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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 156, May 23, 1858

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Identifier: DX02065093

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 156, May 23, 1858

Description: Describes Louisa Jacobs, daughter of Harriet Jacobs.


American never cared a jot for his [Samuel Sawyer's] slave mistress [Harriet Jacobs] or her children [Louisa and Joseph Jacobs] by him. See the cruel wrong bred by this. This girl, Louisa Jacobs is intelligent and handsome. I have sketched her heretofore but will do it now more minutely. No European would suspect the African blood in her veins; probably she would be considered a trifle Jewish. (Most likely the name was selected for that purpose.) She has the most beautifully silky black hair I ever saw, without exception, on human head. Only a rich glossy ripple — such as young ladies produce artificially, now a days — hints at the dreaded kink, the wool characterizing the unhappy race. Her nose is aquiline and delicate, her eyes fine and lustrous, her teeth white, her complexion a warm yellow. Looking at her full face, you think it perfect — that it could not be bettered, but the profile is a little too thin — it lacks fullness, and suggests haggardness towards the decline of life. The girl has a sweet, soft, contralto voice, was kind, modest and self respective, and I do believe would make any man a good, loving wife. I've never seen any one white American girl whom I'd have chosen in preference, and I've seen hundreds everyway her inferior. (I've never, for five minutes, admitted the possibility of marrying aught but an English girl — no more than I have mating out of my own species.) Well, this girl can never be married and admitted into society on this side of the Atlantic. Her poor black mother would come and sit at her husband's table, her relatives, too. And this, in republican America, would taboo them. They thought Ed. Wells was affected towards her, and [Jesse] Haney told me that "it might have been" but for her origin. Had I loved such a girl, that shouldn't have stopped me, nor all the Americans

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1858-05-23

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: African Americans


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