PoP's Southern Thangs: Another side of the story: May 25/29/30 1865


Another side of the story: May 25/29/30 1865

Via Southern Nationalist Network
My Negroes have made no change in their behavior, and are going on as they have always hitherto done. Until I know that they are legally free, I shall let them continue. If they become free by law then the whole system must be changed. If the means which I now possess of supporting the old and the young are taken away, they must then necessarily look for their support to their own exertions.

May 29
As Gen. Gillmore's order, based upon Chief Justice Chase's opinion, announces the freedom of the Negroes there is no further room to doubt that it is the settled policy of the country. I have today formally announced to my Negroes the fact, and made such arrangements with each as the new relation rendered necessary. Those whose whole time we need, get at present clothes and food, house rent and medical attendance. The others work for themselves giving me a portion of their time on the farm in lieu of house rent. Old Amelia and her two grandchildren, I will spare the mockery of offering freedom to. I must support them as long as I have anything to give.

May 30
My Negroes all express a desire to remain with me. I am gratified at the proof of their attachment. I believe it to be real and unfeigned.

For the present they will remain, but in course of time we must part, as I cannot afford to keep so many, and they cannot afford to hire for what I could give them. As they have always been faithful and attached to us, and have been raised as family servants, and have all of them been in our family for several generations, there is a feeling towards them somewhat like that of a father who is about to send out his children on the world to make their way through life.


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