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St. Simons Island in Glynn County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Defender

Fort Frederica National Monument

 
 
The Defender Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, March 10, 2016
1. The Defender Marker
Inscription.  Robert Sengstacke Abbott was born on St. Simons Island in 1868. As the son of former slaves, the advocacy of equal rights became his life's work. Trained as a printer and lawyer, the prejudice of the day led to failure and caused him to turn to journalism. In 1905 he founded The Chicago Defender which would become the most influential black newspaper in the nation.

The paper denounced atrocities that affected black Americans and had to be smuggled into the South. By lauding life in the north, listing jobs, train schedules, and housing opportunities, the newspaper gave the hope and inspiration that launched the Great Migration. Eventually over 1½ million rural southern blacks would move north.

[photo caption]
The Defender’s editorials campaigned for anti-lynching laws and integrated sports. The paper was the largest black-owned daily newspaper in the world.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans
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Civil RightsCommunicationsIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1868.
 
Location. 31° 13.417′ N, 81° 23.395′ W. Marker is on St. Simons Island, Georgia, in Glynn County. Marker can be reached from Mimosa Drive, 0.2 miles west of Frederica Road. Marker is located along the interpretive trail at Fort Frederica National Monument. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6515 Frederica Road, Saint Simons Island GA 31522, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Broad Street (a few steps from this marker); The Town Wall (a few steps from this marker); Frederica (within shouting distance of this marker); The Flesh Market (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Frederica (within shouting distance of this marker); The World Is My Parish (within shouting distance of this marker); Strong Walls From Refuse (within shouting distance of this marker); Tavernkeepers (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Simons Island.
 
Also see . . .
1. Robert Sengstacke Abbott. Following law school, Abbott made several attempts to establish himself as an attorney in
Marker detail: African American Home in the Rural South, about 1912 image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: African American Home in the Rural South, about 1912
Chicago. Due to racial discrimination, he was unable to practice law. Abbott published the first edition of The Chicago Defender by using his landlord’s kitchen to print copies of the paper. By 1916, The Chicago Defender’s circulation was 50,000 and it was considered one of the best African American newspapers in the United States. (Submitted on March 13, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. “Bound for the Promised Land”. African Americans devised a mass exodus from the Jim Crow South, largely at the urging of The Chicago Defender. In November, 1916, as Woodrow Wilson won a narrow reelection victory, The Defender’s editorial page published “Bound for the Promised Land,” by M. Ward. The poem reflects the experiences of those who had already migrated north, found jobs, and sent for their wives, as well as of the Southerners’ efforts to ban the work of Northern labor agents. (Submitted on March 13, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. History of the Chicago Defender. By the start of World War I, the Chicago Defender was the nation’s most influential Black weekly newspaper, with more than two thirds of its readership base located outside of Chicago. During World War I, the paper utilized its influence to wage a successful campaign in support of “The
Marker detail: Family newly arrived in Chicago from the south in the 1920s image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Family newly arrived in Chicago from the south in the 1920s
Great Migration.” Sengstacke served as publisher of the Defender until his death in May 1997. (Submitted on March 13, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

4. The Great Migration. The relocation of more than 6 million African Americans from the rural South to the cities of the North, Midwest and West from about 1916 to 1970. Driven by unsatisfactory economic opportunities and harsh segregationist laws, many Black Americans headed north, where they took advantage of the need for industrial workers that arose during the First World War. (Submitted on March 13, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Robert S. Abbott image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Robert S. Abbott
Robert S. Abbott was a lawyer, newspaper publisher, and self-made millionaire.
The Defender Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, March 10, 2016
5. The Defender Marker
Abbott Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, March 10, 2016
6. Abbott Monument
(located near marker)
In 1929, Robert Abbott placed a monument here in memory of his aunts and a father he never knew. At a time when black history was largely ignored, the monument insured that his family was not forgotten.
Abbott Monument Inscription image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, March 10, 2016
7. Abbott Monument Inscription
In Loving Memory of
my
Father and Aunt
Thomas Abbott
• • •
Celia Abbott
Erected by Robt. S. Abbott
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 190 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on March 13, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Apr. 19, 2024