1-19 of 19 Results  for:

  • Law and Criminology x
  • Crime and Law Enforcement x
  • 1801–1860: The Antebellum Era and Slave Economy x
Clear all

Article

Baker, Frankie  

John Garst

the inspiration for the “Frankie and Johnny” song, was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Her parents were Cedric Baker and his wife Margaret (maiden name unknown), and she had three brothers: Charles, Arthur, and James. Charles, who was younger than Frankie, lived with her on Targee Street in 1900. In 1899 Baker shot and killed her seventeen-year-old “mack” (pimp), Allen “Al” Britt. St. Louis pianists and singers were soon thumping and belting out what would become one of America's most famous folk ballads and popular songs, “Frankie and Johnny,” also known as “Frankie and Albert,” “Frankie Baker,” and “Frankie.”

At age sixteen or seventeen Baker fell in love with a man who, unknown to her, was living off the earnings of a prostitute (this kind of man was known as an “easy rider,” a term made famous by W. C. Handy in his ...

Article

Dart, Isom  

Carl V. Hallberg

Isom Dart, also known as Ned Huddleston, was born in Arkansas. Dart's early life is an enigma. Biographical accounts give a lively “Wild West” picture of an itinerant cowboy and occasional gang member based on legend and folklore. What is known is that sometime in the mid-1880s Dart settled in Brown's Hole, an isolated area where the borders of Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah meet. He worked initially for the Middlesex Land and Cattle Company but later found gainful employment on the Bassett Ranch.

Dart was adept at many practical trades but his true calling was as a cowboy His skill in handling horses and the use of the rope soon distinguished him as one of the best cowhands in the region Dart s congenial personality also helped him gain acceptance in social circles He became an adopted member of the Bassett family In time he became quite knowledgeable ...

Article

Hodges, Jacob  

Graham Russell Hodges

Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to free but poor black parents, Hodges received no education in his early years and at the age of ten shipped out as a “waiting boy” on a schooner bound from Philadelphia to the West Indies. Over the next few years he visited many European ports. During the American Revolution a British warship forced his vessel into New York harbor; destitute, friendless, and illiterate, he wandered throughout the region before settling in Warwick, in Orange County, New York. His employer, a man named Jennings, had acquired much property through litigation, actions that prompted his legal victims to plot to kill him. The conspirators brought Hodges into the plot and took advantage of his intemperance, developed during his years as a seaman, to persuade him to perform the killing. On 21 December 1819 Hodges shot his master in the woods The bullet severely wounded Jennings ...

Article

Jackson, Andrew C.  

Charles Rosenberg

described by William and Charles Mayo, the founders of the Mayo Clinic, as “the most able Negro surgeon in America” was murdered by a mob during the Tulsa, Oklahoma, riots of 1921. Jackson was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Townsend (sometimes given as Talgris) and Sophronia Jackson, and grew up in Guthrie, Oklahoma. His middle name was either Christian or Chester.

Townsend Jackson, a police officer in Memphis, fled the city with his family as a mob targeted their home in 1889. Just in time for the Oklahoma land rush that year, he settled in Guthrie, where he was a justice of the peace, a barber, and a police officer. Townsend Jackson owned the family home. In 1900, Andrew Jackson and his older brother also named Townsend worked as porters while their older sister Minnie taught school The neighborhood where ...

Article

Jenkins, Edmund  

Glenn Allen Knoblock

law enforcement officer, was born in South Carolina and likely enslaved until he was a young man. Records are unclear as to Jenkins's native locale. Although it is possible he resided most or all of his life in the vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina, details of Jenkins's early life are unknown. The 1880 Federal Census reveals that an Edmund Jenkins was living in St. Stephen's Parish near Charleston, listed as being age thirty-five, a “mulatto,” working as a minister. His wife was named Cinda, age thirty-two, and his children were Cuffee (age fourteen), Nelly (age sixteen), Lavinia (age seven), Lily (age three), and Grace age six months His wife s name here leads to some confusion Jenkins s only known wife was Elizabeth also called Lizzie making it possible if this were the same Edmund Jenkins that he had at least two wives during his lifetime No ...

Article

Johnson, William  

Devorah Lissek

diarist and entrepreneur, was born in Natchez, Mississippi, the son of William Johnson, a slaveholder, and Amy Johnson, a slave. When William was five years old his mother was emancipated and established her household in Natchez. In 1820 the eleven-year-old William was freed by the Mississippi legislature at the request of his owner. Once emancipated, he apprenticed with his brother-in-law, James Miller, in Miller's barber business in Natchez. Johnson became proprietor of the business—reportedly the most popular barbershop in Natchez—when Miller moved to New Orleans in 1830. Johnson and his African American staff ran the shop, which served a predominantly white clientele. Not only did Johnson's barbers offer haircuts and shaves, they also fitted wigs, sold fancy soaps and oils, and, beginning in 1834, operated a bathhouse at the Main Street location.

Between 1830 and 1835 Johnson frequently traveled to New Orleans and ...

Article

Johnson, William  

Devorah Lissek

Johnson, William (1809–17 June 1851), diarist and entrepreneur, was born in Natchez, Mississippi, the son of William Johnson, a slaveholder, and Amy Johnson, a slave. When William was five years old his mother was emancipated and established her household in Natchez. In 1820 the eleven-year-old William was freed by the Mississippi legislature at the request of his owner. Once emancipated, he apprenticed with his brother-in-law, James Miller, in his barber business in Natchez. Johnson became proprietor of the business—reportedly the most popular barber shop in Natchez—when Miller moved to New Orleans in 1830. Johnson and his African-American staff ran the shop, which served a predominantly white clientele. Johnson’s barbers not only offered haircuts and shaves, they also fitted wigs, sold fancy soaps and oils, and, beginning in 1834, operated a bathhouse at the Main Street location.

Between 1830 and 1835 Johnson frequently traveled to New Orleans and ...

Article

Jones, James Monroe “Gunsmith”  

Verity J. Harding

gunsmith and engraver, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the eldest son of Allen Jones, a slave and a blacksmith, and Temperance Jones, a slave. He was one of eight children, a daughter and seven sons, born into a long line of slavery. His paternal grandfather, Charles Jones, was born in Africa around 1770 and brought to America to be sold into slavery some years later. Although born a slave, Gunsmith Jones was freed in 1829 when his father purchased liberty for his entire family Allen Jones was a skilled blacksmith who labored intensely for himself and his family while simultaneously performing his slave duties to earn the vast sum of money necessary to buy his family s freedom After saving the extraordinary amount of $2 000 he was cheated out of the money by his master and left with nothing With admirable determination he ...

Article

Outlaw, Wyatt  

Carole Watterson Troxler

slave, entrepreneur, civic leader, and murder victim, probably was born in Alamance County, North Carolina. His mother gave her name as Jemima Phillips; she may have been a member of a free African American family named Phillips who lived in Caswell County, North Carolina, in the early nineteenth century. His father is unknown. Some of Outlaw's contemporaries thought he was the son of Chesley Farrar Faucett, a merchant with agricultural and tanning operations in northern Alamance County who served in the state legislature from 1844 to 1847 and from 1864 to 1865.

The judge and writer Albion Tourgée knew both Outlaw and Faucett and characterized them fictionally in Bricks without Straw (1880 Tourgée depicted Faucett sympathetically as an aged justice of the peace known for kindness as a slaveholder quiet wartime Unionism and cooperation with the Union League during Reconstruction Outlaw ...

Article

Randolph, Benjamin Franklin  

Daniel W. Hamilton

Reconstruction politician, civil rights leader, and murder victim, was born free in Kentucky, the child of parents of mixed ethnicity whose names are unknown. When he was a child Randolph's family moved to Ohio, where he was educated in local schools. In 1854 he entered Oberlin College's preparatory department, before attending the college from 1857 to 1862. At Oberlin Randolph received instruction both in the liberal arts and at the college's theological seminary. Soon after graduation he was ordained as a Methodist Episcopal minister. During the Civil War Randolph served as a chaplain in the Twenty-sixth Colored Infantry, which was dispatched to Hilton Head, South Carolina, in 1864.

After the war ended in 1865 Randolph applied for a position with the Freedmen s Bureau He was not initially given an appointment but was instead sent to South Carolina by the American Missionary Association a ...

Article

Reeves, Bass  

Stephanie Gordon

the first black deputy marshal west of the Mississippi, was born in Paris, Texas, although some historians believe he was born near Van Buren, Arkansas. The son of slaves, Reeves spent his early years on a small farm in Grayson County, Texas, owned by George Reeves a former colonel in the Confederate army Very little is known about Reeves s early life and even less is known about his parents Early on he labored in the Texas cotton fields as a water boy where he learned stories and songs about black outlaws He liked them so much according to one source that he worried his mother with his preoccupation with badmen violence and guns Reeves was chosen as companion for Colonel Reeves s son and he served in this capacity until he was a young adult The relationship came to a quick end however when the two argued during ...

Article

Retief, Piet  

Michael R. Mahoney

one of the leaders of the Great Trek, during which white settlers from the Cape Colony expanded into the interior and conquered most of what is today South Africa, was born on 12 November 1780 to Jacobus and Debora Retief in Limiet Vallei (today called Wagenmakers Vallei) near the present town of Wellington, Western Cape province. His full name was Piet Mauritz Retief. The Retief family were the descendants of a French Huguenot refugee, François Retif, who came to the Cape in 1689. Retief’s father owned a vineyard, and when Retief himself came of age his father gave him a vineyard estate of his own. He soon lost the estate, however, after a series of unwise investments bankrupted him. He moved to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape in 1812 Two years later he married a widow Lenie Greyling and over the course of their marriage the couple adopted ...

Article

Sanusi, Muhammad al-  

Richard A. Bradshaw

ruler of Dar al-Kuti, a Muslim state in what is now northeastern Central African Republic (CAR), was born in Wadai. Al-Sanusi was the son of Abu Bakr and a descendant of Umar Jugultum, who reputedly founded Dar al-Kuti in c. 1830. Umar, in turn, was the son of Aden Burgomanda, the mbang (ruler) of Baguirmi. Al-Sanussi’s mother was the daughter of Salih, a sultan (c. 1850–c. 1870) of Dar Runga. Al-Sanusi was named in honor of the Islamic Sanusiya brotherhood. While still young, he want sent to Sha, the capital of Dar al-Kuti, to live with his father’s brother Muhammad Kobur, a merchant leader of the Muslim community in the region.

Dar al Kuti was threatened in the 1880s by the slave raider Rabih a lieutenant of Zubayr Pasha who ruled the Bahr el Ghazal in southern Sudan Rabih raided into Dar al Kuti and attempted to draw Kobur ...

Article

Tinne, Alexandrine Petronella Francisca  

Robert Joost Willink

Dutch traveler to Africa, was born on 17 October 1835, the only child of John Frederick Tinne and his second wife, Lady Henriette Maria Louise Van Capellen. Her father’s wealth came from sugar and coffee plantations in Demarara in Guiana in the West Indies (present-day Guyana and Suriname), and from his lucrative mercantile business in Liverpool, England. When he died at The Hague in 1844, he left an inheritance that increased enormously in the coming years, thanks to the continued success of his Liverpool company under the management of his son from his first marriage, John Abraham Tinne. Alexine Tinne, as she preferred to be called, used her father’s bequests to finance her later journeys.

Due to her frequent travels abroad Alexine Tinne was responsible for her own education In her writing and conversation she used both English and French She was especially interested in geography painting and ...

Article

Tinné, Alexandrine Pieternella Françoise  

Alexandrine Tinné was born in The Hague, Netherlands, to a wealthy family. An unhappy love affair may have prompted her to leave home and embark on a voyage in search of the Nile River’s source. In 1862 Tinné hired a small fleet of boats in Cairo Egypt and left on her first expedition up the Nile Accompanying her were her mother her aunt several scientists and a number of assistants and servants Tinné ascended the Nile as far as Gondokoro in present day southern Sudan above which the river became unnavigable She planned to meet British explorer John Hanning Speke who was exploring the upper reaches of the Nile to the south When Speke s expedition failed to arrive when expected Tinné set off on her own to determine the source of the Nile Traveling overland she ventured into the watershed region between the Congo and Nile rivers in ...

Article

Turner, Jack  

Mamie E. Locke

political activist, Republican party organizer, and lynching victim, was born a slave in Alabama. His parents' names are unknown. He lived on the Choctaw County farm of Beloved Love Turner, from whom he acquired his surname after emancipation. Jack Turner had no formal education but was described as articulate, perceptive, and courageous, with a commanding physical presence. He married Chloe (maiden name unknown) in the late 1860s, and they had four children. He remained in Choctaw County after being freed, working as a farm laborer around Mount Sterling and Tuscahoma.

After the Civil War, Turner became active in Reconstruction politics in Choctaw County. He was one of the organizers in 1867 of the county Republican Party which was composed of local blacks and a few whites including Turner s former owner Turner took an active role in helping former slaves make the transition from slavery to ...

Article

Turner, Jack  

Mamie E. Locke

Turner, Jack (1840?–19 August 1882), political activist and party organizer, was born a slave in Alabama. His parents’ names are unknown. He lived on the Choctaw County farm of Beloved Love Turner, from whom he acquired his surname after emancipation. Turner had no formal education but was described as articulate, perceptive, and courageous, with a commanding physical presence. He married Chloe (maiden name unknown) in the late 1860s, and they had four children. He remained in Choctaw County after being freed, working as a farm laborer around Mount Sterling and Tuscahoma.

After the Civil War Turner became active in Reconstruction politics in Choctaw County He was one of the organizers in 1867 of the county Republican party which was composed of local blacks and a few whites including Turner s former owner Turner took an active role in helping former slaves make the transition from slavery to ...

Article

Valdés, Gabriel de la Concepción (“Plácido”)  

Joy Elizondo

Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés, more generally known by his pseudonym “Plácido,” was born in Matanzas to a white mother, the Spanish dancer Concepción Vásquez, and a black father, Diego Ferrer Matoso. Plácido was abandoned as an infant, left at an orphanage on April 6, 1809; a note found with him was inscribed with the name “Gabriel de la Concepción.” He was given the last name Valdés, and the phrase “al parecer, blanco” (“appears white”) was inscribed on his baptism certificate. In his Biografías Americanas (1906), Enrique Piñeyro laments the fact that Plácido s remorseful father retrieved him soon after abandoning him if he had not reclaimed his son Plácido would have lost any trace of his previous servile condition As it was Piñeyro says his father s retrieval of him condemned the poor thing to a perpetual inferior situation to an irredeemable fortune ...

Article

Walker, William  

Floyd Ogburn

farmer, was born a slave in Southampton County, Virginia. Almost nothing is known of his parents, who were also slaves. Until his nineteenth or twentieth birthday he belonged to a Dr. Seaman, who also owned his mother and father. In August 1841 Walker's master sold him to Natt Blake and General Downs, who kept him and six hundred other slaves in a slave pen in Petersburg, Virginia, pending transportation to cotton farms in the Deep South. After penning the slaves for six weeks amid “echoes and groans,” Blake and Downs marched them aboard the Pellican, which immediately sailed to New Orleans, Walker never seeing or hearing from his parents again (Gaines, 10).

The Pellican a floating carcass on the sea held six hundred slaves like cattle among toxic air and cholera It reached New Orleans six weeks after departing Petersburg losing thirty six of its human ...