Civil Rights Class Week 8

Billie Holiday sings “Strange Fruit.” The audience was completely silent the first time Billie Holiday performed a song called “Strange Fruit.” In the 1930s, Billie was known as a performer of jazz and blues music, but this song wasn’t either of those things. It was a song about injustice, and it would change her life forever.

Originally a poem called Bitter Fruit, the poem was written by the Jewish school teacher Abel Meeropol under the pseudonym Lewis Allen in response to lynching in US southern states. “I wrote Strange Fruit because I hate lynching, and I hate injustice, and I hate the people who perpetuate it,” Meeropol said in 1971.

“The first time I sang it I thought it was a mistake … there wasn’t even a patter of applause when I finished. Then a lone person began to clap nervously. Then suddenly everyone was clapping,” said Holiday in her autobiography. To hear Holiday sing of “the sudden smell of burning flesh” minutes after her jazz ballads was disquieting. Meeropol wrote: “She gave a startling, most dramatic and effective interpretation, which could jolt an audience out of its complacency anywheres [sic].”

Samuel Grafton, a columnist for the New York Post, wrote of the song: “It will, even after the tenth hearing, make you blink and hold onto your chair. Even now, as I think of it, the short hair on the back of my neck tightens and I want to hit somebody. And I think I know who.”
It’ unending power lies in the way it “distills the fact of racial violence so unmistakably.

Writer Emily J Lordi wrote that the song is shorthand for ‘What is a song I can think of that most powerfully indicts the ongoing legacy of racial violence in this country and across the world?’”

The Sunken Place means we’re marginalized. No matter how hard we scream, the system silences us.

Jordan Peele

Homework 1: Read the attached document which gives an example of how African Americans were disfranchised in the 1890s.

Notes from reading:

The Reconstruction era was a period in American history following the American Civil War (1861–1865); it lasted from 1865 to 1877 and marked a significant chapter in the history of civil rights in the United States. Reconstruction, as directed by Congress, abolished slavery and ended the remnants of Confederate secession in the Southern states. It proclaimed the newly freed slaves (freedmen; black people) citizens with (ostensibly) the same civil rights as those of whites; these rights were nominally guaranteed by three new constitutional amendments: the 13th, 14th, and 15th, collectively known as the Reconstruction Amendments. Reconstruction also refers to the general attempt by Congress to transform the 11 former Confederate states, and refers to the role of the Union states in that transformation.

1890 delegates wrote a new Mississippi constitution.

suffrage question – Solomon Saladin Calhoon, a White county judge, put the voting issue bluntly. “Let’s tell the truth if it bursts the bottom of the universe,” he said. “We came here to exclude the Negro. Nothing short of this will answer.” Men who can’t read “are not of character to entrust the ballot,” the Clarion-Ledger agreed. “A plan of this kind would disenfranchise few White people, denying the ballot only to the idle and thriftless class.”

Delegates wrote The “Mississippi Plan” a literacy test plus a poll tax geared to suppress the Black vote in a state with a Black majority – became a part the racially oppressive Jim Crow laws that ended Reconstruction.

iteracy test – a voter “must read and write the English language or he is debarred from the privilege of voting.” Most of the state’s African Americans were former slaves who had been denied an education. Men who can’t read “are not of character to entrust the ballot,”

Mississippi’s 1890 convention sought to find a way around the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave African Americans the vote.

Hiram Rhodes Revels was elected yo to the U.S. Senate. He was the first African American member to serve in either house of Congress.,-Hiram-Rhodes-(R000166)/

1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes removed all federal troops from Southern

A White Republican named Marsh Cook had campaigned for a seat vowing to protect the rights of Black voters. A few weeks before the convention, his bullet-riddled body was found on a rural road.

A voter also could be questioned to determine his literacy. Delegates rightly foresaw that White registrars would ask White voters simple questions, while demanding that African Americans answer complex queries. In the following years Black voters in the state were asked such things as “How many bubbles are in a bar of soap?”

A poll tax, also known as head tax or capitation, is a tax levied as a fixed sum on every liable individual (typically every adult), without reference to income or resources.

A literacy test assesses a person’s literacy skills: their ability to read and write have been administered by various governments to immigrants. In the United States, between the 1850s and 1960s, literacy tests were administered to prospective voters, and this had the effect of disenfranchising African Americans and others with diminished access to education.

The convention also adopted a $2 poll tax (equal to about $58 today) that disproportionately eliminated Black voters, most of whom were very poor.

Isaiah Montgomery – He participated in the 1890 Mississippi constitutional convention as a delegate from Bolivar County and voted for the adoption of a state constitution that effectively disfranchised black voters for decades, using poll taxes and literacy tests to raise barriers to voter registration. Frederick Douglass said Montgomery “commits unconscionable treason to his race in surrendering his franchise.”

The convention adopted the constitution on Nov. 1, 1890, adding the new requirements to a provision allowing voting by male residents age 21 and older “except idiots, insane persons and Indians not taxed.”

When northern newspapers denounced the literacy test as discriminatory, one Mississippi state senator responded: “I deny that the educational test was intended to exclude Negroes from voting…the sole purpose was to exclude persons of both races who from want of intelligence are unsafe depositors of political power. That more Negroes would be excluded is true…but that is not our fault.”

James Kimble Vardaman, known as “The Great White Chief”, – the white supremacist who became governor of Mississippi in 1903. “There is no use to equivocate or lie about the matter,” Vardaman said. “Mississippi’s constitutional convention of 1890 was held for no other purpose than to eliminate the [n-word] from politics. Not the ‘ignorant and vicious’ as some of the apologists would have you believe.”

The new law took effect in the 1892 election with a dramatic impact. Only 8,615 of the state’s 76,742 Black voters qualified to cast a ballot. Soon the Mississippi approach spread to other Southern states. It remained in place for nearly 70 years until Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In his speech to Congress proposing the law, President Lyndon B. Johnson specifically singled out the need to eliminate literacy tests. For a Southern Black voter, he said, “even a college degree cannot be used to prove that he can read or write.” Johnson declared: “We cannot, we must not, refuse to protect the right of every American to vote in every election that he may desire to participate in.”

Voting Rights Act of 1965 – This act was signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon Johnson. It outlawed the discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting.

Class Notes: April 4

The Mississippi Plan of 1890 – In 1890 the Mississippi Democratic-dominated legislature drafted and passed a new constitution, which effectively disenfranchised and disarmed most blacks by erecting barriers to firearms ownership as well as voter registration, by a method of poll taxes, subjective literacy tests, and more restrictive residency requirements.

Gates reconstruction American after the civil war season 1 ep.1

Andrew Jonhson gave whites a free hand to keep the blacks in place. The black codes. Emancipation will not exist as long as there are black codes.

Arrested if no job

Your children can be taken away to be indentured. A way for the planter class to continue to have free labor

Kkk 1869 in tennesese targeted because children are in school or the have land

This is a new form of slavery

Booker t Washington and the Atlanta comprise

Thaddeus Stevens – African American men saved the untied states. He was ready for a revolution in the south. (12/4/1865) 39th congress – clerk ignores the southern delegates. If the clerk fails to call your name you are not seated in congress.civil rights act April 1866 – if you are born in the America you are a citizen.

Riots may 3 1866 in mephis – white mobs made of mostly Irish cops vs black union soldiers. John pendergrass. Three days. Every black church and every black school had been burned to the ground. Happened again a couple of days later in New Orleans.

14th amendment, June 1866 – 1867 set laws to reorganize the south. Military reconstruction. Black men must be able to vote and must be able to hold office. Bayonet rule. Many Northern states did not allow black men to vote. A vote was considered as owned my the collective and not as an individual thing. Former slaves created schools, started political organization and reconstituted families. July of 1868 14th was because the law of the land.

Black codes (after civil war) – recreating slavery as close as possible

Jim crowd laws 1890 – about segrations

Black tax – is the financial cost of discrimination against black people in America by people and/or institutions that have conscious or unconscious antiblack bias. higher rents

Literacy test – understanding clauses in constitution

Homework 2: The document below is a literacy test given in Alabama to people trying to register to vote. It was used to deny registration to African Americans. Please complete it for a homework grade. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to look up any answers, and do not worry about whether your answers are correct or not; the goal of the assignment is for you to see how challenging this test would be for an ordinary citizen. Your grade will be based entirely upon completing the assignment, not on the accuracy of your responses.

1965 Alabama Literacy Test
  1. Which of the following is a right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights?
    _____Public Education
    _____Trial by Jury
  2. The federal census of population is taken every five years.
    _____True _____False
  3. If a person is indicted for a crime, name two rights which he has.
  4. A U.S. senator elected at the general election in November takes office the following year
    on what date?
  5. A President elected at the general election in November takes office the following year
    on what date?
  6. Which definition applies to the word “amendment?”
    _____Proposed change, as in a Constitution
    _____Make of peace between nationals at war
    _____A part of the government
  7. A person appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court is appointed for a term of __
  8. When the Constitution was approved by the original colonies, how many states had to
    ratify it in order for it to be in effect? _____________________________
  9. Does enumeration affect the income tax levied on citizens in various states? __
  10. Person opposed to swearing in an oath may say, instead: (solemnly) ______________________________________
  11. To serve as President of the United States, a person must have attained:
    _____25 years of age
    _____35 years of age
    _____40 years of age
    _____45 years of age
  12. What words are required by law to be on all coins and paper currency of the U.S.?
  13. The Supreme Court is the chief lawmaking body of the state.
    _____True _____False
  14. If a law passed by a state is contrary to provisions of the U.S. Constitution, which law prevails?
  15. If a vacancy occurs in the U.S. Senate, the state must hold an election, but meanwhile the place may be filled by a temporary appointment made by _____________
  16. A U.S. senator is elected for a term of _ years.
  17. Appropriation of money for the armed services can be only for a period limited to _____years.
  18. The chief executive and the administrative offices make up the _______branch of government.
  19. Who passes laws dealing with piracy?_____________________________
  20. The number of representatives which a state is entitled to have in the House of
    Representatives is based on _____________________________________
  21. The Constitution protects an individual against punishments which are ___
    and ___________.
  22. When a jury has heard and rendered a verdict in a case, and the judgment on the verdict has become final, the defendant cannot again be brought to trial for the same cause.
    _____True _____False
  23. Name two levels of government which can levy taxes: ________________
  24. Communisn was the type of government in:
  25. Cases tried before a court of law are two types, civil and _____________.
  26. By a majority vote of the members of Congress, the Congress can change provisions of the Constitution of the U.S.
    _____True _____False
  27. For security, each state has a right to form a _____________________.
  28. The electoral vote for President is counted in the presence of two bodies. Name them:
  29. If no candidate for President receives a majority of the electoral vote, who decides who will become President?_______________________________________
  30. Of the original 13 states, the one with the largest representation in the first Congress was_____________________________________.
  31. Of which branch of government is the Speaker of the House a part?
  32. Capital punishment is the giving of a death sentence.
    _____True _____False
  33. In case the President is unable to perform the duties of his office, who assumes them?
  34. “Involuntary servitude” is permitted in the U.S. upon conviction of a crime.
    _____True _____False
  35. If a state is a party to a case, the Constitution provides that original jurisdiction shall be in
  36. Congress passes laws regulating cases which are included in those over which the U.S. Supreme Court has ________________________________ jurisdiction.
  37. Which of the following is a right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.
    _____Public Housing
    _____Trial by Jury
  38. The Legislatures of the states decide how presidential electors may be chosen.
    _____True _____False
  39. If it were proposed to join Alabama and Mississippi to form one state, what groups would have to vote approval in order for this to be done?____________________
  40. The Vice President presides over ________________________________.
  41. The Constitution limits the size of the District of Columbia to ________
  42. The only laws which can be passed to apply to an area in a federal arsenal are those passed by _______________________________ provided consent for the purchase of the land is given by the _____________________________.
  43. In which document or writing is the “Bill of Rights” found?__________.
  44. Of which branch of government is a Supreme Court justice a part?
  45. If no person receives a majority of the electoral votes, the Vice President is chosen by the Senate.
    _____True _____False
  46. Name two things which the states are forbidden to do by the U.S. Constitution.
  47. If election of the President becomes the duty of the U.S. House of Representatives and it fails to act, who becomes President and when? _____________________
  48. How many votes must a person receive in order to become President if the election is decided by the U.S. House of Representatives? ___________________
  49. How many states were required to approve the original Constitution in order for it to be in effect? _________________________________________
  50. Check the offenses which, if you are convicted of them, disqualify you for voting:
    _____Issuing worthless checks
    _____Petty larceny
    _____Manufacturing whiskey
  51. The Congress decides in what manner states elect presidential electors.
    _____True _____False
  52. Name two of the purposes of the U.S. Constitution. _________________
  53. Congress is composed of ______________________________________.
  54. All legislative powers granted in the U.S. Constitution may legally be used only by
  55. The population census is required to be made every _____years.
  56. Impeachments of U.S. officials are tried by _______________________.
  57. If an effort to impeach the President of the U.S. is made, who presides at the trial?
  58. On the impeachment of the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the U.S., who tries the case____________________________
  59. Money is coined by order of:
    _____U.S. Congress
    _____The President’s Cabinet
    _____State Legislatures
  60. Persons elected to case a state’s vote for U.S. President and Vice President are called presidential ________________________________________
  61. Name one power which is exclusively legislative and is mentioned in one of the parts of the U.S. Constitution above______________________________________________.
  62. If a person flees from justice into another state, who has authority to ask for his return?
  63. Whose duty is it to keep Congress informed of the state of the union? _
  64. If the two houses of Congress cannot agree on adjournment, who sets the time?
  65. When presidential electors meet to case ballots for President, must all electors in a state vote for the same person for President or can they vote for different persons if they so choose? ________________________________________
  66. After the presidential electors have voted, to whom do they send the count of their votes?
  67. The power to declare war is vested in ____________________________.
  68. Any power and rights not given to the U.S. or prohibited to the states by the U.S. Constitution are specified as belonging to whom? __________________

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.