Miscegenation Seems Here to Stay

Miscegenation Seems Here to Stay

The historical taboo among American whites surrounding white-black relationships can be seen as a historical consequence of the oppression and racial segregation of African-Americans.

In many U.S. states interracial marriage was already illegal when the term miscegenation was invented in 1863. The first laws banning interracial marriage were introduced in the late 17th century in the slave-holding colonies of Virginia (1691) and Maryland (1692). Later these laws also spread to colonies and states where slavery did not exist.

The bans in Virginia and Maryland were established at a time when slavery was not yet fully institutionalized. At the time, most forced laborers on the plantations were indentured servants, and they were mostly white. Some historians have suggested that the at-the-time unprecedented laws banning interracial marriage were originally invented by planters as a divide and rule tactic after the uprising of servants in Bacon’s Rebellion. According to this theory, the ban on interracial marriage was issued to split up the increasingly mixed-race labor force into whites, who were given their freedom, and blacks, who were later treated as slaves rather than as indentured servants.

By forbidding interracial marriage, it became possible to keep these two new groups separated and prevent a new rebellion.

Repealing the Anti-miscegenation Laws

Most states in the Northeast, Northern-Midwest, and Western states with these laws repealed them by 1967 with some, including Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Maine, and Ohio, within a generation of the end of the US Civil War.

Repeal Over TimeThe final blow to these laws came with Loving v. Virginia, a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court, that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

The case was brought by Mildred Loving, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying each other. Their marriage violated the state’s anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited marriage between people classified as “white” and people classified as “colored”. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision determined that this prohibition was unconstitutional and ended all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.

Ku Klux Klan, [between 1965 and 1980]

Ku Klux Klan, [between 1965 and 1980]

In 2013, it was cited as precedent in U.S. federal court decisions holding restrictions on same-sex marriage in the United States unconstitutional, including in the 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges.

There are still plenty of non-governmental organizations opposed to interracial relationships.

Bob Jones University banned interracial dating until 2000 and segregationists (yeah, they still exist), including modern Christian Identity groups, have claimed that several passages in the Bible should be understood as referring to miscegenation with certain verses expressly forbidding it. Most theologians interpret these verses and references as forbidding inter-religious marriage, rather than interracial marriage.


Chicago Police Hide Boy for Three Days (1915)

Chicago Police Hide Boy for Three Days (1915)

The Day Book was an experimental, advertising-free daily newspaper published in Chicago from 1911 to 1917. It was owned by E. W. Scripps as part of the Scripps-McRae League of Newspapers (later Scripps-Howard Newspapers).

With the Day Book, Scripps sought to eliminate the often adversarial relationship between his editorial staffs and the advertisers that sustained them. To his disappointment, pressure from the business community had at times forced the Cincinnati Post to temper its firebrand campaigns against bossism and cronyism. The Day Book began publishing on September 28, 1911. Like his other penny presses, the Day Book championed labor rights while delivering a mix of politics and lowbrow, sensational content.

Youth Held in Jail Without Booking Since Last Friday
Judge in Boys’ Court Calls the Case Outrageous
Advises Boy to Sue Police

Police Hide Boy for Three Days

Police Hide Boy for Three Days

Just how rotten a stunt the police can pull on a young fellow, or on anybody was queried in the boys ‘court this morning when Judge Fisher balled some coppers out and turned Walter Allan, 5345 Blackstone Ave., out in the open air after three days in the lock-up.

Allan was grabbed Dec. 3 that’s way last Friday by Officers, McGuire, Higgins, Tapscott, as they were signed on the booking sheet, because he happened to look like one of the boys who were throwing stones in the neighborhood of 1505 B. 63rd St. way last October.

The boy was taken to jail and not booked until this morning. He was held three days, under no booking, but just because he happened to look like one of the stone throwers. This morning he was booked for breaking a window and brought into the boys’ court

And then Judge Fisher took a hand. He celebrated his first day on the boy’s court bench by taking a
good hard, and direct, wallop at the methods of the police.

“If such a case as this comes into this court again while I am here I will send for the officers and the captain of the district -to explain things,” Fisher said.

“The whole affair is an outrage. It’s rank police methods. The idea of holding a boy, or anybody else, in jail for three days without even booking him!”

Fisher then advised the boy to sue the city and the officers and turned him loose.

B. Simon, store owner, who had complained of the stone throwing, absolutely failed to identify Allan as one of the boys.

Source: The Day Book, December 06, 1915

A few weeks later The Day Book provided this update to Judge Fisher’s activity on the bench.


Smash Hits Online

Smash Hits Online

Smash Hits, a pop music magazine aimed at teenagers, was originally published in the United Kingdom by EMAP. It ran from 1978 to 2006 and was issued every other week for most of that period.

The magazine was at its peak in the 1980s, launching the career of many journalists including Heat’s editor Mark Frith. Other well-known writers have included Dave Rimmer, Ian Birch, Mark Ellen (who went on to launch Q, Mojo and Word), Steve Beebee, Peter Martin, Chris Heath, Sylvia Patterson, Sian Pattenden, Tom Hibbert, and Miranda Sawyer.

Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys also worked as a writer and assistant editor, and once claimed that had he not become a pop star, he would likely have pursued his ambition to become editor.

Many issues from the late 1970s to the early 1980s have been digitized as a collection at the Internet Archive Magazine Rack as Smash Hits Magazine.

These issues include color and black and white photos, interviews, announcements, lyrics, and clothing ads as well classified ads for pen pals, or “Biro Buddies.”


The Copperhead’s New Church

The Copperhead’s New Church

This bitingly satirical prayer appeared in a variety of newspapers during the Civil War. This copy is from The Highland Weekly News from Hillsboro, Ohio on Thursday, December 29, 1864. The wording of the various versions as well as the titles changed slightly but they all carry the same tone and meaning.

Clement Laird Vallandigham was an Ohio politician and leader of the Copperhead faction of anti-war Democrats during the American Civil War. He served two terms in the United States House of Representatives.

Clement Laird Vallandigham

This one was called A Butternut’s Prayer for the “New Church.” I have also seen it in Indiana newspapers under the title “A Copperhead’s Prayer.

Copperheadism was a highly contentious, grassroots movement, strongest in the area just north of the Ohio River, as well as some urban ethnic wards.

Historians agree that the Copperheads’ goal of restoring the Union with slavery was naive and impractical, for the Confederates refused to consider giving up their independence. During the war, Copperhead support increased when Union armies were doing poorly, and decreased when they won great victories. After the fall of Atlanta in September 1864, military success seemed assured, and Copperheadism collapsed.

Clement Vallandigham, leader of the Copperheads, coined the slogan: “To maintain the Constitution as it is, and to restore the Union as it was.”

A Butternut’s Prayer for the “New Church.”

Copperhead Rage

Copperhead Rage

Lord, we beseech Thee, if Thou art not an Abolitionist, to save our country. If Thou can not do It Constitutionally, and without setting the niggers free, or giving Old Abe Lincoln any of the glory, “let it slide,” But, oh. Lord! if Thou art an Abolitionist, and had any hand in setting the slaves of the Egyptians free, and drowning their masters in the Red Sea. Thou art not our God; for, be known unto Thee, oh, Lord, that we have established a new church, and will also set up a new Lord rather than submit to the dictum of one who set the slaves of the Egyptian free, and killed their masters because they were Democrats and Butternuts, as the Abolitionists call them. And, oh, Lord, if Thou art an Abolitionist, and in favor of setting the nigger free please make it known unto us, so that in our next meeting we may appoint a new Lord, and take immediate action in regard to a new Heaven; for we have resolved not to serve an Abolition God, nor will we occupy the same heaven with the Abolitionists and niggers .

We pray Thee, oh. Lord, to inform us if Thou art in favor of free speech, free press, free whisky, free acting, free everything , but free niggers ; and if Thou will admit niggers into Thy Heaven, that we may consider the subject at our next meeting, and determine whether it would not be prudent to cast Thee aside, end appoint in Thy room and stead our worthy brother, D. W. Voorhees, as Thy successor; for we wish Thee to understand, most directly and emphatically, oh. Lord, that we will have no God to rule over as who is not in favor of freedom in everything except the niggers . Oh, Lord, if Thou art not an Abolitionists, we will continue our supplication unto Thee; but if Thou art an Abolitionists, and say it is wrong to keep niggers in bondage, and admit them into Thy Heaven, we entirely repudiate Thee, and Thy Church, and will establish for ourselves a new church, a new religion, and a new Heaven. Oh, Lord, we desire a pure church and a holy people—a people who have no more regard for the nigger than for the dumb brute. We don’t believe they have any souls, and if they have, a nigger’ s soul ain’t worth saving.

Oh, God, protect and defend slavery— give us peace, but don’t let the Abolitionists interfere with slavery. In mercy, oh, Lord, restore the Democratic party to power, and every infernal cuss of a nigger to his master.

Lord, don’t let the niggers come unto the North, least they become our equals, and, in much mercy, don’t abolish slavery lest they become our superiors.

Oh, Lord, if there is a Lord, restore to us our beloved Dodd, but don’t cripple slavery; let L. P. Milligan have entire liberty of speech, but don’t give the nigger his freedom.

God of mercy, prevent all the Southern States from coming back in the Union without slavery, and, whether in accordance with Thy divine will or not, do Thou speedily restore it in the District of Columbia. Lord, protect and defend the institutions of slavery everywhere, and the more especially so, as many of the Southerners have, of late, been giving it the cold shoulder.

Oh, Lord, if there is a God, send all the Abolitionists to HELL, and finally, oh, Lord, save our church from everything like niggers , and Abolitionists. These blessings we demand at Thy hands for the weal of the Butternut-Copperhead party. Amen!

A Florida Minister on Race in 1957

A Florida Minister on Race in 1957

This excerpt from a statement to his congregation by Dr. Witty, pastor of Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida on the topic of segregation appeared in the December 1957 issue of The Citizen’s Council – a pro-segregation newsletter based in Jackson, Mississippi.

This letter highlights the way anti-communist rhetoric was threaded through the thoughts and positions held by many people opposed to integration of schools and other institutions.

First, I believe God made the races as distinct human groups. Though “red, yellow, black and white are precious in his sight”, the fact also remains that God made man “red, yellow, black, and white.” When man works to destroy these God-given distinctions he opposes part of God’s plan. I am opposed to any attempted destruction of the racial differences which God established and nature has long preserved.

Bayonets build no brotherhood and rifle-butts can not knock love into the heart. To follow the pattern of normal affinity is not racial discrimination but rather normal determination.

Voluntary association of these races, while preserving their distinctions, is the normal pattern of a related world, but forced associations destroy the quality of existence, deprive the compelled of their liberties, and make their happiness impossible.

The answer to the race problem is not physical closeness but spiritual understanding and mutual respect.

As a Christian I am dedicated to good-will among men. For years, a portion of my time has been invested in improving race relations. The first negro local religious broadcast came by my efforts. With other ministers I participated in an institute for negro pastors. I preached in the local negro college and in negro churches and negro settlement works. A negro minister preached from my pulpit on one occasion and negro choirs sang before our church.

Good will and Christian concern were increasing. But these dearly bought advances have been swept aside by pressure groups and politicians. Right and understanding relationships between black and white grow only voluntarily and are destroyed into animosities by force.

These selfish, if not communist inspired pressures, forget that the answer to the race problem is not physical nearness but mutual respect and spiritual understanding.

May God give us strength to rebuild with patience what selfish politicians, with callous disregard for born races, have destroyed to satisfy their greed for power.

This soft sell for maintaining segregation was not unusual for its time. When we look at the attitudes and practices of our ancestors, I think it is important to understand that they were living inside a sort of insular culture where their own political and spiritual leaders supported ideas that seem quite radical today.

Gift idea:  “Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom…” – You are Welcome!

Gift idea: “Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom…” – You are Welcome!

Black Friday has come and gone, but anyone still needing to pick up a gift for a woman they love is in luck.  Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom: Witty, Wicked and Wise Reflections on Well-Lived Lives by  Dr. Lois P. Frankel and illustrated by Lisa Graves is available as a paperback.

Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom

Ageless Women, Timeless Wisdom

This gorgeous 182-page book collects advice, reflections, and memories from women of all walks of life. Dr. Frankel decided to focus the book on women from the age of seventy and up, including a few centenarians.  These woman encompass a wide range of human experience and come from a multitude of economic, religious, educational, and ethnic backgrounds.

In her introduction she lays out the guiding principle of the book:

Unfortunately most people tend to lump all older women into the same homogenous pile when nothing could be further from the truth.  They are as different in maturity as they were in their youth. … Social-minded young women become mature women who volunteer for hospice or teach immigrant women how to read… adventurous young women continue to seek challenges to conquer.  The stories I collected from women around the world reflect these differences in temperament, background, experiences, and interests.

These quotes appear alongside snippets of biographical information to provide context to what these women have to share with the rest of us.

The book itself is beautiful. The text is lifted and highlighted by Lisa Grave’s beautiful illustrations throughout the stories.  You can find more links to Grave’s work on her History Witch Facebook page.

The photos, typefaces, layout, and art come together as a lovely book that would make a great gift this year.  If I had my wish, Frankel and Graves would adapt this book into a daily quote calendar.  I would totally buy that.

And if you buy a copy for yourself… which you totally should… there is an added bonus in the form of 6 beautifully designed pages to record some wisdom from ‘an Ageless Woman in Your Life.’

Ageless Woman, Timeless Wisdom

Ageless Woman, Timeless Wisdom


Six Winter Meals I’ll Never Make

Six Winter Meals I’ll Never Make

The cooler months are encompass my favorite seasons for cooking. The cold weather makes warming up the kitchen a pleasant task and the stews and soups made from winter vegetables are among my very favorite dishes.

That being said, I’d feel completely inadequate competing at hospitality with the 19th Century homemakers who were able to produce the kinds of meals described in the January 1861 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book. To be fair though, I suspect these meals involved the help of one of more servants.

Company Dinners for Winter

Meal One

Mulligatawny soup, fresh cod-fish fried, boiled ham, roast turkey with cranberry sauce, fowls stewed whole, oyster pie; potato snow, turnips, parsnips, winter-squash. Cocoa-nut pudding, lemon pudding, mince-pie, calfs-foot jelly.
<h4″>Meal Two

Clear gravy soup, stewed rock-fish, roasted ham, venison pie, boiled turkey with oyster sauce, brown fricassee; sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, beets. Orange pudding, almond pudding, meringued apples, chocolate cream.

Meal Three

Venison soup, fresh cod-fish boiled; smoked tongue, roast goose with apple sauce, oyster pie, French stew of rabbits; turnips, potato snow, parsnips, onion custard, beets. Transparent pudding, orange tarts, mince-pie, floating island.

Meal Four

Mock turtle soup, boiled rock-fish, ham pie, smoked tongue, roast turkey with cranberry sauce, boiled fowls with celery sauce, oyster loaves, sweetbread croquettes; turnips, parsnips, beets, macaroni, Charlotte russe, mince-pie, calf’s-foot jelly, blanc-mange.

Meal Five

Rich brown soup, fresh cod-fish stewed, boiled ham, venison roasted, red-head ducks with currant jelly, oyster patties, veal rissoles; turnips, parsnips, winter-squash, beets, cole-slaw. Mince pudding, omelet souffle, orange flummery, vanilla ice-cream.

Meal Six

Rich white soup, fresh cod-fish fried, roasted ham, venison pie, boiled turkey with oyster sauce, partridges, chicken rice pudding, potato snow, beets, turnips, winter-squash, stewed red cabbage. Plum pudding, chocolate blanc-mange, cocoa-nut cream, apple-jelly.

Family party

Source: Godey’s Lady’s Book – January, 1861

Top Image: Table setting for a formal diner at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Carol M. Highsmith

An Interview with Mr. Turkey

An Interview with Mr. Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Fred Boalt Interviews Thanksgiving Turkey

By Fred Boalt

Mr. Turkey Gobbler was pacing the narrow confines of the death cell, which is a large packing case in our back yard.

Boalt and Mr. Turkey

Boalt and Mr. Turkey

“Have you,” I asked, “anything to say why the sentence of death should not be carried out?”

“Gobble!” said Mr. Turkey, crossly.

“Tut, tut,” I chided. “It’s tough, 1 know. But it’ll be over so quickly you’ll hardly know what happened. It’ll scarcely hurt at all.”

“Gobble, gobble, gobble!” cried Mr. Gobbler, furiously, rushing and peeking at me.

“Oh, very well!” said I. “If you going to be unreasonable about it, I
shan’t bother. Gobble as much as you like.”

When he saw how impertubable I was before his anger, Mr. Gobbler controlled himself by an effort, and said, more calmly:

“I would not have you think that my vocabulary is limited to one word ‘gobble.’ When I said ‘gobble’ meant ‘gobble.’ Gobble, gobble, gobble!”

“Oh, come!” I protested. “It isn’t as bad as that.”

“It is. You can’t fool me! You’re going to chop my head off, and you and your wife and that boy of yours are going to eat me—STUFFED.”

“With gravy and sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce,” said I.

But when I saw the poor fellow wince, I apologized.

“That’s what I was thinking of,” said Mr. Gobbler, “when I said ‘gobble.’ You will eat and eat and eat. You will gobble twice as much food—yes, three times —as you do on ordinary occasions.

“And what,” asked Mr. Gobbler, “is this occasion? ‘Thanksgiving’ day, if you please! ‘Selfish’ day it should be called. You eat and stuff and gobble until you can’t wiggle. And you suffer from  indigestion for a week afterward. You humans make me sick. If you’d listen to me, I’d tell you how to celebrate Thanksgiving day.”

“I wish you would,” said I, politely.

“I am,” said Mr. Gobbler, “a great admirer of the Chinese. I know that in the Western world the Chinese are looked down upon as a backward and decadent people. Nevertheless, they have in their philosophy and customs much that is
sensible and praiseworthy.

“Take, for example, the Chinese manner of celebrating the New Year season. Do they overeat! They do not. They fast. And they forgive their enemies, renew friendships, pay their debts and start the year with a clean slate. It seems to me the Occident should observe Thanksgiving day in somewhat the same manner.”

“My dear Mr. Gobbler,” said I, “kindly bear in mind that the American practice of eating turkey on Thanksgiving day has persisted for many years. Neither you nor I can abolish the practice. For my part I wouldn’t want to. I do not wish to hurt your feelings, but, personally, there is nothing I enjoy more than a slice of breast, and, perhaps, a second joint of turkey, with a trifle of sweet potato and squash with celery on the side.”

“Oh,” exclaimed Mr. Gobbler, “I am not blaming you.”

“Moreover,” said I, sternly, “I would remind you that all life is a struggle. You eat worms and I eat you. I ask you, Mr. Gobbler, have you ever turned a merciful ear to the pleadings of a worm which you were about to devour?”

Mr. Gobbler hung his head.

“I merely want you to get the point of view of one who is most directly and vitally concerned,” he said. “I am not afraid to die. 1 knew all along that this would happen. It was the fate of my father and mother. Ah, well, if I must go through with it, I wish you’d do it quickly. And please, please don’t make a mess of it!”

I promised I would exercise care.

Obediently, Mr. Gobbler laid his head on the block.

“You’d better close your eyes,” I said. “I can’t do it while you’re looking at me.

He closed his eyes. Chop!

-The Tacoma Times, November 25, 1915