John C. Fremont wins the US Presidency in 1856

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,585
#41
Possibly the cousin, but I tend to think the idea of the white slave owner addicted to debauching his Negro servants (more the Hollywood version), and related to that, the Illuminated Jefferson type of slave owner would be the exception. IMO, the majority of southern men would not consort with a Negro woman, mulatto, quadroon etc ever. That's abomination.
Why one might think the racism of the slave-owners would prevent them from of abusing their slaves in that way, it did not. Primary sources from the period paint a different picture, as do more recent studies done on the genetics of people descended from slaves. People are quite often hypocritical and their actions don't always mesh with their stated beliefs, and antebellum white slave-owners were no exception.

"I wonder if it be a sin to think slavery a curse to any land. Sumner said not one word of this hated institution which is not true. Men & women are punished when their masters & mistresses are brutes & not when they do wrong-& then we live surrounded by prostitutes. An abandoned woman is sent out of any decent house elsewhere. Who thinks any worse of a Negro or Mulatto woman for being a thing we can't name. God forgive us, but ours is a monstrous system & wrong & iniquity. Perhaps the rest of the world is as bad. This is only what I see: like the patriarchs of old, our men live all in one house with their wives & their concubines, & the Mulattos one sees in every family exactly resemble the white children-& every lady tells you who is the father of all the Mulatto children in everybody's household, but those in her own, she seems to think drop from the clouds or pretends so to think-. Good women we have, but they talk of nastiness tho they never do wrong; they talk day & night of -. My disgust sometimes is boiling over-but they are, I believe, in conduct the purest women God ever made. Thank God for my countrywomen-alas for the men! No worse than men everywhere, but the lower their mistresses, the more degraded they must be.

My mother-in-law told me when I was first married not to send my female servants in the street on errands. They were there tempted, led astray-& then she said placidly, "So they told me when I came here-& I was very particular, but you see with what result." Mr. Harris said it was so patriarchal. So it is-flocks & herds & slaves-& wife Leah does not suffice. Rachel must be added, if not married & all the time they seem to think themselves patterns-models of husbands & fathers.

Mrs. Davis told me "everybody described my husband's father as an odd character, a Millionaire who did nothing for his son whatever, left him to struggle with poverty," &c. I replied, "Mr. Chesnut Senior thinks himself the best of fathers-& his son thinks likewise. I have nothing to say-but it is true, he has no money but what he makes as a lawyer," &c. Again I say, my countrywomen are as pure as angels-tho surrounded by another race who are-the social evil!"

---Mary Boykin Chestnut
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,978
Caribbean
#42
Primary sources from the period paint a different picture
I wouldn't call that speck a picture, but that is the thing about art.

You could consider the actual point made - that a man who enjoys such dalliance is more apt to brag about it than to be insulted by the suggestion. Got any primary sources on that? Harem shame?
We are all just drawing inferences, but I just can't imagine Thaddeus Stevens clubbing someone for suggesting he consorted with a Negress. And it is hard to imagine Thomas Jefferson clubbing anyone for any comment.
 
Last edited:
Feb 2019
649
Pennsylvania, US
#43
Possibly the cousin, but I tend to think the idea of the white slave owner addicted to debauching his Negro servants (more the Hollywood version), and related to that, the Illuminated Jefferson type of slave owner would be the exception.
The most revealing aspect to Thomas Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings (his slave), is that she was the half-sister of Jefferson's wife, Martha Wayles - the product of John Wayles'
relationship with one of his slaves. After John Wayles died, Jefferson was essentially gifted some slaves who were coincidentally his in-laws! I believe that this sort of "concubine" relationship wasn't very unusual between masters and slaves. There are a number who retold their stories in print (i.e. Harriet Jacobs, Louisa Piquet, etc).

That cartoon always stuck me as not realistic.
I agree; I think this cartoon is 100% propaganda. :lol: Sumner's pose is just so melodramatic - martyr-like - and it seems that though he was a bit pompous and out-spoken as a young man, he was made into a sort of hero for taking Brook's beating.
 
Likes: Futurist

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,978
Caribbean
#44
The most revealing aspect to Thomas Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings (his slave), is that she was the half-sister of Jefferson's wife, Martha Wayles - the product of John Wayles'
relationship with one of his slaves. After John Wayles died, Jefferson was essentially gifted some slaves who were coincidentally his in-laws! I believe that this sort of "concubine" relationship wasn't very unusual between masters and slaves. There are a number who retold their stories in print (i.e. Harriet Jacobs, Louisa Piquet, etc).
I know the story and the controversy.

My point is that there is more than one type of man. Some men would not mess with the slave girls because their wives had a gelding knife, or just because they were married and it would be a sin, or a double sin because of race-mixing. And then, some guys are just playas.

I am not assigning probabilities to the categories, but I suspect Brooks of being in the former categories, because of his over-reaction. Jefferson is probably somewhere in the middle. But then, you might want to look at this from Sally's point of view. Jefferson has some resources, he's an inventor, an architect, a statesmen, a lawyer, and even more, he plays the violin and has a nice head of hair. She probably figured she could do a lot worse than hooking up with Tom. If you were a woman, who would you want to marry: Thomas Jefferson or a slave? And if she looked anything like her half-sister, she had an inside track?
 
Feb 2019
649
Pennsylvania, US
#45
I am not assigning probabilities to the categories, but I suspect Brooks of being in the former categories, because of his over-reaction.
Well, it would be nice, wouldn't it? Sometimes hitting a nerve can do that as well, but I'd much prefer to think of it as Brooks upholding the honor of the men of the South.


But then, you might want to look at this from Sally's point of view. Jefferson has some resources, he's an inventor, an architect, a statesmen, a lawyer, and even more, he plays the violin and has a nice head of hair. She probably figured she could do a lot worse than hooking up with Tom. If you were a woman, who would you want to marry: Thomas Jefferson or a slave? And if she looked anything like her half-sister, she had an inside track?
Well, it's notable that Sally had her chances to leave slavery completely behind her as soon as she stepped on French soil - yet she returned with Jefferson. I know a lot of people love to say that you can't love someone who owns you (I.e. allegations of any sort of romance were more Stockholm syndrome than anything else), and negate any possibility of affection between them... but why did she return from France where she could have married another free man and lived free?

Was it those playa dollah dollah bills Jefferson had? He seemed like an awesome guy - so I kinda think it was perhaps not all mercenary on her part. Who could resist Thomas?
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,747
SoCal
#46
I agree; I think this cartoon is 100% propaganda. :lol: Sumner's pose is just so melodramatic - martyr-like - and it seems that though he was a bit pompous and out-spoken as a young man, he was made into a sort of hero for taking Brook's beating.
Grammar Nazi here, but it's "Brooks's", not "Brook's".
 
Likes: Niobe