Re: How free were American slaves?
Yes, David, the stories are, as you say -vast. I have posted here before stories of my own gg and gggfrandfathers (not slave owners), who lived in Attala County, Mississippi who, in their memoirs, described slaves living next door to one another on their Master's property where one slave lived under the law of the Bull Whip while his next door neighbor slave testified in (white) jury trials and played with white folk's children as a youth. I have no doubt that, with a little research, any one of us could find a slave story to support any position on the lives of slaves we cared to support. There simply were no rules of thumb when it came to slave's lives and living conditions