Category: Political Issues and Controversies

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

“Blake; or, The Huts of America” (1859)

Chapter 2 of Blake; or, The Huts of America, Martin R. Delany’s novel, first serialized in The Anglo-African Magazine, depicts a dinner scene in Natchez, Mississippi between a Mississippi planter, his wife, and a northern visitor. During the conversation, the three discuss the pressing political issues of the day, and the northern visitor reveals that she wants to take the favorite slave of the mistress on a trip to Cuba.

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

“Coalition Rule in Danville” (October 1883)

In this broadside, titled “Coalition Rule in Danville” and published in various places in October 1883, a group of twenty-eight white businessmen complain about Readjuster rule in the city in general and African Americans in particular. The so-called Danville Circular and responses to it helped raise tensions in Danville ahead of the Danville Riot, which left at least five people dead on November 3, 1883.

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

“Miscegenation” by Basil L. Gildersleeve (April 18, 1864)

In this essay, published in the Richmond Examiner on April 18, 1864, Basil L. Gildersleeve warns against the dangers of race-mixing. Gildersleeve was a professor of Greek and Hebrew at the University of Virginia from 1856 until 1873, and penned sixty-three editorials for the Richmond paper between October 1863 and August 1864.

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

“Sambo and the Ass” by Basil L. Gildersleeve (April 5, 1864)

In this essay, published in the Richmond Examiner on April 5, 1864, Basil L. Gildersleeve gives voice to the reluctance of many white Southerners during the American Civil War (1861–1865) to dispense with the institution of slavery. Gildersleeve was a professor of Greek and Hebrew at the University of Virginia from 1856 until 1873, and penned sixty-three editorials for the Richmond paper between October 1863 and August 1864.

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

“Standing Interrogatories,” Southern Claims Commission (1874)

In this version of its “Standing Interrogatories,” dated 1874, the Southern Claims Commission establishes the questions to be asked of claimants and witnesses attempting to receive reimbursement for the appropriation of property by Union armies during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Only southern Unionists were eligible, and the questionnaire was designed, in part, to establish a claimant’s loyalty. This is the third and final version of the commission’s interrogatories, expanded to more fully reflect the wide variety of Unionists the commissioners encountered.

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