Sunday, November 14, 2010

Callie House and the Struggle for Ex-Slave Reparations

Miranda Booker Perry, "No Pensions for Ex-Slaves: How Federal Agencies Suppressed Movement To Aid Freedpeople," Prologue 42 (Summer 2010). 

Callie House was a national leader in the movement to grant pensions to ex-slaves. In 1898, the former slave was elected assistant secretary of the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty & Pension Association of the United States of America (MRB&PA). In this article, Perry describes how the Bureau of Pensions, the Post Office Department, and the Justice Department undermined the efforts of House, Isaiah Dickerson, and the MRB&PA.

The article includes a broadside with photos of House and Dickerson (below), a Certificate of Membership in the MRB&PA, and an ex-slave pension bill that proposed a pension payment scale based upon the age of beneficiaries.


This broadside features both Isaiah Dickerson and Callie House (Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, RG 15)
For more information about House and her role in the MRB&PA, see Mary Frances Berry's My Face is Black is True: Callie House and the Struggle for Ex-Slave Reparations (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005).

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