Found this fascinating data on one of my favorite blogs Vast Public Indifference and I am simply going to post this and you can visit the post and make comments if you wish; I’m not sure what to think.
A very interesting trend; I’m assuming the years across the bottom are years of birth. Not sure what someone would do with this data, or why they would collect it, but the sharp increase in Robert Lee in 1876-1880 is curious.
I’m baffled as well. It would be interesting to see what Kevin Levin of the “Civil War Memory” blog would make of this data.
Well, Lee was less of a celebrity than Jackson and Davis, which could account for why those names were more popular during the Civil War. The fact that Lee’s name continued trending upward, and that Jackson and Davis both regained some level of popularity, shows that the levels of resentment were not as high as in other wars (who names their kid Benedict or Adolf anymore?).
However, the fact that these names were popular among Black men/boys requires an amount of context that just isn’t provided by these graphs, and could only lead to ridiculous amounts of conjecture.
It’s a fascinating paradox. However, it’s like a Cuban-American naming his child Fidel.
As others have said, there’s not enough context here to really make any use out of it, but it IS interesting.
Especially Lee’s spike in popularity in the 1880s. I don’t know enough about Lee post-war, but I know he was never a huge fan of slavery. Did he ever make statements post-war about free blacks or anything that may have endeared him a bit more in their eyes?
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