English 9, Lesson 115 – Did Thompson Provide Persuasive Evidence that South’s Slave System was Morally Evil?

This week I finished reading John Thompson’s autobiography.  Thompson was an escaped slave from the South and in his autobiography, he told his readers what it was like to live as a slave in the South.  In today’s essay I am going to answer the question, “Did Thompson provide enough evidence that the South’s slave system was morally evil?”

Thompson did not specifically say, word for word, that the South’s slave system was morally evil, but he gave enough evidence to prove it.

Example One

In the first few chapters of the book, Thompson talked about having his sister sent away.  I studied the Civil War a few years ago in History, and one of the things that disturbed me the most was how the slaves would be separated from their families and it was considered normal.  It was even more disturbing to see it from a slave’s point of view.  This is a personal belief of mine, but I think that families should stay as a unit and should not be broken up.  I feel that it is cruel to separate a family with no guarantee of them ever seeing one another again.

Example Two

Thompson described how harshly his masters would beat him and other slaves if they disobeyed.  He would also mention how many masters would beat their slaves for no reason besides entertainment.  Whether you were young or old, no slave was immune from the whippings.  Thompson recalled how one of his master’s young sons would come home from school and call all the young slave children to the yard.  He would order them to clean it, and while they did, he would whip them for no reason other than to see them bleed.  This is inhumane and evil.  The slave system not only bred racism, but also cruelty in white children and resentment in black children.

Example Three

Thompson escaped slavery as an adult with his friend.  He made it up North then out to sea because he still did not feel safe.  One of the things that deeply upset me was how Thompson did not die a free man.  Legally, he still belonged to the master he had escaped from.  You may be thinking that legal matters do not concern a slave once he has escaped and is on the open seas, right?  Yes, this is partly true, but can you imagine how Thompson felt?  He had to stay on the open seas if he wanted to remain free.  He could not go on land without the fear of being found, captured, and taken back down to the South again.  He died with the knowledge that he was legally owned by a man.  Can you imagine what it feels like to die knowing you were never free?  I find this completely and utterly evil.

Example Four

Slavery goes against everything that God has said.  God wants humans to start families and raise children.  The slavery system saw families as nothing but a source of more income.  God wants humans to worship and pray to Him.  Many masters would punish their slaves for worshipping God because it gave the slaves too much hope.  God wants humans to treat each other with kindness.  The slave system told people it was acceptable to whip a man as punishment.


As you can see, the South’s slavery system was horrible and morally evil.  In my personal opinion, nothing about the slave system was decent or acceptable.  I think everything about this type of slave system is morally evil and inhumane.

Author: sophiaelahirpc

Part-time 9th Grade student in the Ron Paul Curriculum. Full-time teen writer living in Singapore.

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