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Black People : 40 Acres and a Mule

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Destee, Apr 3, 2002.

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    Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Do you know of any families that actually received 40 acres and a mule? I know my folk didn't ... but surely some must have?

    If you know of any that did, please tell us about it.

    Destee
     
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    $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Administrator STAFF

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    i can't say i know of any and i heard that kemet.... i think ya right
    on target wit dis here .....
     
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    cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Forty Acres and a Mule

    As Union soldiers advanced through the South, tens of thousands of freed slaves left their plantations to follow Union general William Tecumseh Sherman's army.

    To solve problems caused by the mass of refugees, Sherman issued Special Field Orders, No. 15, a temporary plan granting each freed family forty acres of tillable land on islands and the coast of Georgia. The army had a number of unneeded mules which were also granted to settlers.

    News of "forty acres and a mule" spread quickly; freed slaves welcomed it as proof that emancipation would finally give them a stake in the land they had worked as slaves for so long.

    The orders were in effect for only one year.

    In the Field, Savannah, Georgia, January 16th, 1865.

    Special Field Orders, No. 15.

    I. The islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States.

    II. At Beaufort, Hilton Head, Savannah, Fernandina, St. Augustine and Jacksonville, the blacks may remain in their chosen or accustomed vocations -- but on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves, subject only to the United States military authority and the acts of Congress. By the laws of war, and orders of the President of the United States, the negro is free and must be dealt with as such. He cannot be subjected to conscription or forced military service, save by the written orders of the highest military authority of the Department, under such regulations as the President or Congress may prescribe. Domestic servants, blacksmiths, carpenters and other mechanics, will be free to select their own work and residence, but the young and able-bodied negroes must be encouraged to enlist as soldiers in the service of the United States, to contribute their share towards maintaining their own freedom, and securing their rights as citizens of the United States.

    Negroes so enlisted will be organized into companies, battalions and regiments, under the orders of the United States military authorities, and will be paid, fed and clothed according to law. The bounties paid on enlistment may, with the consent of the recruit, go to assist his family and settlement in procuring agricultural implements, seed, tools, boots, clothing, and other articles necessary for their livelihood.

    III. Whenever three respectable negroes, heads of families, shall desire to settle on land, and shall have selected for that purpose an island or a locality clearly defined, within the limits above designated, the Inspector of Settlements and Plantations will himself, or by such subordinate officer as he may appoint, give them a license to settle such island or district, and afford them such assistance as he can to enable them to establish a peaceable agricultural settlement. The three parties named will subdivide the land, under the supervision of the Inspector, among themselves and such others as may choose to settle near them, so that each family shall have a plot of not more than (40) forty acres of tillable ground, and when it borders on some water channel, with not more than 800 feet water front, in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection, until such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title. The Quartermaster may, on the requisition of the Inspector of Settlements and Plantations, place at the disposal of the Inspector, one or more of the captured steamers, to ply between the settlements and one or more of the commercial points heretofore named in orders, to afford the settlers the opportunity to supply their necessary wants, and to sell the products of their land and labor.

    IV. Whenever a negro has enlisted in the military service of the United States, he may locate his family in any one of the settlements at pleasure, and acquire a homestead, and all other rights and privileges of a settler, as though present in person. In like manner, negroes may settle their families and engage on board the gunboats, or in fishing, or in the navigation of the inland waters, without losing any claim to land or other advantages derived from this system. But no one, unless an actual settler as above defined, or unless absent on Government service, will be entitled to claim any right to land or property in any settlement by virtue of these orders.

    V. In order to carry out this system of settlement, a general officer will be detailed as Inspector of Settlements and Plantations, whose duty it shall be to visit the settlements, to regulate their police and general management, and who will furnish personally to each head of a family, subject to the approval of the President of the United States, a possessory title in writing, giving as near as possible the description of boundaries; and who shall adjust all claims or conflicts that may arise under the same, subject to the like approval, treating such titles altogether as possessory. The same general officer will also be charged with the enlistment and organization of the negro recruits, and protecting their interests while absent from their settlements; and will be governed by the rules and regulations prescribed by the War Department for such purposes.

    VI. Brigadier General R. Saxton is hereby appointed Inspector of Settlements and Plantations, and will at once enter on the performance of his duties. No change is intended or desired in the settlement now on Beaufort [Port Royal] Island, nor will any rights to property heretofore acquired be affected thereby.

    By Order of Major General W. T. Sherman

    Special Field Orders, No. 15, Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, 16 Jan. 1865. Orders & Circulars, ser. 44, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/40acres/ps_so15.html
     
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    cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    40 acres and a mule is a term for compensation that was promised to be awarded to freed African American slaves after the Civil War: 40 acres (16 ha) of land to farm, and a mule with which to drag a plow so the land could be cultivated.

    40 acres (16 ha) was a quarter of a quarter-section. The award was a land grant deeded to heads of households, the land presumably formerly being owned by land-holding whites. It was the product of Special Field Orders, No. 15, issued January 16, 1865 by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, which applied to black families who lived near the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Sherman's orders specifically allocated "the islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida". There was no mention of mules in Sherman's order, although the Army may have distributed them anyway. Federal and state homestead grants of the time ranged from 1/4 section up to a full section.

    After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, his successor, Andrew Johnson, revoked Sherman's Orders. It is sometimes mistakenly claimed that Johnson also vetoed the enactment of the policy as a federal statute (introduced as U.S. Senate Bill 60). In fact, the Freedmen's Bureau Bill which he vetoed made no mention of grants of land or mules. (Another version of the Freedmen's bill, also without the land grants, was later passed after Johnson's second veto was overridden.)

    By June 1865, around 10,000 freed slaves were settled on 400,000 acres (160,000 ha) in Georgia and South Carolina. Soon after, President Andrew Johnson reversed the order and returned the land to its white former owners. Because of this, the phrase has come to represent the failure of Reconstruction and the general public to assist African Americans.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/40_acres_and_a_mule
     
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    Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr Clyde C. Coger, Jr. PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa and Truth!



    Spike Lee is on the money though, for real...Sister Destee. I'm surprize this thread didn't generate more discussion.

     
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    cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    "...Less than a year after Sherman’s order, President Andrew Johnson intervened, and ordered that the vast majority of confiscated land be returned to its former owners. This included most of land that the freedmen had settled. The Federal government dispossessed tens of thousands of black landholders. In Georgia and South Carolina, some blacks fought back, driving away former owners with guns. Federal troops sometimes evicted blacks by force. In the end only some 2,000 blacks retained land they had won and worked after the war...."

    http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/forty-acres-and-mule
     
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    cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    And by now, even that number is considerably LESS because of the land theft in SC and GA.

    There are Black families who are still fighting to retain their lands which have been in their families since the Civil War and before it.
     
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    SophiaG

    SophiaG Active Member MEMBER

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    I remember reading about this in my American History course in college. It was dissapointing to read about how the blacks had been given many rights after the civil war. and it was taken away. I don't think it was covered very much in my high school history courses.

    I remember listening, fairly recently...within the span of a few months back, to an NPR newstation about some area in the south that blacks had been given land to. Some ecological society or...govermental bueareau involved in the preservation of species was trying to take land away from black people to turn it into a nature preserve because a threatened owl species lived where they did. The argument given by the african americans that lived there was that they had lived with the owl for many many years and posed no threat to it.
     
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  2. On January 16 1865 who where the slaves that rercieved 40 acres and mule under the orders of William Tecumseh Sherman?