Tag Archives: emancipation

December zeitung

Missouri Germans Consortium Newsletter  December 2018

Missouri Germans Consortium would like to wish you and yours the happiest of holidays! We invite you to the many wonderful programs that we and our friends have planned for next year.  As 2018 draws to a close, we are thankful for our many great friends, and appreciate all of those  who have blessed us this year. Please enjoy this year’s final newsletter, and feel free to share with your friends and family so that we may all enjoy and appreciate each other’s love of our rich history and heritage.

The Emancipation of Sage 

On Thursday, January 10, 2019 we invite you to join MGC and At the Mic with Bernice Bennett for Research at the National Archive and Beyond for her Blog Talk Radio show program  THE EMANCIPATION OF SAGE Use the Link in the Location to Listen ONLINE! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bernicebennett

Background:   Imagine what it must have been like to have heard of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in January 1, 1863, only to be told that it did not mean you. It declared “that all persons held as slaves”within the rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The proclamation also called for the recruitment and establishment of black military units among the Union forces. An estimated 180,000 African Americans went on to serve in the army, while another 18,000 served in the navy. This clearly made the Civil War about the issues of slavery.  Missouri’s identity for Statehood was based on slavery, with its’ residents from the states of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee bringing thousands. The Missouri Compromise, trying to bring balance, would allow one “slave” state to join the Union, to balance every “free” state. All it really did was postpone war.

In the 1830s German immigrants had begun flooding our state. Knowing it was a slave state, they had hope that it would change.  As thousands arrived from Germany, those fleeing the failed revolutions of 1848, would become vocal and involved in government.

Germans had fled a divided overpopulated famine ravished country and watched with fear as States seceded.  Slave owners were the same feudal aristocracy,who controlled the government with their wealth. Here, they saw freedom and Democracy, and the ability to throw off the yoke of kings.

In Missouri, Germans would purchase slaves to free them, hire them, and rent them from “hard” masters to give them a better life. German newspapers fueled the struggle and informed the public. When the government enacted laws to make it illegal to teach the slaves to read or write, Germans would find ways, carefully. Slave Patrols were created just as much to catch someone in the act of “aiding and abetting a slave” as they were to catch a fleeing slave. German homes became”stops” on the Underground Railroad with wine cellars becoming hidden rooms, and church pulpits covering trapdoors. With the call to form black military units, Germans would step forward to lead as officers. Those that could not serve, women and children, filled Contraband camps, protected as best as possible by the military or hidden away. Life was becoming volatile. Homes and families’ lives were threatened.

At the beginning of January 1865, Missouri would move to change this. Calling forth a Constitutional Convention in St. Louis, they elected a German born attorney named Arnold Krekel as President of the Convention. Arnold’s father Franz, a friend of the German writer Gottfried Duden, would be one of the first to arrive in the flood of immigrants, bringing his small family in 1832. Seventeen-year-old Arnold would study English, surveying and law. He would become a State Representative and begin St. Charles’ County’s first German newspaper. And then, he would be the first one to sign, Missouri’s Emancipation Proclamation on January 11, 1865, thereby freeing all the enslaved of the state.

Gitana Productions’ “The Face of Love” symposium will explore the remarkable shared history of African Americans and German immigrants in their quest for freedom

Gitana Productions, in collaboration with the Missouri German Consortium, will explore and celebrate the remarkable contributions of German immigrants to the abolition of slavery in Missouri at The Face of Love: Symposium on the Common History of German and African Americans. Historians, community leaders and artists will come together to discuss the shared African American and Missouri German history on Saturday, February 23, 2019 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the German Cultural Society’s Jefferson Hall at 3652 S. Jefferson Avenue. This event is free to the public.
Please register at www.gitana-inc.org.

Germans came to America in the 1800s seeking freedom from oppression in Prussia. Remarkably, many German immigrants in Missouri also fought to free oppressed African Americans. Using the lens of history, the symposium will bring to life what it means to strive for social justice for “others” while also advocating for one’s own cultural group.
The rich and shared history between Germans and African Americans in St. Louis isn’t widely known and we want to change that,” said Cecilia Nadal, executive director of Gitana Productions. “Many German immigrants, who often spoke no English, recognized that the hope for a growing democracy in America could only be realized if slavery was abolished. Often threatened and even run out of town by Missouri slaveholders, these men and women even started newspapers to spread their ideals for a color-blind democracy.”
The symposium also will explore the challenges created by contradictions in values and belief systems. While many German immigrants who settled in the Midwest before and after the Civil War staunchly defended freedom for slaves, some chose to set
aside those values to survive. Those tensions, with roots in the past, continue today within many American cultural groups.

KETC-TV “Living St. Louis” producer and reporter Ruth Ezell will moderate the symposium, with special guests Colonel John Hayden, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Police Commissioner, and Herbert Quelle, German Consul General.
Speakers include:
● Dr. Sydney Norton, assistant professor of German Studies at Saint Louis University and author of German Immigrant Abolitionists : Fighting for a Free Missouri
● Dorris Keeven-Franke, executive director of Missouri Germans Consortium and author of Missouri – Where the Sun of Freedom Shines in ” Utopia – Revisiting a German State in America ”
● Dr. John W. Wright, author of Discovering African American St. Louis – A Guide to Historic Sites
● Rev. Starsky Wilson, CEO and president of the Deaconess Foundation and social activist appointed in 2014 by Governor Jay Nixon to head the Ferguson Commission
Entertainment will be provided by the local German and African American communities.
In June, Gitana Productions also will present a provocative original play inspired by the amazing stories of remarkable German immigrants who became leading abolitionists in Missouri. The performances will be held Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 23 at Kranzberg Art Center.
For more information, visit http://www.gitana-inc.org or contact info@gitana-inc.org or 314-721-6556.
Partial funding and support for Gitana Productions are provided by the Missouri Humanities Council, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Regional Arts Commission and Missouri Arts Council. Additional co-sponsors include Saint Louis University’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the African American Studies
Department.
ABOUT GITANA PRODUCTIONS
Gitana Productions, Inc. is a not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural awareness and collaboration using music, dance and drama in the St. Louis region. Gitana events present a rarely seen diversity of international and
local artists exhibiting an array of traditional and innovative artistic expressions. Gitana also developed Global Education through the Arts, a community project that uses the arts to promote intercultural competence between youth of diverse backgrounds. For more information, visit www.gitana-inc.org or contact Gitana Productions at (314) 721-6556.


MISSOURI GERMANS CONSORTIUM
eMail: missourigermans@gmail.com

Dorris Keeven-Franke, Executive Director

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German Abolitionists

On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation came into effect, freeing slaves in all Confederate-held territory. But Lincoln’s decree did not extend to Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Maryland, all of which were slave states that had remained loyal to the Union.

In 1864 some of the Missouri Germans backed an attempt to challenge Lincoln from the Left by nominating a Radical anti-slavery man for president. When Lincoln outflanked them by endorsing the 13th Amendment ending slavery, the Germans returned to the Republican fold and put their energies into revising the Missouri constitution to abolish slavery in their state

Legal freedom for all African Americans slaves in Missouri came by action of a state convention meeting in the Mercantile Library Hall in St. Louis. The convention convened slavessoldierson January 6, 1865 with German immigrant and abolitionist Judge Arnold Krekel serving as president. Radical Republicans, many of whom were also German-Americans, comprised two-thirds of the convention seats. A vote on the “emancipation ordinance” passed overwhelmingly 60 to 4 on January 11, 1865, with no compensation to slave owners. A month later the convention adopted the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery throughout the country.

Eight of the sixty-six delegates to the Missouri Constitutional Convention were born in Germany. One of the immigrants, Arnold Krekel, was elected Convention President. thWhile nearly all native-born Republicans believed that Missouri’s blacks should be freed, the status of blacks in freedom was contentious. Many thought that blacks, if they were free, should not be given the right to vote. Even among whites, women and young people under the age of 21 were not allowed to vote. One could be both a citizen and be deprived of the privilege of voting in 19th Century America.

The St. Louis Community College’s program THE GERMAN ABOLITIONISTS AND THE CIVIL WAR explores the relationships between the Germans and the enslaved community that they worked to emancipate. The program will be at the Missouri History Museum, on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 10:30 am in the Lee Auditorium will have speaker Dorris Keeven-Franke, Executive Director of Missouri Germans Consortium. The program is free as always and open to the public.

Germans and Emancipation

Arnold Krekel, was born in Germany in 1815, served as President of Missouri’s Constitutional Convention when slavery was abolished on January 11, 1865. He emigrated with his family to Dutzow, Missouri in November of 1832. The young man moved to searchSt. Charles and attended the  St. Charles College where he studied law. He worked as a surveyor and became a Justice of the Peace as well. In 1844 he graduated the bar and opened his law office. Krekel became the St. Charles County and city attorney from 1846 to 1850. He was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1852. Krekel was editor of the St. Charles German newspaper, Der Demokrat from 1850 until 1864, and when the Civil War began, Krekel served in the Union Army, as Colonel of a regiment of Missouri volunteers.

Old St. Charles College - 1886
Old St. Charles College 3rd & Jefferson ca 1886 In 1860, Arnold Krekel, took St. Charles College to be used as a hospital. The basement was a prison with military guards.

When the Civil War began, Missouri’s plans for gradual emancipation infuriated the Radical Republicans, who wanted slavery abolished immediately. They took their grievances to Lincoln, who refused to take sides in Missouri’s politics, which infuriated them even more. Provisional Governor Gamble offered to resign, but the First Constitutional Convention would not accept it. Gamble died in office on 31 January 1864. Missouri’s radicals arranged for elections and for a new Constitutional Convention in November 1864, where they elected Thomas C. Fletcher Missouri governor.

Constitutional Convention of 1865

Arnold Krekel, a Democrat, was elected President of the new Constitutional Convention that met in the Mercantile Library in St. Louis on January 6, 1865. On January 11, 1865 the convention, by a 60 to 4 vote, abolished slavery in the state with no compensation for slave owners. A month later the convention also adopted the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution to abolish slavery throughout the U.S..

On March 6, 1865, Krekel was nominated by President Lincoln to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, and confirmed on March 9, 1865. Krekel later taught law at the University of Missouri Law School in Columbia from 1872 to 1875, and continued to as a Judge for the Court until his retirement on June 9, 1888.

Opening next month – German Immigrant Abolitionists: Fighting for a Free Missouri 

abolutionist

From February 12 to May 15, 2016 at Saint Louis University, Center for Global Citizenship, in Seminar Room 124, an exhibit “German Immigrant Abolitionists: Fighting for a Free Missouri” will be open. On February 12, 2016 there will be an opening reception with  Dr. Sydney Norton who will give a Curator’s talk at  4 pm. Public viewing at other times is by appointment only.  Call 314-977-9326 or email: michaelk@slu.edu  for more information. You may also visit  http://www.slu.edu/department-of-languages-literatures-and-cultures/news-and-events/german-abolitionist-exhibition where more information can be found.

 

EmancipationProc