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Title Passing strange : a Gilded Age tale of love and deception across the color line / Martha A. Sandweiss.
Imprint New York : Penguin Press, 2009.


 Main Stacks  E185.625 .S255 2009    AVAILABLE
Description 370 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
Bibliog. Includes bibliographical references (p. [313]-358) and index.
Subject African Americans -- Race identity -- Case studies.
Passing (Identity) -- United States -- Case studies.
Married people -- United States -- Case studies.
Deception -- United States -- Case studies.
King, Clarence, 1842-1901.
King, Ada, 1860-1964.
King, Clarence, 1842-1901 -- Marriage.
United States -- Race relations -- History -- 19th century.
African American women -- Biography.
New York (N.Y.) -- Biography.
Contents An invented life -- Clarence King and Ada Copeland -- Becoming Clarence King -- King of the West -- Becoming Ada Copeland -- King of the city -- James and Ada Todd -- New beginnings -- Family lives -- Breakdowns -- Endings -- Ada King -- On her own -- The trial -- Secrets.
Summary Clarence King is a hero of nineteenth-century western history. Brilliant scientist and witty conversationalist, bestselling author and architect of the great surveys that mapped the West after the Civil War, King hid a secret from his Gilded Age cohorts and prominent Newport family: for thirteen years he lived a double life--as the celebrated white Clarence King and as a black Pullman porter and steelworker. Unable to marry the black woman he loved, the fair-haired, blue-eyed King passed as a Negro, revealing his secret to his wife Ada only on his deathbed. Historian Martha Sandweiss is the first writer to uncover the life that King tried so hard to conceal. She reveals the complexity of a man who, while publicly espousing a personal dream of a uniquely American amalgam of white and black, hid his love for his wife and their five biracial children.--From publisher description.