White woman’s lament: Slaves ‘need constant driving’

“Some white Southern women evince more frustration at their own position, or at the position of all white Southern women, than any real feeling for the oppression of slaves. Fanny Moore Webb Bumpas, for instance, of Pittsboro, North Carolina, complains in her journal [1844]:
” ‘We contemplate of late removing to a free state. There we hope to be relieved of many unpleasant things but particularly of the evils of slavery, for slaves are a continual source of trouble. They need constant driving, [and] they are a source of more trouble to house keepers than all other things, vexing them, and causing much sin.'”

“– From “Whitewashing Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Nineteenth-Century Women Novelists Respond to Stowe”  by Joy Jordan-Lake (2005)


His grand design: Holding San Francisco for ransom

On this day in 1864: Capt. James Iredell Waddell of Pittsboro, assigned by the Confederacy to cripple the Northern economy by sea, sails from England.

He will take the clipper ship Shenandoah as far as Australia, then head north, burning and scuttling ships as he goes. In the Bering Strait he burns eight American whalers.

More than two months after Appomattox, the ship Shenandoah will fire perhaps the last shot of the Civil War — at an American whaling ship off the coast of Alaska.

Waddell’s next plan was to sail into San Francisco and hold the city for ransom, but en route he encounters a British ship bearing newspaper accounts of the war’s end. Realizing he faces possible piracy charges, Waddell disguises the Shenandoah as a merchant vessel and sets sail for England, where he turns it over to British authorities.