Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Emancipation - Private Spotswood Rice

I have been watching the Ken Burns special on the Civil War and was blown away from the following words from Private Spotswood Rice. Rice, a former slave escaped and enlisted in the Union during the Civil War. Separated from his wife and child, he had offered to purchase his daughter for $40. The slave owner, Kitty Diggs flatly refused. Emboldened by his enlistment in the Union Army and the recent Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln, he gives a staunch warning to his daughter's captor:

... I received a leteter from Cariline telling me that you say I tried to steal to plunder my child away from you now I want you to understand that mary is my Child and she is a God given rite of my own and you may hold on to hear as long as you can but I want you to remembor this one thing that the longor you keep my Child from me the longor you will have to burn in hell and the qwicer youll get their... I have no fears about geting mary out of your hands this whole Government gives chear to me and you cannot help your self.

Spotswood Rice
Benton Barracks Hospital, St. Louis, Mo. September 3, 1864

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you enjoyed Ken Burns show on the civil war, you might also enjoy:

The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877.

This is a series of lectures from Yale Universities David W. Blight available in both audio and video format.

Its available on Itunes and at the Yale Open Course site:

I enjoyed listening to the audio version.