The search for a meaningful clue to the mystery of an enslaved ancestor

Old newspaper ads are serving as a window into the hopes and histories of hundreds of individuals who were newly emancipated. In the 1880s, Edward ...

August 18, 2022
3:58 AM

Old newspaper ads are serving as a window into the hopes and histories of hundreds of individuals who were newly emancipated. In the 1880s, Edward Taylor reached out to the editors of a weekly Black newspaper in New Orleans. Born into slavery, he had fought in the Civil War and established himself as a blacksmith when freedom came. He had a wife, six children, and his own plot of land in a community near a winding stream known as the Bayou Maringouin. But Taylor never forgot what he had lost during his decades in bondage.

Rachel L. Swarns