Slave Torture


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 4, 1863

This site features online versions of all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers allow you to watch the Civil War unfold week by week, just as the people saw it at the time. These papers are full of incredible wood cut illustrations of the key people and battles.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the page of interest)


Rebel Spies

Rebel Spies

McClellan's Loyalty

George McClellan's Loyalty Questioned

Battle Winchester

Battle of Winchester

Before Vicksburg

Before Vicksburg

Battle of Antietam Poem

Battle of Antietam Poem

Battle of Milliken's Bend

Battle of Milliken's Bend

Whipped Slave

Whipped Slave

Slave Torture

Slave Torture

Works Before Vicksburg

Works Before Vicksburg

Milliken's Bend Battle

Milliken's Bend Battle

General Buford's Cavalry Charge

General Buford's Cavalry Charge


Secession Cartoon





[JULY 4, 1863.


(Previous Page) muscles of the back refused longer to perform their office. He was, nevertheless, forced into the field to labor, but being crippled, was unable to move quick enough to suit "Jeems;" so one day, in a fit of passion, he struck him on the head with a heavy stick and killed him.

"Tom" had the consumption, but was forced to work in the cotton-field. One night he was missing from his cabin. Two days afterward his body was found in the field, where he had fallen and died on his way home.

"The poor old slave had gone to rest."

Edmund, belonging on the Widow Gillespie's plantation, has been a witness of or knowing to several cases of punishment by the burning process. Two of these were of girls belonging to the Widow G., in New Orleans, and the others occurring on her "island plantation," before referred to. America, wife of Essex, one of the women in the party, related to me the particulars of one case, as follows: There was a middle-aged woman in the family, named Margaret, who had a nursing child. Mrs. Gillespie ordered Margaret to wean the child. The babe was weakly, and Margaret did not wish to do so. Mrs. G. told her that she would examine her breast the next Monday, and, if she found any milk in it, she would punish her severely. Monday came round, and on that day Margaret's stent was to spin eighteen "broaches"—spools—but she did not finish it. At night the promised examination took place, and the breast of Margaret gave but too convincing proof that, in obedience to the yearnings of a mother's heart, she had spurned the threat of the inhuman mistress. Mrs. G. then ordered the handsaw, the leather strap, and a wash-bawl of water. The woman was laid upon her face, her clothes stripped up to around her neck, and "Becky" and "Jane" were called to hold her hands and feet. Mrs. Gillespie then paddled her with the hand-saw, sitting composedly in a chair over her victim. After striking some one hundred blows she changed to the use of the leather strap, which she would dip into the wash-bowl in order to give it greater power of torture. Under this infliction the screams of the woman died away to a faint moan, but the "sound of the whip" continued until nearly 11 o'clock. "Jane" was then ordered to bring the hot tongs, the woman was turned over upon her back, and Mrs. Gillespie attempted to grasp the woman's nipples with the heated implement. The writhings of the mother, however, foiled her purpose; but between the breasts the skin and flesh were horribly burned.

During this terrible infliction "Jeems" came out of his room and remonstrated with his mother for "using the niXXers so." He "did not wish them punished in that way." Her answer was, "They won't mind me, and I will do with them as I please." Margaret was a long time in recovering from her wounds. Rose Ann, who was child's nurse, was sent upon one occasion to find and bring home a little boy named Tommy, whom his father had taken down town with him after breakfast. The child had been left at Mrs. Turner's, a "grass-widow," living in Camp Street, below Julia. It was found after a second hunt and brought home. Mrs. G. accused Rose of not trying to find the boy at first. She ordered her hands to be crossed and tied over her head; she was placed upon her back on the floor, her hands secured to the balusters and her feet to the extension table. In this position her person was exposed, the poker heated in the stove, and to make the punishment the more humiliating as well as most acute, the hot instrument was applied to the most tender part of her body. She then gave her fifty lashes and let her loose. This horrible idiosyncracy seemed to be a favorite method of torture with the widow. America, who saw and related these facts to the writer, in the presence of several of her fellow-slaves, suffered a similar punishment on the plantation only a few months since. She is a seamstress, and had by mistake served in two sleeves of Mrs. G.'s daughter's dress the wrong way. For this offense she was laid upon a board upon a ladder, her hands and feet secured, and a leather strap and buckle tightly fastened around her stomach and going under the ladder. Having previously placed the tongs in the fire, she ordered them brought and began pinching and burning her about the thighs, abdomen, and other parts until they were baked and stiff. This species of refined torture seemed to be a favorite one with her. On another occasion "America" says she was whipped with a new "yellow cowhide" until her flesh ceased to feel the blows. Mrs. G. then brought a bottle of "No. 6," and with a small sponge wet the lacerated parts with the fiery liquid, causing the most intense torture she ever experienced. Edmund, Essex, and the rest assert that it was a very common thing to see a slave carried by force to the bedroom or the shed-room of Madame for punishment. She would order him to undress, and with her own hands apply the lash until she became exhausted.


SHORTLY after the battle of Waterloo an unlucky pamphlet found its way into Frescati, the conversation-rooms at the watering-place of Bagneres. This pamphlet took pretty much the same odd view of the battle of Toulouse as M. Thiers has recently done of Waterloo. An Englishman chanced to take it up, and wrote on the margin that "every thing in it was false; that Lord Wellington had gained a complete victory, and the French army were indebted to his generosity for not having been put to the sword." A hot young Frenchman of the place, named Pinac, at once called out the indiscreet Englishman. Every thing was done to accommodate matters; and we are told that even the authorities delicately and considerately interfered, so far as moral suasion might be effectual. But all these good offices proved ineffectual, and the representatives of the two nations met on the ground. Poor Pinac gave one more illustration of the insufficiency of this mode of adjusting a quarrel, for at the first fire he received the Englishman's ball in the stomach, and died shortly after.

The season after the first abdication of Napoleon, and more particularly after the battle of Waterloo, was, it is well known, very fruitful in quarrels between French and English officers. That pleasant gossip, Captain Gronow, has furnished many incidents illustrative of this spirit. It is a fact, that the French spent days and nights practicing fencing; and even resorted to the device of dressing up fencing-masters in officers' clothes, and setting them to pick quarrels with the English. It became impossible for these latter to avoid a conflict with men burning with rage and mortification, and determined to insult their conquerors. At Bordeaux, the Frenchmen used to come across the Garonne for the express purpose of picking a quarrel; and as the challenge usually came from the English, the French had the choice of weapons, and invariably selected their favorite small-sword. Strange to say, the result was usually in favor of our countrymen, who, being utterly helpless at carte, and tierce, and all the niceties of the exercise, unconsciously reproduced the scene in Moliere's Bourgeois, rushed on, in defiance of guards and passes, and cut down their enemy at once. In vain the Frenchmen protested that this was "brutal" and "unchivalrous," that it was a crying outrage against "lee regles d'escrime." Stalwart Englishmen stood by their friend, and, producing loaded pistols, threatened to shoot any who attempted to interfere. This system gradually produced a more wholesome state of feeling.

One night a party of English and Irish officers were at the little Theatre de la Gaite, where some

French officers tried the usual devices to engage them in a quarrel. The Frenchmen had their swords, which they drew at once, with the alacrity of their country; unfortunately, the Anglo-Hibernian party had none. They, however, rapidly broke up all the chairs and tables at hand, and converting the fragments into useful weapons of offense, shivered every sword opposed to them, utterly routing their opponents. In the delicate situation in which the occupying army was placed, there was an inclination to make every allowance for wounded sensibilities; but it was found impossible to brook the offensive behavior of the natives, and their studious insults. And the English authorities knew the temper of the situation so well, that none of the surviving offenders were visited with severe punishment.


Lake Superior Line



Iron City, and Northern Light.

One of the above Steamers will leave DETROIT, MICHIGAN, at 10 o'clock, A.M., on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday of each week, during season of Navigation, for all Points on Lake Superior.

Leaving CLEVELAND on the previous evening at 8 o'clock P.M.

The Fare by these Steamers, including board and rooms, is only about 2 1/2 cents per mile, cheaper than any other Pleasure Route in the world.

For further Information see Season Cards.

Sent free by mail for 60 cents.

Dyspepsia Tablets,

For INDIGESTION, HEARTBURN, &c.— Manufactured only by

S. G. WELLING, No. 207 Centre St., New York. Price 50 cents per box. Sold by Druggists generally.

Note Papers and Wedding Cards.

Tiffany & Co.,

Nos. 550 and 552 Broadway,

Would respectfully inform their Patrons and the general Public, that they have recently re-arranged and considerably extended the STATIONERY DEPARTMENT of their FANCY GOODS ESTABLISHMENT, and have now unequalled facilities for furnishing the latest styles of

Correspondence and Wedding Stationery,

Cards of all sizes and shapes, engraved upon the premises with punctuality and dispatch. Initials stamped, colored or plain, in ordinary text or originally designed monogram. A choice assortment De la Rue's and Asprey's Writing Cases, Dispatch Boxes, Note and Letter Papers, as well as the last French styles, constantly for sale.


Manufacturing Jewelers, 208 Broadway, New York.


Important to Tourists. Mr. Semmons begs to inform the Travelling Public that he has consented to open a branch of his store at

No. 123 Broadway, opp. Post Office,


where may be found a splendid assortment of his celebrated Spectacles, Eye-Glasses, Single and Double Telescopes of immense power; Field and Marine Glasses, Opera Glasses, &c., &c.; also, his newly invented Vest-Pocket Double Glass, of the greatest transparent power, suitable for tourists and sportsmen.

The business in New York will still be open. Catalogues sent free by enclosing stamp.

SEMMONS, Oculist's Optician,

669 1/2 Broadway, opp. Bond St., N. Y.

LANDS.—A Rare Opportunity for all Wanting Farms, in the large New England settlement of Hammonton, 30 miles southeast of Philadelphia; fine climate; best fruit soil and markets in the Union; $15 to $20 per acre. Terms easy. For full information apply to R. J. BYRNES, Hammonton, New Jersey. Letters answered. Route to the land.—Leave Vine Street Wharf, Philadelphia, at 7 1/2 A. M. or 3 1/2 P. M. for Hammonton.

Musquito Shield or Guard.

J. HAVENS PATENT.—For the Army, Navy, Travelers, Sick or Wounded, or any one who is troubled with musquitoes, flies, or dust. Price from 87 cents to $2. Sample sent free on receipt of $1.25. Send for circular.

HAVEN & CO., Manufacturers,

No 80 Nassau St., Room No. 23, N. Y.


One Hoe News Press, Double Cylinder, Bed 36x60. Price $1500.

One Taylor Drum Cylinder, four Rollers, Table Distribution, Bed 38x51. Price $1750.

One Taylor Double Cylinder, five Rollers, Table Distribution, Bed 38x51. Price $3500.

Apply to HARPER & BROTHERS, 329 Pearl St., N.Y.


AT YOUR OWN HOMES.—THOUSANDS CAN REALIZE A HUNDRED DOLLARS WEEKLY.—No utensils required except those found in every household; profits 100 per cent.; demand staple as flour. It is the greatest discovery of the age. Full particulars sent on receipt of two stamps for return postage. Address C. MUNRO, BROWN & CO., No. 74 Bleecker Street, N. Y.

150 Needled 25 Cents.

BARTLETT'S BURNISHED NEEDLES "Sew Easier." All sizes. Free by mail. Bartlett's Needle and Sewing Machine Furnishing Depot, 442 Broadway, N. Y.





Spring Mantillas

Took place this Week at

300 Canal Street.

Never before has he made a better
And claims still to be

"The Leader of Fashions."




NOTICE. —HOSTETTER'S BITTERS. — SEA-SICKNESS CURED.—Let us whisper in the ears of all who go down to the sea in ships, that HOSTETTER'S STOMACH BITTERS positively, immediately, and infallibly cure nausea at sea. Brandy has been tried within, plasters have been tried without—a thousand nostrums have been recommended for this most depressing and overwhelming drawback on the pleasures of a sea voyage. They have all failed—utterly failed. But the proprietors of HOSTETTER'S BITTERS stake their reputation on the efficacy of the preparation as a means of calming and strengthening the nauseated stomach during the stormiest voyage. It is certain to act in one of two ways; it may either stay the perturbed stomach at once, and restore the appetite for food, or it may cause a discharge of the contents of the organs, to be followed almost instantly by an entire relief from sea-sickness, and a renewed relish for the good things of life. That it will effect the desired object in one of these ways is as certain as that morn will follow midnight.

No landsman, and, above all, no lady, should go to sea without a supply of HOSTETTER'S BITTERS—the purest tonic and the most powerful restorative extant.

Sold by all druggists and family grocers.

Hostetter's Stomach Bitters,





 is a rare compound of stimulating extracts from Flowers, Roots, and Herbs, for the GROWTH, BEAUTY, and PERMANENT VIGOR of the HAIR.

"Beneficial where the hair requires a gentle stimulant."         Dr. CHILTON.

"Have never had any thing which so perfectly answers the purpose of a hair-dressing."


   No. 227 Canal Street, New York.

"After being BALD for over seven years, your AMBOLINE has covered the entire scalp with NEW HAIR."

Prof. JOHN SENIA, No. 25 King St., New York.

For sale by all Druggists and Fancy Dealers. Put up in boxes, containing two bottles; price $1. Manufactured and for sale wholesale by


No. 506 Broadway, New York.

BLOOD & CO., Manufacturers and Importers, Office 335 Broadway, Moffatt's Building, cor. Worth Street, Manufacturers of superior Needles for all Sewing Machines. Send for Circular.

$60 A MONTH! We want Agents at $60 a month, expenses paid, to sell our Everlasting Pencils, Oriental Burners, and 13 other new and curious articles. 15 circulars free. SHAW & CLARK, Biddeford, Me.


—Genuine goods. Also, the best Fountain Pen in the world. One filling will write 8 to 12 hours. Send for circular. GEO. F. HAWKES, Manuf., 64 Nassau St., N. Y.

DR. WITFIELD'S VEGETABLE PILLS are infallible for Fistula, Blind and Bleeding Piles. Price 50 cents per box. Sold by all Druggist Reference to ladies and gentlemen from all parts of the country can be had at office of the Proprietor, J. YOUNG, No. 481 Broadway, N. Y.





The Subscribers have this day issued their

Annual Turnip Seed Circular,

Designed to convey information exclusively to those who deal in Seeds, whether regular Seedemen, country Druggists, Booksellers, or Merchants. It will be mailed without charge to all such who may apply.

Here it may be only necessary to state that the varieties of Turnips offered by the advertisers are the most approved, and that



Raised with critical care, and will prove to be entitled to the highest confidence.


No. 21 and 23 South Sixth Street,


$15 Per Day Easy $15

And a Watch Free. Employment for everybody, male and female. 100,000 men, women, and children wanted to act as our Agents in every Town and Village throughout the U. S. to sell our immensely popular, unexcelled, and valuable extra large size PRIZE STATIONERY, RECIPES, and YANKEE NOTION PACKAGES, containing fine Writing Materials, such as Paper, Pens, Pencils, Envelopes, Blotters, Beautiful Emblems, Ladies' Fashion Plates, Designs for Needlework, Cottage Keepsakes, Household Companions, Camp Companions (for Soldiers), Parlor Amusements, Letter Writer's Guide, Medical Preparations, Many Ways to Get Rich, Likenesses of Military Heroes, Union Designs, Gents' Pocket Calendars for 1863, YANKEE NOTIONS of all kinds, rich and costly Presents of Fashionable Jewelry, Rare Recipes, Games, Army Advice, &c., &c., &c., the whole worth, if bought separately, many dollars. Price each Package ONLY 25 cents retail. Wholesale rates to Agents very low, from 100 TO 200 PER CENT PROFIT ALLOWED, Our Packages stand same as ever, alone, and above all competitors, and have long been acknowledged as the leading and only real valuable and standard Articles of the kind now manufactured. Packages of all descriptions put up by the 1000 for Sutlers, Peddlers, Wholesale Dealers, &c. Goods sent by Express safe to ALL PARTS of the army South or Southwest. A SPLENDID SOLID SILVER WATCH, ENGLISH MOVEMENTS, and correct timepiece presented FREE to each person who acts as our agent. Send for our NEW Circulars, containing Extra Premium Inducements, sent free. S. C. RICKARDS & CO., 102 Nassau St., N. Y. The Great Original, Largest, and Oldest Prize Package House in the World.

$2 positively made from 20 Cents.—something urgently needed by every person. 10 samples sent free by mail for 20 cents that retails for $2, by

R. L. WOLCOTT, 170 Chatham Square, N. Y.


We want Agents in every Town and County to sell our Great, New, Indispensable, Novel, and Complete Champion Prize Stationery Variety and Yankee Notion Packages; containing finest quality Writing Material, Yankee Notions, Soldier's Friend, Housekeeper's Companion, Portraits of Generals, Fifty sure Ways to get Rich, Needles, Pins, Buttons, Thread, &c., &c. Contents of Package worth over $2.00, all for 25 cents. We give a fine Watch, warranted correct timekeeper, to every agent. Our Agents are now making $15.00 per day easy. We also give one Elegant gift of Fine Jewelry from our own factory with every package. Send for New Circular, or call on

RICHARDS & Co., 37 and 39 Naesau St., N. Y. Box 3131. Most Extensive Agency House in the U. S.


The greatest Book ever published. Satifaction guaranteed to every one. Sent to any address on receipt of ten cents.


      37 and 39 Nassau Street, N. Y.

$15.00 PER DAY.

Agents wanted all through the country to sell our New Style CARD THERMOMETERS (eight different patterns); also, 20 other new and useful patented Articles. Great Chance.   Box 3131.

RICHARDS & Co., 37 and 39 Nassau St., N. Y. Agents wanted everywhere to sell our Celebrated Crystal Cement. Warranted to stand Hot Water and Fire, and mend every Article. Fine Watch, correct timekeeper, that will sell for $15, given free to every Agent. One elegant prize of Rich Jewelry, New Style, given with every bottle. Box 3131. RICHARDS & Co., 37 and 39 Nassau St., N. Y. P. S.—One dozen Bottles Cement and 12 rich prizes sent on receipt of $1.75.

Ladies' Ready-Made Undergarments


Linen, Cambric, and Muslin.

Store 1143 Broadway, near 26th St.

Sizes, Patterns, Qualities, and Prices in assortment intended to fully meet the need of any Lady unexpectedly in want of such, or preferring the avoidance of home labor. Orders from abroad faithfully executed by express, C.O.D. List of Prices mailed if requested.

$10 per day nett profit.—Agents wanted for a light wholesale business. Send stamp for a circular to C. F. shults, Troy New York.



Acknowledged by all who have used it to be, in all respects, unequaled. Sent free by mail. Liberal discount to agents and the trade. HANNAH & CO., No. 104 John Street, N. Y. Send for a circular.

$75 A MONTH! I want to hire Agents in every county at $75 a month, expenses paid, is sell my new cheap Family Sewing Machines. Address,

S. MADISON, Alfred, Maine.

Phelan & Collender, Sole Manufacturers.





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