Slavery, I have read so many stories, some very warm and uplifting regarding the family dynamics of slaves and the white family members, the friendships, the black slave boy and the white boy in their many adventures in the countryside, fishing, and other boyhood acts. The girls becoming friends, and the friendships through the years as the white girls married and came back for generations in friendship and interactions with the black slave family. Oh, to look at this today is painful, I met a man, Mr. Vaughn in Amelia County, Virginia about 25 years or more ago. He lived in a small old 2-3 room house, and when you entered it the smell of Kerosene was breath taking, as for so many years he heated and used kerosene for light, and obviously spilled a large amount of that fuel on those wooden floors, as they were dark and oily. This house had a small basement and had existed since before the war. It had no paint on the exterior, and the man lived alone there for his entire life and at that time he was in his late 70’s.

I come to meet this man because his house was on one of the two roads that crossed Saylers Crek, this road known during the war as the Jamestown Road, and today it has a designation as rt. 619,  Jamestown rd. 

In April 1865 as the Confederate army retreated from Petersburg and on their way to hopefully link up with the army of General Johnston forces in North Carolina, the Confederate forces split  up at a crossroads called Hott’s corner, which today it looks about what I would have imagined it looked then, if you removed the power lines and took up the pavement, just narrow country roads in the middle of tobacco fields. At this small crossroads, the army split the wagon trains up, sending General Gordons forces and the wagons North to the Jamestown road, then turning West which would cross Saylers creek a mile upstream, while Generals Longstreet, Ewell and Anderson would proceed almost directly West from Hott’s corner to the closer bridge across Saylers creek. The  recent rains of the past several days had swollen the creeks as well as made the movements along the roads quite slow in the muddy conditions. In a matter of a half an hour, a large scale battle would take place as the Confederates were attacked from the East all along their rear, and a major battle ensued referred to as the Battle of Saylers creek.

I came here that day many years ago to seek permission from various landowners to relic hunt on the private lands here.     I had battle maps and would go to the nearest home that was occupied, and see if I could get permission, and on this day I was invited in, received permission, and hunted there numerous times. As Mr. Vaughn and I became friends, and me being a sponge for history, he told me many stories. He showed me a Model 1860 Cavalry saber that was left in the basement by a soldier who hid there for a short time, and was still in his possession as a hand me down from his grandparents, parents to him. Not very valuable monetarily, but quite valuable as a piece of family history. He told me numerous stories about his kin folks who have lived there befor the war and still live there in the area today, owning a large amount of lands all along both sides of the Jamestown road, mostly now dairy farmers, with some crops planted. He showed me a remnant foundation of a building that was at one time a slave house there on the property, and living in that slave house was a small boy named Robert Russa Mouton. Robert was not born there until 1867 after the war, as his family who lived there long before the war, stayed on  there at that place until all had left or died. This son of a recent slave family, and I cannot imagine that anything changed for them when emancipation officially occurred, as most slaves had no where to go, no skills, no education, and even though free they stayed in many many, I believe most stayed for the better part of 20 years after the war, in most cases and worked as hired help for their keep.  Now, Hollywood will produce a movie and show the whips and chains, BUT THIS WAS THE EXCEPTION NOT THE RULE.  A beat up broken down slave was of no use to anyone, it made no sense to do these things, and slaves in Virginia from the Colonial days until emancipation were second class family members to be sure, lived and ate separate most of the time, but in private, they on may occasions had a real close slave – slave owner relationship as friends, and shared with each other, but did not want everyone to know as they would be ridiculed by neighbors and friends for doing such, but it did go on.

Robert Moton learned to read and write from this old white lady, Mr. Vaughns grandmother, who said he was told  would come over frequently when invited, and Mr. Vaughns grandmother would read to him and taught him to read and to write which was illegal to do at that time. Later on the young boy went to college, was commander of the black cadets at Hampton Institute and later graduated from Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia in 1890 and began his career as an educator. In Later years he replaced Booker T. Washington as the President of Tuskeegee Institute. He was called by President Woodrow Wilson to oversee affairs of Black army service units, and many other duties he performed during his lifetime. From a slave house to the White House, with many distinguished steps along the way. Today there are numerous schools named after him across the U.S. and other honors given him. He retired and later lived in a home about 20 miles from me today. Quite a travel this man went on. So what has happened since that time. I say, in my opinion, the blacks in America made great strides up until about 1964 when Lyndon Johnson started the Great Society give away programs, bot in money, food stamps, welfare and work programs that were total disasters. The blacks were moving forward, households had men in them, discipline was provided, but after Motown, Willy Mays, Jackie Robinson, and other role models passed by, they were replaced with the Gangster Rappers, the Black Panthers, Malcom X, drugs, alcohol, gangs, no fathers in the house, mothers on welfare and drugs, no leadership, no schools, no training, no skills, no self reliance instruction, no jobs, just  angry mean spirited youth growing into men becoming criminals, filling the prisons and graveyards every day. Bill Oreilly gave some recent statistics that I think are correct,


UNEMPLOYMENT,                                                                                                                                                                          Asians  – 4.5%                                                                                                                                                              

Whites – 5.3%                                                                                                                                                                                  

Blacks – 11.4%


High School Grads,  

Asians  – 88%                                                                                                                                                 

Whites –  86%                                                                                                                                                                                  

Blacks –  69%


Average Annual Income,  

Asians  – $ 69000                                                                                                                                                 

Whites –  $ 57000                                                                                                                                                                            

Blacks –   $ 33000


Just One Parent in Home,  

Asians  – 13%                                                                                                                                                 

Whites –  21%                                                                                                                                                                                  

Blacks –  55%


So, what do you say about what is provided here, does slavery really have anything to do with todays black community.