Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 1) >> Bryant Visits Woodlands, 1843 >> Page 6

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Page 6

Correspondence | 1850, 1856
Transcription walked from four to seven miles to attend the corn-shucking.
From the (lances a transition was made to a mock military
parade, a sort of burlesque of our militia trainings, in which
the words of command and the evolutions were extremely
ludicrous. It became necessary for the commander to make
a speech, and confessing his incapacity for public speaking,
he called upon a huge black man named Toby to ad-
dress the company in his stead. Toby, a man of powerful
frame, six feet high, his face ornamented with a beard of
fashionable cut, had hitherto stood leaning against the wall,
looking upon the frolic with an air of superiority. He
consented, came forward, demanded a bit of paper to hold in
his hand, and harangued the soldiery. It was evident that
Toby had listened to stump-speeches in his day. He spoke
of " de majority nf Sous Carolina,""de interests of de
state,""de honor of ole Ba'nwell district," and these phrase
be connected by various expletives, and sounds of which we
could make nothing. At length he began to falter, when
the captains with admirable presence of mind came to his
relief, and interrupted and closed the harangue with an
hurrah from the company. Toby was allowed by all the
spectators, black and white, to have made an excellent
speech.
The blacks of this region are a cheerful, careless, dirty
race, not hard worked, and in many respects indulgently
treated. It is, of course, the desire of the master that his
slaves shall be laborious ; on the other hand it is the deter-
mination of the slave to lead as easy a life as he can. The
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