23 Weekly Letter

Amazing Educators!

We’re almost finished with another year of Eden Hope!  Your children have learned that the prevailing philosophies of the day, such as the Age of Enlightenment and the First Great Awakening,impact entire generations.  Hopefully, they will remember the impact the First Great Awakening had on the Colonists.  It brought sects together and focused the them on God.  While the Age of Enlightenment also impacted the Colonists, such as Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, it was to a much lesser degree than in Europe, especially France.  Without the benefit of the First Great Awakening, the French’s revolution was humanistic and extremely murderous.

These are the lessons that our children will “forget”.  They may not be able to spout off how the First Great Awakening impacted the Colonists with pin point accuracy but later in life they will remember key points of these lessons and “aha” moments will happen.  Instead of blindly following the prevailing philosophy of their day, your children will stop and think.  They will remember the bible verses you have taught them, the wisdom you have poured into them, and the lessons from EHA.  God will use these to mold your child into an incredible adult who impacts the world for Him.




WEEK 23 CARD 1  Booker T. Washington

Born a slave on a Virginia farm, Washington (1856-1915) rose to become one of the most influential African-American intellectuals of the late 19th century. In 1881, he founded the Tuskegee Institute, a black school in Alabama devoted to training teachers. Washington was also behind the formation of the National Negro Business League 20 years later, and he served as an adviser to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

He is recognized for his educational advancements and attempts to promote economic self-reliance among African Americans.

Booker T. Washington

Born a slave on a small farm in western Virginia, Washington was nine years old when the Civil War ended. His humble but stern rearing included his working in a salt furnace when he was ten and serving as a houseboy for a white family where he first learned the virtues of frugality, cleanliness, and personal morality.

Washington was educated at Hampton Institute, one of the earliest freedmen’s schools devoted to industrial education; Hampton was the model upon which he based his institute in Tuskegee.

Across the landscape of the most anguished era of American race relations (1895-1915) strode the self-assured and influential Booker T. Washington. The foremost black educator, power broker, and institution builder of his time, Washington in 1881 founded Tuskegee Institute, a black school in Alabama devoted to industrial and moral education and to the training of public school teachers. From his southern small-town base, he created a national political network of schools, newspapers, and the National Negro Business League (founded in 1901).

In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to the White House, making him the first African American to be so honored. Both President Roosevelt and his successor, President William Howard Taft, used Washington as an adviser on racial matters, partly because he accepted racial subservience. His White House visit and the publication of his autobiography, Up from Slavery, brought him both acclaim and indignation from many Americans. While some African Americans looked upon Washington as a hero, others, like Du Bois, saw him as a traitor.

Death and Legacy

Booker T. Washington was a complex individual, who lived during a precarious time in advancing racial equality. On one hand, he was openly supportive of African Americans taking a “back seat” to whites, while on the other he secretly financed several court cases challenging segregation. By 1913, Washington had lost much of his influence. The newly inaugurated Wilson administration was cool to the idea of racial integration and African-American equality.

Booker T. Washington remained the head of Tuskegee Institute until his death on November 14, 1915, at the age of 59, of congestive heart failure.

WEEK 23 CARD 2 Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, fought on June 25, 1876, near the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory, pitted federal troops led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (1839-76) against a band of Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne warriors. Tensions between the two groups had been rising since the discovery of gold on Native American lands. When a number of tribes missed a federal deadline to move to reservations, the U.S. Army, including Custer and his 7th Calvary, was dispatched to confront them. Custer was unaware of the number of Indians fighting under the command of Sitting Bull (c.1831-90) at Little Bighorn, and his forces were outnumbered and quickly overwhelmed in what became known as Custer’s Last Stand.

At mid-day on June 25, Custer’s 600 men entered the Little Bighorn Valley. Among the Native Americans, word quickly spread of the impending attack. The older Sitting Bull rallied the warriors and saw to the safety of the women and children, while Crazy Horse set off with a large force to meet the attackers head on. Despite Custer’s desperate attempts to regroup his men, they were quickly overwhelmed. Custer and some 200 men in his battalion were attacked by as many as 3,000 Native Americans; within an hour, Custer and all of his soldiers were dead.

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, also called Custer’s Last Stand, marked the most decisive Native American victory and the worst U.S. Army defeat in the long Plains Indian War. The demise of Custer and his men outraged many white Americans and confirmed their image of the Indians as wild and bloodthirsty. Meanwhile, the U.S. government increased its efforts to subdue the tribes. Within five years, almost all of the Sioux and Cheyenne would be confined to reservations.

WEEK 23 CARD 3 Reconstruction Ends in 1877

The postwar South, where most of the fighting had occurred, faced many challenges. In the war’s aftermath, Southerners experienced collapsed property values, damaged railroads, and agricultural hardships. The elite planters were faced with overwhelming economic adversity perpetuated by a lack of laborers for their fields.

Blacks acquired new rights and opportunities, such as equality before the law and the rights to own property, be married, attend schools, enter professions, and learn to read and write. One of the first opportunities the former slaves took advantage of was the chance to educate themselves and their children.

Nearly 600,000 black students, from children to the elderly, were in southern schools by 1877. Although State Reconstruction officials tried to prohibit discrimination, the new schools practiced racial segregation, and the black schools generally received less funding than white schools. Black churches, recognizing the importance of the education initiatives, helped raise money to build schools and pay teachers, and many northern missionaries moved south to serve as teachers.

Another opportunity the former slaves pursued was involvement in politics. When the Fifteenth Amendment offered the chance for suffrage, black men seized the opportunity and began to organize politically.

The Democratic Party nominated Samuel J. Tilden, a famous lawyer from New York who had overthrown the notorious Boss Tweed.

On Election Day, Tilden garnered 184 electoral votes–only one short of the majority needed–and nearly 300,000 more popular votes than Hayes. However, there were 20 disputed electoral votes due to irregular returns from Oregon, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. In the three disputed southern states, rival canvassing boards submitted different returns to Congress: one supporting a Democratic win and the other supporting a Republican win. Unfortunately, the Constitution had no provisions outlined for such a situation, so in January 1877, Congress set up a special electoral commission consisting of 15 men from the Senate, House, and Supreme Court.

An economic crisis in America followed shortly after the presidential election of 1872. Unbridled expansion of factories, railroads, and farms and contraction of the money supply through the withdrawal of greenbacks helped trigger the Panic of 1873. This was the longest and most severe depression the country had experienced, with over 15,000 businesses filing bankruptcy, widespread unemployment, and a slowdown in railroad and factory building.

The split of the Republican Party helped the Democrats gain seats in the Senate and carry the House of Representatives in the 1874 congressional elections. With control of the House, the Democrats immediately launched more investigations into the presidential scandals and discovered further evidence of corruption.

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