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In Their Own Words

April 10, 1855

Journal Entry on Slave Wedding

In her journal, Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas gave the following respectful, yet humorous, account of the wedding of two slaves, soon after her own marriage. She also mentions the presence of a famous author at the same event:

“Tuesday, April 10, 1855 - In the afternoon went over to see Tamah married and heard Sam Drayton preach. He is one of the most intelligent Negroes I have ever met with, and has a decidedly fine command of language. Dr. and Mrs. Longstreet [referring to Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, author of Georgia Scenes], Mr. Carmichael, Mrs. Harris, Mr. Thomas and I beside the Segos were present. The bridegroom just awakened from a sleep he had been taking during the sermon, had his witts woolgathered and looked quite faint. He took the bride’s arm and she being taller than he, it looked as if the order of ‘to obey’ should have been changed … .”

Source: Virginia Ingraham Burr (ed.), The Secret Eye: The Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1848-1889 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990). p. 121.