Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

White Tennessee Residents In A Slave Trade Town Oppose Teaching Slavery History

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, September 23, 2021

In a small Tennessee town with a population of 83,454 — comparatively, Huntsville, AL has 100,000 more — where, in the public square, in front of the county courthouse, from which numerous lynchings occurred, on the site of a former slave trading market, stands a statue known by locals as “Chip,” so nicknamed for the chip in his hat.

“Chip” has been around since 1899, and, in a sense, could be thought of as a relative “newcomer” to the community, per se — which was founded 1799 — though an enduringly stalwart one, at that.

“Chip” is made of the finest Italian marble, and, according to the United States Geological Survey, which measured, calculated, and installed a marker upon its base in 1931, stands 648.82 linear feet above sea level. Nearby Nashville is only slightly more elevated at 1160 feet above sea level.

While “Chip’s” maker is largely unknown (though it is thought to be one of many such replicas installed), what is known about him is who commissioned him — the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

You see, “Chip” is homage to the Confederacy, and to Confederate soldiers.

Upon its base is enscribed the following:

“Erected To
Confederate Soldiers
By Franklin Chapter
No. 14
Daughters Of
The Confederacy
Nov. 30, A.D. 1899”
“In Honor And Memory
Of Our Heroes
Both Private And Chief
Of The
Southern Confederacy.
No Country Ever Had
Truer Sons,
No Cause
Nobler Champions,
No People
Bolder Defenders
Than The Brave Soldiers
To Whose Memory
This Stone Is Erected.”
“Would It Be
A Blame For Us
If Their Memory Part
From Our Land And Hearts
And A Wrong To Them
And A Shame To Us.
The Glories They Won
Shall Not Wane From Us.
In Legend And Lay, Our Heroes In Gray
Shall Ever Live
Over Again For Us.”
“We Who Saw And Knew Them Well
Are Witnesses
To Coming Ages
Of Their Valor
And Fidelity.
Tried And True. Glory Drowned

Franklin, Tennessee, like many towns and cities throughout the South, has a storied history, albeit, one which is much less-than-illustrious, simply by virtue of its wretched past which directly involved at least 12,000 enslaved human beings – sold as slaves for the exclusive use, and benefit of the wealthy White elite of the area. Franklin’s 1799 founding, though it was quite some years before the Civil War era, included human chattel slavery even then.

Understanding the Past to Guide the Future

There were 2 Battles of Franklin in the Civil War, both of which were victories for the United States; the minor battle in 1863, and the major, more well-known 1864 Battle of Franklin which was a decisive victory for the United States against the Confederacy, and decimated the Army of Tennessee, effectively rendering them debilitated thereafter. It was among the bloodiest of the war, even though it lasted but 5 hours, on November 30, and claimed at least 8500 lives, and by some estimates, closer to 10,000.

Eyewitness accounts of the battle report that some men died standing up near the fieldworks, simply because the corpses stacked around them – at least 5-and-6-high – were so tightly packed it did not permit their falling. And during that battle, 6 Confederate generals were killed that day, including John Adams, John Carpenter Carter, Patrick Ronayne Cleburne, States Rights Gist, Hiram Bronson Granbury, and Otho French Strahl were all killed in the assault on the Union breastworks fortification at Franklin.

Carnton plantation mansion’s rear porch

More Confederate generals were killed at the 1864 Battle of Franklin than in any other battle in the War of the Rebellion. The bodies of Confederate Generals Cleburne, Granbury, Strahl, and Adams were brought to the Carnton plantation mansion’s back porch and placed on the lower level, awaiting removal to their final burial places. In addition to the six generals who were killed, five generals were wounded, and one was captured, as follows:

1.) Brown, John Calvin BG/MG – severely wounded at Franklin
2.) Cockrell, Francis Marion BG – severely wounded at Franklin
3.) Deas, Zachariah Cantey BG – wounded at Franklin
4.) Gordon, George Washington BG – wounded & captured at Franklin 11/30/1864
5.) Manigault, Arthur Middleton BG – incapacitated by severe head wound at Franklin
6.) Sharp, Jacob Hunter BG – wounded at Franklin

Some records indicate deaths approximated 2300 for the United States, and 6200 for the Southern rebel Confederates.

Following the 1864 Battle of Franklin, and the equally disastrous Battle of Nashville December 15-16, 1864 in which the Confederate Army of Tennessee led by Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood, an avowed racist White Supremacist, was outnumbered by the Federal Union forces nearly two-to-one, and suffered there at least 6000 casualties – deaths, injuries, captures, missing, desertions, etc. – Bell and his army beat a hasty retreat to Tupelo, Mississippi, where he resigned his command January 1865, which effectively marked the end of the Army of Tennessee. In under a month, Hood’s Army of Tennessee had lost very nearly 20,000 soldiers, along with which the officer corps was similarly decimated. Altogether, by the time Hood resigned, his army suffered a total loss of 42 general officers, all of which began at the 1864 Battle of Franklin, including the loss of 6 general officers. The loss of Hood’s general officers, and their commands, were:

1 – army commander
3 – corps & commanders
9 – divisions & commanders
29 – brigades & commanders

The armies for the United States, and for the Confederacy, were equally matched, with 27,000 soldiers each. After the Battle of Franklin was over, at least 1500 of the 8500-10,000 lives lost in that short time were unidentified, and their remains are interred at Carnton Plantation, one of 3 historic sites — Carter House, Carnton, and Rippavilla — now owned and managed by the Battle of Franklin Trust, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, educational and historical preservation organization dedicated to the mission of understanding, preserving, and interpreting “the story of a people forever impacted by the American Civil War.”

The Carter House was the epicenter of the Battle of Franklin, and still has plainly visible bullet holes in the walls of the farm office building and the brick home. At the time, the house’s owner, Fountain Branch Carter, along with his family, and numerous neighbors, cowered in the basement while the battle raged outside. The 1830 house now has an interpretive center behind it, which includes artifacts and a film about the Battle of Franklin, is located at 1140 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN 37064, and may be contacted at (615) 791-1861.

The Carnton Plantation mansion was built by Randal McGavock, who was Nashville’s Mayor 1824-25, after emigrating from Virginia in 1796, and named the property after his father’s birthplace in County Antrim, Ireland. A bitter irony, is that the plantation’s name, Carnton, is suggestive of death, because in the ancient Celtic tradition, a cairn, or “carn” was a burial ground for warriors killed in battle.

In 1826, Randal McGavock moved with his family to the mansion upon its completion, where he raised thoroughbred horses until his 1843 death. In that time, Randal was known to have hosted the likes of Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk at Carnton plantation. Randal bequeathed the property to his son John, which had increased in size and included approximately 1420 acres.

The mansion at Carnton plantation was briefly a field hospital, a site where, during the Battle of Franklin, the Confederate wounded, and combat-shocked men went to the mansion, where “lady of the house” Carrie McGavock allowed the residence to be used for that purpose. To this day, there remain blood stains on the floor in certain areas of the house, and are heaviest in the children’s bedroom, which was used as a surgical room, which typically involved amputations.

After the war, in 1866, John McGavock, who had married his cousin, Carrie Winder of Ducros Plantation in Louisiana in 1848, gave 2 acres near the house for the reinterment of nearly 1,500 dead from the battle, including 225 unidentified bodies. The dead were initially buried with wooden markers nominating their identity, company & regiment, though the markers quickly began to fade, and disappear. John and area residents raised money to disinter and reinter the bodies, and install more durable markers, which was ordered done by the State of Tennessee in the Spring of 1866. Carrie McGavock recorded the identities of the individual graves which she preserved in the Cemetery Record Book using a series of numbers on the individual markers which correspond to numbers in the book. For the remainder of their lives, she and John tended the cemetery.

Carnton plantation’s mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark for its role in the Battle of Franklin. Carnton plantation is a few miles southeast of Franklin proper, at 1345 Carnton Lane, Franklin, TN 37064, and may be contacted at (615) 794-0903.

Yet despite the humanitarian acts performed by those individuals, and others in that moment of crisis, and shortly thereafter, all 3 sites were unambiguously locations where human beings were enslaved by the property owners – including in one instance women and children, exclusively – and were every one complicit in the perpetuation of the wretched franchise of the enslavement of human beings – the slave trade.

“In Tennessee, there was a 15% increase in the slave population between 1850 and 1860. By the latter year there were over 275,000 slaves in the state, and slightly more than 12,000 were in Williamson County. At Carnton there were a total of 44 slaves owned by John McGavock. He was one of 37 people in Williamson County who owned between 30 and 40 slaves. By comparison, Fountain Branch Carter owned 28 slaves. He was one of 98 people in the county who owned between 20 and 30 slaves. That placed both men in a category far above most of their peers in Tennessee. In fact, they were among the top 11% of slave owners in the state.

The Battle of Franklin Trust has a more full enumeration, and recitation of those who were enslaved by the owners of Carter House and Carnton plantation. Details of slaveholders and their slaves were made in the Slave Schedules which were population schedules used in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census and the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. Slaves were usually not named, but enumerated separately and usually only numbered under the slave holder’s name. The National Archives has microfilmed all of the original manuscripts for applicable states.

Eric Jacobson, CEO/Historian of BOFT, said, “One key goal at the Trust is to teach a wide audience about why there was a terrible Civil War, and why its outcome is so very relevant to those of us living today — those that have lived here for generations as well as those that aspire to migrate here. It is our job to educate, and sometimes history can be uncomfortable. Some find it difficult to let go of the past, while others find parts of history almost impossible to concede.”

“This is not art. This is political propaganda.”

Timeline of nationwide installations honoring the Confederacy

Regarding the conglomeration of edifices of commemorative Confederate statuary, and assertions of artistry, or claims that the public display of such statuary of those who fought to perpetuate the practice of enslaving people is “art,” Mr. Glenn Dasher, who earned his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture at Indiana University, is a Professor of Art, Sculpture, and Drawing at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said of the Confederate statute removed October 2020 from the Madison County courthouse in downtown Huntsville to a Confederate section of a public cemetery,This is not art. This is political propaganda. He noted specifically that numerous “cookie-cutter” statues were made and sold in the North and South after the Civil War, and that towns on either side of the conflict could order them with a choice of belt buckles, hats and other accoutrements. And in June 1966, the original 1905 statue in Huntsville was destroyed in a construction accident, which initiated several lawsuits, resulted in a trial by jury which found for the United Daughters of the Confederacy (which owned the statue), ordered the construction company to pay the UDC nearly $10,000, which the UDC then replaced with a replica, and rededicated in 1968.

“Chip” is but one at least 2000 other such icons, monuments, and “memorials” that are known to exist, commemorating, honoring, and dignifying acts of treason, terrorism, and secession by the Southern states of the Confederacy.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, AL has researched the public placement of Confederate statuary and monuments throughout the United States and found that there are at least 2000 such “memorials” in the United States that valorize the Confederacy — an anti-American terrorist government which waged war against the United States in order to preserve White supremacy, and perpetuate the legal degradation and horrors of enslavement of millions of people, principally of African origin — most of which were installed between 1900-1940.

Known as the “Lost Cause” ideology, through proliferative placement of such statuary, the effort was designed to romanticize, gloss over, commemorate, and dignify the Confederacy and all the wickedness that it truly stood for — the perpetuation of the franchise, and the vice of enslavement of other human beings — and was an integral part of an organized propaganda campaign by the United Daughters of the Confederacy designed exclusively to terrorize African American communities. Such “memorials” were designed to deliberately misrepresent, disguise, and alter the form and character of the past by promoting the Lost Cause narrative.

The erection of such statues dignifying anti-American Confederate terrorists throughout the nation, though predominately in the South, was deliberately designed not only to terrorize African Americans, but to twist, warp, pervert, and distort — to deliberately misconstrue the truth — of the horrors perpetuated by the Confederacy and its Southern supporters among the White community precisely to continue propagation of White Supremacy, and, to hold in contempt, and legally deny basic and fundamental civil, legal, and human rights to any non-White person, primarily those of African descent, but including Indigenous peoples (Native Americans), and non-Anglo immigrants.

The term “Lost Cause” refers to a book published in 1866 entitled “The Lost Cause: A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates” by Edward A. Pollard which sought to glorify the Southern Confederate effort in the War of the Rebellion, as if somehow, slavery and all that the South stood for, and upheld in the abominable wretchedness of slavery, was somehow noble, just, or honorable.

It was not.

The Encyclopedia of Alabama writes this in part about The Lost Cause:

The term “Lost Cause” emerged at the end of the Civil War when Edward Pollard, editor of the Richmond Examiner, popularized it with his book The Lost Cause, which chronicled the Confederacy’s demise. The term swiftly came into common use as a reference not only to military defeat, but defeat of the “southern way of life” — a phrase that generally referred to the South of the antebellum period, when plantation slavery was still intact. Since the late nineteenth century, historians have used the term “Lost Cause” to describe a particular belief system as well as commemorative activities that occurred in the South for decades after the Civil War. Commonly held beliefs were that the war was fought over states’ rights and not slavery, that slavery was a benevolent institution that offered Christianity to African “savages,” and that the war was a just cause in the eyes of God. Commemorative activities included erecting Confederate monuments and celebrating Confederate Memorial Day.

In the United States, the institution and illicit franchise and practice of enslaving, buying and selling people like property has always been about the wealthy elite. It has NEVER been about the “common man.” Rather, like many wars in history, the “common man” was almost always dragged into servitude by the wealthy elitists to go to war on their behalf, and to fight their battles for them. The American Revolution comes about as close as any to a fight in which the “common man” volunteered, rather than being conscripted into service. While it could be argued that the War of the Rebellion, aka the “Civil War” was one such example of the “common man” being voluntarily involved, it is a stretch, particularly given that so many criminals were actively involved amongst the Confederacy as military irregulars, primarily for their own criminal benefit.

The Criminal Element

Even casual examination of the “actors” in the Confederacy shows that the Confederacy incorporated into their ranks many viciously violent criminals, who today would be called “terrorists,” including:

William T. “Bloody Bill” Anderson, 1 of 3 known post mortem images known to exist of the notorious terrorist criminal, who terrorized Missouri, Kansas, and Texas, killing, torturing, raping, and pillaging everywhere he and his criminal gang went. He was an on-again/off-again Confederate guerrilla.

• the notoriously murderous villain William T. “Bloody Bill” Anderson (1840-1864), a particularly wicked and infamously evil Confederate terrorist guerilla widely known, and feared, for his merciless, ruthlessness, and brutal savagery, who tortured and terrorized people in Kansas, Missouri, and Texas;

• the Younger Brothers gang;

• William Clarke Quantrill, leader of irregular Confederate guerrillas known as “Quantrill’s Raiders”;

• the infamous criminal brothers Frank and Jesse James who were members of “Quantrill’s Raiders”;

• Colonel John Singleton Mosby and “Mosby’s Rangers” who was nicknamed “The Gray Ghost” for his genuinely guerrilla-style of warfare in which he & his men would attack Union outfits, destroy rail lines & bridges, then blend into the local civilian population;

• Huntsville, Alabama born John Hunt Morgan moved to Lexington, Kentucky, where he became a successful hemp grower and manufacturer, and privately outfitted “The Lexington Rifles.” He threw his lot in with General Buckner, was promoted to Colonel, and later transferred into Joseph Wheeler’s division in General Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee. He earned his nickname as the “Thunderbolt of the Confederacy” when he embarked upon a thousand-mile raid through Kentucky where he and his men destroyed railroad and telegraph lines, seized supplies, and took prisoners in the Union rear. He determined to attack Knoxville, Tennessee because the citizens there were largely pro-Union, but was caught in a surprise attack in Greenville, Tennessee, and shot and killed by a Union private who had once served under him.

The Confederates were widely known for such terroristic activities as burning down houses, barns, towns, destroying crops and livestock – not to mention their participation in wanton theft, murder, rape, and robbery – if someone didn’t support their cause.

When one critically examines United States history, there is a rampant disease, a clearly defined cancer, a foul, stinking, festering, open seeping wound infecting America, coursing like tentacles throughout the nation, which was painfully present from even before its founding. And that still-unhealed wound is slavery, which wrought bigotry, fostered racist White Supremacy, and the legally-endorsed hatred of, and discrimination against one’s fellow human being — again, from even before the founding of this nation. Abundant evidence supporting that diagnosis is found in the multitude of laws passed at Federal and State levels addressing matters surrounding the enslavement of human beings, and the blatant denial of equal rights under law to them, and to their descendants. It is unambiguously explicit, and undeniable. It is the worst weed that grew among among the planting of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. That noxious weed’s roots run deep, and wide.

An Unmistakably Long-Term Cancer

And so, it seems entirely odd, fully peculiar and even blatantly queer and hypocritical, that White folks in tony Franklin, Tennessee — a wealthy predominately-White enclave slightly southwest of Nashville, in adjoining Williamson County, the nation’s 14th wealthiest by median household income, on par with San Francisco County, CA — are all up in arms about… the teaching of slavery and the roots of racism in the United States.

Not “White Slavery,” which is the term formerly given to sex trafficking, or prostitution, but they’re opposed to the teaching of slavery as human chattel in the United States in which Black folks were harvested by force in Africa by White slave traders, shipped over in bonds of chains in filthy, overcrowded and inhumane conditions, then sold into slavery in the United States for White folks use and consumption, most of whom were in the South.

Illustration how to pack slaves on a transport ship, 1788.

It seems that some of the privileged White folks who live there in Franklin are ashamed of history. And, they should be.

Specifically, they’re ashamed of the aspect of American history which became the cause célèbre, and root of the:

Three-Fifths Compromise, 1787

An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States, North-West of the River Ohio, (aka “Northwest Ordinance” or “The Ordinance of 1787“), prohibited slavery in the territory, though provided for the return of runaway slaves

Slave Trade Act of 1794, March 22, prohibited American ships from engaging in the international slave trade

Slave Trade Act of 1800, May 10, forbade American participation in international slave trade

Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807, prohibited importation of new slaves, effective 01 January 1808

Underground Railroad 1810-1850; Harriet Tubman (1822-1913), Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)

Act to protect the commerce of the United States and punish the crime of piracy, 1819, statute prohibiting piracy, amended in 1820 to include participating in the slave trade or robbing a ship to be piracy. Nathaniel Gordon the only American slave trader to be tried, convicted, and executed “for being engaged in the Slave Trade” under the law; denied a Presidential pardon by Abraham Lincoln, hanged in New York CIty, NY, February 21, 1862.

• 1820 total slave population 1.54 million; 1.52 million were in Southern states

Missouri Compromise, March 6, 1820

lynchings in South start c.1830

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, September 18

• 1850, the population of enslaved persons in the nation had doubled to 3.2 million.

Kansas–Nebraska Act May 30, 1854

• Supreme Court decision Dred Scott v. Sandford 1857, holding that the Constitution was not meant to include American citizenship for people of African descent, regardless whether they were enslaved or free, so the rights and privileges conferred by the Constitution upon American citizens could not apply to them

• 1860, Montgomery, AL was the capital of the state’s domestic slave trade, one of the two largest slave-owning states in America

Clotilda July 7, 1860, smuggled 103 enslaved Africans into Mobile Bay, AL, the last known occurrence of importation of enslaved Africans in the U.S.; ship owner Timothy Meaher, a wealthy slave-owning planter and ship builder, boasted that he could smuggle in a ship full of slaves, the last of an estimated 389,000 Africans delivered into bondage in mainland America from the early 1600s to 1860; the traffickers deliberately burned the ship to avoid its discovery; discovered in the Mobile River 2018. Descendants of those enslaved aboard have formed an association to tell the story.

• Confiscation Act of 1861 August 6, 1861

Civil War, 1861-1865

• Confiscation Act of 1862, July 17, 1862

Morrill Act of 1862 (codified as 7 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.), aka “Land Grant College Act” established colleges/universities in order to promote “agriculture and the mechanic arts”  through gifting of land

Gettysburg Address President Abraham Lincoln, 1863, November 19

13th Amendment, Congress passed January 31, 1865; ratified December 6, 1865

• President Lincoln assassinated (1809-1865) April 15, by John Wilkes Booth, Confederate Secret Service spy

Memphis massacre of 1866, May 1-3

New Orleans Massacre of 1866, July 30

14th Amendment, Congress passed June 1868, ratified July 9, 1868

15th Amendment, Congress passed February 25, 1869, ratified February 3, 1870

“Jim Crow” laws proliferated 1870s-1954 in predominately Southern states, laws discriminating against Blacks

4400 documented lynchings of Black people 1877-1950, per Equal Justice Initiative

4743 lynchings in the U.S. 1882-1968, per NAACP records

Morrill Act of 1890, aka “Agricultural College Act of 1890” (26 Stat. 417; codified as 7 U.S.C. § 321 et seq.), required former Confederate states to establish universities for Blacks

•  Plessy v. Ferguson 1896 “separate but equal” Supreme Court decision sanctioned “Jim Crow” laws in the South, 7-1 majority, 1 Justice not voting

Atlanta, GA Race Riot 1906, September 22-24

Tulsa Race Massacre 1921 May 31-June 1

• “Last Mass Lynching in the United States” 1946

•  Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas 1954 Supreme Court decision unanimously rescinded Plessy

Emmett Till (1941-1955) kidnapped & murdered, August 28, Drew, MS, his 14-year-old maliciously brutalized body laid in state in an open-casket funeral at his mother’s request to show the world; Roy Bryant and half-brother J.W. Milam were accused, both acquitted by an all-White, all-male jury; both later confessed to the crime in a 1956 interview with Look magazine

Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-1956 & Rosa Parks (1913-2005)

Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth’s (1922-2011) Bethel Street Baptist Church & parsonage bombed by KKK Birmingham, AL 1956, Christmas Day

Arkansas “Little Rock 9” 1957, September 4 Central High School integration crisis

Lunch counter sit-ins, 1958-1963 (peaceful protests of segregation, Dockum Drug Store, Wichita, KS; Katz Drugstore, Oklahoma City, OK; Woolworth’s, Greensboro, NC; Woolworth’s, Jackson, MS; Walgreen’s, Harveys Department Store, Cain-Sloan’s, Nashville, TN; Loveman’s, Chattanooga, TN, etc.)

Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth’s Bethel Street Baptist Church Bombed 1958, June 29

Freedom Riders, May – December 1961, bus burning, Anniston, AL Sunday, May 14, Mother’s Day by KKK

•  Medgar Evers (1925-1963) murdered June 12, Civil Rights worker, Jackson, MS

“Children’s Crusade” Birmingham, AL May 1963, children attacked by Police Commissioner Bull Connor’s police dogs and fire hoses

•  “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door” Foster Auditorium, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa Governor George C. Wallace, June 11, 1963

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom August 28, 1963, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Birmingham AL bombing September 15, 1963, by KKK bombing kills Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley

“Mississippi Burning” June 1964 KKK murders of civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney

Civil Rights Act of 1964 made “Jim Crow” laws illegal; outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, required equal access to public places and employment, and enforced desegregation of schools and the right to vote

Selma to Montgomery Marches, 1965 “Bloody Sunday” March 7-AL State Troopers attacked marchers crossing Edmund Pettus Bridge; “Turnaround Tuesday”-March 9; Injunction-ordered March 21

Voting Rights Act of 1965, August 6

Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike February-April 1968

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) assassinated civil rights leader

“school-to-prison-pipeline,” c.1975 to date

inversely proportional, inequitable, disparate incarceration rates, c.1980 to date – From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander

Michael Donald lynched in Mobile, AL March 21, 1981 by KKK, reportedly one of the last U.S. lynchings, others may have been unreported

• “redlining” deliberate destruction, or disinvestment of neighborhoods by exclusion from financial resources, or by planning & directing construction projects, such as highway thoroughfares, through them

Pigford v. Glickman class action racial discrimination lawsuit against USDA 1999

•  Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, et al., numerous wanton murders by law enforcement authorities, and others, of otherwise law-abiding predominately Black men throughout the United States

These are merely the sick highlights of an maliciously abusive history.

Branding slaves, in this etching, they’re all female.

Why, even the well-known, and beloved Christian hymn “Amazing Grace” was written by former English slave trader John Newton (1725-1807) in 1772 who later became a poet and Anglican clergyman after his conversion to Christianity, and his cessation, renunciation of, and opposition to, slave-trading.

At the time, Christians and merchants believed that trafficking in human lives was justified since slavery was permitted in the Bible, as long as slaves were treated with dignity and kindness. Quakers and Anabaptists were the only Christians to speak out against slavery.

John Newton joined efforts advocating the abolition of slavery by publishing the essay “Thoughts upon the African Slave Trade.” He took a different approach, and didn’t use religion to form the basis of his argument, instead, he argued from his experience, and cited numerous, even commonplace, examples of brutalization and other reprehensibly callous treatment of enslaved human beings, and cited offenses including torture, rape, and murder which occurred as a regular part of the commercial merchandising of human life, i.e., the slave trade.

And to think… it was all started by slavery, racial discrimination, and hatred of one’s fellow man.

And, it’s alive and quite well today, in 2021.

Naah… nothing to see here.

Move along. Move along.

It’s “fake news,” folks… “fake news,” I tell ‘ya!

All is well in La-La Land.

Don’chu beleeve what you hears an’ reads! We treats ‘da darkies with dignity. We don’ think they uppity. Dey’s eekwul wif us awl! Nawsuhree! T’ain’t a bit’o troof to hit!

Nawsuh… de Cibbil Wah wuz about States Rights! T’weren’t about no slavery! Nawsuh! It’s “heritage… not hate”!

Of course, none of those citations above had anything to do with Native Americans, and so we can’t forget Andrew Jackson’s infamous “Trail of Tears,” and the massacres of indigenous people which included the “Indian Wars” which occurred intermittently from 1609–1924, and General George Custer, numerous broken treaties and seemingly countless transgressions against a peace-loving people.

How True is “True”?

Franklin, TN’s history is mostly White. Even the area’s website encouraging tourism there admits as much by writing, “Franklin’s history has long been dominated by white voices.”

So, exactly HOW White is Franklin? To answer that question, let’s turn to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent findings in that area.

The USCB reports that Franklin, TN is 83.5% White alone.
The United States is 76.3% White alone.
The State of Tennessee is 78.4% White alone.
Williamson County, TN where Franklin is the county seat, is 88.2% White alone.

So, yeah… the place is whiter than the North Pole in December.

Now, here’s the kicker (as if to add insult to injury): Robin Steenman, an Air Force Veteran, and White mother of 3 who sends her 1 school-age kid to PRIVATE school in Franklin, TN, in part, she says, to avoid public schools’ more strict COVID-19 mask requirements, is raising hell about the state’s public schools’ teaching of “critical race theory,” which is an advanced academic framework that examines how racism has shaped American society, and is rarely found outside of law schools. In fact, she’s so hot under the collar about it, that she, and some other mad moms have formed a group called “Moms for Liberty” and wrote an angry letter to the TN State Department of Education, demanding that they stop teaching such material.

She doesn’t even have a “dog in that fight,” and yet she’s bitching about it.

In layman’s terms, that’s called “hypocrisy.”

Imagine that.

Stop teaching about the slavery, the Civil War, the KKK, Civil Rights, stop teaching about ALL the historical matters enumerated above that formed our nation. STOP. Just. STOP.

Talk about rewriting history! Talk about “cancel culture”!

That is it to the EXTREME!

There is NO other event, other than slavery, and racial discrimination, which has so CONTINUOUSLY shaped, and still shapes, American history.

Now, here’s another directly-related item of hypocrisy: Tennessee’s Republican state legislators are pursuing plans to strip the Teaching Licenses from Instructors, and to eliminate state funding to schools that persistently teach what they consider to be “taboo” material.


Oh… it’s Big Brother calling. And they’re ALL Banana Republicans.

Franklin’s monument to the Confederacy, on the very site of a slave trading market, was also the exact location of an 1888 KKK lynching of a Black man who was publicly lynched from the 2nd floor of the county courthouse.

Again, the Franklin Tourism Bureau writes about the city’s ignoble history, that,

“Court was first held in a tavern, then in a little log building in the middle of the square. By 1809, a more permanent building arose in the same location that served until 1858 when the courthouse on the southeast corner of the square was built. Classic in appearance with a triangular pediment and four cast-iron columns, the courthouse served until 2004, when the Williamson County Judicial Center opened for business. After conviction for a crime, the punishment was usually carried out immediately in the courtyard. Punishments were physical and included whippings, brandings and confinement in the stocks. The death penalty was carried out by hanging from the courthouse balcony. At one hanging there wasn’t a lawful execution. In 1888 the Ku Klux Klan lynched a black man by hanging him from the balcony just as his trial began on charges of assaulting a white woman. Before the Civil War, slave auctions also took place in the courtyard. On July 6, 1867, the courthouse square was the site of a riot when Franklin’s Colored Union League marched through Franklin’s square to protest speeches by two congressional candidates. Black merchant and preacher A.N.C. Williams attempted to avoid violence by communicating the League’s desire to march peaceably to the assembled white attendees. Events escalated and shots were fired on both sides, but Williams proved instrumental in calming tensions between blacks and whites and working for a peaceful solution to the conflict on the square.”

In 1867 and 1868, the Ku Klux Klan was especially active in Williamson and Maury Counties. In fact, the Klan’s founding was by 6 Confederate veterans in nearby Pulaski, Giles County, Tennessee, on Christmas Eve 1865.

About 12,000 slaves lived in Williamson County before the Civil War.

Professor Richard J. Blackett, the Andrew Jackson Professor of History at Vanderbilt University is a historian of the abolitionist movement in the U.S., and said about efforts by Southern Confederate slave-holding states to prohibit removal of such anti-American statuary and monuments that, “The point is, the Confederacy lost the war, but they won the larger cultural battle. That’s why it’s so hard to remove them.”


One Response to “White Tennessee Residents In A Slave Trade Town Oppose Teaching Slavery History”

  1. […] That’s what many Christian adherents thought, taught, and believed about slavery in the United States circa 1800s until the end of the War of the Rebellion, aka the “Civil War.” Quakers and Anabaptists were the only Christians to speak out against slavery. […]


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