Both children in the picture are slaves.
While researching for my Civil War historical novel, “Songs of the Night,” I stumbled upon the diaries of Mary Chestnut.
Like the patriarchs of old our men live all in one house with their wives and their concubines, and the mulattoes one sees in every family exactly resemble the white children–and every lady tells you who is the father of all the mulatto children in everybody’s household, but those in her own she seems to think drop from the clouds, or pretends so to think. – Mary Chesnut
- Less than five percent of Southerners owned slaves
- Slaves were property
- It was common for the white slave owner to rape black slaves at will
- Although less common, there are instances of white mistresses engaging in relations with male slaves
- Public humiliation was poured upon women who engaged in such relationships, although great lengths were taken to hide those pregnancies
- For the male planter aristocracy, it was life as usual
- One drop of black blood made that person black
Historical fiction, slavery, civil war, slaves