I…think writers in general and maybe historians in particular must ask themselves what the implications are of the narratives they/we write. Do they, in their rhetorics, affirm already under-examined perspectives on peoples? Are those rhetorics proof of what historian Ira Berlin wrote…? In other words, do the rhetorics, the languages, of history transfix?
Following is a transcription of an actual case of three fugitive slaves, all men, brought into Memphis’ Fort Pickering January 9, 1863 for allegedly stealing the property of their former owners. They were brought in my Col. Howe’s (Union) Cavalry. Confessions were obtained from them. Their case was forwarded by … Continue Reading Three Negroes Brought into Fort Pickering by A Scouting Party
The title of this post is ironic as I’m not sure there is anything natural about one person “owning” another. However, as I transcribe contraband camp registers, noting next to each freedperson the name of their “former owner,” I am lending regularity to something that would otherwise feel very strange. … Continue Reading The Nature of the Work of Transcribing Slave Names
I tend to think that a month name might not have indicated the actual month of birth. Rather, the month could stand for something like “first,” winter, cold, Janus, etc. I think there are all sorts of possibilities and what was most important was what the word symbolized.
From the beginning of the Civil War, the Kentucky slaves were active participants in the drama. From the moment northern troops entered Kentucky, the objective of the slaves was to secure more self-determinism for themselves and their families.