Primary Documents: African, African Diasporic News Items/General Comments


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The following bibliographic sources were used in JUBA's research. Specific bibliographic sources are also linked from individual person, event, venue and troupe pages.

The Bibliography contains all sources used to compile the Early Blackface Minstrelsy in Britain Database. At this stage of our data entry, most documentation you will find here will be from nineteenth century daily and weekly British journals, searched by our Research Participants; all such entries are linked to one or more of the database entries: Event, Individual, Troupe, Venue, Documentation.

Bell's Life in London January 7, 1849: 8:1.
Info in Record: Brief report about a “monster serpent” found aboard a ship returning to the U.S. from Africa. Owner of the ship demands ten thousand dollars for it, or “he will turn ’showman,’ and exhibit himself” the snake that “it took 126 negroes seven hours to secure.”
Bell's Life in London January 19, 1851: 5:5.
Info in Record: An article entitled “The Salmon Question”, which claims that for Africans, “the Devil’s colour” is white, while, for Europeans, it is black.
Bell's Life in London January 19, 1851: 8:1.
Info in Record: News item about a brig that ran into a ledge of rocks one mile off of Cape Cornwall. One of the three survivors is described as a "mulatto", who kept clear of the rocks by using a plank "as a paddle" and "a piece of canvas [. . .] for a sail". The author praises the fisherman who eventually rescued the survivor.
Bell's Life in London January 26, 1851: 3:2.
Info in Record: News item about a proposition recently put forward in the French Assembly, which stipulated that that anyone "'possessing, purchasing, or selling slaves,'" including those in "foreign countries" gained though "inheritance, gift, or marriage," would lose "the rights of French citizens".
Bell's Life in London February 9, 1851: 3:2.
Info in Record: News item about the Opening of Parliament. Notes that the Queen’s opening speech praised the Brazilian government for adopting "new" and hopefully "efficient measures for the suppression of the atrocious traffic in slaves".
Bell’s Life in London January 31, 1847: 2:5.
Info in Record: description of the exhibition at the British Museum including several fresh rooms for mammalia, containing contributions from Africa and the Eastern Archipelago”
Bell’s Life in London January 10, 1847: 8:3.
Info in Record: Feature story about the death of an 142-year old black man from “Jamaica Morning Journal”.
Bell’s Life in London March 14, 1847: 2:5.
Info in Record: News story about various happenings in the West Indies
Bell’s Life in London May 9, 1847: 2:5.
Info in Record: Other: News story about “the negroes of Antigua”
Bell’s Life in London September 26, 1847: 8:3.
Info in Record: Info About Other Categories: “African Emigration”: News story about 476 “liberated Africans” shipped from Sierra Leon to the West Indies
Bell’s Life in London November 14, 1847: 2:3, 2:4.
Info in Record: Detailed piece on “The West Indies and Slavery”.
Bell’s Life in London December 5, 1847: 3:4.
Info in Record: Discussion of a “natural history” (by A. Smith?), which “abounds in truthful sketches of a contemptible race” of the Tuft-Hunters, and “the means requisite for its extinction”.
Era (London) August 17, 1851: 10:3.
Info in Record: Book review of Captain Milman’s ‘Arthur Conway; or, Scenes in the Tropics’, published posthumously after his death in 1850. Milman’s book is an adventure story set in the ‘West India Islands.’
Era (London) January 5, 1851: 10:4.
Info in Record: Under ‘November’ in Year in Review: “General fast and day of prayer and humiliation at Jamaica, in consequence of the ravages of the cholera and awful state of destitution throughout the island.”
Era (London) April 20, 1851: 8:4.
Info in Record: News piece moderately critical of England’s Imperialist dealings in South Africa.
Era (London) January 5, 1851: 10:4.
Info in Record: mention of “Domingo da Salva, and Jose da Costa, negro sailors, executed at Brest, for murder of the captain of the brig Adele, during the shipwreck of that vessel on the coast of Africa.”
Era (London) June 15, 1851: 8:4.
Info in Record: Opinion piece condemning the “Kaffir War”. Criticizes England for “driving a rude race away from their homes” “on the plea of extension of territory”.
Era (London) June 9, 1844: 7:4.
Info in Record: Info About Other Categories: Article detailing the Kordofanian Code of Honour (an African duel): “— When a gentlemen of that nation considers himself aggrieved, he sends the offender a formal challenge, which, it is presumed, is always accepted. The duel takes place on some open plain, and all the friends of the combatants assemble as spectators”.
Era (London) June 22, 1851: 3:2.
Info in Record: Article describing Newcastle, which mentions the “Black Princes” inhabiting the cities palaces.
Era (London) July 7, 1844: 2:4.
Info in Record: Article about fighting between France and Morocco (including descriptions of Moorish officials)
Era (London) June 22, 1851: 13:2.
Info in Record: Brief piece detailing the “defeat of the Dahoman army […] about sixty miles inland from Lagos”. The author suggests that the army’s “discomfiture is likely to have an important bearing on the decline of the slave trade”.
Era (London) August 11, 1844: 8:2.
Info in Record: Article about an insurrection in a Dominican state. Mentions that “… nine blacks had been shot, and that upwards of one hundred were in prison waiting their trial”.
Era (London) June 29, 1851: 8:2.
Info in Record: Another piece discussing the Kaffir War.
Era (London) August 25, 1844: 2:1.
Info in Record: News article discussing Moors preparing to attack the French: “The Presse confirms the general impression that the Moors had made extensive preparations to resist the Prince de Joinville, had he landed after the bombardment of Tangiers.”
Era (London) July 13, 1851: 8:3.
Info in Record: Another news article about the Kaffir War.
Era (London) January 5, 1851: 5:3.
Info in Record: Article covering the case of George Sloane, brought up on charges of ‘ill-using and starving Jane Wilbred, his servant”; witness for the accused, his ward, Miss Devaux had features “decidedly of a West Indian cast”)
Era (London) September 7, 1851: 10:1.
Info in Record: Piece about a magazine containing two articles on the subject of South Africa.
Era (London) January 12, 1851: 7:4.
Info in Record: Report that Captain Daley, commander of Jeremiah Garnett picked up “nineteen savages of a copper colour, tattooed all over and in a state of nudity” while traveling from Shanghai to Liverpool. The ‘savages’ had been blown out to sea from the Islands of St. David’s, to which he returned them.)
Era (London) October 5, 1851: 7:4.
Info in Record: Racist Joke entitled “A Con by the King of the ‘Cannibal Islands’” in the “Our Carpet Bag” section. Reads as follows: “When does a person devour his mother? – When he eats his ‘mama laid on bread’ (marmalade on bread).”
Era (London) January 19, 1851: 7:1.
Info in Record: Description of Kaffirs’ penchant for snuff, and also evidence for their ‘nastiness’. “When a colonist kills an ox, they stand round waiting for their shares. The moment the entrails are drawn, they seize on them, and swallow with the utmost avidity every part…”
Era (London) November 2, 1851: 9:1.
Info in Record: An article detailing events in “The Unjust Caffre War”.
Era (London) January 19, 1851: 15:4.
Info in Record: Report on a shipwreck with a mulatto man one of three survivors.
Era (London) December 7, 1851: 2:3.
Info in Record: News article about “The Kafir War”
Era (London) May 28, 1848: 10:4.
Info in Record: Description of, and poem about, the ritual of human sacrifice in Africa.
Era (London) July 2, 1848: 8:3.
class="notes"> “The Sugar Question”: Editorial on the monies set aside for emancipation of slaves in the West Indies: "Whether this country acted wisely or not, and the niggers are benefited and grateful…"
Era (London) December 21, 1851: 7:1.
Info in Record: An article purporting to explain “Marriage Settlements Among the Kaffirs”.
Era (London) August 6, 1848: 1:4.
Info in Record: ”Our Carpet Bag: “A ‘Black Bull’: Free Blacks in African settlement fined for worshipping "alligators, thunder, or any other reptiles."
Era (London) September 17, 1843: 3:2.
Info in Record: News item about “an insurrection amongst the negroes” in St. Domingo, West Indies.
Era (London) January 11, 1852: 7:1.
Info in Record: A news item about a “desperate and fatal fight with the negroes at Lagos by the Niger ship’s company, in which affair Messrs. Dyer and Hall, mates of the Niger will killed, and nine men were also killed and wounded.” See attached document image for further details.
Era (London) October 8, 1843: 8:2.
Info in Record: Piece describing a deception perpetrated by a dark-skinned man (“in complexion almost a nigger”). This individual, referred to by the author as “the Dark Impostor”, falsely claimed to be the illegitimate son of Lord George Gordon.
Era (London) January 7, 1849: 10:3.
Info in Record: A piece in the “Our Carpet Bag” section, which includes the following: “A Dark Morning – As dark as if all the negroes of Africa had been stewed into the air.”
Era (London) January 3, 1847: 7:4.
Info in Record: A piece entitled “Negro devotion at Sierra Leone”, which discusses a chapel built and supported by “liberated Africans”.
Era (London) March 26, 1848: 7:1.
Info in Record: notice of a meeting in aid of The Ladies' Society, "Promoting the Improvement of the Children of the Negroes and People of Colour in the British West Indies.”
Era (London) March 12, 1843: 6:2.
Info in Record: A review of the book " QUÆSTIONES MOSAICÆ; or THE BOOK OF GENESIS COMPARED WITH THE REMAINS OF THE ANCIENT RELIGIONS". Includes the following supposition: "Many of the Negro tribes, too, are fully persuaded that the monkey could talk if he would, but that he fears to be compelled to the drudgery of a hewer of wood, and a drawer of water."
Era (London) March 26, 1843: 2:1.
Info in Record: "Coast of Africa Bill": News report on the debate in Parliament over the first reading of this bill, and whether or not there should be an annual budget for the colonies; the bill seems to give government more control over business affairs in its colonies.
Era (London) March 26, 1843: 2:1.
Info in Record: "Slave Trade (Payment of Bounties) Bill": News report on the debate in Parliament over a report on this bill, and the details of how to calculate the bounty per vessel.
Era (London) August 19, 1849: 8:1.
Info in Record: A brief piece in the “Answers to Correspondents” section, which claims that climate is responsible for determining skin colour.
Era (London) August 26, 1849: 9:2-3.
Info in Record: Quotation of part of a work by James Silk Buckingham, which claims that “thousands” of British people are “but half-fed, wretchedly clothed, miserably lodged, wholly uninstructed, and not enjoying so much actual happiness as the Hottentots of Africa, the Indians of America, or the savages of New Zealand.”
Era (London) October 7, 1849: 10:3.
Info in Record: A piece in the “Our Carpet Bag” section entitled “Origin of Negroes”. The author claims to describe the beliefs of “The lower order of Brazilians […] as to their original formation”.
Era (London) April 16, 1843: 4:1.
Info in Record: "United States". Short news report on the revolution in Hayti, where 14,000 men march on Port-au-Prince against 4000 government troops.
Era (London) January 26, 1851: 7: 1.
Info in Record: Other: other (Description of African kings: “AFRICAN KINGS, - On the coast of Africa and up the country, we have made treaties over a bottle of rum, with kings whose court boasted for its chief ornament a cocked hat or two and some plush breeches. At an interview in Ashantee, a high native functionary wore an epaulette, and a handsome one too; but where? – over a gold hand bell at the bottom of the spine, “where the tail joins on to the small of the back.” – Fraser’s Mag)
Era (London) February 16, 1845: 4:3.
Info in Record: Editorial urging France, Spain, Brazil to end slavery in their colonies
Era (London) January 26, 1851: 8:2.
Info in Record: Other: other (Criticism of Lord Normandy receiving the Blue Ribbon. As proof of his luck in earning choice positions despite his failings, the author explains that: “Made Governor of Jamaica after the emancipation of the ‘Niggers,’ he sowed broadcast the seed of which the ruined colony is now bearing deadly fruit.”)
Era (London) April 19, 1846: 5:2.
Info in Record: Review of “The Marquesas Islands’ or, a Peep at Polynesian Life” by John Murray. Critic complains that many took the work for non-fiction despite its fantastic view of Polynesian life
Era (London) March 9, 1851: 8:2.
Info in Record: News of another war in “Kaffraria between the colonists and the native tribes”; “extermination was the order of the day against these copper-skinned scoundrels.”
Era (London) August 2, 1846: 13:1.
Info in Record: report on victims in a surveying team: “Accounts from the coast of Africa state that two of the officers employed in the surveying expedition….have been murdered by the natives.”
Era (London) March 9, 1851: 12:1.
Info in Record: Further article on the “Hostilities with the Kaffirs”.
Era (London) April 14, 1844: 7:4.
div class="noteheading">Info in Record: News article about Cuba: “WEST INDIES… . A conspiracy has been discovered in the Island of Cuba, which was organised by the negroes, with the object of massacring the white population, and of burning their possessions”