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skipaway
02-01-2012, 04:02 PM
I thought this was a brilliant letter. Apparently the former slave owner wrote to see if his former slave, Jourdan, who escaped, would come back and work for him. I would have loved to have met this man.

Excellent Letter by Former Slave (http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/01/to-my-old-master.html)


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.

and he asks for reparations too: :rofl:


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.

sk8er1964
02-01-2012, 04:07 PM
Good read.

Wyliefan
02-01-2012, 04:18 PM
Jourdan Anderson had a way with words, and no mistake. :D Awesome letter.

Buzz
02-01-2012, 04:24 PM
Oyyy!!! :lol:

Ajax
02-01-2012, 05:12 PM
Hahahahaha, awesome!

Cachoo
02-01-2012, 06:06 PM
I wonder what the amount would be with interest today. Excellent read--thank you.

ChelleC
02-02-2012, 01:01 AM
Oh that is just great!

Civic
02-02-2012, 01:11 AM
He was more civil than his former master deserved considering he tried to shoot him. The letter says it all.

milanessa
02-02-2012, 01:40 AM
If those are Jourdan Anderson's "forms of expression" as the newspaper states, he was educated. I wonder why he couldn't write.

agalisgv
02-02-2012, 06:10 AM
If those are Jourdan Anderson's "forms of expression" as the newspaper states, he was educated. Yes, under a thin veneer of civility, he basically called his former masters murderers, thieves, and rapists.

It was cleverly done, but the horror gestured to in that letter I found quite chilling.

IceAlisa
02-02-2012, 06:47 AM
It's amazing that he still trusted his former owner enough, in spite of the attempt to shoot him, and other said and unsaid threats and abuses. Perhaps he was desperate.

agalisgv
02-02-2012, 06:56 AM
It's amazing that he still trusted his former owner enough Hmm, I read it quite the opposite. He didn't trust his former master because of the reasons outlined, so he placed an impossible condition for his return (in essence saying there's no way on earth he'd ever come back).

Basically he told him off while taking the high road.

IceAlisa
02-02-2012, 07:00 AM
Hmm, I read it quite the opposite. He didn't trust his former master because of the reasons outlined, so he placed an impossible condition for his return (in essence saying there's no way on earth he'd ever come back).

Basically he told him off while taking the high road.

:confused: Then why is he writing to him at all? To stick it to him? Guess I am naive enough to think that reparations were possible. Reading too much about Catherine the Great and her (unsuccessful) attempts to end serfdom.

agalisgv
02-02-2012, 07:08 AM
:confused: Then why is he writing to him at all? To stick it to him? Pretty much
Guess I am naive enough to think that reparations were possible. Well, hope springs eternal and all :shuffle:

But seriously, it was pretty common for masters to try and trick their former slaves into "working" for them post-slavery in essentially slavery conditions. It's where the whole share-cropping phenomenon arose.

The '40 acres and a mule' thing didn't go over well at all.

IceAlisa
02-02-2012, 07:10 AM
But seriously, it was pretty common for masters to try and trick their former slaves into "working" for them post-slavery in essentially slavery conditions.

I didn't know that, thanks. Glad he was too smart to fall for the trick.