Jasmine Cobb on black visuality via Left of Black:
Launched in 2011, “Disunion revisits and reconsiders America’s most perilous period — using contemporary accounts, diaries, images and historical assessments to follow the Civil War as it unfolded.” The series ended in June of 2016. The full archive of posts is available at the New York Times website.
Posts that might be of interest:
Noelle Trent writes: Continue reading “Trent with “Thoughts on Underground” | @AAIHS”
Special Issue of Social Text (33:4, 2015) on “The Question of Recovery: Slavery, Freedom, and the Archive,” including a roundtable on slavery, mapping, and the digital humanities. Guest edited by Laura Helton, Justin Leroy, Max A. Mishler, Samantha Seeley, and Shauna Sweeney
Greg Childs writes:
“In all fairness to historians who have taken this position in their either implicit or explicit discussions of black geographies, the insistence on seeing un-enslaved fugitives in the confusing and contradictory space of the “bush” stems from a similar insistence that spills out from the documentation of runaway communities. In the context of the Portuguese empire, for example, by the 1650s those who were employed as slave catchers were known as “capitães do mato” a term that is often literally rendered in English as “bush captain”. 5 The name itself was not employed consistently across the Portuguese empire and thus other names for the slave catchers emerged as well by the 1680s. Yet, these names also locked runaway communities into a geographical wilderness. Thus the “capitães das entradas dos matos” were “captains of the entryway into the bush,” a phrase that seemed to consider the “entryway into the bush” to be the very the boundary between rational civilization and uncharted wilderness. Thus by locating black subjects in undeveloped, unmapped areas, black subjects are themselves naturalized as irrational and underdeveloped by archival sources.”
Read the entire post: Visible Fugitives | African American Intellectual History Blog
Adam Rothman remarks on a freed woman of color’s petition for manumission, posted by the National Archives on June 30, 2015:
“…One aspect of Marguerite Thompson’s petition that drew my attention is the fact that she submitted her petition to the Judge Charles Peabody’s U.S. Provisional Court (USPC). This court was established by the United States after Union forces seized New Orleans in 1862. Legal scholar John Gordan writes that “the most legally dramatic of the Provisional Court’s activities was its granting of manumission petitions by slaveholders.” (See Gordan’s article, “New York Justice in Civil War Louisiana,” Judicial Notice 8, p. 20)
As Gordan reveals, one of those slaveholders who appealed to Judge Peabody to manumit his slaves was the lawyer Thomas Jefferson Durant, who later represented Rose Herera in her quest to recover her children.