Tuesday, October 2, 2012
TIME: 11:30am - Bar opens; 12:15pm - Lunch; 1-2pm - Presentation and Q & A
PRICE: $20 Members; $30 Non-members (includes lunch); $10 Lecture only
EVENT TYPE: Speaker Luncheon
An unusual portrait painted in 1819 by the major American artist Charles Willson Peale is on the cover of this book and tells much about its contents. The portrait is of a former slave, Yarrow Mamout, who was brought to Maryland on a slave ship in the mid-18th century; and forty years later, earned his freedom, a house in Georgetown, and enough local renown to be painted.
This book focuses on six generations of Yarrow’s family and shows the complexities of slavery, emancipation, and integration from the colonial period through the Civil War and into the present. Using books, oral histories, diaries, court records, and legal documents, Johnston goes beyond the cover portrait to the story of farmers, property owners, and eventually a Harvard University graduate in 1927. Historians reviewing the book noted its attraction for general readers by calling it “a masterfully researched detective story with a wealth of detail about the rise of an African-American family” and also solid scholarship that is both “disturbing and elevating.”
James Johnston is a Washington D. C. lawyer whose practice deals with telecommunications, intellectual property, and appellate litigation. He is also a writer, with articles in the Washington Post, Legal Times of Washington, and the Maryland Historical Society Magazine, and other publications. His previous book “The Recollections of Margaret Cabell Brown Loughborough: A Southern Woman’s Memories of Richmond VA and Washington DC in the Civil War” was published in 2009.
The book will be available for purchase and signing.