Alexander Lynn

Apr 12, 2021

3 min read

It was an Accident: She meant to Shoot him with her Taser

My great, great, great grandmother, Sister Sadie was enslaved on the Montross plantation, northern rural Georgia, in the early 1850’s. On this sweltering afternoon in August 1856, she was caught, once again, after trying, once again, to escape.

Massa was extremely upset, disappointed. Not only did Sadie slave for him productively in the field, but she was also one of his favorite sex partners; and she “produced” three more enslaved Africans for him in the form of the children she gave birth to for him.

Massa was meticulous about his punishments, and when he gave his instruction to his most sadistic overseer, Luke, he told him to meet out exactly that many lashes appropriate to the crime of 3rd offense — trying to escape for the third time.

Massa was a businessman and the unpaid labor of enslaved Africans was at the heart of his continuing success at money-making. In this connection, the humans he forced to work for him without remuneration were very important to him, and he was very thoughtful regarding how he enslaved them. In the description of one public school American history textbook: “…There are, to be sure, sadistic monsters in any population…. But for financial as well as humane reasons, the typical planter did not customarily go out and beat to death a valuable field hand before breakfast” (The American Peagent, quoted in Angelo Lynn*). In other words, among every population — West Africans, Chinese, Puerto Ricans — there are “to be sure,” sadistic monsters. But, the White American slavers were a different breed of human — a higher form of human. This type of human, for financial as well as humane reasons, did not customarily murder their own property — at least not before breakfast. This detail about breakfast in this regard is important because anyone who would murder their own property before breakfast could not under any circumstances be considered to be “humane…”

Whipping enslaved Africans was one of the highlights of Luke’s job as overseer. He especially relished in tying up nude women to the post and having at it.

Problem: In this, his fourth instance of the day of administering disciplinary whippings, he lost count. Instead of giving her the appropriate 50 lashes, he went well beyond and gave her 73 when he noticed that she was dead.

It was an accident.

165 years later, it is very thoughtful that the authorities, for the officer’s protection, have not released the name of this poor, terrified police veteran who accidently killed Daunte Wright. We hope that they are able to give her a teddy bear and get her therapy immediately, as she has experienced a traumatic event.

And as with Luke of past lore, who received a mild chastising from Massa — Sister Sadie was never mentioned again amongst these White humans. So, too in this instance with this veteran police officer — some people have said she is near suicidal with grief: it would not be etiquette to continue to bring up the dead Brother … Oh, yes, to say his name, Daunte Wright. It might hurt the officer’s delicate sensibilities.

*American Pageant was the name of the U.S. history textbook for High School Juniors in the Boston Public Schools, unedited for 28 years, until a youth organization mobilized BPS students and got the textbook removed for its stridently pro-slavery version of history.


Lynn, Angelo and Lynn, Alexander. (2019). “The historical legacy of Old John Brown.” United Youth of Boston.