About Jubilo! The Emancipation Century

This is blog explores African American life during the 19th Century, what I call the “Jubilo Century” or the “Emancipation Century.” This blog will cover the following topics: abolition, slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, the Reconstruction, and the Nadir.

The 19th century was a bittersweet one for people of African American descent. Until the Civil War, which started in 1860-61, nine out of ten black folks lived in slavery. The War brought with it emancipation. However, the promise of Reconstruction – that blacks would be full members of the American economy, polity, and society – was dashed when an era of Southern Home Rule ushered in the Redemption era and the Nadir. At the end of the century, African Americans were free, but not equal.

Although the focus of this blog is the African American experience in the 1800s, this is not a blog for and about African Americans. The entire breadth of American – and perhaps, international – history will be touched on, as these affected the lives of black folks.

Content will be added to the site two or three times a week. A once a week visit will suffice to let you see what we’re up to.

I hope you enjoy this site, and will provide feedback from your visit.

Jubilo! is published from Washington, DC.

I am available for talks and lectures in the Washington, DC area and thereabouts. You can use the Contact Form below to make inquiries. You will receive a response in 1-3 days.

Alan Skerrett, Jr, Editor

The image in the header is from the Library of Congress (LOC) photograph collection. Its title is “Unidentified African American boy standing in front of painted backdrop showing American flag and tents ; campaign button with portraits of Lincoln on one side and Johnson on the opposite side are attached to inside cover of case.” The Reproduction Number is LC-DIG-ppmsca-36463 (digital file from original, tonality adjusted) LC-DIG-ppmsca-26463 (digital file from original item).

For more information, go here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010648377/

“Kingdom Coming” or “The Year of Jubilo” is a song from the American Civil War, written around the time of the Emancipation Proclamation (1863). The words and music were composed by Henry Clay Work.

Kingdom Coming (The Year of Jubilo)

Say, darkies, hab you seen de massa, wid de muffstash on his face,
Go long de road some time dis mornin’, like he gwine to leab de place?
He seen a smoke way up de ribber, whar de Linkum gunboats lay;
He took his hat, and lef’ berry sudden, and I spec’ he’s run away!

De massa run, ha, ha! De darkey stay, ho, ho!
It mus’ be now de kindom coming, an’ de year ob Jubilo!

He six foot one way, two foot tudder, and he weigh tree hundred pound,
His coat so big, he couldn’t pay the tailor, an’ it won’t go halfway round.
He drill so much dey call him Cap’n, an’ he got so drefful tanned,
I spec’ he try an’ fool dem Yankees for to tink he’s contraband.

De massa run, ha, ha! De darkey stay, ho, ho!
It mus’ be now de kindom coming, an’ de year ob Jubilo!

De darkeys feel so lonesome libbing in de loghouse on de lawn,
Dey move dar tings into massa’s parlor for to keep it while he’s gone.
Dar’s wine an’ cider in de kitchen, an’ de darkeys dey’ll have some;
I s’pose dey’ll all be cornfiscated when de Linkum sojers come.

De massa run, ha, ha! De darkey stay, ho, ho!
It mus’ be now de kindom coming, an’ de year ob Jubilo!

De obserseer he make us trouble, an’ he dribe us round a spell;
We lock him up in de smokehouse cellar, wid de key trown in de well.
De whip is lost, de han’cuff broken, but de massa’ll hab his pay;
He’s ole enough, big enough, ought to known better dan to went an’ run away.

De massa run, ha, ha! De darkey stay, ho, ho!
It mus’ be now de kindom coming, an’ de year ob Jubilo!

If you wish to contact the author directly, enter information into the Contact Form below. You will receive a response in 1-3 days.

13 thoughts on “About Jubilo! The Emancipation Century

  1. Greetings Mr. Skerrett,

    Just a note to say how much I enjoyed browsing your website. It is very informative! I can’t wait to inform others about it. Thank you for sharing it with me.

  2. Hi – Just found your site while searching for info on the first Emancipation Day celebration in Port Royal, SC. I am researching that event as a lead-in to a 150th anniversary celebration/commemoration of Emancipation, to be held in Poughkeepsie, NY, on Jan. 1, 2013. I am also trying to contact African-Americans who are involved in Civil War reenactment for an oral history project I am planning. Enjoy your site and will try to come back frequently.

  3. Do you have any information on the individual markers that I see in old cemeteries that list the USCT soldiers name and unit? When were these markers made? Who owns the list that created the markers? Thank you for your help! I love your website, too.

    • Gary,

      I can’t give an exact answer to your question. Historical markers can come from any number of sources; these are discussed here in wiki:


      If you have a question about a particular marker, speak to the staff that manages the site where the marker is located. They may be able to provide some guidance.

  4. Hello,

    Military markers on the graves of Civil War soldiers are made by the Veteran’s Administration. They are created at the time of the soldier’s death, when the family requests them. There is no one single list of every soldiers who bears a marker. In fact many soldiers have civilian markers on their graves even though they served in the Civil War. That was a personal decision of the family in many cases. However, one can still obtain military markers for soldiers who are veterans of the Civil War, as long as one can prove the service of the soldier and one can also prove that the soldier was buried in the cemetery where the marker will go. I have worked with a a colleague to have eight such stones laid. I hope this is helpful.

    • Greetings,

      The African American Civil War Museum in Washington, DC, sells a 3 volume set that lists the names of soldiers in the United States Colored Troops (USCT). The cost is $75, I believe; call them to verify the cost, and to see if it is possible to order a copy.

      I am not aware of an online list that provides all the names; but the African American Civil War Museum might have some information.

      If you are interested in getting some beginning information on a particular soldier, you can search the National Park Service’s Soldiers and Sailors Database. Note that, for African American soldiers, the “state” designation on the Database is “USCT” (short for US Colored Troops). That is: if a soldier of interest is from Maryland, the state of origin in the Database would be “USCT,” not MD.

      I hope this helps.

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