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About this collection

The Ransom Center's Christopher Morley collection includes an unpublished manuscript titled A Wild Plaint (1909). The two journals appear to document the final months of a young African American man living in Chicago. The manuscript is attributed to "Aubrey Gray," but was written by Fenton Johnson (1888–1958), an African American poet, essayist, and editor from Chicago. Johnson’s name, crossed out but legible, appears on the first page of the second notebook. Johnson or his proxy submitted the manuscript to publisher Doubleday, Page & Co in 1909 as a work of non-fiction. The manuscript is accompanied by the typed note that introduced A Wild Plaint to the publisher as well as the Doubleday, Page reader’s report, and its response. 

 

This digital collection includes a searchable transcript of the manuscript, which can be viewed side-by-side with images of the manuscript. 

 

The above photograph of Johnson is from the Ransom Center's copy of Johnson's Visions of the Dusk (1915).

 

 

Browse all items in the collection.

 

Volume 1

Volume 2

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