The Presence Of Slavery In ?The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn? Essay, Research Paper
On September 23rd, 1862, Abraham Lincoln provided our wonderful
nation with The Emancipation Proclamation . This speech declared all slaves
free in those states still in rebellion against the United States on
January 1st, 1863. The statement only applied to the states which, after
that date, were under the military control of the Union Army. It did
not apply to those slave states such as Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland,
Missouri, some parts of Virginia, and Louisiana, that were already
occupied by Northern troops.
It was not until 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment of the
Constitution had been passed that slavery was finally abolished everywhere in
the United States. The Thirteenth Amendment states ?Neither slavery nor
involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the
party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United
States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have
power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.?
During the time when slavery was still legal, it has been calculated
that nearly eighty eight percent of America’s slave-owners owned twenty
slaves or less. The death rate in slaves was extremely high and to
replace their loses, the women slaves were encouraged and at times forced
to begin having children around the age of thirteen. By the age of
twenty, it was expected for each one to be the mother of at least five
children. Most owners promised women slaves their freedom after they had
produced the large amount of fifteen children.
Many slaves were treated poorly and beat, sometimes for no
apparent reason. These two factors motivated a large number of slaves to
runaway. At this time there was a Fugitive Slave Law saying that anyone
suspected of being a runaway slave could be arrested without warrant
and turned over to a claimant with nothing more than his word of
ownership. A suspected black slave could not even ask for a jury trial. Anyone
caught aiding a runaway slave by providing shelter, food, or any other
form of assistance was liable to six months’ imprisonment, a $1,000
fine, or both.
?The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? deals clearly with the social
issue of slavery. The main character, Huck, is best friends with Jim, a
runaway slave. While Huck enjoys being friends with Jim and loves
going through life with him by his side, he also knows that aiding a
runaway slave is a serious crime. Throughout the book, Huck debates the idea
of whether or not he should turn Jim in.
All in all I would have to say that the issue of slavery has evolved
completely over time. Many people have benefited from its change and
there are not many negative aspects of it (depending on your point of
view). Yes, there still are quite a few people in the world who believe
in slavery, but luckily, our society has matured enough to ban it and
treat all people as they should be treated-equally.