RARE CDV CIVIL WAR AFRICAN AMERICAN CONTRABAND & HORACE JAMES OFFICER 25TH MA
Item History and Pricing
Both were found together in the same estate. We believe the identification on the reverse of the escaped slave was most likely written by Horace James himself.
A remarkable identification is written on the reverse of the photograph of the Contraband Slave.It reads:"William Headly, a contraband from a plantation near Raleigh N.C arrived at Newberne, N.C on the 20th May 1864. having been six weeks on the road, neith...er sleeping or eating in a house during the time. Two others left with him, but were caught by the slave holders' Blood Hounds, and either killed or taken back. He was weak, and nearly famished when he arrived. His clothes were of many colors, and qualities. His cloak consisted of and old cotton grain bag, slit open on one side, and raveled (sp) which gives the appearance of the sick fringe (sp). He appeared perfectly happy and satisfied upon crossing the Union lines and is now of the best hands working on Fort Chase N.C June 11, 1864."
We only know of one other image of Headley, now held in the Library Of Congress, but that example has no identification. Perhaps the history of Headley and his descendants can now be found.
The CDV of Horace James is inscribed, "With Kind regards of Horace James Capt. and A.G.M." Maker marked "Stayner & Smith Newbern" North Carolina.
Horace James was a minister, Union Army Chaplain, and Freedmen's Bureau officer. James was the pastor of a church in Worcester and regarded slavery as immoral. In October 1861 James joined the 25th Massachusetts Infantry as a Union Army Chaplin. This regiment participated in the expedition led by Major General Burnside that captured Roanoke Island N.C. Burnside appointed James as Officer in Charge of the Contrabands who sought federal protection on the island. The 25th Massachusetts was part of the force that captured New Bern, North Carolina. In 1863 James was named to the office of superintendent of (we are not allowed to use this word) affairs. As superintendent of (we are not allowed to use this word) affairs, James was responsible for taking censuses of black refugees in eastern North Carolina and for finding them employment. In early 1863 James established the first camp at Roanoke Island which served as a model for future black colonies. At New Bern, he created three camps. Army officers called one of the camps the Trent River Camp or the Trent River Settlement, but in 1865 it also come to be called James City, in honor of Horace James. During reconstruction the government restored the land to the original owners. The African American residents of James City, however, obtained leases from the owners of their tracts and managed to keep their community intact. Many of the original settlers still live in the vicinity of the original camp in a black community known as James City. In 1864, James was discharged as chaplain the the 25th Massachusetts Infantry, and was commissioned a Captain and assistant quartermaster of US. Volunteers, keeping his position as superintendent of Blank (we are not allowed to use this word) affairs. In March Congress established the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands to which passed the responsibility for providing aid to destitute black and whites throughout the south. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton selected Major Howard as commissioner of the federal agency known as the Freedmen's Bureau. With the creation of the bureau James became the assistant commissioner for North Carolina. He held this office for a short time. He was head of the eastern district until December, 1865.Howard returned to Massachusetts in 1867.
Condition: Overall Very Good, bump right bottom corner of Contraband, some light wear, as shown. Please see our large scans for an accurate representation of the images.
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