May 28th, 2009 17:29 EST
Plantation Owner Was Told By God the Evils of Slavery
If author Larry Buttram has his wish come true, everyone in the country will recognize and praise the name of Robert Carter III.
"He freed more slaves than anyone in American history," says Mr. Buttram, author of a new book inspired by his life titled, The Curtain Torn.
Robert Carter III was the grandson of Robert "King" Carter, the first millionaire in the country and the largest slave owner in the nation. King Carter, of Lancaster, Virginia, owned 300,000 acres of land spread across dozens of plantations. He also owned a shipping company to transport his goods to Europe and bring slaves from Africa.
Robert Carter III was as sensitive as his grandfather was driven. Losing both his father and his grandfather at the age of four perhaps gave him an early appreciation of human life. For whatever reason, he was a kind-hearted and caring man who struggled with the idea of owning other human beings. When he came of age and took over his father`s empire, he implemented changes that assured his slaves would be treated humanely. He forbid the use of the whip as punishment and frequently sided with the slaves in disputes with overseers or neighbors.
It was not until he almost died, however, that he felt compelled to free his slaves. Stricken with fever and near death, he later stated that he had actually seen Jesus, who made it clear how evil slavery was. Overwhelmed with remorse, he freed his slaves, over 500 in total.
This action brought heartache and anguish when many of his friends and family turned against him. He moved to Baltimore where he gave money to the city to build city hall.
Larry Buttram said:
"Robert Carter III remained true to his commitment and freed more slaves than anyone in American history."
While the country`s leaders at the time--George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and George Mason-- talked about the evils of slavery, they did nothing to change it. Mr. Carter gave up his way of life for his beliefs."
When asked how he came up with the idea of writing the book, Buttram stated, "It came about from a discussion my wife and I had regarding slavery. I said that I found it hard to believe that at least one plantation owner was not troubled enough about slavery to take action. She said that it was the mind- set shared by all owners, and that none felt enough guilt to change it. After our conversation I began my quest to find one slave owner who freed his slaves. It took almost two months, but eventually I was lead to the story of Mr. Carter. While I was not surprised that an owner actually freed his slaves, I was astounded that it was on such a grand scale, and that the action was taken by one of the richest men in the country. He was truly an amazing man and should be mentioned in all of our history books."
The Torn Curtain
By Larry Buttram
Available nationwide at all major bookstores. For more information visit www.larrybuttram.com, call 703-368-2232 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org