Chained to the rock of adversity: to be free, Black & female in the Old South"Chained to the Rock of Adversity offers valuable insight into the lives of the South's free women of color, using personal letters and a diary to tell an extraordinary story."--BOOK JACKET. "The letters were written to two women, Ann Battles Johnson and her eldest daughter Anna, between 1844 and 1899. Ann was the wife of the prosperous barber and businessman William T. Johnson of Natchez, Mississippi. Most of the letters were from family members who lived scattered up and down the Mississippi River, from Natchez to New Orleans. Nearly all were from women. The diary was written by Catharine Geraldine Johnson, another of Ann and William's daughters."--BOOK JACKET. "A freed slave herself, Ann Johnson became the head of her family and a slaveholder when her husband died in 1851. As the letters reveal, her days were filled with the often tedious and sometimes overwhelming duties assigned to slaveholding women."--BOOK JACKET. "Taken together the letters and diary depict a tight-knit network of family and friends that reached across Mississippi and Louisiana. They also show a family aware of its precarious position in society, feared and poorly treated by most white neighbors and resented by other blacks. Editor Virginia Meacham Gould provides an extensive introduction, a cast of characters, identifying notes, and a brief afterword tracing the Johnson family to the present day."--Jacket.