Radical Belgian

I just flipped through a book (first of many, the peril of weeding the 900s), Cause: Reconstruction America, 1863-1877. Many of the illustrations are taken from Harper’s Weekly, a leading illustrated newspaper of the time: so interesting! But I especially liked this caption, so packed with information:

The New Orleans Tribune, founded in 1864, was America’s first black-interest daily newspaper. Because Louisiana had a large French-speaking population, there was usually a French and an English edition. Sometimes a single issue carried some news in French and some in English. From late 1864 to early 1868, the newspaper’s managing editor was the very radical Belgian astronomer and naturalist Jean-Charles Houzeau. Having a somewhat swarthy complexion, he did nothing to dispel the widespread belief that he was black.