Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Portrait of Mary Lyde Faison

MARY LYDE FAISON IN PENSIVE MOOD by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams.  Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Ex-Slave Mary Crane Remembers giving a slave to each newlywed daughter in 19C America



Mary explained, "In those days, slave owners, whenever one of their daughters would get married, would give her and her husband a slave as a wedding present, usually allowing the girl to pick the one she wished to accompany her to her new home."

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Photo from 20th century.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Portrait of Edith

PORTRAIT OF EDITH by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams.  Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Ex-slave Betty Powers, about 80, Remembers owners having sex with any slave they wanted in 19C America



Betty said, "Did we'uns have weddin's? White man, you knows better'n dat. Dem times, cullud folks em jus' put together. De massa say, 'Jim and Nancy, you go live together.' and when dat order give, it better be done. Dey thinks nothin' on de plantation 'bout de feelin's of de women and dere ain't no 'spect for dem. De overseer and white mens took 'vantage of de women like dey wants to. De woman better not make no fuss 'bout sich. If she do, it am de whippin' for her."

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Photo from 20th century.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Women on the North American Canadian Frontier in 19C - by Dutch-born Cornelius Krieghoff 1815-1872

Cornelius Krieghoff (Dutch-born Canadian painter, 1815-1872) Indian Woman Moccasin Seller

Cornelius Krieghoff 1815-1872 was born in Amsterdam, spent his formative years in Bavaria, & studied in Rotterdam & Dusseldorf. He traveled to the United States in the 1830s, where he served in the Army for a few years. He married a young woman from Quebec & moved to the Montreal area, where he painted genre paintings of the people & countryside of Canada. According to Charles C. Hill, Curator of Canadian Art at the National Gallery, "Krieghoff was the first Canadian artist to interpret in oils... the splendour of our waterfalls, & the hardships & daily life of people living on the edge of new frontiers" Krieghoff moved to Quebec from 1854-1863, before he came to Chicago to live with his daughter.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Ex-Slave Lou Williams Remembers the large food gardens of her childhood in 19C America


Lou explained, "We had big gardens and lots of vegetables to eat, 'cause massa had 'bout 800 slaves and 'bout a 1,000 acres in he plantation. In summer time we wore jes' straight cotton slips and no shoes till Sunday, den we puts on shoes and white dresses and ties a ribbon 'round our waists, and we didn't look like de same chillen."

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves.Photo from 20th century.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Collard Greens as Natural Cure for a Headache

WOMAN WITH COLLARD LEAF ON HER HEAD TO CURE A HEADACHE by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams.  Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Ex-slave Charlotte Beverly, about 90, Remembers slave babies in 19C America


Charlotte explained, "The white folks had interes' in they cullud people where I live. Sometimes they's as many as fifty cradle with little nigger babies in 'em and the mistus, she look after them and take care of them, too. She turn them and dry them herself. She had a little gal git water and help. She never had no chillen of her own. I'd blow the horn for the mudders of the little babies to come in from the fields and nurse 'em, in mornin' and afternoon. Mistus feed them what was old enough to eat victuals. Sometimes, they mammies take them to the field and fix pallet on ground for then to lay on."

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves.
Photo from 20th century.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Maggie during Reconstruction

PORTRAIT OF MAGGIE by Mary Lyde Hicks William.  Mary Lyde Hicks William (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Ex-slave Frances Black, about 87, Remembers being stolen from her family in 19C America


Francis remembered, "I was born in Grand Bluff, in Mississippi, on Old Man Carlton's plantation, and I was stole from my folks when I was a li'l gal and never seed them no more. Us kids played in the big road there in Mississippi, and one day me and 'nother gal is playin' up and down the road and three white men come 'long in a wagon. They grabs as up and puts us in the wagon and covers us with quilts. I hollers and yells and one the men say, 'Shet up, you nigger, or I'll kill you.' I told him, 'Kill me if you wants to - you stole me from my folks."

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Photo from 20th century.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

North Carolina Corn Shucking in the Moonlight

Corn Shucking in the Moonlight  by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams. Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Women on the North American Canadian Frontier in 19C - by Dutch-born Cornelius Krieghoff 1815-1872

Cornelius Krieghoff was born in Amsterdam, spent his formative years in Bavaria, and studied in Rotterdam & Dusseldorf. He traveled to the United States in the 1830s, where he served in the Army for a few years. He married a young woman from Quebec and moved to the Montreal area, where he created genre paintings of the people & countryside of Canada. According to Charles C. Hill, "Krieghoff was the first Canadian artist to interpret in oils... the splendour of our waterfalls, and the hardships and daily life of people living on the edge of new frontiers" Krieghoff lived in Quebec from 1854-1863, before he came to Chicago to live with his daughter.
Cornelius Krieghoff (Dutch-born Canadian painter, 1815-1872) The Blizzard 1857

Monday, April 15, 2019

Women Processing Cotton in 19C Reconstruction South Carolina

Cotton Picking After Slavery - Six African American Women in a Cotton Field by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams  

Mary Lyde Hicks William (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.  The central figure with her hands on her hips is Aubt Betsey George.  The woman with the basket on her head Anna Stevens, who worked as a housemaid. Cotton was traditionally picked in splint baskets, or in cotton sheets, which would be tied to make a bag.  When it was "cotton picking time," all hands were utilized in order to get the cotton safely stored before bad or wet weather came.
 Cotton 1890-1910 After Slavery - Weighing Cotton by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams

Cotton 1890-1910 After Slavery - Seeding and Carding Cotton by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Ex-slave Louise Mathews, about 83, Remembers the Saturday night pass 19C America


Louise remembered, "Marster Turner am very reasonable 'bout de wo'k. He wants a good days wo'k, an' all de cullud fo'ks gives it to him. Weuns had Saturday afternoons off, an' co'se, Sundays too. Weuns does de washin' an' sich wo'k as weuns wants to do fo' ourselves on Saturdays, den weuns could go to parties at night. De Marster gives weuns a pass ever' Saturday night if weuns wanted it. Weuns had to have de pass 'cause de Patterollers am watchin' fo' de cullud fo'ks as don't have de pass. Weuns have singin' an' dancin' at de parties. De dancin' am quadrilles an' de music am fiddles an' banjoes."

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Women on the North American Canadian Frontier in 19C - by Dutch-born Cornelius Krieghoff 1815-1872

Cornelius Krieghoff (Dutch-born Canadian painter, 1815-1872) J B Jolifou, Aubergiste

Cornelius Krieghoff was born in Amsterdam, spent his formative years in Bavaria, and studied in Rotterdam & Dusseldorf. He traveled to the United States in the 1830s, where he served in the Army for a few years. He married a young woman from Quebec and moved to the Montreal area, where he created genre paintings of the people & countryside of Canada. According to Charles C. Hill, "Krieghoff was the first Canadian artist to interpret in oils... the splendour of our waterfalls, and the hardships and daily life of people living on the edge of new frontiers" Krieghoff lived in Quebec from 1854-1863, before he came to Chicago to live with his daughter.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Ex-slave Tempie Cummins Remembers her mother announcing freedom 19C America


Tempie remembered, "Mother was workin' in the house, and she cooked too. She say she used to hide in the chimney corner and listen to what the white folks say. When freedom was 'clared, marster wouldn' tell 'em, but mother she hear him tellin' mistus that the slaves was free but they didn' know it and he's not gwineter tell 'em till he makes another crop or two. When mother hear that she say she slip out the chimney corner and crack her heels together four times and shouts. 'I's free, I's free.' Then she runs to the field, 'gainst marster's will and tol' all the other slaves and they quit work. Then she run away and in the night she slip into a big ravine near the house and have them bring me to her. Marster, he come out with his gun and shot at mother but she run down the ravine and gits away with me."

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Photo from 20th century.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Peacock Broom

PEACOCK BROOM IN THE DINING ROOM by Mary Lyde Hicks Williams. Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (1866-1959) Mary's paintings of freed slaves reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Ex-slave Amy Chapman, about 94, Remembers a mean overseer 19C America



Amy recounted, "One day Marse Reuben come home an' when he foun' out dat de overseer was mean to de slaves he commence to give him a lecture, but when Miss Ferlicia tuk a han' in de business, she didn't stop at no lecture, She tol' dat overseer dis: 'I hear you take my women an' turn dere cloth'n over dere haids an' whup 'em. Any man dats got a family would do sich a thing oughter be sham' of hisself, an' iffen Gov. Chapman can't make you leave, I kin, so you see dat road dere? Well, make tracks den.' An' Mistis, he lef' right den. He didn't wait for no coaxin'. He was de meanes' overseer us ever had."

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Photo from 20th century.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Women on the North American Canadian Frontier in 19C - by Dutch-born Cornelius Krieghoff 1815-1872

From Europe to the Atlantic coast of America & on to the Pacific coast during the 17C-19C, settlers moved West encountering a variety of Indigenous Peoples who had lived on the land for centuries. Cornelius Krieghoff was born in Amsterdam, spent his formative years in Bavaria, and studied in Rotterdam & Dusseldorf. He traveled to the United States in the 1830s, where he served in the Army for a few years. He married a young woman from Quebec and moved to the Montreal area, where he created genre paintings of the people & countryside of Canada. According to Charles C. Hill, "Krieghoff was the first Canadian artist to interpret in oils... the splendour of our waterfalls, and the hardships and daily life of people living on the edge of new frontiers" Krieghoff lived in Quebec from 1854-1863, before he came to Chicago to live with his daughter.
Cornelius Krieghoff (Dutch-born Canadian painter, 1815-1872) Log Hut on the St Maurice

Friday, April 5, 2019

Ex-slave Siney Bonner Remembers being a Baptist with no drinking or cursing or dancing in 19C America

Ex-slave Siney Bonner

Siney related, "Yes suh, we was all Baptis' - de deep water kind, and every Sunday dey used to pile us into de waggins and pull out bright and early for Big Creek Church on the Carrollton road. Everybody fetched a big basket of grub and, sakes alive! sech another dinner you never see, all spread out on de grassy grove by de ole graveyard. Mos' all de quality white folks belonged at Big Creek and when dere slaves got sho' nuff 'ligion, dey have 'em jine at Big Creek and be baptized at de swimmin' hole. Some of de niggers want to have dere own meetin's, but Lawd chile, dem niggers get happy and get to shoutin' all over de meadow where dey built a bresh arbor. Massa John quick put a stop to dat. He says 'if you gwine to preach and sing you must turn de wash pot bottom up', meanin' no shoutin'. Dem Baptis' at-Big Creek was sho' tight wid dere rules too. Turn you out sho' if you drink too much cawn licker, or dance, or cuss."

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Photo from 20th century.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Fighting for Equality - Evangelist Phoebe Worrall Palmer (1807-1874)

Phoebe Worrall Palmer (1807-1874) Born Phoebe Worrall on Dec. 11, 1807 in NYC to devout Methodist parents. In 1827, she married Walter Clarke Palmer, a 24 year old physician who was also a devout Methodist. Palmer was an evangelist, author, & prayer warrior. She was instrumental in the founding of the American Holiness movement.


Phoebe Worrall Palmer (1807-1874)

Three of their 4 children died at a young age.  In 1840, Phoebe assumed leadership of the Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness, & the attendance grew, drawing clergy & laity from many denominations. In this same year, she began speaking in public primarily at camp meetings, & for the next decade, she traveled alone while Walter remained in New York City to run his practice & their household. In the 1850s, Walter joined Phoebe on her trips, including a 4-year evangelistic tour of Great Britain, where their audiences often numbered in the thousands. Phoebe was also involved in urban work in the New York City slums, where she founded the Five Points Mission, an urban outreach center with a chapel, schoolroom, rent-free apartments, & numerous other social service programs. She was also an active editor & writer, editing the Guide to Holiness, a leading journal of the burgeoning holiness movement, publishing a number of books on topics, such as holiness & women’s right to speak in public.  She wrote a book entitled “The Promise of the Father” which advocated women in leadership.


Phoebe Worrall Palmer (1807-1874)

From Phoebe Palmer, Promise of the Father. Boston, 1859 

“Earnest prayers, long fasting, and burning tears may seem befitting, but cannot move the heart of infinite love to a greater willingness to save. God’s time is now. The question is not, What have I been? or What do I expect to be? But, Am I now trusting in Jesus to save to the uttermost? If so, I am now saved from all sin.” 

“[W]e have never conceived that it would be subservient to the happines, use­fulness, or true dignity of woman, were she permitted to occupy a prominent part in legislative halls, or take a leading position in the orderings of church conventions.”

“And is it in religion alone that woman is prone to overstep the bounds of propriety, when the impellings of her Heaven-baptized soul would lead her to come out from the cloister, and take positions of usefulness for God?”

“Who would restrain the lips of those whom God has endued with the gift of utterance, when those lips would fain abundantly utter the memory of God’s great goodness?”

“The Christian churches of the present day, with but few exceptions, have im­posed silence on Christian woman, so that her voice may but seldom be heard in Christian assemblies.”

"It is not our aim in this work to suggest, in behalf of woman, a change in the social or domestic relation. We are not disposed to feel that she is burdened with wrong in this direction. But we feel that there is a wrong, a serious wrong, affectingly cruel in its influences, which has long been depressing the hearts of the most devotedly pious women. And this wrong is inflicted by pious men, many of whom, we presume, imagine that they are doing God service in putting a seal upon lips which God has commanded to speak. It is not our intention to chide those who have thus kept the Christian female in bondage, as we believe in ignorance they have done it. But we feel that the time has now come when ignorance will involve guilt..."

Monday, April 1, 2019

Fighting for Equality - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Daughter, Harriot, Photograph taken circa 1890-1910 of a daguerreotype taken 1856.

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), abolitionist and women's rights activist, lived for a time in Boston, where she befriended Lydia Child. With Lucretia Mott, she organized the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention for Women's rights; she also drafted its Declaration of Sentiments. Her "Woman's Declaration of Independence" begins "men and women are created equal" and includes a resolution to give women the right to vote. With Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton campaigned for suffrage in the 1860s and 1870s, formed the anti-slavery Women's Loyal National League and the National Woman Suffrage Association, and co-edited the weekly newspaper Revolution. President of the Woman Suffrage Association for 21 years, she led the struggle for women's rights. She gave public lectures in several states, partly to support the education of her seven children.

    After her husband died, Cady Stanton deepened her analysis of inequality between the sexes. Her book The Woman's Bible (1895) discerns a deep-seated anti-female bias in Judaeo-Christian tradition. She lectured on such subjects as divorce, women's rights, and religion until her death at 86, just after writing a letter to President Theodore Roosevelt supporting the women's vote. Her numerous works -- at first pseudonymous, but later under her own name -- include three co-authored volumes of History of Woman Suffrage (1881-1886) and a candid, humorous autobiography.
LETTER To Women's Rights Convention, Seneca Falls, Sunday, Oct. 20, 1850.

As you have handed over to me the case of those women who have fears in regard to the propriety of woman's exercising her political rights, I would gladly embrace this opportunity to address them through your Convention.

No one denies our right to the elective franchise, unless we except those who go against all human governments, and the non-resistant, who condemns a government of force, though I think the latter might consistently contend for the right, even if she might not herself choose to exercise it. But to those who believe in having a government - to those who believe that no just government can be formed without the consent of the governed - to them would I appeal, and of them do I demand some good reason why one half of the citizens of this Republic have no voice in the laws which govern them.

The right is one question, and the propriety of exercising it quite another. The former is undeniable, and against the latter I have never heard one solid objection that would not apply equally to man and woman.

Some tell us that if woman should interest herself in political affairs, it would destroy all domestic harmony. What, say they, would be the consequence, if husband and wife should not agree in their views of political economy? Because, forsooth, husband and wife may chance to differ in their theological sentiments, shall woman have no religion? Because she may not choose to worship at the same altar with her liege lord, must she of necessity do up all her worshipping in private, in her own closet? Because she might choose to deposit her vote for righteous rulers - such as love justice, mercy, truth, and oppose a husband, father, or brother, who would, by their votes, place political power in the hands of unprincipled men, swearing, fighting, leaders of armies, rumsellers and drunkards, slaveholders and prating northern hypocrites, who would surrender the poor panting fugitive from bondage into the hands of his blood-thirsty pursuers - shall she not vote at all? It is high time that men learned to tolerate independence of thought and opinion in the women of their household.

It would not make much difference in man's every day life, in his social enjoyments, whether his wife differed with him as to the locality of hell, the personality of the devil, or the comparative altitude of the saintships of Peter and Paul; as to one's right to as much air, water, light, and land as he might need for his necessities; as to the justice of free trade, free schools, the inviolable homestead, and personal freedom - provided the husband had a great head and heart, and did not insist upon doing up all the thinking and talking in the establishment himself, or the wife was not a miserable formalist, like Mrs. Swisshelm's Deborah Elmsley. Much of this talk about domestic harmony is the sheerest humbug. Look around among your whole circle of friends, and tell me, you who know what transpires behind the curtain, how many truly harmonious households have we now. Quiet households we may have, but submission and harmony produce very different states of quietness. There is no true happiness where there is subordination - no harmony without freedom.

But, say some, would you have women vote? What, refined, delicate women at the polls, mingling in such scenes of violence and vulgarity! By all means, where there is so much to be feared for the pure, the innocent, the noble, the mother surely should be there to watch and guard her sons who are to encounter such stormy, dangerous scenes at the tender age of twenty-one. Much is said of woman's influence: might not her presence do much toward softening down this violence, refining this vulgarity? Depend upon it, that places which, by their impure atmosphere, are rendered unfit for woman cannot but be dangerous to her sires and sons. But if woman claims all the rights of a citizen, will she buckle on her armor and fight in defence of her country? Has not woman already often shown herself as courageous in the field, as wise and patriotic in counsel, as man? Have you not had the brave Jagello in your midst, and vied with each other to touch but the hem of her garment? But for myself, I believe all war sinful; I believe in Christ; I believe that the command, "Resist not evil," is divine; I would not have man go to war; I can see no glory in fighting with such weapons as guns and swords, while man has in his possession the infinitely superior and more effective ones of righteousness and truth.

But if woman votes, would you have her hold office? Most certainly would we have woman hold office. We would have man and woman what God intended they should be, companions for each other, always together, in counsel, government, and every department of industry. If they have homes and children, we would have them stay there, educate their children, provide well for their physical wants, and share in each other's daily trials and cares. Children need the watchful care and wise teachings of fathers as well as of mothers. No man should give up a profitable business, leave his wife and children month after month, and year after year, and make his home desolate for any false ideas of patriotism, for any vain love of display or ambition for fame and distinction. The highest, holiest duty of both father and mother is to their children and each other, and when they can show to the world a well-developed, wisely-governed family, then let the State profit by their experience. Having done their duty at home, let them together sit in our national councils. The violence, rowdyism, and vulgarity which now characterize our Congressional Halls, show us clearly that "it is not good for man to be alone." The purifying, elevating, softening influence of woman is a most healthful restraint on him at all times and in all places. We have many noble women in our land, free from all domestic incumbrances, who might grace a Senate chamber, and for whose services the country might gladly forego all the noise, bluster, and folly of one-half the male dolts who now flourish there and pocket their eight dollars a day.

The most casual observer can see that there is some essential element wanting in the political organization of our Republic. The voice of woman has been silenced, but man cannot fulfil his destiny alone - he cannot redeem his race unaided. There must be a great national heart, as well as head; and there are deep and tender chords of sympathy and love that woman can touch more skillfully than man. The earth has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation, for woman has never yet stood the equal with man. As with nations, so with families. It is the wise mother who has the wise son, and it requires but little thought to decide, that as long as the women of this nation remain but half developed in mind and body, so long shall we have a succession of men dwarfed in body and soul. So long as your women are mere slaves, you may throw your colleges to the wind - there is no material to work upon. It is in vain to look for silver and gold from mines of copper and brass. How seldom now is the father's pride gratified in the budding genius of his son? The wife is degraded, made the mere creature of his tyranny and caprice, and now the foolish son is heaviness to his heart. Truly are the sins of the father visited upon the children. God, in his wisdom, has so linked together the whole human family, that any violence done at one end of the chain is felt throughout its length...E. C. STANTON.