The Conquest: The Story of a Negro Pioneer

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U of Nebraska Press, Jan 1, 1994 - History - 311 pages
Before Oscar Micheaux became celebrated as one of the earliest black filmmakers, he wrote a series of remarkable novels, the first one published in 1913 as The Conquest. Dedicated to Booker T. Washington, the black educator whose advocacy°of assimilation was opposed by many of his race who were agitating for civil rights, The Conquest "is a true story of a negro who was discontented and [of] the circumstances that were the outcome of that discontent."

The novel portrays the aspirations and struggles of a black homesteader named Oscar Devereaux. Born on a small farm near Cairo, Illinois, one of thirteen children, Devereaux leaves home to work in the Chicago stockyards and finally graduates to the job of porter in a Pullman railway car. He is personable, industrious, and frugal with a purpose. After saving $2,500, Devereaux goes to South Dakota and buys land. His object is not speculation for a quick profit but the cultivation of property he can call his own. He plows and sows and sweats, and by the age of twenty-five has reaped an estate worth $20,000. Success is sweet, self-respect sweeter. But if the calamities he is exposed to as a homesteader are severe, so are those brought on by marriage to the passive daughter of a dominating preacher.

 

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Contents

Introduction to the Bison Book Edition
xi
DiscontentSpirit of the Pioneer
9
Leaving HomeA Maiden
18
Chicago Chasing a WillOTheWisp
24
The P n Company
34
Go West Young Man
48
And Where is Oristown?
54
Became number one in the opening
56
The real farmer was fast replacing the homesteader
145
And the Crowds Did ComeThe Prairie Fire
148
The Scotch Girl
153
The Battle
164
The SacrificeRace Loyalty
168
The Breeds
175
Had put 280 acres under cultivation
177
In the Valley of the Dog Ear
182

Oristown the Little Crow Reservation
61
Far Down the PacificThe Proposal
67
The ReturnErnest Nicholson
72
The Oklahoma Grafter
74
Dealin in Mules
79
The Homesteaders
86
Imaginations Run Amuck
91
The Surveyors
94
Which Town Will the R R Strike?
104
Everybody for miles around had journeyed thither
108
Ernest Nicholsons Return
117
Comes Stanley the Chief Engineer
123
In the Valley of the Keya Paha
126
Made a declaration that he would build a town
128
The Outlaws Last Stand
132
Although the valley could not be surpassed in the pro
133
The Boom
134
The Presidents Proclamation
140
Where the Negro Fails
142
Ernest Nicholson Takes a Hand
186
The McCralines
193
A Long Night
201
The Survival of the Fittest
208
Tipp county
209
East of State Street
216
As the people were all now riding in autos
225
An Uncrowned King
233
A beautiful townsite where trees stood
241
The Progressives and the Reactionaries
251
Sanctimonious Hypocrisy
265
Beginning of the End
273
The Mennonites
280
The Drouth
284
The crops began to wither
289
A Year of Coincidences
294
The cold days and long nights passed slowly by and I
296
And Satan Came Also
297
Copyright

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Page viii - Gunsaules Mystery and Deceit (1921); The Dungeon, The Virgin of the Seminole, and Son of Satan (1922); Jasper Landry's Will (1923); Body and Soul ( 1924); The Spider's Web (1926); The Millionaire (1927); When Men Betray and Easy Street...

About the author (1994)

Rarely reprinted and never before in paperback, The Conquest is introduced by Learthen Dorsey, a professor of history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Also available in a Bison Book edition is Oscar Micheaux?s 1917 novel The°Homesteader.

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