The question is, shall Law be put in force, and the government of the country stand; or shall Law be resisted, and the government of the country disobeyed, and the nation plunged into all the horrors of civil war?
If Law cannot be executed, it is time to write the epitaph of your country! A dwindling number of volunteers to fight in the Union Army prompted two very different measures in that seemed to create a double standard regarding race and military service.
In January, the Emancipation Proclamation abolished the institution of slavery and permitted African Americans to join the military. While the Emancipation Proclamation allowed blacks to join the fight, the Conscription Act of made all white men between the ages of twenty and forty-five eligible for a draft.
The wealthy could, however, avoid military service for a price. They could illegally bribe doctors for medical exemptions or legally hire a substitute or pay for a commutation of a draft.
This ability to purchase a deferment heightened the resentment of many in the lower class who felt that they were being forced to fight for the freedom of African Americans. Enrollment officers and blacks were occasionally attacked in retribution for the draft in several cities but the largest incident of its kind began on June 11, , in New York City in which more than people were murdered. After burning down a draft office and attacking police officers and well-dressed whites, a mob of lower-class whites focused its energy on killing African Americans.
Please note: These descriptions are often graphic and may not be suitable for some readers. One example of violence comes in the events surrounding the death of William Jones, a black member of the community who walked into the mob while returning home from a bakery. Jones was hung from a lamppost where his body was mutilated for several hours after his death:. The principal evidence which the widow. In the decade following the Civil War, the United States was charged with the task of rebuilding the literal and political landscape of the South. Federal troops who had once attacked the rebel states were now ruling over them until local governments could be established.
How and when those local governments would be established, however, was a matter of debate. Speeches by Wendell Phillips and Frederick Douglass from the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society provide evidence of the debate over Reconstruction policies including the conditions under which southern states would be readmitted to the Union. Abolitionists such as Phillips and Douglass called for nothing less than the full citizenship and enfranchisement of African Americans.
Phillips, in his speech, criticizes an Executive branch, overeager to make peace, for being willing to readmit southern states under terms that leave room for "white men of the reconstructed States [to] keep inside the Constitution, be free from any legal criticism, and yet put the negro where no Abolitionist would be willing to see him," page Douglass similarly criticizes an early Reconstruction policy, claiming that it "practically enslaves the negro, and makes the Proclamation of a mockery and delusion," page Douglass also feared the South would treat the Federal Government as a conquering force under Reconstruction and proffered the enfranchisement of African Americans as a safeguard against probable insurrection:.
There will be. You will see those traitors handing down, from sire to son, the same malignant spirit which they have manifested, and which they are now exhibiting, with mailicious hearts, broad blades, and bloody hands in the field, against our sons and brothers. Now, where will you find the strength to counterbalance this spirit, if you do not find it in the negroes of the South? A search on suffrage produces pamphlets debating voting rights for men in the South. This point was taken into consideration in when the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution provided citizenship to African Americans.
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Along with this incentive, Southern states were required to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment in order to re-enter the Union. Despite this stipulation, black men were not always represented at the polls and a year later, the Fifteenth Amendment more overtly established suffrage by guaranteeing African-American men the right to vote. There was, however, a difference between providing laws protecting African Americans and enforcing those laws. The education system in America was one facet of life in need of attention after the Civil War.
Their endowments were gone; their teachers dead or dispersed; the foremost people too poor to send their children from home to school; and five millions emancipated slaves, wholly untaught, and several millions of poor white people, deplorably ignorant of letters, were flung upon society. To educate people in the South in the late-nineteenth century, the government was now obligated to teach both races.
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A search on education provides an overview of the American education system as it developed in the late-nineteenth century. Pieces such as Richard R. As late as , however, some people questioned the need to educate African Americans at all. Booker T. Washington notes that almost all of the schools educating African-American students have been filled to capacity since the end of the Civil War. This progress, however, is only one step in the right direction:.
The materials of From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, , reflect the complexity of slavery in the United States and provide challenging opportunities to analyze documents and debates, such as religious arguments for and against slavery. Materials reflecting colonization and conversion efforts in Africa can be used to evaluate the relationship between language and culture. Other items support investigations into the history of slave laws and less-familiar aspects of the time period such as the appearance of white supremacist literature in the North. Such factors include the Mexican-American war, British influence, slave rebellions, the influence of abolitionist groups, and territorial expansion.
From the Cover of "History of American Abolitionism," This pamphlet chronicles slavery laws in the United States from to In addition to providing information with an anti-slavery bias about legislation such as the Missouri Compromise and the Wilmot Proviso, the pamphlet features statistics such as the slave population in each state in and page Use such information to create timelines of legislation and abolitionist efforts and maps that depict territorial expansion, changes in slave populations, and the admission of free and slave states in the Union.
These items will aid in understanding the momentum of the debate and the violence surrounding slavery. The slave trade was a source of tension in the United States even before the formation of the federal government. Eighteenth-century legislation, beginning with the Constitution, set a legal precedent for the debate that would rage for the next seventy-five years.
When the Constitution was ratified in , it included two compromises on the slavery issue. First, only three-fifths of the slaves in a state were counted for taxation and representation purposes. Second, Congress was prohibited from ending the importation of slaves for twenty years. This history includes a brief discussion of such legislation as the prohibition of U. The debate over slavery often moved from the houses of government to the houses of God. Some of the ways in which the Church supported slavery are blatant. The distinction here made between the temporary servitude of the Israelite and the perpetual bondage of the heathen race, is too plain for controversy.
Searches on terms such as Bible , church , and scripture offer a number of other pamphlets that use biblical passages to make their case. For some Christians, the ethical questions surrounding slavery were as open to interpretation as the biblical passages they cited. When describing an encounter that he had with a slaveholding friend, Fisher explains that this man was a good Christian despite his moral flaw:.
If he could have seen the wrong, he would have forsaken it. He has always dwelt in the midst of slavery, and of course been under its blinding influence. That brother, though a slaveholder, I believe was a christian. You may charge me with countenancing and fellowshipping slavery, but I can bear that, knowing how baseless. The strengths of English are exemplified in the education of African natives:.
Christianity is using the English language on our coast as a main and mighty lever for Anglicising our native population, as well as for their evangelization. Hundreds of native youth have acquired a knowledge of English in Mission Schools, and then in their manhood have carried this acquisition forth, with its wealth and elevation, to numerous heathen homes. This collection is a rich resource of materials that can support a thorough, in-depth investigation into the complex history of the institution of slavery and the issues surrounding it.
One facet of this history is the colonization effort that began in with the formation of the American Colonization Society. The term, White Supremacist Literature , introduces a number of arguments against emancipation from citizens of the North. Former-slave narratives provide an opportunity to analyze issues of authorship, while congressional speeches provide a look at the impact of contention in politics. From the Cover of "Narrative of Henry Watson," Some abolitionist tracts offered accounts of the hardships of slavery straight from the pens of former slaves.
A search on narrative yields six pamphlets that are attributed to former slaves. For example, J. Why was I born black?