Blast From The Past:
OUR HAMITE AWARD WINNER FOR 1868:
Oscar James Dunn and his sister Jane was born enslaved in the year 1826 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dunn's mother Maria was a slave who by law all of her children would be born slaves, but Dunn's father was a free man who had gained his freedom from his former master in the year 1819.
The father who went by the name of James was a skilled carpenter who worked for his master James H. Caldwell many years and eventually won his freedom. James married Maria after his emancipation and stayed on with Caldwell to save money so he could buy his wife and children's freedom. This is how Oscar Dunn became a free man long before the civil war.
James H. Caldwell owned and operated the St. Charles Theatres. Being a free woman now, Maria ran a boarding house for the actors of the Caldwell theaters to earn money and help pay for their two kids education. Oscar became a talented musician and instructor of the violin.
In his early life, Oscar Dunn was apprenticed as a young man to a plastering and painting contractor. Dunn later joined Richmond Lodge #4, one of some fraternal organizations in New Orleans during the 19th century. He became Master and Grand Master of the lodge. As a Freemason, Dunn developed his leadership skills and established an extensive network and power base in the black community that was useful for his later political career.
He started his political career as an influential spokesman for the continued rights of blacks. He joined the Republican party as so many of the blacks did back then. He spoke on behalf of blacks with regards to home ownership and even opened up an employment agency through the Freedmen's Bureau. Dunn was a marvelous organizer who just wanted blacks to be treated fairly. Dunn worked to ensure that recently freed slave were treated fairly by former planters, who insisted on hiring by year-long contracts. In 1866, he organized the People's Bakery.
Dunn ran for the office of lieutenant governor on the ticket with a white politician named Henry Clay Warmoth. The two won the election and were inaugurated on June 13, 1868. Warmoth who had the blacks trust during the election time later seemed to head in a different direction. Warmoth was criticized for appointing white Democrats to state positions, encouraging alliances with Democrats, and his failure to advance civil rights for African-Americans.
In addition to his lieutenant governor duties, Dunn was a busy man. He was President pro tempore of the Louisiana State Senate, a member of the Printing Committee of the legislature, served as President of the Metropolitan Police and served on the Board of Trustees and Examining Committee for Straight University, a historically black college founded in the city.
Dunn had made political enemies during this period. Oscar died on November 22, 1871, his death was brief and sudden, many folks thought he was poisoned. But no evidence was ever found to support that theory. He was only 45 years old when he passed away. To prove how loved and endeared he was to folks, there were over 50,000 people at his funeral, one of the largest in New Orleans. Wow! This man was an honorable human being who cared more about others than himself.
He worked very hard to make his people's life better while on this earth. Perhaps he remembered the tortures and pain our ancestors went through before us and vowed to make their horrible deaths mean something. Do we feel the same way? We award you Mr. Oscar James Dunn, posthumously for your accomplishments too many to mention on this web page with the 1868 Hamite Award which is given to persons who have set the bar for excellence. Amazing!
Oscar James Dunn
|How were blacks feeling in 1868?
Excitement is in the air. Black politicians are invading the South like wildfire. Roles have changed and finally appears we are gaining equality. This is the era of enfranchisement for black people. We elected our first Lieutenant Governor in 1868 with Oscar Dunn taking the helm.
Oscar is well liked and respected by both races of peoples and is an excellent example for the people of this era to realized they could also accomplish great things, just like Oscar.
This was the year we were granted full citizenship to our great country of America. There would be no turning back now; we are here forever and hopefully we can all live together peacefully as Americans, but these White southerners are so hateful, we don't know if that could ever happen. They are still upset about losing everything in the war and blame us.
There have been countless murders against our people without justice. We are happy to get rid of "Andy" or as most call him President Andrew Johnson who tried his best to set our race back 50 years by voting against every bill that was for the black man's progress. He even granted unconditional pardons to all persons involved in the Southern rebellion. Wow! amazing.
We threw all of our support to Ulysses S. Grant who won the Presidential election this year. Time will tell what will happen next, but as usual, the Negro is always hopeful.
Authentic newspaper article for the year 1868
Get a feel for what was really happening in 1868
Whites were scared to death about what was happening in America, even the folks in the North. Because of false beliefs in science. Preadamic theory and the racist media many white sincerely believed blacks were of a different species than whites. Whites felt they were made in God's image, pure and holy and thought blacks were wicked and savage wild beast who had no place in American civilization and especially as government leaders.|
They felt this way because the former slaves had come from Africa which was heavily involved with paganism which included human sacrifices, idolatry, cannibalism and all kind of foolish practices. To put it mildly, whites were afraid. But in their defense, they didn't have the information we have today that all humans are indeed equal in ability, so can we blame them for their views in that day?
Many blacks were in horrible shape simply because the world didn't rally behind them with love and mercy considering the fact they had been in bondage for hundreds of years. They were expected to become respectable, productive American citizens right off the bat. Whites didn't show any mercy or compassion at all.
It would have made a difference today. For the blacks who were educated, whites didn't think they had the capacity to govern even though whites themselves would end up ruling America for decades and it's interesting to note that since the 1800s to the 21st century they have been doing a horrific job leading our great country to the brink of destruction.
Urbana union. (Urbana, Ohio), 12 Feb. 1868. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress
For the year 1868:
- Oscar Dunn of Louisiana was the first elected African-American Lieutenant Governor.
- Pierre Caliste Landry of Donaldsonville, Louisiana was the first African-American mayor.
Octavius Valentine Catto
| Sports in 1868 |
- Blacks were not accepted into the league baseball games, so they started their teams, becoming professional by the the 1870s. The first known baseball game between two black teams was held on November 15, 1859, in New York City. The Henson Base Ball Club of Jamaica, Queens, defeated the Unknowns of Weeksville, Brooklyn, 54 to 43.
By the end of the 1860s, the black baseball mecca was Philadelphia, which had an African-American population of 22,000. Two former cricket players, James H. Francis and Francis Wood, formed the Pythian Base Ball Club. They played in Camden, New Jersey, at the landing of the Federal Street Ferry, because it is hard to get permits for black baseball games in the city. Octavius Catto, the promoter of the Pythians, decided to apply for membership in the National Association of Base Ball Players, typically a matter of sending delegates to the annual convention; beyond that, a formality.
At the end of the 1867 season "the National Association of Baseball Players voted to exclude any club with a black player." In some ways Blackball thrived under segregation, with the few black teams of the day playing not only each other but white teams as well. "Black teams earned the bulk of their income playing white independent 'semipro' clubs."
- The mistreatment and segregation of Blacks didn't only happen in the South, but also the Northern cities like Philadelphia.
- Octavius Valentine Catto was a black educator, intellectual, and civil rights activist in Philadelphia. As a man, he also became known as a top cricket and black baseball pioneer in 19th-century Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
An excellent example of true brotherly love. Men like George W. Ashburn made it possible for blacks to thrive and succeed. He believed in us as fellow human beings when most beleived we were half beast/human.
George W. Ashburn who was white and a staunch Radical Republican, assassinated by the Ku Klux Klan in Columbus, Georgia for his pro-African-American sentiments. He was the first murder victim of the Klan in Georgia.
During the American Civil War, he was commissioned a Colonel in the Union army. After President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865, Ashburn wrote a letter to Andrew Johnson stating "the hand of God" assassination because Lincoln was not properly prepared to punish ex-Confederates for their deeds which without a doubt was ignored by racist President Johnson.
Considered a scalawag by his white Columbus neighbors, he worked with the Freedmen's Bureau and alongside African American leaders such as Henry McNeal Turner. His actions quickly created several enemies across the South which meant imminent death for him.
On the night of March 30, 1868, Ashburn participated at a huge gathering of blacks and Republicans at Temperance Hall in Columbus, Georgia. One of the featured speakers was Henry McNeal Turner. Just after midnight, Ashburn was murdered at a house on the corner of 13th Avenue and 1st Street by a group of five well-dressed men wearing masks.
How many of us would sacrifice our lives for a person of another race, and especially a race considered to be the scum of the earth? George W. Ashburn will not be forgotten for what he did in the Negroes behalf. A great and genuine American brother. RIP
The Misses Cooke's school room, Freedman's Bureau, Richmond, VA.
Freedmen's school?, South Carolina. African-American children, mainly girls, with adult women, possibly teachers.
| Reconstruction in 1868 |
The Freedmen's Bureau began in 1865. Its purpose was to assist former black slaves from a life of slavery to the free labor system. The Bureau provided assistance in medical needs, housing, food, school and also legal aid. The Bureau helped people find lost family and taught them to read and write so they could better themselves. Oliver Otis Howard who was a Union general, was appointed the commissioner of the bureau in May 1865.
You have to remember during slavery days it was illegal in many states to teach blacks to read and write, so the Freedmen's Bureau had their hands full in assisting these illiterate former slaves into the American mainstream. They're many corrupt and insincere Bureau agents who along with white Southerners fought against Bureau successes every step of the way, but they are also honest Bureau officials who wanted to help and assist blacks in bettering themselves.
Congress realized the Bureau was needed for a longer period of time and sought to extend it with opposition from white Southerners and a powerful new ally, President, Andrew Johnson who vetoed the bill because he felt the Bureau showed preference to one race over another and wouldn't help in making blacks independent.
Andrew Johnson didn't care for blacks. He gave former Confederates back their land lost in the war and fired Bureau agents he felt were too partial to the black cause. It was like Johnson was saying to the South, "OK we fought a war and it's over, but we are not going to let a Negro tear us apart, it's time to heal. Screw the Negro! We whites have to stick together! He also was against every bill that came to his desk that would help blacks. His veto was later overridden by Congress, and the Bureau was extended a while longer, but not for long because it was dismantled by Congress in 1872.
After the Bureau shut down, and with some political setbacks for Republicans who were sympathetic to the black cause, Negroes were left to fend for themselves. But in an extraordinary display of unity and devotion to a common thread, the North and South put aside their differences to protect their shared interest, which was the union of the United States which meant for them wealth and prosperity in their pursuit of happiness, clothed in white skin under the banner of distorted American principles with the exclusion of the Negro from both North and South. WHEW! That's a Negro mouthful, but true. This display of unity and exclusion would hopefully serve future blacks well to learn from.
Why had American principles become distorted?
Even before slavery formally began, American principle stated "all men are created equal" and had a right to the pursuit of personal happiness. Slavery goes against American principles and the two can't co-exist. Abraham Lincoln himself was quoted as saying, "If slavery isn't wrong, then nothing is wrong" and to his credit and vision for a United and Strong America, the Reconstruction Amendments were introduced.
But laws have microscopic power over the motivations of a person's heart. White unprincipled Southerners didn't even attempt to join the new American spirit of things, aligning themselves as proud anti-American just as they had done by trying to secede in the Civil War. They fought tooth and nail against equality for the Negro.
During slavery, the dependence on free black labor had transformed these money-hungry, greedy white Southerners into a hateful white SLAVE POWER who had to be stopped at all cost. This Slave Power wanted to expand slavery to new territories, but the North took a stand, and this is what started the Civil War, not because Lincoln had a burning desire to free the slaves.
President Lincoln understood the motives of the Slave Power were against American principles and fought the war because of it.
OH MIGHTY, MIGHTY SLAVE POWER you have indeed caused alot of pain and misery! Crazy terrorist maniac, didn't your mama teach you better?
Has A True and Principled America Simply Become An Idea
That's Too Lofty For Human Beings To Follow?
The Repulsive Slave Power That Was Intertwined With Slavery,
Along With it's Peoples and Racist Beliefs Were Wounded in The Civil War,
But Not Completely Destroyed, And Were Allowed To Thrive.
Would This Come Back To Haunt America With Bad Race Relations,
Between It's Black and White American Citizens?
only time will tell my friends
Oliver Otis Howard, commissioner of The Freedmen's Bureau
Trivia: Howard University was named for General Oliver Otis Howard, who was both the founder of the University and, at the time, Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau. Howard later served as President of the university from 1869–74.
Abolitionists Harriet Tubman
photo #112- yr-1866
photo #104- yr-1864
Hiram Rhodes Revels
Now with the re-building of America at hand and much money to be made, who would profit? Previously the North had noble motives in helping these millions of former slaves transition into the mainstream but after political losses and resistance from white Southerners they eventually aligned themselves with these unprincipled anti-Americans because of skin color and shared money interest and ignored the continued assistance needed in helping their black skin brothers.
With the dismantlement of the Freedmen's Bureau, America officially had over four million black nomads attempting to find their way in a hostile and prejudice land. Well at least the North could say they tried if this would soothe the conscience. This time in history was the foundation for future race relations, and a good solid foundation was not laid. The North gave up the fight too quickly and passed a terrible situation to future generations.
By now we're sure the Negro has to wonder to himself if America is being undermined and distorted at this point in history? Is something shady going on? Abraham Lincoln understood how this could happen and lost his life attempting to protect real justice, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans.
How Were Former Slaves Feeling At This Time In History?
Please consider a quote from a person who was there. Susie Taylor, our 1864 Hamite Award winner.
"For two hundred years we had toiled for them; the war of 1861 came and was ended, and we thought our race was forever freed from bondage, and that the two races could live in unity with each other, but when we read almost every day of what is being done to my race by some whites in the South, I sometimes ask, "Was the war in vain? Has it brought freedom, in the full sense of the word, or has it not made our condition more hopeless?"
Carpetbaggers were mostly well-educated, middle-class white Northerners who were called Carpetbaggers because of the fancy luggage most carried. Carpetbaggers would travel to areas of the south to assist in the rebuilding during and after the civil war. (1865-1877)
They assisted the abolitionists in teaching former black slaves to read and write among other things. White Southerners didn't like carpetbaggers because they felt they were money hungry and greedy opportunist, which in many cases were true.
Many carpet baggers would buy former plantations at low prices and hire black workers to turn a profit, and was also involved in the politics of rebuilding the south.
Hiram Rhodes Revels was elected as the first African American to serve in the United States Senate. Revels denounced the carpetbaggers for manipulating the black vote for personal benefit, and for keeping alive wartime hatreds...
"Since reconstruction, the masses of my people have been, as it were, enslaved in mind by unprincipled adventurers, who, caring nothing for the country, were willing to stoop to anything no matter how infamous, to secure power to themselves, and perpetuate it."
Abolitionists were no nonsense type of people who recognized injustice and wanted swift action taken to remedy the wrong. They had been around during the American Revolution but became stronger in voice and influence during 1830 - 1870, becoming involved with the Northern churches and politics.
Abolitionists were whites and blacks who hated slavery and wanted it immediately outlawed. Other anti-slavery movements sought a gradual change from slavery to freedom, or to restrict slavery in parts of the United States and prevent it from spreading further.
Free African-Americans (before the Emancipation Proclamation) also played a role in the movement, but enslaved blacks such as Harriet Tubman had a more dangerous mission for fear of getting caught and punished and very possibly killed.
Lt. Governor of Louisiana Oscar Dunn (1820?-1871). "Extract from the reconstructed Constitution
of the state of Louisiana, with portraits of the distinguished members of the Convention & Assembly, A.D. 1868."
Includes full-length portrait of Oscar J. Dunn, Lieut. Governor of Louisiana, seated at desk,
and twenty-nine head-and-shoulders portraits of African American delegates to
the Louisiana Constitutional Convention.
37 stars (1867–77)
Alonzo Jacob Ransier
John Willis Menard
| Political Scene in 1868 |
- 1868 - Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson became president as he was vice president at the time of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Trivia: Johnson is generally considered among the worst American presidents for his opposition to federally guaranteed rights for African Americans. He fought the Negro at every turn. Every bill that came to his desk that he felt was in favor of the blacks were denied.
- July 21, 1868 - Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, granting citizenship to any person born or naturalized in the United States.
- November 3, 1868 - John Willis Menard is elected to Congress from Louisiana's Second Congressional District. Menard is the first African American elected to Congress.
- November 3, 1868 - Ulysses S. Grant is elected president.
- In 1868, Antoine Dubuclet who was a free man of African descent was the Republican state treasurer of Louisiana from 1868 to 1878. Dubuclet was the first person of African descent to hold the office of Louisiana Treasurer.
- Alonzo Jacob Ransier was elected in 1868 to the South Carolina House of Representatives serving to 1869, and also was a member of the state constitutional convention in 1868. It authorized a public school system for the first time, as well as charitable institutions.
| Race in 1868 |
African-American author, business executive, radio host, syndicated columnist and Tea Party activist Herman Cain became a top candidate for the 2012 U.S. Republican Party presidential nomination. Living in our age, blacks typically vote Democrat and consider the Republican party an enemy of African American progress in America.
So that's why it seemed odd that a black would run for President as a Republican, but we notice it happening more often. Well, there were other braves souls back in 1868 in Opelousas' neighboring city of Washington that also wanted to shake things up. How may you ask? These black men joined a Democratic Party political group, which was probably very similar to joining the Ku Klux Klan.
In 1868 the Democrats were considered the white people's party and with blacks attempting to join it, well let's just say that didn't sit well with the more racist members of the group which was members of the Seymour Knights, the local unit of the white supremacist organization Knights of the White Camellia. When The Knights got wind of what was happening, they traveled to Washington and committed many acts of violence on the blacks.
A young white man named Emerson Bentley who also owned a local newspaper wrote about the brutality and preached that such violence should persuade the blacks to remain loyal to the Republican Party. Later these very violent men assaulted and severely beat Bentley after which he fled town and was never heard of again. Local armed Black Republicans banded together to retaliate against what they perceived as Bentley's death and marched toward Opelousas.
They met many well-armed white men who had a significant advantage and were defeated in what became the Opelousas Massacre with an estimated 200-300 black and about 30-50 white deaths.
Do you think blacks during this period felt empowered by the events happening around them? If you really think about how they were feeling during this time in history, they were recently declared free men, the Reconstruction was in progress, and with the Freedmen's Bureau assisting them with integration into American society, this factor had to play a part in their decision to be proactive instead of passive like in times past. They appreciated the government help but understood they had to fight for their continued freedom also, even if out-numbered. Brave souls indeed.
"It is worthy of emphasis, that the antiquity of the Negro race is beyond dispute. His brightest days were when history was an infant; and, since he early turned from God, he has found the cold face of hate and the hurtful hand of the Caucasian against him."
George Washington Williams
How did it begin?
It's a worldwide negative perception of blacks.
Well, a quick and straightforward trip back in history will get the likely answer. The Arab trade of Zanj (Bantu) slaves in Southeast Africa predated the European transatlantic slave trade by 700 years but it wasn't until the Portuguese sailed to West Africa in search of gold and discovered something much more valuable, (slaves) and shared with the world what they encountered that aided in the bad rap on blacks.
During the transatlantic slave trade the African empires of Benin, Dahomey, and Yoruba were very powerful. From these kingdoms, more than from any other part of Africa were the people sold into American slavery.
These kingdoms had many districts with different tribes and clans who always fought against each other. These tribes were illiterate without a written form, passing their history to the next generation orally. They were blissfully ignorant of the world around them. As with all people of a common nature, they lived within the limits and respect of the land and were very content in doing so.
Europeans considered the Africans pagans because most tribes were involved with witchcraft, idol worship, cannibalism, superstition, female genital mutilation, and human sacrifices just to name a few of their foolish practices. Europeans thought of themselves as being illuminators to the world made in the image of God which in their minds was white and holy.
Before Christianity took place in Europe, whites believed in a different form of worship which was called mythology, but in time came to their senses with the help of a man named Thales who would later become known as the father of science. Thales was the first person in human history to dispel mythology and would usher in a new way of thinking which was based on facts which in its beginning was called Natural philosophy, and later would be called science. Science would eventually take mythology's place in the way white people believed. Goodbye Jupiter and Neptune.
Thales studied, recorded and compared facts laying the foundation for science. In time, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle would go on to perfect the methods of science. Over the centuries with this wealth of new knowledge discoveries with the aid of science, you can probably imagine how this had to elevate the Europeans ego and self-worth in themselves.
Before long they would claim white superiority, and many began even to doubt the existence of a God. So by the time the Portuguese made their arrival to Africa, they were only smarter and better educated than the blacks and of course dominated as they pleased.
Africans were still living in the past in a fast changing world and were no match for the very greedy and violent Europeans. Africans had seen the last of their glory days. It's a documented fact the Africans were the beginning of human innovation. Other races would go on to copy and perfect their existing creations, scientifically.
If you study ancient history and technological achievements which were in many ways the equal of, or superior of, much that we have today, were founded and carried to a high technological proficiency by Hamitic (African) people. This is the role in history given by God to the descendants of Ham. The Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Mayans, the Aztecs, all were Hamitic people. They were the great inventors of mankind. http://www.ldolphin.org/ntable.html
Why were the African people a no-show in technological discoveries other nations around the world were experiencing?
It wasn't because Africans weren't capable of learning. Type the key phrase into Google "African immigrants in college" you will discover the same lineage of Sub-Saharan Africans today out-perform all races in America's colleges academically. Skin color doesn't matter when it comes to learning; it was because of conditions beyond their control.
Africans couldn't share and contribute information with other nations during this period because of one humongous roadblock. The Sahara Desert. The entire continental United States would fit inside the Sahara Desert with plenty of room to spare. This desert spanned from west to east of Northern Africa and continued to grow, making it very dangerous and challenging for travel.
Sub Saharan Africans were landlocked, lost in time away from all other humanity. The Sahara Desert wasn't always a desert, but slowly grew to be that way. Cave drawings have been discovered in parts of the Sahara that actually depict the flora as green and thriving. http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/history_of_west_africa
So with Portuguese arriving in Africa with their advanced knowledge they encountered a people lost in time and because of their tribal culture and erroneous Pre-Adamic belief the Portuguese had about black people, these people were labeled ignorant wild beast, incapable of learning and the world agreed.
The Africans had a reputation as a peaceful and lovable people and were considered easy pickings by ruthless and brilliant Europeans who extended no mercy.
With their love for science, whites would constantly compare themselves with blacks. They collectively studied the Negro from the kinks in his hair, size of his brain to the jam in his toenails and declared themselves superior to this lowly ape-like creature.
They believed Africans were the descendants of pre-Adamism races and that the White race was made in the image and likeness of God and that Adam gave birth to the White race only.
They also believed and taught that blacks are not human beings but pre-Adamite beasts and could not possibly have been made in God's image and likeness because they are beastlike, immoral and ugly. Whites also claimed that the pre-Adamite races such as blacks didn't have souls. The world would be satisfied with their scientific theory they learned with the help of a blatant and racist media. Whites accepted these lies as truth and raised their kids to do the same.
Science, pre-Adamite beliefs, and the media would go on to replace common sense. According to whites, it was the destiny of these black beast to serve whites, and they believed they had God's backing. Some of the things they wrote as fact about the Negro would go on to cause many innocent deaths.
Typical American Newspaper Article Of Yesteryear
The above article was an editorial reply to another editor that was published in the Cayton's weekly., January 25, 1919, (Seattle, Wash.)
More than anything else science, pre-adamite beliefs and the racist media played an enormous role which perpetuated the negative image of blacks all over the world. The saddest part was when many blacks would believe these false teachings and felt unworthy, ugly and completely worthless as human beings and lived their lives in a useless way and the process was reinforcing these negative views.
Once in America the following comment gives insight into how whites viewed the Negro in the 1700s during colonial days.
Speaking on the duties of missionaries in converting the Negro to Christianity in 1784, Bishop Porteus published an extensive plan for the most effectual conversion of the slaves contending that
"despicable as they are in the eyes of man they are, nevertheless, the creatures of God."
When slaves first arrived in America, it wasn't quite agreed what their social status would be because it was supposed to be only temporary until white immigrants could come from other countries to take their place, but it didn't happen that way. This is when slavery slowly became associated with dark skin. Everybody jumped on the bandwagon against the lowly Negro who was considered inhuman and a savage beast.
But because it was later discovered that blacks were capable of learning, it made some bright whites change their negative view, except for white slavemasters who had a financial interest in keeping the Negro uneducated and made it a felony for anyone caught teaching them.
Real Americans soon began to realize blacks were human beings just as they were and started movements to free them from the bondage of slavery.
Writers of that day cite desirable characteristics of blacks, saying they were deeply religious, cheerful, imaginative, patient, courageous, had high physical endurance, affectionate and without vindictiveness, even though living under a brutal slavery system. They hated slavery, but always kept hope alive, waiting for their Judgement Day.
When their Judgement day arrived, how did slaves act once freed?
Imagine if you spent your entire existence depending and working from dusk to dawn for someone else and suddenly set free.
How would you do?
Who would teach you to read and write, the importance of family, morality, open a bank account, manage your money, how to distinguish between necessity and want, how to keep your house maintained, the importance of honesty in personal and business dealings, how to think big and become self-reliant with confidence and the many more life skills that's needed in society? All would agree that these are crucial life skills to master that the Negro didn't have during slavery.
Well, needless to say, many former slaves didn't measure up after freedom, wasting their lives with pleasure seeking and absolutely no ambition at all. These people gave the whole race a bad rap and continued to do so until this day.
But most wanted to learn these life skills and progress. That's why the Reconstruction schools of the 1870s were so important; it was like a halfway or transition house for the blacks into American culture. But of course we know that the U.S. government did away with Reconstruction in 1877 because of pressure from white southerners who didn't want educated blacks in America.
Our achievements have been many since then, so why does the negative image of blacks persist?
It's simple. The negative image of blacks persists around the world because of a lack of compassion and love mainly from non-black people. Even though erroneous beliefs of science and pre-Adamic theories happened centuries ago, hard habits are hard to break. It's entrenched in the hearts of many.
That's really sad, but as American citizens today, how are blacks doing?
Well under the circumstances blacks are doing a fantastic job, and it's a wonder we are still around. We as African-Americans are honing our life skills with increasing precision without the same network or support groups that other races enjoy. We are a unique type of people that don't have a reference point but must learn as we go.
Quite frankly, we are true Americans who continue to accomplish our goals non-violently and completely understand what the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence stands for. Would other races been able to do the same? We are love, always have been and always will be.
Historically, after being raped, tortured, lynched and murdered with perpetrators enjoying total impunity, the usual reply of blacks were these words, "I forgive you." Even though made out to be the violent savage beast, blacks seldom retaliated. It's true, check your history books. We live for today and as Americans realizing we have this excellent opportunity to excel and soar like the eagles, and we will!
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a white officer in the Union army had the task of training colored soldiers in the Civil War. He kept a diary for our enjoyment today. (click here)
George W. Williams - History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. (click here)
Europeans Come to Western Africa -
The Characteristics of the Negro People -
Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones
W. E. B. Du Bois
Bob Cole and John Rosamond Johnson,
African American composers
| Famous Birthdays in 1868 |
- January 5, 1868 or 1869 - Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, known as Sissieretta Jones was an African-American soprano. She sometimes was called "The Black Patti" in reference to Italian opera singer Adelina Patti.
- February 23, 1868 - W. E. B. Du Bois, an African American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist.
- June 8, 1868 - Robert Robinson Taylor was an American architect; by some accounts the first accredited African-American architect. He was also the first African-American student enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1888.
- July 1, 1868 - Robert Allen "Bob" Cole was an American composer, actor, playwright, and stage producer and director.
- (?) 1868 - Scott Joplin, African-American composer and pianist, dubbed the King of Ragtime Writers.
George W. Ashburn
| Famous Deaths in 1868 |
- March 30, 1868 - George W. Ashburn was a staunch Radical Republican, assassinated by the Ku Klux Klan in Columbus, Georgia for his pro-African-American sentiments. He was the first murder victim of the Klan in Georgia. Yes, he was a white man.
- August 11, 1868 - Thaddeus Stevens was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania and one of the leaders of the Radical Republican faction of the Republican Party during the 1860s. A fierce opponent of slavery and discrimination against African-Americans, Stevens sought to secure their rights during Reconstruction, in opposition to President Andrew Johnson.
Elijah J. McCoy
Jordan Winston Early
| Famous Weddings in 1868 |
- 1868 - American educator Sarah Jane Woodson Early
and minister Jordan Winston Early were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1868 - black inventor Elijah J. McCoy and Ann Elizabeth Stewart were wed in holy matrimony.
- 1868 - African-American newspaper publisher John Henry Murphy, Sr. and Martha Elizabeth Howard were wed in holy matrimony.
Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield
Plantation scenarios were common in black minstrelsy, as shown here in this poster for Callender's Colored Minstrels.
During the Civil War, Thomas Wentworth Higginson served as colonel of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, the first federally authorized black regiment, from 1862–1864. Following the war, Higginson devoted much of the rest of his life to fighting for the rights of freed slaves, women and other disfranchised peoples.
John Brown Song
| Music in 1868 |
- Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield dubbed "The Black Swan", was an African-American singer considered the best-known black concert artist of her time. She was noted by James M. Trotter for her "remarkably sweet tones and wide vocal compass". She toured and conducted a Philadelphia music studio. Among her voice pupils was Thomas Bowers, who became known as "The Colored Mario" and "The American Mario" for the similarity of his voice to Italian opera tenor Giovanni Mario.
- John Thomas Douglass' Virginia's Ball is the first documented opera composed by an African American; it is now lost, but was performed at least once, in New York in this year.
- One or two African-American troupes dominated the scene for much of the late 1860s and 1870s. The first of these was Brooker and Clayton's Georgia Minstrels, who played the Northeast around 1865. Sam Hague's Slave Troupe of Georgia Minstrels formed shortly thereafter and toured England to great success beginning in 1866. In the 1870s, white entrepreneurs bought most of the successful black companies. Charles Callender obtained Sam Hague's troupe in 1872 and renamed it Callender's Georgia Minstrels. They became the most popular black troupe in America, and the words Callender and Georgia came to be synonymous with the institution of black minstrelsy.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson:
- Thomas Wentworth Higginson leads the First South Carolina Colored Volunteers, the first group of authorized African American soldiers. Higginson is a notable author who helps popularize many aspects of African American music. He contributed to the preservation of Negro spirituals by copying dialect verses and music he heard sung around the regiment's campfires.
John Brown's Song:
- is a United States marching song about the abolitionist John Brown. The song was popular in the Union during the American Civil War.
"Juba Juba", a popular song about the Juba:
Juba dis and Juba dat,
and Juba killed da yellow cat,
You sift the meal and ya gimme the husk,
you bake the bread and ya gimme the crust,
you eat the meat and ya gimme the skin,
and that's the way,
my mama's troubles begin
A song about the hambone from Step it Down (v.s.):
Hambone Hambone pat him on the shoulder
If you get a pretty girl, I'll show you how to hold her.
Hambone, Hambone, where have you been?
All 'round the world and back again.
Hambone, Hambone, what did you do?
I got a train and I fairly flew.
Hambone, Hambone where did you go?
I hopped up to Miss Lucy's door.
I asked Miss Lucy would she marry me.
(falsetto)"Well I don't care if Papa don't care!"
First come in was Mister Snake,
He crawled all over that wedding cake.
Next walked in was Mister Tick,
He ate so much it made him sick.
Next walked in was Mister Coon,
We asked him to sing us a wedding tune,
Popular Soul Dances:
- The Juba or Hambone dance was originally from West Africa. It became an African-American plantation dance that was performed by slaves during their gatherings when no rhythm instruments were allowed due to fear of secret codes hidden in the drumming.
Men's Fashion in 1864
Women's Fashion in 1864
Couples attending the Negro Labor Convention
Illustration from Harper's Weekly The person who drew this Illustration was kind to black people. Usually during that time period they would portray the Negro with wild hair and humongous noses with exaggerated lips. They made us look normal. Thank you Harper's.
Couples attending the Negro Labor Convention
Illustration from Harper's Weekly
Couples attending the Negro Labor Convention
Illustration from Harper's Weekly
| Fashions in 1868 |
1860s fashion was European-influenced clothing is characterized by extremely full-skirted women's fashions relying on crinolines and hoops and the emergence of "alternative fashions" under the influence of the Artistic Dress movement.
In men's fashion, the three-piece ditto suit of sack coat, waistcoat, and trousers in the same fabric emerged as a novelty.
Ulysses S. Grant
The former Freedman's Savings Bank on Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C.
John Mercer Langston
Alexander Thomas Augusta
| Our Community in 1868 |
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
- February 26, 1868 - Alexander Thomas Augusta testified before the United States Congressional Committee on the District of Columbia with regard to Mrs. Kate Brown. Mrs. Brown, an employee of Congress and an African American, had been injured when an employee of the Alexandria, Washington, and Georgetown Railroad forcibly ejected her from a passenger car. The railroad was prohibited by its federal charter from discrimination against passenger because of race.
- March 5, 1868 – A court of impeachment is organized in the United States Senate to hear charges against President Andrew Johnson.
- May 16, 1868 – President Andrew Johnson is acquitted during his impeachment trial, by one vote in the United States Senate.
- July 28 – The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is adopted, guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.
- September 28, 1868 - Opelousas, Louisiana is the site of the Opelousas Massacre in which an estimated 200 to 300 black Americans are killed by whites opposed to Reconstruction and African American voting.
- November 3, 1868 – In the U.S. presidential election, Ulysses S. Grant defeats Horatio Seymour.
- November 9, 1868 – Howard University Medical School opens. It is the first medical school in America established for the training of African American doctors.
- December 3, 1868 - First blacks on United States trial jury appointed for Jefferson Davis trial.
- December 25, 1868 - Despite bitter opposition, President A Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all persons involved in Southern rebellion.
- 1868 - Alexander Thomas Augusta was the first African American to be appointed to the faculty of Howard University and the first to any medical college in the United States.
- 1868 - John Mercer Langston moved to Washington, D.C. to establish and serve as dean of Howard University's law school; it was the first black law school in the country.
- In 1868, Antoine Dubuclet who was a free man of African descent was the Republican state treasurer of Louisiana from 1868 to 1878. Dubuclet owned a very successful sugar plantation which his father passed down to him after he died. Dubulet also had around 70 slaves under his command. Trivia: Yes it's true that there were free successful blacks who owned slaves.
- The Freedman's Savings Bank, was a private corporation chartered by the U.S. government to encourage and guide the economic development of the newly emancipated African-American communities in the post-Civil War period. The bank's central office was located in Washington D.C., but had many branches throughout America, especially in the South. Although functioning only between 1865 and 1874, the company achieved notable successes as a leading financial institution of African-Americans. Its failure in 1874 was devastating to the newly emancipated black community. Trivia: With over 480,000 names on file, it make for the largest single repository of lineage-linked African-American records. The searchable database is available to amateur as well as professional genealogists.
#100 - Public Domain image - The Black Patti, Mme. M. Sissieretta Jones the greatest singer of her race. New York: Metropolitan Printing Co., 1899. Prints and Photographs Division, reproduction number: LC-USZC4-5164
#101 - Public Domain image - By Cornelius Marion (C.M.) Battey (1873–1927) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#102 - Public Domain image -
US Flag with 37 stars. In use 4 July 1867–3 July 1877. Created by jacobolus using Adobe Illustrator, and released into the public domain.
#103 - Public Domain image -
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#104 - Public Domain image -
By Mathew Brady Studio (National Archive) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#105 - Public Domain image -
Mathew Brady [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#106 - Public Domain image -
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
#107 - Public Domain image -
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1923.
#108 - Public Domain image -
See page for author [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
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