He wanted to push for job opportunities and social justice, and was eager to persuade blacks to leave the segregated, Jim Crow South for Chicago. Sengstacke inherited the family–owned Sengstacke Newspaper Company. John was taken off life support and died on August 18, 2006 with his family and close friends by his side. He was last employed at the Concordia Club as a steward. Abbott attended Hampton Institute in 1892 where he studied printing as a trade. A key part of his distribution network was made up of African-American railroad porters, who were highly respected among blacks, and by 1925 they organized a union as the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. The northern and midwestern industrial centers, where blacks could vote and send children to school, were recruiting workers based on expansion of manufacturing and infrastructure to supply the US's expanding population as well as the war in Europe, which started in 1914. From the early 20th century through 1940, 1.5 million blacks moved to major cities in the North and Midwest. Numerous well-respected black writers wrote for the Defender, including Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, and Walter White. [5] He earned a law degree from Kent College of Law, Chicago, in 1898. Abbott died of Bright’s disease in 1940 in Chicago. He also assisted descendants of Captain Charles Stevens, the former owner of his enslaved birth father before emancipation. Abbott’s father died when he was young, and his mother remarried John Sengstacke, a German immigrant. [10] In his weekly, he showed pictures of Chicago and had numerous classifieds for housing. Robert S. Abbott's parents had been slaves, freed by the Civil War. 1933)Wife: Edna Denison Sengstacke (m. 1934), High School: Beach Institute of Freedmen’s Bureau, Savannah, GA    University: Claflin University (1893)    University: BS, Hampton University (1896)    Law School: Chicago-Kent College of Law (1899), Do you know something we don't? God made a church, man made denominations. In the Georgia port city in 1847, Herman saw a slave sale. At Hampton, he sang with the Hampton Choir and Quartet, which toured nationally. from Chicago's Kent College of Law in 1898. Birthplace: St. Simons Island, GA. Died: 29-Feb - 1940. He listed nine goals as the Defender′s 'Bible:'. His will left the newspaper in the control of his nephew, John Henry Sengstacke. They often sold or distributed the paper on trains. He purchased a new home as a gift for the landlady who had saved the paper years earlier, and according to legend he provided a small stipend to the white family that had owned his father, but had since fallen on hard times. Like the white-owned Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers, the Defender under Abbott used sensationalism to boost circulation. Mon 9 Mar 2020 12.25 EDT. Even though Thomas was no longer the slave property of the Stevens family, he was buried in a marked grave in the family cemetery, a very uncommon occurrence in the South and a testament to the family [s respect for him. [21] He was buried in Lincoln Cemetery in Blue Island, Illinois. Robert Sengstacke Abbott was born in Frederica, St. Simons Island, Georgia. Hiring black engineers, firemen, and conductors on all American railroads, and to all jobs in government; Gaining representation in all departments of the police forces over the entire United States; Government schools giving preference to American citizens before foreigners; Hiring black motormen and conductors on surface, elevated, and motor bus lines throughout America; Federal legislation to abolish lynching; and. The Chicago Defender, which was founded by Robert S. Abbott on May 5, 1905, once heralded itself as "The World's Greatest Weekly." The Chicago Defender is now published daily, but with nowhere near the circulation and influence it once had. In 1869, Robert's mother, Flora Abbott, married John Sengstacke from a wealthy German merchant immigrant family. Reference: The Lonely Warrior: The Life and Times of Robert S. Abbott. From 1890 to 1908 all the southern states had passed constitutions or laws that raised barriers to voter registration and effectively disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites. Robert had 3 siblings: Elva Abbott and 2 other siblings . Born: 24-Nov - 1868. He died of Bright's disease on February 29, 1940, and left the paper in the control of his heir and nephew, John Sengstacke. Per the Branford Historical Society-Harrison House, Robert Abbott is believed to have been buried somewhere in the open area near the large tree in the middle of the photo. Chicago Defender, the most influential African American newspaper during the early and mid-20th century. His childhood home in the Woodville neighborhood now in. Abbott's words described the North as a place of prosperity and justice. He began his career as a … He cared for Robert as if he were his own. He had found that its convention to elect its National Spiritual Assembly seemed free of prejudice.[7][18][19]. ", DeSantis, Alan D. "Selling the American dream myth to black southerners: The Chicago defender and the great migration of 1915–1919. His parents were Tama, a freed slave woman of African descent, and her husband Herman Sengstacke, a German sea captain who had a regular route from Hamburg to Savannah. Abbott also published a short-lived paper called Abbott's Monthly. Published in Chicago but distributed nationwide, Abbott's Defender spoke forcefully against lynching, racism, and segregation, and urged Southern blacks to migrate north, where racism was less blatant and job opportunities more plentiful. Defender circulation reached 50,000 by 1916; 125,000 by 1918; and more than 200,000 by the early 1920s. He was so distressed he bought the freedom of Tama, a young woman from West Africa. Given the industrialization under way in the country, from 1892 to 1896, Abbott studied the printing trade at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), a historically black college in Virginia. It was known as "America's Black Newspaper." Abbott. Even in religious communities, he sometimes found that mixed-race African Americans who were light-skinned sometimes also demonstrated prejudice against those who were darker. An early adherent of the Baháʼí Faith in the United States, Abbott founded the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic in August 1929. Mr. Abbott was born May 8, 1888, at Hope Falls, Hamilton County.

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