AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive
Re: Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson
In Response To: Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson ()
Thanks-Col. Higginson may be new to a lot of folks-but was quite famous in his own right. He was among the abolitionists who freed Anthony Burns from jail in Boston, and earned a sabre cut to his cheek for which he carried a scar the rest of his life. He was an educator, minister, and military historian for Massachusetts after the war. His bibliography of published articles/books/etc covers 34 pages.
Saying all that, he was also a man of his time. Well-educated, and from an elevated NE social circle. As an abolitionist, he had been prominent in a number of Garrisonian efforts. BUT, and here is the caveat...like several others, who were officers of some of the USCT regiments-he had the best intentions within the scope of his background. He, like others was somewhat paternalistic in his views. He was an excellent historian, and took care to document his facts well. He documented among other things, a number of the spirituals in camp, but there is always the sense of his view from a bit more elevated plain-on the outside.
Don't get me wrong, I have read a lot of Higginson, and am using some of his work in my own research-but like Beecher and others, they could only view from the completely different background of wealth and privilege.