Thursday, April 18, 2019

JORDAN NOBLE: THE VENERABLE SOLDIER-STATESMAN


JORDAN NOBLE: THE VENERABLE SOLDIER-STATESMAN

Jordan Noble's story as a slave-turned-soldier and a loved citizen of New Orleans has been somewhat thoroughly documented.  Noble was able to use his status as a patriot and soldier of four wars (Battle of New Orleans/War of 1812, Seminole War in Florida, Mexican War, and as part of both the Confederate and Union forces during the Civil War) to gain freedom and social status that very few of his skin color had at that time.  His accomplishments and unique circumstances positioned him as a celebrated member of New Orleans society and a political leader of the free black community.

Jordan Noble's efforts as a political leader began far before President Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, far before the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in 1865, and far before the Fourteenth Amendment offered a guarantee of civil rights in 1868. Noble's well-publicized notoriety as Andrew Jackson's drummer and his voluntary service in multiple wars to help whites forge the American republic positioned him to astutely negotiate through the class-based society which surrounded him. His words and actions were public proof that People of Color were model citizens, eloquent speakers with social grace, and true patriots deserving freedom and every natural right. His words and actions were tools that greatly advanced the fight for those rights and equality throughout America.

Noble attended the 1854 National Emigration Convention of Colored People in Cleveland, serving as an elected officer on its National Board of Commissioners and a Louisiana delegate. The delegates of that convention created what was advanced as the first platform "ever established by the colored people in any Convention in the United States." That groundbreaking platform made a series of declarations which outlined specific civil rights grievances and, among other things, insisted that "man is by nature free," that whatever interferes with the natural rights of man should "be met with adequate resistance," and demanded "every political right, privilege and position," while pledging to use "all honorable means, to unite us as one people, on this continent."1

In 1865, the first year that "free blacks and mullatoes of Louisiana" could legally meet in convention, Noble attended the Convention of Colored Men of Louisiana in New Orleans. He served as President pro-tem and Vice President of the Convention, in addition to serving as President of the Convention's Committee of Rules and Regulations and as an officer on multiple other committees developed to "promote the moral, educational, and economic development of the black community." Noble and the other delegates quickly formed the Equal Rights League of Louisiana as an outgrowth of the National Equal Rights League, which was founded just three months prior, and endorsed their adopted "Declaration of Wrongs and Rights." (The National Equal Rights League served as a forerunner to the NAACP.) The published minutes and an editorial in the New Orleans Tribune specifically recognized Noble's high level of leadership activity and important part at the Convention. His work alongside other notable southern-black soldiers turned political leaders, such as James H. Ingraham and Oscar J. Dunn, helped to ensure the Convention's success and initiate a well-defined, unified Civil Rights Movement in the years that followed. 2, 3

1Proceedings of the National Emigration Convention of Colored People Held at Cleveland, Ohio, On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, The 24th, 25th, and 26th of August, 1854; A.A. Anderson Print, Pittsburg, 1854; ColoredConventions.org, 2016.
2“State Convention of the Colored People of Louisiana, January 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th, 1865” (New Orleans, LA); Foner, Philip S. and George E. Walker, eds.; The Proceedings of the Black State Conventions, 1840-1865. Volume 2, 1979; ColoredConventions.org, 2016.
3"Editorial: The State Convention of the Colored People of Louisiana", The New Orleans Tribune; January 10-15, 1865.

Former Slave Jordan B. Noble’s Battle of New Orleans Commemorative Banner and Historic Snare Drum and Offered in May 4 Americana Auction


Subject matter specialists and digital assets available:
Eric Bradley, Director, Public Relations
214-409-1871; EricB@ha.com

Former Slave Jordan B. Noble’s Battle of New Orleans Commemorative Banner and Historic Snare Drum and Offered in May 4 Americana Auction


New Orleans resident’s rare war drum offered at Heritage Auctions


DALLAS, Texas (April 15, 2019) – On January 8, 1815, a teenage slave named Jordan Bankston Noble beat the call to arms and stood shoulder to shoulder with U.S. troops determined to drive back the British Army during the Battle of New Orleans.
Despite his age, Noble, just 14 years old, already had plenty of experience as a drummer in the War of 1812 under Major General Andrew Jackson’s 7th Regiment; his skills also had played a crucial role in a December 1814 surprise attack against the British.
More than 180 years later, Noble’s personally owned circa 1830 snare drum, which he used to keep soldiers marching in step during Second Seminole War of 1836, and two additional wars, and a prized Battle of New Orleans presentation banner, come to auction May 4 in Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political Auction in Dallas and on HA.com.
“Without a doubt, Jordan Noble’s life is a fascinating story of courage and perseverance,” said Tom Slater, an expert and director of Historical Americana at Heritage. “Despite serving his country, after the war, two of Noble's commanders took ownership of him and his mother. It was through their efforts that Jordan became a free man and a celebrated historic figure in New Orleans.”
Born a slave in Georgia in 1800, Noble was raised by his mother before he was sold to New Orleans resident John Noble in 1812 who likewise fought at the battle in Jackson’s 7th Regiment Louisiana Volunteer Infantry.
Because of his extreme patriotism, after the War of 1812, Noble continued his military career as a drummer during the Second Seminole War of 1836, the Mexican War (under Zachary Taylor) and the Civil War. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he raised a company of freed African Americans (the “Louisiana Native Guards”) to provide security and defense for the city of New Orleans. 

The drum offered at auction on May 4 is the one he played from his time in the Seminole Wars to the end of his life in 1890. It is the very same one Noble was seen with at the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition/New Orleans World’s Fair (1884). After his death, the drum was publically exhibited at the Colonial Museum in New Orleans (1903) and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition/St. Louis World's Fair (1904), before being loaned to the Louisiana State Museum for more than a century and being on permanent display for the majority of that time.

The exceptionally important military snare drum features a Federal eagle and shield on a standard military blue background. The maker’s label is inscribed in ink at the top "JB Noble." Although some of the paint is worn and chipped, the graphic eagle remains vivid and is surrounded by 24 stars (one chipped away) representing the 24 states admitted between 1821 and 1836.

Noble’s commitment to this country ran deep. Among his most prized possessions was a 42-inch by 45-inch blue silk banner that, according to tradition, was made by the women of New Orleans and presented to Andrew Jackson to honor and commemorate his victory at the Battle of New Orleans. It is decorated with two horizontal ribbons within a wreath inscribed “Andrew Jackson” and “1814 and 1815.” It is encased with a printed testimonial to Noble, dated April 27, 1880, signed by two former governors, three generals and a commodore.

Noble’s widow sold the banner (and drum) sometime before 1903 to Gaspar Cusachs, who loaned it to the Louisiana State Museum. The banner has been publically exhibited at the Colonial Museum in New Orleans (1903), the Louisiana Purchase Exposition/St. Louis World's Fair (1904), the Louisiana State Museum (1909) and the Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge (2006-2016).

Noble became known as the “The Drummer Boy of Chalmette” and was fondly called "Old Jordan" in his later years. He was often seen and heard playing the snare drum currently offered at auction, and would timelessly recreate the famous drumbeat that was heard on the fields of Chalmette during the Battle of New Orleans, along with the many other military beats he performed throughout his service to this country.

Old Jordan became such a fixture of New Orleans’ culture, the local newspaper, The Daily Picayune, honored him and told the story of his life in an article published June 21, 1890, the day after his death.

Heritage Auctions’ auction session featuring Jordan B. Noble’s personally owned snare drum and his prized Battle of New Orleans presentation banner begins at 11 a.m. CT, May 4 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas with live bidding available worldwide through HA.com.
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.
For breaking stories, follow us: HA.com/Facebook and HA.com/Twitter. Link to this release or view prior press releases.

Hi-Res images available:
Eric Bradley, Director, Public Relations
C: 469-271-2849 or EricB@ha.com

Jordan B. Noble Owned Snare Drum: African American Drummer in the Battle of New Orleans/War of 1812

Up for Auction at Heritage.com











Born into slavery in 1800, Jordan Bankston Noble was only 14-years old when he became the drummer for General Andrew Jackson's 7th Regiment. Noble beat the call to arms for the troops at the Battle of New Orleans and stood with the members of his unit in defense against the British attack. General Jackson, Noble and the men of 7th Infantry were considered heroes by the residents of New Orleans. After the war, two of young Noble's commanders took ownership of him and his mother. It was through their efforts that Jordan became a free man and one of New Orleans' most celebrated 19th-century black musicians.

Because of his extreme patriotism, after the War of 1812, Noble continued his military career as a drummer during the Second Seminole War of 1836, the Mexican War (under Zachary Taylor) and the Civil War. At the outbreak of the Civil War he raised a company of freed African Americans (the "Louisiana Native Guards") to fight for the South. After Union General Benjamin Butler took control of New Orleans from the Confederacy, Noble then raised a new regiment that fought for the North. It was under Butler that Noble served as a Captain of the U. S. 7th Louisiana Regiment Infantry (African Decent). Upon returning to New Orleans after his military service, Noble rose to fame for his valor and commitment to his community.

Noble became known as the "The Drummer Boy of Chalmette" and was also fondly called "Old Jordan" in his later years. He was often seen and heard playing the snare drum currently offered at auction, and would even timelessly recreate the famous drumbeat that was heard on the fields of Chalmette during the Battle of New Orleans, along with the many other military beats he performed throughout his service to this country.

Noble became such a fixture of New Orleans' culture, the local newspaper, The Daily Picayune, told the story of "Old Jordan" and his "well-worn drum" in an article published June 21, 1890, the day after his death.

"He gave frequent "field music" entertainment with his historic drum that he carried with him throughout all his services, and many will remember the white-headed old man and his well-worn drum, so often seen during the exposition of 1884-1885. The famous drummer boy of New Orleans has gone to join his comrades of many campaigns. Peace to him and honor to the brave man who served his country so often and so well."

The drum offered at auction is the one Noble played from his time in the Seminole Wars to the end of his life in 1890. It is the very same one Noble was seen with at the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition/New Orleans World's Fair (1884). After his death, his widow sold the drum to Gaspar Cusachs, who exhibited it at the Colonial Museum in New Orleans (1903) and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition/St. Louis World's Fair (1904), before loaning it to the Louisiana State Museum for more than a century.

It is an exceptionally important military snare drum, with the music store's label inscribed in ink at the top "JB Noble" and bearing the name "Klemm & Brother's, No 287 Market St. Philadelphia." Early Philadelphia directories listed the drum maker at 287 1/2 Market St. from 1828 thru 1843. Concurrent with those dates, a New Orleans directory listed a Klemm Brothers store at 45 Canal St. in 1832.

The drum, with Federal eagle and shield on a standard military blue background, features the eagle and shield along with standard tack decoration, drumheads, rope and leather tensioners and brass snare tensioner on the side. It is 16.5" tall, with a diameter of 16.75". Although some of the paint is worn and chipped, the graphic eagle remains vivid and is surrounded by 24 stars (one chipped away) representing the 24 states admitted between 1821 and 1836.

Provenance: The Gaspar Cusachs Collection, Louisiana State Museum, 1908-2016

JORDAN NOBLE: THE VENERABLE SOLDIER-STATESMAN

JORDAN NOBLE: THE VENERABLE SOLDIER-STATESMAN Jordan Noble's story as a slave-turned-soldier and a loved citizen...