May 15th 2008
Mike McAdoo opened the meeting and conducted the 2008/2009 board elections,
at which point there was a motion not to add any more names to the slate. The
motion was seconded and there was no discussion. Another motion was made to
elect those on the slate unanimously and it was seconded. The motion was voted
upon and carried. At that point Mike handed the meeting over to Gary Yee, the
newly elected President. Gary thanked the members present and promised to live
up to the high standards set by his predecessors. Ormond Eckley was called upon
to announce the speaker for the June meeting; it will be Jack Leathers, speaking on
Union Major General John F. Reynolds.
Charlie Sweeny then gave an excellent presentation entitled "Aspects of
Slavery." He began by announcing that there are presently an estimated 25-35
million enslaved people in the world. He then covered the history of slavery from
the early Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek & Roman periods before moving on to the
nature of the pre-industrial era slave trade. Conquered people became enslaved
and their children were born into slavery. The famous naval battle of Lepanto was
mentioned and while not discussing the battle itself, he pointed out that the Muslims
unchained their galley slaves once a year to clean the galley of the excrement they
sat in. Apparently they worked, ate, sat, and performed their bodily functions in the
same place. The Christians were not so nice to their galley slaves.
He pointed out that the Europeans never entered the interior of Africa to raid for
slaves. Rather, they relied on Africans to round up people on the west coast. On
the east coast of Africa, it was the Arabs who ran the slave trade.
The end of Western Slavery began with the "First Great Awakening" of the late
18th Century and early 19th Century, in which the leaders of Christian civilization
began to reflect upon the evils of slavery and gave birth to the abolition movement.
The "Second Great Awakening" was in the 1830s when the Europeans began
emancipating their slaves. In the United States, it was distinguished from the first in
that it was not limited to the intellectuals or political leadership but to the pulpit and
meeting houses. He spoke briefly about slavery in the United States and how slaves
were classified: bucks, breeders, old, child.
Questions and answers followed afterwards.