Slaves to Contradictions: 13 Myths that Sustained Slavery

78 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2013 Last revised: 13 Dec 2013

See all articles by Wilson Ray Huhn

Wilson Ray Huhn

Duquesne University - School of Law

Date Written: November 22, 2013


People have a fundamental need to think of themselves as “good people.” To achieve this we tell each other stories – we create myths – about ourselves and our society. These myths may be true or they may be false. The more discordant a myth is with reality, the more difficult it is to convince people to embrace it. In such cases to sustain the illusion of truth it may be necessary to develop an entire mythology – an integrated web of mutually supporting stories.

This paper explores the system of myths that sustained the institution of slavery in the antebellum United States.

Keywords: slavery, myth, Civil War

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Huhn, Wilson Ray, Slaves to Contradictions: 13 Myths that Sustained Slavery (November 22, 2013). U of Akron Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-21, Available at SSRN: or

Wilson Ray Huhn (Contact Author)

Duquesne University - School of Law ( email )

600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
United States

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