143. cradle of Southern animosities

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143. cradle of Southern animosities

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NARRATOR: Martin Delany later in April, caught a stage for the cradle of Southern animosities,

THESE BEGINNING-T0-END, SEQUENCED IMAGES ARE FROM THE LINKED TO VIDEO FOLLOWING THIS SCRIPT. THE SCRIPT’S TEXT IS COMPLETE AND IS BROKEN DOWN TO MATCH TO THE IMAGE SHOWN WITH IT DURING THE VIDEO. – JS

"Act in the Living Present – The Life of Martin Robison Delany" – by Jim Surkamp

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MD: “I leave you here and journey on and if I never more return, farewell”
NARRATOR: Martin Delany finally gave up on America.

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His expulsion with two others from Harvard Medical School just because of skin color convinced him that the power of reason and merit alone did not in fact determine the country’s esteemed leaders. So, scraping just a few hundred dollars,

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he rented a crew and ship back to Africa, where his grandfather Shango had returned several generations before.

MRD.vid1.4 SHIP

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His critics including Frederick Douglass, were legion. "You must stay here and fight for freedom," they told him.

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He certainly reflected on his already long life:

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the long road as one of five children in a freed family in Charles Town Virginia;

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and after that fleeing because they illegally learned how to read, followed by the many years as a physician’s assistant in Pittsburgh,

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and then editing two influential newspapers.

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Most of all he remembered as he perhaps gazed at the sperm whales that
wandered into those southern latitudes . . . Of the day he was walking

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the road to Pittsburgh in 1829 deciding – his head filled with
books and images of pharoahs and Africa – of making this pilgrimage in reverse back to Africa.

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“Land Ho!"

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NARRATOR: “The arrival of Martin Robison Delany in Liberia is an era in the history of African emigration, an event doubtless that will long be remembered by hundreds of thousands of Africa’s exiled children.

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Persons from all parts of the country came to Monrovia to see this great man.”

People cheering:
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Ridiculed and ignored in America for speaking –

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embraced by the thousands here for speaking – how strange.

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MD: “The regeneration of the African race can only be effected by its own efforts, the efforts of its own self and whatever aid may come from other sources; and it must, in this venture succeed, as God leads the movement and His hand guides the way.”

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“Face thine accusers, scorn the rack and rod and, if thou hast truth to utter,

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speak and leave the rest to God."

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But we pushed on to Abeokuta.

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Africa taught Martin Delany its mysteries.
MD: “The principle markets to see all the wonders

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is in the evening. As the shades of evening deepen,

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every woman lights her little lamp and, to the distant

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observer, presents the beautiful appearance of innumerable stars.”

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“But in the entire Aku country one is struck by the beautiful country which continually spreads out in every direction.”

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Africa also taught him its nightmares. . .
I read August 13th in the West African Herald:

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“King Dahomey is about to make the great Custom in honor of the late King Gezo.

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Determined to surpass all former monarchs, a great pit has been dug which is to

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contain human blood enough to float a canoe. Two thousand persons will be sacrificed on this occasion.

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The king has sent his army to make some excursions at the expense of some weaker tribes. The younger people will be sold into slavery. The older persons will be killed At the Grand Custom.”

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MD: “Whole villages are taken.”

“Farewell, farewell my loving friends, farewell. . .”

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The jasmine smells of Africa are tonight less fragrant than my scented memory of soft honey-suckled summer’s night breezes in Virginia long ago, and awaking to the mockingbird.

{MRD.5:37} END PART 1 TO BLACK

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NARRATOR: On April 10th, 1860 at Lagos, Martin Delany and Robert Campbell

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boarded ship for London and Birmingham

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to seek backers for a plan to build freedman’s cotton farms in the Niger
Valley.

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They would undersell, at the gold price of fourteen cents a pound, all the slave wrought cotton from the plantations back home.

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To make bales of cotton rot on the docks of Charleston and New Orleans as it were.

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MD: When I was growing up in Pittsburgh, my children’s age – I worked hours and hours inscribing with a fine needle the Lord Prayer –

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all of it – on the face of an English six pence like this one.

MRD.vid1.45 SHIP

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NARRATOR: Delany was not wanted in America because

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of his radical political views. So he set sail for London and began preparing his report to his backers

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on the promise of Africa.

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MD: I noticed that. . . when I read, my eyes scan the page. . . back and forth. . . and up and down like a loom.

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I was so crazy about words, I was like Cervantes. I’d pick up every grimy scrap in the gutters of Charles Town

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to see if it had magic code to worlds beyond

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I read and broke bread with the ideas and dreams of Thomas Jefferson and Socrates And ancient pharaohs.

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Then Grandma Graci at night would tell me about my grandfather Shango.
GRANDMA GRACI: "No more stories Martin."
MD: And off to sleep and dreams about the greatest people who ever lived.

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I wanted my child to accumulate great hopes.

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If I ever set shoe leather on New York’s dock, President Buchanan himself would drop the noose around my despised neck,

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since John Brown, who I knew, did rebel and killed, and was hanged, I didn’t reckon there would be much of a welcoming home party for me.

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NARRATOR: Dr. Delany’s most prestigious speaking invitation was before the International Statistical Society,

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chaired by Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, and the most esteemed
scientific body in the world on July 16th at

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London’s Somerset House. As the meeting was beginning at four,

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Lord Brougham, who hated American slavery, addressed the body which included the delegation from the United States,

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headed by Augustus Baldwin Longstreet

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The United States Ambassador George Mifflin Dallas was also seated on the dais. Both fervently believed as did their

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President that those called slaves were technically, legally, and truly

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three fifths human – just a notch above a good horse.
BROUGHAM: “I call to the attention of Mr. Dallas to the fact there is a Negro present,

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and I hope he will feel no scruples on that account."

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MD: I was eye to eye with men who wished me dead.

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So many memories engulfed me.
“I rise, your Royal Highness,

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to thank his Lordship, the unflinching friend of the Negro and for the remarks he has made to myself and to assure your Royal Highness and his Lordship that I AM a man.”

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NARRATOR: Withering amid what the London Times called the wildest shouts ever from so grave an assemblage, Longstreet jumped up and led the United States delegation out of the hall.

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Ambassador Dallas stayed seated on the dais. The proceedings ended. And Dr. Delany became an international sensation.

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Delany read the reactions to his actions from America. Even Frederick Douglass spoke well of him. A new President had been elected. His plans for Africa delayed by war there, and too many days of watching birthdays of his children go by from his cramped little room in London,

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cold rain drizzling outside and streaking his window pane. He wrote that memories leapt to life and “pierced my heart like a golden spear and riddled my breast like precious stones."

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Memories, such as that of Lucinda Snow, the blind girl in the Ohio Asylum – who played for him Rose Bud on a piano

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shortly after his own dearest daughter had just died. Nothing, Delany decided, could keep him from being home

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in Chatham, Ontario by Christmas. There was hope there. It was 1860

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Doctor Delany joined his family in Chatham, Dec. 29th, 1860 to help a flood of escaped ex-slaves. South Carolina voted to secede nine days before. Slavery was being challenged in earnest.

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On January 9th, 1861, Confederate shore batteries fire upon Federal supply ships approaching Fort Sumter.

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President Lincoln at his March 4th Inauguration said: “Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy.”

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Peacetime ends.

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80-86

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Bull Run, July 21st, 1861

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Stonewall Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign, May-June, 1862

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Antietam, the bloodiest day in American military history, September 17, 1862

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Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862

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Vicksburg, Dec. 1862 through May, 1863

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“All persons held as slaves shall thenceforward be forever free and such persons of suitable condition will be received into the armed services.” President Lincoln, January 1st, 1863

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179,000 men of color enlist. Three million remain enslaved.

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Confederate General Lee loses Gen. Jackson, his best, at Chancellorsville, May, 1863.

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Lee Gambles

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Over 50,000 casualties at Gettysburg foresees the ultimate defeat of the Southern Cause, July, 1863.

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Days later, angry antidraft mobs in soldierless New York City burn a Negro orphan asylum.

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And lynch twelve innocent freed blacks.

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The 7th New York militia helps restore order.

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On July 18th, public opinion is reversed by extreme bravery of men in the 54th Massachusetts’ Colored Regiment at Fort Wagner, South Carolina.

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“With silent tongue, clenched teeth, and steady eye, they have helped us on to this great consummation, while others have strove to hinder it.” A. Lincoln, April 26, 1864

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A ninety two per cent Republican vote by furloughed soldiers delivers big unexpected off-year wins in Ohio and Pennsylvania for Lincoln and his party.

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Abolitionist Lew Tappan writes: “We are coming out of the slanderous valley for we have lived to have old opponents say to us: “We were wrong.”

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“The year has brought many changes I thought impossible, May God bless this Cause.” Black recruit in Baltimore, MD.

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The U.S. Senate passes an amendment abolishing all slavery. The house still opposes. – April 9, 1864

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Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest orders the murder of mostly black prisoners at Fort Pillow, April 12, 1864.

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"(it is hoped) these facts will demonstrate that Negro soldiers cannot cope with Southerners.”

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“Whatever happens there will be no turning back” – a letter to President Lincoln from his new commander, Gen. Grant, April, 1864.

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The Battle of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania, May 5th through 12th, 1864.

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“These men are incomprehensible standing from daylight to dark killing and wounding each other, then making jokes and exchanging newspapers.” Col.Theodore Lyman.

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Gen. Grant of his Cold Harbor, Va. attack, June, 1864: “I regret this assault more than any other.”

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Equal pay for black troops is finally enacted, June, 1864.

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A teacher in the occupied South writes: “Their cry is for ‘books’ and ‘When will school begin?’”

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Civilians become targets.

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Union Gen. Hunter torches “Leeland” and “Fountain Rock” in Shepherdstown, WV and VMI in July, 1864.

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General Jubal Early strikes back, levels Chambersburg, ransoms Hagerstown and Frederick, MD.

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“The valley is not fit for man or beast. I have destroyed 2,000 barns." – “Gen. Philip Sheridan

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Gen. William Sherman writes: “We cannot change the hearts of these people. But we can make it so terrible and make them so sick of war, they will not appeal to it again.”

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“I can make my men march and make Georgia howl.” Gen. Sherman while cutting a swath of destruction fifty miles wide to Savannah to the sea.

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Martin Delany sought roles and work for Gen. Sherman’s thousands of "camp followers"

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wagon freed blacks

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stagecoach

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Delany went to President Lincoln himself with an idea to make the South Carolina coastline a new Israel

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for freedmen and women who had been joining Sherman’s army marching across Georgia in the tens of thousands. First, Delany thought, they would be an army of

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Africa of able black men, recruited, trained, and then themselves becoming liberating soldiers and, after the war, these same men would become able keepers of the land,

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homecoming

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the same land Sherman had promised in South Carolina in January of that same year. Gen. Sherman tentatively gave,

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subject to the approval of the President of course, tens of thousands of acres of land to the freedman.

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Each family, Sherman, would get forty acres – a place in the sun – and one army mule on loan

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If Abeokuta failed to be Martin Delany’s promised land, Carolina coastline would be his Israel.

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On a cold clammy damp morning at 8 AM on Feb. 8th, Delany was welcomed by President Lincoln into his study

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at the White House.

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Lincoln had followed Delany’s doings for years. He knew him. On entering

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the executive chamber and being introduced to his excellency, a generous grasp of the hand brought me to a seat in front of him.

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AL: “What can I do for you, sir?”
MD: “Nothing, Mr. President,

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but I’ve come to propose something to you, which I think will be
beneficial to this nation in this critical hour of her peril.”

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AL: “Go on sir.”
Delany and Lincoln discussed the value of black leaders for freed black Americans, and how so many feared black leadership.

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AL: “This is the very thing I’ve been looking for and hoping for; but nobody offered it. I have talked about it; I hoped and prayed for it. But up until now, it has never been proposed.

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“When I issued the Emancipation Proclamation, I had this thing in contemplation. I then gave them a chance by prohibiting any interference on the part of the army; but they did not embrace it.”

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MD: “But Mr. President, these poor people could not READ your proclamation.”

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While he spoke Lincoln was writing

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on a piece of paper.
“Hon. E. M. Stanton:
“Don’t not fail to have a meeting with this most extraordinary and intelligent black man –

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A. Lincoln.”

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AL: “Stanton is firing!
Listen. He is in his glory. Noble man!”
MD: “What is it? Mr. President”
AL: “Why don’t you know? Charleston’s ours.”

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NARRATOR: Martin Delany later in April, caught a stage for the cradle of Southern animosities,

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which turned by the magic stroke of a pen and the raising of a sword

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into a new land of opportunity.

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He was to report to Gen. Rufus Saxton, a strong protector of freedman who
commanded the occupation forces in South Carolina.

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MD: “I entered the city which from earliest childhood and through life I had learned to contemplate with feelings of utmost abhorrence, where the sound of the lash at the whipping post, and the hammer of the auctioneer

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were coordinate sounds in thrilling harmony, such as might well have vied for the infamous King of Dahomey.”

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“For a moment, I found myself dashing in unmeasured strides through the city. Again I halted to look upon the shattered walls

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of the once stately, but now deserted edifices. And but for the
vigilance and fidelity

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of the colored firemen, there would have been nothing left but a smoldering plain of runs in the place where Charleston once stood.”

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NARRATOR: Chief Justice Salmon Chase in Charleston said: “A great race numbering four million is suddenly brought in freedom. All the world is looking to see whether the prophecies of the enemies of that race will be fulfilled or falsified. It rests upon the men of that race to tell.”

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Delany made it in time

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to see the flags changed at Fort Sumter, with his son, a young private, also there. And his old friend

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and comrade-in-arms William Lloyd Garrison who as he bade goodbye to a large adoring audience in Charleston said: GARRISON: “I have always advocated non-resistance; but this much I say to you, Come what
may, never will you submit again to slavery. Do anything. Die first!

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But don’t submit again to them, never again be slaves. Farewell.”

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NARRATOR: Major Delany, the first black field officer in the U.S. Army,

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quickly organized schools, farms,

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farmers, freedmen and tried to reason with disenfranchised plantation owners,

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who were always trying to tie new freedman into enslaving contracts, exploiting their illiteracy.

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But Delany they loved. He was one of them and he told it to them straight.

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MD: “I came to talk to you in plain words so as you can understand how to open the gates of oppression and let the captive free.

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In this state there are 200 thousand able, intelligent honorable Negroes, not an inferior race, mind you.”

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“I want to tell you one thing, do you know that if it was not for the black man,

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this war never would have been brought to a close with success.

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Do you know that?

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Do you know that?”

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NARRATOR: But they would be asked to submit again – and soon.
From the moment a bullet penetrated the Great Liberator’s brain at Ford’s Theater, no such a grand promise of land and freedom would ever hold.
In May, just a month later,

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the newly appointed President Johnson ordered all these lands – those not properly surveyed – returned

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to some 300 plantation owners – even if

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someone else’s crop was already growing in the field. One freedman wrote to Andrew Johnson himself:

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“We have been ready to strike for liberty and humanity, yea to fight if need be, to preserve the glorious union. And now, we are ready to pay for this land.

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‘Sign contracts with your old master and work their land as partners’ This was the plea to most freed blacks.

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Throughout that long summer, Delany’s superiors Generals Howard and Saxton avoided Johnson’s order and eventually defied them outright until September

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when they broke the news to the freedmen they loved so much. An Edisto Island freedman wrote his friend,

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Gen. Howard:
“You ask us to forgive the landowners of our island. You only lost your right to arm in war and might forgive them.

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The man who tied me to a tree and gave me thirty nine lashes, who stripped and flogged my mother and sister and who will not let me stay in his empty hut unless I do his planting – that man I cannot forgive. . . General we cannot remain here.”

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NARRATOR: Many left South Carolina. Some stayed and were beaten.

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Delany fought:
MD: “Every species of infamy, however atrocious, private and public, bare-faced and in open daylight

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is defiantly perpetrated under the direction and guidance of the despicable political leaders in the sacred name of ‘Republicanism’ and ’Radicalism.’

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“But these Yankees talk smooth to you. Oh yeh. Their tongues roll just like the drum. They don’t pay you enough.”

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I was told to stay out of politics.
NARRATOR: The forty acres and a mule promised to freedmen were already secretly being returned to the planters courtesy of the tireless machinations of Trescott and Williams in Washington.

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They even got Gen. Sherman to write President Johnson.
On the brink of being court-martialed for his opposition,

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Gen. Howard wrote his superiors:
“The lands which have been taken possession by this bureau have been solemnly pledged to the freedman. Thousands of them are already located on tracts of forty acres each.

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The love of the soil and desire to own farms amounts to a passion.

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It appears to be the dearest hope of their lives.”

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NARRATOR: Within two years, the Freedman Bureau had its main function of redistributing the lands to original owners and apologizing for it . . .

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Saxton was reassigned, Gen. Howard court-martialed,

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but Col. Delany – a survivor – pressed on. He had made himself too valuable to too many people in a very short time.

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Republican politicians, like Christopher Columbus Bowen, who controlled the patronage at the Customs House, hated his dangerously incorruptible independence

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and integrity, but like everyone,

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bowed to his almost messianic hold on the freedmen –

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this the long-awaited black leader.

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And on the other side, the old Southern aristocracy

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saw Delany’s magic too. And planned to use him someday

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for their own ends. As one old Southern editor put, in grudging admiration: “Martin Delany is a genuine Negro.”

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MD: “No one who knows me will doubt my African proclivities. I have possessions in Africa which I hope to enjoy.”
NARRATOR: The old Southern guard watched and waited.
They noticed Delany’s perceptibly growing disgust with corruption, greased palms and greed

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that fueled his own Republican Party’s machine.
MD: The Freedman’s Bureau was allowed to continue to return those 63,000 acres to the planters.

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I told freedman to get educated to see what was going on.
“Through two crop failures in 66 and 67, I told freedmen to rely on their muscles,

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their faith, and the righteousness of their cause.”
1870 saw almost all of those 63,000 promised acres

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were back in planters hands and some 90,000 of South Carolina’s freedmen

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had left in disgust and desperation.

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2,000 brothers and sisters set sail for my beloved Africa. The best of our people. Their hopes were gone before mine. Delany’s disgust deepened on a trip to New York City where he represented the state in a bond issue.
And he found out that Governor Chamberlain

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had given his old college chum and roommate $750,000 in commissions.

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The Old Southern guard, watched and waited knowing that Martin Delany might be the key to regaining power.

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WADE HAMPTON: “We can control the Negroes if we act discreetly.”
I would come to know people like Wade Hampton an embodiment of the old South who invited me to speak at barbecue gatherings.
HAMPTON: “If it means we can protect our state from destruction, I am willing to send Negroes to Congress. They will be better than anyone who can take the oath of loyalty and I should rather trust them than renegades or Yankees.
“My experience has been that when a Yankee can do a bit of rascality, the temptation to do it is almost irresistible.”

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NARRATOR: No one, though, would be a more fateful associate in Martin Delany’s long and broad lifetime as Wade Hampton, the old cavalry general, aristocrat and front man for the South. Who – yes, truly speaking personally for himself – wished for a better life for the freedman
because he and Delany both fervently lived and advocated personal honor and a regimen of book learning and practical skills as every freedman’s road to true permanent economic redemption.

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It was only a matter of time that these two stars would head on a one on one collision and one of those two stars would orbit around the other.

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If only there had been more than just one Wade Hampton and one Martin Delany. America’s working, educated electorate would have emerged sooner.
But the personal prestige, humanitarian and pragmatic ways of each man could only briefly capture the public imagination,

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while, at all other times, whites, blacks, Democrats and Republicans slid disgracefully into the abyss where guns and bribes were constantly used as the preferred path to personal power and glory.

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Pressured out of the Freedman’s Bureau in 1869, Delany was retired from public life, selling real estate and editing his own newspaper, when Rev. Richard Cain came to him one day in 1872 and urged him to help elect Franklin Moses.

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He might even get – for his efforts – a decent job later to support his seamstress wife, Catherine, and their large family.

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Delany could deliver freedmen’s votes. Hoping to enhance his own political fortunes in this state with a majority of black voters, and hoping to get more homesteads for freedmen, Delany stumped vigorously for Moses.

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Moses had always given lip service to Delany’s plan to attract Northern money to be long-term, low-interest loans to help the freedmen to buy and develop their own homesteads.

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Delany’s unvarnished truth-telling inspired the common people and irked those grubbing after filthy lucre.

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Wrote onetime governor B.F. Perry: “After mature reflection, I believe Col. Delany has exhibited in his speeches more wisdom and prudence, more honor and patriotism than any other Republican, white or black in South Carolina.”

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Delany wrote that, should the homeless become landowners, they would at once become proportionately interested in the affairs of state. Before either school house or church can be erected, he said the people themselves must be settled in homes of their own.

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Freedmen were leaving the state, denied the once promised forty acres virtually all back in original hands, and their life savings deposited faithfully in the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, now gone form mismanagement.

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Delany knew his plan could work. In three years he organized white cotton wholesalers and freedmen farmers on Hilton Head Island into a peaceable alliance that grew and harvested the crop profitably. Moses was elected.

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So was “Honest John” who boasted he bought his seat in the U.S. Senate for
$40,000.

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But Governor Moses continued to drive even higher the state debt.

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It had already soared from one to over seventeen million dollars in the previous five years. Moses then raised taxes on freed holders to pay for all this.

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And he lined his pockets with priced pardons sold to 503 imprisoned felons. And they were all released into this heavily armed, hate-filled powder keg land. And Governor Moses gave Delany no job.

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Rev. Cain wrote Moses:
“I had assured Mr. Delany that you would not break faith. He has staked
all on your word. For Heaven’s sake, do not cast him away.”

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Seeing Beaufort’s old St. Helena Church summed up a visitors’ feeling in 1873 about every South Carolina town he saw:

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it was one of complete prostration, dejection,

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stagnation.

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VISITOR: “Utter stagnation marks its streets and everything is flavored with decay. The mockingbird sings as if winter has no meaning for them,

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the old mansions are permeated with the air of desertion. The merry tinkling that proceeds from the closed shutters of one of them seems
altogether dissonant with the surroundings.”

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Bad crops, bad weather, a lost position in world cotton markets, a national depression – this all contributed.

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So by 1874, all of South Carolina, including Delany’s beloved St. Helena Island, looked like an armed camp.

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The Ku Klux Klan was forming almost three hundred rifle clubs that once beat two hundred freedmen and killed four more in nine months, in just one county.

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Freedmen either armed themselves,

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Or prayed the Federal troops would never leave.

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Some freedmen and their families slept in the swamps in the mild winter where the men in hoods and facemasks could not find them

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Wrote the editor of the Edgefield Advertiser in one of the states’ most strife torn counties:
“Good people now look upon the entire electoral contest as a struggle between thieves and plunderers.”

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And they worried:
“Among the whites is a class of men who hold human life of little value,

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and among the colored people there is a class who do not wish to labor and are known as habitual thieves or disturbers of the peace.

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Gen. Rufus Saxton wrote back his old friend Robert Smalls about these darkest of times in South Carolina: “I rejoiced when the right of suffrage came and I sorrowed when it was told that some had sold this precious birthright for a miserable mess of potage.”

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A few years earlier, Delany heard the church bells ring when the Fourteenth Amendment had been passed; but it was a hollow sound.

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He saw freedmen unable to read show up at the Freedmen’s Bureau with great baskets. The word, “Registration” sounded not much different from that other word: “provisions.”

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The Republicans’ vampire like bite into the state’s ebbing lifeblood blinded them to that emerging menace and giant, the old Southern Democrats

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and their gun-toting right wing rabble. Delany saw this disaster collision coming:
MD: Again and again I warned the majority Republicans to go easy on the white planters

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because one day the shoe would go over to their foot. And sure enough it did.

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NARRATOR: Delany ran for lieutenant governor in 1874 on an independent reformed Republican ticket, getting 64,000 votes as corrupt Chamberlain won.
MD: I lost my race but the planters got the shoe on their foot capturing the majority of seats in the statehouse.

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NARRATOR: Delany was made justice of the peace in Charleston when, as the gubernatorial election drew near in 1876 was indicted, courtesy of Governor Chamberlain, for misusing the funds of a dirt poor black church.

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Hardly. The implicit threat was: do not support Wade Hampton who was now the official candidate against Chamberlain with all the wealth and smart men the Old South could muster squarely behind him.

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Hampton and Delany always appealed to people’s desire for peaceful solutions based on reason and fair play.
HAMPTON: “I pledge myself solemnly in the presence of the people of South Carolina

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and in the presence of my God that, if the Democratic ticket is elected – not one single right enjoyed by the colored people today shall be taken from them.”

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NARRATOR: As violence increased the extreme Democratic clubs secretly assigned one man to personally bribe or scare one freedman from voting,

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as Chamberlain’s campaign promises became more grotesque and desperate, Delany announced for Wade Hampton in September, 1876

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– immediately putting his life at risk. Delany fought hard and spoke forcefully for Hampton.
MD: Freedmen I told one and all were serving a new master now the radical Republican Carpetbaggers. I said the blackest truth out loud – a black man would not be allowed to lead, not just to live, but to lead. I myself always dared to do what the white men ever dared and done – to pull on every lion’s tail a white man has pulled.

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NARRATOR: On October 16th, C.C. Bowen promised me that our party of white and black Democrats could speak to freedmen on Edisto Island.

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Before the steamer left the Charleston wharf a number of Republican negroes gathered and they noisily demanded that they be permitted to take passage and threateningly declared that they wanted a chance to clean out those Democrats.

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MD: The audience at the meeting of some 500 or 600 “African citizens” was by far the most uncouth, savage and uncivilized that I have ever seen.
The Republican Negroes started to beat their drums and left in a body. They would listen to “De **** Democrats.

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They marched off and the women crowded around the wagon with their
bludgeons with threats, and curses.

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MD: ”I rose to speak on the wagon. They interrupted me as I said: “I had come to South Carolina with my sword drawn to fight for the freedom of the black man.”

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I said “I had warned you against trusting your money to the Freedman’s Bank; and that you had, to your sorrow, paid no heed to my warning.”

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In violation of the agreement that neither party should carry guns or rifles to the place of meeting,

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the Negroes had brought their muskets and secreted them in a nearby swamp and in an old house near a church not far from the speaking ground.

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They marched out of the swamp with their arms and opened fire upon the whites who were unarmed. In the meantime I, Mr. William E. Simmons, and several aides to white men had taken refuge in a brick house adjoining the church. The Negro militia charged out of the swamp surrounded the
brick house and tried to batter down the door.

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Failing in this, they broke open the windows and pointed muskets at us. We all escaped except for Mr. Simmons, who upon emerging from the
door was knocked down and beaten to death.

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Six white men were killed and sixteen whites wounded that day. One black man was killed. The siege of Cainhoy continued for several days afterwards.

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White racists conducted similar assaults against blacks especially in Edgefield County.
NARRATOR: Wade Hampton did win by a fiercely contested 1100 vote margin, provided in part by an estimated 3,000 Republican blacks who followed Delany’s example.

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MD: I had hurt the cause of my people beyond all imaginings.

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NARRATOR: Then Wade Hampton made history. With his election for governor still is dispute and the state in anarchy

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he met at the Willard Hotel with president-elect Rutherford B. Hayes,

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who held onto his election by one electoral vote. To keep his single electoral vote lead, Hayes and Hampton agreed that Hayes would support and confirm Hampton’s election and as Hampton wrote Hayes:

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HAMPTON: “If the Federal troops are withdrawn from the State House, there shall be on my part or that of my friends no resort to violence

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but we shall look for their maintenance solely to such peaceful remedies as the Constitution and laws of the State provide.”

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MD: U.S. soldiers were removed from the South on Hampton’s pact with Hayes – and I helped that. One person called it the abandonment of the colored race.

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Wade Hampton appointed me judge and I remained until he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1879.

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But the secret all white Charleston County Democratic committee methodically organized the state, county-by-county and parish-by-parish

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to crush the Republican party and all spokesmen for Reconstruction.

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My son drowned in the Savannah River. His body was found in December, late 1879. My wife Catherine, who had carried our family during my long absences, needed me.

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I was old. My children needed their college educations at Wilberforce. The books that set my dreams afire long ago belonged to them now.

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So I was there on the dock when a ship – the Azor – set sail for Liberia from Charleston harbor

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full of hopeful friends, with my fondest dreams on that distant shore.

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My torch had passed from me.

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His loving admirers gave him the Liberian flag on that dock for his many years of inspiration

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to act on their dreams.
"Almost all his many children became teachers. His name is misspelled on his tombstone. His life’s work was lost when a library burned.
And the ancestors of those who left for Africa in his lifetime and with his blessing still turn the native soil.

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MD: ”Act, act in the living present – but act. Speak the truth and leave the rest to God.”
GRANDMA GRACI: No more stories, Martin.
End

THE VIDEO:

The video broken out into segments on Flickr below:

Martin Delany was a Harvard-educated physician, explorer who led his own scientific expedition to Africa; co-editor of The North Star newspaper; novelist; political theorist, judge in South Carolina, the first black field officer in the U.S. Army and described by Abraham Lincoln in February, 1865 after meeting him as " an extraordinary and intelligent black man."

Martin Delany – Visionary – 1
www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBbR4_XVL9A
TRT: 5:38

Martin Delany – Visionary – 2
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IKkeh-oAJw
TRT: 4:55

Martin Delany – Defiance – 3
www.youtube.com/watch?v=akOy0YTgveI
TRT: 4:32

Martin Delany – Wartime – 4
www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoov745rJIQ
TRT: 7:22

Martin Delany – Meets Lincoln – 5
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FLy2e5k-lA
TRT: 6:34

Martin Delany – Major Delany – 6
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmsREGq81F4
TRT: 5:32

Martin Delany – Post-War – 7
www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfr5btQPF8M
TRT: 2:20

Martin Delany – Disillusioned – 8
www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rdRT-_9mZE
TRT: 4:17

Martin Delany – Charleston – 9
www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRmGweOo5A0
TRT: 5:37

Martin Delany – Betrayed – 10
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdeCu7a4pww
TRT: 6:01

Martin Delany – Going Home – 11
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hj9nWbIfIo
TRT: 4:29

OTHER SOURCES:

Surkamp, James T. (1853). "To Be More Than Equal: The Many Lives of Martin R. Delany 1812-1885. West Virginia University Libraries. 9 Nov. 1999. Web. 26 Dec. 2010.