pews

Meeting of Colored Citizens of New York (1851)

The adjourned meeting of colored citizens, called for Thursday evening, 6th October (1851), upon the subject of colonization in Africa, was held at the same place where the two preceding meetings were held. The meeting was much more numerously attended than the previous one, and was very animated.

A very different sentiment prevailed from that reported of the two preceding meetings. A report, submitted by a committee, favoring emigration to Liberia, was, upon motion, refused even the respect of a reception. Rev. S.E. Cornish (see note below), Robert Hamilton, Peter Ginnan, Geo. T. Downing, and others, opposed the reception. L.H. Putnam and Mr. Jones were the defenders of the same.

Mr. Cornish declared that the leader in this movement (alluding to Mr. Putnam) felt no interest in common with his people. He said that he had been collecting funds ostensibly to send colored persons to Liberia, but in reality for his own benefit. Mr. Cornish said that Liberia was the last place that he would advise his people to go – giving as reasons, the poverty, the spirit of caste, and the general demoralizing influence of the place; and he further declared that the great obstacle to the elevation of the colored man in this country was the American Colonization Society.

Many remarks, denunciatory of the colonization scheme, were made by the several speakers, declaring that they did not feel called upon to interfere with Mr. Putnam’s collecting funds from colonizationists, so long as he did not compromise the well-known sentiments of the colored people, but that he was doing so now. Hence their denunciation.

The following resolutions were adopted:

  • Resolved, That we disavow the sentiments set forth in the reported proceedings of two meetings, purporting to be held by colored residents, and express our continued abhorrence of the colonization scheme in all its phases, whether promulgated by the American Colonization Society or by renegade colored men, made under the guise of an emigration society.
  • Resolved, That we, the colored citizens of New York, favor the expressed wish of Mr. L.H. Putnam to disconnect himself from “the Negroes” of New York (a term by which we are popularly designated, and one used by said Putnam, a negro), seeing that he has found it to be his interest to connect himself with the American Colonization Society, our enemy and vilifier.
  • Resolved, That we caution the public against contributing funds towards the so-called Liberia Emigration Society, as the colored citizens of New York have no connection or sympathy with it.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.

Source: Frederick Douglass Paper, November 13, 1851

About Rev. S.E. Cornish mentioned above

Rev. Samuel Eli Cornish

Rev. Samuel Eli Cornish

Rev. Samuel Eli Cornish (1795- November 6, 1858) was born in Delaware to parents of mixed race.

After graduating from the Free African School in Philadelphia Cornish began training to become a Presbyterian minister and was ordained in 1822. He was ordained in 1822.

He then moved to New York City and organized the first congregation of Black Presbyterians as New Demeter Street Presbyterian Church.

In 1827 he became co-editor of Freedom’s Journal.

He was also a founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society. This society was formed by Arthur Tappan, Lewis Tappan, Theodore Weld, and William Lloyd Garrison.

In 1840 he left to join the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.

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A Southern Address for Veterans Day

This was the beginning of An Address of Welcome on Veterans’ Day at the Florida Chautauqua on March the 13th, 1909. The context is important here. This was mostly an address to the still living Confederate veterans of the Civil War and should be read in that context.

The speaker, John L. McKinnon of Walton County, Florida, was no academic historian, nor did he write in a scholarly manner. Much of his book, History of Walton County, reads as someone giving you oral history as you sit with the story teller in rockers on a front porch.

Fellow Comrades:

Our commander, General Pasco, in having me speak the welcoming words today, gave me to understand, that it did not require the commanding voice of oratory, nor the persuasive speech of eloquent words, neither was it necessary to dip one’s tongue in the fountain of the Muses, to welcome a confederate soldier.  But, says he, “it needs only the simple language of the heart, just true heart words.”

It was only then, I felt I might be able to make you feel at home with us, on this occasion, as my heart is always in tune with, and in sympathy for the Confederate soldier. For I know well of his motives, his grievances, his sacrifices. To some here, your bent forms, your empty sleeves, your halted steps coming down these aisles, may be suggestive of uncouthness. But to us, who remember the cause through which these came, they are grace, beauty and love. Your persecuted cause, that the world now calls “The Lost Cause,” made resistless appeals to your manhood.

To be sure, it sifted out the insincere and cowardly, but it left you a force of men the stronger for the winnowing. And brought out all that is noble and most daring in you. It struck open the deeps in your souls. No men could have been more sincere in the righteousness and justice of a cause, than you were in the one you espoused. Then shall we say of a truth, ours is a “Lost Cause?” “Nothing is settled until it is settled right.”

We know our grievances were settled by the power of the sword, and time has shown us how very unjust and unsatisfactory the arbitrament of the sword has been in the past. Now, near half a century has passed, and the problems of those days are the unsolved problems of today. “Courage yet,” writes James Renwick, the soul of the Cameronian Societies in the days of the Covenant and Killing Times. “Courage yet, for all that has come and gone. The loss of men is not the loss of the cause. What is the matter tho’ we all fall? The cause shall not fall.”

We see a rock in mid ocean, with its modest form high above the dashing waves, as a beacon light to those who would navigate treacherous seas; inviting the storm tossed ones to take rest on its firm foundations. We see the waves of every sea leaping upon and lashing it. And in the course of time, we find this beacon rock wasting itself away, beating back the angry waves. This rock is not lost, it is resting there on its granite bed, while the waves roll on; and maybe some day when the waters recede from the earth, or in some cosmic disturbances it may be the first to lift its broader form to bring light and give protection around.

So, too, in a political or governmental sense, we see a little Republic, born out of contentions and disturbances, modestly lifting itself up and taking its place among the Nations of the world. It, too, has a firm foundation on which to build–a constitution that eliminated the evils and interjected the good found in other governments. With a splendid code of laws enacted, guaranteeing self government. Yet this little Republic had hardly taken its place on the roll of Republics, before the Nations about began to leap upon and continued to pound upon it, until it wore itself out driving them back.

And my fellow comrades, you are here today as the representatives, the exponents of that little Republic–as the resultant–the residuum, if you please, of all that pounding. And your ardent support, all these years to the overpowering government, speaks in noble terms of your patriotism–your loyalty to the same. We feel that we voice the heart sentiments of every one here, when we say, in defending this little Republic, we did nothing that we are ashamed of, one that needs an apology for. None but the coward or degenerate sons would dare say less.

We know that we deserve as much respect from the world at large, for standing by our convictions, as those do who opposed us and will be satisfied with nothing less. We acknowledged that we were overpowered, or whipped if you please, but not debauched. The agonies that we know of–the blood that we saw flow, must stand for something. As the years roll on, in the course of human, events, there may come a time in our governmental affairs, when “Mercy and truth are met together: righteousness and peace have kissed each other”–when “truth crushed to the ground shall rise again.”

When the principles of State Sovereignty of Liberty (and not chattel slavery as some would have believe) that were so dear to us, and for which we fought and gave the best blood in our land, shall come to the front, assert themselves, and make this old Republic–so long as God will have it stand–by far the best government on the globe. Fellow Comrades–we do welcome you here with all our hearts, and to all the good things in our town; and hope through all the years that are going to be yours in this world, we may find you able to come up here annually, that we may have sweet fellowship one with another.

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.

Source: History of Walton County  – Pages 384-389
Top Photo: Confederate veteran reunion, 1917 — Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve.

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lovejoy_1

Owen Lovejoy: ‘All men equal! How?’

Owen Lovejoy (January 6, 1811 – March 25, 1864) was an American lawyer, Congregational minister, abolitionist, and Republican congressman from Illinois. He was also a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. After his brother Elijah Lovejoy was murdered in November 1837 by pro-slavery forces, Owen became the leader of abolitionists in Illinois.

In February 1859, Lovejoy responded to charges that he was a “negro stealer” on the floor of Congress, saying:

Yes, I do assist fugitive slaves to escape! Proclaim it upon the house-tops; write it upon every leaf that trembles in the forest; make it blaze from the sun at high noon, and shine forth in the radiance of every star that bedecks the firmament of God. Let it echo through all the arches of heaven, and reverberate and bellow through all the deep gorges of hell, where slave catchers will be very likely to hear it. Owen Lovejoy lives at Princeton, Illinois, and he aids every fugitive that comes to his door and asks it. Thou invisible demon of slavery! dost thou think to cross my humble threshold, and forbid me to give bread to the hungry and shelter to the houseless? I bid you defiance in the name of God.

Lovejoy was a platform speaker in support of Abraham Lincoln in the famous debates with Stephen Douglas. .

(more…)

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A Picture in the Room

A distinguished writer has said somewhere of the portrait of a beautiful female, with a noble countenance, that it seems as if an unhandsome action would be impossible in its presence.

Most men of any refinement of soul must have felt the truth and force of this sentiment. We have often thought that the picture of a beloved mother or devoted wife, hung up in the room where we spend our leisure hours, must certainly excite a mighty influence over the feelings and thoughts.

Cowper’s picture of his mother was a living presence, whose speaking countenance and beaming eye appealed, as no living mortal could, to his inmost soul, and stirred its profoundest depths.

But what is it that gives this power to the inanimate resemblance of departed ones? Their virtues, their moral graces and excellencies, as remembered by the affectionate survivor.

It may seem an odd thought, but we cannot help suggesting it to every female reader— to every sister, wife, and mother— that it is a worthy ambition for each of them to labor to be, both now and when dead, that picture in the house before which vice shall stand abashed, confounded, and in whose presence every virtuous and manly heart shall glow with every honorable and lofty sentiment, and be irresistibly urged to the love of goodness and truth.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.

Image details: This painting belongs to a set of four portraits of the daughters of Louis XV of France, symbolizing the four elements (Mesdames de France). The paintings, ordered by Louis XV in 1749 to decorate the south wing of the Palace of Versailles, were executed by Nattier between 1750 and 1751.

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See you in Charleston!

Accessible Archives is looking forward to meeting the many attendees at this year’s Charleston Conference. We have a lot to talk about!

Accessible Archives publishes electronic full-text searchable historical databases containing primary source materials from 18th and 19th century American newspapers, periodicals and books. These selected unique resources provide access to events during the critical periods of colonial America and the first century of the young American Republic. During the past year we have increased our African American History coverage with National Anti-Slavery Standard 1840-1870 and added National Citizen and Ballot Box and The Revolution to our Women’s Suffrage collection. Our newest database, Frank Leslie’s Weekly 1855-1922, follows social development of the United States into the 20th century and includes written and pictorial coverage of The Civil War, Spanish American War and World War I. We continue to grow our American County Histories database, as well, and now have expanded coverage throughout the Southwest and Western states, with more to come.

We are excited about these happenings and are eager to share them with you. Please visit with us at Table 19; we look forward to seeing you there.

As the official sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives, Unlimited Priorities also will be available during the entire conference, so if you would like to schedule an appointment for a more in-depth discussion, please contact us at iris.hanney@unlimitedpriorities.com. In the meantime, you can find full information about our databases and support materials here at accessible-archives.com.

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