Slavery/ True Accounts Of Slavery term paper 11157

Slavery term papers
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True Accounts of Slavery

Slavery issues are often addressed with mixed views. Some people believe that slavery was morally wrong and unfair. Others believe that without slavery the United States would not be unified and would not be such a world leader. No one can have an accurate opinion except for those who lived through slavery themselves, the actual negro slaves. From three different slave narratives, we see many differences and similarities of their lives and experiences with slavery.

From what we have always heard, slaves worked up to twenty hour days, were malnourished, and were beaten severely for the smallest of wrong doings. After reading some narratives, these myths have been proven wrong. According to Walter Calloway and Clayton Holbert their days as slaves were extremely similar. Calloway's daily life was usually spent out in the fields working, but he had leisure time. During this leisure time, Calloway and the other slaves would meet on Sunday's for "preachin". Holbert's daily life was similar to this, as they to worked hard to have extra time. Calloway and Holbert were both allowed freedom among the plantation and were allowed to hold religious activities to share their beliefs such as gatherings for preaching and festivals. Slaves in most every plantation had religious beliefs, except some were not allowed to express their beliefs such as the slave Mary Reynolds. The slaves at her plantation believed that they were "slaves of God", and they prayed for the end of Tribulation. Many slaves had a good interaction with their masters. At the plantation where Holbert worked, his master gave the slaves many vacations. The slaves did not have to work Christmas eve day until New Year's Day and on Christmas they held a big Festival. His master encouraged Religion such as that of Calloway. Calloway and Holbert had close relations with their master's. Holbert said, "Most of the slave owners were good to their slaves although some of them were bruitish of course." They worked hard and were treated well. The similarities of slavery, prove many of the myths about slavery wrong, but there were also many differences between theses accounts.

Many of the stories that we have always heard about slavery were wrong, but there were those plantations that were even more devilish than the stories we have heard. In the three slave narratives, one of these was extremely different than the other two. This was the narrative of Mary Reynolds. The reason why Reynold's plantation was so harsh has to do with her master. He was a man with little heart and worked his slaves sometimes literally to the bones. If the slaves did not work hard enough, they were whipped, and sometimes the flesh was cut straight to the bone. Reynold's said, "Slavery was the worst days was ever seed in the world." Unlike having free time such as Holbert, at Reynold's plantation, they had to be up before dawn. They worked all day and the only free time they were allowed was Saturday evenings, when they would all wash their clothes. The master at this plantation had an overseer over the slaves and would beat them severely, while the master watched. This is unlike the master at Calloway's plantation, that when he found out that his overseer had severely beaten a young girl, he was furious and got rid of him. These differences of slavery leave us with false stories of slavery. The true accounts depend on the plantation and slave.

In George Fitzhugh's essay "The Blessings of Slavery", he expresses that "The negro slaves of the South are the happiest, and in some sense, the freest people in the world." Yes, this could be true according to some of the slaves in the South, but many slaves did not feel like that. Slaves had to work hard in the fields and did not always feel that they had freedom. At Mary Reynold's plantation, they had to work hard and in return were given very little except a mattress filled with corn shucks, and shoes two sizes too small. In contrast, at the plantation of Clayton Holbert the lives of the slaves were very different. Fitzhugh must have only interviewed and studied of slaves such as Holbert, that were given very much by their master's graciously. In his essay, Fitzhugh had a strong belief that without slavery of the Southern states, the whole world would suffer tremendously. He never took in to account that many of the slaves were suffering tremendously as well. Fitzhugh had many good points, some being true, but for the most part he kept his eyes closed on the negative aspects that slavery had.

Slavery had many impacts on the people of the 18th, 19th, and even the people of the 20th century. Some impacts were good and many bad, but they all had a unique part in the creation of the United Sates. Slavery made people stronger, more unified , and more aware of life and the precious aspects it held. Although there were many differences and similarities in Slavery, they all brought us to our now common bonds, life, liberty and happiness.


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