Would YOU be a Slaveholder?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Dr. Bob, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. Dr. Bob

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    BenFranklin asked a question - "If you could be transported back in time to 1850, would you think that slave owning would be right for you, in terms of moral correctness?"

    Also, whether a slave owner or not, would you have fought to allow slavery to continue?

    Great questions.
     
  2. Singing Cop

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    Interesting question. If I lived back then and had the standards and convictions I have now...no I would not have been a slave owner nor would I have been in favor of slavery. But on the other hand If I lived back then there is a good chance of being brought up in a society and a family where slavery was the norm, acceptable belief...so I might have. I guess it depends on where I was brought up. If I were anything like I am now...financially speaking...I probably couldn't afford slaves.
     
  3. KenH

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    I can't put myself back in an 1850 mindset without having grown up in that time period.

    Regardless, if I had been a Southerner, I would have fought to defend the Confederacy from the Yankee invaders.
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I don't think I could ever degrade another person like that. I would like to believe that I would have fought for freedom. Do I know that I would have for sure? Who knows?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  5. Johnv

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    No.
    As with the abortion issue of today, I probably would have called it evil, and called for its end, but would have also recognized that an end would not come overnight, and likely would take several decades.
     
  6. blackbird

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    People go on like everybody had slaves!! Like every white person had a slave---whether that white person was a Plantation owner or ran the General Store or lived on "Skid Row!"

    That's just not so!! I challenge any person to do a study of the issue of who and who did not own slaves---the percentages of the "does" verses the "do nots"---it very well may shock people that only a small percentage of whites here in the US actually owned slaves!!

    Are you up for that study, Dr. Bob???
     
  7. rsr

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    What does that matter, Blackbird?
     
  8. swaimj

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    Here's a parallel question: If you had been present at the crucifixion, would you have cried "crucify him, crucify him" like the crowd, would you have fled like his disciples, or would you have stayed with Jesus all the way? I know what I would like to THINK I would have done. I also know what I think I WOULD have done. I would have been just as wrong and just as weak as the others who were there. Similarly, if you had lived at the time of slavery, it is likely that you would have gone along with the popular beliefs of the day. If you were a southerner, you would have supported slavery. Not a pretty thought and not a thought that boosts our self-esteem, but most likely the truth about ALL of us.
     
  9. blackbird

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    But I must reply to the thread question---would I be a slave holder??

    Like the rest of the posters---I'm glad I don't have to answer that question!

    Would I have THEN--as in slave holding days??

    Would I now---of course not!

    But let me throw something out at 'cha! Suppose I am a average farmer---say, a Cotton Farmer! And I have about 1200 acres of cotton! I have every impliment and tractor/equipment---to do the job---I figure here is what I will have to maintain on my cotton farm----based on a former deacon of mine in north Mississippi who happens to farm about that much cotton!

    I must maintain 3 rather large tractors---and impliments---lets just start with the tractors---no less than 200 horsepower each---and capable of pulling a 20 foot disk/harrow---and each capable of pulling what is known as a "Super Chisel"--subsoiler----this is the bare minimum of tractors I will need---at about $220,000/tractor

    I will need two "Two row" cotton pickers---bare minimum---$200,000/picker

    Now---here's the "skinny" on how long it will take me to pick the cotton--from start to finish! I will begin with both pickers about the middle of September(give or take a week or two) and will conclude with my 1200 acres sometime around Christmas---provided I have good dry weather!

    On the best Mississippi Delta farm land---I can produce 3 bales of cotton per acre(again--give or take a little bit)---each bale will weigh +-500 pounds!

    I can farm 1200 acres of cotton---plus a few other odd/end produces---like cattle--etc.---with the bare minimum of 4 farm hands plus myself!! That's just about what it takes---for any farmer with about that much land to farm--again--give or take a few!!

    Now--I remember one of my uncle's talk about "Picking cotton" by hand---in the '20's and 30's! I recall him saying that on his best day---he could pick about 100 pounds per day!---that means it would take him 5 days to pick what the mechinized picker can do in just a few minutes!

    Now---if I had a farm---back in the 1700's and 1800's----say---that same 1200 acres---with no tractor---no modern picker--only "hand"power---you calculate----how many laborers I would need to do what it is that I do----just to pick cotton from September to December--on that 1200 acres---If the best man I had picked 100 pounds per day---1/5th of a bale---I would need 5 men to pick one bale/day---and each acre of my 1200 acres produces --- lets just say----- 1 bale per acre!!

    If I lived back then---knowing what I know right now about slavery--being able to "look back"----no---I would not have slaves---I would have laborers---paying them fair wages of the day!

    But if I lived back then---not knowing what I know now about slavery---and knowing what everybody else did---Yes---I would---but then again---just because I say that---gives you no right to make judgement on me for what I never have been responsible for knowing what I know now!

    Blackbird
     
  10. Ben W

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    Absolutley Not.
     
  11. Turpius

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    I would not have owned slaves, and being of mostly "Yankee" heritage, I probably would not have fought to preserve it either.

    Ironically,my one family line from the south, settled in Indiana and provided my one Civil War ancestor on the Union side!
     
  12. Johnv

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    Likewise today, some people act like everyone is having abortions. That is by no means the case. However, like abortion, everyone had a position in regards to the slavery issue. And, like abortion, some felt that if you were not willing to call for an immediate end to slavery, then you were not a Christian.
     
  13. PastorGreg

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    But, the South, on the whole, did not fight to preserve slavery. Not every southerner was pro-slavery, not every northerner was anti-slavery. "Honest" Abe was every bit as racist as the next guy.

    I think a lot of wisdom has been shown by those who say we really can't answer the question. Knowing what I know now - of course not, but we can't know what we would have done in a different culture at a different time under different influences.
     
  14. Benfranklin403

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    &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;That's just not so!! I challenge any person to do a study of the issue of who and who did not own slaves---the percentages of the "does" verses the "do nots"---it very well may shock people that only a small percentage of whites here in the US actually owned slaves!!&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;

    It is certainly true that a minority of people owned slaves but that minority numbered in the hundreds of thousands. It was also a powerful minority, powerful enough to rule the governments of the southern states. One of my own ancestors owned a small number of slaves and that can probably be said of many southern people. I like the language of a John Bright, often quoted by Churchill as follows:

    "At last after the smoke of the battlefield has cleared away, the horrid shape which had cast its shadow over the whole continent, had vanished and was gone forever".

    Slavery was a monster that even now affects the United States.
     
  15. Benfranklin403

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    &gt;&gt;&gt;But, the South, on the whole, did not fight to preserve slavery. Not every southerner was pro-slavery, not every northerner was anti-slavery. "Honest" Abe was every bit as racist as the next guy.&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;

    The claim that Lincoln was racist does not have much factual support. It is true that he made comments that would not be popular today with the NAACP but considering the era in which he lived, he was remarkably free from racial animosity. At the end of his presidency, blacks were far better off than previously. Much of that was due to his deliberate actions.

    For every quote of Lincoln's that you can produce that show racism, I can produce three that show an attitude of fairness and acceptance of blacks.
     
  16. just-want-peace

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    Absolutely not!!! What affects us now are those who want to blame today's "SOUTHERNERS" for their ancestors deeds; IE liberals, JJ, Al S., et al!

    Slavery is roughly 150 years in the past, but some %^&#%@@)(*& have figured out how to make a good living off of the blame game, and unfortunately there are also many who have no better sense than to buy into the blame game.

    Also, there was not universal opposition from the NORTH against, slavery, but to read most of the thread posts, one would think that the Yankees were lily white re: slavery.

    Which leads to the next point: The biggest reason for the "JIm Crow " laws of the South, and the resultant racist problems, were the results of the carpet-baggers that descended to Dixie to reap the easy pickins of a defeated nation.

    But even now these same #$^%$#(&@&^ keep playing the racist card at any and all opportunities so the "sheep" will continue to fill their coffers.

    Get these people out of the picture, and racism will be nought but a shadow of it's former self in a very short time.
     
  17. Benfranklin403

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    The following is an account of Lincoln speaking with a group of free negroes on the subject of colonization. He recognized, as few did, that slavery itself did serious harm to the intellect of the slaves:


    Having all been seated, the President, after a few preliminary observations, informed them that a sum of money had been appropriated by Congress, and placed at his disposition, for the purpose of aiding the colonization, in some country, of the people, or a portion of them, of African descent, thereby making it his duty, as it had for a long time been his inclination, to favor that cause. And why, he asked, should the people of your race be colonized, and where? Why should they leave this country? This is, perhaps, the first question for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss; but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think. Your race suffer very greatly, many of them, by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason, at least, why we should be separated. You here are free men, I suppose.

    [A voice--"Yes, sir!"]

    Perhaps you have long been free, or all your lives. Your race are suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people. But even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race. You are cut off from many of the advantages which the other race enjoys. The aspiration of men is to enjoy equality with the best when free, but on this broad continent not a single man of your race is made the equal of a single man of ours. Go where you are treated the best, and the ban is still upon you. I do not propose to discuss this, but to present it as a fact, with which we have to deal. I cannot alter it if I would. It is a fact about which we all think and feel alike, I and you. We look to our condition. Owing to the existence of the two races on this continent, I need not recount to you the effects upon white men, growing out of the institution of slavery.

    I believe in its general evil effects on the white race. See our present condition--the country engaged in war--white men cutting one another's throats--none knowing how far it will extend--and then consider what we know to be the truth: But for your race among us there could not be war, although many men engaged on either side do not care for you one way or the other. Nevertheless I repeat, without the institution of slavery and the colored race as a basis, the war could not have an existence. It is better for us both, therefore, to be separated. I know that there are free men among you, who, even if they could better their condition, are not as much inclined to go out of the country as those who, being slaves, could obtain their freedom on this condition. I suppose one of the principal difficulties in the way of colonization is that the free colored man cannot see that his comfort would be advanced by it. You may believe that you can live in WASHINGTON, or elsewhere in the United States, the remainder of your life, as easily, perhaps more so, than you can in any foreign Country; and hence you may come to the conclusion that you have nothing to do with the idea of going to a foreign country.

    This is (I speak in no unkind sense) an extremely selfish view of the case. You ought to do something to help those who are not so fortunate as yourselves. There is an unwillingness on the part of our people, harsh as it may be, for you free colored people to remain with us. Now, if you could give a start to the white people, you would open a wide door for many to be made free. If we deal with those who are not free at the beginning, and whose intellects are clouded by slavery, we have very poor material to start with. If intelligent colored men, such as are before me, would move in this matter, much might be accomplished.

    It is exceedingly important that we have men at the beginning capable of thinking as white men, and not those who have been systematically oppressed.
     
  18. Johnv

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    Yes, that's true, but the aftereffects of slavery (blacks having the same legal rights and protections as whites) haunted the country well past the 1960's civil rights era.
     
  19. just-want-peace

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    As I stated earlier:
    I see no more "RACISM" in my area than the normal oddballs that think anyone different from themselves is "UNPURE". In other words, "there's always that 10%!"

    Most of the racism I encountered at work was the result of some "crusade" that JJ or his ilk was hyping at the time. As long as the professional race-baiters were silent, there appeared no rift between blacks & whites. All seemed to just get along fine. It's these people (and their sheeple) who inject themselves into a situation that concerns them not one bit (except fund raising) that foment all the strife!!
     
  20. Gershom

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    I answer "no" to both questions.
     

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