Browsing All Posts filed under »Antebellum Period«

A Virginia slave in pursuit of freedom

June 3, 2010 by

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I just finished reading something about John M. Washington, a slave who spent some time in Staunton, Virginia in the mid-1850s. To me, finding any account of a slave, for any amount of time in the Valley, is refreshing as it adds new dimensions to an understanding of what life was like here. Regretfully, I […]

What?! No “love” for John Brown?!

May 16, 2010 by

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Just an observation, but May 9 came and went a week ago today with not so much as one post about John Brown. Actually, until earlier this week, I didn’t have a clue that JB was born on May 9 (hmmm, a stubborn Taurus…). Rather, Brown had been defined, at least in my “memory”, by […]

How cool is this?!

April 29, 2010 by

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It’s getting that time of year again, when I want to head back up to the C&O Canal. It’s really a great place. I love walking along all the canal locks at Four Locks, and the drive to Dam 5 is like a snapshot out of time with so many early 19th century homes along […]

Passing thoughts on the “slave times” and “coming to the table”

February 1, 2010 by

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In a discussion with a cyber friend off-blog today, I shared some of my thoughts about the idea of “Coming to the Table.” As I believe I have stated in another post here, sometime ago, I have no descended-through-the-generations stories of slaveholding relating to my family, but I have thoughts as a genealogist who has […]

It’s “show and tell” day! … with a family artifact

January 27, 2010 by

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I consider myself truly fortunate to have a range of family “artifacts”, though I wish I had more that related to the Civil War era… sigh… Anyway, for your consideration today, I have, well, let me simply call her “Aunt”. I say this, of course, because in the days of slavery, so many slaves were […]

Looking for manumissions… on the part of my family

January 11, 2010 by

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A couple of months ago,  I purchased a book that provides information about the African-American manumissions for Washington County, Maryland. The objective… to see if I had any family members who freed slaves in the 1850s and even as late as the early 1860s, in advance of the Emancipation Proclamation. Now, as I mentioned in […]

A little 19th century distraction just in time for Halloween

October 30, 2009 by

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Sidetracking a bit (again) from the examination of western Maryland’s take on the “impending crisis” of 1861, I figured I’d post something else of interest from the Hagerstown Herald of Freedom and Torch Light. This comes from the February 8, 1860 issue. Nothing scary, just a touching 19th century “spirit story.” I always enjoy finding […]

Visualizing a community, and “my people’s” place in it

October 29, 2009 by

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A couple weekends back, I had a chance to make a sweeping “history run,” starting at Loudoun Heights and ending up at Dam 5. All-in-all it was a full-bodied trip, and accomplished within seven hours. At Loudoun Heights, I finally had the chance to meet Craig Swain and his “assistant,” talked a bit, and took […]

The 1860 Presidential vote in Washington County, Maryland

October 24, 2009 by

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As you may recall from my post from the other day, there was discussion about “Black Republicanism” playing a factor in the sweeping display of Unionism in the Clear Spring District. I mentioned in the same post, however, that only two votes were casts in the Clear Spring District for Lincoln. With that in mind, […]

Clarification about the decline in slave numbers in Washington County, Maryland

October 21, 2009 by

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I realized that I should probably clarify something in my post from the other day, that the decline of slave numbers in Washington County should not be thought of in terms of attributable to manumissions alone. It should not be misconstrued as some “Utopia” for slaves, as there were some who continued to escape North […]

John Minor Botts shares some thoughts on John Brown’s raid… and a little more

October 19, 2009 by

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I’ll get back to my thread of posts on Southern Unionism in western Maryland (which began here), but today, considering the 150th anniversary events surrounding John Brown’s raid over the past weekend, I want to post something rooted in thoughts of the raid. Actually, while scrolling through the old CW-era Hagerstown newspapers this weekend, I […]

What is a “true and complete” Southern perspective of the Civil War?

February 17, 2009 by

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If one says he/she is going to present a “Southern perspective” of the Civil War, do you cringe or roll your eyes and say something like, “oh no, here we go?” Is it possible to deliver a non-slanted “Southern perspective” of the war without tripping over all of the perspectives that actually make up THE Southern perspective of […]

Defining Southern Heritage in Civil War Remembrance

February 15, 2009 by

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If modern Confederate remembrance does not come close to accurately capturing the true definition of Southern heritage in the Civil War era, what does? I’ll be posting on this in the coming week. In the meantime, hat-tip to Kevin at Civil War Memory for making us aware of a YouTube clip, and a “well-done” to […]

A white man remembers slavery in the Shenandoah Valley

February 3, 2009 by

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I was wondering if I could interest the present generation by giving them a little of the history of antebellum days of slavery and how some things were done in by-gone days – things that I know did really happen. Now all I shall tell of will be done without doing violence to the truth […]

Are we limited in our perspectives in the Civil War blogosphere?

January 26, 2009 by

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After reading a comment made in one of my posts from few days ago, I realized something; something that I had really not thought of before. I think it is revealing in terms of how the Web can erase racial barriers. Nonetheless, of all of those who blog in the Civil War blogosphere, who among […]

What’s it like to be the descendant of a slaveholder?

January 21, 2009 by

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It’s interesting how people bond to ancestry and certain aspects of history related to ancestors. However, how often have you heard someone talk about their slaveholding ancestor? There are all sorts of descendant organizations, but is there an organization for the descendants of slaveholders? I’d be surprised if there was, and I certainly can’t imagine anyone […]

In search of plantation culture in the 1860 census

January 16, 2009 by

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Maybe I should have added “where it was and where it wasn’t” to the title of this post. Anyway, I give you the following numbers to consider… State # of slaveholders in 1860 % of owners with only 1 slave % of owners with only 2 slaves % of owners with only 3 slaves % […]

In search of the Christmas tree in the Civil War era home

December 20, 2008 by

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Recently, while developing a two-part article for my newspaper column, I began thinking about our cultural understandings (or misunderstandings) of how the Christmas tree has developed in our historical memory. In terms of Christmas trees at the time of the Civil War, I was thinking specifically about the Christmas tree scenes from Gods & Generals. Was the […]

Slave numbers in the Northern States as represented in the U.S. Census

December 12, 2008 by

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Slave numbers in the Northern States, from 1860 back to 1790. State 1860 1850 1840 1830 1820 1810 1800 1790 California N/A N/A – – – – – – Connecticut N/A N/A 54 25 97 310 951 2,648 Delaware 1,798 2,290 2,605 3,292 4,509 4,177 6,153 8,887 Illinois N/A N/A 331 747 917 – – – Indiana […]

Slave numbers in the Southern States as represented through the U.S. Census

December 12, 2008 by

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Number of slaves in the Southern States, from 1860 back to 1790. State 1860 1850 1840 1830 1820 1810 1800 1790 Alabama 435,080 342,844 253,532 117,549 47,449 – – – Arkansas 111,115 47,100 19,935 4,576 – – – – Florida 61,745 39,310 25,717 – – – – – Georgia 462,198 381,682 280,944 217,531 149,656 105,218 […]

Historical Census Browser

December 11, 2008 by

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For those curious about statistics, and those who like to tap into census records for data, you will note that I have placed a link to the University of Virginia Library’s Historical Census Browser in the right hand column (a new column that features Historic Databases on the Web). I’ve been using this link for […]

Testimony of Wesley Norris… and an investigation of the Custis/Lee-Burke story

December 7, 2008 by

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I did not know this… My name is Wesley Norris; I was born a slave on the plantation of George Parke Custis; after the death of Mr. Custis, Gen. Lee, who had been made executor of the estate, assumed control of the slaves, in number about seventy; it was the general impression among the slaves […]