Thursday, March 8, 2007

Willie Lynch: The Making of a Slave

Trying to clear off the corner of a desk that has become rather cluttered the last few days, I came across something a student gave me last week. He asked if I'd ever heard of Willie Lynch's speech. I said I hadn't, so he gave it to me, printed out from this website. (It's much easier to read, though, here or anywhere else you can find it.) I put it on the side of the desk, and before long it was covered and forgotten. I rediscovered it a few minutes ago.

The speech begins:

Gentlemen. I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies, where I have experimented with some of the newest and still the oldest methods for control of slaves.

After the first sentence, I had my doubts. A quick Google search seems to confirm. Fake. Hoax.

I’m probably the last person in the world to see this, right?