previous next
[36]

The prejudice against the poor creatures in Ohio was much stronger than that they encountered on the other side of the Ohio River in the slave State of Kentucky. Here — in Kentucky--they were property, and they generally received the care and consideration that ownership ordinarily establishes. The interest of the master was a factor in their behalf. In many instances there was genuine affection between owner and slave. “How much better off they would be if they only had good masters,” was a remark I very often heard in Ohio, as the negroes would go slouching by with hanging heads and averted countenances. There is no doubt that at this time the physical condition of the blacks was generally much better in slavery than it was in freedom. What stronger testimony to the innate desire for liberty — what Byron has described as “The eternal spirit of the chainless mind” --than the fact that slaves who were the most indulgently treated, were constantly escaping from the easy and careless life they led to the hostilities and barbarities of the free States, and they never went back except under compulsion.

O carry me back to old Virginy,
To old Virginy's shore,

was the refrain of a song that was very popular in those days, and which was much affected by what were called “negro minstrels.” It was assumed to express the feelings of colored fugitives from bondage when they had time to realize what freedom meant in their cases, but I never heard the words

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Ohio (United States) (1)
Kentucky (Kentucky, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Byron (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: