On Slavery 9 – Partus Sequitur Ventrem

When considering slaves, Colonial Virginians abandoned the English tradition of partus sequitur patrem (one’s status was determined by the disposition of their father) in favor of the Roman principle of partus sequitur ventrem, a “child inherits the condition of the mother.” (1) Thus offspring of slave women were the property of their mother’s owner whether […]

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On Slavery – 5 Escaping

Historian Kenneth Stampp makes an interesting point about differing locations of slaves determining the destination of escapees. Those living near Indians might, for example, seek refuge with local tribes, as was the case in Florida. “…Florida slaves escaped to the Seminole Indians, aided them in their wars against the whites, and accompanied them when they […]

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Manet and the American Civil War – 5: The Sea Battle Between The Kearsarge and the Alabama

Continuing my series on “Manet and the American Civil War,” (see posts 1 here, 2 here, 3 here, and 4 here. In posts 3 and 4, I introduced the captains and vessels of one of the most famous naval engagements of the American Civil War, the sea battle between the C.S.S. Alabama and the U.S.S. […]

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A People's Army

I am heavily into reading A People’s Army: Massachusetts Soldiers & Society in the Seven Years’ War by Fred Anderson (pictured right) this week. Professor Anderson (Ph.D., Harvard University) teaches history at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The book won the following distinctions according to the publisher, University of North Carolina Press: Winner of the […]

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Military History Word of the Day – "Castrametation"

Photo: Prospect Hill, Virginia. Camp of the 13th Regiment New York Cavalry. (“Seymour Light”) [Library of Congress, CALL NUMBER: LC-B817- 7218] While researching the influence of Jomini on the conduct of the American Civil War, I ran across an article by James L. Morrison, Jr., (Professor, History, Emeritus, York College of Pennsylvania) titled, “Educating the Civil War […]

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