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Mark Twain
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Tom Sawyer's Days 1835-1853
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Salvery and Other Darkness
 
 

“I vividly remember seeing a dozen black men and women chained to one another, once, and lying in a group on the pavement, awaiting shipment to the Southern slave market. Those were the saddest faces I have ever seen.”—Mark Twain, Autobiography, posthumous

“It was on the farm that I got my strong liking for his race and appreciation of certain of its fine qualities. This feeling and this estimate have stood the test of sixty years and more and have suffered no impairment. The black face is as welcome to me now as it was then.”—Mark Twain, Autobiography, posthumous

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Courtesy of the Library of Congress
 
 
It all seems so small to me . . . a boy's home is a big place to him. I suppose if I should come back again ten years from now it would be the size of a bird-house. Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi, 1883  
 
Audio Real Audio: 56k  
“Doubting Slavery”
Video Real Video: 56k | 220k
David Bradley, “Mark Twain Told the Truth.”

J. J. Smith Plantation, 1862
J. J. Smith Plantation, 1862
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
Slave Market
Slave Market
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

“All the Negroes were friends of ours, and with those of our own age we were in effect comrades. I say in effect, using the phrase as a modification. We were comrades and yet not comrades; color and condition interposed a subtle line which both parties were conscious of and which rendered complete fusion impossible. We had a faithful and affectionate good friend, ally and adviser in “Uncle Dan’l”, a middle-aged slave whose head was the best one in the negro quarter, whose sympathies were wide and warm and whose heart was honest and simple and knew no guile...I have not seen him for more than half a century and yet spiritually I have had his welcome company a good part of that time and have staged him in books under his own name and as “Jim”, and carted him all around—to Hannibal, down the Mississippi on a raft and even across the Desert of Sahara in a balloon—and he has endured it all with the friendliness and loyalty which were his birthright.”—Mark Twain, Autobiography, posthumous

 
 
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