Known Facts about Christianity & HALLOWEEN

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Halloween, or Hallowe’en ( a contraction of “All Hallows’ Evening“), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.

According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve is a Christianized feast influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain. Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.

In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church service and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular in some parts of the world. Western Christians denominations encourage, abstinence from meat on All Hallows’ Eve, the tradition of eating certain vegetarian foods for this vigil day developed, including the consumption of apples, colcannon cider, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.

The word Halloween or Hallowe’en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. The word “Halloween” means “hallow evening” or “holy evening”. It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows’ Eve (the evening before All Hallows’ Day). In Scot, the word “eve” is even, and this is contracted to e’en or een. Over time, (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en evolved into Halloween. Although the phrase “All Hallows'” is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, all saints mass-day), “All Hallows’ Eve” is itself not seen until 1556.

Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that “there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived”.

Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain”, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”.

Christian influence

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Today’s Halloween customs are also thought to have been influenced by Christian dogma and practices derived from it. Halloween is the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows’ Day (also known as All Saints’ or Hallowmas) on 1 November and All Souls day on 2 November, thus giving the holiday on 31 October the full name of All Hallows’ Eve (meaning the evening before All Hallows’ Day).Since the time of the primitive Church, major feasts in the Christian Church (such as Christmas, Easter and Pentecost) had vigils which began the night before, as did the feast of All Hallows’. These three days are collectively referred to as Allhallowtide and are a time for honoring the saints and praying for the recently departed souls who have yet to reach Heaven. All Saints was introduced in the year 609, but was originally celebrated on 13 May, the same date as Lemuria, an Ancient Roman festival of the dead. In 835, it was officially switched to 1 November, the same date as Samhain, at the behest of Pope Gregory IV. Some suggest this was due to Celtic influence, while others suggest it was a Germanic idea, although it is claimed that both Germanic and Celtic-speaking peoples commemorated the dead at the beginning of winter. It may have been seen as the most fitting time to do so, as it was when the plants themselves were ‘dying’. It is also suggested that the change was made on the “practical grounds that Rome in summer could not accommodate the great number of pilgrims who flocked to it”, and perhaps because of public health considerations regarding Roman Fever– a disease that claimed a number of lives during the sultry summers of the region.

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By the end of the 12th century they had become holy days of obligations across Europe and involved such traditions as ringing church bells for the souls in purgatory . In addition, “it was customary for criers dressed in black to parade the streets, ringing a bell of mournful sound and calling on all good Christians to remember the poor souls.” “Souling”, the custom of baking and sharing soul cakes for all christened souls, has been suggested as the origin of trick-or-treating. The custom dates back at least as far as the 15th century and was found in parts of England, Flanders, Germany and Austria. Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door during Allhallowtide, collecting soul cakes, in exchange for praying for the dead, especially the souls of the givers’ friends and relatives. Soul cakes would also be offered for the souls themselves to eat, or the ‘soulers’ would act as their representatives. Shakespeare mentions souling in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona  (1593). On the custom of wearing costumes, Christian minister Prince Sorie Conteh wrote: “It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints’ Day, and All Hallows’ Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognized by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities”. In the Middle Ages, churches displayed the relics of martyred saints and those parishes that were too poor to have relics let parishioners dress up as the saints instead, a practice that some Christians continue at Halloween today. Lesley Bannatyne, an American author, believes that this was a Christianization of a previous pagan custom. It has been suggested that the carved jack-o’-lantern, a popular symbol of Halloween, originally represented the souls of the dead. On Halloween, in medieval Europe, “fires [were] lit to guide these souls on their way and deflect them from haunting honest Christian folk. “Households in Austria, England and Ireland often had “candles burning in every room to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes”. These were known as “soul lights”. Many Christians in mainland Europe, especially in France, believed “that once a year, on Hallowe’en, the dead of the churchyards rose for one wild, hideous carnival” known as the danse macabre, which has often been depicted in church decoration. Christopher Allmand and  Rosamond McKitterick write in The New Cambridge Medieval History that “Christians were moved by the sight of the Infant Jesus playing on his mother’s knee; their hearts were touched by the Pieta; and patron saints reassured them by their presence. But, all the while, the danse macabre urged them not to forget the end of all earthly things.” An article published by Christianity Today claimed that the danse macabre was enacted at village pageants and at court masques, with people “dressing up as corpses from various strata of society”, and suggested this was the origin of modern-day Halloween costume parties held today on All Hollows’ Eve.

Protestants maintained belief in an intermediated state, known as Hades (Bosom of Abraham), and continued to observe the original customs, especially souling, candlelit processions and the ringing of church bells in memory of the dead. With regard to the evil spirits, on Halloween, “barns and homes were blessed to protect people and livestock from the effect of witches, who were believed to accompany the malignant spirits as they traveled the earth.” In the 19th century, in some rural parts of England, families gathered on hills on the night of All Hallows’ Eve. One held a bunch of burning straw on a pitchfork while the rest knelt around him in a circle, praying for the souls of relatives and friends until the flames went out. This was known as teen’lay, derived either from the Old English tendan (to kindle) or a word related to Old Irish tenlach (hearth). The rising popularity of Guy Fawkes Night (5 November) from 1605 onward, saw many Halloween traditions appropriated by that holiday instead, and Halloween’s popularity waned in Britain, with the noteworthy exception of Scotland. There and in Ireland, they had been celebrating Samhain and Halloween since at least the early Middle Ages, and the Scottish kirk took a more pragmatic approach to Halloween, seeing it as important to the life cycle and rites of passage of communities and thus ensuring its survival in the country.

In France, some Christian families, on the night of All Hallows’ Eve, prayed beside the graves of their loved ones, setting down dishes full of milk for them. On Halloween, in Italy, some families left a large meal out for ghost of their passed relatives, before they departed for church service In Spain, on this night, special pastries are baked, known as “bones of the holy” (Spanish: Huesos de Santo) and put them on the graves of the churchyard, a practice that continues to this day.

Symbols

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Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. Jack-o-lanterns are traditionally carried by guiser on All Hallows’ Eve in order to frighten evil spirits. There is a popular Irish Christian folktale associated with the jack-o-lantern, which in folklore, is said to represent a “soul who has been denied entry into both heaven and hell”.

On route home after a night’s drinking, Jack encounters the Devil and tricks him into climbing a tree. A quick-thinking Jack etches the sign of the cross into the bark, thus trapping the Devil. Jack strikes a bargain that Satan can never claim his soul. After a life of sin, drinking, and mendacity, Jack is refused entry to heaven when he dies. Keeping his promise, the Devil refuses to let Jack into hell and throws a live coal straight from the fires of hell at him. It was a cold night, so Jack places the coal in a hollowed out turnip to stop it from going out, since which time Jack and his lantern have been roaming looking for a place to rest.

Source: Wikipedia

Marie-Joseph Angélique

16544542_116294338017Marie- Joseph Angelique born around 1705 in Madeira, Portugal. Angelique may have been the first enslaved person in Portugal, an lucrative of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Angelique was later sold to an Flemish merchant named Nichus Block when she was in her early teens. Black brought Angelique to the New World (North America).

Angelique lived in New England for one year before being sold in 1725, at the age of 20 to an French businessman from Montreal named Francois Poulin de Francheville.

Francheville brought Angelique back to his home town in Montreal to work as a domestic slave.

When Francheville died in November of 1733, ownership of Angelique passed down to Francheville widow, Theresa de Couagne. It was said that Theresa renamed the enslaved woman from Marie-Joseph to “Angelique” after her deceased daughter.

Angelique had three children while enslaved on the Francheville plantation. None of Angelique children lived beyond infancy, she have a boy in 1731 who lived only one month and twins born in 1732 both died within five months. Birth records indicated the father of Angelique three children was a man named Jacques Cesar, an black man from Madagascar. Cesar belonged to a man named Ignace Gamelin, a friend of the Francheville from a neighboring plantation. It’s known whether Angelique and Cesar was lovers by choice or force by their owners to produce offspring’s.

While enslaved nine years on the Francheville plantation Angelique was involved with an white indentured servant named Claude Thibault who was employed by the Francheville and whom Angelique tried to flee enslavement with on several occasions.

On February 22, 1734 while Theresa de Francheville was away handling business on her late husband estate Angelique and Thibault attempted to escape enslavement, but due to bad whether and the frozen river they never made it far, they were captured by six militia’s nearby Chambly. Angelique was returned to her mistress with no discipline of any kind for her escape attempt. Theresa however did relieved Thibault of his duties and ban him from her home, this did not go over well with Angelique. Angelique started talking back to her mistress and making threats to burn down her mistress home. Theresa de Francheville found herself unable to control Angelique, this result in Theresa de Francheville selling Angelique to Francois-Etienne Cugnet of Quebec City for 600-pounds of gunpowder. Theresa even offer Marie-Louise Poirier her job back once the ice was thaw on the St. Lawrence river and Angelique was shipped to her new home.

Word got back to Angelique about her mistress intentions, feared of being sold Angelique went begging to her mistress for forgiveness even telling her mistress that she could do all that Poirier do better than Poirier, but the damage was already done and Angelique was schedule to be shipped to Quebec City once the whether cleared.

Arson of April 10, 1734

On the Saturday evening of April 10, 1734 a fire alarm sounded off in the quiet streets of Montreal. The fire started on the South side of Rue Saint-Paul and in minutes it was spreading East Rue Saint-Joseph. The fire was so intense law-enforcement could not get close enough to extinguish the flame. As a result of the fire at least 46 buildings, mainly homes and the Hotel-Dieu de Montreal (a hospital) was all destroyed in less than three hours. Rumors started circulating accusing Angelique of setting the fire. Locals went and confronted Angelique on the rumors but she denied all rumors.

On April 12, 1734 an warrant was issued for Angelique. She was arrested and brought before the judge for the jurisdiction of Montreal named Pierre Raimbault, with Raimbault was chief attorney & prosecutor Francois Foucher, and began one of the most spectacular trials to come out of the 18th-century of Canada.

Over 24 witnesses were called claiming to have heard or saw Angelique setting the fire, including an five year old girl named Amiable that claimed she have heard Angelique talking about setting a fire to her mistress house and on the day of the fire she claim to have saw Angelique carrying a shovel of coals to the attic of her mistress home.

The court believe that Angelique reasoning for setting the fire was to escape enslavement and to cover her tracks the courts also believed Angelique was alone in this conspiracy and her lover Thibault was very much involved so the courts issued an warrant for Thibault but when the bailiffs went to serve the warrant Thibault was already gone he had disappeared and was never seen again in New France.

After a six week trial Angelique was found guilty of all charges and sentenced to death, she was to have a noose around her neck carrying a two-pound flaming torch (a symbol of her crime) with a noose around her neck then have her hand cut off, hanged and burnt alive.

On the morning of June 21, 1734 Angelique was tortured in her jail cell with a medieval torture instrument that crushed her legs. The judge and prosecutor of the Montreal courts wanted Angelique to confess to setting the fire under torture. Angelique broke down and confessed but refused to name her lover Claude Thibault as Co-conspirator and Co-arsonist. After the torture Angelique was dressed in a white Chemise and holding the burning torch in her hand she was placed into an garage cart and taken through the streets of Montreal facing ruins of the building destroyed by the fire. Angelique then was hanged, her hangman and torture was Mathieu Leveille, an enslaved black ma employed as royal executioner. After she was strangled until dead, her body was displayed on a gibbet for two hours for all to see. At around 7:00 p.m. her body was then burnt her ashes was gathered and then scatted in the wind.

Angelique was 29 years old.

Samuel Green

~220px-SamuelGreen Samuel Green was born a slave in East New Market, Maryland in 1802 to an enslaved mother. The identity of his father remains unknown. Samuel belonged to Henry Nichols, until Nichol’s death in 1832. A provision in Nichol’s will enable Green to purchase his freedom.

Samuel Green married Catherine (Kitty) who belonged to Ezekiel Richardson from a neighboring plantation. Sam and Kitty had two children, Sam Jr (born 1829) and Susan (born in 1832). Sam brought his wife freedom from Richardson in 1842, but before he had the chance to purchase his children freedom Richardson ran into so money trouble in 1847 and had to sell off some slaves. Sam and Kitty two children was among the sold. Richardson sold Sam and Kitty children to Dr. James Muse.

Sam’s reputation grew in both the African American and the European American community of Dorchester County. In 1852 Sam served as a delegated to the Convention of the Free Colored People of Baltimore, Maryland, where he encourage emigration to Africa.

In October 1855 Sam attended the National Convention of the Colored people of the United States. This event was held at Franklin Hall in Philadelphia. While at this event Sam mingled with many prominent Northern black abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, c. February 1818 – February 20, 1895), Jacob Gibbs, Stephen Myers, William Cooper Nell (December 16, 1816 – May 25, 1874), Charles Lenox Remond (February 1, 1810 – December 22, 1873), John Stewart Rock (October 13, 1825 – December 3, 1866) , and Mary Ann Shadd Cary (October 9, 1823 – June 5, 1893).

In August 1854, Sam’s son, Sam Jr. a skilled blacksmith ran away from Dr. Muse plantation after learning that he might be sold. Using instructions given to him by Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. 1822 – March 10, 1913). Sam Jr. found his way to the office of William Still (October 7, 1821 – July 14, 1902), Philadelphia’s most notorious Underground Railroad stationmaster. Still forward Sam Jr. to the home of Charles Hicks Bustill (1816-1890), a prominent Black American Underground Railroad agent in Philadelphia. From there Sam Jr. was sent to Chipway, Ontario, Canada near Niagara Falls, where he joined other Eastern Shore runaways living free lives.

It was well known that Sam Jr. to have helped Harriet Tubman and other runaway slaves from the region, no doubt these are the connections that helped Sam Jr. successfully reach freedom.

Once in Canada Sam Jr. wrote his parents telling them the news of his freedom and successful journey his letter also included “plenty of friends, plenty to eat and to drink” Sam Jr. also ask his father in his letter to tell two locally enslaved men Peter Jackson and Joe Bailey to come to Canada as soon as they could. Jackson fled with Tubman and her brother in December of 1854, Bailey on the other hand waited two years for the right time. Both men succeeded.

Sam Jr. sister Susan was unable to flee. Susan was either unwilling or unable due to her being a mother of two young children. Dr. Muse was very angry over Sam Jr. escape and was paranoid that Susan would escape soon, fear he will lose more of his investment Dr. Muse sold Susan to a Missouri family, separating her from her family never to be seen and heard of again.

March 1857 rumors were circulating that Samuel played a big role in the escape Dover Eight, a group of eight runaways who has successfully eluded capture in a dramatic flight from Dorchester County.

Dorchester County Sheriff went to Samuel house to investigate. They found letters from Samuel son Sam Jr. naming Jackson and Bailey the two slaves who had escape to Canada with the help of Tubman. Raising further suspicions, when Sam returned from visiting his fugitive son in Canada the authorities search for more evidence and found a Canadian map, various railroad schedules, and copy of the two volumes set of Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896), 1852 best seller, Uncle Tom Cabin in Samuel home.

Samuel was arrested on April 4, 1857 and charged with “knowingly having in his possession a certain abolition pamphlet called ‘Uncle Tom Cabin.’ and calculated to create discontent amongst the colored population of the state.

Samuel was acquitted on the second charge, but convicted on the first, and on May 14 1857 Sam was sentenced to ten years imprisonment.

The case caused a great deal of concern, with abolitionists calling for Green to be released and slaveholders calling for him to remain in jail. John Dixon Long (September 26, 1817 – 1894), wrote in 1857:

Dorchester County is almost exclusively a Methodist County. If the members of the M. E. Church of Dorchester had been liberty-loving, slavery-hating Methodists, no judge or jury would have dared to consign their brother in Christ to ten years’ incarceration in a State prison, separated from wife and children, for having a book in his possession which might have been found on the shelves of the very Judge that pronounced the sentence. To the best of my recollection, I never saw a jury at any County Court on the Eastern Shore of Maryland that was not partially composed of members of the M. E. Church. The Judge who pronounced the sentence was, when I was a boy, a member of the New-school Presbyterian Church in Snow Hill, Md.; and, I presume, he is still a member of that church. He ought to have resigned his seat rather than have pronounced such a sentence. The Methodists of Maryland could have poor Green pardoned in six months, should they desire it. May the prayers of all the good go up to the Throne of Grace for this oppressed brother! I blush for my native State when I think of her bloody code of laws–a code that would disgrace a savage tribe. I blush for the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Episcopalians, and the Baptists of Maryland, who, united, could wipe off from the statute book the black laws that tarnish her fair fame. Maryland denies the humanity of one hundred thousand slaves, and oppresses seventy-five thousand free negroes. May the Omnipotent speed the hour when American slavery shall be blasted by the thunders of His power, amidst the shoutings and hallelujahs of a redeemed race!

The governor of Maryland, Thomas Holliday Hicks (September 2, 1798 – February 14, 1865), sided with the slaveholders. Green, because he was literate, worked in the warden’s office doing paperwork. The cost of the trial, however, forced Kitty and Sam to sell their property in Dorchester County. Kitty then moved to Baltimore to be closer to Sam, supporting herself by taking in laundry. Hicks’s successor and 32nd governor of Maryland, Augustus Williamson Bradford (January 9, 1806 – March 1, 1881), freed Green in 1862, on condition that he leave Maryland. Green and his wife toured Philadelphia, New York, and New England, before emigrating to Canada. Their daughter Susan remained in slavery in Missouri.

Sam and Kitty returned to Maryland after the American Civil War, settling in Dorchester County to resume their pre-trial lives. He was a very active member of the Delaware Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, working on committees for education and religious instruction. He later became involved in the Centenary Biblical Institute in Baltimore, which trained young men for the ministry and in time became known as Morgan State University. Sam and Kitty moved to Baltimore around 1874, presumably to devote more time to the Institute. Samuel Green died there on February 28, 1877.

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

Ayuba-Suleiman-Diallo-007 Ayuba Suleiman Diallo also known as Job Ben Solomon was a Fulbe Muslim from the region of Senegal who was a victim of the Atlantic Slave Trade.

Ayuba was born a son of a high priest of the Futa people in West Africa state of Bundu at the mouth of the Gambia River in 1701. In 1731 Ayuba father heard about English ships at the Gambia river Diallo father sent him with two other servants to sell two Negro slaves one of the servants was a boy named Loumein. Ayuba tried selling the two slaves to a Captain Pike but they could not agree on a price, so Ayuba sold the slaves for cows to another African Trader. Ironically while Ayuba and Loumein along with the other servant stopped at a friends hunt to rest before continuing their long journey home, while resting Ayuba and Loumein was captured by several Mandingoes (enemies of the Futa people), had their heads shaved to mask their high social status, Ayuba and Loumein was sold to Captain Pikes the man they tried selling to earlier. Ayuba was embarked on a slave vessel “Arabella” before the ship had a chance to sail off Ayuba subsequently convinced the English Captain Pike of his high status and explain that his father was well capable of paying for his release. Pike Granted Ayuba to find someone to send word to his father but since the messenger did not return in time Ayuba and Loumein was sent across the Atlantic to Annapolis, Maryland where he was purchase by Mr. Tolsey of Kent Island, Maryland. Ayuba was initially put to work in the tobacco fields however after doing that for a year he was found unsuitable for the tobacco fields, he was then placed in charge of the cattle. One day while Mr. Tolsey was out running errands Ayuba decided to make an escape in hopes to find the same ocean he cross and cross back over to Africa. Ayuba escape was unsuccessful he was capture with then hours and imprisoned at the Kent County Courthouse. It was there Ayuba was discovered by a lawyer, Rev. Thomas Bluett of the Anglican Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, traveling through on business

The lawyer was very impressed by Ayuba’s ability to write in Arabic. Bluett writes the following:

“Upon our talking and making Signs to him, he wrote a line or two before us, and when he read it, pronounced the words Allah and Mahomed; by which, and his refusing a glass of wine we offered him, we perceived he was a Mahometan, but could not imagine in what Country he was, or how he got thither; for by his affable carriage, and the easy composure of his countenance, we could perceive he was no common slave.”

With this new knowledge Mr. Tolsey allowed Ayuba to write a letter in Arabic to Africa to send to his father. Eventually, the letter reached the office of James Oglethorpe, Director of the Royal African Company (The RAC was a mercantile company set up by the Stuart family and London merchants to trade along the west coast of Africa), After reading the letter Oglethorpe was moved with sentiment upon hearing the suffering Ayuba had endure and purchased Ayuba for 45 Euros.

Bluett and Ayuba traveled to England in 1733. During the travel Ayuba learned to communicate in English. Bluett left Ayuba with the Royal African Company and returned home. Without Bluett by his side Ayuba grew paranoid and fearing yet more trickery, he then contacted Bluett, Bluett then contacted the men looking after Ayuba and arranged Ayuba to stay in Cheshunt in Hertfordshire and Bluett and other sympathizers also paid fifty-nine pounds, six shillings, and eleven pence half-penny (simply to ease Ayuba’s anxiety). Englishmen in London surrounded the province just to meet Ayuba. Ayuba fraternize with London’s elite, obtained many gifts and friendships, while also being an service to Hans Sloane by help translating Arabic into English.

Ayuba was in the company of many prominent people, including the royal family and the Duke and Duchess of Montague which lead him to being inducted into the Gentleman’s Society of Spalding.

In 1734 Ayuba freely returned to Gambia and later returned to his homeland. Upon his return he learned that his father had died, and one of his wives presuming that Ayuba had perished remarried. His homeland was ravaged in war, but Ayuba was able to regain his old life.

In June 1734 Ayuba was imprisoned by the French, it was said Ayuba may have been targeted by the French because of his alliances with the British. He was imprisoned for a year, when Ayuba’s local countrymen rather then the British secured his release.

Ayuba later sent letters to London Royal African Company (RAC) to visit London but his request was denied every time.

Ayuba did press London for Loumien’s freedom. Due to Ayuba’s commitment and the help from Bluett, Loumien was eventually freed and returned to the Gambia region in 1738.

Ayuba death is unknown.