A/N: Okay, so this is my first history story, so go easy on me. This story takes place right before and during the Civil War, but some info may not be accurate, as well as the dialoge. Also, beware of racial slurs, I'm just trying to be as accurate as I can for this time period! Please R&R! ^_^

Chapter 1

June 5th, 1859

Dearest Diary,

Once again, father has gone one of those slave auctions. I hate those, as I have been to one of them once. It was despicable to watch a human being being sold as well as being publicly humiliated. Father says that there's nothing wrong with slavery, but I say different! My older sister of 18, Prudence, says it's just business, and we have no choice. Mama never has anything to say on the matter. I just suppose she is afraid of Father, who has become a greedy man.

It wasn't always like this. I remember when he was a man capable of love. One who never cared about money. The days when he would play in the fields with us all day. Then he got into the cotton business, and in South Carolina, it was too hard for him to do it alone. So what started out as two indentured servants, turned into twenty slaves. He started to treat them cruelly and I protested against him. Normally, Prudence, who would have been on my side of this entire argument, did not side up with me. Ever since she was sixteen years old, she has been more concerned about marriage and beaus that she ignores all other subjects. She has become such a bore. I was fourteen at the time.

Now I am sixteen years old, and I still want to fight this wrong done upon humans. But for now, I must join Prudence and Mama with their stitching.

Forever Yours,

Carolina Carter

--

Carolina's POV

I put down my quill and walked, no, lightly stepped as Prudence would call it, onto the porch where Mama and Prudence were working on a blanket for our new sibling.

"Hello, Carolina," my mother said, not even looking up from her stitching, "It took you long enough to come. What was holding you up?"

"Oh, just writing in my journal," I replied.

Prudence looked up from her stitching and raised an eyebrow, "Why are you always writing in that journal? Are you copying prayers? That's what's in my journal."

"Well, I am not copying prayers. I am organizing my thoughts for the future," I said, knowing what Prudence was about to say.

"Shouldn't you be thinking about marriage?"

"Um...Why would I be thinking about marriage?" I asked, confused.

Once again, Prudence raised an eyebrow, "Well, who hasn't? You have many beau, and so many of them want to marry you."

I tried not to look proud. It was true that, in fact, I had many fine young men hoping to acquire my heart. However, I spoke from my heart, something that I regularly do, "Prudence, you of all people know that I am saving myself for the man who truly loves me, and I share the same emotions for him."

Prudence turned back to her stitching, "Carolina, you know that sooner or later, you must get married, and you will have to leave all of your childish opinions behind."

I turned to Mother to see if she felt the same way, but she just turned toward her stitching, as usual, never letting her emotions show. That was what annoyed me.

I sighed, "I think I shall go for a walk around the plantation."

Mother nodded, "Just take Prudence with you,"

Prudence set down her needles, "Mother, I do not care to go on a walk. Can't Carolina go by herself?"

She shook her head, "No, now go with her. She might run off, the little rebel."

Prudence sighed, and set down her sewing. She walked towards me, and we linked arms like we used to when we were children.

It was a hot summer day, and we weren't expecting much. She was talking about a man named Master Thomas Brandon, who Prudence was considering as a possible suitor, "He owns a plantation. A large one, too. If he should find me suitable, I shall be well taken care of. A good fellow, so I've heard as well as one of the richest in the county."

"How old is he?"

"Well, he's about twenty eight," she said simply.

"Have you ever met him?" I asked.

"No," she said, "but Father said I can meet him tomorrow, at the Madoux's barbecue. Oh, Carolina, I am so happy! Think about it, in possibly one year, I could be married! What a joy that shall be!"

"Hmmm," I said, "and do you love him? Truly, deeply, love him?"

"Oh, Carolina, you must mature. One day, you shall reach my age and realize that a woman's job is to marry and have children. It's how it is."

"You haven't answered my question, Prudence. Do you love him?"

She looked at me, "Oh, Carolina, not all marriages are based on love. One must learn to love someone. After all, for a marriage to work out, those two must think alike. It's how it is."

"Learn to love someone?! You know what, Prudence? You are not as smart as you think you are."

"Oh?"

"Yes," I said, looking out across the plantation only to see that Father had arrived with two new slaves, "I see Father has bought some new slaves."

"So it seems," Prudence said, sighing.

I broke away from Prudence, "I think I shall greet them."

"What?! Carolina, no, don't!"

"Too late!" I ran over to the slaves. One was a boy around Prudence's age, while the other was a girl around my age. They were in shackles, but their eyes had something that I never had seen before: hope.

Prudence caught up with me, "Carolina, what in the world are you doing?!"

"I'm treating these people with the respect they deserve," I said.

"Hello, my beautiful daughters," Father said, "Why, Carolina, where's your bonnet? Or that sunhat I gave you? If you don't start wearing one, you will get freckles! How do you expect to find a husband when one's face is distorted?"

"I'm fine, Father. I'll put one on soon. Where's James? Shouldn't he be taking the new slaves to their quarters?"

He snorted, "Yes, he very well should. Though, I can't see how this male can deserve such a luxury. He kept begging me to take his sister. So I bought her just to stop the nagging."

Prudence nodded, "Father, Mother has been waiting to see you. I suggest that you at least say hello. She's missed you so."

"Ah, yes. I think I shall, my beautiful daughter. When James gets here, send someone to get me," Father said before strutting off, "And be careful!" He called out as an afterthought.

I turned toward the two newcomers, "Hello, I am pleased to make your acquaintance. My name is Carolina Carter. And you two are?"

The man nodded, "Mah name Jeremiah. Her name be Magory. We siblings."

"Ah," I said, bowing my head slightly to them both, "Forgive me if I seem forward, but you two have the most beautiful eyes that I have ever seen! Don't you agree, Prudence? Oh, this is my older sister, Prudence."

The whole time, Prudence had avoided eye contact with the newcomers, so I elbowed her. She looked into Jeremiah's eyes, and instantly her hard expression softened, "Why yes, you do have an excellent pair of eyes, Jeremiah and Magory."

He looked into her eyes as well, "Well ma'am, Ah thank ya fer tha' mighty nice comment."

Prudence smiled, and even inclined her head a little bit. Then, my father, without is having to call him, came and harshly dragged the new slaves away. I couldn't help but notice Jeremiah staring at Prudence.

Maybe I could open Prudence's eyes after all.


A/N: I hoped you liked this first chapter, please R&R! I promise to update ASAP!!! ^_^