Meriwether Harvey

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Miss Meriwether Harvey is the author of the short booklet "Slavery in Auburn, Alabama," published by the Alabama Polytechnic Institute Historical Studies series in 1907. She was a co-ed student at Alabama Polytechnic (now Auburn University) during the 1905-1906 and the 1906-1907 school years, graduating with honors in 1907.

From The Glomerata, Vol. X (1907), Alabama Polytechnic Institute

The Glomerata is the official yearbook of API (now Auburn University).

From The Glomerata, Vol. X (1907), Alabama Polytechnic Institute, p. 41. Senior Class.

Blockton, Ala.
"Merie," General.
"A very congenial piece of curiosity"
Despises frivolity. "Isn't the Captain of Company K handsome!" Believes in maintaining her rights and in doing the right. A natural-born mythologist. Always eager to talk about the Conway Cabal (?). Never sends post cards to the professors. Hardest boner of Co-eds. Pretends that she is going to "IV" but makes I's. "I'm shocked to think that Napoleon wrote L-O-V-E letters."
Honorary member of Websterian Literary Society; Distinction, '05.

From The Glomerata, Vol. X (1907), p. 148. "Co-eds! Co-eds!!"

Conundrum.--There is a young lady in the Senior Class who is noted for her intellectual brilliancy, her ability to talk fluently, and by her charms to entertain at least three gentlemen at the same time--by explaining to them that she has six lines of ancestors on which to join the D. A. Rs However, she is a very modest and dignified girl, who detests publicity to such an extent that she could not attend Class Exercises because she did not like to be so conspicuous.
While a Sophomore she studied very diligently, and as a reward received distinction at commencement; but alas! in her Junior year she fell in love and was altogether unable to study for thinking that when she became a Senior she might have an escort without a chaperon. On the whole a very lovable girl--if she loves you. Her future occupation: to reside in Tuscaloosa and be a--school-teacher. Can you solve this?
Answer. Lady Meriwether Harvey.

From An Old Creed for the New South (2008)

John David Smith, in An Old Creed for the New South: Proslavery Ideology and Historiography, 1865-1918 (2008), discusses Harvey, who Smith identifies as "a student at Alabama Polytechnic Institute," but does not provide any further biographical information, and (incorrectly) uses "he" throughout to refer to Harvey. (It is possible that Smith identified Harvey as male from student records, but the only reference provided is Harvey's own booklet from 1907. Alabama Polytechnic Institute had in fact admitted a small number of female students since 1892 (when it was still known as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama), including Miss Meriwether Harvey.

From John David Smith, An Old Creed for the New South (2008), pp. 173-180.

Fortunately, a talented amateur historian and a number of graduate students went beyond such romanticized views of slavery on the state and local level. In 1895 Philip Alexander Bruce published the best early work on the economic and social sides of slavery in the colonial period. [174] Unlike most of his peers, with or without portfolio, Bruce refused to shy away from the question of slavery's profitability. Important but long forgotten dissertations on Kentucky slavery by William Reynolds Vance and Ivan E. McDougle first analyzed the elements that set slavery in the Commonwealth apart from the institution in her sister southern states. Meriwether Harvey and James K. Turner conducted even more minute grass roots research on slavery in Auburn, Alabama and Edgecombe County, North Carolina, respectively. One investigator after another probed the inner workings of slavery. Yet the proslavery assumptions of their day blinded these investigators, no matter how thorough or "scientific." The new proslavery argument remained embedded even in the best of these scholarly works.
[179] The essays by Meriwether Harvey and James K. Turner remain important because they represent the type of micro research on slavery that still cries out to be written. Harvey, a student at wikipedia:Alabama Polytechnic Institute at Auburn, made the most detailed examination of the period of slavery in any one locale. He [sic] focused on slavery in Auburn, in 1860 a small cotton-producing community of one thousand whites and seven hundred blacks. Most white families in the community owned plantations of between five hundred and one thousand acres, and held from thirty to sixty bondsmen. So detailed was Harvey's analysis that he [sic] described the doors, ornaments, floors, and even the size of the planks used in the construction of slave cabins. He [sic] also listed the ample foods provided Auburn's slaves and the variety of after-hour diversions available to them. Slaves of both sexes chewed and smoked tobacco, and all enjoyed such plantation folk activities as corn shucking and logrolling. Some slave men earned extra money by splitting rails and burning charcoal. Slave discipline, noted the student researcher, usually was administered by slave foremen, not overseers. The "worst whippings" [180] on area plantations were meted out, he [sic] said, by slave parents to their children.34

1910 United States Census

  • A "Merriweather Harvey" (sic) is listed in the 1910 US Census as a resident of Birmingham, Alabama. She is listed as a white, female high school teacher, 22 years of age, which would make her about 19 years old when enrolled at Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1907.

From the Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Book (1907)

  • A "Miss Meriwether Harvey" (b. Blocton, Alabama) is listed in the Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage book (Vol. 61, 1907; DAR ID No. 60714, p. 237-238) as:
Miss Meriwether Harvey. Number: 60714;
Born in Blocton, Ala.
Descendant of Rev. David Reese and of George Reese, of North Carolina.
Daughter of William Augustus Harvey and Minnie Nora Pratt, his wife.
Granddaughter of Isaac Newton Harvey and Rebecca Mathews, his wife.
Gr-granddaughter of David Reese and Mary Meriwether, his wife.
Gr-gr-granddaughter of George Reese and Anna Story, his wife.
David Reese was a signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. He was born about 1709; died about 1808 in Charlotte, N. C.
George Reese (1752-1837) was at the battle of Eutaw Springs and was captured at the fall of Charleston.

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