A Self-Lynching Slave or a lesson in textual criticism?

A peer-reviewer suggests I consult a certain digital history website. The website no longer exists. God damn digital humanities. Anyway, looking further at the guy who supposedly built a great website in 2018, I find this text from 1767 and an attempt at explaining it:


Is he serious? Is this actually his interpretation (below) of of the above paragraph? Isn’t the obvious conclusion that the slave was killed by a vigilante, not that he committed suicide. Of course we can’t know for sure, but to take this source at it’s word seems absurd. Should we read a text straight and accept it, or should we look for another possible meaning? What is history without hermeneutics?

I’m keeping this image for a history methods lesson.




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