We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Nobody downloaded yet

The Lost German Slave Girl by John Bailey - Essay Example

Comments (0)
Summary
The Lost German Slave Girl is a book that deals with the fascinating story of Sally Miller, a slave who sought to win her freedom in a remarkable case in 1843. The book suggests that the definition of race that was used to both excuse and maintain slavery was much less certain than its proponents argued.
Download full paper
GRAB THE BEST PAPER

Extract of sample
The Lost German Slave Girl by John Bailey

Download file to see previous pages... German families in the New Orleans area claimed that Sally was in fact the child of immigrants who had died and that the girl was subsequently indentured by an unscrupulous owner and later sold into slavery. The main question raised by the piece is whether Sally really was a German girl or whether she was just a clever slave who was grabbing at her once chance for freedom.
The fact that the color of a person's skin was the basis of whether they could be enslaved or not shows the racism that was at the heart of this culture. It is fascinating that the case revolved around the fact of whether Sally was German, and thus not deserving of slavery rather than the fact that slavery was morally objectionable per se.
The idea that color and slavery were indelibly linked was starting to be threatened by the inter-breeding that had been occurring between slaves and whites for generations. By this time, just a decade before the American Civil War would end slavery, many slaves looked as white as their masters. Thus the very basis of slavery - the supposed inferiority of black races - was called into question by the continuum of color that then existed in America.
The lack of certainty as to race was reflected within the legal system, in which slaves were regarded as property and yet, paradoxically, could also have legal representation within trials. Thus if a slave was accused of murder he/she had the right to legal representation, although as the author shows, the degree to which this right was enforced depended very much upon individual circumstances and the judge who was available.
Bailey essentially shows a society that is ripe for change. The mysterious origin of Sally Miller reflected the complexity of race that was characteristic of America by the mid nineteenth-century. The simple duality of "slave" and "master" was increasingly being challenged on an ethical and legal basis. Slaves could buy their freedom and many tried to make their way to Northern states where slavery was already abolished. The idea that the identity of a person was set as "slave" or "non-slave" is shown to be too simplistic by the case of Sally Miller. If Miller was indeed of German origin, then a person could move from non-slave to slave because of bad luck and unethical businessmen. If a slave was lucky, earned enough money or had an enlightened master, he could become a non-slave.
To conclude, the fact that the case was never resolved in a concrete manner shows the history is often not as certain as many people would like. The actual origin of Sally Miller will probably never be known now, any more than it was proved in the court case. What emerges is the terrible manner in which immigrants were treated in America at this time, even those from supposedly privileged countries such as Germany. The book also shows the complex legal environment of America at the time, and gives a view of the legal position of slaves that has seldom been considered before. Ultimately the book shows the mystery of human nature and identity, especially racial identity. If a slave is more white than her master, what is the basis for the slavery if it is based upon the supposed superiority of whites over blacks The answer was that slavery was based upon cruelty and exploitation rather than any rationally identified differences between races. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
CHECK THESE SAMPLES - THEY ALSO FIT YOUR TOPIC
Harriet Jacobs: Incidence in the Life of a Slave Girl
The primary focus of the novel is to portray women in different relationships: mother-daughter, friends, mistress-slave etc. The story not just depicts these relationships, but the writer seems to show that relationships were the supporting forces in the violence stricken life of slave girls.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl***
She tells this story from first hand experiences as she encountered the ordeals. She portrays in depth, the chronological account of her life as a slave, the decision she has to make as a woman to free her and the children from this conundrum of slavery. To her, it was not an easy ride, especially to a woman.
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
One can only imagine the harsh realities of slavery until those who had first-hand experiences share the difficulties they have been through. Still, words cannot be enough to express what could have been experienced especially with people who are not very articulate enough to share their stories.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Brent related that throughout most of her childhood, “They lived together in a comfortable home; and, though we were all slaves, I was so fondly shielded that I never dreamed I was a piece of merchandise, trusted to them for safe keeping, and liable to be demanded of them at any moment.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
The African American woman in the cult of true womanhood was a domestic hostage, and also a laborer, breeder and concubine. The attributes by which a woman and her husband, neighbors and society defined true womanhood, as documented by Welter (1966, 151), were divided into domesticity, submissiveness, purity and piety, and anyone who tampered with these virtues would be considered not only as the enemy of God, but also of civilization and the Republic.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Harriet Jacobs Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Linda’s story endeavours to provoke the compassion of her readers in order to endorse humanitarianism. However, this is not done in the usual way of depicting a female as a weakling who just accepts all that is handed to her. Most writers attempt to bring out compassion in a character by using the stereotypical ‘damsel in distress’ role.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
John Miltons Paradise Lost
While Milton's approach to his book does not boldly imitate verses in the bible, it is fairly evident that he had just unnoticeably utilized different names that apparently reveal the books resemblance to the images from the bible. This article argues on the question of whether John Milton uses images from the bible in representing the great epic Paradise Lost and gives clarification and substantiation in supporting the final stand of this paper.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Jacobs appeals to the “careless daughters” of the North, who, she believes, “would never cease their efforts until so horrible a system was overthrown”. The character of Linda Brent (that is the author herself) cannot be analyzed the same
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay
Incidents of a Slave Girl
She being slave for many years and escapes form the situation with lot of courage and hope. Her story is a painful one where she was born into slavery. In her early years she had a happy life with her mother and later she ends up with their
3 Pages(750 words)Book Report/Review
Incidents in the life of a slave girl
Linda is sure and energetic, and she never truly acknowledges the way that she is the property of someone else. In spite of the fact that she is laid open to
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Let us find you another Essay on topic The Lost German Slave Girl by John Bailey for FREE!
Contact us:
+16312120006
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us