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27 August 2011

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highlander

Both sides of my family where slave holders in the South. So,I have done a little research on the institution over the years.

It was a pretty much a permanent economic feature during much of man's (shall we say,"sinful existance"....now, I know you libs out there, don't believe in sin... Just Barry Obama or maybe just a wee bit in old V Lenin).

And, it is still a lesser feature in Africa and the Middle East. Some would say, the factories of China also.

My overall conclusion is, for the practioners of the institution, it has given them short and medium term gains. But, at the end of the day,if it went on long enough, it always brought the culture to its knees. Roman and the American South are but two examples.

Patrick Lang

highlander

Slavery was as bad for the master as for the slave in that it corrupted peoples' humanity. The New Testament is pretty clear in saying that the slaves had more chance of salvation that those who held them in that condition. That is not to say that every slaveowner was a bad person or treated their "chattels" badly but the institution was bad. My conviction is that chattel slavery would have died out and been done away with state by state in the last half of the 19th Century. The introduction of farm machinery would have made the use of slave labor for agribusiness unprofitable compared to the use of machinery. There are, of course, people who would have been disappointed, in that case, in the lack of an opportunity to punish the South for its "sin." Their ancestors (and mine)paid heavily for the privilege of inflicting that punishment. "Slave" states who remained in the Union; issouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware. Slaves there remained slaves until the 13th Amendment ws ratified afer the end of the war. pl

Nightsticker

Colonel Lang,

They were freed but only to be set onto "the road to serfdom" where many of them remain today a burden to both the victors and the suppressed in the War for Southern Independence. William Garrett Brown wrote "Africa still mocks America from her jungles. Still she jeers "With the dense darkness of my ignorance I confound your enlightenment. Still with my sloth I weigh down the arms of your industry. Still with my supineness I hang on the wings of your aspiration. And in the very heart of your imperial young republic I have planted sure and deep the misery of this ancient curse I bear".

Nightsticker
USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

Pat, I don't write fiction and still think is interesting. Somewhat related - as I understand the narrative - is the story of "John Henry", yes, the steel drivin' man. I've read that as a Virginia state prisoner, he was "leased" to the rail company as a laborer. The song's ref to "taken John Henry to de white house" referred to a building within the penitentiary in Richmond, not 1600 Pa. Ave in DC. There is a statue of John Henry near the portal of the Big Bend Tunnel in Talcott, WV, near my wife's hometown. Regrettably, some yahoos have used the statue for target practice.

Also, Pat, re Irene as of noon down here in York Co., it's presently about 3/4 of what Isabel gave us 8 years ago.

highlander

I agree that being a slaveholder had to be tough on one's humanity.

I also agree that the "peculiar institution" of slavery, was on the way to economic obsolescence by the time of the Civil War. It was done away with peaceably in Brazil by 1888,due to changing economics.

For a fraction of the costs of making war, the Northern States could have purchased all the South's slaves(and their own), and set them free. I WONDER WHY THEY DIDN'T DO THAT?

And Nightsticker, you are absolutely correct, in that,after the war,when their Northern Saviors called all the shots. The freed slaves, were simply converted into serfs and industrial wage slaves("We'uns,went on up to Detroit City to make Mr Ford's model T cars"...Rednecks and Blacks alike.)

All that said, I would submit,the descendents of America's black slaves, are the most blessed of any single Black population group on the face of the planet, including the ones in the African homeland.

Like all of us descendents of immigrants, they are mighty damn lucky to be part of the USA.

Now the Red Man, probably looks at all of this,a just a little bit differently.

Patrick Lang

highlander

Their ancestors did not evolve here. pl

highlander

Their ancestors did not evolve here. pl

Exactly which group of ancestors are you referring to? African or American Indians?

Abu Sinan

Colonel,

Thanks for the history! I work in the government complex right next to the Courthouse and had no idea.

PirateLaddie

Colonel -- Please be careful with the word "evolution." It offends Rick Perry & his sturdy band of Tea Partyists. Further, I think a strong case can be made that there's been damn little "evolution," cultural or social or otherwise, in what passes for the USofA since around 1800.
BTW -- hope Irene's a big a bust down Alexandria way as she is in the District.

Patrick Lang

Abu Sinan

In the Patent and Trademark offices? pl

Patrick Lang

highlander

American Indian. Their ancestors immigrated across thje land bridge from Asia. pl

J

What about Kennewick Man?

highlander

American Indian. Their ancestors immigrated across thje land bridge from Asia. pl

True, so the indians, evidently had one hell of a running start on the rest of us Americans,white,black,or brown.

Ever seen the poster of Geronimo and his Apache band...titled;" American
Indians...fighting terrorism since 1492".?

One man's freedom fighter or pioneer, is another man's terrorist. Life gets complicated, doesn't it?

Abu Sinan

Yes sir, been there for the 7 years since we moved there, before that in Crystal City.

Medicine Man

Second the Colonel on his statement about the American Indians. In fact, if you do a little comparison of facial features (shape of the eyes, mouth, etc.) between Mongolians and Plains Indians, you'll see some striking similarities.

I suspect we were mostly evolved to our current state no later than 60 thousand years ago. Perhaps much earlier.

rjj

"True, so the indians, evidently had one hell of a running start on the rest of us Americans, white, black,or brown."

But we all ended up on reservations - some of which are characterized as "an area of fine executive homes." How DID that happen?

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

A semantic quibble - who came up w/ "Native" Americans as opposed to "Original" or "First" Americans? Something to debate earnestly after the 5th beer...

LeaNder

"who came up w/ "Native" Americans as opposed to "Original" or "First" Americans?"

First Nations is used in Canada. Original, wouldn't really be used for people, would it?

Native may have at one point substituted autochthon/indigenous to avoid the botanical annotations. Both terms can be used for plants and animal too, and historically "indigenous people" occasionally were treated pretty much like animals, exhibited in cages in Europe. Couples seem to have guaranteed the highest entertainment expectations, in spite of the fact that they were deceived. ...

Patrick Lang

All

J mentioned Kennewick Man. This is amusing. These remains, found in Washington (?) predate American Indians and appear to be of caucasoid type. LOL. pl

J

Colonel,

You forgot to mention the really 'good part', Kennewick a.k.a. Patrick Stewart man (because Stewart and the Kennewick skull facial recreation look sooo much alike to the point of almost identical, really they do.) Kennewick mans' remains are owned exclusively by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers cause those remains were found on Corp property. And it really pisses Native Tribes off because they have lost in court battles with the Corp over trying to garner ownership.

Imagine a gaggle of Jean Luc Picards occupying America's continent first.

Mark Logan


I would propose two reasons why they didn't just buy all the slaves. One, they had no idea of what kind of hell they were getting into. Two, while it was a dying institution, in the niche market of growing cotton, post-cotton gin, the institution was still quite economically viable. Perhaps the most lucrative industry in the world at that time. The cotton growers would not have sold.

I read something about why slavery in the new territories became such a knock-down drag out issue recently. That it wasn't pure hatred of slavery that drove it, but the knowledge that it would be very unlikely that they could out-bid the cotton barons for the land. Sounds plausible to me, but I am unsure if it's actually true.

kao_hsien_chih

I think the story of the Jeffersons/Hemingses (and the fictional story of Puddin'head Wilson by Mark Twain) shed comparable light on how wrongheaded black-white (literally) depictions of slavery.

Sally Hemings was possibly as little as 1/8 black. Her children, apparently from her relationship with TJ, had red hair and blue eyes, according to the limited contemporary accounts. One of the main characters in Mark Twain's novel was only 1/16 (or was it 1/32?) black. Yet, all these people were slaves b/c slave status was legally passed on from mother to child, regardless of their father's status. While their numbers would have been very small, there were still quite a few "white" people who were, moreover, children of their "masters" held in slavery. Strange stuff.

Patrick Lang

khc

Yes, but all this could be solved by manumission by the owner. hemings and two of her sons lived in charlottesville, VA after being freed in Jefferson 's will and were counted as "white" by the census. pl

William R. Cumming

So now wage slavery and peonage has replaced bondage?
Perhaps the old system was more "honest"?

kao_hsien_chih

Col.,

I was mainly hoping to point to how "peculiar" the institution of slavery really was. Many notions we hold today about "race" in this country, even in the allegedly familiar "black/white" context, are really the products of early 20th century. Even during the Civil War years, the definition of race was rather fluid and complicated, which, I believe, was also one of the points you wished to raise by pointing to the Edmonson Sisters.

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