Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sarah Rector The Richest Black Girl In The World


Many of Blacks pride themselves in the knowledge that Madame C.J. Walker and Oprah are / were successful millionaires. However, there is a bit of Black History that goes back to 1914 that most of the Black Community has never heard of.

A 10 year old millionaire, made headlines like this .....

"The Kansas City Star reported: “Millions to a Negro Girl - Sarah Rector, 10-Year Old, Has Income of $300 A Day From Oil,”

Little known history brought to light.............

By Stacey Patton

Sarah Rector

Her name was Sarah Rector. She was a young black girl born in Indian Territory on March 3, 1902. Her parents were Joseph and Rose Rector

Oil made her rich. Oklahoma Girl With $15,000 A Month Gets Many Proposals – Four White Men in Germany Want to Marry the Negro Child That They Might Share Her Fortune.”

This headline, which appeared in The Kansas City Star on January 15, 1914, was just the first of many newspaper and magazine headlines during the next decade about Sarah Rector, the richest black child known to the world in that era.

In September, 1913, The Kansas City Star reported: “Millions to a Negro Girl - Sarah Rector, 10-Year Old, Has Income of $300 A Day From Oil,” and The Savannah Tribune ran: “Oil Well Produces Neat Income – Negro Girl’s $112,000 A Year.”

In 1914 and 1915, the Salt Lake Telegram, The Oregonian and American Magazine profiled the “bewildered little ten year-old girl” and told of how she inherited her “big income” but still wore tattered dresses and slept each night in a big armchair beside her six siblings in a two-room prairie house in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

By the early 1920s, many newspapers covered the court battles involving white men seeking to become Rector’s guardian to gain control over her estate.

She was one of a group of Creek freedman children who were given land allotments by the U.S. government as part of the Treaty of 1866.


Sarah Rector was born in 1902, near Taft in Indian Territory, the northeastern part of present-day Oklahoma. Though she was “colored,” she was not an African-American child and had no concept of what it meant to be an American citizen. Rector was a descendant of slaves who had been owned by Creek Indians before the Civil War.

In 1866, the Creek Nation signed a treaty with the United States government promising to emancipate their 16,000 slaves and incorporate them into their nation as citizens entitled to “equal interest in the soil and national funds.”

Two decades later, the federally imposed Dawes Allotment Act of 1887 sparked the beginning of the “total assimilation” of the Indians of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes by forcing them to live on individually-owned lots of land instead of communally as they had done for centuries.

There was a great deal of resistance to this plan by the Creeks and other tribes, who viewed it as yet another tactic by the U.S. government to destroy the tribe’s political sovereignty and way of life.

But as a result of the Dawes Allotment Act, nearly 600 black children, or Creek Freedmen minors as they were called, inherited 160 acres of land, unlike their African-American counterparts who were granted citizenship after slavery but never got that promised “forty acres and a mule.”

To the surprise of U.S. government officials, a few old and young allottees like Sarah Rector found that their land came with crude oil and other minerals underneath the soil.

When she was born, Rector was given a rough, hilly allotment, considered worthless agriculturally, in Glenpool, 60 miles from where she and her family lived. Her father had petitioned the Muskogee County Court to sell the land, but he was denied because of certain restrictions placed on the land, for which he was required to continue paying taxes.

In 1913, when she was ten years old, large pools of oil were discovered on Rector’s land. One year later, her land produced so much oil that she had already yielded $300,000; her fortune was increasing at a rate of $10,000 per month. Her mother had died years earlier from tuberculosis. In 1914, her father died in prison, leaving her orphaned.

Even before her father’s death, Rector was appointed a guardian who was responsible for managing Rector’s money and providing for her education and care.

The law at the time required full-blooded Indians, black adults and children who were citizens of Indian Territory with significant property and money, to be assigned “well-respected” white guardians who often cheated them out of their lands.

There are stories of swindlers, oil tycoons and other unscrupulous types who kidnapped and murdered the children and adults to get their land.

Unlike other hapless waifs who fell victim to fraud, losing their land and wealth while growing up in a western frontier fraught with violence, fraud and racism, Rector was one of a few black children able to ward off greedy guardians and retain her wealth as an adult.

Rector graduated high school, attended Tuskegee University, and then moved to Kansas City at age 19. She purchased a mansion on Twelfth Street, entertaining Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Joe Louis and Jack Johnson at lavish parties. Not much is known of her later life other than stories of how she splurged on jewelry, fine clothes, and cars.

Much of Rector’s adult life is still needs to be developed, as is the case for the study of the history of black childhood in America. Rector is significant because hers is a vital yet untold story about the complexities or race, childhood, and citizenship on the American frontier in the early 20th century.

Source of story:

Sarah Rector The Richest Colored Girl in the World The Defenders Online A Civil Rights Blog

Friday, May 7, 2010

James Hampton Throne Room


Did James Hampton have a "Revelation"? Or was he just a gifted artist?

Can we believe his report? If not, what would drive someone to fervently work day after day to build what was shown to him? At any rate he had "Vision".

I wanted to spotlight this particular brother, because I feel he has accomplished something no one in our time has...........



"The Revelation of Saint John the Devine." He intended, when he was done, to open a storefront ministry with the 180-component liturgical assembly for its centerpiece. Begun about 1950, the toil went on fourteen years in the hours after midnight

The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations'

James Hampton (April 8, 1909–November 4, 1964) was an African-American janitor who secretly built a large assemblage of religious art from scavenged materials.[1]

James Hampton was born in Elloree, South Carolina in 1909. His father was a gospel singer and a traveling Baptist preacher. In 1928, Hampton left for Washington, D.C. to join his elder brother Lee. They shared an apartment. James Hampton worked as a short-order cook until 1942 when he was drafted into United States Army Air Forces. He served as a carpenter with the noncombatant 385th Aviation Squadron around the Pacific theatre. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and returned to Washington, D.C.

In 1946, Hampton became a night janitor with the General Services Administration. In 1950 he rented a garage in northwest Washington.

Hampton died of stomach cancer on November 4, 1964 at the Veteran's Hospital in Washington, D.C. He never married.

Part of the passage in the reference to Corinthians in Hampton's photo speaks of "a man in Christ caught up to the third heaven whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth." - Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Art Museum

A month later Meyer Wertlieb, owner of the garage, came to find out why the rent had not been paid. He knew that Hampton had been building something in the garage. When he opened the door, he found a room filled with many symmetrical, glittering objects surrounding a central throne.

Born the son of an itinerant, self-ordained minister and gospel singer in 1909 at Elloree, South Carolina, Hampton migrated when he was nineteen to the District of Columbia. There he had visions, which he recorded. The earliest note of one that survives reads: "This is true that the great Moses the giver of the 10th commandment appeared in Washington DC, April 11, 1931."

He believed he had the best companionship for which a man could ask. God, Hampton said, instructed him each night as work on The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly advanced toward the dawn.

Hampton's vision of the heaven of the sky, the heaven of the planets, and the heaven of the Almighty, and the gathering of the nations foretold for when Christ returned at the end of days. Then, according to the New Testament, the deity, attended by angels, is to appear on a throne to reign over the New Jerusalem.

For 14 years, Hampton had been building a throne out of various old materials like aluminum and gold foil, old furniture, various pieces of cardboard, old light bulbs, shards of mirror and old desk blotters. He had pinned it together with tacks, glue, pins and tape.

It is unknown whether Hampton considered himself an artist. Hampton's work would be an example of folk or native art — art made by people who are self-taught, who have not studied art techniques, art history, or art theory.


The "No. 1" Crown Hampton fashioned for The Throne of the Third Heaven shrine bears a citation from Revelations 7:3, in which one angel tells four others: "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." - Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Art Museum

The text The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly was written on the objects in Hampton's handwriting. He had emblazoned the words Fear Not above the central throne. The garage contained a total of 177 objects. Many of them were inscribed with words out of the biblical Book of Revelation. The objects on the right side of the central throne seem to refer to the New Testament and those on the left side to the Old Testament.

Hampton built his masterwork of metallic foils, paper, plastic, strips of metal cut from coffee cans, jelly jars, flower vases, lightbulbs, wood furniture, cardboard, conduit, glue, tape, tacks, and pins. The foil-wrapped bulbs are a poetic reference to Jesus as the light of the world. When dust settled on the objects, Hampton recovered them instead of cleaning.


The Stand is from the first rank of the three-tiered assembly, its foil-wrapped electric bulbs an apparent poetic reference to the deity as the light of the world. -Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Art Museum


Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Art Museum
He said of his project, "That is my life. I'll finish before I die." There were, however, leftover pieces and spare parts when he passed away, never having opened his church, in 1964. No one knew of Hampton's creation save his landlord, who took possession of it all in lieu of back rent. He also got a collection of encoded writings, kept in ring binders or on clipboards, penned by Hampton in a secret alphabet, that have yet to be deciphered. Among them is The Book of the 7 Dispensations by St. James, each page of which ends with the word "Revelation." Colonial

Hampton had also kept a 112-page notebook, titled St James: The Book of the 7 Dispensation, written in his personal code. He referred to himself as St. James and ended each page with the word "Revelation". He had written more text on various pieces of paper and cardboard. Some of them refer to religious visions. Hampton's personal code remains unsolved.

In Hampton's writing he kept the title "Director, Special Projects for the State of Eternity"

The story became public in the December 15, 1964 issue of the Washington Post. Hampton had kept his project secret; his relatives first heard about it when his sister came to claim his body.


Wertlieb donated it to the National Museum of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum) in 1970. All he asked was that his name be listed as the donor. He was promised this by the representatives of the Smithsonian but it never occurred prior to or after it moved to the new Museum. His family has been working on this since his death in 2000.