Day Log 5-26-09

  • The morning was taken up with finishing my grading for HIS377 final exams (I haven’t mentioned grading obligations thus far in these accounts, but that doesn’t meant they haven’t existed).
  • I spent a fair amount of time shuttling books back and forth from Firestone to Dickinson and vice versa, returning some, figuring out which I need in New Orleans, and ordering a bunch from Amazon as well.
  • Then I got caught up in the question of plaçage, one of the “exotic” myths of early New Orleans that Ingersoll refutes, quite convincingly in my view, in his Mammon and Manon — despite the refutation there is a substantial amount of scholarship out there based around this legend of institutionalized interracial concubinage. I read some of the more egregious instances and went about trying to track down sources for the legend — all of which turn out to be, just as Ingersoll says, secondary sources of very dubious value. Maybe will write a bit more about this soon…
  • Finally, I made a few pages of notes from Mary Wollstonecraft biographies regarding Charles Wollstonecraft, Mary’s feckless youngest brother, who came to the U. S. about 1792, joined the U. S. Army in 1800, played a major role commanding an artillery battery at the Battle of New Orleans, and died shortly afterward, having become a friend of Edward Livingston and other prominent figures in my research.