Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the Curse of Canaan, and the Golden Rule - Part 8 of a Series of 10

Harriet Beecher Stowe - Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1852
Harriet Beecher Stowe - Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1852

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous fictional work Uncle Tom’s Cabin was first published in an abolitionist newspaper, The National Era, in 45 parts from June 5, 1851 to April 1, 1852. The novel was promptly published on March, 20, 1852, and immediately met with tremendous success and acclaim. Mrs. Stowe met with President Abraham Lincoln in the White House on November 25, 1862. According to her and a daughter, it was a “very funny” and “droll” interview.

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Slave Narratives, John Beckwith, Cary, NC

N.C. District:

No. 2, part 1

Worker:

Mary A. Hicks

   

No. Words:

341

Subject:

WHEN THE YANKEES CAME

Person Interviewed:

John Beckwith

Editor:

Daisy Bailey Waitt

Part 1 Pages 88-90

Library of Congress

Date of interview/photo approximately May/June 1937

An Interview with John Beckwith 83, of Cary.

I reckon dat I wuz 'bout nine years old at de surrender, but we warn't happy an' we stayed on dar till my parents died. My pappy wuz named Green an' my mammy wuz named Molly, an' we belonged ter Mr. Joe Edwards, Mr. Marion Gully, an' Mr. Hilliard Beckwith, as de missus married all of 'em. Dar wuz twenty-one other slaves, an' we got beat ever' onct in a while.

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The Slave Narratives - Part 7 of a Series of 10

John Beckwith, 83, of Cary, NC, former slave, in 1937. “I reckon dat I wuz ‘bout nine years old at de surrender…I wuz happy den as I thinks back of it, until dem Yankees come.”
John Beckwith, 83, of Cary, NC, former slave, in 1937. “I reckon dat I wuz ‘bout nine years old at de surrender…I wuz happy den as I thinks back of it, until dem Yankees come.”

As part of the Federal Writer’s Project during the Great Depression, the Roosevelt Administration employed scores of journalists to interview former slaves and record verbatim (and in dialect) their memories of slavery. From 1936 to 1938 about 2, 300 former slaves were interviewed, most of whom were delighted to tell about “slavery times.”  In 1941, these systematically designed interviews were published by state in a multi-volume series called The Slave Narratives.

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Masters, Slaves, and the Conditions of Slavery - Part 6 of 10

The photo is book cover of Time on the Cross and should be sufficient in itself—nothing needs to be added. Source wiki.
The photo is book cover of Time on the Cross and should be sufficient in itself—nothing needs to be added. Source wiki.

There was a great variation in the conditions of slavery among peoples and over time in history. Sometimes conditions improved or deteriorated within a single civilization. The relationship between master and slave also varied among peoples and over time. Slavery or some similar hierarchical system was extremely prevalent in ancient times. Many slaves held special status because of their responsibilities or personal relationship to their master. 

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The Contrast of Abolitionist Versus Providential Views - Part 5 of a series of 10

Rev. John Henry Hopkins ((1792-1868). Irish-born Episcopal Bishop of Vermont (1832-1868). Eighth Presiding Bishop of Episcopal Church in U.S. (1865-8). Defended Authority of Scripture and Providential view of slavery.
Rev. John Henry Hopkins ((1792-1868). Irish-born Episcopal Bishop of Vermont (1832-1868). Eighth Presiding Bishop of Episcopal Church in U.S. (1865-8). Defended Authority of Scripture and Providential view of slavery.

On February 4, 1863, the famous abolitionist attorney and orator, Wendell Phillips, made this remarkable declaration from the pulpit of Henry Ward Beecher’s huge Plymouth Church in Brooklyn:

“I do not believe there will be any peace until 347,000 men of the South are either hanged or exiled.”

The crowd cheered.  Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the abolitionist novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was himself one of the most famous abolitionists and sought-after speakers in America. Henry Beecher was also known for raising money to send Sharps rifles to abolitionists fighting in Kansas and Nebraska—known as “Beecher’s Bibles.”

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Mike Scruggs