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BS: Historic tour slave issue

GUEST,Fred Miller 14 Nov 02 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Guest 14 Nov 02 - 05:19 PM
Mick Lowe 14 Nov 02 - 05:29 PM
Kim C 14 Nov 02 - 06:14 PM
Hollowfox 14 Nov 02 - 06:32 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Nov 02 - 06:41 PM
Greg F. 14 Nov 02 - 07:12 PM
DougR 14 Nov 02 - 10:28 PM
Greg F. 14 Nov 02 - 11:05 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Nov 02 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,Guest 14 Nov 02 - 11:25 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Nov 02 - 11:43 PM
mack/misophist 15 Nov 02 - 12:02 AM
Banjer 15 Nov 02 - 06:13 AM
Rapparee 15 Nov 02 - 06:26 AM
Pied Piper 15 Nov 02 - 06:42 AM
Rapparee 15 Nov 02 - 06:57 AM
Pied Piper 15 Nov 02 - 07:07 AM
Greg F. 15 Nov 02 - 08:00 AM
Greg F. 15 Nov 02 - 08:05 AM
PeteBoom 15 Nov 02 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 15 Nov 02 - 10:15 AM
Greg F. 15 Nov 02 - 10:32 AM
Jim Dixon 15 Nov 02 - 10:36 AM
PeteBoom 15 Nov 02 - 10:52 AM
Greg F. 15 Nov 02 - 10:57 AM
mack/misophist 15 Nov 02 - 11:10 AM
Kim C 15 Nov 02 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Q 15 Nov 02 - 01:52 PM
greg stephens 15 Nov 02 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,Q 15 Nov 02 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Q 15 Nov 02 - 03:01 PM
greg stephens 15 Nov 02 - 03:05 PM
Greg F. 15 Nov 02 - 03:08 PM
Greg F. 15 Nov 02 - 03:32 PM
greg stephens 15 Nov 02 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,Guest 15 Nov 02 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Fred Miller 15 Nov 02 - 05:15 PM
Kim C 15 Nov 02 - 05:21 PM
Kim C 15 Nov 02 - 05:31 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Nov 02 - 08:56 PM
Greg F. 15 Nov 02 - 10:07 PM
Greg F. 16 Nov 02 - 08:38 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 16 Nov 02 - 09:01 AM
GUEST 17 Nov 02 - 12:36 AM
Greg F. 17 Nov 02 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,adavis@truman.edu 17 Nov 02 - 12:48 PM
Greg F. 17 Nov 02 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,adavis@truman.edu 17 Nov 02 - 07:38 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Nov 02 - 09:05 PM
Greg F. 17 Nov 02 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,adavis@truman.edu 17 Nov 02 - 11:30 PM
toadfrog 17 Nov 02 - 11:35 PM
Kim C 18 Nov 02 - 10:09 AM
Greg F. 18 Nov 02 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,Guest 18 Nov 02 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,Q 18 Nov 02 - 09:22 PM
GUEST,Greg F. 19 Nov 02 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 19 Nov 02 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Greg F 19 Nov 02 - 12:57 PM
DougR 19 Nov 02 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,Fred Miller 20 Nov 02 - 10:27 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Nov 02 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,truckerdave 20 Nov 02 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,Casual Observer 20 Nov 02 - 11:54 AM
DougR 20 Nov 02 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Q 20 Nov 02 - 02:06 PM
Greg F. 20 Nov 02 - 04:27 PM
Bardford 20 Nov 02 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,Casual Observer 20 Nov 02 - 07:15 PM
Greg F. 20 Nov 02 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,truckerdave 21 Nov 02 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,truckerdave 21 Nov 02 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 21 Nov 02 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Casual Observer 21 Nov 02 - 10:47 AM
Kim C 21 Nov 02 - 11:49 AM
DougR 21 Nov 02 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Q 21 Nov 02 - 03:09 PM
Greg F. 21 Nov 02 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Fred Miller 22 Nov 02 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Casual Observer 22 Nov 02 - 11:26 AM
DougR 22 Nov 02 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 22 Nov 02 - 03:02 PM
DougR 22 Nov 02 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Guest 22 Nov 02 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Fred Miller 22 Nov 02 - 08:00 PM
Greg F. 22 Nov 02 - 11:43 PM
Greg F. 23 Nov 02 - 12:53 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 23 Nov 02 - 09:20 AM
GUEST 23 Nov 02 - 04:16 PM
Greg F. 23 Nov 02 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Fred Miller 23 Nov 02 - 10:27 PM
Bobert 23 Nov 02 - 10:48 PM
GUEST 23 Nov 02 - 11:35 PM
Bobert 23 Nov 02 - 11:41 PM
DougR 24 Nov 02 - 12:12 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 24 Nov 02 - 01:27 AM
GUEST,adavis@truman.edu 24 Nov 02 - 01:44 AM
GUEST,Happy Slave 24 Nov 02 - 02:12 AM
wysiwyg 24 Nov 02 - 09:15 AM
Greg F. 24 Nov 02 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 24 Nov 02 - 11:24 AM

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Subject: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 05:05 PM

A friend of mine directs a historic home near Louisville, and I went with my daughter's class on a field trip there. A volunteer who was our guide kept saying how well the family had treated their slaves, and that many of the slaves chose not to leave when they were freed. It made me uncomfortable. Should I say something about it? What do you think?


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 05:19 PM

Why did it make you uncomfortable? The slaves couldn't eat without land to produce food, and the land owners needed labor. Cooperation was necesary to survive. Like many blanket statements, the guide's were partly true and partly false.
Some slave owners were ogres but others knew that well-treated, healthy help produced more. By cooperation between land owners and their former slaves, food and cash crops were produced.
I am not extolling the system, but the post Civil War turmoil and upheaval, which both former slaves and masters had to deal with, is seldom considered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 05:29 PM

Hi Fred

Not being an authorative on either American history nor slavery (thankfully I've never been there), but I can understand that in some extreme curmcanstances some poor souls being adbducted from their native Africa and transported to the US to work on the cotton or tobacco plantations might under a more tollerant "owner" have found life better from whence they came and therefore prefered to remain in the "service" of those who deemed to own them.. again you have to consider what alternatives were open to the newly freed slaves.. where would they go and what would they do?... so inspite of any laws proclaiming emanicipation they would have little alternative but to remain with what they knew and uderstood. I'm not condoning slavery in any shape or form here.. just that history likes things in black and white whereas the truth tends to have mosre shades of grey#




Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Kim C
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 06:14 PM

Ditto all of the above. Some slave owners were eager to protect their "investment" and treated their charges well. Since I don't know the site, I can't comment; if you want, you might ask for documentation. Sometimes there are letters and journals to support what the guides say.

There are many accounts of slaves who stayed on after emancipation. If they had been treated well, it was probably a wise choice, and certainly preferable to venturing to an unknown place, where you didn't know how you might be treated. Let us not confuse abolition with equal rights - even abolitionists did not believe that blacks were equal and should be treated as such.

Uncle Albert, who once belonged to Andrew Jackson, long outlived his former master, and chose to stay at the Hermitage. He is buried in the garden there. Also, at the Belle Meade Plantation, there was a groom (who had been a slave), who stayed there, because he loved horses, and was damn good at his job. He was so good at picking horses, they just gave him the money and said, here, go to market and pick out whatever you want. He was The Head Groom and had a position of respect and authority.

So... in answer to your question.... perhaps ask them what they have to support their statements. They should be willing to tell you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Hollowfox
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 06:32 PM

Well, Fred, I'd first examine what made you uncomfortable about the presentation, and then I'd tell the folks in charge of the tours. They want to educate, not make you uncomfortable, (and probably not sugar-coat the place's history. At least I hope not). Any feedback they get from tour takers gives them a chance to improve their program.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 06:41 PM

Unless they have good historic documentation to substantiate the claim, they shouldn't make it. I wouldn't necessarily consider it proof of good treatment, just because they stayed on. Considering the dangerous and hostile world they would be stepping out into, it would take some courage to leave.


Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 07:12 PM

Oh Jesus, not that "Happy Darkies" crap again. Spare us.

Try reading Eric Foner's "Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution", New York, Harper and Row, 1988 instead of watching reruns of 'Birth of a Nation' and 'Gone With The Wind'- get some facts under your belt & THEN continue this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: DougR
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 10:28 PM

It was a different time, and thank God things have changed for the better. To assume, though, that all slave owners were tyrants and mistreated their slaves is stetching things a bit, though, IMO. It was not to the advantage of the owner to mistreat his slaves. It made no economic sense.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 11:05 PM

Racist Apologist Bullshit, or simply complete ignorance, which is more insidious...

. When you've finished the Foner book, read Ira Berlin's "Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America" Harvard University Press 1998. Then have a look at Chapter 5 of James W. Loewen's "Lies My Teacher Told Me" Simon & Schuster 1995. Then you might have a few facts on hand.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 11:09 PM

If business owners operated on the premise that it's good business to take care of your workers and keep them happy, the corporate world wouldn't even faintly resemble what it is today. People who focus on the bottom line are notoriously near-sighted.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 11:25 PM

The so-called reconstruction period is remembered as a time of carpet-bagging thieves, from both the North and South, plundering the people of the South, re-enslaving the Blacks and the poor Whites in a different way and interfering with the rebuilding necessary for diversified economic growth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 11:43 PM

Go stand in the dungeons of the slave "castles" in Ghana with one 1'x2' window thirty feet up in the air, where the feces and urine were flushed out when they got to be two or three feet deep, look at the way the slaves were stacked in the ships like firewood, read what percentage died on the way, consider that they were separated from their families, and if they lived to make the crossing, were sold like mules, women were raped and slave owners had the right to kill their slaves without explanation and then tell me that some of them were better off than they were living with their families in freedom in Africa. And then you can sell me the Brooklyn Bridge.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: mack/misophist
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 12:02 AM

Every evil thing that can be said about slavery in the United States is true. And yet not the whole truth. As a boy I knew black people who still worked for the families that had owned their grandparents. There are two reasons why. To go someplace better, there has to be someplace better to go. The other reason is that, once they were being paid, they saw no reason to leave. Besides, there wasn't any place that wanted them.

One thing that's always puzzeled me is the thousands of black men who voplunteered to serve in the Southern army.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Banjer
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 06:13 AM

One thing that's always puzzeled me is the thousands of black men who voplunteered to serve in the Southern army.


A lot of them were freedmen and were fighting to suuport the original cause of the war, that of states rights to govern themselves. A very small percentage of plantaion owners were slaveholders and slavery itself did not become an issue until 1863 when mister Lincoln wanted another 300,000 conscripts and the people of the North balked.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 06:26 AM

As far as I know, EVERY European nation made money from traffic in slaves. Literal fortunes were made from this immorality. But let's not forget, either, that it was Africans who sold the slaves to the slave factors, and yes, I know that often the sellers were "hooked" to the white man's rum/merchandise/whatever.

Change that first sentence; take out the word "European."

It's always puzzled me that the Southerners in the US always seem to refer to the slaves as "servants."


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Pied Piper
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 06:42 AM

As I understand it when slavery was abolished in America "sharecropping"(a form of economic slavery) was introduced, so it's hardly surprising that many former slaves could not leave.
When was sharecropping abolished?
   It's an unpleasant fact that the slave trade made a lot of money for the merchant class in Britain. Just down the road from me is Liverpool, which has an impressive town centre full of huge neoclassical buildings funded by the slave trade.
   The majority of British people (the workers) at the time were also effectively economic slaves.

All the best PP


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 06:57 AM

Sharecropping still exists; sharecroppers can actually be of any race, both historically and in the present. Nor was or is it confined to the American South.

Many former slaves DID leave; those that stayed often (but not always) became sharecroppers. Others left when they could, esp. during the 1920s.

Recently the Dept. of Agriculture was forced to make actual monetary payments to black farmers, reimbursing the farmers for failing to back loans, etc. as was done for white farmers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Pied Piper
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 07:07 AM

Thanks for the info Rapaire
I'm staggered that it has not been made illegal.
All the best PP


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 08:00 AM

A lot of them ... were fighting to support the original cause of the war, that of states rights...



Utter Nonsense. The old 'states-rights-cause-of-the-war shibboleth again.

The primary "right" they were concerned about was

the right of property in human beings; they made no

bones about it at the time, however much slavery apologists

may try to obscure the facts a hundred and fifty years on.

PLEASE do a little research before making these preposterous claims.


Read sone primary materials: Jefferson Davis' or Alexander Stevens'

or any of the other seccessionist/Confederate politicians'speeches

and official correspondance; they're on the web- try using a search
engine. I make you a gift of the following as a starting point:





From: Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce

and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the

Federal Union. Adopted December 24, 1860





"...The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to

free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right

to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths

of their slaves; [ they were also 'burdened' by political representation

in Congress apportioned on the basis of this same three-fifths of the

slave population, giving the Southern states a decided political
advantage] by authorizing the importation of slaves for

twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives

from labor.



We affirm that these ends for which this Government was

instituted have been defeated,and the Government itself has

been made destructive of them by the action of the

non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the

right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions;

['domestic institutions'=slavery]and have denied the rights of property

[in slaves] established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the

Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of

slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of

societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to
eloign the property [i.e., slaves]of the citizens of other States.

They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves

to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited

by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection..."




FULL TEXT HERE


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 08:05 AM

Apoligies- must still be asleep. dunno what happened with the line spacing, and the corrected link follows:


FULL TEXT HERE


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: PeteBoom
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 09:51 AM

And yet by the time of the American Civil War, importation of African slaves had stopped, had it not? Monroe's idea of establishing an African nation where African slaves could be returned to Africa after gaining their manumission papers resulted in Liberia (and its capital Monrovia). Once they system was in place were there any real options or ways of removing it given that the system was based upon a direct servitude organization - that is - the owners generally living on the same estates as the slave - and not miles away.

There are significant differences in the slave experience between Haiti (French) the West Indies (British) and the US. Haiti saw massive (and bloody) upheavals more than once before slavery was abolished there - mostly during the "enlightenment" period and up through the Fr. Revolution, through early Napoleonic times. Jamaica had more than one slave rebellion as well, typically put down with "efficiency". The difference between these two, and the US, was that when Britain outlawed slavery and actively discouraged the slave trade, the estates changed their proceedures, the military enforced the rule of law (This includes several accounts I've read of explaining to the ex-slaves that not only were they no longer slaves, they were subjects of the Crown and entitled to all the protections that meant, and enforcing it with the threat of the bayonet at the worst, or arrest and imprisonment at the least.)

Now then, there were several Americans who disliked the notion of slavery, even through their postion depended upon it. Madison's father-in-law (Dolly's father) bankrupted himself after freeing his slaves, then found he could not run his estates anymore without them. This gave the example to Madison that a gentle hand was better than no hand at all - that is, his policy was to not brutalize slaves, nor to sell off slaves, particularly if they had a family. If he bought one slave, he would buy their entire family. He made a point of educating them, and when possible, freed them after they had been educated or were otherwise able to establish themselves in a trade. Not ideal by today's standards, yet at the time, about the best one could hope for.

Likewise Robert Lee refused to sell the slaves inherited from his father-in-law's estate, even though it was deeply in debt. Instead, he made it his policy to train those that showed promise in specific employable trades, then freed them and their families and helped to get them established. He accepted grueling, and thankless, postings in order to get the higher pay from being in the field than he would have from half-pay while at home, or positions without the field-pay. Doing so, he managed to pay off the massive debts incurred by his wife's family - saving their honor, and his own. While he was not sure of the equality of the Black man, a common view of most educated whites in the US (and most of the world for that matter), he was concerned that freeing them would lead them to the decadence of large cities (New York, Philadelphia, Boston) where they would compete on un-equal footings for the lowest positions there were. Again, by today's Western standards, it was a terrible thing to do - enslave someone, for the time, he was lambasted as foolish for not selling off the "property" that would have had him out of debt easily, instead of strugling to be debt free by 1860.

At the same time, it WAS a different world. Was slavery worse than transportation to Australia for seven years hard labour for stealing to feed your family? Don't know.

One final thing, then I'll end this rant. Slavery, literal and figurative, exists today in more than one place in the world. It has existed in the literal sense throughout recorded history. The last 200 years (roughly) of attempts to eliminate slavery, or at least limit it, has been a blip in the last 4,000 years. Doesn't make it right - its just an "is" thing.

Now I expect I'll be lambasted by folks who don't like what I had to say, no matter how true it was. Kind of like I was in the first of the terrorism threads last September. Somethings just work in specific ways, no matter how much we don't like it.

Oh, Madison's and Lee's records and accounts are available for research - not just their memoirs. Their journals and papers from the time are far more illuminating than their later writings looking back. I've always found them fascinating - probably the most from their respective eras.

Have a day - Pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 10:15 AM

Well, I suppose what made me uncomfortable was the mm--I don't know, the bringing it up. Not that I think they need to demonize the particular family, but, how good can one be to one's slave? I guess if a family owned slaves, if it was a practice that was bigger than the choice the family would've otherwise wanted to make, it's fine that they perhaps didn't tend to heap cruelties onto it, but it doesn't quite enoble anyone if they didn't. Many slaves staying--it was said in a spirit of demonstrating something about the "owners" rather than about the way things were. It seems to want to stretch beyond what we can possibly really know about the family, historically, and is a crude generalization however true it may be.

I guess it was the sentiment of it that bothered me--I'd prefer they stuck to mere information, admittedly incomplete information, and didn't try to make a case about things.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 10:32 AM

Was slavery worse than transportation to Australia for
seven years hard labour ...?


If you can pose this question then you've surely proven the case for
total ignorance of the facts.

Madison['s] policy was to not brutalize slaves, nor to sell
off slaves, particularly if they had a family.


Completely clueless. The condition of slavery BY DEFINITION
brutalizes the slave..

Pick up a few books.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 10:36 AM

A lot of former slaves did remain on the plantations, or in the vicinity, and became hired laborers or sharecroppers. That's why there are so many blacks in the South today. That doesn't mean they did it out of loyalty to, or affection for, their former masters, which is what a lot of southern white folklore (or propaganda) would have you believe.

A lot depends on how the facts are presented.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: PeteBoom
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 10:52 AM

"total ignorance of the facts" WHOSE set of facts, Greg?

"Pick up a few books....." I have. Several. Many of them contradictory in evidence and conclusions. Your rant reminds me of a Uni student who has had one course from a single professor and has latched onto that as the answer. Oh, and Foner's book is one of the ones my shelf, I read it 10 years or so ago.

"The condition of slavery BY DEFINITION brutalizes the slave.." In the American model, generally, in certain instances elsewhere, sometimes, as a general rule.... Well, to quote an expert - "Pick up a few books....."


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 10:57 AM

Foner's book is one of the ones my shelf, I read it 10 years or so ago.

Apparently it would be productive for you to read it again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: mack/misophist
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 11:10 AM

What PeteBoom just said bears expansion. The American model of slavery may, in practice, have been the most abusive of all time. Even among the Aztecs, a slave could buy his freedom, for example.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 12:04 PM

It was my understanding that slaves in America could buy their freedom too, depending on who their master was.

Most abusive.... well, I don't know. I don't recall that anyone in America chained their slaves together and put them in a coliseum to fight off lions...

My understanding of the facts is that some people were good, and some people were not. So I don't think it's correct to say "all slaves were happy" or "all slaves were not happy." I have read a few personal accounts that seemed to indicate that at least a few people held their slaves in rather high regard.

Tee Edmonds, who lived at Belle Grove in Paris, VA, wrote about the day Aunt Letty left to go live with her son at another plantation. The Edmonds family had come on financial troubles because of the Civil War, and had to sell some of their slaves. Aunt Letty had been around for Tee's entire life, and the day she left, they all wept. Including Aunt Letty.

A couple of years ago, for Black History Month, the Tennessean newspaper ran a story about a former slave who became famous as a horse trainer. He had gone to war as a body servant with his master's sons, who were in the Confederate army. Years after the war, a newspaper reporter asked him why he had gone. He said he went because he loved those boys, and didn't want them to be out there with no one to take care of them.

Mister and I watched a video series called Echoes of Blue and Gray, that's a compendium of old newsreels from the early 1900s. One of them shows a group of elderly black men at a Confederate soldiers reunion. They said they had been to every reunion, and were treated just the same as the other soldiers. Maybe they were just mugging for the camera, I don't know.

Another old black man said that if the white man hadn't brought his people to America they'd still be in Africa living like wild beasts. Those were his words. Again, maybe he was just mugging for the camera.

Anyway.... I think there are true statements for both sides. It is a terrible part of world history, and shouldn't be ignored. It should, however, be presented factually and fairly, with supporting documentation.

One thing that has always bugged me... we're always told that it was illegal for a slave to read or write. But we also know that many of them did. However I have not come across any accounts of anyone actually being prosecuted for teaching a slave to read or write. Has anyone else?


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 01:52 PM

American Memory (LIbrary of Congress) has some 500 "slave narratives" on line. These cover the range in treatment, good to bad. Some interesting reading there. Search "WPA slave narratives" as well. unless one knows the indexing system, always search under more than one heading, items come up in different order.

This thread is going far afield. Conditions at one "home near Louisville." The tour guide may have further information. Larger holdings kept records of slaves and slave transactions; these are being used by descendants of former slaves to assist in their genealogical studies. If the home was just that of a single professional or entrepreneural family, there could be family records preserved.
Treatment varied tremendously depending on the situation. Some slaves (admittedly not many) had positions like that of overseers or head of services, trusted to handle money, buy goods and services, transport materials, supervise the field workers, etc. Mostly these were educated.
On the other hand there were the many plantation and field workers. Treatment of these slaves could be very bad, especially since a number of the plantations were "hard-scrabble," that is, the owners were barely able to keep operations going because of poor land and poor prices and huge debts. Other lands were controlled by absentee landlords (some abroad) who were only interested in profits.

This is not meant to whitewash the condition of slavery. Man, being a thinking (for the most part) animal with a desire for independence does not take to servitude. Servitude, especially if forced, is always degrading, no mattter the treatment.

Another subject. Share-cropping is not all bad. One man has land, but no labor. Another can work, but no land. In a good operation, both can make money. Others are degrading. I am in western Canada now. For a while, I owned a small farm and used it as a summer home. For the land, share-crop arrangements were make. A farmer would do all the work- fertilizing, cropping, using his own equipment. He would pay me one-third of the money after costs and keep the rest. All modern share-cropping is on this basis (I have lived in the south). In the depressed post-Civil War period, and again during the great depression, hard-scrabble operations were hard on both participants, but the land owner could gouge his tenants if there was no other alternative for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 02:17 PM

Given that this is Mudcat, can I recommend the autobiography of Solomon Northup, slave and professional fiddler. I'm no historian, so I cant vouch for its total authenticity....but the information about the times, and the details on the music scene in the 19th century, are incredible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 02:56 PM

The complete story by Solomon Northup is on the University of North Carolina Documenting the South Series, on their website: Twelve Years a Slave
Included are accounts from two contempory newspapers.
This website has many interesting documents including music lyric and hymn books, in their entirety, from the Civil War period.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 03:01 PM

Try Twelve Years for his book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 03:05 PM

Thanks for that last bit of info, I couldnt remember any details of the Northup book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 03:08 PM

I second the suggestion to read Northrop's "Twelve Years a Slave", particularly since it is the true story- well documented- of a free New York Black man drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery-leaving his wife and children behind in Saratoga. Such kidnapping was a common practice following the federal Fugitive Slave Act and the Dredd Scott decision. Mr. Northrop was eventually rescued from Louisiana- its a real puzzlement he didn't choose to stay on the plantation, since his second owner was a relatively "kind" master.



Full Text Here


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 03:32 PM

It was my understanding that slaves in America could buy their freedom too, depending on who their master was.
Not so. Most southern states had laws on the books specifically prohibiting manumission with strict penalties. Most toward the end of the antebellum era also prohibited free Blacks from residing within their borders.Them free Darkies set a real bad example for the slave population dontcha know.

Most abusive.... well, I don't know. I don't recall that anyone in America chained their slaves together and put
them in a coliseum to fight off lions...

Right you are- they just chained 'em to a tree & whipped 'em to death, starved them to death and worked them to death. Oh yeah, and lynched 'em by hanging, burning, shooting (not omitting to mutilate their genitals) as a family spectator sport. Much less abusive. Shows how far American civilization had advanced over the Romans in one and a half millenia.
I have not come across any accounts of anyone actually being
prosecuted for teaching a slave to read or write. Has anyone else? Yes. Lots.
Aunt Letty had been around for Tee's entire life, and the day she left, they all
wept. Including Aunt Letty.

Most likely because "Aunt Letty" (the demeaning name given her by her owner- I wonder what her REAL name was?)was leaving behind her entire family and everyone she knew plus all her posssessions (slave's could not legally own property) to go with her new owner. Not because she loved "ole Massa".


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 03:41 PM

I dont know about slaves not being allowed to own property, but Solomon Northop(or however you spell him) was very interesting on the subject of his fiddling work. He says slaves got Sundays off (or at least he did) and could work for money on their own account. That was when he did a lot of his playing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 04:33 PM

If there is anything demeaning about "Aunt Letty" it is beyond me. An older person in families I know are always aunt or uncle. Aunt Letty is, of course, Leticia, which was always Letty. When I visit my wife's relatives, I am introduced to any young'uns as "Unca -------"
Greg F shows the degradation of slavery but such comments as this show that he has little undrstanding of southern culture, Black or White.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 05:15 PM

My original question was fairly limited in scope, but I was interested to know what Catters thought. Thanks for the depth and breadth of these responses.

Still, as a field trip for third graders, I'm thinking it might be wise just to present information, unless a really credible attempt were being made to focus on slavery specifically. That wasn't the case, and I found the slant of these few remarks troubling. Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 05:21 PM

Greg F, can you direct me to sources of documentation for people being prosecuted for teaching slaves to read and write? Out of all the accounts I've read, I haven't come across a single one.

But I have been reading a book of letters by a slave to his former master: Dear Master


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 05:31 PM

John Parker bought his...


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 08:56 PM

My gospel quartet did a program on spirituals and black gospel for a group of kindergarten to third grade girls in a wealthy private school. I thought it would be impossible to try to give any sense of what it might be to be a slave, or even only have eghteen pair of shoes. I underestimated the kids enormously. We tend to do that. If someone said that many slaves loved their masters, I can hear the kids muttering underneath their breath.. "Right..", or "like, sure.."

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 10:07 PM

Kim-
Check the three books I mentioned above, and their bibliographies. That'll get you started.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 08:38 AM

On the off chance that Guest/Guest's post is an honest inquiry & not a flame:

If there is anything demeaning about "Aunt Letty" it is beyond me.

"Southern Culture" or no, Black folks had their OWN names, brought with them from Africa or given them by their parents, and you can bet "Leticia" wasn't among 'em. As part of their systematic denigration and subjugation, Blacks had their real names taken away and replaced with humiliating diminutives like "Aunt" and "Uncle" (they were hardly brothers or sisters of Ol' Massa's parents, tho there was a good or better chance they were Ol' Massa's children), names more appropriate for dogs or barnyard animals (e.g. 'Prince') or the derisive names of notables of antiquity (e.g. 'Caesar', 'Pompey', etc.)

A non-demeaning title would have been Mr., Miss, or Mrs. This was never done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 16 Nov 02 - 09:01 AM

One thing that slaves were deprived of was their history. I've become more aware of this in recent years because I realize that my black friends and family can only trace their ancestry back two or three generations. For us folkies, who often like to trace our family back many generations, that's a loss. If you're black, unless you do extensive research and are fortunate to find records, you can't even tell what part of Africa you came from. I went on a tour of Ghana and the Ivory Coast with our church (being the only white person on the tour)and even though my friends were anxious to get back to their roots, they didn't know any more than that their ancestors were brought over from somewhere in Africa. We could have been in their family's village, and never have known it.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 12:36 AM

Nobody, but nobody, is an apologist for slavery in the sense of defending its righteousness or advocating its return. When people talk of the complexities of relations between slaves and their owners/masters/captors, for you to position them in that way is simply a bullying way of insisting on a simplification, which is obnoxious no matter how many books you trot out to demonstrate the utterly uncontested fact that there were absolutely hellish abuses inseparable from the system itself, the only disagreement being their statistical distribution. So you are presenting yourself as an extremist of the position everybody already shares. This is exactly the kind of posturing-to-prevent-thinking which passes for scholarship in way too many academic circles nowadays, which is the only reason I'm getting so het up about it. The fact is, there were genuine ambivalences in these necessarily intimate relations. Society is a complex thing, and no society can long endure on the basis of unidirectional terror (I spend a long time every semester explaining that the pax romana was not a 300-year military occupation, and that 5% of Europe did not keep 95% quivering at swordpoint for a thousand years, tho' those are myths very useful to our present self-understanding). My guess is, slavery would have collapsed from its own internal contradictions and anti-adaptions in another generation or so, but it wouldn't have ended in a bloody revolt, which is the only outcome the reign-of-perpetual-terror model would predict.

Adam


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 10:07 AM

So Adam, your 'guess' about North American slavery's 'collapse' pretends that the hundreds of slave revolts- from Stono to Nat Turner to Toussaint- never occurred?


You wilfully ignore the fact that the Negro slavery and the slave societies it engendered were in themsevles 'hellish abuses', notwithstanding the 'statistical distributions' of particular instances of somewhat less hellish treatment?


I don't envy your students!


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 12:48 PM

Oh, I get pretty good reviews, and I have -- and enjoy -- lots of students like you: bright, committed, well-read, not necessarily very adept yet at meta-analysis or at moving far enough back from their own arguments to assess the structure of argumentation. I fault you merely for rendering as simple and univocal what was complex and ambivalent. You would persuade us that slavery was a bad thing. Sold. You would persuade us that no black person in North America between about 1600 and 1865 experienced satisfaction let alone happiness, or affection for particular white people. Horse-hockey. Then you would tar anybody who is capable of complex thought (in its literal sense) of thought-crime. And that's the usual idealogue's position. It confers on its holders a sense of moral superioirty, and when it takes power, it gets damn dangerous -- my resentment of what's called "political correctness" has not to do with their political positions, most of which I share, but at their essentially fascist disposition to extinguish opposition. It's dramatic and it's simple; it is useful for group-formation because of its emotional effects. Nothing finer than to be part of the little grroup behind the barricades who knows how things really are. There's a time and place, perhaps, to squelch inquiring thought for the sake of a common objective, but damned if I'll assign education generally to that category.

Heroism is always right, because it feels and never reasons.

Adam

Adam


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 06:52 PM

One major problem with your last, Adam- I'll skip over the ad hominem 'fascist', 'moral superiority', 'thougt crime' and 'political correctness' buzz-word bits & get to the heart of the matter:


Quoth The Professor:You would
persuade us that no black person in North America between about 1600 and 1865 experienced satisfaction let alone happiness, or affection for particular white people.



Nowhere did I make any such idiotic statement or suggestion. Get a grip- you're seeing things that don't exist & your protest is a bit hysterical and tends towards the smug professorial superciliousness I had so much trouble with in graduate school thirty-five years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 07:38 PM

Hadn't meant it ad hominem -- I don't know you, and I sincerely think you'd be a pleasant person to spend an evening chatting with. I did indeed mean to confront a certain kind of argumentative persona, which you may or may not see yourself as occupying. Fact is, what I had in mind is a type of persona I find distressingly common. Clearly there are types that irk you, too, and I seem to come through the CRT that way, at least to you, at least at present. Sorry. Most people would prefer to be liked. But not at all costs.

Looking back on where the thread started, it might surprise you that I think your approach is certainly the right one to the original provocation. Given the situation of a tour-guide, who must see herself/himself in an authoritiative, primary-info-giver role, the particular guide's evident conviction that the slaves' satisfaction was the most important factoid to deliver is vile as vile gets, and I think I'd have reacted pretty explosively (actually, no; when I encounter something outrageous, I usually splutter, leave, and think up all the comebacks later). What we have exchanged refers to an entirely different type of interpretation -- not the quick'n'dirty soundbite kind of characterization, but the more nuanced and complete picture. Given the opportunity to say one true thing about slavery, the guide made a gross distortion.

Adam


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 09:05 PM

Learning history from tour guides is a dangerous business...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 11:20 PM

Fair enough, Adam- I can't be accused of having good "people skills".

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 11:30 PM

People skills? A forum like this is no basis for judging. I know that when I get to arguing, as in any other game, winning can get ahead of the point under discussion. Slithy tricks not impossible. When it's face-to-face, the wink, the nod, the call for another round can keep everybody clear that it's a friendly scrap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: toadfrog
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 11:35 PM

Well, I don't know if the guide was a bad guy, or whether it would be appropriate to punch him out. I sort of think "exploding" is rarely appropriate. Still in all, I grew up in the South, and before I was 16 years old had had it up to here with that kind of BS. Maybe the owner of that particular plantation was a good guy (by somebody's standards) and maybe not. But one way or the other, you KNOW that the guide is going to tell you what a good guy that plantation owner was. That's in the same nature as an urban legend. Just like when I was a kid, EVERY town in the South claimed to have built a better school for their Negroes that the White kids had. And one is never in a position to check out all those stories, but they are just awfully doubtful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Kim C
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 10:09 AM

All I know about the Edmonds' Aunt Letty is what I read in Tee's journal. This was in the 1860s so in all probability, she was born in the United States, not Africa, but I don't know that for sure. We also don't have any way of knowing what her given name was, at least not from the journal. If any of the Edmonds family records still exist, it might possibly be there somewhere.

Abuses occured. That's an indisputable fact. However, there are personal accounts which seem to indicate that some slaves held a high position in the household, and were much valued. I don't reckon a person entrusts the welfare of their own children to someone they deem incapable or ignorant. And I don't believe it's right to assume that every single person held as a slave, had exactly the same experience.

I guess that's what makes it a peculiar institution.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 04:32 PM

Sorry, Kim, but I think you missed the thrust of the discussion with Adam, above.

The "abuse" -Negro chattel slavery itself- with all the debasement, degredation, and horror that it entailed was not and is not rendered less of an "abuse" (and "abuse" by the way, is a somewhat mild way of describing, for example, murder by mutilation) no matter how many examples are trotted out of certain Black folks developing attachments (Stockholm Syndrome aside) for certain White folks, and vice versa.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 05:06 PM

Kim, Certain people glean from history only those facts which support their own view. There is no room for shading. Discussion serves no purpose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 09:22 PM

Interesting story here. Chandler Boys
After reading, please scroll on down and click on to "Forgotten in Gray."


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Greg F.
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 10:28 AM

And be sure to scroll down and read their "Mission Statement" as well, which should remove any doubt as to their objectivity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 11:46 AM

Well, my feeling was that our guide was more an idiot than anything else, and that it would be best that there were a general policy of not spinning a viewpoint.

I find Adams' articulate views close to my own inarticulate instincts, although he may not. Some otherwise admirable and morally intelligent people were slaveowners, or were somehow parties to it. It has not been so long that I can see myself high above it--I surely have accepted and still gain many advantages left over from it. Given that a slave could not undo the wrong of their slavery, putting one way of coping with it down to Stockholm syndrome seems entirely too reductive. Greg you seem to be judging from a higher position than I can put myself. Nothing contravenes the wrong of slavery, but there is individual significance in how one acts under a great injustice. Individual, not general significance.

   For example, it's surely wrong that we enjoy ridiculous luxuries while others starve, and that imbalance is part of an institution that we may individually feel powerless to change. But how we live and act in this situation may have some range of significance, even if it is marginal to the greater wrong of it all.

   Still, I don't want a tour guide telling me how nice some people were to their slaves. I didn't go there to be their judge anyway, and it seems to be reaching for a general significance it can't pertain to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Greg F
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 12:57 PM

Fred, sorry if I come across as judgemental.I'm no oracle; simply trying to be firm and unequivocal.

I'm not saying Stockholm Syndrome or an equivalent coping strategy explains every instance of this perceived behavior, but that it could certainly explain a significant number. I also don't doubt that many slaveowners in their paternalism deluded themselves that their slaves viewed them with affection; it made it considerably easier for them to sleep at night.

Certainly some slaveowners treated their slaves better (oops- almost said more humanely)than others did, much as, for example, some guards at Buchenwald or Sobibor were less brutal than others. But this individual variation does not diminish the horror of the holocaust any more than it does of slavery.

I admit that I'm impatient with those (and I DON'T include you in the category)that seem to suggest or imply that it does.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: DougR
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 07:41 PM

But Guest, Fred Miller, suppose the tour guide was telling the truth! Do you think it wrong for the guide to comment on the treatment of the slaves if, in fact, they did receive good treatment? Should they lie and say they were horrible "Massas?" If they were good to their slaves, why not say it?

Also, what's ridiculous about someone enjoying luxuries that others cannot afford. If they came by their luxuries legally, what's wrong with them enjoying them? I'd love to belong to a luxurious golf club but I can't afford it. I don't resent those who can.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 10:27 AM

Well Doug, my feelings again, How well can one possibly treat one's slave? If you had to generalise, how about, It Appears They Tried To Treat The Slaves Decently? They Treated Them Well is a crude, tenditious generalization that I very much doubt they could know very well anyway. If they found evidence that the owners served their slaves breakfast in bed, I wouldn't object to them saying they had found that evidence.

More pointedly, if many slaves stayed after emancipation, I don't mind them saying so, but if it is meant to demonstrate much of anything, and it seemed to be, then it's very slanted, to a point of view I object to (and to a kind of communication I object to maybe as much) since a world of opportunities did not suddenly open to most slaves.

Slavery aside, I don't think I could ever finish saying exactly what bothers me about it. It seems to me to smack into the face of genuinely imagining the reality of history. Apart from being awful sentimentality, in my opinion, it's still also mere sentimentality.

I didn't exactly say that it was wrong for anyone to enjoy luxuries that others don't have, I said I think it's wrong that we enjoy luxuries while others suffer for want of necessities. I think so, maybe other people don't, but it seems there is something horribly wrong in a culture of self-righteous striving for excess, when people are hungry. When I watch someone spend $50,000.00 on a rug they don't even like, because in their fantasy of themselves as cultured aristocrats they feel they are supposed to have it, no, I don't envy them. I don't believe that people with more money are proportionally more happy, or that because I have less money I am proportionally less guilty. (Maybe a little, sometimes, but that's my own fantasy.)

I was simply trying to make the point that I didn't want to be very high-handed about slavery, since it's been pretty easy for me not to have slaves, or be a slave. But that there are perhaps comparable injustices I feel powerless to change, but am a party to. A lot of our individual moral lives are marginal to more general, institutionalised, moral injustice. I was trying to imagine if I were a slave, could I possibly love my owner's family? Maybe. Maybe not. The children seem easier. Could I live my life in sustained moral outrage? Probably not, though I had reason. The truth of the past lives I imagine is as hard and particular as our lives now, and so I object to remarks like They were good to their slaves, no matter what on earth was meant by it.

Greg, I think we agree--in general. And thanks for your input.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 10:41 AM

Doug R. There's a difference between legal and moral. You can be grossly immoral, and not break the law. And omission is a much more common sin than comission. Some corporate heads manage to keep from flagrantly breaking the law and make millions, while the people who are on the front line doing the work are making minimum wage, have no health care, their pension plans have been destroyed and they have to work two jobs to survive. Retirement is no longer an option. Perhaps they too are "good" to their employees and say Hello every morning when they come in to work. Might even give them a little Christmas bonus.

Greed and selfishness will never be eradicated by laws.

Jery


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,truckerdave
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 11:07 AM

The "thousands" of black men who volunteered to fight for the south??? Damn. I live in Mississippi and i've never heard of this. Doggone it, why didn't they tell us this in school? This whole civil rights thing could have been avoided if we had only known that the black southerners were "rebels" too!!......... I have heard that confederate armies didn't generally take black prisoners. Anyone care to guess what that means?
    Yes, there were a few slaveowners who treated thier "property" decently. A few years back i was sitting under a shade tree with my neighbor at the time, an 82 year old black lady. She started telling me stories her grandfather, an adult slave at the time of the civil war, had told her like it was yesterday. I was astounded. It seems so far distant to us, but to this old lady it was real. Seems he was owned by a doctor and received education and some medical training. He had bought the land and built the house they were still living in. May i suggest a book to read, "Bullwhip Days, The Slaves Remember"? It's interviews with slaves still living in the 1930's. It's not real pretty but it's what the slaves saw and remembered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Casual Observer
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 11:54 AM

http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Bunker/1163/black.html

http://morgans_men.tripod.com/black.htm

http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/Delta/3843/blackconfed.htm

http://www.africana.com/DailyArticles/index_20010410.htm

http://blackconfederates.tripod.com/

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Feb1996/n02051996_9602053.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: DougR
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 01:26 PM

Fred, Jerry: I think that some posters to this thread are trying to impose the mores of this century upon the people who lived in a century long gone by.

Yes, slavery was wrong. We believe that now. It was accepted a normal practice in the South in that century. Things that happened then, can be condemned, but they cannot be changed now.

Some slave owners mistreated their slaves. Evidently, some did not. Were I a slave, I darn sure would rather have been owned by someone that treated me humanely, than a owner that did not. Wouldn't you?

As someone hinted, not all employees today are treated well by their employers. I believe most of us would, given the choice, work for an employer that treated us humanely and fairly.

Why is it so difficult to accept the fact that that could also have existed during the time of slavery?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 02:06 PM

Somewhere above I noted that 500 Slave Narratives are on line at American Memory. JUst type that in the Search box. I presume the book is a selection of these.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 04:27 PM

Oh, Great- the "Happy Darky"or "Old Kentucky Home" thesis of the antebellum south wasn't bad enough.

Now we get half a dozen "Neo-Confederate" movement websites posted promoting more bogus, a-historical garbage, 'substantiated' by footnotes from works published by the un-biased[sic] "Southern Heritage Press" vanity press... can't wait for Casual Observer to put up his favorite Holocaust Denial websites.

For those who aren't familiar with the "Neo-Confederate" gang, do a 'Google" or other search so you'll know just how bogus this stuff is. You could start HERE as an introduction; certainly not the best of many such sites but I don't have time at the moment to find a better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Bardford
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 05:02 PM

I've been reading The Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada. First published in 1856. There is an online version at the link below. The words therein of Edward Patterson speak to the issue of treatment - "I was well used, as it is called in the South, but I don't think my usage was human. For, what is good treatment?"

http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/drew/drew.html

Narratives of Fugitive Slaves


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Casual Observer
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 07:15 PM

No, Greg, I have seen the photos from the concentration camps.

You have been presented with information that you choose to deny.

It is true that African-Americans did not "officially" fight in the Confederate Army. They served as teamsters, cooks, and laborers. When the United States Army decided to enlist African-Americans, the original plan was for those soldiers to be teamsters, cooks, and laborers too.

Ask yourself why the US Colored Troops always seemed to be at the front lines of battle. It wasn't because their commanders thought they were so terribly brave. It was so less white soldiers would die.

No, African-Americans did not "officially" fight in the Confederate Army.

And the United States Navy did not "officially" test mustard gas on anyone in the 1940s, either.

There are many more nuances to the issue than just what you believe. You have but a very small part of a colossal picture. History is revealed on a daily basis, by people doing new research; people who realize just how big that picture is. Sometimes things are revealed that force us to change our idea of the past. My, isn't that often very difficult?

That is all I have to say.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 10:12 PM

No, its Bullshit. We've been presented with unsubstantiated bullshit.

Nice try, Casual, but slaves didn't have the option of saying no to forced labor for the Confederacy..

Document some Free Blacks that volunteered to "serve" in the Confederate forces.

Otherwise its just bullshit. And very sloppily researched bullshit at that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,truckerdave
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 09:37 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,truckerdave
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 09:50 AM

WHAT HAPPENED??!!!! Just as i was beginning to type a denouncement of all those Neo-confederate sites my blank message was posted. It's a conspiracy no doubt. As far as i know i have only seen one reference to a black confederate. There is a statue in south carolina somewhere of the only poor misguided black man thought to have worn a confederate uniform. I don't remember where i saw or heard this since it's been a few years back, so it may not be correct. Hey, there's always some fellow that's going to fight on the wrong side, like "Johnny Taliban." Some indian tribes, including my ancestors the Chickasaw, owned slaves and fought for the south in Oklahoma. Thier slaves were treated like humans and eventually were adopted into the tribe though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 10:29 AM

DougF, Yes, I won't even quibble over "more humanely." I never intended that anyone must demonize this slave-owning family. But rather than saying they treated the slaves well, it would be better, don't you agree, to simply stick to any specific known evidence? Especially since there may be things they don't know? All the members of the family always treated all the slaves "well." It sounds wrong, because it is wrong.

   Yes I get what you mean, and I'd rather work for an employer who treated me better. But it's funny you mention that. Nobody paused to tell us whether they were "nice" to any free white laborers they hired, whether they paid them well, offered them a lemonade on hot days. Why not? Wouldn't you rather work for someone who was nice to you? How come it only came up about slaves, not anyone they hired? It sounds wrong because it is wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Casual Observer
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 10:47 AM

http://www.stonewallbrigade.com/black_confederates.htm

http://www2.netdoor.com/%7Ejgh/discover.html

http://www.africana.com/Articles/tt_529.htm

http://www.jayrandolph.com/southern-heritage/blacks.htm

Even Frederick Douglass reported seeing blacks in Confederate uniforms. Maybe his eyesight was bad, or he was fond of telling tall tales.

Here's the story of a man who went to war with his master; as a free man, in later years, he attended the reunions. Why? He was certainly under no obligation to do so.

http://www.mosocco.com/florida.html

Sailors too: http://www.navyandmarine.org/ondeck/1862blackCSN.htm

Apparently there were a number of mixed-race men who passed for white and enlisted on those grounds.

There is no conspiracy, just the big picture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Kim C
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 11:49 AM

Oh, fercryinoutloud, let's dispense with the pissing contest.

Anyone who's interested in the subject, there's plenty to read. Go out and find it, get enlightened, and make up your own mind. Whatever you decide, it ain't going to change what's already happened.

Anyone who goes to a historic site and has questions about what the guides are saying, just ask. If the guide doesn't know, go on up the ladder till you find someone who can tell you. If they can't tell you, do the research yourself, present it with documentation, and you've accomplished two things: 1)you've learned something, and 2) you've given the site information that will improve public interpretation.

Now, I'm turning this into a music thread: Slave Songs
This book was originally published in the late 1860s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: DougR
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 12:17 PM

Okie dokie, Fred. Seems we have reached an impass. On to other things.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 03:09 PM

KimC, (as you know, but mentioned here for newbies) a number of the spirituals from Allen's 1867 collection have been posted here, along with references to this docsouth site. See African-American Spirituals permathread. In the online text go to p. XXXIX for an index.
Also on Univ. North Carolina docsouth, is Fenner's collection from 1874. Cabin-Plantation songs Scroll to p. 256 for an index. Most of these were published in editions of "Religious Folk Songs of the Negro" and were sung by the Hampton Singers. Some of these also posted here and listed on the Spirituals Permathread.
Higginson's Negro Spirituals, 1867, is also on line at Negro Spirituals Thiry-seven songs including Many Thousand Go and Hangman Johnny. Other interestin texts are at this University of Virginia site.

All of this is repetition; these sites are mentioned in a number of spirituals threads posted over the past year or so, but they bear repeating.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 06:38 PM

Cas, ol' boy or gal, your relentless support for historical fiction- "it's posted on a website, so it's gotta be true!- is childish and is really getting old.

Was the forced labor of Black slaves used to support the Confederate war effort, much as slave labor was used to support the Nazi war effort? Of course it was.

Does that mean that the slaves in either case supported the political, social, or military aims of their owners or of the Nazis? Bullshit.

Does the fact that slave labor was employed to aid the war effort by the Nazis or the Confederacy somehow 'ennoble' or 'justify' either regime? Of course not. Quite the reverse.

Did Confederates dress up their slaves in uniforms (or mock uniforms; some of those photos look pretty dodgy) and photograph them? Kinda like you'd dress up a dog and photograph it as a joke? Apparently so- unless those photos -as many appear to be- were taken 20 or 30 years after the war, at a reunion and as part of the "reconciliation" sell-out of Blacks by Northern AND Southern veterans, who largely ignored them. Plenty written on this selective memory scam ; start with the essay "Ken Burns and the Romance of Reunion" by Eric Foner (2001).

Your slander of Black troops in the 20 Nov. post only shows your complete ignorance of the military records of the units of the United States Colored Troops and the 30,000 plus FREE blacks- many of them escaped slaves- who DID volunteer to enlist and actually carried arms for the United States. The military records of these units- many who showed extraordinary bravery- are readily available, many have comprehensive published regimental histories. Perhaps some of the folks who have been posting about disrespect for US Veterans on the other threads can jump in here and give me a hand.
Remember too that members of the USCT went into battle with the added burden knowing they faced execution if captured- the Confederacy would not take "Nigger" prisoners.

Enough with the bullshit, already. Give it a rest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 10:16 AM

DougR, I think instead, we started at an impass and haven't got beyond it. I'd like to understand what you mean, to get it, but as I've tried to sort out what bothered me about this encounter, your comments have done more to convince me something was amiss than anything else.

   What kind of rhetorical device is it to ask Wouldn't you rather be a slave for someone who treated you well? Sure, yeah. But wait--you mean, if you had a choice? Right? That's a smooth sounding hypothetical question that side-steps something like the whole point. Come to think of it, while it's about what I'd rather, I'd rather work for a slaveowner who didn't know he owned me, and thought he owed me a living, and was a genie I found in a bottle, and she looked just like Barbara Eden. I really can't see that you're sincerely applying yourself to the question, with your They didn't think it was wrong then, and your If it was legal. Sounds like you mean moral questions are a game, which I doubt you intend to say. I think my guide's comments bother me the same way--maybe perfectly well-intended, for all I know, but quite thoughtless, in the situation. They ought to give some thought to it.

   I'm not so much the scholar as others here, I'm just trying to reckon it a little. People have said, they shouldn't say it unless it has basis in fact, but I'm thinking So what if it does, why say it like that? There are millions of things in fact that they won't get around to while they're bringing that up. And then it's a game of whose pile of facts is bigger. Why are they making a case that I need to grant these dead people some slack for not being those worse worser worstest slave-owners? What do they want from me?

For the descendent's family, I'd guess. But if it were my family's old home, I wouldn't appreciate the effort, I'd be embarrassed by it. As others here show, it lends itself to a line of racist sentiment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Casual Observer
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 11:26 AM

Greg, obviously you and I have not read the same books.

Nowhere did I slander any US Colored Troops. I said their COMMANDING OFFICERS had doubts about them. That is extremely well-documented, and if you are as well-read as you would have us all believe, then you would know that, and you would also know that in the beginning of their enlistment, they were given busy work, and not combat roles. Even though they did prove their worth, they still were not paid the same as white soldiers, and they were still very often the first to be killed. Cannon fodder, I believe they call it. That was certainly no fault of theirs. Who was first over the wall at Ft. Wagner?

There are many, many personal accounts of white US soldiers complaining that they did not want to fight alongside Colored Troops. Time-Life published an excellent series a few years ago that is based almost entirely on personal accounts, and I highly recommend it as an enlightening resource. Letters and journals of the period are guaranteed to make you question what you think you know about history.

The US Army was no stranger to forced labor, either. It is well-documented that they kept "contrabands" around to build earthworks and the like. Their other choice was to be sent back to Massa. There are also documented instances of US soldiers having black "body servants" with them. (Photographs are available in the Time-Life series I mentioned.)

The Internet is not an infallible research tool, but it is at the very least, a place to start. One of the challenges with official Confederate records is that many have been lost, as there was not such a repository for those records as there was for US records. Often we are left with nothing but what someone said about this, or that.

So, who were those black Confederates that Frederick Douglass said he saw? Perhaps it was, as you say, a joke.

No free black man was ever forced to go to a Confederate soldiers' reunion, as far as I know. But they went, for whatever reason. Some of them even received pensions from the individual states.

I believe I am all pissed out now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: DougR
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 11:45 AM

Guest Fred Miller: this is obviously worrisome to you (what the guide said)and I, as you say, am not contributing anything that helps you resolve the problem.

Were I to take the tour, it would not create a problem for me. Certainly not to the degree that it has you anyway. The reason for that I have already enumerated and there is no point in repeating (different time - different mores).

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 03:02 PM

DougR not that there's any point, but, gosh you do have a great gift of mis-stating a case. No offense I hope--I'm pretty sure I said you'd contributed the most in the way of resolving it for me--only not in the way of agreeing with you, but in the other general direction. Thanks though, we simply disagree, and I appreciate the discussion. As you say, different mores.

What's a more? When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: DougR
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 03:15 PM

My sincere apologies, Fred Miller. These old eyes of mine need new glasses evidently.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 04:19 PM

A Doug R says, other times.
Interesting reading is "Memoirs of a Southern Woman." Southern Woman , an online book on this University of North Carolina Documenting the South website.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 08:00 PM

DougR! We can't seem to get this right. Your sincere apologies? Not at all--again, my sincere thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 11:43 PM

No, Cas, I think you're just plain pissed. You're coming thru with more examples of half-truth and bullshit, but you're not speaking to any of the previous points under discussion. Let me try one more:

Is the crappy treatment free Blacks admittedly received in the North
supposed to somehow justify or excuse Southern Slavery ?

Are you missing the point of this on purpose, or do you simply not understand? You might try reading some of those well-researched, footnoted books I mentioned (no conveniently lost records here; all factually documented), instead of publications by the Sons of the Confederacy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 12:53 AM

For folks who have been patiently (or otherwise) following this thread, a read of "Part Four: History and Pseudohistory" in Michael Shermer's Why People Believe Wierd Things NY, W.H. Freeman & Co. 1997 might be rewarding. The tactics and devices used by the the likes of the Neo-Confederate gang & other pseudo-history proponents are discussed at some length and Mr. or Ms. Casual's tactics will be easily recognized.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 09:20 AM

Greg F, As I say, I'm not so much the scholar, but it's hard not to read a book called Why people believe weird things. I once knew a woman who seemed sane enough, until she mentioned that the holocaust was a hoax. That, and she loved Dan Fogelberg.

Someday we'll all un-durrr-stand.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 04:16 PM

I get the feeling that someone here is saying accept my version of history or none.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 05:38 PM

Jeez, Dan Fogelberg. That IS pretty wierd....


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 10:27 PM

Yes. (pause.)

I brought this up and appreciate, I really do, all the responses. The guide's comments bothered me, I didn't know exactly why, but it helps to hear what people think, even if, and sometimes especially if you disagree.

Slavery and race aside, it bothers me that they are doing a general commercial, for a relatively non-existent product. If they told me they grew "good" tomatoes I'd doubt it unless I tasted them. I'm quite sure some people treated slaves better than others, and fully accept that perhaps these people did. The historical aspect doesn't get to me. If some black people fought for slavery, believing they should be slaves, or whatever, I truly do not care if they did. Or didn't. Why should I? Being black slaves doesn't make them my moral compass, I'm not sentimental about it. Do I care more about what Socrates, or the ancient slave he discussed epistomology and math with thought. Neither, I just want to make sense of it. The fact that something happened doesn't prove anything, all sorts of stupid bullshit HAPPENS... then we call it History. Different times, different mores--sure, I get that, but it doesn't address why, why now, in these different times different mores, do they want or need to put a spin on it? And even if they do want or need to, is it effective? Convincing? No. It has the opposite effect. Go to some old house with fifteen black kids, see if it makes any sense to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 10:48 PM

Now, excuse me If I'm butting into a private thread and I'll be the first to admit that I have not taken the hour or two to read evert post on this thread.... so if I am redundant, please excuse me BUT:

1. SLAVERY has not ended. Yeah, lots of folks in the "Right to Work" states (14-B of the Taft Hartley Act) live no better than the "slaves" did a hundred and some years ago, (Realatively speaking, of course)/

2. This country was built on the backs of slave labor, it's infastructure and its wealth and it is BS to not recognize this *fact* as "white America" is faced with the opportunity to make things right thru reparations. Hey, I don't give a flying *whatever* if you think that you weren't responsible. You're enjoying the harvest!

3. There is a new salve class that is being brought forward in the American *consumer*. Yeah, buy the house on credit, the SUV on credit, all thre stuff at the malls on credit. Yeah, buy all the stuff that the *ad-men* say "you gotta have" and you'll end up on Boss Hog's assembly line on the day that you die. Guarenteed.

Sorry, if I dampened anyone's spirits here but.... Hey, they got most of your butts in their sling....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 11:35 PM

Bobert, being a modern "slave" is a hell of a lot better than plowing that old 40 acre homestead. Boss Hog's "assembly line" has given me a house, an SUV, paid for my kids' college, paid fishing vacations and finally a damn good pension.

Happy Slave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 11:41 PM

GUEST:

Check back in with me about the time you *thought* you'd be retirin'...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: DougR
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 12:12 AM

Sounds to me as though he/she may already there, Bobert.

Equating living in a right to work law state with slavery is a pretty good stetch, Bobert, even for you. I live in one of those, and folks don't have it so bad out here except in summer when Boss Hogg sweats right along side of all of us po' folks.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 01:27 AM

Not a private thread Bobert. I'm not in a right to work state, I'm a teamster. I also think that slavery isn't over, that I have advantages that came from somewhere. I agree that there are truths about absolutes like freedom that are hidden and hard for all of us to make out clearly. I sometimes think the real way to vote is by what you'll spend a dollar on. If anybody got organised about it. If you could keep up with where that dollar went.

Parts of this discussion are like getting a piece of tape on your finger, you try to get it off, it sticks there, etc. If I make a comparison, somebody might take it as an equation. I hope I haven't offended anybody, it's pretty hard to always say the right thing. That's what I'm bothered about. What's the right thing to say?


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 01:44 AM

There's no right thing to say, no right thing to do. I once heard somebody say (addressing white people, of course), if you're having trouble understanding the doctrine of original sin, think of slavery. You did nothing personally, you're doing nothing personally, but the effects are all around, and the blood is on your hands, and no amount of scrubbing or denying will alter that fact. The blood is not a problem to be solved, or a crime to make restitution for. It is an irreducible fact of our lives, and the only choice we have is to live with it in a way that's as honest as possible. Some dignity may be possible that way.

I'm not trying to sell anybody on theological categories here. Just handing along something I found illuminating. It has stuck with me a good many years. There's a passage in "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" where he tells how after one of his talks, a tearful white girl asked him, "What can I do?" He answered "Nothing." He later regretted saying that, and the retraction would of course be his business, but I think he spoke a hard truth in the moment.

Adam

Adam


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Happy Slave
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 02:12 AM

I retired some 17 years ago, so "what, me worry?" Don't mean to be flip, but I was happy in my job and am happy in my retirement.
I started out in a right to work state. and was transferred to one without it. The only difference I could see is that the union set the vacation days in the second (same number of days, just moved around a bit).

The above has nothing to do with the subject of this thread, which seems to be just repeating itself. No, we can't change the past. Society has moved on. The political correctness trend seems to try to get everything painted black or white, subjugating history to a "just so" interpretation.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, our greatest Supreme Court jurist, ruled in 1919 that the First Amendment protected all speech, however offensive, but we are seeing several groups trying to limit that right, and demonizing those with whom they disagree. Some of the "politically correct" trends bear the seeds of fascism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 09:15 AM

For a slave to love his or her master-- to remain human despite being classed as inhuman-- is a triumph of that slave's spirit over an insane arrangement, not a testimony to the goodness of the owner.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: Greg F.
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 09:35 AM

Some seem to be suggesting that all historical interpretations and analyses, from those well documented by a large body of evidence through those less well documented, those that are a-historical or anti-historical, to those that are outright invention with no supporting evidence whatsoever are equally valid 'points of view' and all equally credible. This is idiocy.

The 'free exchange of ideas' that Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed as essential to a functioning democracy hardly means that all should be accepted at face value and given equal weight without troubling to examine and assess their validity, and Holmes, possibly the greatest intellect ever to sit on the Supreme Court whether one agrees with his rulings or not, would be appalled and outraged at the suggestion.

Labeling as "political correctness" ( which term is now applied to so many divergent situations as to have become virtually meaningless except as a right-wing buzz-word term of opprobrium for anything involving the exercise of intellect)- the attempt to assess the validity of differing historical assertions / points of view is disingenuous- and intellectually sloppy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Historic tour slave issue
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 11:24 AM

I don't think this is merely repeating itself, I think it's getting really good and interesting posts. If nothing else, I think I found the book to give my sister this Xmas, and she's hard to shop for. Thanks Greg F. Last year she gave me Banvard's Folly, by her friend Paul Collins, which turned out to be one of the most entertaining books I've read in years.

   What I meant to suggest was not that unsupported or a-historical pov's were also valid, but that supportable historical accounts aren't necesarily valid in the way one may want them to be. I was thinking of Karl Popper's writing about historicism, and it's critique of how a thesis, which, if it turns up historical incidents and materials, is then considered proven or borne out, when it only shows that it's more or less fertile. One can come up with odd-ball ideas that history seems to support in this way, my own favorite invention being All history is the clash between the performer-types and the techies, and their respective cultures.

   I made up my mind that the things our guide said were not good things to say--not that this person had an agenda of evil, or meant any ill, but that it's quite loaded, and they should go into it seriously, and deliberately, not so casually and generally. I'm not against controversy in classrooms, but the remarks were pre-emptive and blunt, like when my "social-studies" teacher told us that Indians had no concept of owning land, so you couldn't say it was stolen from them. One shouldn't abuse the hard-to-hold attention of school-kids by casually tossing out half-baked notions like that.

But the thread has turned up stuff that goes beyond my question, and it's good stuff.


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 6 August 3:22 PM EDT

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