tv Lectures in History African Americans During Reconstruction CSPAN October 24, 2021 11:56am-12:47pm EDT
linkages between the radicalism and the roots. it's almost a cliché now but it also has this incredible way of looking forward to some kind of sad and media social change that is radicalism and also the root of this. and that's what i'm setting up as my frame today as i read mary the slavery to the freedom and this revisitation to the literature and the kind of reimagined of what the radical republicanism had this and what it could be seen as. i want to look at this is actually, what is that there, the conquered the root. so you can get this and it is
the root that it was used in a lot of medicine in this culture will pass around but it goes into the ground. so why do i uses metaphor to figure out how does one stay rooted and how do you figure out this great transformation and a house is a home and a refugee camp pretty make that into a homestead into what we see with this iconic and i'm sure you can see this in a textbook, this lithograph of this black family and i will also affirm this as a respectable but also radical movement that happens so fast overnight. this is not a permanent manual laboring craft, this is why many
people saw it quality what it looked like. now any self-respecting fort on slavery to freedom should do this ceremonial breeding of the now famous jordan anderson letter. if you've not had the pleasure than you will now going to read this and the points it for laying what world becomes a radical republican vision of reconstruction. jordan anderson, you see this letter right on the cusp of freedom. in tennessee and asking him to come back. and this is his response. this was in 1955, col. anderson. i got your letter and i was glad
to find that you had not forgotten, he's part of the talking first person, that you wanted me to go back again and promising to do better for you than anybody else can. i have often felt uneasy about you. i thought the yankees before this time, they found your house. i suppose they never heard about your - kill that soldier that we left behind. and twice before i left you, i'm still glad. [inaudible]. i want to know particularly what the chances for you to get me and i am doing well here, he's living in ohio. i don't know how many of you have been to dayton. i get clothing and i have a
comfortable and the folks here call her missus anderson and the children millie jane and bernie, they go to school and learning well. in ms. connie has a head for the future they go to sunday school and manny and me attend church regularly as my freedom, would you say that i can have, but there's nothing to be gained on that front is in my freedom in 1864 from the marshall general at the department of nashville. now andy and i have concluded with sincerity by asking to garnish our wages at a time, i serve you faithfully for 32 years and mandy, 20 years. and $2 week for many in our earnings would amount to $11680,
that is about 200,000 grant in today's money. so as for the time, and pace for clothing and mandy had a twofold, and the balance will show what we are entitled to. in the money, acquired in dayton ohio, from the faithful labor in the best, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. we trust the good baker has opened your eyes and learned from your father's which you and your fathers have done to me in my father's making this for you for generations. in answering this letter, please state that there will be any for my million jane as they are good looking girls. i would rather stay here and
starve and die in the comes to that in emma girls both ashamed by the violence of their young masters. and you also see any schools open the color children in your neighborhood and they desire a life now to give my girls in education. and then to have them form virtuous habits and ps, say howdy to george carter and thank him for taking the pistol away from you when you shot at me. your former servant anderson and that's a real letter, a real man it was enslaved and he and his wife mandy, they were working and stewards in the cumberland military hospital in nashville. that that's where a brave number of refugee camps are during the war they migrated in august of
1864, two ohio. they were with their children and your later, he received this letter from his master and he dictates it to the abolitionist, who is living with and venting or renting a home from and is employed and publishing the republican newspaper and was picked up again and again across the country. new york times, and here's his photograph and it becomes a point of humor. but you can see some of this in gripping words and now is been a stable in the classrooms. that started in textbooks as
early as 1865, the same year he publishes the letter. this is a book and she has a niece who is working. [background sounds]. and she wants to publish a textbook. she is the one who wrote over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house you go ♪ ♪ ♪♪ , you know it and she was a frugal housewife and she wrote children's literature and she came out as it abolitionist early in 1833 and she lost leadership from now, she was back in the game full force and she was putting anderson's letter in this letter. this is for children.
in a society, anti- slavery institution, it is and she said this was too radical and is supposed to be a recipe for reparation. so they were not printed she said gather them yourself and printed and she printed a thousand copies and they were circulated in red publicly in the churches so that jordan anderson along with articles about haiti and frederick douglass. it radicalize is a lot of things that we never knew. we never knew this was possible in the bible itself reading for oneself was radical and now there were all of these black political figures that overnight, show children that they had a chance.
but even as a child, visions, and that of jordan anderson was moving faster than congress was. you know the billy, dramatically past the 13th amendment which will abolish slavery. january of 1855, but it takes a few years to get it ratified. kentucky holds out. so by 1855, the 13th amendment. three consecutive amendments, 14th amendment, because you have a radical republican majority in congress, and you can override a conservative andrew johnson in the presidency and the 14th amendment
ratifies in 1868 for citizenship and we have the 16th amendment ratified nations which is african-american men and of course another 50 years to get women to vote. and jordan anderson, along with libya maria child, she's actually on the heels of republican freedoms and publishes and she and her publishers will be the stove uncle - cabin and it is written to be a popular read that everyone just has to get it is about an interracial couple basically is a model for the new america. it did not sell that well but it was a radical vision. it very much upheld the respectability. jordan anderson plays right into that and you can see this
photograph. hold on. so, we have, here's his beard and then here is millie and jane and grundy and mandy and what we have is even the parlor, is a really important space and you have a banjo on the wall so there's some southern this. this is an ohio parlor. you can see that his letter forms the backbone of what will be the republican respectability checklist this plays right into the political agenda. what are you looking for from this 4 million, citizens, they
come into this at a time where anderson is writing about the citizen and the 14th amendment. so we have to do, you have to demonstrate your loyalty to the union. loyalty and the murder of a soldier and wages and freedoms and republican eyes. wage labor, $25 a month not bad a comfortable home and raising and owning and mandy and missus anderson assumes into a monogamous marriage and unified identity as an anderson. in the nuclear family, three children and going to school and becoming preachers and teachers and they do. his son actually found this the
first black - and he is also than very important, something very important to liberal capitalist model. his accounting and abolitionist fighter for his sponsor. and you hear him saying, with interest and he knows how to calculate interest. he is even also showing the duchess expenses and taxpayer and calling parents. it is this time where we see all of these political and social pieces that will be enacted and will be the backbone of the agenda. what we sell very much in the family with her slavery article
that idea of what anchors virtue. he is a father in this new role, outside of domestic institutions that were supposed to anchor virtue and failed. he can do better. in his foundation of any wealth mannered society and away from his owner good job. so you will read this week, and he says this over to anderson. have any of you individuals ever articulated the meaning of freedom more clearly or precisely in jordan anderson. it is a very comforting and a very useful to think of how clean and precise anderson
outlines and is quantifiably radical and then idea precise, more precise. anderson never really gets this but there is something there, there is a vision. he is even taking that transformation of one in first anyone from having - two naming a price for his work. this uncontainable, the radical republicans wanted to nail it down as all about this contract and all about the wage. and here when free labor was not really for free, slavery, it is the freedoms, enables a
contract. and there was no contract and slavery that was a failing and there is no standardized model, no bureaucracy. for some experiences of freedom for messier. the model, bureaucracy and how do you have the separation, over generations. how do you move an agriculture system where father, mother, children, man woman, everyone has a job and everyone is employed into a commercial model that only marginally compensates domestic work and only when it's in someone else's home. many gets $2 a week to jordan's, $25 a month and how do you
collect child support from a former owner who is the father of your child. we actually have people who tried. missus emma brown, she writes to an agent, she has a seven -year-old boy, eight years ago the father and she can give it out and this is important. about eight years ago she was forced by her owner desires and take an oath their boy is seven years old is his child. can he be compelled to support the child and she's trying to make a contract. she is trying to put forward that idea of we together can make a partnership we can trust each other.
my word is good and this is the only way i know how to get even close to that vision of this. so she hired an attorney and the laws not supported. i'm of the opinion the first child around by the laws of the state so for some places, the amendment can be reached. but don't let me mislead you of the radical transformation of this possibility even held out. last week we looked at the story of getting about coming into the fort monroe and saying that this is going to be a black man's or before it is through and this has a lot of public popular sway
and enacted. we see it enacted in soldier model and enacted in the labor model as it was for anderson and we see those as the soldier with his family, this nuclear family is finding a way overnight to be considered a part of a potential part of the middle class. there were nine african-american soldiers so they are making negotiations. it is because are able to make these negotiations, and yes they are enthusiastic but always writing letters back and forth to his wife. there's a lot of black man in the refugee absent during the
civil war who say i will list the bounties is not enough. if you guarantee my family will be taken care of or have the opportunity to homestead. in his migration, the bond to the land and even the makeshift spaces of the refugee camp. in one group of soldiers in the river valley, the actually come to thomas and they say you can't just keep giving us paper. so the rep that up and we need a big book. there pushing central book where you list all of the marriages. now we will know and that it is anchored in his these negotiations that make that bureaucracy even stronger but also make it recognized all of
the pieces of that negotiation that came through this quid pro quo quote. my services for my family. now, when the owners especially those who claim to be loyal and wanted all of the privileges of slavery pushback, one soldiers wife said the military access will unite. any rights to his children, which he knows the owner is keeping them and this is a big problem. it happens especially right after the war he writes, my children, i take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that i've not forgotten
you and i want to see you my dear children i want you to be assured that on the 28th of the month, 800 white and 800 black soldiers start of the river and above there, general by general that will give this to you would when they come i expect to be with them and i expect to get the bone in return. and my children, expect to have you. but with the labor boom and after 1863, many of the civil war especially these camps, that are strictly freedom but also in the middle of the chaos of war. they often had to negotiate these contracts but after 1863, as a push forward and move on,
these become islands of women, working out childcare, figuring out who does the laundry. i will show you these photographs. we have these villages here in hamptons and in the upper corner, you can see she is doing laundry, this is further home. they are earning $4 month for monitoring for the soldiers and here again, and hard in this cabin, and as i talked about before. so many children, they make a contraband yard. this majority of women in child, will this is a pickup.
will there be households of women are how does this fit in with that common. now it is icon. 4 million enslaved people into this. there is a parlor on the island refugee camp that will become vibrant spaces the market in fact in and they get broken down by the union usually hundred the idea that even though the midwife especially has taken measures to curtail that. they say they have a perfect mania for washing laundry. but these women are carrying roots even as they are going to buy in large, even if at the
refugee camps gets taken away from them. and in every case, arlington national cemeteries actually they had to buy them out in 1890. to expand arlington national cemetery there. there are varying sacred things in the land and thereby their claiming cultural space that is their own. sometimes it's just a simple gesture of burying your child properly and freedom. sometimes, you are midwife who is planting herbs, planting roots so that you can have your garden and sometimes, the midwife after she delivered a child varies the placenta and the idea is not just that the placenta is taken by doctor and used but also buried the
placenta, maybe your children will come home. maybe that burial ground and set up a framework for one's life. so the home of home persists, cradle-to-grave. and so you have on these islands, the desolate islands that will never be farmsteads, the women saying things like i will always respect her even though i have eight children buried on her. in the slavery to wage labor model, there is breaking out the household. slavery is conceived as a domestic institution, life's breath in the principal but slavery is actually tried to make a gesture towards those who
are arguing for slave labor and labor is a commodity to be traded in the market. they say you're not actually buying the human beings, were buying the labor. that labor, actually turns us into a long-term socialized system and of the plantations and under that personal plantation. in that sense then, there's worker compensation and your 401k is building, they take care of you and your younger years and also in your old years. in this ideal form is in agriculture commune and proper representatives who gets that path because he has to have custodial care in the household
in the domestic institution and his dependents under him. his mistress, his children, and his things. maybe he would better them together sometime and say, that didn't happen but it is a nice idea. it was quite a blot of anxiety that would transition into a place in which people work their own arbiters of labor. what we have had for a long time and the slave market is the profitability, even virginia's own longevity has the ability to continue the slave trade even as the tobacco failed.
but that lack of contract left people vulnerable for the laborers and the market. some people like the ohio abolitionists often try to rain himself as a linchpin for anderson to make a transition into freedom. to have a chance of the family. in one of the mistresses, who is a amos presbyterian mentioned him earlier when we talk about the missions to the slaves but actually became a reason to continue the slavery and make it a positive good because you will turn these enslaved people into christians. and into even better christians. while he dies 1963 and his wife
watches them walk away one by one from the perfect christians, from the internal master and she is. [inaudible]. and she says this, thankfully, the providence in reference to the african race, truly wonderful. discouraged upon them but particularly, with their emancipation, and less prominent their extermination in all history from this proves them incapable of self-government, the parish when brought into conflict with the intellectual superiority of the race. the state of slavery section southern states, have the negro race increased and live remote. so she thinks they will die out
from emancipation. in the christian slavery model, she was supporting continuing to defend her and working on it. that was the way that enslaved people and any effort enslaved people were going to see continuation in america. while it turns out that the prophecy doesn't come true in their networks of resilience in the networks even though they don't fit the perfect model, they still show us what was possible. this is where this problem has a little bit of the radicalism and inside, this vision and this
vision. it's a really important one, for swaying an opinion. but there are other roots. ... ... >> they're going to say that they had a chance, that it actually has great successes. we have black legislators, we have -- in mississippi, our first senators are many mississippi. we have black leadership. we have right at the age of -- women voting in richmond. we have black churches cropping up everywhere and people martialing the wages and resources that they have into
these communal institutions. community has such a mundane -- unity, but it took a lot of effort to decide who was going to meet all of these, these are the -- all of these dots on a landscape. these are all of the refugee camps, and look how many of them are on rivers, on coasts, on waterways. these are the islands of women. and they're using these networks to talk to each other. they're using these networks to forge connections even though they're strangers to each other. they turn strangers into kin. and they don't have to do that through some general you flexion
to a radical republican ideal. they're doing it so they can get literacy just enough to write and find their people, to get from one place to the other. sometimes we talk about attrition, people stay in for about a year and then they fall out, but what they're doing is they stay in for years, gather as much literacy as they can, and then they go out to the next place, and hay teach a little more -- they teach a little more and a little more. so you have a majority of black female schoolteachers by the end of reconstruction. and when we see then too this idea of burying, burying things like the placenta, like the --
root. where is that root? who has it? yeah, yeah. so, i don't know, we'll see what kind of luck it brings. but i do find what's interesting about it is that it keeps growing. doesn't matter leaves fall off, it keeps growing these little tendrils. and when you plant it, it has a whole network. and what's amazing, it's under the ground. so it's a beautiful metaphor for the way african-american sources in this transition from slavery to freedom resonates with this little root. and it's, of course, also has a -- [inaudible] and what we're going to see in the disconnect between division of slave labor instead of what most free people want, which is land. and, yes, it's because they've seen for a long time what
planters have done with land, property, real estate property. remember, enslaved people were once considered real estate before they were considered personal property. so that idea that they could own property and land to gather their people near, to make community, that was revolutionary. i want to end with a story of shady and sutton. so we start with jordan anderson and his hilarious love letter, perfect for a northern majority white audience. sutton is interviewed in 1936 in florida. and it's because stories
persist, and they're a source of resilience. aunt shade key ann sutton was given the outside laugh around john the conqueror. and she really distrusted zora neale hurston when she came to her first. she gave her a hard time, she says i hope you -- [inaudible] so they don't believe nothing and come here questioning me so you have something to poke fun at. it's those words, what brought us through, that i -- the power even of those words, what got us through. john conner as a root -- conquer
or as a root and a story, a narrative that gets passed on. these artifacts get lost in emancipation. they get lost. it's such a compelling story, but it's a political one, and it leaves out a lot of people who understood they were building something else. they were building households that didn't fit what legislation was going to be you shouldedded forward -- pushed forward. as successful as it was for a time. shady ann sutton says these young negroes read books and talk about the war, but i, lord lord -- [inaudible] of course the world would want to help. john the conqueror, give us our
freedom. john the conqueror, maybe you know him as a big celebration, the idea is that on the middle passage, john the conqueror followed them over as an albatross and recollected those without protection if -- protected those without protection, and then one day he went back to africa. he left power in america in the root of this plant, possessed that root. john the conqueror means power, shady ann sutton said. it's bound to be so. i don't leave nobody ignorant. finish and this would help a lot as they were -- literacy, but they were always doing it in conversation with god, in conversation with what they knew to be true. hay weren't -- it wasn't the messages of slavery that they were trying dog eradicate, it
was -- trying to eradicate. they were trying to channel it into a new terrain of a multiracial nation. now -- [inaudible] until tour years after freedom was declared. that was john the conqueror. he taught us what to learn and know that they would know, the black folks, would know that freedom was coming long before the white folks knew anything about it at all. he looks ridiculous, but if you will, he can read something deeper behind it all. zora neale hurston says he's resting up -- [inaudible] so after a while freedom came, and john the conquer was not -- the winds of america for 75 years. his people had their freedom,
their laughs, their songs, and then they traded it to other people for things they could use like education and property and also acceptance. high john knew that that was the way it would be so he could retire with his secret smile to the southern soil, and he could wait. and that's how zora neale hurston and her engagement with shady ann sutton plants the roots of radicalism. so we have about a minute or two if anybody wants to ask think questions, engage -- connor, please. >> think of the sort of symbolism of having the root this america but it comes back to africa where the legislative roots are held by many black
slaves -- [inaudible] >> yeah. so great question because there's such am believe lens you can see even with harry jarvis. [inaudible] for two years and then comes back to boston which is a perfect example of african-american that we saw at the beginning of the -- [inaudible] this disconnect even as you're trying to imagine it. but i think there is, what's -- a reimagining of africa. even a kind of connection, a story that you take with you, and it's been changed. it's changed by the flora and fauna of america itself. so it becomes unmistakably african-american. and a lot of people are absolutely not interested at all in what lady ann -- shady ann
sutton is putting forth. and that's why she tests zora neale hurston, who exactly are you and who can i trust. so the african-american population in freedom, the difference between jordan anderson and shady ann sutton is the wide chasm of diversity that is all the people coming into freedom. but there's a way to figure out how the radical reconstruction umbrella can embrace both, can understand and make intelligible both. that's what i hope the goal would be. we'll see. we'll see even how we talk about cultural narratives interacting with political ones, because if if you have the idea of kinship or if jordan anderson and thomas nast icon is laying the groundwork for the radical reconstruction agenda, then how do we talk about kinship when
it's not only the nuclear family. over taoism it looks like -- over time it looks like cities of women. throughout time it looks like movements, and it looked like adopted kin and extended kin. every 40th cousin comes in to claim an apprentice every time they're laboring for a white former owner. that's part of that complaint of the free men's bureau but also shows how far kinship extends in the african-american community. any more questions? yeah, steve. >> what we talked about a last week with whatever his name is, with -- >> harry jarvissome. >> yeah, harvey jarvis and how he was, how african-american soldiers were viewed as kind of -- as their violence gave them humanity and kind of
contrasting that with jordan anderson, kind of sophistication within its own community. what do you think about that, how to contrast between where the two communities get their visions for what community means? >> yeah. because i think what's the interesting thing about this, w.e.b. dubois quote that says only murder makes men, that somehow it had to be that it was the value januaries of -- value januaries of someone's violence. it's very much trying to figure out even who has a picture of the soldier with his family, how do you coboth? the idea of i'm going to sort of form my family, but you do the social history of having people actually how move. and really they're moving to texas and usually away from families physically. so i think it's in some ways even frustrating for men.
it's not just going to abandon women, it's often men. they write letters so earnest to try to connect those two with, how can i make the bridge between jordan anderson and his family and the soldier who couldn't bring 800 black hen and 800 white soldiers in general. but i think that becomes the conundrum that reconstructionists keep coming back to. home and place and land will have a lot to do with that. i know that our time -- you have classes to get to. thank you all for your presentations. i will see you on wednesday, and i look forward to our final week.
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