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One Mans Epic Letter to His Former Slave Owner.....

Asclepias

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Priceless is all I can say. I cant comprehend the level of self entitlement and self delusion the former slave owner has. The slave owner actually has the nerve to write his former slave and ask him to come back to the plantation after he was freed by the Union army. Here is the emancipated mans epic and sarcastic answer.

There Was Never Any Pay-day For the Negroes Jourdon Anderson Demands Wages

Dayton, Ohio, August 7, 1865

To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee

Sir: I got your letter and was glad to find you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Col. Martin’s to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.

I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here; I get $25 a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy, —the folks here call her Mrs. Anderson),—and the children—Milly, Jane and Grundy—go to school and are learning well; the teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday- School, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated; sometimes we overhear others saying, “Them colored people were slaves” down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks, but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Col. Anderson. Many darkies would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now, if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.

As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost- Marshal- General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you are sincerely disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages has been kept back and deduct what you paid for our clothing and three doctor’s visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night, but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the Negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.

In answering this letter please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve, and die if it comes to that, than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood, the great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.

P.S. —Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.

From your old servant,

Jourdon Anderson
 

Huey

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I wonder did he ever get those lost wages his owner owed him?
 

squeeze berry

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if you would deduct food, shelter, clothing and medical care how much would be left over?
 
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Asclepias

Asclepias

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if you would deduct food, shelter, clothing and medical care how much would be left over?
Youd have to compensate for loss of freedom. How does one calculate that? It would wipe out that sily stuff.
 
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Lonestar_logic

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I have a hard time believing a slave in 1865 could write so well.
 

Lonestar_logic

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As a matter of fact, I'm certain that letter wasn't written by a former slave in 1865.
 
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Asclepias

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I have a hard time believing a slave in 1865 could write so well.
That doesnt surprise me. Most idiots have a hard with understanding some Black people learned how to read and write regardless and thats how they were able to know what was coming before the whites did. His 19 year old daughter was capable of writing the letter Regardless the letter obviously did some damage I have found after more research.
 
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ClosedCaption

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As a matter of fact, I'm certain that letter wasn't written by a former slave in 1865.

The vernacular is all wrong for that age thats for sure.


Jordan Anderson former slave who penned a sarcastic letter to his former master Ohio History Connection Collections Blog

article-2174410-14103664000005DC-935_306x423.jpg

Jourdan Anderson ladies and gents

he photograph, scratched and undated, is captioned 'Brother Jordan Anderson'. He is a middle-aged black man with a long beard and a righteous stare, as if he were a preacher locking eyes with a sinner, or a judge about to dispatch a thief to the gallows.

Anderson was a former slave who was freed from a Tennessee plantation by Union troops in 1864 and spent his remaining 40 years in Ohio.

He lived quietly and probably would have been forgotten, if not for a remarkable letter to his former master published in a Cincinnati newspaper shortly after the Civil War.

Treasured as a social document, praised as a masterpiece of satire, Anderson’s letter has been anthologized and published all over the world.

Historians teach it, and the letter turns up occasionally on a blog or on Facebook. Humorist Andy Borowitz read the letter recently and called it, in an email to The Associated Press, 'something Twain would have been proud to have written'.

Addressed to one Col. Patrick Henry Anderson, who apparently wanted Jordan to come back to the plantation east of Nashville, the letter begins cheerfully, with the former slave expressing relief that 'you had not forgotten Jordon' (there are various spellings of the name) and were 'promising to do better for me than anybody else can'. But, he adds, 'I have often felt uneasy about you'.

He informs the colonel that he’s now making a respectable wage in Dayton, Ohio, and that his children are going to school.

He tallies the monetary value of his services while on Anderson’s plantation - $11,608 - then adds, 'we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you.'



Read more: Pictured The freed slave behind moving letter to old master after he was asked back to work on farm Daily Mail Online
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Asclepias

Asclepias

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Good thing Herewego is familar with the vernacular of that day
He probably has been cast in many reenactments of the civil war losers he admires so he thinks he knows the venacular.
 

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A slave that knew how to read and write

:lmao:

and I love how he used modern English as well

:rofl:
 

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