“A few of my ancestors had slaves, and they loved and provided for them”

From Hilton Head Island, South Carolina comes this letter.

The writer is no doubt sincere in her beliefs, but obviously hasn’t thought things through.

“Slavery was an atrocity; slave traders should have been prosecuted. Yes, a few of my ancestors had slaves, and they loved and provided for them.” Yes, that’s why they would send dogs after the runaways and have captured runaways whipped. Because they loved their enslaved people so much and wanted nothing more than to provide for them–whether the enslaved people liked it or not.

“Many of my ancestors lost their lives in the bloody battle, had permanent wounds that impacted their livelihood, or were imprisoned in inhumane conditions at Point Lookout, Md. Even so, I have never blamed the Confederate flag for my ancestors’ tragedies or for slavery.” Of course not, but the confederate flag was the symbol used by those who were fighting for an entity that was dedicated to preserving slavery and white supremacy. Your ancestors assisted in that effort. You can’t blame a flag, which is, after all, a symbol. If you want to blame someone, and to be clear, I don’t think blaming anyone today does a whole lot of good, blame your ancestors who made the choice to fight for the side that was fighting for slavery, or who voted for the folks who led South Carolina into secession and then started a war to protect slavery. And it’s mighty convenient to think only of their “suffering” and to ignore the suffering of the people who were enslaved for generations.

“Absurdity is growing exponentially.” Ironic.

“The South became what it was because of some people who made it so — people who are no longer here to be held accountable.” But do all of them deserve to be honored today? If they are no longer here to be held accountable, then the flip side would be they are no longer here to be honored.

“Can we all just accept history as a collection of good and evil that we cannot and should not change?” Taking down a flag or moving a monument is not changing history. I’ll point back to the ironic statement above. There isn’t any desire to change history. The desire is to not honor what is considered unworthy of being honored.

“And agree to get along and quit harboring hostilities from 150 years ago?” Perhaps the best way to do that is to get rid of symbols of oppression from 150 years ago.

My point is not that the letter writer is dumb. No. My point is the letter writer didn’t think things through. She didn’t consider others’ points of view. She looked at it solely from her family’s point of view, solely from a white southerner’s point of view. African-American southerners have had their historical oppressors’ viewpoints shoved down their throats for years without much thought regarding what they thought. Isn’t it time to take their views into account?

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24 comments

  1. I’m frankly not sure how to respond. For a lot of reasons having nothing to do with the 1861–1865 period, I have done a nontrivial amount of research in to my ancestry. Dad’s family was from Virginia, and married in to some serious FFV families. I’ve seen Census rolls and other documents which indicated that Eppersons owned slaves. Now, that’s an historical fact—it does not change one thing about me or my two wonderful children. I can acknowledge it with no shame or embarrassment. I’m not proud of it, but it is a fact. I do not understand why some people get so bent out of shape by this.

    1. Jim, I’m not a psychologist but I sometimes diagnose others from a distance without a license. 😉

      It seems to me that there are folks who have their identity tied up in their ancestors, and if their ancestors are seen by others as dishonorable people, then they feel it reflects poorly on them. So any flaws have to be explained away. Either, “they didn’t own any slaves” or “well, they had slaves, but they loved and cared for those slaves, who loved them back.” Do we hear of anyone saying, “my ancestors owned slaves and beat them mercilessly?”

      I think if being who you are is good enough for you, then you don’t need to conjure up nice stories about ancestors. If a person needs to have honorable ancestors to feel good about themselves, I have to pity them.

  2. “Slavery was an atrocity; slave traders should have been prosecuted. Yes, a few of my ancestors had slaves, and they loved and provided for them.” Yes, that’s why they would send dogs after the runaways and have captured runaways whipped. Because they loved their enslaved people so much and wanted nothing more than to provide for them–whether the enslaved people liked it or not.

    ========

    Do you know the letter writer’s ancestors sent dogs after runaways and had them whipped (or do you know that there even were runaways among her ancestors’ slaves)?

    1. Even the saintly R. E. Lee had runaways whipped.

      1. Doesn’t answer the question, Al. Do you know the LETTER WRITER’S ancestors sent dogs after runaways and had them whipped (or do you know that there even were runaways among her ancestors’ slaves)?

        1. It does indeed answer the question, Connie. Whipping runaways was standard punishment for running away. The runaway was lucky if that was the only punishment inflicted.

          1. It doesn’t answer the question, Al. Do you know that any slaves owned by the letter writer’s ancestors ran away? How do you know? Do you even know who the letter writer’s ancestors WERE?

          2. It answers the question.

      2. BorderRuffian · · Reply

        I see you’re still trying to sell that bogus ‘Lee whipped slaves’ story. What rubbish.

        1. Thanks for providing another example of why we should all have a low opinion of the intelligence of neoconfederates. I said Lee had slaves whipped, not that he whipped them himself. Read much?

          Neoconfederate idiots think Lee would never have a runaway slave whipped. That’s nothing but rubbish itself. We have eyewitness testimony from one of the slaves. I guess racists like you don’t think African-Americans are capable of telling us what happened to them. The testimony is corroborated by facts from Lee’s own account books and by reports in Westminster, Maryland where these runaways were captured. Lee had slaves whipped. He sold recalcitrant slaves and rented others out to other masters. Lee rented out slaves he owned himself. He was a typical slaveholder who depended on torture and fear to maintain his authority over people who didn’t want to be owned by another person. One has to be really dumb to think R. E. Lee would not act like a typical slaveholder.

          1. BorderRuffian · ·

            “We have eyewitness testimony from one of the slaves.”

            You count a newspaper article as testimony? That’s really dumb.

            “The testimony is corroborated by facts from Lee’s own account books and by reports in Westminster”

            There’s nothing in his account books or “reports in Westminster” about whipping any slaves.

            “I guess racists like you don’t think African-Americans are capable of telling us what happened to them.”

            I must admit, flogger pretend anti-racism is good cover for their lifestyles.

          2. His account did appear in the National Anti-Slavery Standard, but it is his firsthand account. Of course, to you, black people can’t be trusted, right?
            http://fair-use.org/wesley-norris/testimony-of-wesley-norris

            Lee’s account books show his payments to Constable Richard Williams for capture and transport to Richmond of captured runaways, as well as extra payment to Williams beyond what would be required for simply returning them. Lee would pay $10 for return of runaways, as seen in this letter:

            “There are two women belonging to the Estate of G. W. P. Custis, now in Washington, where they have been since 1 Jany last. One, black, about 35 years old, named Caroline Bingham with a child about 6 mos. old, has been seen frequently in the centre market, going & returning by N.7th st. The other, mulatto, about 23 years old, named Catherine Burke, with a nearly white child about 2½ years old, has also been seen in the centre market. Last Saturday evening she was seen in Mr. Bryans Grocers store near 7th St. with Austin Syphax, a freedman from this place. They report themselves at service with my consent–I have offered $10 for the apprehension of each of these women, upon their delivery in the Jail at Alexa & the expenses of transporting them there.” [Robert E. Lee to Mr. A. E. L. Keese, 24 Apr 1858]

            Lee’s account book shows, “to Richard Williams, arrest, &c of fugitive slaves–$321.14.” The “&c” means “and such,” meaning there was more to what Williams did. A separate line shows the cost of transporting the captured runaways of $50.53. The previous year, Lee had paid Richard Williams $57.25 to arrest and detain three other fugitives, and another $37.12 to transport them to Richmond. The extra amount paid to Williams indicates he was paid to whip the slaves, just as Wesley Norris said.

            Other Custis slaves referred to Lee as a “hard taskmaster”‘ and “the worst man I ever see.” But they’re black so you don’t believe them, right?

            Lee’s own letters confirm enslaved people ran off and were recaptured in Maryland, close to Pennsylvania, and after recapture [and punishment] were hired out in lower Virginia. The June 2, 1859 issue of the Carroll County Democrat [Maryland] in the Westminster Historical Society has a story on page 2 that says: “Four negroes, two men and two women, were arrested near Westminster and committed to jail. They say they are from Fairfax County Va., owned by Robert Lee, Esq.”

            Another former Custis slave was interviewed by a reporter for the Cincinnati Commercial:

            “Is this one of General Lee’s cabins?”
            “Yes sir.”
            “Are you one of General Lee’s servants?”
            “Yes sir, I am. Will you come in, gentlemen?”
            ” … I suppose, Aunty, that these are sad times compared to the good old days up at Arlington, yonder?”
            “Dese days are a great deal better, sir.”
            “Why, was not General Lee a good master?”
            ” ‘He was the worst man I ever see,’ said the old woman. ‘He used to have po’ souls cut most to pieces by de constable out here, and afterward he made his oversee’ wash dere backs wi’ brine.’ ”
            “… But Mrs. Lee, everybody thinks to be a good woman.”
            ” ‘I don’t call no woman good, gentlemen,’ said the old lady, ‘who cheats po’ souls out of dere time. Mr. Custie leff all us people on the place $50, and sot us free. General Lee an’ his wife keep our money. Dey sold all my children away off Souf, and dey keep five years of my time and my old man’s.’ ” [Cincinnati Commercial narrative, reported in the New York Independent, 4 June 1868, quoted in Walter Creigh Preson, Lee: West Point and Lexington, pp. 76-77]

            But she’s another black person, so you probably think she just made it up, right?

            Union soldiers who occupied Arlington during the war wrote of the presence of a whipping post at the plantation. Was it there just for show?

            In an 1841 letter to his wife, Mary, Lee discussed her desire to rescue a slave on the Lewis plantation named Robert, either by purchasing him and then manumitting him or by arranging to bring him to Arlington. Lee himself was against the plan:

            “If the object is to raise the funds desired by Mrs. Lewis, you had better make a loan to the Major. Your plan of the purchase I think will bring you nothing but trouble & vexation & it is very problematical whether the condition of Robert will not be injured rather than bettered. In judging of results you must endeavor to lay aside your feelings & prejudices & examine the question as thus exposed. In this matter is everything to be yielded to the servant & nothing to the master? What will be the effect of the precedent upon the rest & the instruction of the example intended to be set as well as the comparisons likely to be made to the prejudice of your father & his authority. Others ought to be considered as well as Robert. If you determine to apply your money in this way I am ready to pay it. So consider well upon the matter & act for yourself.” [Robert E. Lee to Mary Custis Lee, 18 Apr 1841] So Lee felt that taking this enslaved person away from his master’s “instruction” would set a bad “precedent upon the rest” of the enslaved people.

            To Lee, whippings = instruction. We see that again in his often partially quoted 1856 letter to his wife:

            “There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race. While my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more deeply engaged for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, physically, and socially.

              The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their further instruction as a race

            , and will prepare them, I hope, for better things. How long their servitude may be necessary is known and ordered by a merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influences of Christianity than from the storm and tempest of fiery controversy. This influence, though slow, is sure. The doctrines and miracles of our Saviour have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small portion of the human race, and even among Christian nations what gross errors still exist! While we see the course of the final abolition of human slavery is still onward, and give it the aid of our prayers, let us leave the progress as well as the results in the hands of Him who, chooses to work by slow influences, and with whom a thousand years are but as a single day. Although the abolitionist must know this, must know that he has neither the right not the power of operating, except by moral means; that to benefit the slave he must not excite angry feelings in the master; that, although he may not approve the mode by which Providence accomplishes its purpose, the results will be the same; and that the reason he gives for interference in matters he has no concern with, holds good for every kind of interference with our neighbor, -still, I fear he will persevere in his evil course.” And, of course, he thinks abolitionists are on an “evil course.” Doing away with slavery, to Lee, is “evil.”

            There were two anonymous letters published in the New York Tribune about Lee and slaves. Some parts are over-dramatized, but important details match Norris’ account and what is corroborated by Lee’s own records:

            SOME FACTS THAT SHOULD COME TO LIGHT
            To the editor of the N. Y. Tribune.

            Sir It is known that the venerable George Washington Parke Custis died some two years ago; and the same papers that announced his death announced also the fact that on his deathbed he liberated his slaves. The will, for some reason, was never allowed any publicity, and the slaves themselves were cajoled along with the idea that some slight necessary arrangements were to be made, when they would all have their free papers. Finally they were told five years must elapse before they could go. Meantime they have been deprived of all means of making a little now and then for themselves, as they were allowed to do during Mr. Custis’s life, have been kept harder at work than ever, and part of the time have been cut down to half a peck of unsifted meal a week for each person, without even their fish allowance. Three old women, who have seen nearly their century each, are kept sewing, making clothes for the field hands, from daylight till dark, with nothing but the half-peck of meal to eat; no tea or coffee — nothing that old people crave — and no time given them to earn these little rarities, as formerly. One old man, eighty years old, bent with age, and whom Mr. Custis had long since told “had done enough,” and might go home and “smoke his pipe in peace,” is now turned out as a regular field hand. A year ago, for some trifling offense, three were sent to hail, and a few months later three more, for simply going down to the river to get themselves some fish, when they were literally starved.

            Some three or four weeks ago, three, more courageous than the rest, thinking their five years would never come to an end, came to the conclusion to leave for the North. They were most valuable servants, but they were never advertised, and there was no effort made to regain them which looks exceedingly as though Mr. Lee, the present proprietor, knew he had no lawful claim to them. They had not proceeded far before their progress was intercepted by some brute in human form, who suspected them to be fugitives, and probably wished a reward. They were lodged in jail, and frightened into telling where they had started from. Mr. Lee was forthwith acquainted with their whereabouts, when they were transported back, taken into a barn, stripped, and the men received thirty and nine lashes each, from the hands of the slave-whipper, when he refused to whip the girl, and Mr. Lee himself administered the thirty and nine lashes to her. They were then sent to Richmond jail, where they are now lodged.

            Next to Mount Vernon, we associate the Custis place with the “Father of this free country.” Shall “Washington’s body guard” be thus tampered with, and never a voice raised for such utter helplessness?

            A.

            Washington, June 21, 1859.

            To the editor of the N. Y. Tribune.

            Sir: I live one mile from the plantation of George Washington P. Custis, now Col. Lee’s, as Custis willed it to Lee. All the slaves on this estate, as I understand, were set free at the death of Custis, but are now held in bondage by Lee. I have inquired concerning the will, but can get no satisfaction. Custis had fifteen children by his slave women. I see his grandchildren every day; they are of a dark yellow. Last week three of the slaves ran away; an officer was sent after them, overtook them nine miles this side of Pennsylvania, and brought them back. Col. Lee ordered them whipped. They were two men and one woman. The officer whipped the two men, and said he would not whip the woman, and Col. Lee stripped her and whipped her himself. These are facts as I learn from near relatives of the men whipped. After being whipped, he sent them to Richmond and hired them out as good farm hands.

            Yours,
            A Citizen.

            Washington, June 19, 1859.

            Norris doesn’t claim Lee personally whipped any slaves, and I stick by his account. But comparing the details shows remarkable consistency with corroborated facts. Enslaved people ran away. Lee had them recaptured and whipped, just like any other typical slaveholder.

            As hard as it is for you to accept, R. E. Lee didn’t walk on water, nor was he the Second Coming, nor was he pure as the driven snow.

            Once again, neoconfederates show they’re incapable of any type of intelligent historical inquiry.

          3. BorderRuffian · ·

            So Lee paid Williams $321.14 (or $371.67) for the capture and return of the 1859 runaways and $94.37 for the capture and return of the 1858 runaways.

            And so you claim- “The extra amount paid to Williams indicates he was paid to whip the slaves.”

            Is there anything else that could explain the difference in cost?
            Could it be distance travelled?

            The 1859 runaway slaves were captured in Westminster, MD. That’s 60 miles from Arlington, VA.

            The 1858 runaways were captured in Washington, DC. That’s less than five (5) miles from Arlington. And Lee knew to the house where they were staying.

            Would there be more expense in apprehending slaves who were 60 miles away (not knowing their location) than those who were 5 miles away (knowing their location)?
            I believe so…

          4. Lee knew where they were in Westminster, too–in the jail.

            The transport costs, as previously shown, were a separate line item, so your theory has no validity–as usual.

          5. BorderRuffian · ·

            There’s a travel expense for Williams. Food and lodging, feed for horses – for however many days it took to go the 60 miles and capture the runaways…and for anyone who accompanied him. And then the travel back to VA.

            But don’t let those pesky facts get in the way…

          6. They were already captured–they were being held in the jail in Westminster. You assume he had others with him when there’s no evidence of that. One man can certainly drive a horse-drawn wagon with bound captives in it by himself, carrying feed for the horses in the wagon. Going about 30-40 miles a day, they would only need to stay overnight one night going out and one night on the return, putting the runaways into a jail overnight, and with prices at the time, perhaps $25 total expenses along the way, and that’s probably an overestimate. Williams, being a constable, was already being paid his salary for doing his duty. But don’t let those pesky facts get in the way of your denial of the truth about St. Bobby.

          7. BorderRuffian · ·

            “They were already captured–they were being held in the jail in Westminster.”

            …and according to Norris were held there for 15 days. What would be the expense for three (or four) people for 15 days?

          8. About $8 per person for the 15 days, so not more than $25. Try again.

  3. Samuel Bryan · · Reply

    Early Connecticut also had a practice of whipping its slaves. The website:
    http://slavenorth.com/connecticut.htm
    notes that:
    A law of 1708, citing frequent fights between slaves and whites, imposed a minimum penalty of 30 lashes on any black who disturbed the peace or who attempted to strike a white person. Even speech was subject to control. By a 1730 law, and black, Indian, or mulatto slave “who uttered or published, about any white person, words which would be actionable if uttered by a free white was, upon conviction before any one assistant or justice of the peace, to be whipped with forty lashes.”

    Of course New England had considerable experience with slavery since (again from the same website):
    The first official legal recognition of chattel slavery as a legal institution in British North America was in Massachusetts, in 1641, with the “Body of Liberties.” Slavery was legalized in New Plymouth and Connecticut when it was incorporated into the Articles of the New England Confederation (1643). Rhode Island enacted a similar law in 1652. That means New England had formal, legal slavery a full generation before it was established in the South.

    An interesting blog topic would be:
    Why don’t New Englanders admit that their ancestors owned slaves?

    1. That particular website has no credibility. Harper, a self-proclaimed historian, shows shoddy scholarship. For example, take a look at the area on “Northern Profits from Slavery.” The Wanderer, which he writes about, was owned by three southerners. It’s not the example of Northern participation in slavery he thinks it is. He doesn’t tell you that this “pride of the New York Yacht Club,” as he puts it, was in fact owned by southerners who were the slave traders. She was the “pride of the New York Yacht Club” when she was a pleasure craft. After she was sold to William Corrie of Charleston, SC, who partnered with Charles Lamar of Savannah, Georgia, and John Johnson of Louisiana, she was converted to a slave ship. At that point she was no longer part of the New York Yacht Club. But that website isn’t going to tell you that, because it’s not concerned with the full story.

      http://www.archives.gov/atlanta/finding-aids/wanderer.pdf

      http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/wanderer

      http://thewandererproject.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/farnum/

      http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/ugapressbks/pdfs/ugp9780820334578.pdf

      Likewise you’ll find the areas discussing legalizing slavery have problems as well.

      Winthrop D. Jordan writes in The White Man’s Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States, “In rough outline, slavery’s development in the tobacco colonies seems to have undergone three stages. Africans first arrived in 1619, an event Captain John Smith referred to with the utmost unconcern: ‘ About the last of August came in a dutch man of warre that sold us twenty Negars. ‘ Africans trickled in slowly for the next half-century; one report in 1649 estimated that there were threee hundred among Virginia’s population of fifteen thousand — about 2 per cent. Long before there were more appreciable numbers, the development of slavery had, so far as we can tell, shifted gears. Prior to about 1640 there is mounting evidence that some Negroes were in fact being treated as slaves. This is to say that the twin essences of slavery — lifetime service and inherited status — first became evident during the twenty years prior to the beginning of legal formulation. After 1660 slavery was written into statute law.” [p. 40]

      Jordan writes later on, “When the first fragmentary evidence appears about 1640 it becomes clear that some Negroes in both Virginia and Maryland were serving for life and some Negro children inheriting the same obligation. Not all blacks, certainly, for after the mid-1640s the court records show that some Negroes were incontestably free and were accumulating property of their own. At least one black freeman, Anthony Johnson, himself owned a slave. Some blacks served only terms of usual length, but others were held for terms far longer than custom and statute permitted with white servants. The first fairly clear indication that slavery was practiced in the tobacco colonies appears in 1639, when a Maryland statute declared that ‘ all the Inhabitants of this Province being Christians (Slaves excepted) Shall have and enjoy all such rights liberties immunities privileges and free customs within this Province as any naturall born subject of England.’ Another Maryland law passed the same year provided that ‘all persons being Christians (Slaves excepted)’ over eighteen who were imported without indentures would serve for four years.” [pp. 41-42]

      “The next year, 1640, the first definite indication of outright enslavement appears in Virginia. The General Court pronounced sentence on three servants who had been retaken after absconding to Maryland. Two of them, both white, were ordered to serve their masters for one additional year and then the colony for three more, but ‘ the third being a negro named John Punch shall serve his said master or his assigns for the time of his natural life here or else where.’ ” [p. 42]

      “After 1640, when surviving Virginia county court records began to mention Negroes, sales for life, often including any future progeny, were recorded in unmistakable language. In 1646 Francis Pott sold a Negro woman and boy to Stephen Charlton ‘ to the use of him … forever. ‘ Similarly, six years later William Whittington sold to John Pott ‘ one Negroe girle named Jowan; aged about Ten yeares and with her Issue and produce duringe her (or either of them) for their Life tyme. And their Successors forever’ ; and a Maryland man in 1649 deeded two Negro men and a woman ‘ and all their issue both male and Female. ‘ The executors of a York County estate in 1647 disposed of eight Negroes — four men, two women, and two children — to Captain John Chisman ‘ to have hold occupy possesse and injoy and every one of the afforementioned Negroes forever.’ ” [p. 42]

      John Hope Franklin also talks about the development of slavery in Virginia: “Most of the Negroes brought into Virginia after 1640 had no indentures or contracts and could not look forward to freedom after a specified term of service. Some others that were brought in enjoyed the dubious distinction of having contracts providing that they were ‘ servants for life ‘ or ‘ perpetual servants. ‘ ” [John Hope Franklin, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans, Third Edition, p. 72]

      Better to use actual historians instead of people whose only body of work is a decade-old website.

      Your tu quoque fallacy is noted, but I’m unimpressed. New Englanders certainly do recognize there used to be slave owners in those states. They, however, got rid of slavery on their own and didn’t start and fight a war killing over 700,000 Americans to try to keep it. Try again, troll.

  4. Samuel Bryan · · Reply

    You reply was a little off target: I never mentioned the Wanderer at all and you never mentioned Connecticut or their whipping laws. Were my statements correct (whether or not they are from a shoddy historian)?

    I did go look for some New Englanders who recognize their slave ancestor, and you were right. Smithsonian ran an article in 2008 about Katrina Browne, who discovered that her New England ancestors, the DeWolfs, were the “largest slave-trading family in U.S. history.”

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-northern-family-confronts-its-slaveholding-past-88307/?no-ist

    The article said:
    It would probably come as a surprise to most people that Rhode Island, despite being the smallest state in the country, was actually the largest slave-trading state in terms of the number of Africans brought on ships leaving from Rhode Island ports. The ships were often built by Massachusetts ship builders.

    Maybe you know how the DeWolf enterprise compares to what the Wanderer did. Do you?

    Also:
    Prior to 1808, various states passed laws outlawing the slave trade, but they weren’t enforced practically at all. The DeWolfs and pretty much everyone else traded up until it was federally abolished in 1808. Thomas Jefferson was president at the time and he proposed they should close the trade.

    Is the Smithsonian article factual?

    So if “Slavery itself existed in New England for over 200 years,” New England had a long time to get “rid of slavery on their own.” You may disagree, but I believe that we would not have slavery in the Southern states today regardless of the War or its outcome. So the South would have eventually gotten rid of slavery on their own too. The Confederacy certainly didn’t want war; they wanted to be left alone. The blood of those 700,000 is on Lincoln’s hands.

    1. The information about The Wanderer shows the unreliability of that website, as I said in my response.

      Again, you commit the tu toque fallacy. What happened in Connecticut before they voluntarily abolished slavery has nothing to do with the post to which you’re responding. The Smithsonian article is an excellent article, but again it has nothing to do with slavery in the south. New England in fact got rid of slavery on its own as a result of the American Revolution. There’s no evidence slavery would have voluntarily ended in the southern United States, just wishful thinking. Learn some history. This will be the last foray outside the limits of the post. If you want to comment, then comment on topic.

  5. Samuel Bryan · · Reply

    The topic title is: ancestors who owned slaves and treated them fairly.
    [edit]

    1. No. The topic is the letter in the post. You were warned.

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