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Building Communities in the Early Republic By: Robert Smith Megan Hayden Hector Garcia B. Marissa Garcia Building Communities in the Early Republic By:

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Presentation on theme: "Building Communities in the Early Republic By: Robert Smith Megan Hayden Hector Garcia B. Marissa Garcia Building Communities in the Early Republic By:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Building Communities in the Early Republic By: Robert Smith Megan Hayden Hector Garcia B. Marissa Garcia Building Communities in the Early Republic By: Robert Smith Megan Hayden Hector Garcia B. Marissa Garcia

2 African Americans in Demographic Perspective 1790- US population at nearly 4 million 750,000 of African Descent 697,624 slaves, 59,557 free 89% lived in South Atlantic States South’s free black population outnumbers the north, but is smaller in proportion (Example: Virginia in 1790 has 13,000 free blacks, but 96% of blacks are slaves) See Chart on page 105 for statistics

3 Gradual Abolition statutes explain the continuing presence of slaves in New England and Mid Atlantic States. The only mid Atlantic State that didn’t end slavery is Delaware where slavery continues until after the Civil War. New England has small slave population (1/4 of Blacks) in 1790. Slavery virtually disappears over next two decades.

4 The timing and form that abolition takes is crucial to the forming of black communities. Free blacks tend to flock more to urban areas than whites (percentage wise) due to opportunities in Maritime and domestic service for women. Slavery ended early in Massachusetts which led to migration to Boston. Between 1790 and 1800, black population rose by more than 53%. Discrimination is still present despite freedom. In 1788 Massachusetts passes law preventing black migration from other states. Passed to prevent Mass from becoming safe haven for escaped slaves.

5 Philadelphia sees rise of black community from The Gradual Emancipation Act of 1780. Slaves born after 1780 were forced to serve long apprenticeship before becoming free. Shift in 1/2 of blacks living in white households to 3/4 living in black households. New York remains heavily enslaved until 1799 when Gradual Emancipation Act is passed and importation of slaves is prohibited.

6 Building Community Institutions Shared Institutions and not shared neighborhoods provides the foundation for building free black communities The First organization is The Free African Society of Newport, Rhode Island (1780). Followed by Philadelphia’s Free African Society which led to The African Church of Philadelphia (St. Thomas’s African Episcopal Church under Rev Absalom Jones) and Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Mother Bethel under Rev. Richard Allen)

7 The First Great Awakening brought blacks increasingly into the evangelical fold. Many such as Rev Allen and Rev. Jones still encountered racism and thus began their own churches. Rev Allen faced opposition from Methodist General Conference over church property and control. Supreme court rules in his favor in 1816 and led to African Methodist Episcopal Church to become first black-led denomination.

8 Building of Black associations and institutions such as, mutual aid societies, fraternal lodges, schools, and churches, creates a visible urban black leadership class. 1787- Boston’s black leadership class petitions for African School due to lack of access to public schools. Both black leaders and white philanthropists raise the funds to open the school. In 1812 the school is granted and annual subsidy. White philanthropists instrumental in many of the organizations getting off the ground.


10 Blacks and American Party Politics Black and White Americans understood how important it was to vote. At the birth of this country most Americans could not vote due to the property and tax- paying prerequisites Some property owning women were able to vote only in the state of New Jersey until 1807 when the law was revoke.

11 The democratization of the franchise for males took place 1800 to 1820. This process was advantages for the white man and did little to help the free black land owners. Most of the Free-black property holders, who once were able to vote could no longer do so. There were many laws that already excluded those who were free from slavery to vote.

12 New statute, which were added in 1802 to the Maryland State constitution, stated explicitly “ that every free white male citizen of this state, and no other ….shall have a right of suffrage.” In 1807, the state of New Jersey Black voters and property owning women were disfranchised. Connecticut legislature passed laws in 1814 and 1818 that each voter had to be property owner and he had to be a free white male.

13 The Haitian Revolution In 1791 the Haitian revolted against the French to secure liberty equality and fraternity. Toussaint Louverture was a mulatto who organized rebel forces and against the French. Napoleon Bonaparte, saw Toussaint as an obstacle

14 Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase had connections to the trouble in the Caribbean. Slaveholders feared that the revolt in Haiti would create a revolution in the New World Thomas Jefferson was a big supporter of the slaveholders and called the revel Haitians “cannibals and their combustion a threat.”

15 Federalist Federalist were preferred by Free-black voters John Jay and Alexander Hamilton were some of the founding members of The Ney York Manumission Society in 1785. Historians like Paul Finkelman argue that it was Federalist who helped lay the groundwork for abolitionist critique of American politics.


17 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND ARTS In the early American republic, African-Americans used literature to make their voices heard. They kept current on events such as the Haiti Revolution and the 1808 abolition of the slave trade. Famous Writers: Absalom Jones, Richard Allen, Prince Hall, etc.. (Phyllis Wheatley is not included). In Boston, Hall wrote editorial letters to the Independent Ledger, an urban newspaper, protesting a slurred image of his Masonic Hall and negative images of blacks. In 1827, the first black-edited journal Freedom’s Journal appeared.

18 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND ARTS Pamphlets also became an extremely popular form of expression for African-Americans at this time. One of the earliest examples is a sermon by John Marrant, that was printed and paid homage to the blacks. This sermon was distributed by Prince Hall. (Author)?? Hall later wrote two more pamphlets of his own in 1792 and 1797 concerning the Haitian revolution. Absalom Jones and Richard Allen wrote a stirring pamphlet called “A Narrative…of the Black People…during the..Calamity in Philadelphia”. This was in response to a racial attack by the mayor of Philadelphia during the yellow fever epidemic.

19 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND ARTS Spiritual Autobiographies were important. Traced the search for intellectual and spiritual independence of African-Americans. Was affected by the Great Awakening. One of the most successful was Olaudah Equiano. – “ The Interesting Narrative of the Life Of Olaudah Equiano..” In 5 years, there were 8 editions of his book.

20 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND ARTS Benjamin Banneker – Attended a private school – Gifted in Math and Science – Began issuing almanacs in 1791, and attracted the attention of James McHenry. – Such connections allowed him to work on the survey crew that laid out the District of Columbia, the nation’s capital. – Showed a striking contradiction to the idea that Negros were inferior, unintelligent, and void of mental endowment.

21 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND ARTS African-American writers had to appeal not only to their own people but also to whites, both rich and poor. These pamphlets had to be careful in the language they used, in the North and especially the Southern United States. Many times they used literary images – “The anguish that has taken place when parents are torn from their children” – “The parting tear, rolling down their fallen cheeks, the parting sigh die on their quivering lips” Sought to cast a proud light on Africa and their heritage and justify their claims for equality and freedom.

22 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND ARTS A famous African-American painter of this time was named Joshua Johnston. He specialized in portraits. Worked in Baltimore. Only 2/80 paintings depicted African-Americans.

23 THE WAR OF 1812 The War of 1812 started because of naval impressment of American sailors, and the expansion of America westward in the New World. Northern blacks quickly pledged their support, while slaves (with permission) were offered freedom for enlistment. NY raised 2 colored regiments of over 1000 soldiers each, same pay and benefits as white soldiers. Later, the black soldiers were granted annuities for their honorable and valiant service to their country in time of need.

24 THE WAR OF 1812 After the 1814 burning of Washington DC, African- Americans rallied in other major cities to defend them. In Philadelphia, over 2500 African-Americans responded to the call and worked continuously for 2 days straight. Enlistment in the Naval Forces was also common. However, it was different because these soldiers were enlisted without the mention of race. Some white officers were reluctant to have colored troops, but after seeing their courage declared them gallant. “Absolutely Insensible to Danger” CPT Oliver Perry.

25 THE WAR OF 1812 THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS (1815) General Andrew Jackson called on the free blacks in Louisiana to defend their country. They helped him win one of the most significant battles of the war. Peace was being negotiated, but official word had not reached the United States. Could have turned the tide of victory. British offered slaves freedom if they deserted to fight for England. Moved many slaves to Canada, West Indies, Nova Scotia. (often worse than before)


27  The idea of black settlement outside the United States appealed to both black and white Americans  Slaves escaped to the British lines, Canada, The Caribbean and Great Britain, places where they could live in freedom  Some free blacks who experienced their citizenship right violated daily looked outside the Americas borders to find self-respect and dignity

28  Some religious leaders in the black community, such as Daniel Coker of Maryland and Lott Carey of Virginia, sought to make a home in Africa for missionary purposes  American whites took an interest in colonization  Whites argued that, as the number of free blacks increased it would become a threat to slavery

29  Slave holders wanted to remove free black from the states and even the nation  1777 a Virginia legislative committee developed a plan, gradual emancipation and deportation  Abolitionist supported colonization plans, declaring it their responsibility to return blacks to African homeland  Connecticut emancipation society, supported manumission, colonization of free blacks was the ultimate aim

30  William Thornton a Quaker physician, organized for colonization to Africa  William Thornton disbelief of the possibility of amicable race relations in the U.S. led him to explore the idea of colonization  Receptive audience among blacks where from Newport, Rhode Island and in Boston  Not all black communities responded positively, Philadelphia when presented with the plan refused it

31  Paul Cuffee, a man of mixed African and Indian descent, and shipbuilder became interested in colonization  1815, cuffee sailed from Boston to Freetown with thirty-eight emigrants at his own expense- approximately $ 4000  By 1830 The American colonization society had settled 1,420 blacks in Liberia

32  The Option of returning to Africa was not a reality for the great majority of African Americans  Some attempted to stand and fight to the death for freedom  Haiti revolution played key factor in the planning of revolt  Gabriel a slave blacksmith and two Frenchmen played a role in the conspiracy

33  One in every five sailors was black which brought isolated black communities information and alternative possibilities  August 30, 1800, more than a thousand blacks met six miles outside Richmond and began to march in the city  Bad weather and two slaves informed whites on what was happening, 35 slaves were executed and many more captured

34  Gabriel was captured having been betrayed by a black crewman and was hanged  Many more attempts of revolt happened in the south with no success  There was no victory for slaves in American South, as there had been for slaves in Haiti

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