Browsing All Posts filed under »slavery«

Willa Cather’s Civil War Heritage

December 8, 2010 by


I’m a huge fan of Writer’s Almanac, partly because it’s a great audio morsel that brings back hints of a time long gone, and partly because I’ve enjoyed listening to Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion for years.  Additionally, I enjoy the closing remark, and find it encouraging at the beginning of the work day… […]

Virginia’s textbook ordeal: thinking beyond “Black Confederates”

November 17, 2010 by


Not long after the controversy over Virginia’s 4th grade history text began, like a number of others, I gave some thoughts about the mention of “Black Confederates” as well, but didn’t go beyond the single post. Yet, in the weeks that followed, I began to think more of what this means. Let’s focus specifically on […]

More on Southerners who relocated to the North and joined the Union army

November 17, 2010 by


So, in the wake of Sunday’s post, I’ve been thinking. As I pointed out, the Mill Creek Baptist Church in Page County, Virginia split in 1805 over the issue of slavery. In the wake of that split, I’m curious about how many of the children of those people involved, who went to Ohio, ended up […]

It’s complicated…

June 17, 2010 by


Not the best photocopy, so probably an even worse scan, but consider the following… The caption reads… “Love of master means more than freedom to William Slaughter. Slaughter refused to accept freedom under the emancipation proclamation and remained the servant of W.D. Colvin of Culpeppper, Va. The two attend all Confederate reunions together.” Now, I […]

A Virginia slave in pursuit of freedom

June 3, 2010 by


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 […]

Personal recollections of the Civil War. By a Virginian. (D.H. Strother) [Installment 3]

June 1, 2010 by


Continued from Installment 2… … Although this people has been chiefly occupied in talking politics for eighty years or more, I can not perceive that they have made any advance toward enlightenment on the subject. Not one man in ten of those I meet seems to have the slightest idea of where his duty or […]

What?! No “love” for John Brown?!

May 16, 2010 by


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 […]

Quick observations on Strother’s “recollections”

May 14, 2010 by


The first thing that strikes me about Strother’s recollections is that, even after the war, he refers to himself as a Virginian, not as a West Virginian. Does this have a purpose or is it simply a projection of who he was, what he was, at the time these events were unfolding? Obviously, he sees […]

Personal Recollections of the Civil War. By a Virginian (D.H. Strother). [Installment 2]

May 12, 2010 by


Picking-up from installment 1… … In the recent election for members of the Convention the people of Virginia have expressed their determination to remain in the Union by an overwhelming majority. Gloriously has the good old State vindicated her honorable traditions and the memory of those noble sons whose effigies fill the chief places in […]

A Unionist Marylander voices his thoughts on slavery as the “ultimate cause” of the “strife”

April 19, 2010 by


… and this same Marylander believed that removing any discussion of emancipation was probably a good idea. Read the following from the January 8, 1862 edition of the Hagerstown Herald of Freedom and Torchlight: Our Union, vs. The Slavery Question MESSRS, EDITORS: – In this degenerate age, when rebellion stalks forth as a thief in […]

Virginia’s John S. Mosby speaks…

April 15, 2010 by


Something to think about… The South had always been solid for slavery and when the quarrel about it resulted in a conflict of arms, those who had approved the policy of disunion took the pro-slavery side. It was perfectly logical to fight for slavery, if it was right to own slaves. – John S. Mosby, […]

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

February 1, 2010 by


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 […]

Looking for manumissions… on the part of my family

January 11, 2010 by


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 […]

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

October 21, 2009 by


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 […]

Were “Black Republican Proclivities” at play in Clear Spring?

October 14, 2009 by


Before I start with the article, I thought that I should point out… the Hagerstown Mail was a pro-secession publication, unlike Hagerstown’s Herald of Freedom and Torch Light. Apparently, the Mail, seeing all the talk (examples here and here) of strong Unionism in Clear Spring, thought that the town’s strong leanings toward Union might be influenced by […]

“Think of it!” A Confederate reflects on the duties of slaves with the Army of Northern Virginia

September 8, 2009 by


I recently saw this article come across the Web… and, quite naturally, was taken aback by the claim that these people make regarding the “rebel flag” flying “for freedom” and, of course, that “at least 100,000 blacks… fought in the war,” seemingly in the name of freedom as provided courtesy of the flag. So, when I found […]

Confederate ancestor analysis #3 – Joseph Richards

September 2, 2009 by


Joseph Richards was born in 1833 (the third of seven children) to Aquilla and “Millie” Keyser Richards. Aquilla was of Welsh descent (the family having entered Pennsylvania in the late 1600s/early 1700s), while Millie was of German and English ancestry. In the 1850 census, after the death of his father, Aquilla (ca. 1804-ca. 1849), Joseph, […]

Slavery justified… according to the Bible, or at least Joseph Ruggles Wilson’s interpretation of it

March 18, 2009 by


I had forgotten all about this story until I came across it again last night… and that is particularly bad considering I included the story in my book about Staunton and Augusta County, Virginia in the Civil War. Nonetheless… President Woodrow Wilson’s (fyi, his full name was Thomas Woodrow Wilson) father, Joseph Ruggles Wilson (born in Steubenville, […]

Defining Southern Heritage in Civil War Remembrance

February 15, 2009 by


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 […]

Who’s foolin’ who? More on “black Confederates”

February 4, 2009 by


I was greatly interested in Kevin Levin’s post yesterday about the planned event to honor two “black Confederates” (or is it slaves?) in North Carolina… especially since I was preparing a post addressing my concerns about the way “black Confederates,”  in general, are being represented in remembrance events and “Confederate-friendly” published works. I don’t know enough yet to say […]

A few words from the past

January 30, 2009 by


Browsing through the Staunton Spectator today at the Valley of the Shadow site, I came across the following newspaper article (from October 15, 1867): A Few Words to the Colored People An election is at hand, and in the Providence of God, you are called on to take part in it. No one doubts your […]

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

January 26, 2009 by


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 […]

Another new beginning, from a few years back

January 23, 2009 by


“Alfred Waud’s drawing captures the exuberance of the Little Rock, Arkansas, African American community as the U. S. Colored Troops returned home at the end of the Civil War. The victorious soldiers are joyously greeted by women and children.” From the Library of Congress’ “African-American Odyssey, Part 1” Dual-posted in Southern Unionists Chronicles.

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

January 21, 2009 by


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


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 % […]

What’s really (no, I mean REALLY) the problem with modern Civil War reenactments?

January 14, 2009 by


Noting the recent post by Kevin over at Civil War Memory, I figured I’d toss out some thoughts about reenacting. First, YES, I have reenacted. I started back in 1981, and then, in the midst of high school, other things became more important to a teenage boy (go figure). Then, I crept back into it […]

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

December 12, 2008 by


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


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 […]


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