Quotation by Fanny Kemble

Though the Negroes are fed, clothed, and housed, and though the Irish peasant is starved, naked, and roofless, the bare name of freemen—the lordship over his own person, the power to choose and will—are blessings beyond food, raiment, or shelter; possessing which, the want of every comfort of life is yet more tolerable than their fullest enjoyment without them.
Fanny Kemble (1809–1893), British actor and abolitionist. Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839, ch. 1 (1863).

From a letter written in Philadelphia during December 1838, to her friend Elizabeth Dwight Sedgwick. Kemble was responding to a comment made by a man of their acquaintance that European peasants were poorer than American slaves. A few years earlier, Kemble had unwittingly married into a slave-owning family; the marriage failed, and she and Pierce Butler were divorced in 1849.
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