**see comments below regarding this picture

We Are Stronger Together

Again we celebrate Back History Month in this great country. We can celebrate and honor this month to no greater degree than to honor here, a very few who participated in a fight waged for the most righteous of causes. A courageous fight waged by black and white Americans working together, side by side, against the institution of Chattel slavery.

William Lloyd Garrison - A man of intellect, vision, and stamina co-founded a Massachusetts publication in 1831 known as “The Liberator”. This newspaper provided the support of the written word for the abolition of slavery. Despite the threats and road blocks, he continued to publish The Liberator, weekly, until the need was extinguished in December 1865 by the ratification of the 13th Amendment.

Frederick Douglas - Was born a slave in Maryland around 1818. He was self-educated by bits and pieces, being taught by those willing, and by borrowing books as was possible. One book he acquired around 1830, was “The Columbian Orator.” This was a classroom book first published in 1797. Both his views on human rights, and his oratorical skills honed by practicing the speeches over and over, became infused in his mind and spirit. After his escape from Slavery in 1838, as an Orator and licensed Preacher, his lectures and sermons on abolition became a central part of the Abolition movement. William Lloyd Garrison was one of his very first northern friends, and Douglass said of The Liberator, “it is second in my heart only to The Bible.”

Charles Sumner - A senator from Massachusetts and a staunch abolitionist, he gave a stirring speech in support of African-American emancipation on the Senate Floor in 1856. Two days later he was Caned, as it was called, at his Senate Desk by a South Carolina Congressmen named Preston Brooks.  Brooks who was a cousin of a South Carolina Senator he had named in that speech,  hit Sumner around 30 times, nearly killing him. He would not return to reasonable health for over 2 years. During that time, the state of Massachusetts kept “Sumner’s Empty Chair” vacant to honor the man, the speech, and the cause. He returned to support abolition without hesitation.

Again, we can honor this month and this part of history by remembering the wisdom we embrace, and strength we command in a unified America. David E. Coatney, February 2017


**Books That Made A Difference

Many of you know that I am a avid history buff, and a bibliophile (Collector and reader of books). These three books had great impact on the Abolition of Slavery.

*The first Book is an 1821 copy of “The Columbian Orator”, undoubtedly very similar to the copy owned by Frederick Douglass.

* The second book is an 1857 copy of “The Impending Crisis” by Hinton Rowan Helper. He was a Non-Slave owning southern white. The Book condemned slavery from the economic perspective. In 1859, an abridged version was printed and distributed by The Republican Party for the 1860 campaign that swept Abraham Lincoln and other republicans into power. Possession of this book was to become a criminal offense in the South.

* The Third Book is an 1855 copy of "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe. First Published in 1852, this novel is one of the most historically significant books in American history. Upon meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln was heard to have said, “So you’re the little Lady, that wrote the book that started this great war.”

I enjoy reading history while surrounded by it. These 3 books are history.

God’s Blessings,

David E. Coatney