a South Carolina slave who can read and write
May 7, 1860
I have to write to you in secrecy. I'm not very educated but east I know how to read and write. My people, us slaves, aren't allowed to read. I think that's because them whites don't want us to be as smart as them, be able to get the same jobs, or hold as high respect as they do. Knowledge equals power. That's what my pa always told me. He taught me to read. And a free, old black man named Anthony Richards taught him. That who my parents named me after. Anyway, the reason I'm taking a big risk and writing in this diary is so that future slaves and black men can have a clue to their history, what's happening now.
First of all, today, Abraham Lincoln was nominated as a candidate for president. I don't know much about him but I heard he hates slavery. If he gets rid of slavery, he'll free us of this torment of endless work and beatings. My masters and these Southerners hate him. I like this guy. I really hope that he wins and becomes president.
December 20, 1860
I live in South Carolina. Today we secedes from the country. I thought maybe Lincoln would help us slaves, that he would be a hero to our people and nation. But now with the secession, the slaves are helpless. I don't see the point of secession. Who are the South going to sell their cotton to now?
February 1, 1861
Today, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama have all joined South Carolina by now. They've all seceded and now all the states are called the Confederate States of America. The odds of our freedom seem slim. The South is growing in its power. Wish me good luck!
April 14, 1861
I found out today that the Confederate troops captured another fort. This fort was the North's most important fort. It wasn't lost without a fight though. The first shots of this "civil war" was fired there. The North refused to surrender. After 48 hours of fighting, the northerners ran out of ammunition and were forced to surrender. A was has begun. I'm scared. What does the future hold for my family, friends, and the country? These are questions yet to be determined.