Mrs. Auld’s journal entries
25th of March 1831: I was just tidying the kitchen and baking bread for tonight’s dinner when Hugh came back with a new slave. His features and body are such that itis impossible not to see that he is still a very young boy. His skin is slightly paler than his fellow species of the Negro race. I have been told that he was the son of a white slave-owner and of ablack woman. Poor boy, it must be terrible to have been separated from his parents at such a young age, and to think he is to be our slave. What a contrast with the Potsways’ children, whom are toooccupied studying to help their sweet mother with the housework. Perhaps I should teach him to read and write as well? Surely it cannot do him any harm and if it is good for the children I know, itcannot be of any harm to him either. What else am I really supposed to do with this young boy? He is to help me with the housework and to be of some sort of assistance to Hugh, that is what my dearhusband told me but is a slave merely supposed to be a living tool with no other preoccupations?
May God help me in loving this new person as Christianly as Jesus would have.
2nd of April: How wronghave I been! How foolish was I to teach a slave! My husband has finally made me realize today what a slave really is. He is no human being, merely a chattel, with neither soul nor intelligence. Suchidiocy has blinded me when I thought to teach him, hoping naively to broaden his knowledge. Hugh was right: my doing so was useless. May God forgive me! I shall hereafter devote myself entirely to notletting him read! Stop him by any possible way imaginable, from learning written English or other ways of broadening his knowledge. Merely ceasing to teach him as Hugh suggested me is far fromsufficient to live up to my error and thus, I must do more. No longer will he have the unmerited honor of my Christian affection, as he is not human, he is here to serve us; such is the genuine use and...
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