Friday, December 29, 2017

The History Behind Reverend Charles Thompson Slavery Biography

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By Roger Wagner

While not as volatile as during other times in history, the current economical, racial and social climate is currently in great chaos. With the onset of new racial inequality, the recent rise of White Supremacists and power structures which have done little to help ease the situation, it is important to look back on history. In one case, a good place to learn about the atrocities of the past with regards to race is through a slavery biography.

One biography, that of the Reverend Charles Thompson which was published in 1875 was written from the perspective of being a child during the slave trade. In this publication, the author refers to the time being one of great difficulty and despair. In fact, the book details all aspects of being a child slave during that time. As such, this biography is often considered as close as one can get to having been a witness to the atrocities of the time.

Born in Atala County, Mississippi, Charles lived and worked on a plantation until the time the mother died at the age of 37. At which time, the uncle, fearing separation from a wife hid from slave owners and blood hounds. After learning that an owner would allow the couple to work on a farm together, the uncle surrendered.

The mother of the author died at the early age of 37. After which, an uncle hid from the slave owners and blood hounds because of fear of being separated from a loving wife. At which time, Charles was hired out to a number of different plantations as a both a young boy and an adult. Eventually, the uncle surrounded after learning that one owner would allow the couple to work on the same plantation.

In order to gain insight to the life and times of the uncle and the author, there are a few movies and a mini-series which reflect the incidents in great detail. The first, and most likely the most infamous is that of Roots, a mini-series which aired in the 1970s. More recently, Twelve Years A Slave and Django Unchained have portrayed the atrocities and incidents of the time on a personal basis.

When it comes to the history of the time, it is a sad and true tale of abuse, ownership, rape, violence and torture. In most cases, slaves were considered personal property who could be bought and sold as desired. While there were entire families sold into slavery, individual members were often sold off to other plantations. As a result, many families were broken up and were never able to reunite.

Most slaves had to perform chores, duties and other tasks as requested or face severe punishment. During the slave trade, this work was performed free of charge. While room and board were often included on the plantation, most quarters were in poor condition with the slaves being offered very little in the way of food, drink or nourishment.

Even now, there are ties back to the slave owners and masters of that time. For, many of those individuals participated in raping female slaves who later had children as a result of the incident. With new DNA testing such as Ancestry and others, there are now a number of individuals now discovering ties back to slavery which exist in family heritage.

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