Honors Writing Workshop
American Slavery Essay-Final Draft
27 October 2014
Imagine waking up in a world where everyday you are forced to downright abide by another man’s command at all times. One would most likely figure that this person would be a prisoner of some sort. Now, imagine the person being commanded is one who has done no wrong and has committed no crimes. If one falls under this specific category, you could consider them a slave. A slave is someone who must stand by any orders their master commands. African-American slaves were most commonly found in America during this time. They were highly disrespected being whipped, beaten, abused verbally and physically, and even killed if they acted out against the white race. Despite slavery being abolished, brutal and unfair attitudes were still held against the black peoples of America. The conditions and circumstances of slavery brought on many consequences such as Slavery in America was divided between the North and the South. The Southern states or the confederate states during the 1800s had control of the majority of the slaves. The Northern states or the Union states were mostly abolitionists and didn’t want any part of owning another human being and demanding them to do what they asked at all times. This divide between the North and the South would eventually lead to an outbreak, which we call today The Civil War. Split between the abolitionist movement in the North and the pro-slavery movement in the South was the free state of Kansas. In 1854, the Missouri Compromise was replaced with the Kansas-Nebraska Act. When the people of the North and the people of the South heard this news, all came running to contribute their own personal influence on the people of Kansas. Some came in arms while others preferred to simply try and profess what they felt what the right thing to do was in this situation. From there, violence and slavery became intertwined in America. A man by the name of John Brown, a radical abolitionist, is a perfect example of a man who came to the Midwest in arms to free slaves. One of the most central figures of the abolitionist movement during this time was John Brown. Originating from Connecticut, John Brown was a man of God who tried to do anything he could to eliminate the pro-slavery movement throughout America. He believed the only way to do this was to forcefully make people realize the wrong with slave owning. Immediately upon hearing the news of the Kansas-Nebraska Act being put into place, John Brown and his men trooped in arms to the heart of the Midwest. John Brown wasn’t a man of intimidating presence or stature by any means. “This drummer weren’t nothing special. He was a stooped, skinny feller, fresh off the prairie, smelling like buffalo dung, with a nervous twitch in his jaw and a chin full of ragged whiskers. His face had so many lines and wrinkles…” (McBride 11). The Good Lord Bird portrays Brown as a man who lived and died by the word of the Holy Bible, a man who was dedicated to religion and following God’s word. Living life as a slave, especially in one’s early years, was very much a mystery. A slave child would never know how wrong slavery really is. “I WAS born a slave; but I never knew it till six years of happy childhood had passed away” (Brent 11). Slave children would go through everyday life following the daily orders of their respective slave owners and not think twice about it. “Such were the unusually fortunate circumstances of my early childhood. When I was six years old, my mother died; and then, for the first time, I learned, by the talk around me, that I was a slave” (Brent 14). They didn’t know that there was something wrong with this situation. By living as a slave, all of your personal rights and properties are stripped clean away. Being mistreated as a slave in America was nothing out of the ordinary. Slaves were literally subjective to anything their slave owners felt like exposing them too.