Nat Love Quotes

Nat Love, 1907
Nat Love, 1907

Nat Love quotes:

“Our plantation was situated in the heart of the black belt of the south, and on the plantations all around us were thousands of slaves, all engaged in garnering the dollars that kept up the so-called aristocracy of the south, and many of the proud old families owe their standing and wealth to the toil and sweat of the black man’s brow, where if they had to pay the regular rate of wages to hire laborers to cultivate their large estates, their wealth would not have amounted to a third of what it was. Wealth was created, commerce carried on, cities built, and the new world well started on the career that has led to its present greatness and standing in the world of nations. All this was accomplished by the sweat of the black man’s brow. By black man I do not mean to say only the black men, but the black woman and black child all helped to make the proud south what it was.”

“My father was a sort of foreman of the slaves on the plantation, and my mother presided over the kitchen at the big house and my Master’s table, and among her other duties were to milk the cows and run the loom, weaving clothing for the other slaves. This left her scant time to look after me, so I early acquired the habit of looking out for myself. The other members of father’s family were my sister Sally, about eight years old, and my brother Jordan, about five. My sister Sally was supposed to look after me when my mother was otherwise occupied; but between my sister’s duties of helping mother and chasing the flies from Master’s table, I received very little looking after from any of the family, therefore necessity compelled me at an early age to look after myself and rustle my own grub. My earliest recollections are of pushing a chair in front of me and toddling from one to the other of my Master’s family to get a mouthful to eat like a pet dog, and later on as I became older, making raids on the garden to satisfy my hunger, much to the damage of the young onions, watermelons, turnips, sweet potatoes, and other things I could find to eat. We had to use much caution during these raids on the garden, because we well knew what we would catch if someone caught us, but much practice made us experts in escaping undetected.”

“Some of the slaves, like us, had kind and indulgent masters. These were lucky indeed, as their lot was somewhat improved over their less fortunate brothers, but even their lot was the same as that of the horse or cow of the present day. They were never allowed to get anything in the nature of education, as smart negroes were not in much demand at that time, and the reason was too apparent, education meant the death of the institution of slavery in this country, and so the slave owners took good care that their slaves got none of it.”

“Go and see the play of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” and you will see the black man’s life as I saw it when a child. And Harriett Beecher Stowe, the black man’s Saviour, well deserves the sacred shrine she holds, along with the great Lincoln, in the black man’s heart.”

“When I was ten years old the war broke out between the ‘North and the South.’ And there was little else talked about, among the slaves as well as the slave owners of the neighborhood. And naturally the many different stories we heard worked us children to a high state of excitement. So much so that we wanted to go to war, and fight for the Union, because among us slave children there was no difference of opinion, as to which side was right.”

“Nat Love Quotes” sources:

All quotes are from “The Life and Adventures of Nat Love Better Known in the Cattle Country as “Deadwood Dick” by Himself; a True History of Slavery Days, Life on the Great Cattle Ranges and on the Plains of the “Wild and Woolly” West, Based on Facts, and Personal Experiences of the Author: Nat Love,” published in Los Angeles in 1907. – Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / Photograph taken in 1907 – Wikimedia Commons

About Nat Love:

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