Monday, November 14, 2011



Slavery and Abolition and the United States


Abraham Lincoln

I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Texas at a time before the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Decision. 
Blacks and whites were segregated from each other.  Whites went to better schools with better equipment, they could ride anywhere on a bus except for the back, where Blacks were expected to sit.
At the Greyhound Bus Station there were separate waiting rooms, and separate rest rooms and separate drinking fountains. 
In our neighborhood, which was lower middle class in the oil refining city of Port Arthur, Black women were maids in homes of Whites, and Black men had mostly day labor jobs.  They lived in small rental houses in the alleys. 
During World War II many, many of these Blacks left Port Arthur for Detroit and other northern cities, and got jobs in the Defense industry that paid them more.  Many of them never returned.

We still had a few old codgers who had fought on the side of the Confederacy in the Civil War, and our families were deeply immersed in the southern culture.  Even though World War II had taken most young men into the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, and we had rationing and air raid drills and air raid wardens, people still referred to the Civil War as “The War”.
White people still talked about the terrible days after the South was defeated, and the surrender at Appomattox Court House, and most of all, Reconstruction.
 Blacks had expected that the end of slavery would mean new opportunities and a whole new life for them, but here, 80 years later, they were still segregated, still had few opportunities.
Changing the culture of a region, or a nation, is really hard.  It takes time, but it also takes a good bit of nudging, like Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and the 1954 schools desegregation decision.

One thing that bothers me is when people criticize George Washington or Thomas Jefferson because they kept slaves. 
Even Abraham Lincoln, as President, was primarily motivated by his strong desire to Save the Union, not emancipation.  He was no hot-blooded Abolitionist!
Certainly slavery was exploitation of one race by another, but even up until a few decades ago, the whole concept of races and ethnicity was entirely different.   
I think one needs to look at the context before we pass judgment—what was the world like all around them?  How did it all fit together?
I hope we are getting it right today, so that some day no American will judge other Americans by the color of their skin, or their religion or lack thereof, or whether they are hetero- or homosexual.

I hope you will enjoy some of the items in this collection:

Eneas Africanus and Eneas Africanus, Defendant

Eneas Africanus by Edwards, Harry Stillwell 1928     Macon, GA: J.W. Burke Company. This is the wistful story of an old Black Slave, sent by his master with family treasures as Union troops were closing in. The Slave, Eneas, went on a long journey, but finally reunited with his old master eight years later, in 1872. "O, Lord!  Marse George! Glory be ter God! Out o' de wilderness! De projekin son am back ergin!"  Modern readers, especially those not from the old South, may read ill will into this story, but it is the story of the mutual admiration and attachment that existed in the South before the Civil War, and persisted long after.   47 pp. 12.4 x 17.2 cm. Red cloth spine with marble paper on board, corners worn, owner inscription, "W.F. Wittenburg" on half title page. Very good. (8209) $15.00. Civil War/Slavery

Eneas Africanus, Defendant by Edwards, Harry Stillwell      1924 Macon, GA: J.W. Burke Company. Sequel to the story of an old Black Slave, set loose with master's family treasures in 1864, who returned in 1872 and found himself as the Defendant in a Church Court, accused of violating the Sabbath. Eneas has read the Bible, and uses it in his trial: "Moses had de Hebrew chillun wid him an' I had mine, but I got home, bless God, an' Moses give out on de road." Modern readers, especially those not from the old South, may read ill will into this story, but it is the story of the mutual admiration and attachment that existed in the South before the Civil War, and persisted long after.    41 pp. 12.4 x 17.2 cm. Blue cloth spine with brown textured paper on board, very good. (8210) $15.00   Civil War/Slavery        

Two Confederate Naval Officers
Aboard CSS Alabama, 1863

Alabama: National and Private "Alabama Claims", The; and their "Final and Amicable Settlement" by Beaman, Charles C., Jr. 1871 Washington City, DC: Office of the Librarian of Congress.  At the start of the American Rebellion in 1861 the Confederate government found that in naval strength it was vastly outnumbered by the United States Navy, and it would be necessary to interdict Union commerce.  England and English shipbuilders were very cooperative with the Confederacy, and allowed construction of Confederate gunboats that were very effective in attacking American shipping worldwide.  On May 15th, 1862 CSS Alabama, known as "Gunboat 290" was launched at Birkenhead, Liverpool.  Page 351 contains a list of the some 67 ships, barks, schooners and brigs destroyed by Alabama, and subsequent pages list ships destroyed by CSS Florida, Georgia, Shenandoah, Nashville, Olustee, Sumter, Tallahassee and others.  This book is a collection of diplomatic correspondence, military correspondence and historical records relating to the matter of Great Britain's questionable acts of neutrality vis-à-vis the Confederate States, and of the negotiations to settle claims after hostilities ended.   358 pp. 14 x 23 cm. Paper on board with cloth spine, cover stained and soiled, fair. (4635)  $85.00. History/Civil War

 Boston Evening Transcript, Thursday Evening, January 17, 1861 Boston, MA: Henry W. Dutton & Son. Filled with Civil War news. Telegraph dispatch reports that Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis is urging moderation, and vouches for Major Anderson, now commanding Fort Sumter, in Charleston (SC) Harbor.  President Buchanan is very anxious to avoid bloodshed as messages and messengers fly back and forth.  The President, it is reported, will be willing to recognize a de facto government embracing three or more states. "The Secession Theory of Debt" is indignant editorial about South Carolinians who have passed a bill in their House to stay the collection of debts by Carolinians to men in non-slaveholding states. "A non-slaveholder may be, purely in consequence of his lack of 'ni*gers,' a very contemptible creature, unworthy of a Southern gentleman's notice..."  Major Robert Anderson, a 56-year-old Kentuckian who commands the Union forces at Fort Sumter, is much in the news.  Discussion of selections for President-elect Lincoln's cabinet. Ban on "ardent spirits" in Massachusetts State House. Editorial questions whether this is enthusiasts, fanatics or liquors.  Poem on page one ridicules idea of South Carolinians leaning toward monarchy. Discussion on Slavery reports from recent sermon by Dr. Leonard Bacon in New Haven Discussion of necessity and feasibility of constructing a Cape Cod Canal, to connect the waters of Barnstable Bay and Buzzard's Bay. Humor about "The Star of the West", the Union ship fired upon by southerners at Charleston. Lincoln to be escorted to Washington by the Illinois Zouaves. 4 pp. 49 x 68 cm. Newspaper, tears in some folds, 5 cm closed tear in pp. 1-2, poor. (7406) $26.00. Civil War/Newspapers

 Boston Daily Advertiser, Wednesday Morning, October 12, 1864, Vol. 104 No. 87  Boston, MA: Boston Daily Advertiser. Civil War era newspaper: Panic in Richmond, special despatch by the American Telegraph Company's Lines. State elections: Great Republican Victory in Pennsylvania. Report from St. Louis, MO on rebel movements, crossing the Osage River with 20,000 men, 16 to 25 cannon, and a long train of wagons. News from Grant's Army of the Potomac: Enemy opened fire towards the Second Corps. 
Capt. Daniel Foster of the United States 37th colored regiment was killed in the attack on Chapin's Bluff, VA. Capt Foster was formerly chaplain of the Mass. 22nd Rgt. He graduated at Dartmouth College in 1841 and for several years was a Unitarian missionary in Kansas. The Massachusetts 54th Regiment, colored troops, has been paid off by the government in full to August 31st. The soldiers have sent back to their families and friends in this city and vicinity the sum of $45,000. Willard Cheney, Jr. of Worcester has been commissioned a second lieutenant of the 2nd U.S. colored infantry, now stationed at Key West, Fla. 4 pp. 54 x 76 cm. Newspaper, edges frayed, good. (5979) $32.00. Civil War/History

Cincinnati Daily Gazette, Cincinnati, Ohio, Thursday morning, December 10, 1863 Cincinnati, OH: The Daily Gazette.  In the middle of the Civil War this "Western" paper gives Status of the Rebel States: "How did the district held by the rebels become foreign territory in the eyes of the law?"  This issuer features "The President's Message" in which Abraham Lincoln reports to Fellow Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives that Foreign Neutrality has been preserved, our blockade of Southern ports has been observed and respected, our Slave Trade Treaty with Great Britain has been ratified and carried into execution. Report also includes operations of the Treasury , and report of the Secretary of the Navy. The Secretary of the Navy reports acquisition of armored vessels, increase in seamen from 7000 in 1861 to 24,000 now, the Naval Academy (now located in Newport, RI) is rendering signal service in preparing midshipmen for their highly responsible duties; also detailed plans for Reconstruction, upon cessation of the war. Separate report from the Secretary of the Navy summarizes 36 page report, including action of blockade over 3549 miles, employing more than 100 vessels. the Navy at present date includes 588 vessels with 4,443 guns. Since December 1862 the Navy has lost or had captured 12 vessels, another 35 destroyed in order to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy, sunk in battle or by torpedoes, 4, shipwreck 5 and collision 13. Secretary also reports on the development of the Monitors by Capt. John Ericsson. In"Latest by Telegraph" report from Washington reports that the President's Message  has been favorably received, but radical wing of the Administration has become more cautious in praise. "The pivotal point of the whole Message is the idea that absolute complete emancipation will at length be the basis of reconstruction." 4 pp. 60 x 70 cm. Newspaper, numerous holes in folds in front page, poor. (7803)  $40.00. Civil War/Newspapers

New-York Tribune, New-York, Tuesday, January 24, 1860 New York, NY: The New-York Tribune. Report from 36th Congress: Remarks of Senator Douglas regarding communication of Governor of Virginia to President Buchanan, that there was a plan on foot to rescue John Brown; President replied that he was at a loss to find any provision in the Constitution or the laws of the United States to authorize him  to take any steps to preserve the peace between the states. "The Irrepressible Folly: General Panic in the South; People Afraid of Newspapers; Banishment and Hanging in Fashion."   Commentary on Senator Douglas, discussing passing a bill to prevent one state from invading another. Douglas proposes to make it a criminal offense to make any more Free States after the manner of Kansas. Douglas says he wants no Slave code. and this has brought him the ill will of the South.  Editorial support for Senator Cassius M. Clay of Kentucky; Clay has earned acclaim in Congress, in commercial and doughface circles at the North, at John Brown meetings. "Republicanism in Kentucky--Speech of Cassius M. Clay" From the Cincinnati Gazette. Clay discusses the Radical Abolitionists; Hang-Dog Testimony..."we now and always have regarded the poor African as of an inferior race, and although we do not pretend to divine the inscrutable designs of the Deity..." 8 pp. 44 x 56 cm. Newspaper, unopened, good. (7809) $26.00. Civil War/History

Manchester Daily Union, Manchester, N.H. Tuesday, May 16, 1865 Manchester, NH: Campbell & Hanscom. By telegraph from Washington:  The assassination trial is open to reporters of newspapers. It is supposed that Jeff Davis will be brought to Washington and tried for murder. The Negro Problem in Kentucky is one of great practical moment. Negroes are leaving their homes by the thousands and are crowding into the towns, demoralizing and being demoralized.... the plantations are without labor, and crops cannot be grown. Uncertainty and confusion take the place of order, and poverty and disease must follow upon idleness and dissipation.  Negro Suffrage--the Abolitionists, not content with negro freedom, are clamorous for negro suffrage. Continued account of Assassination Trial...Mr. Lloyd, who kept a hotel at Surrattville, testified that several weeks before the assassination Booth and his accomplices came to his house, and brought two carbines and a rope... Testimony of Mrs. Surratt... Booth and Harold came to the hotel soon after midnight; Booth said, "I will tell you some news; I am pretty certain we have assassinated the President and Secretary Seward." Commentary on Mission of the Democratic Party. Adv. New Dress Goods; Mourning Goods; Carpeting and Housekeeping Goods at Barton & Co., East Side Elm Street. 4 pp. 32 x 47 cm. Newspaper, some perforations in spinefold, good. (8030) $25.00. Civil War/History

Manchester Daily Union, Manchester, N.H. Wednesday, May 17, 1865 Manchester, NH: Campbell & Hanscom. By telegraph from Washington:  Assassination Trials. Members of the Military Commission met in Ford's Theatre this morning to view the premises. The military and civil authorities in Washington are still at variance. Report that the President has under consideration a new amnesty proclamation which will announce what classes of rebels are to be held for treason. John M. Buckingham, doorkeeper at Ford's theatre said Booth came in about 10 o'clock .. he then walked up the stairway leading to the dress circle, and that was the last time I saw him until he jumped upon the stage... James P. Ferguson: "About ten I saw Booth pass the open door leading to the boxes. I did not see him any more till he fired his pistol and jumped to the stage..."  More detailed testimony of trial. Wm. A. Browning, secretary to Pres. Johnson, testified that he went to Kirkwood House  between 4 and 5 in the afternoon of the murder and saw in Mr. Johnson's box  a card written by John Wilkes Booth. 4 pp. 32 x 47 cm. Newspaper, some perforations in spinefold, good. (8031) $25.00. Civil War/History

La Guerre D'Amérique: Récit d'un Soldat du Sud [in French] (The American {Civil} War: Narrative of a Southern Soldier); Tome Premier [Volume One ONLY] par Fontane, Marius   ca. 1866 Paris, France: Adrien Le Clere ET Ce, Éditeurs, Rue Cassette, 29. Volume One of a two volume set. Small foldout map ( "Carte du Théâtre de la Guerre d'Amérique") at rear of first volume. Narrative by Marius Fontane (1838-1914). Entrée de Charleston. L'exploitation des forêts de la Caroline du Sud.  Toinot le planteur. Les case des nègres. Premier coup de fusil (6 avril 1861). Jefferson Davis, président des États confédérés. L'arsenal de Norfolk (6 mars 1862).  Marche des Nordistes vers Richmond.   304 pp. + map. 11.5 x 17 cm. Quarter leather with marbled paper boards; covered with plastic film.  Fold-out map has small tears in folds. Good. (1735) $75.00. Civil War/History

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