Saturday, May 10, 2014


Chapter 1.The White Man and the Negro as Master and Slave  Continued

Another phase of the slavery question presents itself. As the Negro represented property, the owner was careful to provide for him, in most instances, proper food, clothing and medical attention. To strike certain Negroes would endanger the safety of your life, white man though you might be. The slave's master would protect him against attacks from the white race. Many a fight has taken place between white men of the South in defense of the Negro. The Negro could do anything; however flagrant a violation of the law it might be a sound “flogging” was the extent of the punishment (with only few exceptions). As a slave, he was often promoted to a position of first rank among slaves, his duty being to “eavesdrop” and "Negro-drive."

The white children were raised up on the most familiar terms with the black children, the only difference being that from the time the little colored child could talk it was instructed to regard the young white child as “young master" or "young missis," and that its first duty was to render complete obedience. Often, this "young master" or "young missis" would be found slipping "dainties" from the table for his or her favorite "darkey".  This relation was increased, and an affinity between the two races, which is still present, was the result. The old colored woman was seen often, with the children around her, telling about "brer fox", "brer rabbit" and the "Jack-o-lantern." The old colored man can be seen making blow guns, bird traps and telling ghost stories, all to amuse these young white children. Witness the nursing of these white children by "black mammies" and "black daddies," and you can readily understand why they genuinely love each other.

Listen at the plaintive ditties, and at times light-hearted melodies, and you will find even the hair on your head in sympathy with their natural "airs." While all this is taking place, and life to all appearances to both seems worth living, "free labor" and "slave labor" engage each other in debate; the argument becomes heated; they clutch each the other, and lookers
on can see that it is a fight to the death. After four years of the hardest and most cruel fighting known to mankind, "free labor" whips and declares that, "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Then came the change, "young master" and "young missis" of the day before could see from the general stir and excitement that something extraordinary had taken place. Those humble and obedient young Negroes had all at once become entirely metamorphosed. When called they did not answer as respectfully as theretofore nor did they move as quickly. The only ones who appeared the same, although looking exceedingly well pleased and
happy about something, were the old people, "daddy" and "mammy". God bless them! They were in a quandary; they hardly knew what to do. "Massa Linkum done gone and sot us free, and now we must go and leave de ole plantation. What's gwine become of ole massa
and ole missis" ? A few, here and there, are still on the old plantation trying to determine what they shall do. Poor creatures, they will die there, and their graves will be somewhere on that old plantation and among those who shed a real, earnest tear will be found a white face. It is this kind of pure love which I confidently believe will keep the "ship of State," on which rides both races, safe, until the harbor is reached, the vessel is anchored, the life boat is lowered and all are safely landed.

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