Created by Savita Maharaj



Innovations in printing and publication in the early 19th century expanded the access and possibilities of print. The fortune teller/dream book was a popular literary genre in the antebellum literary marketplace. These books gave readers an opportunity to analyze their dreams and ultimately predict the future. Fortune telling itself, had a profound impact on the Black community as it was not only a means of gaining freedom from slavery, but it also provided financial stability for many. Various cities across America have some historical events that are linked to fortune-telling (or the business aspect of it). The circulation of these books  and their popularity reflect the profitability of this genre within the Black community during antebellum times. Understanding the print  culture and the circulation of fortune teller/dream books during the mid-1800s is one way of understanding the literary impact of Russell’s text among other  dream books.