AfriGeneas Writers Forum
Re: When You Vote
In Response To: When You Vote ()
Thank you for such a timely message and reminder of why we should exercise our right to vote. Not only to vote, but to give great consideration as to 'why' the vote is important, but 'who' and 'what' to vote for.
In adding to your reminder here is some documentation from my files on an ancestor, Joesph Reno, which reflect not only on his life under the 'Black Codes' of Ohio, but the jubilation felt in securing 'the right to vote". Joseph Reno was the brother of my 3rd great-grandmother, Susan Adams, and he migrated from Urbana, Ohio to Medina, Medina County, Ohio in the 1850's.
The first is found in "History of Medina County" 1881-editon by Baskin & Batty. It involves a court action and is found on page 248. The story involves Joseph and a Judge Dean.
"At another time a larceny had been committed in Medina, and Joseph Reno, a colored man, had ferreted out the thief and arrested him, and fearing he might not be able to testify on account of his color, so induced the criminal to confess in the presence of a white witness as to effect his conviction. Reno was offered to show that he was more than half white, but Judge Dean would not hear of any such proof and decided that, by "inspection" Reno was a "negro," and refused to allow him to testify. At that time, by the laws of Ohio, "negroes and mulattoes" were not competent witnesses where a white man was a party".
The next articles are from the Medina County
Update on Joseph Reno.......Musings from the Medina County Gazette.
1) 22 May 1855 "Alex McClure has purchased the lot on which the barbershop of Joseph Rena (sic) stands, and intends to erect a new building on the site".
I don't know if the lot was owned and/or purchased from Joseph Reno.
2) 1870........."At the election in the village this last Monday, Joseph Reno, colored, (everybody knows "Joe") cast his first vote. Sixty years old and a tax-payer for many years, he comes into the exercise of a right which all now are bound to respect. It is needless to say that Joseph voted the straight Republican ticket"
3) 1872........"Following upon the heels of the Chatham murder we have to report another attempt to take human life, this time in Medina. On Thursday evening June 25, Joseph Reno, a colored man known far and wide as the Attache of the American House, was shot by Erastus Hitchock, a lad about 19 years of age. The cause in the affair was an attempt by Joe to quiet two boys who were firing a pistol in the neighborhood of his home, thereby disturbing a sick child. He requested them to stop which they refused to do. He had in his hand a broom handle used as a cane with which he struck young Hitchcock. At this, Hitchcock, who afterwards said the blow did not hurt him, only made him mad, fires on Joe, but missed. He fired again, and Joe fell. After lingering for a few days he died. During his sickness he was the recipient of the best care and kindest attention of Mr. and Mrs. Warren at the American House, the most comfortable quarters being provided for him. The funeral was largely attended."
4) 1875....."Erastus Hitchcock, who was sentenced to the Penitentiary for six years for shooting Joe Reno, was pardoned last week."