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Oh Capitano!Celso Cesare Moreno - Adventurer, Cheater, and Scoundrel on Four Continents$
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Rudolph J. Vecoli, Francesco Durante, and Donna R. Gabaccia

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279869

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279869.001.0001

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The Little Italian Slaves

The Little Italian Slaves

(p.63) Chapter 4 The Little Italian Slaves
Oh Capitano!

Rudolph J. Vecoli

Francesco Durante

, Donna R. Gabaccia, Elizabeth O. Venditto
Fordham University Press

This chapter examines Celso Cesare Moreno's crusade in defense of those he referred to as “the Italian slave children,” albeit with an ulterior motive. It first considers child labor in Italy and the plight of very young Italian street musicians, focusing on initiatives to ameliorate their conditions by individuals such as Ferdinando De Luca, the Consul General of Italy in New York, author Giuseppe Guerzoni, and Moreno himself. It then analyzes Moreno's criticism of De Luca and his publicity and lobbying campaign against Italian child slavery, using the New York Times as his primary tool and enlisting the support of two people best identified with the abolitionist cause: Senator Charles Sumner and Frederick Douglas. The chapter also discusses the so-called “Moreno bill,” introduced by Sumner in the Senate in January 1874, and its impact on the campaign to eliminate the presence of the wandering child musicians in Italy.

Keywords:   child slavery, Italian slave children, Celso Cesare Moreno, Ferdinando De Luca, Giuseppe Guerzoni, child musicians, street musicians, Frederick Douglas, Moreno bill, child labor

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