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A blog of Nineteenth Century history, focusing, but not exclusively, on the American Civil War seen through the prism of personal accounts, newspaper stories, administrative records and global history.
A thousand tales. A miscellany. A maze of historical tangents.

A Capitol View

A Capitol View
Images of 1861 juxtaposed- Union Square, New York vs. Capitol Square, Richmond

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"The Floating Scum of Richmond"

 John Moncure Daniel tells us about the  . . .

SIGHTS AND OCCUPATIONS FOR IDLERS- The floating scum of Richmond are the easiest satisfied set of mortals the world ever held. Hunger and curiosity are the only two "aching voids" they have to fill, a loaf of bakers' bread will satisfy the one, and a dog, pig or nigger fight the other. Yesterday we saw from one hundred to one hundred and fifty of the "scum" gathered and settled down and around upon the shady curbstones of Broad street, attracted by the desperate efforts of a team of mules and as many negroes, to draw a railroad engine and tender down the street. The negroes shouted and cracked their whips, the mules kicked up a dust and struggled, and the "scum" laughed and shouted too, but the ponderous engine and tender was "no go" for a long time. When it was started, unexpectedly, and went off, so did the "scum," to watch for the next excitement that came along and gather together again.
-The Richmond Examiner, July 2, 1864

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