Sweet letter from former slave to former master

This is my kind of guy. Basically, his previous owner asked him to come back to work for money. The former slave wrote a very well written and jabbing letter to the guy insulting him and demanding back wages.



and he ends it with:

You can read the whole letter here.

That is hilarious! Especially the last part.


I love the math and the demand for back pay.

“I have often felt uneasy about you.”

I can’t help but read this in a posh, stiff-lipped British accent.

I think this is one of the most elegantly written “Fuck you” letters I’ve read.

I love compounding interest for back wages owed.

Where’s the southern civil war oops (War of Northern Aggression) apologist to tell us that the institution of slavery was i say boy a kindly one… ??

This definitely falls into the “If it’s not true, it should be” category.

You’ve got to be kidding me, slavery apologists?!

Discussion thread at Snopes.

I have now seen the original newspaper article and I do have to admit this may not be true. I don’t see any citations yet to indicate it is a genuine letter.

This does not read like a genuine 19th century letter, it reads like an inexpert modern writer trying to write like a 19th century person.

If you wanted to write something on that topic to appeal to a modern audience, wouldn’t you try to come up with something just like that letter?

Nope: the “feel” is all wrong and the story is way too good to be true. I’m calling bullshit.

Did you read the Snopes thread? It was published in various newspapers in 1865. Here’s an example, with a page view showing the date.

Obviously I didn’t read the Snopes page.

It still doesn’t strike me as an authentic document; it reads like something composed for public consumption rather than what it purports to be. Which seems to be the case.

So you were totally wrong about your basis for calling it a fake (your belief that it was a modern composition), but you still feel justified in calling it a fake? What’s your basis now?

Do you think it is modern still?

The thing is… if the letter’s real if should be fairly easy to authenticate the background.
Was there a COLONEL PH Anderson from Big Spring Tennessee? Are there slave records from his plantation? Any record of Jourdan Anderson and his named family members in Dayton Ohio?

It appearing in a New York news paper in 1865 just means it was written during that time, not that it is real. How did they get the letter?

1880 census has a Jourdan Anderson, wife Amanda, born Tennessee, living in Dayton, Ohio. Four children at home, none of the named ones but they’d probably be old enough to be out of the house. 1870 also has them, including a Jane (mentioned in the letter, 19 in 1870 so old enough to be known by an ex-master.)

ETA - obit 19 Apr 1905, if anybody lives in Dayton and would like to look it up.

Sorry, I didn’t read the Snopes thread first - they found him in the census also.