Pop-up

Archival Traces of a Tennessee Unionist Enslaver Who Founded a Chicago Suburb

Author
  • Kheir Fakhreldin (Oak Park Public Library)

Abstract

I will present on F. D. Cossitt, the founder of La Grange, Illinois, who before the Civil War was a Tennessee Unionist enslaver of 127 people. Cossitt was awarded $14,102 in 1876 by the Southern Claims Commission as compensation for livestock, crops, and other items taken from his plantations by the Union Army. I will describe his Southern Claims Commission file, which contains testimony by Cossitt, a former Union general, a plantation overseer, and a formerly enslaved person. I will discuss the archival silence around Cossitt’s past enslaving in his representation by the La Grange Area Historical Society and published local histories.

Keywords: Slavery, Cossitt, Chicago, La Grange, Tennessee, Civil War, Illinois, Archival silence, Southern Claims Commission, Enslaved people, Local history, Unionism

How to Cite:

Fakhreldin, K., (2022) “Archival Traces of a Tennessee Unionist Enslaver Who Founded a Chicago Suburb”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations 2022(1).

80 Views

65 Downloads

Published on
06 May 2022