During the late 1850s, Pollard watched the growing tensions between America's Northern and Southern regions with great interest. The main issue dividing the two regions was slavery. Growing numbers of Northerners believed that slavery was wrong. Some people wanted to outlaw it, while others wanted to prevent it from spreading beyond the Southern states where it was already allowed. But slavery played an important role in the South's economy and culture. As a result, most white Southerners felt threatened by Northern efforts to contain slavery. They believed that each state should decide for itself whether to allow the practice. They did not want the national government to pass laws that would interfere with their traditional way of life.
Pollard strongly supported the South's point of view regarding slavery. He believed that blacks were terribly inferior to whites, and saw nothing wrong with keeping blacks enslaved. As a result, Northern claims that slavery was an immoral system angered and frustrated him. These feelings led Pollard to write and publish a book called Black Diamonds Gathered in the Darkey Homes of the South in 1859. Using his own childhood memories as the foundation for his book, Pollard portrayed slaves as being happy in their captivity and characterized all slaveowners as kind and gentle masters. "In these sketches," wrote historian Jon L. Wakelyn, "Pollard had created a fantasy world of old Virginia, a world he believed worth preserving."
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