The 'White' Slave Children of New Orleans
1 year ago
Photos of these kids were sold to raise funds for black schools
It was perhaps the first great marketing campaign to benefit newly freed slaves. It was a simple premise: appeal to the hearts of anti-slavery whites by showing them photos of slave children that looked that them. The goal was to sell the images, mostly in the north, during the Reconstruction era and generate enough money to provide an education to freed black slaves.
The photos, which featured prominently Charles Taylor, Rebecca Huger, Rosina Downs and Augusta Broujey as the mixed race former slave children, sold for 25 cents each. From reports, the slave children and three black slaves came to the North and were photographed in various set ups. The images were mass-produced for a fundraising campaign following Abraham Lincoln's emancipation of slaves in 1863.
[ALSO READ: Slave-Owning U.S. Presidents]
In the essay 'As White as Their Masters': Visualizing the Color Line, by Carol Goodman, we learn how the 19th century media latched on to the story of the white slave children: