Mary Boykin Chesnut (was Re: Genovese)

Sat Oct 14 20:59:30 PDT 2000

In a message dated 10/14/00 7:47:17 PM Eastern Daylight Time, furuhashi.1 at writes:

<< re you talking about Mary Boykin Chesnut? If so, my memory of her

words is completely opposite of yours. What follows is

representative of her thoughts on Negro slaves:


Sorry, Doug, but I have to post this reply. In November 1861, Chestnit wrote: "Here we are, mild as moonbeams, nothing but Negroes around us, white men all gone to war." Kate Stone, whose, another white slaveowning woman, wrote in her Louisiana diary in 1861 the passage I confused with Chestnut's: "We would be practically helpless should the Negroes rise, since there are so few men left at home. It is only because the Negroes do not want to kill us that we are still alive." These and other statements are quoted in Leon Littwack's Been in the Storm So Long, 14-15 et passim. Littwack's study shows how consent was withdrawn during the course of the war, and how worried whites were about maintaining it. --jks

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