Kids Library Home

Welcome to the PrairieCat Kids' Library!

Search for books, movies, music, magazines, and more.

Available items only
Author Jacoby, Karl, 1965- author.

Title The strange career of William Ellis : the Texas slave who became a Mexican millionaire / Karl Jacoby.

Publication Info. New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2016]


Location Pub Note Copy No. Status
 DeKalb PL Adult Non-Fiction - DKLY-12  973.0496 JAC    DUE 10-19-20
 Freeport PL Adult Biography - FPLY-13  B ELLIS WILLIAM    AVAILABLE
 Ida PL Adult Biography - IPLY-11  B ELLIS    AVAILABLE
 Moline PL Adult Biography - MPLG-6  B ELL    AVAILABLE
 Rockford University Stacks - RKC-ILDS  E185.97.E46 J33 2016    AVAILABLE
Edition First edition.
Description xxviii, 304 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Summary "A prize-winning historian tells a new story of the black experience in America through the life of a mysterious entrepreneur. To his contemporaries in Gilded Age Manhattan, Guillermo Eliseo was a fantastically wealthy Mexican, the proud owner of a luxury apartment overlooking Central Park, a busy Wall Street office, and scores of mines and haciendas in Mexico. But for all his obvious riches and his elegant appearance, Eliseo was also the possessor of a devastating secret: he was not, in fact, from Mexico at all. Rather, he had begun life as a slave named William Ellis, born on a cotton plantation in southern Texas during the waning years of King Cotton. After emancipation, Ellis, capitalizing on the Spanish he learned during his childhood along the Mexican border and his ambivalent appearance, engaged in a virtuoso act of reinvention. He crafted an alter ego, the Mexican Guillermo Eliseo, who was able to access many of the privileges denied to African Americans at the time: traveling in first-class train berths, staying in upscale hotels, and eating in the finest restaurants. The Strange Career of William Ellis reads like a novel but offers fresh insights on the history of the Reconstruction era, the US-Mexico border, and the abiding riddle of race. At a moment when the United States is deepening its connections with Latin America and recognizing that race is more than simply black or white, Ellis's story could not be more timely or important"--Provided by publisher.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Prologue: Through history's cracks -- Part I. Victoria -- Gone to Texas -- Juneteenth -- Part II. San Antonio/Tlahualilo -- Military Plaza -- The land of God and liberty -- Part III. Manhattan/Mexico City -- A picturesque figure -- The city of happy homes -- Epilogue: Trickster makes this world -- Afterword.
Subject Ellis, William Henry, 1864-1923.
African Americans -- Biography.
Slaves -- Texas -- Biography.
Businessmen -- Mexico -- Biography.
Millionaires -- Mexico -- Biography.
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) -- Biography.
Passing (Identity) -- United States -- History.
African Americans -- Texas -- Politics and government.
Mexican-American Border Region -- Biography.
United States -- Race relations -- History.
Genre/Form Biographies.
ISBN 9780393239256 (hardcover)
039323925X (hardcover)

Available items only