Thursday, February 12, 2009

Archy Lee in Sacramento

The February issue of Midtown Monthly features an article I wrote on a bit of little-known local African American history: the Archy Lee slave trial. It's posted on the MM website here:

I looked high and low for a picture of Hackett House, or the building where the State Supreme Court met in 1858, but had no success. Tim, editor extraordinaire, used a commonly-used engraving used in runaway slave advertisements as the illustration for the piece. The engraving method used to print this sort of image is commonly known as a stereotype.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I think that picture may not exist because that time period is always represented in the Supreme Court histories with a photo of people in rowboats on K Street. Although maybe the rowboat photos is just better than a picture of a building.

If such a picture exists, it is probably on the wall at the 350 McAllister Street in San Francisco, the main location of the California Supreme Court. The walls outside the courtroom display a pictorial history of the court, including some snide comments about why the court is no longer in Sacramento. (The justices felt that Sacramento was a fetid swamp, that vultures were known to drop from the sky when flying over the city, and the water and whiskey were inferior to San Francisco's. We get the last laugh, as the court now meets in the middle of the Tenderloin.)

Great article.