The Patriot Files Forums  

Go Back   The Patriot Files Forums > Conflict posts > Civil War

Post New Thread  Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-05-2006, 01:37 PM
Senior Member

Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 6,849
VOM Contributor 
Default New Book : Complicity : How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery


Editorial Reviews

Book Description
Slavery in the South has been documented in volumes ranging from exhaustive histories to bestselling novels. But the North?s profit from?indeed, dependence on?slavery has mostly been a shameful and well-kept secret . . . until now. In this startling and superbly researched new book, three veteran New England journalists demythologize the region of America known for tolerance and liberation, revealing a place where thousands of people were held in bondage and slavery was both an economic dynamo and a necessary way of life.

Complicity reveals the cruel truth about the Triangle Trade of molasses, rum, and slaves that lucratively linked the North to the West Indies and Africa; discloses the reality of Northern empires built on profits from rum, cotton, and ivory?and run, in some cases, by abolitionists; and exposes the thousand-acre plantations that existed in towns such as Salem, Connecticut. Here, too, are eye-opening accounts of the individuals who profited directly from slavery far from the Mason-Dixon line?including Nathaniel Gordon of Maine, the only slave trader sentenced to die in the United States, who even as an inmate of New York?s infamous Tombs prison was supported by a shockingly large percentage of the city; Patty Cannon, whose brutal gang kidnapped free blacks from Northern states and sold them into slavery; and the Philadelphia doctor Samuel Morton, eminent in the nineteenth-century field of ?race science,? which purported to prove the inferiority of African-born black people.

Culled from long-ignored documents and reports?and bolstered by rarely seen photos, publications, maps, and period drawings?Complicity is a fascinating and sobering work that actually does what so many books pretend to do: shed light on America?s past. Expanded from the celebrated Hartford Courant special report that the Connecticut Department of Education sent to every middle school and high school in the state (the original work is required readings in many college classrooms,) this new book is sure to become a must-read reference everywhere.

About the Author
Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank are veteran journalists for The Hartford Courant, the country?s oldest newspaper in continuous publication. Farrow and Lang were the lead writers and Frank was the editor of the special slavery issue published by Northeast, the newspaper?s Sunday magazine.

Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She is co-editor with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of African American Lives.
sendpm.gif Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 03-05-2006, 09:31 PM
Jerry D's Avatar
Jerry D Jerry D is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Nahunta,GA
Posts: 3,680
Default More exerpts from Complicity Review:

This definitely helps breakdown the Myth that only evil White Southerns profited by the nasty slave trade... Always amazed me growing up how the New Englanders always conveniently forgot who owned the majority of the Shipping companies before 1861!

More exerpts from Complicity Review:

We like to condemn slavery as an exotic evil perpetrated by plantation Southerners, but two new books and a museum exhibit provide nightmarish reminders that slavery was the norm in the early years of this country, and that up through the eve of the Civil War, Northern bankers, brokers and entrepreneurs were among slavery?s staunchest defenders.

In Complicity, a team of Hartford Courant journalists investigates this history, producing 10 stories that explore how deeply the fortunes of New York and New England were tied to the slave trade. ?Slavery in New York,? an exhibit at the New York Historical Society through March 5, reveals New York as a city substantially built by slaves. The companion book of the same name, elegantly designed and illustrated, anchors the exhibit in a series of scholarly essays. Together, these works echo and amplify each other, providing a kind of surround-sound opportunity for an anguished identity crisis: If our supposedly freedom-loving forebears were not ?good guys,? what were they? And what are we?

From the get-go, Americans were profiteers, and plundering the New World was backbreaking work. Writing in 1645 to John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, his brother-in-law Emanuel Downing complained, ?I do not see how we can thrive until we get a stock of slaves sufficient to do all our business.? Further south, in New Amsterdam, slaves built Wall Street?s wall and cleared what became Harlem and Route 1. When a new shipload of slaves proved insufficiently hardy, Director General Peter Stuyvesant expressed his displeasure to the Dutch West India Company, insisting that the company supply the best slaves to Christian and company enterprises, while unloading the feeble on ?Spaniards and unbelieving Jews.?

For much of the 17th and 18th centuries, New York boasted the largest urban slave population in mainland North America. Slaves made up one-fifth the population. And white New Yorkers lived in terror of slave revolt. An alleged 1741 plot led to the jailing and torture of scores of slaves, 30 of whom were executed, 17 by burning at the stake.

New York slowly and reluctantly abolished slavery; federal census figures showed slaves in the state until 1850. But the death of slavery in New York scarcely impeded the city?s business in the slave trade. In the peak years of 1859 and 1860, two slave ships bound for Africa left New York harbor every month. Although the trade was technically illegal, no one cared: A slave bought for $50 in Africa could be sold for $1,000 in Cuba, a profit margin so high that loss of slave life was easily absorbed. For every hundred slaves purchased in Africa, perhaps 48 survived the trip to the New World. By the end of the voyage, the ships that held the packed, shackled and naked human cargo were so filthy that it was cheaper to burn some vessels than decontaminate them.

Law-abiding Northerners made money off slavery through the cotton trade. ?King Cotton? was to antebellum America what oil is to the Middle East. Whole New England textile cities sprang up to manufacture cloth from cotton picked and processed by millions of slaves. In 1861, the United States produced more than 2 billion pounds of cotton, exporting much of it to Great Britain via New York. No wonder then that as the South began to talk secession, so too did New York Mayor Fernando Wood, who proposed that Manhattan become an independent island nation, its cotton trade intact.

How do we reconcile these facts with our mythology of the Civil War and our convenient conviction that the evils of slavery were contained within the South? Obviously, we can?t. Slavery was such a huge and gruesome enterprise, supported by so many, that it explodes inflated notions of American character. Instead, we might appropriately draw parallels between antebellum America and Nazi Germany.

This is not to assert that ordinary Americans were ?evil,? but rather that our insistent sorting of the world into ?good guys? and ?evildoers? distorts reality. Today, progressives are justly suspicious of the high-flown ?freedom? rhetoric our government deploys to advance American empire. But we need always to be skeptical of reductive, righteous narratives. Far from promoting morality, such fictions allow us to hide our worst impulses from ourselves.

Phyllis Eckhaus is an In These Times contributing editor who has written essays and book reviews for the magazine since 1993

The Pervasiveness of Slavery

A unique feature of the thirteen colonies as compared to Europe was the existence of slavery. While most people are aware of slavery in the South, few are aware of the history of slavery in the North. In The First Emancipation: The Abolition of Slavery in the North, Arthur Zilversmit (1967) notes that during the debates on a constitutional ban on slavery in New York State, an opponent of the ban took the unorthodox point of view that if New Yorkers did not mention slavery, future generations would never learn that the state had ever had slavery. The author says that the prediction proved all too accurate.

The North did, indeed, have slavery. Slavery had existed in Massachusetts at least since 1638. Zilversmit (1967:3) says that by 1715 northerners owned one out of every five slaves in North America. Indeed, there were about 12,500 blacks in New England and the middle colonies. Moreover, New England was intimately involved in the slavery traffic, which in turn was part of a more general pattern known as the "triangular trade." In the triangular trade, Yankee ships carried cargoes of rum for the Guinea trade. In Africa, they would trade one hundred gallons of rum per each black male. The Yankees then set sail for the West Indies. Here they exchanged the slaves for a cargo of molasses. They then took this cargo to the distilleries of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, where they produced more rum for the Guinea trade.

The triangular trade was very important to the wealth of the North, for it supported an entire industry of traders, distillers, and shipbuilders. The primary ports involved were Newport and Bristol, followed by Boston, Salem, and Providence. Other cities included Portsmouth, New London, and New York. Newport at one time had as many as 170 vessels (half its merchant fleet) engaged in slaving (Hofstadter 1971). These ships supplied most of the slaves to the West Indies, while the British brought slaves to the thirteen colonies. Others ships, not involved in the triangle trade, brought fish and other foodstuffs to the Caribbean to feed the slaves. Nevertheless, these ships also engaged in slave trading. They would take some slaves and drop them off at Charleston or in Virginia, while bringing the most domesticated blacks to the northern market to serve as house servants or artisans.

While the proportion of blacks in the New England population never reached more than 2.2 percent, this statistic hides a great deal of variation among the colonies in this region (Zilversmit 1967:4). Just prior to the American Revolution, the Connecticut population was 3 percent black, and Rhode Island was 6 percent black. By contrast, New Hampshire and Vermont had very few slaves.

All the regions set up black codes to control the free black population severely. These laws worked to segregate blacks from whites and to set up a legally separate caste. In Massachusetts, as early as the 1680s, the construction of black codes began with attempts to ban the sale of liquor to blacks (Rice 1975:49-50). In 1703 the colony applied a curfew to this special population, and two years later it passed an act prohibiting miscegenation.

While differing from New England in the pattern of its landownership, every one of the middle colonies permitted slavery. Except for Pennsylvania, slavery in the region was a major problem (Rice 1975:49). New Jersey was 8 percent black overall (with as high as 12 percent in East Jersey). In 1770 New York was as much as 12.5 percent black. New York's 1712 slave law was the harshest of the northern colonial codes. This repressive law originated from the panic reaction of New Yorkers to a major slave revolt in which nine whites had been killed. As punishment, the authorities put to death twenty-one blacks. The fear of insurrection spread to New Jersey, and in 1714 that colony also passed a strict slave code. As part of the restrictive codes, all the middle colonies adopted separate courts to try blacks (which denied this population access to regular jury trials).

How did the North justify this brutal treatment of black Americans? The primary defense came from the religious idea that blacks were "savages" and "heathens" (Moore 1971:81-82). The reasoning was that since slaves were not Christians, they did not deserve the same treatment as whites. As this idea faded with time and the increasing Christian religious education and conversion of blacks, the doctrine of racial inferiority came to the fore.

In addition to forgetting about northern slavery, Americans have tended to forget how poorly northern colonists treated the black freedmen. Tocqueville (1969:343) had concluded that race prejudice was actually stronger in the northern states than in the southern states. In those states that had abolished slavery, northern whites had to rely more directly on an ideology of biological racism in order to reinforce patterns of racial subordination of the blacks. Louis Filler (1960:15) writes that by 1850 there were 434,495 free blacks as against 3,204,313 slaves or approximately one free black in eight. These free blacks found themselves "universally despised" and degraded, facing the constant fear that at any time they could be remanded to slavery. Many of these people found themselves in a worse economic situation than slavery, often being incapable of even providing for themselves. A number of European commentators, such as the actress Frances Kemble (quoted in Zilversmit 1967:222-223), noted how poorly the freedmen were treated in Philadelphia. She compared the free blacks to Hebrew lepers and pariahs, two historically degraded and rejected groups. Many of the complaints of white Americans about the freedmen closely resemble the complaints of today's whites about blacks. They saw free blacks as given to idleness, frolicking, drunkenness, dishonesty, and criminality. This racist stereotype was so widespread that somewhat later even the abolitionists blamed the conduct of the freedmen for the increasingly hostile public opinion towards the idea of abolition.

Fear of Slave Revolts

One of the greatest fears of white society was the possibility of slave revolts. In American Negro Slave Revolts Herbert Aptheker (1943) uncovered about 250 slave revolts where a minimum of ten slaves joined in the activity. Most historians (Wilson 1973:84-85) think that because of the severity of the slavery system, only about a dozen slave revolts actually occurred. But those dozen revolts spread considerable hysteria among the colonists. An additional fear was the possibility of indentured servants and other discontented whites joining in the revolt (see Zinn 1980:37).The first large-scale revolt occurred in New York in 1712.

Indentured Servants

In addition to black slaves, there was a large group of indentured servants, many of whom were virtually treated as slaves. More than half the colonists to North America originally came as servants with as many as 10 to 15 percent of the total population being indentured servants at any given time (Hofstadter 1971:34; Aptheker 1966:36; also see Smith 1971 and Alderman 1975). As late as 1755, 10 percent of the population of Maryland consisted of white servants (Zinn 1980:46).

Abbott Smith in Colonists in Bondage (1971) studied the upward mobility of indentured servants. Around 80 percent of them either died during their servitude or went back to England, or joined the class known as "poor whites." There was upward mobility, but it was rare and primarily for the naturally gifted or the lucky.

Zinn (1980:36) maintains that some of these whites did become involved in slave revolts. One such incident of interracial cooperation occurred in Gloucester County, Virginia, where in 1663 indentured white servants and black slaves conspired to gain their freedom. The plotters were betrayed to the authorities, and many of the rebel leaders subsequently executed.

Considerable Inequality in the Thirteen Colonies

The myth of a satisfied white middle class in the thirteen colonies obscures the fact of substantial inequality in the thirteen colonies. For instance, as much as one-fourth or one-fifth of the population of Massachusetts had little beyond immediate personal belongings. If indentured servants are added to this, the proportion rises to nearly one-third of the white population (Main 1965:41-42; 33). In New Jersey even the richest counties had a large population of landless agricultural laborers. In Maryland some 60 percent of the planters had only enough income from their farms to support the cruder necessities of life (Eddis 1969:xvi- xviii). About a quarter of the white male population in Virginia possessed no land and little personal property. When the slave population is added, the proportion rises to 40 percent. In the richer parishes of South Carolina, the inclusion of slaves in the ranks of unpropertied laborers brings the proportion of the population without property to nearly 90 percent (see Main 1965:57).
[><] Dixie born and proud of it.
sendpm.gif Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2006, 09:56 AM
Advisor Advisor is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Dec 1969
Posts: 938
Lightbulb Another "secret" of the Civil War


By Robert M. Grooms

? 1997

In an 1856 letter to his wife Mary Custis Lee, Robert E. Lee called slavery "a moral and political evil." Yet he concluded that black slaves were immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially and physically.

The fact is large numbers of free Negroes owned black slaves; in fact, in numbers disproportionate to their representation in society at large. In 1860 only a small minority of whites owned slaves. According to the U.S. census report for that last year before the Civil War, there were nearly 27 million whites in the country. Some eight million of them lived in the slaveholding states.

The census also determined that there were fewer than 385,000 individuals who owned slaves (1). Even if all slaveholders had been white, that would amount to only 1.4 percent of whites in the country (or 4.8 percent of southern whites owning one or more slaves).

In the rare instances when the ownership of slaves by free Negroes is acknowledged in the history books, justification centers on the claim that black slave masters were simply individuals who purchased the freedom of a spouse or child from a white slaveholder and had been unable to legally manumit them. Although this did indeed happen at times, it is a misrepresentation of the majority of instances, one which is debunked by records of the period on blacks who owned slaves. These include individuals such as Justus Angel and Mistress L. Horry, of Colleton District, South Carolina, who each owned 84 slaves in 1830. In fact, in 1830 a fourth of the free Negro slave masters in South Carolina owned 10 or more slaves; eight owning 30 or more (2).

According to federal census reports, on June 1, 1860 there were nearly 4.5 million Negroes in the United States, with fewer than four million of them living in the southern slaveholding states. Of the blacks residing in the South, 261,988 were not slaves. Of this number, 10,689 lived in New Orleans. The country's leading African American historian, Duke University professor John Hope Franklin, records that in New Orleans over 3,000 free Negroes owned slaves, or 28 percent of the free Negroes in that city.

To return to the census figures quoted above, this 28 percent is certainly impressive when compared to less than 1.4 percent of all American whites and less than 4.8 percent of southern whites. The statistics show that, when free, blacks disproportionately became slave masters.

The majority of slaveholders, white and black, owned only one to five slaves. More often than not, and contrary to a century and a half of bullwhips-on-tortured-backs propaganda, black and white masters worked and ate alongside their charges; be it in house, field or workshop. The few individuals who owned 50 or more slaves were confined to the top one percent, and have been defined as slave magnates.

In 1860 there were at least six Negroes in Louisiana who owned 65 or more slaves The largest number, 152 slaves, were owned by the widow C. Richards and her son P.C. Richards, who owned a large sugar cane plantation. Another Negro slave magnate in Louisiana, with over 100 slaves, was Antoine Dubuclet, a sugar planter whose estate was valued at (in 1860 dollars) $264,000 (3). That year, the mean wealth of southern white men was $3,978 (4).

In Charleston, South Carolina in 1860 125 free Negroes owned slaves; six of them owning 10 or more. Of the $1.5 million in taxable property owned by free Negroes in Charleston, more than $300,000 represented slave holdings (5). In North Carolina 69 free Negroes were slave owners (6).

In 1860 William Ellison was South Carolina's largest Negro slaveowner. In Black Masters. A Free Family of Color in the Old South, authors Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roak write a sympathetic account of Ellison's life. From Ellison's birth as a slave to his death at 71, the authors attempt to provide justification, based on their own speculation, as to why a former slave would become a magnate slave master.

At birth he was given the name April. A common practice among slaves of the period was to name a child after the day or month of his or her birth. Between 1800 and 1802 April was purchased by a white slave-owner named William Ellison. Apprenticed at 12, he was taught the trades of carpentry, blacksmithing and machining, as well as how to read, write, cipher and do basic bookkeeping.

On June 8, 1816, William Ellison appeared before a magistrate (with five local freeholders as supporting witnesses) to gain permission to free April, now 26 years of age. In 1800 the South Carolina legislature had set out in detail the procedures for manumission. To end the practice of freeing unruly slaves of "bad or depraved" character and those who "from age or infirmity" were incapacitated, the state required that an owner testify under oath to the good character of the slave he sought to free. Also required was evidence of the slave's "ability to gain a livelihood in an honest way."

Although lawmakers of the time could not envision the incredibly vast public welfare structures of a later age, these stipulations became law in order to prevent slaveholders from freeing individuals who would become a burden on the general public.

Interestingly, considering today's accounts of life under slavery, authors Johnson and Roak report instances where free Negroes petitioned to be allowed to become slaves; this because they were unable to support themselves.

Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia (University Press of Virginia-1995) was written by Ervin L. Jordan Jr., an African-American and assistant professor and associate curator of the Special Collections Department, University of Virginia library. He wrote: "One of the more curious aspects of the free black existence in Virginia was their ownership of slaves. Black slave masters owned members of their family and freed them in their wills. Free blacks were encouraged to sell themselves into slavery and had the right to choose their owner through a lengthy court procedure."

In 1816, shortly after his manumission, April moved to Stateburg. Initially he hired slave workers from local owners. When in 1817 he built a gin for Judge Thomas Watries, he credited the judge nine dollars "for hire of carpenter George for 12 days." By 1820 he had purchased two adult males to work in his shop (7). In fewer than four years after being freed, April demonstrated that he had no problem perpetuating an institution he had been released from. He also achieved greater monetary success than most white people of the period.

On June 20, 1820, April appeared in the Sumter District courthouse in Sumterville. Described in court papers submitted by his attorney as a "freed yellow man of about 29 years of age," he requested a name change because it "would yet greatly advance his interest as a tradesman." A new name would also "save him and his children from degradation and contempt which the minds of some do and will attach to the name April." Because "of the kindness" of his former master and as a "Mark of gratitude and respect for him" April asked that his name be changed to William Ellison. His request was granted.

In time the black Ellison family joined the predominantly white Episcopalian church. On August 6, 1824 he was allowed to put a family bench on the first floor, among those of the wealthy white families. Other blacks, free and slave, and poor whites sat in the balcony. Another wealthy Negro family would later join the first floor worshippers.

Between 1822 and the mid-1840s, Ellison gradually built a small empire, acquiring slaves in increasing numbers. He became one of South Carolina's major cotton gin manufacturers, selling his machines as far away as Mississippi. From February 1817 until the War Between the States commenced, his business advertisements appeared regularly in newspapers across the state. These included the Camden Gazette, the Sumter Southern Whig and the Black River Watchman.

Ellison was so successful, due to his utilization of cheap slave labor, that many white competitors went out of business. Such situations discredit impressions that whites dealt only with other whites. Where money was involved, it was apparent that neither Ellison's race or former status were considerations.

In his book, Ervin L. Jordan Jr. writes that, as the great conflagration of 1861-1865 approached: "Free Afro-Virginians were a nascent black middle class under siege, but several acquired property before and during the war. Approximately 169 free blacks owned 145,976 acres in the counties of Amelia, Amherst, Isle of Wight, Nansemond, Prince William and Surry, averaging 870 acres each. Twenty-rune Petersburg blacks each owned property worth $1,000 and continued to purchase more despite the war."

Jordan offers an example: "Gilbert Hunt, a Richmond ex-slave blacksmith, owned two slaves, a house valued at $1,376, and $500 in other properties at his death in 1863." Jordan wrote that "some free black residents of Hampton and Norfolk owned property of considerable value; 17 black Hamptonians possessed property worth a total of $15,000. Thirty-six black men paid taxes as heads of families in Elizabeth City County and were employed as blacksmiths, bricklayers, fishermen, oystermen and day laborers. In three Norfolk County parishes 160 blacks owned a total of $41,158 in real estate and personal property.

The general practice of the period was that plantation owners would buy seed and equip~ ment on credit and settle their outstanding accounts when the annual cotton crop was sold. Ellison, like all free Negroes, could resort to the courts for enforcement of the terms of contract agreements. Several times Ellison successfully sued white men for money owed him.

In 1838 Ellison purchased on time 54.5 acres adjoining his original acreage from one Stephen D. Miller. He moved into a large home on the property. What made the acquisition notable was that Miller had served in the South Carolina legislature, both in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, and while a resident of Stateburg had been governor of the state. Ellison's next door neighbor was Dr. W.W. Anderson, master of "Borough House, a magnificent 18th Century mansion. Anderson's son would win fame in the War Between the States as General "Fighting Dick" Anderson.

By 1847 Ellison owned over 350 acres, and more than 900 by 1860. He raised mostly cotton, with a small acreage set aside for cultivating foodstuffs to feed his family and slaves. In 1840 he owned 30 slaves, and by 1860 he owned 63. His sons, who lived in homes on the property, owned an additional nine slaves. They were trained as gin makers by their father (8). They had spent time in Canada, where many wealthy American Negroes of the period sent their children for advanced formal education. Ellison's sons and daughters married mulattos from Charleston, bringing them to the Ellison plantation to live.

In 1860 Ellison greatly underestimated his worth to tax assessors at $65,000. Even using this falsely stated figure, this man who had been a slave 44 years earlier had achieved great financial success. His wealth outdistanced 90 percent of his white neighbors in Sumter District. In the entire state, only five percent owned as much real estate as Ellison. His wealth was 15 times greater than that of the state's average for whites. And Ellison owned more slaves than 99 percent of the South's slaveholders.

Although a successful businessman and cotton farmer, Ellison's major source of income derived from being a "slave breeder." Slave breeding was looked upon with disgust throughout the South, and the laws of most southern states forbade the sale of slaves under the age of 12. In several states it was illegal to sell inherited slaves (9). Nevertheless, in 1840 Ellison secretly began slave breeding.

While there was subsequent investment return in raising and keeping young males, females were not productive workers in his factory or his cotton fields. As a result, except for a few females he raised to become "breeders," Ellison sold the female and many of the male children born to his female slaves at an average price of $400. Ellison had a reputation as a harsh master. His slaves were said to be the district's worst fed and clothed. On his property was located a small, windowless building where he would chain his problem slaves.

As with the slaves of his white counterparts, occasionally Ellison's slaves ran away. The historians of Sumter District reported that from time to time Ellison advertised for the return of his runaways. On at least one occasion Ellison hired the services of a slave catcher. According to an account by Robert N. Andrews, a white man who had purchased a small hotel in Stateburg in the 1820s, Ellison hired him to run down "a valuable slave. Andrews caught the slave in Belleville, Virginia. He stated: "I was paid on returning home $77.50 and $74 for expenses.

William Ellison died December 5, 1861. His will stated that his estate should pass into the joint hands of his free daughter and his two surviving sons. He bequeathed $500 to the slave daughter he had sold.

Following in their father's footsteps, the Ellison family actively supported the Confederacy throughout the war. They converted nearly their entire plantation to the production of corn, fodder, bacon, corn shucks and cotton for the Confederate armies. They paid $5,000 in taxes during the war. They also invested more than $9,000 in Confederate bonds, treasury notes and certificates in addition to the Confederate currency they held. At the end, all this valuable paper became worthless.

The younger Ellisons contributed more than farm produce, labor and money to the Confederate cause. On March 27, 1863 John Wilson Buckner, William Ellison's oldest grandson, enlisted in the 1st South Carolina Artillery. Buckner served in the company of Captains P.P. Galliard and A.H. Boykin, local white men who knew that Buckner was a Negro. Although it was illegal at the time for a Negro to formally join the Confederate forces, the Ellison family's prestige nullified the law in the minds of Buckner's comrades. Buckner was wounded in action on July 12, 1863. At his funeral in Stateburg in August, 1895 he was praised by his former Confederate officers as being a "faithful soldier."

Following the war the Ellison family fortune quickly dwindled. But many former Negro slave magnates quickly took advantage of circumstances and benefited by virtue of their race. For example Antoine Dubuclet, the previously mentioned New Orleans plantation owner who held more than 100 slaves, became Louisiana state treasurer during Reconstruction, a post he held from 1868 to 1877 (10).

A truer picture of the Old South, one never presented by the nation's mind molders, emerges from this account. The American South had been undergoing structural evolutionary changes far, far greater than generations of Americans have been led to believe. In time, within a relatively short time, the obsolete and economically nonviable institution of slavery would have disappeared. The nation would have been spared awesome traumas from which it would never fully recover.


1. The American Negro, Raymond Logan and Irving Cohen New York: Houghton and Mifflin, 1970), p.72.

2. Black Masters. A Family of Color in the Old South, Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roak New York: Norton, 1984), p.64.

3. The Forgotten People, Gary Mills (Baton Rouge, 1977); Black Masters, p.128.4. Men and Wealth in the US., 1850-1870, Lee Soltow (New Haven, 1975), p.85. 5. Black Masters, Appendix, Table 7; p.280.

6. Black Masters, p. 62.

7. Information on the Ellison family was obtained from Black Masters; the number of slaves they owned was gained from U.S. Census Reports.

8. In 1860 South Carolina had only 21 gin makers; Ellison, his three sons and a grandson account for five of the total.

9. Neither Black Nor White: Slaveiy and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States, Carl N. Degler (New York, Macmillan, 1971), p.39; Negro Slavery in Louisiana, Joe Gray Taylor (Baton Rouge, 1963), pp. 4041.

10. Reconstruction, 1863-1877, Eric Foner (New York; Harper & Row, 1988), p. 47; pp. 353-355.
sendpm.gif Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2006, 05:42 PM
Jerry D's Avatar
Jerry D Jerry D is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Nahunta,GA
Posts: 3,680

American History has a lot of interesting facts not taught in most High Schools and fewer Colleges since it wouldn't be PC to air the truth of the History of the Colonization and Empire Building of the New World of North and South America. Some good facts in those two Books well worth reading ! If one wants to see a harsh written Document read the Drake 1865 Missouri Constitution that took away the Voting rights of over half the male population of the state of Missouri because they did or supposedly supported the Confederacy. It wasn't till 1870 when the Democrats got at least half the seats in the Mo legislature back that the Drake Constitution got replaced and every person in Missouri received their citizenship back.
[><] Dixie born and proud of it.
sendpm.gif Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2009, 09:39 AM
ga.windbreak's Avatar
ga.windbreak ga.windbreak is offline
Junior Member

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 19
Send a message via ICQ to ga.windbreak

If the historical truth is ever realised by the general populace it will bring into question why so many Americans died unnecessarily as well as the popular sainthood of Mr. Lincoln.

Only the lie of freeing the slaves, as a reason, makes the death of 600,000+ good and brave men even thinkable. That is my humble opinion.

Last edited by Stick; 07-10-2009 at 05:53 AM. Reason: Semantics, Capitalization
sendpm.gif Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
promoted Robert Ryan General Posts 5 02-04-2005 05:41 PM
Local soldier promoted Dragon Lady General Posts 0 07-13-2004 10:38 AM
Children Sold Into Slavery by UN Charity MORTARDUDE General Posts 2 01-29-2004 08:49 AM
French and Iraqi complicity on Nukes...must see ! MORTARDUDE Vietnam 0 02-21-2003 04:21 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.