Fine morning. Another heavy rain last night. Zac went around in the buggy to have a tyre cut, as Martha Ann’s Luddy promised to fix it. They are very industrious and very ingenious people.1 – – -Mr. Eubank left this morning. Liv rode Fannie and he rode George. Put up a nice barrel roe herrings for himself. They have caught about 3000 herrings by Liv’s calculation. Sent Martha Ann a fine shad by Zac. He did not return tonight.
- At first glance Luddy seems to be a slave owned by Martha Ann Littlepage. The use of the word “people” suggests an otherness, something that would separate Caroline from them. But the “very industrious and very ingenious” does not seem likely descriptors of slaves, especially in the emotional and uncertain aftermath of the war. Would Luddy be a nickname for one of Martha Ann’s son’s? If so, why then the “They” and the possessive? Did Martha Ann have another family of “others” living on her property, maybe foreigners like the Mosers? And what do we make of the written statement of Ethel Littlepage [Jackson] Ahern, the great-granddaughter of the late Col. Edmund Littlepage and Martha Ann, that Edmund emancipated his slaves prior to the war? Was Luddy a member of a highly skilled now-free black family still living with her? Since Luddy does not reappear in the text, some additional research might yield a clue to the story behind these two seemingly simple sentences. Suggestions? CORRECTION: Luddy will appear tomorrow. But after that no more references to him. (back)