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In Search of the Promise Land

Slavery in the 19th Century In the beginning of the book In Search of the Promise Land the authors Franklin and Schneider introduces Sally. Sally was a quasi-slave this is the reason why Sally services were demented. According to Franklin, Schneider p. 13). ‘The term “quasi-slave” was used to describe slaves who had been permitted freedom by their masters but who had not obtained a formal deed of emancipation from the state’s . Sally had the benefits of renting her own house, running her own laundry mat, and moved around freely.

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However for slaves everything was still at a cost. At any given time Sally could easily be picked up without any say in the matter and be shipped off and sold as a slave even though she was considered to be free. Franklin and Schneider states that ‘In 1839, the Tennessee legislature passed an act making it unlawful for slaves to hire themselves out, own certain types of property, trade certain goods, negotiate contracts, or in any way act as free persons. The law appeared to be aimed directly at quasi-free slaves like Sally Thomas’ (pep).

Sally had three sons, John, Henry, and James. All of her sons suffered hardships while growing up in the land of slavery whether they were free or not. Sally wanted her son John to read and Wright. ‘In South Carolina, for example, an 1834 law stipulated that any white person caught teaching a slave to read or write could be fine up to one hundred dollars and imprisoned for up to six months; any free black convicted of the same offense could be fined fifty and receive up to fifty lashes on the bare back.

Similar statues were passed in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama’ (Franklin, Schneider). When not helping his mother at the laundry or running errands for white entitlement, James moved deftly between the two racial worlds’ (Franklin Schneider). 2 ‘Of mixed racial origin, he personified, in a sense, the two worlds of race. (Franklin Schneider). ‘Few understand than of how the two races were intertribal bound, with slavery bringing them together and driving them apart’ (Franklin Schneider). Race went along with Religion.

Whatever differences, James Thomas said, all blacks believed that Christ died on the Cross to save people from sin and that God was “no respecter of persons, the black and white have the same change for lavational’ (Franklin Schneider). Some slave owners had a disagreement with blacks and whites worshipping together. Whites enacted laws prohibiting slaves from assembling by themselves without written permission from an owner, overseer, or employer’ (Franklin Schneider). The authors stated all the different laws that were passed to help with their accounts of slavery in the 19th century.

This is the history account, in 1839 Tennessee passed a law that didn’t totally allow free slaves to be free. In South Carolina there were laws passed that outlawed whites teaching blacks. In 1854 the legislature passed a law that required all freed slaves either by will or contract be shipped off to the western coast of Africa. Slaves who already had the free Along with these laws that were passed slaves had many limitations. Including limitations to their own individual freedoms, and even freedoms were at a cost.

This book, In Search of a Promise Land, didn’t Just have all things typical or atypical. In a way it had both. The things that were atypical were the term “quasi-slave”. Once when a slave were free and had the legal documents the slave was literally free. No. There were all these other terms and conditions that still didn’t make a slave free. There’s the term “quasi-slave” such as Sally were she could run her own business but at the same time she could be shipped off to somewhere else and be a slave all over again.

For slaves freedom came at a great cost. The fact in the book that remained typical was that slaves weren’t allowed to learn how to read and write. It’s sad to think that the whites didn’t want African Americans to get smarter and to eventually some day out rule the white population. It’s discuss to think that the whites passed out so many laws that limited the blacks on so many rights that the whites take for granted, such as the law that was passed in 1834 that effected one of Sally sons.

If a slave couldn’t learn to read and write a slave then wouldn’t be able to live a life he or she were free. It’s interesting that this was typical, was that most whites and blacks tend to worship together. This was more about the race of coming together than the actual slavery part of it. It would have been amazing to go too church service back then ND to listen all the heated sermons that were discussed during the services about slavery.

All in all Franklin and Schneider revealed plenty accounts about slavery and race in the 19th century. They also had much evidence that assisted them on their account on writing this book called In Search of a Promise Land. So yes in the 19th century the Thomas-Rapier family did experienced both atypical and typical events. Throughout time the family of Sally Thomas was always in search of the promise land. It was something that the family had to learn deal with and endure while growing up in the 19th century of the time of slavery.


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