What Is An Americ A Different Look?

Submitted By booklife11
Words: 720
Pages: 3

Tonisha Akers
Dr. Lawrence Knapp
Advanced American Literature
Lit – 301 – OL 009
May, 2012

What is an American: A Different Look? Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Abraham Lincoln are all individuals familiar in some way with slavery and what it was like to be an American during slave times. In the following paragraphs you will read what it was like for each person. Jacobs writes in “The Life of a Slave Girl”, “My father was a carpenter, and considered so intelligent and skillful in his trade when buildings out of the common line were to be erected, he was sent for from long distances, to be head workman” (Jacobs 1809). Jacobs knew she was a slave but being an American meant hard work. Jacobs goes on to write, “When they told me my new-born babe was a girl, my heart was heavier than it had ever been before. Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women” (Jacobs 1820). During what should have been a great time it instead was a worrisome time because all she could think was that her daughter would some day be a slave and endure all the same things that she had to endure. This was what being an American was to her. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is politically engaged and popularly effective, (Stowe, 1700). In a section of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe writes: “My Master! and who made him my master? That’s what I think of – what right has he to me? I’m a man as much as he is. I’m a better man than he is. I know more about business than he does; I am a better manager than he is; I can read better than he can; I can write a better hand, and I’ve learned it all myself, and no thanks to him, I’ve learned it in spite of him; and now what right has he to make a dray horse of me? (Stowe 1709)
This says a lot about slaves felt. They were equal in their minds. They could read, write, speak, and work just as well as their so called “master.” This to them made them no different. George is a man just like his “master” but his “master” treats him like an animal. It is also true that no matter how angry he was at this situation he had to hold it in. He had to almost ignore it because for him being an American was doing the right thing and that time, the right thing, be it right or wrong, was what had to be done. Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president and was in charge of what was known as a very bloody war that ended slavery. Lincoln was committed to ending slavery. Lincoln saw that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” (Lincoln 1628). The Emancipation Proclamation was