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 American Civil War Politics (Unmoderated)    
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Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2597

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 8/25/2017 2:18:10 AM
Two media features come to my mind which bear on this discussion:

On the big screen that superb production TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE ,directed by a black British man....I think the depiction is nuanced, with allusion to some of the things that 1stvermont has cited.

In literature, a new book THE HUNGRY EMPIRE : How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World, by Lizzie Collingham.

She writes convincingly about the rice plantations of eighteenth century South Carolina, and how African slaves did so much to develop cuisine and culture in the New World.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 178

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 8/29/2017 1:01:24 PM

Quote:
1stvermont-
I dont buy the self censorship personally. What good or bad would have come from telling the experiences of slavery long ago? would it end segregation if they were positive? would it prolong it if they told negative reports to a single reporter from a university? I think the claim is refuted in that the responses to blacks 27% of interviewers, were overall same as to white interviewers. I think it is again refuted if one reads the narratives by the fact vast evils are told and described with no consequence to the individuals to speak of. I think it again refuted in that the interviewers, not the slaves were the ones it seems looking for dirt. if anything encouraging it.

Segregation is a bad law but I think it false to make sweeping generalizations about society in that day. Can anyone point to one instance were the Klan went after a slave interviewed who shared terrible experiences while in slavery? Likely they had no idea what was going on. these were conducted by universities and the federal government not the KKK. That is why historians do not reject these and neither should we. The best evidence is again to read them for yourself.


I would posit that your grasp of the context in which the interviews were conducted is quite naive. Those interviewed were old, very old. They did not attain their longevity, surviving slavery itself, two iterations of the Klan, the entrenchment of Jim Crow laws, and a couple thousand lynchings, by being reckless in speech or conduct. The white people ruled with an iron fist, and blacks crossed them at their own peril.

As for the Klan going after anybody, do you understand how they operated? They were (and still are) a terrorist organization. Fear is their primary weapon. Enough blacks had been painfully, even fatally, been put back in their place if their conduct had been deemed "uppity" or "ungrateful" for that message to take hold. The threat was always present, even without direct Klan involvement.

The interviewers themselves may have had the best of intentions, but whether white or black, they were mostly local residents, with local friends, and local relatives. They talk to other people, and the former slave has no control over who hears the story and no assurance that their identity will be guarded. The impartiality of some interviewers could definitely be called into question, as they were members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The UDC was (and still is) one of the biggest purveyors and guardians "lost cause" mythology. A significant part of that mythology was/is "the happy slave" narrative.

That some of those former slaves told the interviewers what they figured was the desired response is obvious. I'll use the one that jumped out at me right away as an example.

Quote:
“Cotton pickin was big fun too, and when dey got through pickin de cotton dey et and drank and danced till dey could dance no more”
-Rachael Adams Georgia Slave Narratives


Over the years, I have met many people who sharecropped and hand picked cotton down south, and then moved north (most of them during and after WW II). Whether black or white, none of them ever described it as anything even resembling "fun". And these are people who could rest when they wanted/needed to, and did not face immediate physical punishment for not meeting a quota or damaging a plant. Anyone who describes cotton picking as "fun" has either never done it, or is yanking somebody's chain.

As with any testimony, a grain of salt is necessary when evaluating the veracity of it. When the testimony is given (during the event, immediately after, long after) is an important consideration. Who is the statement being given to is another. Is it someone with whom the testifier feels comfortable and safe? Does the testifier trust the interviewer? Is it someone from whom the testifier wants something? Does the testifier have any motive(s) for coloring their statements?

As I stated earlier, The Slave Narratives are valuable and useful, but, like any other evidence, they also have their limitations. Ignoring those limitations makes for inaccurate, and unreliable conclusions, and does a disservice to the study of history.

JohnT


OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 520

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 8/29/2017 1:31:02 PM
My mother worked in the cotton fields until noon and I was born at 5:36 PM. She needed the time because they were behind on "chopping cotton". It was a Friday and the boss was generous and allowed her Saturday off.

As for the Narratives, I wonder about the ones that weren't included.

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 82

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 8/29/2017 8:05:59 PM
I would posit that your grasp of the context in which the interviews were conducted is quite naive. Those interviewed were old, very old. They did not attain their longevity, surviving slavery itself, two iterations of the Klan, the entrenchment of Jim Crow laws, and a couple thousand lynchings, by being reckless in speech or conduct. The white people ruled with an iron fist, and blacks crossed them at their own peril.


As for the Klan going after anybody, do you understand how they operated? They were (and still are) a terrorist organization. Fear is their primary weapon. Enough blacks had been painfully, even fatally, been put back in their place if their conduct had been deemed "uppity" or "ungrateful" for that message to take hold. The threat was always present, even without direct Klan involvement.

The interviewers themselves may have had the best of intentions, but whether white or black, they were mostly local residents, with local friends, and local relatives. They talk to other people, and the former slave has no control over who hears the story and no assurance that their identity will be guarded. The impartiality of some interviewers could definitely be called into question, as they were members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The UDC was (and still is) one of the biggest purveyors and guardians "lost cause" mythology. A significant part of that mythology was/is "the happy slave" narrative.

That some of those former slaves told the interviewers what they figured was the desired response is obvious. I'll use the one that jumped out at me right away as an example.

Quote:
“Cotton pickin was big fun too, and when dey got through pickin de cotton dey et and drank and danced till dey could dance no more”
-Rachael Adams Georgia Slave Narratives

Over the years, I have met many people who sharecropped and hand picked cotton down south, and then moved north (most of them during and after WW II). Whether black or white, none of them ever described it as anything even resembling "fun". And these are people who could rest when they wanted/needed to, and did not face immediate physical punishment for not meeting a quota or damaging a plant. Anyone who describes cotton picking as "fun" has either never done it, or is yanking somebody's chain.

As with any testimony, a grain of salt is necessary when evaluating the veracity of it. When the testimony is given (during the event, immediately after, long after) is an important consideration. Who is the statement being given to is another. Is it someone with whom the testifier feels comfortable and safe? Does the testifier trust the interviewer? Is it someone from whom the testifier wants something? Does the testifier have any motive(s) for coloring their statements?

As I stated earlier, The Slave Narratives are valuable and useful, but, like any other evidence, they also have their limitations. Ignoring those limitations makes for inaccurate, and unreliable conclusions, and does a disservice to the study of history.

JohnT


--jthlmnn




Support please. Support the "klan" in anyway effected interviews done or these people were harassed. As a refutation i offer the interviews themselves. Read them. You live a life of fear my friend, fear that is not there. The Klan in two decades in the 1950's and 60's civil right era of Klan violence, killed 15 people. But once more, no evidence these were done by the klan, they were often private interviews done at the home of the former slaves.



and I have talked with people who have picked cotton and hated it, but who worked with illegal immigrants who enjoyed it, who were singing joking etc while working. Dont ever think because one person had a certain experiences, that must be all did at all times. I hate the job I have, there are some who actually enjoy it.


If you can support that your claims effected them, than ok I can agree. To assume so, would say more of our modern thought than dealing with a historical document.

---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 82

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 8/30/2017 6:11:27 PM
JohnT

i have been thinking more on what you have said and if you are just suggesting caution with them, i see no issues and you could rightly be correct. I just think our modern ideas of the past influence what we are willing to learn from history to much. Maybe i overacted to that, without really considering it as well as i should have. But i want to say many historians accept works like the abolitionist slave autobiographies as factual yet they have many reasons to cause doubt. When I read a narrative and it talks of evil or torture in it i dont assume the interviewer was black or wanted to make slavery look worse. I assume those events happened because that is what the experiences said happened. Same when they tell of loving relationships with their masters. I also dont think if the interviewer wanted slavery in a positive light means they can make it happen. there are just a few examples of minor editing done [maybe 3] and they dont effect content.it would also be an Appeal to motive.


But i said earlier many reasons why i though the opposite was true, it seems they were looking for dirt against the former masters and slavery more than not. also slaves had no issues sharing the worst of slavery, if you read the narratives i think you will find them as a up close direct reference for the life of a slave.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5712

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 8/30/2017 7:20:58 PM
1stVermont, I struggle to understand your point of view or what exactly you are trying to prove.

Accepting that slavery is morally repugnant, do you also accept that slaves were bought and sold, were beaten by overseers, or were raped?

I will be more direct. Based upon your research, are you convinced that slaves were treated quite well and were content to be in a condition of slavery?

What was the purpose of the slave codes?

George

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5712

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 8/30/2017 7:40:24 PM
From the US Library of Congress, Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1938

[Read More]

[Read More]

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2963

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 8/30/2017 9:39:41 PM

Quote:
1stVermont, I struggle to understand your point of view or what exactly you are trying to prove.

Accepting that slavery is morally repugnant, do you also accept that slaves were bought and sold, were beaten by overseers, or were raped?

I will be more direct. Based upon your research, are you convinced that slaves were treated quite well and were content to be in a condition of slavery?

What was the purpose of the slave codes?

George
--George




George,

I think you make a good point here!

Slavery can not be painted in a positive light,

it's simply wrong!
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 82

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 8/31/2017 7:35:19 PM

Quote:
1stVermont, I struggle to understand your point of view or what exactly you are trying to prove.

Accepting that slavery is morally repugnant, do you also accept that slaves were bought and sold, were beaten by overseers, or were raped?

I will be more direct. Based upon your research, are you convinced that slaves were treated quite well and were content to be in a condition of slavery?

What was the purpose of the slave codes?

George
--George




Nothing is used in modern politics more than slavery to divide and conquer “we the people” to set us up against each other. I think a historical understanding can unite us and see how even in bad conditions, loving relationships were had and we share a common history that does not need to cause division today. As a Christian I do not think slavery is a good or wanted practice. I also see the South as moving away from many of our founder’s view of slavery. For example, on March, 21 1861 Confederate Vice President Alexander Stevens said:

“The prevailing ideas entertained by him [Thomas Jefferson] and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature – that it was wrong in principle – socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent [temporary] and pass away.”

I see slavery as inconsistent with the beliefs and values of many of the freedom and liberty loving founders of the republic of this nation. These founders overwhelmingly wanted to outlaw slavery.


"Slavery is a moral evil in any society...more so to the white than to the black."
-Robert E Lee 1856

I am saying that slavery as commonly assumed is not the slavery of the majority in the American South. This modern vast evil view of slavery started post ww2. I will defend the South and slavery; not to say slavery was good, but to tell the side of slavery and of the Confederacy that most would otherwise not hear. Telling only part of the history of the south is misleading, and that is what we have a lot of today. Many people picture slavery as a white man with whip in hand, ready to use on any black slave; and slaves working in the field, mistreated and abused. While it is true that horrible things happened during slavery and in the Confederacy, these were the exception, not the rule. I am also making the assumption that you all know the terrible things that did occur during slavery, such as rape, murder, mistreatment, etc. These offenses can happen whenever one sinful human being [we all are sinful] has power over another [Just look at the totalitarian governments of last century]. My hope here is to fill in the historical facts you may be missing, to give a bigger and more accurate picture of slavery in the south.





the other questions are addressed in my op. I think if you read it [i know its long] you would have better understanding of my position. Yes terrible things happened, not as much as often assumed. terrible things happen within a family unit in america, that does not make the family evil [not saying slavery is not evil] It is impossible to say how slavery was, since it varied so much. I will say slavery is portrayed falsely and in a much more negative light than was historically. see

Break-up of the African family? Slave trade within the South
Laws designed to protect slaves, slave rights, slave punishment, and corporal punishment [whipping]
Master/Slave Relationship


by slave cods do you mean "Slave codes were a set of laws that allowed a slave's master to retrieve their slave from free states without their permission." wikipedia.

I would say the purpose if for slave owners to retrieve their property after than ran away since it is their property. Seems simple. I think you really asking if slavery was so great [i never said it was] why did slaves run away. For that Please see under

The Dog and the Wolf
http://www.bartleby.com/17/1/28.html
-Runaway slaves?
-After the slaves were released, many slaves preferred slavery / Race relations worsen after slaves were freed
and


---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 82

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 8/31/2017 7:36:20 PM

Quote:
From the US Library of Congress, Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1938

[Read More]

[Read More]
--George


not sure what you are trying to show here, this is my first source listed. These are the interviews with former slaves.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 82

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 9/21/2017 1:44:46 PM
I just finished reading a great book on slavery by Nehemiah Adams who was a pastor in Massachusetts, Harvard graduate, and an abolitionist who fought against the expansion of slavery. He called himself a “lover and freind of the colored race” after traveling through the south for other reasons, he decided to write a book on slavery called Nehemiah Adams a South Side View of Slavery 1854 due to his surprises of what slavery was like compared to what northerners were told and thought it was like. Its a great book that contrast the modern Uncle Toms Cabin understating of slavery [the understanding of Adams in Massachusetts in 1854] with that of observation and how it changed his views though he still wanted slavery abolished. The book is based on his first hand accounts and observations of slavery. He records both what he sees as positives and “revolting” features of slavery he observed. Overall the books certainly fits into my op well. He contrast southern slaves with northern poor and immigrant as being much better off. He says they were generally well treated, happy and taken care of.

A few quotes from his observations


“One thing imdetley surprised me, they were all in good humor”

“I began to laugh with them. It was irresistible. Who could have convinced me, an hour before that slaves could have any other effect upon me than to make me feel sad”

“They could not be slaves. Are they slaves?”

“it conflicted with my notions of slavery”

“Not a word had been said to me about slavery, my eyes taught me that some practical things in the system are wholly different from my anticipations.”

“the slaves, so far as I had seen, were unconscious of any feelings of restraint”

“If the colored people of Savannah Columbia and Richmond are not, as a whole, a happy people, I have never seen any”

“It was a pleasant paradox to find that where the colored people are not free, they have in many ways the most liberty”

“the labor...is no more than is performed by a hired field hand at the north”

“Good and kind treatment of the slaves is the common law”

“In very many places at the south, a larger proportion of the slaves than of the whites has given evidence of being the children of God”


“Four-fifths of the people of his state, one of the oldest slave states, would be entirely free from it [slavery] were it possible”

of uncle toms cabin he said

“it gives a northerner false conceptions of the actual state of things at the south”
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5712

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 9/21/2017 2:12:57 PM
A whole lot of rationalization 1stVermont. Odd that there are no quotes from Adams that the happy slaves that he witnessed were chattels just like a wagon or a team of horses.

Have you read the Sugar Barons which is a revealing account of the treatment of slaves in the sugar islands that the Brits owned?

Cheers,

George

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 82

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 9/21/2017 2:36:13 PM

Quote:
A whole lot of rationalization 1stVermont. Odd that there are no quotes from Adams that the happy slaves that he witnessed were chattels just like a wagon or a team of horses.

Have you read the Sugar Barons which is a revealing account of the treatment of slaves in the sugar islands that the Brits owned?

Cheers,

George
--George



Thanks for the post. Adams does in fact mention how they are owned in the same was as a chair, and that in fact some masters hold this view. But he also says they are a small minority and looked down upon by southern society and many seek ways to prevent them from acquiring new slaves. He also points out that just because they are "property" does not conclude the human owner views his human slave as a chair. How many take their chairs to church each week? feed them? take car of them? help them etc I would also point out how many chairs have legal protection for them?


I have not read the book, I have read other accounts of slavery in central/south america as very harsh compared with american slavery. But not really my interest.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 82

Re: Look Away!!! Politically Incorrect Thread on Slavery
Posted on: 9/21/2017 2:44:17 PM

Quote:
Two media features come to my mind which bear on this discussion:

On the big screen that superb production TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE ,directed by a black British man....I think the depiction is nuanced, with allusion to some of the things that 1stvermont has cited.



from my op


“During my residence with master ford I had seen only the bright side of slavery, His was no heavy hand crushing us to the earth. He pointed upwards, and with benign and cheering words addressed us as fellow mortals, accountable, like himself, to the maker of us all. I think of him with affection, and had my family been with me, could have borne his gentile servitude without murmuring , all my days...there never was a more kind,noble,candid, christian man than William ford”
-Solomon Northup, Louisiana servant of master Ford
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

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