ACADIAN-CAJUN-L ArchivesArchiver > ACADIAN-CAJUN > 2000-07 > 0964977275
Subject: 100,000 Louisiana slaves identified
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 13:14:35 EDT
Copyright laws being what they are, I'll resist the urge to post the front
page article in today's (Sunday) New York Times entitled "Identity Restored
to 100,00 Louisiana Slaves." But if you don't already know about this, DO
get online ASAP (today, because tomorrow you won't have access to it without
paying) and read this article by David Firestone: «newyorktimes.com»
Essentially, Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, native of New Orleans who formerly
taught Caribbean and African-Latin history for many years at Rutgers
University, spent 15 years researching slave transactions in the records of
Louisiana courthouses (written primarily in French and Spanish), and also
researching material in the archives in Spain and Texas. She put the
information into a searchable database, which she has just published on CD
ROM entitled "Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy."
"Because the French and Spanish proprietors of Louisiana kept far more
detailed records than their British counterparts at slave ports on the Atlanti
c coast, the records show not only the names of the slaves, but also their
birthplaces in Africa, their skills, their health, and in many cases a
description of their personality and degree of rebelliousness."
It is described as "groundbreaking work" by historians. "The disc has amazed
historians of slavery and genealogists with the breadth of its information
about the slaves." ETC. Lots of additional information that will bear on
Acadian and creole families alike, many of them slave-owners.
She started this in the courthouse at New Roads, in Pointe Coupee Parish,
where she found a "cache of documents set down by French-speaking notaries in
the 1770s that showed the ethnicity of hundreds of slaves." She initially
got into this research while writing another book, published in 1992:
Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in
the 18th Century.
Many of you will definitely want to take a look.