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Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.










Nancy Harriette Lee's Childhood Role Models

Wilberforce was a deeply religious English member of parliament and social reformer who was very influential in the abolition of the slave trade and eventually slavery itself in the British empire. William Wilberforce was born on 24 August 1759 in Hull, the son of a wealthy merchant. He studied at Cambridge University where he began a lasting friendship with the future prime minister, William Pitt the Younger.

In 1780, Wilberforce became member of parliament for Hull, later representing Yorkshire. His dissolute lifestyle changed completely when he became an evangelical Christian, and in 1784 joined a leading group known as the Clapham Sect. His Christian faith prompted him to become interested in social reform, particularly the improvement of factory conditions in Britain. 

The abolitionist Thomas Clarkson had an enormous influence on Wilberforce. He and others were campaigning for an end to the trade in which British ships were carrying black slaves from Africa, in terrible conditions, to the West Indies as goods to be bought and sold. 

Wilberforce was persuaded to lobby for the abolition of the slave trade and for 18 years he regularly introduced anti-slavery motions in parliament. The campaign was supported by many members of the Clapham Sect and other abolitionists who raised public awareness of their cause with pamphlets, books, rallies and petitions.  In 1807, the slave trade was finally abolished, but this did not free those who were already slaves. It was not until 1833 that an act was passed giving freedom to all slaves in the British empire. 

Wilberforce's other efforts to 'renew society' included the organization of the Society for the Suppression of Vice in 1802. He worked with the reformer, Hannah More, in the Association for the Better Observance of Sunday. Its goal was to provide all children with regular education in reading, personal hygiene and religion.

He was closely involved with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was also instrumental in encouraging Christian missionaries to go to India.   Wilberforce retired from politics in 1825 and died on 29 July 1833, shortly after the act to free slaves in the British empire passed through the House of Commons. He was buried near his friend Pitt in Westminster Abbey.

Growing up in Bloominburg, Ohio, not too far from Wilberforce College (established by the African Methodist Episcopal Church and named for William Wilberforce, the great British abolitionist), ... was viewed  as one of her great Messianic Christian models. 

In fact, Nancy Lee like most educated African-Americans in the late 19th and early 20th century made a fairly clear distinction between historic men and women like Wilberforce and George Washington Williams , ... versus the other kind of people like Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and future leader of the rebellion to maintain slavery is shown below. 

He and his kind of Christians often cited the name of Jesus while inflicting the cruelty of bondage on other human beings.  As an educated woman, she observed in her lifetime that ideologies of most Americans hold them in constant states of denial or disbelief about people they deem to be inferior.  People always viewed, studied and professed about other people in the context of their own ideology about who is inferior or superior, or equal (friend or foe).

George Washington Williams

Born Oct. 16, 1849 in generation #62, Bedford Springs, Pa., U.S.

(Died Aug. 2, 1891, Blackpool, England)

The very most revealing research about Williams was published by Dr. John Hope Franklin many years ago --- about this gifted child who soared like an eagle for "the least of us."  The Jesse Jackson of his generation (1830-1859)Williams was a dynamic historian, clergyman, politician, lawyer, lecturer, soldier who was the first person to write an objective and scientifically researched history of black people in the United States.  The son of a laborer, Williams enlisted at age 14 in the Union Army and fought in the Civil War to help liberate African-Americans, was wounded & awarded for outstanding performance of duty. 

After the American Civil War he was part of a contingent of well-trained and experienced Black soldiers sent by the United States Government to help Mexicans rid themselves of their French rulers, and eventually served as Inspector General of the Mexican Army.

Upon leaving the army in 1868, he underwent training as a minister at the Newton Theological Institution and was ordained in 1874. In the following years he served as pastor of several churches, edited and published several short-lived journals, studied law and practiced in the law offices of President Grant's father, and served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1879 to 1881.  By this time he had become interested in the study of history, and after doing copious research he had his History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880 published in 1882.

There had been several previous works written on this subject by black historians, but Williams' work was the first relatively objective account that strove for historical accuracy rather than functioning as a work of black apologetics or propaganda. 

Williams' research for his next work, A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion (1888), involved the gathering of oral histories from black Civil War veterans and the culling of newspaper accounts, both techniques which subsequently became basic resources in American historiography.  During the 1880s Williams worked on his books, practiced law, and gave lectures. In 1889 he became interested in the prospect of employing black Americans in the Congo Free State under the auspices of the Belgian king Leopold.  But a visit to the Congo in 1890 shocked him into an appreciation of Leopold's brutal exploitation of the people of the Congo, and their mineral wealth, especially copper, diamonds, gold and timber. 

Williams spent the short remainder of his life publicizing the outrages that were being perpetrated there by former slave trader and Confederate soldier Henry Stanley, the racist Rothschild bankers, and other backers of Leopold.  He died unexpectedly in London while doing research at the London records office to help expose the dishonesty and fraud engaged by imperialists in Africa.  He may have been murdered.  Whatever the case may have been, Williams is the type of African heritage activist, in mind and body, not likely to be remembered in a Hollywood script because most writers and directors lack knowledge of him; and those few who do are skeptical that such a man could have emerged from among "the least of us." 

Included below is an excerpt of the infamous Stanley treaties that Williams investigated and found to be completely fraudulent.

Stanley's Congo Treaties

For almost six years during 1879 to 1884, the great explorer Stanley labored on behalf of King Leopold of Belgium to survey the basin of the Upper Congo River with a view to establishing his own imperial enclave in Central Africa.

The 1880s was the heyday of Western imperialism when great powers such as Britain, France and Germany began to lay claim to huge swathes of the African continent in what became known as the 'scramble for Africa'. The ambitious Leopold, through energy, determination and, not least, his own wealth devised his own plan to participate in this scramble.

He founded the International African Association which, during Stanley's sojourn in the Congo, became the International Association of the Congo. During the years he spent in Africa, Stanley signed 'treaties', according to his own claim, with over 450 native chiefs, thus acquiring for Leopold sovereignty over their territories in accordance with the general terms of the sample treaty below.  These developments were duly endorsed by the Berlin Conference attended by the great powers that gave approval to Leopold's organization of his African territory as the Congo Free State in 1885. Henry M. Stanley, Commanding Expedition to the Upper Congo, acting in the name and on behalf of the International African Association, and the king and chiefs of Ngombi and Mafela, having met together in conference at South Manyanga, have, after deliberation, concluded the following treaty, viz.:

  • Art. I. The chiefs of Ngombi and Mafela recognize that it is highly desirable that the International African Association should, for the advancement of civilization and trade, be firmly established in their country.

  • They, therefore now, freely of their own accord, for themselves and their heirs and successors for ever, do give up to the said Association the sovereignty and all sovereign and governing rights to all their territories.

  • They also promise to assist the said association in its work of governing and civilizing this country, and to use their influence with all the other inhabitants, with whose unanimous approval they make this treaty, to secure obedience to all laws made by the said association, and to assist by labor or otherwise, any works, improvements, or expeditions which the said association shall cause at any time to be carried out in any part of these territories.

  • Art. II. The chiefs of Ngombi and Mafela promise at all times to join their forces with those of the said Association, to resist the forcible intrusion or repulse the attacks of foreigners of any nationality or color.

  • Art. III. the chiefs . . solemnly affirm that all this country belongs to them; that they can freely dispose of it; and that they neither have already, nor will on any future occasion, make any treaties, grants, or sales of any parts of these territories to strangers without the permission of the said Association.

  • All roads and waterways running through this country, the right of collecting tolls on the same, and all game, fishing, mining, and forest rights, are to be the absolute property of the said association, together with any unoccupied lands as may at any time hereafter be chosen.

  • The International African Association agree to pay to the chiefs . . the following articles of merchandise, namely, one piece of cloth per month to each of the undersigned chiefs . . .; and the said chiefs hereby acknowledge to accept this bounty and monthly subsidy in full settlement of all their claims on the said Association.

  • The International African Association promises:

     1. To take from the natives of this ceded country no occupied or cultivated lands, except by mutual agreement.
       2. To promote to its utmost the prosperity of the said country.
    3. To protect its inhabitants from all oppression or foreign intrusion.
       4. It authorizes the chiefs to hoist its flag; to settle all local disputes; and to maintain its [I.A.A.] authority with the natives.

       Agreed to, signed and witnessed,(etc.)

Reference: Henry M. Stanley, The Congo and the Founding of its Free State(1885),Vol. II, pp. 195-7

Mary McLeod Bethune

   From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (July 10, 1875(1875-07-10) - May 18, 1955) was born in Mayesville, South Carolina and died in Daytona Beach, Florida. A tireless educator born to former slaves, she is most well-known for founding a school in 1904 that later became part of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach. She was president of the college from 192342 and 194647, one of the few women in the world who served as a college president at that time.

Bethune worked for the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, and attempted to get him to support a proposed law against lynching. She was also a member of Roosevelt's Black Cabinet, among other leadership positions in organizations for women and African Americans.       .                                   

(The cabin in Mayesville, South Carolina , where Mary Jane McLeod was born)

Upon her death, columnist Louis E. Martin said, "She gave out faith and hope as if they were pills and she some sort of doctor."[1] Her house is preserved by the National Park Service as Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site,[2] and a sculpture of her is located in Lincoln Park in Washington, DC.[3]  

Mary Jane McLeod was born on July 10, 1875 near Mayesville, South Carolina on a rice and cotton farm, the fifteenth of seventeen children to Samuel and Patsy MacIntosh McLeod, both former slaves.[4][5][6] Most of her siblings were born into slavery. Her mother worked for her former owner, and her father farmed cotton near a large house they called "The Homestead." 

After demonstrating a desire to read and write, McLeod attended Mayesville's one-room schoolhouse, Trinity Mission School that was run by the Presbyterian Board of Missions of Freedmen. Her teacher, Emma Jane Wilson, became a significant mentor in her life.[7] Wilson had attended Scotia Seminary (now Barber-Scotia College), so arranged for McLeod to attend the same school on a scholarship.

From 1888-1894, McLeod attended the Scotia Seminary for Negro Girls in Concord, North Carolina. She then attended Dwight Moody's Institute for Home and Foreign Missions in Chicago (now the Moody Bible Institute), hoping to become a missionary in Africa. However, she was told that she would not be able to go because black missionaries were not needed, so she instead planned to teach.[6]

She married Albertus Bethune in 1898 and they subsequently lived in Savannah, Georgia for a year while she did some social work. She was persuaded by a visiting preacher named C.J Uggins to relocate to Palatka, Florida to run a mission school.[8] She did so in 1899 and began an outreach to prisoners along with running the mission school. She supplemented her income by selling life insurance.[6]

Albertus left the family in 1907 and did not seek a divorce, but relocated to South Carolina, and died in 1918.[9]  The generation #63 (1860-1889) of William Hunter Dammond preceded that of Nancy Lee's generation #64; and men and women of color like him paved the way for her education in Pittsburgh where there were many doubters that they could or even should measure upward.

William Dammond, like Nancy Lee, was gifted child who was nurtured, inspired, motivated, educated and employed to use God-given abilities to help themselves by a life of learning to help others.


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