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 in this episode General Lee's Farewell Address Could this be a signed copy of one of the most famous documents in the history of the Civil War?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Birth Control Box Could this unusual wooden box be an early contraceptive device?
- Related Investigation Dueling Pistols Were these pistols used in the last great duel on U.S. soil?
- Related Investigation Dutch Colonial Home What role did these menacing forts play in the settling of this part of the West?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Seadrome Did floating airports dot the Atlantic before modern air travel?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Jackie Robinson Scorecard What does this scorecard reveal about the desegregation of our national pastime?
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