Subterfuge at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville

If you visit the South, you have to see at least one plantation. I took the tour at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, and heard stories about what happened there during the Civil War (the main house got shot up a bit), the families who lived there (worthy of any modern-day soap opera), and how it was a legendary horse-breeding farm (producing Iroquois, a horse with perhaps the winningest bloodline in the history of horse racing).

Subterfuge at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville  What I didn’t hear much about were the slaves that lived (and worked, and worked) there. I tried to bring it up during a relevant moment in the tour, and though the tour guide (who was interesting and entertaining) sort of responded to my question, he also sort of shoved it under the rug and went back to talking about horses, who were sort of slaves in their own right, if you think about it.

(Now I’m remembering how I asked suspicious questions of the tour guide at the Grand Ole Opry, and realize I’m dangerously close to becoming that person, the one you wish would just shut up, quit getting all serious, and let the tour guide talk. Next thing you know I’ll be spouting conspiracy theories and chewing aspirin like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. And then there will be creepy twins lurking in my hallway and I’ll be threatening my loved ones with an ax. Ha ha!)

Anyway. I’m guessing the management discourages talk about the awful history since all that cruelty and inhumanity does tend to put a damper on one’s good vacation-inspired mood. Fair enough. And really, these photos say it all:

Subterfuge at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville  Subterfuge at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville

Where the plantation owners lived.

Subterfuge at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville  Subterfuge at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville  Subterfuge at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville

Where the slaves lived – one family or unrelated group per side.

‘Nuff said.

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