I’m absorbing Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy. It’s not just for Americans. If it hasn’t been translated into Chinese and Russian, I trust that it soon will be — although. It won’t be the audible edition, which is what I most highly recommend. Stevenson narrates it himself and he is a brilliant orator. It’s a no miss. The Visible vault also has a nice collection of his talks. They’re always mezmerizing.

Guess whose History & Geography of the United States came up a little rusty? Time to remedy that, for sure. Nothing special. Bits and pieces assembled from Wikipedia. Just the American Civil War, for starters, some text, some flashcards and some drag & drop (a quizlet! you betcha!).

Here’s the verbatim but, as usual, feel free to jump ahead to the quizlet and see if you can ace it blind. It’s less than 500 words.

If you decide to read the verbatim first, the odds are very good that your eyes will glaze over. Have no fear, the quizlet will snap you out of it! I promise you, every little factoid and unfolding event has been carefully crafted and optimized to empower the responsible citizen wanna be. There may be a few things missing, but there’s nothing extraneous.

In The Beginning . . .

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and the first Republican President. He was in office from March 1861 until his assassination on April 15, 1865.

Lincoln first spoke out against the expansion of slavery in a debate in 1858.

The Confederate States of America (CSA) was originally formed by seven slave-holding states – South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana & Texas – following the November 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln.

After the Civil War began, in April 1861, four additional slave-holding states – Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina.

In May 1861, the decision was made to move the Confederate capital from Montgomery, Alabama, to Richmond.

The successes of the Confederate Army’s General Robert E. Lee in defending Richmond is a central theme of the military history of the war.

The Confederacy later attempted to set up shadow governments in Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither state officially declared secession.

Ulysses S. Grant, later to serve two terms as the 18th President of the United States, worked closely with President Abraham Lincoln to lead the Union Army.

In the Middle . . .

In 1862, William T. Sherman succeeded Grant as the Union commander in the Western Theater of the war. He proceeded to lead his troops to the capture of the city of Atlanta, a military success that contributed to the re-election of Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863, proclaimed the freedom of African-Americans in ten rebel states. It did not outlaw slavery, although it made the eradication of slavery a goal of the war, and it did not grant citizenship to the formerly enslaved.

The Proclamation applied only to slaves in Confederate-held lands; it did not apply to those in the four slave states that were not in rebellion (Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri, which were unnamed),

Nor did the Emancipation Proclamation apply to Tennessee (unnamed but occupied by Union troops since 1862) and lower Louisiana (also under occupation).

It also specifically excluded those counties of Virginia soon to form the state of West Virginia.

Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, just over two minutes long and one of the best known speeches in US history, on November 19, 1863, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

In the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln affirmed that, as a result of the Civil War, the United States could look forward to “a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”.

The Upshot . . .

On January 31, 1865, the amendment finally reached the required two-thirds majority.

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865.

In May 9, 1865, after four years of heavy fighting and an estimated 620,000 – 850,000 military deaths and 50,000 civilian deaths, the Confederate forces surrendered and the Confederacy was dissolved.

It was not until December 1865 that the 13th Amendment made slavery and indentured servitude illegal in the United States.

Before we can start meeting the people and engaging with the unfolding story, studies show that it pays to locate it on the map.




Now we’re ready for the story to unfold.



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4 thoughts on “The Long Journey

  • March 10, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    EJI, of course, has youtubed the Walter McMillian 60 Minutes move.

  • March 11, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I am now officially knee deep in a Mahershala Ali retrospective

  • March 13, 2017 at 6:52 am

    From coexist

    Unless you live in a cave with no possessions, you own products made with slave labor. Keeping slaves out of today’s complex supply chains is harder than you might think, and many companies fail to do it. According to Slavery Footprint, a website from Made in a Free World that calculates how many slaves “work for you” based on the items you own, 101 slaves were involved in making my daily existence possible.


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