Who is Toussaint L’Ouverture?

June 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Every now and then we’ll come across an article which either illustrates a different side of a well-known historic figure, or provides a glimpse of someone whom we wonder why they have not received more recognition over time. Every now and then we’ll try to bring some of these to light. In this instance, our attention is drawn to Toussaint L’Ouverture. While he may be known to historians, the average person has most likely never heard of him. However, there was a time when this was not the case. In the mid-1800’s, his influence was known world-wide, and the ripple effects of his actions continue to be felt today. If you desire to know more, a lengthy biographical sketch by the often-verbose Wendell Phillips printed in the April 3, 1863 issue of The Liberator might be an excellent launching point. The entire article may be viewable at: The Liberator, April 3, 1863.

Wikipedia also does a pretty good job of providing additional details regarding his fascinating life. While most are no longer available, a few additional tidbits may be gleaned from other newspapers of the period:  Toussaint L’Ouverture

Enjoy!

Details of a slave auction…

November 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Mentions in pre-Civil War newspapers of slave auctions are not uncommon, and those which mention prices fetched for various slaves are somewhat more rare. But it is very difficult to find period articles which offers detail as to how an auction is conducted, how the slaves are examined, and comments on the slaves’ reaction to their sale.

The New York Tribune” issue of April 28, 1860 includes an article titled: “The Negro Market In Savannah” which has such detail. It offers an interesting perspective on this  institution which seems so barbaric today, but which was an accepted part of business in the pre-war South. A snippet of the text is found below, with the text in it’s entirety, along with a report of a fugitive slave case, is found at: The Negro Market In Savannah“.

The Civil War… 150 years ago today… July 13, 1861

July 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

We continue our weekly feature of reflecting upon the appropriate 150 year old issue of “Harper’s Weekly” from the perspective of a subscriber in 1861:

The front page (of the July 13, 1861 issue of my Harper’s Weekly) has a scene from: “The Battle of Boonville, Missouri”. So much gunfire & smoke! Inside has a nice print of “Fort McHenry, Baltimore”, a famous fortress from the War of 1812. There is also a nice full page print showing: “The Cabinet at Washington. It is great to put a face to so many names read in the newspapers, including Abraham Lincoln, William Seward, Simon Cameron, Gideon Welles, Salmon Chase among others.

Showing a “softer” side of the war is a full page print with 4 scenes of: “Hot Coffee Free For Volunteers Passing Through Philadelphia. Another page has a dramatic full page print of “Winfield Scott, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army” at 75 years old! (and he looks it). Also a full page print of “Major-General Scott at 41”.

Certainly the most dramatic print is the full page showing: “A Slave Auction at the South”. The whole process is incredibly inhuman and is part of what this war is all about.

There is another full page print of: “Major General John C. Fremont in His Prairie Costume”, just one of many different uniforms worn by soldiers in this war. He looks as though he stepped round of the wilds of the West.