Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Forgotten White People Of Black History

Slavery continues on today. India and China being number one and two respectively with the largest amounts of slaves. It isn't always so black and white with Africans in chains and Chicken George dancing to please whitey.

Patrick Francis Healy with a typical Irish potato like head

In the 1820's a plantation owner in Georgia, Michael Healy took a liking to his slave Mary Eliza. She was mulatto, born from a black slave girl and a white owner. Healy fell in love and while he couldn't marry her due to the law he lived with her in as his common-law wife.

Like Jefferson dicking his slaves and Trump grabbing and kissing employees I'm sure there wasn't any free will or consent on the female side.

They had a load of children and legally those children could be sold as slaves. The Healy's sent their kids up north so they could get out and get educated. They had difficulty in the Quaker schools and then went to Catholic schools and colleges. Patrick Healy and 3 of his brothers then attended a new  Jesuit school.

It wasn't because they were mixed race that they had trouble fitting in, it was because northerners took exception to the children of slave owners ... yeah, fucked up in this situation huh. Hardly their fault.

 James Augustine Healy, Bishop of Portland, Maine

Patrick was the first  African American to graduate from the Jesuit school. He had many other firsts like earning his decorate in Belgium and being the 29th President of Georgetown University. He changed the curriculum to include science more and modernized their medical training. He traveled the US and Europe, usually with his brother James who was a bishop.

He always considered himself Irish-American. As you can see by the picture he could certainly pass as white. Of the other brothers one became a priest, one a sea captain and his 3 sisters nuns though one left the order because she liked cock too much.       

Michael Augustine Healy is the most interesting to me. He became an officer in the United States Revenue Cutter Service. He patrolled the 20,000 miles of Alaskan coastline for more than 20 years and commanded several vessels.

He earned the nickname Hell Roaring Mike as well as the respect of semen and natives. His ship the USRC Bear was a thick hulled early type of ice breaker. He enforced laws and treaties, protected the whale and seal populations and delivered, mail, supplies and medicine to far flung villages. He hunted down deserters, returning them to their ships and collected weather data.

He also helped introduce reindeer from Siberia to Alaska as a source of food for natives. The New York Sun reported on this in 1894.

Unlike many at the time he cared about the native population and his standing order was 'Never make a promise to a native you do not intend to keep to the letter.'     

His heavy drinking was noted by his superior who threatened to take Healy's command away. This was enough to scare him as he loved his ship more than anything (don't tell his wife) he pledged to 
never to touch intoxicants of any kind or description.

He retired at the mandatory age of 64 and a year later died from a heart attack. Retirement can be a death sentence for some.

James, Patrick, Alexander Sherwood, and Michael

While Michael was the first African-American to command a US government ship he identified as white Catholic Irish-American during his life time. 

Those days and even not too long ago if you could pass for white you did. I can't find any pictures of the 3 sisters so yeah as well as the obvious sexism there was the obvious racism and the difficulty to advance yourself unless you were a white male. 

The family were quite successful and that was mostly down to their father having the money to send them away to be educated. 

Michael and cock loving Martha who left the convent only had children out of all the siblings. Michael's son Frederick went on voyages with his father he carved his name on a rock on a remote island and noted that he was the only 'white boy' to have done such a thing. He became a newspaper man then a businessman.  

Their mixed race only really came out in the 50's and 60's as this family didn't discuss it in private letters or documents but James and Sherman were described as being visibly black. 

So many modern racists and bigots would be shocked at who is really in their family tree, get the fuck over it. There is only one race.   


k said...

Don't say it often enough (and there are plenty of reasons for that-see some of your other posts), OBB I love your mind. This and a Jewish ancestor who flipped from the Northern army to the Confederacy and back again to the North during the civil war were the main reasons my grandmother Helen was repeatedly denied acceptance into the Daughters of the Confederacy- something she desperately desired as the nouveau-riche daughter of Texas bootleggers and a detail that the DAC only pointed out after her 10th attempt by informing her about their grave concerns regarding her qualifying ancestor and the probability that not only was she a "Jewess" but also a "negro".

This is, hands down, my favorite piece of family history and proudest legacy. My great great great grandfather was Austrian Jew who farmed in Virginia. He was conscripted into the Northern army and dutifully fought many battles despite his pacifist tendencies. He was captured by the Confederate army and sensibly chose to fight with his captors rather than be shot. His Confederate army career was brief. He was recaptured and re-assigned to the North and managed to survive the war and return home and ruin the social machinations of a spoiled-rotten future granddaughter. I add my Cherokee Gran to the mix and am happily balancing out all the celtic influences from my dear Mama's side of the equation. Here's to the hope we will soon recocognize we are all kin. Except for Repubrobates who must surely descend from Space lizard excrement.

Old Knudsen said...

Your GGGGF changed allegiance more than a Scottish clan does so I wholeheartedly approve. The US has the best immigrant stories always jam packed.