The United States Colored Troops Statue, Washington DC

African American Civil War Memorial, Washington DC
  • Abraham Cleage/Abram Cleag – I have so much new information, waiting to be written up.
  • Charles A. Cleage – I have his pension file and that of his widow, waiting to be written up.
  • George Cleage
  • George Cleage There were two, I have not written up this one yet.
  • Philip Cleage He died of smallpox, but his widow’s pension file is rich in information. Still have to write it up.

All of the men above belonged to the 1st Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery

Organized at Knoxville, Tenn., February 20, 1864. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 23rd Corps, Dept. of Ohio, to February, 1865. 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, District of East Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to March, 1865. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, District of East Tennessee, to March, 1866.

SERVICE.-Duty at Knoxville, Tenn., till January, 1865. Operations against Wheeler in East Tennessee August 15-25, 1864. Operations in Northern Alabama and East Tennessee January 31-April 24, 1865. Stoneman’s operations from East Tennessee into Southwestern Virginia and Western North Carolina February to April. At Greenville and in District of East Tennessee till March, 1866. Mustered out March 31, 1866.

Meanwhile, in Kentucky, my grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage’s uncle Thomas Allen (formerly Thomas Ray, who later dropped his slave name of “Ray” and took his father’s name of “Allen”), served with the 5h Regiment USCT Calvary.

5th Regiment, United States Colored Cavalry
Overview:
Organized at Camp Nelson, Ky., October 24, 1864. Attached to 1st Division, District of Kentucky, Dept. of Ohio, to February, 1865. Military District of Kentucky and Dept. of Arkansas, to March, 1866.
Service:
Participated in Burbridge’s Raid from Kentucky into Southwestern Virginia September 20-October 17, 1864. Action at Saltsville, Va., October 2. At Lexington, Ky., October 19. Harrodsburg, Ky., October 21. Stoneman’s Raid into Southwestern Virginia December 10-29. Near Marion December 17-18. Capture of Saltsville and destruction of salt works December 20-21. Duty at Ghent, Paducah, LaGrange, Crab Orchard and Camp Nelson till August, 1865, and in the Dept. of Arkansas till March, 1866. Mustered out March 20, 1866.

Regiment lost during service 35 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 151 Enlisted men by disease. Total 187.

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So much new information waiting to be written up, but to see what I have already done, click on the underlined links above.

For more Sepia Saturday posts, click!

 

 

Vote FREEDOM NOW!

Henry Cleage outside of Cleage Printers 1963

I wish my interviewing skills had been better when I recorded this. Obvious things like, turn off the radio and go to a quiet room. I edited out as much of the extraneous noise as I could. Henry and I were sitting in the living room of my house in Idlewild, MI. You can hear the sounds of the kids getting dinner on the table and hollering at the dog in the background. In 1994 my youngest 4 were all at home and we were homeschooling. Henry lived about 4 miles away and often had dinner with us. In his statements, Henry couldn’t remember some names. When I posted the transcript of the interview years ago, my friend Paul Lee commented:  “Henry couldn’t recall the names of the “two brothers” who co-founded the FNP with “Afro-American” newspaper foreign correspondent William W. Worthy. They were Leftist attorney Conrad J. Lynn and Daniel Watts, publisher of New York’s militant “Liberator” magazine. As you know, Worthy and Watts attended the National Negro Grass Roots Leadership Conference in November 1963.”

Yesterday I came across these posters from 1963 and today I found the theme for this weeks Sepia Saturday was Posters. Although these are not on a wall, there were identical ones put up around Detroit during the time leading up to the election of 1964.

Ronald Latham

Older posts about the Freedom Now Party

The Freedom Now Party – William Worthy’s Speech

The Freedom Now Party – Convention

Transcript of Interview With Henry Cleage – Freedom Now Party Votes Stolen

And now a modern wall with posters not too far from my house. The colorful part is painted. The faces are printed on paper and glued on. To the left of my sister’s face, three artists were peeled off. Th building is a former night spot what now stands empty in a mostly deserted strip mall.  I hope they plan to put the three missing artists back up. There were men in the back painting that wall and there are similar murals on the other walls.

A wall in Southwest Atlanta dedicated to local artists. My sister Pearl Cleage, a writer/playwrite is in the center.
For other Sepia Saturday Posts, Click photo.

Gladys Cleage Evans Obituary

Click to enlarge.

Gladys was my father’s sister and my aunt. She contributed her spit for DNA testing, helping make new family discoveries.  I spent much time with Gladys when we both lived in Idlewild. We used to walk to Head Start together. I remember she told me some of her childhood  and adult memories and I wrote them down in one of my notebooks, and I haven’t been able to find them, but I am going to go through page by page soon.  She also shared memories of her extended family, which I quote in some posts. Gladys also shared with me the letters that her father wrote to her mother when they were courting, which I used to write an A-Z series several years ago Index to the Letters from Dr. Albert B. Cleage.  I wish I could have shared the letters that her mother wrote to Homer and the information about my grandmother Pearl’s uncle Thomas Allen who fought with the USCT in the Civil War. Hopefully, she knows.

Pearl Doris Reed Cleage Obituary

PEARL D. CLEAGE, HELPED FOUND ST. JOHN’S CHURCH

DETROIT FREE PRESS

Date: Friday, July 23, 1982     Page: 7 B

Edition: Metro Final     Secton: OBT

Pearl D. Cleage, a founder of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Detroit, died Saturday while vacationing in Idlewild, Mich. She was 94.

Mrs. Cleage, a Detroit resident since 1915, was the widow of the late Dr. Albert B. Cleage SR. and the mother of Reverend Albert B Cleage Jr., minister and founder of the Shrines of the Black Madonna, who began the Black Christian Nationalist movement in Detroit in the late 1960s. The Shrines are in Detroit, Atlanta and Houston.

Mrs. Cleage often lectured on African-American history. She was a member of the Auxiliaries of the Iota Boule and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternities.

Survivors include four sons, the Rev. Albert B. Cleage Jr., Dr. Louis, Henry and Hugh; three daughters, Barbara Martin, Gladys Evans and Anna Shreve; nine grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

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Other posts about my paternal grandmother, Pearl Doris Reed Cleage.

Introduction to the letters my grandfather Albert B. Cleage wrote to Pearl Reed before their marriage from 1907 to 1910.

Grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage’s Birthday

Pearl Reed Cleage With Baby Henry

Grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage – photographs

Two Newspaper Articles 1908 and 1960

Dr. Albert B. Cleage and Miss Pearl Reed Wed

1940 Census – The Albert B. and Pearl (Reed) Cleage Family

Pearl Doris Reed Cleage 1884 – 1982 – Two Photographs

Albert and Pearl Reed Cleage – Cemetery

Albert and Pearl (Reed) Cleage 1922

Grandmother Before the Party – 1971

Oh Dry Those Tears

 

Grandmother Before the Party

Before the party.

It was June of 1971 and my grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage was waiting for the party to begin. Uncle Hugh is in the kitchen getting things ready.  Grandmother was 87 and didn’t break her hip for some years yet. I remember so many dinners around that table. There were always cakes with caramel icing for birthdays. This time it looks like there are two cakes – one chocolate and one with caramel icing. Both have candles.

Candy corns in the little silver dish. There were often candy corns in the covered candy dish that always on the front room table coffee table. Candy corns or red and white striped peppermints or sometimes chocolate kisses.

My parents at the party, a corner of Henry. Blair and Anna Pearl are at the kids table in the front room.
A better view of the front room.

I can think of several June birthdays. My father turned 60 that year. My cousin Anna Pearl turned eleven and her sister Maria turned nine. It must have been an all June collective party. I wish I had been there. My oldest daughter Jilo turned one that June.

Click to see other Sepia Saturday posts.

Remembering my father on his birthday

My father, Albert B. Cleage Jr aka Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman would have been 107 today if he had not made his transition in 2000. I am re-posting a collage with 100 photographs of him that I did on 2011 today.

Click to enlarge. It will enlarge twice.

Here are links to some of the posts I’ve done about him:

The Fellowship Dinner  – One of my favorites, a letter home in which he describes the first church supper after he became Pastor of St. John’s Congregational Church in Springfield Mass. in 1945.

Rebellions Create Strange Leaders – sermon, 1967

Accountability – article, 1967

Cleage for Congress – 1966

How Do We Program For Power? – 1968

Man of The Year – Detroit’s Rev. Albert B. Cleage Jr (1963)

 

 

910 Fayette Street – Not the House I Thought It Was!

While looking for information about the house my grandmother Pearl Reed and her family lived during the time she wrote the letters to Homer Jarrett, I decided to look in the real estate section of the Indianapolis newspapers.  I came across an an item offering the  house that my grandfather Albert B. Cleage and his brothers lived in at 910 Fayette, for rent. (Click on images to enlarge.)

910 Fayette is at the bottom of the list.
The little blue house on the left was 906 and 908 until the numbers were changed and then it became 910 and 912. The two story house on the right was 910 and 912 until the addresses changed and then it was 914 and 916.  This is a Google photo.

When visiting Indianapolis a decade ago, my daughter Ayanna drove me around the city looking for family homes. We found nothing but parking lots and weed covered land where our ancestors used to live, until we found a little blue house numbered 910 Fayette standing and in good condition.

I took this photo the day we found the house. You can see the number 910 on the door.

My father, Albert Buford Cleage, Jr, was born at 910 Fayette on June 13, 1911. His parents had married the year before when Albert Sr. completed his medical training and received his physician’s license. I imagined how crowded it must have been  with Jacob, his wife Gertrude, Henry, Albert and later Pearl sharing one half of the small two family home.

Next, I looked at the Sanborn Fire Maps for Indianapolis, Indiana, to see how and if the house had changed over the years. The oldest map was from 1887. I could not find 910 Fayette. The street numbers only went up to 350.

The next map was from 1898. I found the house on the forth lot from the corner.  The house was a two story, divided frame house, with a one story room on the back and a porch across the front. The house and the small outbuilding behind it (outhouse?) had wood roofs with wooden shingles. The house number is printed in the street in front of the house with the current address, 910, closest to the house and the previous address (164) beneath it in parenthesis.

1898 Map. Red marks 910 Fayette.

Using the number, 164, I went back to the 1887 map. I found a house on the third lot, numbered 162. Next to it was an unnumbered lot. It would have been 164 and it was the fourth lot from the corner. The house I was looking for had not yet been built.

1887 Sanborn Fire map. Red marks the lot where 910 would eventually be built.

Next, I pulled up the 1914 Sanborn map and located 910 Fayette. I noticed that the house was marked as a frame house but with only 1.5 stories.

Red again makes the spot.

But wait, 910 is the third house from the corner on this map instead of the fourth. Looking at the fourth house, more closely, I saw that the number closer to the house was now 914 and the one below it, the old number, was 910! The house I thought was the one my father was born in was not the little blue house, but the larger house next door. Both houses were divided to hold two households.

The former 910, now 914 Fayette.

I found a photograph online at several real estate sites, of the renovated house. It looked like half of that house would be much less crowded for five adults and eventually a baby, than the smaller blue one next door.  In 1905, it rented for $12.50 and had five rooms. My grandfather and his brothers and their families lived there from 1909 to 1912. At that time they spread out to larger quarters.

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Go To this post to read an 1895 article about renumbering and renaming streets in Indianapolis – Why Renumber and Rename Streets?

Reports of My Parent’s Wedding

The only things I knew about my parent’s wedding was that my mother wore blue and they were married at Plymouth Congregational Church. My parents separated when I was eight years old and apparently the clippings that my grandmother’s must have saved, disappeared.

When I found an archive for the Detroit Tribune Newspaper, published by my publishing poet cousin James McCall, I was hopeful that I would find an article that described the wedding. And I did! Unfortunately the article is so faded as to be all most blank. To say this was frustrating, is an understatement. The archive is housed at the Library of Congress – Chronicling America.  Maybe one day Newspapers.com will add The Detroit Tribune to their collection and find better copies.

Here are the pieces I found.  The first one, about a before the wedding event.

A before the wedding festivity. My father’s name was Albert B. Cleage. He got the nickname “Toddy” as a toddler and it stuck. The article refers to him as “Todd”.

“Doris Graham is being feted, because Wednesday evening she will say “I do” to Todd Cleage, after which they will go to Lexington, KY. The local chapter of Iota Boule fraternity honored Doris Graham and Todd Cleage Friday night at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Gamble on Willis street. Among those who came with heart loads of good wishes were: Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, Dr. and Mrs. James Moore, Mr. and Mrs. M. Graham, Atty. and Mrs. P. Piper, Dr. Lloyd Bailer, Mr. and Mrs. H.S. Dunbar and their petite daughter Margie, Dr. and Mrs. Peyton Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Winburn and Dr. and Mrs J.A. Moore and others.”

The unreadable details of the wedding.

Skating Champions, Hugh, Gladys and Anna Cleage – 1940s

Three of my father’s six siblings, Hugh, Gladys and Anna Cleage.

“Hugh, Gladys and Anna Cleage of Scotten took their share of places in the annual city ice skating meet which was held at Belle Isle last Sunday afternoon.  Anna won first place and a gold medal in the Senior girls’ novice; Gladys, third in the same event and  a gold medal.  Hugh competed in the men’s 220 and two-mile events.”

This article is from one of the Detroit daily papers and is undated, but I would place it in the early 1940s.  Years later when I was talking about this photo with my aunt Anna, she said that the story was wrong and that actually she came in third and Gladys won the race.  She remembered taking an early lead in the race but soon falling behind as Gladys easily over took her.  They learned to skate at the  Northwestern High School skating rink, which was a few blocks from their home on Scotten.  When my sister and I were in high school at Northwestern in the early 1960s we skated at the same rink.  We got racing skates because Hugh and Gladys were so cool skating on the Lagoon at Belle Isle, but we were never gold medal material.  The old Northwestern High School is no longer there.  It was torn down and a new school was build where the skating rink used to be.

Cabral, Ife, Tulani and James skating.

In 1986 my husband and I moved to  Idlewild,  Michigan with our children.  We lived on Idlewild Lake.  When it was frozen we skated right in front of the house.  Hugh and Gladys could still skate circles around us.  During the summer when Gladys and I walked around the Lake, people from Detroit’s Old West Side would stop us to ask if she was the skating champion.  She was in her early 60s. This week I wish I had some skates.  It would make it so much easier to get around frozen Atlanta.  Above is a picture of four of my children skating on Idlewild Lake about 1990.  To see more Sepia Saturday offerings click here.

Support The Christmas Boycott – 1963

In 1963, Ossie and Ruby Davis, James Baldwin, John O. Killens, Odetta, and Louis Lomax formed the Association of Artists for Freedom, which called for a Christmas boycott to protest the church bombing, and asked that, instead of buying gifts, people make Christmas contributions to civil rights organizations. I remember that my extended family participated in the boycott.  My sister and I were teenagers. I don’t remember anything else about that Christmas. The article below was printed in the Illustrated news in November 1963.

Christmas_boycott_1963 1
Click to enlarge.
Insert, Louis Lomax, James Baldwin, Louis Lomax, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Odetta called for a boycott of Christmas gifts.
Insert, Louis Lomax. Back row:  James Baldwin, Oliver Killens, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Odetta  artists who called for the boycott of Christmas Boycott in 1963.

Christmas_boycott_1963_small

And a clip from a sermon about giving gifts given on December 17, 1967 by my father, then known as Rev. Albert B. Cleage Jr.

Other links for 1963

Kennedy Refuses to Support Civil Rights Demands

Remembering 1963

Six Dead After Church Bombing – Washington Post article from 1963