No One Believed The Cruelty Of Slavery Until He Showed Them His Back

Gordon Peter
Shonda Buchanan
September 1, 2020

He sloshed through the muddy swamp. The sound of barking dogs led by vicious slave catchers made him leap across the ravine. Would this courageous man make it to freedom?

He had to - Gordon “Whipped Peter” couldn’t take one more day of enslavement. The last time the overseer had whipped Gordon as ordered by Master Lyons, his back split open to the bone. Gordon was delirious for two months. Lyons fired the oversea for his brutality, but was this different on any plantation?

Not at all - slavery was the evilest of institutions America had ever created. All 40 of Lyons’ slaves suffered beastly treatment on that Louisiana plantation

Gordon ran over 40 miles for 10 days to fight in the Colored Troops for the Union Army. 

Did he make it?

He reached the Baton Rouge Union Camp on the 10th day of his escape. When abolitionists saw his back they asked if they could take pictures to help the cause of all enslaved Blacks. Would he let them?

Gordon never wrote a book. But his back became the most powerful story, helping the world see the horrors of slavery. 

His one liberating act of defiance is a reminder that we all have the power to make a change by small acts of defiance.

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