Author: Samuel Spottford Clement

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

Memoirs of Samuel Spottford Clement Relating Interesting Experiences in Days of Slavery and Freedom by Samuel Spottford Clement (1908)

In Memoirs of Samuel Spottford Clement, published in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1908, Samuel Spottford Clement tells of his birth into slavery in Virginia, his freedom at the end of the American Civil War (1861–1865), and his eventual move to Ohio. This narrative, along with other slave narratives, offer a composite portrait of authors’ self-styled personal stories. The amanuensis’ interests, lived experiences, and editing choices, as well as their social relations and expectations shaped the relationship and conversation with the authors. Although the narratives aren’t unmediated autobiographies, they are no less authentic and are just as fruitful a source for reconstructing historical experience. The following text contains racial epithets.