View single post by pender
 Posted: Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 01:48 am
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Joined: Wed Jun 8th, 2011
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 148

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Ex-Slaves Mr.and Mrs. Alex Smith of South Bend Indiana, in the slave narratives said, "The day the mistress and master came and told the slaves they were free to go any place they desired, Mrs. Smith's mother told her later that she was glad to be free but she had no place to go or any money to go with. Many of the slaves would not leave and she never witnessed such crying as went on. Later Mrs. Smith was paid for working." Also the Rev. H.H. Edmunds of Elkhart Indiana said," The negroes were very happy when they learned they were free as a result of the war. A few took advantage of their freedom immediately,but many,not knowing what else to do,remained with their former masters. Some remained on the plantations five years after they were free. Gradually they learned to care for themselves, often through instructions received from their former masters,and then they were glad to start out in the world for themselves. Of course,there were exceptions,for the slaves who had been abused by cruel masters were only too glad to leave their former homes." I found many such stories as these in the narratives about the end of the war. Also I found many with a positive view of plantation life or slavery. Though I do not express that I support slavery in any way,now or then. I know that you can not escape that issue when speaking of the war. My point being that after the war the union seemed to abandon the cause of the black people. The freedmans bureau was nothing more than a political gimmick to help keep the south subdued. I think that is a proof the freeing of the slaves was nothing more than a war measure by the union,seeing how quickly they abandoned them at wars end. Their former masters being the ones to help them. Their homes were together. I also know that from the slave narratives I am about to post does in no way express the views of all former slaves. But I will dare to say the majority of the ones I have read or more positive toward the white southern people than negative. As to date, as this subject has been brought up I have read about sixty two. I hope to read all they are very interesting. Walter Calloway of Birmingham Alabama said, "was not long after that they tell us we free. But Lordy, Captain, we ain't never been what I calls free. Cause, ole master did not own us no more. All the folks soon scattered all over. But, if they all like me, they still have to work just as hard. An some times have less than we used to have when we stayed on master Johns plantation." Tempe Herndon Durham, of Durham North Carolina said,"Freedom is all right, but the blacks(blacks my wording)was better off before surrender...Marse George and Miss Betsy they was the same as a mammy an pappy to us."Clayton Holbert of Ottawa Kansas said"Most of the slave owners were good to thier slaves although some of them were brutish of course."Fountian Hughes of Charlottesville Virginia said,"Colored people thats free ought to be awful thankful. An some of them is sorry they are free now. Some of them would rather be slaves."Aunt Adeline from Fayetteville Arkansas said,"After the war many soldiers(yankees)came to my mistress, Mrs. Blakely, trying to make her free me. I told them I was free but I did not want to go anywhere, that I wanted to stay in the only home that I ever known.....Sometimes I was threatened for not leaving but stayed on." And Charity Anderson of Mobile Alabama said,"when my house burned up, the white folk's helped me so that in no time you could'nt tell I had ever lost a thing but honey the good ole days is done gone forever." I would like to say, the reason for these quotes is I was was not aware of such content in the slave narratives. Maybe the members of the board was. I was not. Only the stuff where southerners abused thier slaves. Seems if revisionist would rather keep this part of history buried. I would encourge every member of the board to take a look at the slave narratives. Like I said there is those stories of slaves being whipped and mistreated, but I think has a whole you will find such as I have given here. And you will also learn of a very extraordinary people. (resourse: Slave-Narratives)



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