Journal of Residence on a Georgia Plantation Essay

The book ‘Journal of Residence on a Georgia Plantation’ was based on the Hagiographas of Mrs. Francis Kemble. Kemble wrote to her friend Elizabeth Dwight Sedgwick in England on a regular basis. and the book is based upon her memories of the twelvemonth she spent at the plantation. and these letters. She corresponded to her friend in great item about her observations of life on the plantation and the ferociousness and inhumaneness of intervention that she witnessed. Ms. Kemble strongly believed that it was incorrect for one homo to have another. and she made it really clear in her many letters.

In order to entree information on Ms. Kemble’s background and upbringing. which was non made clear in Journal of a Residence on a Georgia plantation. it was necessary to research information from another book. which was titled ‘The History of Southern Women’ ( 2002 ) . This was necessary because throughout the full book Ms. Kemble merely refers to her hubby. who she subsequently divorced. chiefly because of the dissension over bondage. as ‘The Master of the plantation’ . In fact all slave proprietor and superintendent names are omitted in the book.

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Harmonizing to writers “Baxter. Perry and Weaks. though “Kemble was born into England’s most famed household of histrions. and as a immature miss she spent several old ages in France analyzing literature. poesy. music. Gallic. and Italian” ( Baxter. Perry. Weaks. 2002. 21 ) . as was common for immature ladies of stature in her clip. It was while she was going as an actress with her father’s moving company in America where she it is said she “enchanted audiences in Philadelphia. Baltimore. Washington. Boston. and New York” ( Baxter. Perry. Weaks. 2002. P.

22 ) . that she met the hubby who really owned the Georgia plantation. Pierce Butler. In her function as kept woman of the plantation she was really unhappy. because even though she was sympathetic to the predicament of the slaves. every petition they made to her whether for permission. such as baptisms. or extra needed points such as nutrient or vesture. had to be referred through the maestro. She was frequently frustrated in her attempts to assist them. In one illustration Ms. Kemble had tried to learn the slaves about the importance of cleanliness. particularly in what passed for their infirmary. a little unkempt hospital.

She writes of what she found out when she came back the following twenty-four hours to look into on the cleansing advancement ” Mr. O. ___ had flogged her ( Harriet ) that forenoon for holding told me that the adult females had non clip to maintain their kids clean” ( Kemble. 1864. p. 37 ) . In another illustration there was an old black adult female named Sinda. who was considered slightly of a prophetess. and she announced that freedom. emancipation was coming. Ms. Kemble had related many narratives about the freedoms that the black people up North enjoyed. and it was most likely believed. though non said. that she was the one stirring the slaves up into ideas of freedom.

But after hearing Sinda say freedom was coming shortly. and no uncertainty with ideas of the slaves up north “The great concluding emancipation which they believed at manus had stripped even the cilium of its prevailing authority” ( Kemble. 1864. p. 84 ) . Mr. K__ . the superintendent of the plantation. decided non to reason with all of the slaves who had refused to work. and “Acquiesced in their finding non to work ; but he expressed to them ( the slaves ) his belief that Sinda was mistaken. and he warned her that if. at the appointive clip. it proved so ( That Sinda was incorrect ) . she would be badly punished” ( Kemble.

1864. p. 84 ) . Of class being lone 1839 Sinda was incorrect. Kemble writes “Her twenty-four hours of judgement came so. and a terrible one it proved. for Mr. K___ had her enormously flogged” ( Kemble. 1864. 84 ) . On another juncture Kemble writes that she attempted a conversation with Mr. ____ ( perchance the hubby ) sing penalties and the predicament of the slaves in general. It is clear she is acquiring down and feels like every clip she tries to assist them ( the slaves ) she makes things worse.

Kemble said in the missive “They throw me into perfect torments of hurt for the slaves. whose place is utterly hopeless ; for myself. whose intercession in their behalf sometimes seems worse than useless ; for Mr. ___ . whose portion in this atrocious system fills me by bends with outrage and pity” ( Kemble. 1864. p. 124 ) . Kemble did seek to make what she could for the slaves as kept woman of the plantation. for illustration she writes in one missive “I have worked my fingers about off with doing. for the last twenty-four hours or two. countless axial rotations of class small baby apparels. layettes for the usage of little new born slaves” ( Kemble.

1864. p. 158 ) . Equally far as her sentiment of bondage. she ever believed the slaves should be free. earlier in the book it seemed she felt they would non cognize how to last though. or gain a life. She wrote at one point. “That the ignorance of these hapless people ought to test them from punishment” ( Kemble. 1864. p. 154 ) . While she ever felt that finally freedom would come. by the clip she left the plantation it was in great unhappiness. She felt she could non assist them. and in fact had done them more injury.

Kemble had reasonably much given up hope emancipation would of all time come. Kemble did non print this book. filled with narratives of inhuman treatment beyond belief. until the war was get downing. and she said she published it in the hopes it would assist the North win the war. and convey freedom to the slaves. In the terminal though it was this inability to assist. and the fact that there were so many whippings and whippings. and inhuman treatment that she could non stand it any longer. and that was why she had to go forth. This reasonably much summed up her sentiment of how she felt when she left the plantation ; Ms.

Kemble wrote “If you are half every bit tired as of the sameness and stupidity of the conversation of my southern female neighbours as I am. I pity you ; but non every bit much as I pity them for the stupid sameness of their most bland being. which would dampen any sum of intelligence. kill any sum of direction. and render torpid and dead any sum of natural energy and vivacity” ( Kemble. 1864. p. 156 ) . Ms. Kemble stated she would “Rather die-rather a thousand times-than live the lives of these Georgia planters’ married womans and daughters” ( Kemble. 1864. p. 156 ) .

This book is an first-class beginning for anyone who doubts how barbarous the times were. every bit good a beginning of information for those interested in larning what life was like for the slaves before emancipation. The unfairnesss. and absolute inhuman treatment and inordinate penalties were atrocious. and it was likely about the saddest true narrative I have of all time read. Work Cited: Baxter. Mary Weaks. Perry. Carolyn. Weaks. Mary Louise. The history of southern women’s Literature Published by LSU Press. ( 2002 ) . Kemble. Francis Anne. Journal of a abode on a Georgian plantation in 1838-1839. Edition: Illustrated. Published by Harper & A ; Brothers. ( 1864 ) .


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