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Voices of the Civil War Episode 12 "Emancipation Proclamation"

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JANUARY 2013: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation after issuing a draft version in September 1862.  The Emancipation Proclamation laid the foundation for what would become the 13th Amendment, issued two years later on January 31, 1865.  Consequently, the proclamation marked a point of no return in regards to negiotiations or compromise with the Confederacy.  At nearly two years into the war, Lincoln finally focused on the heart of the issue and confronted the Confederacy where it mattered.  The Confederacy held fast and continued fighting.

Credits

1. U.S. Senate Collection
2. National Archives
3. Library of Congress
4. Wikimedia Commons
5. Library Company of Philadelphia www.librarycompany.org
6. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
7. Library of Congress
8. Smithsonian
9. Library of Congress
10. Library of Congress
11. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
12. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
13. Library of Congress
14. Library of Congress
15. Library of Congress
16. White House Historical Association
17. Library of Congress
18. Library of Congress
19. Library of Congress
20. Library of Congress
21. Library of Congress
22. National Archives
23. National Archives

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Today in Black History, 1/11/2013

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• January 11, 1948 Madeline Manning, hall of fame track and field athlete, author, and speaker, was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Manning ran track at Tennessee State University where she won ten national titles, set a number of American records, and graduated in 1972. She participated in the 1968, 1972, and 1976 Summer Olympic Games. At the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, she won a Gold medal in the 800-meter race and at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games she won a Silver medal as a member of the 4 by 400-meter relay team. In 1984, Manning was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame. Manning is founder and president of the United States Council for Sports Chaplaincy and has served as U.S. team chaplain at the 1988 Seoul, 1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She also founded Ambassadorship, Inc., a ministry through sports and the arts.

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Today in Black History, 1/10/2013

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• January 10, 1910 Patrick Francis Healy, the first American of African ancestry to be president of a predominantly white college, died. Healy was born enslaved February 27, 1830 in Macon, Georgia. Although he was at least three-quarters European in ancestry, he was legally considered a slave and Georgia law prohibited the education of slaves. Therefore, Healy’s father arranged for him to move north to obtain an education. Healy graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1850 and entered the Jesuit order. In 1858, the order sent him to Europe to study because his African ancestry had become an issue in the United States. He earned his doctorate from the University of Leuven in Belgium, becoming the first American of African descent to earn a Ph.D. Healy was ordained to the priesthood on September 3, 1864, becoming the first Jesuit priest of African descent. In 1866, Healy returned to the U.S. and began teaching at Georgetown University. On July 31, 1874, he was named president of the institution. During his tenure, he helped transform the small 19th century college into a major university for the 20th century. He modernized the curriculum and expanded and upgraded the schools of law and medicine. He also oversaw the construction of Healy Hall which was declared a National Historic Landmark on December 23, 1987. Healy left the college in 1882. In 1969, the Georgetown Alumni Association established the Patrick Healy Award to recognize people who have “distinguished themselves by a lifetime of outstanding achievement and service to Georgetown, the community and his or her profession.” Patrick Francis Healy Middle School in East Orange, New Jersey is named in his honor. “Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, 1820-1920” was published in 2003.

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Today in Black History, 1/9/2013

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• January 9, 1886 Aaron Anderson (or Sanderson), Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, died. Anderson was born in 1811 in Plymouth, North Carolina. He enlisted in the Union Navy at the age of 52 during the Civil War. On March 17, 1865, while serving as a landsman on board the U.S.S. Wyandank on a mission to attack Confederate forces in Mattox Creek in Virginia, his actions earned him the medal. His citation partially reads, “…carried out his duties courageously in the face of a devastating fire which cut away half the oars, pierced the launch in many places and cut the barrel off a musket being fired at the enemy.” Anderson was awarded the medal, America’s highest military decoration June 22, 1865. He left the navy after his term of service expired and little is known of his post-war life.

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Today in Black History, 1/8/2013

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• January 8, 1811 The German Coast Uprising, a slave revolt that took place in the Territory of Orleans, began. The uprising was led by Charles Deslondes, a free person of color from Haiti, and lasted for two days. During that time between 200 and 500 enslaved persons participated, burning five plantation houses and killing two white men. A total of 95 insurgents were killed in the aftermath of the rebellion, including Deslondes who was captured and “had his hands chopped off then shot in one thigh and then the other until they were broken, then shot in the body, and before he had expired was put into a bundle of straw and roasted.” The legislature of the Orleans Territory approved compensation of $300 to planters for each enslave person killed or executed. Books about the uprising include “On to New Orleans! Louisiana’s Heroic 1811 Slave Revolt” (1996), and “American Uprising” (2010).

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Today in Black History, 1/7/2013

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• January 7, 1890 William B. Purvis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received patent number 419,065 for the fountain pen. Purvis’ invention made the use of an ink bottle obsolete by storing ink in a reservoir within the pen which was then fed to the tip of the pen. Over his lifetime, Purvis received ten additional patents. He is also believed to have invented, but did not patent, several other devices. Little else is known of Purvis’ life.

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Today in Black History, 1/6/2013

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• January 6, 1882 Thomas Boyne was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, America’s highest military decoration. Boyne was born in 1849 in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In 1879, he was serving as a sergeant in Company C of the 9th Calvary Regiment in New Mexico during the Indian Wars. Boyne was cited for “bravery in action” at the Mimbres Mountains on May 29, 1879 and at the Cuchillo Negro River on September 27, 1879. He was discharged from the army in 1889 because of a disability and admitted to the U.S. Soldiers Home in 1890 where he lived until his death on April 21, 1896.

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Today in Black History, 1/5/2013

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• January 5, 1869 Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, opera soprano and businesswoman, was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, but raised in Providence, Rhode Island. Jones began her formal study of music at the Providence Academy of Music in 1883 and in the late 1880s studied at the New England Conservatory of Music. She made her New York City debut in 1888 and made successful tours of the Caribbean that year and in 1892. In June, 1892, Jones became the first African American to sing at the Music Hall in New York (now Carnegie Hall). She also performed for Presidents Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt. By 1896, Jones found that access to most American classical concert hall was limited by her race and therefore she formed the Black Patti Troubadours, a variety act made up of singers, jugglers, comedians, and dancers. The revue was successful enough to provide Jones an income in excess of $20,000. Jones retired from performing in 1915 and died June 24, 1933.

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Searching for family history with the Archives of Michigan in person, online

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The Wright presents a special guest post, courtesy of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Showcasing the DNR - You’re invited to share these stories with friends, family and anyone you believe finds value in learning about the DNR’s efforts to better connect people of all ages to Michigan’s great outdoors and cultural heritage.

The Archives of Michigan is home to plentiful prison records – a valuable research tool for genealogists. Shown here are 19th-century prison records from Marquette State Prison.

The Archives of Michigan is home to plentiful prison records – a valuable research tool for genealogists. Shown here are 19th-century prison records from Marquette State Prison.

Genealogy – tracing the roots of a family tree – is personal, creative and rewarding detective work. Turn on the radio or TV, surf the Web or pick up the newspaper – chances are you’ll come across a story about someone who has discovered an unexpected family connection across the generations.

“Popular television shows like ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ – a program that captured the experience of celebrities exploring their family histories – tells me that this kind of research and the stories it unearths have a real hook in popular culture,” said Kris Rzepczynski, senior archivist at the Archives of Michigan.

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Today in Black History, 1/4/2013

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• January 4, 1901 Cyril Lionel Robert James, historian, journalist, and author, was born in Trinidad and Tobago. James graduated from the Queen’s Royal College in Port of Spain and worked as a school teacher. In 1932, he moved to England and began to campaign for the independence of the West Indies, including the publication of his first important work, “The Case for West-Indian Self Government” (1933). He also became a leading champion of Pan-African agitation and the chairman of the International African Friends of Abyssinia, formed in 1935 in response to Italy’s invasion of what is now Ethiopia. In 1936, James published his only novel, “Minty Alley,” the first novel to be published by a black Caribbean author in the United Kingdom. He then published two of his most important works, “World Revolution” (1937) and “The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution” (1938). James lived in the United States from 1938 to 1953 when he was forced to leave under threat of deportation. Ultimately, he returned to England where he lived until his death on May 19, 1989. A public library in London is named in his honor. Biographies of James include “C.L.R. James: The Artist as Revolutionary” (1988) and “Urbane Revolutionary: C.L.R. James and the Struggle for a New Society” (2007).

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Today in Black History, 1/3/2013

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• January 3, 1624 William Tucker, the first recorded African American born in the American colonies, was born in Jamestown, Virginia. Tucker was the child of enslaved Africans and was sold to an English sea captain named William Tucker. Nothing else is known of Tucker’s life.

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Today in Black History, 1/2/2013

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• January 2, 1884 Oscar Devereaux Micheaux, author and film director, was born in Metropolis, Illinois. Micheaux formed his own movie company and in 1919 became the first African American to write, direct, and produce a motion picture, “The Homesteader.” Between 1919 and 1948, Micheaux wrote seven novels and wrote, directed, and produced 44 feature films, including “Within Our Gates” (1919), which attacked the racism depicted in “The Birth of a Nation,” and “Body and Soul” (1924) which introduced Paul Robeson. Micheaux died March 25, 1951 and in 1986 the Directors Guild of America posthumously honored him with a Golden Jubilee Special Award. The Oscar Micheaux Award is presented annually by the Producers Guild of America. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Micheaux has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1994 a documentary film, “Midnight Ramble,” was released about him. In 2010, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor. Micheaux’s biography, “Oscar Micheaux, The Great and Only: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker,” was published in 2007 and the Oscar Micheaux Center in Gregory, South Dakota annually presents the Oscar Micheaux Film & Book Festival.

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President's Message, January 2013

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Inspiring Minds: it’s not just the name of our newest permanent exhibit.  It’s also an extraordinarily apt description of what the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History does, day in and day out, for people of all ages and backgrounds.  Exploring the African American experience through the arts, humanities, law, literacy, science, and health, The Wright Museum provides an array of aesthetic, interpretive, and intellectual opportunities to inspire visitors for a lifetime.

At our 2012 Annual Meeting held on December 6, we took a look back at the many accomplishments of the past year.  These include:

•    Partnering with over 90 organizations including universities, cultural institutions, and the U.S. Department of Education to present an incredible diversity of programming including close to 200 educational and public events
•    Hosting 12 new exhibitions including Visions of Our 44th President, a groundbreaking collaboration with 44 contemporary artists from across the country that will be the Museum’s first national traveling exhibit
•    The Jerry Pinkney Celebrity Children’s Book Fair, the success of which resulted in the awarding of an endowment by the Knight Foundation to fund this literacy program on an ongoing basis

At 125,000 square feet and with a collection of over 35,000 artifacts, The Wright Museum is the largest museum of African American history in the world.  But our impact goes far beyond our physical footprint.  We provide needed educational opportunities to thousands of children throughout the region, and serve over a half million people per year – locally, nationally, and internationally – through our exhibits, programs, websites, and events such as African World Festival, which celebrated its 30th year in 2012.  For the first time ever, AWF was held on the museum grounds.  

Over the next year, the Inspiring Minds exhibition will show thousands of children that with hard work and the will to succeed, their dreams can be attained.  Perhaps the next big scientific breakthrough in medicine, environmental protection, or consumer technology will find its seed in the galleries of The Wright Museum.

Furthermore, a father may be encouraged by his children to read to them by what they experience in our Children’s Discovery Room.  A graduate student can make a new connection for their thesis in our research library.  And a young couple will start a new life together with vows said under the Ford Freedom Rotunda dome.

These things we do, and will continue to, for children, parents, seniors, performing artists, budding scientists, all people, the rich and the poor – Inspiring Minds, for what comes next, by understanding what came before: fostering context; encouraging contemplation; and enabling creation, understanding, and cooperation.  

As we enter 2013, I want you to think not of what we have done in the past, but what we will do going forward.  How are we helping to foster the rebirth of this great city and region?  And simultaneously, how are we reaching and including those that are barely getting by, who are struggling to survive, so that they may partake in the revitalization all around us?  Detroit cannot be held back, and it can’t leave anyone behind.  It’s obvious that much more needs to be done, and that our reach, the impact of the Museum’s mission of education, must be both deeper and wider.  We need partnerships with the Arab American and Latino communities, with the outer suburbs and inner city organizations, with individuals and entities providing for the educational, health, and spiritual needs of our children and adults.  We’re all moving forward – together – and each and every one of us needs to jump in and play a part.

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Today in Black History, 1/1/2013

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• January 1, 1804 The former colony of Saint Domingue declared its independence and renamed itself Haiti, making it the first independent nation in Latin America and the first post-colonial independent black-led nation in the world. This was the result of a revolution against colonization and slavery that began on August 22, 1791. One of the most successful leaders of the revolution was Toussaint L’Ouverture. The leader at the time of independence was Jean-Jacques Dessalines.

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Today in Black History, 12/31/2012

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• December 31, 1864 Joachim Pease received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the United States military’s highest decoration, for his conduct during the Civil War battle between the USS Kearsarge and the Confederate CSS Alabama. His citation reads, “Served as seaman on board the USS Kearsarge when she destroyed the Alabama off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864. Acting as loader on the No. 2 gun during this bitter engagement, Pease exhibited marked coolness and good conduct and was highly recommended by the divisional officer for gallantry under fire.” Other than the fact that he was born in 1842, not much else is known of Pease’s life before or after the war.

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Today in Black History, 12/30/2012

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• December 30, 1842 Josiah Thomas Walls, the first African American congressman from Florida, was born enslaved in Winchester, Virginia. During the Civil War, Walls was forced to join the Confederate Army and was captured by the Union Army in 1862. He then joined the United States Colored Troops in 1863 and rose to the rank of 1st sergeant and artillery instructor. Walls was discharged in 1865 and by 1868 had saved enough money to buy a 60 acre farm outside of Gainesville, Florida. That same year, he was a representative to the Florida Constitutional Convention and was elected a state assemblyman. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Florida in 1871, but was denied his seat. In 1873, he was elected again and served his term. While in office, Walls introduced bills to establish a national education fund and to provide aid to Seminole War veterans. He was then elected for a third term, but again denied his seat. After that, he returned to Florida where he farmed until 1896 when he became farm director for Florida A&M University. Walls died May 15, 1905. His biography, “Josiah Walls: Florida’s Black Congressman of Reconstruction,” was published in 1976.

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Today in Black History, 12/29/2012

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• December 29, 1907 Robert Clifton Weaver, the first African American to hold a cabinet level position in a United States President’s administration, was born in Washington, D.C. Weaver attended Harvard University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in economics in 1929, his Master of Arts degree in 1931, and his Ph.D. in 1934. Weaver was an expert on urban housing and wrote several books on the subject, including “The Negro Ghetto” (1948) and “The Urban Complex: Human Values in Urban Life” (1964). In 1966, Weaver was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson the first Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a position he held until 1968. After leaving his cabinet post, Weaver became president of Baruch College in 1969 and in 1970 became a professor of urban affairs at Hunter College, from which he retired in 1978. In 1962, Weaver was awarded the NAACP Spingarn Medal. Weaver died July 17, 1997 and in 2000 the HUD headquarters building was renamed the Robert C. Weaver Federal Building. Robert Clifton Weaver Way in northeast Washington, D.C. is also named in his honor.

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Today in Black History, 12/28/2012

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• December 28, 1829 Bill Richmond, hall of fame boxer, died. Richmond was born enslaved on August 5, 1763 in Staten Island, New York. He was taken to England to apprentice as a cabinet maker, but took up boxing. Known as “The Black Terror,” he was one of the most accomplished and respected fighters of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Richmond retired from boxing in 1818 at the age of 55 and established a boxing academy. He was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.

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Today in Black History, 12/27/2012

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• December 27, 1939 John Amos, Jr., television, film, and stage actor, was born in Newark, New Jersey. Amos attended Colorado State University and Long Beach City College and briefly played professional football. He is best known for his television roles on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” from 1970 to 1973 and “Good Times” from 1974 to 1976. Unhappy with the scripts, Amos quit “Good Times” after the third season. Amos appeared in the 1977 Emmy Award winning television miniseries “Roots,” for which he was nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Actor, and has guest starred on a number of other television programs, including “The Cosby Show,” “The West Wing” and “Men in Trees”. He has won more TV Land Awards than any other actor or actress. Amos has had roles in several films, including “Coming to America” (1988), “Die Hard 2” (1990), and “Dr. Dolittle” (2006). Amos is the writer and producer of “Halley’s Comet,” a critically acclaimed one-man play that he performs around the world. In 2009, he was the recipient of the New Jersey Education Association Award for Excellence.

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Today in Black History, 12/26/2012

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• December 26, 1884 Felix Adolphe Eboue, French colonial administrator, was born in Cayenne, Guyana. Eboue was a brilliant scholar and won a scholarship to study in Bordeaux, France. After graduating in law from the Ecole Colonial in Paris, from 1909 to 1931 he served in Oubangui-Chari (now the Central African Republic). In 1932, he was appointed secretary general of Martinique where he served until 1934 when he was transferred to the same position in French Sudan. In 1938, Eboue was transferred to Chad where he served until 1940 when he was appointed General Governor of all of French Equatorial Africa, a position he held until his death on March 17, 1944. During his tenure as general governor, Eboue worked to improve the status of Africans. He placed some Gabonese civil servants into positions of authority and advocated the preservation of traditional African institutions. After his death, the French colonies in Africa brought out a joint stamp issue in his memory. Eboue’s ashes are in The Pantheon of Paris, the first back man to be so honored. Eboue’s biography, “Eboue,” was published in 1972.

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