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In Their Own Words

January 15, 1865

Diary Entry Showed Paternalistic View of Slavery

Eliza Frances Andrews’ diary entry for this day exhibits a paternalistic view of plantation life and slaves that was common for this time in the South. And as she almost always did, she took verbal aim at Yankees.

“Went to church at Mt. Enon with Albert Bacon, and saw everybody. It was pleasant to meet old friends, but I could not help thinking of poor Annie Chiles’s grave at the church door. One missing in a quiet country neighborhood like this makes a great gap. This was the Sunday for Dr. Hillyer to preach to the negroes and administer the communion to them. They kept awake and looked very much edified while the singing was going on, but most of them slept through the sermon. The women were decked out in all their Sunday finery and looked so picturesque and happy. It is a pity that this glorious old plantation life should ever have to come to an end. Albert Bacon dined with us and we spent the afternoon planning for a picnic at Mrs. Henry Bacon’s lake on Tuesday or Wednesday. The dear old lake! I want to see it again before its shores are desecrated by Yankee feet. I wish sister would hurry home, on account of the servants. We can’t take control over them, and they won’t do anything except just what they please. As soon as she had gone, Mr. Ballou, the overseer, took himself off and only returned late this evening. Harriet, Mrs. Green Butler’s maid, is the most trifling of the lot, but I can stand anything from her because she refused to go off with the Yankees when Mrs. Butler had her in Marietta last summer. Her mother went, and tried to persuade Harriet to go, too, but she said: “I loves Miss Julia a heap better’n I do you,” and remained faithful. Sister keeps her here because Mrs. Butler is a refugee and without a home herself.”

Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 69-70.