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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 187, November 2, 1853

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Identifier: DX04200786

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 187, November 2, 1853

Description: Describes a talk with Keane Richards about slavery.


coat from him, — ordering always to obey when a White Man bade him, whatever might be his opinion of the justice of it. / “Is not that anecdote a terrible protest against Slavery? said I, “here’s a good, brave honest, human creature really believes that God wills he shall be flogged justly or unjustly, as another human creature in a white-skin wills?” “It is so, — but It has to be, — we can’t get on without it!” So it is, The World Can’t get on without it. Much Individual Wrong and Ill doing does the Sun shine upon every day — Patience, and let each one do his best. Calling names won’t help the matter. / The house servants are mostly yellow folk, mulattos. There was a pretty girl of a warm yellow tint with large lustrous eyes, waited at table; she had been purchased by Mr [Keane] Richards grandfather, having complained of ill usage by former owners. All her relatives were away. Also there was a young fellow, also a mulotto about the house. He’d been presented his freedom once, in his master’s will, but it had been retracted. Richards said he was a much better servant since he knew of the change. / One evening I was present while Keene Richards gave out the clothes to “the hands.” It was on Sunday night. Large cases of clothes and shoes had arrived, the former from Kentucky, the latter made to order in the Eastern states. All the niggers, a dusky crowd they were too, assembled outside, and as the name on each garment was discovered, (a work of some difficulty,) it was passed out to them. Maurice Keene wrote a record of it. Yusef was rather authoritative, shouting out the names. There were plenty of “Big Jims, little Jims, long Pete’s” and nomenclature from physical peculiarities. Some had fine names, as “Beauharnais.” / It was lovely weather, these days, sunny but temperate, and the rich soft summer foliage belied the notion of November. I rode out, rambled, reading meanwhile. [George William] Curtis’s “Howadji” books and Lotus Eating, and Washington Irvings, “Tales of the Alhambra. Time passed pleasantly, albeit I didn’t feel well.

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-11-02

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Women
Clothing and dress
African Americans
Books and reading


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