Divide and Conquer

“Slave Owner’s Manual”

(The following pamphlet was obtained by my father during his visit to the National Civil Rights Museum. Reprinted here for the Erase Racism Blog Carnival. Emphasis, footnotes, and links added by me.)

The Willie Lynch Address


I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve. First I shall thank you, the Gentlemen of the Colony of Virgina, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies where I have experienced with some of the newest and still the oldest methods for control of slaves. Ancient Rome would envy us is my program is implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious ing, whose version of the Bible we cherish, I saw enough to know that your problem is not unique. While Rome used cords of wood as crosses for standing Human bodies along its old highways in great numbers you are here using the tree and rope on occasion.

I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree a couple miles back. You are not only losing valuable stock by hanging, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit. You suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed. Gentlemen you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them. In my bag here, I have a fool proof method for controlling your black slaves. I guarantee everyone of you that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at least 300 years1. My method is simple. Any member of your family can use it.

I have outlined a number of differneces amount the slaves and I take theses differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple list of differences, and think about them. On top of my list is “Age” but it is there only because it starts with an “A”, the second is “color” or shade, there is intelligence, size, sex, size of plantations, status on plantation, attitude of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, east, west, north, south, have fine hair, course hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action-but before that I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust and envy is stronger than adulation, respect, or admiration.

The black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self-refueling a self generating for hundreds, maybe thousands.

Don’t forget you must pitch the old black male vs the young black male2, and the young black male against the old black male. You must use the dark skin slaves vs the light skin slaves and the light skin slaves vs the the dark skin slaves. You must use the female slave vs the male slave, and the male slave vs the female slave. You must also have your white servants and overseers distrust all blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us but they must love, respect, and trust only us. Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control, use them. Have your wives and children use thme. Never miss an opportunity. If used correctly for one year, the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful.

Thank you Gentlemen.

Cardinal Principles For Making A Negro
For fear that our future generations may not understand the principles of breaking both horses and men, we lay down the art. For, if we are to sustain our basic economy we must break and tie both of the beasts togher, the nigger and the horse. We understand that short range planning in economics results in preiodic economic choas; so that, to avoid turmoil in the economy, it requires us to have breadth and depth in long rang comprehensive planning, articulating both skill and sharp perception.
We lay down the following principles for long range comprehensive economic planning:

  1. Both the horse and nigger are no good to the economy in the wild or natural state.
  2. Both must be broken and tied together for orderly production.
  3. For orderly futures, special and particular attention must be paid to the female and young offspring.
  4. Both must be crossbred to produce a variety a division of labor.
  5. Both must be taught to respond to peculiar new language.
  6. Psychological and physical institutions of containment must be created for both.

We hold the above six cardinal principles as truths to be self-evident3, based on the following discourses concerning the economics of breaking and tying the horse and nigger together-all inclusive of the six prinicples laid down above.

NOTE: Neither principle alone will suffice for good economics. All principles must be employed for the orderly good of the nation…

…both the horse and the nigger must be broken; that is, break them from one form of mental life to another-keep the body and take the mind. In other words, break the will to resist. Now the breaking process is the same for both the horse and the nigger, only slightly varying in degrees. But as we said before, there is an art in long range economic planning. You must keep your eye and thoughts on the female and the offspring of the horse and the nigger… Take the meanest and most restless nigger, strip him of his clothes in front of the [other] male nigger, the female, and the nigger infant, tar and feather him, tie each leg to a different horse faced in opposite directions, set him afire and beat both horses to pull him apart in front of the remaining nigger. The next step is to take a bull whip and beat the remaining nigger male to the point of death in front of the female and the infant. Don’t kill him, but put the fear of God in him, for he can be useful for future breeding.

The Breaking Process of the African Woman
…In her natural uncivilized state she would have a strong dependency on the uncivilized nigger male, and she would have a limited protective tendency toward her independent male offspring and would raise the female offspring like her…We had reversed nature by burning and pulling one uncivilized nigger apart and bull whipping the other to the point of death-all in her presence. By her being left alone unrpotected, with the male image destroyed, the ordeal caused her to move from her psychological dependency state to a frozen independent state. In this frozenpsychological state of independence, she will raise her male and female offspring in reversed roles. For fear of the young male’s life, she will psychologically train him to be mentally weak and dependent but physically strong…You’ve got the nigger woman out from and the nigger man behind and scared. This is a perfect situation for sound sleep and good economics…

(I’ve ommited some lines, paragraphs, and pages from the pamphlet, but I think you get the picture. I’d originally planned on typing the whole thing, but I began to get nauseous.)

  1. Guaranteed until 2012. Then what?
  2. “Sins of Omission” by Tim Wise
  3. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalieable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” – The Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776)

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