Was Jackson a "model" slave owner?
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As his political fortunes rose, Jackson's ownership and treatment of slaves was frequently in the public spotlight. Partly as a result, he became known as a "model" slave owner. From his world-famous plantation, the Hermitage in Nashville, he demonstrated the popular Southern fiction that Africans were better off under the benevolence of American slavery. Years before Jackson reached the public spotlight, he had shown himself capable of brutality as a master. Advertising for a runaway in 1804, for example, he offered fifty dollars reward, plus "ten dollars extra, for every hundred lashes any person will give him, to the amount of three hundred."
In his later life, Jackson became more deeply religious. Whether for political or spiritual reasons, he did in fact moderate his behavior toward his slaves, and appears to have become that paradox of the ante-bellum South, "a kind master." Visitors, even those with strong anti-slavery views, consistently reported that Jackson's slaves were treated "with great humanity." And Jackson was capable of surprising tolerance, as in 1824 when he advised a friend on suitable land for her "free love colony" where she planned to start a community of free blacks in
Remini 3: 51, Davis 211.
Part 1, Early Years: l