Charles Russell Lowell “liberates” a Luray slave
It’s not a lengthy letter, but this has to be one of my personal favorites among those written by Union soldiers about their encounters with slaves in Page County. When writing to his wife, Josephine, from Staunton on September 27, 1864, Charles Russell Lowell remarked,
I haven’t told you either that, the day before yesterday at Luray, I organized a small black boy, bright enough and well brought up; his name is James, but as we have already two of that name about here, I call him Luray, which is quite aristocratic. You can teach him to read and to write this winter, if you have time. The Doctor thinks you would find more satisfaction in him than in your pupils of Vienna.
I’ve often wondered what happened to James (aka Luray); if he was actually sent to Boston or remained with Lowell up to the time of Lowell’s death at Cedar Creek. I cannot find a reference to anyone with the first name of Luray in postwar census records in the Boston area, but would truly like to know what happened to James.