Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Letter of Note

Ordinarily, Lowering the Bar makes me laugh out loud and roll my eyes at legal stupidity, but today's post sent me to another blog where I did not laugh out loud but rather snorted in deep satisfaction at brilliantly ironic justice.

Letters of Note posts, well, letters of note, such as this gem of a letter written by a freed slave named Jourdon Anderson to his former master, Col. P.H. Anderson. The Colonel had the audacity to ask Jourdon to return to Tennessee to work for him in 1865. The letter is a rhetorical tour de force, and I wish I could invent a time machine to go back and shake Mr. Jourdon Anderson's hand.

We actually live near a stop of the Underground Railroad near Dayton, and when I saw that Jourdon lived in Dayton (although he was freed in Tennessee by Union troops), it drove home to me the reality of basic rights denied to so many people during slavery's terrible reign. Jourdon Anderson asks for nothing unusual or unwarranted, and his strength and dignity and a certain ironic sense of justice shine through his rhetoric.

Take that, Col. P.H. Anderson!

Jourdon got his wish that his children be educated. Follow the links at Letters of Note to read a bit of what happened to Jourdon and his descendants.


  1. I don't really need to add anything more in my reader but how could I pass up this one. Great site. Sharing it with my daughters, too. Thanks.

  2. What a wonderful letter! Breaks my heart to know about what happened to them. Just read Book of Negros and was grateful for those who had a will to live and fight despite what they had to encounter.

  3. Have you read The Help? I very much enjoyed a look into the past and how much things change over time....

  4. OMGosh, wasn't that letter great? I love the Letters Of Note blog.


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