African-American Historical Notebook/Primer



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First African Americans Newspaper in America. - March 16,1827

John B. Russwurm and Samuel E. Cornish, publishers, editors, published Freedom's Journal, the first Black newspaper in the United States, in New York of this day. The paper went into print the same year slavery was abolished in the state of New York. Freedom's Journal was founded to counteract a local newspaper that encouraged slavery and deplored the thoughts of freedom for slaves. The four-page, four-column publication ran from 1827 to 1829 and sought to encourage its Black readers by showing the successes of other freed Blacks as well as their birth, death and wedding announcements. Between 1827 and 1863, 42 other African-America newspapers began publishing.

Reverend Henry Highland Garnet

*adopts David Walker's approach.

*he proposed that an army forms to overthrow slavery.

* issues call to arm in 1843

*resolution passes after reintroduction of resolutions in 1847

In 1830, Britain outlaws slavery in any British colonies.

January 1831: William Lloyd Garrison's - Liberator appeared

1831: Nat Turner Revolt, August 21 st

1831: New England Anti-Slavery Society formed

1847: Frederick Douglas starts The North Star splits with Garrison.

1843: Rev. Henry Highland Garnett issues calls to arms in the Colored People's

Convention, Defeated by one note


1847: Rev. H.H. Garnett's resolution passes

Political: *Liberty Party - 1840 - 1st attempt (a) Anti-slavery party

*Free Soil Party-1848 *Republican Party - 1856 1846-1848 Mexican-American War - fought because Mexico had eliminated slavery and

White Americans wanted Mexican land to expand slavery.


1848: *Free Soil Party: Liberty Party and free farmers.

Any new territory should go to these people. They received more votes for presidency than the Liberty Party alone. Elect representatives to Congress.

*Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

Repealed Missouri States decide whether to be free or not. Kansas is fought over.


Compromise John Brown wants to occupy Kansas to help determine whether it will be

slave/free. War is fought, known as "Bloody Kansas"



""Compromise of 1850:

Starts with Gold Rush in 1848 in California (free territory state).

California should be free state (gold rush)

Texas should sell parts of land to New Mexico

Slaveholders should be better protected

Other territories could decide whether to be slave or not

No slave trade in Washington, D.C

Martin Delaney proposes emigration to Canada, Haiti or West Africa

Held secret convention in Cleveland in abut 1853 to investigate Haiti and West Africa as sites to

start colonies

"Back to Africa" or "escape"

Father of Black Nationalism

Formation of Vigilance Committees: Convened in mass meetings in 1851-52 Slogan: "We will us any means necessary not to return to slavery." Appearance of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe sold 300,000 copies 1st year/becomes a play

Christiana, Penna. - September 1851 - "Freedom's" Battle

In the Christiana battle/William Parker was a freed slave who refused to hand over a fugitive


slave when his master and sons came to collect him. A gunfight ensured, and the master was
killed. They were tried for treason, found not guilty and moved to Canada.
1852: Publication of Harriett Beecher Stowe novel on slavery Uncle Tom: Cabin which

sells 300,000 copies in a year.

1856: * Republican Party: Northern Industrialists, free farmers, abolitionists. Against

the expansion of slavery. Elected Senators and Representatives to the House as well.



What was the Dred Scott decision of 1857?

Taken to a free state by master. US Supreme Court Decisions: he was not a citizen and could be taken back. His master: he challenged the Compromise of 1850, and lost.



What is significant about Christina, Pennsylvania in 1851?

Freedoms Battle - The first open defiance of the Fugitive Slave Act. The Fugitive Slave Act deprived fugitive slaves of the right of a trial by jury, withheld their testimony and assumed the guilt of the presumed runaway. On the morning of September 11, 1851, a posse of federal marshals with federal warrants surrounded the house of a local Black leader because they believed that he was harboring two runaways slaves, who had escaped two years previously, demanding their release. They were met by about 100 armed Blacks and 2 whites. In the ensuing battle they attacked the posse. The leader of the posse was killed and his son wounded. President Fillmore send a 45-man company and a 40-man posse of Philadelphia policemen to the rescue. Thirty-five Blacks and 3 whites were accused. African-Americans from around the country raised money to hire legal counsel to defend them. After being held in jail for three months the prosecution tried a local white man involved in the altercation as a test case. He as acquitted on lack of evidence. The other defendants were released. In the meantime the Black leader and the runaway slaves had fled in to Canada. Southerners were furious about the verdict while Blacks became more willing to defy the Fugitive Slave Act.





Where did the slogan "By Any Means Necessary" come from?

It came from the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. Should any marshal or deputy marshal refuse to receive such warrant, or other process, when tendered, or to use all proper means diligently to execute the same, he shall, on conviction thereof, be fined in the sum of one thousands dollars, to the use of such claimant, on the motion of such claimant, by the Circuit or District Court for the district of such marshal. Runaway slaves and freed African-Americans established vigilance committees in Northern cities to warn and to try to rescue fugitives from slave catchers. At mass meetings, African-American pledged they would use "any means necessary" to keep from being turned to slavery. Malcolm X being a historian studied this period of our history and made it his slogan in 1964.



Who was John Brown and what did he try to do?

John Brown was white and he thought he was the savior of the slaves. He wanted to arm the slaves. He was the leader of the Harper's Ferry Armory raid. It failed because the blacks did not trust him because he was white. Harriet Tubman was supposed to lay the groundwork, but was unable to because she was sick. The raid happened in 1859. John Brown refused to wait for Harriet Tubman to get well and as a result the raid fail because the slaves did not trust him.



What was special field order#15?

Shortly after his army arrived in Savannah - after having devastated Georgia Union General William T. Sherman announced that freedmen would receive land. On January 16, 1865, he issued Special Field Order #15. This military directive set aside a 30-mile wide tract of land along the Atlantic coast from Charleston, South Caroline, 245 miles south Jacksonville, Florida. White owners had abandoned the land, and Sherman reserved it for black families. The head of each family would receive "possessory title" to forty acres of land. Sherman also gave the freedmen the use of army mules, thus giving rise of the slogan, "Forty acres and a mule."

Within six months, 40,000 freed people were working 400,000 acres in the South Carolina and Georgia low country and on the Sea Island. Former slaves generally avoided the slave crops of cotton and rice and instead planted sweet potatoes and corn. They also worked together as families and kinfold. They avoided the gang labor associated with slavery. Most husbands and fathers preferred that their wives and daughters not work in the fields a slave women had had to do. From Darlene Clark Hine, William C. Hine, Stanley Harrod, The African-American Odyssey. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey; Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006, Page 292.

Who started the Abolitionist Movement. Name a few pioneers.

Black Abolitionists - prior to 1800

Prince Hall - Masons (founder)

Benjamin Bannebeker -1st Clock, Almanac, designed Washington, DC

Absolom Jones/Richard Allen - AME Colored People's Convention

By 1830, there were fifty black abolitionists groups throughout North. Main personalities:

Sourjourner Truth, Frederick Douglas, Henry Highland Garnett, William Wells Brown, (Box

Brown) put himself in a box mailed himself to underground railroad, Martin R. Delaney, Harriet

Tubman

Underground Railroad born



Who started the Abolitionist Movement. Name a few pioneers.

Who were some important African-Americans before and during the Civil War and Reconstruction?



  1. Paul Cuffe 14. Robert Purvis

  2. Prince Hall 15. Charles Lenox Remond

  3. Richard Allen 16. Wiliam Still

  4. Absalom Jones 17. Martin Delaney

  5. Benjamin Banneker 18. Nat Turner

  6. Salem Poor 19. Reverend Henry Highland Garnett

  7. Poor Salem 20. Frederick Douglas

  8. Toussaint L'Ouverture 21. Alexander Crumwell

  9. Gaberial Prosser 22. Henry McNeal Turner




  1. Demark Vesey 23. William Parker

  2. David Walker 24. O.V. Carlo

  3. James Forten 25 John Mercer Langston
    13.John Rock

Who were some African-American women leaders before, during the Civil war and Reconstruction period?

  1. Maria Miller Steward 6. Mary Ann Shadd

  2. Sarah Parker Remond 7. Marcy Church Terrell

  3. Nattie Vesey 8. Anna Julia Hayward Cooper

  4. Harriett Tubman 9. Ida B. Wells Barnett

  5. Soujourner Truth 10. Charlotte Forten

The abolitionist movement took shape when William Lloyd Garrison, Arthur and Lewis Tappan formed the Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia in 1833. Fredrick Douglass, Soujourner Truth, and many other were abolitionists.

Who were some important White abolitionists before the Civil War?

  1. William Lloyd Garrison 6. Arther Tappan

  2. Wendell Phillips 7. Elizur Wright

  3. Thaddeus Stevens 8. Charles Hayes

  4. Charles Sumner 9. Fredreick Law Olmsted

  5. Lewis Tappan 10. John Rankin

What was the purpose of the Vigilance committees among Freedmen and abolitionists in northern cities prior to the Civil War?

The purpose of the Vigilance Committees were to warn fugitive slaves about masters and bounty hunters who were in the area to try and apprehend fugitive-slaves. They also impeded the efforts of anyone who tried to apprehend fugitives even inside courts.





What were Lincoln's main concerns prior to the Civil War?

Lincoln's main concern was the growing sectionalism. He said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free." Another of his concerns was the preservation of the Union. He was an early supporter of colonization. He hated slavery for the political dissention it caused. Although he sought to stop the spread of slavery, he did not seek to abolish it.

Lincoln's concern was about the growing sectionalism of the country around the issue of slavery. However, he was firm about this belief that whites were superior to Blacks, but he was committed to the essential dignity of all human beings. He hated slavery as a "moral, social, and political evil." He thought that Blacks should have the natural rights

Who was Thaddeus Stevens?

He was a legislator during the Civil War and the Reconstruction period who fought to end slavery

and to win citizenship for former slaves. After the war Steven denounced

President Andrew Johnson for readmitting some former Confederate states to the Union saying

that had committed treason and should be territories until they wrote constitutions that provided

fir Black sufferage. (See H.R. 29, attached also Major General William T. Shermans, Special

Field Orders, No. 15).

Thaddeus Steven was an influential legislator during the American Civil War and the

Reconstruction period that followed. He fought to end slavery and to win citizenship for former

slaves. On his tombstone is revealed his wish to "illustrate in my death the principles which I

advocated through a long-life - Equality of Man before his Creator."

Stevens was born on April 4, 1792, near Danville, Vermont of four sons. In about 1807, after being deserted by his family, the family moved to Peacham, Vermont, In 1811 Stevens entered Dartmouth College. After graduating in 1814, he taught in York, Pennsylvania, studying law in his spare time. He was admitted to the Maryland bar but moved to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1816 to open a law office.

Stevens was elected to the state legislature in 1833 and was reelected six times. In 1842 he moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served from 1849 to 1853 as a Whig. He advocated increased tariffs and opposed the fugitive-slave provision of the Compromise of 1850. Stevens joined the newly formed Republican party and in 1858 was elected as a Republican to Congress, where he became a recognized leader who opposed the extension of slavery into the Western territories. He led the Radicals - the majority Republican faction - in advocating emancipation.

After the war Stevens denounced President Andrew Johnson for readmitting some former Confederate states to the Union, arguing that they had committed treason and should be made territories until they wrote constitutions that provided for black suffrage. He demanded that rebel property be confiscated and divided into homesteads for blacks. He also helped formulate the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which conferred citizenship on the former slaves. These programs led his enemies to accuse him of vindictiveness toward the South. The disputes between Congress and President Johnson led Stevens to introduce the resolution for the president's impeachment in 1868.

In one of his last political acts, Stevens led Congress in 1868 in approving an appropriation for the purchase of Alaska from Russia, which had been negotiated the year before. He died on Aug.

11, 1868, in Washington, D.C., and was buried, as he had requested, in Lancaster among the graves of blacks.



Who was Charles Summer?

Charles Sumner served as a United States senator from Massachusetts for 23 -years. He was often a champion of unpopular causes. He was a leader in the bitter struggle to abolish slavery. He denounced war and called for a congress of nations nearly a century before the founding of the United Nations.

Charles Sumner was born in Boston, Mass., on Jan. 6, 1811. Both of his parents were abolitionists. A brilliant student, he entered Harvard College at the age of 15 and graduated in 1830. In 1833 he received a degree from Harvard Law School. He practiced law until 1837 and then went abroad. After his return Sumner turned to politics. His impassioned oratory thrilled audiences, and he became one of the country's most popular antislavery lecturers.

He was the white son of an attorney from Boston. He campaigned against slavery, he was a member of the Whig Party, and he helped form the Free Soil Party. He spoke against Pro-slavery in Kansas and was beaten unconscious. He also supported the use of black troops in the Civil War.

In 1851, Sumner was elected to the Senate as a Free Soil-Democratic coalition candidate. One of his first speeches in the Senate was an indictment of the Fugitive Slave law. In 1854, he helped organize the Republican party and was reelected as a Republican three times.

Speaking against the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1856, Sumner denounced slavery advocates, including Andrew Butler, senator from South Carolina. Two days later Preston S. Brooks, who was a congressman from South Carolina and Butler's nephew, surprised Sumner at his Senate desk and beat him with a cane. It took Sumner more than three years to recuperate sufficiently to be able to resume public life.

He returned to the Senate just before the American Civil War. After emancipation, he was an outstanding advocate of civil rights for freed blacks. Sumner served brilliantly as chairman of the Senate committee on foreign relations but was criticized for forgetting that this direction of foreign affairs was in the hands of the president and secretary or state. Sumner died on March 11, 1874, in Washington, D.C.

What was the Knights of Labor?

The Knights of Labor was founded in Philadelphia in 1869 as a secret organization, the Knights combined both skilled and unskilled workers behind a plan for broad reform. This included the eight-hour work day, abolition of child labor, public ownership of utilities and railways, and support of corporations for production and distribution of

goods. The Knights gradually expanded from Philadelphia into a national organization and grew rapidly in the late 1870s and early '80s. Although the Knights sought to combine both unskilled and skilled workers, their efforts at political and social reform were viewed with skepticism by the national unions of skilled craft workers who were more interested in practical, day-to-day economic objectives. Among labor organizations of that time, only the Knights showed any enthusiasm for securing African American Members. By 1886, approximately 60,000 Africans Americans had become members of the Knights of Labor. The organization was losing ground,


because of the infiltration of radical foreign elements and its alleged involvement in the Haymarket Square riots in Chicago in 1886.

Black Knights belonged to both separate and mixed locals, held union offices, and attended integrated social functions and conventions. Blacks supported the Knights because it organized all workers in any industry rather than just those in crafts. This meant that many unskilled black could join and were actively recruited. The Knights also appealed to blacks because it stressed land reform and the improvement of education and because of its willingness to support the demands of black workers to supported, for example, the successful 1883 strike of 3,000 black tobacco workers in Lynchberg, Virginia for higher wages.



Knights of Labor

In 1869, the Colored NationaNNoble Order of the Knights of Labor The Knights of Labor was founded and grew on the rock of labor solidarity, expressed in its slogan "An injury to one is the concern of all." I saw where an organization brought people of all origins together in a time when it was unheard of. Through unity, racism appeared to be reduced amongst the working class. Blacks not only became members, but in some areas of the South and North as well, had their own Black locals. There were black officers who headed mixed locals.

The union had Blacks and Whites marching together and eating together at annual parades and picnics. This was done in Richmond, Virginia, a racist state which did not allow black delegates to stay in certain hotels with white delegates. Events of this nature, caused the membership to grow ten-fold, hi an eight year period (1879-1885) the Knights of Labor grew from 20,000. to about one million About 20% of the growth were Black. The Knights of Labor National Leadership was very strong during this period. They stood behind their members and delegates to the man. These major changes did not go unnoticed by the employers and the power structure. In order to discredit the union organizers were beaten, imprisoned, and even killed. The politicians made new laws, brought in the militia, as well as the Pinkertons to break-up strikes. They also infiltrated the ranks of the Knights of Labor.

People who could not be bought were imprisoned or killed. The Knights of Labor figure heads began to succumb to the power structure. They forgot what their union was founded on. The figure heads appeared to join the opposition. Members began to desert more rapidly than they joined.

In the end the Black worker was left to accept the employers offers or go without a job. White supremacy had won out.

The only positive feature is what can be accomplished with unity and the need for Blacks in politics.





What role did Karl Marx and the Workingmans Association play in helping the Emancipation Proclamation (January 1,1863) come about?

Karl Marx as head of the International Workingmans Association played a significant role in helping to bring Emancipation of African slaves come about. Marx writing from Europe (England) stressed that if Lincoln issued an emancipation proclamation freeing the slaves European workers would support the Union in its war with the Confederacy. Before the issuing of the emancipation proclamation Europe did not know what side to support. Cotton from the South was being shipped to textile mills particularly in England. Lincoln feared losing support of the border states but wanted to strike a blow against the Southern economy.

When Lincoln finally issued the emancipation proclamation making the Civil War a "Freedom" War as Marx had suggested in his articles reprinted in the New York Times, Marx asked British workers to refuse to take cotton off the confederate ships docked in England. They did refuse and the boycott of Southern cotton hurt the South's economy. England instead got cotton from India whose cotton was competing on the world market with southern cotton. This economic boycott along with the "first" general strike in American history when African slaves threw down their tools or fained illness brought the Southern economy to a standstill (DuBois, Black Reconstruction).

Also see, Karl Marx, "The North American Civil War". London, October 20, 1861, "The Civil War in the United States" late October 1861 and "The Dismissal of Fremont"



Why did Lincoln issue the Emancipation Proclamation?

African Americans were initially excluded from the military that was Lincoln's goals were to save the Union, not emancipate the slaves. However, Lincoln saw the strategic value of an initial Emancipation Proclamation. Nearly four million Black slaves lived in the southern towns. These people could be turned to the North's advantage by creating internal chaos. In September 1862 following the battle Antietam, he issued a preliminary emancipation document warning the South that all slaves in rebelling states would be free as of January 1, 1863. The Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom. The Emancipation Proclamation confirmed their insistence that the war for the Union must become a war for freedom. It added moral force to the Union cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically.


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