THE BIBLICAL CASE FOR REPARATIONS THEN AND NOW! (Answers)

“GOD SUPPORTS REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY!”

  1. What are reparations?

Answer: Reparation is a noun and it means:

the making of amends for wrong or injury done: reparation for an injustice.

Usually reparations. compensation in money, material, labor, etc., payable by a defeated country to another country or to an individual for loss suffered during or as a result of war.

restoration to good condition.

 

  1. Where in the Bible does God show His support and even a mandate that there must be reparations for the evil oppression of slavery?

Answer: Exodus 3:19-22 NKJV; Exodus 11:1-3 NLT & Exodus 12:35-36 NKJV

 

Exodus 3:19-22 KNJV

19 But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. 

20 So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go. 

21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. 

22 But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.” 

 

Exodus 11:1-3 NLT

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave.

2 Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold.”

3 (Now the Lord had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike.)

 

12:35-36 Exodus NKJV

35 Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. 

36 And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. 

 

  1. How long were the enslaved Hebrews in slavery?

 

Answer: Genesis 15:13 says 400 years:

Genesis 15:13-15 NLT

13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years.

14 But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth.

 

Exodus 12:40 says 430 years:

Exodus 12:40-42 NLT

40 The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years.

41 In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the Lord’s forces left the land.

42 On this night the Lord kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation.

 

This discrepancy could be because when the Hebrews first went in to Egypt they were not enslaved. 

 

  1. How long were the enslaved Africans in American slavery?

 

Answer: The first Africans brought to America arrived in August 1619 and the 13th Amendment was ratified December 5, 1865 which means enslaved Africans in America for 256 years. I believe we must add the years we did not have the right to vote which did not happen until August 6, 1965 so I believe we were enslaved in America for 356 years!

 

  1. Where in the Bible can you find examples of God’s support for reparations?

 

Answer: Leviticus 25:23-42 and Luke 4:18-19 

 

  1. Were enslaved Africans ever granted reparations?

 

Answer: Yes, January 16, 1865 known as 40 Acres and a Mule!

See the handouts

 

  1. Are reparations new for America?

 

Answer: No, reparations were granted in the past to various groups for harm done to them by the federal and state governments. See the handouts.

 

SPECIAL FIELD ORDER NO. 15 (REPARATIONS!)

William Tecumseh Sherman

Forty Acres and a Mule: Special Field Order No. 15, January 16, 1865, Savannah, GA

 

  1. The islands from Charleston south, the abandoned rice-fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. John’s River, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States.
  2. At Beaufort, Hilton Head, Savannah, Fernandina, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville, the blacks may remain in their chosen or accustomed vocations; but on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves, subject only to the United States military authority, and the acts of Congress. By the laws of war, and orders of the President of the United States, the negro is free, and must be dealt with as such. He cannot be subjected to conscription, or forced military service, save by the written orders of the highest military authority of the department, under such regulations as the President or Congress may prescribe. Domestic servants, blacksmiths, carpenters, and other mechanics, will be free to select their own work and residence, but the young and able-bodied negroes must be encouraged to enlist as soldiers in the service of the United States, to contribute their share toward maintaining their own freedom, and securing their rights as citizens of the United States.

Negroes so enlisted will be organized into companies, battalions, and regiments, under the orders of the United States military authorities, and will be paid, fed, and clothed, according to law. The bounties paid on enlistment may, with the consent of the recruit, go to assist his family and settlement in procuring agricultural implements, seed, tools, boots, clothing, and other articles necessary for their livelihood.

3.Whenever three respectable negroes, heads of families, shall desire to settle on land, and shall have selected for that purpose an island or a locality clearly defined within the limits above designated, the Inspector of Settlements and Plantations will himself, or by such subordinate officer as he may appoint, give them a license to settle such island or district and afford them such assistance as he can to enable them to establish a peaceable agricultural settlement. The three parties named will subdivide the land, under the supervision of the inspector, among themselves, and such others as may choose to settle near them, so that each family shall have a plot of not more than forty acres of tillable ground, and, when it borders on some water-channel, with not more than eight hundred feet water front, in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection until such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title. The quartermaster may, on the requisition of the Inspector of Settlements and Plantations, place at the disposal of the inspector one or more of the captured steamers to ply between the settlements and one or more of the commercial points heretofore named, in order to afford the settlers the opportunity to supply their necessary wants, and to sell the products of their land and labor.

4.Whenever a negro has enlisted in the military service of the United States, he may locate his family in any one of the settlements at pleasure, and acquire a homestead, and all other rights and privileges of a settler, as though present in person. In like manner, negroes may settle their families and engage on board the gunboats, or in fishing, or in the navigation of the inland waters, without losing any claim to land or other advantages derived from this system. But no one, unless an actual settler as above defined, or unless absent on Government service, will be entitled to claim any right to land or property in any settlement by virtue of these orders.

5.In order to carry out this system of settlement, a general officer will be detailed as Inspector of Settlements and plantations whose duty it shall be to visit the settlements, to regulate their police and general arrangement, and who will furnish personally to each head of a family, subject to the approval of the President of the United States, a possessory title in writing, giving as near as possible the description of boundaries; and who shall adjust all claims or conflicts that may arise under the same, subject to the like approval, treating such titles altogether as possessory.The same general officer will also be charged with the enlistment and organization of the negro recruits, and protecting their interests while absent from their settlements; and will be governed by the rules and regulations prescribed by the War Department for such purposes.

6.Brigadier-General R. Saxton is hereby appointed Inspector of Settlements and Plantations, and will at once enter on the performance of his duties. No change is intended or desired in the settlement now on Beaufort Island, nor will any rights to property heretofore acquired be affected thereby.

By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman,

  1. M . DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

 

Newspaper Account of a Meeting between Black Religious Leaders and Union Military Authorities

[New York, N.Y.  February 13, 1865]

. . . .

MINUTES OF AN INTERVIEW BETWEEN THE COLORED MINISTERS AND CHURCH OFFICERS AT SAVANNAH WITH THESECRETARY OF WAR AND MAJOR-GEN. SHERMAN.

HEADQUARTERS OF MAJ.-GEN. SHERMAN,      
CITY OF SAVANNAH, GA., Jan., 12, 1865–8 P.M.

On the evening of Thursday, the 12th day of January, 1865, the following persons of African descent met by appointment to hold an interview with Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, and Major-Gen. Sherman, to have a conference upon matters relating to the freedmen of the State of Georgia, to-wit:

One:  William J. Campbell, aged 51 years, born in Savannah, slave until 1849, and then liberated by will of his mistress, Mrs. May Maxwell.  For ten years pastor of the 1st Baptist Church of Savannah, numbering about 1,800 members.  Average congregation, 1,900.  The church property belonging to the congregation.  Trustees white.  Worth $18,000.

Two:  John Cox, aged fifty-eight years, born in Savannah; slave until 1849, when he bought his freedom for $1,100.  Pastor of the 2d African Baptist Church.  In the ministry fifteen years.  Congregation 1,222 persons.  Church property worth $10,000, belonging to the congregation.

Three:  Ulysses L. Houston, aged forty-one years, born in Grahamsville, S.C.; slave until the Union army entered Savannah.  Owned by Moses Henderson, Savannah, and pastor of Third African Baptist Church.  Congregation numbering 400.  Church property worth $5,000; belongs to congregation.  In the ministry about eight years.

Four:  William Bentley, aged 72 years, born in Savannah, slave until 25 years of age, when his master, John Waters, emancipated him by will.  Pastor of Andrew’s Chapel, Methodist Episcopal Church–only one of that denomination in Savannah; congregation numbering 360 members; church property worth about $20,000, and is owned by the congregation; been in the ministry about twenty years; a member of Georgia Conference.

Five:  Charles Bradwell, aged 40 years, born in Liberty County, Ga.; slave until 1851; emancipated by will of his master, J. L. Bradwell.  Local preacher in charge of the Methodist Episcopal congregation (Andrew’s Chapel) in the absence of the minister; in the ministry 10 years.

Six:  William Gaines, aged 41 years; born in Wills Co., Ga.  Slave until the Union forces freed me.  Owned by Robert Toombs, formerly United States Senator, and his brother, Gabriel Toombs,  local preacher of the M.E. Church (Andrew’s Chapel.)  In the ministry 16 years.

Seven:  James Hill, aged 52 years; born in Bryan Co., Ga.  Slave up to the time the Union army came in.  Owned by H. F. Willings, of Savannah.  In the ministry 16 years.

Eight:  Glasgon Taylor, aged 72 years, born in Wilkes County, Ga.  Slave until the Union army came; owned by A. P. Wetter.  Is a local preacher of the M.E. Church (Andrew’s Chapel.)  In the ministry 35 years.

Nine:  Garrison Frazier, aged 67 years, born in Granville County, N.C.  Slave until eight years ago, when he bought himself and wife, paying $1,000 in gold and silver.  Is an ordained minister in the Baptist Church, but, his health failing, has now charge of no congregation.  Has been in the ministry 35 years.

Ten:  James Mills, aged 56 years, born in Savannah; free-born, and is a licensed preacher of the first Baptist Church.  Has been eight years in the ministry.

Eleven:  Abraham Burke, aged 48 years, born in Bryan County, Ga.  Slave until 20 years ago, when he bought himself for $800.  Has been in the ministry about 10 years.

Twelve:  Arthur Wardell, aged 44 years, born in Liberty County, Ga.  Slave until freed by the Union army.  Owned by A. A. Solomons, Savannah, and is a licensed minister in the Baptist Church.  Has been in the ministry 6 years.

Thirteen:  Alexander Harris, aged 47 years, born in Savannah; free born.  Licensed minister of Third African Baptist Church.  Licensed about one month ago.

Fourteen:  Andrew Neal, aged 61 years, born in Savannah, slave until the Union army liberated him.  Owned by Mr. Wm. Gibbons, and has been deacon in the Third Baptist Church for 10 years.

Fifteen:  Jas. Porter, aged 39 years, born in Charleston, South Carolina; free-born, his mother having purchased her freedom.  Is lay-reader and president of the board of wardens and vestry of St. Stephen’s Protestant Episcopal Colored Church in Savannah.  Has been in communion 9 years.  The congregation numbers about 200 persons.  The church property is worth about $10,000, and is owned by the congregation.

Sixteen:  Adolphus Delmotte, aged 28 years, born in Savannah; free born.  Is a licensed minister of the Missionary Baptist Church of Milledgeville.  Congregation numbering about 300 or 400 persons.  Has been in the ministry about two years.

Seventeen:  Jacob Godfrey, aged 57 years, born in Marion, S.C.  Slave until the Union army freed me; owned by James E. Godfrey–Methodist preacher now in the Rebel army.  Is a class-leader and steward of Andrew’s Chapel since 1836.

Eighteen:  John Johnson, aged 51 years, born in Bryan County, Georgia.  Slave up to the time the Union army came here; owned by W. W. Lincoln of Savannah.  Is class-leader and treasurer of Andrew’s Chapel for sixteen years.

Nineteen:  Robt. N. Taylor, aged 51 years, born in Wilkes Co., Ga.  Slave to the time the Union army came.  Was owned by Augustus P. Welter, Savannah, and is class-leader in Andrew’s Chapel for nine years.

Twenty:  Jas. Lynch, aged 26 years, born in Baltimore, Md.; free-born.  Is presiding elder of the M.E. Church and missionary to the department of the South.  Has been seven years in the ministry and two years in the South.

Garrison Frazier being chosen by the persons present to express their common sentiments upon the matters of inquiry, makes answers to inquiries as follows:

First:  State what your understanding is in regard to the acts of Congress and President Lincoln’s [Emancipation] proclamation, touching the condition of the colored people in the Rebel States.

Answer–So far as I understand President Lincoln’s proclamation to the Rebellious States, it is, that if they would lay down their arms and submit to the laws of the United States before the first of January, 1863, all should be well; but if they did not, then all the slaves in the Rebel States should be free henceforth and forever.  That is what I understood.

Second–State what you understand by Slavery and the freedom that was to be given by the President’s proclamation.

Answer–Slavery is, receiving by irresistible power the work of another man, and not by his consent.  The freedom, as I understand it, promised by the proclamation, is taking us from under the yoke of bondage, and placing us where we could reap the fruit of our own labor, take care of ourselves and assist the Government in maintaining our freedom.

Third:  State in what manner you think you can take care of yourselves, and how can you best assist the Government in maintaining your freedom.

Answer:  The way we can best take care of ourselves is to have land, and turn it and till it by our own labor–that is, by the labor of the women and children and old men; and we can soon maintain ourselves and have something to spare.  And to assist the Government, the young men should enlist in the service of the Government, and serve in such manner as they may be wanted.  (The Rebels told us that they piled them up and made batteries of them, and sold them to Cuba; but we don’t believe that.)  We want to be placed on land until we are able to buy it and make it our own.

Fourth:  State in what manner you would rather live–whether scattered among the whites or in colonies by yourselves.

Answer:  I would prefer to live by ourselves, for there is a prejudice against us in the South that will take years to get over; but I do not know that I can answer for my brethren.  [Mr. Lynch says he thinks they should not be separated, but live together.  All the other persons present, being questioned one by one, answer that they agree with Brother Frazier.]1

Fifth:  Do you think that there is intelligence enough among the slaves of the South to maintain themselves under the Government of the United States and the equal protection of its laws, and maintain good and peaceable relations among yourselves and with your neighbors?

Answer–I think there is sufficient intelligence among us to do so.

Sixth–State what is the feeling of the black population of the South toward the Government of the United States; what is the understanding in respect to the present war–its causes and object, and their disposition to aid either side.  State fully your views.

Answer–I think you will find there are thousands that are willing to make any sacrifice to assist the Government of the United States, while there are also many that are not willing to take up arms.  I do not suppose there are a dozen men that are opposed to the Government.  I understand, as to the war, that the South is the aggressor.  President Lincoln was elected President by a majority of the United States, which guaranteed him the right of holding the office and exercising that right over the whole United States.  The South, without knowing what he would do, rebelled.  The war was commenced by the Rebels before he came into office.  The object of the war was not at first to give the slaves their freedom, but the sole object of the war was at first to bring the rebellious States back into the Union and their loyalty to the laws of the United States.  Afterward, knowing the value set on the slaves by the Rebels, the President thought that his proclamation would stimulate them to lay down their arms, reduce them to obedience, and help to bring back the Rebel States; and their not doing so has now made the freedom of the slaves a part of the war.  It is my opinion that there is not a man in this city that could be started to help the Rebels one inch, for that would be suicide.  There were two black men left with the Rebels because they had taken an active part for the Rebels, and thought something might befall them if they stayed behind; but there is not another man.  If the prayers that have gone up for the Union army could be read out, you would not get through them these two weeks.

Seventh:  State whether the sentiments you now express are those only of the colored people in the city; or do they extend to the colored population through the country? and what are your means of knowing the sentiments of those living in the country?

Answer:  I think the sentiments are the same among the colored people of the State.  My opinion is formed by personal communication in the course of my ministry, and also from the thousands that followed the Union army, leaving their homes and undergoing suffering.  I did not think there would be so many; the number surpassed my expectation.

Eighth:  If the Rebel leaders were to arm the slaves, what would be its effect?

Answer:  I think they would fight as long as they were before the bayonet, and just as soon as soon as they could get away, they would desert, in my opinion.

Ninth:  What, in your opinion, is the feeling of the colored people about enlisting and serving as soldiers of the United States? and what kind of military service do they prefer?

 

Answer:  A large number have gone as soldiers to Port Royal [S.C.] to be drilled and put in the service; and I think there are thousands of the young men that would enlist.  There is something about them that perhaps is wrong.  They have suffered so long from the Rebels that they want to shoulder the musket.  Others want to go into the Quartermaster’s or Commissary’s service.

Tenth:  Do you understand the mode of enlistments of colored persons in the Rebel States by State agents under the Act of Congress?2  If yea, state what your understanding is.

Answer:  My understanding is, that colored persons enlisted by State agents are enlisted as substitutes, and give credit to the States, and do not swell the army, because every black man enlisted by a State agent leaves a white man at home; and, also, that larger bounties are given or promised by State agents than are given by the States.  The great object should be to push through this Rebellion the shortest way, and there seems to be something wanting in the enlistment by State agents, for it don’t strengthen the army, but takes one away for every colored man enlisted.

Eleventh:  State what, in your opinion, is the best way to enlist colored men for soldiers.

Answer:  I think, sir, that all compulsory operations should be put a stop to.  The ministers would talk to them, and the young men would enlist.  It is my opinion that it would be far better for the State agents to stay at home, and the enlistments to be made for the United States under the direction of Gen. Sherman.

In the absence of Gen. Sherman, the following question was asked:

Twelfth:  State what is the feeling of the colored people in regard to Gen. Sherman; and how far do they regard his sentiments and actions as friendly to their rights and interests, or otherwise?

Answer:  We looked upon Gen. Sherman prior to his arrival as a man in the Providence of God specially set apart to accomplish this work, and we unanimously feel inexpressible gratitude to him, looking upon him as a man that should be honored for the faithful performance of his duty.  Some of us called upon him immediately upon his arrival, and it is probable he would not meet the Secretary with more courtesy than he met us.  His conduct and deportment toward us characterized him as a friend and a gentleman.  We have confidence in Gen. Sherman, and think that what concerns us could not be under better hands.  This is our opinion now from the short acquaintance and interest we have had.  (Mr. Lynch states that with his limited acquaintance with Gen. Sherman, he is unwilling to express an opinion.  All others present declare their agreement with Mr. Frazier about Gen. Sherman.)

Some conversation upon general subjects relating to Gen. Sherman’s march then ensued, of which no note was taken.