The Civil War and American Art .
Eleanor Jones Harvey.
Former enslaved woman Harriet Jacobs (fig. 102) noted with disgust, “The secrets of slavery are concealed like those of the Inquisition. My master was, to my knowledge, the father of eleven slaves. But did the mothers dare tell who was the father of their children? Did other slaves dare allude to it, except in whispers among themselves? No indeed!” That a man could enslave his own children struck many as one of the gross moral failings of a slave society, and one which took place with far greater frequency than anyone was comfortable believing.
Owning slaves seems so anachronistic to us today. We cannot imagine it. How much more unthinkable is it that one would father children and see them as nothing more than chattel.
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