Citation

Emancipation Without Compensation: From Federal Land Allocation Efforts to Petitioning for Ex-Slave Pensions

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Abstract:

Miranda Booker Perry
Howard University Doctoral Candidate
mirandabooker@yahoo.com
202-365-2802


Abstract:

Failure on the part of the Federal Government to distribute land to freedpeople in the years immediately following the Civil War left them in an impoverished and precarious predicament. In the ensuing years, the vast majority of ex-slaves were relegated to sharecropping, tenancy farming, convict-leasing, or some form of menial labor that kept them economically subservient and tied to the land. Carter G. Woodson wrote, “The poverty which afflicted them for a generation after Emancipation held them down to the lowest order of society, nominally free but economically enslaved.” I argue that by the 1890’s, many ex-slaves, along with their family and friends, gravitated to the Ex-Slave Pension Movement because they believed that an indemnity was overdue for their years of uncompensated labor and they knew that pensions would alleviate their economic plight.

In this paper, I will examine federal attempts to allocate land to freedpersons and share their views on land and pensions. The concept of ex-slave pensions was modeled after the Civil War-era pension program and I will explore this program as it relates to African American soldiers. The movement will be surveyed with a special focus on the organization at the epicenter of it, The National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association of the U.S.A.(MRBPA). I will expound on how the MRBPA viewed Civil War pensions for black veterans and connected it to their cause. Prominent black leaders views will be addressed along with the role federal agencies played in stifling the movement.
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Association:
Name: 96th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p522118_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Perry, Miranda. "Emancipation Without Compensation: From Federal Land Allocation Efforts to Petitioning for Ex-Slave Pensions" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 96th Annual Convention, TBA, Richmond, VA, Oct 04, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p522118_index.html>

APA Citation:

Perry, M. B. , 2011-10-04 "Emancipation Without Compensation: From Federal Land Allocation Efforts to Petitioning for Ex-Slave Pensions" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 96th Annual Convention, TBA, Richmond, VA <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p522118_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Miranda Booker Perry
Howard University Doctoral Candidate
mirandabooker@yahoo.com
202-365-2802


Abstract:

Failure on the part of the Federal Government to distribute land to freedpeople in the years immediately following the Civil War left them in an impoverished and precarious predicament. In the ensuing years, the vast majority of ex-slaves were relegated to sharecropping, tenancy farming, convict-leasing, or some form of menial labor that kept them economically subservient and tied to the land. Carter G. Woodson wrote, “The poverty which afflicted them for a generation after Emancipation held them down to the lowest order of society, nominally free but economically enslaved.” I argue that by the 1890’s, many ex-slaves, along with their family and friends, gravitated to the Ex-Slave Pension Movement because they believed that an indemnity was overdue for their years of uncompensated labor and they knew that pensions would alleviate their economic plight.

In this paper, I will examine federal attempts to allocate land to freedpersons and share their views on land and pensions. The concept of ex-slave pensions was modeled after the Civil War-era pension program and I will explore this program as it relates to African American soldiers. The movement will be surveyed with a special focus on the organization at the epicenter of it, The National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association of the U.S.A.(MRBPA). I will expound on how the MRBPA viewed Civil War pensions for black veterans and connected it to their cause. Prominent black leaders views will be addressed along with the role federal agencies played in stifling the movement.


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