Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    "Roll, Jordan, Roll," First Edition Book by Doris Ulmann and Julia Peterkin (New York: Robert O. Ballou, 1933, the deluxe edition of 350 signed and numbered copies). "Some of the charm that made the life of the old South glamorous still lingers on a few plantations that have been so cut off from the outside world by rivers, wide swamps and lack of roads they are still undisturbed by the restless present. Wistfully holding to the past when they were part of a civilization never excelled in America, they keep their backs turned to the future and persistently ignore that strange thing called progress, which so often means change without betterment." Thus opens this landmark work with text by Pulitzer Prize winning author Julia Peterkin and 90 hand-pulled photogravures from photographs taken by Doris Ulmann. Roll, Jordan, Roll was critically acclaimed as one of the first books to portray African Americans as people rather than stereotypes. W. E. B. Du Bois stated, "Peterkin is a Southern white woman, but she has the eye and the ear to see beauty and know truth." This edition has stamped brown boards with linen spine and corners, 341 pages, large quarto in size, top edges gilt. Both Julia Peterkin and Doris Ulmann have signed in ink on the colophon. Book is in fine, tight condition. The matching brown board slipcase is present but has a bit of staining and chipping as is common. This particular copy has extremely desirable provenance as it is number ten (of 350) and was originally owned by the author herself. Included with this rare edition is a one-page autograph note signed by Julia Peterkin dated 1930 from her Lang Syne Plantation address in South Carolina, together with an additional photogravure, loose, signed by the photographer in pencil in the margin. A 1980 letter to a previous owner from a South Carolina bookseller documents that this book was purchased from William Peterkin, Julia's grandson. Another copy of this edition sold last year at a major New York auction firm for $57,600 and that was without the Peterkin association! A knowledgeable dealer who examined that copy and this present example found this one to be in more appealing condition overall.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2005
    22nd-23rd Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,374

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 December 6 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search