Slave Narratives: James Lucas Of Natchez, Mississippi

1078 Words 4 Pages
Slave Narratives

While most slaves were born into slavery rather than being imported from another country, they still, for the most part, got the same treatment. Throughout elementary school, children are taught that slaves were these immigrants that were brought to the United States to work for property owners and plantation owners. Unfortunately, it was much more than just that. They were brought here to do the dirty work as white men sat and watched them. The women were treated no better, as they had to also work in the fields or do the hard work of keeping the house clean and tidy. Upon their arrival, the women were often sexually assaulted and made a mistress if the master was attracted to her. If the slaves had children, the boys would
…show more content…
The slaves were able to form a good relationship with their respectful owners. Despite their being of the African descent, the masters treated them with a descent amount of respect and not as a completely different human species. The slave owners worked them hard and the families were still torn apart, but it did not stop slaves from making the best of it. James Lucas of Natchez, Mississippi, was a former slave of President Jefferson Davis. Throughout his recollection of the time he was enslaved, he seemed to have had a genuinely good time. Unfortunately, not every slave was as lucky as him to have had a good owner; Mr. Lucas was fortunate enough to have an owner that treated him the best he could. As stated by Lucas himself, Jefferson Davis, his owner, had a lot of land and claims that “At Chris’mus de Marster give de slaves a heap o’ fresh meat an whiskey for treats.” (Page 44). It was not uncommon for the master to present their slaves with enough food to get by and new clothes at Christmas, but Jefferson did this regularly. Jefferson was not against slavery but he also was not in favor with it. In his defense against slavery, Davis questioned: “…if the fact had been that he negroes were forced to serve, and desired only an opportunity to rise against their masters?” He did not want his slaves to rise against him, de did not even want slavery in the first place but it happened and he could not do anything …show more content…
If the slaves were not sleeping in the owners’ house, they slept in a hut or a cabin a few miles out from the house. Unfortunately, there was little to no insulation in the house, but they somehow made it work. In contrast, the blistering heat of the summer sun would fill the house with intense heat. Charlie Davenport gave a small look into this situation by stating how his master would feed them a nice hot breakfast on Sunday morning and sometimes even a luxury meat like rabbit or fish. As far as housing went, “De houses was clean an’ snug. Us was better fed dan I is now, an’ warmer, too. Us had blankets an’ quilts wid home raised wool an’ I jus’ loved layin’ in de big fat feather bed a-hearin’ de rain patter on de roof.” (Charlie Davenport, page 4) The much more unfortunate had pallets as a bed and sometimes not even a blanket. Food was rationed for them and often included a piece of bread and soup- if that. Fortunately for most of these slaves, whether they were treated like a normal human or not they were able to become free and eventually gained control of their

Related Documents