just thought this would be worth a read. i was honestly a bit surprised by how well jourdane expressed himself.
many questions come to mind, for instance, what percentage of slaves could even read or write at the time?
"As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the
Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat
us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us
forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty
years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty
dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to
me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams's Express, in care of
V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We
trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for
generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than
for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire."
(visit the link for the full news article)