an historian and essayist during the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s. After early education in Alabama and two years of teaching, he entered Harvard University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1891 and a master’s degree in history in 1892. He then worked at the Harvard library as an archivist and keeper of University records, which allowed considerable time for study and writing.
In addition to his most important work, The Lower South in American History, Brown published seven significant books between 1900 and 1905, including biographies of Andrew Jackson, Stephen Douglas and Oliver Ellsworth. He also produced a collection of essays that included pieces on Alabama political figures, Southern race relations and the Ku Klux Klan, and Southern history, including A History of Alabama, for Use in the Schools.
William Garrott Brown presents an original and perceptive view of the history of the Lower South, also thought of as the Cotton States, especially between 1820 and 1860. The work also contains Brown’s essays on race relations and the Ku Klux Klan, and the white man’s burden in the South.
In the Preface Brown’s notes, “The substance of the first three papers in this volume has been given in the form of public lectures at Harvard University and at various Southern colleges.” The three subsequent essays had been published previously in The Atlantic Monthly, but the final two sections of the book were being published for the first time.
So, we see that this work by William Garrott Brown can be viewed as a collection of writings on the philosophy and social conditions in the Lower South.
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