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To My Old Master

To My Old Master
In 1864, after 32 long years in the service of his master, Jourdon Anderson and his wife, Amanda, escaped a life of slavery when Union Army soldiers freed them from the plantation on which they had been working so tirelessly. They grasped the opportunity with vigour, quickly moved to Ohio where Jourdon could find paid work with which to support his growing family, and didn’t look back. Then, a year later, shortly after the end of the Civil War, Jourdon received a desperate letter from Patrick Henry Anderson, the man who used to own him, in which he was asked to return to work on the plantation and rescue his ailing business. Jourdon’s reply to the person who enslaved his family, dictated from his home on August 7th, is everything you could wish for, and quite rightly was subsequently reprinted in numerous newspapers. Jourdon Anderson never returned to Big Spring, Tennessee. He passed away in 1907, aged 81, and is buried alongside his wife who died six years later.

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