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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 186, November 2, 1853

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Identifier: DX04199870

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 186, November 2, 1853

Description: Describes a talk with Keane Richards about slavery.


held that he could have spared the Almighty some absurdities, had he been consulted. / We had much talk on Slavery at Transylvania. Keene Richards was very conciencious about his negroes. Mr Alick [Keane] declared sometimes “it needed a Tiger to manage them.” There had been a general stampede of some ten or twenty from Judge Morgan’s plantation, during his absence in Kentucky. It would seem whenever a new overseer arrives, there’s a sort of trial of his authority by the slaves. Runaways stay out in the cane-brakes or swamp, killing a hog, or any game, or getting fed by their comrades. They are always caught, generally come back themselves; get whipped, and set to work again. Some are always running off. In parts of the country men keep dogs trained to hunt and track them; and a slave resisting might be severely lacerated, or shot. Did a colored man strike a white man, even in self-defense, I believe the white man might take his life; certainly the law would not interfere, though his owner might. Such a case would not be likely to occur. The general feeling among the race is of their inferiority, — they despise their own race. I heard a touching story in point here, from Keene Richards. He spoke of an old man, slave to their family, in Kentucky, that he was as good, honest and unaffectedly pious as the fictitious “Uncle Tom.” He managed the farm, and kept the house in order during the absence of the family; had control of money matters, and might be trusted with everything. He did not desire freedom. He attended his church, read his bible. He believed the Bible justified Slavery to his race as descendants of Ham. With his sons, he was carried south to the Louisiana plantation one summer. One son, happening to displease the Overseer, was ordered to strip and receive a whipping. He had been a sort of favorite with the family, and demurred. Whereupon his father, then present, went up to him, and bade him strip immediately, or he would himself take his

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-11-02

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Plantations
Fugitive slaves
African Americans


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