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The Fight for Unconditional Emancipation in Missouri

The Emancipation Proclamation freed only the slaves in disloyal states. While this immediately freed 20,000 or so, it left thousands more in bondage within the border states of Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky. Despite efforts by the Federal government to recruit black men into the army during the summer

‘We Are Going Back to that Beautiful History’ – The Earliest Origins of Black History Month

We have observed Black History Month for over forty years in the United States. The month of February has been selected as a time for us to compensate for an education which likely neglected the contributions, trials and advances made by black Americans.   Though Black History Month became official in 1976,

Against ‘The Miserable Sons of Avarice’: Benjamin Lundy – Early Southern Abolitionist and Publisher

Meeting Mr. Lundy Benjamin Lundy, while born in 1789 New Jersey, lived throughout the upper South for much of his adult life. He moved to Wheeling, Virginia, where he saw his first glimpse of slavery's brutality; St. Louis, Missouri, just as it was trying to enter the Union as a slave

‘What If The Mob Should Now Burst In Upon Us?’ – Angelina Grimke’s Speech at Pennsylvania Hall

During the 1830s, the anti-slavery movement began to splinter along various lines. While most originally favored a gradual emancipation followed by swift colonization of former slaves, others were growing more radical. The idea of immediate abolition was beginning to grow.  The Grimke Sisters, Angela and Sarah, were at the forefront of this movement.

That they were women caused still another rift. Even in such progressive movements as abolitionism, there was a push back against women taking political roles. This rift grew more prominent with the increasing popularity of these two fiery sisters.

“As a Southerner I feel that it is my duty to stand up here tonight and bear testimony against slavery. I have seen it – I have seen it. I know it has horrors that can never be described. I was brought up under its wing: I witnessed for many years its demoralizing influences, and its destructiveness to human happiness.” – Angelina Grimke

In this piece, we’ll look at Angelina Grimke’s 1838 speech in Philadelphia, on the night anti-abolitionists burned down Pennsylvania Hall.

The Escape and Revenge of Frank Wanzer

The Confederacy and Southern Cause are, of course, huge parts of Southern history. The battles where Southern men killed and died consume nearly the full focus of the subject. While many celebrate the bravery and actions on the battlefield and homefront alike, I’d like to highlight some forgotten heroes of

Forgotten Heroes of Southern History: George Washington Albright – From Chains to Office

George Washington Albright was born enslaved to a Mississippi planter, but later served in the Reconstructed legislature. While in bondage, his mother secretly taught him to read and write. During the war, he took part in a secret organization bringing news of freedom to the enslaved people of the South. After the war ended, not only was he part of the new Mississippi government, he helped to organize free schools for the former slaves. When the Ku Klux Klan began to push back, he helped to form black militias to beat them back.

Mr. Albright goes on to explain why poor whites decided to side with the rich whites rather than with blacks and their own self-interests. He also explains why, by the 1900s, he could no longer consider himself part of the Republican Party.

The Beginnings of Black Southern Activism – Georgia Freedman’s Convention of 1866

In January of 1866, black Americans in Georgia gathered together to figure out how to deal with the rising violence against their race. They also had to convince the state and federal governments to give them the right to vote. But this was a right that even their white allies

Forgotten Heroes of Southern History: Elihu Embree, Abolitionist

From time to time, we’ll take a look at some forgotten heroes of Southern history – the slaves, the abolitionists, the draft dodgers, the Unionists. Though they fought against the Confederate Cause, they were Southerners through and through. The same Southern blood ran through their veins, and the same affection, reverence and undying devotion to their own cause. It’s our duty, Southerners or not, to cultivate, perpetuate and even sanctify their memory and their place in Southern history.

The ‘Fanatical Insolence’ of David Walker: Words to Terrify the Entire South

David Walker published his Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, in 1829 Boston, having left his home in Wilmington, North Carolina years before. Born a free black person in the late 1700s, Walker, as detailed in a previous article, recognized the evil of slavery and became a

Forgotten Heroes of Southern History: Ellen and William Craft – A Desperate Leap for Liberty

The escape to freedom by Ellen and William Craft is one of the most famous and daring stories of self-emancipation. Over the course of eight days, the newly-weds conceived of, planned and executed a brilliant plot to gain their liberty and find new lives for themselves. Since Ellen appeared to be nearly white, a plan was concocted that she would pose as William’s master, and together would make their way to the North and to freedom.