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Norma Jean
05-18-2008, 03:12 PM
Ok, for some reason I couldnt post a reply to my 1st msg. From my dumb phone, but what if this man was in love with his slave---that isnt his own slave, and wanted to marry her and make her in his eyes, his equal but his racist father disapproved of it? Would it be too far feteched to put in a story that the man and the slave were physically punished (by whipping for example) by the father and others?

Marian Perera
05-18-2008, 04:06 PM
Ok, for some reason I couldnt post a reply to my 1st msg. From my dumb phone, but what if this man was in love with his slave---that isnt his own slave, and wanted to marry her and make her in his eyes, his equal but his racist father disapproved of it?

Are we talking about slavery in the States? If so, there were laws against interracial marriage. The father wouldn't need to disapprove to stop it... it simply wouldn't be legal. A white man who fell in love with a slave would have to either go someplace else where such marriages were legal (no idea where), or would have to keep her as a mistress.


Would it be too far feteched to put in a story that the man and the slave were physically punished (by whipping for example) by the father and others?

Physically punished for doing what? They can't have been legally married, and sex between masters and slaves wasn't unheard of.

I'm also not sure why the father would give his son the same punishment that he'd give a slave. Or who the "others" are.

Keyan
05-18-2008, 09:55 PM
I think if you want a specific situation - the father is a sadistic tyrant, the man in question is young, the slave belongs to his father, and the man intends to take her away to another country (say Brazil) and marry her, instead of remaining on the plantation and following in his father's footsteps...

I think you could make a case for the furious father whipping the slave - as he could legally do - and whipping his son because he could.

It wouldn't be the action of outraged society, more the action of an outraged father.

What the young man was planning would be illegal, of course, because taking the woman away would be considered tantamount to stealing her.

Pup
05-18-2008, 11:16 PM
Ok, for some reason I couldnt post a reply to my 1st msg. From my dumb phone, but what if this man was in love with his slave---that isnt his own slave, and wanted to marry her and make her in his eyes, his equal but his racist father disapproved of it? Would it be too far feteched to put in a story that the man and the slave were physically punished (by whipping for example) by the father and others?

I'd say that the situation would be far enough out of the norm that it would depend more on the individual characters involved. If I'm understanding correctly, the son wants to marry and make equal a slave belonging to his father? That would be extremely radical for a Bostonian even to agree to in theory, let alone a southerner to announce in practice. Um, once again, we are talking a typical early-mid-1800s U.S. slave state, and not, for example, colonial Massachusetts, Haiti, or something?

I'd consider things like... how does the father believe the son got these ideas? Was it the slave's fault for corrupting his innocent son? Was it some abolitionist's fault for putting wild ideas in the son's head? Was it the father's own fault for raising the son wrong? The father's anger might be acted out differently in each case.

And is this something the father is ashamed of and wants to keep private, so he denies it to the neighbors? Or has he emotionally disowned his son and would be glad to have the neighbors help with punishment? Is he worried that he needs to lead the neighborhood mob, lest the neighbors suspect he's a secret abolitionist too and turn on him? Is he feeling somewhat at fault ("why'd I ever send him to Oberlin instead of South Carolina College?") and therefore trying to protect his son from the neighbors in public, while condemning the son in private? Those might also affect how the father would interact with the neighbors and therefore how the neighbors would interact with the son and slave.

But whipping and corporal punishment in general were more acceptable in the mid-19th century, and mobs sprang up to handle matters they deemed necessary, so I don't see a problem with the idea in general, if it seems realistic for the characters in particular.

Norma Jean
05-19-2008, 04:05 AM
Ok, i just needto know if this is plausible for a story: a white man (lets call him Bill) falls in love with his best friend's slave, after secretly marrying her (which is illegal) he eventually takes her away with him (which is stealing property). The owner of the slave as well as Bill's outraged father finds out and VIGOROUSLY hunts down both Bill and the slave and punishes them for the crime of theft and for their actions (by whipping among other things) Now is that plausible for a fiction story?

Marian Perera
05-19-2008, 05:33 AM
Why couldn't Bill just buy her from his best friend? Then at least he wouldn't have the owner after him as well as his father. Slaves had to run away from their owners because they often had no other way to escape. If a white man was on a slave's side, she might have more options. Is Bill too poor to afford her?

Also, what genre is this?

Southern_girl29
05-22-2008, 01:13 AM
Ok, i just needto know if this is plausible for a story: a white man (lets call him Bill) falls in love with his best friend's slave, after secretly marrying her (which is illegal) he eventually takes her away with him (which is stealing property). The owner of the slave as well as Bill's outraged father finds out and VIGOROUSLY hunts down both Bill and the slave and punishes them for the crime of theft and for their actions (by whipping among other things) Now is that plausible for a fiction story?

I don't really find it plausible. First, no one would marry them. It just wouldn't happen. There were laws that kept it from happening, and most of those laws haven't been off the books too long.

I can see Bill falling into lust with a slave, but not so much love. In those days, slaves were considered so far below white men that white men just didn't see them as a potential mate. He might see her as something to possess, but I don't buy he would fall in love with her. I'm sure it happened, but I'd just have a hard time with it.

Bill's father and the slave's owner would hunt him down, but he would go to jail for his crime. It wouldn't be a punishment they handed down.

Tsu Dho Nimh
05-22-2008, 02:49 AM
Ok, for some reason I couldnt post a reply to my 1st msg. From my dumb phone, but what if this man was in love with his slave---that isnt his own slave, and wanted to marry her and make her in his eyes, his equal but his racist father disapproved of it? Would it be too far feteched to put in a story that the man and the slave were physically punished (by whipping for example) by the father and others?

Even if he owns her, they would have to go to another state to get married, and even then she'd probably have to pass for white. My great-grandfather went through that to get married ... met her, loved her, bought her, snuck her into a non-slave state, set her up with an alibi as a seamstress from the East coast for a few months, THEN he courted and married her openly and they left for California shortly after.

ADDING: In the only picture we have of her, she looks like a mature Lena Horne. She was a skilled seamstress, literate, and all of 18 when they married.

If the father - who is not "racist" as we see it, he's in the majority and he has the law behind him - really wants to punish his son, he'll have the slave sold away from the area if he can. Or buy her himself.

Tsu Dho Nimh
05-22-2008, 02:53 AM
Ok, i just needto know if this is plausible for a story: a white man (lets call him Bill) falls in love with his best friend's slave, after secretly marrying her (which is illegal) he eventually takes her away with him (which is stealing property). The owner of the slave as well as Bill's outraged father finds out and VIGOROUSLY hunts down both Bill and the slave and punishes them for the crime of theft and for their actions (by whipping among other things) Now is that plausible for a fiction story?


You seem really determined to get the two of them whipped.

1 - Why not just buy her? That is what was done: buy the slave and set her up as a mistress. No one would have cared.

2 - No one WOULD marry them. Marriages between slaves were not recognized, and all others had to get a license.

HeronW
05-26-2008, 05:08 PM
Slavery was abolished on the continent long before it became so in the US. If the man could smuggle a slave aboard a ship to France for ex. they could get married there.