Discussing the Issue of Slavery: Analysis of Narrative of Lavinia Bell and Letter to an English Abolitionist

Better Essays
Rachel Maloney
December 10, 2014
U.S. History
Writing Assignment #2 The two historical documents, Narrative of Lavinia Bell written by an anonymous author in the Montreal Gazette and the Letter to an English Abolitionist by James Henry Hammond, shared their strong opinions on the important issue of slavery. These documents were written in the 1800’s during an era of progressive changes. One can identify similarities and many differences in their opinions, motives, and goals for their writings. I believe Bell’s account was written to show the perspective of slaves’ brutal view, compared to Hammond’s letter justifying slavery and the rights of the slaveholders. Lavinia Bell’s document was written in 1861 and Hammond’s in 1845. Both documents are persuasive and bias of the author’s opinions. They are not only both on the topics of slavery, but were published for the public to be influenced to a certain view on the topic. Another similarity is that although they were from different regions they were both raised with certain norms and standards that may have influenced the views they are defending. During the time period of the documents, The North, where Bell’s story was published in Canada was anti slavery and a refuge for slaves. The British and the abolitionists would work together to try and emancipate slavery and declared it as a moral evil. Whereas Hammond, was raised in The South where 90 percent of slaves lived and slavery was just a part of life. He was a plantation owner and a congressman for South Carolina in 1834. In order to participate in politics around this time, you had to be a white elite male. I am lead to believe Hammond could fall under the category of planter elite. These elite planters would own much land containing many slaves and were rarely self made men. The men were born into the wealth of their family’s plantation and grew up with the idea of slavery as a necessity for success. Also, The South believed that the skin color of the

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