Mary Ellen Pleasant Bibliography

Query From Marianne B. Sheldon 11 Feb 1998


From Maria Elena Raymond 12 Feb 1998

I think you will always have contradictory information about Mary Ellen Pleasant's life before San Francisco...and of her life *in* San Francisco, for that matter. She was quite happy creating "mystery" about her life. Have you tried looking at all the extant newspaper clippings from her trial in S.F?

Helen Holdredge's book _Mammy Pleasant_(Putnam; NY, 1953) is hardly definitive, but still one of the few books about Mary Ellen. Holdredge was the custodian of Mary Ellen's papers...don't ask me how that happened (??). You might check with the Bancroft library to see if they have the papers or perhaps know where they might be.

If you want to contact me by e-mail I would be glad to give you the names of a couple of book dealers who may have some help for you. And I know a dealer of old/antiquarian newspapers who might be able to help you locate information out of New Orleans.

You might want to X-post this query to H-California and H-West, and the African-American History listserv.

Best wishes,
Maria Elena

From Wilma King 12 Feb 1998

There was a dissertation completed at Indiana University in 1995 (maybe) under the direction of Richard Blackett. Either the full name or Mammy Pleasant appears in the title.

From L. Schwalm 12 Feb 1998

Concerning the inquiry for further information on Mary Ellen Pleasant, there are a few references to her in Quintard Taylor's new book, *In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, 1528-1990* (Norton, 1998).

From Gayle Veronica Fischer GVFISCHE@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU 12 Feb 1998

You should contact Lynn M. Hudson at California Polytechnic State U, history dept. Hudson's dissertation is on Pleasant and her book on Pleasant should be out soon. Meanwhile you might want to consult her writings on Pleasant in _Black Women in the American West_, _Journal of the West_ (July 1993), and _Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia_.

From Kathryn Fuller 12 Feb 1998

For information on Mary Ellen Pleasant contact Lynn Hudson in the history department at California State University, San Luis Obispo. She wrote her dissertation on Pleasant and has published some articles and given several papers on her.

From Jane Rhodes 12 Feb 1998

The main authority on Pleasant is Prof. Lynn Hudson who teaches in the History Dept at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA. She completed a dissertation on Pleasant in 1996 (check dissertation abstracts) and wrote an article on Pleasant for Journal of the West a few years back. You can contact her directly at

From Nancy Marie Robertson < 12 Feb 1998

You may want to examine a fictional account of her by Michelle Cliff, *Free Enterprise.* Well worth reading.