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Douglas says that he will never forget when he was a lad of 14 years of age,     when one evening he was told to go and tell the driver to have all the slaves     come up to the house; soon the entire host of about 85 slaves was gathered     there all sitting around on stumps, some standing. The colonel’s son was visibly     moved as he told them they were free. Saying they could go anywhere they wanted     to for he had no more to do with them, or that they could remain with him     and have half of what was raised on the plantation.

    The slaves were happy at this news, as they had hardly been aware that there     had been a war going on. None of them accepted the offer of the colonel to     remain, as they were only too glad to leaver the cruelties of the Matair plantation.

http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/docs/s/slave/slave02.htm 

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