Smuggling and the Exigencies of Citizenship during the Civil War
This chapter studies the language of President Lincoln’s naval blockade of Southern ports on April 19, 1861, which frames the South as a “rebellious state” and severely limits the lawful commercial activities that are allowed to take place in Southern coastal waters. This event catalyzes a long series of debates around diplomatic recognition, as well as revitalizes debates about property, sovereignty, and piracy. These debates taking place on an international stage, however, are expressions of anxieties regarding property and recognition (read: the recognition of the individual body as citizen) taking place in the South. This chapter reads Eliza McHatton Ripley’s From Flag to Flag: A Woman’s Adventures and Experiences in the South During the War, in Mexico, and in Cuba (1889) and Loreta Janeta Velazquez’s The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez (1876) alongside contemporaneous memoires that describe commercial during the blockade, to illustrate the pervasive anxieties regarding recognition and commercial life at this historical moment. In this case, the Confederacy’s lack of access to property, its isolation from international markets, and its deprivation of diplomatic recognition, is a reflection of the experiences of dispossession and lack of recognition endured at a personal scale by Southerners at this time period.
Keywords: Eliza McHatton Ripley, Loreta Janeta Velazquez, From Flag to Flag: A Woman’s Adventures and Experiences in the South During the War, in Mexico, and in Cuba, The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Civil War, Confederacy, Blockade runner, Cotton, Smuggling, Travelogue
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