Octavia Rogers Albert: Religious Leader & 19th Century Author of “The House of Bondage”

0 Posted by - August 29, 2017 - Black History, BLACK WOMEN, History, LATEST POSTS

Octavia Victoria Rogers Albert was an author and biographer. She became well-known because of her documentation of slavery in the United States through a collection of interviews with ex-slaves in her book, The House of Bondage, or Charlotte Brooks and Other Slaves.

She was born in Oglethorpe, Georgia where she lived in slavery until the emancipation. She later attended Atlanta University where she studied to be a teacher. Octavia received her first teaching job in Montezuma, Georgia. In 1874, at around twenty-one years old, she married another teacher, Dr. Aristide Elphonso Peter Albert, and had one daughter together, Laura T. Albert.

Albert converted to the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1875, a church under the ministry of Henry McNeal Turner, a Congressman and prominent political activist. After her conversion, she became an educator because she saw teaching as a form of worship and as a part of her Christian service like her fellow contemporaries. While teaching in Montezuma, Georgia, both she and her husband became strong advocates for education and “American religion.”

While in Houma, Louisiana Albert began conducting interviews with men and women who were once enslaved. Albert met Charlotte Brooks for the first time in 1879 and decided to interview her later along with other former slaves from Louisiana. These interviews were the raw material for her collection of narratives. Albert also implemented the interviews from ex-slaves John Goodwin, Lorendo Goodwin, Lizzie Beaufort, Colonel Douglass Wilson, and a woman known as Hattie. Their interviews and experiences shaped her book The House of Bondage, or Charlotte Brooks and Other Slaves as a mix of slave stories that would expose the inhumanity of slavery and its effects on individuals. Octavia Albert died on August 19, 1889 before her book became well-known.

 

sources:

www.blackpast.org/aah/albert-octavia-victoria-rogers-1853-1890

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