19th January 1863
put your money where your mouth is, this slavery malarkey has to end. End of.
Peace and love,
(P.S. United don’t exist as a club yet, but they’ll probably worship the devil).
The above letter is a paraphrased example. Like much of the world Manchester was wearing the latest clothing of the time around that time. Gucci? Not born. Cotton? Everywhere. The bustling smog of Manchester coated moths, as much as provided clothing to men and women alike. Transgenders were around but less represented. It was, of course, different times. Cash was made. Lots of it. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had met in Manchester a few years earlier and released their Waterstones best seller The Condition of the Working Class in England. Jack Reacher novels were nowhere to be seen.
Turn-und Sportverein München von 1860 hadn’t even started kicking a football until 1899. Die Blauen had other sports, and all could have worn cotton garments made in Lancashire. Those kits wouldn’t have featured cotton picked by slaves in the U.S. of A. No. No way. Lancastrian workers had principles. Rather than make a quick Queen Victoria penny, cotton mill workers took a stand. Southern bastards from U.S.of A. were attacking their northern kin and union. The Confederacy could no longer count on cash from much of the north west of England. Unlike England’s Liverpool, where Confederate flags flew proudly. As some households went hungry, more than half of the mills and looms lay silent.
“I know and deeply deplore the sufferings which the working-men of Manchester, and in all Europe, are called to endure in this crisis” – letter: To the Working-men of Manchester, Abraham Lincoln.
Manchester’s Manchester Guardian opposed the blockades. It wanted to put food back on the people’s table. Yet, workers gathered in the Free Trade Hall stuck two fingers up at a proposal to drop the blockade. They backed Abraham Lincoln and his northern union. Starvation and destitution followed. A tad like how the prices of tomatoes have been on the rise after the U.K. backed the Ukraine, whilst simultaneously telling Europe to go away. As the army read the riot act, and Lincoln (the man, not the city) earned himself a future statue in Manchester, praising “”sublime Christian heroism”. Ships full of provisions were also sent, which was a relief for many in Manchester. Within two years slavery was added to the U.S. Constitution and Manchester’s mills were back pumping crap into the air, allowing families to feed themselves once again.
Abraham Lincoln’s fate wasn’t so pleasant and before he had chance to visit Manchester, he was gunned down. This process has been repeated a few times since and seems integral to U.S. culture.
So, when The Guardian, The Daily Mail, etc. manipulate headlines to flag Manchester City, and even MUFC’s crest as being a symbol of slavery, they need to dig into their research skills and work on their journalistic talents before blindly printing misinformation. Even the Manchester Evening News and MUFC’s historian had the decency to highlight the city’s backing of the abolitionist movement. The Manchester Guardian, founder, John Edward Taylor had partnerships with slavers and their companies. History is littered with profits being made over humanity. Let’s learn from it. We’re better for it. We can’t hide our history!
Man U added their ship to a badge in 1902. City used Manchester’s heraldic design from 1894 to 1960. The ship on both is that of a merchant ship to symbolise the city’s link to the Manchester Ship Canal. The Guardian’s writer connects the ship to black history in an insulting an incorrect way. History matters. Get it right. Stop trying to revise history and change a country’s shame based on a misplaced reckoning.
The Guardian writer Simon Hattenstone even suggested the bee of Manchester’s industry replaces the ship. If he had been a tad more industrial in his research and knowledge, he may have published a more compelling argument. Instead, he created a woke debate and accidentally made The Sun look like a paper of good response. And to agree with Man Utd historian J.P. Neill, I close with this quote: “’Not only did the club badges long post-date the abolition of slavery, the clubs themselves were only founded decades after slavery was ended.”