John Thompson, whom I have been reading about lately, lived a very interesting, yet very unpleasant life. I have completed his autobiography, and in the book, the last place I read that he was in was a whaling ship. This is part of the interesting part. The bad part is that he was a slave for a vast majority of his life. This however, was overcome by him successfully escaping to the Northern states. So, now that we’ve established a rough idea of his life, I will now answer the question this week. It says: “Did Thompson prove that South’s slave system was immoral?”
Well, I would say yes, and no. By no, I mean he didn’t directly attack slavery in his autobiography, but he never said that it was a good thing either. He did, however, say that whipping should be limited. The main problem with this is the some people were so mentally accustomed to owning slaves and ‘keeping them in their place’, they would whip them for absolutely no good reason. Some even found joy in it! So, Thompson argued that unjust whipping, or cruel punishment for no reason was one of, if not the most immoral acts regarding slavery. Sounds terrible and unfathomable, right? But it happened.
Thompson has given so many accounts of cruel ‘negative sanctions’ imposed on slaves, not only to the people around him, but himself as well. But, as I have written before, he also believed that in the end, the wicked will receive their just reward for their actions. But, another argument apart from these punishments would also be the separation of families. Sometimes, father and mother, brother and sister, would be sold to separate masters, and it would be very unlikely that they would ever see them again. Thomson has mentioned this in his book as well.
I truly feel sorry for the way America’s southern society grew, but I am equally as pleased that it ended so long ago as well. As I said before, Thompson did escape the south and started a new life in the northern states, but a lot of others did manage to escape along side him. But, while some triumphed, some failed, and yet God chose Thompson to be one of the few who would succeed. Maybe it was his faith, maybe it was luck, but either way, Thompson endured the hard times, and he definitely enjoyed being free from slavery.