A Day in the Life of a Plantation Mistress

For a seminar coming up in the next two weeks, we have been tasked with writing through the eyes of somebody involved with slavery. As I imagine the role of the plantation mistress will be largely overlooked by those eager to write as slaves or masters, I took it upon myself to complete the task.

(I also thought this was similar to the crime monologues I had been looking at recently)

I am open to constructive criticism on what I have written, if anybody is interested!

Dear diary, my only friend,

I am endlessly lonesome. I awoke alone in my four-poster bed, with my husband already out on the fields, tending to the Negroes. It must have only been about half past seven, based on the soft autumn light filtering through the silk curtains in our bedroom. He had been leaving earlier and earlier lately, and I am certain that I know the whole truth of why without asking.

It weighs heavy on my mind, ever since that jezebel birthed another pup earlier this month, that Charles spends many unnecessary hours amongst the slave huts.  There are many rumours about the place that the horrid little Negro is too pale to have been fathered by anyone other than my husband, and in their idiocy they do not believe that those rumours reach up here to the house. Nonetheless, I have a sharp enough tongue and a strong enough wrist to whip the little whispers out of the filthy liars that serve in the Big House.

I decided to promote that Sarah into the position of my hand maid. For the first day she sobbed, devastated by being brought so far from her child, so I told her that today she could bring it and have it sit in a basket by the door while she tended to me. The moment I set eyes on the child my heart ripped in twain. I looked into its crib and my Charles looked back. I was shocked and sickened to see the truth.

Though it was impossible to miss the pain that that Negress was in from childbirth and working in the cotton fields under the careful watch of the overseers, I could not help but smack her. I wiped the dozy smile of a new mother from her face with the back of my gloved hand as she looked upon the wretched infant. I knew it was not her fault and I was surely not doing it as punishment, since I could have easily hit her with something else, if that was so. I suppose I did it due to the shock, the sudden realisation that the man I had married and doted upon and adored had thought it acceptable to deflower this woman and have her in our house. I suppose I did it because it was not until that moment of truth that I fully understood how trapped I was and how little he thought of me.

To him, I am nothing now. I am no more than one of Them.

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