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Yankee Girl at Fort Sumter

Alice Turner Curtis

Book Overview: 

Sylvia Fulton is a ten-years-old girl from Boston who stayed in Charleston, South Carolina, before the opening of the civil war. She loves her new home, and her dear friends. However, political tensions are rising, and things start to change. Through these changes, Silvia gets to know the world better: from Estrella, her maid, she starts to understand what it is to be a slave, from her unjust teacher she learns that not all beautiful people are perfect, and from the messages she carries to Fort Sumter she learns what is the meaning of danger. However, this is a lovely book, written mostly for children.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Yas, Missy. But I'se gwine to git you safe home. You do jes' as I tell you an' you'll be safe back with your mammy by ter-morrow!" she declared.

"You lay down and keep your eyes tight shut till I comes back," she added, and Sylvia, tired and frightened, obeyed.

The schooner was now coming to her landing at Fort Sumter. Estralla managed to get on deck without being noticed. She did not know where they were, but wherever it was she resolved to get Sylvia out of the vessel, and ran back to the cabin.

"Now, don' you speak to nobuddy. Jes' keep right close to me," she whispered. And Sylvia obeyed. The two little girls crept up the cabin stairs, and crouching close to the side of the cabin made their way toward the stern of the vessel.

The crew and the soldiers and Captain Carleton were now all toward the bow. A small boat swung at the stern of the schooner.

"Now, Miss. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This story, first published in 1920, is written especially for youthful readers. History is dependent largely on perspective, elucidation and perspective. This is a tale of slavery and the opening scenes of the Civil War as experienced by a young girl of ten. Her youth and innocence puts these we...more

I just gave this book, written in 1920, to my granddaughter, in preparation for visiting Charleston and Ft. Sumter this Christmas. I read it so we can discuss what was happening in Charleston and the rest of the country, just before the Civil War began. I love historical fiction, and she does, as...more

Cute story about pre-civil war ideas. Sylvia, the main character is a good girl who is dealing with others' biases while she befriends a slave girl. This story could provide the catalyst for many good discussions.

***Content Warning: The terms used to describe and identify the slaves are dated an...more

I believe I read this when I was around 12, when I was just coming out of my Civil-War-craze phase, but I still enjoyed it quite a lot. I would have read the whole series, except I was getting into adult literature at that age, and my parents preferred to buy books that would keep me busy for thr...more

Northern-born Sylvia makes friends at her new school in South Carolina in 1860, but there are a couple of girls who call her "Yankee." Unfamiliar with this term, Sylvia asks her father what it means, and the answer would surprise those name-callers!

Meanwhile, Sylvia becomes friendly with Estralla...more