An Analysis Of Letter To Former Slave By Jour Dan Anderson

787 Words4 Pages

In Jourdan Anderson’s letter to Colonel Anderson, his former master, he is responding to previous correspondence in which it was requested that he return to his former place of slavery to return to work under new and supposedly fair working conditions. Evidently, he has already been away from the plantation for some time, and has in fact started a new life with a new job, a family, and even children. Since becoming a free man, he, “get[s] twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; a comfortable home for Mandy …and the children… go to school and are learning well.” Clearly, just in his apparently short time being a free man, he is already earning a fair wage, and working hard to improve the lives of his family. That being said, …show more content…

His feelings toward Colonel Anderson are displayed when stating things such as, “I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house... Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.” Meanwhile, he also seems to speak positive terms about being his former slave. Overall, I get the impression that he certainly had no intention of returning, despite his kind comments. Especially with comments asking about the presence of a school for blacks in his neighborhood, and asking for over eleven thousand dollars in back pay for his and his wife’s years of service. Though he isn’t serious about his returning to work there, he likely wrote this as one final insult in the face of the man who abused him for thirty two …show more content…

In the letter, we see Tourgee describing the actions of the Ku Klux Klan as heinous. He claims that, “in this district alone there have been 1,000 outrages of a less serious nature perpetrated by the same masked fiends… I estimate their offenses as follows, in the past ten months: Twelve murders, 9 rapes, 11 arsons, 7 mutilations, ascertained… 5,000 houses have been broken open, and property or persons taken out. Seven hundred or 800 persons have been beaten or otherwise maltreated” They clearly target people of color, and even those who sympathize with them. He also seems to, at least, partly, blame the government for their inaction on the subject and failure to intervene. He fears the death of the Republican Party as it becomes associated with such groups. His suggested fix is to outlaw their actions, put together a militia to fight them, use investigators to gather information on them, and destroy them before they grow large enough to overcome the entire nation. Clearly, at this point in time, the KKK is a massive group. So much so that he himself is in danger just for writing this, and fears for his own life. Their influence has clearly shrunk since those days, but it is frightening to think how easily the tides could have turned in their

Open Document