This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

While doing some research for a Civil War diary, I found a document which says a lot about slavery in a very small space. It's a receipt issued in "Augusta" [Georgia]?, September 20, 1864, for the purchase of a woman known only as Susannah, and two children, probably Susannah's, for the price of $7,500.

Have a look at this:


What is extraordinary about this is the ordinariness of it.  It's a pre-printed form, which states:

Received of ____ ___Dollars, being in full for the the purchase of ___ Negro Slaves named ______ the right and title of said Slaves _ warrant and defend against the climes of all persons whatsoever, and likewise warrant ___ sound and healthy in mind and body, and slaves for life.
Note what appear to be decorative features on the left side also double as rather primitive anti-forgery features.  Receipts like this were important legal documents which proved ownership, in this case of human beings, and were just as susceptible to forgery as any similar documents.

We all look for the big events in history, D-Day, moon landing, etc.  But for me it is the mundane detail that shows more.  Ordinary pre-printed legal forms are the mark of a stable legal system.  In this case of course the legal system had stabilized around the keeping of human beings as chattel.  

When one combines this observation with the realization that this was no accident, but was in fact contemplated within, and protected by, the 1787 constitution of the United States, a rather different understanding emerges as to the meaning and history of the American experiment.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Plan 9 from Oregon on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:16 AM PST.

Also republished by Black Kos community, White Privilege Working Group, History for Kossacks, Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and Community Spotlight.


How will history remember our times?

28%87 votes
3%11 votes
2%8 votes
33%105 votes
21%68 votes
10%31 votes

| 310 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.