Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chapter 11: Carolina 1670 - 1760

Ah, the beginnings of the American South. Let's dance.

"Eliza Lucas Pinckney described the Carolina summer as 'extreamly disagreeable, excessive hott, much thunder and lightening, and muskatoes and sand flies in abundance.'" Well what the fuck are we waiting for?! Let's go!!!

"In 1670 three ships from Barbados bore two hundred colonists to the mouth of the Ashley River, where they founded Charles Town (modified to Charleston in 1783), named, like Carolina, in honor of King Charles II." Jeez, what a bunch o' brown-nosers.

"The Carolina trader benefited from the native custom of providing wives to welcome newcomers." Exactly how welcome is welcome? ... What? A wife could come in handy.

"In 1682 a Carolinian noted, 'There is such infinite Herds that the whole Country seems but one continued [deer] Park.'" The smell must have been awful.

"The Carolinians justified enslavement as beneficial for Indians, sparing captives from execution and exposing them to Christian civilization among their English purchasers." In other words, hey, it's not like we killed them, we just make them more vulnerable to death via disease and exhaustion. But don't worry about it, they might go to our Heaven-which by the way is the ONLY one.

"The South Carolina elite became renowned as even more gracious, polite, genteel, and lavish than the gentlemen of Virginia." That's not saying much. If you'll recall, the gentry in Virginia nailed you to the wall by your ears if you insulted them.

"Moreover, black slavery made manual labor seem degrading to free men, which discouraged exertion by common whites, who aspired, instead, to acquire their own slaves to do the dirty work." Come on down and buy some slaves! Well? What are you waiting for? Everyone is doing it. You don't want to be not cool... do you? Do you!?

"An official described the colonists as 'stark Mad after Negroes'". In lay terms, that's referred to as "jungle fever".

"Until they could own slaves, the white Georgians considered themselves unfree." Wait, what?

"Because Carolina society so closely resembled Barbados, English officials commonly referred to 'Carolina in the West Indies.' This development was ironic, for plantation society had driven from Barbados the original emigrants who became the first Carolinians." I like this, it's like Taylor is beckoning the reader closer, slightly hunched in stifled giggles as he lets us in on his little joke. "You see it's funny because *giggle* because they CAME from Barbados, and, *giggle*, well you see what I'm trying to say."

Chapter 12 to follow.

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