The Queen That Never Surrendered: Queen Nzinga

Edited by Tae Queen

Queen Nzinga Mbande was the monarch of the Mbundu people. Most famous for her resistance of Portuguese colonization and slave trade, she was known as a powerful military strategist who kept her people safe until her dying day.

One of her most famous encounters with the Portuguese was in 1622, when she met with Portuguese officials in Luanda to discuss a peace treaty. During this peace conference she established a line of trade with Portugal in hopes of securing weaponry. She also converted to Christianity to appease this connection, but Portugal was not satisfied with mere trade and desired African slaves. Nzinga, displeased with this deliberate breach of treaty, reached out to her brother, only to be saddened by his weakness on the matter. Her brother eventually committed suicide in 1626 leaving Nzinga as Queen of the Mbundu people.

Queen Nzinga took it upon herself to form an alliance with the Janga people by marrying their chief and organized an army. She also created a land for her people by conquering the kingdom of Matamba. This alliance ended in betrayal as the chief ended up attacking Matamba and her people.

Queen Nzinga’s brilliant military mind seized her chance to form an alliance with the Dutch as they fought with the Portuguese over their share of the slave trade in 1641.  In 1647, Queen Nzinga, with the assistance of the Dutch, defeated the Portuguese army. When the Portuguese defeated the Dutch army sending them packing from Central Africa, Queen Nzinga continued to battle the Portuguese until her dying day December 17, 1663.

 

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“Queenly Character” (2016) by Way (SOULar Lioness)

 

Artist: Way (SOULar Lioness) Founder and Owner of SOUL Meets BODY

http://www.soulmbody.com

http://www.soularlioness.wordpress.com

http://www.facebook.com/SOUL.M.BODY

 

I Stopped Watching the News

I don’t watch the news anymore because it is scary.

As I get older, I start to see how it is increasingly slanted and not in my best interest. Whose interest is it in? I’m not quite sure, but according to the Internet, it’s these people:

liberal-mediaNone of these corporations has ever helped anyone in my family, so I’m not sure why I should believe they are in my best interest — and I don’t. I choose to turn to the Internet for my news, more specifically social media, because the mass opinion of the public is of greater interest to me than the propaganda of the elite few.

In my experience, American corporate propaganda has historically made my life harder- remember the whole slavery is okay because it builds the America economy argument? I still believe that argument was not in my interest.

But it’s cool, ’cause the American public has said sorry, right?(Click the speaker above to enable the sound, it makes everything better.)

Yet another example of the mass public carrying the weight of a selected few, dying and crying for the crimes of the hidden. What’s crazy is, the slave-owning families aren’t the ones constantly saying sorry! They’ve moved on to new ways to screw everyone else.

YAY!

Now that we addressed the whole slavery thing, what am I afraid of now?

The attack on individualism. It’s happening and it is very real.

I should probably explain a little bit about myself before I say this – I am from South Carolina. This is what that means to me:

  • I understand the government is rarely on my side and is quite aware of my existence (so I don’t F* with them)
  • I speak softly and carry a very large stick
  • I respect the institution of the Black church as a means of community
  • I know that trust is something that must be earned, especially if you are not from my neighborhood
  • I value my privacy
  • I believe that the community can provide

These values have been instilled upon me through hundreds of years of slavery and sharecropping. They are what I believe have kept my culture strong, and have ultimately allowed me to travel far from my sharecropping roots to the liberal ‘promise land’ of the West Coast.

When I pay attention to mainstream media, I watch my nature of distrust, community focus and a flat-out survival instinct be under attack.

Yes. Attack. What I mean is, it is not okay to separate anymore. We must be inclusive. We must allow people into our communities. We must share our secrets. We cannot gather. Most of all, we should trust the institutions that are in place to protect us. That is how slavery worked and it is how it works for many minorities today.

cows

The difference is, it’s not just us this time. White people are feeling attacked too, and this is what happens when white people feel attacked:

white racist

So they can’t be the one’s pulling the strings ….. nope, there is someone else behind it. These people perhaps?

liberal-media

Here are some examples of topics the liberal media suggests you do not disagree with, lest you be Anti-American:

  • cream of wheat This is racist
  • Homophobia-Public-Health-Warning This is okay.
  • trans This is relevant.
  • disability  This is a right.
  • illegals This should happen more often.
  • josh duggar This should be expected. 

I was going to post a confederate flag here, but I didn’t want to remind anyone about slavery since …

My point is – If you suggest anything than what you are being told to think, you are something worst than a communist, you are a radical. Your career will be ruined, your family will disown you, and you will be considered a threat. Conform or face consequences worst than death.

african witches

It’s America’s modern-day witch hunt and there are few willing to speak out against it. (Click to read about the one occurring in Africa)

And this is why I no longer watch the news…. because I’d like to continue feigning ignorance.

Feel free to share: This post. or Your Opinion.

Black History Hero: Jean Baptiste Point de Sable

jean-baptiste-point-du-sable-01

Jean Baptiste Point de Sable was the founder of modern Chicago and its first black resident. Point de Sable was his chosen legal name; he was never called Du Sable during his lifetime. Point was an inseparable element of his name, which he had assumed by 1778. The prosperous farm he had at the mouth of the Chicagou river (the French spelling) from about 1784 to 1800 helped stabilize a century-old French and Indian fur-trading settlement periodically disrupted by the wars and raids of Indians and Europeans, and abandoned by the French during the Revolution from 1778 to 1782.

The earliest known documents which refer specifically to him establish that in 1778 and 1779, perhaps as early as 1775, Point managed a trading post at the mouth of the Rivière du Chemin (Trail Creek), at present Michigan City, Indiana, not at Chicago, as is usually asserted. Pierre Durand of Detroit was associated with him and Michel Belleau in the ownership of this business. Here is Durand’s own 1784 account of Point’s post translated from his petition to Gen. Frederick Haldimand, then governor of Canada: “I found the waters low in the Chicagou [River]; I did not get to Lake Michigan until the 2nd of October [1778]. Seeing the season so far advanced that I could not reach Canada I decided to leave my packs at the Rivière du Chemin with Baptiste point Sable, free negro, and I returned to the Illinois to finish my business. The 1st of March, 1779, I sent off two canoes to take advantage of the deep water [at Chicagou], and I gave orders to my commis [business manager] to take these two canoes to the Rivière du Chemin loaded with goods and to go ahead of me with all the men, to help me pass at Chicagou…. I met my commis [Michel Belleau] at the start of the bad part [of the portage]…. Some days later I arrived at the Rivière du Chemin, where I found only my packs [of furs]. The guard told me that M. Benette [Lt. William Bennett of the 8th regiment] had taken all my food, tobacco and eau de vie and a canoe to carry them….” Durand also learned that this British force had taken Point prisoner as a suspected rebel back to Michillimackinac, which began an important phase of his career as a minor but valuable member of the British Indian Department.

Up to the time of his capture, Point had been an engagé in the fur trade, travelling on the Great Lakes, the Illinois River and elsewhere from perhaps 1768 to 1779. From 1775 to 1779 his associate Durand was known to have been active in the upper country, under an official trade license. Only British subjects were allowed to work in the fur trade, which was supervised by military officers and the governor of Quebec. Allengagés as well as the license holder had to swear an oath of loyalty to the king before the commander at Montreal and sign a printed oath incorporated in the license. Wealthy individuals posted bonds which would be forfeited for the slightest infraction of the rules of the fur trade or acts of disloyalty. The Durand-Belleau license itself and documents of Point’s hiring at Michillimackinac have not been found. Point would have signed by a mark, since he was illiterate as most engagés were, but he must have been a skilled man by the time Lt. Governor Sinclair hired him in 1780 for his semi-official operation at the Pinery, adjoining Fort Sinclair north of Detroit.

Once Point de Sable settled in Chicagou, in territory regarded by law as Indian-owned, at the end of the Revolution, he was mainly a farmer. His farm was known, as far away as the nation’s capital, as the only source of farm produce in the area until after he moved away in 1800. Like all people living in the barter economy of the frontier, he traded with Indians and Europeans alike for goods and services he needed, but he was not a professional trader. William Burnett, who may already have had a financial stake in the farm during the time Point managed it, became the actual owner (of the buildings, not the land) after Point left in 1800, and also used it as his Chicagou trading post until his associate John Kinzie arrived in 1804. By the 1795 Treaty of Greenville the Indians defeated at Fallen Timbers granted the United States a six-mile square tract at the mouth of the river; Point was thus a tenant or licensee, not an owner, of the land.

The cessation of hostilities created an environment in which Point could prosper. He was a British subject in what was still British-controlled territory. It is generally forgotten that the Northwest Territory, ceded by Great Britain to the United States by the 1783 Treaty of Paris, was still almost completely controlled by British military forces and traders until 1796 with the implementation of Jay’s Treaty of 1794 and the surrender of military posts, such as Detroit and Michillimackinac, to the United States. However, British agents remained in place until the Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812 in 1815. In Chicago the British agent was [see] John Kinzie, who changed allegiance in 1812 at great personal risk. When Point sold [transferred] his improvements and household goods for 6,000 livres ($1,200) in 1800, a value certified by appraisers Kinzie and Burnett, and moved to St. Charles in present Missouri, then the Spanish colony of Upper Louisiana, his farm was comparable to those of prominent people in Cahokia. There is no record that Point ever became a U.S. citizen.

Point de Sable means “sand point” in French and was probably taken as a surname by Jean Baptiste to identify a place (one of many so named) important to him which has not yet been identified. Pointe is the proper French spelling, but the final e is almost always dropped in the documents. Sable means sand. It can also mean black in the aristocratic Norman French or English heraldry, but only because this color was used to represent sand on coats of arms. Point is unlikely to have known this, for his command of English was rudimentary at best. Moreover, people of African descent were always called nègre in French America.

Point de Sable in any form is not a French surname found in any vital records of France, Canada or the United States. The fictitious surname Du Sable imposed on Jean Baptiste appeared only long after his death in 1818. Du is a corruption of the proper French pronunciation of de, which Anglophones write as du. George Rogers Clark, for example, had once planned to attack “Dutroit.” In nearly all the many surviving documents, from 1779 to 1818, most of them written in French, in which Point was a party or was mentioned, his surname appears as Point de Sable. TheSieur du Sablé (without the Point) was a title of minor nobility used in the 18th century in the Dandonneau family of Quebec. This family had no known connection to Point de Sable, although the related Chaboillez family were prominent fur traders. A Haitian family named Des Sables, again lacking the Point, were French subjects and cannot be related to Chicagou’s founder, whose family probably did not even have a surname, despite the elaborate, undocumented assertions of a member of that family in a fanciful 1950 biography.

Point de Sable was born free, as Durand implied by calling him a “free negro.” He was the son of parents still not identified, possibly born at Vaudreuil, near Montreal before 1750. A Jean Baptiste, nègre, native of Vaudreuil, is listed as an engagé in a 1768 fur trade license. Point’s mother was a free woman, not a slave. Children of a slave mother, black or Indian, were slaves under Quebec law, regardless of the status of the father.

Where Point was before 1775 has not been reliably documented, but in that year he seems to have been hired at Montreal by Guillaume Monforton or Montforton of Detroit, a trader and notary at Michillimackinac, to travel there from Montreal. In the surviving British license papers he is simply Baptiste, nègre; earlier licenses are similarly vague. There is no truth to the two-century old myth that for several years from 1773, to about 1790, he farmed land at Peoria, under a 1773 deed from the supposed British commander there, Jean Baptiste Maillet, and was a member of the militia in 1790. Aside from the fact that Maillet was a travelling engagé in the fur trade, under licenses from 1769 to 1776, and lived near Montreal where he had two daughters born in 1768 and 1771, any such grant was illegal under British law. This myth was exploded in 1809 by the U.S. land commissioners hearing land claims at Peoria, who found that no purported British land grant presented to them, of which this was one, was authorized. The militia rolls for Illinois, published in 1890, have many men named Jean Baptiste, but none with a surname resembling Point de Sable.

In 1775 Point de Sable joined forces with the experienced trader Pierre Durand, a Detroit resident, and left Michillimackinac under the trade license of Michel Belleau. His associates were financed and bonded by Jean Orillat, the wealthiest merchant in Montreal. They had previously been in Illinois. Orillat had been trading between Illinois and Montreal since 1767 or earlier. Belleau and Durand travelled to Illinois. Belleau set up a post where Bureau Creek enters the Illinois River. Bureau is an obvious corruption of his name, most likely by local Indians whose dialect replaced the sound of l with r. For example, the Illinois Indians called themselves Irenioua (plural Ireniouaki). Bureau was recorded as early as 1790 as the “River of Bureau,” or at Bureau’s, which helps locate his post. Near this post was a conspicuous peninsula of sand (French, pointe de sable), now called Hickory Ridge, behind which was a harbor providing a place to load canoes, pirogues or batteaux. They spent some of their time in Cahokia, Peoria and on the Illinois River from 1775 to 1779. They dealt with each other and with various local merchants such as Charles Marois (interestingly, he was illiterate) and Charles Gratiot of Cahokia, and Pepin & Benito and Charles Sanguinette of St. Louis. Point had an account, managed by Marois, with Michel Palmier dit Beaulieu (no relation to Belleau), a wealthy farmer and prominent Cahokia citizen. Pierre Belleau, Michel’s brother, was hired to go to Illinois in 1776 by Orillat’s former partner Gabriel Cerré. Nothing further is known of him, but Pierre and Michel seem to have been killed by Indians along the Illinois River in the spring of 1780. Michel’s estate was administered in Cahokia, where his creditors were, although when he went to Montreal in 1777 without Durand to get his trading license renewed he seems to have stated that he lived at Detroit. Perhaps he and Point were the two young male boarders in Durand’s modest household noted in the 1779 Detroit census.

Point de Sable was at his trading post on the Rivière du Chemin in October 1778, when Durand, with two boatloads of furs, was forced by the lateness of the season to leave his cargo with “Baptiste point Sable, naigre libre” instead of taking it to Montreal as he had planned. Durand had left Kaskaskia in June just before George Rogers Clark occupied it, but was delayed by the turbulent events of the time. He eventually got underway, passing up the Illinois River and through Chicagou, reaching Lake Michigan on October 2, 1778. After leaving his furs with Jean Baptiste, Durand returned to Cahokia and Kaskaskia for the winter. Perhaps he was able to settle his and Point’s debts to the estate of Charles Marois, who had died recently.

Durand sent off Michel Belleau and two canoes of furs to the Rivière du Chemin on March 1, 1779. He remained in Cahokia and Kaskaskia to collect on his and Point Sable’s accounts with Clark’s army. In July 1779, Durand stopped at Peoria, where he met his Cahokia friend Capt. Godefroy de Linctot, the leader of a small army that had left Cahokia at the end of June. Linctot had brought with him Clark’s commission of Jean Baptiste Maillet as captain of the Virginia militia at Peoria, a community he was expected to defend from attack, although, as Durand later told Lt. Gov. Patrick Sinclair, there was no fort there. A year later Maillet was in St. Louis and his clerk, Pierre Trogé or Trottier, was on the Maumee River in present Ohio. Linctot, coordinating his movements with those of Clark, was planning to attack Detroit. Major Arent Schuyler De Peyster, the British commander at Michillimackinac, got wind of this plan on July 3 and on the 4th dispatched Bennett overland with 20 soldiers, 60 armed traders serving in the militia, and about 200 Indians, to intercept Linctot’s force, which, like Clark’s, never reached Detroit.

Durand met Belleau and 14 engagés at the start of the Chicagou portage des chênes. At Chicagou the local Indian leaders brought him some bad news: Point de Sable had been at his post at the Rivière du Chemin when a detachment of Bennett’s forces under Corporal Gascon arrested him, about August 1, confiscating 10 barrels of rum, food, clothing and a birchbark canoe with repair supplies, all worth 8,705 livres (£580), all the property of Durand. Gascon took Point’s many packs of furs under guard to Michillimackinac pending Durand’s expected arrival with additional packs. These would be brought by 30 horses provided by the Chicagou Potawatomi. Gascon took Point prisoner to Bennett, who was camped on the nearby St. Joseph River.

Bennett and De Peyster must at the least have known of Point, because Bennett’s first report to De Peyster of his arrest, written at his St. Joseph camp on August 9, 1779, simply says “Baptiste Point au Sable I have taken into custody, he hopes to make his conduct appear to you spotless,” without explaining who Point was or where he lived. As commandant De Peyster was responsible for keeping track of all traders in his area, Point cannot have been a stranger to him; he was zealous in his enforcement of fur trade rules.

Point must have known some of the traders and Indians with Bennett, because when he arrived at Fort Michilimackinac about September 1, Bennett reported to De Peyster that “the negro Point au Sable” had “many friends who give him a good character,” a clue to his earlier trading voyages. Point was married by now, but there is no mention of his family.

Point de Sable met De Peyster upon his arrival at Michillimackinac about Sept. 1, 1779. De Peyster was waiting for news of a glorious military exploit by troops under his command. Instead, he received Point’s demand that he pay for the property Bennett had confiscated from his trading post at the Rivière du Chemin. De Peyster refused to pay for these goods, valued at £580, treating them as spoils of war owned by a rebel trader. If they were not spoils of war, De Peyster knew he would have to reimburse Durand out of his own pocket. This was a sizable liability for an officer whose annual salary was £75. Durand was finally reimbursed in 1784, probably to De Peyster’s relief.

Shortly before De Peyster left for his new command at Detroit, Durand also arrived at Michillimackinac and learned that De Peyster had ordered his arrest. He managed to avoid being detained and wrote out an itemized bill for his property confiscated from Point’s post. Translated from the French, the heading of the bill reads “Memorandum of Property which I, Durand, left in the custody of Baptiste Point Sable, free negro, at theRivière du Chemin, which Mr. Bennett, commander, gave orders to seize.” De Peyster refused to pay this bill because, as he explained to Governor Haldimand when it was presented to him again in 1780, there was a rumor (not true) that Durand “had made lampoons upon the King, which were sung at the Cascaskias.” The miscreant was later identified as Jean-Marie Arsenault, dit Durand, no relation.

There is a widely accepted myth that Point’s trading post of 1779 was not at the Rivière du Chemin, as amply documented at the time, but at Chicago.The evidence for this myth is worse than flimsy, and can be briefly dealt with. Andreas in his history of Chicago drew upon an uncritical reading of the much later writings of De Peyster which flatly contradicted his own and other documents of 1779 to 1784. De Peyster published a pseudo-historical narrative of his experiences at Michillimackinac in 1813 under the title of “Speech to the Western Indians” in his self-publishedMiscellanies by an Officer. In a fanciful recasting of the arrest of Point de Sable, De Peyster characterizes him as a handsome Negro, well educated and with French sympathies. In fact, Point was illiterate, and in 1780 De Peyster had urged his successor Sinclair to hire him for a position at a sensitive British location. De Peyster further mangled the historical record by stating that Point was arrested by Capt. Charles de Langlade, not Bennett’s Corporal Gascon, and that Point was established at “Eschikagou.” Amazingly, Andreas and every subsequent historian have swallowed these fantasies whole, although the essential contemporary documents have been available in published form for more than a century. By the time De Peyster wrote this piece of fanciful doggerel, he had probably heard from old friends, like John Askin of Michillimacknac and Detroit, that Point was then at Chicagou (as De Peyster spelled it in his July 1, 1779 order to Langlade), and mixed up the dates. The obvious conflict between the facts and De Peyster’s late recollection of them has regrettably never been examined, to the discredit of students of Chicago history. No credence should be given to the late jottings of a retired officer whose memory had failed him.

Pierre Durand managed to get passage on a boat manned by black sailors that took him to the Rivière du Chemin to get the 120 packs of furs he had left there in Point’s absence. On Oct. 15, 1779, De Peyster left for his new command at Detroit, replacing Lt. Gov. Henry Hamilton, now a prisoner of war at Williamsburg. Shortly after De Peyster’s successor, Lt. Gov. Patrick Sinclair, assumed command at Michillimackinac, Durand arrived with his treasure of furs. Having barely survived a harrowing stormy lake voyage, the exhausted trader landed his cargo in this small leaky sailboat about October 20. Sinclair arrested him, confiscated his papers, and refused to pay the Point de Sable bill. Durand’s papers included a copy of Belleau’s declaration of loyalty to Virginia, a bill of exchange endorsed to Point de Sable and Virginia paper money, all worthless payments for goods requisitioned from them by Clark’s rebel forces in Illinois. This convinced the erratic and generally paranoid Sinclair that Durand and Point were both rebels, and the confiscated property was mere spoils of war. It soon became evident, however, that both were loyal British subjects who had been victimized, like many others, by Clark’s impecunious Virginia forces.

Sinclair bought more trade goods from Durand on credit and promised to reimburse Durand for the cost of shipping his furs to Montreal, promises he never kept. He failed to pay Durand for moving and repairing a house for Matchekiwish, a local Chippewa war chief. He also hired him at a piastre (dollar) a day to guide a war party, headed by Langlade, to Chicagou and down the Illinois River in 1780 to join the attack on St. Louis and Cahokia. Ironically this war party passed the post of Michel and Pierre Belleau, who were killed about this time by Indians on British orders. Sinclair had confiscated from Durand a copy of Michel’s oath of loyalty to Virginia, which became his death warrant. Durand was never paid for anything but guiding this party and the property confiscated from Point. Sinclair characteristically declined to pay for about 10,000livres of charges on Durand’s second bill.

Point de Sable fared much better than Durand. Surprisingly, within a year this prisoner, arrested under suspicion of siding with the Americans, was employed with De Peyster’s knowledge and at the request of Meskiash, village chief of the local Ojibway, as manager of Sinclair’s Michigan estate, the Pinery. This property, illegally bought from Indians including Meskiash and others in 1765, was near the mouth of the Pine River at present St. Clair. He held this position from August 1780 until 1784, when the property was sold. His wife and children had probably joined him there, in a house built in November and December 1779, by British workmen. This structure was built of squared pine logs covered by hand-sawed boards. The interior was partitioned into rooms, and the board walls were plastered with clay from the bed of the Pine River.

Shortly after his arrival in the Detroit area Point again pressed De Peyster for payment of the 8,705 livres. De Peyster again refused because of Durand’s supposed rebel sympathies. He was taking a big risk because if, as it turned out, these goods were requisitioned from a British subject, he would be legally responsible for payment out of his own pocket. This uncertainty hung over him until the wartime expenses of the upper posts were finally approved by the auditors in London in 1787.

The Pinery was supplied from Detroit, and the commandant there was responsible for the regulation of this trade, including approval of any voyages there and beyond, as far as Michillimackinac. As the officer who had jurisdiction over the Pinery, De Peyster must have had regular contact with, and intelligence about Point de Sable, who was there with his permission and no doubt was an employee of the Indian Department. One of De Peyster’s sources would have been Meskiash, the Ojibway village chief near the Pinery, who participated in a 1781 Indian council which De Peyster had convened at Detroit.

In the late summer of 1781, Point was apparently running a British trading post at Ouiatenon (Lafayette, Indiana). Lt. Valentine T. Dalton, the Virginia commander at Vincennes, was kidnapped from his home by Indians and taken to Quebec. In a letter to George Rogers Clark he describes his experiences and meeting “Jno Batise.” At the forks of the Maumee River (Defiance, Ohio) he met Pierre Trogé (“Truchey”) of Vincennes, who was running another trading post. Significantly, he mentions one of Trogé’s former employers, LeGras of Vincennes, but not Jean Baptiste Maillet, whom he must have encountered at Peoria or Cahokia.

In 1784 Point de Sable shipped his household goods, obviously the furnishings of the comfortable family home of a very loyal British subject, from the Pinery to Detroit, and moved there with his family. Soon he became associated with William Burnett, a wealthy and wide-ranging trader at the mouth of the St. Joseph River, who also had a post at Michillimackinac, and at Chicagou. By 1788 Point de Sable had settled with his family at the Chicago River and was farming the land with his wife and two children. He had probably disposed of the telltale framed portraits which had adorned his home at the Pinery. The subjects included King George III and Queen Charlotte Sophia; the King’s younger brother (the Duke of Gloucester); His Serene Highness, Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Duke of Braunschweig-Luneberg, a cousin of George III who had sent his Brunswick troops to Canada’s defense against the rebels; and Baron Hawke and Viscount Keppel, both First Lords of the Admiralty who had battled French fleets. These treasures from their home at the Pinery would have exposed him as a loyal British subject in a place now visited by patriotic citizens and soldiers of the new United States, such as the covert intelligence officer Lt. John Armstrong, travelling under secret war department orders in 1789.

In 1788 he and Catherine went from Chicagou to Cahokia to have their marriage solemnized by Father De St. Pierre (né Heiligenstein) in the newly rebuilt church of the Holy Family. Jean Baptiste had established business and personal relationships in and near Cahokia, dating back to 1778 or earlier.

In 1790 the Detroit-Cahokia trader Hugh Heward stopped at Point’s farm and traded cloth for food which Point had grown. Cloth was a major item stocked by traders, and Point would not have needed it, if he were himself in the business.

In 1794 the legendary Shawnee war chief Blue Jacket was making plans to move out of Ohio after Gen. Anthony Wayne’s defeat of his British-backed Indian forces at Fallen Timbers, near present Toledo. He thought of going to “Chicagou on the Illinois River” in British-controlled territory, but he didn’t because the defeated Indians were forced to cede a six-mile square tract at the mouth of the Chicago River to the United States in the 1795 Treaty of Greenville. A 1794 smallpox epidemic which killed 50 Indians at Chicagou must also have discouraged him.

In 1794 Pierre Grignon, a British trader living at Green Bay, paid a visit to Point de Sable at Chicagou. The brief report of this meeting by his brother Augustin Grignon included a cryptic reference to a government commission Point exhibited to his visitor, who probably then considered himself a fellow British subject in British-controlled territory. It seems unlikely that the United States would employ Point as a secret agent, a man who had for several years been a British subject working at the Pinery, a post controlled by the British Indian Department. The Grignons were themselves employes of the Indian Department as late as 1815. In fact [see] John Kinzie, the Chicagou trader who acquired Point’s farm in 1803, was an officer of this department who narrowly escaped hanging or being killed by pro-British Indians for treason committed near Detroit, after he had switched his allegiance to the United States, in 1812. He had been reported by Tecumseh as attempting to win Indians to the Amerian side while bringing them gunpowder furnished by his department.

Suzanne Point de Sable was married at Cahokia in 1790 to Jean Baptiste Pelletier; Fr. Pierre Gibault, long sympathetic to the American cause, officiated. The young couple must have lived with or near her parents in Chicagou. Their daughter Eulalie was born there in 1796.

In 1796 Pelletier got a receipt at Chicagou for some furs, credited to his father-in-law’s account, signed by the trader Jean Baptiste Gigon as agent for François Duquette of Michillimackinac and St. Charles. The receipt acknowledges payment of two dozen eggs to have the furs pressed and packed for shipment, a service not necessary if Point had a trading post equipped with the press needed to package furs. Three years earlier Duquette, under a British trading license, had been selling trade goods below cost to the Wabash Indians in an effort to keep them loyal to the crown.

The Pelletiers and another pair of Chicagoans, the Le Mais, went to St. Louis in 1799 to have their children baptized. Little Eulalie Pelletier, whose grandparents were not present, had two interesting godparents. Hyacinthe St. Cyr, now a prominent merchant in St. Louis, was the brother of Baptiste St. Cyr who in 1770 had led a group of Jean Orillat’s engagés to Chiquagoux to evaluate it as a site for a trading post, which Orillat never established. Hyacinthe’s wife Hélène Hebert acted as godmother. St. Cyr would have known Point de Sable and may have acted as his representative at the ceremony. Hélène’s brother François had been Point’s fellow voyageur from Detroit to Michillimackinac in 1775.

Suzanne`s brother Jean Baptiste Point de Sable fils [Jr.], of whom little is known, was living in St. Charles before 1810. He worked for Manuel Lisa, a Spanish trader of St. Louis, as an engagé on an 1812-1813 trading expedition up the Missouri River. He died in 1814 and his father was administrator of his meager estate. The surviving probate documents do not mention any heirs. It is not known when Catherine died. Point de Sable sold [transferred] his Chicago property in 1800 to his neighbor Jean Lalime. William Burnett financed the deal, guaranteeing payment because Lalime put up no earnest money. Catherine did not sign the bill of sale, probably because she was no longer living. Jean Baptiste Pelletier may have been alive in 1815, but nothing is known of Suzanne and Eulalia at that time, nor indeed since 1799.

In the fall of 1800 Point de Sable moved from Chicagou to St. Charles in Spanish Upper Louisiana. There he bought a house and lot from Pierre Rondin, a free black, and also acquired two tracts of farm land. François Duquette was now his neighbor. He became involved in various real estate transactions that did not work out, including perhaps even the land he had bought for his home on the basis of Spanish land titles of doubtful validity. In some of these deals he was joined by his son. By 1809 he was in financial difficulties. Duquette got a judgement against Point for negligence in 1813, but the sheriff could not collect because Point was insolvent.

Somehow Point’s name had become involved in the rampant land speculation of the time. Two spurious claims were made by men who had supposedly purchased his rights under acts of Congress to land in Illinois. These claims were filed by land jobbers with the U.S. Land Office at Kaskaskia about 1804, based on the fictitious assertion in perjured documents that he and his family had lived and farmed at Peoria from 1773 to after 1783, and that Point had served in the militia there in 1790. Of course, Point has been well documented as being elsewhere. In 1809 the Land Office rejected these claims as unproven. In 1815 it grudgingly and tentatively recommended that Congress consider approving these claims, but only to Point himself, who was probably unaware of the use of his name by swindlers. The disappointed speculator, Nicolas Jarrot, must not have told Point about Congress’s tentative approval in 1816; in fact, he seems to have abandoned these and several other dubious Peoria claims, and he did not mention them in his will, written in 1818, the year Point died. Had deeds been issued with Congressional approval, Point would have received title to 800 acres of valuable real estate in Peoria. But this was not to be, and his financial woes increased. No further land claims were made in his name before another land office in 1820, specifically under a law for consideration of Peoria claims, probably because they had already been exposed as fraudulent, and would have been disputed by the testimony of long-time Peoria residents who recalled events well before 1779, but who did not remember the well-known Point de Sable.

By 1813 Point was destitute, and had even been forced to borrow household utensils from his neighbor Eulalie Barada. This Eulalie, who has been carelessly confused with Point’s granddaughter Eulalie Pelletier, was the daughter of Louis Barada (Baradat) of St. Charles, a prominent landowner, and Marie Becquet, a native of Cahokia. Eulalie was born in St. Louis, probably in 1788, and married her first husband in 1802. In 1813 Point de Sable deeded all his remaining property to his “friend” Eulalie, not for money, but for her promise to take care of him for the rest of his life in sickness and in health, to do his washing, provide firewood, repair his house, supply corn to feed his pigs and chickens, and to arrange for his burial in the parish cemetery. She and her second husband Michel De Roi both made their marks on the 1813 deed. Point affixed his usual “signature,” the block capitals IBPS, this time writing the S backwards.

On August 28, 1818, Point de Sable died and on the 29th was buried in the St. Charles Borromeo parish cemetery. The priest’s handwritten entry on the burial register describes him as nègre. Unlike the usual burial records of this period, there is no mention of his age, origin, parents, relatives or people present at the ceremony. Nor is there any record of probate proceedings.

The contemporary documents, long neglected and never assembled, tell a fascinating story of a successful free-born black entrepreneur, advancing through a series of significant careers to a position of prominence in Chicagou, and then in his final tragic years to poverty and ignominy. The founder of the modern city of Chicago merits nothing less than recognition of the facts of his life and achievements.

Source: http://www.earlychicago.com/essays.php?essay=7

Black History Hero: Frederick McKinley Jones

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Frederick McKinley Jones was one of the most prolific Black inventors ever. Frederick Jones patented more than sixty inventions, however, he is best known for inventing an automatic refrigeration system for long-haul trucks in 1935 (a roof-mounted cooling device). Jones was the first person to invent a practical, mechanical refrigeration system for trucks and railroad cars, which eliminated the risk of food spoilage during long-distance shipping trips. The system was, in turn, adapted to a variety of other common carriers, including ships. Frederick Jones was issued the patent on July 12, 1940.

 

Source: http://listverse.com/2007/10/29/top-10-african-american-inventors/

Black History Hero: Garret Morgan

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Garrett Morgan was an inventor and businessman from Cleveland who invented a device called the Morgan safety hood and smoke protector in 1914. On July 25, 1916, Garrett Morgan made national news for using his gas mask to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie. Morgan and a team of volunteers donned the new “gas masks” and went to the rescue. After the rescue, Morgan’s company received requests from fire departments around the country who wished to purchase the new masks. The Morgan gas mask was later refined for use by U.S. Army during World War I. In 1914, Garrett Morgan was awarded a patent for a Safety Hood and Smoke Protector. After witnessing a collision between an automobile and a horse-drawn carriage, Garrett Morgan took his turn at inventing a traffic signal. Other inventors had experimented with, marketed, and even patented traffic signals, however, Garrett Morgan was one of the first to apply for and acquire a U.S. patent for an inexpensive to produce traffic signal.

Source: http://listverse.com/2007/10/29/top-10-african-american-inventors/

Black History Hero: Benjamin Banneker

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In the Stevie Wonder song “Black Man,” the Motown marvel sings of Benjamin Banneker: “first clock to be made in America was created by a black man.” Though the song is a fitting salute to a great inventor (and African Americans in general), it only touches on the genius of Benjamin Banneker and the many hats he wore – as a farmer, mathematician, astronomer, author and land surveyor.

Like a lot of early inventors, Benjamin Banneker was primarily self-taught. The son of former slaves, Benjamin worked on the family tobacco farm and received some early education from a Quaker school. But most of his advanced knowledge came from reading, reading and more reading. At 15 he took over the farm and invented an irrigation system to control water flow to the crops from nearby springs. As a result of Banneker’s innovation, the farm flourished – even during droughts.

But it was his clock invention that really propelled the reputation of Benjamin Banneker. Sometime in the early 1750s, Benjamin borrowed a pocket watch from a wealthy acquaintance, took the watch apart and studied its components. After returning the watch, he created a fully functioning clock entirely out of carved wooden pieces. The clock was amazingly precise, and would keep on ticking for decades. As the result of the attention his self-made clock received, Banneker was able to start up his own watch and clock repair business.

And Benjamin Banneker’s accomplishments didn’t end there. Borrowing books on astronomy and mathematics from a friend, Benjamin engorged himself in the subjects. Putting his newfound knowledge to use, Banneker accurately predicted a 1789 solar eclipse. In the early 1790s, Banneker added another job title to his resume – author. Benjamin compiled and published his Almanac and Ephemeris of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland (he would publish the journal annually for over a decade), and even sent a copy to secretary of state Thomas Jefferson along with a letter urging the abolition of slavery.

Impressed by his abilities, Jefferson recommended Banneker to be a part of a surveying team to lay out Washington, D.C. Appointed to the three-man team by president George Washington, Banneker wound up saving the project when the lead architect quit in a fury – taking all the plans with him. Using his meticulous memory, Banneker was able to recreate the plans. Wielding knowledge like a sword, Benjamin Banneker was many things – inventor, scientist, anti-slavery proponent – and, as a result, his legacy lives on to this day.

Source: http://www.black-inventor.com/Benjamin-Banneker.asp

Got Melanin?

Got Melanin Time and time again, I hear people in the conscious community talking about melanin. Most of the conversations are on point about enhancing the quality and quantity of the melanin molecule. What I rarely hear is how to access it and use it for benefits that go far beyond good health. I also don’t hear folks talking about the cocktail of chemicals in our body that we have access to of which melanin is just on I’ve had the pleasure of sitting under the teachings of many scholars who specialize in this subject. I’d like to share what I’ve learned from them along with my personal experiences as a melaninated being who is learning to access the power of this amazing molecule AND much more.

What is melanin? According to the Google dictionary, “melanin is a dark brown to black pigment occurring in the hair, skin, and iris of the eye in people and animals. It is responsible for tanning of skin exposed to sunlight.” The more melanin you have present in your body, the darker your skin, the better your visual acuity in the natural and spiritual realm, and the better your body’s overall performance. Did you know that your body is the most amazing pharmacy ever? Did you know that you can learn to produce the chemicals you need in your own body at will? Let me drop some science about the pineal gland and the variety of natural chemicals it produces. The melanocytes in our pineal gland are responsible for secreting melanin molecules into our bodies. The pineal gland produces the melatonin which regulates our circadian rhythms and reproductive hormones. It also produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in regulating our moods. When serotonin combines with the natural tryptamine released by our pineal gland (also known as the seat of the soul or the third eye), it creates DMT (dimethyltriptamine). DMT is released in high quantities at birth and death. It’s also the reason you dream and have imagination.

As you can see, the pineal gland produces a variety of chemicals.  While melanin is powerful on it’s own, it’s just one of the key ingredients to the equation. There’s more to the story and we can’t stop there. ALL of these natural chemicals released by our pineal gland are powerful for regulation of normal body functioning AND our connection to the spiritual realm. Rumor has it that the Skull and Bones secret society indulged in consuming live pineal glands just to get an increase of those fresh secretions. There’s a reason folks started eating animals that goes far beyond a food source. It’s the real reason why many people who grow spiritually pursue a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. The truth is hidden in our pineal glands. I’ll let you research that topic outside of the mainstream and come to your own conclusion.

How can we enhance the quality and quantity of the melanin molecules present in our body? While I know that all of the chemicals released by the pineal gland are equally important, I know many of you would like to know more about enhancing your melanin so let’s focus here for a moment. Everyone has the capacity to increase their melanin stores (even most people who identify as Caucasian).The goal is to get the proper amount of and exposure to the sun, eat natural foods, enhance your ability to adapt to stress and change, and rid your body of toxins from cosmetics, household cleaning products, and the environment. When we don’t care for our minds, bodies, and souls, we inevitably end up in a diseased state.

Let’s talk about sunshine. Living here in America, most people of color have adopted the practice of staying out of the sun because they are afraid to get too dark. This is due to the stigma of the slavery mentality many of us still carry. We’ve been conditioned to think lighter skin is better skin. Truth is, we need to be outside in the sun at least two hours per day, as uncovered as possible between the hours of 10am – 2 pm. The goal is to get all the UVB (ultra violet b) from the sun you can. Yes, you’ve probably figured out that the sun is literally a source of nutrition we all need. It’s not just a beautiful ball in the sky that just gives us LIGHT. It literally gives us LIFE. The more melanin you have, the more your body is able to make vitamin D3. Sunbathing is key to this process. Before you can engage in this practice, we need to cleanse our bodies if parasites, mold, and fungus. The residue on our skin from years of eating bad and environmental toxins has caused our outer skin and inner body to be full of parasites, mold, and fungus which is the REAL reason people get skin cancer and sun poisoning. It also causes a coating to sit on our eyes which is the real reason most of us need glasses. Once that coating is removed, you can literally gaze at the sun. So sunbathing and sun gazing gives us life and one way is giving your body what it needs to make D3. Vitamin D3 increases your body’s ability to absorb other nutrients. Without the proper amount, you can eat the right food and take vitamins all day long but your body won’t be absorbing them. This is the real cause of malnutrition. We think those starving children in Africa and Indonesia they sell to us on TV are starved. We are starved and we eat each day. To get the maximum sun exposure and rid your body of cosmetic toxins, it’s imperative to not use commercial brands of sunscreen. All we need is natural oils and body butters like coconut oil and Shea butter.

What are some foods that stimulate melanin production? Raw almonds, peanuts, dried beans, raw sesame seeds, lima beans, raw pumpkin seeds. Cooper helps to produce melanin as well as skin elasticity. That’s why folks with high melanin stores have beautiful skin. Kale greens, shitake mushrooms, raw cashews, chickpeas, and avocados are great sources of cooper. The key is to ensure your are balancing your cooper and zinc intake not to create an imbalance. That’s where those raw pumpkin seeds I mentioned earlier come in handy. Cooked spinach, raw squash seeds, raw cacao, kidney beans, and portabella mushrooms are great sources of zinc, as well. The chaga mushroom is one of the highest sources of melanin known to humankind. This is why we see people hunting for chaga like never before. Raw foodists David Wolfe says, “While chaga is the king, Reishi is the queen.” Reishi has the next highest source of melanin known to man. You’ll also want to be sure you’re getting enough selenium. Brazil nuts, shitake and white button mushrooms, lima beans, pinto beans, raw chia seeds, raw ground flaxseeds, raw sesame seeds, raw sunflower seeds, brown rice, brocolli, cabbage, and cooked spinach are good choices.

Why is melanin NOT the only key to my spiritual growth? When you seek to heal and grow, sometimes the cookie cutter paths to clean eating and spirituality work to build discipline and focus. In the end, you’ll always be dissatisfied if you don’t learn to commune with the God in you. All the answers are within. The Akhashic records and all that. Melanin is merely ONE of your personal technologies you can use to enhance your ability to remember all you’ve forgotten from lifetime to lifetime. And once you start knowing, your doing will reflect that knowing. Your goal is to figure out how to access all the wonderful chemicals secreted by your overlooked pineal gland to create the experiences you want.

Our ancestors were able to keep their pineal glands in tip top shape because of their climate, pure water, pure food, and low stress lifestyle and as a result, they were able to go into deep meditation with and without the use of sacred plants and fungi, you know stuff we make illegal in this country like psilocibin cubenis mushrooms. DISCLAIMER: I am not promoting the use of illegal substances. I’m merely sharing some information you may want to research for yourself. Through the spiritual practice, plant, or fungi or their choice, our ancestors were able to release a natural chemical cocktail to could connect regions in the brain that aren’t normally connected. They could also communicate with entities in the spirit realm. We see people doing this in churches and we call them prophets. In reality, EVERYONE is a prophet. We just have to learn how to enhance our spiritual practices to activate those abilities.

As a result of our ancestors being able to do this, they were able to build pyramids that were energy centers and bring prosperity to their lands. We see and hear it in the spiritual realm and bring the knowledge and actions back to this realm. Most amazing creations and spiritual abilities you see today are a result of brain balancing work, access to an internal pharmacy through meditation or hallucinogenic substances, or some people are simply born remembering how to use their talents and gifts. We see glimpses of this in the great inventor and plant and fungi enthusiasts, George Washington Carver. His connection to the plant and fungi kingdom led to the creation over 300 new uses of the peanut product. And as a peanut butter lover, I thank him kindly for his services. He even gave his friend Henry Ford divine plant knowledge that allowed this entrepreneur to mass produce his cars. We better stop doubting our abilities and giving away what’s shared with us! People like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates saw the vision for their creations while having experiences with exogenus DMT. These substances are definitely a tool however, the key is to learn how to access that state of mind on your own, without depending on them. Establishing a consistent meditation practice is one of the first steps to get your body to release the chemicals you need to access the spiritual realm at will. There are other practices to develop your central and parasympathetic nervous system, as well. Once you learn to access this realm, you’ll be given the answer to every question you’ve ever pondered along with the elemental keys to get out of any situation that doesn’t serve you and into one that serves you better.

So what’s next? It’s totally up to you. I encourage you do your own research and stop following these folks who are getting rich off of your tithes, offerings, and donations while they use up all your energy and you sit in a house with shattered dreams and a broken heart. Learn the truth about who you really are, work your magic, and live life to the fullest. No matter what script you contracted for, IT CAN be rewritten. It’s all up to you! Got melanin? I sure do? How about you? Now what you gonna do? Love and light.