A collection of blogs and musings from the people that work at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum - Florida's Finest Lightstation.

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More Tales from the Jeff Davis Chronicles

For those of you who love Civil War History, here is a story ssociated with the Confederate Privateer Jeff Davis. Thanks to Mr. Tim Jackson, a LAMP volunteer for this interesting info.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is available on-line. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle was published between 1841-1902. I will warn you that some of the descriptions on the web from the 1861 papers are very graphic. My snip below stops short of that. The website is: http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Layout/Includes/BE/NavigationSites/Phaseone.htm.

The (parenthesis) include my notations.

On July 25, 1861 the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Reported.

New York has got another hero, and Barnum (PT Barnum) has him on exhibition for the delight of all who patronize his signular establishment. The reader will remember that on Sunday morning last, Wm. Tillman...made his bow to an appreciative New York Public... Tillman was a steward (cook) on board the schooner Waring; she (the schooner) was caputred by the Jeff Davis privateer, and a prize crew put on board here. The Waring was then turned southward, and it was pretty broadly hinted that the colored (African American) steward would be turned into cash (sold into slavery) as soon as the vessel reached Charleston. Tillman, not unnaturally, determined to avoid this catastrophe, and he killed three of the privateers....Tillman modest narrative may have been effaced from the public mind and we reproduce just its salient points....

(Eagle, On-line, Recovered by Jackson, T, 2007)

Tillman Photo Harper's Weekly, 1861

(The drawing may be referenced at: http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1861/august/schooner-waring.htm)

The narrative goes on to describe how the prize crew of the Jeff Davis were killed with axe blows to the skull and dumped over board. Then Tillman, without any real training in navigation steered the Waring back to the port of New York.

With publicity like this, it is no wonder that the Privateer Jeff Davis was infamous by the time she sank on the bar just off the St. Augustine Lighthouse!! "

It is interesting to note that PT Barnum, who we associate with the circus today, ran "Barnam's American Museum" in the 1860's and helped found both the museum and attractions/tourism industry in American. An advertisement announcing Tillman's appearance at Barnam's attraction can be found in the Brooklyn Eagle. He promised a look at Tillman, whom he called "the greatest hero of the war" along with a cutlass used the rebels and a axe identical to that Tillman used. Also Barnum's museum promised additional discoveries foreshadowing Harry Potter's fame. Barnum promises, that

"Professor Anderson, Jr, the Greatest Wizard of the World, gives his wonderful feats of magic and Necromancy every afternoon and evening."

Also to be found are:

"The Wonderful Albino Sisters, The Great Living Sea Lion, The Living Mammonth Grizzley Bear Sampson, Thirty Living Monster Snakes, An Aquarial Garden and the Wonderful Living Happy Family." (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, On-line, recovered August 2007)

The museum and attraction industries have come a long way since, as have our notions of human and civil rights!!! Howvever, this look at the Victorian culture is indeed fascinating for the historian and obeserver of social history.

Kathy

Comments (1)

I liked what you posted here but I must say that it can be improved, although it is good but some more effort can get this blog to the top. And the theme is good.

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