Sunday, May 28, 2017
The UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA Board of Trustees never owned many slaves. I would guess four or five at a time and they were a pain in the ass because of all the holidays. As soon as school let out, all the professors started pushing the steward around in order to get his slaves to work on their pet projects plus the steward wanted them to work on his pet projects.
I have identified four categories of slaves associated with the University:
1) Slaves that the students brought from home. Check out the biography of Oran Milo Roberts in Special Collections. Roberts brought his slave Prince to Tuscaloosa in 1833 when he entered the University and hired him out in town to pay college expenses. Roberts also says that the straw that broke the camel's back for Dearing occurred when students kidnapped one of his slave girls and brought her to campus.[ Dearing built the University Club and the big house across from the post office off of 21st Avenue]. Students attacked Dearing when he came looking for his girl. Students' slaves weren't allowed on campus but students lodged them in town and hired them out for a profit.
2) Slaves owned by faculty and the President. These servants were often hired by the University. Barnard's slave was his lab assistant. Manly mentions that Barnard's Morgan pimped Barnard's Luna to the students "who they use in great numbers nightly." Luna may be Barnard's servant girl who was so brutally raped by the student at Ole Miss. Barnard's attempt to punish the perpetrator led to the violent threats that forced Barnard to quit his job as President of the University of Mississippi and to flee to the north just before the outbreak of the Civil War.
3) Slaves owned by Tuscaloosa citizens and hired out to the University. This was the most common form of slavery and I'm not sure how many records exist. The wild thing was Garland impounding all the slaves in Tuscaloosa during the war to build earthworks over by the present-day police station. He caught holy hell from Tuscaloosa and the Governor forced him to stop.
4) Slaves owned by the Board of Trustees.
Check out the local papers for the first week of January each year. There really wasn't what you would consider a slave market here but January 1 was called "Hiring Day" and the sheriff would have estate sales on the courthouse steps and slaves would be sold the first week in January. Lots of ads for this in Tuscaloosa papers.
Slave clothing included Cottonade coats & pants, flannel coats,summer vests, summer hats, winter coats, shoes, slippers
Board for a slave $3 month- board for a horse 4 to 5 dollars per month
Carpenters hired at $2 per day. William, owned by H.S. Pratt, was so skilled at building desks and bookcases that he demanded more and had to be paid under the table because his rate was so high.
Dr. Reuben Searcy, whose doctor's office was located in the present day Alabama Grill on Greensboro Avenue, charged the Board of Trustees for 33 office visits for Moses over a period of 3 months in 1857.
Moses (a.k.a. "Preach") was bad to drink and fight. They threatened to sell him so he got religion. From a Mobile Tribune article 1859. "I say, Preach, what are you going to do when the devil gets you?"
"Wait on the students," Preach replied.
1844: Trustees curtailed use of slaves during vacation by the Steward. Top priority holiday work:receiving coal, cleaning, whitewashing
Underground Railroad!!!! In 1852, Professor Scherb found runaways sleeping in Room 18 of Franklin Hall west of the present day Gorgas Library.
Sam, owned by the Board, beat Tom who had been hired from Alex Glascock. Glascock's house on 21st avenue has just been renovated. Gatozzi Valuations is located there now. Glascock shows up in Sellers' History of the First Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa.
Garland started out with 3 but soon had 60. His women refused to be sold to the owner's of their husbands so Garland had to buy their husbands.
1837: Henry Elmore chastised servant and then called before faculty. Elmore signed an apology.
1842: Student admonished " for chasing a Negro through campus during study hours."
1843: 4 students dragged a servant out of a professor's yard and abused and injured him for sport.
Foster and two students beat the President's negro so badly that he required surgery.
I have where Smith used Supreme Court lawyers to overcome his indefinite suspension for abusing servants.
1845: Ben Saffold got a Presidential admonition after stabbing Moses in the arm with a table fork.
1846: A.P. Robinson hit Moses with a crutch for not bringing food to his room. The student had to pay $1.50 per day for a substitute while Moses recovered. University students could not send servants on errands, get food,etc, for them even when ill.
1845: Milton Saffold beat Sam for insolence when Sam refused to scald a bedstead. This was Milton's third offense and "he must leave Tuscaloosa in the stage which departs for Selma this evening." This kid probably had a long history of abusing servants before he arrived in Tuscaloosa.
June 1850: 6 students and Barnard's Morgan stole Moses's chickens.
Check out John Massey, Reminiscences(Nashville, Methodist Episcopal Church,South, 1916)
Check out Letters of Landon Garland
In Richard Thigpen's January,' 81 article in The Alabama Review,"The Four Public Buildings of The University of Alabama to Survive the Civil War", he never mentions the four slave cabins. Thigpen served as an interim President of the University.
quote from Manly, "there is no set of men in Alabama that I would sooner be a slave ["slave" is underlined] to ( if I must be a slave) [this parenthetical phrase is also underlined] than the Trustees."
Manly had two slaves named Lydia. This will confuse you. Also there's a good chance that some of Manly's slaves knew Denmark Vesey.
The Junior Class students in Washington Hall collected $75 to hire Barnard's slave so they could have experiments. I have a note "Could this be Johnson?" I have another card which says Johnson, owned by Barnard, was discharged when Sam was hired.
Levi, a little negro boy, (page 174 of Manly's diary) January 10, 1840 Jan. 10 received from Father in Law Rudulph of Lowndes County, Ala. Born April 5, 1825 "This boy is intended as a gift and is to be my property. My father in law purchasing his [family] came under some obligation to liberate each of them at the age of 25 years provided the laws of country should admit emancipation. After liberating the mother in 1821, she got into trouble and great need and came back to her master to offer herself as his slave for life, since which time Levi was born."
Larrey, given to Manly by his father, served as Manly's body servant.
Manly, Taxed for a riding chair [could this be a sedan chair?] Manly quote,"I have 8 negroes over 10 years of age and 8 negroes under 10; but these are not considered taxable under the charter of the university."
Serena, born of Lydia #2 b. October 31, 1846 ; died of cholera May 27, 1849
$150 allowed by Board of Trustees for hiring a servant. "suitable servants could not be got for less than $200" Professor Pratt's Scipio and Peter hired for $200 each. "If the board of trustees do not pay the additional $100, the Faculty are to do it out of the money deposited for contingencies by the students, and subject to our control" [interesting use of student activity fees]
June 28, 1841[ Source: New Building Fund- Money Paid Out] Jim owned by J.A. Prattt hired for 10 days at 70 cents per day. May 22, 1841 paid Ms. Pratt $140 for hire of carpenters William and Jim.
Boysey(proper name William) November 22, 1843 Mary's son died of whooping cough at daylight 7 years old [from Manly's recipe book-description of the case and prescription. Funeral was in the President's Mansion and he was buried by the present day Biology building on the same afternoon]
Cory- Garland's carriage driver who drove Mrs. Garland and the girls to the edge of the woods when the University burned.
Drish's colored man June 9, 1841 [New Building Fund] "paid Wm. Drish (colored man) for various jobs of brick work- such as setting iron chimney backs, laying hearths, repairing arches, and filling up scaffold holes under colonnade before plastering. Cash $8.50
Jack, died May 5, 1843- died of pneumonia before 2 o'clock in the afternoon -Manly,"He was an African, a member of the Methodist church- honest and faithful- did as much and as well as he knew how."
First Sharecropping: 28 Manly slaves on the Tuscaloosa plantation sign a contract on June 20, 1865, for the production of 10 acres of corn each.
The Arthur negroes sold students peanuts, candy and tobacco. Tuscaloosa slaves also sold possum dinners door to door in the dormitories.
Frederick Thomas, English professor, drunk on a steamboat coming up from Mobile. On brandy and opium, he grabbed a slave girl and took her to his cabin. Dismissed from the university.
Dr. Stafford's Archie " sold mean whiskey to students" and rented Dr. Stafford's carriage and horses to students for the night.