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Concern for Their Slaves - E.W. Clay Drawing

Concern for Their Slaves - E.W. Clay Drawing Visual Arts American History African American History Social Studies

This idealized drawing, c 1841, depicts "contented" slaves and "generous" white masters.  It was drawn by E.W. Clay - look for his initials, inside the top hat, at the lower-left corner - who was a Northern apologist for slavery.

The left side of a larger illustration, comparing "white slaves" (factory workers) in Britain with "black slaves"  in America, this work shows little sympathy for the real plight of uprooted Africans.

Note the words which Clay uses for each group of people.  For the blacks:

God Bless you massa!  you feed and clothe us. When we are sick you nurse us, and when too old to work, you provide for us!

For the whites, the young "master" piously promises: 

These poor creatures are a sacred legacy from my ancestors and while a dollar is left me, nothing shall be spared to increase their comfort and happiness.

Click on the image for a much-better view.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Library of Congress.

 

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