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Simon Gray

            Throughout American history, there have been many examples of outstanding and unusual people. He was rare because not many slaves become bosses of white men while still in slavery as he did. .
             Simon Gray's accomplishments make him an obviously unique character. From the article, it seems that he is a hardworking man who is very smart and skilled. One could assume that he also has some charisma and was trustworthy since his owner and boss gave him such important responsibilities. However, towards the end of the article it mentions that after his job was gone (the lumber business lost a lot of value after the war), he owed a lot of money to Andrew Brown (his ex-boss). The mention of his debts and neglect to pay back what he owes makes his character seem like less of an ideal, hardworking man. .
             Despite some character flaws, Simon Gray was an overall successful man. Some signs of this are that even as a slave, he was in charge of other men, including whites. He also had success in making profits on what he shipped and being paid the same as a white worker. Since he was so successful and trusted by his boss, Brown bought the rest of Gray's family and let them live together in a rented house. This shows his success as a friend and employee, not just a business man.
             Gray's success was incredible for someone of his social status at the time. Slaves were usually not well educated and not given a chance to prove themselves. Having an opportunity to be successful is essential to human nature; it provides a drive and work ethic and also happiness when a goal is met. Most slaves without these opportunities probably thought of themselves as inferior not only because of the way they were treated, but because they never had a chance to see if they were mentally superior to their owners. This probably lowered morale and made slaves less willing to try and work and be on their own. .
             If I were Simon Gray I would be proud of my accomplishments.

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