Browse Reports

Subject is exactly slavery

"American Civilization Illustrated" - Mortimer Thomson, (Q.K. Philander Doesticks, P.B.) - New York Tribune

The popular humorist often used the undercover ruse in his work for The New York Tribune. In this instance, he posed as a client to visit a number of New York's purveyors of the "black arts" to expose their scams. The series preceded his pose as a slave buyer to cover the Butler auction in Savannah.
New York Tribune article titled, "John Brown's Invasion." Written by  Henry S. Olcott.

John Brown's Hanging - Henry S. Olcott - New York Tribune

Olcott volunteered to cover the hanging of John Brown for the New York Tribune when the newspaper's regular correspondent had to flee under threat of Southern ire at his dispatches. He posed as a member of the Petersburg Grays, one of the regiments sent to Charles Town to guard Brown's body.
Part one of James Redpath's "Facts of Slavery." Published in the New York Tribune.

"Facts of Slavery" - James Redpath - New York Tribune

Redpath inaugurated a "Facts of Slavery" column for the New York Tribune, curating slave sale information from the Southern press, and later went South to interview slaves so they could have a forum for relating their experiences in their own words. He later took jobs at Southern newspapers and surreptitiously sent reports back north in the guise of letters to relatives in Minnesota. They, in turn, under prior arrangement, forwarded the reports to editors.
New York Tribune article titled, "The Tahiti Carried No Slaves."

"Blackbirding" - The Slave System's Just-as-Evil Twin?

Journalists from the United States and Australia get inside the post-Civil War practice of recruiting Pacific Islanders to work the world's non-U.S. plantations on extended contracts of indenture.
The Leader article titled, "The Contributor: A Cruise in a Queensland Slaver." Written by George Morrison as part of his series.

"A Cruise in a Queensland Slaver" - George Morrison - The Age

George Morrison was a twenty-year-old Australian medical student looking for an adventurous diversion after failing his intermediate exam. He self-styled an assignment to see how the labor trade of Queensland worked in 1882, signing on to sail as an ordinary seaman aboard the Lavinia.Three months later, the ship returned from its "blackbirding" expedition with a new batch of recruits from the New Hebrides and Banks. Morrison wrote an eight-part travelogue for The Leader, and later, provided a more critical view for The Age. 
An article written as part of The Argus' series "The Kanaka Labour Traffic" by J.D. Melvin.

"The Kanaka Labor Traffic" - J.D. Melvin - The Argus

J.D. Melvin, at the behest of his editors at the Argus, gets a job as a supercargo aboard the Helena on a round-trip journey from Queensland to the Solomon Islands.  He observes and participates in the return of 60 workers at the completion of their work contracts, and the recruitment and transport of 90 new workers from the islands. 
Part 1 of W.H. Brommage's expose titled, "The Blackbird Cruise." Published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"A Sale of Souls" - W.H. Brommage - San Francisco Chronicle (Blackbirding)

Brommage spent nearly six months aboard the Montserrat, documenting the voyage of a blackbirder leaving from San Francisco to recruit workers from the Gilbert Islands to work plantations in Guatemala on long-term contracts of indenture. The cover story for the journey was a shipment of coal picked up in British Columbia.  Unlike Melvin's series in the Argus, Brommage's account was full of nasty characters, shady to illegal business practices, abuse and danger. 
Albert Richardson's daily column "From Louisiana" in the New York Tribune.

"Pro-Slavery Rebellion: From Louisiana" - Albert D. Richardson - New York Tribune

Richardson went south for the Tribune in the last days before the Civil War and reported from Louisiana under an assumed identity and coding his reports (and relaying them through other offices) to get them safely back north.