Posts Tagged ‘Abolition

14
Apr
09

On This Day, April 14: Lincoln Shot

April 14, 1865

President Lincoln is shot

At Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C., John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally wounds President Abraham Lincoln. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox, effectively ending the American Civil War.

Booth, who remained in the North during the war despite his Confederate sympathies, initially plotted to capture President Lincoln and take him to Richmond, the Confederate capital. However, on March 20, 1865, the day of the planned kidnapping, the president failed to appear at the spot where Booth and his six fellow conspirators lay in wait. Two weeks later, Richmond fell to Union forces. In April, with Confederate armies near collapse across the South, Booth hatched a desperate plan to save the Confederacy.

Learning that Lincoln was to attend Laura Keene’s acclaimed performance in Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater on April 14, Booth plotted the simultaneous assassination of Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William H. Seward. By murdering the president and two of his possible successors, Booth and his conspirators hoped to throw the U.S. government into a paralyzing disarray.

On the evening of April 14, conspirator Lewis T. Powell burst into Secretary of State Seward’s home, seriously wounding him and three others, while George A. Atzerodt, assigned to Vice President Johnson, lost his nerve and fled. Meanwhile, just after 10 p.m., Booth entered Lincoln’s private theater box unnoticed, and shot the president with a single bullet in the back of his head. Slashing an army officer who rushed at him, Booth jumped to the stage and shouted “Sic semper tyrannis! [Thus always to tyrants]–the South is avenged!” Although Booth had broken his left leg jumping from Lincoln’s box, he succeeded in escaping Washington.

The president, mortally wounded, was carried to a cheap lodging house opposite Ford’s Theater. About 7:22 a.m. the next morning, he died–the first U.S. president to be assassinated. Booth, pursued by the army and secret service forces, was finally cornered in a barn near Bowling Green, Virginia, and died from a possibly self-inflicted bullet wound as the barn was burned to the ground. Of the eight other persons eventually charged with the conspiracy, four were hanged and four were jailed.

“President Lincoln is shot,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6867 [accessed Apr 14, 2009]

On This Day

1543 – Bartoleme Ferrelo returned to Spain after discovering San Francisco Bay in the New World.

1860 – The first Pony Express rider arrived in San Francisco with mail originating in St. Joseph, MO.

1902 – James Cash (J.C.) Penney opened his first retail store in Kemmerer, WY. It was called the Golden Rule Store.

1912 – The Atlantic passenger liner Titanic, on its maiden voyage hit an iceberg and began to sink. 1,517 people lost their lives and more than 700 survived.

1918 – The U.S. First Aero Squadron engaged in America’s first aerial dogfight with enemy aircraft over Toul, France.

1946 – The civil war between Communists and nationalist resumed in China.

1953 – Viet Minh invaded Laos with 40,00 troops.

1969 – For the first time, a major league baseball game was played in Montreal, Canada.

1981 – America’s first space shuttle, Columbia, returned to Earth after a three-day test flight. The shuttle orbited the Earth 36 times during the mission.

1985 – The Russian paper “Pravda” called U.S. President Reagan’s planned visit to Bitburg to visit the Nazi cemetery an “act of blasphemy”.

1999 – Pakistan test-fired a ballistic missile that was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching its rival neighbor India.

April 14, 1775

First American abolition society founded in Philadelphia

The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, the first American society dedicated to the cause of abolition, is founded in Philadelphia on this day in 1775. The society changes its name to the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage in 1784.

Leading Quaker educator and abolitionist Anthony Benezet called the society together two years after he persuaded the Quakers to create the Negro School at Philadelphia. Benezet was born in France to a Huguenot (French Protestant) family that had fled to London in order to avoid persecution at the hands of French Catholics. The family eventually migrated to Philadelphia when Benezet was 17. There, he joined the Society of Friends (Quakers) and began a career as an educator. In 1750, Benezet began teaching slave children in his home after regular school hours, and in 1754, established the first girls’ school in America. With the help of fellow Quaker John Woolman, Benezet persuaded the Philadelphia Quaker Yearly Meeting to take an official stance against slavery in 1758.

Benezet’s argument for abolition found a trans-Atlantic audience with the publication of his tract Some Historical Account of Guinea, written in 1772. Benezet counted Benjamin Franklin and John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, among his sympathetic correspondents. He died in 1784; his funeral was attended by 400 black Philadelphians. His society was renamed in that year, and in 1787, Benjamin Franklin lent his prestige to the organization, serving as its president.

“First American abolition society founded in Philadelphia,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=462 [accessed Apr 14, 2009]

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24
Mar
09

On This Day, March 24: Abolition

March 24, 1862

Wendall Phillips booed in Cincinnati

Abolitionist orator Wendall Phillips is booed while attempting to give a lecture in Cincinnati, Ohio. The angry crowd was opposed to fighting for the freedom of slaves, as Phillips advocated. He was pelted with rocks and eggs before friends whisked him away while a small riot broke out.

Phillips was perhaps the most outspoken abolitionist of the era. Born in Boston to a wealthy New England family, Phillips was educated at Harvard and practiced law until he became swept up in the anti-slave crusade in the 1830s. The abolitionist movement was a major cause of the rising tension between North and South in the 1830s. Abolitionists denounced slavery as a sin, and they framed the debate over slavery as a moral issue rather than an economic or political one. Called the “golden trumpet” of the movement, Phillips’ shrill denunciation of slavery won many converts to the abolitionist cause and attracted many other northerners to moderate anti-slave positions.

When the war began, Phillips and other abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison exerted pressure on the Lincoln administration to make the destruction of slavery the primary objective of the war. For the first year and half, President Lincoln insisted that the Union’s war goal was reunion of the states. He did this in order to keep the border states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware from seceding. Not until the Emancipation Proclamation of September 1862 would the stated purpose of the war shift.

The incident in Cincinnati demonstrated the fierce resistance that existed in the northern states to the proposition of fighting a war to free the slaves. The most outspoken resisters lived in the “Butternut” region–the southern parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Called “Butternuts” because their homespun clothing was died a light brown from nut extracts, residents of the region did not own slaves but they shared many sentiments with Southerners. Lincoln encountered serious resistance from this area when he announced his Emancipation Proclamation.

“Wendall Phillips booed in Cincinnati.” 2009. The History Channel website. 23 Mar 2009, 03:49 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2145.

 

On This Day

1664 – A charter to colonize Rhode Island was granted to Roger Williams in London.

1765 – Britain passed the Quartering Act that required the American colonies to house 10,000 British troops in public and private buildings.

1832 – Mormon Joseph Smith was beaten, tarred and feathered in Ohio.

1837 – Canada gave blacks the right to vote.

1868 – Metropolitan Life Insurance Company was formed.

1882 – In Berlin, German scientist Robert Koch announced the discovery of the tuberculosis germ (bacillus).

1898 – The first automobile was sold.

1906 – The “Census of the British Empire” revealed that England ruled 1/5 of the world.

1927 – Chinese Communists seized Nanking and break with Chiang Kai-shek over the Nationalist goals.

1946 – The Soviet Union announced that it was withdrawing its troops from Iran.

1955 – The first oil drill seagoing rig was put into service.

1972 – Great Britain imposed direct rule over Northern Ireland.

1995 – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a welfare reform package that made the most changes in social programs since the New Deal.

1999 – NATO launched air strikes against Yugoslavia (Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Vojvodina). The attacks marked the first time in its 50-year history that NATO attacked a sovereign country. The bombings were in response to Serbia’s refusal to sign a peace treaty with ethnic Albanians who were seeking independence for the province of Kosovo.

March 24, 1989

Exxon Valdez runs aground

The worst oil spill in U.S. territory begins when the supertanker Exxon Valdez, owned and operated by the Exxon Corporation, runs aground on a reef in Prince William Sound in southern Alaska. An estimated 11 million gallons of oil eventually spilled into the water. Attempts to contain the massive spill were unsuccessful, and wind and currents spread the oil more than 100 miles from its source, eventually polluting more than 700 miles of coastline. Hundreds of thousands of birds and animals were adversely affected by the environmental disaster.

It was later revealed that Joseph Hazelwood, the captain of the Valdez, was drinking at the time of the accident and allowed an uncertified officer to steer the massive vessel. In March 1990, Hazelwood was convicted of misdemeanor negligence, fined $50,000, and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service. In July 1992, an Alaska court overturned Hazelwood’s conviction, citing a federal statute that grants freedom from prosecution to those who report an oil spill.

Exxon itself was condemned by the National Transportation Safety Board and in early 1991 agreed under pressure from environmental groups to pay a penalty of $100 million and provide $1 billion over a 10-year period for the cost of the cleanup. However, later in the year, both Alaska and Exxon rejected the agreement, and in October 1991 the oil giant settled the matter by paying $25 million, less than 4 percent of the cleanup aid promised by Exxon earlier that year.

“Exxon Valdez runs aground.” 2009. The History Channel website. 23 Mar 2009, 03:46 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4860.

28
Feb
08

On This Day, 2-28-08: Republican Party

1994: First NATO military action

In the first military action in the 45-year history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, US fighter planes shoot down four Serbian warplanes flying a bombing mission in violation of Bosnia’s no-fly zone.

Founded in 1949 to combat Soviet aggression, NATO volunteered in 1994 to enforce United Nations resolutions enacted to end three years of conflict in the former Yugoslavia. In 1995, NATO deployed 60,000 troops to the war-torn region to enforce the Dayton Peace Accords, signed in Paris by the leaders of the former Yugoslavia.

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_February_28.php

1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first railroad incorporated for commercial transportation of people and freight.

1844 – Several people were killed aboard the USS Princeton when a 12-inch gun exploded.

1849 – Regular steamboat service to California via Cape Horn arrived in San Francisco for the first time. The SS California had left New York Harbor on October 6, 1848. The trip took 4 months and 21 days.

1854 – The Republican Party was organized in Ripon, WI. About 50 slavery opponents began the new political group.*

1900 – In South Africa, British troops relieved Ladysmith, which had been under siege since November 2, 1899.

1951 – A Senate committee issued a report that stated that there were at least two major crime syndicates in the U.S.

1953 – In a Cambridge University laboratory, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.

1962 – The John Glenn for President club was formed by a group of Las Vegas republicans.

1983 – “M*A*S*H” became the most watched television program in history when the final episode aired.

1993 – U.S. Federal agents raided the compound of an armed religious cult in Waco, TX. The ATF had planned to arrest the leader of the Branch Davidians, David Koresh, on federal firearms charges. Four agents and six Davidians were killed and a 51-day standoff followed.

1998 – Serbian police began a campaign to wipe out “terrorist gangs” in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo.

2001 – The Northwest region of the U.S., including the state of Washington, was hit by an earthquake that measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale. There were no deaths reported.

I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.
George Washington

*I have personally heard many arguments during the several years I lived in North Carolina that the American Civil War wasn’t about slavery, and yet here we have the founding of the Republican Party based on the common goal of abolishing slavery.  Raised a Presbyterian in the Second Presbyterian Church and having done research into that church’s split prior to the Civil War, I know that Presbyterian reverends preaching abolition in northern churches caused that split.  But the American Civil War wasn’t about slavery?




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