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Black Abolitionists, Book by Benjamin Quarles Chapter 9 Vigilance Committe
Noted historian, scholar, and educator Benjamin Author Quarles was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 23, 1904.
A prolific writer, Quarles published ten books, twenty-three major articles, and hundreds of shorter pieces of various sorts. At least four of his books attained national significance: Frederick Douglass (1948), which grew out of his doctoral research and remains the authoritative source for most of what is known about Douglass; The Negro in the American Revolution (1961), one of the first books to demonstrate the importance of including African Americans in the mainstream narratives of U.S. history; The Negro in the Making of America (1964), a text used in courses throughout the country; and Black Abolitionists (1969), a book that helped propel a major reassessment of the anti-slavery movement.
David Ruggles advocated for self-defense and the need for African Americans to organize and establish their own "remedy" for justice. In 1835, Ruggles and other black abolitionists formed the Committee of Vigilance (A hybrid of The Black Panthers and The NAACP) to protect free blacks and recently escaped slaves and to fight slave catchers and kidnappers.
As David Ruggles, a leading black abolitionist, made clear in this 1836 account of a kidnapping, African Americans could not count on the police, the courts, or anti-slavery organizations.
Richard Riker (Rikers Island named after him) [1773-1842]
A lawyer and eventual judge who saw us on the lowest social level possible. Adipta writes, "When seven-year-old schoolboy Henry Scott was seized as a fugitive slave from his classroom, the kidnappers forcibly brought the terrified child before Richard Riker, the magistrate of New York City. They claimed that the boy was property belonging to white slaver.
Dating from its origin, the Negro press printed the names of black informants,Freedom's Journal listing those of Moses Smith, formerly of Baltimore, and Nathan Gooms of New York, in its issue of November 7, 1828. The mere appearance of these names in the columns of the weekly was a sufficient deterrent to die other informers whose identity the editors threatened to reveal. When Martin R, Delany was editor of The Black Underground Dr. Martin R. Delaney, founder of the Pittsburgh Mystery in 1842 and later was co-editor of the North Star.
In August 1858 two runaways were betrayed by John Brodie, who had promised to assist them in returning to Covington, Kentucky, to effect the liberation of relatives. Brodie's treachery nearly cost him his life. He was seized by a group of Negroes, who proceeded to give him three hundred blows with a paddle, a stroke for each dollar he was supposed to have received from the slave-catchers. Only the presence of the influential Henry Highland Garnet saved Brodie from further punishment. The badly mauled informer delivered himself to the police authorities, to be placed in jail for safe-keeping
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