To the Editor,
Re: Sam Slick Imagery
I read with interest the article in last week’s issue. I have tried to analyze what is involved in the controversy behind the decision of the Windsor, N.S. community.
First of all, the image that accompanies the festival was and is very ill chosen. The image was not created by Mr. Haliburton but by a Mr. Jefferys years after the book was written. Let us remember that Sam is a fictional character and the illustration that is referred to accompanies the writing of Mr. Haliburton in Chapter 7 of the second series of The Clockmaker.
If you read that accompanying writing you will find that it is not racist but in fact Sam agrees to procure the man’s freedom from his U.S. master and ends with “This incident serves as an introduction to Sam’s discussion of slavery, a subject which is all tangled, and twisted, and knotted so, old Nick himself wouldn’t onravel on it.”
I submit that this description of the issue remains today.
However, the fact that the Windsor community used this image to promote their festival was and is insulting to everyone and especially persons of African background or any people who have been subjected to slavery either in the past or present. Definitely it needs to be taken away.
However, do you now eradicate any reference to Sam Slick? Why? What would it achieve? We all make mistakes but why try to remove the writings of a humorist who brought forward the character of the times and was for the time widely recognized for his literary ability.
I would bring to everyone’s attention an article “In defence of Thomas Chandler Haliburton” at www.saltwire.com (search the title of the article online to find it).
T.C. Haliburton had views of the 1790s to his death and we are achieving to be better than those views.
If you want to remove the name at the Sam Slick Park and, by association, the name of Haliburton itself what do you call the village? Maybe Town of Head Lake or maybe No Head Lake.
David M. Bishop