The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis by Cyprian Clamorgan

By Cyprian Clamorgan

In 1858, Cyprian Clamorgan wrote a quick yet immensely readable ebook entitled The coloured Aristocracy of St. Louis. The grandson of a white voyageur and a mulatto lady, he used to be himself a member of the "colored aristocracy." In a environment the place the majority of African american citizens have been slaves, and the place those that have been unfastened mostly lived in abject poverty, Clamorgan's "aristocrats" have been extraordinary humans. prosperous, proficient, and articulate, those women and men occupied a "middle ground." Their fabric benefits got rid of them from the mass of African americans, yet their race barred them from club in white society.

The coloured Aristocracy of St. Louis is either a major research of the social and criminal disabilities lower than which African american citizens of all periods worked and a settling of previous rankings. a bit malicious, Clamorgan loved declaring the foibles of his associates and enemies, yet his ebook had a major message besides. "He endeavored to persuade white american citizens that race was once no longer an absolute, that the black neighborhood was once now not a monolith, that classification, schooling, and particularly wealth, may still count number for something."

Despite its attention-grabbing insights into antebellum St. Louis, Clamorgan's e-book has been nearly neglected in view that its preliminary ebook. utilizing deeds, church files, proceedings, and different fundamental resources, Winch reacquaints readers with this crucial booklet and establishes its position within the context of African American historical past. This annotated version of The coloured Aristocracy of St. Louis contains an introductory essay on African american citizens in St. Louis earlier than the Civil warfare, in addition to an account of the lives of the writer and the contributors of his extraordinary family—a kin that used to be actually on the middle of the city's "colored aristocracy" for 4 generations.

A witty and perceptive observation on race and sophistication, The coloured Aristocracy of St. Louis is a amazing tale a few mostly forgotten section of nineteenth-century society. students and normal readers alike will savor Clamorgan's insights into certainly one of antebellum America's most crucial communities.

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Additional resources for The Colored Aristocracy of St. Louis

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The Davises turned on the Clamorgans. The elder Mrs. 23 The press seized upon the story and began investigating. Reporters quickly discovered that Louis Clamorgan was listed as black on the list of employees at the Collector’s Office in downtown St. Louis. ” However, it soon 21. St. Louis directories, 1892–1914. Julia Clamorgan and her sons were white in the census of 1870. Henry Clamorgan was white in the 1880 census. 22. St. Louis Republic, June 9, 1911. Louis gave his name to the census-taker in 1910 as “Louis C.

In 1874 the Circuit Court of St. Louis heard Clamorgan vs. The Bellefontaine Railroad Company, and The Baden and St. Louis Railroad Company, and Cyprian Clamorgan vs. Fanny Deaver and John Burke. By 1880 the suit of Henry, Cyprian, Leon, and Julius Clamorgan against the Baden and St. Louis Railroad Company had made its way to the Missouri Supreme Court. S. government. ”31 There were occasional victories. S. Land Office confirmed Jacques Clamorgan’s right to one tract of almost 430 acres. As claims were validated, the Clamorgans were able to make money by selling them off.

For discussions of the situation of African Americans in St. Louis after the Civil War see Christensen, “Black St. Louis,” and Greene, Kremer, and Holland, Missouri’s Black Heritage, chap. 7. 20 Introduction thing someone kept as part of their private library and passed on to their heirs. Apparently, hardly anyone thought it was worth preserving. The only surviving copy is in the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis. As far as is known, Cyprian Clamorgan never tried his hand at writing anything else for publication.

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