Monday, June 25, 2012

Stumbled upon: An incident from Reconstruction Era South Carolina


The things one comes across when researching any topic are sometimes just as interesting, but being tangential to one's work, they noted but simply never mentioned.  They take on some of the aspects of found objects, and this is one of them.

From the Freedmen's Bureau Online comes a
 REPORT OF OUTRAGES COMMITTED BY WHITES ON BLACK AND BY BLACKS ON WHITES FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 1867 BY LIEUT. F. W. LIEDTKE 43RD INFANTRY A. SUB-ASST. COMR. F. B.
This report contains two cases, both of which are useful in trying to understand a bit about everyday life during this time (see The Hanging of Amy Spain).  Both are interesting, but this one caught my eye:

By whom committed: Calhoun Nichols, white. On whom committed: Clara Anderson, colored. Place: Greenville, S. C. Outrage committed: assault & battery. Remarks: Calhoun Nichols, a mere boy, was, May 25.67, quarreling with Clara Anderson, a colored girl, because she would not call him "Mr. Nichols," he, however, calling her "Clara."  Both were engaged in cleaning a church in Greenville.  Clara Anderson persisted in calling him "Calhoun," whereupon he struck her.  I had him arrested and bought before a Magistrate, but in consideration of his youth and the fact that he begged Clara Anderson's pardon, paid her ten dollars damages and the Magistrate's costs, I allowed the case to be dropped, warning him however that he had no right to call other people, not in his employ, by their Christian names and require them to address him as a Master.

Here is a bit more about Liedtke:
(Moncks Corner) Acting Subassistant Commissioner - F. W. Liedtke Jan.1866 Mar, 1868; (Goldsboro) May 1868 , Assistant Subassistant Commissioner - Frederick W. Liedtke, May Dec. 1868.

from The Political Languages of Emancipation in the British Caribbean and the U.S. South by Demetrius Lynn Eudell (Univ of North Carolina Press, 2002)






The complexity of  social relations are really quite obvious.