Celebrating Black History Month

Louisa May Alcott and her family were advocates of equal rights for all citizens well before the outbreak of The Civil War.  In 1862, when Miss Alcott was 30 years old, she volunteered for Union Hotel Hospital - courtesy National Archivesnursing duty and served near Washington, DC at The Union Hotel Hospital (shown here) in the aftermath of the Battle of Fredericksburg.  This experience, which not only led to her first critically acclaimed book, Hospital Sketches, also changed her writing style forever, convincing Miss Alcott to draw from true life to create greater impact upon her readers.

My mother always declared that I was an abolitionist at the age of three.  During the Garrison riot in Boston the portrait of George Thompson was hidden under a bed in our house for safe-keeping, and I am told that I used to go and comfort 'the good man who helped poor slaves' in his captivity. However that may be, the conversion was genuine, and my greatest pride is in the fact that I have lived to know the brave men and women who did so much for the cause, and that I had a very small share in the war which put an end to a great wrong.

“Fugitive slaves were sheltered under our roof, and my first pupil was a very black George Washington whom I taught to write on the hearth with charcoal, his big fingers finding pen and pencil unmanageable.”

~From “Recollections of My Childhood” by Louisa May Alcott,
in The Youth's Companion, 1888


" That shot (at Fort Sumpter) is destined to be the most memorable one ever fired on this continent since the Concord fowling pieces said: 'that bridge is ours and we mean to cross it' eighty seven Aprils ago. As there began a conflict which gave us independence, so there began another which is to give us nationality."

~From “The Journal of Bronson Alcott,” May 21, 1861


 

More Wit and Wisdom from the Alcotts

January The New Year
February Valentine's Day
Black History Month
March Women's History Month
April The Promise of Spring
May / June Wedding Blessings, Wedded Bliss
July / August Nature and Gardens
September Education and Schools
October The Wisdom of Little Women
November Birthdays
December Christmas
 

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