Making History: Transcribe is made possible in part by federal funding provided through the Library Services and Technology Act program administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

"Myrta Locckett Avary" by Faye Royster Tuck.

image 5 of 11

Zoom in to read each word clearly.
Some images may have writing in several directions. To rotate an image, hold down shift-Alt and use your mouse to spin the image so it is readable.

This transcription is complete!

In "Dixie After The War", Myrta wrote, "Mrs. Betts of Halifax county, Virginia, was in her kitchwen, her cook, who was in her debt, having failed to put in an appearance. The cook's husband approached the verandah and requested a dollar. "Where is Jane?" he was asked. "Why hasn't she been here to do her work?" "She are keepin parloiur", "What is that?" "Settin up in de house hol'in her han's. De Civilise Bill done been fulfill an niggers an' white folks jes alike now."

She tried not only to picture the social life of the first twelve years following the fall of Richmond, but the topsy-turvy conditions generally as affected by black and tan legislatures and Freedman's Bureaus, Ku-Klux, Red shirts, and other organizations which played their part in Reconstruction.

Mrs. Avary said she had written her book in an effort to make northern people understand the South.

Dr. Walter L. Fleming an eminent authority on Reconstruction, pronounced "Dixie After The War" "the best book I have ever read for information concerning social and economic conditions, race relations, religious and educational matters and politics from the woman's point of view in that troublesome period that followed the collapse of the Confederacy." He not only used it in his Southern history classes at Columbia University, but also placed it at the head of his "References" in his "Documentary History of Reconstruction." [Footnote] (12)

Mrs. Avary's next book was on Alexander H. Stephens. "Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens" , was his diary kept when a prisoner at Fort Warren, Boston Harbour, 1865. This gave reflections of his prison life, letters and reminiscences, and was edited with a biographical study, by Myrta Lockett Avary for Doubleday, Page and Company, in 1910.

Gamaliel Bradford borrowed heavily from Myrta's account of Stephens for his portrait, in "Confederate Portrait", 1914. Hardly one of the leaders among northern writers on the South had failed to consult her writings. [Footnote] (15)

Myrta Harper Lockett married Doctor James Corbin Avary, September 17, 1884 at the Methodist Church in Petersburg, Virginia.