A Little Levity if You Please! (Part 38) by Bill Vallante

"A JOLT FOR WENDELL BY A NEGRO WAITER" – V123 Confederate Veteran March 1912

A long time ago Wendell Phillips, the abolitionist, went to Charleston, He had breakfast served in his room, and was waited upon by a slave. Mr. Phillips took the opportunity to represent to the negro in a pathetic way that he regarded him as a man and brother, and, more than that, that he himself was an abolitionist. Finally Mr. Phillips told the darky to go away, saying that he could not bear to be waited on by a slave. "You must ‘sense me," said the negro. "I is ‘bliged to stay here ’cause lse ‘sponsible for de silverware."

November, 1906, “The Confederate Veteranâ€Â

Colonel Brown (John C.) had a negro servant named Ned. When the fight began, Ned begged his ‘Marse John’ to be allowed to ride one of his horses and stay by his side. Colonel Brown let him have a pistol and one of his horses. Ned proudly rode to the front. When the fire opened between Porter’s (Morton’s) Battery and the Federal batteries opposite, Ned could not stand the bursting shells and falling limbs, and he rode up to Colonel Brown and said: ‘Marse John, I ‘spec’ I’d better go back under dat hill an’ fix fer ter cook yo’ dinner. An’ heah, Marse John, jes’ take dis pistol. I neber needed er pistol ter cook wid.’

550 Confederate Veteran December 1898. CONFEDERATE VETERANS IN NEW YORK.

I remember, continued Eli, "when they began to have the first freedmen schools around Memphis in 1864. Several Massachusetts tutors were teaching the freedmen the new doctrine of political equality. The negroes, you know, can never separate political equality from social equality, so when the teacher said, ‘We are all born free and equal,’ Clarissa Sophia broke in, ‘Wa’ dat yo’s sayin’ now? Yo say I’se jes as ekal as yo is ?’ ‘Yes,’ said the teacher, ‘and I can prove it.’ ‘Ho ! ’tain’t no need,’ replied the lately disenthralled. ‘Reck’n I is, sho’ nuff. But does yo say dat l’se good as missus, my missus?’ ‘Certainly you are, Sophia,’ said the teacher. ‘Den I’se jes gwine out yere rite off.’ said Sophia, suiting action to word. ‘Ef I’se good as my missus, l’se goin’ ter quit, fer I jes know she ent ,’soshiatin’ wid no sich wite trash as you is.’

The Confederate Veteran , April, 1893

After the battles of Bull Run and Manassas it was the writer’s privilege to stand picket at the farm house of a good old Mrs. Taylor, a few miles east of Fairfax Station. It was there I learned the true meaning of the word Manassas, and how it originated. A faithful old negro man belonging to Mrs. Taylor met a neighboring brother, and addressed him about as follows: " Uncle Willis, kin yer tell me how dey got dis name Manassas fur dis place down dar whar dey has all dem big guns?" "I dunno, Brer Ephriam, cep’ing tis we is de man, and dem Yankees whar cum down here is de asses, dats how we gets de name Manasses, I speck."

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