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Old February 19th, 2011, 02:41 AM   #1

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'Slave-Breakers'.


I was wondering if anyone had any knowledge on any books or sites which dealt with the issue of 'slave' or 'neggro' -breakers. (The people that slaves were sent to when then their masters wanted to break them morally).


Anyone know how common these people were? Any literature on them?
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Old February 19th, 2011, 03:58 AM   #2

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Hmmmm....

I'm not that big of an expert on that, but I just assumed that this was what slave drivers/overseers were for.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 04:06 AM   #3

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Hmmmm....

I'm not that big of an expert on that, but I just assumed that this was what slave drivers/overseers were for.
Partly, but if we take Frederick Douglass' as a famous example. He was sent to a man called Mr Covey, who was known as a negro-breaker. He was where slaves who other overseers/masters couldn't control were sent. I was curious as to the popularity/widespread use of these men.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 05:03 AM   #4

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Just an extry mean fellow, I would imagine. I dont think it was a systematic thing. Not like todays political prisons, gulags, concentration camps, or reform schools.

I think back then it was just a matter of finding a cruel brute of a man and sending them there to him. Unsophisticated perhaps, but the idea was the same.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 07:08 AM   #5

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Just an extry mean fellow, I would imagine. I dont think it was a systematic thing. Not like todays political prisons, gulags, concentration camps, or reform schools.

I think back then it was just a matter of finding a cruel brute of a man and sending them there to him. Unsophisticated perhaps, but the idea was the same.
I agree. I don't think it was that organized. It was more of a "Hey, you won't do what I say? Okay. I'll let ol' Clifford take you 'round the barn and teach you a lesson..."

Kinda like a hired thug, if you will.

~~

I haven't read Douglass' narrative in a long time, but I remember reading a passage where he fought someone. Was he fighting his master or was it one of these guys?
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Old February 19th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #6

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Just an extry mean fellow, I would imagine. I dont think it was a systematic thing.
It does appear that the term 'overseer' could mean as you say, a hard nosed, tough man who enjoyed his job or as Geo. Washington did:

"Washington always instructed his overeers to treat his slaves humanely and to care for them when sick. A clause was inserted in the contract of each overseer binding him " to take all necessary and proper care of the Negroes committed to his management using them with proper humanity and descretion."[1]

It appears an overseer could be mean and brutal or more a firm, paternal guiding hand than using force. Just depends.

[1] John P. Kaminski, The Great Virginia Triumvirate (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010), 38.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 07:41 AM   #7

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I haven't read Douglass' narrative in a long time, but I remember reading a passage where he fought someone. Was he fighting his master or was it one of these guys?
He fought Covey. (The overseer refered to as the negro-breaker, whom his master Thomas Auld had sent him to in order to 'break his spirits'. At least that's what I remember off the top of my head).
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Old February 19th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #8
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All I know is that you could hear them whip the women just around midnight.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 08:00 PM   #9

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All I know is that you could hear them whip the women just around midnight.

What????
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Old February 19th, 2011, 08:24 PM   #10

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What????
Ahts jest what I was a'thinken?

What?
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