There’s an amazing post-Civil War letter from a freed slave to his former Tennessee master that’s made the internet rounds the last couple of days. Read it here, and be amazed.
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.
Unbelievable. Lesson: Conservatives are clueless no matter the century.
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.
That struck me. I have no reason to believe Jourdon would lie about what he knew. I have every reason to believe Matilda and Catherine were victims of sexual assault by owners and/or their employees, and Jourdon would do anything to avoid having his daughters suffer the same fate.
Which brings me to more Tennessee, just modern day:
Tea parties issue demands to Tennessee legislators
Richard Locker | Tennessee Commercial Appeal
About two dozen tea party activists held a news conference, then met with lawmakers individually to present their list of priorities and “demands” for the 2011 legislative session that opened Tuesday.
Regarding education, the material they distributed said, “Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.”
They could start with Jourdon Anderson’s letter to his former master. Plenty of truth for a Tennessee gentleman to chew on.
Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.”
. . “made up” criticism? Perhaps, like calling the country’s president “socialist” when he’s merely “Democratic”? Or claiming he’s an “illegitimate African usurper” when he’s really “black”?
Fine, let’s avoid fantasies. Back in ‘history’ days, 46 year-old Thomas Jefferson impregnated 16 year-old Virginian Sally Hemings. Why? Because they were married? Engaged? No. Because Jefferson owned her. Sally was his slave. Nothing fantastic about that.
Hey, me? I’m not criticizing anyone. Banging teenage girls is a perq that comes with owning them. The Andersons would tell you.