Friday, August 27, 2010
Rumors of slaves being paid in Louisiana
With Battery Hooper Days now done, hopefully my attention can focus on more than just running that event, including finding more items for this blog.
Here's a brief but interesting report I found in the February 28, 1863 edition of Harper's Weekly, the cover of which featured Joseph Hooker.
In the "Domestic Intelligence" section (page 131), the following article is published.
THE SLAVES TO BE PAID IN LOUISIANA
The planters of Louisiana are greatly exercised concerning the continual escapes of their slaves, and have held an important meeting at New Orleans in reference to the labor question. After much angry talk and a good deal of abuse of the Government, of which they are "registered enemies," they seem to have agreed at last to pay their slaves wages.
I have never heard that rumor before and believe it to be just that - an unfounded rumor that was interesting enough for them to publish, but I still found it interesting that they would publish such a report, yet not highlight it or put it in any prominent place in their newspaper.
Also, I presume the "government" of which these planters are enemies is the United States Government, but given some of the struggles the Confederacy went through and some of the displeasure some in the south had with the Jefferson Davis administration, it might not be too much of a stretch to wonder which government frustrated them the most.
I do, as well, wonder what the sources for these type of reports were. Did they have an actual report from someone they trusted, or did someone make something up and give it to them as a reporter? Either way, I thought it was an interesting tidbit to be published in such a well-known publication.