CHARLES AUGUSTUS LAFAYETTE LAMAR
CHARLES LAMAR was the son of Gazaway Bugg Lamar, one of the most distinguished businessmen in the South. Charles was also related to the second president of the Republic of Texas, a future Supreme Court Justice, and he was the godson of the Marquis de Lafayette, a Revolutionary War hero.
Needless to say everyone in Savannah knew Charlie Lamar. They also knew of his boyhood tragedy when he lost six members of his immediate family due to a catastrophic explosion on his father's steamship the Pulaski in 1838.
By the time Charles was in his 30s he was one of the most powerful men in Savannah. He was also a secessionist who believed the South should form a separate nation. This is what drew him to the Fire Eaters, and it is also what drew him into the slave trade. It was Charles Lamar who planned the Wanderer's Middle Passage journey; in fact, it was Charles Lamar who owned the Wanderer. In a letter to his father who opposed the slave trade Charles wrote:
"Did not the Negroes all come originally from the coast of Africa? What is the difference between going to Africa and Virginia for Negroes? And, if there is a difference is not that difference in favor of going to Africa?"
- The Slave Ship Wanderer, by Tom Henderson Wells.
(Image: Charles Lamar)