Self Learns New Things Every Day

So far, in her reading of The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of Civil War, by Jonathan Daniel Wells, self has learned that:

  • “The classic dish Lobster Newburg, according to legend, was actually developed by” a wealthy slave trafficker named Ben Weinberg, a prominent member of the New York Maritime Exchange.
  • The biggest slave traders “were natives of Portland, Maine . . . that town was infamous for helping to outfit ships” for the slave trade.
  • One of the most prominent defenders of the slave trade was a lawyer named Gilbert Dean, a graduate of Yale and justice of the New York Supreme Court whose law firm, Beebe, Dean, and Donohue, on 76 Wall Street, “not only aggressively defended accused slavers, but also sued accusers for libel,” which included “officers of the British navy” who had apprehended the captain of a slave ship and pressed charges against the ship’s captain and its owners.
  • The SDNY was so famously nonchalant for “prosecuting slavers” that a Captain Cornelius E. Driscoll boasted that “you don’t have to worry about facing trial in New York City . . . I can get any man off in New York for $1,000.”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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