Ex-Slave George Johnson | "Confederate President Jefferson Davis was my master."

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Published 2020-09-28
I don't know what to think about this recording and I am interested to see your comments.

Johnson sounds like he liked Jefferson Davis as a "master." I this because its the only life Johnson knew? Because he was born a slave and believed he was less than whites? I don't know. I wasn't there with him, but the scars will not heal until we have that conversation, as a nation.

A side note: Ben Montgomery, mentioned in this recording did try to run away a few times, even though he was treated "well" by Davis.

If you have insight on this recording, please let me know.

(original recordings at the Library of Congress)


* * if your comment does not show, it is youtube blocking it, not me.

#jeffersondavis #confederacy #blackhistorymonth #juneteenth

All Comments (21)
  • Dude the fact that there is a recorded tape interview with a former slave shows that this is not nearly as far in the past as it seems
  • one scuba
    It’s very clear that some slaves were treated better than others, but they were still slaves and that’s no way for any human to live. I was in an antique shop in New Orleans that bought and sold Civil War era artifacts and I came across a detailed bill of sale for a slave. Seeing that document sent chills down my spine and it’s difficult to put into words how it sort of made everything that we were taught about slavery in school come to life. It brought up lots of very strong feelings in me all at once and I will never forget how I felt. Part of me wanted to burn it and part of me felt that documents like that need to be preserved and seen by everyone to see first hand how human beings were described exactly like livestock in these bills of sale. I can’t understand how any human being could buy, sell and own other human beings as livestock and not see any problem with it.
  • To anyone curious about what happened to Ben Montgovery he was sold the land as part of a loan and under his oversight the plantation produced cotton well regarded for it's quality. He used the money he earned to try to establish a community for the freed slaves but unfortunately, floods destroyed his crops and unable to pay back the loan, he lost the land to the Davis family per their agreement. Heartbroken, he died a year later. His son later went on to establish a town in order to fulfill his father's dream, called Mound Bayou, Mississippi.
  • s staners
    I came close to visiting Jefferson Davis’s home down in Mississippi when I was going to Expeditionary Combat School for the navy in Gulfport.
    People need to remember history so that the sins of the past are never repeated. This is a prime example.
  • Don Steitz
    Some need to understand that this man was conditioned to be obedient and supportive. No matter how well one treats their slaves, or what kind words are said about slavers...slavery is still evil and vile.
  • Swanky B
    This is a fascinating gem of authentic history! So precious to hear these events told by one who actually lived it. I would love to hear much more like this.
  • Ken Williams
    I want..No I need to hear more recordings like this. A lot of History will never be written into text books.
  • To those who easily pass judgements regarding all this: Life is complicated. We are all born into a world we did not create. We do the best we can to learn to live in it - and to change it, maybe a little - before we die. But none of that is easy......not for anyone. How valuable it is that we have this to hear, ponder, and from which to learn.
  • Gabe Lopez
    Hearing his voice was surreal. Fascinating. I am happy we have the technology to listen to these audio treasures. RIP Mr. Johnson
  • VG_I4NI
    It's powerful to hear these voices from the past . May God rest their souls. Some parts of history can't be translated in books
  • Lee
    The fact that I exist in a time where this history is available on my phone whenever I need it is insane.
  • Chris M
    Amazing. Thank you for sharing this. These voices still need to be heard. As the old revivalist once said, "The only thing that we learn from history is that people seldom learn from history."
  • Riversider
    As a 70 yo white man, I now understand how distorted my education has been and the opportunity to hear history from those who lived it is cherished. Dont care where it leads, I want the truth.
  • Luis Soto
    This is amazing to me! Mr. Johnson has a strong voice in this recording. I have always liked American history. We're all very fortunate to be living in the times we are in now! Technology preserving the History of centuries past, passed on verbally, by a man who lived it.
  • Kathryn Coker
    Thank you for posting this recording. Even a “kind master” who controlled every aspect of his slaves lives was still completely wrong in my opinion.
  • Chris Brooks
    The way he says '....he owned my grandfather and my father....' is legitimately one of the most heart breaking things I've ever heard anyone say.
  • Rebecca Briggs
    I am very grateful for the efforts expended to make this story available. We are all living within our own story and they are all fascinating. All defy being characterized by labels.
  • Brian Michael
    Thank you for sharing. I fear that with modern politics the past will be erased and we'll lose valuable stories like these.
  • ccreel64
    I’m flabbergasted. I can’t say slavery was a beneficial institution in any way. These tapes are a necessary making, and I’m so glad they’re available to all of us. We need to hear all of them.
  • David Olsen
    So much that this man could tell us. I would’ve loved to have met and listened to these folks tell stories from their time. So much we could learn.