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Document Interpretation #6, Slave Narrative of Annie L.

Bourton: Memories of
Childhoods Slavery Days
The interpretation I choose to do was Document Interpretation Slave Narrative of
Annie L. Bourton: Memories of Childhood Slavery Days. In this document I read about
the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued by President Lincoln in 1863 that stated all
slaves were officially free slaves. Therefore, many slaves take advantage of this emancipation
proclamation and they ran away when they had a chance. Then there were others who did
not agree with the emancipation proclamation since; they felt that slaves should not be given
this opportunity. The Northerners felt threatened by the fact that the slaves would now be
considered as free slaves, since they could now make decisions for them to determine how
others should treat them. The difference in this document than form the book was that
Annies owners were unaware of the emancipation proclamation until the year 1865.
According to the book President Lincoln, established the emancipation proclamation in 1863
when Congress passed it. Unlike, in Annies letter when her owners were aware of the
emancipation proclamation in 1865 had just passed was not right. In the book it states,
Finally, on September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation
(Brands, 373). Despite that Annies owners were informed late of the emancipation
proclamation law President Lincoln settled, the slaves tried to do anything they can to escape
while the emancipation took place. There were Northerners who were not happy about this
new law and owners who still owned slaves did not want to let them know about President
Lincolns plan.
Subsequently, because of the Emancipation Proclamation the masters of the slaves
did not want advise their slaves about the changes especially the mistress. Although, the
master did not agree with the mistress she mentioned from Annies letter, Mistress
suggested that the slaves should not be told of their freedom; but master said he would tell
them, because they would soon find it out, even if he did not tell them. Despite that the
keepers did not want to tell the slaves about the emancipation proclamation, the owners of
Annie did not see the Presidents new law was something to worry about.
When slaves heard about the Emancipation Proclamation, the first thing they wanted
to do was run away. She heard about the new law but was unsure so when she knew for sure
she came back to take her children from the owner but she came back for them by the end
of 1865 to be with her children again since she knew they were free slaves now. Throughout
this time though there were other slaves who were aware of the Emancipation Proclamation
that slaves were free, in the book it says, As word spread among the slaves that
emancipation was now official policy, more of them were inspired to run off and seek the

protection of northern armies. (Brands, 373). In behalf of the proclamation many slaves took
upon this opportunity despite that there were some politicians and slave owners who did not
agree with the Presidents decision. As a result, Annie did run away but came back to get here
children to start a life together since she had discovered about the Emancipation
Proclamation was true. She was able to finally have a place for herself with her children who
she rescued from the owners who did not want to give them back to her.
In spite of the Emancipation Proclamation many slaves felt free and were able to live
peacefully with their families without having to take orders from others as they now had a
voice of their own. It took time for all these changes to occur despite all the debates about
slaves was changing during the 1800s because Presidents kept disagreeing what would be
the best possible solution for slaves. Since some presidents still believed that it was still
acceptable to keep blacks as slaves and they should not be given the same rights as
Americans.