A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin/Part 3
DOES PUBLIC OPINION PROTECT THE SLAVE?
The utter inefficiency of the law to protect the slave in any respect has been shown.
But it is claimed that, precisely because the law affords the slave no protection, therefore public opinion is the more strenuous in his behalf.
Nothing more frequently strikes the eye, in running over judicial proceedings in the courts of slave states. than announcements of the utter inutility of the law to rectify some glaring injustice towards this unhappy race, coupled with congratulatory remarks on that beneficent state of public sentiment which is to supply entirely this acknowledged deficiency of the law.
On this point it may, perhaps, be sufficient to ask the reader, whether North or South, to review in his own mind the judicial documents which we have presented, and ask himself what inference is to be drawn, as to the state of public sentiment, from the cases there presented,—from the pleas of lawyers, the decisions of judges, the facts sworn to by witnesses, and the general style and spirit of the whole proceedings.
In order to appreciate this more fully, let us compare a trial in a free state with a trial in a slave state.
In the free State of Massachusetts, a man of standing, learning and high connections, murdered another man. He did not torture him, but with one blow sent him in a moment from life. The murderer had every advantage of position, of friends; it may be said, indeed, that he had the sympathy of the whole United States; yet how calmly, with what unmoved and awful composure, did the judicial examination proceed! The murderer was condemned to die—what a sensation shook the country! Even sovereign states assumed the attitude of petitioners for him.
There was a voice of entreaty, from Maine to New Orleans. There were remonstrances, and there were threats: but still, with what passionless calmness retributive justice held on its way! Though the men who were her instruments were men of merciful and bleeding hearts, yet they bowed in silence to her sublime will. In spite of all that influence and wealth and power could do, a cultivated and intelligent man, from the first rank of society, suffered the same penalty that would fall on any other man who violated the sanctity of human life.
Now, compare this with a trial in a slave state. In Virginia, Souther also murdered a man; but he did not murder him by one merciful blow, but by twelve hours of torture so horrible that few readers could bear even the description of it. It was a mode of death which, to use the language that Cicero in his day applied to crucifixion, "ought to be forever removed from the sight, hearing, and from the very thoughts of mankind." And to this horrible scene two white men were witnesses!
Observe the mode in which these two cases were tried, and the general sensation they produced. Hear the lawyers, in this case of Souther, coolly debating whether it can be considered any crime at all. Hear the decision of the inferior court, that it is murder in the second degree, and apportioning as its reward five years of imprisonment. See the horrible butcher coming up to the Superior Court in the attitude of an injured man! See the case recorded as that of Souther versus The Commonwealth, and let us ask any intelligent man. North or South, what sort of public sentiment does this show!
Does it show a belief that the negro is a man? Does it not show decidedly that he is not considered as a man? Consider further the horrible principle which, reaffirmed in the case, is the law of the land in Virginia. It is the policy of the law, in respect to the relation of master and slave, and for the sake of securing proper subordination on the part of the slave, to protect the master from prosecution in all such cases, even if the whipping and punishment be malicious, cruel and excessive!
When the most cultivated and intelligent men in the state formally, calmly and without any apparent perception of saying anything inhuman, utter such an astounding decision as this, what can be thought of it? If they do not consider this cruel, what is cruel? And, if their feelings are so blunted as to see no cruelty in such a decision, what hope is there of any protection to the slave?
This law is a plain and distinct permission to such wretches as Souther to inflict upon the helpless slave any torture they may choose, without any accusation or impeachment of crime. It distinctly tells Souther, and the white witnesses who saw his deed, and every other low, unprincipled man in the court, that it is the policy of the law to protect him in malicious, cruel and excessive punishments.
What sort of an education is this for the intelligent and cultivated men of a state to communicate to the lower and less-educated class? Suppose it to be solemnly announced in Massachusetts, with respect to free laborers or apprentices, that it is the policy of the law, for the sake of producing subordination, to protect the master in inflicting any punishment, however cruel, malicious and excessive, short of death. We cannot imagine such a principle declared, without a rebellion and a storm of popular excitement to which that of Bunker Hill was calmness itself;—but, supposing the State of Massachusetts were so "twice dead and plucked up by the roots" as to allow such a decision to pass without comment concerning her working classes,—suppose it did pass, and become an active, operative reality, what kind of an educational influence would it exert upon the commonwealth? What kind of an estimate of the working classes would it show in the minds of those who make and execute the law?
What an immediate development of villany and brutality would be brought out by such a law, avowedly made to protect men in cruelty! Cannot men be cruel enough, without all the majesty of law being brought into operation to sanction it, and make it reputable?
And suppose it were said, in vindication of such a law, "O, of course, no respectable, humane man would ever think of taking advantage of it." Should we not think the old State of Massachusetts sunk very low, to have on her legal records direct assurances of protection to deeds which no decent man would ever do?
And, when this shocking permission is brought in review at the judgment-seat of Christ, and the awful Judge shall say to its makers, aiders, and abettors. Where is thy brother?—when all the souls that have called from under the altar, "How long, Lord, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood," shall rise around the judgment-seat as a great cloud of witnesses, and the judgment is set and the books are opened,—what answer will be made for such laws and decisions as these?
Will they tell the great Judge that it was necessary to preserve the slave system,—that it could not be preserved without them?
Will they dare look upon those eyes, which are as a flame of fire, with any such avowal?
Will He not answer, as with a voice of thunders, "Ye have killed the poor and needy, and ye have forgotten that the Lord was his helper"?
The deadly sin of slavery is its denial of humanity to man. This has been the sin of oppression, in every age. To tread down, to vilify and crush, the image of God, in the person of the poor and lowly, has been the great sin of man since the creation of the world. Against this sin all the prophets of ancient times poured forth their thunders. A still stronger witness was borne against this sin when God, in Jesus Christ, took human nature, and made each human being a brother of the Lord. But the last and most sublime witness shall be borne when a Man shall judge the whole earth—a Man who shall acknowledge for His brother the meanest slave, equally with the proudest master.
In most singular and affecting terms it is asserted in the Bible that the Father hath committed all judgment to the Son, because he is the Son of Man. That human nature, which, in the person of the poor slave, has been despised and rejected, scoffed and scorned, scourged and tortured, shall in that day be glorified; and it shall appear the most fearful of sins to have made light of the sacredness of humanity, as these laws and institutions of slavery have done. The fact is, that the whole system of slave-law, and the whole practice of the slave system, and the public sentiment that is formed by it, are alike based on the greatest of all heresies, a denial of equal human brotherhood. A whole race has been thrown out of the range of human existence, their immortality disregarded, their dignity as children of God scoffed at, their brotherhood with Christ treated as a fable, and all the law and public sentiment and practice with regard to them such as could be justified only on supposition that they were a race of inferior animals.
It is because the negro is considered an inferior animal, and not worthy of any better treatment, that the system which relates to him and the treatment which falls to him are considered humane.
Take any class of white men, however uneducated, and place them under the same system of laws, and make their civil condition in all respects like that of the negro, and would it not be considered the most outrageous cruelty?
Suppose the slave-law were enacted with regard to all the Irish in our country, and they were parcelled off as the property of any man who had money enough to buy them. Suppose their right to vote, their right to bring suit in any case, their right to bear testimony in courts of justice, their right to contract a legal marriage, their right to hold property or to make contracts of any sort, were all by, one stroke of law blotted out. Furthermore, suppose it was forbidden to teach them to read and write, and that their children to all ages were "doomed to live without knowledge." Suppose that, in judicial proceedings, it were solemnly declared, with regard to them, that the mere beating of an Irishman, "apart from any circumstances of cruelty, or any attempt to kill," was no offence against the peace of the state. Suppose that it were declared that, for the better preservation of subjection among them, the law would protect the master in any kind of punishment inflicted, even if it should appear to be malicious, cruel and excessive; and suppose that monsters like Souther, in availing themselves of this permission, should occasionally torture Irishmen to death, but still this circumstance should not be deemed of sufficient importance to call for any restriction on the part of the master. Suppose it should be coolly said, "O yes, Irishmen are occasionally tortured to death, we know; but it is not by any means a general occurrence; in fact, no men of position in society would do it; and when cases of the kind do occur, they are indignantly frowned upon."
Suppose it should be stated that the reason that the law restraining the power of the master cannot be made any more stringent is, that the general system cannot be maintained without allowing this extent of power to the master.
Suppose that, having got all the Irishmen in the country down into this condition, they should maintain that such was the public sentiment of humanity with regard to them as abundantly to supply the want of all legal rights, and to make their condition, on the whole, happier than if they were free. Should we not say that a public sentiment which saw no cruelty in thus depriving a whole race of every right dear to manhood could see no cruelty in anything, and had proved itself wholly unfit to judge upon the subject? What man would not rather see his children in the grave than see them slaves? What man, who, should he wake to-morrow morning in the condition of an American slave, would not wish himself in the grave? And yet all the defenders of slavery start from the point that this legal condition is not of itself a cruelty! They would hold it the last excess of cruelty with regard to themselves, or any white man; why do they call it no cruelty at all with regard to the negro?
The writer in defence of slavery in Fraser's Magazine justifies this depriving of a whole class of any legal rights, by urging that "the good there is in human nature will supply the deficiencies of human legislation." This remark is one most significant, powerful index of the state of public sentiment, produced even in a generous mind, by the slave system. This writer thinks the good there is in human nature will supply the absence of all legal rights to thousands and millions of human beings. He thinks it right to risk their bodies and their souls on the good there is in human nature; yet this very man would not send a fifty-dollar bill through the post-office, in an unsealed letter, trusting to "the good there is in human nature."
Would this man dare to place his children in the position of slaves, and trust them to "the good in human nature"?
Would he buy an estate from the most honorable man of his acquaintance, and have no legal record of the deed, trusting to "the good in human nature"? And if "the good in human nature" will not, suffice for him and his children, how will it suffice for his brother and his brother's children? Is his happiness of any more importance in God's sight than his brother's happiness, that his must be secured by legal bolts, and bonds, and bars, and his brother's left to "the good there is in human nature"? Never are we so impressed with the utter deadness of public sentiment to protect the slave, as when we see such opinions as these uttered by men of a naturally generous and noble character.
The most striking and the most painful examples of the perversion of public sentiment, with regard to the negro race, are often given in the writings of men of humanity, amiableness and piety.
That devoted laborer for the slave, the Rev. Charles C. Jones, thus expresses his sense of the importance of one African soul:
Were it now revealed to us that the most extensive system of instruction which we could devise, requiring a vast amount of labor and protracted through ages, would result in the tender mercy of our God in the salvation of the soul of one poor African, we should feel warranted in cheerfully entering upon our work, with all its costs and sacrifices.
What a noble, what a sublime spirit, is here breathed! Does it not show a mind capable of the very highest impulses?
And yet, if we look over his whole writings, we shall see painfully how the moral sense of the finest mind may be perverted by constant familiarity with such a system.
We find him constructing an appeal to masters to have their slaves orally instructed in religion. In many passages he speaks of oral instruction as confessedly an imperfect species of instruction, very much inferior to that which results from personal reading and examination of the Word of God. He says, in one place, that in order to do much good it must be begun very early in life, and intimates that people in advanced years can acquire very little from it; and yet he decidedly expresses his opinion that slavery is an institution with which no Christian has cause to interfere.
The slaves, according to his own showing, are cut off from the best means for the salvation of their souls, and restricted to one of a very inferior nature. They are placed under restriction which makes their souls as dependent upon others for spiritual food as a man without hands is dependent upon others for bodily food. He recognizes the fact, which his own experience must show him, that the slave is at all times liable to pass into the hands of those who will not take the trouble thus to feed his soul; nay, if we may judge from his urgent appeals to masters, he perceives around him many who. having spiritually cut off the slave's hands, refuse to feed him. He sees that, by the operation of this law as a matter of fact, thousands are placed in situations where the perdition of the soul is almost certain, and yet he declares that he does not feel called upon at all to interfere with their civil condition!
But, if the soul of every poor African is of that inestimable worth which Mr. Jones believes, does it not follow that he ought to have the very best means for getting to heaven which it is possible to give him? And is not he who can read the Bible for himself in a better condition than he who is dependent upon the reading of another? If it be said that such teaching cannot be afforded, because it makes them unsafe property, ought not a clergyman like Mr. Jones to meet this objection in his own expressive language:
Were it now revealed to us that the most extensive system of instruction which we could devise, requiring a vast amount of labor and protracted through ages, would result in the tender mercy of our God in the salvation of the soul of one poor African, we should feel warranted in cheerfully entering upon our work, with all its costs and sacrifices.
Should not a clergyman, like Mr. Jones, tell masters that they should risk the loss of all things seen and temporal, rather than incur the hazard of bringing eternal ruin on these souls? All the arguments which Mr. Jones so eloquently used with masters, to persuade them to give their slaves oral instruction, would apply with double force to show their obligation to give the slave the power of reading the Bible for himself.
Again, we come to hear Mr. Jones telling masters of the power they have over the souls of their servants, and we hear him say,
We may, according to the power lodged in our hands, forbid religious meetings and religious instruction on our own plantations; we may forbid our servants going to church at all, or only to such churches as we may select for them. We may literally shut up the kingdom of heaven against men, and suffer not them that are entering to go in.
And, when we hear Mr. Jones say all this, and then consider that he must see and know this awful power is often lodged in the hands of wholly irreligious men, in the hands of men of the most profligate character, we can account for his thinking such a system right only by attributing it to that blinding, deadening influence which the public sentiment of slavery exerts even over the best-constituted minds.
Neither Mr. Jones nor any other Christian minister would feel it right that the eternal happiness of their own children should be thus placed in the power of any man who should have money to pay for them. How, then, can they think it right that this power be given in the case of their African brother?
Does this not show that, even in case of the most humane and Christian people, who theoretically believe in the equality of all souls before God, a constant familiarity with slavery works a practical infidelity on this point; and that they give their assent to laws which practically declare that the salvation of the servant's soul is of less consequence than the salvation of the property relation?
Let us not be thought invidious or uncharitable in saying, that where slavery exists there are so many causes necessarily uniting to corrupt public sentiment with regard to the slave, that the best-constituted minds cannot trust themselves in it. In the northern and free states public sentiment has been, and is, to this day, fatally infected by the influence of a past and the proximity of a present system of slavery. Hence the injustice with which the negro in many of our states is treated. Hence, too, those apologies for slavery, and defences of it, which issue from Northern presses, and even Northern pulpits. If even at the North the remains of slavery can produce such baleful effects in corrupting public sentiment, how much more must this be the case where this institution is in full force!
The whole American nation is, in some sense, under a paralysis of public sentiment on this subject. It was said by a heathen writer that the gods gave us a fearful power when they gave us the faculty of becoming accustomed to things. This power has proved a fearful one indeed in America. We have got used to things which might stir the dead in their graves.
When but a small portion of the things daily done in America has been told in England, and France, and Italy, and Germany, there has been a perfect shriek and outcry of horror. America alone remains cool, and asks, "What is the matter?"
Europe answers back, "Why, we have heard that men are sold like cattle in your country."
"Of course they are," says America; "but what then?"
"We have heard," says Europe, "that millions of men are forbidden to read and write in your country."
"We know that," says America; "but what is this outcry about?"
"We have heard," says Europe, "that Christian girls are sold to shame in your markets!"
"That isn't quite as it should be," says America; "but still what is this excitement about?"
"We hear that three millions of your people can have no legal marriage ties," says Europe.
"Certainly that is true," returns America; "but you made such an outcry, we thought you saw some great cruelty going on."
"And you profess to be a free country!" says indignant Europe.
"Certainly we are the freest and most enlightened country in the world,—what are you talking about?" says America.
"You send your missionaries to Christianize us," says Turkey; "and our religion has abolished this horrible system."
"You! you are all heathen over there,—what business have you to talk?" answers America.
Many people seem really to have thought that nothing but horrible exaggerations of the system of slavery could have produced the sensation which has recently been felt in all modern Europe. They do not know that the thing they have become accustomed to, and handled so freely in every discussion, seems to all other nations the sum and essence of villany. Modern Europe, opening her eyes and looking on the legal theory of the slave system, on the laws and interpretations of law which define it, says to America, in the language of the indignant Othello, If thou wilt justify a thing like this,
"Never pray more; abandon all remorse;
On Horror's head horrors accumulate;
Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amazed;
For nothing canst thou to damnation add
Greater than this."
There is an awful state of familiarity with evil which the apostle calls being "dead in trespasses and sins," where truth has been resisted, and evil perseveringly defended, and the convictions of conscience stifled, and the voice of God's Holy Spirit bidden to depart. There is an awful paralysis of the moral sense, when deeds unholiest and crimes most fearful cease any longer to affect the nerve. That paralysis, always a fearful indication of the death and dissolution of nations, is a doubly dangerous disease in a republic, whose only power is in intelligence, justice and virtue.
PUBLIC OPINION FORMED BY EDUCATION.
Rev. Charles C. Jones, in his interesting work on the Religious Instruction of Negroes, has a passage which so peculiarly describes that influence of public opinion which we have been endeavoring to illustrate, that we shall copy it.
Habits of feeling and prejudices in relation to any subject are wont to take their rise out of our education or circumstances. Every man knows their influence to be great in shaping opinions and conduct, and ofttimes how unwittingly they are formed; that while we may be unconscious of their existence, they may grow with our growth and strengthen with our strength. Familiarity converts deformity into comeliness. Hence we are not always the best judges of our condition. Another may remark inconveniences, and, indeed, real evils, in it, of which we may be said to have been all our lives scarcely conscious. So, also, evils which, upon first acquaintance, revolted our whole nature, and appeared intolerable, custom almost makes us forget even to see. Men passing out of one state of society into another encounter a thousand things to which they feel that they can never be reconciled; yet, shortly after, their sensibilities become dulled,—a change passes over them, they scarcely know how. They have accommodated themselves to their new circumstances and relations,—they are Romans in Rome.
Let us now inquire what are the educational influences which bear upon the mind educated in constant familiarity with the slave system.
Take any child of ingenuous mind and of generous heart, and educate him under the influences of slavery, and what are the things which go to form his character? An anecdote which a lady related to the writer may be in point in this place. In giving an account of some of the things which induced her to remove her family from under the influence of slavery, she related the following incident: Looking out of her nursery window one day, she saw her daughter, about three years of age, seated in her little carriage, with six or eight young negro children harnessed into it for horses. Two or three of the older slaves were standing around their little mistress, and one of them, putting a whip into her hand, said, "There, Misse, whip 'em well; make 'em go,—they're all your niggers."
What a moral and religious lesson was this for that young soul! The mother was a judicious woman, who never would herself have taught such a thing; but the whole influence of slave society had burnt it into the soul of every negro, and through them it was communicated to the child.
As soon as a child is old enough to read the newspapers, he sees in every column such notices as the following from a late Richmond Whig, and other papers.
LARGE SALE OF NEGROES, HORSES, MULES, CATTLE, &c.
The subscriber, under a decree of the Circuit Superior Court for Fluvanna County, will proceed to sell, by public auction, at the late residence of William Gait, deceased, on Tuesday, the 30th day of November, and Wednesday, the 1st day of December next, beginning at 11 o'clock, the negroes, stock, &c., of all kinds, belonging to the estate, consisting of 175 negroes, amongst whom are some Carpenters and Blacksmiths,—10 horses, 33 mules, 100 head of cattle, 100 sheep, 200 hogs, 1500 barrels corn, oats, fodder, &c., the plantation and shop tools of all kinds.
The Negroes will be sold for cash; the other property on a credit of nine months, the purchaser giving bond, with approved security.
James Galt, Administrator of
Oct. 19. William Gait, deceased
From the Nashville Gazette, Nov. 23, 1852:
GREAT SALE OF NEGROES, MULES, CATTLE, &c.
On Tuesday, the 21st day of December next, at the Plantation of the late N. A. McNairy, on the Franklin Turnpike, on account of Mrs. C. B. McNairy, Executrix, we will offer at Public Sale
FIFTY VALUABLE NEGROES.
These Negroes are good Plantation Negroes, and will be sold in families. Those wishing to purchase will do well to see them before the day of sale.
Also, ten fine Work Mules, two Jacks and one Jennet, Milch Cows and Calves, Cattle, Stock Hogs, 1200 barrels Corn, Oats, Hay, Fodder, &c. Two Wagons, One Cart, Farming Utensils, &c.
From the Newberry Sentinel:
The subscriber will sell at Auction, on the 15th of this month, at the Plantation on which he resides, distant eleven miles from the Town of Newberry, and near the Laurens Railroad,
22 Young and Likely Negroes;
comprising able-bodied field-hands, good cooks, house-servants, and an excellent blacksmith;—about 1500 bushels of corn, a quantity of fodder, hogs, mules, sheep, neat cattle, household and kitchen furniture, and other property.—Term. made public on day of Sale.
M. C. Gary.
☞ Laurensville Herald copy till day of sale.
ESTATE SALE OF VALUABLE PROPERTY.
The undersigned, as Administrator of the Estate of Col. T. Randell, deceased, will sell, on Monday, the 20th December next, all the personal property belonging to said estate, consisting of 56 Negroes, Stock, Corn, Fodder, &c. &c. The sale will take place at the residence of the deceased, on Sandy River, 10 miles West of Chesterville.
Terms of Sale: The negroes on a credit of 12 months, with interest from day of sale, and two good sureties. The other property will be sold for cash. Samuel J. Randell.
See, also, New Orleans Bee, Oct. 28. After advertising the landed estate of Madeline Lanoux, deceased, comes the following enumeration of chattels :
Twelve slaves, men and women; a small, quite new schooner; a ferrying flat-boat; some cows, calves, heifers and sheep; a lot of household furniture; the contents of a store, consisting of hardware, crockery ware, groceries, dry goods, etc.
Now, suppose all parents to be as pious and benevolent as Mr. Jones,—a thing not at all to be hoped for, as things are;—and suppose them to try their very best to impress on the child a conviction that all souls are of equal value in the sight of God; that the negro soul is as truly beloved of Christ, and ransomed with his blood, as the master's; and is there any such thing as making him believe or realize it? Will he believe that that which he sees, every week, advertised with hogs, and horses, and fodder, and cotton-seed, and refuse furniture,—bedsteads, tables and chairs,—is indeed so divine a thing? We will suppose that the little child knows some pious slave; that he sees him at the communion-table, partaking, in a far-off, solitary manner, of the sacramental bread and wine. He sees his pious father and mother recognize the slave as a Christian brother; they tell him that he is an "heir of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ;" and the next week he sees him advertised in the paper, in company with a lot of hogs, stock and fodder. Can the child possibly believe in what his Christian parents have told him, when he sees this? We have spoken now of only the common advertisements of the paper; but suppose the child to live in some districts of the country, and advertisements of a still more degrading character meet his eye. In the State of Alabama, a newspaper devoted to politics, literature and education, has a standing weekly advertisement of which this is a copy:
The undersigned having an excellent pack of Hounds, for trailing and catching runaway slaves, informs the public that his prices in future will be as follows for such services:
|For each day employed in hunting or trailing,||$2.50|
|For catching each slave,||10.00|
|For going over ten miles, and catching slaves,||20.00|
If sent for, the above prices will be exacted in cash. The subscriber resides one mile and a half south of Dadeville, Ala. B. Black
Dadeville, Sept. 1, 1852. 1-tf
The reader will see, by the printer's sign at the bottom, that it is a season advertisement, and, therefore, would meet the eye of the child week after week. The paper from which we have cut this contains among its extracts passages from Dickens' Household Words, from Professor Felton's article in the Christian Examiner on the relation of the sexes, and a most beautiful and chivalrous appeal from the eloquent senator Soulé on the legal rights of women. Let us now ask, since this paper is devoted to education, what sort of an educational influence such advertisements have. And, of course, such an establishment is not kept up without patronage. Where there are negro-hunters advertising in a paper, there are also negro-hunts, and there are dogs being trained to hunt; and all this process goes on before the eyes of children; and what sort of an education is it?
The writer has received an account of the way in which dogs are trained for this business. The information has been communicated to the gentleman who writes it by a negro man, who, having been always accustomed to see it done, described it with as little sense of there being anything out of the way in it as if the dogs had been trained to catch raccoons. It came to the writer in a recent letter from the South.
The way to train 'em (says the man) is to take these yer pups,—any kind o' pups will do,—fox-hounds, bull-dogs, most any;—but take the pups, and keep 'em shut up, and don't let 'em never see a nigger till they get big enough to be larned. When the pups gits old enough to be set on to things, then make 'em run after a nigger; and when they cotches him, give 'em meat. Tell the nigger to run as hard as he can, and git up in a tree, so as to larn the dogs to tree 'em; then take the shoe of a nigger, and larn 'em to find the nigger it belongs to; then a rag of his clothes; and so on. Allers be carful to tree the nigger, and teach the dog to wait and bark under the tree till you come up and give him his meat.
See also the following advertisement from the Ouachita Register, a newspaper dated "Monroe, La., Tuesday evening, June 1, 1852."
The undersigned would respectfully inform the citizens of Ouachita and adjacent parishes, that he has located about 2 miles east of John White's, on the road leading from Monroe to Bastrop, and that he has a fine pack of Dogs for catching negroes. Persons wishing negroes caught will do well to give him a call. He can always be found at his stand when not engaged in hunting, and even then information of his whereabouts can always be had of some one on the premises.
Terms.—Five dollars per day and found, when there is no track pointed out. When the track is shown, twenty-five dollars will be charged for catching the negro. M. C. Goff
Monroe, Feb. 17, 1852. 15-3m
Now, do not all the scenes likely to be enacted under this head form a fine education for the children of a Christian nation? and can we wonder if children so formed see no cruelty in slavery? Can children realize that creatures who are thus hunted are the children of one heavenly Father with themselves?
But suppose the boy grows up to be a man, and attends the courts of justice, and hears intelligent, learned men declaring from the bench that "the mere beating of a slave, unaccompanied by any circumstances of cruelty, or an attempt to kill, is no breach of the peace of the state." Suppose he hears it decided in the same place that no insult or outrage upon any slave is considered worthy of legal redress, unless it impairs his property value. Suppose he hears, as he would in Virginia, that it is the policy of the law to protect the master even in inflicting cruel, malicious and excessive punishment upon the slave. Suppose a slave is murdered, and he hears the lawyers arguing that it cannot be considered a murder, because the slave, in law, is not considered a human being; and then suppose the case is appealed to a superior court, and he hears the judge expending his forces on a long and eloquent dissertation to prove that the slave is a human being; at least, that he is as much so as a lunatic, an idiot, or an unborn child, and that, therefore, he can be murdered. (See Judge Clark's speech, on p. 75 .) Suppose he sees that all the administration of law with regard to the slave proceeds on the idea that he is absolutely nothing more than a bale of merchandise. Suppose he hears such language as this, which occurs in the reasonings of the Brazealle case, and which is a fair sample of the manner in which such subjects are ordinarily discussed. "The slave has no more political capacity, no more right to purchase, hold or transfer property, than the mule in his plough; he is in himself but a mere chattel,—the subject of absolute ownership." Suppose he sees on the statute-book such sentences as these, from the civil code of Louisiana:
Art. 2500. The latent defects of slaves and animals are divided into two classes,—vices of body and vices of character.
Art. 2501. The vices of body are distinguished into absolute and relative.
Art. 2502. The absolute vices of slaves are leprosy, madness and epilepsy.
Art. 2503. The absolute vices of horses and mules are short wind, glanders, and founder.
The influence of this language is made all the stronger on the young mind from the fact that it is not the language of contempt, or of passion, but of calm, matter-of-fact, legal statement.
What effect must be produced on the mind of the young man when he comes to see that, however atrocious and however well-proved be the murder of a slave, the murderer uniformly escapes; and that, though the cases where the slave has fallen a victim to passions of the white are so multiplied, yet the fact of an execution for such a crime is yet almost unknown in the country? Does not all this tend to produce exactly that estimate of the value of negro life and happiness which Frederic Douglass says was expressed by a common proverb among the white boys where he was brought up: "It's worth sixpence to kill a nigger, and sixpence more to bury him"?
We see the public sentiment which has been formed by this kind of education exhibited by the following paragraph from the Cambridge Democrat, Md., Oct. 27, 1852. That paper quotes the following from the Woodville Republican, of Mississippi. It seems a Mr. Joshua Johns had killed a slave, and had been sentenced therefor to the penitentiary for two years. The Republican thus laments his hard lot:
STATE v. JOSHUA JOHNS.
This cause resulted in the conviction of Johns, and his sentence to the penitentiary for two years. Although every member of the jury, together with the bar, and the public generally, signed a petition to the governor for young Johns' pardon, yet there was no fault to find with the verdict of the jury. The extreme youth of Johns, and the circumstances in which the killing occurred, enlisted universal sympathy in his favor. There is no doubt that the negro had provoked him to the deed by the use of insolent language; but how often must it be told that words are no justification for blows? There are many persons—and we regret to say it—who think they have the same right to shoot a negro, if he insults them, or even runs from them, that they have to shoot down a dog; but there are laws for the protection of the slave as well as the master, and the sooner the error above alluded to is removed, the better will it be for both parties.
The unfortunate youth who has now entailed upon himself the penalty of the law, we doubt not, had no idea that there existed such penalty; and even if he was aware of the fact, the repeated insults and taunts of the negro go far to mitigate the crime. Johns was defended by I. D. Gildart, Esq., who probably did all that could have been effected in his defence.
The Democrat adds:
We learn from Mr. Curry, deputy sheriff, of Wilkinson County, that Johns has been pardoned by the governor. We are gratified to hear it.
This error above alluded to, of thinking it is as innocent to shoot down a negro as a dog, is one, we fairly admit, for which young Johns ought not to be very severely blamed. He has been educated in a system of things of which this opinion is the inevitable result; and he, individually, is far less guilty for it, than are those men who support the system of laws, and keep up the educational influences, which lead young Southern men directly to this conclusion. Johns may be, for aught we know, as generous-hearted and as just naturally as any young man living; but the horrible system under which he has been educated has rendered him incapable of distinguishing what either generosity or justice is, as applied to the negro.
The public sentiment of the slave states is the sentiment of men who have been thus educated, and in all that concerns the negro it is utterly blunted and paralyzed. What would seem to them injustice and horrible wrong in the case of white persons, is the coolest matter of course in relation to slaves. As this educational influence descends from generation to generation, the moral sense becomes more and more blunted, and the power of discriminating right from wrong, in what relates to the subject race, more and more enfeebled.
Thus, if we read the writings of distinguished men who were slave-holders about the time of our American Revolution, what clear views do we find expressed of the injustice of slavery, what strong language of reprobation do we find applied to it! Nothing more forcible could possibly be said in relation to its evils than by quoting the language of such men as Washington, Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. In those days there were no men of that high class of mind who thought of such a thing as defending slavery on principle; now there are an abundance of the most distinguished men. North and South, statesmen, civilians, men of letters, even clergymen, who in various degrees palliate it, apologize for or openly defend it. And what is the cause of this, except that educational influences have corrupted public sentiment, and deprived them of the power of just judgment? The public opinion even of free America, with regard to slavery, is behind that of all other civilized nations.
When the holders of slaves assert that they are, as a general thing, humanely treated, what do they mean? Not that they would consider such treatment humane if given to themselves and their children,—no, indeed!—but it is humane for slaves.
They do, in effect, place the negro below the range of humanity, and on a level with brutes, and then graduate all their ideas of humanity accordingly.
They would not needlessly kick or abuse a dog or a negro. They may pet a dog, and they often do a negro. Men have been found who fancied having their horses elegantly lodged in marble stables, and to eat out of sculptured mangers, but they thought them horses still; and, with all the indulgences with which good-natured masters sometimes surround the slave, he is to them but a negro still, and not a man.
In what has been said in this chapter, and in what appears incidentally in all the facts cited throughout this volume, there is abundant proof that, notwithstanding there be frequent and most noble instances of generosity towards the negro, and although the sentiment of honorable men and the voice of Christian charity does everywhere protest against what it feels to be inhumanity, yet the popular sentiment engendered by the system must necessarily fall deplorably short of giving anything like sufficient protection to the rights of the slave. It will appear in the succeeding chapters, as it must already have appeared to reflecting minds, that the whole course of educational influence upon the mind of the slave-master is such as to deaden his mind to those appeals which come from the negro as a fellow-man and a brother.
SEPARATION OF FAMILIES.
"What must the difference be," said Dr. Worthington, with startling energy, "between Isabel and her servants! To her it is loss of position, fortune, the fair hopes of life, perhaps even health; for she must inevitably break down under the unaccustomed labor and privations she will have to undergo. But to them it is merely a change of masters"!
"Yes, for the neighbors won't allow any of the families to be separated."
"Of course not. We read of such things in novels sometimes. But I have yet to see it in real life, except in rare cases, or where the slave has been guilty of some misdemeanor, or crime, for which, in the North, he would have been imprisoned, perhaps for life."—Cabin and Parlor, by J. Thornton Randolph, p. 39.
"But they're going to sell us all to Georgia, I say. How are we to escape that?"
"Spec dare some mistake in dat," replied Uncle Peter, stoutly. "I nebber knew of sich a ting in dese parts, 'cept where some niggar'd been berry bad."—Ibid.
By such graphic touches as the above does Mr. Thornton Randolph represent to us the patriarchal stability and security of the slave population in the Old Dominion. Such a thing as a slave being sold out of the state has never been heard of by Dr. Worthington, except in rare cases for some crime; and old Uncle Peter never heard of such a thing in his life.
Are these representations true?
The worst abuse of the system of slavery is its outrage upon the family; and, as the writer views the subject, it is one which is more notorious and undeniable than any other.
Yet it is upon this point that the most stringent and earnest denial has been made to the representations of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," either indirectly, as by the romance-writer above, or more directly in the assertions of newspapers, both at the North and at the South. When made at the North, they indicate, to say the least, very great ignorance of the subject; when made at the South, they certainly do very great injustice to the general character of the Southerner for truth and honesty. All sections of country have faults peculiar to themselves. The fault of the South, as a general thing, has not been cowardly evasion and deception. It was with utter surprise that the author read the following sentences in an article in Fraser's Magazine, professing to come from a South Carolinian.
Mrs. Stowe's favorite illustration of the master's power to the injury of the slave is the separation of families. We are told of infants of ten months old being sold from the arms of their mothers, and of men whose habit it is to raise children to sell away from their mother as soon as they are old enough to be separated. Were our views of this feature of slavery derived from Mrs. Stowe's book, we should regard the families of slaves as utterly unsettled and vagrant.
We feel confident that, if statistics could be had to throw light upon this subject, we should find that there is less separation of families among the negroes than occurs with almost any other class of persons.
As the author of the article, however, is evidently a man of honor, and expresses many most noble and praiseworthy sentiments, it cannot be supposed that these statements were put forth with any view to misrepresent or to deceive. They are only to be regarded as evidences of the facility with which a sanguine mind often overlooks the most glaring facts that make against a favorite idea or theory, or which are unfavorable in their bearings on one's own country or family. Thus the citizens of some place notoriously unhealthy will come to believe, and assert, with the utmost sincerity, that there is actually less sickness in their town than any other of its size in the known world. Thus parents often think their children perfectly immaculate in just those particulars in which others see them to be most faulty. This solution of the phenomena is a natural and amiable one, and enables us to retain our respect for our Southern brethren.
There is another circumstance, also, to be taken into account, in reading such assertions as these. It is evident, from the pamphlet in question, that the writer is one of the few who regard the possession of absolute irresponsible power as the highest of motives to moderation and temperance in its use. Such men are commonly associated in friendship and family connection with others of similar views, and are very apt to fall into the error of judging others by themselves, and thinking that a thing may do for all the world because it operates well in their immediate circle. Also it cannot but be a fact that the various circumstances which from infancy conspire to degrade and depress the negro in the eyes of a Southern-born man,—the constant habit of speaking of them, and hearing them spoken of, and seeing them advertised, as mere articles of property, often in connection with horses, mules, fodder, swine, &c., as they are almost daily in every Southern paper,—must tend, even in the best-constituted minds, to produce a certain obtuseness with regard to the interests, sufferings and affections, of such as do not particularly belong to himself, which will pecularly unfit him for estimating their condition. The author has often been singularly struck with this fact, in the letters of Southern friends; in which, upon one page, they will make some assertion regarding the condition of Southern negroes, and then go on, and in other connections state facts which apparently contradict them all. We can all be aware how this familiarity would operate with ourselves. Were we called upon to state how often our neighbors' cows were separated from their calves, or how often their household furniture and other effects are scattered and dispersed by executor's sales, we should be inclined to say that it was not a misfortune of very common occurrence.
But let us open two South Carolina papers, published in the very state where this gentleman is residing, and read the advertisements for one week. The author has slightly abridged them.
COMMISSIONER'S SALE OF 12 LIKELY NEGROES.
|R. W. Murray and wife and
William Wright and wife
In pursuance of an Order of the Court of Equity made in the above case at July Term, 1852, I will sell at public outcry, to the highest bidder, before the Court House in Winnsboro, on the first Monday in January next,
12 VERY LIKELY NEGROES,
belonging to the estate of Micajah Mobley, deceased, late of Fairfield District.
These Negroes consist chiefly of young boys and girls, and are said to be very likely.
Terms of Sale, &c.
W. R. Robertson,
Winnsboro, Nov. 30, 1852.
Will be sold at public outcry, to the highest bidder, on Tuesday, the 21st day of December next, at the late residence of Mrs. M. P. Rabb, deceased, all of the personal estate of said deceased, consisting in part of about
2,000 Bushels of Corn.
25,000 pounds of Fodder.
Horses, Mules, Cattle, Hogs, Sheep.
There will, in all probability, be sold at the same time and place several likely Young Negroes.
The Terms of Sale will be—all sums under Twenty-five Dollars, Cash. All sums of Twenty-five Dollars and over, twelve months' credit, with interest from day of Sale, secured by note and two approved sureties. William S. Rabb,
COMMISSIONER'S SALE OF LAND AND NEGROES.
|James E. Caldwell,
Admr., with the Will
annexed, of Jacob Gibson,
Jason D. Gibson
In pursuance of the order of sale made in the alcove case, I will sell at public outcry, to the highest bidder, before the Court House in Winnsboro, on the first Monday in January next, and the day following, the following real and personal estate of Jacob Gibson, deceased, late of "Fairfield District, to wit:
The Plantation on which the testator lived at the time of his death, containing 661 Acres, more or less, lying on the waters of Wateree Creek, and bounded by lands of Samuel Johnston, Theodore S. DuBose, Edward P. Mobley, and B. R. Cockrell. This plantation will be sold in two separate tracts, plats of which will be exhibited on the day of sale:
46 PRIME LIKELY NEGROES,
consisting of Wagoners, Blacksmiths, Cooks, House Servants, &c. W. R. Robertson,
Winnsboro, 29th Nov., 1852.
ESTATE SALE.—FIFTY PRIME NEGROES. BY J. & L. T. LEVIN.
On the first Monday in January next I will sell, before the Court House in Columbia, 50 of as Likely Negroes as have ever been exposed to public sale, belonging to the estate of A. P. Vinson, deceased. The Negroes have been well cared for, and well managed in every respect. Persons wishing to purchase will not, it is confidently believed, have a better opportunity to supply themselves.
J. H. Adams,
Nov. 18 40x3.
Will be sold on the 15th December next, at the late residence of Samuel Moore, deceased, in York District, all the personal property of said deceased, consisting of:
35 LIKELY NEGROES,
a quantity of Cotton and Corn, Horses and Mules, Farming Tools, Household and Kitchen Furniture, with many other articles.
Samuel E. Moore,
Will be sold at public outcry, to the highest bidder, on Tuesday, the 14th day of December next, at the late residence of Robert W. Durham, deceased, in Fairfield District, all of the personal estate of said deceased: consisting in part as follows:
50 PRIME LIKELY NEGROES.
About 3,000 Bushels of Corn.
A large quantity of Fodder.
Wheat, Oats, Cow Peas, Rye, Cotton Seed, Horses, Mules, Cattle, Hogs, Sheep.
C. H. Durnam,
Nov. 23. Administrator.
By virtue of sundry executions to me directed, I will sell at Fairfield Court House, on the first Monday, and the day following, in December next, within the legal hours of sale, to the highest bidder, for cash, the following property. Purchasers to pay for titles:
2 Negroes, levied upon as the property of Allen R. Crankfield, at the suit of Alexander Brodie, et al.
2 Horses and 1 Jennet, levied upon as the property of Allen R. Crankfield, at the suit of Alexander Brodie.
2 Mules, levied upon as the property of Allen R. Crankfield, at the suit of Temperance E. Miller and J. W. Miller.
1 pair of Cart Wheels, levied upon as the property of Allen R. Crankfield, at the suit of Temperance E. Miller and J. W. Miller.
1 Chest of Drawers, levied upon as the property of Allen R. Crankfield, at the suit of Temperance E. Miller and J. W. Miller.
1 Bedstead, levied upon as the property of Allen R. Crankfield, at the suit of Temperance E. Miller and J. W. Miller.
1 Negro, levied upon as the property of R. J. Gladney, at the suit of James Camak.
1 Negro, levied upon as the property of Geo. McCormick, at the suit of W. M. Phifer.
1 Riding Saddle, to be sold under an assignment of G. W. Boulware to J. B. Mickle, in the case of Geo. Murphy, Jr., v. G. W. Boulware.
R. E. Ellison,
Nov. 19 1852.
|S. F. D. |
Nov. 20 37†xtf
|John A. Crumpton,
Zachariah C. Crumpton
In pursuance of the Decretal order made in this case, I will sell at public outcry to the highest bidder, before the Court House door in Winnsboro, on the first Monday in December next, three separate tracts or parcels of land, belonging to the estate of Zachariah Crumpton, deceased.
I will also sell, at the same time and place, five or six likely Young Negroes, sold as the property of the said Zachariah Crumpton, deceased, by virtue of the authority aforesaid.
The Terms of sale are as follows, &c. &c.
W. R. Robetson,
Winnsboro, Nov. 8, 1852.
|C. E. F. D.|
Nov 11 30x3
ESTATE SALE OF VALUABLE PROPERTY.
The undersigned, as Administrator of the Estate of Col. T. Randell, deceased, will sell, on Monday the 20th December next, all the personal property belonging to said estate, consisting of
STOCK, CORN, FODDER, ETC. ETC.
Terms of sale, &c. &c.
Samuel J. Randell.
Sep. 2 29x16
The Tri-weekly South Carolinian, published at Columbia, S. C, has this motto:
"Be just and fear not; let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy Country's, thy God's, and Truth's."
In the number dated December 23d, 1852, is found a "Reply of the Women of Virginia to the Women of England." containing this sentiment:
Believe us, we deeply, prayerfully, study God's holy word; we are fully persuaded that our institutions are in accordance with it.
After which, in other columns, come the ten advertisements following:
SHERIFF'S SALES FOR JANUARY 2, 1853.
By virtue of sundry writs of fieri facias, to me directed, will be sold before the Court House in Columbia, within the legal hours, on the first Monday and Tuesday in January next.
Seventy-four acres of Land, more or less, in Richland District, bounded on the north and east by Lorick's, and on the south and west by Thomas Trapp.
Also, Ten Head of Cattle, Twenty-five Head of Hogs, and Two Hundred Bushels of Corn, levied, on as the property of M. A. Wilson, at the suit of Samuel Gardner v. M. A. Wilson.
Seven Negroes, named Grace, Frances, Edmund, Charlotte, Emuline, Thomas and Charles, levied on as the property of Bartholomew Turnipseed, at the suit of A. F. Dubard, J. S. Lever, Bank of the State and others, v. B. Turnipseed.
450 acres of Land, more or less, in Richland District, bounded on the north, &c. &c.
LARGE SALE OF REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY.—ESTATE SALE.
On Monday, the (7th) seventh day of February next, I will sell at Auction, without reserve, at the Plantation, near Linden, all the Horses, Mules, Wagons, Farming Utensils, Corn, Fodder, &c.
And on the following Monday (14th), the fourteenth day of February next, at the Court House, at Linden, in Marengo County, Alabama, I will sell at public auction, without reserve, to the highest bidder,
110 PRIME AND LIKELY NEGROES,
belonging to the Estate of the late John Robinson, of South Carolina.
Among the Negroes are four valuable Carpenters, and a very superior Blacksmith.
NEGROES FOR SALE.
By permission of Peter Wylie, Esq., Ordinary for Chester District, I will sell, at public auction, before the Court House, in Chesterville, on the first Monday in February next,
forty likely negroes,
belonging to the Estate of F. W. Davie.
W. D. DeSaussure, Executor.
Dec. 23. 56†tds.
ESTATE SALE OF FURNITURE, &c., BY J. & L. T. LEVIN.
Will be sold, at our store, on Thursday, the 6th day of January next, all the Household and Kitchen Furniture, belonging to the Estate of B. L. McLaughlin, deceased, consisting in part of
Hair Seat Chairs, Sofas and Rockers, Piano, Mahogany Dining, Tea, and Card Tables; Carpets, Rugs, Andirons, Fenders, Shovel and Tongs, Mantel Ornaments, Clocks, Side Board, Bureaus, Mahogany Bedsteads, Feather Beds and Mattresses, Wash Stands, Curtains, fine Cordial Stand, Glassware, Crockery, and a great variety of articles for family use.
A Negro Man, named Leonard, belonging to same.
At same time, a quantity of New Brick, belonging to Estate of A. S. Johnstone, deceased.
GREAT SALE OF NEGROES AND THE SALUDA FACTORY, BY J. &. L. T. LEVIN.
On Thursday, December 30, at 11 o'clock, will be sold at the Court House in Columbia,
ONE HUNDRED VALUABLE NEGROES.
It is seldom such an opportunity occurs as now offers. Among them are only four beyond 45 years old, and none above 50. There are twenty-five prime young men, between sixteen and thirty; forty of the most likely young women, and as fine a set of children as can be shown!!
Terms, &c. Dec. 18, '52.
NEGROES AT AUCTION.—BY J. & L. T. LEVIN.
Will be sold, on Monday, the 3d January next, at the Court House, at 10 o'clock,
22 LIKELY NEGROES, the larger number of which are young and desirable. Among them are Field Hands, Hostlers and Carriage Drivers, House Servants, &c., and of the following ages; Robinson 40, Elsey 34, Yanaky 13, Sylla 11, Anikee 8, Robinson 6, Candy 3, Infant 9, Thomas 35, Die 38, Amey 18, Eldridge 13, Charles 6, Sarah 60, Baket 50, Mary 18, Betty 16, Guy 12, Tilla 9, Lydia 24, Rachel 4, Scipio 2.
The above Negroes are sold for the purpose of making some other investment of the proceeds; the sale will, therefore, be positive.
Terms.—A credit of one, two, and three years, for notes payable at either of the Banks, with two or more approved endorsers, with interest from date. Purchasers to pay for papers. Dec 8 43
☞ Black River Watchman will copy the above, and forward bill to the auctioneers for payment.
Poor little Scip!
LIKELY AND VALUABLE GIRL, AT PRIVATE SALE.
A LIKELY GIRL, about Seventeen years old (raised in the up-country), a good Nurse and House Servant, can wash and iron, and do plain cooking, and is warranted sound and healthy. She may be seen at our office, where she will remain until sold. Allen & Phillips,
Dec. 15, '49. Auctioneers & Com. Agents.
PLANTATION AND NEGROES FOR SALE.
The subscriber, having located in Columbia, offers for sale his Plantation in St. Matthew's Parish, six miles from the Railroad, containing 1,500 acres, now in a high state of cultivation, with Dwelling House and all necessary Out-buildings.
50 Likely Negroes, with provisions, &c.
The terms will be accommodating. Persons desirous to purchase can call upon the subscriber in Columbia, or on his son at the Plantation.
Dec. 6 41. T. J. Goodwyn.
A LIKELY NEGRO BOY, about twenty-one years old, a good wagoner and field hand. Apply at this office. Dec. 20 52.
Now, it is scarcely possible that a person who has been accustomed to see such advertisements from boyhood, and to pass them over with as much indifference as we pass over advertisements of sofas and chairs for sale, could possibly receive the shock from them which one wholly unaccustomed to such a mode of considering and disposing of human beings would receive. They make no impression upon him. His own family servants, and those of his friends, are not in the market, and he does not realize that any are. Under the advertisements, a hundred such scenes as those described in "Uncle Tom" may have been acting in his very vicinity. When Mr. Dickens drew pictures of the want and wretchedness of London life, perhaps a similar incredulity might have been expressed within the silken curtains of many a brilliant parlor. They had never seen such things, and they had always lived in London. But, for all that, the writings of Dickens awoke in noble and aristocratic bosoms the sense of a common humanity with the lowly, and led them to feel how much misery might exist in their immediate vicinity, of which they were entirely unaware. They have never accused him as a libeller of his country, though he did make manifest much of the suffering, sorrow and abuse, which were in it. The author is led earnestly to entreat that the writer of this very paper would examine the "statistics" of the American internal slave-trade; that he would look over the exchange files of some newspaper, and, for a month or two, endeavor to keep some inventory of the number of human beings, with hearts, hopes and affections, like his own, who are constantly subjected to all the uncertainties and mutations of property relation. The writer is sure that he could not do it long without a generous desire being excited in his bosom to become, not an apologist for, but a reformer of, these institutions of his country.
These papers of South Carolina are not exceptional ones; they may be matched by hundreds of papers from any other state.
Let the reader now stop one minute, and look over again these two weeks' advertisements. This is not novel-writing—this is fact. See these human beings tumbled promiscuously out before the public with horses, mules, second-hand buggies, cotton-seed, bedsteads, &c. &c.; and Christian ladies, in the same newspaper, saying that they prayerfully study God's word, and believe their institutions have his sanction! Does he suppose that here, in these two weeks, there have been no scenes of suffering? Imagine the distress of these families—the nights of anxiety of these mothers and children, wives and husbands, when these sales are about to take place! Imagine the scenes of the sales! A young lady, a friend of the writer, who spent a winter in Carolina, described to her the sale of a woman and her children. When the little girl, seven years of age, was put on the block, she fell into spasms with fear and excitement. She was taken off—recovered and put back—the spasms came back—three times the experiment was tried, and at last the sale of the child was deferred!
See also the following, from Dr. Elwood Harvey, editor of a western paper, to the Pennsylvania Freeman, Dec. 25, 1846.
"We attended a sale of land and other property, near Petersburg, Virginia, and unexpectedly saw slaves sold at public auction. The slaves were told they would not be sold, and were collected in front of the quarters, gazing on the assembled multitude. The land being sold, the auctioneer's loud voice was heard, "Bring up the niggers!" A shade of astonishment and affright passed over their faces, as they stared first at each other, and then at the crowd of purchasers, whose attention was now directed to them. When the horrible truth was revealed to their minds that they were to be sold, and nearest relations and friends parted forever, the effect was indescribably agonizing. Women snatched up their babes, and ran screaming into the huts. Children hid behind the huts and trees, and the men stood in mute despair. The auctioneer stood on the portico of the house, and the "men and boys" were ranging in the yard for inspection. It was announced that no warranty of soundness was given, and purchasers must examine for themselves. A few old men were sold at prices from thirteen to twenty-five dollars, and it was painful to see old men, bowed with years of toil and suffering, stand up to be the jest of brutal tyrants, and to hear them tell their disease and worthlessness, fearing that they would be bought by traders for the southern market.
A white boy, about fifteen years old, was placed on the stand. His hair was brown and straight, his skin exactly the same hue as other white persons and no discernible trace of negro features in his countenance.
Some vulgar jests were passed on his color, and two hundred dollars was bid for him; but the audience said "that it was not enough to begin on for such a likely young nigger." Several remarked that they "would not have him as a gift." Some said a white nigger was more trouble than he was worth. One man said it was wrong to sell white people. I asked him if it was more wrong than to sell black people. He made no reply. Before he was sold, his mother rushed from the house upon the portico, crying, in frantic grief, "My son,! my boy, they will take away my dear——" Here her voice was lost, as she was rudely pushed back and the door closed. The sale was not for a moment interrupted, and none of the crowd appeared to be in the least affected by the scene. The poor boy, afraid to cry before so many strangers, who showed no signs of sympathy or pity, trembled, and wiped the tears from his cheeks with his sleeves. He was sold for about two hundred and fifty dollars. During the sale, the quarters resounded with cries and lamentations that made my heart ache. A woman was next called by name. She gave her infant one wild embrace before leaving it with an old woman, and hastened mechanically to obey the call; but stopped, threw her arms aloft, screamed and was unable to move.
One of my companions touched my shoulder and said, "Come, let us leave here; I can bear no more." We left the ground. The man who drove our carriage from Petersburg had two sons who belonged to the estate—small boys. He obtained a promise that they should not be sold. He was asked if they were his only children; he answered, "All that's left of eight." Three others had been sold to the south, and he would never see or hear from them again.
As Northern people do not see such things, they should hear of them often enough to keep them awake to the sufferings of the victims of their indifference.
Such are the common incidents, not the admitted cruelties, of an institution which people have brought themselves to feel is in accordance with God's word!
Suppose it be conceded now that "the family relation is protected, as far as possible?" The question still arises, How far is it possible? Advertisements of sales to the number of those we have quoted, more or less, appear from week to week in the same papers, in the same neighborhood; and professional traders make it their business to attend them, and buy up victims. Now, if the inhabitants of a given neighborhood charge themselves with the care to see that no families are separated in this whirl of auctioneering, one would fancy that they could have very little else to do. It is a fact, and a most honorable one to our common human nature, that the distress and anguish of these poor, helpless creatures does often raise up for them friends among the generous-hearted. Southern men often go to the extent of their means, and beyond their means, to arrest the cruel operations of trade, and relieve cases of individual distress. There are men at the South who could tell, if they would, how, when they have spent the last dollar that they thought they could afford on one week, they have been importuned by precisely such a case the next, and been unable to meet it. There are masters at the South who could tell, if they would, how they have stood and bid against a trader, to redeem some poor slave of their own, till the bidding was perfectly ruinous, and they have been obliged to give up by sheer necessity. Good-natured auctioneers know very well how they have often been entreated to connive at keeping a poor fellow out of the trader's clutches; and how sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they do not.
The very struggle and effort which generous Southern men make to stop the regular course of trade only shows them the hopelessness of the effort. We fully concede that many of them do as much or more than any of us would do under similar circumstances; and yet they know that what they do amounts, after all, to the merest trifle.
But let us still further reason upon the testimony of advertisements. What is to be understood by the following, of the Memphis Eagle and Inquirer, Saturday, Nov. 13, 1852? Under the editorial motto, "Liberty and Union, now and forever," come the following illustrations:
CASH FOR NEGROES.
500 NEGROES WANTED.
Under the head of advertisements No. 1, let us humbly inquire what "assorted A No. 1 Negroes" means. Is it likely that it means negroes sold in families? What is meant by the invitation, "Call soon if you want to get the first choice"?
So much for Advertisement No. 1. Let us now propound a few questions to the initiated on No. 2. What does Mr. Benjamin Little mean by saying that he "will pay as high a cash price for a few likely young negroes as any trader in the city"? Do families commonly consist exclusively of "likely young negroes"?
On the third advertisement we are also desirous of some information. Messrs. Bolton, Dickins & Co. state that they expect to receive a large lot of Virginia negroes in the fall.
Unfortunate Messrs. Bolton, Dickins & Co.! Do you suppose that Virginia families will sell their negroes? Have you read Mr. J. Thornton Randolph's last novel, and have you not learned that old Virginia families never sell to traders? and, more than that, that they always club together and buy up the negroes that are for sale in their neighborhood, and the traders when they appear on the ground are hustled off with very little ceremony? One would really think that you had got your impressions on the subject from "Uncle Tom's Cabin." For we are told that all who derive their views of slavery from this book "regard the families of slaves as utterly unsettled and vagrant."
But, before we recover from our astonishment on reading this, we take up the Natchez (Mississippi) Courier of Nov. 20th, 1852, and there read:
He has just arrived from Virginia with a very likely lot of Field Men and Women; also, House Servants, three Cooks, and a Carpenter. Call and see.
A fine Buggy Horse, a Saddle Horse and a Carryall, on hand, and for sale.
Thos. G. James.
Natchez, Sept. 28, 1852.
Where in the world did this lucky Mr. Thos. G. James get this likely Virginia "assortment"? Probably in some county which Mr. Thornton Randolph never visited. And had no families been separated to form the assortment? We hear of a lot of field men and women. Where are their children? We hear of a lot of house-servants,—of "three cooks," and "one carpenter," as well as a "fine buggy horse." Had these unfortunate cooks and carpenters no relations? Did no sad natural tears stream down their dark cheeks, when they were being "assorted" for the Natchez market? Does no mournful heart among them yearn to the song of
Still further, we see in the same paper the following:
SLAVES! SLAVES! SLAVES!
Persons wishing to purchase would do well to call on us before making purchases elsewhere, as our regular arrivals will keep us supplied with a good and general assortment. Our terms are liberal. Give us a call.
Griffin & Pullam.
Natchez, Oct. 15, 1852.-6m.
Free Trader and Concordia Intelligencer copy as above.
Indeed! Messrs. Griffin and Pullam, it seems, are equally fortunate! They are having fresh supplies weekly, and are going to keep a large, well-selected stock constantly on hand, to wit, "field-hands, house-servants, mechanics, cooks, seamstresses, washers, ironers, etc."
Let us respectfully inquire what is the process by which a trader acquires a well-selected stock. He goes to Virginia to select. He has had orders, say, for one dozen cooks, for half a dozen carpenters, for so many house-servants, &c. &c. Each one of these individuals have their own ties; besides being cooks, carpenters and house-servants, they are also fathers, mothers, husbands, wives; but what of that? They must be selected—it is an assortment that is wanted. The gentleman who has ordered a cook does not, of course, want her five children; and the planter who has ordered a carpenter does not want the cook, his wife. A carpenter is an expensive article, at any rate, as they cost from a thousand to fifteen hundred dollars; and a man who has to pay out this sum for him cannot always afford himself the luxury of indulging his humanity and as to the children, they must be left in the slave-raising state. For, when the ready-raised article is imported weekly into Natchez or New Orleans, is it likely that the inhabitants will encumber themselves with the labor of raising children? No, there must be division of labor in all well-ordered business. The northern slave states raise the article, and the southern ones consume it.
The extracts have been taken from the papers of the more southern states. If, now, the reader has any curiosity to explore the selecting process in the northern states, the daily prints will further enlighten him. In the Daily Virginian of Nov. 19, 1852, Mr. J. B. McLendon thus announces to the Old Dominion that he has settled himself down to attend to the selecting process:
The subscriber, having located in Lynchburg, is giving the highest cash prices for negroes between the ages of 10 and 30 years. Those having negroes for sale may find it to their interest to call on him at the Washington Hotel, Lynchburg, or address him by letter.
All communications will receive prompt attention.
J. B. McLendon.
Mr. McLendon distinctly announces that he is not going to take any children under ten years of age, nor any grown people over thirty. Likely young negroes are what he is after:—families, of course, never separated!
Again, in the same paper, Mr. Seth Woodroof is desirous of keeping up the recollection in the community that he also is in the market, as it would appear he has been, some time past. He, likewise, wants negroes between ten and thirty years of age; but his views turn rather on mechanics, blacksmiths, and carpenters,—witness his hand:
The subscriber continues in market for Negroes, of both sexes, between the ages of 10 and 30 years, including Mechanics, such as Blacksmiths, Carpenters, and will pay the highest market prices in cash. His office is a newly erected brick building on 1st or Lynch street, immediately in rear of the Farmers' Bank, where he is prepared (having erected buildings with that view) to board negroes sent to Lynchburg for sale or otherwise on as moderate terms, and keep them as secure, as if they were placed in the jail of the Corporation.
aug 26. Seth Woodroof.
There is no manner of doubt that this Mr. Seth Woodroof is a gentleman of humanity, and wishes to avoid the separation of families as much as possible. Doubtless he ardently wishes that all his blacksmiths and carpenters would be considerate, and never have any children under ten years of age; but, if the thoughtless dogs have got them, what's a humane man to do? He has to fill out Mr. This, That, and the Other's order,—that's a clear case; and therefore John and Sam must take their last look at their babies, as Uncle Tom did of his when he stood by the rough trundle-bed and dropped into it great, useless tears. Nay, my friends, don't curse poor Mr. Seth Woodroof, because he does the horrible, loathsome work of tearing up the living human heart, to make twine and shoe-strings for you! It's disagreeable business enough, he will tell you, sometimes; and, if you must have him to do it for you, treat him civilly, and don't pretend that you are any better than he.
But the good trade is not confined to the Old Dominion, by any means. See the following extract from a Tennessee paper, the Nashville Gazette, Nov. 23, 1852, where Mr. A. A. McLean, general agent in this kind of business, thus makes known his wants and intentions:
I want to purchase immediately 25 likely NEGROES,—male and female,—between the ages of 15 and 25 years; for which I will pay the highest price in cash.
A. A. McLean, General Agent,
nov 9 Cherry Street.
Mr. McLean, it seems, only wants those between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five. This advertisement is twice repeated in the same paper, from which fact we may conjecture that the gentleman is very much in earnest in his wants, and entertains rather confident expectations that somebody will be willing to sell. Further, the same gentleman states another want.
I want to purchase, immediately, a Negro man, Carpenter, and will give a good price.
sept 29 A. A. McLean, Gen'l Agent,
Mr. McLean does not advertise for his wife and children, or where this same carpenter is to be sent,—whether to the New Orleans market, or up the Red River, or off to some far bayou of the Mississippi, never to look upon wife or child again. But, again, Mr. McLean in the same paper tells us of another want:
A Wet Nurse. Any price will be given for one of good character, constitution, &c. Apply to
A. A. McLean, Gen'l Agent,
And what is to be done with the baby of this wet nurse? Perhaps, at the moment that Mr. McLean is advertising for her, she is hushing the little thing in her bosom, and thinking, as many another mother has done, that it is about the, prettiest little baby that ever was born; for, singularly enough, even black mothers do fall into this delusion sometimes. No matter for all this,—she is wanted for a wet nurse! Aunt Prue can take her baby, and raise it on corn-cake, and what not. Off with her to Mr. McLean!
See, also, the following advertisement of the good State of Alabama, which shows how the trade is thriving there. Mr. S. N. Brown, in the Advertiser and Gazette, Montgomery, Alabama, holds forth as follows:
NEGROES FOR SALE.
S. N. Brown takes this method of informing his old patrons, and others waiting to purchase Slaves, that he has now on hand, of his own selection and purchasing, a lot of likely young Negroes, consisting of Men, Boys, and Women, Field Hands, and superior House Servants, which he offers and will sell as low as the times will warrant. Office on Market-street, above the Montgomery Hall, at Lindsay's Old Stand, where he intends to keep slaves for sale on his own account, and not on commission,—therefore thinks he can give satisfaction to those who patronize him.
Montgomery, Ala., Sept. 13, 1852. twtf (s)
Where were these boys and girls of Mr, Brown selected, let us ask. How did their fathers and mothers feel when they were "selected"? Emmeline was taken out of one family, and George out of another. The judicious trader has travelled through wide regions of country, leaving in his track wailing and anguish. A little incident, which has recently been the rounds of the papers, may perhaps illustrate some of the scenes he has occasioned:
INCIDENT OF SLAVERY.
A negro woman belonging to Geo. M. Garrison, of Polk Co., killed four of her children, by cutting their throats while they were asleep, on Thursday night, the 2d inst., and then put an end to her own existence by cutting her throat. Her master knows of no cause for the horrid act, unless it be that she heard him speak of selling her and two of her children, and keeping the others.
The uncertainty of the master in this case is edifying. He knows that negroes cannot be expected to have the feelings of cultivated people;—and yet, here is a case where the creature really acts unaccountably, and he can't think of any cause except that he was going to sell her from her children.
But, compose yourself, dear reader; there was no great harm done. These were all poor people's children, and some of them, though not all, were black; and that makes all the difference in the world, you know!
But Mr. Brown is not alone in Montgomery. Mr. J. W. Lindsey wishes to remind the people of his dépôt.
100 NEGROES FOR SALE,
At my depot, on Commerce-street, immediately between the Exchange Hotel and F. M. Gilmer, Jr.'s Warehouse, where I will be receiving, from time to time, large lots of Negroes during the season, and will sell on as accommodating terms as any house in this city. I would respectfully request any old customers and friends to call and examine my stock. Jnr. W. Lindsey.
Montgomery, Nov. 2, 1852.
Mr. Lindsey is going to be receiving, from time to time, all the season, and will sell as cheap as anybody; so there's no fear of the supply's falling off. And, lo! in the same paper, Messrs. Sanders & Foster press their claims also on the public notice.
NEGROES FOR SALE,
The undersigned have bought out the well-known establishment of Eckles & Brown, where they have now on hand a large lot of likely young Negroes, to wit: Men, Women, Boys and Girls, good field-hands. Also, several good House Servants and Mechanics of all kinds. The subscribers intend to keep constantly on hand a large assortment of Negroes, comprising every description. Persons wishing to purchase will find it much to their interest to call and examine previous to buying elsewhere. Sanders & Foster.
Messrs. Sanders & Foster are going to have an assortment also. All their negroes are to be young and likely; the trashy old fathers and mothers are all thrown aside like a heap of pig-weed, after one has been weeding a garden.
Query: Are these Messrs. Sanders & Foster, and J. W. Lindsey. and S. N. Brown, and McLean, and Woodroof, and McLendon, all members of the church, in good and regular standing? Does the question shock you? Why so? Why should they not be? The Rev. Dr. Smylie, of Mississippi, in a document endorsed by two presbyteries, says distinctly that the Bible gives a right to buy and sell slaves.
If the Bible guarantees this right, and sanctions this trade, why should it shock you to see the slave-trader at the communion-table? Do you feel that there is blood on his hands,—the blood of human hearts, which he has torn asunder? Do you shudder when he touches the communion-bread, and when he drinks the cup which "whosoever drinketh unworthily drinketh damnation to himself"? But who makes the trader? Do not you? Do you think that the trader's profession is a healthy one for the soul? Do you think the scenes with which he must be familiar, and the deeds he must do, in order to keep up an assortinent of negroes for your convenience, are such things as Jesus Christ approves? Do you think they tend to promote his growth in grace, and to secure his soul's salvation? Or is it so important for you to have assorted negroes that the traders must not only be turned out of good society in this life, but run the risk of going to hell forever, for your accommodation?
But let us search the Southern papers, and see if we cannot find some evidence of that humanity which avoids the separation of families, as far as possible. In the Argus, published at Weston, Missouri, Nov. 5, 1852, see the following:
A NEGRO FOR SALE,
I wish to sell a black girl about 24 years old, a good cook and washer, handy with a needle, can spin and weave. I wish to sell her in the neighborhood of Camden Point; if not sold there in a short time, I will hunt the best market; or I will trade her for two small ones, a boy and girl.
Considerate Mr. Doyal! He is opposed to the separation of families, and, therefore, wishes to sell this woman in the neighborhood of Camden Point, where her family ties are,—perhaps her husband and children, her brothers, or sisters. He will not separate her from her family if it is possible to avoid it; that is to say, if he can get as much for her without; but, if he can't, he will "hunt the best market." What more would you have of Mr. Doyal?
How speeds the blessed trade in the State of Maryland?—Let us take the Baltimore Sun of Nov. 23, 1852.
Mr. J. S. Donovan thus advertises the Christian public of the accommodations of his jail:
CASH FOR NEGROES.
The undersigned continues, at his old stand, No. 13 Camden St., to pay the highest price for Negroes. Persons bringing Negroes by railroad or steamboat will find it very convenient to secure their Negroes, as my Jail is adjoining the Railroad Depot and near the Steamboat Landings. Negroes received for safe keeping.
J. S. Donovan.
Messrs. B. M. & W. L. Campbell, in the respectable old stand of Slatter. advertise as follows:
We are at all times purchasing Slaves, paying the highest cash prices. Persons wishing to sell will please call at 242 Pratt St. (Slatter's old stand). Communications attended to.
B. M. & W. L. Campbell.
In another column, however, Mr. John Denning has his season advertisement, in terms which border on the sublime:
5000 NEGROES WANTED.
I will pay the highest prices, in cash, for 5000 Negroes, with good titles, slaves for life or for a term of years, in large or small families, or single negroes. I will also purchase Negroes restricted to remain in the State, that sustain good characters. Families never separated. Persons having Slaves for sale will please call and see me, as I am always in the market with the cash. Communications promptly attended to, and liberal commissions paid, by John N. Denning, No. 18 S. Frederick street, between Baltimore and Second streets, Baltimore,JMaryland. Trees in front of the house.
Mr. John Denning, also, is a man of humanity. He never separates families. Don't you see it in his advertisement? If a man offers him a wife without her husband, Mr. John Denning won't buy her. O, no! His five thousand are all unbroken families; he never takes any other; and he transports them whole and entire. This is a comfort to reflect upon, certainly.
See, also, the Democrat, published in Cambridge, Maryland, Dec. 8, 1852. A gentleman gives this pictorial representation of himself, with the proclamation to the slave-holders of Dorchester and adjacent counties that he is again in the market:
Mr. Harker is very accommodating. He keeps himself informed as to the state of the southern market, and will give the very highest price that it will justify. Moreover, he will be on hand till July, and will answer any letters from the adjoining country on the subject. On one point he ought to be spoken to. He has not advertised that he does not separate families. It is a mere matter of taste, to be sure; but then some well-disposed people like to see it on a trader's card, thinking it has a more creditable appearance; and, probably, Mr. Harker, if he reflects a little, will put it in next time. It takes up very little room, and makes a good appearance.
We are occasionally reminded, by the advertisements for runaways, to how small an extent it is found possible to avoid the separation of families; as in the Richmond Whig of Nov. 5, 1852:
We are requested by Henry P. Davis to offer a reward of $10 for the apprehension of a negro man named Henry, who ran away from the said Davis' farm near Petersburg, on Thursday, the 27th October. Said slave came from near Lynchburg, Va., purchased of ——— Cock, and has a wife in Halifax county, Va. He has recently been employed on the South Side Railroad. He may be in the neighborhood of his wife.
Pulliam & Davis, Aucts., Richmond.
It seems to strike the advertiser as possible that Henry may be in the neighborhood of his wife. We should not at all wonder if he were.
The reader, by this time, is in possession of some of those statistics of which the South Carolinian speaks, when he says,
We feel confident, if statistics could be had, to throw light upon the subject, we should find that there is less separation of families among the negroes than occurs with almost any other class of persons.
In order to give some little further idea of the extent to which this kind of property is continually changing hands, see the following calculation, which has been made from sixty-four Southern newspapers, taken very much at random. The papers were all published in the last two weeks of the month of November, 1852.
The negroes are advertised sometimes by name, sometimes in definite numbers, and sometimes in "lots," "assortments," and other indefinite terms. We present the result of this estimate, far as it must fall from a fair representation of the facts, in a tabular form.
Here is recorded, in only eleven papers, the sale of eight hundred forty-nine slaves in two weeks in Virginia; the state where Mr. J. Thornton Randolph describes such an event as a separation of families being a thing that "we read of in novels sometimes."
|States where published.||No. of Papers consulted||No. of Negroes advertised.||No. of lots.||No. of Runaways described.|
In South Carolina, where the writer in Fraser's Magazine dates from, we have during these same two weeks a sale of eight hundred and fifty-two recorded by one dozen papers. Verily, we must apply to the newspapers of his state the same language which he applies to "Uncle Tom's Cabin:" "Were our views of the system of slavery to be derived from these papers, we should regard the families of slaves as utterly unsettled and vagrant."
The total, in sixty-four papers, in different states, for only two weeks, is four thousand one hundred, besides ninety-two lots, as they are called.
And now, who is he who compares the hopeless, returnless separation of the negro from his family, to the voluntary separation of the freeman, whom necessary business interest takes for a while from the bosom of his family? Is not the lot of the slave bitter enough, without this last of mockeries and worst of insults? Well may they say, in their anguish, "Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of them that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud!"
From the poor negro, exposed to bitterest separation, the law jealously takes away the power of writing. For him the gulf of separation yawns black and hopeless, with no redeeming signal. Ignorant of geography, he knows not whither he is going, or where he is, or how to direct a letter. To all intents and purposes, it is a separation hopeless as that of death, and as final.
What is it that constitutes the vital force of the institution of slavery in this country? Slavery, being an unnatural and unhealthful condition of society, being a most wasteful and impoverishing mode of cultivating the soil, would speedily run itself out in a community, and become so unprofitable as to fall into disuse, were it not kept alive by some unnatural process.
What has that process been in America? Why has that healing course of nature which cured this awful wound in all the northern states stopped short on Mason & Dixon's line? In Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky, slave labor long ago impoverished the soil almost beyond recovery, and became entirely unprofitable. In all these states ft is well known that the question of emancipation has been urgently presented. It has been diseased in legislatures, and Southern men have poured forth on the institution of slavery such anathemas as only Southern men can pour forth. All that has ever been said of it at the North has been said in four-fold thunders in these Southern discussions. The State of Kentucky once came within one vote, in her legislature, of taking measures for gradual emancipation. The State of Virginia has come almost equally near, and Maryland has long been waiting at the door. There was a time when no one doubted that all these states would soon be free states; and what is now the reason that they are not? Why are these discussions now silenced, and why does this noble determination now retrograde? The answer is in a word. It is the extension of slave territory, the opening of a great southern slave-market, and the organization of a great internal slave-trade, that has arrested the progress of emancipation.
While these states were beginning to look upon the slave as one who might possibly yet become a man, while they meditated giving to him and his wife and children the inestimable blessings of liberty, this great southern slave-mart was opened. It began by the addition of Missouri as slave territory, and the votes of two Northern men were those which decided this great question. Then, by the assent and concurrence of Northern men, came in all the immense acquisition of slave territory which now opens so boundless a market to tempt the avarice and cupidity of the northern slave-raising states.
This acquisition of territory has deferred perhaps for indefinite ages the emancipation of a race. It has condemned to sorrow and heart-breaking separation, to groans and wailings, hundreds of thousands of slave families; it has built, through all the Southern States, slave-warehouses, with all their ghastly furnishings of gags, and thumb-screws, and cowhides; it has organized unnumbered slave-coffles, clanking their chains and filing in mournful march through this land of liberty.
This accession of slave territory hardened the heart of the master. It changed what was before, in comparison, a kindly relation, into the most horrible and inhuman of trades. The planter whose slaves had grown up around him, and whom he had learned to look upon almost as men and women, saw on every sable forehead now nothing but its market value. This man was a thousand dollars, and this eight hundred. The black baby in its mother's arms was a hundred-dollar bill, and nothing more. All those nobler traits of mind and heart which should have made the slave a brother became only so many stamps on his merchandise. Is the slave intelligent?—Good! that raises his price two hundred dollars. Is he conscientious and faithful?—Good! stamp it down in his certificate; it's worth two hundred dollars more. Is he religious? Does that Holy Spirit of God, whose name we mention with reverence and fear, make that despised form His temple?—Let that also be put down in the estimate of his market value, and the gift of the Holy Ghost shall be sold for money. Is he a minister of God?—Nevertheless, he has his price in the market. From the church and from the communion-table the Christian brother and sister are taken to make up the slave-coffle. And woman, with her tenderness, her gentleness, her beauty,—woman, to whom mixed blood of the black and the white have given graces perilous for a slave,—what is her accursed lot, in this dreadful commerce?—The next few chapters will disclose facts on this subject which ought to wring the heart of every Christian mother, if, indeed, she be worthy of that holiest name.
But we will not deal in assertions merely. We have stated the thing to be proved; let us show the facts which prove it.
The existence of this fearful traffic is known to many,—the particulars and dreadful extent of it realized but by few. Let us enter a little more particularly on them. The slave-exporting states are Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Missouri. These are slave-raising states, and the others are slave-consuming states. We have shown, in the preceding chapters, the kind of advertisements which are usual in those states; but, as we wish to produce on the minds of our readers something of the impression which has been produced on our own mind by their multiplicity and abundance, we shall add a few more here. For the State of Virginia, see all the following:
Kanawha Republican, Oct. 20, 1852, Charleston, Va. At the head—Liberty, with a banner, "Drapeau sans Tache."
CASH FOR NEGROES.
The subscriber wishes to purchase a few young NEGROES, from 12 to 25 years of age, for which the highest market price will be paid in cash. A few lines addressed to him through the Post Office, Kanawha C. H., or a personal application, will be promptly attended to. Jas. L. Ficklin.
Oct. 20, '53.—3t
Alexandria Gazette, Oct. 28th:
CASH FOR NEGROES.
I wish to purchase immediately, for the South, any number of NEGROES, from 10 to 30 years of age, for which I will pay the very highest cash price. All communications promptly attended to.
West End, Alexandria, Va., Oct. 26.—tf
Lynchburg Virginian, Nov. 18:
The subscriber, having located in Lynchburg, is giving the highest cash prices for negroes, between the ages of 10 and 30 years. Those having negroes for sale may find it to their interest to call on him at the Washington Hotel, Lynchburg, or address him by letter.
All communications will receive prompt attention. J. B. McLendon.
Rockingham Register, Nov. 13:
CASH FOR NEGROES.
I wish to purchase a number of NEGROES of both sexes and all ages, for the Southern market, for which I will pay the highest cash prices. Letters addressed to me at Winchester, Virginia, will be promptly attended to.
H. J. McDaniel, Agent
Nov. 24, 1846.—tf for Wm. Crow.
Richmond Whig, Nov. 16:
PULLIAM & DAVIS,
AUCTIONEERS FOR THE SALE OF NEGROES.
D. M. Pulliam. Hector Davis.
The subscribers continue to sell Negroes, at their office, on Wall-street. From their experience in the business, they can safely insure the highest prices for all negroes intrusted to their care. They will make sales of negroes in estates, and would say to Commissioners, Executors ami Administrators, that they will make their sales on favorable terms. They are prepared to board and lodge negroes comfortably at 25 cents per day.
NOTICE.—CASH FOR SLAVES.
Those who wish to sell slaves in Buckingham and the adjacent counties in Virginia, by application to Anderson D. Abraham, Sr., or his son, Anderson D. Abraham, Jr., they will find sale, at the highest cash prices, for one hundred and fifty to two hundred slaves. One or the other of the above parties will be found, for the next eight months, at their residence in the aforesaid county and state. Address Anderson D. Abraham, Sr., Maysville Post Office, White Oak Grove, Buckingham County, Va.
Winchester Republican, June 29, 1852:
The subscriber having located himself in Winchester, Va. wishes to purchase a large number of SLAVES of both sexes, for which he will give the highest price in cash. Persons wishing to dispose of Slaves will find it to their advantage to give him a call before selling.
All communications addressed to him at the Taylor Hotel, Winchester, Va., will meet with prompt attention. Elijah McDowel,
Agent for B. M. & Wm. L. Campbell,
Dec. 27, 1851.—ly of Baltimore.
Port Tobacco Times, Oct., '52:
The subscriber is permanently located at Middleville, Charles County (immediately on the road from Port Tobacco to Allen's Fresh), where he will be pleased to buy any Slaves that are for sale. The extreme value will be given at all times, and liberal commissions paid for information leading to a purchase. Apply personally, or by letter addressed to Allen's Fresh, Charles County. John G. Campbell.
Middleville, April 14, 1852.
Cambridge (Md.) Democrat, October 27, 1852:
I vrish to inform the slave-holders of Dorchester and the adjacent counties that I am again in the market. Persons having negroes that are slaves for life to dispose of will find it to their interest to see me before they sell, as I am determined to pay the highest prices in cash that the Southern market will justify. I can be found at A. Hall's Hotel, in Easton, where I will remain until the first day of July next. Communications addressed to me at Easton, or information given to Wm. Bell, in Cambridge, will meet with prompt attention.
I will be at John Bradshaw's Hotel, in Cambridge, every Monday. Wm. Harker.
Oct. 6, 1852.—3m
The Westminster Carroltonian, Oct. 22, 1852.:
25 NEGROES WANTED.
The undersigned wishes to purchase 25 LIKELY YOUNG NEGROES, for which the highest cash prices will be paid. All communications addressed to me in Baltimore will be punctually attended to. Lewis Winters.
For Tennessee the following:
Nashville True Whig, Oct. 20th, '52:
21 likely Negroes, of different ages.
Oct. 6. A. A. McLean, Gen. Agent,
I want to purchase, immediately, a Negro man, Carpenter, and will give a good price.
Oct. 6. A. A. McLean, Gen. Agent,
Nashville Gazette, October 22:
SEVERAL likely girls from 10 to 18 years old. a woman 24, a very valuable woman 25 years old, with three very likely children.
Williams & Glover
Oct. 16th, 1852. a. b. u.
I want to purchase Twenty-five LIKELY NEGROES, between the ages of 18 and 25 years, male and female, for which I will pay the highest price in cash. A. A. McLean.
Oct. 20. Cherry Street.
The Memphis Daily Eagle and Enquirer:
500 NEGROES WANTED.
We will pay the highest cash price for all good negroes offered. We invite all those having negroes for sale to call on us at our mart, opposite the lower steamboat landing. We will also have a large lot of Virginia negroes for sale in the Fall. We have as safe a jail as any in the country, where we can keep negroes safe for those that wish them kept. Bolton, Dickins & Co.
LAND AND NEGROES FOR SALE.
A good bargain will be given in about 400 acres of Land; 200 acres are in a fine state of cultivation, fronting the Railroad about ten miles from Memphis. Together with 18 or 20 likely negroes, consisting of men, women, boys and girls. Good time will be given on a portion of the purchase money. J. M. Provine.
Clarksville Chronicle, Dec. 3, 1852:
We wish to hire 25 good Steam Boat hands for the New Orleans and Louisville trade. We will pay very full prices for the Season, commencing about the 15th November.
McClure & Crozier, Agents
Sept. 10th, 1852.—1m S. B. Bellpoor
The Daily St. Louis Times, October 14. 1852:
On Chesnut, between Sixth and Seventh streets, near the city jail, will pay the highest price in cash for all good negroes offered. There are also other buyers to be found in the office very anxious to purchase, who will pay the highest prices given in cash.
Negroes boarded at the lowest rates.
BLAKELY and McAFEE having dissolved co-partnership by mutual consent, the subscriber will at all times pay the highest cash prices for negroes of every description. Will also attend to the sale of negroes on commission, having a jail and yard fitted up expressly for boarding them.
☞ Negroes for sale at all times.
3 A. B. McAfee, 93 Olive street.
ONE HUNDRED NEGROES WANTED.
Having just returned from Kentucky, I wish to purchase, as soon as possible, one hundred likely negroes, consisting of men, women, boys and girls, for which I will pay at all times from fifty to one hundred dollars on the head more money than any other trading man in the city of St. Louis, or the State of Missouri. I can at all times be found at Barnum's City Hotel, St. Louis, Mo.
jel2d&wly. John Mattingly.
From another St. Louis paper:
I will pay at all times the highest price in cash for all good negroes offered. I am buying for the Memphis and Louisiana markets, and can afford to pay, and will pay, as high as any trading man in this State. All those having negroes to sell will do well to give me a call at No. 210, corner of Sixth and Wash streets, St Louis, Mo.
of the firm of Bolton, Dickins & Co.
ONE HUNDRED NEGROES WANTED.
Having just returned from Kentucky, I wish to purchase one hundred likely Negroes, consisting of men and women, boys and girls, for which I will pay in cash from fifty to one hundred dollars more than any other trading man in the city of St. Louis or the State of Missouri. I can at all times be found at Barnum's City Hotel, St. Louis, Mo. John Mattingly.
B. M. LYNCH,
No. 104 Locust street, St. Louis, Missouri,
Is prepared to pay the highest prices in cash for good and likely negroes, or will furnish boarding for others, in comfortable quarters and under secure fastenings. He will also attend to the sale and purchase of negroes on commission.
☞ Negroes for sale at all times. &w
We ask you, Christian reader, we beg you to think, what sort of scenes are going on in Virginia under these advertisements? You see that they are carefully worded so as to take only the young people; and they are only a specimen of the standing, season advertisements which are among the most common things in the Virginia papers. A succeeding chapter will open to the reader the interior of these slave-prisons, and show him something of the daily incidents of this kind of trade. Now let us look at the corresponding advertisements in the southern states. The coffles made up in Virginia and other states are thus announced in the southern market.
From the Natchez (Mississippi) Free Trader, Nov. 20:
NEGROES FOR SALE.
The undersigned have just arrived, direct from Richmond, Va., with a large and likely lot of Negroes, consisting of Field Hands, House Servants, Seamstresses, Cooks, Washers and Ironers, a first-rate brick mason, and other mechanics, which they now offer for sale at the Forks of the Road, near Natchez (Miss.), on the most accommodating terms.
They will continue to receive fresh supplies from Richmond, Va., during the season, and will be able to furnish to any order any description of Negroes sold in Richmond.
Persons wishing to purchase would do well to give us a call before purchasing elsewhere.
nov20-6m Matthews, Branton & Co.
To The Public.
NEGROES BOUGHT AND SOLD.
Robert S. Adams & Moses J. Wicks have this day associated themselves under the name and style of Adams &, Wicks, for the purpose of buying and selling Negroes, in the city of Aberdeen, and elsewhere. They have an Agent who has been purchasing Negroes for them in the Old States for the last two months. One of the firm, Robert S. Adams, leaves this day for North Carolina and Virginia, and will buy a large number of negroes for this market. They will keep at their depot in Aberdeen, during the coming fall and winter, a large lot of choice Negroes, which they will sell low for cash, or for bills on Mobile.
Robert S. Adams,
Moses J. Wicks.
Aberdeen, Miss., May 7th, 1852.
SLAVES! SLAVES! SLAVES!
Fresh arrivals weekly.—Having established ourselves at the Forks of the Road, near Natchez, for a term of years, we have now on hand, and intend to keep throughout the entire year, a large and well-selected stock of Negroes, consisting of field-hands, house servants, mechanics, cooks, seamstresses, washers, ironers, etc., which we can sell and will sell as low or lower than any other house here or in New Orleans.
Persons wishing to purchase would do well to call on us before making purchases elsewhere, as our regular arrivals will keep us supplied with a good and general assortment. Our terms are liberal. Give us a call.
Griffin & Pullum.
Natchez, Oct. 16, 1852. 6m
NEGROES FOR SALE.
I have just returned to my stand, at the Forks of the Road, with fifty likely young NEGROES for sale. R. H. Elam.
The undersigned would respectfully state to the public that he has leased the stand in the Forks of the Road, near Natchez, for a term of years, and that he intends to keep a large lot of NEGROES on hand during the year. He will sell as low, or lower, than any other trader at this place or in New Orleans. He has just arrived from Virginia, with a very likely lot of field men and women and house servants, three cooks, a carpenter and a fine buggy horse, and a saddle-horse and carryall. Call and see. Thos. G. James,
Daily Orleanian, Oct. 19, 1852:
W. F. TANNEHILL,
No. 159 Gravier Street.
SLAVES! SLAVES! SLAVES!
Constantly on hand, bought and sold on commission, at most reasonable prices,—Field hands, cooks, washers and ironers, and general house servants. City reference given, if required.
DE LA NOUVELLE-ORLEANS.
No. 68, Rue Baronne.
Wm. F. Tannehill & Co. ont constamment en mains un assortiment complet d'esclaves bien choisis a vendre. Aussi, vente et achat d'esclaves par commission.
Nous avons actuellement en mains un grand nombre de negres à louer aux mois, parmi lesquels e trouvent des jeunes garcons, domestiques de maison, cuisinières, blanchisseuses et repasseuses, nourices, etc.
Wright, Williams & Co. Moon, Titus & Co.
Williams, Phillips & Co. S. O. Nelson & Co.
Moses Greenwood. E. W. Diggs. 3ms
New Orleans Daily Crescent, Oct. 21, 1852:
James White, No. 73 Baronne street. New Orleans, will give strict attention to receiving, boarding and selling SLAVES consigned to him. He will also buy and sell on commission. References: Messrs. Robson & Allen, McRea, Coffman & Co., Pregram, Bryan & Co. sep 23
Fifteen or twenty good Negro Men wanted to go on a Plantation. The best of wages will be given until the first of January, 1853.
Apply to Thomas G. Mackey & Co.,
5 Canal street, corner of Magazine,
sep11 up stairs.
From another number of the Mississippi Free Trader is taken the following:
The undersigned would respectfully state to the public that he has a lot of about forty-five now on hand, having this day received a lot of twenty-five direct from Virginia, two or three good cooks, a carriage driver, a good house boy, a fiddler, a fine seamstress and a likely lot of field men and women; all of whom he will sell at a small profit. He wishes to close out and go on to Virginia after a lot for the fall trade. Call and see.
Thomas G. James.
The slave-raising business of the northern states has been variously alluded to and recognized, both in the business statistics of the states, and occasionally in the speeches of patriotic men, who have justly mourned over it as a degradation to their country. In 1841, the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society addressed to the executive committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society some inquiries on the internal American slave-trade.
A labored investigation was made at that time, the results of which were published in London; and from that volume are made the following extracts:
The Virginia Times (a weekly newspaper, published at Wheeling, Virginia) estimates, in 1836, the number of slaves exported for sale from that state alone, during "the twelve months preceding," at forty thousand, the aggregate value of whom is computed at twenty-four millions of dollars.
Allowing for Virginia one-half of the whole exportation during the period in question, and we have the appalling sum total of eighty thousand slaves exported in a single year from the breeding states. We cannot decide with certainty what proportion of the above number was furnished by each of the breeding states, but Maryland ranks next to Virginia in point of numbers. North Carolina follows Maryland, Kentucky North Carolina, then Tennessee and Delaware.
The Natchez (Mississippi) Courier says "that the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, imported two hundred and fifty thousand slaves from the more northern states in the year 1836."
This seems absolutely incredible, but it probably includes all the slaves introduced by the immigration of their masters. The following, from the Virginia Times, confirms this supposition. In the same paragraph which is referred to under the second query, it is said:
"We have heard intelligent men estimate the number of slaves exported from Virginia, within the last twelve months, at a hundred and twenty thousand, each slave averaging at least six hundred dollars, making an aggregate of seventy-two million dollars. Of the number of slaves exported, not more than one-third have been sold; the others having been carried by their masters, who have removed."
Assuming one-third to be the proportion of the sold, there are more than eighty thousand imported for sale into the four States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. Supposing one-half of eighty thousand to be sold into the other buying states,—S. Carolina, Georgia, and the territory of Florida,—and we are brought to the conclusion that more than a hundred and twenty thousand slaves were, for some years previous to the great pecuniary pressure in 1837, exported from the breeding to the consuming states.
The Baltimore American gives the following from a Mississippi paper of 1837:
"The report made by the committee of the citizens of Mobile, appointed at their meeting held on the 1st instant; on the subject of the existing pecuniary pressure, states that so large has been the return of slave labor, that purchases by Alabama of that species of property from other states, since 1833, have amounted to about ten million dollars annually."
"Dealing in slaves," says the Baltimore (Maryland) Register of 1829, has become a large business; establishments are made in several places in Maryland and Virginia, at which they are sold like cattle. These places of deposit are strongly built, and well supplied with iron thumbscrews and gags, and ornamented with cowskins and other whips, oftentimes bloody."
Professor Dew, now President of the University of William and Mary, in Virginia, in his review of the debate in the Virginia legislature in 1831—2, says (p. 120):
"A full equivalent being left in the place of the slave (the purchase-money), this emigration becomes an advantage to the state, and does not check the black population as much as at first view we might imagine; because it furnishes every inducement to the master to attend to the negroes, to encourage breeding, and to cause the greatest number possible to be raised." Again: "Virginia is, in fact, a negro-raising state for the other slates."
Mr. Goode,of Virginia, in his speech before the Virginia legislature, in January, 1832, said:
"The superior usefulness of the slaves in the South will constitute an effectual demand, which will remove them from our limits. We shall send them from our state, because it will be our interest to do so. But gentlemen are alarmed lest the markets of other states be closed against the introduction of our slaves. Sir, the demand for slave labor must increase," &c.
In the debates of the Virginia Convention, in 1829, Judge Upshur said:
"The value of slaves as an article of property depends much on the state of the market abroad. In this view, it is the value of land abroad, and not of land here, which furnishes the ratio. Nothing is more fluctuating than the value of slaves. A late law of Louisiana reduced their value twenty-five per cent, in two hours after its passage was known. If it should be our lot, as I trust it will be, to acquire the country of Texas, their price will rise again."
Hon. Philip Doddridge, of Virginia, in his speech in the Virginia Convention, in 1829 (Debates p. 89), said:
"The acquisition of Texas will greatly enhance the value of the property in question (Virginia slaves)."
Rev. Dr. Graham, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, at a Colonization meeting held at that place in the fall of 1837, said:
"There were nearly seven thousand slaves offered in New Orleans market, last winter. From Virginia alone six thousand were annually sent to the South, and from Virginia and North Carolina there had gone to the South, in the last twenty years, three hundred thousand slaves."
Hon. Henry Clay, of Kentucky, in his speech before the Colonization Society, in 1829, says:
"It is believed that nowhere in the farming portion of the United States would slave labor be generally employed, if the proprietor were not tempted to raise slaves by the high price of the southern markets, which keeps it up in his own."
The New York Journal of Commerce of October 12th, 1835, contains a letter from a Virginian, whom the editor calls "a very good and sensible man," asserting that twenty thousand slaves had been driven to the South from Virginia that year, but little more than three-fourths of which had then elapsed.
Mr. Gholson, of Virginia, in his speech in the legislature of that state, January 18, 1831 (see Richmond Whig), says:
"It has always (perhaps erroneously) been considered, by steady and old-fashioned people, that the owner of land had a reasonable right to its annual profits; the owner of orchards to their annual fruits; the owner of brood mares to their product; and the owner of female slaves to their increase. We have not the fine-spun intelligence nor legal acumen to discover the technical distinctions drawn by gentlemen (that is, the distinction between female slaves and brood mares). The legal maxim of partus sequitur ventrem is coëval with the existence of the right of property itself, and is founded in wisdom and justice. It is on the justice and inviolability of this maxim that the master foregoes the service of the female slave, has her nursed and attended during the period of her gestation, and raises the helpless infant offspring. The value of the property justifies the expense, and I do not hesitate to say that in its increase consists much of our wealth."
Can any comment on the state of public sentiment produced by slavery equal the simple reading of this extract, if we remember that it was spoken in the Virginia legislature? One would think the cold cheek of Washington would redden in its grave for shame, that his native state had sunk so low. That there were Virginian hearts to feel this disgrace is evident from the following reply of Mr. Faulkner to Mr. Gholson, in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1832. See Richmond Whig:
"But he (Mr. Gholson) has labored to show that the abolition of slavery would be impolitic, because your slaves constitute the entire wealth of the state, all the productive capacity Virginia possesses; and, sir, as things are, I believe he is correct. He says that the slaves constitute the entire available wealth of Eastern Virginia. Is it true that for two hundred years the only increase in the wealth and resources of Virginia has been a remnant of the natural increase of this miserable race? Can it be that on this increase she places her sole dependence? Until I heard these declarations, I had not fully conceived the horrible extent of this evil. These gentlemen state the fact, which the history and present aspect of the commonwealth but too well sustain. What, sir! have you lived for two hundred years without personal effort or productive industry, in extravagance and indolence, sustained alone by the return from the sales of the increase of slaves, and retaining merely such a number as your now impoverished lands can sustain as stock?"
Mr. Thomas Jefferson Randolph in the Virginia legislature used the following language (Liberty Bell, p. 20):
"I agree with gentlemen in the necessity of arming the state for internal defence. I will unite with them in any effort to restore confidence to the public mind, and to conduce to the sense of the safety of our wives and our children. Yet, sir, I must ask upon whom is to fall the burden of this defence? Not upon the lordly masters of their hundred slaves, who will never turn out except to retire with their families when danger threatens. No, sir; it is to fall upon the less wealthy class of our citizens, chiefly upon the non-slaveholder. I have known patrols turned out where there was not a slave-holder among them; and this is the practice of the country. I have slept in times of alarm quiet in bed, without having a thought of care, while these individuals, owning none of this property themselves, were patrolling under a compulsory process, for a pittance of seventy-five cents per twelve hours, the very curtilage of my house, and guarding that property which was alike dangerous to them and myself. After all, this is but an expedient. As this population becomes more numerous, it becomes less productive. Your guard must be increased, until finally its profits will not pay for the expense of its subjection. Slavery has the effect of lessening the free population of a country.
"The gentleman has spoken of the increase of the female slaves being a part of the profit. It is admitted; but no great evil can be averted, no good attained, without some inconvenience. It may be questioned how far it is desirable to foster and encourage this branch of profit. It is a practice, and an increasing practice, in parts of Virginia, to rear slaves for market. How can an honorable mind, a patriot, and a lover of his country, bear to see this Ancient Dominion, rendered illustrious by the noble devotion and patriotism of her sons in the cause of liberty, converted into one grand menagerie, where men are to reared for the market, like oxen for the shambles? Is it better, is it not worse, than the slave-trade;—that trade which enlisted the labor of the good and wise of every creed, and every clime, to abolish it? The trader receives the slave, a stranger in language, aspect and manners, from the merchant who has brought him from the interior. The ties of father, mother, husband and child, have all been rent in twain; before he receives him, his soul has become callous. But here, sir, individuals whom the master has known from infancy, whom he has seen sporting in the innocent gambols of childhood, who have been accustomed to look to him for protection, he tears from the mother's arms, and sells into a strange country, among strange people, subject to cruel taskmasters.
"He has attempted to justify slavery here because it exists in Africa, and has stated that it exists all over the world. Upon the same principle, he could justify Mahometanism, with its plurality of wives, petty wars for plunder, robbery and murder, or any other of the abominations and enormities of savage tribes. Does slavery exist in any part of civilized Europe?—No sir, in no part of it."
The calculations in the volume from which we have been quoting were made in the year 1841. Since that time, the area of the southern slave-market has been doubled, and the trade has undergone a proportional increase. Southern papers are full of its advertisements. It is, in fact, the great trade of the country. From the single port of Baltimore, in the last two years, a thousand and thirty-three slaves have been shipped to the southern market, as is apparent from the following report of the custom-house officer:
|Date.||Denomina's||Names of Vessels.||Where Bound.||Nos.|
|Jan. 6||Sloop,||Georgia,||Norfolk, Va.||16|
|Feb. 6||"||E. H. Chapin,||"||31|
|" 8||"||Sarah Bridge,||"||34|
|"24||Schooner,||H. A. Barting,||New Orleans.||37|
|Mar. 10||Ship,||Edward Everett,||New Orleans.||20|
|Apr. 1||Sloop,||Herald,||Norfolk, Va.||7|
|" 2||Brig,||Waverley,||New Orleans.||31|
|"18||Sloop,||Baltimore,||Arquia Creek, Va.||4|
|June 10||Sloop,||Herald,||Norfolk, Va.||3|
|July 19||Schooner,||Aurora, S.,||Charleston.||5|
|Sept. 6||Bark,||Kirkwood||New Orleans.||2|
|Oct. 4||"||Abbett Lord,||"||1|
|Oct. 20||Sloop,||Georgia,||Norfolk, Va.||1|
|Nov. 13||Ship,||Eliza F. Mason,||New Orleans.||57|
|"18||Schooner,||H. A. Bartling||"||45|
|Feb. 7||Ship,"||Nathan Hooper,||"||51|
|" 4||"||Jewess,||Norfolk, Va.||34|
|"25||Bark,||Abbott Lord,||New Orleans.||36|
|"6||"||Maryland,||Arquia Creek, Va.||4|
|Sept. 14||"||North Carolina,||Norfolk, Va.||15|
|"29||"||H. M. Gambrill,||Savannah.||11|
|Nov. 1||Ship,||Jane Henderson,||New Orleans.||18|
If we look back to the advertisements, we shall see that the traders take only the younger ones, between the ages of ten and thirty. But this is only one port, and only one mode of exporting; for multitudes of them are sent in coffles over land; and yet Mr. J, Thornton Randolph represents the negroes of Virginia as living in pastoral security, smoking their pipes under their own vines and fig-trees, the venerable patriarch of the flock declaring that "he nebber hab hear such a ting as a nigger sold to Georgia all his life, unless dat nigger did someting very bad."
An affecting picture of the consequences of this traffic upon both master and slave is drawn by the committee of the volume from which we have quoted.
The writer cannot conclude this chapter better than by the language which they have used.
This system bears with extreme severity upon the slave. It subjects him to a perpetual fear of being sold to the "soul-driver," which to the slave is the realization of all conceivable woes and horrors, more dreaded than death. An awful apprehension of this fate haunts the poor sufferer by day and by night, from his cradle to his grave. Suspense hangs like a thunder-cloud over his head. He knows that there is not a passing hour, whether he wakes or sleeps, which may not be the last that he shall spend with his wife and children. Every day or week some acquaintance is snatched from his side, and thus the consciousness of his own danger is kept continually awake. "Surely my turn will come next," is his harrowing conviction; for he knows that he was reared for this, as the ox for the yoke, or the sheep for the slaughter. In this aspect, the slave's condition is truly indescribable. Suspense, even when it relates to an event of no great moment, and "endureth but for a night," is hard to bear. But when it broods over all, absolutely all that is dear, chilling the present with its deep shade, and casting its awful gloom over the future, it must break the heart! Such is the suspense under which every slave in the breeding states lives. It poisons all his little lot of bliss. If a father, he cannot go forth to his toil without bidding a mental farewell to his wife and children. He cannot return, weary and worn, from the field, with any certainty that he shall not find his home robbed and desolate. Nor can he seek his bed of straw and rags without the frightful misgiving that his wife may be torn from his arms before morning. Should a white stranger approach his master's mansion, he fears that the soul-driver has come, and awaits in terror the overseer's mandate, "You are sold; follow that man." There is no being on earth whom the slaves of the breeding states regard with so much horror as the trader. He is to them what the prowling kidnapper is to their less wretched brethren in the wilds of Africa. The master knows this, and that there is no punishment so effectual to secure labor, or deter from misconduct, as the threat of being delivered to the soul-driver.
Another consequence of this system is the prevalence of licentiousness. This is indeed one of the foul features of slavery everywhere; but it is especially prevalent and indiscriminate where slave-breeding is conducted as a business. It grows directly out of the system, and is inseparable from it. * * * The pecuniary inducement to general pollution must be very strong, since the larger the slave increase the greater the master's gains, and especially since the mixed blood demands a considerably higher price than the pure black.
The remainder of the extract contains specifications too dreadful to be quoted. We can only refer the reader to the volume, p. 13.
The poets of America, true to the holy soul of their divine art, have shed over some of the horrid realities of this trade the pathetic light of poetry. Longfellow and Whittier have told us, in verses beautiful as strung pearls, yet sorrowful as a mother's tears, some of the incidents of this unnatural and ghastly traffic. For the sake of a common humanity, let us hope that the first extract describes no common event.
THE QUADROON GIRL.
The Slaver in the broad lagoon
Lay moored with idle sail;
He waited for the rising moon,
And for the evening gale.
Under the shore his boat was tied
And all her listless crew
Watched the gray alligator slide
Into the still bayou.
Odors of orange-flowers and spice
Reached them, from time to time.
Like airs that breathe from Paradise
Upon a world of crime.
The Planter, under his roof of thatch.
Smoked thoughtfully and slow;
The Slaver's thumb was on the latch,
He seemed in haste to go.
He said, "My ship at anchor rides
In yonder broad lagoon;
I only wait the evening tides,
And the rising of the moon."
Before them, with her face upraised,
In timid attitude,
Like one half curious, half amazed,
A Quadroon maiden stood.
Her eyes were large, and full of light,
Her arms and neck were bare;
No garment she wore, save a kirtle bright.
And her own long raven hair.
And on her lips there played a smile
As holy, meek, and faint.
As lights in some cathedral aisle
The features of a saint.
"The soil is barren, the farm is old,"
The thoughtful Planter said;
Then looked upon the Slaver's gold.
And then upon the maid.
His heart within him was at strife
With such accursed gains;
For he knew whose passions gave her life.
Whose blood ran in her veins.
But the voice of nature was too weak;
He took the glittering gold!
Then pale as death grew the maiden's cheek.
Her hands as icy cold.
The Slaver led her from the door.
He led her by the hand,
To be his slave and paramour
In a strange and distant land!
BY A VIRGINIA SLAVE MOTHER TO HER DAUGHTERS, SOLD INTO SOUTHERN BONDAGE.
Gone, gone,—sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
Where the slave-whip ceaseless swings.
Where the noisome insect stings.
Where the fever demon strews
Poison with the falling dews.
Where the sickly sunbeams glare
Through the hot and misty air,—
Gone, gone,—sold and gone.
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
From Virginia's hills and waters,—
Woe is me, my stolen daughters!
Gone, gone,—sold and gone.
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
There no mother's eye is near them.
There no mother's ear can hear them;
Never, when the torturing lash
Seams their back with many a gash,
Shall a mother's kindness bless them,
Or a mother's arms caress them.
Gone, gone, &c.
Gone, gone,—sold and gone.
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
O, when weary, sad, and slow,
From the fields at night they go.
Faint with toil, and racked with pain.
To their cheerless homes again,—
There no brother's voice shall greet them,
There no father's welcome meet them.
Gone, gone, &c.
Gone, gone,—sold and gone.
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
From the tree whose shadow lay
On their childhood's place of play;
From the cool spring where they drank;
Rock, and hill, and rivulet bank;
From the solemn house of prayer.
And the holy counsels there,—
Gone, gone, &c.
Gone, gone,—sold and gone.
To the rice-swamp dank and lone;
Toiling through the weary day.
And at night the spoiler's prey.
O, that they had earlier died.
Sleeping calmly, side by side.
Where the tyrant's power is o'er.
And the fetter galls no more!
Gone, gone, &c.
Gone, gone,—sold and gone.
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
By the holy love He beareth.
By the bruised reed He spareth,
O, may He, to whom alone
All their cruel wrongs are known.
Still their hope and refuge prove.
With a more than mother's love
Gone, gone, &c.
John G. Whittier.
The following extract from a letter of Dr. Bailey, in the Era, 1847, presents a view of this subject more creditable to some Virginia families. May the number that refuse to part with slaves except by emancipation increase!
The sale of slaves to the south is carried to a great extent. The slave-holders do not, so far as I can learn, raise them for that special purpose. But, here is a man with a score of slaves, located on an exhausted plantation. It must furnish support for all; but, while they increase, its capacity of supply decreases. The result is, he must emancipate or sell. But he has fallen into debt, and he sells to relieve himself from debt, and also from an excess of mouths. Or, he requires money to educate his children; or, his negroes are sold under execution. From these and other causes, large numbers of slaves are continually disappearing from the state, so that the next census will undoubtedly show a marked diminution of the slave population.
The season for this trade is generally from November to April; and some estimate that the average number of slaves passing by the southern railroad weekly, during that period of six months, is at least two hundred. A slave-trader told me that he had known one hundred pass in a single night. But this is only one route. Large numbers are sent off westwardly, and also by sea, coastwise. The Davises, in Petersburg, are the great slave-dealers. They are Jews, who came to that place many years ago as poor pedlers; and, I am informed, are members of a family which has its representatives in Philadelphia, New York, &c.! These men are always in the market, giving the highest price for slaves. During the summer and fall they buy them up at low prices, trim, shave, wash them, fatten them so that they may look sleek, and sell them to great profit. It might not be unprofitable to inquire how much Northern capital, and what firms in some of the Northern cities, are connected with this detestable business.
There are many planters here who cannot be persuaded to sell their slaves. They have far more than they can find work for, and could at any time obtain a high price for them. The temptation is strong, for they want more money and fewer dependants. But they resist it, and nothing can induce them to part with a single slave, though they know that they would be greatly the gainers in a pecuniary sense, were they to sell one-half of them. Such men are too good to be slave-holders. Would that they might see it their duty to go one step further, and become emancipators! The majority of this class of planters are religious men, and this is the class to which generally are to be referred the various cases of emancipation by will, of which from time to time we hear accounts.
SELECT INCIDENTS OF LAWFUL TRADE, OR FACTS STRANGER THAN FICTION.
The atrocious and sacrilegious system of breeding human beings for sale, and trading them like cattle in the market, fails to produce the impression on the mind that it ought to produce, because it is lost in generalities.
It is like the account of a great battle, in which we learn, in round numbers, that ten thousand were killed and wounded, and throw the paper' by without a thought. So, when we read of sixty or eighty thousand human beings being raised yearly and sold in the market, it passes through our mind, but leaves no definite trace.
Sterne says that when he would realize the miseries of captivity, he had to turn his mind from the idea of hundreds of thousands languishing in dungeons, and bring before himself the picture of one poor, solitary captive pining in his cell. In like manner, we cannot give any idea of the horribly cruel and demoralizing effect of this trade, except by presenting facts in detail, each fact being a specimen of a class of facts.
For a specimen of the public sentiment and the kind of morals and manners which this breeding and trading system produces, both in slaves and in their owners, the writer gives the following extracts from a recent letter of a friend in one of the Southern States.
Dear Mrs. S:—The sable goddess who presides over our bod and wash-stand is such a queer specimen of her race, that I would give a good deal to have you see her. Her whole appearance, as she goes giggling and curtseying about, is perfectly comical, and would lead a stranger to think her really deficient in intellect. This is, however, by no means the case. During our two months' acquaintance with her, we have seen many indications of sterling good sense, that would do credit to many a white person with ten times her advantages. She is disposed to be very communicative;—seems to feel that she has a claim upon our sympathy, in the very fact that we come from the North; and we could undoubtedly gain no little knowledge of the practical workings of the "peculiar institution," if we thought proper to hold any protracted conversation with her. This, however, would insure a visit from the authorities, requesting us to leave town in the next train of cars; so we are forced to content ourselves with gleaning a few items, now and then, taking care to appear quite indifferent to her story, and to cut it short by despatching her on some trifling errand;—being equally careful, however, to note down her peculiar expressions, as soon as she has disppeared. A copy of these I have thought you would like to see, especially as illustrating the views of the marriage institution which is a necessary result of the great human property relation system.
A Southern lady, who thinks "negro sentiment" very much exaggerated in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," assures us that domestic attachments cannot be very strong, where one man will have two or three wives and families, on as many different plantations.(!) And the lady of our hotel tells us of her cook having received a message from her husband, that he has another wife, and she may find another husband, with perfect indifference; simply expressing a hope that "she won't find another here during the next month, as she must then be sent to her owner, in Georgia, and would be more unwilling to go." And yet, both of these ladies are quite religious, and highly resent any insinuation that the moral character of the slaves is not far above that of the free negroes at the North.
With Violet's story, I will also enclose that of one of our waiters; in which, I think, you will be interested.
Violet's father and mother both died, as she says, "'fore I had any sense," leaving eleven children—all scattered. "To sabe my life. Missis, couldn't tell dis yer night where one of dem is. Massa lib in Charleston. My first husband,—when we was young,—nice man; he had seven children; den he sold off to Florida—neber hear from him 'gain. Ole folks die. O, dat's be my boderation, Missis,—when ole people be dead, den we be scattered all 'bout. Den I sold up here—now hab 'noder husband—hab four children up here. I lib bery easy when my young husband 'libe—and we had children bery fast. But now dese yer ones tight fellers. Massa don't 'low us to raise noting; no pig—no goat—no dog—no noting; won't allow us raise a bit of corn. We has to do jist de best we can. Dey don't gib us a single grain but jist two homespun frocks—no coat 'tall.
"Can't go to meetin, 'cause. Missis, get dis work done—den get dinner. In summer, I goes ebery Sunday ebening; but dese yer short days, time done get dinner dishes washed, den time get supper. Gen'lly goes Baptist church."
"Do your people usually go there?"
"Dere bees tree shares ob dem—Methodist gang. Baptist gang, 'Piscopal gang. Last summer, use to hab right smart meetins in our yard, Sunday night. Massa Johnson preach to us. Den he said couldn't hab two meetins—we might go to church."
"Gracious knows. I lubs to go to meetin allers—'specially when dere's good preaching—lubs to hab people talk good to me—likes to hab people read to me, too. 'Cause don't b'long to church, no reason why I shan't."
"Does your master like to have others read to you?"
"He won't hinder—I an't bound tell him when folks reads to me. I hab my soul to sabe—he hab his soul to sabe. Our owners won't stand few minutes and read to us—dey tink it too great honor—dey's bery hard on us. Brack preachers sometimes talk good to us, and pray wid us,—and pray a heap for dem too.
"I jest done hab great quarrel wid Dinah, down in de kitchen. I tells Dinah, 'De way you goes on spile all de women's character.'—She say she didn't care, she do what she please wid herself. Dinah, she slip away somehow from her first husband, and hab 'noder child by Sambo (he b'long to Massa D.); so she and her first husband dey fall out somehow. Dese yer men, yer know, is so queer, Missis, dey don't neber like sich tings.
"Ye know. Missis, tings we lub, we don't like hab anybody else hab 'cm. Such a ting as dat. Missis, tetch your heart so, ef you don't mind, 't will fret you almost to death. Ef my husband was to slip away from me, Missis, dat ar way, it ud wake me right up. I'm brack, but I wouldn't do so to my husband, neider. What I hide behind de curtain now, I can't hide it behind de curtain when I stand before God—de whole world know it den.
"Dinah's (second) husband say what she do for her first husband noting to him;—now, my husband don't feel so. He say he wouldn't do as Daniel do—he wouldn't buy tings for de oder children—dem as has de children might buy de tings for dem. Well, so dere dey is.—Dinah's first husband come up wheneber he can, to see his children,—and Sambo, he come up to see his child, and gib Dinah tings for it.
"You know, Missis, Massa hab no nigger but me and one yellow girl, when he bought me and my four children. Well, den Massa, he want me to breed; so he say, 'Violet, you must take some nigger here in C.'
"Den I say, 'No, Massa, I can't take any here.' Den he say, 'You must, Violet;' 'cause you see he want me breed for him; so he say plenty young fellers here, but I say I can't hab any ob dem. Well, den, Missis, he go down Virginia, and he bring up two niggers,—and dey was pretty ole men,—and Missis say, 'One of dem's for you, Violet;' but I say, 'No, Missis, I can't take one of dem, 'cause I don't lub 'em, and I can't hab one I don't lub.' Den Massa, he say, 'You must take one of dese—and den, ef you can't lub him, you must find somebody else you can lub.' Den I say, 'O, no, Massa! I can't do dat—I can't hab one ebery day.' Well, den, by-and-by, Massa he buy tree more, and den Missis say, 'Now, Violet, ones dem is for you.' I say, 'I do' no—maybe I can't lub one dem neider;' but she say, 'You must hab one ob dese.' Weil, so Sam and I we lib along two year—he watchin my ways, and I watchin his ways.
"At last, one night, we was standin' by de wood-pile togeder, and de moon bery shine, and I do'no how 't was. Missis, he answer me, he wan't a wife, but he didn't know where he get one. I say, plenty girls in G. He say, 'Yes—but maybe I shan't find any I like so well as you.' Den I say maybe he wouldn't like my ways, 'cause I'se an ole woman, and I hab four children by my first husband; and anybody marry me, must be jest kind to dem children as dey was to me, else I couldn't lub him. Den he say, 'Ef he had a woman 't had children,'—mind you, he did n't say me,—'he would be jest as kind to de children as he was to de moder, and dat's 'cordin to how she do by him.' Well, so we went on from one ting to anoder, till at last we say we'd take one anoder, and so we've libed togeder eber since—and I's had four children by him—and he neber slip away from me, nor I from him."
"How are you married in your yard?"
"We jest takes one anoder—we asks de white folks' leave—and den takes one anoder. Some folks, dey's married by de book; but den, what's de use? Dere's my fus husband, we'se married by de book, and he sold way off to Florida, and I's here. Dey wants to do what dey please wid us, so dey don't want us to be married. Dey don't care what we does, so we jest makes money for dem.
"My fus husband,—he young, and he bery kind to me,—O, Missis, he bery kind indeed. He set up all night and work, so as to make me comfortable. O, we got 'long bery well when I had him; but he sold way off Florida, and, sence then, Missis, I jest gone to noting. Dese yer white people dey hab here, dey won't 'low us noting—noting at all—jest gibs us food, and two suits a year—a broad stripe and a narrow stripe; you'll see 'em, Missis."—
And we did "see 'em;" for Violet brought us the "narrow stripe," with a request that we would fit it for her. There was just enough to cover her, but no hooks and eyes, cotton, or even lining; these extras she must get as she can; and yet her master receives from our host eight dollars per month for her services. We asked how she got the "broad stripe" made up.
"O, Missis, my husband,—he working now out on de farm,—so he hab 'lowance four pounds bacon and one peck of meal ebery week; so he stinge heself, so as to gib me four pounds bacon to pay for making my frock." [Query.—Are there any husbands in refined circles who would do more than this?]
Once, finding us all three busily writing, Violet stood for some moments silently watching the mysterious motion of our pens, and then, in a tone of deepest sadness, said,
"O! dat be great comfort. Missis. You can write to your friends all 'bout ebery ting, and so hab dem write to you. Our people can't do so. Wheder dey be 'live or dead, we can't neber know—only sometimes we hears dey be dead."
What more expressive comment on the cruel laws that forbid the slave to be taught to write!
The history of the serving-man is thus given:
George's father and mother belonged to somebody in Florida. During the war, two older sisters got on board an English vessel, and went to Halifax. His mother was very anxious to go with them, and take the whole family; but her husband persuaded her to wait until the next ship sailed, when he thought he should be able to go too. By this delay opportunity of escape was lost, and the whole family were soon after sold for debt. George, one sister, and their mother, were bought by the same man. He says, "My old boss cry powerful when she (the mother) die; say he'd rather lost two thousand dollars. She was part Indian—hair straight as yourn—and she was white as dat ar pillow." George married a woman in another yard. He gave this reason for it: "'Cause, when a man sees his wife 'bused, he can't help feelin' it. When he hears his wife's 'bused, 't an't like as how it is when he sees it. Then I can fadge for her better than when she's in my own yard." This wife was sold up country, but after some years became "lame and sick—couldn't do much—so her massa gabe her her time, and paid her fare to G."—[The sick and infirm are always provided for, you know.]—"Hadn't seen her for tree years," said George; "but soon as I heard of it, went right down,—hired a house, and got some one to take care ob her,—and used to go to see her ebery tree months." He is a mechanic, and worked sometimes all night to earn money to do this. His master asks twenty dollars per month for his services, and allows him fifty cents per week for clothes, etc. J. says, if he could only save, by working nights, money enough to buy himself, he would get some one he could trust to buy him; "den work hard as eber, till I could buy my children, den I'd get away from dis yer."—
"O! Philadelphia—New York—somewhere North."
"Why, you'd freeze to death."
"O, no. Missis! I can bear cold. I want to go where I can belong to myself, and do as I want to."
The following communication has been given to the writer by Captain Austin Bearse, ship-master in Boston. Mr. Bearse is a native of Barnstable, Cape Cod. He is well known to our Boston citizens and merchants.
I am a native of the State of Massachusetts. Between the years 1818 and 1830 I was, from time to time, mate on board of different vessels engaged in the coasting trade on the coast of South Carolina.
It is well known that many New England vessels are in the habit of spending their winters on the southern coast in pursuit of this business. Our vessels used to run up the rivers for the rough rice and cotton of the plantations, which we took to Charleston.
We often carried gangs of slaves to the plantations, as they had been ordered. These slaves were generally collected by slave-traders in the slave-pens in Charleston,—brought there by various causes, such as the death of owners and the division of estates, which threw them into the market. Some were sent as punishment for insubordination, or because the domestic establishment was too large, or because persons moving to the North or West preferred selling their slaves to the trouble of carrying them. We had on board our vessels, from time to time, numbers of these slaves,—sometimes two or three, and sometimes as high as seventy or eighty. They were separated from their families and connections with as little concern as calves and pigs are selected out of a lot of domestic animals.
Our vessels used to lie in a place called Poor Man's Hole, not far from the city. We used to allow the relations and friends of the slaves to come on board and stay all night with their friends, before the vessel sailed.
In the morning it used to be my business to pull off the hatches and warn them that it was time to separate; and the shrieks and heart-rending cries at these times were enough to make anybody's heart ache.
In the year 1828, while mate of the brig Milton, from Boston, bound to New Orleans, the following incident occurred, which I shall never forget:
The traders brought on board four quadroon men in handcuffs, to be stowed away for the New Orleans market. An old negro woman, more than eighty years of age, came screaming after them, "My son, O, my son, my son!" She seemed almost frantic, and when we had got more than a mile out in the harbor we heard her screaming yet.
When we got into the Gulf Stream, I came to the men, and took off their handcuffs. They were resolute fellows, and they told me that I would see that they would never live to be slaves in New Orleans. One of the men was a carpenter, and one a blacksmith. We brought them into New Orleans, and consigned them over to the agent. The agent told the captain afterwards that in forty-eight hours after they came to New Orleans they were all dead men, having every one killed themselves, as they said they should. One of them, I know, was bought for a fireman on the steamer Post Boy, that went down to the Balize. He jumped over, and was drowned.
The others,—one was sold to a blacksmith, and one to a carpenter. The particulars of their death I didn't know, only that the agent told the captain that they were all dead.
There was a plantation at Coosahatchie, back of Charleston, S. C, kept by a widow lady, who owned eighty negroes. She sent to Charleston, and bought a quadroon girl, very nearly white, for her son. We carried her up. She was more delicate than our other slaves, so that she was not put with them, but was carried up in the cabin.
I have been on the rice-plantations on the rivet, and seen the cultivation of the rice. In the fall of the year, the plantation hands, both men and women, work all the time above their knees in water in the rice-ditches, pulling out the grass, to fit the ground for sowing the rice. Hands sold here from the city, having been bred mostly to house-labor, find this very severe. The plantations are so deadly that white people cannot remain on them during the summer-time, except at a risk of life. The proprietors and their families are there only through the winter, and the slaves are left in the summer entirely under the care of the overseers. Such overseers as I saw were generally a brutal, gambling, drinking set.
I have seen slavery, in the course of my wanderings, in almost all the countries in the world. I have been to Algiers, and seen slavery there. I have seen slavery in Smyrna, among the Turks. I was in Smyrna when our American consul ransomed a beautiful Greek girl in the slave-market. I saw her come aboard the brig Suffolk, when she came on board to be sent to America for her education. I have seen slavery in the Spanish and French ports, though I have not been on their plantations.
My opinion is that American slavery, as I have seen it in the internal slave-trade, as I have seen it on the rice and sugar plantations, and in the city of New Orleans, is full as bad as slavery in any country of the world, heathen or Christian. People who go for visits or pleasure through the Southern States cannot possibly know those things which can be seen of slavery by ship-masters who run up into the back plantations of countries, and who transport the slaves and produce of plantations.
In my past days the system of slavery was not much discussed. I saw these things as others did, without interference. Because I no longer think it right to see these things in silence, I trade no more south of Mason & Dixon's line.
The following account was given to the writer by Lewis Hayden. Hayden was a fugitive slave, who escaped from Kentucky by the assistance of a young lady named Delia Webster, and a man named Calvin Fairbanks. Both were imprisoned. Lewis Hayden has earned his own character as a free citizen of Boston, where he can find an abundance of vouchers for his character.
I belonged to the Rev. Adam Runkin, a Presbyterian minister in Lexington, Kentucky.
My mother was of mixed blood,—white and Indian. She married my father when he was working in a bagging factory near by. After a while my father's owner moved off and took my father with him, which broke up the marriage. She was a very handsome woman. My master kept a large dairy, and she was the milk-woman. Lexington was a small town in those days, and the dairy was in the town. Back of the college was the Masonic lodge. A man who belonged to the lodge saw my mother when she was about her work. He made proposals of a base nature to her. When she would have nothing to say to him, he told her that she need not be so independent, for if money could buy her he would have her. My mother told old mistress, and begged that master might not sell her. But he did sell her. My mother had a high spirit, being part Indian. She would not consent to live with this man, as he wished; and he sent her to prison, and had her flogged, and punished her in various ways, so that at last she began to have crazy turns. When I read in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" about Cassy, it put me in mind of my mother, and I wanted to tell Mrs. S—— about her. She tried to kill herself several times, once with a knife and once by hanging. She had long, straight black hair, but after this it all turned white, like an old person's. When she had her raving turns she always talked about her children. The jailer told the owner that if he would let her go to her children, perhaps she would get quiet. They let her out one time, and she came to the place where we were. I might have been seven or eight years old,—don't know my age exactly. I was not at home when she came. I came in and found her in one of the cabins near the kitchen. She sprung and caught my arms, and seemed going to break them, and then said, "I'll fix you so they'll never get you!" I screamed, for I thought she was going to kill me; they came in and took me away. They tied her, and carried her off. Sometimes, when she was in her right mind, she used to tell me what things they had done to her. At last her owner sold her, for a small sum, to a man named Lackey. While with him she had another husband and several children. After a while this husband either died or was sold, I do not remember which. The man then sold her to another person, named Bryant. My own father's owner now came and lived in the neighborhood of this man, and brought my mother with him. He had had another wife and family of children where he had been living. He and my mother came together again, and finished their days together. My mother almost recovered her mind in her last days.
I never saw anything in Kentucky which made me suppose that ministers or professors of religion considered it any more wrong to separate the families of slaves by sale than to separate any domestic animals.
There may be ministers and professors of religion who think it is wrong, but I never met with them. My master was a minister, and yet he sold my mother, as I have related.
When he was going to leave Kentucky for Pennsylvania, he sold all my brothers and sisters at auction. I stood by and saw them sold. When I was just going up on to the block, he swapped me off for a pair of carriage-horses. I looked at those horses with strange feelings. I had indulged hopes that master would take me into Pennsylvania with him, and I should get free. How I looked at those horses, and walked round them, and thought for them I was sold!
It was commonly reported that my master had said in the pulpit that there was no more harm in separating a family of slaves than a litter of pigs. I did not hear him say it, and so cannot say whether this is true or not.
It may seem strange, but it is a fact,—I had more sympathy and kind advice, in my efforts to get my freedom, from gamblers and such sort of men, than Christians. Some of the gamblers were very kind to me:
I never knew a slave-trader that did not seem to think, in his heart, that the trade was a bad one. I knew a great many of them, such as Neal, McAnn, Cobb, Stone, Pulliam and Davis, &c. They were like Haley,—they meant to repent when they got through.
Intelligent colored people in my circle of acquaintance, as a general thing, felt no security whatever for their family ties. Some, it is true, who belonged to rich families, felt some security, but those of us who looked deeper, and knew how many were not rich that seemed so, and saw how fast money slipped away, were always miserable. The trader was all around, the slave-pens at hand, and we did not know what time any of us might be in it. Then there were the rice-swamps, and the sugar and cotton plantations; we had had them held before us as terrors, by our masters and mistresses, all our lives. We knew about them all; and when a friend was carried off, why, it was the same as death, for we could not write or hear, and never expected to see them again.
I have one child who is buried in Kentucky, and that grave is pleasant to think of. I've got another that is sold nobody knows where, and that I never can bear to think of. Lewis Hayden.
The next history is a long one, and part of it transpired in a most public manner, in the face of our whole community.
The history includes in it the whole account of that memorable capture of the Pearl, which produced such a sensation in Washington in the year 1848. The author, however, will preface it with a short history of a slave woman who had six children embarked in that ill-fated enterprise.
Milly Edmondson is an aged woman, now upwards of seventy. She has received the slave's inheritance of entire ignorance. She cannot read a letter of a book, nor write her own name; but the writer must say that she was never so impressed with any presentation of the Christian religion as that which was made to her in the language and appearance of this woman during the few interviews that she had with her. The circumstances of the interviews will be detailed at length in the course of the story.
Milly is above the middle height, of a large, full figure. She dresses with the greatest attention to neatness. A plain Methodist cap shades her face, and the plain white Methodist handkerchief is folded across the bosom. A well-preserved stuff gown, and clean white apron, with a white pocket-handkerchief pinned to her side, completes the inventory of the costume in which the writer usually saw her. She is a mulatto, and must once have been a very handsome one. Her eyes and smile are still uncommonly beautiful, but there are deep-wrought lines of patient sorrow and weary endurance on her face, which tell that this lovely and noble-hearted woman has been all her life a slave.
Milly Edmondson was kept by her owners and allowed to live with her husband, with the express understanding and agreement that her service and value was to consist in breeding up her own children to be sold in the slave-market. Her legal owner was a maiden lady of feeble capacity, who was set aside by the decision of court as incompetent to manage her affairs.
The estate—that is to say, Milly Edmondson and her children—was placed in the care of a guardian. It appears that Milly's poor, infirm mistress was fond of her, and that Milly exercised over her much of that ascendency which a strong mind holds over a weak one. Milly's husband, Paul Edmondson was a free man. A little of her history, as she related it to the writer, will now be given in her own words:
"Her mistress," she said, "was always kind to her 'poor thing!' but then she hadn't sperit ever to speak for herself, and her friends wouldn't let her have her own way. It always laid on my mind," she said, "that I was a slave. When I wan't more than fourteen years old, Missis was doing some work one day that she thought she couldn't trust me with, and she says to me, 'Milly, now you see it's I that am the slave, and not you.' I says to her, 'Ah, Missis, I am a poor slave, for all that.' I's sorry afterwards I said it, for I thought it seemed to hurt her feelings.
"Well, after a while, when I got engaged to Paul, I loved Paul very much; but I thought it wan't right to bring children into the world to be slaves, and I told our folks that I was never going to marry, though I did love Paul. But that wan't to be allowed," she said, with a mysterious air.
"What do you mean?" said I.
"Well, they told me I must marry, or I should be turned out of the church—so it was," she added, with a significant nod.—"Well, Paul and me, we was married, and we was happy enough, if it hadn't been for that; but when our first child was born I says to him, 'There 'tis, now, Paul, our troubles is begun; this child isn't ours.' And every child I had, it grew worse and worse. 'O, Paul,' says I, 'what a thing it is to have children that isn't ours!' Paul he says to me, 'Milly. my dear, if they be God's children, it an't so much matter whether they be ours or no; they may be heirs of the kingdom, Milly, for all that.' Well, when Paul's mistress died, she set him free, and he got him a little place out about fourteen miles from Washington; and they let me live out there with him, and take home my tasks; for they had that confidence in me that they always know'd that what I said I'd do was as good done as if they'd seen it done. I had mostly sewing; sometimes a shirt to make in a day,—it was coarse like, you know,—or a pair of sheets, or some such; but whatever 'twas, I always got it done. Then I had all my house-work and babies to take care of; and many's the time, after ten o'clock, I've took my children's clothes and washed 'em all out and ironed 'em late in the night, 'cause I couldn't never bear to see my children dirty,—always wanted to see 'em sweet and clean, and I brought 'em up and taught 'em the very best ways I was able. But nobody knows what I suffered; I never see a white man come on to the place that I didn't think, 'There, now, he's coming to look at my children;' and when I saw any white man going by, I've called in my children and hid 'em, for fear he'd see 'em and want to buy 'em. O, ma'am, mine's been a long sorrow, a long sorrow! I've borne this heavy cross a great many years."
"But," said I, "the Lord has been with you."
She answered, with very strong emphasis, "Ma'am, if the Lord hadn't held me up, I shouldn't have been alive this day. O, sometimes my heart's been so heavy, it seemed as if I must die; and then I've been to the throne of grace, and when I'd poured out all my sorrows there, I came away light, and felt that I could live a little longer."
This language is exactly her own. She had often a forcible and peculiarly beautiful manner of expressing herself, which impressed what she said strongly.
Paul and Milly Edmondson were both devout communicants in the Methodist Episcopal Church at Washington, and the testimony to their blamelessness of life and the consistence of their piety is unanimous from all who know them. In their simple cottage, made respectable by neatness and order, and hallowed by morning and evening prayer, they trained up their children, to the best of their poor ability, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, to be sold in the slave-market. They thought themselves only too happy, as one after another arrived at the age when they were to be sold, that they were hired to families in their vicinity, and not thrown into the trader's pen to be drafted for the dreaded southern market!
The mother, feeling, with a constant but repressed anguish, the weary burden of slavery which lay upon her, was accustomed, as she told the writer, thus to warn her daughters:
"Now, girls, don't you never come to the sorrows that I have. Don't you never marry till you get your liberty. Don't you marry, to be mothers to children that ar't your own."
As a result of this education, some of her older daughters, in connection with the young men to whom they were engaged, raised the sum necessary to pay for their freedom before they were married. One of these young women, at the time that she paid for her freedom, was in such feeble health that the physician told her that she could not live many months, and advised her to keep the money, and apply it to making herself as comfortable as she could.
She answered, "If I had only two hours to live, I would pay down that money to die free."
If this was setting an extravagant value on liberty, it is not for an American to say so.
All the sons and daughters of this family were distinguished both for their physical and mental developments, and therefore were priced exceedingly high in the market. The whole family, rated by the market prices which have been paid for certain members of it, might be estimated as an estate of fifteen thousand dollars. They were distinguished for intelligence, honesty and faithfulness, but above all for the most devoted attachment to each other. These children, thus intelligent, were all held as slaves in the city of Washington, the very capital where our national government is conducted. Of course, the high estimate which their own mother taught them to place upon liberty was in the way of being constantly strengthened and reinforced by such addresses, celebrations and speeches, on the subject of liberty, as every one knows are constantly being made, on one occasion or another, in our national capital.
On the 13th day of April, the little schooner Pearl, commanded by Daniel Drayton, came to anchor in the Potomac river, at Washington.
The news had just arrived of a revolution in France, and the establishment of a democratic government, and all Washington was turning out to celebrate the triumph of Liberty.
The trees in the avenue were fancifully hung with many-colored lanterns,—drums beat, bands of music played, the houses of the President and other high officials were illuminated, and men, women and children, were all turned out to see the procession, and to join in the shouts of liberty that rent the air. Of course, all the slaves of the city, lively, fanciful and sympathetic, most excitable as they are by music and by dazzling spectacles, were everywhere listening, seeing, and rejoicing, in ignorant joy. All the heads of department, senators, representatives, and dignitaries of all kinds, marched in procession to an open space on Pennsylvania Avenue, and there delivered congratulatory addresses on the progress of universal freedom. With unheard-of imprudence, the most earnest defenders of slave-holding institutions poured down on the listening crowd, both of black and white, bond and free, the most inflammatory and incendiary sentiments. Such, for example, as the following language of Hon. Frederick P. Stanton, of Tennessee:
"We do not, indeed, propagate our principles with the sword of power; but there is one sense in which we are propagandists. We cannot help being so. Our example is contagious. In the section of this great country where I live, on the banks of the mighty Mississippi river, we have the true emblem of the tree of liberty. There you may see the giant cotton-wood spreading his branches widely to the winds of heaven. Sometimes the current lays bare his roots, and you behold them extending far around, and penetrating to an immense depth in the soil. When the season of maturity comes, the air is filled with a cotton-like substance, which floats in every direction, bearing on its light wings the living seeds of the mighty tree. Thus the seeds of freedom have emanated from the tree of our liberties. They fill the air. They are wafted to every part of the habitable globe. And even in the barren sands of tyranny they are destined to take root. The tree of liberty will spring up everywhere, and nations shall recline in its shade.
Senator Foote, of Mississippi, also, used this language:
Such has been the extraordinary course of events in France, and in Europe, within the last two months, that the more deliberately we survey the scene which has been spread out before us, and the more rigidly we scrutinize the conduct of its actors, the more confident does our conviction become that the glorious work which has been so well begun cannot possibly fail of complete accomplishment; that the age of tyrants and slavery is rapidly drawing to a close; and that the happy period to be signalized by the universal emancipation of man from the fetters of civil oppression, and the recognition in all countries of the great principles of popular sovereignty, equality, and brotherhood, is, at this moment, visibly commencing.
Will any one be surprised, after this, that seventy-seven of the most intelligent young slaves, male and female, in Washington city, honestly taking Mr. Foote and his brother senators at their word, and believing that the age of tyrants and slavery was drawing to a close, banded together, and made an effort to obtain their part in this reign of universal brotherhood?
The schooner Pearl was lying in the harbor, and Captain Drayton was found to have the heart of a man. Perhaps he, too, had listened to the addresses on Pennsylvania Avenue, and thought, in the innocence of his heart, that a man who really did something to promote universal emancipation was no worse than the men who only made speeches about it.
At any rate, Drayton was persuaded to allow these seventy-seven slaves to secrete themselves in the hold of his vessel, and among them were six children of Paul and Milly Edmondson. The incidents of the rest of the narrative will now be given as obtained from Mary and Emily Edmondson, by the lady in whose family they have been placed by the writer for an education.
Some few preliminaries may be necessary, in order to understand the account.
A respectable colored man, by the name of Daniel Bell, who had purchased his ovn freedom, resided in the city of Washington. His wife, with her eight children, were set free by her master, when on his death-bed. The heirs endeavored to break the will, on the ground that he was not of sound mind at the time of its preparation. The magistrate, however, before whom it was executed, by his own personal knowledge of the competence of the man at the time, was enabled to defeat their purpose;—the family, therefore, lived as free for some years. On the death of this magistrate, the heirs again brought the ease into court, and, as it seemed likely to be decided against the family, they resolved to secure their legal rights by flight, and engaged passage on board the vessel of Captain Drayton. Many of their associates and friends, stirred up, perhaps, by the recent demonstrations in favor of liberty, begged leave to accompany them, in their flight. The seeds of the cotton-wood were flying everywhere, and springing up in all hearts; so that, on the eventful evening of the 15th of April, 1848, not less than seventy-seven men, women and children, with beating hearts, and anxious secrecy, stowed themselves away in the hold of the little schooner, and Captain Drayton was so wicked that he could not, for the life of him, say "Nay" to one of them.
Richard Edmondson had long sought to buy his liberty; had toiled for it early and late; but the price set upon him was so high that he despaired of ever earning it. On this evening, he and his three brothers thought, as the reign of universal brotherhood had begun, and the reign of tyrants and slavery come to an end, that they would take to themselves and their sisters that sacred gift of liberty, which all Washington had been informed, two evenings before, it was the peculiar province of America to give to all nations. Their two sisters, aged sixteen and fourteen, were hired out in families in the city. On this evening Samuel Edmondson called at the house where Emily lived, and told her of the projected plan.
"But what will mother think?" said Emily.
"Don't stop to think of her; she would rather we'd be free than to spend time to talk about her."
"Well, then, if Mary will go, I will."
The girls give as a reason for wishing to escape, that though they had never suffered hardships or been treated unkindly, yet they knew they were liable at any time to be sold into rigorous bondage, and separated far from all they loved.
They then all went on board the Pearl, which was lying a little way off from the place where vessels usually anchor. There they found a company of slaves, seventy-seven in number.
At twelve o'clock at night the silent wings of the little schooner were spread, and with her weight of fear and mystery she glided out into the stream. A fresh breeze sprang up, and by eleven o'clock next night they had sailed two hundred miles from Washington, and began to think that liberty was gained. They anchored in a place called Cornfield Harbor, intending to wait for daylight. All laid down to sleep in peaceful security, lulled by the gentle rock of the vessel and the rippling of the waters. But at two o'clock at night they were roused by terrible noises on deck, scuffling, screaming, swearing and groaning. A steamer had pursued and overtaken them, and the little schooner was boarded by an infuriated set of armed men. In a moment, the captain, mate and all the crew, were seized and bound, amid oaths and dreadful threats. As they, swearing and yelling, tore open the hatches on the defenceless prisoners below, Richard Edmondson stepped forward, and in a calm voice said to them, "Gentlemen, do yourselves no harm, for we are all here." With this exception, all was still among the slaves as despair could make it; not a word was spoken in the whole company. The men were all bound and placed on board the steamer; the women were left on board the schooner, to be towed after. The explanation of their capture was this: In the morning after they had sailed, many families in Washington found their slaves missing, and the event created as great an excitement as the emancipation of France had, two days before. At that time they had listened in the most complacent manner to the announcement that the reign of slavery was near its close, because they had not the slightest idea that the language meant anything; and they were utterly confounded by this practical application of it. More than a hundred men, mounted upon horses, determined to push out into the country, in pursuit of these new disciples of the doctrine of universal emancipation. Here a colored man, by the name of Judson Diggs, betrayed the whole plot. He had been provoked, because, after having taken a poor woman, with her luggage, down to the boat, she was unable to pay the twenty-five cents that he demanded. So he told these admirers of universal brotherhood that they need not ride into the country, as their slaves had sailed down the river, and were far enough off by this time. A steamer was immediately manned by two hundred armed men, and away they went in pursuit.
When the cortege arrived with the captured slaves, there was a most furious excitement in the city. The men were driven through the streets bound with ropes, two and two. Showers of taunts and jeers rained upon them from all sides. One man asked one of the girls if she "didn't feel pretty to be caught running away," and another asked her "if she wasn't sorry." She answered, "No, if it was to do again to-morrow, she would do the same." The man turned to a bystander and said, "Han't she got good spunk?"
But the most vehement excitement was against Drayton and Sayres, the captain and mate of the vessel. Ruffians armed with dirk-knives and pistols crowded around them, with the most horrid threats. One of them struck so near Drayton as to cut his ear, which Emily noticed as bleeding. Meanwhile there mingled in the crowd multitudes of the relatives of the captives, who, looking on them as so many doomed victims, bewailed and lamented them. A brother-in-law of the Edmondsons was so overcome when he saw them that he fainted away and fell down in the street, and was carried home insensible. The sorrowful news spread to the cottage of Paul and Milly Edmondson; and. knowing that all their children were now probably doomed to the southern market, they gave themselves up to sorrow. "O! what a day that was!" said the old mother when describing that scene to the writer, "Never a morsel of anything could I put into my mouth. Paul and me we fasted and prayed before the Lord, night and day, for our poor children."
The whole public sentiment of the community was roused to the most intense indignation. It was repeated from mouth to mouth that they had been kindly treated and never abused; and what could have induced them to try to get their liberty? All that Mr. Stanton had said of the insensible influence of American institutions, and all his pretty similes about the cotton-wood seeds, seemed entirely to have escaped the memory of the community, and they could see nothing, but the most unheard-of depravity in the attempt of these people to secure freedom. It was strenuously advised by many that their owners should not forgive them,—that no mercy should be shown, but that they should be thrown into the hands of the traders, forthwith, for the southern market,—that Siberia of the irresponsible despots of America.
When all the prisoners were lodged in jail, the owners came to make oath to their property, and the property also was required to make oath to their owners. Among them came the married sisters of Mary and Emily, but were not allowed to enter the prison. The girls looked through the upon grates of the third-story windows, and saw their sisters \standing below in the yard weeping.
The guardian of the Edmondsons, who acted in the place of the real owner, apparently touched with their sorrow, promised their family and friends, who were anxious to purchase them, if possible, that they should have an opportunity the next morning. Perhaps he intended at the time to give them one; but. as Bruin and Hill, the keepers of the large slave warehouse in Alexandria, offered him four thousand five hundred dollars for the six children, they were irrevocably sold before the next morning. Bruin would listen to no terms which any of their friends could propose. The lady with whom Mary had lived offered a thousand dollars for her; but Bruin refused, saying he could get double that sum in the New Orleans market. He said he had had his eye upon the family for twelve years, and had the promise of them should they ever be sold.
While the girls remained in the prison they had no beds or chairs, and only one blanket each, though the nights were chilly; but, understanding that the rooms below, where their brothers were confined, were still colder, and that no blankets were given them, they sent their own down to them. In the morning they were allowed to go down into the yard for a few moments; and then they used to run to the window of their brothers' room, to bid them good-morning, and kiss them through the grate.
At ten o'clock, Thursday night, the brothers were handcuffed, and, with their sisters, taken into carriages by their new owners, driven to Alexandria, and put into a prison called a Georgia Pen. The girls were put into a large room alone, in total darkness, without bed or blanket, where they spent the night in sobs and tears, in utter ignorance of their brothers' fate. At eight o'clock in the morning they were called to breakfast, when, to their great comfort, they found their four brothers all in the same prison.
They remained here about four weeks, being usually permitted by day to stay below with their brothers, and at night to return to their own rooms. Their brothers had great anxieties about them, fearing they would be sold south. Samuel, in particular, felt very sadly, as he had been the principal actor in getting them away. He often said he would gladly die for them, if that would save them from the fate he feared. He used to weep a great deal, though he endeavored to restrain his tears in their presence.
While in the slave-prison they were required to wash for thirteen men, though their brothers performed a great share of the labor. Before they left, their size and height were measured by their owners. At length they were again taken out, the brothers handcuffed, and all put on board a steamboat, where were about forty slaves, mostly men, and taken to Baltimore. The voyage occupied one day and a night. When arrived in Baltimore, they were thrown into a slave-pen kept by a partner of Bruin and Hill. He was a man of coarse habits, constantly using the most profane language, and grossly obscene and insulting in his remarks to women. Here they were forbidden to pray together, as they had previously been accustomed to do. But, by rising very early in the morning, they secured to themselves a little interval which they could employ, uninterrupted, in this manner. They, with four or five other women in the prison, used to meet together, before daybreak, to spread their sorrows before the Refuge of the afflicted; and in these prayers the hard-hearted slave-dealer was daily remembered. The brothers of Mary and Emily were very gentle and tender in their treatment of their sisters, which had an influence upon other men in their company.
At this place they became acquainted with Aunt Rachel, a most godly woman, about middle age, who had been sold into the prison away from her husband. The poor husband used often to come to the prison and beg the trader to sell her to his owners, who he thought were willing to purchase her, if the price was not too high. But he was driven off with brutal threats and curses. They remained in Baltimore about three weeks.
The friends in Washington, though hitherto unsuccessful in their efforts to redeem the family, were still exerting themselves in their behalf; and one evening a message was received from them by telegraph, stating that a person would arrive in the morning train of cars prepared to bargain for the family, and that a part of the money was now ready. But the trader was inexorable, and in the morning, an hour before the cars were to arrive, they were all put on board the brig Union, ready to sail for New Orleans. The messenger came, and brought nine hundred dollars in money, the gift of a grandson of John Jacob Astor. This was finally appropriated to the ransom of Richard Edmondson, as his wife and children were said to be suffering in Washington; and the trader would not sell the girls to them upon any consideration, nor would he even suffer Richard to be brought back from the brig, which had not yet sailed. The bargain was, however, made, and the money deposited in Baltimore.
On this brig the eleven women were put in one small apartment, and the thirty or forty men in an adjoining one. Emily was very sea-sick most of the time, and her brothers feared she would die. They used to come and carry her out on deck and back again, buy little comforts for their sisters, and take all possible care of them.
Frequently head winds blew them back, so that they made very slow progress; and in their prayer-meetings, which they held every night, they used to pray that head winds might blow them to New York; and one of the sailors declared that if they could get within one hundred miles of New York, and the slaves would stand by him, he would make way with the captain, and pilot them into New York himself.
When they arrived near Key West, they hoisted a signal for a pilot, the captain being aware of the dangers of the place, and yet not knowing how to avoid them. As the pilot-boat approached, the slaves were all fastened below, and a heavy canvas thrown over the grated hatchway door, which entirely excluded all circulation of air, and almost produced suffocation. The captain and pilot had a long talk about the price, and some altercation ensued, the captain not being willing to give the price demanded by the pilot; during which time there was great suffering below. The women became so exhausted that they were mostly helpless; and the situation of the men was not much better, though they managed with a stick to break some holes through the canvas on their side, so as to let in a little air, but a few only of the strongest could get there to enjoy it. Some of them shouted for help as long as their strength would permit; and at length, after what seemed to them an almost interminable interview, the pilot left, refusing to assist them; the canvas was removed, and the brig obliged to turn tack, and take another course. Then, one after another, as they got air and strength, crawled out on deck. Mary and Emily were carried out by their brothers as soon as they were able to do it.
Soon after this the stock of provisions ran low, and the water failed, so that the slaves were restricted to a gill a day. The sailors were allowed a quart each, and often gave a pint of it to one of the Edmondsons for their sisters; and they divided it with the other women, as they always did every nice thing they got in such ways.
The day they arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi a terrible storm arose, and the waves rolled mountain high, so that, when the pilot-boat approached, it would sometimes seem to be entirely swallowed by the waves, and again it would emerge, and again appear wholly buried. At length they were towed into and up the river by a steamer, and there, for the first time, saw cotton plantations, and gangs of slaves at work on them.
They arrived at New Orleans in the night, and about ten the next day were landed and marched to what they called the show-rooms, and, going out into the yard, saw a great many men and women sitting around, with such sad faces that Emily soon began to cry, upon which an overseer stepped up and struck her on the chin, and bade her "stop crying, or he would give her something to cry about." Then pointing, he told her "there was the calaboose, where they whipped those who did not behave themselves!" As soon as he turned away, a slave-woman came and told her to look cheerful, if she possibly could, as it would be far better for her. One of her brothers soon came to inquire what the woman had been saying to her; and when informed, encouraged Emily to follow the advice, and endeavored to profit by it himself.
That night all the four brothers had their hair cut close, their mustaches shaved off, and their usual clothing exchanged for a blue jacket and pants, all of which so altered their appearance that at first their sisters did not know them. Then, for three successive days, they were all obliged to stand in an open porch fronting the street, for passers by to look at, except, when one was tired out, she might go in for a little time, and another take her place. Whenever buyers called, they were paraded in the auction-room in rows, exposed to coarse jokes and taunts. When any one took a liking to any girl in the company, he would call her to him, take hold of her, open her mouth, look at her teeth, and handle her person rudely, frequently making obscene remarks; and she must stand and bear it, without resistance. Mary and Emily complained to their brothers that they could not submit to such treatment. They conversed about it with Wilson, a partner of Bruin and Hill, who had the charge of the slaves at this prison. After this they were treated with more decency.
Another brother of the girls, named Hamilton, had been a slave in or near New Orleans for sixteen years, and had just purchased his own freedom for one thousand dollars; having once before earned that sum for himself, and then had it taken from him. Richard being now really free, as the money was deposited in Baltimore for his ransom, found him out the next day after their arrival at New Orleans, and brought him to the prison to see his brothers and sisters. The meeting, was overpoweringly affecting.
He had never before seen his sister Emily, as he had been sold away from his parents before her birth.
The girls' lodging-room was occupied at night by about twenty or thirty women, who all slept on the bare floor, with only a blanket each. After a few days, word was received (which was really incorrect), that half the money had been raised for the redemption of Mary and Emily. After this they were allowed, upon their brothers' earnest request, to go to their free brother's house and spend their nights, and return in the mornings, as they had suffered greatly from the mosquitos and other insects, and their feet were swollen and sore.
While at this prison, some horrible cases of cruelty came to their knowledge, and some of them under their own observation. Two persons, one woman and one boy, were whipped to death in the prison while they were there, though they were not in the same pen, or owned by the same trader, as themselves.
None of the slaves were allowed to sleep in the day-time, and sometimes little children sitting or standing idle all day would become so sleepy as not to be able to hold up their eyelids; but, if they were caught thus by the overseer, they were cruelly beaten. Mary and Emily used to watch the little ones, and let them sleep until they heard the overseers coming, and then spring and rouse them in a moment.
One young woman, who had been sold by the traders for the worst of purposes, was returned, not being fortunate (?) enough to suit her purchaser; and, as is their custom in such cases, was most cruelly flogged,—so much so that some of her flesh mortified, and her life was despaired of. When Mary and Emily first arrived at New Orleans they saw and conversed with her. She was then just beginning to sit up; was quite small, and very fine-looking, with beautiful straight hair, which was formerly long, but had been cut off short by her brutal tormentors.
The overseer who flogged her said, in their hearing, that he would never flog another girl in that way—it was too much for any one to bear. They suggest that perhaps the reason why he promised this was because he was obliged to be her nurse, and of course saw her sufferings. She was from Alexandria, but they have forgotten her name.
One young man and woman of their company in the prison, who were engaged to be married, and were sold to different owners, felt so distressed at their separation that they could not or did not labor well; and the young man was soon sent back, with the complaint that he would not answer the purpose. Of course, the money was to be refunded, and he flogged. He was condemned to be flogged each night for a week; and, after about two hundred lashes by the overseer, each one of the male slaves in the prison was required to come and lay on five lashes with all his strength, upon penalty of being flogged himself. The young woman, too, was soon sent there, with a note from her new mistress, requesting that she might be whipped a certain number of lashes, and enclosing the money to pay for it; which request was readily complied with.
While in New Orleans they saw gangs of women cleaning the streets, chained together, some with a heavy iron ball attached to the chain; a form of punishment frequently resorted to for household servants who had displeased their mistresses.
Hamilton Edmondson, the brother who had purchased his own freedom, made great efforts to get good homes for his brothers and sisters in New Orleans, so that they need not be far separated from each other. One day, Mr. Wilson, the oveiseer, took Samuel away with him in a carriage, and returned without him. The brothers and sisters soon found that he was sold, and gone they knew not whither: but they were not allowed to weep, or even look sad, upon pain of severe punishment. The next day, however, to their great joy, he came to the prison himself, and told them he had a good home in the city with an Englishman, who had paid a thousand dollars for him.
After remaining about three weeks in this prison, the Edmondsons were told that, in consequence of the prevalence of the yellow fever in the city, together with the fact of their not being acclimated, it was deemed dangerous for them to remain there longer;—and, besides this, purchasers were loth to give good prices under these circumstances. Some of the slaves in the pen were already sick; some of them old, poor or dirty, and for these reasons greatly exposed to sickness. Richard Edmpndson had already been ransomed, and must be sent back; and, upon the whole, it was thought best to fit out and send off a gang to Baltimore, without delay.
The Edmondsons received these tidings with joyful hearts, for they had not yet been undeceived with regard to the raising of the money for their ransom. Their brother who was free procured for them many comforts for the voyage, such as a mattress, blankets, sheets and different kinds of food and drink; and, accompanied to the vessel by their friends there, they embarked on the brig Union just at night, and were towed out of the river. The brig had nearly a full cargo of cotton, molasses, sugar, &c., and, of course, the space for the slaves was exceedingly limited. The place allotted the females was a little close, filthy room, perhaps eight or ten feet square, filled with cotton within two or three feet of the top of the room, except the space directly under the hatchway door. Richard Edmondson kept his sisters upon deck with him, though without a shelter; prepared their food himself, made up their bed at night on the top of barrels, or wherever he could find a place, and then slept by their side. Sometimes a storm would arise in the middle of the night, when he would spring up and wake them, and, gathering up their bed and bedding, conduct them to a little kind of a pantry, where they could all three just stand, till the storm passed away. Sometimes he contrived to make a temporary shelter for them out of bits of boards, or something else on deck.
After a voyage of sixteen days, they arrived at Baltimore, fully expecting that their days of slavery were numbered. Here they were conducted back to the same old prison from which they had been taken a few weeks before, though they supposed it would be but for an hour or two. Presently Mr. Bigelow, of Washington, came for Richard. When the girls found that they were not to be set free too, their grief and disappointment were unspeakable. But they were separated,—Richard to go to his home, his wife and children, and they to remain in the slave-prison. Wearisome days and nights again rolled on. In the mornings they were obliged to march round the yard to the music of fiddles, banjoes, &c.; in the day-time they washed and ironed for the male slaves, slept some, and wept a great deal. After a few weeks their father came to visit them, accompanied by their sister. His object was partly to ascertain what were the very lowest terms upon which their keeper would sell the girls, as he indulged a faint hope that in some way or other the money might be raised, if time enough were allowed. The trader declared he should soon send them to some other slave-market, but he would wait two weeks, and, if the friends could raise the money in that time, they might have them.
The night their father and sister spent in the prison with them, he lay in the room over their heads; and they could hear him groan all night, while their sister was weeping by their side. None of them closed their eyes in sleep.
In the morning came again the wearisome routine of the slave-prison. Old Paul walked quietly into the yard, and sat down to see the poor slaves marched around. He had never seen his daughters in such circumstances before, and his feelings quite overcame him. The yard was narrow, and the girls, as they walked by him, almost brushing him with their clothes, could just hear him groaning within himself, "O, my children, my children!"
After the breakfast, which none of them were able to eat, they parted with sad hearts, the father begging the keeper to send them to New Orleans, if the money could not be raised, as perhaps their brothers there might secure for them kind masters.
Two or three weeks afterwards Bruin & Hill visited the prison, dissolved partnership with the trader, settled accounts, and took the Edmondsons again in their own possession. The girls were roused about eleven o'clock at night, after they had fallen asleep, and told to get up directly, and prepare for going home. They had learned that the word of a slave-holder is not to be trusted, and feared they were going to be sent to Richmond, Virginia, as there had been talk of it. They were soon on their way in the cars with Bruin, and arrived at Washington at a little past midnight.
Their hearts throbbed high when, after these long months of weary captivity, they found themselves once more in the city where were their brothers, sisters and parents. But they were permitted to see none of them, and were put into a carriage and driven immediately to the slave-prison at Alexandria, where, about two o'clock at night, they found themselves in the same forlorn old room in which they had begun their term of captivity!
This was the latter part of August. Again they were employed in washing, ironing and sewing by day, and always locked up by night. Sometimes they were allowed to sew in Bruin's house, and even to eat there. After they had been in Alexandria two or three weeks, their eldest married sister, not having heard from them for some time, came to see Bruin, to learn, if possible, something of their fate; and her surprise and joy were great to see them once more, even there. After a few weeks their old father came again to see them. Hopeless as the idea of their emancipation seemed, he still clung to it. He had had some encouragement of assistance in Washington, and he purposed to go North to see if anything could be done there; and he was anxious to obtain from Bruin what were the very lowest possible terms for which he would sell the girls. Bruin drew up his terms in the following document, which we subjoin:
Alexandria, Va., Sept. 5, 1848.
The bearer, Paul Edmondson, is the father of two girls, Mary Jane and Emily Catharine Edmondson. These girls have been purchased by us, and once sent to the south; and, upon the positive assurance that the money for them would be raised if they were brought back, they were returned. Nothing, it appears, has as yet been done in this respect by those who promised, and we are on the very eve of sending them south the second time; and we are candid in saying that, if they go again, we will not regard any promises made in relation to them. The father wishes to raise money to pay for them; and intends to appeal to the liberality of the humane and the good to aid him, and has requested us to state in writing the conditions upon which we will sell his daughters.
We expect to start our servants to the south in a few days; if the sum of twelve hundred ($1200) dollars be raised and paid to us in fifteen days, or we be assured of that sum, then we will retain them for twenty-five days more, to give an opportunity for the raising of the other thousand and fifty ($1050) dollars; otherwise we shall be compelled to send them along with our other servants.
Bruin & Hill.
Paul took his papers, and parted from his daughters sorrowfully. After this, the time to the girls dragged on in heavy suspense. Constantly they looked for letter or message, and prayed to God to raise them up a deliverer from some quarter. But day after day and week after week passed, and the dreaded time drew near. The preliminaries for fitting up the gang for South Carolina commenced. Gay calico was bought for them to make up into "show dresses," in which they were to be exhibited on sale. They made them up with far sadder feelings than they would have sewed on their own shrouds. Hope had almost died out of their bosoms. A few days before the gang were to be sent off, their sister made them a sad farewell visit. They mingled their prayers and tears, and the girls made up little tokens of remembrance to send by her as parting gifts to their brothers and sisters and aged father and mother, and with a farewell sadder than that of a death-bed the sisters parted.
The evening before the coffle was to start drew on. Mary and Emily went to the house to bid Bruin's family good-by. Bruin had a little daughter who had been a pet and favorite with the girls. She clung round them, cried, and begged them not to go. Emily told her that, if she wished to have them stay, she must go and ask her father. Away ran the little pleader, full of her errand; and was so very earnest in her importunities, that he, to pacify her, said he would consent to their remaining, if his partner, Captain Hill, would do so. At this time Bruin, hearing Mary crying aloud in the prison, went up to see her. With all the earnestness of despair, she made her last appeal to his feelings. She begged him to make the case his own, to think of his own dear little daughter,—what if she were exposed to be torn away from every friend on earth, and cut off from all hope of redemption, at the very moment, too, when deliverance was expected! Bruin was not absolutely a man of stone, and this agonizing appeal brought tears to his eyes. He gave some encouragement that, if Hill would consent, they need not be seat off with the gang. A sleepless night followed, spent in weeping, groaning and prayer. Morning at last dawned, and, according to orders received the day before, they prepared themselves to go, and even put on their bonnets and shawls, and stood ready for the word to be given. When the very last tear of hope was shed, and they were going out to join the gang, Bruin's heart relented. He called them to him, and told them they might remain! O, how glad were their hearts made by this, as they might now hope on a little longer! Either the entreaties of little Martha or Mary's plea with Bruin had prevailed.
Soon the gang was started on foot,—men, women and children, two and two, the men all handcuffed together, the right wrist of one to the left wrist of the other, and a chain passing through the middle from the handcuffs of one couple to those of the next. The women and children walked in the same manner throughout, handcuffed or chained. Drivers went before and at the side, to take up those who were sick or lame. They were obliged to set off singing! accompanied with fiddles and banjoes!—"For they that carried us away captive required of us a song, and they that wasted us required of us mirth." And this is a scene of daily occurrence in a Christian country!—and Christian ministers say that the right to do these things is given by God himself!!
Meanwhile poor old Paul Edmondson went northward to supplicate aid. Any one who should have travelled in the cars at that time might have seen a venerable-looking black man, all whose air and attitude indicated a patient humility, and who seemed to carry a weight of overwhelming sorrow, like one who had long been acquainted with grief. That man was Paul Edmondson.
Alone, friendless, unknown, and, worst of all, black, he came into the great bustling city of New York, to see if there was any one there who could give him twenty-five hundred dollars to buy his daughters with. Can anybody realize what a poor man's feelings are, who visits a great, bustling, rich city, alone and unknown, for such an object? The writer has now, in a letter from a slave father and husband who was visiting Portland on a similar errand, a touching expression of it:
I walked all day, till I was tired and discouraged. O! Mrs. S———, when I see so many people who seem to have so many more things than they want or know what to do with, and then think that I have worked hard, till I am past forty, all my life, and don't own even my own wife and children, it makes me feel sick and discouraged!
So sick at heart and discouraged felt Paul Edmondson. He went to the Anti-Slavery Office, and made his case known. The sum was such a large one, and seemed to many so exorbitant, that, though they pitied the poor father, they were disheartened about raising it. They wrote to Washington to authenticate the particulars of the story, and wrote to Bruin and Hill to see if there could be any reduction of price. Meanwhile, the poor old man looked sadly from one adviser to another. He was recommended to go to the Rev. H. W. Beecher, and tell his story. He inquired his way to his door,—ascended the steps to ring the door-bell, but his heart failed him,—he sat down on the steps weeping!
There Mr. Beecher found him. He took him in, and inquired his story. There was to be a public meeting that night, to raise money. The hapless father begged him to go and plead for his children. He did go, and spoke as if he were pleading for his own father and sisters. Other clergymen followed in the same strain,—the meeting became enthusiastic, and the money was raised on the spot, and poor old Paul laid his head that night on a grateful pillow,—not to sleep, but to give thanks!
Meanwhile the girls had been dragging on anxious days in the slave-prison. They were employed in sewing for Bruin's family, staying sometimes in the prison and sometimes in the house.
It is to be stated here that Mr. Bruin is a man of very different character from many in his trade. He is such a man as never would have been found in the profession of a slave-trader, had not the most respectable and religious part of the community defended the right to buy and sell, as being conferred by God himself. It is a fact, with regard to this man, that he was one of the earliest subscribers to the National Era, in the District of Columbia; and, when a certain individual there brought himself into great peril by assisting fugitive slaves, and there was no one found to go bail for him, Mr. Bruin came forward and performed this kindness.
While we abhor the horrible system and the horrible trade with our whole soul, there is no harm, we suppose, in wishing that such a man had a better occupation. Yet we cannot forbear reminding all such that, when we come to give our account at the judgment-seat of Christ, every man must speak for himself alone; and that Christ will not accept as an apology for sin the word of all the ministers and all the synods in the country. He has given fair warning, "Beware of false prophets;" and if people will not beware of them, their blood is upon their own heads.
The girls, while under Mr. Bruin's care, were treated with as much kindness and consideration as could possibly consist with the design of selling them. There is no doubt that Bruin was personally friendly to them, and really wished most earnestly that they might be ransomed; but then he did not see how he was to lose two thousand five hundred dollars. He had just the same difficulty on this subject that some New York members of churches have had, when they have had slaves brought into their hands as security for Southern debts. He was sorry for them, and wished them well, and hoped Providence would provide for them when they were sold, but still he could not afford to lose his money; and while such men remain elders and communicants in churches in New York, we must not be surprised that there remain slave-traders in Alexandria.
It is one great art of the enemy of souls to lead men to compound for their participation in one branch of sin by their righteous horror of another. The shive-trader has been the general scape-goat on whom all parties have vented their indignation, while buying of him and selling to him.
There is an awful warning given in the fiftieth Psalm to those who in word have professed religion and in deed consented to iniquity, where from the judgment-seat Christ is represented as thus addressing them: "What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee? When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers."
One thing is certain, that all who do these things, openly or secretly, must, at last, make up their account with a Judge who is no respecter of persons, and who will just as soon condemn an elder in the church for slave-trading as a professed trader; nay, He may make it more tolerable for the Solom and Gomorrah of the trade than for them,—for it may be, if the trader had the means of grace that they have had, that he would have repented long ago.
But to return to our history.—The girls were sitting sewing near the open window of their cage, when Emily said to Mary, "There, Mary, is that white man we have seen from the North." They both looked, and in a moment more saw their own dear father. They sprang and ran through the house and the office, and into the street, shouting as they ran, followed by Bruin, who said he thought the girls were crazy. In a moment they were in their father's arms, but observed that he trembled exceedingly, and that his voice was unsteady. They eagerly inquired if the money was raised for their ransom. Afraid of exciting their hopes too soon, before their free papers were signed, he said he would talk with them soon, and went into the office with Mr. Bruin and Mr. Chaplin. Mr. Bruin professed himself sincerely glad, as undoubtedly he was, that they had brought the money; but seemed much hurt by the manner in which he had been spoken of by the Rev. H. W. Beecher at the liberation meeting in New York, thinking it hard that no difference should be made between him and other traders, when he had shown himself so much more considerate and humane than the great body of them. He, however, counted over the money and signed the papers with great good will, taking out a five-dollar gold piece for each of the girls, as a parting present.
The affair took longer than they supposed, and the time seemed an age to the poor girls, who were anxiously walking up and down outside the room, in ignorance of their fate. Could their father have brought the money? Why did he tremble so? Could he have failed of the money, at last? Or could it be that their dear mother was dead, for they had heard that she was very ill!
At length a messenger came shouting to them, "You are free, you are free!" Emily thinks she sprang nearly to the ceiling overhead. They jumped, clapped their hands, laughed and shouted aloud. Soon their father came to them, embraced them tenderly and attempted to quiet them, and told them to prepare them to go and see their mother. This they did they know not how, but with considerable help from the family, who all seemed to rejoice in their joy. Their father procured a carriage to take them to the wharf, and, with joy overflowing all bounds, they bade a most affectionate farewell to each member of the family, not even omitting Bruin himself. The "good that there is in human nature" for once had the upper hand, and all were moved to tears of sympathetic joy. Their father, with subdued tenderness, made great efforts to soothe their tumultuous feelings, and at length partially succeeded. When they arrived at Washington, a carriage was ready to take them to their sister's house. People of every rank and description came running together to get a sight of them. Their brothers caught them up in their arms, and ran about with them, almost frantic with joy. Their aged and venerated mother, raised up from a sick bed by the stimulus of the glad news, was there, weeping and giving thanks to God. Refreshments were prepared in their sister's house for all who called, and amid greetings and rejoicings, tears and gladness, prayers and thanksgivings, but without sleep, the night passed away, and the morning of November 4, 1848, dawned upon them free and happy.
This last spring, during the month of May, as the writer has already intimated, the aged mother of the Edmondson family came on to New York, and the reason of her coming may be thus briefly explained. She had still one other daughter, the guide and support of her feeble age, or, as she calls her in her own expressive language, "the last drop of blood in her heart." She had also a son, twenty-one years of age, still a slave on a neighboring plantation. The infirm woman in whose name the estate was held was supposed to be drawing near to death, and the poor parents were distressed with the fear that, in case of this event, their two remaining children would be sold for the purpose of dividing the estate, and thus thrown into the dreaded southern market. No one can realize what a constant horror the slave-prisons and the slave-traders are to all the unfortunate families in the vicinity. Everything for which other parents look on their children with pleasure and pride is to these poor souls a source of anxiety and dismay, because it renders the child so much more a merchantable article.
It is no wonder, therefore, that the light in Paul and Milly's cottage was overshadowed by this terrible idea.
The guardians of these children had given their father a written promise to sell them to him for a certain sum, and by hard begging he had acquired a hundred dollars towards the twelve hundred which were necessary. But he was now confined to his bed with sickness. After pouring out earnest prayers to the Helper of the helpless, Milly says, one day she said to Paul, "I tell ye, Paul, I'm going up to New York myself, to see if I can't get that money."
"Paul says to me, 'Why, Milly dear, how can you? Ye an't fit to be off the bed, and ye's never in the cars in your life.'
"'Never you fear, Paul,' says I; 'I shall go trusting in the Lord; and the Lord, He'll take me, and He'll bring me,—that I know.'
"So I went to the cars and got a white man to put me aboard; and, sure enough, there I found two Bethel ministers; and one set one side o' me, and one set the other, all the way; and they got me my tickets, and looked after my things, and did every thing for me. There didn't anything happen to me all the way. Sometimes, when I went to set down in the sitting-rooms, people looked at me and moved off so scornful! Well, I thought, I wish the Lord would give you a better mind."
Emily and Mary, who had been at school in New York State, came to the city to meet their mother, and they brought her directly to the Rev. Henry W. Beecher's house, where the writer then was.
The writer remembers now the scene when she first met this mother and daughters. It must be recollected that they had not seen each other before for four years. One was sitting each side the mother, holding her hand; and the air of pride and filial affection with which they presented her was touching to behold. After being presented to the writer, she again sat down between them, took a hand of each, and looked very earnestly first on one and then on the other; and then, looking up, said, with a smile, "O, these children,—how they do lie round our hearts!"
She then explained to the writer all her sorrows and anxieties for the younger children. "Now, madam," she says, "that man that keeps the great trading-house at Alexandria, that man," she said, with a strong, indignant expression, "has sent to know if there's any more of my children to be sold. That man said he wanted to see me! Yes, ma'am, he said he'd give twenty dollars to see me. I wouldn't see him, if he'd give me a hundred! He sent for me to come and see him, when he had my daughters in his prison. I wouldn't go to see him,—I didn't want to see them there!"
The two daughters, Emily and Mary, here became very much excited, and broke out in some very natural but bitter language against all slave-holders. "Hush, children! you must forgive your enemies," she said. "But they're so wicked!" said the girls. "Ah, children, you must hate the sin, but love the sinner." "Well," said one of the girls, "mother, if I was taken again and made a slave of, I'd kill myself." "I trust not, child,—that would be wicked." "But, mother, I should; I know I never could bear it." "Bear it, my child?" she answered, "it's they that bears the sorrow here is they that has the glories there."
There was a deep, indescribable pathos of voice and manner as she said these words,—a solemnity and force, and yet a sweetness, that can never be forgotten.
This poor slave-mother, whose whole life had been one long outrage on her holiest feelings,—who had been kept from the power to read God's Word, whose whole pilgrimage had been made one day of sorrow by the injustice of a Christian nation,—she had yet learned to solve the highest problem of Christian ethics, and to do what so few reformers can do,—hate the sin, but love the sinner!
A great deal of interest was excited among the ladies in Brooklyn by this history. Several large meetings were held in different parlors, in which the old mother related her history with great simplicity and pathos, and a subscription for the redemption of the remaining two of her family was soon on foot. It may be interesting to know that the subscription list was headed by the lovely and benevolent Jenny Lind Goldschmidt.
Some of the ladies who listened to this touching story were so much interested in Mrs. Edmondson personally, they wished to have her daguerreotype taken; both that they might be strengthened and refreshed by the sight of her placid countenance, and that they might see the beauty of true goodness beaming there.
She accordingly went to the rooms with them, with all the simplicity of a little child. "O," said she, to one of the ladies, "you can't think how happy it's made me to get here, where everybody is so kind to me! Why, last night, when I went home, I was so happy I couldn't sleep. I had to go and tell my Saviour, over and over again, how happy I was."
A lady spoke to her about reading something. "Law bless you, honey! I can't read a letter."
"Then," said another lady, "how have you learned so much of God, and heavenly things?"
"Well, 'pears like a gift from above."
"Can you have the Bible read to you?" "Why, yes; Paul, he reads a little, but then he has so much work all day, and when he gets home at night he's so tired! and his eyes is bad. But then the Sperit teaches us."
"Do you go much to meeting?"
"Not much now, we live so far. In winter I can't never. But, O! what meetings I have had, alone in the corner,—my Saviour and only me!" The smile with which these words were spoken was a thing to be remembered. A little girl, daughter of one of the ladies, made some rather severe remarks about somebody in the daguerreotype rooms, and her mother checked her.
The old lady looked up, with her placid smile. "That puts me in mind," she said, "of what I heard a preacher say once. 'My friends,' says he, 'if you know of anything that will make a brother's heart glad, run quick and tell it; but if it is something that will only cause a sigh, 'bottle it up, bottle it up!' O, I often tell my children, 'Bottle it up, bottle it up!'"
When the writer came to part with the old lady, she said to her: "Well, good-by, my dear friend; remember and pray for me."
"Pray for you!" she said, earnestly. "Indeed I shall,—I can"t help it." She then, raising her finger, said, in an emphatic tone, peculiar to the old of her race, "Tell you what! we never gets no good bread ourselves till we begins to ask for our brethren."
The writer takes this opportunity to inform all those friends, in different parts of the country, who generously contributed for the redemption of these children, that they are at last free!
The following extract from the letter of a lady in Washington may be interesting to them:
I have seen the Edmondson parents,—Paul and his wife Milly. I have seen the free Edmondsons,—mother, son, and daughter,—the very day after the great era of free life commenced, while yet the inspiration was on them, while the mother's face was all light and love, the father's eyes moistened and glistening with tears, the son calm in conscious manhood and responsibility, the daughter (not more than fifteen years old, I think) smiling a delightful appreciation of joy in the present and hope in the future, thus suddenly and completely unfolded.
Thus have we finished the account of one of the families who were taken on board the Pearl. We have another history to give, to which we cannot promise so fortunate a termination.
Among those unfortunates guilty of loving freedom too well, was a beautiful young quadroon girl, named Emily Russell, whose mother is now living in New York. The writer has seen and conversed with her. She is a pious woman, highly esteemed and respected, a member of a Christian church.
By the avails of her own industry she purchased her freedom, and also redeemed from bondage some of her children. Emily was a resident of Washington, D. C, a place which belongs not to any state, but to the United States; and there, under the laws of the United States, she was held as a slave. She was of a gentle disposition and amiable manners; she had been early touched with a sense of religious things, and was on the very point of uniting herself with a Christian church; but her heart yearned after her widowed mother and after freedom, and so, on the fatal night when all the other poor victims sought the Pearl, the child Emily went also among them.
How they were taken has already been told. The sin of thee poor girl was inexpiable. Because she longed for her mother's arms and for liberty, she could not be forgiven. Nothing would do for such a sin, but to throw her into the hands of the trader. She also was thrown into Bruin & Hill's jail, in Alexandria. Her poor mother in New York received the following letter from her. Read it, Christian mother, and think what if your daughter had written it to you!
To Mrs. Nancy Cartwright, New York.
Alexandria, Jan. 22, 1830.
My Dear Mother: I take this opportunity of writing you a few lines, to inform you that I am in Bruin's Jail, and Aunt Sally and all of her children, and Aunt Hagar and all her children, and grandmother is almost crazy. My dear mother, will you please to come on as soon as you can? I expect to go away very shortly. O, mother! my dear mother! come now and see your distressed and heart-broken daughter once more. Mother! my dear mother! do not forsake me, for I feel desolate! Please to come now.
P.S.—If you do not come as far as Alexandria, ooane to Washington, and do what you can.
That letter, blotted and tear-soiled, was brought by this poor washerwoman to some Christian friends in New York, and shown to them. "What do you suppose they will ask for her?" was her question. All that she had,—her little house, her little furniture, her small earnings,—all these poor Nancy was willing to throw in; but all these were but as a drop to the bucket.
The first thing to be done, then, was to ascertain what Emily could be redeemed for; and, as it may be an interesting item of American trade, we give the reply of the traders in full:
Alexandria, Jan. 31, 1850.
Dear Sir: When I received your letter I had not bought the negroes you spoke of, but since that time I have bought them. All I have to say about the matter is, that we paid very high for the negroes, and cannot afford to sell the girl Emily for less than EIGHTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS. This may seem a high price to you, but, cotton being very high, consequently slaves are high. We have two or three offers for Emily from gentlemen from the south. She is said to he the finest-looking woman in this country. As for Hagar and her seven children, we will take two thousand five hundred dollars for them. Sally and her four children, we will take for them two thousand eight hundred dollars. You may seem a little surprised at the difference in prices, but the difference in the negroes makes the difference in price. We expect to start south with the negroes on the 8th February, and if you intend to do anything, you had better do it soon. Yours, respectfully,
Bruin & Hill.
This letter came to New York before the case of the Edmondsons had called the attention of the community to this subject. The enormous price asked entirely discouraged effort, and before anything of importance was done they heard that the coffle had departed, with Emily in it.
Hear, heavens! and give ear, earth! Let it be known, in all the countries of the earth, that the market-price of a beautiful Christian girl in America is from eighteen hundred to two thousand dollars; and yet, judicatories in the church of Christ have said, in solemn conclave, that American slavery as it is is no evil!
From the table of the sacrament and from the sanctuary of the church of Christ this girl was torn away, because her beauty was a salable article in the slave-market in New Orleans!
Perhaps some Northern apologist for slavery will say she was kindly treated here—not handcuffed by the wrist to a chain, and forced to walk, as articles less choice are; that a wagon was provided, and that she rode; and that food abundant was given her to eat, and that her clothing was warm and comfortable, and therefore no harm was done. We have heard it told us, again and again, that there is no harm in slavery, if one is only warm enough, and full-fed, and comfortable. It is true that the slave-woman has no protection from the foulest dishonor and the utmost insult that can be offered to womanhood,—none whatever in law or gospel; but, so long as she has enough to eat and wear, our Christian fathers and mothers tell us it is not so bad!
Poor Emily could not think so. There was no eye to pity, and none to help. The food of her accursed lot did not nourish her; the warmest clothing could not keep the chill of slavery from her heart. In the middle of the overland passage, sick, weary, heart-broken, the child laid her down and died. By that lonely pillow there was no mother. But there was one Friend, who loveth at all times, who is closer than a brother. Could our eyes be touched by the seal of faith, where others see only the lonely wilderness and the dying girl, we, perhaps, should see one clothed in celestial beauty, waiting for that short agony to be over, that He might redeem her from all iniquity, and present her faultless before the presence of his Grace with exceeding joy!
Even the hard-hearted trader was touched with her sad fate, and we are credibly informed that he said he was sorry he had taken her.
Bruin & Hill wrote to New York that the girl Emily was dead. A friend of the family went with the letter, to break the news to her mother. Since she had given up all hope of redeeming her daughter from the dreadful doom to which she had been sold, the helpless mother had drooped like a stricken woman. She no longer lifted up her head, or seemed to take any interest in life.
When the friend called on her, she asked, eagerly,
"Have you heard anything from my daughter?"
"Yes. I have," was the reply, "a letter from Bruin & Hill."
"And what is the news?"
He thought best to. give a direct answer,—"Emily is dead."
The poor mother clasped her hands, and, looking upwards, said, "The Lord be thanked! He has heard my prayers at last!"
And, now, will it be said this is an exceptional case—it happens one time in a thousand? Though we know that this is the foulest of falsehoods, and that the case is only a specimen of what is acting every day in the American slave-trade, yet, for argument's sake, let us, for once, admit it to be true. If only once in this nation, under the protection of our law, a Christian girl had been torn from the altar and the communion-table, and sold to foulest shame and dishonor, would that have been a light sin? Does not Christ say, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me"? O, words of woe for thee, America!—words of woe for thee, church of Christ! Hast thou trod them under foot and trampled them in the dust so long that Christ has forgotten them? In the day of judgment every one of these words shall rise up, living and burning, as accusing angels to witness against thee. Art thou, church of Christ! praying daily, "Thy kingdom come"? Barest thou pray, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly"? O, what if He should come? What if the Lord, whom ye seek, should suddenly come into his temple? If his soul was stirred within him when he found within his temple of old those that changed money, and sold sheep and oxen and doves, what will he say now, when he finds them selling body, blood and bones, of his own people? And is the Christian church, which justifies this enormous system,—which has used the awful name of her Redeemer to sanction the buying, selling and trading in the souls of men,—is this church the bride of Christ? Is she one with Christ, even as Christ is one with the Father? O, bitter mockery! Does this church believe that every Christian's body is a temple of the Holy Ghost? Or does she think those solemn words were idle breath, when, a thousand times, every day and week, in the midst of her, is this temple set up and sold at auction, to be bought by any godless, blasphemous man, who has money to pay for it!
As to poor Daniel Bell and his family, whose contested claim to freedom was the beginning of the whole trouble, a few members of it were redeemed, and the rest were plunged into the abyss of slavery. It would seem as if this event, like the sinking of a ship, drew into its maëlstrom the fate of every unfortunate being who was in its vicinity. A poor, honest, hard-working slaveman, of the name of Thomas Ducket, had a wife who was on board the Pearl. Tom was supposed to know the men who countenanced the enterprise, and his master, therefore, determined to sell him. He brought him to Washington for the purpose. Some in Washington doubted his legal right to bring a slave from Maryland for the purpose of selling him, and commenced legal proceedings to test the matter. While they were pending, the counsel for the master told the men who brought action against his client that Tom was anxious to be sold; that he preferred being sold to the man who had purchased his wife and children, rather than to have his liberty. It was well known that Tom did not wish to be separated from his family, and the friends here, confiding in the representations made to them, consented to withdraw the proceedings.
Some time after this, they received letters from poor Tom Ducket, dated ninety miles above New Orleans, complaining sadly of his condition, and making piteous appeals to hear from them respecting his wife and children. Upon inquiry, nothing could be learned respecting them. They had been sold and gone,—sold and gone,—no one knew whither; and as a punishment to Tom for his contumacy in refusing to give the name of the man who had projected the expedition of the Pearl, he was denied the privilege of going off the place, and was not allowed to talk with the other servants, his master fearing a consipiracy. In one of his letters he says, "I have seen more trouble here in one day than I have in all my life." In another, "I would be glad to hear from her [his wife], but I should be more glad to hear of her death than for her to come here."
In his distress, Tom wrote a letter to Mr. Bigelow, of Washington. People who are not in the habit of getting such documents have no idea of them. We give a facsimile of Tom's letter, with all its poor spelling, all its ignorance, helplessness, and misery.
[February 18, 1852.
Mr. Bigelow. Dear Sir:—I write to let you know how I am getting along. Hard times here, I have not had one hour to go outside the place since I have been on it. I put my trust in the Lord to help me. I long to hear from you all I written to hear from you all. Mr. Bigolow, I hope you will not forget me. You know it was not my fault that I am here. I hope you will name me to Mr. Geden, Mr. Chaplin, Mr. Bailey, to help me out of it. I believe that if they would make the least move to it that it could be done. I long to hear from my family how they are getting along. You will please to write to me just to let me know how they are getting along. You can write to me.
I remain your humble servant,
You can direct your letters to Thomas Ducket, in care of Mr. Samuel T. Harrison, Louisiana, near Bayou Goula. For God's sake lot me hear from you all. My wife and children are not out of my mind day nor night.]
The principle which declares that one human being may lawfully hold another as property leads directly to the trade in human beings; and that trade has, among its other horrible results, the temptation to the crime of kidnapping.
The trader is generally a man of coarse nature and low associations, hard-hearted, and reckless of right or honor. He who is not so is an exception, rather than a specimen. If he has anything good about him when he begins the business, it may well be seen that he is in a fair way to lose it.
Around the trader are continually passing and repassing men and women who would be worth to him thousands of dollars in the way of trade,—who belong to a class whose rights nobody respects, and who, if reduced to slavery, could not easily make their word good against him. The probability is that hundreds of free men and women and children are all the time being precipitated into slavery in this way.
The recent case of Northrop, tried in Washington, D. C, throws light on this fearful subject. The following account is abridged from the New York Times:
Solomon Northrop is a free colored citizen of the United States; he was born in Essex county. New York, about the year 1808; became early a resident of Washington county, and married there in 1829. His father and mother resided in the county of Washington about fifty years, till their decease, and were both free. With his wife and children he resided at Saratoga Springs in the winter of 1841, and while there was employed by two gentlemen to drive a team South, at the rate of a dollar a day. In fulfilment of his employment, he proceeded to Now York, and, having taken out free papers, to show that he was a citizen, he went on to Washington city, where ho arrived the second day of April, the same year, and put up at Gadsby's Hotel. Soon after he arrived he felt unwell, and went to bed.
While suffering with severe pain, some persons came in, and, seeing the condition he was in, proposed to give him some medicine, and did so. This is the last thing of which he had any recollection, until he found himself chained to the floor of Williams' slave-pen in this city, and handcuffed. In the course of a few hours, James H. Burch, a slave-dealer, came in, and the colored man asked him to take the irons off from him, and wanted to know why they wore put on. Burch told him it was none of his business. The colored man said he was free, and told where he was born. Burch called in a man by the name of Ebenezer Rodbury, and they two stripped the man and laid him across a bench, Rodbury holding him down by his wrists. Burch whipped him with a paddle until he broke that, and then with a cat-o'-nine-tails, giving him a hundred lashes; and he swore ho would kill him if he ever stated to any one that he was a free man. From that time forward the man says he did not communicate the fact from fear, either that he was a free man, or what his name was, until the last summer. He was kept in the slave-pen about ten days, when he, with others, was taken out of the pen in the night by Burch, handcuffed and shackled, and taken down the river by a steamboat, and then to Richmond, where he, with forty-eight others, was put on board the brig Orleans. There Burch left them. The brig sailed for Now Orleans, and on arriving there, before she was fastened to the wharf, Theophilus Freeman, another slave-dealer, belonging in the city of New Orleans, and who in 1833 had been a partner with Burch in the slave-trade, came to the wharf, and received the slaves as they were landed, under his direction. This man was immediately taken by Freeman and shut up in his pen in that city. He was taken sick with the small-pox immediately after getting there, and was sent to a hospital, where he lay two or three weeks. When he had sufficiently recovered to leave the hospital. Freeman declined to sell him to any person in that vicinity, and sold him to a Mr. Ford, who resided in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, where he was taken and lived more than a year, and worked as a carpenter, working with Ford at that business.
Ford became involved, and had to sell him. A Mr. Tibaut became the purchaser. He, in a short time, sold him to Edwin Eppes, in Bayou Beouf, about one hundred and thirty miles from the mouth of Red river, where Eppes has retained him on a cotton plantation since the year 1843.
To go back a step in the narrative, the man wrote a letter, in June, 1841, to Henry B. Northrop, of the State of New York, dated and postmarked at New Orleans, stating that he had been kidnapped and was on board a vessel, but was unable to state what his destination was; but requesting Mr. N. to aid him in recovering his freedom, if possible. Mr. N. was unable to do anything in his behalf, in consequence of not knowing where he had gone, and not being able to find any trace of him. His place of residence remained unknown until the month of September last, when the following letter was received by his friends:
Bayou Beouf, August, 1852.
Mr. William Peny, or Mr. Lewis Parker.
Gentlemen: It having been a long time since I have seen or heard from you, and not knowing that you are living, it is with uncertainty that I write to you; but the necessity of the case must be my excuse. Having been born free just across the river from you, I am certain you know me; and I am here now a slave. I wish you to obtain free papers for me, and forward them to me at Marksville, Louisiana, Parish of Avovelles, and oblige Yours, Solomon Northrop.
On receiving the above letter, Mr. N. applied to Governor Hunt, of New York, for such authority as was necessary for him to proceed to Louisiana as an agent to procure the liberation of Solomon. Proof of his freedom was furnished to Governor Hunt by affidavits of several gentlemen, General Clarke among others. Accordingly, in pursuance of the laws of New York, Henry B. Northrop was constituted an agent, to take such steps, by procuring evidence, retaining counsel, &c., as were necessary to secure the freedom of Solomon, and to execute all the duties of his agency.
The result of Mr. Northrop's agency was the establishing of the claim of Solomon Northrop to freedom, and the restoring him to his native land.
It is a singular coincidence that this man was carried to a plantation in the Red river country, that same region where the scene of Tom's captivity was laid; and his account of this plantation, his mode of life there, and some incidents which he describes, form a striking parallel to that history. We extract them from the article of the Times:
The condition of this colored man during the nine years that he was in the hands of Eppes was of a character nearly approaching that described by Mrs. Stowe as the condition of "Uncle Tom" while in that region. During that whole period his hut contained neither a floor, nor a chair, nor a bed, nor a mattress, nor anything for him to lie upon, except a board about twelve inches wide, with a block of wood for his pillow, and with a single blanket to cover him, while the walls of his hut did not by any means protect him from the inclemency of the weather. He was sometimes compelled to perform acts revolting to humanity, and outrageous in the highest degree.
On one occasion, a colored girl belonging to Eppes, about seventeen years of age, went one Sunday, without the permission of her master, to the nearest plantation, about half a mile distant, to visit another colored girl of her acquaintance. She returned in the course of two or three hours, and for that offence she was called up for punishment, which Solomon was required to inflict. Eppes compelled him to drive four stakes into the ground at such distances that the hands and ankles of the girl might be tied to them, as she lay with her face upon the ground; and, having thus fastened her down, he compelled him, while standing by himself, to inflict one hundred lashes upon her bare flesh, she being stripped naked. Having inflicted the hundred blows, Solomon refused to proceed any further. Eppes tried to compel him to go on, but he absolutely set him at defiance, and refused to murder the girl. Eppes then seized the whip, and applied it until he was too weary to continue it. Blood flowed from her neck to her feet, and in this condition she was compelled the next day to go into the field to work as a field-hand. She bears the marks still upon her body, although the punishment was inflicted four years ago.
When Solomon was about to leave, under the care of Mr. Northrop, this girl came from behind her hut, unseen by her master, and, throwing her arms around the neck of Solomon, congratulated him on his escape from slavery, and his return to his family; at the same time, in language of despair, exclaiming, "But, God! what will become of me?"
These statements regarding the condition of Solomon while with Eppes, and the punishment and brutal treatment of the colored girls, are taken from Solomon himself. It has been stated that the nearest plantation was distant from that of Eppes a half-mile, and of course there could be no interference on the part of neighbors in any punishment, however cruel, or how ever well disposed to interfere they might be.
Had not Northrop been able to write, as few of the free blacks in the slave states are, his doom might have been sealed for life in this den of misery.
Two cases recently tried in Baltimore also unfold facts of a similar nature.
The following is from
THE CASE OF RACHEL PARKER AND HER SISTER.
It will be remembered that more than a year since a young colored woman, named Mary Elizabeth Parker, was abducted from Chester county and conveyed to Baltimore, where she was sold as a slave, and transported to New Orleans. A few days after, her sister, Rachel Parker, was also abducted in like manner, taken to Baltimore, and detained there in consequence of the interference of her Chester county friends. In the first case, Mary Elizabeth was, by an arrangement with the individual who had her in charge, brought back to Baltimore, to await her trial on a petition for freedom. So also with regard to Rachel. Both, after trial,—the proof in their favor being so overwhelming,—were discharged, and are now among their friends in Chester county. In this connection we give the narratives of both females, obtained since their release.
Rachel Parker's Narrative.
"I was taken from Joseph C. Miller's about twelve o'clock on Tuesday (Dec. 30th, 1851), by two men who came up to the house by the back door. One came in and asked Mrs. Miller where Jesse McCreary lived, and then seized me by the arm, and pulled me out of the house. Mrs. Miller called to her husband, who was in the front porch, and he ran out and seized the man by the collar, and tried to stop him. The other, with an oath, then told him to take his hands off, and if he touched me he would kill him. He then told Miller that I belonged to Mr. Schoolfield, in Baltimore. They then hurried me to a wagon, where there was another large man, put me in, and drove off.
"Mr. Miller ran across the field to head the wagon, and picked up a stake to run through the wheel, when one of the men pulled out a sword (I think it was a sword, I never saw one), and threatened to cut Miller's arm off. Pollock's wagon being in the way, and he refusing to get out of the road, we turned off to the left. After we rode away, one of the men tore a hole in the back of the carriage, to look out to see if they were coming after us, and they said they wished they had given Miller and Pollock a blow.
"We stopped at a tavern near the railroad, and I told the landlord (I think it was) that I was free. I also told several persons at the car-office; and a very nice-looking man at the car-office was talking at the door, and he said he thought that they had better take me back again. One of the men did not come further than the tavern. I was taken to Baltimore, where we arrived about seven o'clock the same evening, and I was taken to jail.
"The next morning, a man with large light-colored whiskers took me away by myself, and asked me if I was not Mr. Schoolfield's slave. I told him I was not; he said that I was, and that if I did not say I was he would 'cowhide me and salt me, and put me in a dungeon.' I told him I was free, and that I would say nothing but the truth."
Mary E. Parker's Narrative.
"I was taken from Matthew Donnelly's on Saturday night (Dec. 6th, or 13th, 1851); was caught whilst out of doors, soon after I had cleared the supper-table, about seven o'clock, by two men, and put into a wagon. One of them got into the wagon with me, and rode to Elkton, Md., where I was kept until Sunday night at twelve o'clock, when I left there in the cars for Baltimore, and arrived there early on Monday morning.
"At Elkton a man was brought in to see me, by one of the men, who said that I was not his father's slave. Afterwards, when on the way to Baltimore in the cars, a man told me that I must say that I was Mr. Schoolfield's slave, or he would shoot me, and pulled a 'rifle' out of his pocket and showed it to me, and also threatened to whip me.
"On Monday morning, Mr. Schoolfield called at the jail in Baltimore to see me; and on Tuesday morning he brought his wife and several other ladies to see me. I told them I did not know them, and then Mr. C. took me out of the room, and told me who they were, and took me back again, so that I might appear to know them. On the next Monday I was shipped to New Orleans.
"It took about a month to get to New Orleans. After I had been there about a week, Mr. C. sold me to Madame C, who keeps a large flower-garden. She sends flowers to sell to the theatres, sells milk in market, &c. I went out to sell candy and flowers for her, when I lived with her. One evening, when I was coming home from the theatre, a watchman took me up, and I told him I was not a slave. He put me in the calaboose, and next morning took me before a magistrate, who sent for Madame C., who told him she bought me. He then sent for Mr. C, and told him he must account for how he got me. Mr. C. said that my mother and all the family were free, except me. The magistrate told me to go back to Madame C, and he told Madame C. that she must not let me go out at night; and he told Mr. C. that he must prove how he came by me. The magistrate afterwards called on Mrs. C, at her house, and had a long talk with her in the parlor. I do not know what he said, as they were by themselves. About a month afterwards, I was sent back to Baltimore. I lived with Madame C. about six months.
"There were six slaves came in the vessel with me to Baltimore, who belonged to Mr. D., and were returned because they were sickly.
"A man called to see me at the jail after I came back to Baltimore, and told me that I must say I was Mr. Schoolfield's slave, and that if I did not do it he would kill me the first time he got a chance. He said Rachel [her sister] said she came from Baltimore and was Mr. Schoolfield's slave. Afterwards some gentlemen called on me [Judge Campbell and Judge Bell, of Philadelphia, and William H. Norris, Esq., of Baltimore], and I told them I was Mr. Schoolfield's slave. They said they were my friends, and I must tell them the truth. I then told them who I was and all about it.
"When I was in New Orleans Mr. C. whipped me because I said that I was free."
Elizabeth, by her own account above, was seized and taken from Pennsylvania, Dec. 6th or 13th, 1851, which is confirmed by other testimony.
It is conceded that such cases, when brought into Southern courts, are generally tried with great fairness and impartiality. The agent for Northrop's release testifies to this, and it has been generally admitted fact. But it is probably only one case in a hundred that can get into court;—of the multitudes who are drawn down in the ever-widening maelstrom only now and then one ever comes back to tell the tale.
The succeeding chapter of advertisements will show the reader how many such victims there may probably be.
SLAVES AS THEY ARE, ON TESTIMONY OF OWNERS.
The investigation into the actual condition of the slave population at the South is beset with many difficulties. So many things are said pro and con,—so many said in one connection and denied in another,—that the effect is very confusing.
Thus, we are told that the state of the slaves is one of blissful contentment; that they would not take freedom as a gift; that their family relations are only now and then invaded; that they are a stupid race, almost sunk to the condition of animals; that generally they are kindly treated, &c. &c. &c.
In reading over some two hundred Southern newspapers this fall, the author has been struck with the very graphic and circumstantial pictures, which occur in all of them, describing fugitive slaves. From these descriptions one may learn a vast many things. The author will here give an assortment of them, taken at random. It is a commentary on the contented state of the slave population that the writer finds two or three always, and often many more, in every one of the hundreds of Southern papers examined.
In reading the following little sketches of "slaves as they are," let the reader notice:
1. The color and complexion of the majority of them.
2. That it is customary either to describe slaves by some scar, or to say "No scars recollected."
3. The intelligence of the parties advertised.
4. The number that say they are free that are to be sold to pay jail-fees.
Every one of these slaves has a history,—a history of woe and crime, degradation, endurance, and wrong. Let us open the chapter:
South-side Democrat, Oct. 28, 1852. Petersburgh, Virginia:
Twenty-five dollars, with the payment of all necessary expenses, will be given for the apprehension and delivery of my man CHARLES, if taken on the Appomattox river, or within the precincts of Petersburgh. He ran off about a week ago, and, if he leaves the neighborhood, will no doubt make for Farmville and Petersburgh. He is a mulatto, rather below the medium height and size, but well proportioned, and very active and sensible. He is aged about 27 years, has a mild, submissive look, and will, no doubt, show the marks of a recent whipping, if taken. He must be delivered to the care of Peebles, White, Davis & Co.
R. H. DeJarnett,
Poor Charles!—mulatto!—has a mild, submissive look, and will probably show marks of a recent whipping!
Kosciusko Chronicle, Nov. 24, 1852:
To the Jail of Attila County, on the 8th instant, a negro boy, who calls his name GREEN, and says he belongs to James Gray, of Winston County. Said boy is about 20 years old, yellow complexion, round face, has a scar on his face, one on his left thigh, and one in his left hand, is about 5 feet 6 inches high. Had on when taken up a cotton check shirt, Linsey pants, new cloth cap, and was riding a large roan horse about 12 or 14 years old and thin in order. The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be sold to pay charges.
E. B. Sanders, Jailer A. C.
Oct. 12, 1842. nl2tf.
Capitolian Vis-a-Vis, West Baton Rouse, Nov. 1, 1852:
Runaway from the subscriber, in Randolph County, on the 18th of October, a yellow boy, named JIM. This boy is 19 years old, a light mulatto with dirty sunburnt hair, inclined to be straight; he is just 5 feet 7 inches high, and slightly made. He had on when he left a black cloth cap, black cloth pantaloons, a plaided sack coat, a fine shirt, and brogan shoes. One hundred dollars will be paid for the recovery of the above-described boy, if taken out of the State, or fifty dollars if taken in the State.
Mrs. S. P. Hall,
Nov. 4, 1852. Huntsville, Mo.
American Baptist, Dec. 20, 1852:
TWENTY DOLLARS REWARD FOR A PREACHER.
The following paragraph , headed "Twenty Dollars Reward," appeared in a recent number of the New Orleans Picayune:
"Run away from the plantation of the undersigned the negro man Shedrick, a preacher, 5 feet 9 inches high, about 40 years old, but looking not over 23, stamped N. E. on the breast, and having both small toes cut off. He is of a very dark complexion, with eyes small but bright, and a look quite insolent. He dresses good, and was arrested as a runaway at Donaldsonville, some three years ago. The above reward will be paid for his arrest, by addressing Messrs. Armant Brothers, St. James parish, or A. Miltenberger & Co., 30 Carondelet street."
Here is a preacher who is branded on the breast and has both toes cut off,—and will look insolent yet! There's depravity for you!
Jefferson Inquirer, Nov. 27, 1852:
$100 DOLLARS REWARD.
RAN AWAY from my plantation, in Bolivar County, Miss., a negro man named MAY, aged 40 years, 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high, copper colored, and very straight; his front teeth are good and stand a little open; stout through the shoulders, and has some scars on his back that show above the skin plain, caused by the whip; he frequently hiccups when eating, if he has not got water handy; he was pursued into Ozark County, Mo., and there left. I will give the above reward for his confinement in jail, so that I can get him.
James H. Cousar,
Victoria, Bolivar County, Mississippi.
Nov. 13, 1m.
Delightful master to go back to, this man must be!
The Alabama Standard has for its motto:
"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God."
Date of Nov. 29th, this advertisement:
To the Jail of Choctaw County, by Judge Young, of Marengo County, a RUNAWAY SLAVE, who calls his name BILLY, and says he belongs to the late William Johnson, and was in the employment of John Jones, near Alexandria, La. He is about 5 feet 10 inches high, black, about 40 years old, much scarred on the face and head, and quite intelligent.
The owner is requested to come forward, prove his property, and take him from Jail, or he will be disposed of according to law.
S. S. Houston, Jailer C. C.
December 1, 1852. 44-tf
Query: Whether this "quite intelligent" Billy hadn't been corrupted by hearing this incendiary motto of the Standard?
Knoxville (Tenn.) Register, Nov. 3d:
LOOK OUT FOR RUNAWAYS!!
RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the night of the 26th July last, a negro woman named HARRIET. Said woman is about five feet five inches high, has prominent cheek-bones, large mouth and good front teeth, tolerably spare built, about 26 years old. We think it probable she is harbored by some negroes not far from John Mynatt's, in Knox County, where she and they are likely making some arrangements to get to a free state; or she may be concealed by some negroes (her connections) in Anderson County, near Clinton. I will give the above reward for her apprehension and confinement in any prison in this state, or I will give fifty dollars for her confinement in any jail out of this state, so that I get her. H. B. GOENS,
Nov. 3. 4m Clinton, Tenn.
The Alexandria Gazette, November 29, 1852, under the device of Liberty trampling on a tyrant, motto "Sic semper tyrannis," has the following:
TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.
Ranaway from the subscriber, living in the County of Rappahannock, on Tuesday last, Daniel, a bright mulatto, about 5 feet 8 inches high, about 35 years old, very intelligent, has been a wagoner for several years, and is pretty well acquainted from Richmond to Alexandria. He calls himself DANIEL TURNER; his hair curls, without showing black blood, or wool; he has a scar on one cheek, and his left hand has been seriously injured by a pistol-shot, and he was shabbily dressed when last seen. I will give the above reward if taken out of the county, and secured in jail, so that I get him again, or $10 if taken in the county.
A. M. Willis.
Rappahannock Co.,Va., Nov. 29.—eolm.
Another "very intelligent," straight-haired man. Who was his father?
The New Orleans Daily Crescent, office No. 93 St. Charles-street; Tuesday morning, December 13, 1852:
BROUGHT TO THE FIRST DISTRICT POLICE PRISON.
NANCY, a griffe, about 34 years old, 5 feet 1 3 inch high, a scar on left wrist; says she belongs to Madame Wolf.
CHARLES HALL, a black, about 13 years old, 5 feet 6 inches high; says he is free, but supposed to be a slave.
PHILOMONIA, a mulattress, about 10 years old, 4 feet 3 inches high; says she is free, but supposed to be a slave.
COLUMBUS, a griffe, about 21 years old, 5 feet 5 3 inches high; says he is free , but supposed to be a slave.
SEYMOUR, a black, about 21 years old, 5 feet 1 3 inch high; says he is free, but supposed to be a slave.
The owners will please comply with the law respecting them. J Worrall, Warden.
New Orleans, Dec. 14, 1852.
What chance for any of these poor fellows who say they are free?
RANAWAY from the subscriber, living in Unionville, Frederick County, Md., on Sunday morning, the 17th instant, a DARK MULATTO GIRL, about 18 years of age, 5 feet 4 or 5 inches high, looks pleasant generally, talks very quick, converses tolerably well, and can read. It is supposed she had on, when she left, a red Merino dress, black Visette or plaid Shawl, and a purple calico Bonnet, as those articles are missing.
A reward of Twenty-five Dollars will be given for her, if taken in the State, or Fifty Dollars if taken out of the State, and lodged in jail, so that I get her again. G. R. Sappington. Oct. 13.—2m.
Kosciusko Chronicle, Mississippi:
TWENTY DOLLARS REWARD
Will be paid for the delivery of the boy WALKER, aged about 28 years, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, black complexion, loose make, smiles when spoken to, has a mild, sweet voice, and fine teeth. Apply at 25 Tchoupitoulas-street, up stairs. ol2 6t.
Walker has walked off, it seems. Peace be with him!
RANAWAY from the subscriber, living near White's Store, Anson County, on the 3d of May last, a bright mulatto boy, named BOB. Bob is about 5 feet high, will weigh 130 pounds, is about 22 years old, and has some beard on his upper lip. His left leg is somewhat shorter than his right, causing him to hobble in his walk; has a very broad face, and will show color like a white man. It is probable he has gone off with some wagoner or trader, or he may have free papers and be passing as a free man. He has straight hair.
I will give a reward of TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS for the apprehension and delivery to me of said boy, or for his confinement in any jail, so that I get him again. Clara Lockhart,
By Adam Lockhart.
June 30, 1852. 698:5
Southern Standard, Oct. 16, 1852:
RANAWAY, or stolen, from the subscriber, living near Aberdeen, Miss., a light mulatto woman, of small size, and about 23 years old. She has long, black, straight hair, and she usually keeps it in good order. When she left she had on either a white dress, or a brown calico one with white spots or figures, and took with her a red handkerchief, and a red or pink sun-bonnet. She generally dresses very neatly. She generally calls herself Mary Ann Paine,—can read print,—has some freckles on her face and hands,—shoes No. 4,—had a ring or two on her fingers. She is very intelligent, and converses well. The above reward will be given for her, if taken out of the State, and $25 if taken within the State.
Memphis (weekly) Appeal will insert to the amount of $5, and send account to this office.
October 6th, 1853. 20—tf.
Much can be seen of this Mary Ann in this picture. The black, straight hair, usually kept in order,—the general neatness of dress,—the ring or two on the fingers,—the ability to read,—the fact of being intelligent and conversing well, are all to be noticed.
Ranaway, on the 9th of last August, my servant boy HENRY: he is 14 or 15 years old, a bright mulatto, has dark eyes, stoops a little, and stutters when confused. Had on, when he went away, white pantaloons, long blue summer coat, and a palm-leaf hat. I will give the above reward if he should be taken in the State of Virginia, or $30 if taken in either of the adjoining States, but in either case he must be so secured that I get him again. Edwin C. Fitzhugh.
Poor Henry!—only 14 or 15.
To the Jail of Lowndes County, Mississippi, on the 9th of May, by Jno. K. Peirce, Esq., and taken up as a runaway slave by William S. Cox, a negro man, who says his name is ROLAND, and that he belongs to Maj. Cathey, of Marengo Co., Ala., was sold to him by Henry Williams, a negro trader from North Carolina.
Said negro is about 35 years old, 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high, dark complexion, weighs about 150 pounds, middle finger on the right hand off at the second joint, and had on, when committed, a black silk hat, black drap d'ete dress coat, and white linsey pants.
The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be dealt with according to law.
L. H. Willeford,
June 6, 1852. 10—tf. Jailer.
Richmond Semi-weekly Examiner, October 29, 1852:
FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD.
Ranaway from the subscriber, residing in the County of Halifax, about the middle of last August, a Negro Man, Ned, aged some thirty or forty years, of medium height, copper color, full forehead, and cheek bones a little prominent. No scars recollected, except one of his fingers—the little one, probably—is stiff and crooked. The man Ned was purchased in Richmond, of Mr. Robert Goodwin, who resides near Frederick-Hall, in Louisa County, and has a wife in that vicinity. He has been seen in the neighborhood, and is supposed to have gone over the Mountains, and to be now at work as a free man at some of the Iron Works; some one having given him free papers. The above reward will be given for the apprehension of the slave Ned, and his delivery to R. H. Dickinson & Bro., in Richmond, or to the undersigned, in Halifax, Virginia, or twenty-five if confined in any jail in the Commonwealth, so that I get him. Jas. M. Chappell,
[Firm of Chappell & Tucker.]
This unfortunate copper-colored article is supposed to have gone after his wife.
Kentucky Whig, Oct. 22, '52:
Ranaway from the subscriber, near Mount Sterling, Ky., on the night of the 20th of October, a negro man named PORTER. Said boy is black, about 22 years old, very stout and active, weighs about 165 or 170 pounds. He is a smart fellow, converses well, without the negro accent; no particular scars recollected. He had on a pair of coarse boots about half worn, no other clothing recollected. He was raised near Sharpsburg, in Bath county, by Harrison Caldwell, and may be lurking in that neighborhood, but will probably endeavor to reach Ohio.
I will pay the above-mentioned reward for him, if taken out of the State; $50, if taken in any county bordering on the Ohio river; or $25, if taken in this or any adjoining county, and secured so that I can get him.
He is supposed to have ridden a yellow Horse, 15 hands and one inch high, mane and tail both yellow, five years old, and paces well.
October 21st, 1852. G. W. Proctor.
"No particular scars recollected"!
St. Louis Times, Oct. 14, 1852:
Taken up and committed to Jail in the town of Rockbridge, Ozark county. Mo., on the 31st of August last, a runaway slave, who calls his name MOSES. Had on, when taken, a brown Jeanes pantaloons, old cotton shirt, blue frock-coat, an old rag tied round his head. He is about six feet high, dark complexion, a scar over the left eye, supposed to be about 27 years old. The owner is hereby notified to come forward, prove said negro, and pay all lawful charges incurred on his account, or the said negro will be sold at public auction for ready money at the Court House door in the town of Rockbridge, on MONDAY, the 13th of December next, according to law in such cases made and provided, this 9th of September, 1852.
s23d & w. Robert Hicks, Sh'ff.
Charleston Mercury, Oct. 15, 1852:
FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD.
Runaway on Sunday the 6th inst., from the South Carolina Railroad Company, their negro man SAM, recently bought by them, with others, at Messrs. Cothran & Sproull's sale, at Aiken. He was raised in Cumberland County, North Carolina, and last brought from Richmond, Va. In height he is 5 feet 63 inches. Complexion copper color; on the left arm and right leg somewhat scarred. Countenance good. The above reward will be paid for his apprehension and lodgment in any one of the Jails of this or any neighboring State.
J. D. Petsch, Sup't Transportation.
Kosciusko Chronicle, Nov. 24, '52:
To the Jail of Attila County, Miss., October the 7th, 1852, a negro boy, who calls his name HAMBLETON, and says he belongs to Parson William Young, of Pontotoc County; is about 26 or 27 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches high, rather dark complexion, has two or three marks on his back, a small scar on his left hip. Had on, when taken up, a pair of blue cotton pants, white cotton drawers, a new cotton shirt, a pair of kip boots, an old cloth cap and wool hat. The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges and take him away, or he will be dealt with as provided in such case.
E. B. Sanders, Jailer A. C.
Oct. 12, 1852. n12tf.
Frankfort Commonwealth, October 21, 1852:
COMMITTED TO JAIL.
A negro boy, who calls his name ADAM, was committed to the Muhlenburg Jail on the 24th of July, 1852. Said boy is black; about 16 or 17 years old; 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high; will weigh about 150 lbs. He has lost a part of the finger next to his little finger on the right hand; also the great toe on his left foot. This boy says he belongs to Wm. Mosley; that said Mosley was moving to Mississippi from Virginia. He further states that he is lost, and not a runaway. His owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay expenses, and take him away, or he will be disposed of as the law directs.
S. H. Dempsey, J. M. C.
Greenville, Ky., Oct. 20, 1852.
A negro man arrested and placed in the Barren County Jail, Ky., on the 21st instant, calling himself HENRY, about 22 years old; says he ran away from near Florence, Alabama, and belongs to John Calaway. He is about five feet eight inches high, dark, but not very black, rather thin visage, pointed nose, no scars perceivable, rather spare built; says he has been runaway nearly three months. The owner can get him by applying and paying the reward and expenses; if not, he will be proceeded against according to law. This 24th of August, 1852. Samuel Adwell, Jailer.
Aug. 25, 1852.—6m
In the same paper are two more poor fellows, who probably have been sold to pay jail-fees, before now.
Taken up by M. H. Brand, as a runaway slave, on the 22d ult., in the city of Covington, Kenton county, Ky., a negro man calling himself CHARLES WARFIELD, about 30 years old, but looks older, about 6 feet high; no particular marks: had no free papers, but he says he is free, and was born in Pennsylvania, and in Fayette county. Said negro was lodged in jail on the said 22d ult., and the owner or owners, if any, are hereby notified to come forward, prove property, and pay charges, and take him away.
C. W. Hull, J. K. C.
August 3, 1852.—6m.
To the Jail of Graves county, Ky., on the 4th inst., a negro man calling himself DAVE or DAVID. He says he is free, but formerly belonged to Samuel Brown, of Prince William county, Virginia. He is of black color, about 5 feet 10 inches high, weighs about 180 lbs.; supposed to be about 45 years old; had on brown pants and striped shirt. He had in his possession an old rifle gun, an old pistol, and some old clothing. He also informs me that he has escaped from the Dyersburg Jail, Tennessee, where he had been confined some eight or nine months. The owner is hereby notified to come forward, prove property pay charges, &c.
L. B. Holefield, Jailer G. C.
June 28, 1852.—w6m.
Charleston Mercury, Oct. 29, 1852:
Ranaway from the subscriber, some time in March last, his servant LYDIA, and is suspected of being in Charleston. I will give the above reward to any person who may apprehend her, and furnish evidence to conviction of the person supposed to harbor her, or $50 for having her lodged in any Jail so that I get her. Lydia is a Mulatto woman, twenty-five years of age, four feet eleven inches high, with straight black hair, which inclines to curl, her front teeth defective, and has been plugged; the gold distinctly seen when talking; round face, a scar under her chin, and two fingers on one hand stiff at the first joints.
June 16. tuths C. T. Scaife.
Runaway from the subscriber, on or about the first of May last, his negro boy GEORGE, about 18 years of age, about 5 feet high, well set, and speaks properly. He formerly belonged to Mr. J. D. A. Murphy, living in Blackviile; has a mother belonging to a Mr. Lorrick, living in Lexington District. He is supposed to have a pass, and is likely to be lurking about Branchville or Charleston.
The above reward will be paid to any one lodging George in any Jail in the State, so that I can get him.
J. J. Andrews, Orangeburg C. H.
Orangeburg, Aug. 7, 1852. sw Sept 11
Committed to the Jail at Colleton District as a runaway, JORDAN, a negro man about thirty years of age, who says he belongs to Dobson Coely, of Pulaski County, Georgia. The owner has notice to prove property and take him away.
L. W. McCants, Sheriff Colleton Dist.
Walterboro, So. Ca., Sept. 7, 1852.
The following are selected by the Commonwealth mostly from New Orleans papers. The characteristics of the slaves are interesting.
TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD
Will be paid by the undersigned for the apprehension and delivery to any Jail in this city of the negro woman MARIAH, who ran away from the Phoenix House about the 15th of October last. She is about 45 years old, 5 feet 4 inches high, stout built, speaks French and English. Was purchased from Chas. Deblanc.
H. Bidwell & Co, 16 Front Levee.
FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD.
Ranaway about the 25th ult., ALLEN, a bright mulatto, aged about 22 years, 6 feet high, very well dressed, has an extremely careless gait, of slender build, and wore a moustache when he left; the property of J. P. Harrison, Esq., of this city. The above reward will be paid for his safe delivery at any safe place in the city. For further particulars apply at 10 Bank Place.
ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.
We will give the above reward for the apprehension of the light mulatto boy SEABOURN, aged 20 years, about 5 feet 4 inches high; is stout, well made, and remarkably active. He is somewhat of a circus actor, by which he may easily be detected, as he is always showing his gymnastic qualifications. The said boy absented himself on the 3d inst. Besides the above reward, all reasonable expenses will be paid.
W. & H. Stackhouse, 70 Tchoupitoulas.
TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.
The above reward will be paid for the apprehension of the mulatto boy SEVERIN, aged 25 years, 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high; most of his front teeth are out, and the letters C. V. are marked on either of his arms with India Ink He speaks French, English and Spanish, and was formerly owned by Mr. Courcell, in the Third District. I will pay, in addition to the above reward, $50 for such information as will lead to the conviction of any person harboring said slave.
John Eruon, corner Camp and Race sts.
TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.
Ran away from the Chain Gang in New Orleans, First Municipality, in February last, a negro boy named STEPHEN. He is about 5 foot 7 inches in height, a very light mulatto, with blue eyes and brownish hair, stoops a little in the shoulders, has a cast-down look, and is very strongly built and muscular. He will not acknowledge his name or owner, is an habitual runaway, and was shot somewhere in the ankle while endeavoring to escape from Baton Rouge Jail. The above reward, with all attendant expenses, will be paid on his delivery to me, or for his apprehension and commitment to any Jail from which I can get him.
A. L. Bingaman.
TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.
The above reward will be given to the person who will lodge in one of the Jails of this city the slave SARAH, belonging to Mr. Guisonnet, corner St. John Baptiste and Race streets; said slave is aged about 28 years, 5 feet high, benevolent face, fine teeth, and speaking French and English. Captains of vessels and steamboats are hereby cautioned not to receive her on board, under penalty of the law. Avet Brothers,
Corner Bienville and Old Levee streets.
Lynchburg Virginian, Nov. 6th:
TWENTY DOLLARS REWARD.
Ranaway from the subscriber on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, in the county of Wythe, on the 20th of June, 1852, a negro man named CHARLES, 6 feet high, copper color, with several teeth out in front, about 35 years of age, rather slow to reply, but pleasing appearance when spoken to. He wore, when he left, a cloth cap and a blue cloth sack coat; he was purchased in Tennessee, 14 months ago, by Mr. M. Connell, of Lynchburg, and carried to that place, where he remained until I purchased him 4 months ago. It is more than probable that he will make his way to Tennessee, as he has a wife now living there; or he may perhaps return to Lynchburg, and lurk about there, as he has acquaintances there. The above reward will be paid if he is taken in the State and confined so that I get him again; or I will pay a reward of $40, if taken out of the State and confined in Jail. George AW. Kyle.
Winchester Republican (Va.), Nov. 26:
ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.
Ranaway from the subscriber, near Culpepper Ct. House, Va., about the 1st of October, a negro man named ALFRED , about five feet seven inches in height, about twenty-five years of age, uncommonly muscular and active, complexion dark but not black, countenance mild and rather pleasant. He had a boil last winter on the middle joint of the middle or second finger of the right hand, which left the finger stiff in that joint, more visible in opening his hand than in shutting it. He has a wife at Mr. Thomas G. Marshall's, near Farrowsville, in Fauquier County, and may be in that neighborhood, where he wishes to be sold, and where I am willing to sell him.
I will give the above reward if he is taken out of the State and secured, so that I get him again; or $50 if taken in the State, and secured in like manner. W. B. Slaughter.
October 20, 1852.
From the Louisville Daily Journal, Oct. 23, 1852:
$100 DOLLARS REWARD.
Ran away from the subscriber, in this city, on Friday, May 28th, a negro boy named WYATT. Said boy is copper colored, 25 or 26 years old, about 5 feet 11 inches high, of large frame, slow and heavy gait, has very large hands and feet, small side-whiskers, a full head of hair which he combs to the side, quite a pleasing look, and is very likely. I recently purchased Wyatt from Mr. Garrett, of Garrett's Landing, Ky., and his wife is the property of Thos. G. Rowland, Esq., of this city. I will pay the above reward for the apprehension and delivery of the boy to me if taken out of the State, or $50 if taken in the State. June2d&wtf David W. Yandell.
TWO NEGROES. Ranaway from the subscriber, \ living in Louisville, on the 2d, one negro man and girl. The man's name is MILES. He is about 5 feet 8 inches high, dark-brown color, with a large scar upon his head, as if caused from a burn; age about 25 years; and had with him two carpet sacks, one of cloth, the other enamelled leather, also a pass from Louisville to Owenton, Owen county, Ky., and back. The girl's name is JULIA, and she is of light-brown color, short and heavy set, rather good looking, with a scar upon her forehead; had on a plaid silk dress when she left, and took other clothes with her; looks to be about 16 years of age.
The above reward will be paid for the man, if taken out of the State, or $100 for the girl; $100 for the man, if taken in the State, or $50 for the girl. In either event, they are to be secured, so I get them.
oet5d&wtf John W.Lynn.
The following advertisements are all dated Shelby Co., Kentucky.
Was committed to the Jail of Shelby county a negro woman, who says her name is JUDA; dark complexion; twenty years of age; some five feet high; weighs about one hundred and twenty pounds; no scars recollected, and says she belongs to James Wilson, living in Denmark, Tennessee. The owner of said slave is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take her away, or she will be dealt with as the law directs.
W. H. Eanes,
oct27—w4t Jailer Shelby county.
Was committed to the Jail of Shelby county, on the 28th ult., a negro boy, who says his name is JOHN W. LOYD; of a bright complexion, 25 years of age, will weigh about one hundred and fifty pounds, about five feet nine or ten inches high, three scars on his left leg, which was caused by a dog-bite. The said boy John claims to be free. If he has any master, he is hereby notified to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be dealt with as the law directs . [nov3—w4t
Also—Committed at the same time a negro boy, who says his name is PATRICK, of a bright complexion, about 30 years of age, will weigh about one hundred and forty-five or fifty pounds; about six feet high; his face is very badly scarred, which he says was caused by being salivated. The disease caused him to lose the bone out of his nose, and his jaw-bone, also. Says he belongs to Dr. Wm. Cheathum, living in Nashville, Tenn. The owner of said slave is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, of he will be dealt with as the law directs. [nov3—w4t
Also—Committed at the same time a negro boy, who says his name is CLAIBORNE; dark complexion, 22 years of age, will weigh about one hundred and forty pounds, about five feet high; no scars recollected; says he belongs to Col. Rousell, living in De Soto county, Miss. The owner of said slave is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be dealt with as the law directs.
W. H. Eanes,
nov3—w4t Jailer Shelby county.
Was committed to the Jail of Shelby county a negro boy, who says his name is GEORGE; dark complexion, about twenty-five or thirty years of age, some five feet nine or ten inches high; will weigh about one hundred and forty pounds, no scars, and says he belongs to Malley Bradford, living in Issaqueen county, Mississippi. The owner of said slave is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be dealt with as the law directs.
W. H. Eanes,
nov10.—w4t Jailer Shelby county.
Was committed to the Jail of Shelby county, on the 30th ult., a negro woman, who says her name is NANCY, of a bright complexion, some twenty or twenty-one years of age, will weigh about one hundred and forty pounds, about five feet high, no scars, and says she belongs to John Pittman, living in Memphis, Tenn. The owner of said slave is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take her away, or she will be dealt with as the law directs.
W. H. Eanes,
nov10.—w4t Jailer Shelby county.
Negro property is decidedly "brisk" in this county.
Natchez (Miss.) Free Trader, November 6, 1852:
25 DOLLARS REWARD.
Ranaway from the undersigned, on the 17th day of October, 1852, a negro man by the name of ALLEN, about 23 years old, near 6 feet high, of dark mulatto color, no marks, save one, and that caused by the bite of a dog; had on, when he left, lowell pants, and cotton shirt; reads imperfect, can make a short calculation correctly, and can write some few words; said negro has run away heretofore, and when taken up was in possession of a free pass. He is quick-spoken, lively, and smiles when in conversation.
I will give the above reward to any one who will confine said negro in any Jail, so that I can get him. Thos R. Cheatham,
Newberry Sentinel (S.C.), Nov. 17, 1852:
RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the 9th of July hist, my Boy WILLIAM, a bright mulatto, about 26 years old, 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, of slender make, quite intelligent, speaks quick when spoken to, and walks briskly. Said boy was brought from Virginia, and will probably attempt to get back. Any information of said boy will be thankfully received. John M. Mars.
Near Mollohon P. 0., Newberry Dist., S. C.
Nov. 3. 414t.
Greensboro' Patriot (N. C), Nov. 6:
10 DOLLARS REWARD.
RANAWAY from my service, in February, 1851, a colored man named EDWARD WINSLOW, low, thick-set, part Indian, and a first rate fiddler. Said Winslow was sold out of Guilford jail, at February court, 1851, for his prison charges, for the term of five years. It is supposed that he is at work on the Railroad, somewhere in Davidson county. The above reward will be paid for his apprehension and confinement in the jail of Guilford or any of the adjoining counties, so that I get him, or for his delivery to me in the south-east corner of Guilford. My post-office is Long's Mills, Randolph, N. C.P. C. Smith.
October 27, 1852. 702—5w.
The New Orleans True Delta, of the 11th ult., 1853, has the following editorial notice:
The Great Raffle of a Trotting Horse and a Negro Servant.—Th« enterprising and go-a-head Col. Jennings has got a raffle under way now, which eclipses all his previous undertakings in that line. The prizes are the celebrated trotting horse "Star," buggy and harness, and a valuable negro servant,—the latter valued at nine hundred dollars. See his advertisement in another column.
The advertisement is as follows:
MR. JOSEPH JENNINGS
Respectfully informs his friends and the public, that, at the request of many of his acquaintances, he has been induced to purchase from Mr. Osborn, of Missouri, the celebrated dark bay horse "Star," age five years, square trotter, and warranted sound, with a new light trotting Buggy and harness; also the stout mulatto girl "Sarah," aged about twenty years, general house servant, valued at nine hundred dollars, and guaranteed; will be raffled for at 4 o'clock, P.M., February 1st, at any hotel selected by the subscribers.
The above is as represented, and those persons who may wish to engage in the usual practice, of raffling will, I assure them, be perfectly satisfied with their destiny in this affair.
Fifteen hundred chances, at $1 each.
The whole is valued at its just worth, fifteen hundred dollars.
The raffle will be conducted by gentlemen selected by the interested subscribers present. Five nights allowed to complete the raffle. Both of above can be seen at my store. No. 78 Commonstreet, second door from Camp, at from 9 o'clock A. M., till half-past 2 P. M.
Highest throw takes the first choice; the lowest throw the remaining prize, and the fortunate winners to pay Twenty Dollars each, for the refreshments furnished for the occasion. Jan. 9. 2w. J. Jennings.
Daily Courier (Natchez, Miss.), Nov. 20, 1852:
TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.
THE above reward will be given for the apprehension and confinement in any jail of the negro man HARDY, who ran away from the subscriber, residing on Lake St. John, near Rifle Point, Concordia parish, La., on the 9th August last. Hardy is a remarkably likely negro, entirely free from all marks, scars or blemishes, when he left home; about six feet high, of black complexion (though quite light), fine countenance, unusually smooth skin, good head of hair, fine eyes and teeth.
Address the subscriber at Rifle Point, Concordia Parish, La. Robert Y. Jones.
What an unfortunate master—lost an article entirely free from "marks, scars or blemishes"! Such a rarity ought to be choice!
Savannah Daily Georgian. 6th Sept., 1852:
ABOUT three weeks ago, under suspicious circumstances, a negro woman, who calls herself PHEBE, or PHILLIS. Says she is free, and lately from Beaufort District, South Carolina. Said woman is about 50 years of age, stout in stature, mild-spoken, 5 feet 4 inches high, and weighs about 140 pounds. Having made diligent inquiry by letter, and from what I can learn, said woman is a runaway. Any person owning said slave can get her by making application to me, properly authenticated. Waring Russell,
Savannah, Oct. 25, 1852. 6oct. 26
250 DOLLARS REWARD.
RANAWAY from Sparta, Ga., about the first of last year my boy GEORGE. He is a good carpenter, about 35 years: a bright mulatto, tall and quite likely. He was brought about three years ago from St. Mary's, and had, when he fan away, a wife there, or near there, belonging to a Mr. Holzendorff. I think he has told me he has been about Macon also. He had, and perhaps still has, a brother in Savannah. He is very intelligent. I will give the above reward for his confinement in some jail in the State, so that I can get him. Refer, for any further information, to Rabun & Whitehead, Savannah, Ga.
W. J. Sassnett.
Oxford, Ga, Aug. 13th, 1852. tuths3m. a17
From these advertisements, and hundreds of similar ones, one may learn the following things:
1. That the arguments for the enslaving of the negro do not apply to a large part of the actual slaves.
2. That they are not, in the estimation of their masters, very stupid.
3. That they are not remarkably contented.
4. That they have no particular reason to be so.
5. That multitudes of men claiming to be free are constantly being sold into slavery.
In respect to the complexion of these slaves, there are some points worthy of consideration. The writer adds the following advertisements, published by Wm. I. Bowditch, Esq., in his pamphlet "Slavery and the Constitution."
From the Richmond (Va.) Whig:
100 DOLLARS REWARD.
WILL be given for the apprehension of my negro (!) Edmund Kenney. He has straight hair, and complexion so nearly white that it is believed a stranger would, suppose there was no African blood in him. He was with my boy Dick a short time since in Norfolk, and offered, him for sale, and was apprehended, but escaped, under pretence of being a white man!Anderson Bowles.
January 6, 1836.
From the Republican Banner and Nashville Whig of July 14, 1849:
200 DOLLARS REWARD.
RAN AWAY from the subscriber, on the 23d of June last, a bright muletto woman, named Julia, about 25 years of age. She is of common size, nearly white, and very likely. She is a good seamstress, and can read a little. She may attempt to pass for white,—dresses fine. She took with her Anna, her child, 8 or 9 years old, and considerably darker than her mother.… She once belonged to a Mr. Helm, of Columbia, Tennessee.
I will give a reward of $50 for said negro and child, if delivered to me, or confined in any jail in this state, so I can get them; $100, if caught in any other Slave state, and confined in a jail so that I can get them; and $200, if caught in any Free state, and put in any good jail in Kentucky or Tennessee, so I can get them.
A. W. Johnson.
Nashville, July 9, 1849.
The following three advertisements are taken from Alabama papers:
From the Subscriber, working on the plantation of Col. H. Tinker, a bright mulatto boy, named Alfred, Alfred is about 18 years old, pretty well grown, has blue eyes, light flaxen hair, skin disposed to freckle. He will try to pass as free-born.
Green County, Ala. S. G. Stewart.
100 DOLLARS REWARD.
Ran away from the subscriber, a, bright mulatto man-slave, named Sam. Light, sandy hair, blue eyes, ruddy complexion,—is so white as very easily to pass for a free white man. Edwin Peck.
Mobile, April 22, 1837.
On the 15th of May, from me, a negro woman, named Fanny. Said woman is 20 years old; is rather tall; can read and write, and so forge passes for herself. Carried away with her a pair of ear-rings,—a Bible with a red cover; is very pious. She prays a great deal, and was, as supposed, contented and happy. She is as white as most white women, with straight, light hair, and blue eyes, and can pass herself for a white woman. I will give $500 for her apprehension and delivery to me. She is very intelligent.
Tuscaloosa, May 29, 1845. John Balch.
From the Newbern (N. C.) Spectator:
50 DOLLARS REWARD.
Will be given for the apprehension and delivery to me of the following slaves:—Samuel, and Judy his wife, with their four children, belonging to the estate of Sacker Dubberly, deceased.
I will give $10 for the apprehension of William Dubberly, a slave belonging to the estate. William is about 19 years old, quite white, and would not readily be taken for a slave. John J. Lane.
March 13, 1837,
The next two advertisements we cut from the New Orleans Picayune of Sept. 2, 1846:
25 DOLLARS REWARD.
Ranaway from the plantation of Madame Fergus Duplantier, on or about the 27th of June, 1846, a bright mulatto, named Ned, very stout built, about 5 feet 11 inches high, speaks English and French, about 35 years old, waddles in his walk. He may try to pass himself for a white man, as he is of a very clear color, and has sandy hair. The above reward will be paid to whoever will bring him to Madame Duplantier's plantation, Manchac, or lodge him in some jail where he can be conveniently obtained.
200 DOLLARS REWARD.
Ran away from the subscriber, last November, a white negro man, about 35 years old, height about 5 feet 8 or 10 inches, blue eyes, has a yellow woolly head, very fair skin.
These are the characteristics of three races. The copper-colored complexion shows the Indian blood. The others are the mixed races of negroes and whites. It is known that the poor remains of Indian races have been in many cases forced into slavery. It is no less certain that white children have sometimes been kidnapped and sold into slavery. Rev. George Bourne, of Virginia, Presbyterian minister, who wrote against slavery there as early as 1816, gives an account of a boy who was stolen from his parents, at seven years of age, immersed in a tan-vat to change his complexion, tattooed and sold, and, after a captivity of fourteen years, succeeded in escaping. The tanning process is not necessary now, as a fair skin is no presumption against slavery. There is reason to think that the grandmother of poor Emily Russell was a white child, stolen by kidnappers. That kidnappers may steal and sell white children at the South now, is evident from these advertisements.
The writer, within a week, has seen a fugitive quadroon mother, who had with her two children,—a boy of ten months, and a girl of three years. Both were surpassingly fair, and uncommonly beautiful. The girl had blue eyes and golden hair. The mother and those children were about to be sold for the division of an estate, which was the reason why she fled. When the mind once becomes familiarized with the process of slavery,—of enslaving first black, then Indian, then mulatto, then quadroon, and when blue eyes and golden hair are advertised as properties of negroes,—what protection will there be for poor white people, especially as under the present fugitive law they can be carried away without a jury trial?
A Governor of South Carolina openly declared, in 1835, that the laboring population of any country, bleached or unbleached, were a dangerous element, unless reduced to slavery. Will not this be the result, then?
"poor white trash."
When the public sentiment of Europe speaks in tones of indignation of the system of American slavery, the common reply has been, "Look at your own lower classes." The apologists of slavery have pointed England to her own poor. They have spoken of the heathenish ignorance, the vice, the darkness, of her crowded cities,—nay, even of her agricultural districts.
Now, in the first place, a country where the population is not crowded, where the resources of the soil are more than sufficient for the inhabitants,—a country of recent origin, not burdened with the worn-out institutions and clumsy lumber of past ages,—ought not to be satisfied to do only as well as countries which have to struggle against all these evils.
It is a poor defence for America to say to older countries, "We are no worse than you are." She ought to be infinitely better.
But it will appear that the institution of slavery has produced not only heathenish, degraded, miserable slaves, but it produces a class of white people who are, by universal admission, more heathenish, degraded, and miserable. The institution of slavery has accomplished the double feat, in America, not only of degrading and brutalizing her black working classes, but of producing, notwithstanding a fertile soil and abundant room, a poor white population as degraded and brutal as ever existed in any of the most crowded districts of Europe.
The way that it is done can be made apparent in a few words. 1. The distribution of the land into large plantations, and the consequent sparseness of settlement, make any system of common-school education impracticable. 2, The same cause operates with regard to the preaching of the gospel, 3. The degradation of the idea of labor, which results inevitably from enslaving the working class, operates to a great extent in preventing respectable working men of the middling classes from settling or remaining in slave states. Where carpenters, blacksmiths and masons, are advertised every week with their own tools, or in company with horses, hogs and other cattle, there is necessarily such an estimate of the laboring class that intelligent, self-respecting mechanics, such as abound in the free states, must find much that is annoying and disagreeable. They may endure it for a time, but with much uneasiness; and they are glad of the first opportunity of emigration.
Then, again, the filling up of all branches of mechanics and agriculture with slave labor necessarily depresses free labor. Suppose, now, a family of poor whites in Carolina or Virginia, and the same family in Vermont or Maine; how different the influences that come over them! In Vermont or Maine, the children have the means of education at hand in public schools, and they have all around them in society avenues of success that require only industry to make them available. The boys have their choice among all the different trades, for which the organization of free society makes a steady demand. The girls, animated by the spirit of the land in which they are born, think useful labor no disgrace, and find, with true female ingenuity, a hundred ways of adding to the family stock. If there be one member of a family in whom diviner gifts and higher longings seem a call for a more finished course of education, then cheerfully the whole family unites its productive industry to give that one the wider education which his wider genius demands; and thus have been given to the world such men as Roger Sherman and Daniel Webster.
But take this same family and plant them in South Carolina or Virginia—how different the result! No common school opens its doors to their children; the only church, perhaps, is fifteen miles off, over a bad road. The whole atmosphere of the country in which they are born associates degradation and slavery with useful labor; and the only standard of gentility is ability to live without work. What branch of useful labor opens a way to its sons? Would he be a blacksmith?—The planters around him prefer to buy their blacksmiths in Virginia. Would he be a carpenter?—Each planter in his neighborhood owns one or two now. And so coopers and masons. Would he be a shoe-maker?—The plantation shoes are made in Lynn and Natick, towns of New England. In fact, between the free labor of the North and the slave labor of the South, there is nothing for a poor white to do. Without schools or churches, these miserable families grow up heathen on a Christian soil, in idleness, vice, dirt and discomfort of all sorts. They are the pest of the neighborhood, the scoff and contempt or pity even of the slaves. The expressive phrase, so common in the mouths of the negroes, of "poor white trash," says all for this luckless race of beings that can be said. From this class spring a tribe of keepers of small groggeries, and dealers, by a kind of contraband trade, with the negroes, in the stolen produce of plantations. Thriving and promising sons may perhaps hope to grow up into negro-traders, and thence be exalted into overseers of plantations. The utmost stretch of ambition is to compass money enough, by any of a variety of nondescript measures, to "buy a nigger or two," and begin to appear like other folks. Woe betide the unfortunate negro man or woman, carefully raised in some good religious family, when an execution or the death of their proprietors throws them into the market, and they are bought by a master and mistress of this class! Oftentimes the slave is infinitely the superior, in every respect,—in person, manners, education and morals; but, for all that, the law guards the despotic authority of the owner quite as jealously.
From all that would appear, in the case of Souther, which we have recorded, he must have been one of this class. We have certain indications, in the evidence, that the two white witnesses, who spent the whole day in gaping, unresisting survey of his diabolical proceedings, were men of this order. It appears that the crime alleged against the poor victim was that of getting drunk and trading with these two very men, and that they were sent for probably by way of showing them "what a nigger would get by trading with them." This circumstance at once marks them out as belonging to that band of half-contraband traders who spring up among the mean whites, and occasion owners of slaves so much inconvenience by dealing with their hands. Can any words so forcibly show what sort of white men these are, as the idea of their standing in stupid, brutal curiosity, a whole day, as witnesses in such a hellish scene?
Conceive the misery of the slave who falls into the hands of such masters! A clergyman, now dead, communicated to the writer the following anecdote: In travelling in one of the Southern States, he put up for the night in a miserable log shanty, kept by a man of this class. All was dirt, discomfort and utter barbarism. The man, his wife, and their stock of wild, neglected children, drank whiskey, loafed and predominated over the miserable man and woman who did all the work and bore all the caprices of the whole establishment. He—the gentleman—was not long in discovering that these slaves were in person, language, and in every respect, superior to their owners; and all that he could get of comfort in this miserable abode was owing to their ministrations. Before he went away, they contrived to have a private interview, and begged him to buy them. They told him that they had been decently brought up in a respectable and refined family, and that their bondage was therefore the more inexpressibly galling. The poor creatures had waited on him with most assiduous care, tending his horse, brushing his boots, and anticipating all his wants, in the hope of inducing him to buy them. The clergyman said that he never so wished for money as when he saw the dejected visages with which they listened to his assurances that he was too poor to comply with their desires.
This miserable class of whites form, in all the Southern States, a material for the most horrible and ferocious of mobs. Utterly ignorant, and inconceivably brutal, they are like some blind, savage monster, which, when aroused, tramples heedlessly over everything in its way.
Singular as it may appear, though slavery is the cause of the misery and degradation of this class, yet they are the most vehement and ferocious advocates of slavery.
The reason is this. They feel the scorn of the upper classes, and their only means of consolation is in having a class below them, whom they may scorn in turn. To set the negro at liberty would deprive them of this last comfort; and accordingly no class of men advocate slavery with such frantic and unreasoning violence, or hate abolitionists with such demoniac hatred. Let the reader conceive of a mob of men as brutal and callous as the two white witnesses of the Souther tragedy, led on by men like Souther himself, and he will have some idea of the material which occur in the worst kind of Southern mobs.
The leaders of the community, those men who play on other men with as little care for them as a harper plays on a harp, keep this blind, furious monster of the mob, very much as an overseer keeps plantation-dogs, as creatures to be set on to any man or thing whom they may choose to have put down.
These leading men have used the cry of "abolitionism" over the mob, much as a huntsman uses the "set on" to his dogs. Whenever they have a purpose to carry, a man to put down, they, have only to raise this cry, and the monster is wide awake, ready to spring wherever they shall send him. Does a minister raise his voice in favor of the slave?—Immediately, with a whoop and hurra, some editor starts the mob on him, as an abolitionist. Is there a man teaching his negroes to read?—The mob is started upon him—he must promise to give it up, or leave the state. Does a man at a public hotel-table express his approbation of some anti-slavery work?—Up come the police, and arrest him for seditious language; and on the heels of the police, thronging round the justice's office, come the ever-ready mob,—men with clubs and bowie-knives, swearing that they will have his heart's blood. The more respectable citizens in vain try to compose them: it is quite as hopeful to reason with a pack of hounds, and the only way is to smuggle the suspected person out of the state as quickly as possible. All these are scenes of common occurrence at the South. Every Southern man knows them to be so, and they know, too, the reason why they are so; but, so much do they fear the monster, that they dare not say what they know.
This brute monster sometimes gets beyond the power of his masters, and then results ensue most mortifying to the patriotism of honorable Southern men, but which they are powerless to prevent. Such was the case when the Honorable Senator Hoar, of Massachusetts, with his daughter, visited the city of Charleston. The senator was appointed by the sovereign State of Massachusetts to inquire into the conditions of her free colored citizens detained in South Carolina prisons. We cannot suppose that men of honor and education, in South Carolina, can contemplate without chagrin the fact that this honorable gentleman, the representative of a sister state, and accompanied by his daughter, was obliged to flee from South Carolina, because they were told that the constituted authorities would not be powerful enough to protect them from the ferocities of a mob. This is not the only case in which this mob has escaped from the hands its guiders, and produced mortifying results. The scenes of Vicksburg, and the succession of popular whirlwinds which at that time flew over the south-western states, have been forcibly painted by the author of "The White Slave."
They who find these popular outbreaks useful when they serve their own turns are sometimes forcibly reminded of the consequences
"Of letting rapine loose, and murder,
To go just so far, and no further;
And setting all the land on fire
To burn just so high, and no higher."
The statements made above can be substantiated by various documents,—mostly by the testimony of residents in slave states, and by extracts from their newspapers.
Concerning the class of poor whites, Mr. William Gregg, of Charleston, South Carolina, in a pamphlet, called "Essays On Domestic Industry, or an Inquiry into the expediency of establishing Cotton Manufactories in South Carolina, 1845," says, p. 22:
Shall we pass unnoticed the thousands of poor, ignorant, degraded white people among us, who, in this land of plenty, live in comparative nakedness and starvation? Many a one is reared in proud South Carolina, from birth to manhood, who has never passed a month in which he has not some part of the time, been stinted for meat. Many a mother is there who will tell you that her children are but scantily provided with bread, and much more scantily with meat; and, if they be clad with comfortable raiment, it is at the expense of these scanty allowances of food. These may be startling statements, but they are nevertheless true; and if not believed in Charleston, the members of our legislature who have traversed the state in electioneering campaigns can attest their truth."
The Rev. Henry Duffner, D.D., President of Lexington College, Va., himself a slave-holder, published in 1847 an address to the people of Virginia, showing that slavery is injurious to public welfare, in which he shows the influence of slavery in producing a decrease of the white population. He says:
It appears that, in the ten years from 1830 to 1840, Virginia lost by emigration no fewer than three hundred and seventy-five thousand of her people; of whom East Virginia lost three hundred and four thousand, and West Virginia seventy-one thousand. At this rate, Virginia supplies the West, every ten years, with a population equal in number to the population of the State of Mississippi in 1840. * * * * * She has sent—or, we should rather say, she has driven—from her soil at least one-third of all the emigrants who have gone from the old states to the new. More than another third have gone from the other old slave states. Many of these multitudes, who have left the slave states, have shunned the regions of slavery, and settled in the free countries of the West. These were generally industrious and enterprising white men, who found, by sad experience, that a country of slaves was not the country for them. It is a truth, a certain truth, that slavery drives free labourers—farmers, mechanics and all, and some of the best of them, too—out of the country and fills their places with negroes. * * * * * Even the common mechanical trades do not flourish in a slave state. Some mechanical operations must indeed be performed in every civilized country; but the general rule is the South is to import from abroad every fabricated thing, that can be carried in ships, such as household furniture, boats, boards, laths, carts, ploughs, axes, and axe-helves; besides innumerable other things, which free communities are accustomed to make for themselves. What is most wonderful is, that the forests, and iron mines of the South supply, in great part, the materials out of which these things are made. The Northern freemen come with their ships, carry home the timber and pig-iron, work them up, supply their own want with a part, and then sell the rest, at a good profit in the Southern markets. Now, although mechanics, by setting up their shops in the South, could save all these freights and profits yet so it is that Northern mechanics will not settle in the South; and the Southern mechanics are undersold by their Northern competitors.
In regard to education, Rev. Theodore Parker gives the following statistics, in his "Letters on Slavery," p. 65:
In 1671, Sir William Berkely, Governor of Virginia, said, "I thank God that there are no free schools nor printing-presses (in Virginia) and I hope we shall not have them these hundred years." In 1840, in the fifteen slave states and territories, there were at the various primary schools 201,085 scholars; at the various primary schools of the free states, 1,626,028. The State of Ohio alone had, at her primary schools, 17,524 more scholars than all the fifteen slave states. New York alone had 301,282 more.
In the slave states there are 1,368,325 free white children between the ages of five and twenty; in the free States; 3,536,689 such children. In the slave states, at schools and colleges, there are 201,172 pupils; in the free states, 2,212,444 pupils at schools or colleges. Thus, in the slave states, out of twenty-five free white children between five and twenty, there are not quite five at any school or college; while out of twenty-five such children in the free states, there are more than fifteen at school or college.
In the slave states, of the free white population that is over twenty years of age, there is almost one-tenth part that are unable to read and write; while in the free states there is not quite one in one hundred and fifty-six who is deficient to that degree.
In New England there are but few born therein, and more than twenty years of age, who are unable to read and write; but many foreigners arrive there with no education, and thus swell the number of the illiterate, and diminish the apparent effect of her free institutions. The South has few such emigrants; the ignorance of the Southern States, therefore, is to be ascribed to other causes. The Northern men who settle in the slave-holding states have perhaps about the average culture of the North, and more than that of the South. The South, therefore, gains educationally from immigration, as the North loses.
Among the Northern States Connecticut, and among the Southern States South Carolina, are to a great degree free from disturbing influences of this character. A comparison between the two will show the relative effects of the respective institutions of the North and South. In Connecticut there are 168,843 free persons over twenty years of age; in South Carolina, but 111,663. In Connecticut there are but 526 persons over twenty who are unable to read and write, while in South Carolina there are 29,615 free white persons over twenty years of age unable to read and write. In South Carolina, out of each 626 free whites more than twenty years of age there are more than 58 wholly unable to read or write; out of that number of such persons in Connecticut, not quite two! More than the sixth part of the adult freemen of South Carolina are unable to read the vote which will be deposited at the next election. It is but fair to infer that at least one-third of the adults of South Carolina, if not of much of the South are unable to read and understand even a newspaper. Indeed, in one of the slave states this is not a matter of mere inferences; for in 1837 Gov. Clarke, of Kentucky, declared in his message to the legislature that "one-third of the adult population were unable to write their names;" yet Kentucky has a "school-fund," valued at $1,221,819, while South Carolina has none.
One sign of this want of ability even to read, in the slave states, is too striking to be passed by The staple reading of the least-cultivated Americans is the newspapers, one of the lowest forms of literature, though one of the most-powerful, read even by men who read nothing else. In the slave states there are published but 377 newspapers, and in the free 1135. These numbers do not express the entire difference in the case; for, as a general rule, the circulation of the Southern newspapers is 50 to 75 per cent. less than that of the North. Suppose, however, that each Southern newspaper has two-thirds the circulation of a Northern journal, we have then but 225 newspapers for the slave states! The more valuable journals—the monthlies and quarterlies—are published almost entirely in the free States.
The number of churches, the number and character of the clergy who labor for these churches, are other measures of the intellectual and moral condition of the people. The scientific character of the Southern clergy has been already touched on. Let us compare the more external facts.
In 1830, South Carolina had a population of 581,185 souls; Connecticut, 297,675. In 1836, South Carolina had 364 ministers; Connecticut, 498.
In 1834, there were in the slave states but 82,532 scholars in the Sunday-schools; in the free states, 504,835; in the single State of New York, 161,768.
The fact of constant emigration from slave states is also shown by such extracts from papers as the following, from the Raleigh (N. C.) Register, quoted in the columns of the National Era:
THEY WILL LEAVE NORTH CAROLINA.
Our attention was arrested, on Saturday last, by quite along train of wagons, winding through our streets, which, upon inquiry, we found to belong to a party emigrating from Wayne county, in this state, to the "far West." This is but a repetition of many similar scenes that we and others have witnessed during the past few years; and such spectacles will be still more frequently witnessed, unless something is done to retrieve our fallen fortunes at home.
If there be any one "consummation devoutly to be wished" in our policy, it is that our young men should remain at home, and not abandon their native state. From the early settlement of North Carolina, the great drain upon her prosperity has been the spirit of emigration, which has so prejudicially affected all the states of the South. Her sons, hitherto neglected (if we must say it) by an unparental government, have wended their way, by hundreds upon hundreds, from the land of their fathers,—that land, too, to make it a paradise, wanting nothing but a market,—to bury their bones in the land of strangers. We firmly believe that this emigration is caused by the laggard policy of our people on the subject of internal improvement, for man is not prone by nature to desert the home of his affections.
The editor of the Era also quotes the following from the Greensboro (Ala.) Beacon:
"An unusually large number of movers have passed through this village, within the past two or three weeks. On one day of last week, upwards of thirty wagons and other vehicles belonging to emigrants, mostly from Georgia and South Carolina, passed through on their way, most of them bound to Texas and Arkansas."
This tide of emigration does not emanate from an overflowing population. Very far from it. Rather it marks an abandonment of a soil which, exhausted by injudicious culture, will no longer repay the labor of tillage. The emigrant, turning his back upon the homes of his childhood, leaves a desolate region, it may be, and finds that he can indulge in his feelings of local attachment only at the risk of starvation.
How are the older states of the South to keep their population? We say nothing of an increase, but how are they to hold their own? It is useless to talk about strict construction, state rights, or Wilmot Provisos. Of what avail can such things be to a sterile desert, upon which people cannot subsist?
In the columns of the National Era, Oct. 2, 1851, also is the following article, by its editor:
STAND YOUR GROUND.
A citizen of Guilford county, N. C. in a letter to the True Wesleyan, dated August 20th, 1851, writes:
"You may discontinue my paper for the present, as I am inclined to go Westward, where I can enjoy religious liberty, and have my family in a free country. Mobocracy has the ascendency here, and there is no law. Brother Wilson had an appointment on Liberty Hill, on Sabbath, 24th inst. The mob came armed, according to mob law, and commenced operations on the meeting-house. They knocked all the weather-boarding on, destroying doors, windows, pulpit, and benches; and I have no idea that, if the mob was to kill a Wesleyan, or one of their friends, that they would be hung.
"There is more moving this fall to the far West than was ever known in one year. People do not like to be made slaves, and they are determined to go where it is no crime to plead the cause of the poor and oppressed. They have become alarmed at seeing the laws of God trampled under foot with impunity, and that, too, by legislators, sworn officers of the peace, and professors of religion. And even ministers (so called) are justifying mobocracy. They think that such a course of conduct will lead to a dissolution of the Union, and then every man will have to fight in defence of slavery, or be killed. This is an awful state of things, and, if the people were destitute of the Bible, and the various means of information which they possess, there might be some hope of reform. But there is but little hope, under existing circumstances."
We hope the writer will reconsider his purpose. In his section of North Carolina there are very many anti-slavery men, and the majority of the people have no interest in what is called slave property. Let them stand their ground, and maintain the right of free discussion. How is the despotism of Slavery to be put down, if those opposed to it abandon their rights, and flee their country? Let them do as theClay does in Kentucky, and they will make themselves respected.
The following is quoted, without comment, in the National Era, in 1851, from the columns of the Augusta Republic (Georgia).
FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN GEORGIA.
Thursday, July 10, 1851.
This day the citizens of the town and county met in the court-house at eight o'clock, A. M. On motion, Thomas F. Parsons, Esq., was called to the chair, and Mr. Wm. H. Pilcher requested to act as secretary.
The object of the meeting was stated by the chairman, as follows:
Whereas, our community has been thrown into confusion by the presence among us of one Nathan Bird Watson, who hails from New Haven (Conn.), and who has been promulgating abolition sentiments, publicly and privately, among our people,—sentiments at war with our institutions, and intolerable in a slave community,—and also been detected in visiting suspicious negro houses, as we suppose for the purpose of inciting our slaves and free negro population to insurrection and insubordination.
The meeting having been organized, Wm. Gibson, Esq., offered the following resolution, which, after various expressions of opinion, was unanimously adopted, to wit:
Resolved, That a committee of ten be appointed by the chairman for the purpose of making arrangements to expel Nathan Bird Watson, an avowed abolitionist, who has been in our village for three or four weeks, by twelve o'clock this day, by the Georgia Railroad cars; and that it shall be the duty of said committee to escort the said Watson to Camak, for the purpose of shipment to his native land.
The following gentlemen were named as that committee:
William Gibson, E. Cody, J. M. Roberts, J. B. Huff, E. H. Pottle, E. A. Brinkley, John C. Jennings, George W. Dickson, A. B. Rogers, and Dr. R. W. Hubert.
On motion, the chairman was added to that committee.
It was, on motion,
Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting, with a minute description of the said Watson, be forwarded to the publishers of the Augusta papers, with the request that they, and all other publishers of papers in the slave-holding states, publish the same for a sufficient length of time.
Description.—The said Nathan Bird Watson is a man of dark complexion, hazel eyes, black hair, and wears a heavy beard; measures five feet eleven and three-quarter inches; has a quick step, and walks with his toes inclined inward, and a little stooped-shouldered; now wears a checked coat and white pants; says he is twenty-three years of age, but will pass for twenty-five or thirty.
On motion, the meeting was adjourned.
Thomas F. Parsons, Chairman.
William H. Pilcher, Secretary.
This may be regarded as a specimen of that kind of editorial halloo which is designed to rouse and start in pursuit of a man the bloodhounds of the mob.
The following is copied by the National Era from the Richmond Times:
On the 13th inst. the vigilance committee of the county of Grayson, in this state, arrested a man named John Cornutt [a friend and follower of Bacon, the Ohio abolitionist], and, after examining the evidence against him, required him to renounce his abolition sentiments. This Cornutt refused to do; thereupon, he was stripped, tied to a tree, and whipped. After receiving a dozen stripes, he caved in, and promised, not only to recant, but to sell his property in the county [consisting of land and negroes], and leave the state. Great excitement prevailed throughout the country, and the Wytheville Republican of the 20th instant states that the vigilance committee of Grayson were in hot pursuit of other obnoxious persons.
On this outrage the Wytheville Republican makes the following comments:
Laying aside the white man, humanity to the negro, the slave, demands that these abolitionists be dealt with summarily, and above the law.
On Saturday, the 13th, we learn that the committee of vigilance of that county, to the number of near two hundred, had before them one John Cornutt, a citizen, a friend and backer of Bacon, and promulgator of his abolition doctrines. They required him to renounce abolitionism, and promise obedience to the laws. He refused. They stripped him, tied him to a tree, and appealed to him again to renounce, and promise obedience to the laws. He refused. The rod was brought; one, two, three, and on to twelve, on the bare back, and he cried out; he promised—and, more, he said he would sell and leave.
This Mr. Cornutt owns land, negroes and money, say fifteen to twenty thousand dollars. He has a wife, but no white children. He has among his negroes some born on his farm, of mixed blood. He is believed to be a friend of the negro, even to amalgamation. He intends to set his negroes free, and make them his heirs. It is hoped he will retire to Ohio, and there finish his operations of amalgamation and emancipation. The vigilance committees were after another of Bacon's men on Thursday; we have not heard whether they caught him, nor what followed. There are not more than six of his followers that adhere; the rest have renounced him, and are much outraged at his imposition.
Mr. Cornutt appealed for redress to the law. The result of his appeal is thus stated in the Richmond (Va.) Times, quoted by the National Era:
MORE TROUBLE IN GRAYSON.
The clerk of Grayson County Court having, on the 1st inst. (the first day of Judge Brown's term) tendered his resignation, and there being no applicant for the office, and it being publicly stated at the bar that no one would accept said appointment. Judge Brown found himself unable to proceed with business, and accordingly adjourned the court until the first day of the next term.
Immediately upon the adjournment of the court, a public meeting of the citizens of the county was held, when resolutions were adopted expressive of the determination of the people to maintain the stand recently taken; exhorting the committees of vigilance to increased activity in ferreting out all persons tinctured with abolitionism in the county, and offering a reward of one hundred dollars for the apprehension and delivery of one Jonathan Roberts to any one of the committees of vigilance.
We have a letter from a credible correspondent in Carroll county, which gives to the affair a still more serious aspect. Trusting that there may be some error about it, we have no comments to make until the facts are known with certainty. Our correspondent, whose letter bears date the 13th inst., says;
"I learn, from an authentic source, that the Circuit Court that was to sit in Grayson county during last week was dissolved by violence. The circumstances were these. After the execution of the negroes in that county, some time ago, who had been excited to rebellion by a certain Methodist preacher, by the name of Bacon, of which you have heard, the citizens held a meeting, and instituted a sort of inquisition, to find out, if possible, who were the accomplices of said Bacon. Suspicion soon rested on a man by the name of Cornutt, and, on being charged with being an accomplice, he acknowledged the fact, and declared his intention of persevering in the cause; upon which he was severely lynched. Cornutt then instituted suit against the parties, who afterwards held a meeting and passed resolutions, notifying the court and lawyers not to undertake the case, upon pain of a coat of tar and feathers. The court, however, convened at the appointed time; and, true to their promise, a band of armed men marched around the court-house, fired their guns by platoons, and dispersed the court in confusion. There was no blood shed. This county and the county of Wythe have held meetings and passed resolutions sustaining the movement of the citizens of Grayson."
Is it any wonder that people emigrate from states where such things go on? The following accounts will show what ministers of the gospel will have to encounter who undertake faithfully to express their sentiments, in slave states. The first is an article by Dr. Bailey, of the Era of April 3, 1852:
LYNCHING IN KENTUCKY.
The American Baptist, of Utica, New York, publishes letters from the Rev. Edward Matthews, giving an account of his barbarous treatment in Kentucky.
Mr. Matthews, it seems, is an agent of the American Free Mission Society, and, in the exercise of his agency, visited that state, and took occasion to advocate from the pulpit anti-slavery sentiments. Not long since, in the village of Richmond, Madison county, he applied to several churches for permission to lecture on the moral and religious condition of the slaves, but was unsuccessful. February 1st, in the evening, he preached to the colored congregation of that place, after which he was assailed by a mob, and driven from the town. Returning in a short time, he left a communication respecting the transaction at the office of the Richmond Chronicle, and again departed; but had not gone for before he was overtaken by four men, who seized him, and led him to an out-of-the-way place, where they consulted as to what they should do with him. They resolved to duck him, ascertaining first that he could swim. Two of them took him and threw him into a pond, as far as they could, and, on his rising to the surface, bade him come out. He did so, and, on his refusing to promise never to come to Richmond, they flung him in again. This operation was repeated four times, when he yielded. They next demanded of him a promise that he would leave Kentucky, and never return again. He refused to give it, and they throw him in the water six times more, when, his strength failing, and they threatening to whip him, he gave the pledge required, and left the state.
We do not know anything about Mr. Matthews, or his mode of promulgating his views. The laws in Kentucky for the protection of what is called "slave property" are stringent enough, and nobody can doubt the readiness of public sentiment to enforce their heaviest penalties against offenders. If Mr. Matthews violated the law, he should have been tried by the law; and he would have been, had he committed an illegal act. No charge of the kind is made against him.
He was, then, the victim of Lynch law, administered in a ruffianly manner, and without provocation; and the parties concerned in the transaction, whatever their position, in society, were guilty of conduct as cowardly as it was brutal.
As to the manner in which Mr. Matthews has conducted himself in Kentucky we know nothing. We transfer to our columns the following extract from an editorial in the Journal and Messenger of Cincinnati, a Baptist paper, and which, it may be presumed, speaks intelligently on the subject:
"Mr. Matthews is likewise a Baptist minister, whose ostensible mission is one of love. If he has violated that mission, or any law, he is amenable to God and law, and not to lawless violence. His going to Kentucky is a matter of conscience to him, in which he has a right to indulge. Many good anti-slavery men would question the wisdom of such a step. None would doubt his right. Many, as a matter of taste and propriety, cannot admire the way in which he is reputed to do his work. But they believe he is conscientious, and they know that 'oppression maketh even a wise man mad.' We do not think, in obedience to Christ's commands, he sufficiently counted the cost. For no one in his position should go to Kentucky to agitate the question of slavery, unless he expects to die. No man in this position, which Mr. Matthews occupies, can do it, without falling a martyr. Liberty of speech and thought is not, cannot be, enjoyed in slave states. Slavery could not exist for a moment, if it did. It is, doubtless, the duty of the Christian not to surrender his life cheaply, for the sake of being a martyr. This would be an unholy motive. It is his duty to preserve it until the last moment. So Christ enjoins. It is no mark of cowardice to flee. 'When they persecute you in one city, flee into another,' said the Saviour. But he did not say, Give a pledge that you will not exercise your rights. Hence, he nor his disciples never did it. But it is a question, after one has deliberated, and conscientiously entered a community in the exercise of his constitutional and religious rights, whether he should give a pledge, under the influence of a love of life, never to return. If he does, he has not counted the cost. A Christian should be as conscientious in pledging solemnly not to do what he has an undoubted right to do, as he is in laboring for the emancipation of the slave."
The following is from the National Era, July 10, 1851.
Mr. McBride wished to form a church of non-slaveholders.
CASE OF REV. JESSE M'BRIDE.
This missionary, it will be remembered, was expelled lately from the State of North Carolina.
We give below his letter detailing the conduct of the mob. His letter is dated Guilford, May 6. After writing that he is suffering from temporary illness, he proceeds:
"I would have kept within doors this day, but for the fact that I mistrusted a mob would be out to disturb my congregation, though such a hint had not been given me by a human being. About six o'clock this morning I crawled into my carriage and drove eighteen miles, which brought me to my meeting place, eight miles east of Greensboro',—the place I gave an account of a few weeks since,—where some seven or eight persons gave their names to go into the organization of a Wesleyan Methodist church. Well, sure enough, just before meeting time (twelve o'clock) I was informed that a pack of rioters were on hand, and that they had sworn I should not fulfil my appointment this day. As they had heard nothing of this before, the news came upon some of my friends like a clap of thunder from a clear sky; they scarcely knew what to do. I told them I should go to meeting or die in the attempt, and, like 'good soldiers,' they followed. Just before I got to the arbor, I saw a man leave the crowd and approach me at the left of my path. As I was about to pass, he said:
"'Mr. McBride, here's a letter for you.'
"I took the letter, put it into my pocket, and said, 'I have not time to read it until after meeting.'
"'No, you must read it now.'
"Seeing that I didn't stop, he said, 'I want to speak to you,' beckoning with his hand, and turning, expecting me to follow.
"'I will talk to you after meeting,' said I, pulling out my watch; 'you see I have no time to spare—it is just twelve.'
"As I went to go in at the door of the stand, a man who had taken his seat on the step rose up, placed his hand on me, and said, in a very excited tone,
"'Mr. McBride, you can't go in here!'
"Without offering any resistance, or saying a word, I knelt down outside the stand, on the ground, and prayed to my 'Father;' plead His promises, such as, 'When the enemy comes in like a flood, I will rear up a standard against' him; 'I am a present help in trouble;' 'I will fight all your battles for you;' prayed for grace, victory, my enemies, &c. Rose perfectly calm. Meantime my enemies cursed and swore some, but most of the time they were rather quiet. Mr. Hiatt, a slave-holder and merchant from Greensboro', said,
"'You can't preach here to-day; we have come to prevent you. We think you are doing harm—violating our laws,' &c. "'From what authority do you thus command and prevent me from preaching? Are you authorized by the civil authority to prevent me?'
"'Has God sent you, and does he enjoin it on you as a duty to stop me?'
"'I am unacquainted with Him.'
"'Well,' acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace,' and he will give you a more honorable business than stopping men from preaching his gospel. The judgment-day is coming on, and I summon you there, to give an account of this day's conduct. And now, gentlemen, if I have violated the laws of North Carolina, by them I am willing to be judged, condemned, and punished; to go to the whipping-post, pillory or jail, or even to hug the stake. But, gentlemen, you are not generally a pack of ignoramuses; your good sense teaches you the impropriety of your course; you know that you are doing wrong; you know that it is not right to trample all law, both human and divine, in the dust, out of professed love for it. You must see that your course will lead to perfect anarchy and confusion. The time may come, when Jacob Hiatt may be in the minority, when his principles may be as unpopular as Jesse McBride's are now. What then? Why, if your course prevails, he must be lynched—whipped, stoned, tarred and feathered, dragged from his own house, or his house burned over his head, and be perish in the ruins. The persons became food for the beasts they threw Daniel to; the same fire that was kindled for the 'Hebrew children' consumed those who kindled it; Haman stretched the same rope he prepared for Mordecai. Yours is a dangerous course, and you must reap a retribution, either here or here-after. We will sing a hymn,' said I.
"'yes,' said H., 'you may sing.'
"'The congregation will please assist me, as I am quite unwell;' and I lined off the hymn, 'Father, I stretch my hands to thee,' &c., rioters and all helping to sing. All seemed in good humor, and I almost forgot their errand. When we closed, I said, 'Let us pray.'
"'G—d d———n it, that's not singing!' said one of the company, who stood back pretty well.
"While we invoked the divine blessing, I think many could say, 'It is good for us to be here.' Before I rose from my knees, after the friends rose, I delivered an exhortation of some ten or fifteen minutes, in which I urged the brethren to steadfastness, prayer, &c., some of the mob crying, 'Lay hold of him!' 'Drag him out!' 'Stop him!' &c."
"My voice being nearly drowned by the tumult, I left off. I was then called to have some conversation with H., who repeated some of the charges he preferred at first,—said I was bringing on insurrection, causing disturbance, &c.; wishing me to leave the state; said he had some slaves, and he himself was the most of a slave of any of them, had harder times than they had, and he would like to be shut of them, and that he was my true friend.
"'As to your friendship, Mr. H., you have acted quite friendly, remarkably so—fully as much so as Judas when he kissed the Saviour. As to your having to be so much of a slave, I am sorry for you; you ought to be freed. As to insurrection, I am decidedly opposed to it, have no sympathy with it whatever. As to raising disturbance and leaving the state, I left a little motherless daughter in Ohio, over whom I wished to have an oversight and care. When I left, I only expected to remain in North Carolina one year; but the people dragged me up before the court under the charge of felony, put me in bonds, and kept me; and now would you have me leave my securities to suffer, have me lie and deceive the court?'
"'O! if you will leave, your bail will not have to suffer; that can, I think, be settled without much trouble,' said Mr H.
"'They shall not have trouble on my account,' said I.
"After talking with Mr. H. and one or two more on personal piety, &c., I went to the arbor, took my seat in the door of the stand for a minute; then rose, and, after referring to a few texts of Scripture, to show that all those who will live godly shall suffer persecution, I inquired, 1st, What is persecution? 2ndly, noticed the fact., 'shall suffer;' gave a synoptical history of persecution, by showing that Abel was the first martyr for the right—the Israelites' sufferings. The prophets were stoned, were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword, had to wander in deserts, mountains, dens and caves of the earth, were driven from their houses, given to ferocious beasts, lashed to the stake, and destroyed in different ways. Spoke of John the Baptist; showed how he was persecuted, and what the charge. Christ was persecuted for doing what John was persecuted for not doing. Spoke of the sufferings of the apostles, and their final death; of Luther and his coadjutors; of the Wesleys and early Methodists; of Fox and the early Quakers; of the early settlers in the colonies of the United States. Noticed why the righteous were persecuted, the advantages thereof to the righteous themselves, and how they should treat their persecutors—with kindness, &c. Spoke, I suppose, some half an hour, and dismissed. Towards the close, some of the rioters got quite angry, and yelled, 'Stop him!' 'Pull him out!' 'The righteous were never persecuted for d——d abolitionism,' &c. Some of them paid good attention to what I said. And thus we spent the time from twelve to three o'clock, and thus the meeting passed by.
"Brother dear, I am more and more confirmed in the righteousness of our cause. I would rather, much rather, die for good principles, than to have applause and honor for propagating false theories and abominations, You perhaps would like to know how I feel. Happy, most of the time; a religion that will not stand persecution will not take us to heaven. Blessed be God, that I have not, thus far, been suffered to deny Him. Sometimes I have thought that I was nearly home. I generally feel a calmness of soul, but sometimes my enjoyments are rapturous. I have had a great burden of prayer for the dear flock; help me pray for them. Thank God, I have not heard of one of them giving up or turning; and I believe some, if not most of them, would go to the stake rather than give back. I forgot to say I read a part of the fifth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles to the rioters, commencing at the 17th verse. I told them, if their institutions were of God, I could not harm them; that if our cause was of God, they could not stop it—that they could kill me, but they could not kill the truth. Though I talked plainly, I talked and felt kindly to them.
"I have had to write in such haste, and being fatigued and unwell, my letter is disconnected. I meant to give you a copy of the letter of the mob. Here it is:
"'We, the subscribers, very and most respectfully request you not to attempt to fulfil your appointment at this place. If you do, you will surely be interrupted.
"'May 6, 1851.' [Signed by 32 persons.]
"Some were professors of religion—Presbyterians, Episcopal Methodists, and Methodist Protestants. One of the latter was an 'exhorter.' I understand some of the crowd were negro-traders.
"Farewell, J. McBride."
- Article in Fraser's Magazine for October, by a South Carolinian.
- "If language can convey a clear and definite meaning at all, I know not how it can more unequivocally or more, plainly present to the mind any thought or idea than the twenty-fifth chapter of Leviticus clearly or unequivocally establishes the fact that slavery or bondage was sanctioned by God himself; and that 'buying, selling, holding and bequeathing' slaves, as property, are regulations which were established by himself."—Smylie on Slavery.
- This horribly expressive appellation is in common use among the slaves of the breeding states.
- Right smart of—that is, a great many of—an idiom of Anglo-Ethiopia.
- The words of the Georgia Annual Conference: Resolved, "That slavery, as it exists in the United States, is not a moral evil."
- The writer is describing here a scone of recent occurrence in a slave state, of whose particulars she has the best means of knowledge. The work in question was "Uncle Tom's Cabin."