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Synopsis

Frances Anne Kemble, (1809-1893) referred to as Fanny, was a famous British actress and author in the early to mid nineteenth century. As a member of the famous Kemble theatrical family, she first appeared on stage as Juliet at Covent Garden. She played many principal women's parts, notably Portia, Beatrice and Lady Teazle. She retired from the stage in 1834 to marry Pierce Butler, grandson of the Founding Father, Pierce Butler. He had inherited his grandfather's sea island plantations and the several hundred slaves who worked them in Georgia, where Fanny accompanied him during the winter of 1838-39. Fanny was shocked by the conditions of the slaves and their treatment. She eventually left the plantations and divorced Butler in 1849. In 1863, Fanny published an account of her plantation experience, "Journal of a Residence on a Georgia Plantation", in a very successful attempt to influence British public opinion against the Confederate states. This piece circulated among abolitionists prior to the American Civil War, and was published in England and the United States once the war broke out.

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