Wolves Don’t Lose Sleep Over The Opinions Of Sheep Shirt

Wolves Don’t Lose Sleep Over The Opinions Of Sheep Shirt

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Wolves Don’t Lose Sleep Over The Opinions Of Sheep Shirt

What slaves wore drew attention from casual observers, visitors, and travelers. The slaveholders were aware of their remarks. Comments about the clothing of slaves prompted W. W. Gilmer to address the matter in the April 1852 Southern Cultivator. “A lot of ragged little negroes,” he wrote, “always gives a loud impression to strangers. “Gilmer drew a connection between material well being and malleability. On another level, ragged, dirty slave children fostered comments about negligent patents. It was virtually impossible to keep creeping and crawling children clean in cabins with dirt floors. Besides, slaves ordinarily worked until nightfall and had little time afterwards to attend to personal needs. Furthermore, the harsh laundry method including the use of lye soap or mud contributed to the deterioration of their meager clothing supply.(57)

Slave children were aware of their clothing especially when in the proximity of well-cared-for children of slaveowners or others. One owner claimed a little girl walked “five times faster” wearing a “new” dress handed down to her from a white child. Proud and puffed up, the girl’s younger brother showed a similar delight as he strutted around in a “new” bonnet. Slave children did not have to see other children to know of their conditions when suffering from the winter cold. Additionally, cost-conscious owners paid little attention to growth patterns and allowed boys to wear shirts well beyond a time when they met ordinary standards of modesty. An officer in the First Pennsylvania Regiment remembered the inadequate clothes of adolescent boys in Virginia as they served dinners He wrote:

I am surprised this does not hurt the feelings of the Fair Sex to see young boys of about Fourteen and Fifteen years Old to Attend them. Their whole nakedness Exposed and I can Assure you It would Surprize a person to see these d– d black boys how well they are hung. This hardly changed over the years. Gilmer believed an adequate supply of clothes elevated their self-esteem and improved their behavior. Frederick Douglass rejected the idea. “The feeding and clothing the well,” Douglass sa

Wolves Don’t Lose Sleep Over The Opinions Of Sheep Shirt
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