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Old 02-13-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
Several of my cousins had moved to the South many, many years ago, and a few years ago as a favor to one of them I worked on her family tree - which was all in the North where they came from.

It was a rather easy job as they had come from a village in the North that has done a lot of local historical work, and her mother's family I found had a very colorful and much researched history.

The village they came from had been a national center of Abolition and a major Underground Railroad stop, and their something-something grtgrandfather had been instrumental in getting members of his church congregation to go on record repudiating slavery and becoming actively involved in Abolition and the Underground Railroad.

I put this altogether not only as a family tree, but as a narrative history with photos of the places associated with the family down to the present and sent it to them.

Their parents were extreme Conservatives, and evidently these cousins are as well: they were all horrified when they received it to find that their ancestors had been in the thick of a hotbed of Abolition. Unfortunately I had not found one slave owner on their tree to alleviate their shame.

However, no matter how far removed we are from the glory of our ancestors we should not be deprived of the opportunity to bathe in their dim afterglow. So, I sent the same book I had made for them to the local historical society for their genealogy center.
Oh, that's fantastic! I very much wish I had a revolutionary (not the war) ancestors - those who were abolitionists, suffragists, or Civil Rights heros. How marvelous!

I just don't understand people who would be ashamed of passionate, forward thinking ancestors!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12srburke View Post
people who owed slaves were PIGS! sorry but that's my opinion when you live in my shoes or of those family members that lived when slavery was still legal, then you would completely agree with me.
I'm very sorry you and your family have been treated badly. However, I disagree with your quoted statement above. Slavery was considered morally acceptable by the majority of people. It was the way life was. In 2011 we look at that and say it's repugnant, which I believe it is. For centuries, though, it was normal, acceptable, and expected that the wealthy had slaves. I don't believe they were pigs. I don't believe they were universally evil. It's a terrible institution that stains the histories of most countries, even Asia, South America, and Africa itself.

Like a previous poster said, I'm glad I live today and not then.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:24 AM
bjh
Status: "Happy New Year 2022." (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
44,875 posts, read 27,063,995 times
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For a good book about the south's history check out:
Amazon.com: Plain Folk of the Old South (Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures in Southern History) (9780807133422): Frank Lawrence Owsley, John B. Boles: Books

Most southerners did not own slaves. Some northerners did before individual states made it illegal. History is seldom black and white. Pun intended.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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Often, people tend to think about slavery as only happening in the US. But the slave trade has existed for thousands of years, and is still going on today. Many people, of many different ethnic backgrounds, have been subjected to slavery throughout history, and it started long before America was discovered. It would not be unlikely, that many of our ancestors have been the victims of slavery, if you go back far enough in history.

Some basic history on slavery can be found here.


Slavery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:55 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,632,702 times
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I have a mix in my family tree that covers all categories:
*ancestors in Virginia, North and South Carolina who owned slaves
*ancestors who owned slaves and brought them with them to Illinois, where they were freed and assured of that freedom for ever after
*ancestors who were abolitionists, one being the second wife of my g-g-g-g-grandfather
Affadilla Deaver - Ohio History Central - A product of the Ohio Historical Society

But, ya know what, I also have a person in my tree who died in prison, convicted of murder. Another who seemed to have had a short residence in whatever county they chose, being regularly told to "move along" and take their snake oil business elsewhere. Even today, there are living family members who I wouldn't pee on to put out a fire.

I espouse the same philosophy towards ancestors as I do living and recently deceased family: you sure can't pick 'em like you can your friends I try to live as if the best qualities of the more admirable ancestors was passed to me, while the unsavory ones are explained as being a product of their time or just plain bad characters; I use them as an example of how not to conduct myself. I also keep in mind that we all become ancestors at some point; people living today will be judged down the road and consigned to admiration or shame. Just think of the descendants of the Fred Ph.elps family (West.boro B@ptists). A hundred years from now, there are probably going to be people who won't be thrilled to have those whackjobs as forebearers, but there's not much they'll be able to do about it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 19,575,348 times
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Default An important but often overlooked truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjh View Post
For a good book about the south's history check out:
Amazon.com: Plain Folk of the Old South (Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures in Southern History) (9780807133422): Frank Lawrence Owsley, John B. Boles: Books

Most southerners did not own slaves. Some northerners did before individual states made it illegal. History is seldom black and white. Pun intended.
The sentence I placed in bold above is something that many people do not realize. I am not claiming that most white southerners did not own slaves because they were opposed to slavery. The truth is they did not own slaves because they were too poor to afford it. Slaveholders were the upper class of society, representing a rather small percentage of the white population. An analogy in today's terms might be to look at who has nannies to raise their children. The average person? No way, because the average person cannot afford it. The rich have nannies. This analogy holds only in terms of the economic analysis, of course; on the moral plane it is not a valid analogy at all.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:07 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjh View Post
Some northerners did before individual states made it illegal. History is seldom black and white. Pun intended.
Yes, New York being the largest slave owning area at one time - a distinction that lasted for almost two centuries. We also can't discount the fact that free blacks were also slave owners.

I live in the south now; when I visit my Midwestern family and am introduced to their friends and neighbors as "my sister, the one who moved to North Carolina" I get jibed for "living with those people who used to have slaves." Even in good nature, those remarks are met with an *eyeroll* by me. Give me a few hours on Ancestry and I bet I can track down a distant antecedent of theirs who had a connection to slavery.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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One of my relatives made a living hunting down fugitive slaves, even as far as into Mexico, and returning them to their owners. He was paid by other individuals who owned the mortgages to said slaves. This is one of the little discussed aspects of slavery. Many slaveholders mortgaged their slaves, usually to other individuals but sometimes to banks, for money to keep things going.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:43 PM
bjh
Status: "Happy New Year 2022." (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
44,875 posts, read 27,063,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
The sentence I placed in bold above is something that many people do not realize. I am not claiming that most white southerners did not own slaves because they were opposed to slavery. The truth is they did not own slaves because they were too poor to afford it. Slaveholders were the upper class of society, representing a rather small percentage of the white population. An analogy in today's terms might be to look at who has nannies to raise their children. The average person? No way, because the average person cannot afford it. The rich have nannies. This analogy holds only in terms of the economic analysis, of course; on the moral plane it is not a valid analogy at all.
You're right, and that's a good analogy. The other side of that coin is the people in the north who would have continued owning slaves, if their state of residence hadn't outlawed it. It's interesting to note that the abolition of slavery in the north was allowed to take place gradually. Hence, the well-off people who owned slaves in the north had time to sell them in southern states where the practice was still legal. Whereas southern slave owners were essentially stripped of their wealth more quickly. Not that anyone owning slaves was okay, but that's the way it went.

See this: Abolitionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Jersey was last to abolish slavery in 1804 but held people in "perpetual apprenticeships" up to 1860. Talk about a legal loophole. And then even after the Civil War, segregation was common in both the north and south.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwing View Post
Yes, New York being the largest slave owning area at one time - a distinction that lasted for almost two centuries. We also can't discount the fact that free blacks were also slave owners.

I live in the south now; when I visit my Midwestern family and am introduced to their friends and neighbors as "my sister, the one who moved to North Carolina" I get jibed for "living with those people who used to have slaves." Even in good nature, those remarks are met with an *eyeroll* by me. Give me a few hours on Ancestry and I bet I can track down a distant antecedent of theirs who had a connection to slavery.
True, and as someone mentioned earlier, slavery is not unique to America. It's been around for a long time. Would be a miracle if it ever went away entirely. It's one of those things that ought to be continually worked against whenever it still happens - sweat shops and human trafficking.

But in addition to blacks owning slaves, free blacks that didn't own slaves led active lives, owning businesses, becoming doctors and lawyers, owning land. It's unfortunate that many black Americans kind of automatically think all their ancestors were downtrodden. That's not always the case.

And also as was said earlier, lots of people all over the world have been treated badly. That's true, slave in fact, if not in law. Life has been tough all over for a lot of groups. The thing is for people not to limit themselves because of what any ancestors went through. They got through it, and we're all here. Let's make the most of it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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Well, My great grandfather owned 300 slaves. I'm not related to any africans though.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,129 posts, read 29,299,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidty223 View Post
Well, My great grandfather owned 300 slaves. I'm not related to any africans though.
You must be very old considering slavery ended here over 145 years ago. Perhaps this was outside the U.S.? If not, you probably need to add a couple more greats on the front.
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