Saturday, September 23, 2023

60,000 names of forgotten slaves rescued in pencil


by ÁNGELES LUCAS New Orleans - 

“FANNY, 22 years old. And her son DAVID, 3 years old, and her daughter, 5 months old. Sold to Eugénie Dupré for $900.” Written in 3H graphite pencil on an extensive white sheet, Fanny without a surname and with the sonority of an affectionate abbreviation of an English name, was one of the African-Americans enslaved in the United States from 1808 to 1860.

We now know that she and her minimal history existed because of the zeal of 75-year-old calligrapher and researcher Phyllis Goodnow to give visibility to 60,000 slaves who were bought, stolen, sold, and sent to the south of the U.S. during that period through her project History Enslaved / History in Bondage. It has taken her eight years to compile and trace every letter of the onomastic list of each of the individuals recorded on 30 rolls of microfilm she found while researching at the National Archives in Washington D. C., titled “Slave Manifests of Coastwise Vessels Filed at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1807-1860.”

Find the full text by following the link above

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