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Slavery from the slaves point of view

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by jenna, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. jenna

    jenna Cadet

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    Neil inspired me to go in search of this, and by golly I found what I was looking for.

    http://www.archives.state.al.us/teacher/slavery/slave2.html

    Scroll down to the "documents" area at the bottom of the page, and click on any one of them. I have read thru most of the first tale, but it is very hard to read. It takes time to disipher the wordage, but very interesting.

    It is not that I am going back on my stance that slavery was not the main reason for the war, but I realized that we are talking about slavery without stepping foot into their world. Without seeing thru their eyes, and this site really gives some insight. I hope you all find it as interesting as I have, and if you have seen it before, sorry to have posted it again, but from what I could see, this part of the topic has not been really looked into.

    Jenna
     

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  3. mobile_96

    mobile_96 Sergeant

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    jenna,
    I'm surprised you haven't read 'Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl', written by herself. This is the story of Harriet A. Jacobs, a escaped slave, and one of the few slave memoirs verified to be written by a slave, as some were written by abolitionists and presented as slave diaries.
    I have the Enlarged edition, which also includes a smaller memoir written by her brother, which had been serialized in London in 1861.
    Her book is available at various sites online for free, just by doing a search for Harriet A. Jacobs.
    To give a little of the book, she lived for 7 years in a virtual crawlspace in the ceiling of her Grandmothers house.
    Chuck in Il.
     
  4. dawna

    dawna First Sergeant

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    Jenna:

    Thank you for posting this website. I've read the five stories at the bottom and it's so hard to imagine what most of these slaves lived through - babies taken from their mothers, children separated and sold on the auction block, parents separated etc.etc. Try as I might to understand the might set of that time period and the ability of slave owners to ignore such human suffering based on inequality, I find I can't.

    Since it was against the law at the time to teach black people to read and write, I was curious regarding Stephen Varner's story as he talks about the children going to school until they were old enough to work in the fields. I'm assuming that the school would have been located on the plantation and that this early education would have been highly unusual for a slave owner to provide?

    Dawna
     
  5. jenna

    jenna Cadet

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    Thank you for the referal on the book Chuck. I shall have to add it to my ever growing list of books that I want Santa to bring. That list is getting pretty long.

    I too, Dawna, was slightly confussed by his statements of the children going to school. You would think that if they didn't think that the blacks needed to read or write that they wouldn't send them to school in the first place.

    Oh, Chuck, a friend of mine was in Stockton,Il a few weeks ago when they had their event. First, did you go? Second, do you know anything about the black group that does the slave auction? (for those of you reading this, yes, there is a group that does this. According to my friend they do this to give people insight to the whole slavery issue, but not to be contraversial. The entire group is black, including the auctioniers, which was often common at that time.) I guess it was very impressive to see and very interesting. It really made you see what it was like from their piont of view.

    Jenna
     
  6. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    Dear Jenna,

    I am honored that you feel that I have inspired to search out the above site. I am just glad that you yourself have felt compelled to research and study and make up your own mind with historical facts and documents. Even if your conclusions are different from mine, I respect, and always have respected, your informed opinion.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
    PS Thanks for sharing the above site, it made for some great reading. I have never seen it before.
     
  7. mobile_96

    mobile_96 Sergeant

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    Jenna
    The book can be found at this site, in html, I copiedthe page to a word doc. so I could change the background, usually to a light blue, to make reading easier, and also easier to use the 'find' to get back to where you left off. I used to sit and read 20+ pages at a time, then shutoff. Thats about all I could handle, but still got me thru the book in a reasonable time. You can also change the fort size to match your mood for the reading time.
    Documenting the American South: First-Person Narratives of the American South
    http://metalab.unc.edu/docsouth/fpn/texts.html
    This site has been mentioned at CWTalk several times, and is a goldmine of material.
    If you do 'buy' a copy, Harvard University Press has the Enlarged Edition.
    This is the first I heard about Stockton, its a fair distance from me, but if I had know about the slave auction, I might have tried going.
    This past wkend I visited Princeton and will be posting 60+ pics from that, which will include a fair number of period dresses worn there. The Union regiment was the 29th Il. Colored Regiment, and I did get pics of them and their flag. Also several of their wives, wearing period dresses. I did take a pic of one of the ladies standing with the drummer of the unit. He has 'cornrolls' and I'm really not sure if that was 'requlation' at that time. Have to do some research on that.
    Couple wks ago, I visited New Salem,Il, town Lincoln lived in after making some barg trips down the Mississippi. He liked the town and moved there. This is where he started reading law and decided to become a lawyer. Anyway, I've posted 51 photos of the homes, saw-grist mill, and a cotton-wool mill at my site. Enjoy when you have time!
    Chuck in Il.
     
  8. johan_steele

    johan_steele Lt. Colonel Retired Moderator

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    "Slave schools" taught English, simple math and the bible. Reading & writing wasn't on the curriculum.

    Jacobs book is a must read, interesting and eye opening.
     
  9. jenna

    jenna Cadet

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    Thank you Neil for that. I do value your opinion and although we do share different ones, it is nice to know that we can share those opinions without riticule.

    Chuck, where are the pictures posted? Would love to see them. I had friends down at Princton. The coppersmith set up with the US Sharpshooters. We know all of them. Nice nice people. I heard that the ball was just fantastic there, and that the food was wonderful too.

    Thanks Shane for that info. I, like I said, shall have to add the book to my Christmas list. So many books, so little time. And I read so slow. But I also have about 3 books going right now at one time plus the Civil War Times magazine.

    Glad you all liked the web site. I found it very interesting. So little is out there on that subject, like so much of history, finding it is often hard.

    Jenna
     
  10. mobile_96

    mobile_96 Sergeant

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    Jenna,
    Princeton is not posted yet, but working on the page.
    Still waiting on some pics of the Fashion Show to be
    developed and put on disc.
    New Salem is up and running.
    www.mobile96.com
     
  11. jenna

    jenna Cadet

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    Interesting pics. Thanks for sharing.
    I look forward to seeing the Princeton pics, since I know people who attended.

    Jenna
     
  12. addictedtojesus

    addictedtojesus Cadet

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    in Virginia, as a rule, slaves were treated with great kindness,and indeed considered their position to be infinitely superior to that of the poorer class of whites,
     
  13. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Major Retired Moderator

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    Can't really agree with ya there, but welcome to the forum!
     
  14. PlowKing

    PlowKing Corporal

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    you're kidding , right?
     
  15. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    And awaaaaay we go.
     
  16. Borderruffian

    Borderruffian 2nd Lieutenant

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    I know Virginia raised slaves were prized by the hemp and cotton growers and other farmers in the Little Dixie area of Missouri, so much so that slave traders would advertise as selling "Slaves bred in Virginia".

    I know that being sold down river or down south was considered a death sentence by alot of slaves because of the conditions on rice and cane plantations.

    Don't know that Virginia slaves were treated any better than their counter parts.
     
  17. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    addictedtojesus,

    No matter how great the kindness, no matter how considered their position in comparison to the poorer class of whites, slavery, in any form, in any context, no matter how lightly applied, no matter how kindly administered, is evil.

    How anyone who has not endured the condition themselves, no matter how 'kindly' or when compared to ANY other class of people or race, can make such judgments is utterly beyond my understanding. It ranks more of an excuse for its continued practice than as justice for an evil perpetuated against human beings.

    Sorry, but I can find no excuse for the 'kindly' treatment of slaves.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
  18. K Hale

    K Hale Colonel Civil War Photo Contest
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    Your first sentence seems to answer your second.
     
  19. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Is there a full moon?
     
  20. Pogster

    Pogster Private

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    Did they say so? Do you have any sources for that information?
     
  21. Borderruffian

    Borderruffian 2nd Lieutenant

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    The conditions enviromental and the type of agriculture and work required in the deep southern rice and cane plantations were what I was speaking to, not the treatment by the slave owners.

    But I see what you did there.
     

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