What A Terrible Blight That Would Be On The Heart Of A Free, Intelligent Father

889 WordsFeb 5, 20164 Pages
When slaves married, if the bride was still a slave, the slave owner would retain ownership of the family’s children, who would have to follow the mother’s condition of slavery. Even though slaves would often dream of freedom, they had little hope in a future that looked so discouraging. Linda said of her master, “He had an iron will, and was determined to keep me, and to conquer me.” Then, about her lover, she said, “Even if he could have obtained permission to marry me while I was a slave, the marriage would give him no power to protect me from my master. It would have made him miserable to witness the insults I should have been subjected to. And then, if we had children, I knew they must ‘follow the condition of the mother.’ What a terrible blight that would be on the heart of a free, intelligent father!” (Brent 65). As a matter of fact, slave owners had a weapon even greater than the whip they used to inflict horrible punishments to their slaves. Such weapon was the power of destroying families by selling its members to other slave owners, in other plantations. Black families constantly feared the thread of sale, which was the cause of many children being raised by single mothers or other family members. Too often, infuriated mistresses would sell the illegitimate children that many slave girls had after enduring abuses. The mistresses didn’t want a reminder of their husbands’ deception, and selling these children into the slave trade was the easiest solution.

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