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July 18, 2013

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Barry

...or it might have been a message to the slaveowners to keep tighter control over their slaves.

Alfred Brophy

Barry -- that's a really interesting and important observation. There certainly was a lot of that -- the idea that owners needed to keep better control over their human property. That's all over the response to the rebellion. Some in the white community were angry that other slave-owners were too lenient. We see this in the letters afterwards and also in the prosecutions. However, the petitioners argued that there was nothing they could do to keep control over the slaves during the rebellion.

Barry

During, yes. Before is another matter.

Alfred Brophy

Really interesting observation, Barry. There were certainly complaints by some that slave-owners didn't exercise enough control over their slaves. However, I haven't seen anyone saying that the slave-owners whose slaves were killed during the rebellion hadn't been harsh enough on them. That is, once the rebellion got going it swept a lot of people into it. Afterward one of the justifications for the brutality in putting down the rebellion was that it would drive home to slaves that they shouldn't rebel.

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