My history teacher assigned our class to write an original piece using historical quotes.
| Ever since the day of my birth in 1835, I have been enslaved by the same family, working in the same fields, doing the same job, day in and day out. Despite my, and all of the other slaves’, dedicated servitude, we were still subject to the worst of all calamities. If a slave were to speak loudly when spoken to by his master, look dissatisfied, or even look at his master “the wrong way”, these were all matters for which a slave may be whipped.
However, I have heard stories of a master who is sometimes kind and indulgent to his slaves. And, it has been said that humans are by nature all free, equal, and independent. So, if our freedom is owed to us by birthright, how much longer can it be withheld? Stand strong my people, and endure what you must, for one day, we will be unchained from the fetters that bind us. They may put shackles on our bodies, but they will never reduce our spirits to slavery.
1. “I had learned that being a slave I was subject to the worst (to us) of all calamities; and I knew of others in similar situations to myself, thus sold away.” - Lunsford Lane, 1842, Narrative of Lunsford Lane
2. “A mere look, word, or motion, – a mistake, accident, or want of power, – are all matters for which a slave may be whipped at any time. Does a slave look dissatisfied...does he speak loudly when spoken to by his master?” - Frederick Douglass, 1845, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
3. “But is not this master sometimes kind and indulgent to his slaves?” - Thomas R. Dew, 1832, Pro-Slavery Argument
4. “Men being, as has been said, by nature all free, equal, and independent”
“Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery” - John Locke, 1689, Two treatises on Government