Soldiers of Light and Love

Northern Teachers and Georgia Blacks, 1865-1873

Soldiers of Light and Love

Northern Teachers and Georgia Blacks, 1865-1873

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  • Reviews

Soldiers of Light and Love is an acclaimed study of the reform-minded northerners who taught freed slaves in the war-torn Reconstruction South. Jacqueline Jones's book, first published in 1980, focuses on the nearly three hundred women who served in Georgia in the chaotic decade following the Civil War. Commissioned by the American Missionary Association and other freedmen's aid societies, these middle-class New Englanders saw themselves as the postbellum, evangelical heirs of the abolitionist cause.

Specific in compass, but wide-ranging in significance, Soldiers of Light and Love illuminates the complexity of class, race, and gender issues in early Victorian America.

This sensitive and informed account of freedmen's education provides the fullest and richest portrait we have of the 'Yankee schoolmarms' who went South to teach blacks after the Civil War. . . . [A] well-written and rewarding book.

—James M. McPherson, author of Battle Cry of Freedom

This is an altogether admirable piece of scholarly literature. It will be of vital interest to anyone concerned with the history of Georgia, Reconstruction, blacks, education, philanthropy, or the place of women in nineteenth-century America.

—Richard N. Current

Soldiers of Light and Love is a splendid study. . . . The book is a model of careful scholarship.

Journal of Southern History

Jones takes the reader along with northern schoolteachers in a manner reminiscent of Willie Lee Rose's masterful Rehearsal for Reconstruction.

Reviews in American History

In Soldiers of Light and Love, Professor Jones demonstrates a thorough mastery of several complex subjects including antebellum education, the experiences of mid-nineteenth-century northern women, the evangelical missionary impulse, the political history of Reconstruction, and the transition from slavery to freedom as viewed by southern blacks. The resulting narrative depicts the postwar decades with holistic integrity. I wish there were more books like it.

—Clarence L. Mohr, Tulane University

About the Author/Editor

JACQUELINE JONES is Truman Professor of American Civilization at Brandeis University. She is the author of Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family from Slavery to the Present, which won the 1986 Bancroft Prize, and The Dispossessed: America's Underclasses from the Civil War to the Present.