Slave Narratives Essay

Vessel narratives are a very important part of history. They provide readers with an inside view of the institution of slavery and the many aspects of it. Slave narratives can be found in many different places. Many have been documented and printed and some can be found in the autobiographies of well known African Americans. Regardless of the source, slave narratives can provide valuable information. The slave narratives I am discussing today are from two different areas of the country.

I new that by choosing the slave narratives this way, I would more than likely get two completely different perspectives on slavery. Slavery in the north was quite different from slavery in the south. Slaves in the north of the country performed different tasks. They often worked industrious Jobs and were sometimes compensated for their work. Several slaves in the north of the country were provided the opportunity to read and write. They also experienced the first affects of freedom and the abolitionist movement. Meanwhile, slaves in the south mostly worked in the fields ND maintained crops such as cotton and tobacco.

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Often, they were banned from learning how to read and write. The language can also be compared in the two slave narratives. Some slaves were more educated than others. Some slaves were influenced by the mixing of languages and created their own language. Overall, the life experiences and culture of the two slave narratives have several similarities and differences. One of the slave narratives I reviewed was that of Aunt Harriet Smith. She was located in Hempstead, Texas and the interview was recorded in 1941. The second reiterative I reviewed was that of Fountain Hughes who was located in Baltimore, Maryland.

The interview was recorded on June 11, 1949. While reviewing the slave narratives, the first thing I noticed was the knowledge of both slaves. However, I am sure that these interviews alone do not reflect their knowledge completely. Mr.. Fountain Hughes, of Baltimore, Maryland, knew his age and about his family history. Compared to the response of Aunt Harriet Smith, Mr.. Hughes appears to have more experience with public speaking. For example, Mr.. Hughes states “My name is Fountain Hughes. I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. My grandfather belonged to Thomas Jefferson.

My grandfather was a hundred and fifteen years old when he died. And now I am one hundred and, and one year old. ” When asked the same general question, Aunt Harriet Smith’s response is a little less detailed. She responds by saying, “Well I don’t know Mr.. Fault. I really don’t know my age, only by the, the children telling me, of course. My ma died, and she, and she didn’t know nothing about our age. But the children traced back from the ex-slave up to now. ” Although the interviewer does not specifically ask Mr.. Hughes about his knowledge of money, Mr..

Hughes decides to provide his advice. He makes statements such as “And don’t spend your money till you get it. So many people get in debt” and “That’s the way I’ve done. If I’ve wanted anything, I’d wait until I got the money and I paid for it cash. “I Mr.. Hughes shows that he does have experience and knowledge of credit and other economic concepts Aunt Harriet smelt was not glen an opportunity to Locus t topic. As I continued to read the slave narratives, it was explained that neither Mr.. Hughes nor Aunt Harriet Smith attended school.

While in slavery, they were both prevented from reading and writing. Contrary to my belief, the difference in location did not have an effect on the education level. While reading the slave narratives, I noticed that their experience with slavery was similar. Both Mr.. Hughes and Aunt Harriet Smith state that they did not personally experience violence while in slavery, but they had heard of occasions of violence. Although slavery was not pleasant, both parties state that they were treated well. Mr.. Fountain Hughes recalls that “boys lived to, they had a good time.

The masters didn’t treat them bad. And they was always satisfied. “‘ Although Mr.. Hughes did not witness violence, he stated that “if you was bad and mean and they didn’t want to beat you and knock you around, they’d sell you what to the, what was call the Amiga trader. “‘ Aunt Harriet Smith recalls that “they was good to us. Good. They never whipped none of their colored people, our colored people. They’d take big saddle horse, Mrs.. Bi’s saddle horse, big gray animal, and she’d have them riding. Grandma would ride to Mountain City to church. “ii When it came to freedom, Mr..

Fountain Hughes and Aunt Harriet Smith had very different experiences. Aunt Harriet Smith states “we didn’t know anything about freedom at all. “ii On the other hand, Mr.. Fountain Hughes experienced the positive and negative side of freedom living in Virginia. He comments that “soon after when we found out that we was free, why then we was, uh, bound out to different people… And we would run away, and wouldn’t stay with them. Why then we’d Just go and stay anywhere we could. “‘ When discussing the aspect of freedom, their location did play a role in their experience.

Both slave narratives depict experiences each of them had with the Civil War. The stories Mr.. Hughes and Aunt Harriet Smith tell vary in nature. Aunt Harriet Smith recalls calm moments, watching the soldiers go by. She eventually married a soldier. Aunt Harriet Smith remembers “all day long we seen them soldiers going back to San Antonio and different places. “ii She also remembers “poor colored soldiers in droves. Went right along by our house. “ii Mr.. Hughes’ experience was quite different. The memories he recalled from the Civil War were far from pleasant. Mr.. Hughes states “,

I remember when the Yankees come along and took all the good horses and took all the, thrower all the meat and flour and sugar and stuff out in the river and let it go down the river. And they endowed the people wouldn’t have nothing to live on, but they done that. And that’s the reason why I don’t like to talk about it. “‘ Although their experiences were different, as well as their ages at the time, both parties had small memories regarding the Civil War. The slave narratives contained many similarities and differences. Initially, my conclusion was that they would be very different.

Mr.. Hughes and Aunt Harriet Smith were from two different parts of the country. They were of different genders and even years apart in age. I did not expect their experiences to be so similar. Despite being a slave in the north, Mr.. Hughes was not educated. Just like Aunt Harriet Smith, he witnessed the harsh violence of slavery. By no nears was slavery easy for him because of his location. One big difference in the slave narrative was the subject of freedom. Aunt Harriet Smith knew nothing about freedom, while Mr.. Hughes was nameless Tort a Wendell Owe to Delve a Treed slave. Overall, ten narratives applet Tanat he institution of slavery, no matter the location or time period, was still slavery. Mr.. Hughes concludes by saying “if I thought, had any idea, that I’d ever be a slave again, I’d take a gun and Just end it all right away. Because you’re nothing but a dog. You’re not a thing but a dog.