“Fanaticism in the North is rampant….On yesterday, the godly city of Boston, built up and sustained by the products of negro slave labor, went into mourning, fasting and prayer over the condign punishment of a negro stealer, murderer and traitor….
“In all the Noo England towns and villages, we may expect to hear that mock funerals have been celebrated, and all kinds of nonsensically lugubrious displays made. (It is a pity that they haven’t a witch or two to drown or burn, by way of variety.)….
“The Yankees have no objection to mingling money making with their grief, and they will, unless Brown’s gallows is known to have been burned, set to work and make [from it] all kinds of jimcracks and notions… and sell them. Let the rope which choked him, too, be burned or we shall see vast quantities of breast pips, lockets and bracelets… for sale. Barnum is already in the market for Old Brown’s clothes….”
— From an editorial in the Raleigh Register, December 3, 1859
Thanks to Michael Hill for this list of state highway historical markers approved by the advisory committee May 25:
— Pea Island Lifesavers. Only U.S. Lifesaving Station manned by black crew. Led by Richard Etheridge, 1879-1899.
— George H. White, 1852-1918. Represented the state’s “Black Second” district, U.S. House, 1897-1901. Last black Southerner in Congress for 72 years. Lived two blocks east. [Tarboro]
— Anna J. Cooper, 1858-1964. Educator, orator & early black feminist. Graduate, St. Augustine’s. Author, A Voice from the South (1892). Grave 2 1/2 blks. S. [Raleigh]
— Fairgrounds Speedway. After 1928 popularized Indy-style car racing. Site hosted the last NASCAR race on dirt track, 1970. Half-mile oval was 250 yds. SW. [Raleigh]
— Lewis Leary, 1835-1859. Free black abolitionist & conspirator in 1859 with John Brown in attack on U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Killed in assault. Lived in this vicinity. [Fayetteville]
— Omar Ibn Said, ca. 1770-1863. Muslim slave & scholar. African-born, he penned autobiography in Arabic in 1831. While living in Bladen Co., worshipped with local Presbyterians. [Fayetteville]
— Nimrod Jarrett Smith, 1837-1893. Principal Chief, Eastern Band of Cherokee, 1880-1891. Led incorporation of Band & centralization of Tribal government on his property, here. [Cherokee]
Expected by week’s end: Details on each marker.
“The day after [John] Brown’s execution in Virginia, [the Raleigh Register] warned Virginia governor Henry Wise to burn the gallows, lest some enterprising man remove it and ship it north, since ‘The Yankees have no objection to mingling money-making with their grief.’ The idea of memorial services and ‘mock funerals’ rumored in the North irritated the same editor enough to make him suggest that if Northerners were looking for public entertainment, ‘It is a pity they haven’t a witch or two to drown or burn’…
“Angered by [Massachusetts Rep.] Horace Mann’s comments condemning slavery, [Rep. Abraham Venable of North Carolina] lashed out: ‘Let him blush when he speaks of the sins and crimes of any people on earth… no southern calendar of crime can afford such cases as the Salem murders.’ ”
— From “The Specter of Salem: Remembering the Witch Trials in Nineteenth-Century America” (2008) by Gretchen A. Adams