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#1
In August of 1865, a Colonel P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee, wrote to his former slave, Jourdan Anderson, and requested that he come back to work on his farm. Jourdan — who, since being emancipated, had moved to Ohio, found paid work, and was now supporting his family — responded spectacularly by way of the letter seen below (a letter which, according to newspapers at the time, he dictated).


Dayton, Ohio,

August 7, 1865

To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee

Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.

I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy,—the folks call her Mrs. Anderson,—and the children—Milly, Jane, and Grundy—go to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.

As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams's Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.

In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve—and die, if it come to that—than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.

Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.

From your old servant,

Jourdon Anderson


http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/01/to-my-old-master.html


Amazing. The ability of Anderson to be so polite yet so cutting is incredible, particularly given that it would be a century yet before his race began to be granted equal rights.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#3
That put a smile on my face more than once throughout reading it, nice find.
In my heart I'm with you

every night
#4
A very awesome 'fuck you.'
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#5
WARNING:
The above is most likely sarcasm, so fuck yourself if you're offended.
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Hey look! An intelligent post!
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#8
No one's gonna read this, Caesar.

281-330-8004, that's my cell phone number, hit me up on the low
#9
Slave owner got pwned harder than a chinese hooker.
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#11
Quote by S0n1c '97
Slave owner got pwned harder than a chinese hooker.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqngrRBIpkw&ob=av3e
WARNING:
The above is most likely sarcasm, so fuck yourself if you're offended.
Quote by shavorules42
Hey look! An intelligent post!
Quote by WCPhils
One time I saw a religious person eating so I don't do that anymore.
Quote by Joshua Garcia
Save water. Drink alcohol.
#13
Oh, LZ...your sig does not excuse you.


This was pretty hilarious, good find.

edit: poster after me put it into better words. I guess I always wondered what the general relationship was between slaves and their masters. I mean, you can assume a lot, but on a day-to-day basis what was it like? What was it like afterwards?

"Hey, remember when I forced you to work for me for no pay from the time you were born? Ahh...those were good times. Whatd'ya say? How about we go down that road again? Just like old times!" -Colonel Sanders
Yeah, uh-huh...that's what they all say.
Last edited by BassFishin at Jan 31, 2012,
#14
read this letter last year on the very first day of an American History course i took in college. marvelous letter and very telling of the kind of relationship slaves had with their "masters".
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#15
Quote by BassFishin
Oh, LZ...your sig does not excuse you.


This was pretty hilarious, good find.


Is it really that good? Should I actually read it?
WARNING:
The above is most likely sarcasm, so fuck yourself if you're offended.
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Hey look! An intelligent post!
Quote by WCPhils
One time I saw a religious person eating so I don't do that anymore.
Quote by Joshua Garcia
Save water. Drink alcohol.
#16
LOL I love that he so casually slips in the "oh yea and that part about you trying to shoot me" at the perfect moments.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#19


That was very enjoyable to read. Thanks for sharing that!
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#20
That was pretty cool. I like the part where he was all like, "you owe me money"
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Last edited by bastards at Jan 31, 2012,
#21
Quote by LZRocker
Is it really that good? Should I actually read it?

It's four paragraphs, don't be so goddamn lazy

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Those bloated swine...
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.


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Everyone is cunts.
#23
Quote by Ur all $h1t
In August of 1865, a Colonel P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee, wrote to his former slave, Jourdan Anderson, and requested that he come back to work on his farm. Jourdan — who, since being emancipated, had moved to Ohio, found paid work, and was now supporting his family — responded spectacularly by way of the letter seen below (a letter which, according to newspapers at the time, he dictated).


Dayton, Ohio,

August 7, 1865

To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee

Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.

I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy,—the folks call her Mrs. Anderson,—and the children—Milly, Jane, and Grundy—go to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.

As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams's Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.

In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve—and die, if it come to that—than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.

Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.

From your old servant,

Jourdon Anderson


http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/01/to-my-old-master.html


Amazing. The ability of Anderson to be so polite yet so cutting is incredible, particularly given that it would be a century yet before his race began to be granted equal rights.
Really? You put all the effort into posting that on a site full of imbeciles? You really need to do something better with your time.

Sad.
#24
I'm surprised it wasn't written in Ebonics.....seriously
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#25
Quote by Waterboy799
read this letter last year on the very first day of an American History course i took in college. marvelous letter and very telling of the kind of relationship slaves had with their "masters".

This part was chilling:

...please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve—and die, if it come to that—than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#26
Quote by Represent
Really? You put all the effort into posting that on a site full of imbeciles? You really need to do something better with your time.

Sad.

Hey you there. How did you go from a nobody to the forums most hated member in a month? I missed it.
#27
Quote by Represent
Really? You put all the effort into posting that on a site full of imbeciles? You really need to do something better with your time.

Sad.

CRTL+C then CTRL+V

Less time than it took you to write that TrollySue.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#28
Quote by LZRocker
Is it really that good? Should I actually read it?

Ya, definitely should.
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#29
Quote by devourke
Hey you there. How did you go from a nobody to the forums most hated member in a month? I missed it.
I simply stopped being a push-over and started defending my views.

Apparently the UG community doesn't like it when you stand up for yourself.

Quote by Ur all $h1t
CRTL+C then CTRL+V

Less time than it took you to write that TrollySue.
Just because my point got to you, you assume it's trolling?

Really?
Last edited by Represent at Jan 31, 2012,
#30
Quote by devourke
Hey you there. How did you go from a nobody to the forums most hated member in a month? I missed it.

He is a massive cunt.

281-330-8004, that's my cell phone number, hit me up on the low
#31
Quote by Ur all $h1t
This part was chilling:

...please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve—and die, if it come to that—than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters


I agree. That was pretty fucked up to read.

To be honest, I actually had a little laugh at the part where he's like 'oh yeah, that time you shot at me'. The way he did it seemed so casual that I couldn't help but to find it a bit funny.
Quote by L2112Lif
I put a ton of my capital into SW Airlines... The next day, THE NEXT DAY these nutters fly into the WTC. What the hell? Apparently no one wanted to fly anymore, and I was like "What gives? God damnit Osama, let me win a fuggin' game!"
#33
Oh s***, Represent's back?

I was just starting to enjoy my time without him

I know I pretty much just brought him down on myself. I'm ready for it.

Come at me, bro.
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#34
Quote by Represent
I simply stopped being a push-over and started defending my views.

Apparently the UG community doesn't like it when you stand up for yourself.


No, you were being a cunt. There's a massive difference between standing up for yourself and being a dick to anyone who says something that you don't agree with.
Quote by L2112Lif
I put a ton of my capital into SW Airlines... The next day, THE NEXT DAY these nutters fly into the WTC. What the hell? Apparently no one wanted to fly anymore, and I was like "What gives? God damnit Osama, let me win a fuggin' game!"
#36
Quote by Represent
I simply stopped being a push-over and started defending my views.

Apparently the UG community doesn't like it when you stand up for yourself.

I see, I see. Do you want to hug it out?
#37
Quote by IRISH_PUNK13
No, you were being a cunt. There's a massive difference between standing up for yourself and being a dick to anyone who says something that you don't agree with.
I wasn't being one. Look back at the posts. Notice how I'm simply justifying my positions while you all continue to troll me.
Last edited by Represent at Jan 31, 2012,
#39
Quote by Represent
Just because my point got to you, you assume it's trolling?

Really?
Because you're a widely acknowledged troll I gave you the benefit of the doubt. It's admittedly quite possible that you're just a massive wanker, I won't assume the best of you in future.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
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