Daniel Wiggins' observations on slavery in Jefferson County

Series: (M89-32, Daniel H. Wiggins Diaries, 1816-1834, 1838-1841, and 1862)

Page 1 of 4

Civil War

Daniel Wiggins' observations on slavery in Jefferson County


CC (Concerning) the folly and madness of sinners—not long since I heard a man of learning and refinement say that a fiddler for slaves was better than a minister. I was almost horror struck but did not feel at liberty to reprove – now that man is in his grave. We hold no meeting to day for the colored people, but I have appointed a meeting (the Lord wiling) to be held next Sabbath at 3 oclock under the shady trees by my shop. I feel an increasing desire for the salvation of the people. The soul of the slave is of as much value as the soul of the master—yet –? Neglected—too generally they are looked upon as mere beasts of burden—it appears to me that slavery and tirany are almost inseparable and ignorance is the father of them both—surely the devil is the greatest tirant and the greatest slave holder.

. . . . Last night after 12 oclock I woke up and heard the negroes dancing (as is often the case till nearly day on Sunday morn). I fell a sleep again and after a while was woken by the cry of a man as tho in great distress. At first I thought it was some one in liquor and was pretending to be under deep conviction from sin. I heard blows which I took to the sound of an axe—after a while the noise ceased for a moment—and then commenced again. I then discovered the blows to be the sound of a whip and the crying of the man occasioned by the whip. It appears that two strange negroes had come on this place and one without a pass, and the overseer was informed of it and caught them and he and his leader whipt one pretty severely—no doubt justly under existing circumstances they who are bound must obey.