Baley Wyat, Freedman
and a group of freedmen had been assigned to land near
Yorktown, Virginia during the war. In this speech he
protested President Andrew Johnson's insistence that
confiscated lands should be returned to their former
wives, our children, our husbands, have been sold over and
over again to purchase the lands we now locates upon; for
that reason we have a divine right to the land...And then
didn't we clear the land, and raise the crops of corn, of
cotton, of tobacco, of rice, of sugar, of everything? And
then didn't them large cities in the North grow up on the
cotton and the sugar and the rice that we made? ... I say
they has grown rich, and my people is poor."
Quoted in Who Built America? v. I, 2nd ed. chapter
End of Page.
African Americans on the Sea Islands