Monday, June 3, 2013

Slave Owners Seeking Reparations

The above and below advertisements both ran in the April 7, 1865, issue of the Paris, Kentucky, Western Citizen newspaper. Both notices seek compensation for owners who had slaves enlist in the Union army, and to me, sound surprisingly like the attorney television commercials of today, i.e. "We don't get paid, if you don't get paid."

The top advertisement claims that J. W. Cardwell and company would leave no stone unturned in seeking out the proper documentation to prove the owners' slave(s) were truly enlisted.

President Lincoln had offered compensation to Border State slave owners in 1862, and was soundly rejected, but this appears to be somewhat different.

I am not real familiar with this issue as far as legal particulars, but the below advertisement makes it seem that it is not so much the value of the slave person that owners sought compensation, but rather the slave's army pay and any enlistment bounties and bonuses due. The ad also seems to indicate that a law had been created to make such provisions. I am not aware of such a law, but if anyone does, I would certainly be very interested to learn more. Another confusing statement in the below ad is, "We trust that the commissioner authorized by act of Congress; will soon be appointed . . ."  Was this hopeful wish? Was such a commissioner ever appointed? 

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