Sunday, February 28, 2016

Emancipation 1829

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Daneil O'Connell
The Liberator

"Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the late 18th century and early 19th century that involved reducing and removing many of the restrictions on Roman Catholics introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the penal laws."

Relief from the proto-Apartheid penal laws that oppressed the Irish.

Frederick Douglass Family and Douglass Ireland Project Board to Join Dedication of Frederick Douglass Square at University of Maryland

The Frederick Douglass Ireland Project Founded in 2011 as the Frederick Douglass/Daniel O'Connell Project, the Frederick Douglass Ireland Project highlights the inspirational role that Ireland and the Irish people played in Frederick Douglass’s life. In 1845, as Ireland was descending into the despair of the great famine, Douglass arrived for a four-month lecture tour of the island. Douglass had escaped slavery in Maryland seven years earlier and had recently published his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself. He was shocked and appalled by the living conditions of the Irish peasantry and likened them to conditions endured by slaves on American plantations. Douglass was greeted in cities and towns including Dublin, Belfast, and Cork by swells of enthusiastic crowds. Although Douglass continued his speaking tour in Scotland and England, it was his experience in Ireland that he described as “transformative. " Douglass often recalled that his time in “Dear Old Ireland” - the first country outside of the U.S. to publish his autobiography- had given him “a new life.”

Saturday, February 20, 2016

We Cannot Own Slaves

Ellen Boyle Ewing and her husband William Tecumseh Sherman had eight children.  Ellen and her husband spent much of their life apart.  In part due to Sherman's military campaigns during America's Civil War.   But even before, they would separate.   When Sherman accepted the post of superintendent of the Louisiana Military Academy just prior to the Civil War,  his wife did not accompany him.  Ellen Ewing was a devout Catholic.  She stayed behind in the North in part because of the unhealthy Louisiana climate and in part because it would be impossible to find help to care for her eight children: "We cannot own slaves."


Pope Gregory XVI - 1839

In our time Pius VII, moved by the same religious and charitable spirit as his Predecessors, intervened zealously with those in possession of power to secure that the slave trade should at least cease amongst the Christians. The penalties imposed and the care given by Our Predecessors contributed in no small measure, with the help of God, to protect the Indians and the other people mentioned against the cruelty of the invaders or the cupidity of Christian merchants, without however carrying success to such a point that the Holy See could rejoice over the complete success of its efforts in this direction; for the slave trade, although it has diminished in more than one district, is still practiced by numerous Christians. This is why, desiring to remove such a shame from all the Christian nations, having fully reflected over the whole question and having taken the advice of many of Our Venerable Brothers the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, and walking in the footsteps of Our Predecessors,
We warn and adjure earnestly in the Lord faithful Christians of every condition that no one in the future dare to vex anyone, despoil him of his possessions, reduce to servitude, or lend aid and favour to those who give themselves up to these practices, or exercise that inhuman traffic by which the Blacks, as if they were not men but rather animals, having been brought into servitude, in no matter what way, are, without any distinction, in contempt of the rights of justice and humanity, bought, sold, and devoted sometimes to the hardest labour. Further, in the hope of gain, propositions of purchase being made to the first owners of the Blacks, dissensions and almost perpetual conflicts are aroused in these regions.

We reprove, then, by virtue of Our Apostolic Authority, all the practices above mentioned as absolutely unworthy of the Christian name. By the same Authority We prohibit and strictly forbid any Ecclesiastic or lay person from presuming to defend as permissible this traffic in Blacks under no matter what pretext or excuse, or from publishing or teaching in any manner whatsoever, in public or privately, opinions contrary to what We have set forth in this Apostolic Letter.