Slavery in Jerry’s World

You just won’t believe it

Slavery, I have read so many stories, some very warm and uplifting regarding the family dynamics of slaves and the white family members, the friendships, the black slave boy and the white boy in their many adventures in the countryside, fishing, and other boyhood acts. The girls becoming friends, and the friendships through the years as the white girls married and came back for generations in friendship and interactions with the black slave family.

Wait, there’s more …

Now, Hollywood will produce a movie and show the whips and chains, BUT THIS WAS THE EXCEPTION NOT THE RULE. A beat up broken down slave was of no use to anyone, it made no sense to do these things, and slaves in Virginia from the Colonial days until emancipation were second class family members to be sure, lived and ate separate most of the time, but in private, they on may occasions had a real close slave – slave owner relationship as friends, and shared with each other, but did not want everyone to know as they would be ridiculed by neighbors and friends for doing such, but it did go on.

And so it goes.


27 thoughts on “Slavery in Jerry’s World

  1. seanmunger September 2, 2014 / 5:03 am

    Wow. Just…wow. Part of me is incredulous that somebody actually thinks this way, but the rational part of me knows that there are people who do. Would this guy volunteer his children (much less himself) to be sold into slavery? Incredible.

  2. Jimmy Dick September 2, 2014 / 8:41 am

    Isn’t is always marvelous how people that have never been slaves can think that slavery was a benign situation or a positive for the enslaved people?

  3. neukomment September 2, 2014 / 9:33 am

    Yup……. No wonder so many slaves hopped on the Underground Railroad, and why so many of them took opportunity during The War to Suppress the Rebellion to go to Union lines and live the happy life of a contraband… Of course Massa’s white son could go off to college or whatever while his friend, Massa’s black son, toiled away in the cotton fields… Yup….

  4. Al Mackey September 2, 2014 / 10:26 am

    Au contraire, mon ami! If it’s a moronic statement, I first believe it came from Dumbford.

    “I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly, those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally,” [Abraham Lincoln, March 17, 1865]

    • Ira Berkowitz September 2, 2014 / 2:33 pm

      And Mr. Lincoln pretty much summed it up.

  5. John Foskett September 2, 2014 / 10:53 am

    Well, he does make a valid point. “A beat up broken down [horse] [cow] [slave] was of no use to anyone”.

    • msb September 3, 2014 / 12:02 am

      Yet violence was essential to the working of the system and slave life expectancy was much shorter than that of the free population, and infant mortality was much higher.

    • Al Mackey September 3, 2014 / 5:24 am

      Except as an example to the other slaves.

      • John Foskett September 4, 2014 / 10:49 am

        Of course, that’s true of other horses and other cattle, too. Well, horses anyway. Bovines are pretty stupid. 🙂

  6. Sandi Saunders September 2, 2014 / 10:58 am

    Will it ever end? As far back as 1776 this issue was being argued and slaves were offered freedom to fight for The Crown and enlisted by the Continental Army. Slavery apologists are just beyond the pale. If you cannot admit the inherent evil of slavery, you have nothing credible to offer.

  7. OhioGuy September 2, 2014 / 11:05 am

    This is what one would call “selective generational memory.” It’s a term that I just made up, but I think it describes accurately what is going on here. That there were kind slave owners who interacted with slaves as he describes is well documented. What Jerry does is to buy into the Lost Cause lie that this was the warp and woof of American slavery. It was not. In fact, it has been noted by at least one historian that in some ways American slavery was the worst form of slavery that ever existed. This is because in most other societies that practiced slavery there were laws that protected slaves. There were limits placed on what a master could do to punish a slave, and what he could expect of the slave in terms of work and production. This was not true in the USA. The infamous words of Judge Taney in the Dred Scott case sum it up well: “[The Negro] had no rights which the white man was bound to respect . . .” This means that whippings, beatings, chains, separating families, selling “uppity” slaves “down the river,” etc., were all accepted practices in the antebellum South. That, I submit, is the essence of American slavery not the romanticized version that Confederate apologists would like us to believe.

  8. Rosemary September 2, 2014 / 2:20 pm

    Diversity may be up there with communication and education as ways to save the world.
    Here is a link to a talk that helps make up for the dark-hearted haters who depress us:
    “Edward Ayers: Monuments and Memorials: The South in American History”

    • OhioGuy September 2, 2014 / 3:40 pm

      Excellent video. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Sandi Saunders September 2, 2014 / 4:31 pm

      “Diversity may be up there with communication and education as ways to save the world.” Agreed times 100!

  9. Goad Gatsby September 2, 2014 / 5:41 pm

    I wonder why Jerry got left out of last Saturday’s photos with the Flaggers?

  10. T F Smith September 2, 2014 / 6:10 pm

    You know, if you just replaced “slave” with “horse” or “hound” in Jerry’s little memoir, you totally understand where he’s coming from…

    Please tell me Jerry does not have children.

    Or pets.

  11. The other Susan September 3, 2014 / 1:11 am

    “So great was the black enthusiasm for the war that during the final stages in mid-1865, there were more black men in the uniforms of the United States armed forces than there were white men in the entire Confederate Army.”

    Anyone know if this statement is true?

    • Buck Buchanan September 3, 2014 / 8:27 am

      Per the archives, 174,223 men of the Confederate forces surrendered to the Union Army. This is the actual number of men under arms who were present to surrender to US forces and were formally paroled. The figure does not count the number of soldiers NOT present for duty (in hospital, on furlough, deserted or in Federal prisoner of war camps). The accepted figure for USCT is 178,895. Again, that figure does not take into account exceptions as a mentioned above for the Confederate Army. Nor does it count blacks serving in the US Navy, etc.

      While 178,895 > 174,223, the Confederate number has much more to do with the effectiveness of Sam Grant’s and Cump Sherman’s armies at grinding it down than to the great dedication of the USCT and turning out in greater numbers to defeat the Confederacy.

    • Andy Hall September 3, 2014 / 8:39 am

      If “mid-1865” means June, that’s undoubtedly true. 😉

      It all depends on the specific date intended, of course, since Confederate forces were shrinking rapidly in 1865, while USCTs and African American sailors were in service at relatively stable numbers. But it’s a “truthy”statement that reflects a worthwhile point that large numbers of black troops volunteered for military service in the Union army, and constituted a significant part of the whole.

      • TF Smith September 3, 2014 / 2:25 pm

        Along with the differential between the men of (obvious) African ancestry in the AUS and USN, it is probably also worth making the point that by1865, there were undoubtedly more men (black and white) of southern birth in the US forces than there were men in the rebel forces, period.

    • The other Susan September 3, 2014 / 1:44 pm

      Thanks for the great responses everyone! Those numbers show an awful lot of “Southern heritage” that is being overlooked by our heritage friends. The instances of “loyal slaves” that may have held a gun for the South are so few that we know them all by name. Meanwhile the stories of thousands who fought for the Union go untold.

  12. RE Watson September 3, 2014 / 9:16 am

    My, my…… Is there a possibility of a Connie/Jerry wedding in the future ?

    • John Foskett September 4, 2014 / 10:56 am

      She’s got two endless entries over there helping Dumbford out, so who knows.

  13. hankc9174 September 3, 2014 / 6:45 pm

    He has the ‘in private’ they had ‘a real close slave – slave owner relationship’ part correct!

    Many female slaves, especially on larger plantations, were the sexual slaves of the masters and the family males. Miscegenation was real – and was being promulgated by those most vocally objectionable about it.

    Masters would sell their own offspring to keep from being confronted by them in the company of their legal (white) wives.

    Robert E. Lee called slavery a ‘moral evil’, and more so for whites, probably for this reason…

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