Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Slave Children

Today's picture shows three slave children, all white. On the left is Rebecca, whom you met yesterday. On the right is Rosina, whom you met on Sunday. In the middle is Augusta. The only info on her is presented below.

AUGUSTA BROUJEY is nine years old. Her mother, who is almost white, was owned by her half-brother, named Solamon, who still retains two of her children.


  1. I noticed that in every single one of this week's pictures, the girls are wearing dresses with three lines of ribbon on the bottom of the skirts. Is there some sort of significance to that - does it advertise their status as slaves (rather like the star of David during WWII?). Or was it just a fleeting style of the day?

  2. I find it interesting that the slave children are so well dressed and that the owners spent a lavish amount of money to have their pictures taken. My ancestors owned one slave and wrote about their relationship to relations in letters that our cousin is inventorying and publishing in an upcoming family archive. While she was listed as inventory in their will after they died during the Civil War, the letters reveal that they were childhood friends. Growing up together and later marrying, my ancestor took her into their home where they scratched out a meager living on a small farm in Tennessee. During the war the Union soldiers took their only horse they used for plowing and the women went to the Captain to see about getting them back. He was kind enough to let them go through his corrals and find it as he understood it meant a lot to their livelihood.

  3. The explanation of the slaves' heritage that they aren't "pure white" is a justification of their status as slaves to a population that was casual or accepting of slavery of non-whites. No matter how they were dressed or even if they were treated kindly, slaves were still property. I make certain my car is well-maintained and looks good, and I have a fond regard for it but it's still something I can sell.

    I understand that it could be difficult to release slaves and ensure their safety and well-being as there would be those who would re-enslave the recently liberated.

    Thank you for sharing these, PJM. They still serve, albeit now to remind us why slavery is abhorrent.

  4. These were the children of Negro slave mothers - therefore they were considered slaves regardless of their skin color. Their skin color may be more white than black, but were not Caucasian. These children, after being freed by General Butler (Beast Butler), were taken north as propaganda material - hence the fancy dress.

  5. Noticed that as well Patricia. Must be some visual sign that they were slave children!


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