New York: Published by the American Missionary Association, March & April 1866. pp.49-72; 73-95 [pagination consecutive across issues]. Original printed pictorial wrappers. Wrappers lightly soiled and worn. Both issues quite clean internally except for minimal foxing and stain at top of gutter, not touching text. Very good. Item #WRCAM57802
Two consecutive postwar issues of THE AMERICAN MISSIONARY, the long-running monthly publication of the American Missionary Association (AMA). The first issue was published when the AMA was formed in 1846, with the primary goals of abolishing slavery and educating African Americans. After abolition, the organization focused on its second goal, founding over five hundred schools and colleges in the South during the Civil War and the following years; in fact, the AMA founded more schools in the period than even the Freedmen's Bureau. Their periodical had a wide circulation and ran more or less continuously until March, 1934.
These two issues are for March and April of 1866, during the AMA's very busy months following the end of the Civil War. Unsurprisingly, the content in these issues focuses heavily on the conditions and progress of formerly enslaved Blacks in the South, and has contributions by a variety of men and women, including ordained ministers and volunteers. In addition to stories of difficult conditions and violence against freedmen, another theme which emerges is the hatred directed towards White Northerners as they attempt to live and work in the South. Miss Julia Shearman in Lexington, Kentucky, for example, describes how she attends services at Black churches (and finds that she rather prefers them, in fact) since the White churches refuse to let her attend once they discover she is a "Yankee." Other contributions include progress reports for new schools, requests for food or clothing, suggestions for providing land to free Blacks who are generally refused by Southern sellers, and other descriptions of the challenges of early Reconstruction. Each issue also excerpts stories from newspapers around the South, includes a list of AMA donors (organized by city), and prints the AMA constitution on the inside front wrapper (which expressly forbids anyone who is "a slaveholder, or in practice of other immoralities" from becoming a member). A paper slip is attached to the rear wrapper of the April 1866 issue with the name "H. J. Carter" written on it in manuscript, likely the subscriber.
A pair of issues of this important periodical printed just at the moment the organization's focus was shifting from the single moment of abolition to the protracted mission of supporting those it had freed.