thumbnail of Africans in America; 103; Brotherly Love; Interview with Douglas Egerton, Professor of History, Le Moyne College
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where we are today to me the important thing to keep in mind is that just after the revolution and that slavery was in a state of disarray at least in the border south for both economic and it a logical reasons was that slavery was on the ropes but an older very important states like virginia which of course had a majority of blacks an age of revolution virginia's moving toward cereal crops away from tobacco or wheat is less labor intensive and so suddenly plant is needed less workers and not more workers in a planter like or washington who had large numbers of africans or african americans having too many mouths to feed on the plantation was a recipe for economic disaster and also is much as the founding fathers tried to qualify and limit
their theories and announce that all men were created equal but then say well really talking about all free men all men all citizens is as soon as you postulate universal theories all people have certain kinds of natural rights than slavery becomes a problem in a class based world an old european world of the american colonial world which everybody knows their place having people who are less than others who didn't the israelis are outside the logical norm but as soon as you start announcing this is a whole new kind of country a brand new republic based on the idea that everybody has certain natural rights that didn't get taken away from them and then start to announce that but in fact some people are less than others for reasonable ancestry or race that is to announce that there is a contradiction in the american experiment and there's no doubt that many the founding father was their mind about one third of all people who signed the declaration of
independence were slave holders felt if not guilty at least uneasy about the fact that they're announcing his principles and then not living up to them and many of them but that the patriots believed that these words were long term goals to work toward that but nonetheless they had announced that everybody was equal and then they didn't practice that he arrived at a lot of contradictions because of jefferson's image in washington problem that he had made it means that they have with their job isn't always believed always stated in any case that the right of one man to hold another is property wasn't a legitimate form of property it from his earliest public
pronouncements johnson announced that there was something profoundly wrong with the entire concept of slavery like most virginians of his day in class city that virtually impossible to live without all this on free labor jefferson like to say he was to be judged by his deeds and not by his words but the sad fact is when it came to slavery and was a celebrated pen that that sounds wonderfully guy a tear in the tijuana fact when it comes to action and he did very little jefferson clearly felt guilty about owning other people's property even as he wrote the most famous declaration announcing that everybody was born free and equal and has grown within light like many of his generation he found excuses to explain why wells was a problem but that is something he was he was really stuck with jefferson would blame everybody else for slavery was george
a third in the british government to include forced african labor on the colonies and and most of all that he created very elaborate explanations for why it was that blacks were biologically inferior made that word finally at odds with the eighteen century enlightenment thought that have recently been polly genesis he believed people had been created a different time sort of want to say well if blacks were created the same area as anglos that over time may have assisted evolved and had become a lesser spees says if there was one common idea and enlightenment he was at all humankind was basically similar incentives and when in the face of that idea i think that like his old enemy patrick henry who once and there was no doubt that they're holding slaves was immoral that but does it was so inconvenient live without them the jefferson had to find excuses for why he said one thing and practiced
another and so his answer was that that that africans and their descendants were biologically inferior to ngos and therefore they were essentially children who knows his responsibility is duty to care of these people who simply couldn't care for themselves in a free world i think good many villages and generation tried to use those kinds of arguments is way of explaining how you can have a republic based upon the consent of the governed yet help people in that society who don't have those kinds of rides the poem before it's hard for americans to understand this now but in the seventy nine he's noticed it's he's number one trading partner which is not to say of course that that mattel accused syria
of intensive that we are not and since i'm not a purple glow and seventy nine united states was haiti's number one trading partner those are a great deal of business conducted between the mainland woodson all kinds of raw materials for the island and he would say and sugar so says a great deal of mobile of people in and goods and seventy nine days so we went home when the haitian revolution broke out and refugees from cities than call send a man really began to flee toward united states they arrived in the northern states as well but primarily in the southern states especially in virginia and south carolina it's empty ninety two and seventeen ninety three waves of refugees it's thousands and thousands came and sometimes they brought with them their slaves they get the slaves out there seventy nine to
five to about twelve thousand african slaves living on the american mainland bring within news i'm ed and reports about what was happening on the island trade all the american newspapers and current events and sandman in a great deal of detail all americans understood what was happening there and for blacks in and whites that they were very different responses obviously it was and the debt the revolution and send a man taught mainland slaves to be rebellious or or to resist their bondage it always done so typically as individuals who stole themselves and ran away sometimes in smaller group to try to get to the frontier in and build more room colonies in and rebuild african societies but the revolt in santa mahmoud was qualitatively different the revolutionaries and sentimental about the song overture were trying to
not really pulled on the power of her absentee masters but join those masters on equal footing in the atlantic world and revolting in haiti remind american slaves who are still enthusiastic about the promise of seventy and seventy six that not only could liberty be there as if they were brave enough to try for it but that the quality of the master class might be theirs if they're brave enough to try although conditions were very different in sandman is it's an enormous black majority sentimental chump about twenty four thousand heavily armed white overseers and four hundred and eight thousand africans and african americans that nonetheless it was a a terrifying prospect especially to south carolina the only state that had a bike majority in the years after the
revolution on it the violence that was taking place and sandman reminded americans who are who they themselves greeted their revolution the midst of enormous violence that these things could always happen in that slaves at any moment were really try to seize their own freedom the plan to cause an age of revolution never believed for a moment that the blacks were happy in their condition and wouldn't cry for freedom the way that that white planters and then the eighteenth thirties and forties tried to convince themselves that that the slaves loved this situation americans who lived through the american revolution understand this was a violent world and the slaves were held in place only by white military power and i was coming unglued and send a man so for you know for why you know what it means for the united
states that is funny that that sets it is shutting down to rebuild northern trade with that since the administration's very very friendly with was an amendment does that something you really want when asked it again the start to some over to or was discussing all the american newspapers he was painted it and both terrifying but but but also a very competent terms as there was no doubt that the decider knew what he was doing for me black americans said this was a terribly exciting moment to moment of great inspiration and for the southern plant a class was moment the norms terror it was often depicted
in some and they said again to some over to her was often depicted in southern newspapers as a black napoleon iii as somebody who really knew what he was doing the planter class was scared of him but had no doubts he knew exactly how to get what he wanted and of course his name over to or is a name that debt is sold as applied to him that this was a man who always found his opening as a slave his name was to celebrate because his blond braid a plantation in the southern white mind to sign over to or was a terrifying but very competent figure has depicted in newspapers sort of a black napoleon somebody who can always find his opening somebody who'd always be successful in battle there was no doubt on the white mind they're dealing with a very fierce very dangerous fall when jefferson was terrified of what was happening in sandman you referred to two sides on these cannibals
and spent the part of his career really doing what every possibly could isolate send a man and to shut down all american trade in there for all american contact with with the island jefferson was especially for a good bit that sand a man would serve as a model for american blacks the idea that that a successful slave revolution could take place that close to american shores was something there the bridge until the virginia plan to politicians found the very terrifying reason were terrifying but a lot of italian english fine jefferson referred to tucson sarney is cannibals his fear was that black americans like gabriel would be inspired by what they saw taking place just off the shore of america and he spent bridget his entire career
trying to shut down any content and therefore any movement of information between the american mainland and a caribbean island he agreed to pay and in nineteen ninety eight on while the us the separatists has decided that i'm not so it still hasn't prevented the nineties the fortieth president with the thing about this song it's in session until after gabriel idiot regina governor james monroe was was quite positive that gabriel's army had been inspired in part by refugees coming from santa man and as president johnson did everything he possibly could to shut down any trade it called on congress to abolish trade between the united states and what they can afford the independent country of haiti he argued that france believe that still only island in short he
denied that the haitian revolutionaries have the same right to independence and autonomy the claim for american patriots because when eighteen or five and find a mate you know sex triggers for lisa down between united states and haiti which decimated it already very weak haitian economy or storms and then argue this was an example of what happens when when africans are allowed to govern themselves economic devastation caused in large part by his own economic policies oh that's oh it's quite clear that the tucson was deeply inspired by events both in france and united states and some of his tissues and ten set in fact been on the american mainland of the french army during the american revolution jefferson was always the first to deny a server evolutionary heritage to people other than whites of european
descent as far as he was concerned was taking place in haiti was not part of a larger movement in the age of revolution but wholly illegitimate attempts by human property to gain their freedom and slay their masters president yeah for black americans the condition has been american democrats like to call the election of jefferson the revolution of eighteen hundred that moment in which the promised the revolution was it was reborn the common man's
seize control of the government for black americans election and johnson was devastating the administration regards today is one of the more conservative administrations they have done business with tucson to die absence and ambassadors to disarmed dozen ministries was a pro slavery administration and for black americans it was exactly the opposite of what this moment meant for white americans it was a moment of great despair they decided that the deal born in seventeen seventy six gabriel was raised mit says the head in liberating talk of natural rights and freedom bridge is an age of revolution that use those two words incessantly in and giggle was raised in a
time in which she was generally believed by all virginians white and black people were endowed with certain natural right here was a child born in the year the dirksen announced that all men have certain rights chief among which were life liberty and there was a boy who had none of those things feminist hero is a fourth way we heard someone in particular with this freedom means not typical that's right is a skilled black to heart is on time run in richmond area and was alive to keep the palin part of the earnings for a time in the late seventy nineties gabriel apparently felt that that it was a relatively free man and it's interesting that a number of historians have described him as a free black because his
mobility appears to be so enormous but then boom came crashing down and seventy ninety nine when he bit off the ear of a white neighbor and phantom self bratton it brandon thumb and incarcerated for about a month and that experience reminded them that for all his apparent freedom and mobility that he was still a slave that any moment could have his earnings taken away his wife sold away and could be whipped and branded in open court i think that the branding incident for gabriel was a moment in time in which you realized he had several ways to go that his freedom his is relative freedom of movement was obviously a sham and therefore he could do what many young single black males did which was run for the north had toward philadelphia but here was a man who had a wife apparently did not live on the process plantation inc they may have
had children by his age the age of twenty four he probably did and therefore it to flee would believe these people behind and therefore i think he realized that his only option was to stay and try some some much different way of forcing virginia to live up to its stated ideals sit with us like all revolutionaries gabriel seem to have very little concern for violence in danger he was an enormous man was six foot two sixth at three in a time of relatively shorter man he was a blacksmith so he was a man of enormous strength he was described as having scars on his face and smith missing most destructive aspect of that backing for mixing it up in the quarters with other slaves security of brookfield appears to be really quite lax in and sort of he was big
he was aggressive but it was a very dynamic person obviously was a man of great charisma what he recommended people tend to do in short he was like most revolutionaries he was a man who people instinctively tended to follow it and he probably feared very little i think it is it like many revolutionaries gabriel i think was brave to the point of being foolhardy he was a very big man six foot two or three very strong from at least ten years as a blacksmith no better example i think exists then that the ear biting incident the year before and seventeen ninety nine he was caught stealing a pig and instead of accepting that the abuse the verbal abuse
he was taking gabriel was caught stealing a pig and seventeen ninety nine instead of accepting the abuse of course every slave was supposed to accept it through the man to the ground i wrestled him to the ground and been of the better part of his left ear that of course was a capital crime pig stealing was a common occurrence biting why people was something that that was not encouraged for black virginians do it indicates i think that there was a man who will really was ready at any moment to and then they're there because my brain i'm certain at all the pigs dealing were just of town no no it's still a distant as wilson says that is kind of what no place i'm at the pink ceiling incident reminds us that gabriel was a man who always was ready to take the barricades somebody who apparently was afraid of nothing including losing his life an
end or a relatively minor incident gabriel seems to be a very aggressive young man almost sort of a hot head he was a man who was described as having scars on his face he was missing most of his front teeth i mean i assume that came from mixing it up in the quarters with the other slaves that but clearly he was a man who would reached it is high as he could go as a slavery was a highly skilled blacksmith a man who hired as time around the area toll right aggressive in a different world label one of the man to reckon with but in virginia he was a slave and he was human property and that meant he had very few options he was not the kind of person who was he got older could accept a situation either could run
away or stay and fight and clearly decided to stay and fight ok is that ok i suspected it was is gabriel was sitting in jail and laid seventeen ninety nine that he decided that the time had come to began to orchestrate some kind of master plan they giggle was part of that revolution the revolutionary generation they believed like tom paine that the world could be changed the world could begin anew he honestly seem to believe and i don't want to wear that sounds i'm sorry yeah there's either qualify have too much power gable was a part of that revolutionary generation who believe that that the
world could begin anew that that anything was possible as a scientist and as the us senate what he's been saying gabler was a part of a revolutionary generation that they believed that the world could be created new he once said was followers there that this was a plot not merely for black virginians but for his country meaning it that this was his chance to make the nicest live up to its stated ideals of being a place of freedom and equality and a place for everybody really would be equal what it gained over boeing could've been a moment in one of those moments in which the revolution was alive again even
had it failed it in a spectacular way and the band massive bloodshed i think it might've been one of those moments in which the plan to politicians realize that holding people in bondage kim at too high a price they giggle could've died and his plan could have lived had it gotten off the ground but again terrain services for some reason gabriel's conspiracy could've been one of those moments in which the south but again it was conspiracy could have been one of those moments in which the south really altered its course this was a time in which there are still enough in like mid year old planters who felt squeamish about asking for civil liberty for themselves and tonight the others was a moment for cotton was king it was a time in which i think it to
gabriel's plan really was rational this was a moment in which the staff could collectively decided that slavery was inconsistent with american ideals at the cost of holding these people in chains it was simply too high the un i think because gabriel's plan failed to get off the ground the white planter class didn't see the kind of carnage that they've gabriel what was sure would would serve drive them and the realization that this had become good and then my gay bill did not seem to envision massive civil war he thought that a small number of deaths and hostages would be a bargaining point at that moment the richmond margins the planters would sit down in and seriously talk about black liberty island and obviously he was not in it than he realized that this would be black freedom borne of white fear not out of white magnanimity but i think he was
cryptic thinking this was a moment that if if virginia was going to live up to what it said it believed in this was the time it was going to happen the only way to really struck a chord and the really impressive thing about gabriel's planting is how widespread it is and how many people know about it and say very little that this isn't a small parochial plot only outside of richmond on one or two plantations this is a plot that involves richmond norfolk charlottesville at least a dozen counties in the hundreds and hundreds of slaves know about this not all the states have committed the dissipation but all of them know about it and say nothing they're unskilled whites in richmond who know about this there are white refugees arrive rush limbaugh's army who know about this this is an egalitarian
army that really wants to bring about the new day in virginia with significant is it is not the two slaves of the loose their courage at the last minute until a mast with a significant is the hundreds of virginians black and white who know about this and stay silent you know when you're reading the years he has served first time needed to help our heroes this year and had it in them but you say it rained it's unwise i think to condemn the two or three slaves to reveal the plot to the masters is the rain came down that august thirtieth it was quite clear that gave us plant probably would fail at least one the slaves who informed and had a wife and a child and end and for him this was a moment of opportunity in st gabriel stories a
story of heroism but in time to say who the villains are either slaves who informed felt like they were doing what they had to do to save themselves an end to free their wives and children i don't really bad when rowe wasn't killed but if you have an arm and i feel about it on well i played i think it is collected that this was a moment in virginia history and madrid besides we stayed in different ways ut us conducted this or debates right afterward is that
because i'm following the execution of gay berlin twenty six of his followers the state assembly met behind closed doors and try to decide what to do about this and and there were many who felt that this was the time to begin some some massive plan for emancipation combined with colonization a resolution was submitted to bridging assembly calling on the now president jefferson to purchase land someplace perfectly in africa to be used not only as a place to put black felons such as the rest of gabriel's followers were still in prison but also as a place where free blacks might be sent on this was a moment for jefferson's that his entire career advocating not alone emancipation colonization yet he did nothing here he had a section of the virginia governor his friend james monroe we have the sanction and approval of the virginia assembly yet he did nothing right like having slept on whether this way i think that
by making emancipation can get it by making emancipation contingent on conversations jefferson i think was perhaps consciously doing his own plan a failure the very bundles of land in virginia meant that white simply cannot be turned into a class of tenant farmer and consequently no rational plant a politician would ever for a moment consent to emancipation was they could keep their slaves as free in low wage and politically powerless worker it's and therefore by insisting that whites and blacks could not live peacefully together and that blacks are freed had the scent someplace else maybe africa maybe at jefferson was setting up a condition that that simply could not be met president but most slaves
major revolution like medieval presence simply lacked the surname than the white planter class that day had no particular interest and according them a drug and i am most slaves in the age of revolution like like medieval presence simply lacked the surname and most planters were not interested in affording them the kind of dignity that would come with the surname and so while many historians call gabriel gabriel prosser there's actually getting him a name he did not give himself and perhaps did not want the name of his master really has been hey hey in an odd way the prohibition on for their african imports as of january one at no way it actually strengthened slavery a place where it had been
the weakest that was in virginia in washington's day masters who felt uneasy about holding slaves or masters who's a plea could afford to keep as many slaves often be willing to emancipate the slaves in their will the way that washington did or allow for self purchase but of course what the band did was to create an artificial scarcity on black labor and therefore immediately a trader rose between the border south and the lower south at twenty two the year of denmark these plot roughly thirty thousand virginians so young men and women were sold or south carolina or points to the west you're welcome with alyssa ironically that the ban on importation of further africans which began on january one
at no way to actually strengthen ahold of slavery in the border south that is in virginia and maryland and delaware where it had been the weakest in washington state for example a planter who felt uneasy about owning other people or was it they can afford to keep as many african americans would often be willing to emancipate the slaves in there we'll as washington did or allow for self purchase but the band created an artificial scarcity of black laborers and gasoline neatly and injure american trade between the upper south between virginia maryland and the lower south south carolina and georgia a merged in any june twenty two the year denmark visas conspiracy thirty thousand young black people are young men and women were traded between virginia and south carolina oh ok
for it did for young black virginians if one was between the age of roughly eighteen and thirty that about a one in three chance of being sold or south carolina or to mississippi he knows some masters and johnson falls into that category tried to say all the women with their children but for slave man they're not regard as being part of a family plan to stall themselves that the blacks like the the kind of feeling for family the wyden said and consequently if you lived in the border south of those very likely chance that you would be torn apart from your spouse and then sold to the deep south and on the south carolina and georgia important thousands and thousands of africans try to get them in before the ban on eating away which they knew was coming
the effect of that was was to keep african cultural life especially in south carolina and georgia oh yeah ok mom in south carolina golla culture there's a great deal of evidence that that african culture african religion african family structure that would whiz was very much alive well into the nineteenth century thanks to this importation of africans in many more like south carolina areas these were regions that are about ninety five percent black and therefore the chances of blacks assimilating into your all american culture i were pretty nonexistent dilly white face are heavily armed white overseers or the occasional planter ishmael was
born rather than later although it's been a meth that the cotton gin seventy ninety three revitalize slavery would which was not by any means on the ropes the fact is that can explode across the new lands of what was then known as the old self mississippi alabama by the eve of the american civil war i was a mississippian and not south carolina they're the heaviest percentage a black americans and of course these were blacks who had been living along coastal regions in south carolina and virginia in maryland who were upgraded and drag west as you can literally exploded across the american frontier of time and i don't do much with cutting my leg lexicon valley
not that i want to give a few examples of assassins which was in many ways cut was that the perfect crop for slave labor to produce palm unlike cereal crops didn't grow very high in jordan workers who could always be observed by the overseer it was perfect for the gang style of labor organization i'd do is the perfect kind of crap to observe what the workers were doing that at the time when i was a kid now i'm a gravedigger gotten the new mexico because we're kids to protect against the funding to do that that it's not our site unlike johnson who said he believed in colonization that but never practiced what he preached to one thousand american colonization society making sixteen actually envisioned a
country without slave labor or even free black labor the typical conversationalist was a border state virginia kentucky maryland on a slave holder but a petty slave holder a person who can be characterized as a capitalist in and simply did not see slavery as the future of the country somebody who bought the idea that the united states was fundamentally a place for white americans blacks belonged elsewhere in and therefore the plan was to force these people if necessary to move abroad we're okay keep going the american callousness since it was founded in washington dc in december making sixteen
by an unusual bunch of white slave holders and these were men who owned other people but very small numbers of slaves i they weren't planters there a man who had diversified their business interests they're capitalists and simply didn't see slavery or even free black labor is fitting into the future of the country which they identified as a profoundly white country was that you oh it's certainly true that the vast majority black americans especially in the northern states believed that the country of their birth was their country and had no desire to immigrate to liberia i there were a good number southern blacks free blacks moderately prosperous blacks of barbers art is answered tavern keepers are constantly had enough and decided to go in they were weary of endless white demands for
deference they're targeting of the sidewalk when a white man walked toward them they decided as the antebellum period dragged on that america never would give them an even break and therefore they decided to leave creighton or no the leaders of the american colonization society were hardly an important people they were betrothed washington the nephew george washington was also the supreme court i henry clay the speaker of the house francis scott key a very important georgetown attorney charles at mercer a longtime member of the house representatives and these were men who had great power and leave it was within the realm of possibility to force a large numbers of blacks to leave united states and migrate to africa this is the same generation bear in mind that forced thousands of georgia charities to move to oklahoma and so the idea of moving people around to make this a
more perfect white man's country i was not nearly as irrational as it often seems to us wasn't there right and this is well ok when the lottery makes a server distant star although i guess the question easily do something to us denmark's obesity is a wonderfully complex person or her relic but sometimes not so he was a man who seemed to inspire both on enormous fear in his followers a lot of those were put on trial for complicity in his conspiracy and get a denzel because they were they were very afraid of saying no to the c it was a big
man he was a domineering and he was a fairly wealthy free black that i'm his deputy thousand dollars in capital it was the manager who was not accustomed to hearing the word no a man who at least three wives a large number of children and typically got what he wanted despite being a free man and of course won fifteen hundred dollars and then in november of nineteen seventy cents billion or right ok and it wasn't something i am despite being a wealthy free man but vesely kept his ties to the slave community i always wise at least initially were slaves and he had a number of children
all of whom were born a slave none of his children were free and because in charleston often to be a free black was to be a new law or somebody who had ties to the white community that was very powerful brown fellowship association another one had to have some white ancestry to be a part of and consequently despite is twenty two years as a wealthy free blacks in charleston the easy always associated with the slave community and and not the free community for seventeen years mattel mark as he was then known houston do well by that name mccurdy in english for seventeen years telemarketing as he was then known work for captain joseph easy as a man who work on the docks he was these he's assistant and it was his job to go down to the docks and collect whatever goods are being imported good in a small number of slaves that kept india's imported
but now he played the lottery and in november of seventy nine to ninety one fifteen hundred dollars which was an enormous amount of money in the late eighteenth century he was six hundred dollars that money to buy his own freedom from mary kleiner vc who was that the east indian common law wife captain joseph easy but his wife becky anderson sandy belong to somebody else and evidently they would not sell any price this is conspiracy the church were talking about in their own despite being baptized a predominately white church be easy meat really gravitated toward african methodist episcopal church when it was founded in charleston eighteen seventeen arm it's not i think that that he used the church as a way of gaining followers to some stories of alleged it was rather when he realized how for what authorities would go to
control the african church as it was called in and he routinely shut it down arrested ministers solid a delegation from philadelphia came out they were arrested in and brutalized by where droste audience and i think that made these you realize that that the momentum coming to get out and some visa told one of his friends that debt that he'd given up for the second time ever can george was shut down he thought seriously by going to see early on but then he announced that he had not a will to go when he said he would stay in the city could do for his fellow creatures that was his phrase and i think that was a deciding moment for these that was when he decided to remain in orchestrate some kind of mass escape when the black draught the methodists decided to separate themselves from
white authority and start their own church when black charleston methodist decided to separate themselves from what authorities start their own church they automatically look toward a rigid ounce philadelphia church is being the proper model morris brown droste and went to meet with the philadelphia branch and was granted the right id to preach in charleston it effects it's excluded six elders from the philadelphia branch came to charleston to help them organize what they call the african church by eighteen twenty there were three thousand members of the trust them and the church making it the second largest i'm certain public radio ok and i'm looking at the mayor said this does keep the right on
that when the charleston black methodist decided to separate themselves from white control they automatically look toward richard allen church in philadelphia is being the proper model to follow and more spread of charleston went to philadelphia to meet with the philadelphia elders and attacks six allison philadelphia came to charleston to help draw stone is organizer can be known as the african church which was built and in the hands of regents a product but only black region in charleston and by eating why there are three thousand black prisoners in the african church making it the second largest black church in united states he says it again thank you when a black trial stallings decided to separate
themselves from white religious authority and they naturally looked order to balance church in philadelphia is being proper model ten and apply to be part of a larger am the umbrella in fact six allison philadelphia came down in charleston and eighteen at delta organize who came to be known as the african church by eighteen twenty three thousand watt congregants an african church making it the second largest black church in that state second only to that the battle congregation in philadelphia and these internally was one of the founding members of the african church it was also was known as a class leader morris brown gave it the sunday sermons but every night there were meetings at the church has a very large congregation and said the churches were responsible for it teaching reading and and most of all they're teaching about the bible which meant it easier to control over a small number of people which allowed him to teach certain things in the bible that he wanted to emphasize
the us as a leading man many the depositions taken in ibiza conspiracy indicate that that yet a great deal to say about religion what's interesting is that that literally every quotation he cites is from the old testament and interviews he turned his back on the new testament in charleston christianity was so identified with pro slavery thought a white ministers love to talk about how st paul approved of slavery how jesus of failed condemned slavery and i think it would've easy fan in the old testament that was not a god of love who would have him turn his cheek would be used but rather a god of wrath the god of justice which he found that much more appealing but i can't
it's been a busy year every second where does just what is his old i think it would be easy found in the hebrew bible when the old testament was a god he can identify with not a god who called upon him to love his brother not a god who believed in and the universal brotherhood of all men but a god who argued there were chosen people and that god would protect those people are if they followed him and obey his commandments it one of these followers said this was part of denmark's gospel of liberty and hate waking way one of these he's
been friends once said that that that denmark so i hate white people and write again one of these has followers one said the denmark so hated white people that didn't even care to talk to a white man and even in business i think that his own experiences being born a slave in st thomas living briefly before the revolution and send a man as a slave being forced by cabin visa to go down to the docks and even bring the shore slaves were being imported into south carolina in and get them to the slave pens in charleston remind him that this was not a world a brotherhood this was a world in which there were different kinds of people and clearly he identified with the israelites i he saw himself as the chosen people and routinely referred to white carolinians as the new egyptians where is the way it has been
a white ministers in south carolina talked a great deal about the fact that the new testament sanction slavery they talked about the fact that st paul once counsel the runaway slave to return to his master they talked about the fact the and as many teachings as far as anybody knew jesus had failed to criticize slavery to course existed in his world in and does poorly in the white churches of what one heard was it consciously pro slavery kind of christianity i think that's why these he turned against it you simply identified the new testament with his master's and in the old testament with a very different kind of lesson and that case to haiti christian leadership over this time anyone for this went on although south carolinians white south carolinians never demonstrated the kind of guilt
that virginians like jefferson demonstrated over slavery certainly it was over times the cut economy began to boom as white carolinians felt themselves to be under attack by northerners which they found the missouri compromise that they're pro slavery rhetoric i began to heat up and it began to more consciously defend their system and not themselves but to outsiders and their own cap of black population will accept that i know i mean it you know the age of revolution people and genders and can talk about slavery as being necessary evil yet the average you're stuck with that you never hear that even under the revolution occurred in south carolina so yeah i think it is pre spill and the answer is august because of their black majority they're scared but it's also when you're chronically and deliberately
so i'm not an address a deflated but on that i think there are there is a real difference between you know forty to maybe also it's different from gabriel's visit i don't want these his plan was very different from that of gabriel's was more than just twenty two years that separate these two men in game rules debuted in giggles place in richmond virginia was plausible think that the south might change in and might become more egalitarian and turning in slavery by these he's day with the current economy booming it was quite clear to him that the south would not change and therefore the possibility of some kind of revolution that could force white to accept blacks as equals what was simply impossible and so where gabriel said over and over
the plant to live in virginia and live amidst the white after a successful revolt these israeli plan to get out of his plan was to take the city get his family get his friends in and get to haiti as an independent black republic and elaborate on that in an eighteen twenty nation president jump your boy they had issued a gentle call for black americans to migrate to haiti haiti was short on capital it was short on skill labor course denmark busy as a boy i had been unsettled man and as captains assistant knew how to get there and therefore he believed correctly that he would welcome the he in his army with open arms there's a case of most conspiracies the wrong kind of
person was informed about the plan these young has counseled that man who wore a cast off cuts from a masters or were to close the siren most of the time as was the case in too many plans that the wrong kind of slave caught wind of the plot these yields countless followers not to bring anybody plants we said that were cast off colds from the masters or took gifts for the masters season they were not to be trusted and has exactly that kind of house slave are who heard the news the plot and promptly inform his master and so the word on to the mayor that
views you believe it that the people who were in a position that the season on these he believed that morris brown or that people like him who had to accommodate themselves to what authorities are not to be trusted you made very clear that the mortar round should not be brought into conspiracy brown curly knew something was happening then and basements church but these he explicitly warned that morris brown was not to be told he's been given morris brown had many concerns that was not these concerns wes brown was to keep his church open had been closed down several times by what authorities he was concerned with the spiritual life other black parishioners he was concerned with keeping the church open it is a central meeting place for the black community and it was one of these he found moore's bronze
theology to be suspect morris brown well sadly not preaching a pro slavery brand of christianity i nonetheless thought about universal brotherhood and other concepts of these he clearly did not believe in and therefore regarded a bronze preaching is being fundamentally accommodation host so what happened right right after the word broke about the plot these remained at large for about a week apparently by hiding in the house and his first wife back in and not staying at his house on wall street eventually that house was searched and he was captured he argued in court for his innocence by the evidence against him was overwhelming as he was being sentenced a tear rolled down his cheek until the court that he might die there's a business would live
on mom posted of that would you know the church and the executions so i'm doing stuff about what he says the court but it was at the un after the word broke about the plot these an instrumental large for about a week apparently he was hiding in the house of his first wife beckwith by the way was simply run the corner from the mayor's house i stayed away from the house he was reading on wall street because of the the first place the white authorities would walk but fine he too was taken put on trial it argued eloquently for his innocence but the only evidence against him was overwhelming when he was found guilty and sends to die on july second tier randomness face it all the court that he might die but that light liberty would live on
says nina now has is that his death doesn't involve shooting says that sen webster the story is an art that sits on a palm is kevin white carolinians would would do that that virginians get down on friday july twenty six and twenty two of these his followers were hanged off an old wall known as the lines during some at that they couldn't do on the small gals it's off the ropes over the wall in and built a small platform plan for a missile oh the ground that when the platform was kicked out the slaves felt the next one broken and as the assertion of action this and one friday that latent alive eating twenty two states executed in one moment twenty two of these followers to use an irregular gallows they basically tusk ropes over an old wall
known as the lines that was built in the northern part of charleston to build a very crude platform for the slave to stand on the platform a solo to the ground that win the slaves valid then break their neck so there are slowly strangling and so the cap of the guard walk down the line slowly sunita them in the head and reloading as he went on to the next life because the trial testimony indicated morris brown had not been a conspirator brown was allowed to live but was forced to leave the stadium's of course to move to philadelphia but because the african church was creepy regarded as a meeting place it really is the central place that that vacant because morris brown was clearly not really conspirators he was allowed to live but was forced to leave the state and moved to philadelphia
but because the african church was creepy regarded as the central meeting place for the easy soldiers the church was literally brick by brick torn down i'm eighteen twenty two and i would be no black congregation in charleston until college and sixty five after the civil war ii at the moment the amy church was rebuilt and the architect was robert be easy the youngest son of denmark easy why were world is that way was under the have more sprouts of two or to start with them again and it wasn't just that the african church had been the meeting place the black conspirators it was that i think it symbolized of white authority of black autonomy was a place
where where blacks were freed told her own destiny and therefore it was taken down brick by brick of the conspiracy and in the church was was forced so she moved to philadelphia when rebuilt until fall at sixty five when it was restored and the architect to rebuild the church was robert easy the youngest son of denmark be easy nice things and there's a very clear connection between black religious autonomy that is between blacks supporting themselves from white religious control and black resistance in these days the connection is clear having secede and wants to white authority it was easy to see that the second time that is to plan to leave america behind and skip to haiti no no it leaving that that the white
methodist church and becoming once again by gesture for traveling the more clear is very clear connection between black religious independence movements that has a desire to be free of white religious authority an end and black resistance having seceded ones from white control when the african church led a white methodist organization behind these in some ways want to secede a second time and leave when american wind and escape at the african church gave black frost audience better chance to control their own destiny to guide your fears that allowed for a black leadership group to emerge and all those things at what authorities some simply cannot allow to exist in white shirts and black actors if they're hacking ok
oh charleston churches were not segregated the way that white northern churches were segregated blacks do not necessarily sit in the back pews it was very clear that whites called the shots it was not merely white theology that is being taught which is to say pro slavery theology but it was also the assumption that that blacks would do what wives told him to do an end and the final blow was when simply as sort of an act of power other words decided to build a hearse house over at a black graveyard and that was when the black congregation decided to leave the white matter the street behind it's where you can be part of christmas it is a carriage house is that it sits where you know they have data on things away destroying like i'm issues boston unlike motown the cemetery and put and you're just on top of that so that again if you like it
he says the african affairs and how investigation magical things then you know and our idea the thousands of africans who came in charleston before hitting await found a natural home in the amy church and i think especially again the classes that these utah because there was a very nice fit between the african world i love place god's love spiritual places and the old testament stories of magic which of course means power this for an ss
art on every year although most southern blacks like the story of the exodus and a flight from slavery these he found in the book of exodus there are things that your guard is very empowering look back to those talks a great deal about rights for slaves and demands that the people of the book that is the hebrews could only be held as slaves by other hebrews four six years and in some here would go out free the easy it there for that by being people of the book the charleston blacks were being held to legitimately and to express that against the will of god after six years does the paddling on the most storied college or email seems to be calm them to say yeah there aren't there were other
livin on sold again and similar thing again obama like all slaves these he was drawn to the story of moses and the flight for freedom he wants it feel like a stranger in a strange land living in charleston a slave he was drawn much more profoundly to mosaic law in the book of exodus regarding slaves according the book of exodus of the chosen people can be kept as human chattel for only six years and seventy or must be free nbc the top there for the african church that it was against the will of god to keep slaves for more than seventy years ago if they were people of the book i know ok a big statement to that
that but also have also been there and that image of it let me read you the easy read the newspapers and fall dessert a bit of eighteen twenty very carefully he told some of his followers that congress had emancipated slaves and this news was being kept from them by the white pastors are serving as a bright literate man these each had no this not to be true it up and rufus king of new york is one of his heroes because here finally was a white man in power talk about how slavery was fundamentally and morally wrong but was king doesn't appear anywhere in the script on one reference to him and i said he doesn't think that that the northern white folk it would come down to his aid tom whitten with goebbels of the cactus and with their constituents
by eighteen twenty jefferson as he got older became more and more a pro slavery advocates whereas as a young man he had advocated keeping slavery of the western territories and eighteen twenty he now perversely argued that the best way to eradicate the rules to allow it to spread across the country he argued that the missouri debates were a fire bell in the night and i had that it was a attack upon southern rights by northern whites the idea certainly the thing because somehow died by spreading the american midwest what was frankly in a rational idea and many of his older friend such as lafayette regarded it as evidence that this one great mind what was was now slipping into really stupid theory munitions plain old justin by allowing it to like live in california and the
lead yet jarvis is that when johnson died on the fiftieth anniversary of his most celebrated ottoman for white america it was a moment that the part of the meaning of the revolution to make a new commitment to revolutionary ideals for the roughly two hundred slaves lived on this hilltop macho it was a moment of enormous tragedy that doesn't always lived well beyond is maine's lead died in great debt which that it was quite clear that his heirs were going to liquidate his death by selling of slaves johnson freed only five slaves in his will all of them were the ancestors of john wales his own father in law that was a grand sale and marcelo families were broken up our slaves were dispersed all across the south because jefferson could not forcing self to live within his means
the big we need to do guy and he can do in terms of religions or decide what what slavery offered the white south was the facade of a classless society as long as the working class was a doubt a fight with black americans were africans what could tell them self and that that and this will become a man anybody could rise to the top no matter how poor white man was disbarred be nothing less than middle class because there was always somebody below him are characterized as working class by the color of their skin with it it was a rally where lawyers
for many reasons because of the missouri debates which forced the self too to explain articulate reasons why slavery was a good thing in part because of the growth of the cotton economy the white south especially lower self south carolina georgia began to articulate a fairly new idea which was that slavery was not a bad thing in any way but it was a positive good for all concerned that allowed for a white american civilization to advance and by taking whites out of menial labor and allowed for africans to be civilized by bringing into contact with allegedly spirit white culture an end and the christian faith and that was a new idea men of jefferson's generation never tried to pretend that slavery was a good thing for white or black and certainly jefferson i never had any interest in arguments that there was something symbolizing about slavery came to africans so they have a problem
buddy team thirties by that of the heyday of andrew jackson with which we tend to think it was so the age of the common man and there was a rougher deleterious streak in american society but that got tear in streak was based upon race i'd the idea was that this was an open world provided you were a white male you could you could like andrew jackson the poor boy and rise to the top of society but if you look very closely most of all southerners like jackson who rose to the top did it on the backs of african men and women who work their lands and made them rich are you of that tess he's riding
slavery as the system always required not merely white military power but also collaborators and every slave understood that their ways but ultimately what they plantation regime always require not merely white military power but also collaborators and everyone understood that the most obvious way to control the labor force was to buy off people like gabriel and to win over people with certain kinds of rewards and then as the slaves return gabriel and ponder their options are fully aware that what assad is parent reward them with your information by giving them not nick maley their their liberty but also probably a bag of money the
state and even in virginia a state that had of white majority it was necessary to divide the black community against itself by offering a system of rewards or penalties for those who went along the system or those who turned in their fellows that enormously like gabriel would be the kind of slave that a plant would wish to call walk ins and somehow by off that was impossible you have to find people who would turn against a charismatic black leaders who understand fully that there was freedom and a new set of clothing waiting for them if they turned on their fellows it is pennsylvania was the first state to move against slavery passing a law for gradual emancipation seventeen at
ten and there was next the delaware next maryland next virginia and consequently foreign blacks living in the in the upper south in those states the philadelphia became a server promised land a mecca a city that symbolized freedom the city big enough they could get there they could hide in the back alleys they could probably find some kind of occupation before black fly gabriel philadelphia was the place to get to think of find some way to get out of virginia today that same diploma someone can come up it wind that greg the new york times
pennsylvania was the first state to move against slavery passing a law and seventy eight which called for the gradual emancipation of slaves at that time it was literally surrounded by slave states delaware new york maryland virginia all still practiced human bondage and that man that the city of philadelphia than the largest city in british america became a safe haven for black americans the city of back alleys a city with a thriving black community if slaves like gabriel or some of his followers who had philadelphia address in their pockets could make it to that city they were probably safe they can be returned to slavery i'm not i'm not even as things are getting worse for blacks in philadelphia and still represents the focus on me
even at twenty two in the year denmark be easy and even as things were getting worse for blacks in philadelphia at the city's still meant something to black americans it was the home of the amy church and it was still a place of freedom and prosperity and an all black americans look to the north and because i thought well i'm saying
Africans in America
Episode Number
Brotherly Love
Raw Footage
Interview with Douglas Egerton, Professor of History, Le Moyne College
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Douglas Egerton is interviewed about the contradictions of equlity and freedom, Thomas Jefferson as a slave owner and believing Africans were inferior, the revolution in Haiti, Toussaint L'Ouverture, Gabriel's Rebellion, Gabriel's Conspiracy, the ban on importation of African slaves, the expansion of cotton plantations, the black support for the American Colonization Society, Denmark Vesey, Charleston African Church, Morris Brown, the hanging of Vesey's followers, Thomas Jefferson's death, the southern view of slavery as a "positive good."
Race and Ethnicity
American history, African Americans, civil rights, slavery, abolition, Civil War
(c) 1998-2017 WGBH Educational Foundation
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Identifier: Egerton_Douglas_03_merged_SALES_ASP_h264.mp4 (unknown)
Duration: 1:25:12
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Chicago: “Africans in America; 103; Brotherly Love; Interview with Douglas Egerton, Professor of History, Le Moyne College,” 1998-00-00, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 4, 2024,
MLA: “Africans in America; 103; Brotherly Love; Interview with Douglas Egerton, Professor of History, Le Moyne College.” 1998-00-00. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 4, 2024. <>.
APA: Africans in America; 103; Brotherly Love; Interview with Douglas Egerton, Professor of History, Le Moyne College. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from