GDG- NPS & slavery-Arlington

Terry Brasko TerryBrasko at mindspring.com
Wed Jan 4 11:40:18 CST 2012


Peter-

The Custis's were record keepers also.  The website shows slave inventories
with their names and family members.  If one wanted to pursue this, the
records ARE out there.

Terry Brasko

-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com]
On Behalf Of CWMHTours at aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 12:35 PM
To: gettysburg at arthes.com
Subject: Re: GDG- NPS & slavery-Arlington

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
Thank you.  Probably won't pursue it.  Am far more  interested in other
things.
 
Slavery at Arlington and Gettysburg should be appropriate and proportionate
to the situation and topic, not overly exaggerated at the expense  of other
topics.
 
Your  Most Obedient Servant,
Peter  

 
In a message dated 1/4/2012 12:25:20 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
TerryBrasko at mindspring.com writes:

Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
>YOU tell me about the 200 slaves living  at  Arlington Cemetery.

>If you want to be an expert and  complain then you step up to  the 
>plate
and
tell me all about the 200  slaves.

>I only know about two of them specifically.  One  whose  name, I think, 
>was
Selena was a "house  slave".  A  servant of Mary C  Lee.  She stayed behind
when Mary went south  and tried to keep the Yankees  from destroying the
mansion when they  occupied the place.  Oddly enough, I  haven't heard of
where she  is buried.  Haven't heard that she is buried in  the  cemetery.
Peter


Peter-
>For more information on the slaves  at Arlington go  here:
http://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/arho/exb/Slavery/medium/Image-of-Thornton
-Gray.html

here:  

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/jparks.htm

and  here

http://www.arlingtonblackheritage.org/exhibits/curtislee.html




Although  not the 200 names you ask for, there are at least 3 families
listed with  pictures....

Terry Brasko

-----Original Message-----
From:  gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com]
On  Behalf Of CWMHTours at aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 12:15  PM
To: gettysburg at arthes.com
Subject: Re: GDG- NPS &  slavery

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
OK Al-

YOU tell me  about the 200 slaves living at  Arlington Cemetery.

If you want to  be an expert and complain then you step up to  the plate and
tell me  all about the 200 slaves.

I only know about two of them  specifically.  One whose  name, I think, was
Selena was a  "house  slave".  A servant of Mary C  Lee.  She stayed  behind
when Mary went south and tried to keep the Yankees  from  destroying the
mansion when they occupied the place.  Oddly enough,  I  haven't heard of
where she is buried.  Haven't heard that she  is buried in  the cemetery.

The other is a slave named, I think,  John.  He was born  on the plantation
and is buried in it.   Over by the Seneca Creek sandstone  wall next to Ft
Myer where there  is no gravel road.

That's about all I know.

What can you tell  us?  Do you have a true anecdote I can  use next time I
take a  tour group there?

The slaves at Arlington, like slaves all over this  country,  have a story
that is, for the most part, LOST.

I am  not aware of anyone writing a book on the story of the  slaves at  Arl
Cem.

And if you care so much then how many times have you  walked  through the
section of 500 Freedmen buried in their  segregated  section?

How many times have you taken groups of  African-Americans,  adults and
students, through Arlington Cem and  explained their own history to  them?
You try it if you want to  criticize me.

Why don't you tell  us the story of the Freedmans  Village  that used to be
on the Cem.  It was at sect 10 & 25  but it was  moved.  Tell us why.

What happened to the  Village?  What is the relationship  between the
Village and the  cem section?  What happened at the  Village?  Where did the
people go when it was shut down and they were  evicted?

I know  all that stuff.  But you tell us about  it.

I've done 100s of  African-American tours.  I talk a lot  about the slaves
in the  Cem when I have black groups.  I point the two  Gen B O Davis's
from
Tuskeegee and Chappie James.  I walk them through the   Buffalo Soldier
section.  Do you even know where that is?

My  complaint, if you had comprehended it correctly, is  that in 1992 when I
worked for the NPS/Tourmobile  the NPS had  a deliberate  program of
over-emphasizing African-Americans and slavery  over other  topics that were
even morre important.

Are you getting that?   If there is a scale of  "importance" in terms of the
people  buried  there then many people who were  not African-American  were
not mentioned because the NPS MANDATED that  we talk about the  lesser
important Blacks.  We were  REPRIMANDED if we didn't talk  about Chappie
James and instead talked about Bull  Halsey and Charles  Wilkes.

And the same program appears to be going on at the  Gettysburg  V.C.

200 people?  Yes- that sounds important to  me.  That  they were slaves?  
Yes, that should be talked  about.  

How about the other 250,000-300,000?  Aren't  they  important too?  Tell us
who Michael Blassie is and what  happened to  him.  Tell us about Commander
Bruce Van  Voorhees.  What did he do to  earn the Congressional Medal  of
Honor?

We would be reprimanded if we did not mention the new  black  woman who got
on the Tomb Guard for the Unknown.  But talk  about Van  Voorhees?  NPS
didn't care.  Bruce Van Voorhees  was a REAL AMERICAN  HERO who sacrificed
himself to save others.   I'd rather tell his story  than the first black
female Tomb  Guard.  They should have made a movie  about him.

There was  nothing in their script about, Asians, Latinos and  American  
Indians.  I think the story of Ira Hayes is great.    

But not in the NPS manual.  Why?

Yes, 200 people were  slaves.  Do you think we should  spend the WHOLE TIME
talking  about them at the deletion of the  others?

If so, good for  you.  Because that is the NPS program at  Arlington.

200  slaves have their place.  They should be talked about  and pointed out.

I think it borders on rascism when the NPS MANDATES that you   talk about
slaves and "relatively obscure" African-Americans in way that  takes  up
time you could be using to talk about MORE IMPORTANT  PEOPLE.

Yes, I think Bull Halsey, Charles Wilkes, and Bruce Van   Voorhees are more
significant than the first black female Tomb Guard.   I'd  rather talk about
them.

Why wasn't it MANDATED that we  also talk about American  Indians, like Ira
Hayes, Latinos and  Asians?

You have to getting the message I hope.

Is it finally  sinking in?  The NPS places a higher  PRIORITY on slavery and
African-Americans at the expense of other races and   topics.

Dig that?  I've seen it.

Peter



In a  message dated 1/4/2012 11:00:15 A.M. Eastern Standard  Time,
amills at jplcreative.com writes:

Esteemed  GDG Member  Contributes:
Al:

I have to admit, this is an excellent  point  that I found myself failing
despite having what I consider to be a  very  liberal and modern view on
race.  
I never considered  myself to be a  racist or bigot, but this showed me that

my eyes were  not as opened as I  thought.    

I only considered the  owners and the "white"  people and gave no
consideration to the slave  population that also called  Arlington "home."  

I am in part  embarrassed and also now  understand how little of this
history has  been taught and why it needs to be  told, even at places I
normally didn't felt it shouldn't be told.  I used  to be in the  "Slavery
needs to be told, but Gettysburg should focus on the  battle  and Lincoln's
address and
slavery should be the focus of places like   the National Civil War Museum 
in
Harrisburg", but realizing something  about  myself, I don't want my
children growing up ignorant of this  history as well  as I truly feel it is
the core story of America that  still resonates to this  day.  

I just want to personally  thank you.  This one email  has opened my eyes to
why this story  needs to be told at any appropriate place  more than
anything I have  seen, read or heard previously.  I am now fully  in the
camp that the slave story needs to be a key part of the Gettysburg  story
and  not just the
story of why two white armies decided to fight on those   fields (although I
still think the military story and the actions of  those  three days needs
to be told as well).  It sounds a little  cliché, but I  realized something
about myself from this one email and  something I need to  correct.  

Thanks, 

-----Original  Message-----
From:  gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com  [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com]
On Behalf  Of  ATMackeyJr at aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 11:48 PM
To:   gettysburg at arthes.com
Subject: Re: GDG- NPS &  slavery

Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
Interesting you don't  seem to consider almost 200  human beings to be
people living at  Arlington.  When asked who  lived there, you only give the
owners and their families.  Nobody  else matters to  you.

I'll let others decide what that says.

Best   Regards,
Al   Mackey



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