History & Genealogy
NOTE: Always re-check sources to make
sure data has been transcribed correctly. ~SW
Source: Washington City Weekly Gazette (Washington, DC)
Issue: 13 Page: 101
Dated: Feb. 17, 1816
ARREST OF RUNAWAY SLAVES
The Baltimore Telegraphe, of the 8th instant, contains
account of one Benjamin Walker, a free colored man, who
follows the sea for a livelihood, having been arrested in that
city as a runaway slave, and who, not being able on the instant
to procure evidence of his freedom, was in danger of being,
under the laws of Maryland, sold as a runaway slave. The
same law, we believe, prevails in this district. The
correspondent of the Telegraphe comments, at some length, and
with considerable comments, at some length, and with
considerable severity on the hardship of cases of this nature,
the practice being quite common in that state. At first
view it certainly does appear unjust to accuse a man of being a
runaway, without the least shadow of proof, and then to tell him
for costs and charges which he has been no way instrumental in
producing. But if if we look a little further, it will, we
think, be seen that there is a necessity for such a law, and
such a practice, growing out of the system of slavery which
prevails in the country. Were the rule otherwise, society
would be perpetually incommodated by runaways and outcasts.
The proper light in which to regard such cases is, not that the
sufferer is arrested and sold merely on suspicion of his being a
slave, but that he is thus punished for not having a pass, or
certificate of his freedom. "Servants by indenture, custom
of the country, or hire, travelling, by land or water, ten miles
from home, without a note from their master, &c. and persons
travelling out of their own counties without a pass under the
county seal, and not being sufficiently known, or able to give a
good account of themselves to the magistrate before whom
brought, were deemed runaways," at least a century ago, by the
acts of the general assembly of Maryland. No doubt abuses
do take place under the law, from the ignorance or cupidity of
some of the officers of justice; but that circumstance, which is
common to almost every institution in human society, would not,
we should suppose, justify its repeal.
Source: Liberator (Boston, MA) Vol: II Issue: 36
Dated: September 7, 1833
ALSO Published in:
Source: Macon Weekly Telegraph (Macon, GA) Vol. VII
Issue: 51 Page: 3
Dated: Sept. 18, 1833
[from the Journal of Commerce]
CASE OF A RUNAWAY SLAVE.
Mrs. Mary Martin, who at present resides in this
city, but who lived in New Orleans in the year 1830, purchased
in the spring of that year, a slave named Jack, for whom
she gave $550 to a negro dealer named Wollfolk. The
slave remained with her only a few weeks, when he ran away.
About the time that Mrs. Martin purchased the slave, a
Spanish Gentleman came to board with her, who had a servant, a
free man of color, named Antonio Delestia. The
morning that Jack ran away, this Antonion Delestia
and his master sailed for Campeachy, and Mrs. Martin
believed that her slave had accompanied them. She
accordingly caused ever possible search to be made at Campeachy,
but in vain. She never was able to obtain any tidings of
her slave form that time until the beginning of the present
month; a period of nearly three years; when she accidentally met
him in this city. Mrs. Martin obtained a warrant
against him, brought him before the Recorder, and deposed to the
facts we have narrated, which were corroborated by her daughter,
Miss Agnes Lindsay. Mrs. Martin deposed that
she knew her slave from the time that he was a small boy, he
could not possibly be mistaken as to his identity. Jack
was then examined, and swore that he was Antionio
Delestia; that he was born in the West Indies; that his
father was a Spaniard, and that he himself spoke nothing but
Spanish until he was twenty years of age. He further
deposed that he had been on board a Mexican Man of War in the
year 1828, and that on leaving her, he got a passport from the
Lieutenant. He stated that since the year 1828 he had
lived nine months with private families in Philadelphia, and
afterwards kept an oyster cellar under the Walnut street
Theatre. Mr. Wm. H. Wilder, who acted as attorney
for Mrs. Martin, cross examined Jack and after
asking a few questions desired him to answer a gentleman who now
came forward and spoke Spanish. Jack could not
understand one word the gentleman said, neither could he
understand Miss Lindsay, who addressed him in Spanish.
He was now desired to produce the passport which he said he got
when quitting the Mexican Man of War. He immediately
produced the document in the year 1830 by the real Antonio
Delestia, who could ot read himself, and requested her to
read it in order that some other negroes might see that he was a
freeman. Mrs. Lindsay was cross examined and
positively swore that the present document was the same which
she had read in New Orleans in the year 1830 - she said she was
able to identify it by some stains she pointed out in the paper.
Notwithstanding the positive testimony of Mrs. Martin and
Miss Lindsay, Jack, still persisted in asserting himself
to be Antonio Delestia, and his counsel moved that the
cause should be put off from the 8th to the 22d inst. in order
to enable Jack to bring witnesses from Philadelphia to
prove his identity. The Recorder consented to the motion,
and the case stood over until Friday, when he was again brought
forward. Neither counsel nor witnesses appeared on the
part of Jack, and the Recorder gave judgment, that
Mrs. Martin had proved him to be her slave, and that he
should be delivered up to her. Jack is at present
in prison until his mistress can remove him from this State
which has habeas corpus she has received enjoins her to do with
as little delay as possible.
RUNAWAY SLAVE. Some days since we published an
account of a Runaway slave (Jack) who was ordered
by the Recorder to be restored to his mistress, Mrs. Martin.
The latter accordingly got a habeas corpus to remove him out of
this State. But before it could be acted on, a writ de
homine replegiando was obtained by Robert Sedgwick, Esq.,
under which the slave is retained in Prison until the case can
be finally settled by the Superior Court, to which an appeal has
been made on behalf of the slave. - Jour. of Com 30th
Source: Enquirer (Richmond, VA) Vol: XXX Issue: 36
Dated: Sept. 10, 1833
RUNAWAY SLAVE - Some days since we
published an account of a Runaway slave (Jack) who was
ordered by the Recorder - to be restored to his mistress,
Mrs. Martin. The latter accordingly got a habeas
corpus to remove him out of this State. But before it
could be acted on, a writ de homine replegiando was
obtained by Robert Sedgwick, Esq. under which the slave
is retained in Prison until the case can be finally settled by
the Superior Court, to which an appeal has been made on behalf
of the slave. - N. Y. Standard.
Source: Friends' Intelligencer - Vol. 18 - No.
- Pg. 280
Dated: First Month 1st, 1839
THE SLAVE TRADE.
Those good people of England, who for years have
considered the slave trade " abolished" by a philanthropic
British Parliament, are little aware of the uncomfortable modes
of transportation which these " restrictions upon trade" have
caused to be provided for the "loyal subjects" of the "monarchs"
of Africa. The number of slaves now imported may be less
than formerly, but law has rather increased than diminished the
aggregate of suffering. I have examined a dozen or more
sharp, rakish-looking vessels, lying in this port in various
states of preparation for the "African trade." One just
arrived is a small schooner of 72 tons, formerly a Savannah
pilot boat. She embarked on the coast of Africa 154
negroes, and landed 114, forty having died during the passage
of 40 days.—Like all the others, her water casks fill the
entire hold, and are so proportioned, large ones being placed in
the centre, and smaller ones tapered off on each side, that the
upper side of all is upon a level, on which planks are laid to
make a platform for the negroes. The height between.
the water casks and the deck is precisely thirty-four inches.
Positively this space, in which 154 negroes were crammed, does
not appear large enough to accommodate a dozen good-sized
hounds. Negroes, it appears, stow close! I learned
the secret. They are compelled to squat down and be
packed one into the other like dozens of spnons.
It is the practice to bring all on deck every day to be washed
and take air. If women are taken on hoard, they are kept
separate and parted from the crew. Unfit vessels are
employed, not from choice, but because it would not be safe to
risk better to the chances of capture. I have also
examined a brie of 300 tons, built sharp as a wedge, with spars
like a frigate. Her side timbers are four inches
square, (I could not find one in her whole length to exceed
4½ inches) and 12 to 15
inches apart, planking proportionably thin, no beams, and only a
few small knees upon each side, nailed on. She is
said to be the fastest sailer upon the ocean. vHer water casks,
spread on shore, are a curiosity—the centre tier being over five
feet in diameter, and the extreme side casks not over fifteen
inches. I am told that the punishment of death to all
arrested in this traffick would not stop it—which I can believe
when I see men willing to cross the sea in such a basket-made
Thus, notwithstanding laws and treaties, the slave
trade continues in its glory. "Respectable" houses in
Havana are openly engaged, and parties join in thousand dollar
shares to fit out a "slaver" as an interesting gambling
adventure. One cargo safely landed pays for other entire
losses. They cannot be landed in this port, but are
discharged upon the coast; the slaves come by land to market,
two miles behind the city, and the vessel comes in empty, and
ready for another voyage. Government is most
accommodating. Ships of war receive written orders to
capture all slavers, and private instructions to do no such
thing, while the Governor's Aid, or some other worthy, pockets
half a doubloon as his share of the spoils for each negro
imported. Really, your Boston girls should collect the
petitions which lay on (or under) the table of Congress, and
address them to the Captain General, who being a military man,
will, perhaps, be more gallant than your trusty representatives.
At the slave market, which I visited, I saw neither
bolts, bars, chains, nor whips, but a clean, comfortable house,
with a spacious yard, shaded by noble trees. The negroes,
in clean linen shirts and trowsers, and new Scotch caps, a
prouder dress than they ever expected to wear, seemed quite
happy. They looked inquiringly towards me, as an expected
purchaser, but not so anxiously as if I had been the purveyor of
a King, looking out for a fat subject for a "royal" feast.
The African, like the European, notwithstanding the miseries of
his transport, loses nothing in coming to America. Still,
in spite of this philanthropic idea, I wish the black race had
been suffered to remain at home.—N. Y. Express.
Source: Friends' Intelligencer - Vol. 19 - No.
- Pg. 302
Dated: Second Month 1st, 1839
The State of Georgia has adopted the free banking law
of the State of New-York, and appended to it a provision, which
admits mortgages on human beings to constitute the requisite
legal securities. The Richmond Whig considers this a wise
measure, as the extended liabilities and interests of Banking
Institutions, will make people very careful how they interfere
with the darling, domestic institution of slavery. The
principles of this system are so outrageous, that we are not
surprised at any atrocities that proceed from it.
A colored man named Chaney, arrived in this city
about 13 years ago, and assumed the name of Sewall.
He has acquired a considerable amount of property, is a married
man, and has several children. A few days since, he was
arrested as a slave, and on re fusing to pay $900 for his own
body, he was about to be committed to jail. As the
spectators were leaving the police office, he mingled with them,
with the air and carriage of a freeman, and passing unnoticed by
the officers, his legs soon carried him out of sight; and we
hope, out of the way of prowling kidnappers. We should say
this man was able to take care of himself. What an
absurdity it is for tyrants to rob the defenceless victims of
their power of all incentives to industry, and then call them
lazy. It is to take away " the apple of the eye," and to
scoff at the blindness of the sufferer.
Source: Friends' Intelligencer - Vol. 20 - No.
- Pg. 231
Dated: Third Month 1st, 1839
SLAVERY—BANKING CAPITAL TRAVELING SOUTH.
We stated, last month, that the State of Georgia had
adopted the General Banking Law of this State, with an
additional feature, pro viding that mortgages on slaves
might constitute a part of the requisite legal securities ; and
we took occasion to say, that such was the atrocious character
of the system of American slavery, that we could not be
surprised at any enormities which might proceed from it.
The following is an extract of a letter to the editor of the
Philanthropist, a weekly paper, published at Cincinnati.
It is dated,
Washington, 31st January, 1839.
0"Blow the trumpet upon every house-top. Run to and fro
in the land. Let every man tell it to his neighbor, and women to
their children," that on the 30th January, 1839, in the capital
of the U. States, in sight of the halls of Congress, upwards of
forty human creatures—men, women and children—persons of
color—slaves— were taken from the slave prison in this city, (or
rather the city hell, as it is sometimes not inaptly called) and
marched off as property, to be shipped at Baltimore for the
The order of march was, first, the baggage-wagon, with
half-a-dozen negroes immediately behind, some apparently hanging
upon it for support. Next came ten or a dozen women,
apparently with arms lashed two and two, but probably fastened
together with irons. Then followed the men, about thirty
in number, chained together, two and two, by the wrists.
Both women and men marched two abreast; but whether a
leading-chain passed through the middle or not, could not well
be seen. By the side of this mournful group, rode on
horseback, a white man (or monster,) with a large loaded
riding-whip in his hand, in the same manner in which drovers
drive horses, mules, or hogs to market. The procession
passed in view of the halls of Congress.
On the 11th of Second Month, William Slade,
member of the House of Representatives, offered the following
preamble and resolutions, with reference to the facts detailed
in the above:
Whereas, on the 30th day of January, in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine, there were
driven by the doors of the Capitol of the United States, in view
of members of both Houses of Congress, thirty men chained and
handcuffed, together with twenty women and children; and whereas
there are circumstances which justify a strong suspicion that it
was for no offense against the laws of the United States, or any
of the States, that said men, women and children were chained,
handcuffed and driven as aforesaid: Therefore,
Resolved, That a committee of seven members of this
House be forthwith appointed to inquire and report:
1. The authority under which the said men, women and
children were thus chained, handcuffed and driven as aforesaid;
2. Whether they were charged with the commission of
crimes; and if so, of what crimes, and when and where committed;
3. Whether they had been convicted of crimes; and if
so, of what crimes, and by what tribunal convicted; and
4. Whether the persons who chained, handcuffed and
drove the said men, women and children, were officers of the
United States, duly authorized to have the custody of criminals
within the District of Columbia; and if so, whether they
committed said men, women and children to the common jail of
said District for trial, or to the penitentiary thereof for
Resolved, That said committee be authorized to send for
persons and papers, and to report to this House by bill or
Objection was made to the reception of these
resolutions—but the point was not decided, the resolutions lying
over one day.
The correspondent of the New York Courier and Enquirer,
"I witnessed the scene to which Mr. Slade's
resolution referred, and although I have frequently witnessed
similar spectacles, and have seen much of slavery at home and
abroad, I confess that it disgusted and sickened my soul.
I am as zealously opposed to madcap abolition as any man can be;
but when 1 see slavery displayed in its most abhorrent features,
at the gates of the Capitol, and beneath the flowing bunting of
the American flag, the proud emblem of liberty, I cannot but
revolt at the spectacle."
Such horrors as these sicken the heart of humanity.
The page of American history is already stained with the
record.—It can never be effaced. It will go down to the future,
a bloody memorial of the reckless, unfeeling and abandoned
character of our politicians, who will labor night and
day for months, about sub-treasuries and paper money, and bestow
scarcely a thought on the untold miseries, pains, and tortures
of the three millions of human beings who dwell in our midst.
Reader, hast thou the feelings of a man, and dost thou turn away
from the recital? We know how prejudice may blind the
moral vision; we know what fearful tribute it claims —how it
violates the tenderest charities of our nature—how it wan tons
in all that is good and virtuous;—but, reader, if thou hast one
spark of vitality in thy soul, thou hast already banished all
inferior considerations, and thy heart bleeds for the wrongs of
thy fellow creatures.
We cannot, and we shall not cease to hold
up the system of American slavery to the execration of the
world. It presents such unparalleled and complicated
wickedness, and withal is so marked by the cunning
plausibilities of its hirelings, that we should deem ourselves
treacherous to everything good in word, thought or action, were
we to pass it by untouched.
Source: Sun (Baltimore, MD) Vol.: V Issue: 143
Dated Oct. 31, 1839
RUNAWAY SLAVE - A black man, arrested the other day at
Westchester, Pa., confessed himself to be a runaway slave, from
Loudon county, Va., and some of his colored brethren were silly
enough to threaten to rescue him.
Source: Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA) Page: 2
Dated: Nov. 11, 1840
A RUNAWAY SLAVE ARRESTED. -
Washington, a good looking mulatto man, a slave of the late
Mr. Davis, of Orleans street, and now of his syndic, was
yesterday brought up before Recorder Bertus as a
runaway slave. Washington ran away from his master some
six years ago, and has been in most of the Northern states,
where he passed off for a free man. - He was arrested on board
the Atlanta, of which he was steward. Forged papers, or
free papers fraudulently obtained, were founds in his
possession; they were dated 6th July, 1830, signed William
Milnor, Mayor of Philadelphia, and in favor of "bearer,
Richard Phillips," under which assumed name Washington
passed. He is for the present, at the request of his
master, sent to the calaboose.
Source: Commercial Advertiser (New York, NY) Vol.:
XLIV Page: 2
Dated: June 25, 1841
RUNAWAY SLAVE. -
A slip from our Newport, R.
I., correspondent, has the following:-
Brig Relief, (of Cherryfield,) Strout, from Norfolk for
St. John, N. B., put in to land a slave (who had secreted
himself on board at Norfolk) in order to send him back to his
owner. The name of the slave is Mansfield Jackson,
and we are informed he is owned by a widow lady. His
guardian's name is Archibald Allen, of Suffolk.
We learn that Jackson had assisted in loading the
brig, and that she had been at sea 7 days before he was
discovered, he having provided himself with provisions and
water. The brig arrived here late in the afternoon, too
late to accomplish the captain's object; he therefore tied the
slave, and retired for the night; but the watch on deck having
got asleep, the negro loosed his cords, stole the boat and
landed on Goat Island, from thence he was conveyed over to town
by the person having charge of the fort. We learn that the
blacks have taken him in charge, and have contributed money and
clothes to his relief, and would convey him to New Bedford.
Jackson says he has a wife in New York.
Source: Sun (Baltimore, MD) Vol.: XII Issue:
78 Page: 2
Dated: February 16, 1843
RUNAWAY SLAVES. - The Norfolk papers state that the packet
schooner Empire, Capt. Powell, which sailed from that
port for New York on Wednesday last, returned to port on
Saturday morning, with two runaway slaves, who were found
concealed in the vessel. An examination placed the guilt
of concealment on the steward of the packet, who was of course
committed to prison. The steward's name is James D.
Lane, and he is a resident of Albany. He stands a fair
chance of having a birth in the penitentiary for some time to
Source: Rondout Freeman (Kingston, NY) Vol. II
Issue: 16 Page: 2
Dated: November 7, 1846
THE RUNAWAY SLAVE CASE. - No little excitement has
been created in the city of New York by a fugitive slave case
before its tribunals, which we briefly noticed in the Freeman.
Indeed all who were acquainted with the affair felt a strong
interest, and town and country, even on the verge of an
election, were anxious to become better acquainted with the
operation of the laws respecting fugitives from bondage.
George, the fugitive, was brought before a
magistrate by writ of habeas corpus and promptly discharged from
custody. - Subsequently he was arrested on a Mayor's warrant
(after the captain of the brig in which he escaped had made
fruitless applications to the judicial functionaries of the
county courts) for, we believe, stealing the clothes he wore.
Notwithstanding every effort by Southern men in New York and
their friends an counsel, the fugitive is again free, by the
interpretation of the laws, and will not, we presume, be again
captured. But it would seem that George is free
rather because the right of the captain to reclaim him was
questionable, than from any recognition of the great principle
that no slave coming into New York, whether fugitive or
otherwise, is free. - What the result would have been in the law
courts, had his quondam master made his appearance in person to
demand the runaway, we can only conjecture; but from the feeling
manifested there is little reason to doubt but that a popular
outbreak would have practically reversed any decision tending to
his reconveyance to servitude.
One good result springs from a case of this kind.
People will reflect upon the terms of the compact with the
South. - Whilst the men of the North will refrain from any
legislative interference with their "peculiar institutions,"
they will yet mark their deep abhorrence of the system by
refusing to rivet the chains again upon any fugitive who may
find a way to free soil even though he be claimed by his master.
This will be recognized as the true principal
hereafter, whatever may be the bearings of decisions, or the
interpretations of counsel..
Source: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, D. C.)
Vol.: XXXVIII Issue: 11683 Page: 4
Dated: August, 10, 1850
ARREST OF A RUNAWAY SLAVE.
The police of this city succeeded on Thursday night,
after a severe conflict, in arresting a white man named
William L. Chaplin, and a runway slave named Allen,
the former being in the act of conveying the slave who was
captured, and another named Garland, who made his
escape, out of the District and the ownership of their masters,
towards a free State.
The police officers having watched the movements of
Chaplin, and seen him leave the city about ten o'clock in a
carriage, which he drove himself, traced him to a point on the
Montgomery road near the residence of Francis P. Cox, and
Captain Goddard, attempted to stop the carriage, in which
were the two runaway negroes. On the attempt being made by
Mr. W. Smithia, who accompanied the officers, to seize
the reins held by Chaplin, the latter fired a pistol ball
at Smithia, which passed through his hat, without
injuring him. With the aid of Mr. Richard Butt, who
also accompanied the officers, Chaplin was secured, after
a desperate resistance. The runaways in the carriage
having each a revolver, fired several times at the officers, who
also fired at the negroes. Not less than twenty-seven
shots were fired, and the fight continued for five or six
The captured negro was slightly wounded in the back,
and would undoubtedly have been killed had not a bullet lodged
in his watch, and so protected him fro a deadly shot. It
is wonderful that none of the officers were killed, or seriously
injured. Mr. Butt was slightly wounded in the arm.
Neither officers Wollard, Handy, Davis, Cox, or Capt.
Goddard was injured. The firing was altogether in the
dark; there were, however, nine bullet holes in the carriage.
It was supposed that Garland, the negro who made his
escape, was severely if not mortally wounded; but we learned at
ten o'clock last night that he was only wounded in his hand, and
it was probable he would give himself up in the course of last
night. Allen and the abductor, Chaplin,
were both committed to jail yesterday by Justice Goddard.
We understand that Chaplin has resided in this city for
the last two years; he is a man of education, and is said to be
from the State of New York.
Source: Massachusetts Spy (Worcester, MA) Vol:
LXXXIV Issue: 7 Page: 2
Dated: February 14, 1855
RUNAWAY SLAVES - The Underground
Railroad - The travel over the underground railroad for the
past few days, has been, we are informed, unusually active, and
no fewer than seven lots of runaway slaes hae arrived at this
terminus within a week. The first of these lots was
composed of three men; the next of three men; the third of two
men; the fifth of one man. All these were from Kentucky.
The lot was composed of two middle-aged, stout men, who had come
on foot from Louisiana to this place, sleeping by day, and
walking towards the North star at night. They arrived here
on Wednesday, and after recruiting, are to be sent over the
underground railroad to Canada.
The last lot was composed of a mother and three
children, who came up on the mail-boat from Louisville, and were
to be taken to Paris, Kentucky. She managed to get to some
abolitionists, and was immediately sent North. - The total
loss to the masters, from the escape of these fifteen slaves,
must exceed fifteen thousand dollars.
A colored woman named Johanna Piles, is now in
Cincinnati, soliciting funds to purchase her husband, who is a
slave in Washington County, Kentucky. The wife and two
children, with sixteen others, were manumitted about a year
since, by their mistress, who then resided in Washington County,
Kentucky, but located those she set free in Iowa.
- Cincinnati Columbian, Jan. 29.
Source: Commercial Advertiser (New York, NY) Page: 1
Dated: December 29, 1858
A DEPUTY SHERIFF AND POLICE JUDGE
IN PURSUIT OF A RUNAWAY SLAVE - Madame Ramor? circulated
a report about noon yesterday, that the good brig William
Purrington, from Wilmington, N. C. was lying in the narrows,
in Boston harbor, having on board a runaway slave.
Arrangements were at once made by some zealous friends of
freedom for a rescue, and a trip over the underground railroad.
A writ of habeas corpus was forthwith procured, and
placed in the hands of Deputy Sheriff Francis O. Irish.
Mr. Deputy Irish, accompanied by Judge Russell,
and some dozen other friends of the slave, chartered a yacht,
proceeded down the harbor, and boarded the William Purrington,
and made known their "errand of mercy" to the captain. The
captain listened calmly and patiently. He replied that
there was no runaway nigger on board until the night of Sunday
last, when he was suddenly missing soon after coming to anchor
in the narrows. The captain presumed the fellow swam
ashore with the aid of a plank, which was also missing from the
deck of the vessel. During some further conversation the
captain remarked that he had made up his mind to blow the
nigger's brains out if any one came on board to molest him, as
it was a hanging offence out South to carry on a nigger.
The Judge coolly informed the Captain that it was a hanging
offence at the North to blow a nigger's brains out. The
cruisers made up their minds that they had undertaken their trip
to no purpose, and bidding the Captain good evening, they
started on their return trip, arriving home about midnight. -
Boston ___ing Journal, 28th
Source: Lowell Daily Citizen and News (Lowell, MA) Vol.
IX Issue: 1004 Page: 2
Dated: Aug. 6, 1859
A RUNAWAY SLAVE. The Manchester Mirror of Wednesday
afternoon has the following particulars in regard to the trip
through New England of the runaway slave mentioned yesterday:
A slave by the name of "Bill" says he has lived
in Louisiana, and about a year and a half ago he went to the St.
Charles Hotel, New Orleans, to work. A short time since he
conceived the noble idea of visiting the land of freedom, in the
regions towards the North Star. He got on board a vessel
bound for New York, and secreted himself three days and nights
without food or drink. Then he made his appearance, and
was harshly talked to at first by the captain, but afterwards
was treated kindly enough. Arriving at New York, he was
kindly received by benevolent men who learned his condition, and
$6 were given him to buy a passage to Boston. He used only
$2 of it on the way, and at Boston a negro took the money and
played possum on him a little. He gave him a ticket, as "Bill"
supposed good, through to Canada, and really good only for
Lawrence, and a piece of paper. He told him not to show
the paper till he got into the cars, and then stick it into the
front part of his cap, where the conductor could see it.
On the paper marked "Fugitive Slave." The conductor told
him he was a fool to carry it there. He found no
difficulty in getting from Lawrence to Concord, this State.
There it was ascertained that the slave's master, one answering
his description, was near at hand, no farther off, at least,
than White River Junction. By hook or crook (considerable
crook) he was smuggled down to this city, where he spent the day
quietly yesterday, in a certain place, where a new suit of
clothes was given him, and at a proper time was started off in a
proper direction, and is ere this pretty safe from pursuers.
Source: Standard (Clarksville, TX) Page: 1
Dated: June 1, 1861
AN ACT providing for the disposition of runaway slaves.
SECTION 1. Be it enacted
by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That it is here by
made the duty of the Sheriffs of the different counties of this
State, as early as possible after the commitment of any runaway
slaves to cause an advertisement to be published in a newspaper
printed nearest the county, or in the newspaper having the
largest circulation in the county where the commitment is made,
at the discretion of the Sheriff; in which shall be embraced a
minute description of such runaway slave, and any other
circumstances calculated to lead to the discovery of the slave
by his owner, and if, after such advertisement for the space of
six months, the owner should not apply for, prove and take out
of jail such slave paying such expenses as are now allowed by
law, together with the expense of advertising herein provided
for, the Sheriff shall then convey and deliver such runaway
slave to the keeper of the State Penitentiary, and the Sheriff
shall at the same time deliver to the financial agent of the
Penitentiary a certificate from the Justice of the Peace who
committed such runaway slave to jail, the amount of charges
legally incurred in apprehending and securing such runaway
slave, and to whom the same is due.
SEC. 2. The Sheriff shall be allowed ten cents
per mile in going to and returning from the Penitentiary, as a
full compensation for conveying such runaway slave thereto, an
account of which he shall file with the financial agent.
SEC. 3. If any Sheriff shall fail to convey any
runaway slave to the Penitentiary at the expiration of six
months from the time of commitment to jail, such Sheriff shall
not make any charge for maintaining said runaway slave after
SEC. 4. It shall be the duty of the keeper of the
Penitentiary to receive such runaway slave into custody, and him
safely keep, and cause an advertisement to be inserted in the
newspaper published by the S. printer, describing the runaway
slave, and the name of the person to whom he is supposed to
belong, for the space of six months, or until such runaway slave
is legally claimed and taken away; and if the owner shall fail
either in person or by agent to come forward and prove property
in such slave, the advertisement shall be discontinued, but the
slave shall continue in the charge and service of the keeper of
the Penitetiary for life;
Provided that the owner may at least at any
future period, come forward and prove property, pay the expenses
which have accrued up to the time of the delivery of the slave
to the keeper of the Penitentiary, and take the slave away.
SEC. 5. Whenever any runaway slave shall be
delivered to the keeper of the Penitentiary under the provisions
of this act he shall certify the same to he Comptroller of
Public Accounts, who, upon presentation of such certificate,
together with the properly authenticated account of the expenses
which may have accrued from the apprehension and confinement of
such slave up to the time of the delivery to the keeper of the
Penitentiary, shall issue his warrant, for the amount shall be
paid out of any money in the Treasury of the State, not
SEC. 6. The keeper of the Penitentiary shall not
allowed to make any charge for receiving, keeping, or feeding
any runaway slave committed to his custody, but such slave shall
be put to labor as other prisoners.
SEC. 7. Before any runaway slave in custody by
virtue of this act shall be delivered up to any person claiming
the same, such claimant shall first prove by affidavit of some
disinterested witness, that such climant has lost such a slave
as the one described in the advertisement; second, that the
runaway is the one he lost; third, pay all expenses incurred in
apprehending, securing, receiving, maintaining and advertising
such runaway. The keeper of the Penitentiary shall deliver
any runaway to the owner or his agent upon his or their
complying with the foregoing requisitions, and up on bond and
security being given, should it be required by the keeper, to
indemnify the keeper; and the financial agent shall demand and
receive all expenses incurred in the apprehension, recovery,
maintaining and advertising such runaway, which amount shall be
paid into the State Treasury.
SEC. 8. The legally authorized agent of any
person claiming a runaway slave, may claim, prove and receive
such runaway in like manner as the owner if enabled to do by
Approved April 8, 1861.
AN ACT to authorize and require
the Commissioner of the General Land Office to issue patents out
of the regular order in which they were filed in the Land
SEC. 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature
of the State of Texas, That the Commissioner of the General
Land Office is authorized and required to patent surveys out of
the regular order of application; Provided such surveys
shall have been regularly mapped, or there be sufficient
evidence that no previous survey legally filed in the Land
Office covering the same ground as represented on the maps of
SEC. 2. That this act take effect from and after
Approved April 8, 1861.
Source: Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, GA) Page: 8
Dated: Aug. 13, 1888
A CURIOUS CAVE.
Once used as a Hiding Place by Runaway Slaves
In the lower part of this county is a cave on the "Mike
Mixon" place, a short distance from the mill, which bears
an interesting history. It was the home of runaway slaves
and had been dug by them until its subterranean spaciousness
would house a regiment. From their hiding place the
fugitives would emerge at night and make organized invasions on
the larders, chicken coops and stock pens of the neighboring
planters. Their depredations had about thrown the entire
community into a panic, when a young fox hound, that had run
with hounds on the trail of runaway negroes, happened across the
scent and followed it to the cave. When some of the whites
of the neighborhood went in answer to his loud baying they found
the cause to be the cornering of seven runaway darkeys.
Source: Columbus Daily Enquirer (Columbus, Georgia)
Vol. XXX Issue: 272 Page: 1
Dated: Aug. 18, 1888
A RIOT IN FREETOWN.
ONE WHITE MAN AND THIRTEEN NEGROES LOSE THEIR LIVES.
Armed Negroes Occupy a Colored Minister's House in His Absence
and Murder a White an - They Pay Very Dearly for It.
NEW ORLEANS, August 17 - A dispatch
from New Iberia says that F. P. Smith was buried to-day
with military and civic honors. The trouble of yesterday
grew out of a spirit of revenge on the part of the negroes.
The better element of this and neighboring parishes had found it
impossible longer to tolerate a certain class of idle and
immoral characters and had ordered them from various places.
Many found refuge at Freetown, a small village composed entirely
of negro families. There they told their stories to their
friends and nursed their anger.
On Monday last reports reached this place that the
negroes were arming and congregating at Freetown. Their
number was estimated at from five hundred to six hundred mounted
men. On Tuesday they were reinforced sufficiently to
double their number. Feeling their strength, they assumed
a threatening attitude boldly declaring that refugees should not
leave the parish and should not be molested. On Wednesday
the number of armed negroes further increased and people of the
surrounding country began to feel some alarm lest these negroes
over estimating their strength, might attempt some act of
On Thursday matters had not improved up to noon.
By this time residents and property owners of this section began
to collect at points a short distance from Freetown, their
object being to disperse these negroes without violence and to
send those who did not belong their to their homes.
CITIZENS RIDE TO FREETOWN.
Citizens rode into Freetown and
found as rumored, a large number of armed negroes quartered
there. They asked the meaning of this, and the negroes
were silent. They demanded the surrender of the negroes
arms, promising that when they learned to behave themselves, the
arms would be returned.
The negroes were ordered to at once disperse. The
great majority of them accepted the terms and surrendered their
arms, which were found without one exception to be loaded with
ball or buckshot. Rev. H. Nora, a colored minister,
left Freetown in the morning to attend a conference of ministers
at New Iberia.
During his absence his residence was taken possession
of by a number of armed negroes. This house they refused
to surrender, returning word they were there to be taken.
The whites then sent a messenger to the house saying they would
give them twenty minutes in which to lay down their arms.
The negroes again refused.
BESEIGED IN A MINISTER'S HOUSE.
In this house, situated a short
distance from the main road or street, about fifteen negroes
were quartered, among the number their leaders. A squad of
mounted white citizens were someone hundred and fifty yards from
the house, awaiting the expiration of the twenty minutes before
time was up. The door of the house was thrown upon and a
volley fired at them. One horse was wounded.
Immediately firing became general and the door of the house was
closed, but a constant fire was kept up from the windows for
quite an interval. Later firing was carried on by both
sides, lasting in all nearly an hour and a half. At this
time E. P. Smith broke from his lines and made for the
house. His comrades implored him to return, but, deaf to
their entreaties he went on to the house door, where he was
fired upon and he fell. At his side was a comrade who had
followed him on his fatal errand. When Smith fell
his comrade returned, escaping unhurt. At this stage of
the fight the negroes became panic-stricken and attempted to
flee from the house. The deadly work was so closed.
THIRTEEN NEGROES SHOT TO DEATH.
When the fight was over the bodies
of eight negroes were found in the house and five others were
found outside. It is reported that three or four more were
killed. It is thought by some that a few made their
escape, but others who were at the scene deny this. A
coroner's jury was empannelled and proceeded to Freetown to view
the remains of the negroes. They returned to-night having
deferred the taking of testimony until a latter date. The
negroes who surrendered were not harmed in any way.
Source: Kalamazoo Gazette (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
Dated: May 20, 1893
A COLORED WAR.
A Married Man Severely Hammered.
A colored barber and a married man
who is the father of a half dozen or more children had a narrow
escape from death and received a justly deserved chastising a
few nights since. He had been paying too much attention to
the daughter of a colored man who lives on the east side of the
father of the girl feared that his visits were for no good and
concluded to put a stop to them. He secreted himself in
the house and awaited developments. He did not have to
wait long when he was convinced that it was time to wade in.
The first round ended in a knock down for the father who broke
his umbrella over the intruder's head. Large bunches rose
on the intruder's head and the same were increased in number and
size by a second attack which occurred on the railroad track.
The father who did the chastising did not want the affair to get
in the newspapers, hence the suppression of the names.
Source: Worcestor Daily Spy (Worcestor, MA) Page: 9
Dated: Dec. 15, 1896
SHELTERED RUNAWAY SLAVES.
Rochester, N. Y., Dec. 14 - Maria G. Porter died
here Saturday night, aged 91 years. She was well known
figure in the early history of Rochester, where she came when 20
years of age from Bristol, Me.
Maria Porter was one of the best friends the
anti-slavery movement ever had. The number of runaway
slaves who found shelter and concealment under her roof reached
into the hundreds. She also entertained during those days
many of the most prominent workers for the cause - William
Lloyd Garrison, Beecher and others.
Source: Daily Herald (Biloxi, MS) Vol: 2 Issue: 300
Dated: Aug. 4, 1900
LINCOLN HELPED HER.
How Nancy Scott, a Runaway Slave, Found Her Husband
The death at the Rhode Island state
institution for the insane of Nancy Scott, aged 70 years,
which occurred during the last week of May, brings to memory a
story of Abraham Lincoln which has never been published.
Way back in slavery days, Nancy Scott and her
husband were slaves on a Virginia plantation owned by one of the
prominent and wealthy F. F. V.'s of the commonwealth.
Nancy was the trusted housekeeper of the family.
While young she was married to a young slave on the same
plantation. Her marriage occurred about the beginning of
the civil war, and after the first few months of fighting her
husband disclosed to her his intention of running away and
working his way north, seeking a means of livelihood; he bade
her remain where she is until he could communicate with her and
said that when he became established where he was sure of
supporting her he would send for her to go to him.
Months went on, says the New York Sun, until one day a
dusky little one came to Nancy' arms. When
the baby was a year old Nancy decided to try and escape
and travel north, hoping to hear some news of her baby's father.
She left her cabin one night at nearly dawn, carrying her little
one in her arms, and passed slowly across the country which was
the fighting arena of more battles than any other territory in
the south. She was trying to make her way to the Potomac
river, and there, at some obscure landing, take a boat for
Washington. Such a place she reached one hot day when the
boat arrived she went aboard keeping as much out of the way of
the passengers as she could. There was a group of men
seated on the quarterdeck. Among them one whose lean,
gaunt figure and dark, seamy face somewhat attracted her notice.
When the boat nerared Washington she left her place
below among the freight and timidly went up to the gangway.
The steamer had arrived at her dock and the passengers were
leaving, but the group in which the dark, rugged man was seated
had not yet dispersed.
Nancy Scott went forward toward the gangplank,
but before she had reached it the purser stepped forwards and
'Here, you, woman, where are you going? Where's
Paralyzed with fear she hesitated.
"You're a runaway nigger, and you can't go ashore; you
go below and we'll see about you later."
But the dark seamy-faced man, with the tire eyes, came
up then and said quietly.
"What is the matter?"
The tears streamed down Nancy Scott's face as
she said she only wanted to go ashore; that she was searching
for her husband her little one's father.
"Tell me your story," said the dark man.
In a simple words she told him of her separation from
her husband, the birth of her child, her weeks of weary waiting,
and the eyes of the dark man grew soft with pity.
Turning to the purser, he said: "Let this woman
go ashore." Then taking her by the arm he walked by her
side until the street was reached. Giving her some money
he told her to find some decent colored family and make
inquiries for her missing husband.
"Tell me your name, sir?" begged Nancy Scott.
"My name, my good woman, is plain Abraham
Lincoln," said the man, and turning away he lifted his hat
"just like I was a grand lady," and left her.
Nancy Scott, with the help of the pastor of a
church for colored people, found her husband; he had vainly
tried to communicate with her many times; he had not dared to go
in search of her. He was employed in a hotel and able to
care for his little family comfortably.
Source: Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) Volume: CXXXVI
Issue: 1 Page: 8
Dated: Nov. 17, 1904
NEGROS PETITION ROOSEVELT
They Want Man Who Married Colored Woman Kept In Army.
[Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun.]
Boston, Nov. 16 - Alleging that injustice has been done
Private John T. Smith, whose discharge from the United
States Army was recommended by Gen. Fred D. Grant because
he married a negress, colored people of New England have sent a
petition to President Roosevelt asking that he intervene.
Some time ago a New England suffrage league sent out
blanks asking for signatures to the petition on the ground that
the discharge of a white soldier from the army for no other
reason than that he had married a colored women would encourage
prejudice against the negroes in the army and out of it and that
it would be an insult to every colored woman.
The petition, which was headed by the name of C. C.
Morgan, a Boston lawyer, and signed by nearly 1,000 persons,
reads as follows:
"We, the undersigned colored Americans, believing that
the interests of personal liberty require that the appeal of
Private John T. Smith, stationed at Fort Worth, Salem, N.
J., to the President of the United States from his discharge by
his superior officers, resulting from his marriage to a woman of
our race, be sustained, and realizing that his discharge, except
for specific wrongdoing would, under the circumstances, operate
with great injury to colored Americans, hereby pray and petition
you, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States,
head of the army, to intervene tho the end that the discharge of
said Smith may be rescinded.
Source: Tampa Tribune, Tampa, Florida - Page 1
Dated: Saturday, Aug. 25, 1906
WEAKENED ON THE GALLOWS
Negro Confessed and Had to Be Supported by the Attendants
(By Associated Press)
LAFAYETTE, La., Aug. 24 - Dave Howard, alias
Emsley a negro, was hanged at noon for the murder of
Joseph Breax, a Syrian peddler, May 28.
He made a full confession.
Before the execution, he weakened and had to be
supported on the scaffold.
Source: Daily Herald (Biloxi, Mississippi) Vol.: XI
Issue: 86 Page: 1
Dated: Nov. 26, 1908
Three Negroes Strung Up for the Shooting and Fatally Wounding of
Two Deputy Sheriffs - Mob Was Determined.
Tiptonville, Tenn., Nov. 25. -
Three dead bodies dangling from an improvised scaffold erected
in front of the pulpit of a negro church in district No. 4 (Lake
county), five miles from this city, was the awful spectacle
which greeted the crowd of curious people who gathered about the
church this morning to view the work of the mob which took from
the Tiptonville jail last night Marshall, Ed and Jim
Stinebock, the negroes who shot and fatally wounded two
deputy sheriffs in front of this same church last Saturday
The lynching of these negroes was planned with
deliberation and executed with a gruesome coolness that has
rarely been witnessed in the work of mobs. All day
yesterday this little city was filled with an excited mob
numbering anywhere from 150 to 500 men. This mob, however,
seemed willing to listen to reason and for some hours it was
thought that the leaders had agreed to allow the law to take its
course. Later in the afternoon the mob dispersed.
Gathering of the Mob.
The negroes were arrested near
Ridgeley and taken to Tiptonville. No sooner had this been
accomplished than a mob of determined men began to gather, and
within an hour preparations to carry into execution the work of
vengeance determined upon were well under way and the leaders
began to gather their forces about them to make the assult on
The crowds made up of determined and angry men slowly
surrounded the jail, but soon it was met by one of the county's
most prominent lawyers, J. T. Burnett, who made in
impassioned address urging the mob to desist from any act of
violence and promising to use his influence in seeing that the
negroes got a speedy trail.
This did not appeal to the mob, and finally S. J.
Caldwell, another lawyer, proposed that if the mob was
determined to lynch the negroes at least to wait until even the
semblence of a trial could be had, and he suggested that
Justice Davis be authorized to summons a jury and let the
negroes be duly sentenced to death, and the mob could execute
Mob Watched the Jail
This was agreed to and the mob
except just enough to watch the jail and see that Sheriff
Hains did not attempt to slip the negroes out and carry them
to a place of safety, left the jail building to await the trial
set for 5 o'clock in the afternoon.
Efforts to Prevent Lynching
In the meantime, after the
story of the proposed lynching had been sent out and thus became
known in Nashville, Mr. Haines and others received
telegrams from Gov. Patterson plead with them "for God's
sake to prevent the proposed lynching as it would be a disgrace
to the State." He also agreed to order a special term of
the Criminal Court to try the negroes.
Sheriff Haines also communicated with
Attorney General Caldwell at Union City, and he in turn
called up a number of men here, including Cheek Rarrus,
father of Richard Rarrus, the special deputy killed by
the negroes, and Mrs. Rarrus. After taking with
Gen. Caldwell, Rarrrus said he was will for the law
to take its course, and he advised leaders of the mob to go home
and let the negroes be tried in the regular way.
The men were finally taken
from the jail by the mob, placed in a wagon and driven to the
church, where the negroes had committed their crimes.
Here the mob, following out the cold calculating
determination which had characterized all of its previous plans
and proceedings erected within the church a scaffold just in
front of the pulpit from which the three negroes were hanged,
Marshall Stinebeck, the larger of the three brothers swung
in the center of the beam, with Ed and Johnston back on
After the negroes had been swung up a member of the mob
stepped forward and fired a shot into the body of Marshall Stiebeck,
aiming at the exact spot in which the negro had shot Deputy
Sheriff John Hall.
The mob then quietly dispersed.
Source: Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana)
Volume: XXX Issue: 26 Page: 13
Dated: Sept. 29, 1918
HE BEATS UP HIS WIFE AND GETS THROAT CUT
After a Month of Married Life Colored Couple Land in Jail.
"That man should be in the army fighting; he
married me to get out of going to war, but if he ever starts
another piece of trouble like he did this morning, no German
will ever get the chance to put him under the sod." remarked
Mrs. Robert Whitten as she sat in an automobile in the
custody of an officer yesterday, while a physician was sewing up
a jagged gash in the neck of her husband. It was only by
the narrowest kind of margin that the knife thrust missed the
The couple were married last month but, according to
Mrs. Whitten, their married life has been a stormy one.
According to her story, her husband's favorite diversion was to
come home at any time of the day or night and beat her.
This is what occurred yesterday. Whitten returned
home some time after 2 o'clock yesterday morning, woke up his
better half and proceeded to administer a beating. About
10:30 o'clock the fight was renewed, but this time, Mrs.
Whitten was prepared, and as the husband lunged at her she
drew a knife across his throat.
The trouble occurred at No. 5 Pennsylvania avenue and
the first known of it was when some one telephoned the Butte,
Anaconda & officer to Mainville at once, as a cutting affair was
on. Special Agent Werner Olson of the railway force
summoned Chief O'Brien, who was standing near, and on
their arrival at the house the couple was placed under arrest
and locked up in the county jail.
When informed that her husband's wounds were not
serious, Mr. Whitten expressed regret over the fact that
she had not pressed down harder on the knife. "If I could
have got hold of the axe, you would not have had to call a
doctor, but an undertaker," she is alleged to have said.
Source: Negro Star (Wichita, Kansas) Volume: 27
Issue: 23 Page: 3
Dated: Sept. 14, 1934
FAMOUS ARTISTS' MARRIED COLORED MAN.
New York, (By ANP) - Dispatches from abroad recently brought
news of the death of Norine Lattimore, born in 1894, and
once, as Dolores, the most famous artist's model in
England. Last spring she did a fasting act in a barrel in
a London amusement park. A short time later, she died in
the Charity ward of a London hospital from cancer.
Time reports: "In the art world Dolores
got her start with stocky, tousle-haired Jacob Epstine
for whom she posed for a long series of unrecognizable busts and
figure studies. John Singer Sargent painted several
portraits of her before she died. Many times she posed for
Augustus John, Sir John Lavery, and Christopher
Richard Wynne Nevinson - Even Snobbish Philip de
Ladzle decided that Dolores was an important a figure
as the princes, promoters and relates to whom he normally
devotes his easels."
Three men committed suicide because of her, one of
them, one of her five husbands.
At one time, she was proposed to by an East Indian,
but, forgetting that she was already married, told him that she
could never marry a black man.
Later, however, she changed her mind and married an
American Negro George Lattimore, whose name she bore at
KILLED NEGRO; HANGED
Baton Rouge, La (ANP) - Roosevelt Swain was hanged
last Friday for the murder of Alfred Harris, last
Source: Chicago Metro News (Chicago, Illinois)
Dated: Nov. 16, 1985
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING by Willie
North and South Negro Contributions to the war effort
"Official records show that a total
of 178,985 enlisted men and 7,122 officers served in Negro
regiments during the Civil War, nearly 10% of the Union army.
These men fought in 449 engagements, of which 39 were major
battles. Approximately 37,300 Negros lost their lives
while serving in the Union Army. Seventeen Colored
soldiers and four Negro sailors were awarded Congressional
Medals of Honor. Colored men were understandably proud of
their record in the civil war."
The cabinet of Abraham Lincoln was faced with a most
paramount dilemma. In 1862 the war was slipping into the
hands of the Confederate war machine. Unless Lincoln
took such drastic actions as necessary, the union would be lost!
In 1860 with a newly elected President, amid the awesome threat
of secession, 11 southern states left the union. "They did
so chiefly because they feared Lincoln would restrict their
right to do as they chose about the question of Negro slavery.
The north entered the war only to reunite the nation, not to
Before Lincoln could issue the Emancipation
Proclamation he must have a staggering military victory!
Such an occurrence happened at the battle of Antietam Sept. 17,
1862. Five days later, on Sept. 22, 1862 Lincoln issued
the Emancipation Proclamation. If those rebellious
southern states did not return to the union by Jan. 1, 1863, the
slaves were to be declared "forever free." As anticipated,
the south rejected Lincoln's offer. Lincoln's action as
Commander and Chief was termed "a fit and necessary war
As I sat and watched this euphemistic melodrama called
North and South, I felt obligated to do what historians and
media people have never done - tell you the truth of Black
involvement in that epic period of the Civil War. After
the shot that was heard around the world: the firing of Fort
Sumter, April 12, 1861, Blacks rushed to enlist their
services toward the cause of saving the union. However,
racial bigotry and an obdurate feeling that slaves and freemen
of color would not raise arms against their masters, prompted
secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to refuse their
request. Among other things he intimated that a white man
would never allow himself to be reduced to fighting beside a
History as a strange course of events has a way of
taking the plausability of certainty and reversing it to an
extent that events that would never be, are every day
happenstance. Not only did Black soldiers fight
side-by-side with white units, they fought as assault troops in
front of white union soldiers.
In spite of voluminous research to the contrary, a
majority of laymen and some historians maintain that Blacks
never were prominent as a fighting force; that they stood as
docile beings praying for white troops to win the victory and
benevolently grant them their freedom. Such is the folly
In January, 1863, Colonel Higginson led his
regiment on a military foray along the St. Mary's River, which
forms the boundaries of Florida and Georgia. The Colonel
stated: "The men have been repeatedly under fire; have had
infantry, calvary, and even artillery arrayed against them, and
have in every instance come off not only with unblemished honor,
but with undisputed triumph". The Colonel concludes: "No
officer in their regiment now doubts that the key to the
successful prosecution of this war lies in the unlimited
employment of Black troops." On April 30, 1863, General
David Hunter, Commander of northern troops in the south,
reported to Secretary Stanton: "I am happy to be
able to announce to you my complete and eminent satisfaction
with the results of the organization of Negro regiments in this
Mar. 23, 1863, the New York Tribune reported
editorially: "Facts are beginning to dispel prejudices.
Enemies of the Negro race, who have persistently denied the
capacity and doubted the courage of the Blacks are unanswerably
confuted by the good conduct and gallant deeds of the men whom
they persecute and slander." Not only was the ex-slave an
excellent fighting man, he served in many other capacities.
He was to act as drayman, ammunition bearer, builder of
breastworks, spy, saboteur, and man servant. White troops
from the north, officers and enlisted men alike, had no
knowledge of the terrain; the southern Black turned soldier had
knowledge of every gully and stream. Thus with all
this information and labor direct toward his own freedom the
Negro has found to be an invaluable force.
The of course, there were the Black troops from the
north. In the summer of 1863, the War Department granted
authority to northern states to fill their enlistment quotas
with Negro troops. By the summer's end of 1863, there
stood in military readiness some 58 regiments of Negro troops in
the Union Army. On July 11, 1863, the Anglo African issued
a manifesto to white America to wit: "White America
remember! That we know that in going to the field we will
neither get bounty, or as much wages even as you will receive
for the performance of the same duty - that we are well aware of
the fact that if captured we will be treated like beasts by our
enemies - that the avenue to honor and promotion is close to us;
but these things we care not..."
Many Black soldiers, recent freedman or fugitive slaves
still wore the brand of slavery of their back, while in their
breast beat a stout brave heart; anxious for hte moment when
they might perchance encounter on the razor's point of their
bayonets the blood of their former masters. One such
regiment was "The Native Guard" which General Butler formed when
he entered New Orleans.
All line officers of the regiment were Black.
They were from the most influential and wealthy freemen of New
Orleans. It was rumored that not one of these officers was
worth less than 25,000 dollars. Of this number Captain
Andre' Callioux was magnificent. Unmistakenly Black,
he prided himself as being the Blackest man in the Cresent City.
Bravery among these Blacks was infectiously chauvinistic as they
requested the prime position of assult in the upcoming
battle, and it was granted. Thus on May 27, 1863, two full
regiments of New Orleans free Negroes and ex-slaves sprang from
their concealment, with muskets at the port arms and advanced
toward the confederate stronghold on the lower Mississippi,
forever to be written in the blood and dying agony of Black
troops called Port Hudson!
As the Stars and Strips, adjacent to the regimental
colors caught the gleam of a bright spring morning, those
standard bearers, Black as coal, ex-slaves, now wearing union
blue, ranks were thinned out by confederate musket fire.
On they came, transfixed on the notion of taking Johnny Reb's
blood. They stepped over their wounded as they lie in
their last agony. Amid the pools of bright red blood and
broken bone, while Black men suffered their last, they
relentlessly came singing their own version of the Battle hymn
of the Republic. "We is done hoeing cotton; we is done
hoeing corn; we is Colored yankee soldiers, sho as you is born.
When old master hears us holler he will think it's Gabriel's
horn as we go marching on." The Rebs had found the range
now, with a blistering fire of shell, canister, grape and
musketry. Native guard's ranks would waver and thin at the
falling of the dead and wounded, only to regroup and with
perfect rank and file assult the accursed confederates once
again. This field of honor, to the Blackman's glory and
determination to be free, was soaked in his blood with scattered
bits of flesh and membrane steeped in falls of flowing
vermillion streams of his search for liberty. As the ranks
faltered and the colors were tumbling to the ground another
Black hand would take up the cause and advance on this
devastating impregnable wall of b___ing ball and shot.
"No matter how gallantly the men behaved... it was not
in the course of things that this gallant brigade should take
these works by charge." Yet charge after charge was
ordered in this frontal assault on certain death. Six
charges in all that resulted in countless deaths was ordered.
At about one o'clock the last charge was made. Captain
Callioux's arm, dangling, being splintered by a shot, was
broken above the elbow. In his right he held his gleeming
sword as rivers of red streamed from his agonizing wound.
His hoarse voice could be heard inspiring his men on. A
shell struck the brave Callioux and in the midst of a
cloud of a dark grey explosion the immortal Captain fell in
advance of his men!
Well, I hardly suppose a narrative as was just
witnessed, did, or will, ever be shown on television. But
because truth and you are so very precious to me, I thought you
ought to know. You must never, never forget that white
folks didn't free Black folks; Black folks freed Black folks.
And so it goes!
The moving finger writes and having wit moves on ...
not all your piety nor all your wit can change a single word of
Mr. Willie Dixon, Jr.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
Dated: Feb. 21, 2004
EARL HUTCHINSON SR. AUTOBIOGRAPHY
TRACED JOURNEY OF A BLACK MAN IN AMERICA
Earl Hutchinson Sr., who in his 90s and with the prodding and
help of his better-known son, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, wrote his
autobiography, "A Colored Man's Journey Through 20th Century
Segregated America," has died. He was 100.
Mr. Hutchinson died yesterday in Los Angeles,
said his son, a civil-rights author and longtime radio-show
When the memoir was published in 2000, the elder
Hutchinson was 96 and, according to Ethnic News Watch and the
Los Angeles Sentinel, the oldest black American to write his
The book, a Sentinel reviewer noted, was "a compelling
saga of one man's fight for personal dignity."
President Clinton wrote to Mr. Hutchinson,
congratulating him on the book and calling him "a strong and
dedicated champion of social, economic and political equality."
"In the era I lived through, we called ourselves
'colored,' " Mr. Hutchinson told the Los Angeles Times in 2000.
"We were proud of being colored. We turned the word into a badge
of pride rather than an emblem of shame. It still is to me."
Mr. Hutchinson, born Dec. 11, 1903, in Clarksville,
Tenn., and reared in St. Louis, never marched in a demonstration
or otherwise protested the racial discrimination he considered
"just the way it was." He was 61 by the time the Civil Rights
Act outlawed segregation in schools, housing and the workplace.
Yet, in his own quiet and determined way, he forged a
career in the U.S. Postal Service and then real estate, brought
up a family and integrated white neighborhoods.
Perhaps considered passive compared with young black
men of today, Mr. Hutchinson achieved change simply by the way
"I'm a colored person," he told the Times four years
ago. "I never felt I was superior. I certainly never felt that I
Moving to St. Louis provided no escape from segregation
for Mr. Hutchinson's family. As a boy, he related in his book,
he lived near a school, yet had to walk three miles to attend a
school for blacks. Despite the heat of Missouri summers, he had
to stand outside public swimming pools "and watch Caucasians
swim." When he walked through white neighborhoods, he was beaten
by white boys who screamed racial epithets at him.
Nevertheless, Mr. Hutchinson refused to become bitter.
He graduated from high school at 18 with hopes of becoming a
professional musician. But when his grandfather advised him to
go to work for the post office, noting that "as long as the
government's going, they've got money," he did so.
At age 23, after five years at the St. Louis post
office, he transferred to Chicago.
Without legal recourse over discrimination, but by
simply refusing to take no for an answer, he forced the post
office to promote him from an invisible back-room job to window
The young bachelor, who prided himself on playing "a
mean trombone," enjoyed the Chicago nightlife as he moonlighted
with jazz bands and applauded such entertainers as Louis
Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Earl Hines
and Pearl Bailey.
In his autobiography, Mr. Hutchinson related the tenor
of the times, citing heroes who were cheered in black theaters
and on radio, such as Olympic athlete Jesse Owens and boxer Joe
Louis. The fighter, he said, "was our hero ... he made colored
people feel that they were somebody."
In another daring move, the quiet but determined Mr.
Hutchinson related in his book, in the late 1940s he bought an
apartment in a white Chicago neighborhood and moved his family
The next day, neighbors put signs in their windows:
"Unwanted occupant at 6357 Greenwood must go." A log was thrown
through the window, and their fence was trampled, but the family
Unimpressed with California on an early visit, Mr.
Hutchinson nevertheless agreed to move to Los Angeles in 1960 to
escape Chicago's bitter winters. He was 56 and retired as a
postal employee, but he quickly went into real estate and worked
seven years as a clerk with the Department of Water and Power.
He summarized his philosophy on identity for the Times
in 2000: "When I was in St. Louis, I was colored. When I got to
Chicago, I was a Negro. When I got to California, I was black.
But I'm still brown.
"Someday," he added, "I hope we would be known as just
Americans. I'm asking no more, no less."
Source: The Capital, Annapolis, MD
Dated: Oct. 4, 2007
School playground near the John Taylor
The little school that almost no one talks about was
the St. Mary's Colored School that survived on the grounds of
St. Mary's from 1891 until 1949. A new small wooden schoolhouse
with a small attic dormer room was built in 1903. Two school
Sisters of Notre Dame were teaching in the school and one of
them received a paid annual salary provided by a generous
donation by a charitable lady in the area by the name of Louise
In 1910 with $15 from the Saint Teresa Beneficial
Society, $200 raised by the African-American parishioners Easter
festival and the remainder being given by Ms. Morrell, an
additional classroom was added and a cellar was excavated to
receive modern heating apparatus. The school grew in numbers and
in 1921 14 first-graders were turned away because of the lack of
Many of the students were non Catholic; however, from
time to time prior to graduation, both boys and girls were
converted and received their holy communion. Graduation was
always followed by a day at the Priest's Farm on the Severn
River for a picnic.
When you talk with those who reside in Annapolis about
their experiences at the St. Mary's Colored school they all
remember one thing. It was clear that they were segregated from
the white school population almost all of the time.
It is noted in the history of St. Mary's and the
Colored school that during World War II both the colored
children and the white children participated in the drills
required in the event of an air raid. Both were taken to the
corridor and music room on the first floor of the convent.
According to former students, the children of color
were allowed to participate in the activities during Lent;
however, they were forced to sit in the back of the church when
attending with white students. It is also worthy to note that in
May 1943, children of the Colored School participated with
students in a church ceremony at which they were solemnly
consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This event was
repeated in 1946 and 1948.
The black children who attended St. Mary's
Colored school were from all over the City of Annapolis both
uptown and downtown and were not necessarily Catholics. Some of
them who attended in the late 30's, early 40's remembered that
their parents paid a stipend, although very small, to help with
their education. These adults still remember the names of many
of the Sisters that taught them at St. Mary's, including Sister
Mary Damian Gretz who remained at St. Mary's until 1973.
These same adults also remember that they always knew
that they were segregated from the white students in the same
school. As mentioned earlier, although there were several
programs in which they attended with whites they were always
segregated from them. They also remember that there was a strong
sense of discipline in the colored school, there are many who
remember like my own father that the sisters used rulers to
crack their knuckles and the pointers used for the blackboard
doubled as switches used to sting their legs and backsides.
The children of the Colored School also remembered
having a wood stove in the late 1930's and early 1940's although
the history records that modern heating was used as early as
These former students always remembered feeling that
they were treated differently because they were not allowed to
use inside restroom facilities. Many of them used an outhouse
until Father Augustine Smith arrived in 1942. Considerable
improvements were made to include electricity, a masonry
lavatory wing with modern toilets and sinks in 1943.
After St. Mary's, many who could afford it continued on
to high school in Baltimore and Washington until the Wiley H.
Bates Colored School was opened in 1932. On June 12, 1949 the
last class graduated from St. Mary's Colored School. In
September 1949, the black school and congregation left Duke of
Gloucester Street to a new church and school for African
Americans in the black community of the old 4th Ward. The school
built on Bates Street, St. Augustine's, opened and due to an act
of nature was closed in 1967. But that's another story. For more
on St. Mary's please see Robert Worden's new book called, "St.
Mary's Church in Annapolis."
Welcome to Annapolis
To our visitors, welcome! This year I would like to
personally welcome all the boaters, in particular those
attending the fourth annual Black Boaters Summit Reunion.
Welcome Capt. Paul Mixon from Honey Let's Travel and
your crew! I also want to welcome Capt. Bill Pinkney of the
Amistad who will be with us Saturday. I'm looking forward to
updates on the travels of the Amistad since last year and what
is planned for this year. During your stay in Annapolis please
enjoy your stay, the food and the people in the best historic
seaport in America.
Please don't forget Sunday marks 240 years since Alex
Haley's ancestor, Kunta Kinte, was sold in Annapolis to a
Virginia planter. I look forward to sharing our incredible
history with you at 3 p.m. Sunday for "High Tea & History" at
Reynolds Tavern on Church Circle, one of the city's most
notorious sites of slave sales. Reservations are a must, seats
are limited, $25 per person.
The columnist is a native of Annapolis and a recent recipient
of R.E.S.P.E.C.T, Inc., Co-Chairpersons Award for "Outstanding
Community Leadership and significant contributions to community
development, coalition building and organizational unity."
Source: The Daily Sentinel (Pomeroy, OH)
Dated: May 24, 2012
Edward Courtney - William Bentley -
Remembering those who served
POMEROY - The story of two Meigs County African American men who
were recruited to serve in the first colored unit representing
Ohio in the Civil War, was relayed during the Memorial Day
service held Saturday at the Civil War statue on the courthouse
Doug McCabe, director of manuscripts at the Mahn Center
of Archives and Special Collections at Ohio University's Alden
Library, was speaker for the program held by the Brooks-Grant
Camp of the Sons of Union Soldiers and the Major Daniel Mc-Cook
Circle 104 of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic.
McCabe said both men, William Bentley, a naive of Meigs County,
and Edward Courtney, a native of Virginia but a resident of
Meigs County, enlisted on June 22, 1863, into that first African
American unit being organized by Milton Hollow of Athens County,
a former slave. Both of the Meigs County men were injured in the
war, but both survived.
These men of the 127th OVI were mustered in at a
segregated camp in Delaware where McCabe described them as
having to "put up with the deprivations of lower pay than white
soldiers, a lack of clothing and a lack of weapons." He went on
to say that "still they trained and eventually were sent to
Norfolk, Va. where in 1863 they were given a new designation -
the 5th United States Colored Infantry.
The speaker detailed the battles encountered by the
5th, citing their bravery and success in battle as well as their
determination despite the hardship of being illequipped.
McCabe said that during their raids, "thousands of slaves
belonging to rebel masters were liberated."
In his talk, McCabe described the battles in which
those in the colored 5th Unit succeeded in battles where the
white Union regiments had failed. As a result of their success,
several men of the 5th, including Holland, the unit organizer,
were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The speaker said that the 5th United States Colored
Infantry lost a total of 249 men.
He also noted that hundreds of African-American men
rallied to join the Union Army right at the beginning of the
war, and nearly all were turned down. That changed later when it
became apparent the war would last a long time.
By the end of the war, colored troops constituted
one-tenth of the total soldiers who served in the Union armies,
sending over 178,000 men to the field, McCabe reported.
"They finally did get equal pay for their service, but
after the war, it took years before they could actually become
eligible for pensions and disability pay," McCabe said.
In conclusion, the speaker called on those attending
the memorial service to "remember and humbly thank our colored
soldiers, including Meigs Countians Bentley and Courtney, from
long ago who sacrificed so much that all of us could live better
Jean Hilton of the Mc-Cook Circle 104 was emcee for the 11 a.m.
program and spoke about the need to remember our ancestors who
served in the Civil War as well as those who served before and
after that war, along with the orphans and widows who were left
behind. She included in her comments a "Widow's Tribute" and
concluded with the placing of wreaths at the base of the Civil
War statue where the names of those killed in that war are
engraved on the base. Recorded music was used to enhance the
program which was followed by a luncheon at the Meigs Museum.
Source: The Denver Post: Blogs (CO)
Dated: Sep. 2, 2012
James "Jimmy" Miller: Colorado's first
execution as a state was a Buffalo Soldier who killed the wrong
Capital punishment has walked hand in hand with much of the its
sketchy history in Colorado. Michael Radelet from the Institute
of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder,
counts 102 legal executions and 175 lynchings.
He notes that William Gilpin, Colorado's first
territorial governor, first authorized the death penalty on Nov.
5, 1861, and two years later "under territorial authority took
the life of William S. Van Horn, who was hanged before a crowd
of thousands" in Central City" on Dec. 18, 1863.
Though a pretty bold way to introduce the color of law
to the Wild West's storied history of swift justice, it does not
match the story of the first death under a figurative state
James "Jimmy" Miller was a 23-year-old Buffalo Soldier
private in the U.S. Colored Troops at Fort Lyon on Aug. 26, 1876
— 25 days after Colorado became a state — when he attended a
dance in tiny Las Animas.
According to the story, a drunk white man whose name is
lost to history told Miller the dance hall was for whites only
and drove him out at the point of the gun, as another white
patron, John Sutherland, tried to step in on Miller's behalf.
"Miller and a friend, Benjamin Smith, later returned
and randomly shot into the bar, missing the thug but killing
Sutherland. Both men received death sentences; the governor
commuted Smith's sentence," according to the Colorado State
Public Defender's Office "Catalog of Colorado Executions."
Some context of the times: The Buffalo Soldiers today
are honored as the heros they were, freed slaves who took up
arms to defend a country that, until the Civil War, had viewed
them as little more than chattel. Fort Lyon, had been under a
cloud of national shame since it served as the base from which
Col. John Chivington led 700 Colorado militia volunteers on a
merciless attack on peaceful Arapaho and Cheyenne, killing 128
women,children and elders — a cowardly attack The History
Channel called "a depraved slaughter," in which bodies were
scalped and mutilated, including sexual organs.
The Buffalo Soldiers came west to help stem the
retaliatory attacks from numerous tribes and help ensure safe
passage for overwhelmingly white settlers, but in 1869, when
white soldiers at Fort Lyon instigated a brawl in a theater,
Buffalo Soldiers with the 10th Cavalry were pulled from the
area, leaving the 9th Cavalry, to which the doomed Miller
The Colorado Catalog of Executions describes Miller's
end this way:
"At the hanging, which the governor delayed two weeks
so Miller could join a church and be married, the trapdoor would
not open at first, and when it did, it fell to the ground.
Miller dropped through the opening in the platform, but the rope
was too long and his feet came to rest on the trap door that had
fallen below him. The trap door was quickly removed so Miller
could swing unimpeded. He hung for twenty-five minutes before
expiring. Later, the sheriff, distraught over the bungled
hanging, resigned his position and left the community."
Oddly, Fort Lyon today is a state prison, and its end
Source: St. Louis Dispatch (MO)
Dated: May 27, 2014
Former slaves who fought in Civil War
ST. LOUIS • They fought for a country that refused to recognize
them as citizens and died in virtual anonymity, their remains
lumped together in a single burial plot.
For nearly 150 years, the freed slaves of the 56th
United States Colored Infantry who fought for the Union Army in
the Civil War were a historical footnote, buried in a mass grave
after cholera killed the troops as they prepared to go home.
Even after the remains of more than 100 veterans were relocated
to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery near St. Louis in 1939,
they were buried as unknown soldiers.
But on Monday, a small group of local historians braved
a late-morning Memorial Day downpour in a bid to reclaim the
memory of the individual men in the 56th Regiment.
Members of the St. Louis African American History and
Genealogy Society recited each of the 173 names at a graveside
ceremony, after an area veteran uncovered the soldiers'
identities with some cursory research at a St. Louis County
A bronze grave marker with those names will be added to
a roughly 6-foot-tall obelisk marking the 56th's burial site
later this summer. Two adjacent headstones that refer to unknown
soldiers will be removed at the cemetery, which is the final
burial place for more than 180,000 soldiers dating to 1826,
including hundreds of other mass graves and thousands of unknown
"In the military, you can't walk from here to that tree without
your name being on a list," said Sarah Cato, a retired lawyer
and the society's vice president. "The names were always known.
... We didn't make some phenomenal discovery. We just brought it
to (public) attention."
Cato and other group members enlisted the support of
Missouri's congressional delegation soon after a member of the
Jefferson Barracks Chapel Association alerted them to the
oversight. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, spoke at the group's
inaugural memorial ceremony for the regiment nine months ago.
The grave marker will include the names of 55 soldiers
whose remains could not be recovered but were believed to have
been buried on the banks of the Mississippi River on an outpost
once known as Quarantine Island for its role in preventing the
spread of diseases. Like other units at the time, the regiment
was led by white officers.
The regiment's ranks included men such as William
Alexander, a Company E private, and Marion Woodson, a Company B
private. By and large, little is known about the unit's
individual members, Cato said.
Historians with the U.S. Department of Veterans
Affairs' National Cemetery Administration helped verify the
authenticity of the 56th Regiment military records.
"We want them to be properly recognized," cemetery
director Jeff Barnes said.
But he noted that even with the newest discovery,
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery still contains 564 mass
graves and more than 3,000 unknown soldiers, primarily from the
Though formed in St. Louis in 1863, the 56th Regiment
was initially known as the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment
(African Descent). Troops were stationed in Helena, a river town
in eastern Arkansas, primarily working in logistical support
units that guarded railroad bridges and loaded supplies.
In July 1864, they withstood a Confederate attack at
Wallace's Ferry in which their commander was killed. The cholera
outbreak occurred as the soldiers prepared to return home by
ship in the summer of 1866.
"Today we celebrate the lives, courage and commitment
of the men of the 56th," Cato said in the brief ceremony. "As we
read their names, let them know, Lord, that they are not