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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
From: Harold <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 18:46:10 -0500
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Hey Gregg,

    You're a funny guy.  Hope to hear from you more.

Gregg Camfield wrote:

> Yes, you're wrong.  Remember that Huck is marginally literate.  The
> "the" before nigger tells us that he meant to write "the nigger, Jim."
> Context matters, especially when trying to decide how many angels can
> dance on the head of a pin.

    So I'm new, and maybe don't understand the debate.  Are we debating
Mark's literary expression, or reality?

    If in reality, then we could safely say that before antebellum, and
after, "nigger Jim", or "the nigger, Jim", and "the nigger Jim" were
probably used toward black Jim many times, and with many sentiments and
attitudes.  And probably, "Jim" both loved some and hated some of the
people that used all of the different phrasings of those terms.   And
probably, some of the people, both black and white, that used those terms,
loved Jim; and of course some hated Jim.  Some didn't love Jim or hate
Jim.  Jim was like a valuable piece of livestock to them, that performed
better when cared for correctly, just like a horse.

    I still haven't seen a black man and white man run against each other
for President of America yet.  Until that time, as far as I'm concerned,
racism still exists, and Uncle Tom is alive and well.  And slavery is still
a problem 142 years later.

    Question for all of you scholars out here, and anyone else that might
know:  Can anyone find even one court case, since Sept., 22, 1862, where
someone in America was charged with the crime of slavery?  If so, please
forward the evidence.  As far as I can determine, slavery was never
declared a crime in the USA, that ever resulted in prosecution.

    (If this is off topic, hit me off list.)


"I have had a "call" to literature, of a low order--i.e. humorous. It is
nothing to be proud of, but it is my strongest suit, & if I were to listen
to that maxim of stern duty which says that to do right you must multiply
the one or the two or the three talents
which the Almighty entrusts to your keeping, I would long ago have ceased
to meddle with things for which I was by nature
unfitted & turned my attention to seriously scribbling to excite the
laughter of God's creatures.
"Poor, pitiful business! Though the Almighty did His part by me- for the
talent is a mighty engine when supplied with the steam of education,- which
I have not got, & so its pistons & cylinders & shafts move feebly & for a
holiday show & are useless for
any good purpose...You see in me a talent for humorous writing, & urge me
to cultivate, when editors of standard
literary papers in the distant east give me high praise, & who do not know
me & cannot of course be blinded by the glamour
of partiality, that I really begin to believe there must be something in
it...I will drop all trifling, & sighing after vain impossibilities, &
strive for afame-unworthy & evanescent though it must of necessity be-if
you will record your promise to go
hence to the States & preach the gospel when circumstances shall enable you
to do so? I am in earnest. Shall it be so?"
~ SC - Letter to Orion Clemens, 10/19 & 10/20/1865