Stephen Crane in the News: THE RED AND THE SCARLET: The hectic career of Stephen Crane. BY CALEB CRAIN

Caleb Crain’s sketch of Stephen Crane’s life at The New Yorker.

The Stephen Crane Society

From The New Yorker:
THE RED AND THE SCARLET
The hectic career of Stephen Crane.
BY CALEB CRAIN
JUNE 30, 2014

Early readers of “The Red Badge of Courage” assumed that its author was a war veteran.

Early readers of “The Red Badge of Courage” assumed that its author was a war veteran.

In Stephen Crane’s novel “Maggie” (1893), it’s impossible to pinpoint the moment when the title character is first set on the path to prostitution. Maybe it happens when her brother’s friend Pete tells her that her figure is “outa sight.” Maybe it happens a little later, when her job making shirt collars on an assembly line begins to seem dreary. Is it a mistake when she lets Pete take her to a music hall? What about when she lets him spirit her away from her rage-filled mother, who has collapsed on the kitchen floor after a bender? Women in the neighborhood gossip, and a practiced flirt steals Pete away—perhaps they are instrumental. Or…

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Civil War hero Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls (crop)From the Washington Post, a story about Civil War hero Robert Smalls: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/civil-war-hero-robert-smalls-seized-the-opportunity-to-be-free/2012/02/23/gIQAcGBtmR_story.html?tid=pm_pop

Smalls became skilled at working on ships, eventually advancing to the position of pilot. In 1861, he was hired to work on a steamer called the Planter, which was used to transport cotton to ships headed to Europe. But once the Civil War started, the Confederates seized it for use as an armed transport vessel.

Smalls knew how to navigate. He knew that the white crew trusted him. He had his eye on freedom, and all he needed was an opportunity.

* * *

“They were going to seize the ship,” said Lawrence Guyot, a black-history expert in Washington. “It was dangerous. It was daring. It was unprecedented. And when they accomplished it, it was used to demonstrate that blacks could be brave and strategic in pulling off military maneuvers. Because of what happened on the Planter, Abraham Lincoln decided to let African Americans join the fight in the Civil War.”