American Esoterica: African Americans and Oxen


Slaves Fording River
Rappahannock River, Virginia; African Americans who escaped bondage ford the Rappahannock during the Civil War, 1862
• Image Source: Library of Congress
• Created / Published: 1862 August.
• Photograph from the main eastern theater of the Civil War, Bull Run, 2nd Battle of, Va., 1862, July-August 1862.
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This post is filed under the category “Esoterica”: humans have more than one four-legged friend, as we can see:

Plowing-in-South-Carolina,-by-Jame-E.-Taylor,-is-from-Frank-Leslie's-Illustrated-Newspaper,-dated-October-20,-1866
Plowing in South Carolina, from a sketch by Jas. E. Taylor; James E.Taylor artist; 1866; Illus. in: Frank Leslie’s illustrated newspaper, v. 23, no. 577 (1866 October 20), p. 76.
• Image Source: Library of Congress; Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-134227; Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
•  Created/Published: 1866 Oct. 20.
• Print shows a freedman plowing with a primitive plow.

Couple-with-Ox-2
African American man and woman seated in wooden ox-drawn cart, circa 1880
• Image Source: Loewentheil Collection of African-American Photographs, #08043, accessed 2 October 2018.

Street Scene Savannah Georgia 1880s
“The lightening express, Savannah, Georgia”; African American with bull-drawn wagon; by photographer George Baker, 1886.
• Image Source: Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “The lightening express, Savannah, Georgia.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections, retrieved from “http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-ee5d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99”; on September 3, 2015.

50-Ox-and-Mule-Team
No. 50, Ox & Mule Team, Thomas County, Georgia, by photographer  A. W. Möller, circa 1895
• Image Source: Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norman and Sandra Lindley, accessed 2 October 2018.
• Unidentified elderly African American man is next to a four-wheeled cart pulled by an ox and mule.

Black American Real Photo Postcard - African American Family Ox Drawn Cart NCUnidentified African American family with ox cart; details unknown; described as being from North Carolina
• Image Source: Pinterest, from an image on eBay.

Woman and child in ox driven cartWoman and child on ox-driven cart, late-19th century
• Image Source: Loewentheil Collection of African-American Photographs, #08043, accessed 2 October 2018.
• Unidentified African American Woman and child on cart

Man with ox cart and supplies
Man sitting on ox-drawn cart, Thomasville, Georgia, by photographer  A. W. Möller, late-19th century
• Image Source: Loewentheil Collection of African-American Photographs, #08043, accessed 2 October 2018.
• Unidentified African American man sits on loaded cart drawn by ox with a whip in his hand.

White-Man's-Bar
No. 1018, White Man’s Bar, Thomas H. Lindsey, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, 1895-1910
• Source: Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, Gift from the Liljenquist Family Collection. OBJECT NUMBER: 2016.166.16
• A cabinet card with a black-and-white print of an unidentified man drinking from a jug while sitting in a wagon. The title “White Man’s Bar” is printed in white in the lower right corner of the image, inferring that the African American man in the wagon is drinking alcohol in the street because he is not allowed into the whites only bar. The series title (“The Land of the Sky”)and photographer name are printed in dark blue ink on the bottom and sides of the mount. A descriptive narrative about the series, “The Land of the Sky,” is printed in black ink on the back of the tan card mount.

Unidentified African American couple in an ox cart - Quincy, Florida
Unidentified African American couple in an ox cart – Quincy, Florida. circa 1900.
• Image Source: State Archives of Florida,  Florida Memory, accessed 2 October 2018.

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One thought on “American Esoterica: African Americans and Oxen

  1. The plow in the picture of the man plowing with an ox looks like a John Deere steel plow to me. Not what I’d call a primitive plow. Unless you count all single plows pulled by animals as primitive. The steel plow revolutionized agriculture in America. It may have hastened the Civil War since the competition for the land opened up in Kansas by its invention was the first armed conflict of what became the Civil War.

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