The Traveler… the Ku Klux Klan… Their first “recorded” assassination…

July 26, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

A little over a month ago I journeyed to Wilmington, North Carolina, by the way of the Daily Journal dated June 17, 1868. There I found the headline “The Georgia Military Outrage.” “On the night of the 30th of March, G. W. Ashburn was killed in a negro house of ill-fame, in the city of Columbus, Georgia… One Bennett, who had been an active Radical partisan, a prominent member of the ‘loyal league,’ was in the house at the time of the killing… Sometime after the killing, and after the military Governor of Georgia had offered an unusually large reward for the apprehension of the murderers, several of the most prominent and respectable young gentlemen of Columbus were arrested by military authority, together with two negroes… When the matter of the arrests was brought to the attention of Congress and the country by Hon. Mr. Beck… now confined in the military barracks at Atlanta, awaiting trial… “

Considered a scalawag by his white Columbus neighbors, he worked with the Freedmens Bureau and alongside African American leaders such as Henry McNeal Turner. His actions quickly created several enemies across the South. Ashburn lived amongst the African American population and garnered attention from the Ku Klux Klan, which established their Columbus chapter on March 21, 1868 after a visit from Nathan Bedford Forrest. Henry Benning testified that Mr. Ashburn had “quit his wife and took up with a negro woman in Columbus.” The trial, beginning on June 29, gained national attention as over twenty persons were arrested and held at Fort McPherson. The prisoners consisted mostly of prominent white residents of Columbus. General Henry L. Benning and former Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens agreed to represent the accused. The Federal government was pushing for Georgia to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment, while the Georgia legislature was resisting it. The defenders of the KKK saw here an opportunity for a bargain. On July 21, as the trial progressed, Georgia agreed to ratify the 14th Amendment in exchange for General Meade’s termination of the prosecution of the murder. All prisoners made bail and returned to Columbus. No one was ever prosecuted. [source: Wikipedia]

~The Traveler

Snapshot 1827… Fourth of July – New York abolishes slavery…

July 4, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The following snapshot comes from the July 9, 1827 issue of The Connecticut Courant, Hartford

 

Perhaps not a perfect system, but… Happy Memorial Day!

May 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Is the United States perfect? Certainly not. Our forefathers did not sacrifice time, security, and in many cases, life or limb for the sake of a perfect system of government. Their hope was to establish a government for the people – which would provide the opportunity for all to pursue happiness in an environment free of governmental oppression and steeped with a host of inalienable rights. For some, “all” meant everyone. To others, “all” was defined quite narrowly. Still, even those who had a broader view understood the benefit of compromise – for the purpose of establishing a system which would have enough flexibility to adjust to their broader view of “all” over time. We know now the great advancement in this regards only came through a Civil War; however, it came. A perfect system? No. The best system ever constructed by man? Absolutely.

As we contemplate the great sacrifice paid by many to create and preserve this “best system” under God, the New York Tribune dated July 7, 1854 help us to capture the tension and need for growth that was evident to many in the 1850’s. Allow a negro to become a member of Congress? Could this be possible? Those who knew Frederick Douglass certainly thought so. Please enjoy:Blog-5-30-2016-Frederick-Douglass

The Traveler… NCAA champions breaks new barrier…

March 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts, by the way of The Springfield Republican dated March 20, 1966. There I found a small report “Texas Western Tops Kentucky In NCAA”, upsetting Kentucky who had won for the previous four years. Blog-3-21-2016-Texas-WesternHowever, the significant of this game is noted on the website: “ESPN Classics” with: “Walking toward the red “M” at center court, in their orange uniforms and white Converse All-Stars, are the five starters for Texas Western. They are all black. Until that moment, at the height of the civil-rights era, no major-college team had ever started five blacks in an NCAA championship game. In fact, until Texas Western coach Don Haskins did it earlier that season, no major-college team had ever started five blacks in ANY game. For the first time that night, on the edge of the Mason-Dixon Line, a major American sports championship would be contested by one team that was all-white and another whose starters were entirely black.” As history would tell, and as reported in this newspaper, Texas Western would go on to win.

This newspaper is also from the founding city of basketball as well.

~The Traveler

The Traveler… 13th Amendment ratified…

December 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-12-7-2015-13th-AmendmentToday I traveled to New York City by the way of the New York Tribune (December 7, 1865). The headlines: “The Constitutional Amendment”, “It Is Adopted”, “The Twenty-Seventh State”, “Freemen To Be Protected” were all reporting: “The Constitutional Amendment has passed each branch of the Legislature. The House passed a resolution instructing the Judiciary Committee to report a bill to protect persons of African descent in their persons and property, and also to allow them to testify in cases in which they may be interested.”

This abolished slavery in the United States.

~The Traveler

You decide… Which is really the best? Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr…

June 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When it comes to placing a value on collectible newspapers, past prices realized can be invaluable. However, in most instances, due to the vast number of variables which exist even within a common event (city of publication, condition, dramatic appeal, etc.), finding comparables can be difficult.

We recently came across two issues which illustrate this point – both containing front-page 1st reports of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – one being the newspaper from where he was born and raised containing perhaps a little more detailed reporting (The Atlanta Constitution, Georgia), with the other being a nice issue from where the assassination took place (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN). Which is the more collectible newspaper? The answer may not be as easy as one might think. Years of experience have shown the Dallas Morning News‘ reporting of the JFK assassination to be hands-down the most desired issue – that is, the issue from where he was killed. In contrast, collectors find the Wapakoneta Daily News (Neil Armstrong’s hometown paper) with coverage of Man’s 1st Moon Walk to be the best.

What about Dr. King’s assassination? It is rare we can view each side-by-side (see below). We have our thoughts, but feel free to weigh in with thoughts of your own.

Blog-6-12-2015-King-Assassination-1Blog-5-12-2015-King-Assassination-2

Bloody Sunday, Selma, Alabama… Great Headlines Speak For Themselves…

March 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The best headlines need no commentary. Such is the case with the FITCHBURG SENTINEL, Massachusetts, March 8, 1965Blog-3-11-2015-Selma-Alabama

The Traveler… the first admission… “black is beautiful” 1st coined…

February 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-2-2-2015-John-RockToday I traveled to New York City by the means of two different titles… The New York Times of February 2, 1865 and the Harper’s Weekly of February 25, 1865. In the New York Times I found “J. S. Rock (Colored,) of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, was to-day, on motion of Senator Sumner, admitted an Attorney and Counselor in the Supreme Court of the United States.”

The Harper’s Weekly includes a nice illustration of “John R. Rock, Colored Counselor”.  Within the article reads “…Mr. Rock is known in Boston as a first-class lawyer. This even, following two days after the passage by Congress of the proposition to amend the Constitution so as to abolish slavery in the United States, will be regarded by the future historian as a remarkable indication of the revolution which is going on in the sentiment of a great people. Mr. Rock has never been a slave. He represents the colored freeman, as Mr. Douglass represents the freeman. This extraordinary reversal of the Dred Scott decision is an act almost sublime…”

In doing further research on Mr. Rock, he is also credited with coining the phrase “black is beautiful” while giving a speech in Boston in March of 1858 as a refutation of the western idea that the physical features of African Americans were unattractive. However, further research has found that he did not say those exact words but did in essence about the beauty of the black people.

~The Traveler

Great Headlines Speak For Themselves… Martin Luther King, Jr. slain…

January 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The best headlines need no commentary. Such is the case with the LOS ANGELES TIMES, April 5, 1968: “DR. KING SLAIN BY SNIPER IN MEMPHISBlog-1-23-2015-Dr.-Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Slain

The Traveler… to catch a bear… He’s what?… No whites allowed?

February 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled back to London, England, by the way of The London Chronicle: or, Universal Evening Post dated February 18, 1764. There I found an interesting article on “The manner of catching Bears at Kamtschatka” (see photo below) which is a peninsula in Russia Far East. Although that article itself is quite interesting in the manner of how to catch these animals, the introduction is even more fascinating. “Bears and wolves are so numerous, that they fill the woods and fields like cattle; the bears in summer, and the wolves in winter. The bears of Kamtschatka are neither large nor fierce, and never fall upon people, unless they find them asleep; and then they seldom kill any outright, but most commonly tear the scalp from the back part of the head; and, when fiercer than ordinary, tear off some of the fleshy parts, but never eat them… It is remarked here that the bears never hurt women; but, in the summer, go about with them like tame animals, especially when they gather berries. Sometimes, indeed, the bears eat up the berries which the women have gathered, and this is the only injury they do them…”

Another article is of a death of a “…woman that went by the name of John Chivy. She dressed always in man’s apparel, and passed for a man; and notwithstanding she had been married upwards of 20 years, her sex never discovered till her death…”.

The following article caught my attention. “Among the sundry fashionable routs or clubs, that are held in town, that of the Blacks or Negro servants is not the least. On Wednesday night last, no less than fifty-seven of them, men and women, supped, drank, and entertained themselves… till four in the morning. No Whites were allowed to be present, for all the performers were Blacks.” The closing sentence made me ponder as to its meaning. I welcome your thoughts and explanations as well.

~ The Traveler

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