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Amariel Family Publishing

Family Oral History

1600 AD

 

During this era, a total of 6 million slaves were transferred. From the start of the African slave trade in 1601 to the end in 1870 slaves where brought from the west coasts of Africa to the Americas, but before than it was the Black Indians of the Americas that they sought to enslave. 

 

1619 Jamestown:  The Blacks, who were sold in Jamestown in 1619, had every reason to expect liberation after a few years.  These Blacks were indentured servants and as indentured servants their terms of servitude were fixed on the basis of their indebtedness to their masters that included the cost of the ocean voyage and other expenses incidental to coming to the New World.   Scholars have uncovered fascinating glimpses of the historic legacy.

 

In 1620 the Aro slave trading network of Arochukwu first established itself with the intent of enslaving Egbo tribes.  In regards to this task they settled in the most southeastern corner of Igboland, lands. 

 

The majority of the captives taken to the Americas were from the coastal Egbo tribes and were referred to as Calabaris.  Presently in Igboland they are known as the Efik, Ibibio, Oron and Ekoi, etc. The coastal Egbo who were generally known to the slave traders as Calabaris provided the majority of "Igbo descended" captives and were often referred to as KWA IBO.  The general tendency to associate the Calabaris with "Igbo" is a result of the understanding that the Egbo tribes were related to the "Greater Igbo Nation". 

 

Captives arriving in the Americas from Angola were also known as Ebo.

Ebo Chief and Chief woman along side the an ancient chief woman found in Lachish.

In the Muslim Era the Yoruba were push down and farther into Eboland by Muslims.  Conflicts arose between the Ashanti and Ebos with the newcomers (Yoruba) that trailed off into battles and wars that lasted for many generations until the arrival of the Europeans to the area.  The Europeans used the conflicts between the two in order to supply their newly started African slave trade system.  So Yoruba captured and sold Ebos (Igbo, Ibo, Egbo) into slavery and remaining tribes from the Ebos sold the Yoruba as well into slavery in order to rid themselves of the other from the territory. 

Later, when African slaves were brought to the Americas, they mixed with Black Indians from North America to South America. In the early days of slavery, peoples of the Americas and Africans were enslaved together. Sometimes, African slaves escaped to Black Indian villages on various parts of the American continent. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the percentage of Black Native Americans is projected to be much higher than in the United States. Since the earliest days of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Africans have merged with indigenous peoples in South and Central America.        

From this point in time there became two definitions of Black Indians in the Americas.

In pre-Colombian times, Black Indians are also thought to be a virtually extinct type of indigenous people of the Americas who appeared to possess African racial features. There is evidence to suggest that perhaps in the North, Central, South and Caribbean Americas these "negro" Indians were still existent at the time of European colonization.  Tribes like the Olmecs, Califans, Yamassee, Washitaw, Gwale and the Anasazi have all been described as "negro" by the white people who came into contact with them. Some Native American groups have words in theory to describe the peoples who inhabited the Americas before them. For example, the word "Anasazi" is a Navajo word meaning "the ancient ones".  Yet once the arrival of the slaves brought over from Africa by the Europeans the term 'Black Indians' is generally used to describe people who have significant traces of both African and Native American ancestry and/or African Americans who have lived for a long time with Native Americans.

Alex Haley's successful tracking of Kunte Kinte gave the hunt for African ancestors a needed shove forward. But driven by their stubborn will and searching eye, as researchers fanned out in pursuit of African connections, another vision appeared. First as a recurring distraction, then a source of wonder, geological detectives stumbled on Native American ancestors. Alex Haley was hardly alone when he also discovered Native American roots to his family tree.   According to the Newberry Library in Chicago, many African-Americans have traditions of Cherokee ancestry, sometimes leading them to look for "Cherokee records":  (Guion Miller rolls.  Call#: Microfilm 1181) or (Old Settler rolls.  Call#: Ayer foE99.C5H35)

Though, often unmentioned except in family circles, this biological legacy has been shared by such figures as Crispus Attucks, Frederick Douglass, John Mercer Langston, Bass Reeves, James Beckwourth, Josephine Baker, Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, Lena Horne, Alice Walker, Jesse Jackson, Michael Jackson, Christopher Judge, Della Reese, Willie Stargell, James Earl Jones, Salli Richardson, Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Turner, Eazy-E, Jimi Hendrix, Chris Tucker, The Game, Aaliyah, L.L. Cool J, Tiger Woods and Oprah Winfrey (a part of our family on my grandmother's father's side.  Her maiden name was Eula Lee, the daughter of Archie Lee, son of Herbert Lee, son of Jim Lee, son of Harry Lee, SLAVE OF GEORGE H LEE IN 1865, and son of John Lee of Sunflower Mississippi). Today virtually every African American family tree boasts an Indian branch.

This uniquely "only in America" relationship began with the earliest foreign landings in the New World. From Nova Scotia to Cape Horn, and along the jewel-like islands of the Caribbean, Europeans imposed a slave system first on Native Americans. Then, as millions of Indian fell victim to overwork, disease and brutality, kidnapped Africans began to take their places.

There in the misty dawn of the Americas two peoples of color began to meet in slave huts, on tobacco and cotton plantations, and as workers in dank mines. For two centuries Indians and Africans remained enslaved together, and Native Americans were not exempted from the system until after the Revolution. Scholar C. Vann Woodward has concluded "If the black-red inter-breeding was anywhere as extensive as suggested by the testimony of ex-slaves, then the monoracial concept of slavery in America requires revision."

In hard-to-reach backwaters of the Americas, two people of color people began to build their own "maroon" colonies. Some were outlaw bands, raiders who preyed on whites, slaves and Indians alike, and lived a short, brutish life. But other maroons depended on family farming and herding and built peaceful relations and trade with Indian villages, slaves, and former masters. European officials judged maroons, in the words of a French historian, "the gangrene of colonial society." Their success as independent economic societies refuted white claims of African inferiority. Each day Maroons proved once slaves wrenched free they could govern themselves and prosper. Further, maroon encampments served as beacons for discontented slaves in a radius of a hundred miles, and stood as a clear and present danger to the European conquest. Some whites saw maroons as a knife pressed against the thin line of their rule, and they had a point.

In 1638 the first blacks imported to Connecticut from the West Indies to be exchanged for Black natives of the area.

1640 Virginia: The English Colonies radically changed the status of Blacks when they began enacting slave laws that made Blacks permanent slaves by virtue of their skin color. 

 

The Egbo Society communicated by using a secret Igbo writing system known as that of Nsibidi.  Nsibidi symbols were recently discovered to be engraved on a number of African-American tombstones in Virginia.

 

On Aug. 10, 1680 was the Pueblo Indian rebellion against Spanish rule in New Mexico. The Pueblo rose against enforced Christianization, expelled the Spaniards, and restored ancestor worship. They retained their independence until re-conquered in 1692. 

 

In 1775 James Adair states in his book 'HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN' ('The ceremonies of the Indians in their religious worship are more after the Mosaic institution, that of pagan imitation.  There yet remains so many marks as to enable us to trace the Hebrew extraction and rites, through all the various nations of Indians.')

 

In Suriname, on the northern coast of South America U.S. anthropologist Richard Price lived among and recorded the origins of the Saramaka nation. Beginning in the 1680s Saramakas combined Indians and Africans enslaved by Europeans. Sacred Saramaka legends explained: "The Indians escaped first and then, since they knew the forest, they came back and liberated the Africans." This red hand of friendship extended to people of African descent is an American tradition as deep and meaningful as the first Thanksgiving. From Canada to Cape Horn, two peoples fled bondage, united as husband and wife, brother and sister, mother and child, and formed a military alliance.

1700 AD

 

Remnants of our past still followed us into Northern America besides the Ten Commandments stone that still remained on Pueblo land in New Mexico.  Other inscriptions, also written in Paleo-Hebrew, have been discovered in the states of Iowa, Ohio, and Tennessee, as well as far down in South America in Brazil.  In Newark, Ohio, a carved stone of curious workmanship was discovered which also bears as engraved inscription of the Ten Commandments of the Covenant also in Paleo-Hebrew.  Creek lands in Tennessee presently known as Bat Creek cave; a Hebrew inscription has been found which mentions the Israelite tribe of Judah.  Moreover, our customs survived for centuries long enough to help reconnect us with our brothers.  Analysis of faunal materials from a Black 18th century colony at Fort Mose, Florida, by Dr. Jane Landers reveals that in their eating habits "Indian and black villages resembled each other in many respects." Cherokee and other Native American rulers, noted Perdue, governed not by obtuse legal doctrines, but by an overarching, "friendly compact" members were born into and agreed to follow. These societies contrasted with European models that slashed the narrow ribbon of peace to pursue individual wealth and regretted nothing but defeat.

On the eve of the New York City slave rebellion of 1712, in which Native and African slaves united, about on resident in four was enslaved and one slave in four was Indian.

Willie Lynch Letter

1712

 

"I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you, the Gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia for bringing me here, I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies where I have experimented with some of the newest and still the oldest methods for control of slaves. Ancient Rome would envy us if my program is implemented.  As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious King James, whose Bible we cherish, I saw enough to know that your problem is not unique.  While Rome used cords of wood as crosses for standing human bodies along the old highways in great numbers, you are here using the tree and the rope on occasion.

 

I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree a couple of miles back. You are not only losing valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, yours crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit, you suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed, gentlemen,…you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems; I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them.

 

In my bag here, I have a fool-proof method for controlling your Black slaves.  I guarantee every one of you that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at least 300 years. My method is simple, any member of your family or any overseer can use it.

 

I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves; I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little

list of difference and think about them. On the top of my list is "Age" but it is there because it only starts with an "A"; the second is "Color" or shade; there is intelligence, size, sex, size of plantations, attitude of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine or course hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences. I shall give you an outline of action-but before that, I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust and envy is stronger than adulation, respect or admiration.

 

The Black Slave, after receiving this indoctrination, shall carry on and will become self refueling and self-generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands.

 

Don't forget you must pitch the old Black vs. the young Black male, and the young Black male against the old Black male. You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves. You must use the female vs. the male, and the male vs. the female. You must also have your servants and overseers distrust all Blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love, respect and trust only us.

 

Gentlemen, these Kits are your Keys to control, use them, Have your wives and children use them. Never miss opportunity. My plan is guaranteed and the good thing about this plan is that if used intensely for one year, the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful."

"[Maroon] self-respect grows because of the fear whites have of them," a white Brazilian wrote to King Joao of Portugal in l719. Maroon songs resonated with victorious pride:

Black man rejoice. White man won't come here.
And if he does, the Devil will take him off.

British racial policy relied on divide and rule. In 1721 most English settlements denied entrance to Indians and ten years later whites in Carolina who brought Blacks to frontier lands faced fines of 100 pounds. Louisiana Governor Etienne de Perier, whose African slaves escaped and united with Natchez Indians and in one raid destroy a French colony and left 200 whites dead, warned this "union between the Indian nations and the black slaves" could lead to "total loss" for his colony.

In British North America each treaty with Native Americans provided for the return of runaways. In 1721 the Governor of Virginia made the Five Nations promise to return all fugitives; in l726 the Governor of New York had the Iroquois Confederacy promise; in l746 the Hurons promised and the next year the Delawares promised. Compliance was another matter. According to scholar Kenneth W. Porter none of these nations returned a slave. British officials also offered staggering rewards to Indians who would hunt fugitives. In Virginia price was 35 deerskins, and in the Carolinas it was three blankets and a musket.

Native Americans were proud people, but without prejudice, and lacked an investment in slavery. Enslaved Africans near New Orleans fled to nearby Natchez villages, and by 1723 a free Black man commanded Natchez expeditions against the French. One Black Indian village, Natanapalle, claimed 15 residents with 11 muskets and ammunition, and another band camped across Lake Pontchartrain. Well-trained European armies ordered to crush maroon colonies met their match in distant mountains and jungles.

White commanders in resplendent uniforms met defeat and chose retirement in distant European capitals.

A 1730 census of South Kingston, Rhode Island, showed 935 whites, 333 African slaves, and 223 Black Indian slaves. In 1730 his Choctaw allies, captured dozens of Black runaways who had served as military allies of the Natchez nation, but then refused to surrender them. When the Africans were finally returned after 18 months, they boasted of their freedom with the Natchez and the Choctaw. An angry Perrier reported the returnees had a new "spirit of laziness, independence and insolence." Prominent whites, including Governor Perrier of Louisiana, claimed Indians had "a great aversion" to Africans. But this was wishful thinking.

 

Foreign soldiers had little stomach for warfare in the wilderness against Black Indians, so Europeans hired or conscripted Indians. These were experts in frontier warfare, but their loyalty was questionable. In 1732 Spanish officials in Venezuela threw 150 conscripted Indians and Africans, and 100 white soldiers against Juan Andresote, a Black Indian, whom the Spanish Crown saw as a business rival. When Adresote's guerrilla fighters surrounded the invaders, their soldiers of color defected. Then, the musket fire of Andresote's men finished the work, killing or wounding more than half of the whites, as the rest scurried home.

Most maroon leaders were African-born, but after 1700 leadership increasingly fell to those born to Black Indian marriages, people familiar with European negotiations. Black women, in short supply, sometimes played crucial roles in village life. In Amazonia, Brazil, Filippa Maria Aranha, who ruled a thriving colony, so adroitly maneuvered her armed forces against the Portuguese, there was no defeating her and Portugal granted her people freedom, independence and sovereignty.

The largest American maroon settlement was the Republic of Palmares, a three-walled city of 11,000 in northeastern Brazil. For almost the entire l7th century Palmares' armies hurled back repeated Dutch and Portuguese military expeditions..

 

A 1747 ad reads:

Runaway on the 20th of September last... a very lusty negro fellow... aged about 53 years, and had some Indian blood in him... he had with him a boy about 12 or 13 years of age... born of an Indian woman, and looks like an Indian, only his hair... they both talk Indian very well, and it is likely they have dressed themselves in the Indian dress and gone to Carolina.                                                                                                                                                                                                 By 1750 all the colonies had legally instituted slavery which resulted in centuries of physical and psychological damages.  In 1750, slavehunters were sent to retrieve a slave living in the Creek Nation. A Creek chief stood between them and the black man, cut their rope and threw it in the fire. The posse returned empty-handed. 5 However, in return for the Creek and Cherokee refusals the tribal population was cut in half by a smallpox epidemic released by settlers

In 1751, South Carolina law stated: "The carrying of Negroes among the Indians has all along been thought detrimental, as an intimacy ought to be avoided.", and after 1760, hostilities against the settlers began.

In 1763 during Pontiac's Indian uprising a Detroit resident reported that Native Americans killed whites but were "saving and caressing all the Negroes they take." He worried lest this might "produce an insurrection." Chief Joseph Brant's Mohawks in New York welcomed runaway slaves and encouraged intermarriage. Native American adoption systems knew no color line and accepted the breathless fugitives as sisters and brothers. Woodson's notion of an escape hatch notion proved correct: Indian villages welcomed fugitives, and served as stations on the Underground Railroad.

 

 

 In 1770, a white observer reported that the Creeks allow slaves their freedom when they marry, which "is permitted and encouraged" and their children were considered free.6 Contemporary Euro-American records revealed a European fear for black/Indian mixing, for there were instances of Africans and Indians joining together in armed resistance against Europeans. A British officer had warned, "Their mixing is to be prevented as much as possible."7

 

During the American Revolution (1775-83), the Cherokee allied themselves with the British royalists, and engaged in sporadic warfare (1776-81). Their defeat and loss of territories in subsequent treaties began the process of their removal from the Southeast.

The frequency of intermarriage is alluded to in these 18th century advertisement for runaway slaves in New Jersey:

A 1778 ad reads:

Was stolen from her mother, a Negro girl, about 9 or 10 years of age, named Dianah, her mother's name is Cash, was married to an Indian named Lewis Wollis, near 6 feet high, about 35 years of age. They have a male child with them, between 3 and 4 years of age. Any person who takes up the said Negroes and Indian... shall have the above reward."3

 

In the 1780s, certain white Virginians began to agitate for the termination of the Gingaskin Indian Reservation in Northampton County...

The city of Los Angeles was founded in 1781 by forty-four people of whom all but two were African, Indian or a mixture of the two peoples.

The greatest flowering and most militant expression of the Black-Indian alliance took place in Florida. Enslaved Africans fled bondage in Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and the Carolinas to make a new life on the peninsula claimed by Spain. Around the time of the American Revolution, Africans welcomed the Seminoles, a breakaway segment of the Creek nation, to the peninsula and taught them rice cultivation methods they had learned in Sierra Leone and Senegambia. On this basis the two peoples formed an agricultural and military alliance that defeated repeated invasions by U.S. slaveholding posses.

In the 18th century, British colonies in the Southern US encouraged the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks and Seminoles to own black slaves. 4 Some of these nations, notably the Seminoles, also took in escaped slaves and refused to give them up when whites came demanding the return of fugitive slaves.

   The congress, in addition to directing the war, also prepared the Articles of Confederation, which after ratification in 1781 became the first constitution of the United States.  When the United States declared its independence in July 1776, the only institution acting as a central government was the Continental Congress. By mid-1776 the conflict was so far along that the congress gave up on a peaceful settlement and adopted the Declaration of Independence.   Elias Boudinot, the president of the Continental Congress (1782) and was also the first (official not elected) president of the United States.  Only when the states with western land claims agreed to turn over these lands to Congress for the use of all the states would Maryland ratify the Articles of Confederation. It finally signed them on March 1, 1781.  In fact, Boudinot seems to have felt that the popular identification of the Indians as the lost Israelites would bring with it a widespread realization that the Bible and its prophecies were true. When both the American Indians and the Jews of the world realized the great truth of their destiny.  This Israelite claim for Indian origins was not unique to Mr. Boudinot, of course. It was a widely-held belief which had been previously promoted in the popular press by such religious writers as James Adair.  And also by later writers as Josiah Priest, and the Rev. Ethan Smith of Poultney, Rutland Co.,Vermont. 

Force, division and law threatened but failed to end Black & Red Indian friendships. Thomas Jefferson discovered among the Mattaponies of Virginia "more negro than Indian blood."

Tomas Jefferson's solution: "To emancipate all slaves born after passing the act  (QUERY XIV).

The bill reported by the revisers does not itself contain this proposition; but an amendment containing it was prepared, to be offered to the legislature whenever the bill should be taken up, and further directing, that they should continue with their parents to a certain age, then be brought up, at the public expense, to tillage, arts, or sciences, according to their geniuses, till the female should be eighteen, and the males twenty-one years of age, when they should be colonized to such place as the circumstances of the time should render most proper, sending them out with arms, implements of household and of the handicraft arts, seeds, pairs of the useful domestic animals, and etc. to declare them a free and independent people, and extend to them our alliance and protection, till they shall have acquired strength; and to send vessels at the same time to other parts of the world for an equal number of white inhabitants; to induce whom to migrate hither, proper encouragements were to be proposed. It will probably be asked, Why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the state, and thus save the expense of supplying by importation of whites settlers, the vacancies they will leave?  Deep-rooted prejudices entertained by white; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions, which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race…." (SOURCES OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC:132)

Notes on Virginia (1785): "Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep for ever,"

In 1794 Palmares was overrun, and according to legend, its warriors, threw themselves over a cliff rather than surrender.

1800 AD

 

In 1812 it was argued that: 'the place is now inhabited by as many black men as Indians... the Indian women have many of them married black men, and a majority probably, of the inhabitants are blacks or have black-blood in them... the real Indians [are few].' The reserve was divided (allotted) in 1813 and by 1832 whites had acquired most of it.

 

Thomas Jefferson and other liberals proposed the establishment of African colonies of liberated slaves.  Believing the blacks capable of self-government in an all-black society, Jefferson advocated "that they be freed and sent off to Africa or the West Indies or beyond the Mississippi with all the tools and capital necessary to start a new state." He later felt that the two races might even be able to live together, saying, "nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government."

Not until December 28, 1816, was the American Colonization Society organized "to promote and execute a plan for colonizing in Africa, with their own consent, the free people of color residing in the United States." Bushrod Washington, an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and nephew of George Washington, was elected president.  The Society was established through the efforts of the Reverend Robert Finley, pastor of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in New Jersey, with encouragement of President James Madison, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Francis Scott Key, and other influential leaders.  Their motives stemmed partly from religious convictions violated by the institution of slavery, and partly from the alarming increase of a Negro population without normal political and social status. 

At the famous Congress of Angostura in l8l9, liberator Simon Bolivar was elected President of Venezuela and planned a military course that would eventually free the Americas of foreign rule. But he also took time to talk of our racial history:

"It is impossible to say to which human family we belong. The larger part of the native population has disappeared, Europeans have mixed with Indians and the Negroes, and the Negroes have mixed with the Indians. We are all born of one mother America, though our fathers had different origins. This dissimilarity is of the greatest significance.

Many people of African descent found escape and some located their American dream among Native Americans. Together two peoples of color became the first freedom-fighters of the Americas. Their courageous contribution to our legacy of resistance to tyranny deserves greater recognition.

 

Finally, in 1819, to end a perceived threat by U.S. slaveholders, the United States purchased Florida. By this time African-run plantations stretched for fifty miles along Florida's fertile Appalachicola river valley, and included herds of cattle and horses.  And also in 1819, the American Colonization Society purchased land on the western coast of Africa, called the "Grain Pepper Coast"or the "Pepper Coast," to serve as a home for the "dispersed and oppressed children of Africa." 

In 1820, the first settlers of 88 men, women and children came to Sherbro Island, a headland of the Liberian coast near Freetown, Sierra Leone.

 In 1823 and 1825 Rev. Smith published editions his book. View of the Hebrews, in which he shows signs of accepting practically everything that Boudinot had to say in 1815-16. In chapter three of his 1823 edition, Rev. Smith gives some special commendation to the newly formed American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews, happy at reports he had heard of "the remarkable conversion of many of the Jews." The reports of such "remarkable" Jewish conversions to Christianity reaching Ethan Smith were no doubt greatly exaggerated. The American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews (of which Elias Boudinot was President at the time of his death in 1821) was an abject failure. Ethan Smith's dream of returning a "remnant" of the American Indians to the Holy Land was also an utter failure. Rev. Smith says, "Such promises of the restoration of Israel from far countries, from the west... their being brought in ships from far... certainly well accord with the ten tribes being brought from America. And such passages imply an agency by which such a restoration shall be effected.... Surely then this business would be assigned, either tacitly or expressly to our nation [the USA]."

In 1829 David Walker (1785-1830) through Robert Alexander Young published Walker's Appeal, to the blacks of America with clear knowledge of their Ethiopian heritage: "Ethiopians! Open your minds to reason; let therein weigh the effects of truth, wisdom, and justice, (and a regard to your individual as general good,) and the spirit of these our words, we know full well, cannot but produce the effect for which they are by us herefrom intended.  Know, then, in your present state or standing, in your sphere of government in any nation within which you reside, we hold and contend you enjoy but few of your rights of government within them…"  "Beware! Know thyselves [slaveholders] to be but mortal men doomed to the good or evil, as your works shall merit from you… But learn, slaveholders, thine will rests not in thine hand; God decrees to thy slave his rights as a man.  This issue forth as the spirit of the black man or Ethiopian's right, established from the Ethiopian's Rock, the foundation of his civil and religious rights, which hereafter will be exemplified in the order of its course….  As came John the Baptist, of old, to spread abroad the forthcoming of his master, so alike are intended these our words, to denote to the black African or Ethiopian people, that God has prepared for them a leader, who awaits but his season to proclaim to them his birthright…"

In Florida the Red and Black Seminoles fought the United States Army, Navy and Marines to a standstill for four decades, and some Seminoles never surrendered. In three Seminole Wars the United States armed forces lost more than 1500 U.S. soldiers, spent more than $40,000,000 and at times Seminole armed forces tied up half of the U.S. Army on the peninsula.  In the 1830s frontier artist George Catlin described "Negro and North American Indian, mixed, of equal blood" as "the finest built and most powerful men I have ever yet seen."  The U.S. knew the formability of the combination of both Black and Red Indians mixture with the Ebos.  So the government used old tricks to divide and conqueror by promoting the tribes of the south take slaves.  The Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks and Seminoles, though less than 3% of Indian people owned slaves, bondage created destructive cleavages in their villages and promoted a class hierarchy based on "white blood." Indians of mixed white blood stood at the top, so called "pure" Red Indians next, and Black Indians and others people mixed with of African descent were at the bottom. However, even these tactics weren't enough.  Therefore, the government began their campaign to remove Indian tribes from the US Southeast.  This policy was formalized by the Indian Removal Act (q.v.) of 1830.

Our father  the Chief [Born in North Carolina, a priest and chief elected by the people in the Cherokee Nation, but father line of the Hopi and Mother line of the Cherokee daughter of Judah.  Starter of the Sacred fire (which was kindled with seven different kinds of wood were the seven sections of seats surrounded the sacred fire) at the Seven Festivals] the father house of Sam (Born 1830 in North Carolina seven years after our record was given to Joseph Smith in 1823 and instructed to translate the ancient record into English that the prophesy of Israel maybe fulfilled ,that the people coming out of slavery may have their record restored to them at the appointed time.)

In March of 1831, less than a year following the founding of the Mormons' "Church of Christ" in upstate New York, David Staats Burnet, an Ohio newspaper editor and an admirer of religious reformer Alexander Campbell, published this interesting remark:

["the Mormons believe] that treasures of great amount were concealed near the surface of the earth, probably by the Indians, whom they were taught to consider the descendants of the ten lost Israelitish tribes, by the celebrated Jew who a few years since promised to gather Abraham's sons on Grand Island, thus to be made a Paradise."

A close inspection of the Mormon plan to initiate an Israelite "gathering" and a "restoration" among the American Indians in 1830-31 reveals literally scores of parallels with Major Noah's similar 1825 plan to restore the ancient society of the Jewish people in North America -- a project which, as Noah detailed it, was actually a plan to gather and restore the entire presumed nation of Israel (including the American Indians).

Mordecai M. Noah published in the Wayne Sentinel on October 11, 1825 (five years before the publication of the Book of Mormon), this address puts forth Noah's theory on the Hebrew origin of the American Indian, "Those who are conversant with the public and private economy of the Indians, are strongly of (the) opinion that they are the lineal descendants of the Israelites, and my own researches go far to confirm me in the same belief." Of course, the central theme of the BOM is that of tracing migrations of Israelites to ancient America, and one of the families becoming evil, being cursed with a Black skin, and degenerating into the progenitors of the American Indian."

A fact which the previous writers on this topic seem to have overlooked is that the early Mormons' social and religious programs resembled Major Noah's 1825 project in many, many other ways other than both parties simply subscribing to the alleged Israelite origins of the American Indians. The current writer has explored a few of these additional parallels in his on-line remarks regarding Mordecai M. Noah and the Mormons. The essay posted there says that "The location of the "New Jerusalem" Israelite gathering place spoken of in the Book of Mormon (Ether ch. 6 -- 1830 ed.) was not clearly defined. The earliest Mormons thought of it as being situated 'on the borders by the Lamanites' in 'this land' (North America) and most likely within the western bounds of the United States."

For those that are challenging the Book of Mormon we understand their hesitations to believe based upon the changes that were made from time to time in the translation of the book.  For example the translation of the 1830 version has a few differences from that of the revised interpretation of the 1837 version.  These words, "the Son of" were also added in 1837, in LDS 1 Nephi 11:18, 21 & 32 which in RLDS editions is 1 Nephi 3:58, 62 & 86. 

Nevertheless, it also must be consider that according to the Book of Alma 3:5-6. "the heads of the Lamanites were shorn; and they were naked save it were skin which was girded about their loins, and also their armor, which was girded about them, and their bows, and their arrows, and their stones, and their slings, and so forth.  And the skins of the Lamanites were dark…"  And  the proof of these statements lay in the archaeology of the site in Cacaxtla, Mexico and elsewhere that has supported the black skin-ness and African-like figures of the ancient Americans.   

In 1831 Nat Turner led a revolt in Virginia that killed approximately 60 whites.  In accordance with his Black Indian origins Turner placed feathers in his cap and a red sash around his waist to signify himself to be of the red clan of the Cherokee.

By the Indian Intercourse Act (1834) the western territories were set aside for them. Though the territory became the home of a number of tribes displaced by white settlers, westward expansion eventually forced the government to open even this territory to settlers.

 

 

In 1836 Martin R. Delany (1812-1885), U.S. inventor, author, and physician, born in Charles Town, Va. (now in W. Va) conceived "A project for an Expedition of Adventure to the Eastern Coast of Africa" in search of a "Black Israel".  Robert Campbell who along with Martin Robinson Delaney signed a pact with Egba leaders for the right of resettlement of African-Americans to "Egbaland" states that the Egba (or Ibo) are the most industrious people on the face of the earth (Burton 1863:101) He founded the newspaper Mystery (1843) to publicize our people's problems, became a medical doctor (graduated from Harvard), advocated emigration to Africa, and served as an army physician during the American Civil War.  In 1852 Delany invented a device that would assist railroad locomotives in climbing and descending inclined planes but was denied a patent; author of 'The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States Politically Considered', said to be the first full-length presentation of black nationalism (1852); formed National Emigration Convention 1854 to aid black people's emigration to Africa; first black to attain rank of major in U.S. Army during American Civil War.

Once away from European rule, African and Native American men and women found they had more in common than a foe wielding muskets and whips. Scholar Claude Levi-Strauss found both peoples had "precise knowledge" and "extreme familiarity with their biological environment," and gave it "passionate attention." Dr. Theda Perdue's study of the Cherokee nation found that red and black people saw the spiritual and environmental as one, and common activities such as rising in the morning, hunting and curing illness as imbued with religious significance. Mountains and hills represented divinities; people, animals and plants carried life's messages; religion was not reserved for Sundays, but a matter of daily reflection.

Indians and Africans both sought to live harmoniously with nature, cherished kinship, stressed cooperation and created economies based on subsistence agriculture. Both peoples rejected pursuit of worldly treasures, and allowed kinship rather than ownership to dictate economic, social and judicial decisions and marital customs. Individual roles were subservient to and flowed from transcendent community duties.

 "This, you may be assured," said U.S. General Thomas Jesup in l837, "is a Negro, not an Indian war." It was both.

At this time a contemporary Jewish observers named Major Mordecai M. Noah stepped up.  Major Noah was born in Philadelphia on July 19, 1785. His father was Manuel M. Noah, a Revolutionary War champion who had married Zipporah Phillips (of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish lineage) the year before. In 1795 Mordecai's mother died and he raised was thereafter primarily by her father, Jonas Phillips, a Prussian Jew who had immigrated to Charleston, South Carolina in 1756. While he was yet a young man the ever-ambitious Mordecai retraced his grandfather's footsteps to Charleston, where he hoped to study law, gain experience in journalism, and get a start in party politics. The youthful "Major" (in the Pennsylvania militia) found the both sensible and political climate in Charleston much to his liking and he was pleased to use his Grandmother Phillips' Portuguese ancestry to establish himself socially among the aristocratic Sephardi of that city's Congregation Beth Elohim. Mordecai's stay in the South affected his thinking with opinions of ante-bellum Black people (Black Indians) he encountered there. At the same time, he also became an outspoken southern journalist who championed both American democracy and the cause of Jewish people world-wide. 

As late as 1837 Noah was still supporting the idea that the American Indians were his fellow Israelites.   He also claimed to have had evidences of the American Indians being the Descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel.  But by then he had given up gathering these native tribes with his own Jewish race. Having abandoned this utopian amalgamation of diverse peoples, Major Noah embraced the more widely-held Zionist view that a direct colonization of Turkish Palestine was the only way to provide a permanent refuge for the Jews. By 1844 he was pleading in his Discourse on the Restoration of the Jews for the Christian world to help the Jews resettle in their original Middle-eastern homeland; but by then he had given up gathering these native tribes with his own Jewish race. Having abandoned this utopian amalgamation of diverse peoples, Major Noah embraced the more widely-held Zionist view that a direct colonization of Turkish Palestine was the only way to provide a permanent refuge for the Jews. By 1844 he was pleading in his Discourse on the Restoration of the Jews for the Christian world to help the Jews resettle in their original Middle-eastern homeland.

In 1838 under the Indian Removal Act (1830) [implemented by President A. Jackson] the native inhabitants of the eastern United States where driven at gun point from their lands in the southeastern said U.S., from the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas, to areas later named 'Indian Territory' or Oklahoma.   The Indian Removal Act was signed into law on May 28, 1830. It gave President Andrew Jackson, a dedicated foe of the Indians, the power to exchange land west of the Mississippi for the southeastern territory of the Five Civilized Tribes--the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles.  The removal policy led to a clash between Jackson and the United States Supreme Court, which had ruled in favor of the right of the Cherokees to retain their lands in Georgia. Jackson refused to enforce the Court's decision.  Those who resisted were marched under such conditions that, of some 11,000 Cherokees moved lead by Chief J. Ross, over 4,000 died (1838) so becoming known as the Trail of Tears.

The Southwest came under United States control as a result of the Mexican War. In 1847, Pueblo Indians rose up against settlers at Taos (later in New Mexico) and were defeated. But relations between settlers and the Pueblos, Pimas, and Papagos were usually peaceful. The Navajos and Apaches retaliated when settlers seized their lands and destroyed their animals and gardens.

On June 19th, 1848, the Turner heirs won the one of the longest cases in the history of U.S. courts (the Heirs of Henry Turner and the United States.)  The case affirmed them as the lawful owners with good title, securing the land rights of the Emperial Nation forever.  The United States Supreme Court could derive no jurisdiction in the matters of foreign agreements.  Only the laws of Spain could hold jurisdiction over contracts originated and constructed by its sovereign government.  The U.S. desperately tried to coerce the Turner Heirs into relinquishing their claims, which they declined to do.

The U.S. government did not stop there.  After suffering staggering defeats in their own judicial system, the U.S. dispatched agents to exterminate the Turner Heirs.  The period following the court cases saw a campaign of terrorist activity and organized calamities that included wholesales murders, poisoning of the ground waters and sacking of the Washitaw properties.  New laws were hurriedly passed enticing Americans to slaughter the Ancient inhabitants and take their lands.  Eventually, once it was thought all the Washitaw-Turners had been killed, the Supreme Court tried to encourage the lower courts to reverse their rulings in favor of the Turner Heirs, but it was not possible.  The idea of sovereign lands owned by dark-skinned women infuriated the psychopathic racist and sexist Americans.  Fortunately, the Turner women and children were able to escape the genocidal campaigns by hiding in the bayous near the mounds.

When Black Indians in the United States were driven off their land by Europeans, some sought refuge in black communities, passing as 'colored. Africana.com article Indian in the Family explores the topic of black/Indian mixing in the US.

By l860 African Americans had so thoroughly mixed with Native Americans throughout the Atlantic seaboard that white legislators wanted to revoke their tax exemptions. In the Oklahoma Indian Territory 18% of the Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminoles and Creeks were of African descent. To finally seal off Native American villages and make Indians partners, British merchants introduced Africans as slaves to the Five Nations so to put in the minds of White Indians that all Black Indians were of African descent and thereby divided the Indian people.

In 1860 Indian populations figures over a 30-year period showed a de-cline ranging from 20% to 40%, but the numbers of slaves had increased to 2,5ll for the Cherokees, 2,344 for the Choctaws 1,532 for the Creeks and 975 for the Chickasaws. Slavery had become a major economic factor in each nation.

Whatever unfairness African Americans felt living among Indians, they knew did not compare with what they could expect from southern whites. "The opportunities for our people in that [Indian] country far surpassed any of the kind possessed by our people in the U.S.," wrote Editor O.S. Fox of the Cherokee Afro-American Advocate. His people knew that they lived among Indian men and women who would never brutalize or lynch their sons and daughters.

Indian masters, rejected the worst features of southern white bondage. Travelers reported enslaved Africans "in as good circumstances as their masters." A white Indian Agent, Douglas Cooper, upset by the Native American failure to practice a brutal form of bondage, insisted that Indians invite white men to live in their villages and "control matters."

No less than in the North and South, the Civil War tore Indian nations apart. Surrounded by Confederate troops and influenced by Confederate Indian agents, most Native Americans in Oklahoma felt they had little choice but follow the Confederacy. However, in November 1861 hundreds of black and red Indians led by Creek Chief Opothle Yahola, fought three pitched battles against Confederate whites and Indians to reach Union lines in Kansas, and offer their services. With the defeat of the Confederacy and its Indian allies, northerners sought revenge and the U.S. scrapped existing treaties with Native American nations.

In the 19th century, a number of high ranking Seminoles married black wives - Chief Osceola was one of them. It was said that 52 of his 55 body guards were black. Seminole King Philip too had a black son John Philip, half brother to Chief Wild Cat. King Philip, Chief Osceola and Wild Cat were key figures in the 2nd Seminole war between the US and the Seminole Nation.10 The US General Sidney Jesup apparently saw the mixing of blacks and Indians in the Seminole Nation as a threat: "... the 2 races ... are identified in interests and feelings...Should the Indians remain in this territory, the negroes among them will form a rallying point for runaway negreos from adjacent states."11  

There are large numbers of black Americans of Native American ancestry.  The first president of Mexico, (Vicente Guerrero and his Black Indian Family) who abolished slavery, was of African, native and Spanish ancestry.

After the Civil war on March 4, 1865 President Abraham Lincoln, in his second Inaugural address, decided emancipate all enslaved Black Indians and those of our brethren the Ebos brought from Africa.  Here he states that: "It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged.  The prayers of both could not be answered.  That of neither has been answered fully.  The Almighty has His own purposes.  "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh."  If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?  Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away, Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

The Seminole nation made the most rapid adjustment to emancipation, electing six Black members to its first post-war governing Council. Black Seminoles began to build homes, churches, schools and businesses. Cherokees and Creeks moved to-ward equality somewhat slower and Choctaws and Chickasaws slower yet.

The Cherokee kept black slaves until 1866, when an emancipation treaty freed them from bondage and granted them full tribal citizenship. Known as the Freedmen, these men and women were embraced by the Cherokee as equals, and often married the offspring of their former masters. Like Stick, they identified with local cultures, spoke tribal languages, and took part in tribal religious rites.

In 1871 Congress decided that Indian tribes were no longer to be recognized as sovereign powers with whom treaties must be made. Although existing treaties were still to be considered valid, violations continued to occur.

 

Our father of Charley was born in 1872 in Alabama which was Indian for tribal town, later a tribe (Alabamas or Alibamons) of the Creek confederacy and lived in Louisiana in Terrebonne county in 1920 on the South Down Plantation in 1910 working for a private family as a butler.  Charley married Chiloman in 1894 when he was 24 years old and she was 19 years old (In 1920 Carter G. Woodson, the father of modern Black history, wrote that in North America entire libraries were devoted to studies of the relationship between Africans and Europeans and the relationship between Native Americans and Europeans. But, said Dr. Woodson, the third part of the American triangle remained unexplored. "One of the longest unwritten chapters in the history of the United States is that treating of the relations of the Negroes and the Indians." Woodson thought slaves "found among the Indians one of their means of escape."  The very notion of "Black Indians" still has most whites shaking their heads in disbelief or smiling at what appears to be a joke, an unlikely play on words. No one remembers any such per-son in a school text, western novel or Hollywood movie. None ever appeared. Even in African American families Indian connections were occasionally mentioned, but not as part of an historic process. Despite the vital role of remembrance for people of color, a gallant heritage remained hidden.  As researchers traced African roots Indian connections could no longer be ignored. In the 1920s Columbia University anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits, renowned for documentation of African survivals in American life, conducted interviews in New York, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. which determined that a fourth to a third of African Americans had Indian ancestors. Today in North American families the figure is closer to 95%.)

In the early months of 1879, an accumulation of circumstances (including the Indian Removal Act and the Emancipation of slaves both Black Indian and Africans) caused approximately 50,000 blacks to migrate to the North, with most of them moving into Kansas, John Brown country.  Benjamin "Pap" Singleton, who called himself "The Moses of the Colored Exodus," reportedly started the migration and led some 300 blacks to Cherokee county, Kansas, to found "Singleton's Colony."

In 1885 Johannes King, an African who lived among the Matawai Indians in Guianas, recalled his peoples struggle to stay alive during decades of warfare: "Here is the story of our ancestors and of their difficulties while they were at war with the bakra [whites].  At that time they suffered severe shortages and were living under dreadful conditions, but the lack of food was their worst problem.  They didn't even have time to clear and plant gardens to produce food.  The whites were always pursuing and attacking…. They slashed the crops to bits, ruining everything they saw.  They set fire to everything they didn't want to carry with them.  Well, that enraged our early ancestors against the whites.

Edwin P. McCabe, who edited the newspaper, The Herald, led a movement to make Oklahoma a state to be governed entirely by blacks.  He devoted his newspaper to this cause, encouraged blacks to organize land purchasing societies, and 25 self-governing all black communities were established there.

Many whites, regarding ownership of land as the basis of success, feared that by owning their own farms the Indians would become independent. Other whites, hungry for land, thought that too much land had already been reserved to the Indians. 

Both groups of whites urged the passage of the Indian General Allotment Act of 1887. This act provided for dividing reservations, which had been held in common by the tribes, into parcels to be allotted to individual Indians. The "surplus" land, in at least one case a larger area than that divided among the Indians, was eventually sold to white homesteaders. Provisions of the act also granted citizenship to the Indians receiving parcels of land and to any other Indians who agreed to give up tribal life for "civilized" ways.   

 

In 1889 the federal government wanted the land from the Indians for white settlement.  The pressure to open the Indian Territory for white pioneers gradually increased. Finally Congress purchased a tract of 2 million acres (810,000 hectares) for farming in the central part of present Oklahoma. At noon on April 22, 1889, the area was opened to new settlement.  At the same time in 1889 scientist John W. Emmert began to investigate the old home lands of the Creek and Cherokee.  The Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology, in the course of its Mound Survey Project, discovered a small Paleo-Hebrew inscribed stone in an undisturbed burial mound on the Little Tennessee River.  Located at the mouth of Bat Creek, some 40 miles south of Knoxville, Tennessee, the mound was the smallest in a group of three; it measured 28 feet in diameter and 5 feet high.  Emmert also found nine skeletons lay in two parallel rows, with two in one row and seven in the other.  Eight of the skeletons lay with their heads to the north, but one skeleton, in the group of two, lay with its head to the south.  It was under the skull of this particular skeleton that Emmert found the inscribed stone.  This was some of the first archaeological evidence found at the time to prove the link of our people to that of the tribes of Israel. Afterward they sought to investigate the amount of Black Indians from these locations that were there, that they moved to Oklahoma. 

 

The 1890 census counted 18,636 people "of Negro descent in the Five Tribes." With no ability to speak any Native American language, the clerks often relied on the eyeball test. Those who fit the stereotype - ruddy skin, straight hair, high cheekbones - were placed on the "blood roll." The roll noted each person's "blood quantum," the fraction of their parentage that was ostensibly Native American. That number was sometimes based on documentation, but often, given the lack of accurate records and the language barrier, it was nothing more than crude guesswork.  At this time the Ghost Dance movement was crushed in 1890 with the arrest and murder of Sitting Bull and the massacre by the Army of several hundred Indians at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. This event ended the conquest of the American Indian.

 

Then in 1897 the drilling of a commercial oil well, in Oklahoma, started a new and richer boom. The white settlers sought more power through union, as a state, after the western half of the Indian Territory was organized as the Territory of Oklahoma, including the Panhandle.  To increase the amount of land for settlers, the federal government assigned individual allotments of tribal lands to the Indians and took over the remaining land in their reservations for as little as 15 cents an acre, and later land was given away in a lottery.  By 1901 the entire area had been opened to homesteaders.

 

 

Our father May was born in 1900 in Louisiana (his brother, John, received the Ethiopian Family Bible from HAILE SEASSIE in 1930).

 

In 1906 a tally of Oklahoma Indians that is, according to the tribes, the only acceptable way to document Native American heritage. The Dawes Roll was the brainchild of a patrician Massachusetts senator, Henry Laurens Dawes, who wanted to "civilize" Indian Territory by ending communal land ownership and allotting 160-acre plots to individual members of each tribe. At first, the tribes resisted the white man's efforts to destroy a centuries-old way of life. One Creek official compared the Dawes Commission, which oversaw the roll's creation, to the plague of locusts the Egyptians faced in the Bible. But the tribes relented, if only to avoid a conflict with the US government. 

 

Those with obvious African roots were sent to a different set of tents. There, they were added to the Freedmen Roll, which had no listing of blood quantum. Contemporary Freedmen believe the segregation was part of a government conspiracy to steal Indian land. Freedmen, unlike their peers on the blood roll, were permitted to sell their land without clearing the transaction through the Indian Bureau. That made the poorly educated Freedmen easy marks for white settlers migrating from the Deep South. Stories abound of Freedmen, unable to read the contracts they were signing, selling their 160-acre plots for as little as $15.

 

Even when a man had an Indian grandparent and should have been assigned a blood quantum of one-fourth, he might well have been placed on the Freedmen Roll. The eyeball test sometimes assigned siblings to separate rolls simply because one was born with less melanin. Full-blooded women married to black males suddenly became Freedmen with no blood quantum. It was a wholly arbitrary process, but it didn't matter much. Freedmen and Indians continued to live in relative harmony - until money and politics entered the picture.  The tribe disbanded in 1906.

 

The task of enrolling the Indians was assigned to white clerks dispatched from Washington. They set up vast tent villages in Oklahoma towns and sent word through tribal officials that anyone interested in claiming their land had to register. Once the news spread, the tents were deluged with applicants, including scores of Caucasians claiming to have a sliver of Indian blood. More surprising for the clerks were the thousands of African-Americans who showed up.

 

The Indian General Allotment Act resulted in the loss of tens of millions of acres of Indian land. Where land was retained, the amount possessed by each Indian became smaller as the land was divided through inheritance. Although the solidarity of the Indian tribes was thereby endangered, the traditional tribal values and customs persisted.  Our people unable to maintain large amounts, if any land without it being taken eventually by the government, were bottled into cities and urban areas.  Thus, we became the 'Concrete Jungle Indians'.

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Amariel Family Publishing 2006

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