An Excerpt From Virginia: History, Government, Geography
Yesterday I shared an illustration from a popular history book used here in Virginia titled, Virginia: History, Government, Geography by Francis B. Simkins, Spotswood H. Jones, and Sidman P. Poole. The illustration speaks for itself, but today I found some text on slavery and race relations from the book, which serves to remind us of just how important it is that our history textbooks be based on first-rate scholarship and not fantasy.
A feeling of strong affection existed between masters and slaves in a majority of Virginia homes. . . The house servants became almost as much a part of the planter’s family circle as its white members. . . The Negroes were always present at family weddings. They were allowed to look on at dances and other entertainments . . . A strong tie existed between slave and master because each was dependent on the other. . . The slave system demanded that the master care for the slave in childhood, in sickness, and in old age. The regard that master and slaves had for each other made plantation life happy and prosperous. Life among the Negroes of Virginia in slavery times was generally happy. The Negroes went about in a cheerful manner making a living for themselves and for those for whom they worked. . . But they were not worried by the furious arguments going on between Northerners and Southerners over what should be done with them. In fact, they paid little attention to these arguments.
One of my readers commented on the previous post that he was assigned this book in 1980. Now that is incredibly disturbing.