Slavery and the Law in the ProQuest “History Vault:”
Brandon Byrd writes:
Charmaine A. Nelson writes:
“One evening, on a road in Jamaica, a soldier belonging to the “Mulatto Company” made his evening rounds. He came upon a black man in the woods. The soldier called for his attention. Receiving no answer, he killed him…”
Jessica Marie Johnson’s October post for the African American Intellectual Society Blog is on black death and this rare sketch (available at the Library Company of Philadelphia) done by Pierre Eugène du Simitière sometime in 1760s Jamaica. Read the rest: Black Death: Gore, Geographies and the Gallows in Jamaica
Reblogged from Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog
The September release of Black Authors, 1556-1922: Imprints from the Library Company of Philadelphia includes Louis Hughes’ heart-pounding and heart-wrenching autobiography as well as several works of fiction by prolific author Sutton Elbert Griggs.
Thirty Years a Slave: From Bondage to Freedom: The Institution of Slavery as Seen on the Plantation and in the Home of the Planter (1897)
By Louis Hughes
In 1832, Louis Hughes was born a slave on a plantation near Charlottesville, Virginia. Writing of his early life, Hughes quickly captures his readers’ attention:
“The September release of The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922, contains many documents categorized as “controversial literature.” This bibliographical term describes works that argue against or express opposition to individual religious and monastic orders, individual religions, individual Christian denominations, and sacred works. Unsurprisingly, much of the controversy in the following documents surrounds Biblical interpretations of the institution of slavery…”
In 2012, at Mirror of Race, Molly Rogers reflected on the Jacques Zealy daguerreotypes of South Carolina slaves (now held by Harvard University).
In the summer of 1976, employees of Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology discovered fifteen daguerreotypes in the museum attic. The photographs were made in 1850 and they depict five African men and two African American women, all of whom were slaves in or near Columbia, South Carolina. The names of the people are known—the men are Jack, Jem, Fassena and Alfred, and the women Drana and Delia—as are a few details on the circumstances of their lives. The daguerreotypes are considered to be the earliest known photographs of identifiable American slaves….
…As I examined the photographs, scrutinizing Delia’s body with the aid of a magnifying glass—seeking in her image evidence of maltreatment, of the circumstances under which the image was made, and of her individual character—an unpleasant feeling came over me. Louis Agassiz had commissioned Delia’s photographs after physically examining her. The images were intended to serve as aides-memoire to this ostensibly scientific examination and also as evidence of his findings, which he could show to other people. The photographs were therefore doubly linked to Delia’s violation: they were both the culmination of an invasive examination and a second instance of this objectifying scrutiny. And there I was, examining Delia much as the scientist had done: she was exposed against her will and in her body I sought information, facts, evidence. That the kind of the evidence I hoped to find differed from that of the Swiss naturalist offered little consolation. Ultimately, there was no avoiding the fact that I was regarding Delia as an object and doing so for my own gain…
In 1925 Carter G. Woodson and his Association for the Study of Negro Life and History created Negro History Week. A half century later, during the U.S. bicentennial, this formal period for recognizing African American contributions to our national history was expanded to a month. At that time President Gerald Ford asked Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” During this 2014 celebration of African American History month, Readex is pleased to highlight these five new and recent resources: