"It has been described as a rare example of documented "slave humor" of the period and its deadpan style has been compared to the satire of Mark Twain."

    Michael Johnson, a historian at Johns Hopkins University, investigated the people and places mentioned in order to verify the document's authenticity. He found that 1860 slave records named a Colonel P. H. Anderson in the right county, and that some of his slaves, although not referred to by name, matched the sexes and ages of those in the letter. Jordan Anderson, his wife, and children also appear in the 1870 census of Dayton; they are listed as black and born in Tennessee.

posted 152 days ago