Juneteenth in Pennsylvania Continued

Post Civil War

Pennsylvania’s most revered African Octavius Catto, along with Frederick Douglas, Ebenezer Bassett and William Forten were honored by the Union League for their efforts to enlist Africans recruits and their efforts in getting Pennsylvania to ratify the 15th Amendment on March 30th 1870. A year and 7 months after the passage of the 15th Amendment that allowed African men in Pennsylvania the right to vote. On Election Day, Oct. 10th 1871, Octavius Catto and 3 African men were murdered in the 7th Ward streets. This racist act by an Irish man was done to instill fear, for the Confederate Democrats, in People of Color, deny African Men their constitutional right to vote. Here are acts from multiple sources of a people’s pain which run deep. Acts that till this day caused a light switch to go off in People of Color head that cause them to not want to vote, or cause one to vote for someone like #45. Never-less a people legacy is!

This nation’s 2nd African-American Parade took place in Philadelphia PA on June 26th 1863. Whereas Octavius Catto, a resident of the 7th Ward was asked by the Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Colored Troops and the Union League of Philadelphia to recruit People of Color; enlist them in the Union Army’s Camp William Penn (CWP). CWP was formally mandated by the federal government after the state and local racist authorities refused to start their own camp for African and Jamaican Troops.

Octavius Catto, Philadelphia’s most revered African, paraded his African and Jamaicans Civil War recruits, many from the 7th Ward, to the Liberty Bell grounds; to enlist in the U.S. Union Army’s Camp William Penn’s (CWP) 3rd Regiment. People of the African Diaspora was shown and read the inscription (Lev 25:10) on the Liberty Bell’s and told of their Jubilee mission; which was to stop the oppression of one to another; reunite their immediate and tribunal family; return their tribesmen women and children to their tribe, free. Following the enlistment ceremony People from the African Diaspora paraded to CWP, stationed in LaMott, Montgomery County (outskirts of Philly) to fulfill the Jubilee, and train for the Civil War. Octavius Catto was promoted to Brigade Inspector General in the Pennsylvania National Guard, with the rank of Major, making him the highest ranking African in the Military services at the time. Octavius was among the most vocal “Call to Arms” Recruiter of people of color for the Union league of Philadelphia and the Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Colored Troops. Octavius Catto paraded a second infantry of USCT enlistees, the 24th Infantry, many from Philadelphia’s 7th Ward, to the grounds of Camp William Penn (Part of the area, is known today as the Cheltenham Mall).

Subsequent African-American parades took place in CWP’s Barracks and surrounding Montgomery County and Philly Communities. The Parades were in preparation for CWP USCT’s deployment to the Confederate Army slave occupied states.


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