Final Story Rough Draft

There are several stories that can be told from the Albany Militia Muster Roster. From how the small militia looked, to the jobs that they had in their normal lives. It’s very interesting to see where the individuals come from and how old they were when they originally enlisted. There is certainly a lot of personal information provided in the roster that paints a very descriptive story. The story that one of my visual focuses on are the racial backgrounds where these soldiers come from. I sorted and grouped the different complexions provided and assumed the description of the competition is correlated with their race. For example I grouped “Black, Brown, Negro, Dark and Swarthy” assuming that they are all African Americans. A also grouped “Fair, Pale, Ready, Reddy, Ruddy, and Sandy” with the assumption that they all are Caucasian. And then I left Indians alone because they are Native to the land. I also excluded “Freckled” and “Pockpitted” because they both can be used to describe Indians, Blacks and Whites. I thought that this would be an interesting way to sort this data because all of these individuals made the voluntary decision to sign up for this Militia, and they come from all walks of life. Especially during this time period, there was a very large gap in social equality between blacks, whites and Indians. One would assume that a majority of the soldiers on this muster roster would be White because they have a whole lot more to lose and they were treated a whole lot better by society. I would have thought that since society has been so oppressive towards African Americans, there would be a tremendous dividend between the two with the Whites in the majority. Much to my surprise, the African Americans were in the majority leading by well over 100. I found this very interesting and once I saw this, I had to ask myself was this all voluntary? Maybe it was and they just had a love for the country and a desire to defend it. Another interesting fact is that there was only individuals that fell under the category of “Indian”. However I will admit that I was not entirely surprised. Foreign powers were coming into their land and trying to control it. Why would they want to sign up for a fight that really has nothing to do with them because either way, there will be a foreign country controlling their way of life.

One thought on “Final Story Rough Draft

  • April 18, 2016 at 5:59 PM

    What do you mean with “Foreign powers were coming into their land and trying to control it” with regard to Native Americans? Your reasoning isn’t quite clear here, in part due to some organizational issues. Be careful with your proofreading and organization, even in short drafts. You’ve got several typos and no visible organization, which makes your writing difficult to follow in places. Remember that clarity and organization is important for the final post.

    You have an interesting observation with African Americans in your set, but the way you’ve done your grouping on complexion is really skewing things–if you map your data and look at the birthplaces of some of these black, brown, and dark guys, the majority of them were born in England, France and Germany–so they’re probably not of African descent! I’ve mentioned this a couple times in class–people used skin color terms differently in the 18th century than we use them today. Someone who looks like me might have been described as “black” or “dark” because I have dark hair and dark eyes, even though I’d now be described as white. So just because someone is described as “black” in your 18th century data doesn’t mean that they had African ancestry as we mean when we say black or African American now! You’ll want to break that category back apart–maybe two separate categories, black, dark and brown in one, and Negro and Mulatto in another.

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