John Noland

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John Noland (1844 – June 25, 1908) was an enslaved man who was the personal servant of bushwhacker William C. Quantrill during the American Civil War.[1] Noland was a chattel slave owned by Francis Asbury Noland in Jackson County, Missouri.[2]

In 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation which did not apply to border states like Missouri.[3] Slavery was still legal there and in Kansas where many of Quantrill's actions occurred.[4] There is no conclusive evidence Asbury Noland freed Noland.[5] That same year, Noland may have helped with scouting Lawrence, Kansas before the massacre by Quantrill's men which killed over 143 people.

Life with Quantrill Raiders[edit]

According to one historian, several white men in Quantrill’s guerilla group shared Noland’s last name and might have been familial relations.[6][7][8] In this time period, it was not unusual for slaveholders to send a servant to camp to perform menial tasks or to “hire out” slaves. It is unknown how John Noland became William Quantrill’s servant and hostler.

In a 1904 letter from William H. Gregg to William E. Connolley, Gregg wrote that he “cornered” John Noland about his role in the Lawrence raid. Noland confirmed that Asbury Noland was his one-time owner. He did not want to cause trouble by talking about the incident but admitted he was sent to Lawrence to spy. He maintained that he had not met up with Quantrill before the raid.[9]

In his memoir,[10] Andrew Walker described Noland as a “brave, resourceful fellow.” Walker was also clear on another claim, "no negro ever fought with us as a regular member of the band". Walker explained that Noland was not a fighter but "John would have done so" had Quantrill allowed it.[11]

Reunion Attendance & Death[edit]

Post-war pictures show Noland, an African-American, sitting with his comrades at reunions of the Raiders.[12] Noland tried to attend most of the reunions and was popular among other Quantrill veterans, who described him as "a man among men."[13]

A newspaper article covering the 1905 reunion and his obituary emphasize Nolands’ devotion to Quantrill as a personal servant.[14][15] John Noland died at the Kansas City Poor Farm at 64 years old.[16] During his life, Noland experienced 21 years in chattel slavery, (1844-1865), 12 years of Reconstruction (1865-1877), and 31 years of Jim Crow laws (1877-1908).

Pop Culture[edit]

In the 1999 movie Ride with the Devil, depicting a group of fictionalized Missouri bushwhackers similar to those of Quantrill's Raiders, the character of Daniel Holt was representative of Quantrill's John Noland. The film depicted him including his discomfort with his fellow bushwhackers' racism. The film also shows the fictional Holt participating in Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, Kansas.

Ride with the Devil, received criticism from 2 historians for blurring the lives of John Noland and the fictional Daniel Holt. They claimed that, some fans have also confused the motivations expressed by Holt in the film, to the real John Noland.[17][18] Contrary to the film, John Noland was not free. He revealed his enslaved status during the war. Francis Asbury Noland was not gunned down by Jayhawkers and he lived until 1867.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hulbert, Matthew C. (2016). The ghosts of guerrilla memory : how bushwhackers became gunslingers in the American west. Athens: The University of Georgia Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-8203-5000-4. OCLC 959830790.
  2. ^ Hulbert, Matthew C. (2016). The ghosts of guerrilla memory : how bushwhackers became gunslingers in the American west. Athens: The University of Georgia Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-8203-5000-4. OCLC 959830790.
  3. ^ "The Emancipation Proclamation". National Archives. 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2021-07-31.
  4. ^ Southern communities : identity, conflict, and memory in the American South. Steven E. Nash, Bruce E. Stewart, John C. Inscoe. Athens, Georgia. 2019. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-8203-5513-9. OCLC 1103320628.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ Levin, Kevin M. (2019). Searching for black Confederates : the Civil War's most persistent myth. Chapel Hill. p. 143. ISBN 978-1-4696-5328-0. OCLC 1112064862.
  6. ^ Hulbert, Matthew C. (2016). The ghosts of guerrilla memory : how bushwhackers became gunslingers in the American west. Athens: The University of Georgia Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-8203-5000-4. OCLC 959830790.
  7. ^ Hulbert, Matthew C. (2016). The ghosts of guerrilla memory : how bushwhackers became gunslingers in the American west. Athens: The University of Georgia Press. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-8203-5000-4. OCLC 959830790.
  8. ^ Beilein, Joseph M., Jr. (2019). BUSHWHACKERS : guerrilla warfare, manhood, and the household in civil war missouri. [Place of publication not identified]: Kent State University Press. pp. 81–82. ISBN 1-60635-378-0. OCLC 1078889761.
  9. ^ Collections, Digital. "mus_m243_0008 | Digital Collections". usm.access.preservica.com. Retrieved 2021-07-31.
  10. ^ Eakin, Joanne Chiles (1996). Recollections of Quantrill's guerrillas: as told by A.J. Walker of Weatherford, Texas to Victor E. Martin in 1910. Shawnee Mission, KS: Two Trails. pp. 56–57. OCLC 37450685.
  11. ^ Southern communities : identity, conflict, and memory in the American South. Steven E. Nash, Bruce E. Stewart, John C. Inscoe. Athens, Georgia. 2019. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-8203-5513-9. OCLC 1103320628.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ William Garrett Piston, Thomas P. Sweeney, Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Missouri in the Civil War, University of Arkansas Press, 2009, p. 306
  13. ^ Edward E. Leslie, The Devil Knows How to Ride: The True Story of William Clarke Quantrill and his Confederate Raiders, Da Capo Press, 1996, p. 192
  14. ^ "26 Aug 1905, 5 - The Kansas City Times at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-31.
  15. ^ "25 Jun 1908, Page 10 - The Wichita Eagle at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-31.
  16. ^ "25 Jun 1908, Page 1 - The Salina Evening Journal at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2021-07-31.
  17. ^ Southern communities : identity, conflict, and memory in the American South. Steven E. Nash, Bruce E. Stewart, John C. Inscoe. Athens, Georgia. 2019. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-8203-5513-9. OCLC 1103320628.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  18. ^ Levin, Kevin M. (2019). Searching for black Confederates : the Civil War's most persistent myth. Chapel Hill. p. 143. ISBN 978-1-4696-5328-0. OCLC 1112064862.

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