Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King Day 2015

Quotes for you to contemplate today, Martin Luther King day, 2015.  Slavery and civil rights go hand in hand; both need to be continually addressed and corrected by the masses.  We are all EQUAL, all deserve to be FREE and all have the right to be treated with RESPECT. 

"I am working towards a Star Trek world -
where we are all equal and our uniqueness
is celebrated and racism and slavery are
nowhere to be found."
Alice Keesey Mecoy
Great great great granddaughter of 
John Brown, Abolitionist

"Our lives begin to end the day we become 
silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King, Jr 

"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, 
I have a strong impulse to see it tried 
on him personally."
Abraham Lincoln 

“Slavery stands as an affront to human dignity.”
― Allan Dare Pearce, Paris in April

"Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the 
path from slavery to freedom.
There are many kinds of slavery and many
kinds of freedom, but reading is still the Path."
Carl Sagan  

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor;
it must be demanded by the oppressed."
---Martin Luther King Jr.  

 "I am naturally anti-slavery. 
If slavery is not wrong,
nothing is wrong."
--Abraham Lincoln

“And oft the blessed time foretells
When all men shall be free;
And musical, as silver bells,
Their falling chains shall be.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Poems on Slavery.

"Slavery, throughout its entire existence in the United States, 
is none other than the most barbarous, unprovoked and 
unjustifiable war of one portion of its citizens against 
another portion, the only conditions of which are perpetual 
imprisonment and hopeless servitude, or absolute extermination, 
in utter disregard and violation of those eternal and self-evident 
truths set forth in our Declaration of Independence."
--John Brown 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Obituary - Bertha Adams Cook

In a box of treasures from a cousin I found a copy of this obituary.

Bertha Alice Adams Cook was the second child of Annie and Samuel Adams, and John Brown's granddaughter. She passed away quietly at home in December, 1959, one hundred years after the hanging of our famous ancestor.
Times Standard
Eureka CA
18 Dec 1959
page 27


   Mrs. Bertha Cook, [B184XV2]
84-year-old resident of Pepperwood, 
died Tuesday afternoon following 
an extended illness. She had resided 
in Pepperwood for the past 50 years. 

   She was born May 18, 1873 
in Rohnerville, daughter of the 
pioneer family of Samuel Adams, 
blacksmith in Rohnerville. She had 
lived her entire life in the area.

  She is survived by daughters 
Mrs. Beatrice Keesey [B184XV21], Arcata; 
Mrs. Marjorie Landergen, [B184XV22] Rohnerville; 
Mrs. Georgie Cook, [B184XV23] Pepperwood; 
Mrs. Sibyl Robinson, [B184XV24] Shively; 
Mrs. Alice Hunt, [B184XV29] Las Vegas, Nev: 
sons, Clifford Cook, [B184XV25] Shively; 
Earl Cook,  [B184XV28] Miranda: 
brothers, Frank Adams, [B184XV6] Petrolia; 
Gus Adams, [B184XV9] Port Kenyon; 
J. A. Adams, [B184XV3] Sacramento: 
sister Mrs. Irene Brown, [B194XV7] Burbank: 
12 grandchildren and a 
number of great-grandchildren.

  Funeral services will be held 
Friday at 2p.m. in Emmerson's 
Mortuary in Fortuna. Internment 
will follow in the family plot in 
Ocean View Cemetery.

  Pallbearers will be Vaughn De Fries, 
Merle Carneggie, Earl Johnston, 
Herschel Wheeler, Perry Johnson 
and Sidney Schwab

Monday, January 12, 2015

Presidential Proclamation - January 2015

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Presidential Proclamation -- National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, January 2015

- - - - - - -
For more than two centuries, the United States has worked to advance the cause of freedom. Stained from a history of slavery and shaped by ancestors brought to this country in chains, today, America shines as a beacon of hope to people everywhere who cherish liberty and opportunity. Still, our society remains imperfect, and our Nation has more work to do to uphold these values. At home and around the globe, we must continue to fight for human dignity and the inalienable rights of every person.
   Today, millions of men, women, and children are victims of human trafficking. This modern-day slavery occurs in countries throughout the world and in communities across our Nation. These victims face a cruelty that has no place in a civilized world: children are made to be soldiers, teenage girls are beaten and forced into prostitution, and migrants are exploited and compelled to work for little or no pay. It is a crime that can take many forms, and one that tears at our social fabric, debases our common humanity, and violates what we stand for as a country and a people.
Founded on the principles of justice and fairness, the United States continues to be a leader in the global movement to end modern-day slavery. We are working to combat human trafficking, prosecute the perpetrators, and help victims recover and rebuild their lives. We have launched national initiatives to help healthcare workers, airline flight crews, and other professionals better identify and provide assistance to victims of trafficking. We are strengthening protections and supporting the development of new tools to prevent and respond to this crime, and increasing access to services that help survivors become self-sufficient. We are also working with our international partners and faith-based organizations to bolster counter-trafficking efforts in countries across the globe.
   As we fight to eliminate trafficking, we draw strength from the courage and resolve of generations past -- and in the triumphs of the great abolitionists that came before us, we see the promise of our Nation: that even in the face of impossible odds, those who love their country can change it. Every citizen can take action by speaking up and insisting that the clothes they wear, the food they eat, and the products they buy are made free of forced labor. Business and non-profit leaders can ensure their supply chains do not exploit individuals in bondage. And the United States Government will continue to address the underlying forces that push so many into the conditions of modern-day slavery in the first place.
   During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we stand with the survivors, advocates, and organizations dedicated to building a world where our people and our children are not for sale. Together, let us recommit to a society where our sense of justice tells us that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, where every person can forge a life equal to their talents and worthy of their dreams.
   NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2015 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1. I call upon businesses, national and community organizations, families, and all Americans to recognize the vital role we can play in ending all forms of slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.
   IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thankful Thursday - House Fire of 1896 - Collection of Monies for Annie

In the Summer of 1896, the home of Annie and Sam Adams in Petrolia, CA, burnt to the ground.  Annie's family was forced to live in the woods under a tree until the Fall cold and rain drove them into an abandoned blacksmith shop. Friends of the family sent out letters to newspapers, women's groups and colored churches to raise money for the family. 

I am still trying to get my head around the fact that a 53 year old mother of 10 and her children lived for a year in the forest and a makeshift shack. It boggles the modern mind.

Below is a newspaper account of the plea for assistance, as well as the transcription of one of the letters Annie received with donations, and a section of a letter Annie wrote to Dr. Ross  telling of this misfortune, and her attempt to make something happy out of the tragedy.

I am thankful for all of the people who aided my ancestors.
The Morning Times Washington, District of Columbia
Saturday, January 16, 1897 Page 5



The Sole Survivor of the Raid 

Lives in Poverty.




She Has Had Very Bad Luck, Her

Farm in California Being Heavily 

Encumbered-- Recently Her House 

Burned Down -- An Appeal to the 

Colored People for Aid.

   There has been considerable effort made of late in Washington through interest of Dr. Thomas Featherstonbaugh, medical referee of the Pension Bureau, to raise funds to send to the relief of Mrs. Annie Brown Adams, a daughter of John Brown, the famous raider of Harper's Ferry. She is the sole survivor of the raid and is living in dire poverty in Humboldt county, Cal. Mrs. Adams is now about sixty years old. She was sixteen years old at the time of her father's heroic immolation on the alter of a principle.
   The appearance of a newspaper article asking for help for her some weeks ago caused Col. Hinton, who was associated with her father in Kansas before the raid, to come out with a statement that she was not sole survivor of John Brown's family, and that she was doubtless not in need and the public was being imposed upon, Dr. Featherstonbaugh was seen yesterday by a Times report, and he said that Col. Hinton had acknowledged that he did not know anything about the circumstances of Annie Brown Adams, except that she had living relatives. This is true, but it is also true that she is the only survivor of the raid, as was before published.
They are Very Poor.
   All the Browns, Dr. Featherstonbaugh says, are very poor. They have never asked for charity and have avoided public notice with painful sensitiveness all these years since '59.  They have had a deep rooted feeling that all Americans were opposed to them, and no amount of argument has ever been able to root that sentiment from their breasts. Annie Brown Adams made an unfortunate marriage. Her husband was for many years a victim of drink and never made her a fitting support. She got him to go to the northern part of California, where he would be away from bad association, and there she has struggled to pay for a farm.
   She has had very bad luck, and while she nominally owns the place, it really is heavily encumbered with the mortgage.  Last July her house burned down, and the crops were a complete failure.  They have been living in a shed an abject poverty for several months.  It will be readily seen that her relatives are unable to help her, since the doctor says that her brother, Jason Brown, a crippled old man seventy-four years of age, is working as a common laborer on the section of a railroad.  She has a sister, Mrs. Thompson, living in Pasadena, and old women, who is supported by a daughter, a school teacher.
   This sister and Major Horatio Rust of California both wrote to Dr. Featherstonbaugh to interest him in Mrs. Adams. The doctor has for many years been deeply interested in all that related to the John Brown raid.  He has studied up the historical event has taken pictures of the relics of the deed on the scene. He has pictures of the old Kennedy farmhouse, where John Brown gathered his forces. It still stands in the same spot, five miles from Harper's Ferry.
   In speaking of Annie Brown Adams' part in that event, he said that she was at that time a girl of sixteen years old.  She went with her father, and was the only woman, except Martha Brown, wife of Oliver Brown, who was killed in the struggle, that was active in the raid. She kept house at the old farmhouse for her father through all those weeks from July to the last of September, while her father was silently gathering his forces.  He was off every night to bring in a man or a small party of men, who were recruits. She spent her days on the front veranda as a lookout. It was a perilous time for them all, and she displayed rare courage and womanly fidelity to her father's cause. At the end of September the two women were sent away under escort, and reached Troy, N.Y.  They were not actually on the scene at the time of the seizure of the arsenal.
  Dr. Featherstonbaugh says that in his opinion the well-to-do colored people ought to be able to raise $10,000 for the permanent relief of that woman and her children.  He says that he had a column account in print for days in the Colored American, and the only result of that plea was $1.25.  Mr. Garret, of the Pension Bureau, has interested himself extensively, and had only been able to raise $16.  Prof. Cook, of Howard University, has raised $16, and Dr. Childs has been talking after service in several of the churches and may be able to bring in a larger collection.
The Colored People's Duty.
   Prof. Cook was seen yesterday and he said that he thought the colored people were under a moral obligation to the survivors of John Brown, and owed them not a moral, but an actual debt.  He declared that if John Brown and invested his money, the money he put into the cause of humanity, in New York real estate all his children would have been millionaires instead of being poverty stricken today.
   "John Brown." said he, "didn't stop to think when he made the stoke for the freedom of the slave.  If he had stopped to think he would have doubtless acted as Hamlet did. He had a holy inspiration that took possession of him, and he became a martyr for his love of rights. I place John Brown with Paul: he was as much an apostle of God. 'John Brown is always ready,' he said, when they asked him to give the signal for his death. The colored people ought to be ready to help John Brown's people as he was to help them."
   Prof. Cook suggested that collections should be taken in the colored churches. Lewis H. and Charles R. Douglass are very much interested and ready to help in any way they can. L.C. Battle, of the Capital Savings Bank, also expressed deep interest in the matter and said he would do all that he could to further the movement. A John Brown fair is one of the thinks talked of, and some decided and concerted movement is hoped for on the part of all who were interviewed.
The Morning Times Washington, District of Columbia
Saturday, January 16, 1897 Page 5
St Paul Jan 22nd/97
Mrs. Anna Brown Adams

Dear Madam
I received your letter wherein you acknowledged the receipt of the fifteen Dollars sent by me from St. Paul.  I have had your letter published in almost every colored paper in the East, and it is awakening my people to a sense of gratitude that they have long owed to your father an his family. A week or so ago the colored people of Chicago, Illinois, sent to you Eleven Dollars and sixty cents ($11.60) which I hope came safely to hand, and I now send you Ten Dollars ($10.00) sent to me by the Womens Era Club of Boston. I wish you would acknowledge the receipt of it direct to Mrs. Ellen N. Taylor, No 19 Brewery St Cambridgeport Mass. The colored people of Washington are asking all the Churches to raise a collection for you we are making an effort to save your home and it help you in this hour of need. I will send you some papers containing the notice. Will you please send me from time to time a list of the contributions so I can have it published I think it will materially help us in our efforts, I am glad that the fifteen dollars did you some good. Let me hear from you as early as possible. My very best love to you and your dear family may god bless you all

Respectfully yours

Mrs. T H Lyles
Pres John Brown Memorial association

Except from Annie Brown Adams Letter of April 28 1897 to Dr. Alexander Ross
I have been planting vegetables and flowers and vines where our old house stood, to cover it out of sight.  That seems the best disposal to make of losses of all kinds ----- if we can dispose of them in some such a way, I think. 

We lived in the woods last summer until the early fall rains drove us into an old log blacksmith shop.  Then the boys split out lumber to build a sort of a house, but as the timber was on the opposite side of the river and it raised so high, on account of the heavy rains, they could not finish it – so we have lived in it as it is.  It is a well ventilated as a slatted chicken coop.

We have all been quite well with the exception of some severe colds, so far, so you see even we have a great deal to be thankful for.  The cold weather and storms will soon all be over now for this season, and perhaps before another winter we shall be fixed more comfortable.  I am sure that God will right all the wrongs in his own time and way.  And as he does not open the way for us to help, perhaps he thinks we have done the part He intends for us, and now wishes for someone else to do theirs.  Perhaps our work now is to patiently wait. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Interesting Texas Paper Quote 1859

State Gazette. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 11, No. 13, Ed. 1, Saturday, November 5, 1859

Let their epitaphs remain unwritten until the not distant day when no slave shall clank his chains in the shade of Monticello, or by the groves of Mount Vernon-- New York Times Oct 9th.
The above are the memorable words of the Tribune upon the infamous perpetrators of the late Harpers Ferry insurrection

Marshall, John, editor. State Gazette. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 11, No. 13, Ed. 1, Saturday, November 5, 1859, Newspaper, November 5, 1859; ( : accessed January 04, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, Austin, Texas.