Saturday, March 13, 2004


Have somebody with broadband cable connection log on to my site. They should pop up.

I am working with Alfred Brophy, the Bama law professor who wrote the book on the Tulsa race riots. He is to give a speech how slavery worked on the Bama campus. This is really important because, as far as I know, it's the first time in my lifetime that the lives of Black people on campus prior to integration have been addressed in a public forum on campus.

The photos of the slave cabins are important because here we have pictures on the Internet taken in 1935 that identify the four slave cabins on campus and the University wants to act like they don't exist. When the parking lots are empty on campus, you can stand where Wallace stood in front of Foster Auditorium, look over your left shoulder and see the east wall of Slaves Cabin #4. People in bonded, involuntary servitude were born, lived and died in those four houses and NOBODY seems to care about the details of their lives other that to bring up the subject in order to stir up ill will.

Your buddies at the Hysterical Commission really dropped the ball on the renovation of the University Club here. I heard rumors that the contractor found a vault, bones,bottles, artifacts etc. etc. and covered everything up and everything disappeared. You know he removed so much dirt that the north wall of the mansion collapsed.None of those tons of dirt was examined. All that dirt came from where slave quarters once stood. In fact the outbuilding that he renovated may be a former slave cabin.

I can't tell you what I think about the arrest of the divers in Selma. To me it's just another example of government working to make people miserable.

Good to hear from you and our progress will always be posted at "Cuba, Alabama"

Best wishes,

Robert Register

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Slaves Cabin #1 with old Tutwiler in background- October 16, 1935

Slaves Cabin #2- October 16, 1935

Slaves Cabin #3- October 17, 1935

Slaves Cabin #3

Slave Cabin #2- April 3, 1934


Hip, Hip, Hooray! Congratulations, buddy!

That's very near Sherman Concrete. K.C. "Kid" Kelley, a good friend of mine, owns the junk yard and appliance shop just past the city limit. The subdivision is Willow Lane( my boss, Lee Pake, owns two houses in that subdivision) but it seems to me that Manly's place might be on Kid's property. I'll be working near there tomorrow and I'll check in with Kid.

I really need to work this weekend but we could meet on Saturday or Sunday early in the morning or after 3:30. I knock off early on the weekends so I can go fishing.

A good place to meet would be at our office, Pake Realty. We are located at 2609 University Blvd. It's on the south side of the street just past the bridge that carries traffic coming from Northport.

My office number is 759-1906 but I'm always in the field. I'll be in the office after 5:15 tomorrow. My home number is 759-9280.

The wheels of progress are rolling, brother. Keep up the good work.



>To: "robert register"
>Subject: RE: your research on slave quarters at UA?
>Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 13:50:24 -0600
>Yes, it would be great, indeed! I bet that's possible.
>Here's some other good news--went to the Tuscsaloosa
>Courthouse after class this morning and found where Manly's 160
>acre plantation was. It's off of Moody Swamp Road (which is the
>extension of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.)--just over the line
>from Tuscaloosa City. You up for a field trip? From the current
>tax map, it doesn't look like it's developed right now, though there
>appears to be a housing development near it.
>Best, Alfred

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


The drawings are on the library of congress website:

Then search for University of Alabama.

I love the historic buildings website--didn't realize that the slave
cabin drawings were on there, or that they even existed until you
told me.

Best, Alfred

Tuesday, March 09, 2004


I live in Northport and work for Pake Realty on University Boulevard. I caught the fish in a farm pond just west of the new bridge on the west side of town.

The Board of Trustees never owned many slaves. I would guess four or five at a time and they were a pain in the ass because of all the holidays. As soon as school let out, all the professors started pushing the steward around in order to get his slaves to work on their pet projects plus the steward wanted them to work on his pet projects.

I have identified four categories of slaves associated with the University:

1) Slaves that the students brought from home. Check out the biography of Oran Milo Roberts in Special Collections. Roberts brought his slave Prince to Tuscaloosa in 1833 when he entered the University and hired him out in town to pay college expenses. Roberts also says that the straw that broke the camel's back for Dearing occurred when students kidnapped one of his slave girls and brought her to campus.[ Dearing built the University Club and the big house across from the post office off of 21st Avenue]. Students attacked Dearing when he came looking for his girl. Students' slaves weren't allowed on campus but students lodged them in town and hired them out for a profit.

2) Slaves owned by faculty and the President. These servants were often hired by the University. Barnard's slave was his lab assistant. Manly mentions that Barnard's Morgan pimped Barnard's Luna to the students "who they use in great numbers nightly." Luna may be Barnard's servant girl who was so brutally raped by the student at Ole Miss.

3) Slaves owned by Tuscaloosa citizens and hired out the the University. This was the most common form of slavery and I'm not sure how many records exist. The wild thing was Garland impounding all the slaves in Tuscaloosa during the war to build earthworks over by the present-day police station. He caught holy hell from Tuscaloosa and the Governor forced him to stop.

4) Slaves owned by the Board of Trustees.

Check out the local papers for the first week of January each year. There really wasn't what you would consider a slave market here but January 1 was called "Hiring Day" and the sheriff would have estate sales on the courthouse steps and slaves would be sold the first week in January. Lots of ads for this in Tuscaloosa papers.

Random thoughts...

Slave clothing included Cottonade coats & pants, flannel coats,summer vests, summer hats, winter coats, shoes, slippers

Board for a slave $3 month- board for a horse 4 to 5 dollars per month

Carpenters hired at $2 per day. William, owned by H.S. Pratt, was so skilled at building desks and bookcases that he demanded more and had to be paid under the table because his rate was so high.

Dr. Rueben Searcy, whose doctor's office was located in the present day Alabama Grill on Greensboro Avenue, charged the Board of Trustees for 33 office visits for Moses over a period of 3 months in 1857.

Moses (a.k.a. "Preach") was bad to drink and fight. They threatened to sell him so he got religion. From a Mobile Tribune article 1859. "I say, Preach, what are you going to do when the devil gets you?"

"Wait on the students," Preach replied.

1844: Trustees curtailed use of slaves during vacation by the Steward. Top priority holiday work:receiving coal, cleaning, whitewashing

Underground Railroad!!!! In 1852, Professor Scherb found runaways sleeping in Room 18 of Franklin Hall west of the present day Gorgas Library.

Sam, owned by the Board, beat Tom who had been hired from Alex Glascock. Glascock's house on 21st avenue has just been renovated. Gatozzi Valuations is located there now. Glascock shows up in Sellers' History of the First Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa.

Garland started out with 3 but soon had 60. His women refused to be sold to the owner's of their husbands so Garland had to buy their husbands.

Student abuse:

1837: Henry Elmore chastised servant and then called before faculty. Elmore signed an apology.

1842: Student admonished " for chasing a Negro through campus during study hours."

1843: 4 students dragged a servant out of a professor's yard and abused and injured him for sport.

Foster and two students beat the President's negro so badly that he required surgery.

I have where Smith used Supreme Court lawyers to overcome his indefinite suspension for abusing servants.

1845: Ben Saffold got a Presidential admonition after stabbing Moses in the arm with a table fork.

1846: A.P. Robinson hit Moses with a crutch for not bringing food to his room. The student had to pay $1.50 per day for a substitute while Moses recovered. University students could not send servants on errands, get food,etc, for them even when ill.

1845: Milton Saffold beat Sam for insolence when Sam refused to scald a bedstead. This was Milton's third offense and "he must leave Tuscaloosa in the stage which departs for Selma this evening." This kid probably had a long history of abusing servants before he arrived in Tuscaloosa.

June 1850: 6 students and Barnard's Morgan stole Moses's chickens.

Check out John Massey, Reminiscences(Nashville, Methodist Episcopal Church,South, 1916)

Check out Letters of Landon Garland

In Richard Thigpen's January,' 81 article in The Alabama Review,"The Four Public Buildings of The University of Alabama to Survive the Civil War", he never mentions the four slave cabins. Thigpen served as an interim President of the University.

quote from Manly, "there is no set of men in Alabama that I would sooner be a slave ["slave" is underlined] to ( if I must be a slave) [this parenthetical phrase is also underlined] than the Trustees."

Manly had two slaves named Lydia. This will confuse you. Also there's a good chance that some of Manly's slaves knew Denmark Vesey.

The Junior Class students in Washington Hall collected $75 to hire Barnard's slave so they could have experiments. I have a note "Could this be Johnson?" I have another card which says Johnson, owned by Barnard, was discharged when Sam was hired.

Levi, a little negro boy, (page 174 of Manly's diary) January 10, 1840 Jan. 10 received from Father in Law Rudulph of Lowndes County, Ala. Born April 5, 1825 "This boy is intended as a gift and is to be my property. My father in law purchasing his [family] came under some obligation to liberate each of them at the age of 25 years provided the laws of country should admit emancipation. After liberating the mother in 1821, she got into trouble and great need and came back to her master to offer herself as his slave for life, since which time Levi was born."

Larrey, given to Manly by his father, served as Manly's body servant.

Manly, Taxed for a riding chair [could this be a sedan chair?] Manly quote,"I have 8 negroes over 10 years of age and 8 negroes under 10; but these are not considered taxable under the charter of the university."

Serena, born of Lydia #2 b. October 31, 1846 ; died of cholera May 27, 1849

$150 allowed by Board of Trustees for hiring a servant. "suitable servants could not be got for less than $200" Professor Pratt's Scipio and Peter hired for $200 each. "If the board of trustees do not pay the additional $100, the Faculty are to do it out of the money deposited for contingencies by the students, and subject to our control" [interesting use of student activity fees]

June 28, 1841[ Source: New Building Fund- Money Paid Out] Jim owned by J.A. Prattt hired for 10 days at 70 cents per day. May 22, 1841 paid Ms. Pratt $140 for hire of carpenters William and Jim.

Boysey(proper name William) November 22, 1843 Mary's son died of whooping cough at daylight 7 years old [from Manly's recipe book-description of the case and prescription. Funeral was in the President's Mansion and he was buried by the present day Biology building on the same afternoon]

Cory- Garland's carriage driver who drove Mrs. Garland and the girls to the edge of the woods when the University burned.

Drish's colored man June 9, 1841 [New Building Fund] "paid Wm. Drish (colored man) for various jobs of brick work- such as setting iron chimney backs, laying hearths, repairing arches, and filling up scaffold holes under colonnade before plastering. Cash $8.50

Jack, died May 5, 1843- died of pneumonia before 2 o'clock in the afternoon -Manly,"He was an African, a member of the Methodist church- honest and faithful- did as much and as well as he knew how."

First Sharecropping: 28 Manly slaves on the Tuscaloosa plantation sign a contract on June 20, 1865, for the production of 10 acres of corn each.

The Arthur negroes sold students peanuts, candy and tobacco. Tuscaloosa slaves also sold possum dinners door to door in the dormitories.

Frederick Thomas, English professor, drunk on a steamboat coming up from Mobile. On brandy and opium, he grabbed a slave girl and took her to his cabin. Dismissed from the university.

Dr. Stafford's Archie " sold mean whiskey to students" and rented Dr. Stafford's carriage and horses to students for the night.

Well Alfred, that's enought info for tonight. Hope you enjoy it.



>To: "robert register"
>Subject: RE: your research on slave quarters at UA?
>Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 19:34:54 -0600
>Sorry I didn't write a longer message this morning; I was writing
>before hearing off to class--very much looking forward to hearing
>about this all. Manly's diaries are pretty interesting, huh? It's
>hard to figure out exactly how many slaves were working at UA
>at any one time--there're some references to them in the trustee
>minutes and in Manly's diaries, but it's hard to get a good picture
>of them, it seems.
>Nice picture of the catfish.
>Do you live around Tuscaloosa?
>Best, Alfred


I am not very organized but I gotta start somewhere....

Go to Gorgas and get Louis Friedman Herzburg's Negro Slavery in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, 1818- 1865 (1955) [T 378 H447n1955]. It's not checked out and it's one of the only works to follow up on Sellers.

If you wanna know about slave archaeology (there's a well below the floor of Slave's Cabin #2 [the gardening tool house] and test pits outside all windows and doors of all four cabins should produce results) get Barbara Heath's Hidden Lives:the archaeology of slave life at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest (E 332.74 .H43 1999)

Get a copy of Mellown's "The President's Mansion at The University of Alabama"(Alabama Review, July ' 82) Robert cites a letter in the Governor Arthur P. Bagby Papers, Alabama State Department of Archives and History, Montgomery. This letter (Dr.Basil Manly to Gov. Arthur P. Bagby, March 11, 1840) Quoting Mellown," Manly gave complete instructions for the interior and exterior details of the buildings in his letter to the governor." If you get this letter, please make me a copy.

Mellown states that only #1 and #4 served as slave quarters but I argue that slaves lived in all four.

Ironies concerning the 4 slave cabins:

The University does not claim that these four antebellum buildings survived the burning of the University by the Yankees. The water to put out the fire inside the Mansion came from #2. The University considers the four buildings to be dependencies of the Mansion so instead of 8 buildings surviving the fire, visitors are always told that 4 buildings(The Mansion, the Observatory, The Round House, and the Gorgas House) survived.

When the parking lots are clear, you can stand where Wallace stood in front of Foster, look over your left shoulder and see the east wall of Slave Cabin #4 ( Peggy and Dot were Sorensen's maids and I think Dot is still there. They have the keys to the 4 buildings)

Manly did not identify the four buildings on his survey map of the University(see Illustrated History of U. of A.) and they are, as far as I can tell, the only buildings on campus not identified on present day University campus maps.

You can do some pretty good population studies from the information available. Manly slaves multiplied quickly. Let me know if find out where Manly's Tuscaloosa plantation was located. I would think that it would be on the river in the direction of Moundville.

Check out the Faculty minutes because slaves are mentioned frequently because students were disciplined for attacking them. I'm pretty sure that the only times that students were disciplined was when their attack disturbed the peace or injured the slave to point where medical treatment was needed. I believe you could look into the lives of the worst offenders and find that they had tormented their own family's servants.

Of course slaves worked Marr's Field but the Board of Trustees purchased their first slave in 1828. This slave,Ben, worked with the architect but he was sold after work was completed.

Pretty sure you'll find that Board preferred to hire slaves from town rather than owning them, however, in 1860, Bama decided to go whole hog and really get into the slave trade when they sent George Benaugh to Lynchburg with $7000 to buy slaves ( letter- Benaugh to Henry Snow August 21, 1860)

More later. Gotta go pick my son up at Scouts.



>To: "robert register"
>Subject: RE: your research on slave quarters at UA?
>Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 12:49:58 -0600
>Thanks so much--looking forward to seeing it.
>Best, Alfred
>On 9 Mar 2004, at 15:44, robert register wrote:
>Hey Great!
>Not much on the blog but that will change soon. I have identified
>many slaves who worked on campus and I have investigated the
>Barnard affair at Ole Miss.I'll put all this together for you.
>Thisstory of slavery at the university is a common theme at
>U.Va., UNC,College of S.C., UGA and Ole Miss.
>The Gorgas Library has a great book on slave cabin archaeology
>at one of Jefferson's plantations.
>Manly's group of slaves increased to the point where he had to
>build a plantation in order to work all of them.
>Also the Garland slaves may have accompanied Garland to
>Vanderbilt after the war.
> More later.
> rr
> >From:
> >Reply-To:
> >To:
> >Subject: your research on slave quarters at UA?
> >Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2004 16:00:11 -0600
> >
> >Dear Mr. Register,
> >
> >Ben Windham of the Tuscaloosa News tells me that you've done
> >some important work on slave quarters on the UA campus.I'd
> >most appreciative if you would point me to the place on your
> >where you discuss your work--or if you have a paper to share,
> >appreciate that as well.
> >
> >I'm giving a talk in a couple of weeks on slavery at the UA--
> >largely on trustee minutes and Manly's diary, but also on Sellers
> >and A. James Fuller's biography of Manly and a couple of other
> >secondary sources.I'd like to add something on slave quarters.
> >
> >Best wishes, Alfred
> >
> >
> >Alfred L. Brophy, Professor of Law
> >University of Alabama
> >101 Bryant Drive East
> >Box 870382
> >Tuscaloosa, AL35487-0382
> >Facsimile: 205.348.5829
>Alfred L. Brophy, Professor of Law
>University of Alabama
>101 Bryant Drive East
>Box 870382
>Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0382
>Facsimile: 205.348.5829
>Voice: 205.348.0841



Sunday, March 07, 2004


Seminole Ramlin's

February 22, 2004

We see today young men and young ladies makin big bucks in the real estate bizniss. This is great, however, one must look at the first real estate man in our area. Mr. John Forbes of Cuba had a land grant from the King of Spain for the entire shoreline from Destin to the mouth of the Appalachicola River. He then bought 1.2 acres of land from the natives for 5 cents per acre reaching from St. Vincent Island to near the town of Quincy, Fla. west of the Ocklochnee River. When Mr. Forbes died it took 100 years of Court proceedings which took away his Spanish land grant and left his family members deeply in debt. One must be careful because a lawsuit lasting 100 years will get rite expensive.

Ya know you're catching fish when the owners of the lake show their concern. No problem with any of the 4 pound channel catfish. No problem with the two and three quarter pound Crappie; in fact, catch all the crappie out of the whole lake but catch a 5 pound bass and a four and three quarter pound bass one weekend and then come out and catch a 4 pound bass the next weekend- suddenly ya got problems. No problem- it's all politics. Time to start hiding the bass I catch.

Found out today that my Grandfather Register's Daddy's oldest brother, William Duncan Register, Pvt. Co. D. 1st AL, TN, MS Infantry(died July 13, 1862) is buried in downtown Chicago along with 6000 other barefooted Rebel Sons of Bitches. Seeing the monument and knowing that nothing marked their 6000 graves until 30 years after their death is not a comforting thought. Not only that, the neglect and torture they endured has been effectively suppressed by the Yankees.Check out what happens when you fight and die for your country and your country loses the War.

Hope ya'll enjoyed the weekend.