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The full costume from figure skater Brian Boitano, who came out publicly after joining the U. The notoriously private athlete said she and other transgender people made this their goal; they simply wanted to fade into the woodwork and live their lives after transitioning, without being noticed or questioned. All in all, Ott estimates the museum has the most comprehensive gay history collection in the country. The collections are complemented by more than cubic feet of archival material.

And this is part of the American experience, like it, love it, don't like it. Society as a whole has also changed rapidly in recent decades, Robinson points out. In return, Ott believes acknowledging gay history will help bring about more acceptance and make life safer for LGBTQ people. Through this exhibit, she wanted to allow members of the LGBTQ community to see themselves reflected in a collective experience and know they are not alone.

But that community, I want them to feel validated, and excited, and happy, and proud. Continue or Give a Gift. Privacy Policy , Terms of Use Sign up. SmartNews History. History Archaeology. World History. Science Age of Humans. Future of Space Exploration.

Human Behavior. Our Planet. His father was raised in Jack Smith's family, who owned hundreds of slaves. The later part of his life he took Page 10 to drinking and drank up the value of ten slaves a year. Misses Midcalf owned his father and mother then. Old Massa Midcalf was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in an early day.

After he grew up and married, he moved to Spencer Co. Connected with this was a fine hotel and also a liquor distillery in Fairfield, Nelson Co. Harry Smith was born on this plantation in the loom house where they wove woolen, tow, linen and flax cotton cloth. After he grew up to years of understanding, he witnessed Massa Midcalf take his mother, tie her to a locus tree in front of the house, her clothing nearly all stripped from her body, his own son and two other colored boys, and all were whipped, each in their turn.

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Harry's mother begging for Massa not to kill her, and mingled with the groans of the others it made a scene almost beyond description, Harry crying and begging for Massa not to kill his mother. He kept on until he struck each one hundred blows.

This inhuman treatment took place right in front of the public highway, with each blow blood would follow, and with each stroke of the lash he would utter oaths that would put to shame the most infamous demon on earth. They were ordered to cut corn stalks off the wheat. After cutting with all their might the first half of the day they stopped in a little ravine at a spring to rest and get a drink of water.

Massa Midcalf was up in his tower overlooking Page 11 his plantation, when he discovered them resting at the spring, their time did not consume over ten min-minutes. He sprang from his pinacle and swore he would give each of them one hundred lashes. The following morning, each in his turn took the whipping mentioned. There was considerable petty theiving done among the slaves mostly to get something to eat.


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They worked very hard, and being ignorant, did not realize the danger of Page 12 stealing. The white folks would watch them close and when caught would enter complaint to Justice Midcalf, who would individually order them to be tied and receive thirty-nine lashes on their naked back. Often the blood would run down to the earth. It was no uncommon thing for Massa to have forty or fifty slaves tied and whipped a day for these trifling affairs.

For each slave punished, Justice Midcalf received twenty-five cents, and with each blow would send forth the most fiendish oaths possible to imagine. Of course, it was charged to the slaves.


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  • Justice Midcalf was kept busy whipping negroes for four weeks in order to try and make them own up to what they were not guilty of. The theft never reached the right one and many a poor slave was unmercifully whipped principally for the twenty-five cents. He owned a large plantation and hundreds of slaves, tobacco being his principal crop. Old Joe was a powerful man, weighing nearly pounds, and if the slaves missed picking a worm off the tobacco Massa Ray would split their backs open with his bull whip.

    Many of the slaves after being severely punished would run away and remain six or eight months, and when found were nearly whipped to death. Uncle George was stripped naked, bound in the hen house, directly under their droppings, Page 13 taken out, received one hundred lashes from Ray, the same from his son, and placed back under the roost naked, face up. The next morning, received the same, with his flesh all lacerated, was bound to a shovel plow to cultivate tobacco, compelled to do a hard days work, after this inhuman treatment. The day being spent, old Ray's son saddled his horse going to the field untied Uncle George from the plow and conducted him to the house, where he received his rations as follows:.

    One cup of Bonaclaffer, known among the whites as the coarsest corn meal, small piece of poor meat, then chained in the corn crib compelled to shell twelve bushels of corn before he could sleep, remaining there chained until morning. As faithful a slave as he was he was put on the block, sold to Richardson, put into his chain gang and taken to New Orleans in the cotton fields.

    At another time in the spring of the year while his slaves were attending to tobacco fields, there suddenly came a terrible thunder storm, the rain coming down in torrents. The darkies all started for shelter, were met by Massa Ray, riding up on the great stallion and using all the oaths at his command, ordered them to return to their work. After they all resumed work again, rain still coming in sheets, suddenly there burst forth from the heavens terriffic thunder and lightning. Master Ray, straddle of his horse, umbrella over his head, cursing and swearing, the lightning struck the umbrella running down one side of him knocking him off his horse, and the slaves assisted him to the house, where he was confined a long time.

    In three years he died as a result of this shock. The day he died he called in one of his slaves who could fiddle, using an old gourd for a fiddle.

    Fifty Years of Yell

    Calling in two of his darkies who could dance he ordered his bull whip brought in; then the music and dancing began in earnest; when they would slack up he would hit them a clip using an oath and a blow. After their performance was over, the woman cook was ordered to prepare some corn bread and bacon and ordered to place the food in his mouth as he was hungry and too weak to wait on himself. He then expired with the provision still in his mouth. He was buried as he directed in front of his door, so he could see all of his d--m negroes and whites who came there.

    It rained for the space of one week after he was buried. Shortly after as the wash woman was bringing in the clothes she stepped on the head of his grave, the ground being all softened from the effects of the heavy rain she sank up to the middle of her body. She screamed with all her might, "for de Lord, old massa had her by de leg, and to come and help her out.

    Atkinson and Richardson were two southern men, living in New Orleans. They made annual tours to Kentuckey in the spring attending all the resorts of Tennessee and Kentuckey buying all the slaves they could find, large and small, they could get. When the planters would learn of their presence in the vicinity they would Page 15 tell their negroes who would not toe the line that they would sell them to go south and drink Mississippi water. When the slaves were aware of the presence of these two slave buyers a number of them would run away to the hills and remain often a year before they returned.

    Some would reach Canada for fear of being sold. Going to New Orleans was called the Nigger Hell, few ever returning who went there. Usually those who ran away when caught were sold. As fast as they were brought back by Richardson and Atkins, they were taken to Louisville and placed in the negro pen and guarded until fall, when they were fettered, chained together and started on their long journey South.

    Harry Smith, b. ?. Fifty Years of Slavery in the United States of America.

    Smith's old Massa Midcalf, as the reader is aware, kept a large hotel and when they were on their way with droves of negroes every negro that would stop there that night would be ordered not to leave the plantation under penalty of death. All night long chains would rattle. Some were crying for a mother left behind, some for an only child, and altogether it made a scene almost indescribable; and all the consolation they could hear would be the crack of the bull-whip of some watchman and floods of profanity.

    Some were tired out by their bloody feet walking on the frozen ground, and were compelled to dry up. Water and mud made no difference; they were compelled to move right along. At that time there were no turnpikes. The roads were Page 16 all dirt and rock roads. After reaching Louisville they were put in a negro pen--barracks where they could not get away. Then these traders had them all washed and each one had a new suit of clothes, consisting of hard time cotton, this was for the man's breeches and shirts; and then cheap calico for the woman and a hard-time shirt constituted the woman's clothing.

    No shoes on any of them. There were two negro pens in Louisville. Nat Garrison owned one of them and Artiburn owned the other. They were marched out hundreds at a time after dressing and put on the steam boats and taken down the river. In their boyhood days there was a law enacted that any person found off the plantation where they belonged, if caught by the patrollers, would receive forty lashes on their bare back and blood must follow every stroke. At the time Mr. Smith was growing up the patrollers never caught him as he was one of the fleetest runners in the whole South.

    Dancing was one of the main amusements in the South. Smith's old massa would give him a pass to prevent his being whipped, but he seldom asked for it, because he was so fleet of foot no one could catch him, not even the blood hounds as the reader will find later on. Many were caught by these patrollers when the corners of the fence were raised enough to get their heads through, their backs made bare and they received their punishment in this attidude.

    The patrollers became so desperate that the colored people cut off their horses' tails and saddle skirts. At last some would remain and take charge of the animal while others would go and search the cabins and see if colored visitors had passes. At that time all the grain harvested was stacked, and thrashed by horses walking and tramping it out.

    Some colored person who had received a severe whipping from the patrollers would wreak out his vengance by firing the grain in the field. One of those men, when the firing was going on, was captain of the patrollers. This man was John Montgomery.