"Oh that I could I could lend some aid to lift the cloud which obscures our Southern intellectual sky."
-- Susan Cornwall Shewmake, 1857


"Under slavery we live surrounded by prostitutes. . . . Like patriarchs of old, our men live all in one house with their wives and their concubines; and the mulattos one sees in every family partly resemble the white children. Any lady is ready to tell you who is the father of all the mulatto children in everybody's household but her own. Those, she seems to think, drop from the clouts."
-- Mary Boykin Chesnut, Diary from Dixie


"The men of the South especially are more indelicate in their thoughts and tastes than any European people; and exhibit a disgusting mixture of prudery and licentiousness combined . . . one of the effects of the system of slavery, and the early familiarity with vicious intercourse to which it invariably leads."
-- Unnamed British visitor


"I knew all about the sexual act, but not until I was twelve years old did I know it was performed with white women for pleasure; I had thought only Negro women engaged in the act of love with white men just for fun, because they were the only ones with the animal desire to submit that way. So Negro girls and women were a source of constant excitement and sexual feelings for me and filled my daydreams with delight and wonder."
-- Willie Morris, 1967


"The Southern double standard, coupling as it did white female chastity and white male lasciviousness, primarily with black women, meant white and black women had radically different personal experiences. White women had to preserve their chastity at any cost, all the while aware their men were indulging at will with black women, often without bothering even to conceal their infidelities. The myth of the white belle's innocence must have been galling indeed to the woman whose husband was obsessed by a slave woman he was bedding in his family's home."
-- Elizabeth Abbott, A History of Celibacy


Southern women are often pleasant and graceful. . . [but their] information is painfully scanty, their judgment defective, their reasoning faculties dwarfed, their aspirations weak and frivolous."
-- Augusta Evans Wilson, 1863


"It seems to me . . . as if the [Southern] men regard Christianity rather as a gentlemanly accomplishment than as anything more serious."
-- Charles Eliot Norton, 1855


"Women, along with children and slaves, were expected to recognize their proper and subordinate place and to be obedient to the head of the family. Any tendency on the part of any members of the system to assert themselves against the master threatened the whole, and therefore slavery itself. It was no accident that the most articulate spokesmen for slavery were also eloquent exponents of the subordinate role of women."
-- Anne Firor Scott, The Southern Lady


"Each planter is in fact a Patriarch -- his position compels him to be a ruler in his household. From early youth, his children and servants look up to him as the head, and obedience and subordination become important elements of education. . . ."
-- Christopher C. G. Memminger, 1851


"It was a saying that the mistress of the household was the most complete slave on it."
-- Susan Dabney Smedes, Memorials