The Slave Consultant's Narrative

The life of an Urban Myth?


THE SLAVE CONSULTANT'S NARRATIVE
Provenance of the following text is unclear.
This speech was purportedly given by a slave owner, William Lynch, on the bank of the James River in 1712. Analysis now suggests that the document was written in the mid to late 20th Century. If you have information about the origins of the "Narrative", please see the contact information at the bottom of this page.

It is entered into this electronic format not to state an opinion or to give offense to anyone, but to augment Black Studies materials available to electronic researchers.


        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.  Ancient Rome would envy us if my program
is implemented.  As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for
our illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we cherish, I saw
enough to know that your problem is not unique.  While Rome used cords
of wood as crosses for standing human bodies along its old highways in
great numbers you are here using the tree and the rope on occassion.
 
        I caught a whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree a couple of
miles back.  You are not only losing valuable stock by hangings, you are
having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left
in the fields too long for maximum profit, you suffer occasional fires,
your animals are killed.  Gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I
do not need to elaborate.  I am not here to enumerate your problems, I
am here to introduce you to a method of solving them.
 
       In my bag here, I have a fool proof method for controlling your
Black slaves. I guarantee everyone of you that if installed correctly it
will control the slaves for at least 300 years.  My method is simple.
Any member of your family or your overseer can use it.
 
       I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves; and I
take these differences and make them bigger.  I use fear, distrust, and
envy for control purposes.  These methods have worked on my modest
plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South.
Take this simple little list of differences, and think about them.  On
top of my list is "Age", the second is "Color" or shade, there is
intelligence, size, sex, size of plantations, status on plantation,
attitude of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill,
East, West, North, South, have fine hair or coarse hair, or is tall or
short.  Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an
outline of action- but before that I shall assure you that distrust is
stronger than adulation; respect or admiration.
 
      The Black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry
on and will become self re-fueling and self-generating for hundreds of
years, maybe thousands.
 
       Don't forget you must pitch the old Black vs. the young Black
male, and the young Black male against the old Black male.  You must use
the dark skin slave vs. the light skin slaves and the light skin slaves
vs. the dark skin slaves.  You must use the female vs. the male, and the
male vs. the female.  You must also have your White servants and
overseers distrust all Blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves
trust and depend on us.  They must love, respect, and trust only us.
 
       Gentlemen, these Kits are your Keys to control.  Use them.  Have
your wives and children use them, never miss opportunity.  If used
intensely for one year, the slaves themselves will remain perpetually
distrustful.
 
        Thank you, gentlemen.

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If you have information about the origins of this document, please contact Anne Taylor.