Friends of MLK - Henry Applewhite

Jul 31, 2023, 16:14 PM
Title : Friends of MLK - Henry Applewhite
Video Id : 803223506
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Date published : Feb 28, 2023, 00:00 AM
Until I started looking into this. I had no idea of the extensive history that resides here in Davenport's black history.
But also the merger of the Black History into the White society here in Davenport. It was it really was a different picture painted than what I learned throughout my education in school.

Henry Applewhite was born in 1850. He was born in Georgia. He went to war with his master on the Confederate side as he started the war, but eventually found his way to the Union side.
And why? We may never know. I think we have insight that he was probably forced to fight on the Confederate side. But he soon found his way to fighting for the the Union Army.
You know, it's kind of weird to think that he was fighting to maintain a status that he could not have been well in.

After the war, he came to Davenport and it was around 1878 at that time where he worked as a gardener for the S.F. Smith family. I'll get back to them later.
He was one of the best known colored men of the city at the time.
His death came back in on the 2nd of November in 1899.
At his birthday party, he was too sick to celebrate. And so a host of his friends got together and did not forget his 49th birthday. They brought him many valuable presents. Among them were five silver dollars, presented him by the lady sewing circle of third Baptist Church.
Mr. Applewhite passed away that Saturday, November 4th, at the age of 49 in 1899.
His services were held at Third Baptist Church, which he and his wife, Lydia Applewhite, were two of its founding members. Interesting. Before Mr. Applewhite passed away, he had left a request that Reverend Murph of Gettysburg, Illinois, preach his funeral, assisted by G.S. Rollins of the Congregation Church in Davenport and Dr. Letto of Calvary Baptist Church, also of Davenport, two white congregations and other white noted white ministers that they participate in his services.
During the funeral it says that Third Baptist was packed to the brim standing room only.
Among those who are who, they said at that time, would miss him the most would be the honorable S.F. Smith. As Mr. Applewhite had worked very faithfully for 21 years as Houseman and Coachman, and was considered as one of the family rather than a hired man.

His lack of bitterness, I think, is what kind of grabs me when you look at the individuals that he surrounded himself with.
Honorable S.F. Smith, who he worked for for 21 years, a white man who considered Mr. Applewhite as family, that there was no bitterness in Mr. Applewhite towards white people.
It disrupts what we've what we've learned, and I think that is the glory of what we want to be able to do here in Martin Luther King Park is to be able to tell the story from a more accurate lens of history where we are not shying away from the true story and the contributions that all American citizens have had even before they were considered full American citizens.
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Friends of MLK - Henry Applewhite
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