What It Ain't

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Southern Slavery As It Wasn't
By Sean M. Quinlan, Ph.D., and William L. Ramsey, Ph.D.

" '[W]ith the use of the word ni**er, it is important for us to remember the mutable nature of human language. What today constitutes a gross insult did not have the same connotations a century ago.' So conclude Douglas Wilson and Steve Wilkins in Southern Slavery, As It Was, a short 'monograph' of thirty-nine pages that defends racial slavery and claims its abolition is the primary cause of 'abortion, feminism, and sodomy.' According to Wilson and Wilkins, 'the remedy which has been applied' — that is, emancipation — “has been far worse than the disease ever was.'

"Against an overwhelming mainstream, conservative historical consensus that has documented the abuses and evils occasioned by southern slavery, Wilson and Wilkins make the astonishing claim that an 'accurate representation of the nature of Southern slavery has yet to be widely disseminated.' In their eyes, “a great deal of falsehood” has been 'paraded about in the pretense of truth.' The South remains 'stigmatized and slandered, while 'generations have been misled' over the 'true nature of slavery.' Slavery, they say, is not an abomination

==============================
This article is worth reading. You'll find the rest of it here

http://mutualaffection.blogspot.com/2007/03/southern-slavery-as-it-wasnt.html
 

ole

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I'm at a loss to find anyone today who holds slavery to have been a good thing. My great grandfather wouldn't have dreamt of owning a slave. (People didn't own slaves in Minnesota.) That gives me no brief to complain about anyone else's great grandfather who did.

It was a different time. My great grandmother was essentially property. She couldn't vote and, if she clocked the old man, she'd likely have been hung for it. It was a different time and I've not been given the Holy Gavel with which I can pass judgement.

Some people owned slaves and some didn't. That this may or may not have led to more than a half-million dying is of little consequence. It did happen. So it is history. And getting all frothy about it is a waste of time.

Ole
 
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Almost everything that is discussed on this board is history. The article I referenced takes issue with the notion that slaves were better off as slaves than as free persons, as well as claims that they were for the most part well treated, and happier with being owned by another person than they were after they were freed. What's "frothy" about that?
 
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Baggage Handler #2

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Almost everything that is discussed on this board is history. The article I referenced takes issue with the notion that slaves were better off as slaves than as free persons, as well as claims that they were for the most part well treated, and happier with being owned by another person than they were after they were freed. What's "frothy" about that?
[edit: I need to read more slowly. My apologies to all]
 

Glorybound

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Thanks for posting the article, Leah. The authors of the article really do a great job in taking the authors of the book to task. An excerpt from the article, further down:

Let us not mince words. Wilson and Wilkins want us to believe that racial slavery was okay, and they even want us to believe that slaves themselves supported that evil system. They are wrong. They are horribly wrong. The evidence does not support their contentions.

Lee
 

bama46

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Almost everything that is discussed on this board is history. The article I referenced takes issue with the notion that slaves were better off as slaves than as free persons, as well as claims that they were for the most part well treated, and happier with being owned by another person than they were after they were freed. What's "frothy" about that?

There was a law on the books in Alabama that laid out the process for a free man to enter into slavery. I believe some exercised that option.
 
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Elennsar

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Do you have any evidence of it occuring, though?

And preferably, information on why someone would do so.
 

ole

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Bama speaks straight. Some ex-slaves found it too tough to be free and some of them went back to where they had food, clothes, and a measure of security. There are people today, all over the world, who live on the bare edge of a government handout simply because, to them, it's easier to not take the chance with independence.

It happens and it did happen. I don't know if they went back in droves, but some did go back
 

Baggage Handler #2

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Bama speaks straight. Some ex-slaves found it too tough to be free and some of them went back to where they had food, clothes, and a measure of security. ...

It happens and it did happen. I don't know if they went back in droves, but some did go back

Consider:
- willingly re-entered slavery: dozens (?)
- risked everything to escape it: tens of thousands (20-50k to Canada alone, yes?)
- enlisted to put away the peculiar institution: hundreds of thousands.

That would be roughly 5 (five) orders of magnitude difference between the two poles.

For perspective, I would not take the existence of isolated assisted suicide laws as an indication that most of humanity wished itself dead.
 
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ole

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Didn't come anywhere close to calling it an example. Just that a few did.

Ole
 

bama46

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Do you have any evidence of it occuring, though?

And preferably, information on why someone would do so.

I used to have a copy of the old law, but my office computer had a massive hemmorage a few months ago and expired!... was not able to save a single electron

i don't think many did and the process was quite elaborate, had to find a suitable master, court had to be petitioned, court had to agree to suitability of the master, etc, etc...

as to why, Ole has spoken well on that subject...
 

larry_cockerham

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I'll watch for incoming after I release these keys, but no offense is intended by these meager thoughts. I grew up in the south, even if it was northern Carolina with a few folks of African descent. None of them looked much like Gary Player, for what that's worth. None of us cared. We were all humans, all had to work for a living and went on with our respective lives. Probably the greatest challenge for us all is to literally placing our minds in the various stages of the almost four hundred years since slavery (a long standing practice by world standards) was brought to Jamestown in the new colony of Virginia. This is no defenese of the practice. It ain't right to own someone, to say the least. The catch to all this discussion is the small word, freedom. Ain't much of a way around that one. That's the trump card in this argument of sorts. A person who was starving in Africa and who was being terrorized in the seventeenth century was not faring so well in his or her homeland. The English colonists at their worst were a step or two up the kindness ladder from the folks who had forced our colonial slaves into their predicament. From there, believe it or not, the comfort zone for many slaves actually improved. That's the only more or less good part about slavery in North America. It took 350 years for things to improve much. That's the history part and not a thing to brag about at that. We're still trying to live together. Some of us, at least.
 
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Elennsar

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Bama speaks straight. Some ex-slaves found it too tough to be free and some of them went back to where they had food, clothes, and a measure of security.
Examples, please. Evidence, please.

I am assuming we are not taking about indentured servitude, as that was a different system (in which those so indentured were not considered property, with all that means). But whether we are or not, I would like to see something other than "trust my memory on this".

I can't read your (or Bama's) mind, so being able to interpet and study is kind of impossible without something more concrete.

A person who was starving in Africa and who was being terrorized in the seventeenth century was not faring so well in his or her homeland. The English colonists at their worst were a step or two up the kindness ladder from the folks who had forced our colonial slaves into their predicament.
I am extremely hesitant to assert this without more positive proof, but I doubt it. Africa was not (more than the rest of the world) plagued with widespread famine in the "bad old days", nor were there many things leading to them being terrorized. Not that tribal life was a picnic, but nor was it hell.

Meanwhile, given what kind of things a slave owner could do and some did, using the phrase "at their worst" is...hard to accept, to say the least.
 

ole

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Meanwhile, given what kind of things a slave owner could do and some did, using the phrase "at their worst" is...hard to accept, to say the least.
It is not required that you accept it. Everyone knows that some freedmen gave up and turned back to the security of massa. It's like the "black confederate soldier" thingy. Everyone knows there were more than three. We can hash out how many but we aren't likely to know for certain. And I can think of no one who actually cares to count them and demand documentation.

Well. Maybe one.

Ole
 

Elennsar

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It is not required that you accept it. Everyone knows that some freedmen gave up and turned back to the security of massa. It's like the "black confederate soldier" thingy. Everyone knows there were more than three. We can hash out how many but we aren't likely to know for certain. And I can think of no one who actually cares to count them and demand documentation.

Well. Maybe one.
Since "Take my word for it." is a great way to be fooled by people who do have an interest in being dishonest, I want every piece of documentation I can get my uncallused pasty white hands on when it comes to things this controversial. Particularly when this is the first time I've heard of it.

If you cannot provide it, I will not believe it simply on the grounds you (or Bana or Glorybound or Bonny Blue Flag or Trice or Union Blue or Cash or Larry or anyone else - said it in the thread where it was shown but repeating it here: ever so thankful for having some shown) say so.

I trust your memories about as far as I trust mine - which is to say I want something other than "I read that it happened somewhere, I can't remember where or why or when".

We may not be likely to know for certain exactly how many (heck, we don't even know with absolute certainty how many regiments the Confederacy raised, and that's something with far more documentation than has ever been produced than the issue of Black Confederates), but I'd like to see established concretely that there were any rather than taking it on faith that a barely remembered source is credible.
 
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ole

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Here we go again. I'm not going to play with you no more. Gloves are off.

Ole
 

Elennsar

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Is it really that unreasonable to want verifiable evidence on something questionable when discussing what really happened?
 

Baggage Handler #2

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Is it really that unreasonable to want verifiable evidence on something questionable when discussing what really happened?
In this case maybe. The numbers are agreed to be trivial, any impact negligible. It seemed to me more of an historical oddity than some momentous point on which our interpretation of history might hinge.
Given the culture of the area and era such laws may have existed. And it wouldn't shock me to discover that the occasional person had used them under circumstances ranging from extreme duress to simple ignorance.
 
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Is it really that unreasonable to want verifiable evidence on something questionable when discussing what really happened?
No! To my way of thinking it is not unreasonable to want documented evidence when discussing historical events (isn't that what is called for in most discussions on this board?). But the evidence has to be available, and in this case it appears not to be. One case has been cited on the Campfire Chat forum under the heading of "Free man petitioning to become a slave." One would suppose that if the law required court permission for the "privilege" of becoming someone's slave, that those cases would be filed in court, and a record would be available. But maybe not, or maybe they have simply not been compiled.

As unlikely as it seems that anyone would actually want to be a slave, out of the four million black folks (I think that's the number I've read) living in the South at the time of the Civil War, it seems reasonable to accept that there were cases in which individuals chose to stay with what they knew rather than beard the lion they didn't know. Or something like that. I might compare it to the idea of colonizing freedmen on some other land mass, a perhaps well-intentioned idea, but there is a strong belief that since these people were as American as anyone else, having been born and lived their entire lives in this country, they would object to being shuffled off to some place completely strange to them. Yet out of that same four million, it's probably reasonable to assume that there would be some who would have preferred to have their own country and their own government, regardless of what hardships they might encounter.

Do you disagree in theory?
 

RobertP

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Africa was not (more than the rest of the world) plagued with widespread famine in the "bad old days", nor were there many things leading to them being terrorized. Not that tribal life was a picnic, but nor was it hell.

Meanwhile, given what kind of things a slave owner could do and some did, using the phrase "at their worst" is...hard to accept, to say the least.
This is a bit off topic, but I'll ask anyway. The slavery issue seems to be an obsession with you. So I pose the question; are you or are you not in favor of monetary or property Reparations from the US Government and/or private corporations which may have benefitted from, in Abe's words, the peculiar instution of slavery?
 
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