Added: Tyrice Wardlow - Date: 13.02.2022 00:51 - Views: 46431 - Clicks: 1893
Jourdon Anderson, a former slave, responds to a request from his former master to return to work for him. Anderson explains, with a hint of sarcasm, his requirements for returning to work on his former plantation.
This is Handout 3. Dayton, Ohio, August 7, To my old Master, Colonel P. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee. 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. 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.
Andersonand 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. 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 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 Hung needs a slave 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. Please send the money by Adams Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq. 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.
From your old servant, Jourdon Anderson P. Citations 1 : Excerpted from William E. Gienapp, ed.
Norton, Students explore the ways that Emancipation and Radical Reconstruction altered the lives of many Americans. Students examine how freed people in the United States sought to define freedom after Emancipation. The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy. Add or Edit Playlist.
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