Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I have been listening to Uncle Tom's Cabin on the way to and from Flagstaff and to and from work. Finished it yesterday. Interesting story, albeit the constant blathering about Jesus and the ludicrous passivity of Uncle Tom made the story irritating at times. Of course, there are plenty of people willing to kill themselves (and others) in the retarded belief that this will grant them entrance into some make-believe heaven. However, I doubt that many slaves would willingly submit to being whipped to death.

Anyways, so I have always felt somewhat superior because my family was from the north and was not involved in slavery. Seven of my direct ancestors fought on the Union side during the Civil War (one died).

Imagine my surprise as I was researching the likely father of one of my brick wall ancestors, Amasa Ransom of Colchester, New London County, Connecticut. So far I have found a few census records, his birth record, announcements of his death, and a photograph of his tombstone. And then I found this advertisement:

And there on the 1800 census, is the tickmark for poor Rose in the household of Amasa as a slave in the household. Colchester was in New London County, Connecticut and that county had the most slaves in the state in the late 1700s. By 1810 there was a free non-white person in the household, so perhaps Rose was re-captured and freed, or perhaps this is someone else.

The history of slavery in the northern states (legal in Connecticut until the late 1840s), is not well known. Today it is inconceivable to me that someone could even think that they could own another person, so fucking bizarre. But I guess people have always been able to find valid reasons for truly heinous things. Much like fundamentalist Christians picking shit out of the bible to defend their bigotry towards gays and lesbians.

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