Names On Record
NAMES ON RECORD
A JOURNAL FEATURING VIRGINIANS OF AFRICAN DESCENT
By C. V. Brooks
Names on Record features eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth-century Virginians of African descent. In the journal, ordinary people live American's extraordinary history on record at the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and other repositories.
Relying heavily upon the massive Civil War records at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., Names on Record stresses the Union Navy. Although the journal emphasizes Virginians of African descent, a single page of a record may note persons of varying backgrounds. This is especially true of the muster rolls naming crew members in the interracial, multicultural U.S. Navy. Thus, in showing black Virginians named on Record, this work necessarily presents a broader picture.
In 1861, notwithstanding those African Americans who managed to serve in some white regiments, the U.S. Army's official policy forbade the enlistment of black Americans slave or free. Meanwhile, numerous free and fugitive black men continued to add their names to the muster rolls of the U.S. Navy, in which black men had always served.
Slaves fleeing to blockading Union ships presented political, ethical, and logistical problems for Navy captains, who constantly questioned their superiors about procedure. To reject, return, transport, or enlist these fugitives were issues requiring clarification.
Names on Record includes:
Lists of Certain Virginia Slaves Escaping to the Union Navy
Names and Residences of the Various Virginia Slaveholders
Names, Birthplaces, and Ages of Numerous Virginia Sailors of African Descent
Letters Written by Union Officers
Photographs of Union Ships and Men
Muster Roll of a First-Class Frigate
preparing to leave Boston for Hampton Roads in 1863
*Virginia-born black men
*Integrated crew of 610 sailors
born in the U.S. and other areas, including Antigua and St. Kitts (West Indies), St.
Helena, Azores, Cape de Verde, England, Finland, France, Ireland, Portugal, Russia,
Scotland, and Sweden.
(Of the 610 sailors on the roll, 75 (12.3%) are described as black, Negro, mulatto,
quadroon, or octoroon.)
Muster Roll of a Gunboat, a Converted New York Ferry,
soon to sweep the James River for mines when
Grant orders Butler to move toward Richmond in the spring of 1864.
*Integrated crew of 99 men
born in Delaware, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,
Virginia, Washington, D.C., Holland, Ireland, Germany, etc.
*Virginia-born black men
Out of the 99 sailors on the roll, 37 (37.4%) are described as Negro or mulatto.
Counting discharges, transfers to the hospital, a reenlistment, and a desertion, the crew
Thirty-five (39.3%) of these are designated as Negro or mulatto.
Muster Roll of the Hunchback on the James River, 1864
*Integrated crew of 94, of which 28 are described as Negro
*Sailors described as Negro
Representation from Georgia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and
Muster Roll of a Store and Receiving Ship, Norfolk Navy Yard
*Integrated crew born in Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, North
Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North
Carolina, Pennsylvania, Bermuda, Germany, Ireland, Prussia, Scotland, etc.
Muster Roll of the Famous Monitor,
ending a repair trip at the Washington Navy Yard and heading back to Virginia
Extracts from Other Muster Rolls
*Virginia-born contrabands attached to a store, hospital, ordnance, and receiving ship
off Port Royal, South Carolina
*Some sailors attached to an ironclad off Newport News, Virginia
*Some sailors attached to an ordnance vessel at Hampton Roads, Virginia
*Some sailors attached to a coal ship at the Norfolk Navy Yard
Extracts from Other Navy Records
Extracts from a Revolutionary War Pension File
Extracts from Civil War Pension Depositions
Given by Residents and Former Residents of Virginia
Representation from Virginia, D.C., Maryland, and Massachusetts
Price of journal: $65.00 plus $7.00 shipping and handling continental U.S.
Number of pages: 268
Allow 4 weeks for delivery.Send check or money order to:
C. V. Brooks
P.O. Box 23827
Washington, D.C. 20026-3827