Jumping the Broom, Virginia, 1850s

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This record was last updated on 26 Aug 2010

Image Reference

Emily Clemens Pearson [pseudo. Pocahontas], Cousin Franck’s Household, or, Scenes in the Old Dominion (Boston, 1853), facing p. 169. (Copy in Special Collections, University of Virginia Library)

Captioned “The Marriage,” this engraving illustrates a passage from this abolitionist novel by a Congregationalist author from Connecticut; it may be based on actual travels through Virginia in the late antebellum period. In this scene, the white mistress is compelling her enslaved maid, Mina, to marry in a manner that Mina did not recognize as a proper marriage. The mistress exclaims that if Mina “had been willing and obedient” she would have “made you a pretty wedding in the parlor, and would have called the clergyman in” (pp. 169-170).