Spreading Good News (Post 603 – BLACK HISTORY TUESDAY: Hiram Revels, America’s First African-American U.S. Senator [Republican])

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CONSTANT QUOTE

 

 

IT’S BETTER TO DIE CHASING A DREAM NEVER CAUGHT THAN TO DIE NEVER HAVING CHASED THE DREAM.  ~ Joyce Fields

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GOOD HUMAN RELATIONS IS THE STUFF FROM WHICH PEACE IS MADE.

~ Joyce Fields

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TODAY’S BLOG

We all should know more about the contributions that African-Americans have made in the fields of science and medicine, as well as art, music, the written word, sports, and just-everyday life.

“Black History Month,” (February) is over, but I will continue Spreading Good News about Black History on what I will call “Black History Tuesday.”

I hope you enjoy this piece!

BLACK HISTORY TUESDAY:  Hiram Revels, America’s First African-American U.S. Senator (Republican)

Source:  The Internet

On February 25, 1870, visitors in the Senate galleries burst into applause as Mississippi senator-elect Hiram Revels of Mississippi entered the chamber to take his oath of office. Those present knew that they were witnessing an event of great historical significance. Revels was about to become the first African-American to serve in the Senate.

Born 42 years earlier to free black parents in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Revels became an educator and minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  During the Civil War, he helped form regiments of African-American soldiers and established schools for freed slaves. After the war, Revels moved to Mississippi, where he won election to the state senate.  In recognition of his hard work and leadership skills, his legislative colleagues elected him to one of Mississippi’s vacant U.S. Senate seats as that state prepared to rejoin the Union.

Revels’ credentials arrived in the Senate on February 23, 1870, and were immediately blocked by a few members who had no desire to see a black man serve in Congress. Masking their racist views, they argued that Revels had not been a U.S. citizen for the nine years required of all senators.  In their distorted interpretation, black Americans had only become citizens with the passage of the 1866 Civil Rights Act, just four years earlier. Revels’ supporters dismissed that statement, pointing out that he had been a voter many years earlier in Ohio and was, therefore, certainly a citizen.

Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner brought the debate to an end with a stirring speech.  ”The time has passed for argument.  Nothing more need be said.  For a long time it has been clear that colored persons must be senators.”  Then, by an overwhelming margin, the Senate voted 48 to 8 to seat Revels.

Three weeks later, the Senate galleries again filled to capacity as Hiram Revels rose to make his first formal speech.  Seeing himself as a representative of African-American interests throughout the nation, he spoke—unsuccessfully as it turned out—against a provision included in legislation readmitting Georgia to the Union.  He correctly predicted that the provision would be used to prohibit blacks from holding office in that state.

When Hiram Revels’ brief term ended on March 3, 1871, he returned to Mississippi, where he later became president of Alcorn College.

He was dismissed from Alcorn in 1874 when he campaigned against the reelection of Governor of Mississippi, Adelbert Ames.  He was reappointed in 1876 by the new Democratic administration and served until his retirement in 1882.

On November 6, 1875, Revels, as a Republican, wrote a letter to Republican President Ulyses S. Grant that was widely reprinted.  Revels denounced Ames and the Carpetbaggers for manipulating the Black vote for personal benefit, and for keeping alive wartime hatreds:

“Since reconstruction, the masses of my people have been, as it were, enslaved in mind by unprincipled adventurers, who, caring nothing for country, were willing to stoop to anything no matter how infamous, to secure power to themselves, and perpetuate it…..  My people have been told by these schemers, when men have been placed on the ticket who were notoriously corrupt and dishonest, that they must vote for them; that the salvation of the party depended upon it; that the man who scratched a ticket was not a Republican. This is only one of the many means these unprincipled demagogues have devised to perpetuate the intellectual bondage of my people….  The bitterness and hate created by the late civil strife has, in my opinion, been obliterated in this state, except perhaps in some localities, and would have long since been entirely obliterated, were it not for some unprincipled men who would keep alive the bitterness of the past, and inculcate a hatred between the races, in order that they may aggrandize themselves by office, and its emoluments, to control my people, the effect of which is to degrade them.”

Revels attended the Union County Quaker Seminary in Indiana, and from 1856 to 1857, Knox College at Galesburg, Illinois.  He also studied at a black seminary in Ohio.  Revels was ordained a minister in 1845.  As a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Revels preached in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, and Maryland in the 1850s.  “At times, I met with a great deal of opposition,” he later recalled.  “I was imprisoned in Missouri in 1854 for preaching the gospel to Negroes, though I was never subjected to violence.” In 1845 he became a minister in Baltimore, Maryland, and set up a private school.

As a chaplain, Revels helped raise two black Union regiments during the Civil War in Maryland and Missouri, and took part at the battle of Vicksburg in Mississippi.

Revels remained active in his ministry. For a time, he served as editor of the Southwestern Christian Advocate and taught theology at Shaw College (now Rust College), founded in 1866 in Holly Springs, Mississippi, where Revels and his family made their home.  Hiram Revels died on January 16, 1901, while attending a church conference in Aberdeen, Mississippi.

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NOTE FROM JOYCEIf you enjoyed and/or learned from this blog, please leave a comment and send the link to others.  Thanks!!

If you’re interested in reading all about “My Breast Cancer Journey,” those posts start with post #334.

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~ Joyce Fields

 

ADDITIONAL OFFERINGS FROM JOYCE FIELDS

Joyce is an author who has written seven books.  If you enjoy this blog, you will, undoubtedly, enjoy all her books.  Her sister, Anita, is also an author.

BE INSPIRED!  You can read about and order their books AND order merchandise from their online store at this link (or click the “BE INSPIRED!” button above):

https://lineofserenity.wordpress.com/get-more-inspiration/

Thanks for your interest AND support!!

Contact Joyce at goodshortbooks@yahoo.com.

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SOME OF JOYCE’S FAVORITE BLOGS

I visit these blogs and leave comments regularly.  I think you will enjoy them all!

http://www.lenasledgeblog.com  Books, reviews, give-aways, interviews.

http://living4bliss.com  Believing Life Is Set up for Success (BLISS)

http://goss-coaching.com/author/gosscoaching  A professional writer and wellness coach helping people connect thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and action to create optimal health and a vibrant life.

http://www.thebirkineffect.com  Musings of a “want it all” 21st century woman.

http://www.thesweetsensations.com  A baking, entertainment, and lifestyle blog.  Fantastic recipes and food photography, too!

http://www.pennilessparenting.com  A rich life on minimum wage.  Plus fabulous, healthful recipes!

http://www.rumpydog.com  I’m a dog with a unique perspective on human life.

http://www.davidkanigan.com/  Lead.Learn.Live.  David Kanigan:  Inspiration, Ideas & Information.

http://callingoftheheart.wordpress.com  Spirituality, Psychology, and Political.

http://www.petedenton.wordpress.com  Writer of short stories, Flash fiction, and some scripts.

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About Line of Serenity (Joyce Fields)

As a thought leader for today's generation, I choose to be part of the solution and am doing things that positively impact people's lives. In addition to being a happy, married (since 1967!) woman, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, I have over 40 years' experience in "Corporate America": Stenographer, Secretary, Supervisor, Analyst, Office Manager, Executive Assistant. I am also a professional proofreader and the author of eight books (seven non-fiction; one children's fiction--http://www.GoodShortBooks.com).
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6 Responses to Spreading Good News (Post 603 – BLACK HISTORY TUESDAY: Hiram Revels, America’s First African-American U.S. Senator [Republican])

  1. Sandra says:

    Sounds like the whole ‘birther” movement started a very long time ago. It’s amazing how much of what was going on in Mr. Revels era is still taking place today. Only the names have been changed.

  2. Ellie Telfer says:

    WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait .. …

  3. Paydaybank says:

    whoah this weblog is magnificent i love studying your posts. Keep up the great work! You already know, many persons are looking round for this information, you could help them greatly.

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