Twelve Years a Slave
Whites have longed argued that slavery was good for slaves because it civilized them and that slaves were content to be held in bondage. But such is not the case, at least not according to those who were actually held in bondage. The accounts of slavery are greatly known by emancipated or run away slaves. One recorded account of slavery is by Solomon B. Northup autobiography, Twelve Years a Slave which was published in 1853.
Solomon Northup was born a freeman in New York in 1808 (3). His father, who had been a slave until his owner death had granted him his freedom in his, wills 5).In 1 829, Northup married Anne Hampton and worked as a laborer in Hartford (6). However, Solomon was captured after being tricked by slave traders to work for them while working in Washington in 1841 and sold as a slave into Louisiana (15). A slave was considered in law as property, or chattel (Lecture Notes, 9-12-03), and was deprived Of most rights ordinarily held by free persons. Slavery typically occurs in societies whose economy is of a market type capable of producing surpluses. Slavery’ existed over thundered and forty years.
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Slaves were considered property rather than errors (AP, 96). They had few legal rights: in court, their testimony was inadmissible in cases involving whites (246, 247); they could make no contract nor own any property; even if attacked, they could not strike a white person (80); they could not be away from their owner’s premises without permission; they could not assemble unless a white person was present; they could not be taught to read or write; and they were not permitted to marry. Offenders were subject to punishment, including whipping, branding, imprisonment, and death (81-83).Magnolia Myth conception is singularly insulting, since it implies that slavery is k, as long as slaves are treated well (Lecture Notes, 10/27-31/03). And it implies that as long as slave owners weren’t beaten then bondage might even have been good for the slaves. The Magnolia Myth spread that slaves were content and in fact happy to be kept in bondage. Slaves owners in the south published pamphlets to show that slaves were happy being in bondage, pamphlets includes slaves dancing, well dressed, smiling.
Slave owner in response to northerners abolitionist pamphlet, southerner argued that otherness treated their slaves better than northerner treated free blacks and their workers (Lecture Notes, 10/31/03). Southerners in retaliation included pictures of what they felt blacks lived and treated in the north, pictures included black working as prostitutes, sleeping on the streets, poor, working long hours and being mistreated in the factories, and being sick constantly (Lecture Notes, 10/31/03).Southerners slave owners who argued that slavery was good for slaves longed used the bible and whips to support their theory and philosophy that slavery civilized slaves. Peter Tanner used the bible to explicate to his slave the importance of being obedience. Peter Tanner had a habit of reading to his slave each Sabbath. During Solomon Northup brief visit to Peter Tanner’s plantation he recalls, Peter Tanner reading to his slaves from the Twelfth chapter of Luke, Tanner says that those who is not obedient to God including whites shall receive “strip” meaning whips upon their backs (94).Twelve years Solomon Northup better known by Plant his slave given endured the pain of lashing and watching of others.
Whipping was another form that slave owner believed that civilized slaves, civilizing slave brought obedience and control. For planters, slave had an important advantage over servant, they could be controlled (AP, 63). Slaves that were defiant were shown the way of obedience through whipping. Solomon Northup gives examples of ways that white whipped their slave for disobedience.Northup gives account of severe whipping by his Master Peps to one his slave Patsy, whom he wrongly accused of sneaking to another plantation than allowed. Many slaves were forced to forget whom they are, where they come from and leave behind their love ones. Many slaves were forced from their native home and placed into slavery.
Northup case was he was kidnapped while working in a slave state. This was not common for slaves to be taken. Northup gives us clear story how he feared that he would never come in contact with his wife and children.He discusses in his autobiography how he was whipped nearly to death for mentioning his true name ad his family background and making claims of being a freeman (25). Many slaves were forced to be separated from their mother, father, children, husband and wives. Northup gives another account of a family who consisted of mother name Elise, little girl named Emily and little boy named Randall, they were all separated left to never see or hear from each others again (53, 57).More than two hundred years slavery existed; hundreds and thousands of slaves was brought into the country and exported for economic reasons.
The institution of slavery as whole in my opinion not only killed slaves physically but as well spiritually and morally. The topic that we are assigned on asked of us to tell how Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave help historian understand slave feeling toward slavery.Imagine the ability of being stripped from your family in the middle of the night and possibility of never been seen again. Imagine in order leaving from one place to another you had to have a pass from another racial group that was said to be “superior” to you. Many slaves were to endure the pain of being beaten and their moral and spirituality taken away from them. Unlike Northup few slave were not fortunate enough to be free.