British Slavery: Fanny Kemble And Butler's History

819 Words 4 Pages
Fanny Kemble was a well-known British actress during the early 1800s. Kemble, however retired from her acting career in 1834 when she married an American planter by the name of Pierce Butler. After marrying Butler, Kemble joined her new husband in Philadelphia, where they lived for majority of their marriage. However, during the winter of 1838 to 1839 Kemble and Butler’s family left Philadelphia for Butler’s plantation on the coast of Georgia. While on the plantation Kemble experienced slavery and the injustices that come along with the barbaric assembly first-hand, but also gained insight through the trust of the women slaves on the plantation, who frequently came to her to ask favors. Kemble kept a detailed journal of her time in Georgia, but was forbade to publish her work by her husband. Yet, in 1847 Kemble and Butler divorced and upon the eve of the Civil War, Kemble published the Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839. Moreover, if a scholar or student carefully analyzes and critiques Kemble’s journal entries they will be able to gain irreplaceable insight into several important concepts of the time, including paternalism, an outsiders point-of- view on slavery, and an insight to the everyday life of African slaves—in particular women. Firstly, Kemble’s journal entry provides useful insight into personal views and beliefs on the institution of slavery. For instance, when Kemble states, “You will see how miserable the physical condition, it is insisted by those who uphold this evil system, is the only part of it which is prosperous, happy, and compares well with that of northern laborers…” (255), the audience …show more content…
In less than fifty years after this journal was written a war was fought over this system of labor (and other reasons). Even today, there is a mental barrier between the

Related Documents