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1864 Emancipated Slaves Publicity Campaign

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: black_heritage slavery
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US Black Heritage Project


"In December 1863, Colonel George Hanks of the 18th Infantry, Corps d'Afrique (a Union corps composed entirely of African-Americans), accompanied eight emancipated slaves from New Orleans to New York and Philadelphia expressly to visit photographic studios. A publicity campaign promoted by Major General Nathaniel Banks of the Department of the Gulf, and by the Freedman's Relief Association of New York, its sole purpose was to raise money to educate former slaves in Louisiana, a state still partially held by the Confederacy. One group portrait, several cartes de visite of pairs of students, and numerous portraits of each student were made."[1]

This photograph of the emancipated slaves was published as a woodcut in "Harper's Weekly" of January 30, 1864.

Four of the children were specifically featured because they looked white. The campaign particularly highlighted that these children were treated as slaves even though they looked no different than those from an all-white lineage.


Emancipated Slaves


Slave Owners:

Those involved in the campaign

  • Colonel George Hanks of the 18th Infantry, Corps d'Afrique
  • Major General Nathaniel Banks of the Department of the Gulf
  • Philip Bacon


Sources

  1. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/283194




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