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Loved that book when I was a kid, and love rereading it to my DD when she was old enough. Having said that, I realized that it left me with some complete misapprehensions about the Middle Passage and slavery. It was other children's books, interestingly enough, that filled in the gaps:

 

"Life on a Plantation"

"Amistad"

"Follow The Drinking Gourd"

 

Oh, heavens, yes! I agree--definitely doesn't do justice to the lives of the majority of slaves. Maybe he wouldn't have had such a wonderful attitude had he been sold to the plantations and worked to death. IDK. But either way, he displayed such a trust in His God, regardless of his place on this earth. I guess the reason I thought of this book was because I admired the kind, Quaker family that took him in so that he didn't have to have the life of the "typical" slave. As I was saying before, that's who I hope I would have been like... I've read other stories where the Quakers were very involved in the underground railroad (I think it was a biography of Harriett Tubman, or maybe it was Uncle Tom's Cabin...), and every time I read about the Quakers, they just seemed to ooze the unconditional love that shows the love of Jesus. (And, let me add, I don't know that much about the Quakers, just that how they were portrayed in a few of the books was very admirable.)

 

And speaking of Uncle Tom's Cabin...I cried the whole way through, and as someone else posted, had a hard time not wanting to hug every AA I saw when grocery shopping!!

 

I worked for an ophthalmologist for several years who is an AA, ancestors were slaves. I was chatting on FB with him (about marshmallows, of all things!), and I just emailed him to ask him his opinion on the Confederate flag... We'll see what he says. He's an awesome, smart, loving Christian man, so I'll be interested in his view point.

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:iagree:

 

Wonderful point.

To add to the Emancipation Proc. issue - Lincoln waited for a VERY long time to pass this. He was anti-slavery, but was afraid more border states would leave the Union if he outright banned it. Obviously this was a political issue - but still - Lincoln certainly didn't have the welfare of the slaves at the forefront of his mind. He was trying to keep the US together as one nation, not free slaves. Also - for quite a while as well, the Union military was required to return slaves who had run away to their "owners" (I hate using that term). Many in the North were more concerned about the economy and the Union, and had very little concern for the slaves. They just happened to be on the "right" side of the border historically.

 

It wasn't that those states wanted to be with the Union, but that they were divided. Kentucky tried to declare itself "neutral" but then some pretty bloody fighting occurred there. Missouri had two different governments and as most know also had some pretty severe fighting, St Louis was more loyal...but Western Missouri was full tilt fighting for the South.

 

They weren't perfectly loyal-but-slave states sending soldiers to the Union army. Kentucky and Missouri were sending soldiers to both. They had representation in both.

 

The border states were not cotton states and not as beholden to slave labor, their economies did rely on trade with the North so they were more divided.

 

And though the Emancipation Proclamation did not free the slaves in those states Missouri and Maryland did end it within their borders before the end of the war. Delaware did in December of 1865. Kentucky did not ratify the 13th amendment until 1976 (but before Mississippi in 1995)

 

Some of the bloodiest battles happened in states that were omitted in the emancipation proclamation, Antietam (Maryland), Stones Rover (Tennessee), Fort Donelson (Tennessee) and Shiloh (Tennessee)

 

And while the Proclamation did only free those slaves being held by the Union as "contraband" and those in occupied areas it did serve its purpose.

 

It ended any sympathies for the confederacy in Europe.

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To add to the Emancipation Proc. issue - Lincoln waited for a VERY long time to pass this. He was anti-slavery, but was afraid more border states would leave the Union if he outright banned it. Obviously this was a political issue - but still - Lincoln certainly didn't have the welfare of the slaves at the forefront of his mind. He was trying to keep the US together as one nation, not free slaves.

 

Lincoln's contemporary writings make it clear that he didn't think the president had the power or authority to free the slaves. His personal views were abolitionist, but he wrote that he understood that being the president didn't entitle to codify his personal views as law.

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