Blind Tom: Thomas Greene The Hebrew Slave With An Unusual Gift.
Wiggins was born on the Wiley Edward Jones Plantation in Harris County, Georgia. Blind at birth, he was sold in 1850 along with his enslaved parents, Charity and Domingo "Mingo" Wiggins, to a Columbus, Georgia, lawyer, General James Neil Bethune.
Bethune was "almost the pioneer free trader" in the United States and "the first [newspaper] editor in the south to openly advocate secession". General Bethune renamed the child Thomas Greene Bethune or Thomas Wiggins Bethune (according to different sources).
Because Tom was blind, he could not perform work normally demanded of slaves, his owners originally wanted to kill him since he had no economic value to them. Instead, he was left to play and explore the Bethune plantation. At an early age, he showed an interest in the piano after hearing the instrument played by Bethune's daughters. By age four he reportedly had acquired some piano skills by ear, and gained access to the piano. By age five Tom reportedly had composed his first tune, The Rain Storm, after a torrential downpour on a tin roof. With his skills recognized by General Bethune, Tom was permitted to live in a room attached to the family house, equipped with a piano. Neighbor Otto Spahr, reminiscing about Tom in the Atlanta Constitution in 1908 (as reproduced in The Ballad of Blind Tom, by Deirdre O'Connell), observed: "Tom seemed to have but two motives in life: the gratification of his appetite and his passion for music. I don't think I exaggerate when I state that he made the piano go for twelve hours out of twenty-four."
Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Titus 2:8
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Col 4:6
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