Historical Significance Of Jourdon Anderson's Letter: A Free Man's Letter

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Jourdon Anderson was once an enslaved African American whose former owner was Colonel P.H. Anderson. Colonel Anderson had written to Jourdon sometime after Jourdon became freed around August 7, 1865 and wanted him and his family to come back to Tennessee and work for and live him as freed people.

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Jourdon seemed very sincere in his return letter back to Colonel Anderson while mentioning that he missed all the people that were still there. Jourdon, you could surmise was not very convinced that his nor his family’s treatments would be any better if they did return now that they are free as compared to what it was when they were enslaved. I kind of got the sense from Jourdon’s writing style that his thinking in the back of his mind was that if he could trust Colonel Anderson he might would consider returning.

In his letter, I believe that when Jourdon broke down the earnings from his thirty two years of service and Mandy’s 20 years of service with interest and then deducting clothing, doctor’s visits and a tooth extraction that he was truly considering possibly going back, at least for a visit. He wanted to see a concerted effort by Colonel Anderson and through this payment, Jourdon would be able to see that Colonel Anderson’s intentions and promises were honorable.

The correspondence from Jourdon to Colonel Anderson gives us an insight into some of the inner thoughts and thinking’s of a once enslaved African American to his previous owner. It demonstrates the forgiveness that is in a person’s heart even after being treated so poorly and unfavorably for thirty two years.

Jourdon took tremendous pride in the fact that Colonel Anderson had written him a letter and that he had not forgotten about him. He was also just as smitten by the fact that Colonel Anderson wanted him to come back and work for him again and that he would be treated better than anyone could possibly treat him. I also get the feeling from Colonel Anderson that he really did love Jourdon and Mandy. Colonel Anderson truly is trying to convey to Jourdon and Mandy that he is missing them and viewed them as more than just slaves but that they are a part of his family. He was probably even remorseful for the ways in which he treated them for all of those years. Without such letters such as ones like this we would not have any historical insight into how enslaved African American’s and slave owners actually felt about one another either during slavery or even once enslaved African American’s became freed.

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Historical Significance Of Jourdon Anderson’s Letter: A Free Man’s Letter. (2021, April 19). WritingBros. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/historical-significance-of-jourdon-andersons-letter-a-free-mans-letter/
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Historical Significance Of Jourdon Anderson’s Letter: A Free Man’s Letter [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Apr 19 [cited 2024 Jun 22]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/historical-significance-of-jourdon-andersons-letter-a-free-mans-letter/
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