Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry was a white man born in Georgia. After moving to Alabama, he practiced law and served in the state legislature. By 1856 he was elected to congress, and soon became the commissioner to Maryland. Curry was not reelected in 1863 so he joined the military and became a lieutenant colonel of the 5th Alabama Cavalry. Curry also wrote a book, "The South in the Olden Times," after the Civil War, and it was published in 1901. The book reflects his experiences and ideals in regards to slavery and life in the South. Being a very prominent southern gentleman, and most certainly a product of a wealthy family, Curry defends the old southern way of life prior to the Civil War. A way of life where "home was sacred and the dearest place on earth," and the "guests were treated, and acted, as members of the family, (p. 9)" where slaves" "physical well-being, (p. 13)" was thought very important. This book, though biased as it is, showed a very different view of the old south than what was typically portrayed as a brutal and hostile environment. .
According to Curry, very few farmers owned slaves and those that did only owned "from one to five (p.4)." Those who owned large plantations which necessitated a large numbers of slaves, are described as "men of intelligence, of masterful qualities and often of much culture (p.4)," that governed in such a way as not to provoke "ill-feeling, rebellion, escape of anarchy," but to promote cheerful and productive work and great affection (p.4)." Most would have agreed that this was the exception not the rule; however, Curry's illustration was from that of an insider that was unique among the aggregate of society in that time. .
Curry did not deny the existence of brutal slave owners. He maintained that those few who did were confronted, and downed-played such offences aligning them with spousal abuse, neglect, and oppressive employers.