A Struggling Plantation Owner Reaches Out to a Freed Slave with an Offer He Can, Quite Easily, Refuse
After emancipation decimated the labor supply of a Nashville-area plantation, its struggling master offers a former slave the chance to return. The response he received is one for the history books.
In this episode of Southern Hollows, we hear the poignant, masterful, and in many places humorous letter authored by Jordan Anderson, who — spoiler alert — opts against returning to the service of his former master.
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The letter goes "viral."
If there was a 19th-century equivalent of viral, Jordan's Anderson's letter was it. After appearing originally in 1865 in the Cincinnati Commercial, it appeared in numerous other papers, including the New York Daily Tribune, that same year. It was also included in the 1865 edition of Maria Child's Freedmen's Book, a publication used in the new freedmen's schools.
A visit to the old place.
The Associated Press investigated the story in 2012 and sent a photographer to the land where the plantation once stood, and to Col. Anderson's gravesite. He died at 44, two years after losing the farm. (Associated Press)
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And the credits:
Sound Design/Audio Engineer:
Music from the Episode: "Cold Sober" by Kevin MacLeod
“Death Wish” by Sebastian, via Moosique
"Erik Satie Gymnopedie No 3" by Kevin MacLeod
"Let Me Finish" by Sebastian, via Moosique
Compositions and performances licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.
Breed, Allen G and Hillel Italie, "How Did Ex-Slave's Letter to Master Come To Be?" The Associated Press, July 14, 2012 (As printed in the Salt Lake Tribune.)
Eicher, David J. The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001. p. 775.
(more about this book)
Finkenbine, Roy E. Correspondence, July 18, 2017.
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