Sunday, June 12, 2011

Slave Children

Yesterday's mystery person was Charley Taylor, who was a white slave from New Orleans. Today, we show another interesting case. Pictured are Isaac White and Rosina Downs. They both were slave children in New Orleans, and were emancipated in 1864 when General Butler took New Orleans. I was able to find an article on the topic of White Slaves in New Orleans. The article mentioned both Charley Taylor from yesterday, and Rosina Downs, pictured above.

ROSINA DOWNS is not quite seven years old. She is a fair child, with blonde complexion and silky hair. Her father is in the rebel army. She has one sister as white as herself, and three brothers who are darker. Her mother, a bright mulatto, lives in New Orleans in a poor hut, and has hard work to support her family.

CHARLES TAYLOR is eight years old. His complexion is very fair, his hair light and silky. Three out of five boys in any school in New York are darker than he. Yet this white boy, with his mother, as he declares, has been twice sold as a slave. First by his father and "owner," Alexander Wethers, of Lewis County, Virginia, to a slave-trader named Harrison, who sold them to Mr. Thornhill of New Orleans. This man fled at the approach of our army, and his slaves were liberated by General Butler. The boy is decidedly intelligent, and though he has been at school less than a year he reads and writes very well. His mother is a mulatto; she had one daughter sold into Texas before she herself left Virginia, and one son who, she supposes, is with his father in Virginia.

These three children, to all appearance of unmixed white race, came to Philadelphia last December, and were taken by their protector, Mr. Bacon, to the St. Lawrence Hotel on Chestnut Street. Within a few hours, Mr. Bacon informed me, he was notified by the landlord that they must leave. The children, he said, had been slaves, and must therefore be colored persons, and he kept a hotel for white people. From this hospitable establishment the children were taken to the "Continental," where they were received without hesitation.


  1. One glaring inconsistency of the behavior/mentality of some of the slave owners you mention. They felt the slaves were good enough to have intimate relations with and father their children. Yet both the slave mothers and by-product slave children (their own flesh and blood) were still just inventory. If you have such contempt for them as people or view them as less than human how could they rationalize having sex with them? And wouldn't such glaring public evidence of such indiscretions as white slave children that look like their owner be more of an embarrassment to such a person?


  2. I can not understand people making other people slaves. But it was a fact of life, in ancient days the winning army made slaves out of the defeated people, which is wrong, but to raid another race just to make slaves out of them is more than wrong. But for a parent to sell their own child into slavery is super wrong.
    I understand that things like this still go on in this day and age.

  3. HEY!
    Where is our domestic update?

  4. I really appreciate the varied topics for which you find pictures. With yesterday's, I googled the topic and did some research; thank you.

  5. It is weird to see to see pictures of this as an African-American. A long time ago that would've been me.

  6. loving the history part of your blog. it's important to remember that slavery was a problem for many people of all complexions.
    keep up the great work.

  7. Dearest John: Man (& sometimes woman) have been known to have an urge so strong that their ability to make reasonable decisions is clouded if not gone all together. The slave women were meant to only service the owners needs. Sometimes this was sexually with the result of increased slave inventory.

    An recent example of clouded or non-existent thought comes from some powerful politicians. My state (California) and my town (Bakersfield) have been touched (pun intended) by Arnold S. I feel I should shower.

    Good day.

  8. RTD, fka Roger,

    In response to your "HEY!
    Where is our domestic update?", I have this to say.

    "Our" domestic update is not ever ours until Mr. PJM decides to give it to us. Until that time, it belongs to Mr. PJM, and it is his choice whether to ever give it to us.

    So I submit to you, don't be a demanding "entitled" person, just be thankful (or not) when Mr. PJM has the time and inclination to share his domestic updates.

  9. Joe in NC.
    Sorry, I did mean to type "Your" instead of "our".
    I do understand that it is PJM's time and effort to include domestic up dates, but I was just trying to have a little fun with him.
    I have been known to tease PJM very now and then
    Again, I'm sorry that my misspelling cause so much stress for some people.

  10. Maybelline,
    I'm married 30+yrs. Maybe I'm unique but I've never strayed. My point was not one of indiscretion. That in itself would be adultery or even rape. My point was to question the slave owners humanity itself. Was he, in his eyes, having sex with another human? If so how could he keep her as a slave? If he did not view her as a human, how could he have sex (and children) with her?
    As far as politicians go we all know they are held to a different moral standard... a lower one.


  11. RTD,

    Good chuckle, thank you. I have seen many times that you tease Mr. PJM.

    Not sure who your misspelling caused so much stress for.

    A good evening to you all!

  12. This is very neat, I never knew that white people were slaves back then. Always thought that was more back in Roman times or that they were indentured servants.


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