Many slaveholders practiced paternalism as a means to make themselves feel better about the practice of slavery. Paternalism implies that the slaveholder acted as a parent to the slaves, treating them as children who were incapable of making their own decisions. Slaveholders believed, either because of their education and upbringing or because of the language barrier, that slaves were less intelligent and “savages” in need of the protection of civilized society Moreover, while slaveholders preached the idea that they were the protectors and providers for their slaves; slaves in turn did not feel this same way. “Slavery was the worst days ever seed in the world. They was things past tellin’ but I got scars on my old body to show to this day.” This was how Mary Reynolds felt about her slavery days. She worked hard to get beat plenty and fed little. Mary hated picking cotton when the frost was on the balls. Her hands would get sore, crack open and bleed. Mary was sold to an old white man in Trinity whose wife had just past with no
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