About This Edition

This Edition was created with the first edition of Harriet Wilson's Our Nig, a copy of which is housed in the University of Virginia Special Collections Department in Alderman Library, as a guide. The digital images of the title page and its reverse supplied here were taken from the UVA first edition copy.

In preparing this electronic version, the editor has chosen to retain as many of the qualities of the first edition as possible to give readers a sense of its unique character. Therefore, spelling errors (noted here with [sic]) and typographical idiosyncracies (most noticeable are contractions with an additional space in the letters written before the apostrophe), and original page breaks (distinguished with a gray line) are retained. For better reading on the computer screen, poetry has been centered. No changes in the paragraphing were necessary.

As the reader chooses, he or she may further explore the literary, thematic, or cultural significance of the highlighted words (first appearing blue, and turning purple once visited) appearing throughout the narrative. The editor's glosses will appear in the left screen, and are only available to a reader using a browser capable of reading frames (Netscape 2.0 or above). This feature is designed to give readers additional information about Our Nig and to follow relevant themes throughout. These links are not intended to provide biographical information about Harriet Wilson. That information is better accessed in Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s thoroughly annotated, scholarly edition of Our Nig (1983) (see bibiliography) to which this editor is certainly indebted.

It is my hope that this electronic edition will provide yet another avenue of accessibility for Wilson's voice, one which was long silenced in literary obscurity. Hopefully, more readers will understand the important cultural, literary, and racial implications of Wilson's significant endeavor.


Title Page