“Happy Slaves” Described In 7th Grade Virginia Textbook Used for 20 Yrs.

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2bPublished in 1956 and used in Virginia classrooms through the late 1970’s, Virginia: History, Government, Geography by Francis B. Simkins and Spotswood H. Jones, and Sidman P. Poole describes the life of a Virginia slave as “happy”, “cheerful”, and “prosperous.”

“.…The Negroes learned also to enjoy the work and play of the plantations…Virginia offered a better life for the Negroes than did Africa…”

“A feeling of strong affection existed between masters and slaves in a majority of Virginia homes. . . The house servants became almost as much a part of the planter’s family circle as its white members. . . The Negroes were always present at family weddings. They were allowed to look on at dances and other entertainments . . . A strong tie existed between slave and master because each was dependent on the other. . . The slave system demanded that the master care for the slave in childhood, in sickness, and in old age. The regard that master and slaves had for each other made plantation life happy and prosperous.  Life among the Negroes of Virginia in slavery times was generally happy. The Negroes went about in a cheerful manner making a living for themselves and for those for whom they worked. . . But they were not worried by the furious arguments going on between Northerners and Southerners over what should be done with them. In fact, they paid little attention to these arguments.”

Notice the slave on the ship is wearing a suit and shaking hands as though he is a business partner…

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On the slave ship in a suit? With a handshake?

 

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One thought on ““Happy Slaves” Described In 7th Grade Virginia Textbook Used for 20 Yrs.

  1. Pingback: “Happy Slaves” Described In 7th Grade Virginia Textbook Used for 20 Yrs. | Marc Gilbert-Widmann

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