The Slave Narratives

The Confederate Digest blog has an excellent book review of the Georgia Slave Narratives – a collection of the recollections of former slaves, in their own words. Reading the words of those who were truly in a position to know – the actual slaves – rather than what the political correctness crowd wants people to believe, is a real education. Here are a few snips from the article:

In the 43 interviews there are at least 21 references by the former slaves to how good they were treated by their masters. By contrast, only 5 former slaves said they were treated poorly, and three of those said that although their master was mean, their mistress was kind to them. One said her master was cruel, but he still took good care of the physical needs of his slaves.

This review would be much too long if I detailed all the former slaves who fondly recalled how they were well fed, well clothed and were given the best health care available at that time. Some talked of being allowed to make money on the side during their free time. One made enough money to purchase his own freedom. Others said their masters gave them spending money. Many talked of having time off from work on the weekends, holidays, and for special occasions.

Of the dozen or more interviewees who mentioned encountering invading Northern soldiers, not one of them had a kind word to say. Instead, they told of the Yankees looting, slaughtering livestock, burning houses, and destroying goods and provisions which they could not steal. One slave, Della, said the first white person to ever slap her in the face was a Yankee solider. A black man told of being captured and imprisoned by the Union soldiers for three months although he was not a Confederate soldier and was not charged with any crime.

Three black Confederate soldiers do appear in the interviews. Two of the men interviewed said they fought with the Confederate army, one for six months and the other for four years. A female slave said that after the War she married a black Confederate veteran.

Perhaps the most amazing quotes in the Slave Narratives from Georgia are those from a full dozen former slaves who spoke nostalgically about the days before freedom, each saying they were much better off then. Jasper Battle, an old ex-slave in his 80s, put it this way, “Oh Missy, dem was good old days. Us would be lucky to have ‘em back again, ‘specially when harvest time comes ‘round. You could hear Niggers a-singin’ in de fields ‘cause dey didn’t have no worries lak day got now….”

Be sure to read the whole article. While you’re at it, I would recommend subscribing to the Confederate Digest blog. It should be on everyone’s daily reading list.

About Stephen Clay McGehee

Born-Again Christian, Grandfather, husband, business owner, Southerner, aspiring Southern Gentleman. Publisher of The Confederate Colonel and The Southern Agrarian blogs. President/Owner of Adjutant Workshop, Inc., Vice President - Gather The Fragments Bible Mission, Inc. (Sierra Leone, West Africa), Webmaster - Military Order of The Stars and Bars, Kentucky Colonel.
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2 Responses to The Slave Narratives

  1. FinishTheGame says:

    Someone I respect once told me, and I agree “the end of the war did not End slavery it was the beginning of slavery, for whites, blacks, and all americans”.

  2. John Barleycorn says:

    These seem eerily similar to the also suppressed firsthand accounts of post-apartheid South African Blacks. See the unredacted version of “Birth of a Nation”, with original subtitles. The true student of history will recognize the all too familiar pattern of subversion and terrorism used by the usual suspects in the American Civil War.

    Odd how these “civil wars”: English, American, Spanish, and the more recent ones, always have the same international international vermin creating and capitalizing from them?

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