Peace Lily Tranquility

In almost every part of the world, the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum Spp.) is looked upon as a sign of peace and tranquility

Peace lilies, from Spathiphyllum genus of about 47 species of monocotyledonous flowering plants in the family Araceae, is native to tropical regions of the Americas and southeastern Asia.

Taken in my Natick, Massachusetts, living room on April 8, 2022, with an iPhone SE 2020.

Civil Rights Class Week 7

History helps people feel they belong. This is why people can feel angry when history is reinterpreted or retold in ways that make them feel uncomfortable. And yet that is not always a bad thing, since so many comforting views of the past are deeply flawed. History should not just exist to serve the present, but to challenge it, too.

Martin Johnes

Abraham H. Galloway (1837-1870), a fiery young slave rebel, radical abolitionist, and Union spy who rose out of bondage in Wilmington, North Carolina to become one of the most significant and stirring black leaders in the South during the Civil War. Throughout his brief, mercurial life, Galloway fought against slavery and injustice. He risked his life behind enemy lines, recruited black soldiers for the North, and fought racism in the Union army’s ranks. He also stood at the forefront of an African-American political movement, even leading a historic delegation of black southerners to the White House to meet with President Lincoln and to demand the full rights of citizenship. He later became one of the first black men elected to the North Carolina legislature.

The term “gerrymander” stems from this Gilbert Stuart cartoon of a Massachusetts electoral district twisted beyond all reason. Stuart thought the shape of the district resembled a salamander, but his friend who showed him the original map called it a “Gerry-mander” after Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, who approved rearranging district lines for political advantage.
Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

gerrymandering, a practice by which politicians intentionally manipulate the boundaries of electoral districts to help allies or hurt rivals who are trying to achieve political representation, is a practice as old as the United States itself. The term “gerrymander” was coined in an 1812 political cartoon comparing the shape of a Massachusetts state senate district, which had allegedly been designed to help then-governor Elbridge Gerry’s political party, to that of a salamander. The word “gerrymandering” is typically pronounced with a soft “g,” as in “gem” or “giant.” Gerry’s name is correctly pronounced with a hard “g,” as in “great” or “gold.” In 2018, officials from Gerry’s hometown of Marblehead, Massachusetts, sent a letter to the Supreme Court requesting that justices pronounce the word with a hard “g.” See anon., “Supreme Court: ‘Gerrymandering’ Pronounced with a Hard ‘G,’” Associated Press, July 27, 2018,

Robert Smalls – the enslaved man who seized a Confederate steamer named the Planter moored a few miles from Fort Sumter and sailed into freedom on May 13, 1862.

Homework 1: Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
“This is certainly a very serious question, and one that now for the first time has been brought for decision before this court. But it is brought here by those who have a right to bring it, and it is our duty to meet it and decide it.”

Homework 2: Read the Emancipation Proclamation and two articles that put it into context.

Homework 3: Read the Gettysburg Address. As you read it, think about whether it offers the potential of bettering the status of African Americans. If so, why? If not, why not?

Homework 4: Read about the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution and Mississippi’s version of the Black Codes.

Homework 5: Watch Frederick Douglass: “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”
Film clip. Voices of a People’s History. Frederick Douglass’ speech “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” (1852) is read by Danny Glover.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Civil War Era: 1850 – 1864
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance

Read the full speech HERE.

Class notes March 23

John Brown 1859 @ Harper’s Ferry Died a “martyr for a “holy cause.” (Robert E. Lee caught John Brown.

The Abolitionist lead a small group on a raid against a federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), in an attempt to start an armed revolt of enslaved people and destroy the institution of slavery. As early as 1848 he was formulating a plan to incite an insurrection. In the 1850s, Brown traveled to Kansas with five of his sons to fight against the proslavery forces in the contest over that territory. On May 21, 1856, proslavery men raided the abolitionist town of Lawrence, and Brown personally sought revenge. On May 25, Brown and his sons attacked three cabins along Pottawatomie Creek. They killed five men with broad swords and triggered a summer of guerrilla warfare in the troubled territory. One of Brown’s sons was killed in the fighting. By 1857, Brown returned to the East and began raising money to carry out his vision of a mass uprising of enslaved people. He secured the backing of six prominent abolitionists, known as the “Secret Six,” and assembled an invasion force. His “army” grew to include 22 men, including five Black men and three of Brown’s sons. The group rented a Maryland farm near Harpers Ferry and prepared for the assault. On the night of October 16, 1859, Brown and his band overran the arsenal. Some of his men rounded up a handful of hostages, including a few enslaved people. Word of the raid spread, and by morning Brown and his men were surrounded. A company of U.S. marines arrived on October 17, led by Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart. On the morning of October 19, the soldiers overran Brown and his followers. Ten of his men were killed, including two of his sons. The wounded Brown was tried by the state of Virginia for treason and murder, and he was found guilty on November 2. The 59-year-old abolitionist went to the gallows on December 2, 1859. Before his execution, he handed his guard a slip of paper that read, “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” It was a prophetic statement. Although the raid failed, it inflamed sectional tensions and raised the stakes for the 1860 presidential election. Brown’s raid helped make any further accommodation between North and South nearly impossible and thus became an important impetus of the Civil War.

We watched part of the first episode of the HISTORY Channel’s three-night documentary event “Abraham Lincoln.” It is definitive biography of the 16th president, the man who led the country during its bloodiest war and greatest crisis. Executive produced by world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize®-winning bestselling author Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Abraham Lincoln” is based upon Kearns Goodwin’s book, “Leadership: In Turbulent Times.”

Lincoln won without being on the ballot in the south. (There were no ballots distributed for Lincoln in ten of the Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.) In the eleven states that would later declare their secession from the Union and be controlled by Confederate armies, ballots for Lincoln were cast only in Virginia, where he received 1,929 votes (1.15 percent of the total). Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the votes Lincoln received were cast in border counties of what would soon become West Virginia – the future state accounted for 1,832 of Lincoln’s 1,929 votes. In the four slave states that did not secede (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware), Lincoln came in fourth in every state except Delaware (where he finished third). Within the fifteen slave states, Lincoln won only two counties out of 996, Missouri’s St. Louis and Gasconade Counties.

Lincoln’s victory and imminent inauguration as president was the immediate cause for declarations of secession by seven Southern states (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas) from 20 December 1860 to 1 February 1861. They then formed the Confederate States of America.

Several other states also considered declaring secession at the time:

Missouri convened a secession convention, which voted against secession and adjourned permanently.

Arkansas convened a secession convention, which voted against secession and adjourned temporarily.[45]

Virginia convened a secession convention, which voted against secession but remained in session.

Tennessee held a referendum on having a secession convention, which failed.

North Carolina held a referendum on having a secession convention, which failed.

Lincoln ran on the promise not to expand slavery. “This war is to save the Union. This war is NOT to end slavery.

All of the secessionist activity was motivated by fear for the institution of slavery in the South. If the President (and, by extension, the appointed federal officials in the South, such as district attorneys, marshals, postmasters, and judges) opposed slavery, it might collapse. There were fears that abolitionist agents would infiltrate the South and foment slave insurrections. (The noted secessionist William Lowndes Yancey, speaking at New York’s Cooper Institute in October 1860, asserted that with abolitionists in power, “Emissaries will percolate between master [and] slave as water between the crevices of rocks underground. They will be found everywhere, with strychnine to put in our wells.”Less radical Southerners thought that with Northern antislavery dominance of the federal government, slavery would eventually be abolished, regardless of present constitutional limits.

Bertram Wyatt-Brown argues that secessionists desired independence as necessary for their honor. They could no longer tolerate Northern state attitudes that regarded slave ownership as a great sin and Northern politicians who insisted on stopping the spread of slavery.

Another bloc of Southerners resented Northern criticism of slavery and restrictions on slavery but opposed secession as dangerous and unnecessary. However, the “conditional Unionists” also hoped that when faced with secession, Northerners would stifle anti-slavery rhetoric and accept pro-slavery rules for the territories. It was that group that prevented immediate secession in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas when Lincoln took office on 4 March 1861. He took no action against the secessionists in the seven “Confederate” states but also declared that secession had no legal validity and refused to surrender federal property in those states. (He also reiterated his opposition to slavery anywhere in the territories.) The standoff continued until mid-April, when Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered Confederate troops to bombard and capture Fort Sumter.

Lincoln then called for troops to put down rebellion, which wiped out the possibility that the crisis could be resolved by compromise. Nearly all “conditional Unionists” joined the secessionists. The Virginia convention and the reconvened Arkansas convention both declared secession, as did the legislatures of Tennessee and North Carolina; all four states joined the Confederacy.

The best military leaders were southreners. Robert E lee was offered the leadership of the Union Army. Back then your STATE was your COUNTRY. He chose to stay with his “country” Virginia.

The union army was smaller than the confederate army. The south started out fight a defensive war on their own home territory.

Bruce Taylor explained, “Culturally southerners always had guns in the lives and spent time hunting and doing things outdoors. They were better prepared for war.”

Photo by Mathew B. Brady, 1823? – 15 Jan 1896

Lincoln passed the state bar to be a lawyer by self study.

Lincoln believed the blacks and whites could not live together.

In a speech delivered on June 17, 1858, at the close of the Republican State Convention, Lincoln caught the mood of many in the North who were increasingly concerned about the morality of slavery on the one hand, and the need to preserve the Union on the other. Though the “house divided” phrase had been used frequently before, it was this speech of Lincoln’s that gave currency and familiarity to the phrase and the idea.

Things that changed Lincoln’s view of his country:

Fugitive slave law: Passed on September 18, 1850 by Congress, The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was part of the Compromise of 1850. The act required that slaves be returned to their owners, even if they were in a free state. The act also made the federal government responsible for finding, returning, and trying escaped slaves.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act –  became law on May 30, 1854 – repealed the Missouri Compromise, created two new territories, and allowed for popular sovereignty. It also produced a violent uprising known as “Bleeding Kansas,” as proslavery and antislavery activists flooded into the territories to sway the vote. Political turmoil followed, destroying the remnants of the old Whig coalition and leading to the creation of the new Republican Party. Stephen Douglas had touted his bill as a peaceful settlement of national issues, but what it produced was a prelude to civil war. It made the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, allowing the states to vote on whether slavery was legal or not. This law canceled the Missouri Compromise, which declared that slavery was not legal in those areas.

Dred Scott Decision: (1857) The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Dred Scott case struck down the Missouri Compromise as unconstitutional, maintaining that Congress had no power to forbid or abolish slavery in the territories. The ruling was that black people had never been and could never been citizens of the United States and have not rights that white men are bound to respect.

John Brown – (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was an American abolitionist leader. First reaching national prominence for his radical abolitionism and fighting in Bleeding Kansas, he was eventually captured and executed for a failed incitement of a slave rebellion, in October 1859, at Harpers Ferry preceding the American Civil War.

Bleeding Kansas – a border war on the Kansas-Missouri border. It started with the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854. It continued into the American Civil War (1854–1861).It was an ugly war between groups of people who had strong beliefs about slavery.[3] The term was first coined by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune. He used it to describe the violence happening in the Kansas territory during the mid to late 1850s. Three different groups were fighting for power in Kansas at the time. These were those who were pro-slavery, abolitionists and free-staters. Bleeding Kansas, fought over the issue of slavery, was a precursor of events to come in the American Civil War.

New Republican Party – merged in 1854 to combat the Kansas–Nebraska Act and the expansion of slavery into American territories. The early Republican Party consisted of northern Protestants, factory workers, professionals, businessmen, prosperous farmers, and after 1866, former black slaves.

Senator Charles Sumner Caning: May 22, 1856, a member of the House of Representatives entered the Senate Chamber and savagely beat a senator into unconsciousness. The inspiration for this clash came three days earlier when Senator Charles Sumner, a Massachusetts antislavery Republican, addressed the Senate on the explosive issue of whether Kansas should be admitted to the Union as a slave state or a free state. In his “Crime Against Kansas” speech, Sumner identified two Democratic senators as the principal culprits in this crime—Stephen Douglas of Illinois and Andrew Butler of South Carolina. He characterized Douglas to his face as a “noise-some, squat, and nameless animal . . . not a proper model for an American senator.”  Andrew Butler, who was not present, received more elaborate treatment. Mocking the South Carolina senator’s stance as a man of chivalry, the Massachusetts senator charged him with taking “a mistress . . . who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight—I mean,” added Sumner, “the harlot, Slavery.” Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina beat Sumner with his metal-topped cane. Surviving a House censure resolution, Brooks resigned, was immediately reelected, and soon thereafter died at age 37. Sumner recovered slowly and returned to the Senate 3 years later, where he remained for another 18 years. The nation, suffering from the breakdown of reasoned discourse that this event symbolized, tumbled onward toward the catastrophe of civil war.

John Brown – In May 1858, Brown held a secret anti-slavery convention in Canada. About 50 black and white supporters adopted Brown’s anti-slavery constitution. In December, Brown moved beyond talk and plans. He led a daring raid from Kansas across the border into Missouri, where he killed one slave owner and freed 11 slaves. In the North, his raid was greeted by many with widespread admiration. While they recognized the raid itself was the act of a madman, some northerners admired his zeal and courage. Church bells pealed on the day of his execution and songs and paintings were created in his honor. Brown was turned into an instant martyr. To some Southerners, Brown’s behavior was that of an aberrant lunatic. For most Southerners, however, Brown’s fanatic and violent attack on their “peculiar institution” was all too typical of what they imagined to be unified Northern popular opinion.

Despotism – the exercise of absolute power, especially in a cruel and oppressive way.

Lincoln believed that black are inferior rather they are slaves or free.

He took the words of the declaration of independence and turned it into the nation’s moral compass, adds in the constitution and moral scriptures to create a really powerful argument. He makes his name in debate after debate in the Lincoln Douglass debates. He has a passion for the antislavery position.


The Prayer of Twenty Millions” – August 19, 1862, Horace Greeley, the influential editor of the New York Tribune, published an open letter (“The Prayer of Twenty Millions”) calling on Lincoln to free the slaves as a way of weakening the Confederacy.

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

― Abraham Lincoln

“Right makes might.”― Abraham Lincoln

As soon as Lincoln was elected South Carolina would be the first state to secede from the Union, on December 20, 1860, and would join the newly formed Confederate States of America in the February of the following year. South Carolina would not vote in another presidential election until 1868. They, and all the other states, left for preservation and expansion slavery.

2/11/1861 – Lincoln took a long and winding route to the capital / White House / Washington D.C. because there were several people trying to kill Lincoln. Pinkerton, founder of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, foiled a plot to assassinate Lincoln in 1861. Before the creation of the Secret Service, presidents relied on the military to protect them.

By the time Lincoln took office, 7 states had left the union and four more states soon joined them. In his inaugural address, Lincoln promised not to interfere with the institution of slavery where it existed, and pledged to suspend the activities of the federal government temporarily in areas of hostility. However, he also took a firm stance against secession and the seizure of federal property. The government, insisted Lincoln, would “hold, occupy, and possess” its property and collect its taxes. ALL FEDERAL PROPERTY INCLUDING FORTS IN THE SOUTH STILL BELONGED TO THE UNION. He said,”… We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Black people were disappointed with Lincoln.

Six weeks later, the Confederates fired canons on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Civil War began. After a 34-hour exchange of artillery fire, Anderson and 86 soldiers surrendered the fort on April 13. Confederate troops then occupied Fort Sumter for nearly four years, resisting several bombardments by Union forces before abandoning the garrison prior to William T. Sherman’s capture of Charleston in February 1865. (There were no casualties during the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter at the start of the American Civil War. The only Union deaths came during the evacuation: One soldier was killed and another mortally wounded in an accidental explosion during a planned 100-gun salute.)

Lincoln “I will not be the first to fire on my countrymen.”

On January 1, 1862, Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. It is a military document not a humanitarian document. Black men could join the union army. If you want freedom, you should join the union army and fight for it. Fredrick Douglass sent his sons to fight with a MA troop. It was well short of a call for equality.

Stereograph showing dead Confederate soldiers in ditch on the battlefield at Antietam, Md. Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882, photographer

Sunken Road battle – The Sunken Road became a symbol of tragedy at the Battle of Fredericksburg. On December 13, 1862, United States forces under General Ambrose Burnside attacked the stone wall along the Sunken Road. Wave after wave of US soldiers marched towards the Confederate line; none made it closer than 50 yards. The Sunken Road, as it was known to area residents prior to the Battle of Antietam, was a dirt farm lane which was used primarily by farmers to bypass Sharpsburg and been worn down over the years by rain and wagon traffic. It was the first battle to be photographed.

Class notes March 25: I missed class. The watch part of a film called Lincoln at Gettysburg. I watched it alone and took notes.

Lincoln@Gettysburg, Narrated by David Stratharin, , PBS, 2013. An examination of how President Abraham Lincoln used contemporary telecommunications to his maximum advantage in the American Civil War.

1863 – the Union is losing. Robert E lee is winning every battle he fights. Lincoln needed a victory. Lincoln used a telegraph to communicate with his generals. His telegraph room was his situation room. He took information in and sent information out. The telegraph was his twitter and used the telegraph as a weapon of war. This was a new way to conduct war. Lincoln was managing the war.

Robert E Lee invades the north. Everyone thought Lee was impossible to stop. Lincoln used the telegraph to figure out where and what Lee was doing. Lincoln asked general Hooker to stop Lee. Hooker ignored Lincoln. Lee entered PA with 80,000 soldiers. Lincoln allowed hooker to resign. George Gordon Meade takes over and decisively defeated Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. In the battle, Union Maj. Gen. George Meade’s Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee’s invasion of the North. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war’s turning point due to the Union’s decisive victory and concurrence with the Siege of Vicksburg.

Troops stood shoulder to shoulder and marched into canon and musket fire. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies were casualties in the three-day battle, the most costly in US history.

July 4 the fight ended and the tourist came from Philadelphia and Washington DC and were put to work. It was a horrible sight. Over 50 people died or were maimed at Gettysburg.

A crew of 10 black men where hired to move the bodies from all over the region to a national cemetery, find the letters and diaries and personal effects to return them to the soldiers families.

Ten weeks after Gettysburg the union loses another big battle in Georgia.

The Gettysburg Address is a speech that U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered during the American Civil War at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of November 19, 1863, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Lincoln’s carefully crafted address, not even that day’s primary speech, came to be seen as one of the greatest and most influential statements of American national purpose. In just 271 words, beginning with the now famous phrase “Four score and seven years ago,”‍ referring to the signing of the Declaration of Independence 87 years earlier, Lincoln described the US as a nation “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” and represented the Civil War as a test that would determine whether such a nation, the Union sundered by the secession crisis, could endure. He extolled the sacrifices of those who died at Gettysburg in defense of those principles, and exhorted his listeners to resolve
“that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

William Henry Johnson (March 4, 1833 – January 28, 1864) was a free African American and the personal valet of Abraham Lincoln. Having first worked for Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois, Johnson accompanied the President-Elect to Washington, D.C. for his first inauguration (1861). Once there, he was employed in various jobs, part-time as President’s valet and barber, and later, following strife with others on the White House staff, as a messenger for the Treasury Department at $600 (equivalent to US$17,282 in 2020) per year. He was shunned and treated miserably by other White House servants, because they were not welcoming of newcomers, did not want a change in the established pecking order among staff, and disliked that he was a particularly dark-skinned African-American. Until that point, all servants of the White House were light-skinned. He traveled with Lincoln in November 1863 to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. While traveling, Lincoln experienced symptoms of the onset of smallpox. At that time, an epidemic was spreading through Washington, D.C. and Lincoln’s son Tad Lincoln had smallpox. Johnson tended to Lincoln and became quite ill by January 12, 1864, when he was admitted to a hospital. Johnson died within the next couple of weeks.

The telegraph line took the Gettysburg Address e very where (Viral) and was short enough to be published in every newspaper. He said that the nation started with the declaration of indepence and not with the constitution. Our national identity started with this speech.

President Lincoln delivered the 272 word Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Class notes March 28

After the Civil War, southern states were pretending that they never never the union.

At the beginning of the war South was fighting to keep slavery and north was fighting to only keep slavery in only the southern states with no expansion.

10 percent plan: A model for reinstatement of Southern states, offered by Abraham Lincoln in December 1863, that decreed that a state could be reintegrated into the Union when 10 percent of the 1860 vote count from that state had taken an oath of allegiance to the United States and pledged to abide by emancipation. The next step in the process would be for the states to formally elect a state government. Also, a state legislature could write a new constitution, but it also had to abolish slavery forever. At that time, Lincoln would recognize the reconstructed government.

Sharecropping – a system where the landlord/planter allows a tenant to use the land in exchange for a share of the crop. This encouraged tenants to work to produce the biggest harvest that they could, and ensured they would remain tied to the land and unlikely to leave for other opportunities.

Johnson’s reconstruction plan – Only one Southern senator – Johnson – stayed in the union. He was from Tennessee and hated the large planters. If you owned 15,000 worth of property you would lose you right to vote. But he let them back in as individuals if they ratified the 13th amendment because he thought the blacks were inferior and could not have any rights. In 1865 President Andrew Johnson implemented a plan of Reconstruction that gave the white South a free hand in regulating the transition from slavery to freedom and offered no role to blacks in the politics of the South. In May 1865, President Andrew Johnson offered a pardon to all white Southerners except Confederate leaders and wealthy planters (although most of these later received individual pardons), and authorized them to create new governments. Most of the North against Johnson’s policy. Congress later took control of reconstruction.

Mississippi Black Codes: State laws to keep the former slaves as close to slavery as they could without slavery being legal. EVERY state legislatures passed the Black Codes, severely limiting the former slaves’ legal rights and economic options so as to force them to return to the plantations as dependent laborers. Some states limited the occupations open to blacks. 

The 14th amendment happen as a responds to what happened to with the 13th amendment

One Drop rule: those descended from a Negro to the third generation inclusive, though one ancestor of each generation may have been a white person.

Class notes April 1

The Civil Rights Act of 1866, 14 Stat. 27-30, enacted April 9, 1866, was the first United States federal law to define US citizenship and affirmed that all citizens were equally protected by the law. It was mainly intended to protect the civil rights of African-Americans, in the wake of the American Civil War. The Civil Rights Act of 1866, 14 Stat. 27-30, enacted April 9, 1866, was the first United States federal law to define US citizenship and affirmed that all citizens were equally protected by the law. It was mainly intended to protect the civil rights of African-Americans, in the wake of the American Civil War.

1867 congress took control of reconstruction acts. For states to get back to the union and send representatives to congress the state states had to ratify the 14th amendment AND rewrite their state constitutions making blacks citizens giving them the right to vote and be part of the state legislatures and be elected to congress. This created the KKK to keep blacks from gaining political power.

Carpet Baggers – o a traveler who arrives in a new region with only a satchel (or carpetbag) of possessions, and who attempts to profit from or gain control over his new surroundings, often against the will or consent of the original inhabitants.


The Fourteenth Amendment (Reconstruction Amendment) is to the United States Constitution that was adopted in 1868. It granted citizenship and equal civil and legal rights to African Americans and enslaved people who had been emancipated after the American Civil War. It included them under the umbrella phrase “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.” The Fourteenth Amendment forbids the states from depriving any person of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” and from denying anyone equal protection under the law. The amendment also prohibits former civil and military office holders who had supported the Confederacy from again holding any state or federal office.

Session 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Session 2. What does it mean?

Section Two of the 14th Amendment repealed the three-fifths clause (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3) of the original Constitution, which counted enslaved people as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of apportioning congressional representation. With slavery outlawed by the 13th Amendment, this clarified that all residents, regardless of race, should be counted as one whole person. This section also guaranteed that all male citizens over age 21, no matter their race, had a right to vote. If states keep any male citizens from voting, that state will have their number of representatives reduce in the house will be reduced.

Section 5 The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Does the right to vote begin with the 14th amendment or does it happen in the 15th amendment?

14th gives black males the right to vote but the 15th amendment protects the right to vote. If states are interfering with voter participation on racial grounds, the states should lose representation in the house of Reps.

Nothing is more fundamental than voting as right to citizen

Black people go to vote during the 7 years after reconstruction. States got to decide who got to vote. White people shut that down in the 1890s and keep blacks out of the polls until the 60s.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 sent federal government registers to sign blacks up to the voter polls. States that have shown that they have not let black people to vote and keep track of the voting rules. States needed federal government permission to make any changes.

1930 blacks still can not vote in the south so the great migration happens with blacks moving north and be come part of the new deal collation and become part of the Democratic Party.

Inevitable progress – advancement to a further or higher stage, or to further or higher stages successively; growth; development, usually to a better state or condition; improvement… applied especially to manifestations of social and economic change or reform is certain to happen and is unavoidable.

15th amendment (Voting Rights (1870) – The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. This walks back the law that said voting rights are decided by the states. 15th Amendment, enacted in 1870, appeared to signify the fulfillment of all promises to African Americans. Set free by the 13th amendment, with citizenship guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, Black males were given the vote by the 15th Amendment. In retrospect, it can be seen that the 15th Amendment was in reality only another step in the struggle for equality

Lynching – racialized violence

Antilynching law finally passed March 2022. H.R.55 – Emmett Till Antilynching Act

117th Congress (2021-2022)

Ulysses S. Grant and the KKK – Following an escalation of Klan violence in the late 1860s, Grant and his Attorney General Amos T. Akerman, head of the newly created Department of Justice, began a crackdown on Klan activity in the South, starting in South Carolina, where Grant sent federal troops to capture Klan members.

History is about our own values.

Lost Cause narrative; History textbooks promoted the following: the constitutionality of southern secession, the benevolence of the institution of slavery, the belligerency of Abraham Lincoln, and the heroism of Confederate soldiers and officers during the war.

3 areas of concern



Lynching / violence

A six-year study published in 2017 by the Equal Justice Initiative found that 4,084 black men, women, and children fell victim to “racial terror lynchings” in twelve Southern states between 1877 and 1950, besides 300 that took place in other states.

State legislatures during Reconstruction established public schools for every one even black. Blacks valued education.

Civil rights act of 1875 – Enacted on March 1, 1875, the Civil Rights Act affirmed the “equality of all men before the law” and prohibited racial discrimination in public places and facilities such as restaurants and public transportation. In 1883, The United States Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights act of 1875, forbidding discrimination in hotels, trains, and other public spaces, was unconstitutional and not authorized by the 13th or 14th Amendments of the Constitution because private people had a right to do what they wanted.

March Notes

“Sesquizygotic”~ the twins are semi-identical

Mental highlight reel. Prepare a ‘highlight’ reel of your success – family, education, athletics, coaching, work success. Include five items that made a difference in your life (13 second video)

Two Laws of Common Laws: 
1) Do all you have agreed to do, and
2) Do not encroach on other persons or their property.

The deliberate killing of a person who has not harmed anyone is murder – even in war.

The majority does not vote for what is right, they vote for what they want.

Politics has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.

The overwhelming portion of murder in history has come from the hands of government.

While certain public policies would in the long run benefit everybody, other policies would benefit one group only at the expense of all other groups. The group that would benefit by such policies, having such a direct interest in them, will argue for them plausibly and persistently. It will hire the best buyable minds to devote their whole time to presenting its case. And it will finally either convince the general public that its case is sound, or so befuddle it that clear thinking on the subject becomes next to impossible. . . the whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence.The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.

Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993), was a libertarian philosopher, an economist, and a journalist. Hazlitt was a Libertarian and makes no apologies for his preference that government interfere in an economy only when the public good is incontrovertible.

Incontrovertible ~ not able to be denied or disputed.

Real wealth, of course, consists in what is produced and consumed: the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the houses we live in.” ~ Henry Hazlitt

paradox of thrift ~ an economic theory that argues that personal savings can be detrimental to overall economic growth. It is based on a circular flow of the economy in which current spending drives future spending. It calls for a lowering of interest rates to boost spending levels during an economic recession.

Competition decreases your market share and shrinks your customer base, especially if demand for your products or services is limited from the start. A competitive market can also force you to lower your prices to stay competitive, decreasing your return on each item you produce and sell.

fallacy – LOGIC a failure in reasoning which renders an argument invalid. faulty reasoning; misleading or unsound argument. a mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument.

A fallacy is a kind of error in reasoning.

Lego is an abbreviation of two Danish words that together mean “play well.”

ephemerides ~ a table or data file giving the calculated positions of a celestial object at regular intervals throughout a period. a book or set of such tables or files.

Adversity + Support = Resilience

Decisions determine destiny. Learning is part habit and part choice.

Track what works.

Razorblade Tears

This month I checked the book club selection, Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby, out of our school library. This meant that I had to change the way I take notes. If I own the books I circle, underline and scribble notes in the margins.

The book centers around a seemingly random act of violence that sends two homophobic, ex-convict fathers, Buddy Lee Jenkins and Ike Randolph. When their sons (one black, one white and married to each other) are murdered, the middle-aged fathers grudgingly come together to avenge the murder of their sons despite both fathers being estranged from their sons and being almost as ashamed of the sons for being gay as the sons were ashamed of the fathers criminal records.

The two ex-cons had nothing in common but a murdering, violent criminal pasts and a love for their dead sons. A brash and unabashed redneck and a tatted up Black small businessman barely holding on to his restraint, Buddy Lee and Ike are virtual strangers who should have become family when their boys fell in love. But bigotry and bad judgment are hard habits to break. Though the book is full of gratuitous violence, blood and profanity, the complexity of the relationship between the fathers is as much a driving force of the storyline as the action; their tense relationship is defined by mistrust and suspicion yet evolves into acceptance and ‘family.’

Though violence is a major component of the narrative in Razorblade Tears I enjoyed the storyline so much that I read the book in to – long – sittings and thought about the characters when I did not have time to read.

Epicurean– fond of or adapted to luxury or indulgence in sensual pleasures; having luxurious tastes or habits, especially in eating and drinking. fit for an epicure: epicurean delicacies. (initial capital letter) of, relating to, or characteristic of Epicurus or Epicureanism.

Tam-o’-shanter – a woolen cap of Scottish origin with a tight headband, wide flat circular crown, and usually a pompon in the center

If you stay prepared, you didn’t have to get prepared. – Andy (before he broke into Isaiah and Derek’s home.

This is who I am. I can’t change. I don’t want to, really. But for once I’m gonna put this devil inside me to good use.” – Buddy Lee at his son’s grave side after he put Andy’s corpse through the wood chipper and buried the chips in a manure pile in Ike’s warehouse.

Human beings were wired to get used to just about anything. That didn’t make you hard. It makes you indoctrinated.

Hirsuteness– Covered with hair; hairy. Covered with stiff or coarse hairs.

…an honest day’s work. Of hours spent beautifying someone’s yard who wouldn’t spit on you if you were on fire but had to pay you because they wouldn’t or couldn’t be bothered to put down their own mulch or fertilize their own flower gardens.

Men might walk on two legs but they were the most vicious animals of all. Especially when they thought they had a numbers advantage.

Time makes loyalty thin. People shed it like snakeskin.

I’ve learned to always be ready to be disappointed by white people. Doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it don’t shock me anymore. – Ike to Buddy Lee

…you remember when they used to play The Ten Commandants on television every Easter? And there’s this part where the boy tells his granddaddy to look at the Nubians? My granddaddy on my mamma’s side would always make this joke about them not being Nubians, they just, you know, what he said. And I used to laugh at that joke because it it was my granddaddy saying it. I never thought , I never had to think how someone like you would feel about that joke. Then when I got older I stopped thinking about it, because if that joke was fucked up, then what did that say about my granddaddy? What did it say about me that I laughed at it? – Buddy Lee said to Ike

Folks like to talk about revenge like it’s a righteous thing but it is just hate in a nicer suit. – Ike to Tangerine

Photo Credit: Sam Sauter Photography S. A. Cosby is an Anthony Award-winning writer from Southeastern Virginia. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was a New York Times Notable Book, and was named a best book of the year by NPR, The Guardian, and Library Journal, among others. When not writing, he is an avid hiker and chess player.

Civil Rights Class Week 6

I forgot to post this before spring break.

Southern novelist William Faulkner’s famous line saying “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” is usually interpreted as a reflection on how the evils of our history continue to shape the present. But Faulkner also argued, equally accurately, that the past is “not even past” because what happens in the present changes the way we remember the past.

Heather Cox Richardson
Wentworth Cheswell, grandson of a black indentured servant , had a long career in public office. Elected in 1768 as a town constable in New Hampshire, he became the first black elected to office in America. In 1770, he was a town selectman, considered as one of the “town fathers” in the community. Other public offices he held included that of Auditor, Assessor, Coroner, Moderator (presiding over town meetings), and Justice of the Peace. In the latter role, he oversaw trials, settled disputes, and executed legal documents. Altogether, Cheswell held some form of public office for 49 years.

Wentworth Cheswell (11 April 1746 – 8 March 1817) [His father, Hopestill Cheswell, was born free to a white mother and Richard Cheswell, an indentured black laborer in Exeter, New Hampshire, who was the first Cheswell recorded in New England.] Wentworth Cheswell was an American assessor, auditor, Justice of the Peace, teacher and Revolutionary War veteran in Newmarket, New Hampshire. Elected as town constable in 1768, he was elected to other positions, serving in local government every year but one until his death. (He went to Governor’s Academy!) Cheswell is considered by George Mason University to be the first African American elected to public office in the history of the United States. []

Wentworth Cheswell is honored as a Revolutionary hero rather closely modeled on the figure of Paul Revere. As the town messenger on the Committee of Safety during the Revolution, he too, had made an all-night ride back from Boston to warn his community of the impending British invasion.

In April 1776, he signed a document in which he pledged, “at the risk of . . . live and fortune,” to take up arms to resist the British, and in September 1777, he enlisted in a company of Light Horse Volunteers commanded by Colonel John Langdon (Langdon later became one of the 55 Founding Fathers who drafted the U. S. Constitution, then a framer of the Bill of Rights, and later the New Hampshire governor). Langdon’s company made a 250-mile march to Saratoga, New York, to join with the Continental Army under General Horatio Gates to defeat British General Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga – the first major American victory in the Revolution. [Rachel Grace Toussaint, “Legacy of Newmarket founding father revealed”,, 22 December 2002, hosted at Newmarket, New Hampshire Historical Society]

Housewright~ a builder of wooden houses : a house carpenter.

William Hamilton (1773 – December 9, 1836) was a prominent African-American orator and civil rights activist, based in New York City. He was born to a free black woman and was reputed to be a natural son of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father. William Hamilton is best known as a leader in the first wave of American abolitionism. [Leslie M. Alexander, African or American?: Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861 (2013), p. 253 and passim.]

Natural child ~ a child born out of lawful wedlock : an illegitimate child; a bastard – and are distinguished from legitimate children.

Sic passim ~ so throughout —used of a word or idea to be found throughout a book or a writer’s work.

Passim ~ : in one place and another —used in citations of cases, articles, or books to indicate that something (as a word, phrase, or idea) is found at many places in the work cited; here, there, and everywhere. every which way. everywhere in. all through.

Juan Garrido was the first documented African American. Much of what we know about Garrido comes from his probanza de merito, or “proof of merit,” which states that while he was from West Africa born and raised, exploring is where he spent most of his days. Born around 1487, Garrido moved to Portugal before eventually landing in Spain, converting to Christianity and changing his name to what translates as “Johnny Handsome”. Historian Ricardo Alegría believes Garrido was the son of an African king who sent his son to Portugal as an emissary. In any case, in 1503, at 15 years old, Garrido joined explorer Ponce de Leon’s expedition to New World, landing on Hispaniola’s island. From there, Garrido rode around with Ponce de Leon as the Spanish explorer enslaved and killed Taino around the Caribbean.

Hiram Rhodes Revels (September 27, 1827 – January 16, 1901) was first African American elected to US Congress (1870).

Homework 1:

John C. Calhoun on the Error of “All Men are Created Equal” (1848) in this speech, John C. Calhoun, South Carolina’s leading proponent of slavery, asserted that that the Declaration of Independence was in error when it stated that “all men are created equal.” Echoing classical republican themes, he argued that liberty was a prize that should be granted only to those sufficiently moral and worthy. Unlike early republicans, Calhoun found these qualities not in rare selfless individuals or even independent propertied classes, but in the white race itself. Calhoun went on to say that liberty is something to be earned. As you read his speech, consider the logic and proof he marshaled to disprove the common claim that “all men are born free and equal.” How did his racial republicanism reflect larger changes in the national debate over slave and free labor?

Reading notes:

Calhoun — the man who started the civil war — asserted that the Declaration of Independence was in error when it stated that “all men are created equal.” He argued that liberty was a prize that should be granted only to those sufficiently moral and worthy. He said liberty is something to be earned.

John C. Calhoun, the South’s recognized intellectual and political leader from the 1820s until his death in 1850, devoted much of his remarkable intellectual energy to defending slavery. He developed a two-point defense. One was a political theory that the rights of a minority section—in particular, the South—needed special protecting in the federal union. The second was an argument that presented slavery as an institution that benefited all involved.

It is the most false and dangerous of all political errors that “all men are born free and equal.”

  1. Infants not men are born.
  2. Infants are incapable freedom and savage and civilized, until the development of their intellect and physical capacity enables them to take care of themselves.
  3. “all men are created equal” is not true because it was inserted in our Declaration of Independence without any necessity.
  4. The worst form of government is better than anarchy; and that individual liberty, or freedom, must be subordinate to whatever power may be necessary to protect society against anarchy within or destruction from without;
  5. Instead of all men having the same right to liberty and equality, they are high prizes to be won, and are in their most perfect state, not only the highest reward that can be bestowed on our race, but the most difficult to be won-and when won, the most difficult to be preserved.

George Fitzhugh, “The Universal Law of Slavery” (1850) After 1830, increasingly radical arguments emerged both for and against slavery. In the South, the lawyer and author George Fitzhugh became perhaps the most radical defender of slavery and the hierarchical social order of which it was the lynchpin. He disdained America’s claim to be a “free society” and welcomed the eclipse of that ideal in favor of the “community” of masters and slaves, united in their mutual dependence. As you read his argument, consider the role of the rising theories of scientific racism in his conclusions. What does he say about the “free labor” society that was being celebrated by the more urban and industrial North?

Reading notes:

After 1830, increasingly radical arguments emerged both for and against slavery.


  1. most radical defender of slavery and the hierarchical social order of which it was the lynchpin.
  2. disdained America’s claim to be a “free society”
  3. welcomed the eclipse of that ideal in favor of the “community” of masters and slaves, united in their mutual dependence
  4. Believed in theories of scientific racism
  5. Negro is a grown up child, and must be governed as a child with master a parent or guardian.
  6. Negro is improvident
  7. Negros would become an insufferable burden to society unless he is a slave
  8. negro race is inferior to the white raceradual but certain extermination would be their fate if freed
  9. Blacks would become idolatrous, savage and cannibal, or be devoured by savages and cannibals if returned to Aftics or taken to West Indies.
  10. Freed in the North Blacks would freeze or starve.
  11. Negroes are better off morally as slaves
  12. “The negro slaves of the South are the happiest, and, in some sense, the freest people in the world. The children and the aged and infirm work not at all, and yet have all the comforts and necessaries of life provided for them. They enjoy liberty, because they are oppressed neither by care nor labor. The women do little hard work, and are protected from the despotism of their husbands by their masters. The negro men and stout boys work, on the average, in good weather, not more than nine hours a day. The balance of their time is spent in perfect abandon.”
  13. The master labors for the slave, they exchange industrial value.

Improvement ~ not having or showing foresight; spendthrift or thoughtless; : not provident; not foreseeing and providing for the future.

Idolatrous ~ worshiping idols; treating someone or something as an idol.

Despotism ~ the exercise of absolute power, especially in a cruel and oppressive way; a country or political system where the ruler holds absolute power.

Homework 2: Read the founding document of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Society, William Lloyd Garrison (1833)

William Lloyd Garrison.
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

In 1833, the same year that Lydia Maria Child published her appeal, a group of abolitionists gathered together to found the American Anti-Slavery Society. A number of the representatives had been involved in the creation of the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832 and the New York society that followed, but they believed that there should be a national organization. Prominent among them was William Lloyd Garrison (1805–1879). Garrison gave his first public address against slavery in 1829, and soon thereafter, in 1831, began publishing the Boston Liberator. Over the next three decades he vigorously fought slavery with words even as he opposed violence to free the slaves. Besides his public speeches and Liberator editorials, Garrison helped to draft the New England society’s constitution as well as the Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Society. He also served as president of the latter society from 1843 to 1865.

Reading notes:

Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Society

William Lloyd Garrison (11805–1879) helped start National Anti-Slavery Society. In 1831 he began publishing the Boston Liberator. Over the next three decades he vigorously fought slavery with words even as he opposed violence to free the slaves.

Temple of Freedom ‘that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of happiness.’

‘Every man has a right to his own body—to the products of his own labor—to the protection of law—and to the common advantages of society. It is piracy to buy or steal a native African, and subject him to servitude. Surely, the sin is as great to enslave an American as an African. Therefore we believe and affirm—that there is no difference, in principle, between the African slave trade and American slavery: That every American citizen, who detains a human being in involuntary bondage as his property, is, according to Scripture, (Ex. xxi. 16,) a man-stealer.’

…’freeing the slave is not depriving them of property, but restoring it to its rightful owner; it is not wronging the master, but righting the slave—restoring him to himself: Because immediate and general emancipation would only destroy nominal, not real property; it would not amputate a limb or break a bone of the slaves, but by infusing motives into their breasts, would make them doubly valuable to the masters as free laborers; and Because, if compensation is to be given at all, it should be given to the outraged and guiltless slaves, and not to those who have plundered and abused them.’

‘We fully and unanimously recognise the sovereignty of each State, to legislate exclusively on the subject of the slavery which is tolerated within its limits; we concede that Congress, under the present national compact, has no right to interfere with any of the slave States, in relation to this momentous subject: But we maintain that Congress has a right, and is solemnly bound, to suppress the domestic slave trade between the several States, and to abolish slavery in those portions of our territory which the Constitution has placed under its exclusive jurisdiction.’

* * * Done at Philadelphia, December 6th, A.D.1833 [From Selections from the Writings and Speeches of William Lloyd Garrison. Orig. publ. in 1852 by R. F. Wallcut. (New York: Negro Universities Press, 1968), pp. 66–71.]

The Slave’s Friend, children’s periodical published by R.G. Williams for the American Anti-Slavery Society (1836).
“The Negro Woman’s Appeal to Her White Sisters.” Richard Barrett, ca. 1850s. Broadside. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Reading notes:

William Lloyd Garrison (1805–1879). Garrison gave his first public address against slavery in 1829, and soon thereafter, in 1831, began publishing the Boston Liberator.

A copy of The Liberator, November 23, 1855.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C.; gift from the Liljenquist Family Collection (object no. 2016.166.41.8)

57 years after declaration of proclamation

“Their principles led them to wage war against their oppressors, and to spill human blood like water, in order to be free.” However the Anti-Slavery Society must not use violence but only the “power of love.”

“…at the present time at least one sixth part of our countrymen—are recognized by law, and treated by their fellow-beings, as marketable commodities, as goods and chattels, as brute beasts; . . . For the crime of having a dark complexion, they suffer the pangs of hunger, the infliction of stripes, the ignominy of brutal servitude. They are kept in heathenish darkness by laws expressly enacted to make their instruction a criminal offence.”

“The right to enjoy liberty is inalienable. To invade it is to usurp the prerogative of Jehovah. Every man has a right to his own body—to the products of his own labor—to the protection of law—and to the common advantages of society. It is piracy to buy or steal a native African, and subject him to servitude. Surely, the sin is as great to enslave an American as an African. Therefore we believe and affirm—that there is no difference, in principle, between the African slave trade and American slavery:”

Fight for” immediate and total abolition of slavery.”

The slaveholders should not be paid to free them because slavery is a crime and free a slave returns the slave to their proper owner — themself.

“Because, if compensation is to be given at all, it should be given to the outraged and guiltless slaves, and not to those who have plundered and abused them.”

Black people need to be paid for their labor.

“…we maintain that Congress has a right, and is solemnly bound, to suppress the domestic slave trade between the several States, and to abolish slavery in those portions of our territory which the Constitution has placed under its exclusive jurisdiction. We also maintain that there are, at the present time, the highest obligations resting upon the people of the free States to remove slavery by moral and political action, as prescribed in the Constitution of the United States.”

Southern States…”authorize the slave owner to vote for three-fifths of his slaves as property, and thus enable him to perpetuate his oppression; they support a standing army at the South for its protection; and they seize the slave, who has escaped into their territories, and send him back to be tortured by an enraged master or a brutal driver. This relation to slavery is criminal, and full of danger: IT MUST BE BROKEN UP.”

They plan to;

  1. Organize Anti-Slavery Societies, if possible, in every city, town and village in our land.
  2. Send forth agents to lift up the voice of remonstrance, of warning, of entreaty, and of rebuke.
  3. Circulate, unsparingly and extensively, antislavery tracts and periodicals.
  4. Enlist the pulpit and the press in the cause of the suffering and the dumb.
  5. Aim at a purification of the churches from all participation in the guilt of slavery.
  6. Encourage the labor of freemen rather than that of slaves, by giving a preference to their productions
  7. Spare no exertions nor means to bring the whole nation to speedy repentance

[From Selections from the Writings and Speeches of William Lloyd Garrison. Orig. publ. in 1852 by R. F. Wallcut. (New York: Negro Universities Press, 1968), pp. 66–71.]

Listen to Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in its entirety.

Class notes: Feb 28, 2022 –

Bruce Taylor read parts of this MLk speech and explained how it parallels the Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Society by William Lloyd Garrison: “…In a sense we have come to our Nation’s Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our great republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every Anerican was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed to the inalienable rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given its colored people a bad check, a check that has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’ But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice.”- From Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech

Yoke ~ Forked wooden sticks or yokes were used to tie captives together in a line or coffle when they were marched to the coast; the word yoke has a connotation that the one yoked is the one serving another and carrying their burden; a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.

American Colonization Society = back to Africa (Republic of Liberia)

American Anti-Slavery Society = equal rights for blacks

[Liberia began in the early 19th century as a project of the American Colonization Society (ACS), which believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States. Between 1822 and the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, more than 15,000 freed and free-born black people who faced social and legal oppression in the U.S., along with 3,198 Afro-Caribbeans, relocated to Liberia. Gradually developing an “Americo-Liberian” identity, the settlers carried their culture and tradition with them; the Liberian constitution and flag were modeled after those of the U.S., while its capital was named after ACS supporter and U.S. President James Monroe. Liberia declared independence on July 26, 1847, which the U.S. did not recognize until February 5, 1862. On January 3, 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a wealthy, free-born African American from the U.S. state of Virginia who settled in Liberia, was elected Liberia’s first president after the people proclaimed independence.]

1/6 of the population in the us in 1830 were slaves.

American Anti-Slavery Society became national putting all the local and state societies together. They met in the same place as the congressional congress when they signed the declaration of independence

Abolitionists were seen as crazy fringe people on the margins – extremists who worked from the underground.

Garrison’s paper was thought to be in on Nat Turner’s revolution – either directly or indirectly. The south put a price on his head.

“Behind numbers is strength.” – Bruce Taylor

LIBERTY – and its creation was incomplete because it did not include the slaves. The fore fathers “missed” freeing the slaves with the revolution. They fought a war to gain independence just for white men.

Garrison was a pacifist and preached against the use of violence to end slavery. He wanted an end to slavery immediately. He was waging a spiritual quest to end slavery. He believed that slavery was evil and should be ended. Once slavery is ended, the slaves should be given equal rights to white people. He said states have rights to decide about slavery in their own states but congress has the right stop sales of slaves between states and to not allow slavery in the new territories.

Not all abolitionists agreed. Some wanted to end slavery right away. Others wanted to do it slowly. Some were against violence to end slavery. Others wanted to use “god” and peaceful means.

Carnal weapons – war materials, weapons, and munitions; weapons of the body

Spiritual warfare ~ the Christian concept of fighting against the work of evil forces.

“The founding fathers grievances were not as great as the suffering of the slaves,” said Garrison. “If you feel empathy for the founding fathers, you should feel even more empathy for the enslaves.”

“…brutalized his mind, by denying him the means of intellectual, social, and moral improvement.”

1808 the slave trade ended, but American slave trade continued.

Abrogate – abolish; repeal or do away with (a law, right, or formal agreement); evade (a responsibility or duty)

Delusive – giving a false or misleading impression; misleading

Territories – an organized division of a country that is not yet admitted to the full rights of a state.

Homework 3: Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 The Fugitive Slave Act was one of four components of the Compromise of 1850. Both northerners and southerners were convinced that economic growth and prosperity lay in westward expansion. A “free soil” movement gained strength in the North that for some Americans meant a commitment to preventing the moral blight of slavery from spreading into new territories, but for many more Americans meant an effort to ensure that white labor would not have to compete with (or live beside) African-American slave labor. The South feared that its cash crop economy would collapse without new lands and that it would lose more control of the federal government with the enfranchisement of each new free state. The Fugitive Slave Act proved bitterly controversial. As you read the text, consider what powers the law gave the federal government and its agents over the citizens of any state harboring a fugitive. How could states’ rights advocates from the South have supported such an act? What actions of the slaves themselves made necessary such a desperate and novel piece of legislation?

During the 19th century, abolitionists and slaveholders were at odds over fugitive slave laws, which allowed slave owners to arrest alleged runaway slaves. The laws were sometimes exploited to kidnap falsely accused free blacks. Free states tried to protect escaped slaves by refusing to obey these laws. This print by Edward Williams Clay, an artist who published many proslavery cartoons, supports the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. In the cartoon, a Southerner mocks a Northerner who claims his goods—several bolts of fabric—have been stolen. “They are fugitives from you, are they?” asks the slaveholder. Adopting the rhetoric of abolitionists, he continues, “As to the law of the land, I have a higher law of my own, and possession is nine points in the law.”

Reading notes:

Fugitive Slave Acts, in U.S. history, statutes passed by Congress in 1793 and 1850 (and repealed in 1864) that provided for the seizure and return of runaway slaves who escaped from one state into another or into a federal territory. The Act was one of the most controversial elements of the 1850 compromise and heightened Northern fears of a slave power conspiracy. It required that all escaped slaves, upon capture, be returned to the slaver and that officials and citizens of free states had to cooperate. The Act contributed to the growing polarization of the country over the issue of slavery, and was one of the factors that led to the Civil War. [Other important factors were partisan politics, abolitionism, nullification versus secession, Southern and Northern nationalism, expansionism, economics, and modernization in the Antebellum period.]

By 1843, several hundred enslaved people a year escaped to the North successfully, making slavery an unstable institution in the border states. The earlier Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was a Federal law that was written with the intent to enforce Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, which required the return of escaped enslaved people. It sought to force the authorities in free states to return fugitives of enslavement to their masters.Many Northern states wanted to disregard the Fugitive Slave Act. Some jurisdictions passed personal liberty laws, mandating a jury trial before alleged fugitive slaves could be moved; others forbade the use of local jails or the assistance of state officials in the arrest or return of alleged fugitive slaves. In some cases, juries refused to convict individuals who had been indicted under the Federal law. [Thomas D. Morris (1974). Free Men All: The Personal Liberty Laws of the North, 1780–1861. The Lawbook Exchange. p. 49. ISBN 9781584771074.]

Senator James M. Mason of Virginia drafted the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which penalized officials who did not arrest someone allegedly escaping from slavery, and made them liable to a fine of $1,000 (equivalent to $31,110 in 2020). Law enforcement officials everywhere were required to arrest people suspected of escaping enslavement on as little as a claimant’s sworn testimony of ownership. Habeas corpus was declared irrelevant, and the Commissioner before whom the fugitive from slavery was brought for a hearing—no jury was permitted, and the alleged refugee from enslavement could not testify—was compensated $10 if he found that the individual was proven a fugitive, and only $5 if he determined the proof to be insufficient. In addition, any person aiding a fugitive by providing food or shelter was subject to six months’ imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. Officers who captured a fugitive from slavery were entitled to a bonus or promotion for their work.

Enslavers needed only to supply an affidavit to a Federal marshal to capture a fugitive from slavery. Since a suspected enslaved person was not eligible for a trial, the law resulted in the kidnapping and conscription of free Blacks into slavery, as suspected fugitive slaves had no rights in court and could not defend themselves against accusations.

The Act adversely affected the prospects of escape from slavery, particularly in states close to the North. One study finds that while prices placed on enslaved people rose across the South in the years after 1850 it appears that “the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act increased prices in border states by 15% to 30% more than in states further south”, illustrating how the Act altered the chance of successful escape.

Sections 1-4 include the rules and regulations for catching the fugitives as said in Section 1-3, these sections “established the rules by which federal commissioners were appointed.” This explained who would be chosen to catch the fugitives. In Section 4, the reader also sees more regulations such as, “appointed federal commissioners [were given] the authority to arrest and return alleged fugitives to the state or territory from which they had supposedly fled.” The difference in Sections 5-10 is that they show the consequences for following said regulations, or going against them. Section 5 “listed the penalties for failure to comply warrants issued under the act…,” Section 6 “prohibited an alleged fugitive from testifying at his or her own trial,” and Section 9 “stated that if the claimant suspected that an attempt would be made to rescue the fugitive by force, the arresting officer

Introduction – The purpose of the introduction is to tell readers why the act was rewritten. “As a result, the south demanded that more severe legislation be passed—hence, The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850” .

Section 1, 2, 3 – The purpose of sections 1, 2, and 3 are to inform the reader of the, “rules by which federal commissioners were appointed” and what the commissioners were “authorized and required” to do within this act.

Section 4 ~ The purpose of section 4 is to inform the reader of the “authority” that the commissioner had. Such authority includes arresting and returning alleged fugitives. The section also states that federal appointees determined the fugitive’s fate. These appointees were not from the fugitive’s community and the local courts had no say in determining what would happen to the alleged fugitive.

Section 5 – explains that any US Citizen could be deputized as a marshal and “do whatever was necessary to apprehend an alleged fugitive.” This marshal could not refuse this service despite it being against their rights. If a person escapes the Marshal’s custody, he is liable for the “full value of the service or labor” of the fugitive.

Section 6 – The alleged fugitives n section 5 are the Slaves that have “supposedly fled” from their territory or state. The fugitive was alleged because they had not been convicted, however, due to the extreme biases within this act, an “alleged” fugitive was already considered guilty. “…prohibited an alleged fugitive from testifying at his or her own trial…the only admissible evidence was the testimony from the slave owner or his representative…the federal commissioners then judged whether that testimony was believable.” The federal commissioners determined the fate of these individuals but by not allowing them to testify at their own hearing, the commissioners made it clear that they didn’t care what the “alleged” fugitives had to say.(A free man could become confined for life as a slave once he was caught and taken to trial where, “The only admissible evidence was testimony from the slave owner or his representative…. In a speech on the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, Frederick Douglass said that under this law the oaths of ‘any two villains’ were sufficient to confine a free man to slavery for life.” ) Section 6 states that all Northern and Southern blacks were now considered slaves which meant that no blacks were safe so many fled to Canada. The “cradle of liberty” was an area that free blacks could live in. The term “cradle” is associated with safety, comfort, and security however when this act was enacted, that safe place was no longer available. That idea of security had been taken away from them so many slaves fled to Canada.

Section 7 – anyone caught interfering with the capture of a fugitive was “a fine ‘not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisonment not exceeding six months.’”

Section 8 – Benefits to aiding in the capture of a fugitive are seen in Section 8 showing that there were “fees paid to officials for their part in the arrest, custody, and delivery of a fugitive to his or her owner.” In this case, it would be good for a person helping to capture fugitives because “the more people they arrested, the more money they earned.”

Section 9 – Northerners (before the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 ) hadn’t had to deal with being involved in the conflict. Once it passed, even ordinary Northerners, ones not known as abolitionists, helped as shown by, “Seeing armed men on horses running down an unarmed person on foot forced them to make a choice between abiding by the law of the land and helping a fellow human being in trouble.”

During the time of slavery in our country, unfair laws were passed to benefit one group to the detriment of other groups. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had many implications (good and bad) on the following groups of people: the Southerners, the Northerners, and the Slaves.

A negative implication the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had on the Southerners is seen in Section 7, where it tells readers that anyone caught interfering with the capture of a fugitive was “a fine ‘not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisonment not exceeding six months’”. This shows the consequence of interfering with the capture of a fugitive. Even if you did not believe in the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the price was steep if you went against the law.

An important implication the Act of 1850 had on the Northerners could be seen as a positive one because of the benefits to aiding in the capture of a fugitive seen in Section 8 showing that there were “fees paid to officials for their part in the arrest, custody, and delivery of a fugitive to his or her owner.” In this case, it would be good for a person helping to capture fugitives because “the more people they arrested, the more money they earned”. This section shows readers that people following through with the enforcement of the Act benefitted in a monetary way, which could be a great incentive for people worrying about their own livelihoods.

One negative implication the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had on the Slaves is seen where the document explains that the “alleged fugitives” are the slaves that have “supposedly fled” from their territory or state. The fugitive was alleged because he/she had not been convicted. However, due to the extreme biases within this act, an “alleged” fugitive was already considered guilty: “…prohibited an alleged fugitive from testifying at his or her own trial…the only admissible evidence was the testimony from the slave owner or his representative…the federal commissioners then judged whether that testimony was believable”. This quote shows how the slaves were guilty before they even reached a justice system. They were not “alleged” fugitives; they were definitely fugitives according to the Act.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was clearly one that hit the country and its differing populations very hard. Whether you were a Southerner, Northerner, or a Slave, you would have definitely have been affected in some way by the enforcement of such an Act.

Homework 4: Dred Scott v. SanfordCan a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guaranteed by that instrument to the citizen?

Reading notes:

Dred Scott was born a slave in Virginia around 1799. His owner, Peter Blow, moved to Alabama in 1818, taking his six slaves along to work a farm near Huntsville. In 1830, Blow gave up farming and settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where he sold Scott to U.S. Army surgeon Dr. John Emerson. After purchasing Scott, Emerson took him to Fort Armstrong in Illinois. A free state, Illinois had been free as a territory under the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, and had prohibited slavery in its constitution in 1819 when it was admitted as a state. In 1836, Emerson moved with Scott from Illinois to Fort Snelling in the Wisconsin territory in what has become the state of Minnesota. Slavery in the Wisconsin Territory (some of which, including Fort Snelling, was part of the Louisiana Purchase) was prohibited by the U.S. Congress under the Missouri Compromise. During his stay at Fort Snelling, Scott married Harriet Robinson in a civil ceremony by Harriet’s owner, Major Lawrence Taliaferro, a justice of the peace who was also an Indian agent. The ceremony would have been unnecessary had Dred Scott been a slave, as slave marriages had no recognition in the law. In 1837, the army ordered Emerson to Jefferson Barracks Military Post, south of St. Louis. Emerson left Scott and his wife at Fort Snelling, where he leased their services out for profit. By hiring Scott out in a free state, Emerson was effectively bringing the institution of slavery into a free state, which was a direct violation of the Missouri Compromise, the Northwest Ordinance, and the Wisconsin Enabling Act. Before the end of the year, the army reassigned Emerson to Fort Jesup in Louisiana, where Emerson married Eliza Irene Sanford in February 1838. Emerson sent for Scott and Harriet, who proceeded to Louisiana to serve their master and his wife. Within months, Emerson was transferred back to Fort Snelling. While en route to Fort Snelling, Scott’s daughter Eliza was born on a steamboat underway on the Mississippi River between Illinois and what would become Iowa. Because Eliza was born in free territory, she was technically born as a free person under both federal and state laws. Upon entering Louisiana, the Scotts could have sued for their freedom, but did not. One scholar suggests that, in all likelihood, the Scotts would have been granted their freedom by a Louisiana court, as it had respected laws of free states that slaveholders forfeited their right to slaves if they brought them in for extended periods. This had been the holding in Louisiana state courts for more than 20 years. Toward the end of 1838, the army reassigned Emerson back to Fort Snelling. By 1840, Emerson’s wife Irene returned to St. Louis with their slaves, while Dr. Emerson served in the Seminole War. While in St. Louis, she hired them out. In 1842, Emerson left the army. After he died in the Iowa Territory in 1843, his widow Irene inherited his estate, including the Scotts. For three years after John Emerson’s death, she continued to lease out the Scotts as hired slaves. In 1846, Scott attempted to purchase his and his family’s freedom, but Irene Emerson refused, prompting Scott to resort to legal recourse. Scott, with the help of abolitionist legal advisers, sued Emerson for his freedom in a Missouri court in 1846. Scott based his legal argument on precedents such as Somersett v. Stewart, Winny v. Whitesides, and Rachel v. Walker, claiming his presence and residence in free territories required his emancipation. Scott’s lawyers argued the same for his wife and claimed that Eliza Scott’s birth on a steamboat between a free state and a free territory had made her free upon birth. In June 1847, Scott lost his case by a technicality since he had not proven that he was actually enslaved by Irene Emerson. At the trial, the grocer Samuel Russell had testified that he was leasing Scott from Irene Emerson, but on cross-examination, he admitted that the leasing arrangements had actually been made by his wife, Adeline. Thus, Russell’s testimony was ruled hearsay, and the jury returned a verdict for Emerson.

Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857), was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in which the Court held that the United States Constitution was not meant to include American citizenship for people of African descent, regardless of whether they were enslaved or free, and so the rights and privileges that the Constitution confers upon American citizens could not apply to them.

The Supreme Court’s decision has been widely denounced, both for how overtly racist the decision was and its crucial role in the near collapse of the United States of America four years later. Bernard Schwartz said that it “stands first in any list of the worst Supreme Court decisions—Chief Justice Hughes called it the Court’s greatest self-inflicted wound.” Junius P. Rodriguez said that it is “universally condemned as the U.S. Supreme Court’s worst decision”. Historian David Thomas Konig said that it was “unquestionably, our court’s worst decision ever.” [John Sandford’s surname was actually “Sanford”. A Supreme Court clerk of court misspelled his name in 1856 and the error was never corrected. Vishneski, John S. (1988). “What the Court Decided in Dred Scott v. Sandford”. American Journal of Legal History. 32 (4): 373–390. doi:10.2307/845743. JSTOR 845743.]

Judgment reversed and suit dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. 

  1. Persons of African descent cannot be and were never intended to be citizens under the US Constitution. Plaintiff is without standing to file a suit.
  2. The Property Clause is applicable only to lands possessed at the time of the Constitution’s ratification (1787). As such, Congress cannot ban slavery in the territories. The Missouri Compromise is unconstitutional.
  3. The Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits the federal government from freeing slaves brought into federal territories.
The Missouri Compromise created the slave-holding state Missouri (Mo., yellow) but prohibited slavery in the rest of the former Louisiana Territory (here, marked Missouri Territory 1812, green) north of the 36°30′ North parallel.

With Dred Scott, Taney’s Supreme Court permitted the unhindered expansion of slavery into all the territories.

Thus, Dred Scott decision represented a culmination of what many at that time considered a push to expand slavery. Southerners, who had grown uncomfortable with the Kansas-Nebraska Act, argued that they had a constitutional right to bring slaves into the territories, regardless of any decision by a territorial legislature on the subject. The Dred Scott decision seemed to endorse that view. The expansion of slavery into the territories and resulting admission of new states would mean a loss of northern political power, as many of the new states would be admitted as slave states. Counting three fifths of the slave population for apportionment would add to the slaveholding states’ political representation in Congress.

Prognathous ~ (especially of a person) having a projecting lower jaw or chin; (of a jaw or chin) projecting; (of an insect) having projecting mouthparts.

Homework 5: Nat Turner and Abolitionism First, read the account on Nat Turner’s Revolt. In response to the slave rebellion, Southern states began to harden in their resistance to criticism of slavery, and blamed the growth of the abolition movement for the revolt. Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison began publication of the Liberator, an antislavery newspaper, in Boston in 1831. The second document for you to read is a Garrison article on the Constitution. The third document, on the gag rule, refers to the refusal to let the U.S. House of Representatives consider abolition petitions. The fourth document concerns the permission granted to Southern postmasters to destroy abolitionist society mail. The last document is the illustration ‘Southern Ideas of Liberty.’

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This lithograph shows two examples of “Southern Liberty” from the abolitionists’ point of view: the mobbing of “Northern Fanatics” and the 1835 attack on the post office in Charleston, South Carolina. In Charleston a mob hauled the bags of antislavery publications out of the local post office and burned them. Southerners were especially hostile to the illustrations in antislavery materials, which they feared might fall into the hands of illiterate slaves and incite insurrection. Not surprisingly, then, the abolitionists used illustrations even more extensively in their publications—woodcuts and engravings as well as lithographs. In the Great Postal Campaign of 1835, as well as in many other episodes, the Southern attack on antislavery print media became the subject for more antislavery print media.

How did white southerners defend the institution of slavery? After the American Revolution, many white southerners defended slavery as a “necessary evil.” The criticisms of abolitionists and Nat Turner’s slave rebellion forced slavery’s defenders to reconsider that argument. Thomas Dew, George Fitzhugh and others fashioned a pro-slavery argument in which they maintained that slavery was beneficial to slaves and masters, and was superior to the North’s system of free labor.

On what grounds did abolitionists oppose slavery? Perhaps the most influential reform effort of the 19th century was abolitionism. It never attracted many followers; only two percent of northerners were abolitionists, and white southerners rejected the movement. Despite their small numbers, the abolitionists had a profound influence on the debate over slavery in the United States.

Class notes: March 2, 2022

Dred Scott – Chief Justice Roger Taney’s wrote in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) that the Founders’ Constitution regarded blacks as “so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”