Houston Hartsfield Holloway (1844-1917) was born enslaved in upcountry Georgia, taught himself to read and write, learned the blacksmith trade, was emancipated by Union victory in 1865, and served as an ordained traveling preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1870 to 1883. He devoted the remainder of his life to his family, his blacksmith trade, and his local church. Holloway's 24,000-word autobiography offers a rare working-class perspective on life during some of the most transformative years of US history.
Footnotes provide supplementary biographical information for nearly two hundred relatives, neighbors, friends, and coworkers named in Holloway's narrative. An appendix includes nineteen extended biographical sketches. The book is illustrated with photographs and three detailed maps of Holloway's home neighborhoods and preaching assignments.