Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Southern Morality and Ruffianism - Fearful Revelations

In Chapter 13, of Slavery Unmasked,which is titled "Southern Morality and Ruffianism - Fearful Revelations," there was a short section that said it was "clipped from southern papers." The author does not say what newspaper this selection came from or what day it ran so that it can be checked, but under the heading "Horrid affair in Maysville - Negro Burned to Death" a tragic story is told.

"We are informed that on the Kentucky Thanksgiving Day, a couple of young men of Maysville, whose family connections are described as of the 'highest respectability,' were on a drunken spree at the Parker House, in that place, and protracting their frolic until a very late hour, after all the household had retired to bed, attempted to arouse the bar-keeper to procure more liquor, and failing in this, and succeeding in finding a yellow man, one of the waiters, asleep, they concluded to set fire to him in order to awaken him! With this view, they took a camphene lamp, and, pouring the fluid over his whiskers, ignited it, and the poor fellow's neck and head became instantly wrapped in an intense blaze, which continued until the fluid was consumed.

The sufferings of the victim were dreadful in the extreme. No refinement of torture could have produced more excruciating misery. But, strange to say, death did not release him from torment until after the lapse of two weeks. The poor creature was the slave of Mr. Ball, keeper of the Parker House, who says, as our informant tells us, that no human suffering could exceed that of his boy during the fortnight that he lived after the burning. The young men 'respectably connected,' whose drunkenness resulted in this horror, are said to allege that they burned the negro by accident - that when holding the lamp to his face, they managed to break it, and spill the fiery fluid upon him. The young men are rich. They have agreed to pay Mr. Ball $1,200 for the loss of his servant. Our informant says that no one in Maysville speaks of this transaction without a shudder of horror, but that no movement has been made towards a legal investigation of the matter, and that the 'high position' of the parties implicated will overawe any such movement."

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