The collection includes Volume 1 May 1, 1862 to October 23rd, 1862, Volume 2 October 30th, 1862 to April 23rd, 1863, Volume 3 April 30th, 1863 to December 31, 1863, and Volume 4 January 7, 1864 to December 31, 1864.
A subject index is included for volumes 1 and 3.
The London based and Confederate funded weekly journal billed itself as, "Last Direct Intelligence from the South, Private Letters from the Southern and Northern States, Foreign Correspondence, information on the Cotton and Dry Goods Market and other commercial reports".
Confederate diplomats in England sought recognition of the sovereignty of the Confederate States of America by Britain. Confederate agents were also involved in clandestine operations to secure arms, ships, and to disseminate pro-Confederacy propaganda. Confederate agents found English reporters who were willing to accept payment in exchange for writing pro-Confederate articles. Eventually funds were provided to publish "The Index."
Founded, published and edited in England by Henry Hotze, a former U.S. Foreign Service officer, who was an undercover Confederate operative who wrote pro-South articles for British newspapers, "The Index, A Weekly Journal of Politics, Literature, and News" first issue was published in May 1862. Hotze hired British journalists and syndicated their pro-Confederate articles to dozens of British and European publications and to Northern newspapers. Hotze's journal kept publishing until five months after the war ended.
The Index had a circulation of around 2,000 mostly in Britain with copies distributed to France, Ireland, and the America North. The front page usually dealt with the cotton market as a way to stress the economic ties between England and the American South.
Pro-Confederate newspapers in the Northern United States were subject to closure and their editors to arrest. Southern newspapers had to deal with the inflictions of war on publishing a newspaper in the South and eventual control by Union forces. Some southern editors were afraid that Union victory could result in their imprisonment for treason. In England, Holtze was free to be as pro-Confederate and as anti-Union as he pleased.
The paper did not shy away from defending slavery, a practice which England had outlawed years earlier. The Index proclaimed slavery as a means of Confederate unity and strength. Slavery, The Index and Hotze argued would endow the South with the "intrinsic power to create wealth," while at the same time manage the inequality between whites and blacks, and the economic inequity between groups of whites. Often the paper would appeal to white supremacy sentiment in England with articles like "The Natural History of Man," published in the July 23, 1863 issue of The Index.
About Henry Hotze
Commonly referred to by historians as a "Confederate Propagandist," Hotze was born in Switzerland in 1833. Hotze immigrated to the United States and settled in Mobile, Alabama. He held strong white supremacist beliefs. He was hired by race theorist Josiah Nott to translate into English, Joseph Arthur Comte de Gatineau's "An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races." Hotze added his own introduction which was 100 pages long. His version of Gobineau's work stressed the notion that it was justified to treat unequally what he believed to be unequal races.
In 1858 he went to Brussels as a secretary for the U.S. legation. Two years later he returned to Mobile to become an associate editor of the Mobile Register. After the outbreak of the Civil War Hotze joined the Mobile Cadets and later became a clerk to the adjutant general of the Confederate War Department. Confederate Secretary of War Leroy Pope Walker sent him to England to arrange the funding of Confederate agents in Europe. He convinced the Confederate leadership in Richmond that he should take on the role of influencing British public opinion toward supporting the Confederacy. In addition to paying off journalists, he penned articles that appeared in the Herald, London Standard, Morning Post, and the Money and Market Review.
In May 1862, he created the weekly journal, The Index. After the war ended Hotze remained in Europe to promote the racial theories of Gobineau. Gobineau's theories attracted a strong following in Germany and latter were partially adopted by the Nazis.
Volume 1 is missing issue number 2. Volume 2 is missing issues numbers 30 and 37. Volume 3 is missing numbers 70 and 77. The first 70 pages of volume 4 contain some torn pages and blurred images. A single leaf is missing from issues number 115, 117, 132 and 138.