On the "Spanish Esplanade" overlooking the Mississippi River, there is a magnificent home that for years was believed to be the original home of one of the Spanish dons who colonized the area. Recently, this story was discovered to be a myth.
The original owner was actually a free man of color named Robert D. Smith, who built it himself in 1851, 12 years before the Emancipation Proclamation.
The new homeowners, Ruth and Jim Coy, have been actively pursuing the history of Robert Smith and they have a question. According to a recently discovered record, Smith arrived in New Orleans on a slave ship.
How did Robert Smith go from traveling on a ship full of captive individuals destined for servitude to owning a luxurious home?
The History Detectives trace the rise of this unique individual.
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Newport U-Boat Did these propellers come from a WWII German submarine?
- Related Investigation John Brown Pike How did this metal blade spark violent tension between the North and the South?
- Also in Season 1 Bonnie & Clyde's Bullets Are these the bullets that ended one of the most infamous crime-sprees in American history?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Wartime Baseball Is this baseball evidence of an unusual ballgame that took place during segregation?
- Related Investigation Woolworth Sign Were these signs part of the scene in an early victory for Civil Rights?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Fiery Cross What is the story behind this record?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.