Settling the Books

How many of ya’ll are broke after spending all your money on Christmas gifts? Or you don’t realize you’re broke until after those credit card bills show up? With this time of year, every one is settling their books. Seeing if the end of the year left them with something to start the new year with. Now comes the wait for the W-2s to come back so that we can prepare for tax time. We are thinking about how we can recover from the holiday season, but for those on the plantation, the start of the new year meant that life could significantly change.

With de Big Times being over, the start of the year meant that plantation owners were settling their books and making sure that their finances were in order. For those enslaved, this time of year was one often met with reservation and fear. If the plantation did not make enough money, the slaves knew that there was a likelihood that someoneĀ  could be sold. This was often the time when contracts for slaves who were rented out were either continued or cancelled. Families were unceremoniously torn apart in order for another family to come out even. Today we make our resolutions, knowing good and well that we will break them before April. But back then, I wonder what some of the resolutions from the quarters would be? Would this be the year that they sought freedom? Or would this be the year that they did everything in their power to stay together?

As we come down from our holiday high and settle back into every day life, let’s take a moment to be thankful that when we settle our books, if we don’t come out even or even close to even. Let’s remember that our freedom is not tied to our finances, or the finances of others.

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1 Response

  1. Pat Young says:

    Very sobering thought.

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