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Jacquelyn Dowd Hall's “Sisters and Rebels" in the NYT
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7/2/2019 at 6:10:53 PM GMT
Posts: 115
Jacquelyn Dowd Hall's “Sisters and Rebels" in the NYT

By Tony Horwitz ––

“In 1974 Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, a young oral historian, went to Virginia to interview two elderly writers. One occupied a ramshackle rural house and spoke bitterly about the ruin of her literary career. The other, living comfortably in Charlottesville, was immersed in her final work, a biography of the renegade abolitionists and women’s rights advocates Sarah and Angelina Grimké, despite a publisher having deemed them “minor figures.”

Hall’s interview subjects were likewise sisters and pedigreed white Southerners who broke radically with their caste. Now, four decades after finding Grace and Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, Hall has delivered an epic, poignant biography of siblings “estranged and yet forever entangled” by the South, each other and their haunted family saga.

Hall’s narrative, “Sisters and Rebels,” encompasses a third sister, though she mainly serves as a marker of how far her rebel siblings traveled. Elizabeth Lumpkin was the eldest and favorite of their father, a resentful ex-Confederate from a once-prominent slaveholding family in Georgia. After the Civil War, he joined the Klan and fervidly embraced the cult of the Lost Cause, also ensuring that his children were “dipped deep” in this white supremacist ideology.


To continue reading, visit the full article on The New York Times’ website.

Horwitz, Tony. “The Daughters of the Confederacy Who Turned Their Heritage to Political Ends.” The New York Times. (June 21, 2019). <>




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