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Alexis Ferry Journal: Volume 3
This volume begins with a short poem by Victor Hugo, in which he rejoiced in the outcome of the Civil War, on a page Ferry entitled "Blagues! Blagues! (Jokes! Jokes!) humbug." Ferry then listed his complaints about the supposed "solicitude of the government", noting the new laws of free labor enacted during the era of Reconstruction. On the following page, Ferry outlines a way to get around the abolition of slavery with a "fair contract to make the Negro work and which would succeed with the laws of the state, as much as there is hope with the emancipated Negro." He wrote an entry on Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's opinion on the Civil War, which supports Ferry's opinion of the war being unjust, as well as his reflections on the duties of a father (toward his children) On February 1, 1871, Ferry addressed his children in an entry that shared the economic difficulties he was having, bemoaning the freedom of the slaves, their supposed unreliability and their indolence, and what he deemed was the government's favor of the slave over the planter. Later though, in October 1865, he wrote that it looked like things were turning around and that the South, in spite of being defeated, had reason to hope it could be politically reintegrated. He included the labor contracts for his workers (for 1866), including their duties, compensations, and benefits. On May 1, 1866, Ferry's plantation had apparently been affected by drought. That same month, misfortune struck again; he received a pommade from a doctor for a skin ailment on May 7 (indicating that he may have had an illness), and his daughter Coralie was suffering from dysentery with a fever the very next day. A recipe reappears for Cholera in this volume, perhaps indicating that Ferry has recontracted the disease. He once again wrote about what he perceived as the religious fanaticism in Puritan-influenced America, theism (Catholicism, in particular), and about the great value of the women in his life. There are several drawings of machinery, of structures (planned additions to his home), and of snakes (aptly placed in several entries in derision of the North). He was considering planting several new crops, including the Sida plant and ramie. He believed "La ramie relèvera Le Sud" (ramie will relieve the South) and listed the benefits of the cultivation of ramie and the instructions for the preparation of its fibers. In sharing the situation in the South in March 1868, he claimed that "never in any era in history has a people been more unhappy than those who live in the South." There are lists of his 1865 & 1866 living expenses. The journal ends with a record of the costs of running his sugar mill.
Tulane University Digital Library
Civil War, 1861-1865
12.75x8.25x1, 364 pages
Alexis Ferry journals, Manuscripts Collection 331, Louisiana Research Collection, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118
Digital rights are held by Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws. Physical rights are held by Louisiana Research Collection, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana