Pictures of Slaves Whipped Pictures of Slave Traders Who Were the Slave Traders Execution of Slaves Slave Whipped in United States Whipping Scars On Back Nathaniel Gordon Slave Trader Runaway Slave Gordon
| Pictures of Slaves Whipped | Pictures of Slave Traders | Who Were the Slave Traders | Execution of Slaves | Slave Whipped in United States | Whipping Scars On Back | Nathaniel Gordon Slave Trader | Runaway Slave Gordon |
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Antique colored slide of Gordon during his 1863 medical examination
|Known for||Pivotal figure in exposing the brutality of slavery|
Gordon was a slave on a Mississippi plantation who made his escape from bondage in March 1863. In order to foil the scent of the blood-hounds who were chasing him, he took onions from his plantation, which he carried in his pockets. After crossing each creek or swamp, he rubbed his body freely with these onions in order to throw the dogs off his scent. He fled over 80 miles (130 km) over the course of ten days before reaching Union soldiers who were stationed in Baton Rouge.
Upon arrival at the Union camp, Gordon underwent a medical examination which revealed severe keloid scars from several whippings. During the examination, Gordon is quoted as saying "Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping. My master come after I was whipped; he discharged the overseer." The carte de visite images showing Gordon's scars were frequently used by abolitionists, giving Northerners visual evidence of the brutality of slavery.
Gordon served the Union troops as a guide, and on one expedition was taken prisoner by the rebels, who, infuriated beyond measure, tied him up and beat him, leaving him for dead. He survived, however, and once more made his escape to Union lines. Gordon soon afterwards enlisted in a Colored Troops Civil War unit, and was said to have fought bravely in the Union assault on Port Hudson in May 1863, the first time that African-American soldiers played a leading role in an assault.
The Atlantic's editor-in-chief James Bennet noted "Part of the incredible power of this image I think is the dignity of that man. He's posing. His expression is almost indifferent. I just find that remarkable. He's basically saying, 'This is a fact.'"
|Gordon in 1863 after his escape from slavery|
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