19th Century African & Native American Views

Nick Alcantar

Sunday, December 10,
2017

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History 101

Research Paper

19th
Century African & Native American Views

Race in the 19th
century was conceived in many ways by many different groups of people. However,
in particular, I will be focusing on
Native Americans and African Americans. African Americans were treated very
poorly and were brought over as slaves in mass amounts. Native Americans were
made outsiders while the government tried to take their land from them. Many
laws and acts were brought about by the government against these people to make
them leave and strip them of their rights.

            African
Americans were discriminated against highly as soon as they were brought over
as slaves. Millions of African Americans were brought over to work on the farm
fields because the south did not have enough people to work, thus starting
slavery. The number of slaves that were brought increased by 134% by the mid-18th
century.[1] The African American population
began to skyrocket by more than 54% of African Americans being inserted into
the total population. [2]  As a result of their being an outnumbering
amount of African Americans to white’s rumors were spread of a slave conspiracy.[3] This strongly affected African American minority because numerous African
Americans were hung and exiled whether they were slaves or not because of these
rumors. James Henry Hammond in his speech explained that slaveholders were a
new class, and they have now risen to power over the slaves they own.[4] He also said that the
planter class has now risen to the top of their power. He believed that them
being at the top of their power meant they were entitled to slaves. One man named,
Bennett Barrow who was just 19 years old owned more than 200 slaves.[5] African Americans were
then stripped of their rights once they
became slaves. Bennett Borrow kept a diary of rules his slaves with his number
one rule reading, “No Negro shall leave the place at any time without my
permission.” [6]This
to an extent compares to the Native Americans, because they were being forced
to leave their homeland and not bring allowed to leave the reservations they
were being sent to. Andrew Jackson wanted the white settlers from the south to
expand and take the land the Native American were on. The government felt
entitled like the southerners did and wanted to take the land from the Natives.
For example, when Andrew Jackson gave his speech he expressed that he and the government had the great pleasure to announce to Congress that after almost thirty years the
removal of Indians beyond white settlements was happily approaching.[7]

The government and president
belittled Native Americans, they wanted to isolate the Native Americans.
Therefore, on May 28, 1830, President
Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act. This act legally gave the
president the authority to give away any land west of the Mississippi. The
president then expressed that the Indians need to leave quickly because after
they are gone it will put an end to all the tensions between the government
authorities. He felt that as long as the Native Americans refused to leave there
was a chance of conflict erupting with the authorities.[8] These Native Americans are
being forced off their sacred homeland so that the government can make money.
The government felt like this would be a good situation for both parties and
that the Indians would be happy moving. This 1835 treaty required the Cherokee
to move to the Indian Territory and to exchange Cherokee lands in the east for
the present-day Oklahoma lands.[9] Most thought Native
Americans would be moved to a somewhat luxurious reservation with still having
contact with the outside world, but this was not the

case. Instead, many Native American tribes were put on
reservations together in locations that are hardly ever traveled by any Americans.
Native Americans were relocated to rural locations by the United States
government, with the point being for them to be forgotten about. While on these
reservations Native Americans were given their food in rations. Receiving
rations like this was very unusual since it only happened in dire times like
during a war.

 This in a way is segregation to the Native
Americans, they are being made outsiders and pushed away from society. What the
government is doing to the Native Americans is the same that is happening to
African Americans. African Americans were strongly discriminated against when
they were in slavery, especially when the fugitive slave act was passed in the
late nineteenth century. This act monitored and regulated African American
slaves. This law was passed because southerners thought it was necessary since
the United States Constitution stated, “A Person charged in any State with
Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in
another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from
which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction
of the Crime.”[10]
Even though this was the law many slaves
helped set up an underground network that allowed them to escape to the free
northern states. Therefore, southerners felt they needed to stop this and set a
clear set of rules that would stop runaway slaves and someone that would
address returning slaves to their owners. What pushed this act to be created
was the case of John Davis. John Davis was an alleged runaway slave that was kidnapped by three white men from
Pennsylvania. John Davis told the men he was a slave in Virginia, which is
where the three kidnappers had taken him to. Pennsylvania authorities wanted
the three men to be arrested and sent back to Pennsylvania to face kidnapping
charges. However, Edmund Randolph, United
States Attorney General, would not arrest
the three kidnappers, since he claimed that Virginia did not have legal
jurisdiction. Randolph then submitted the case to the present who then
forwarded it to Congress. Congress’s solution resulted in the upcoming of the
Fugitive Slave Act. This act drew out the
process for slave owners to reclaim their runaway slaves. The first section of
this act said, “This part of the law claimed that it was the governor’s
responsibility to act. Once the harboring state had received a formal
accusation from the governor seeking the fugitive, it was the responsibility of
the state to arrest the fugitive and notify the state from which the fugitive
had committed the crime.[11]The next section of the
act said the three steps to returning your runaway slave. First, the slaveowner must obtain the runaway
slave, second, the runaway slave has to
be taken to a federal or state judge, finally,
the slaveowner must present some type of evidence that the runaway slave is
their property. This act was notably enforced in the case of Prigg vs
Pennsylvania. In this case, a slave by the name
of Margaret Morgan moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania where she thought she
was granted her freedom for her slave owner.[12] Then soon after her
slaveowner sent Edward Prigg to retrieve her and bring her back to be a slave.
He kidnapped her from Pennsylvania, where she thought she was freed and took
her back to Maryland to resume being a slave. However, laws were already passed
by Pennsylvania that prohibited the state from
helping to return runaway slaves. In result of this law, it would now be a crime
for anyone that tried to obtain an African American for the motive of them
being a slave.

 So essentially African Americans are being
forced back into slavery even if they are
able to finally escape. I can relate this to Native Americans and the removal
act because the Indians have found a place to settle and call home much like
runaway slaves in the north and now they are being forced to leave. The Indians
are not slaves but they much like runaway slaves are being forced to leave
their sacred home for many years. After the Indian removal act was passed many
Native Americans still refused to leave and when this happened seven thousand
troops marched to their home to remove them. So, on May 26 government
authorities were sent to the Native Americans homes and forced them to leave at
gunpoint. The camps they had been marched to resemble a type of detention camp.
“By late July 1838, some 17,000 Cherokee and an additional 2,000 black slaves
owned by wealthy Native Americans were in the camps. Conditions in the camps
were appalling, and diseases including dysentery were rife. As a result, there
was a high mortality rate in the camps.” [13] Then on August 28, 1838, these
Native Americans were taken on a 1,200-mile, journey. The conditions on this
march were very extreme ranging from the first group to march who experienced
very high temperatures resulting in many suffering from heat exhaustion. While they
waited to cross the frozen rivers in the winter, many Natives were subjected to
hypothermia and frostbite. Journalist Joshunda Sanders described this time as
what felt like genocide to Native Americans.[14] Analyst John Waukechon
describes the relationship between the Native Americans and the government as
equal footing, but as the United States,
power grew the government said the states had no jurisdiction in the internal
affairs of Indian tribes.[15]

Overall, many different groups
and people conceived race in many ways. African Americans and Native Americans
are very relatable in the way they have
been viewed and treated. Both of these groups were discriminated against in one
way or another. Yes, you could make an argument that African Americans were
slaves and Native American weren’t, but both were treated as outcasts and
forced to leave a land they loved. African Americans had made new homes once
they escaped as runaway slaves, and they were literally dragged back to their
slave owners. Native Americans had been living in
their sacred homeland for hundreds of years and they
were forced to leave at gunpoint because the government wanted white people to
expand and sell their land. Since many acts were passed against these two diverse groups their minorities were all
viewed differently from then on. Once African Americans received the label of
slaves all African Americans were then looked at to all be slaves. Native
Americans were looked at as enemies after they refused to not leave their
sacred homeland, but they were only protecting their scared traditions for hundreds of years. These first-hand
accounts and sources are just a few examples to support why these two groups faced
racial discrimination against their
minorities and people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.         Minority
race module, African Americans, Colonial Slavery in Virginia and Maryland

2.         Ibid.

3.         Minority
race module, African Americans, Slave revolts in the Early Republic

4.         Hammond,
James Henry. “‘The ‘Mudsill’ Theory,” by James Henry Hammond.” PBS, Public
Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h3439t.html.

5.         Minority
race module, African Americans, Slave labor and plantation rules

6.         Ibid.

7.         Minority
race module, Native Americans, Andrew Jackson Speech to Congress on Indian
Removal.

8.         Ibid

9.         Watkins,
Joe. “Removal to Indian Territory, 1832–1851.” The American Mosaic:
The American Indian Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2017,
americanindian2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/15. Accessed 10 Dec. 2017.

10.       “Constitution
of the United States.” U.S. Senate: Constitution of the United States, 15 Feb.
2017,

11.       Peterson,
Clarissa. “Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.” The American Mosaic: The
African American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2017, africanamerican2.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/1477802.
Accessed 10 Dec. 2017.

12.       “Prigg v.
Pennsylvania, 41 U.S. 539 (1842).” Justia Law,
supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/41/539/case.html.

13.       Baker, Ralph
Martin, and Paul G. Pierpaoli Jr. “Trail of Tears.” The American
Mosaic: The American Indian Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2017,
americanindian2.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/1685967?cid=41&sid=1685967.
Accessed 10 Dec. 2017.

14.       Sanders,
Joshunda. “Cultural Destruction and Indian Removal.” The American
Mosaic: The American Indian Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2017,
americanindian2.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/1753800. Accessed 10 Dec. 2017.

15.       Waukechon,
John. “Tribes, States, and the Federal Government: Who Influences Native
Sovereignty?” The American Mosaic: The American Indian Experience,
ABC-CLIO, 2017, americanindian2.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/1611246. Accessed
10 Dec. 2017.

[1] “minority race module”

[2]  ibid

[3] “minority
race module”

[4] James Henry Hammond,
“‘The ‘Mudsill’ Theory,”

[5] “minority Race module”

[6] ibid

[7] “minority
race module”

[8]  “minority race module”

[9] Joe
Watkins, “Removal to Indian Territory, 1832–1851,”

[10] “Constitution of the
United States.” U.S. Senate

 

[11] Clarissa Peterson, “Fugitive
Slave Act of 1793.”

[12] “Prigg v. Pennsylvania,
41 U.S. 539

[13] Ralph Martin Baker, and Paul G. Pierpaoli Jr. “Trail of
Tears.”

[14] Joshunda Sanders,
“Cultural Destruction and Indian Removal.”

[15]  John Waukechon, “Tribes, States, and the Federal
Government: Who Influences Native Sovereignty?”