'Life On A Plantation Before The Civil War'

669 Words3 Pages
The article “Life on a Plantation Before the Civil War (late 1850’s)“ by Frederick Olmsted shares an interesting, yet gruesome look into the darker side of American History. Olmsted, a writer for the New York Daily Times (soon to be the New York Times), is obviously disturbed by the way that slaves are treated on this particular plantation. One account of a malicious slave beating is particularly disturbing.” The girl knelt on the ground,… he struck her thirty or forty blows across the shoulder with his tough, flexible, ‘raw-hide’ whip.” While Olmsted was upset and disturbed by the manner in which the slaves were treated, he still commented on the agricultural effectiveness of the slaves. I think that Olmsted opposed…show more content…
The cruelty and brutality of slave life is common knowledge of most Americans, even in the 1850’s. However, Fitzhugh didn’t get that memo. His article is almost comedic in how inaccurately it depicts slavery. For example his first line of the article is, “The negro slaves of the South are the happiest, and in some sense, the freest people in the world.” As racist, and inaccurate as it is, the paper provides a creepy insight to the way that the people of the South, justified slavery. Fitzhugh’s view on slavery is quite opposite that of Olmsted. Olmsted’s accounts seem accurate and relatively unbiased; where as Fitzhugh’s account of slavery seems, like a biased, racist The last article on slavery I read was “On a Slave Ship” (1829) by Reverend Robert Walsh. This story takes place in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, off the African coast, after the British and American governments outlawed the importation of slaves. Walsh was aboard a British Naval vessel that was intercepting a Portuguese slave ship. This is by far my favorite of the three articles because it is one of the few slave stories that I have ever read with a happy ending. Walsh and his team capture a

More about 'Life On A Plantation Before The Civil War'

Open Document