Blog Post 3

Source 1:

The first source I have chosen is a painting called “Extracting a Chigger”. In this picture, we see a black woman tending to a white man’s chigger on his foot in a tavern. In the background, we can see a white man and a black man watching the process of the chigger removal. The painting is done with water coloring, which is very surprising to me. The artist painting it definitely has a lot of experience with water coloring because the piece is incredibly detailed. The painting is set in the time period of 1820-24, so we can infer that the black woman tending to the white man is indeed enslaved by him. We can also assume that the black man in the back is enslaved by the white man right beside him. This image raises a few research questions for me. My first research question would be: What other types of things were enslaved people forced to do for their masters? From the picture, I can tell that this procedure is a nasty process that I’m sure the enslaved woman did not want to take part in. Another research question that arose to me is: What other types of things were enslaved people forced to witness under their owner’s control? We can see in the background the black man watching this process because they probably have no choice.

Source 2:

The second source I have chose is a lump of text called “To the colored men of voting age in the southern states.” It is a piece of text from a book with a message to all black men who are able to vote in the southern states. It states that the black men who are able to vote in these states should not look at their vote as something with any high value. It states for them to use their vote to benefit the country and community they serve. This is absolutely ridiculous for them to be told that their vote should not be casted with value. They are telling them to basically vote for the benefit of the country that treats them so poorly, which is unacceptable. My main research question is: How could whoever wrote this think it was alright to spit in the faces of black citizens on the daily and then go and tell them to vote for someone to benefit the community?

One thought on “Blog Post 3

  1. These are great sources that certainly raise more questions than we can answer. I think your analyses of the painting are on the right track, although there are some aspects that we cannot always assume. While we know that a majority of people of African descent were indeed enslaved, the patterns of slavery and freedom in Latin America were much different than in the United States and there were more instances of free people of color in this region. Knowing this context though doesn’t necessarily clarify the status or relationship of the subjects in the painting. Whether the chigger extraction was a demand or not, we also don’t know. It reminds me of the chapter in Schermerhorn that details the immense medical knowledge of African-descended women and how they were often the first line of medical practitioners.

    The second source is also intriguing and your question about the source is inquisitive. There is a long history of undermining Black civil representation in the post-Civil War era. This type of language also makes me think of the Three-Fifths Compromise (1787), in which three-fifths of the enslaved population would be counted in the overall population to determine direct taxation and representation in the House of Representatives.

    Great finds and strong metadata!

Leave a Reply