Tag Archives: Georgia

Did You Know About The Weeping Time

007_1000On March of 1857, the largest sale of human beings took place at a racetrack in Savannah, Georgia. This was the largest slave auction in the history Georgia. During the two days of the sale, raindrops fell continuously on the racetrack. It was almost as though the heavens were crying. So, too, fell teardrops from many of the 436 men, women, and children who were auctioned off during the two days. The sale would thereafter be known as “The Weeping Time.”

The owner of the slaves, Pierce Butler, had inherited the family’s Georgia plantations some twenty years earlier, along with his brother John. But Pierce had squandered away his portion of the inheritance, losing a rumored $700,000; now he was deeply in debt. Management of Pierce Butler’s estate was transferred to trustees.

The trustees sold off Butler’s once-grand, now-neglected Philadelphia mansion for $30,000. Other Butler properties were sold as well. But it was not enough to satisfy creditors, much less to ensure that Butler would continue to live in luxury. So the trustees turned to the Georgia plantations and their “moveable” property — their slaves.

At the time, the overall holdings of the Butler family included 900 slaves. These would be divided into two groups of 450. Half would go to the estate of John, who had since died. These slaves would remain on the plantations. However, the fate of the other 450 — Pierce’s half — was more precarious. About 20 would continue to live on Butler property. The remainder, some 429 men, women, and children, were boarded onto railway cars and steamboats and brought to the Broeck racetrack, where each would be sold to the highest bidder.

There were naturally differing viewpoints regarding the auction, Pierce Butler, and the large fortune he would gain after paying his debts. Philadelphia socialite Sidney George Fisher noted in his diary, “It is highly honorable to [Butler] that he did all he could to prevent the sale, offering to make any personal sacrifice to avoid it.” Of the auction, Fisher wrote:

It is a dreadful affair, however, selling these hereditary Negroes. . .  Families will not be separated; that is to say, husbands and wives, parents, and young children. But brothers and sisters of mature age, parents and children of mature age, all other relations and the ties of home and the long association will be violently severed. It will be a hard thing for Butler to witness, and it is a monstrous thing to do.

It is done every day in the South. It is one among the many frightful consequences of slavery and contradicts our civilization, our Christianity, or Republicanism. Can such a system endure, is it consistent with humanity, with moral progress? These are difficult questions, and still more difficult is it to say, what can be done? The Negroes of the South must be slaves, or the South will be Africanized.

Mortimer Thomson, a popular newsman of the day known affectionately as “Doesticks,” wrote a lengthy, uncomplimentary article about the auction for the New York Tribune entitled “What Became of the Slaves on a Georgia Plantation.” He reported how the slaves, eager to impress potential masters who they perceived as kind, would sometimes cheerfully respond to buyers. He went on to say “pulling their mouths open to see their teeth, pinching their limbs to find how muscular they were, walking them up and down to detect any signs of lameness, making them stoop and bend in different ways that they might be certain there was no concealed rupture or wound. . . .”

Thomson commiserated with the unfortunate slaves after the sale, stating: “On the faces of all was an expression of heavy grief; some appeared to be resigned to the hard stroke of Fortune that had torn them from their homes and were sadly trying to make the best of it; some sat brooding moodily over their sorrows, their chins resting on their hands, their eyes staring vacantly, and their bodies rocking to and fro, with a restless motion that was never stilled. . . .”

The two-day sale netted $303,850. The highest price paid for one family — a mother and her five grown children — was $6,180. The highest price for one individual was $1,750. The lowest price for any one slave was $250. Soon after the last slave was sold, the rain stopped. Champagne bottles popped in celebration. And Pierce Butler, once again wealthy, made a trip to southern Europe before returning home to Philadelphia.

This article was taken from the PBS webpage with hopes that you gain knowledge of this horrible historical event. We must know our history and not that what they want you to know. His-Story is a lie and its time we understand that it is! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Would-Be Assassin Of Dr. King Has Died

007_1000Many of you may not know Izola Ware Curry, the so-called “demented” Harlem woman who tried to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr. in 1958. I’ve often wondered what happened to her. Since the assassination attempt she vanished. Well, now I know because she has died at age 98, at the Hillside Manor nursing home in Queens, New York, where she spent most of her life.

READ: “When Harlem Saved A King” for the story.

On Sept. 20, 1958, King was in Harlem signing copies of his book “Stride Toward Freedom” at Blumstein’s Department Store. Curry walked up to King and asked, “Are you Dr. King?” King replied, “Yes.” Curry then plunged a seven-inch steel letter opener into his chest. Curry also had a loaded gun with her.

After her arrest, Curry was taken to Bellevue Hospital and eventually found not competent to stand trial. She would be diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and described by psychiatrists as having “low average intelligence,” and suffering from a “severe state of insanity.” She was committed to Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for the last 56 years.

For his part, King forgave his assailant. Ten days after the stabbing, he said he “felt no ill will toward Mrs. Izola Curry… I know that thoughtful people will do all in their power to see that she gets the help she apparently needs if she is to become a free and constructive member of society,” King said.

007_1000Curry was a native Georgian, born in 1916 in Adrian, about 100 miles from Savannah. She moved to New York in 1937, working on and off as a housekeeper, short-order cook or factory worker. Initial reports about her after the stabbing suggest that she stabbed King because she had come to believe that black leaders were plotting against her. When questioned by police, she accused civil rights leaders of “boycotting” and “torturing” her, preventing her from getting jobs and forcing her to change her religion.

In the speech, King famously referenced the incident on the day before he was assassinated in his “I Have Been To The Mountain Top” speech. He said that the tip of Curry’s blade rested on the edge of his aorta and that if he had merely sneezed, he would have died.

This woman in the commission of this attack could very well have changed the course of every life thereafter. Because, we saw after the death of Dr. King the movement and his organization fell apart. Therefore, I doubt much progress would have been made in the 1960s without the Good Dr. This is one demented soul that should not rest in peace. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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