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Finding a Place of Refuge

The migration of the blacks from the Southern States to those offering them better opportunities is nothing new. The objective here, therefore, will be not merely to present the causes and results of the recent movement of the Negroes to the North but to connect this event with the periodical movements of the blacks to that section, from about the year 1815 to the present day. That this movement should date from that period indicates that the policy of the commonwealths towards the Negro must have then begun decidedly to differ so as to make one section of the country more congenial to the despised blacks than the other. As a matter of fact, to justify this conclusion, we need but give passing mention here to developments too well known to be discussed in detail. Slavery in the original thirteen States was the normal condition of the Negroes. When, however, James Otis, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson began to discuss the natural rights of the colonists, then said to be oppressed by Great Britain, some of the patriots of the Revolution carried their reasoning to its logical conclusion, contending that the Negro slaves should be freed on the same grounds, as their rights were also founded in the laws of nature.1 And so it was soon done in most Northern commonwealths. Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts exterminated the institution by constitutional provision and Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania by gradual emancipation acts.2 And it was thought that the institution would soon thereafter pass away even in all southern commonwealths except South Carolina and Georgia, where...

The Colonization Movement – Liberia History

With commendable energy the newly organized society set about the accomplishment of the task before it. Plans were discussed during the summer, and in November two agents, Samuel J. Mills and Ebenezer Burgess, sailed for Africa to explore the western coast and select a suitable spot. They were cordially received in England by the officers of the African institution, and by Earl Bathurst, secretary of state for the colonies, who provided them with letters to Sierra Leone. Here they arrived in march, 1818, and were hospitably received, every facility being afforded them to prosecute their inquiries, though marked unwillingness to have a foreign colony established in the vicinity was not concealed. Their inspection was carried as far south as Sherbro island, where they obtained promises from the natives to sell land to the colonists on their arrival with goods to pay for it. In may they embarked on the return voyage. Mills died before reaching home. His colleague made a most favorable report of the locality selected, though, as the event proved, it was a most unfortunate one. After defraying the expenses of this exploration the society’s treasury was practically empty. It would have been most difficult to raise the large sum necessary to equip and send out a body of emigrants; and the whole enterprise would have languished and perhaps died but for a new impelling force. Monroe, who ever since his correspondence with Jefferson in 1800, had pondered over “the vast and interesting objects” which colonization might accomplish, was now by an interesting chain of circumstances enabled to render essential aid. Though the importation of slaves had...

Slave Narrative of James (Jim) Davis

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden Person interviewed: James Davis 1112 Indiana St. (owner), Pine Bluff, Ark. Age: 96 Occupation: Cotton farmer “This is what’s left of me. How old? Me? Now listen and let me tell you how ’twas. Old mistress put all our ages in the family Bible, and I was born on Christmas morning in 1840 in Raleigh, North Carolina. “My old master was Peter Davis and he was old Jeff Davis’ brother. There was eight of them brothers and every one of em was as rich as cream. “Old master was good to us. He said he wanted us singin’ and shoutin’ and workin’ in the field from morning to night. He fed us well and we had plenty good clothes to wear-heavy woolen clothes and good shoes in the winter time. When I was a young man I wore good clothes. “I served slavery about twenty-four years before peace was declared. We didn’t have a thing in God’s world to worry bout. Every darky old master had, he put woolen goods and good heavy shoes every winter. Oh, he was rich-had bout five or six thousand slaves. Oh, he had darkies aplenty. He run a hundred plows. “I went to work when I was seven pullin’ worms off tobacco, and I been workin’ ever since. But when I was comin’ up I had good times. I had better times than I ever had in my life. I used to be one of the best banjo pickers. I was good. Played for white folks and called figgers for em. In them days they said ‘promenade’, ‘sashay’, ‘swing...

American Missionary Association

Brief sketches from the American Missionary Association for the years 1888 to 1895. The main purpose of this organization was to eliminate slavery, to educate African Americans, to promote racial equality, and to promote Christian values. They discussed many missionary topics in each publication, Blacks, Indians, schools, and much more.

Pompey Woodward Genealogy

Pompey Woodward, a negro, who did not know his age or parentage, had served in the Revolution as a waiter to some officer. He came to Sullivan, after his second m. He m (1), in Sterling, Mass., Apr. 15, 1788, Rosanna Hendley; both were of Sterling, Probably their last names were those of families where they had been employed. Feb. 16, 1800, he was published to Miss Polly (Mary) Harry of Worcester, Mass. He d. Jan. 13, 1843. In the Sentinel of Feb. 1, 1843, is the following obituary: “In Sullivan, Pompey Woodward, a colored man, aged 77. He had been a professor of religion for a great number of years, and died a Revolutionary pensioner, always maintaining a character for strict integrity, and was highly respected by his neighbors.” Mrs. Polly Woodward d. in Worcester, Mass., July 28, 1856, aged 95, according to the records of Worcester; and the records say she was b. Southboro, Mass. They do not give her parentage or...

Kern Clifton Rolls

In 1896-1897 the Kern-Clifton Roll was created to fill in the omissions of the Wallace Roll. Genealogists not finding their Cherokee ancestor in the Kern-Clifton Roll, should search the Wallace Roll to insure that this ancestor was not one of those originally identified by the John Wallace census. This census of the Freedmen and their descendants of the Cherokee Nation taken by the Commission appointed in the case of Moses Whitmire, Trustee of the Freedmen of the Cherokee Nation vs. The Cherokee Nation and the United States in the Court of Claims at Washington, D. C., the said Commission being composed of William Clifton, William Thompson and Robert H. Kern, the same being made from the testimony taken before said Commission in the Cherokee Nation between May 4th and August 10th, 1896.

Slave Narrative of Mrs. C. Hood

The Story of Mrs. C. Hood: Once upon a time during the Civil War my grandmother was alone with just one old faithful servant. The Union troops had just about taken everything she had, except three prize saddle horses and one coal black mare which she rode all the time. She was very fond of the mare and valued it very much. One night my grandmother heard a noise, and called old Joe to go to the barn and see what was the matter. As he was nearing the barn someone yelled “Halt”; and Joe being a black man and a servant, stopped just where he was. My grandmother, who had also heard the command, paid no attention whatsoever; she went straight through the dozen or more Union soldiers who were stealing her stock to the one who appeared to be the leader. He was holding her mare; she jerked the briddle from his hand, led her mare back to the kitchen door, where she held her the remainder of the night. A Story: When my mother was a girl she was staying with some kinfolks for one month. These people owned several slaves and among them was one old man-servant who was very old and had served out his usefulness. It was war time and food was scarce even for the white folks. The younger and stronger slaves got most of the food, and old Tom was always hungry. My mother finding this out, and feeling sorry for him would slip him bread and other food through a hole in the kitchen floor. A short time after this,...

Slave Narrative of Elphas P. Hylton

LAWRENCE CO. (Edna Lane Carter) Extract from the Civil War diary kept by Elphas P. Hylton, a Lawrence Co. volunteer in the Union Army. “On 17th of July (1864) I was detailed for picket duty and saw three thousand negro soldiers on a grand review, a black cloud to see. On the 18th I was relieved of duty. Here I became dissatisfied as a soldier on account of the negro, negro, negro. On the 23rd we began to get ready to leave this negro hole and on the 24th, to our great joy and gladness, we were sent into camp near...

Slave Narrative of Mr. McIntosh

LESLIE CO. (Viola Bowling) McIntosh was a very progressive farmer and had a large supply of food, being a Rebel of the Rebel Army camped at the mouth of this creek near his home where they could secure food. He had a slave called “Henry McIntosh” who was drafted into the Union Army. He did not want to go but his master told him, “Well Henry you will have to go, do not steal, nor lie and be good and when you get out come on back.” He did come back and stayed here until he died, he later married and was the father of “Ben McIntosh (colored) who later lived in Hyden for years. McIntosh did not have any help on his farm after this slave was taken away from him. So he let the youth of 16 years Mr. Wooton, come to his home and help him get wood and work about the place. McIntosh had another slave but gave him to his son-in-law John Hyden, who then lived one mile up Cutushin from the Mouth of McIntosh. He had a small store which was the first store in that...

Slave Narrative of W. B. Morgan

ANDERSON CO. (Mildred Roberts) Many of the following stories were related by Mr. W.B. Morgan who at one time owned and operated a livery barn. He hired several negroes to look after the horses and hacks, and remembers many funny tales about them and others: “Kie Coleman, one of my employees, was standing without the livery stable smoking a two-fer cigar that some one had given him. Another negro walked up to chat with him, and he reared back and said “Get away nigger, nothing but the rich can endure life.” “I was hauling grain for the distillery. One morning I came down to the barn, and Kie was too drunk to take his team out. I gave him a good going over about wasting his money that way instead of saving it for a decent funeral. This is one of the best ways to appeal to a darkey because if there is any thing they like it is a big funeral. “He just kinda staggered up to me and said “Boss, I don’t worry a bit about dat. White folks don’t like to smell a live nigger and I’se knows good and well da hain’t gwine to lebe no dead nigger laying on top of de groun’.” “I furnished the horses for the hearse, and one night I tole the boys to leave it in the stable because we were going to have another funeral the next day. “Each night one of the boys had to sleep in the office, and this particular night it was Bill’s turn. Bill was an old, one-legged negro and very superstitious. He...
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