Sunday, March 1, 2009

Praying for Freedom

"Oh, how those people prayed for freedom!" recalled Susie King Taylor of Georgia. "I remember, one night, my grandmother went out into the suburbs of the city to a church meeting, and they were fervently singing this old hymn:'Yes, we all shall be free/When the Lord shall appear." Sam Clement recalled that the dark clouds of slavery would pass away, and they would be as free as their mistresses and masters."

Some believed they'd get freedom and others didn't," Laura Abromson recalled. "They had places they met and prayed for freedom. They stole out in some of their houses and true a wash-pot down at the door." According to Edie Dennis, the pot was intended "to keep the sound of their voices from 'escaping' or being heard from the outside. Then the slaves would sing, pray, and relate experiences a night long. Their great, soul-hungering desire was freedom - not that they loved the Yankees or hated their masters, but merely longed to be free and hated the institution of slavery. Everyone felt the spirit of the Lord," and just before daybreak, after chanting "for fifteen or twenty minutes, all would shake hands again and go home: confident in their hearts that freedom was in the offing."

"The Slaves War: The Civil War in the Words of former Slaves", by Andrew Ward

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