A Mixed Bag
I remember reading in the book that when the Union troops were coming through towards Charleston, some of the people took it as a divine retribution... it seemed as though this was the hand of God coming down on them. Do you think that those people were seeing, that any of those people saw, in that, vindication of all the claims that they'd heard from the abolitionists? Everything they'd heard that slavery was wrong. Do you think that they were recognizing that then, or that they were just in fear for their lives?
After the Civil War, I think that the Ball's probably said to themselves, well, this was a bad social arrangement and it's good that it's finished. They probably said that to themselves. But, on the other hand, some didn't. Some said, gosh, the good old days, you know? Whatever happened to those good old Christmas Days when we would hand out gifts of ham to the slaves and they would dance around and sing our names in praise. Whatever happened to those days?
It was a mixed bag. I mean, this family was big, and in any given generation there would be ten families who were slave owners, and within each of those families there were people who were more or less intelligent, more or less cruel, more or less sympathetic towards black people.