Saturday, July 27, 2019

Selling Poor Steven Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Selling Poor Steven - Essay Example Many others, however, bought slaves for the same reason that white men did, which was to make a profit. This was done as a form of assimilation in a mistrustful social atmosphere (186). Slavery for freed black men was a different affair from the slavery invoked by white men. Black slaveowners bought family members as slaves to protect them and to free them a few years later. Similarly, black slaveowners would marry a slave, start a family, and then offer to purchase them from the original slaveowner. After the black slaveowner bought his family, he would free them. However, being able to buy and sell family members also had its downsides, being used as more of a threat if a family member were to get out of line or misbehave. All the same, freed black men were able to use their power to own slaves for humanitarian purposes, bringing an end to slavery for many others. Then there were the black slaveowners that treated their slaves no differently than white slaveowners treated their own . Black slaveowners still exploited the people that were lesser than them, regardless of having the same skin color. This caused great mistrust between slaves and freed black men alike. It was assumed that these prior slaves would understand what it felt like to be slaves to cruel and vicious people, which would prompt them to treat their own slaves with kindness and respect. This, however, was not always the case, and not all of the slaves were treated with compassion (192). A journal left by black slaveowner William Johnson revealed a resentment towards white slaveowners, but also revealed the need to fit in among them, which is why slaves were treated as they were by black slaveowners. â€Å"The story of black slaveowners gives powerful evidence that slavery was just as complex an institution for them [...] as it was for whites (192).† When the Civil War approached, life became difficult for slaveowners of all color. When the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and implem ented in 1863, which freed all slaves, every slaveowner had something bad to say about it. Even the black slaveowners who bought their families for protection were unhappy at the thought of losing their servants despite the reason they had boughten them to begin with. Though the concept of black slaveowners was short lived, it still caused a great impact on the institution of slavery while it lasted. The purpose of Philip Burnham’s article is to show the many reasons that black slaveowners kept slaves in comparison to the reasons that white men kept slaves, all of which were previously stated. Burnham uses historical evidence, such as journals kept by black slaveowners and records about which slaveowners bought which slaves, to support his thesis. Also included were snippets from some of the wills of these slaveowners, which often mentioned the freeing of their slaves after the death of the owner. Or, if slaves were to be passed on to family, some of the wills declared that t he slaves must be treated kindly and released after a certain amount of years. Some of the information provided by Burnham may have been simply assumptions, but they were still backed up by the historical facts and documents that were left by others. Burnham proved his theory to my satisfaction, and I agree with his statements as to the conditions and reasons that black slaveowners bought slaves. Newly made black slaveowners

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