I found those quotes in Thaddeus Russell’s Renegade History. Good stuff:
Many did tell of whippings, sadistic overseers, loved ones being sold away, and of wishing to be free. But we must come to terms with the fact that a majority of ex-slaves who offered an evaluation of slavery—field hands and house slaves, men and women—had a positive view of the institution, and many unabashedly wished to return to their slave days.
Economic historians have determined that on average, Northern farmers worked four hundred more hours per year than did slaves. And no group in world history worked more than industrial workers in the nineteenth-century United States. For the unlucky souls who found themselves in the first American factories, the typical workday was fourteen hours, the typical workweek was six days, and putting in more than one hundred hours in a week was not at all uncommon.
Several of America’s greatest heroes who were born during the age of slavery were whipped far more often than most slaves. Davy Crockett’s father continually beat him with a hickory stick. Robert E. Lee was raised by an aunt who believed that the best way to instruct children was to “whip and pray and pray and whip.” John D. Rockefeller was frequently tied to a tree and whipped by his mother. Abraham Lincoln’s father beat him with fists and a horsewhip. Most significantly, none of these men believed that their treatment was abnormal.
Russell, Thaddeus (2010-09-28). A Renegade History of the United States (pp. 50-59). Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Let’s face it: The nineteenth century was not a kind time. Slavery sucks for its own reasons, but the nineteenth century as a whole sucked.
For more about the relative trials of ethnic groups in America, I highly (highly) recommend Thomas Sowell’s Ethnic America.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList