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Title: The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 3 of 4
Author: American Anti-Slavery Society
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 3 of 4" ***


By The American Anti-Slavery Society 1839

    No. 10. American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand

    No. 10. Speech of Hon. Thomas Morris, of Ohio, in Reply to the
            Speech of the Hon. Henry Clay.

    No. 11. The Constitution A Pro-Slavery Compact Or Selections
            From the Madison Papers, &c.

    No. 11. The Constitution A Pro-Slavery Compact Or Selections
            From the Madison Papers, &c. Second Edition,


       *     *     *     *     *




       *     *     *     *     *

"Behold the wicked abominations that they do!"--Ezekial, viii, 2.

"The righteous considereth the cause of the poor; but the wicked
regardeth not to know it."--Prov. 29, 7.

"True humanity consists not in a squeamish ear, but in listening to
the story of human suffering and endeavoring to relieve it."--Charles
James Fox.

       *     *     *     *     *

143 NASSAU STREET. 1839.

       *     *     *     *     *

This periodical contains 7 sheets--postage, under 100 miles, 10-1/2
cts; over 100 miles, 17-1/2 cents.

ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER. A majority of the facts and testimony
contained in this work rests upon the authority of slaveholders, whose
names and residences are given to the public, as vouchers for the
truth of their statements. That they should utter falsehoods, for the
sake of proclaiming their own infamy, is not probable.

Their testimony is taken, mainly, from recent newspapers, published in
the slave states. Most of those papers will be deposited at the office
of the American Anti-Slavery Society, 143 Nassau street, New York
City. Those who think the atrocities, which they describe, incredible,
are invited to call and read for themselves. We regret that _all_ of
the original papers are not in our possession. The idea of preserving
them on file for the inspection of the incredulous, and the curious,
did not occur to us until after the preparation of the work was in a
state of forwardness, in consequence of this, some of the papers
cannot be recovered. _Nearly all_ of them, however have been
preserved. In all cases the _name_ of the paper is given, and, with
very few exceptions, the place and time, (year, month, and day) of
publication. Some of the extracts, however not being made with
reference to this work, and before its publication was contemplated,
are without date; but this class of extracts is exceedingly small,
probably not a thirtieth of the whole.

The statements, not derived from the papers and other periodicals,
letters, books, &c., published by slaveholders, have been furnished by
individuals who have resided in slave states, many of whom are natives
of those states, and have been slaveholders. The names, residences,
&c. of the witnesses generally are given. A number of them, however,
still reside in slave states;--to publish their names would be, in most
cases, to make them the victims of popular fury.

New York, May 4, 1839.


The Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society, while
tendering their grateful acknowledgments, in the name of American
Abolitionists, and in behalf of the slave, to those who have furnished
for this publication the result of their residence and travel in the
slave states of this Union, announce their determination to publish,
from time to time, as they may have the materials and the funds,
TRACTS, containing well authenticated facts, testimony, personal
narratives, &c. fully setting forth the _condition_ of American
slaves. In order that they may be furnished with the requisite
materials, they invite all who have had personal knowledge of the
condition of slaves in any of the states of this Union, to forward
their testimony with their names and residences. To prevent
imposition, it is indispensable that persons forwarding testimony, who
are not personally known to any of the Executive Committee, or to the
Secretaries or Editors of the American Anti-Slavery Society, should
furnish references to some person or persons of respectability, with
whom, if necessary, the Committee may communicate respecting the

Facts and testimony respecting the condition of slaves, in _all
respects_, are desired; their food, (kinds, quality, and quantity,)
clothing, lodging, dwellings, hours of labor and rest, kinds of labor,
with the mode of exaction, supervision, &c.--the number and time of
meals each day, treatment when sick, regulations inspecting their
social intercourse, marriage and domestic ties, the system of torture
to which they are subjected, with its various modes; and _in detail_,
their _intellectual_ and _moral_ condition. Great care should be
observed in the statement of facts. Well-weighed testimony and
well-authenticated facts; with a responsible name, the Committee
earnestly desire and call for. Thousands of persons in the free states
have ample knowledge on this subject, derived from their own
observation in the midst of slavery. Will such hold their peace? That
which maketh manifest is _light_; he who keepeth his candle under a
bushel at such a time and in such a cause as this, _forges fetters for
himself_, as well as for the slave. Let no one withhold his testimony
because others have already testified to similar facts. The value of
testimony is by no means to be measured by the _novelty_ of the
horrors which it describes. _Corroborative_ testimony,--facts, similar
to those established by the testimony of others,--is highly valuable.
Who that can give it and has a heart of flesh, will refuse to the
slave so small a boon?

Communications may be addressed to Theodore D. Weld, 143
Nassau-street, New York. New York, May, 1839.



  Twenty-seven hundred thousand free born citizens of the U.S. in
  Tender mercies of slaveholders;
  Abominations of slavery;
  Character of the testimony.


  North Carolina Slavery;
  Methodist preaching slavedriver, Galloway;
  Women at child-birth;
  Slaves at labor;
  Clothing of slaves;
  Allowance of provisions;
  Cruelties to slaves;
  Burying a slave alive;
  Licentiousness of Slave-holders;
  Rev. Thomas P. Hunt, with his "hands tied";
  Preachers cringe to slavery;
  Nakedness of slaves;
  Means of subsistence for slaves;
  Slaves' prayer.

  Labor of the slaves;
  Whipping posts;
  Scenes of horror;
  Constables, savage and brutal;
  Cruelties at night;
  Branding with hot iron;
  Murder with impunity;
  Iron collars, yokes, clogs, and bells.

  Barbarous Treatment of slaves;
  Converted slave;
  Professor of religion, near death, tortured his slave for visiting
    his companion;
  Counterpart of James Williams' description of Larrimore's wife;
  Head of runaway slave on a pole;
  Governor of North Carolina left his sick slave to perish;
  Cruelty to Women slaves;
  Christian slave a martyr for Jesus.

  Twenty-seven slaves whipped.

  Harris whipped a girl to death;
  Captain of the U.S. Navy murdered his boy, was tried and acquitted;
  Overseer burnt a slave;
  Cruelties to slaves.


  Suffering from hunger;
  Rations in the U.S. Army, &c;
  Prison rations;
  Slaves are overworked;
  Henry Clay;
  Child-bearing prevented;
  Dr. Channing;
  Sacrifice of a set of hands every seven years;
  Laws of Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia.
  Nudity of slaves;
  John Randolph's legacy to Essex and Hetty.
  Slaves are wretchedly sheltered and lodged.


  Woman delivered of a dead child, being whipped;
  Slaves shot by Hilton;
  Cruelties to slaves;
  Whipping post;
  Assaults, and maimings;
  Puryear, "the Devil,";
  Overseers always armed;
  Licentiousness of Overseers;
  "Bend your backs";
  Mrs. H., a Presbyterian, desirous to cut Arthur Tappan's throat;
  Clothing, Huts, and Herding of slaves;
  Iron yokes with prongs;
  Marriage unknown among slaves;
  Presbyterian minister at Huntsville;
  Concubinage in Preacher's house;
  Slavery, the great wrong.

  Slave's life.

  Nakedness of slaves;
  Traffic in slaves.

  Long, a professor of religion killed three men;
  Salt water applied to wounds to keep them from putrefaction.

  Acts of cruelty.

  Woman with a child chained to her neck;
  Amalgamation, and mulatto children.

  Rev. Conrad Speece influenced Alexander Nelson when dying not to
    emancipate his slaves;
  George Bourne opposed Slavery in 1810.

  Slave-driving female professors of religion at Charleston, S.C.;
  Whipping women and prayer in the same room;
  _Slaveholding religion_;
  Slave-driving mistress prayed for the divine blessing upon her
    whipping of an aged woman;
  Girl killed with impunity;
  Jewish law;
  Medical attendance upon slaves;
  Young man beaten to epilepsy and insanity;
  Mistresses flog their slaves;
  Blood-bought luxuries;
  Borrowing of slaves;
  Meals of slaves;
  All comfort of slaves disregarded;
  Severance of companion lovers;
  Separation of parents and children;
  Slave espionage;
  Sufferings of slaves;
  Horrors of slavery indescribable.

  Colonization Society;
  Emancipation Society of North Carolina;

  Witnesses and Testimony.

  Droves of slaves.

  Slaves like Stock without a shelter;
  "Six pound paddle."

  Iron collars, chains, fetters, and hand-cuffs;
  Advertisements for fugitive slaves;
  Iron head-frame;
  Chain coffles;
  Droves of 'human cattle';
  Washington, the National slave market;
  Testimony of James K. Paulding, Secretary of the Navy;
  _Literary fraud and pretended prophecy_ by Mr. Paulding;
  Brandings, Maimings, and Gun-shot wounds;
  Witnesses and Testimony;
  Mr. Sevier, senator of the U.S.;
  Judge Hitchcock, of Mobile;
  Commendable fidelity to truth in the advertisements of slaveholders;
  Thomas Aylethorpe cut off a slave's ear, and sent it to Lewis Tappan;
  Advertisements for runaway slaves with their teeth mutilated;
  Excessive cruelty to slaves;
  Slaves burned alive;
  Mr. Turner, a slave-butcher;
  Slaves roasted and flogged;
  Cruelties common;
  Fugitive slaves;
  Slaves forced to eat tobacco worms;
  Baptist Christians escaping from slavery;
  Christian whipped for praying;
  James K. Paulding's testimony;
  Slave driven to death;
  Coroner's inquest on Harney's murdered female slave;
  Man-stealing encouraged by law;
  Trial for a murdered slave;
  Female slave whipped to death, and during the torture delivered of
    a dead infant;
  Slaves murdered;
  Slave driven to death;
  Slaves killed with impunity;
  George, a slave, chopped piece-meal, and burnt by Lilburn Lewis;
  Retributive justice in the awful death of Lilburn Lewis;
  Trial of Isham Lewis, a slave murderer.


  No appeal from Overseers to Masters.

  Nudity of slaves.

  Mothers of slaves;
  Presbyterian minister killed his slave;
  Methodist colored preacher hung;
  Night in a Slaveholder's house;
  Twelve slaves murdered;
  Slave driving Baptist preachers;
  Hunting of runaways slaves;

  Whipping of slaves.
  Testimony of Eleazer Powel;
  Overseer of Hinds Stuart, shot a slave for opposing the torture of
    his female companion.

  Three slaves murdered with impunity;
  Separation of lovers, parents, and children.

  a Presbyterian kind woman-killer;
  Female slave whipped to death;
  Nakedness of slaves;
  Old man flogged after praying for his tyrant;
  Slave-huts not as comfortable as pig-sties.

  Suit for the value of slave 'property';
  Anson Jones, Ambassador from Texas;
  No trial or punishment for the murder of slaves;
  Slave-hunting in Texas;
  Suffering drives the slaves to despair and suicide.

  Ignorance of northern citizens respecting slavery;
  Betting upon crops;
  Extent and cruelty of the punishment of slaves;
  Slaveholders excuse their cruelties by the example of Preachers, and
    professors of religion, and Northern citizens;
  Novel torture, eulogized by a professor of religion;
  Whips as common as the plough;
  _Ladies_ use cowhides, with shovel and tongs.

  Starvation of slaves;
  Slaves lacerated, without clothing, and without food.

  Cotton plantations on St. Simon's Island;
  Cultivation of rice;
  No time for relaxation;
  Sabbath a nominal rest;

  Slave cabins;
  Whipping every day;
  Treatment of slaves as brutes;
  Slave-boys fight for slaveholder's amusement;
  Amalgamation common.

  'Lie down,' for whipping;
  'Ball and chain' men;
  Whipping at the same time, on three plantations;
  Hours of Labor;
  _Christians_ slave-hunting;
  Many runaway slaves annually shot;
  Slaves in the stocks;
  Slave branding.

  Slavery is unmixed cruelty;
  Fear the only motive of slaves;
  Pain is the means, not the end of slave-driving;
  Characters of Slave drivers and Overseers, brutal, sensual, and
  Ownership of human beings utterly destroys _their_ comfort.


I. Such cruelties are incredible.
  Slaves deemed to be working animals, or merchandize; and called
    'Stock,' 'Increase,' 'Breeders,' 'Drivers,' 'Property,' 'Human
  Testimony of Thomas Jefferson;
  Slaves worse treated than quadrupeds;
  Contrast between the usage of slaves and animals;
  Northern incredulity discreditable to consistency;
  Religious persecutions;
  Recent 'Lynchings,' and Riots, in the United States;
  Many outrageous Felonies perpetrated with impunity;
  Large faith of the objectors who 'can't believe';
  'Doe faces,' and 'Dough faces';
  Slave-drivers acknowledge their own enormities;
  Slave plantations in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi 'second only
    to hell';
  Legislature of North Carolina;
  Incredulity discreditable to intelligence;
  Abuse of power in the state, and churches;
  Legal restraints;
  American slaveholders possess absolute power;
  Slaves deprived of the safe guards of law;
  Mutual aversion between the oppressor and the slave;
  Cruelty the product of arbitrary power;
  Testimony of Thomas Jefferson;
  Judge Tucker;
  Presbyterian Synod of South Carolina, and Georgia;
  General William H. Harrison;
  President Edwards;

OBJECTION II.--"Slaveholders protest that they treat their slaves well."
  Not testimony but opinion;
  'Good treatment' of slaves;
  Novel form of cruelty.

OBJECTION III.--"Slaveholders are proverbial for their kindness, and
  Hospitality and benevolence contrasted;
  Slaveholders in Congress, respecting Texas and Hayti;
  'Fictitious kindness and hospitality.'

OBJECTION IV.--"Northern visitors at the south testify that the slaves
 are not cruelly treated."
  'Gubner poisened';
  Parlor slaves;
  Chief Justice Durell.

OBJECTION V.--"It is for the interest of the masters to treat their
 slaves well."
  Rev. J.N. Maffitt;
  Masters interest to treat cruelly the great body of the slaves;
  Various classes of slaves;
  Hired slaves;

OBJECTION VI.--"Slaves multiply; a proof that they are not inhumanly
 treated, and are in a comfortable condition."
  Martin Van Buren;
  Foreign slave trade;
  'Beware of Kidnappers';
  'Citizens sold as slaves';
  Kidnapping at New Orleans;
  Slave breeders.

OBJECTION VII.--"Public opinion is a protection to the slave."
  Decision of the Supreme Court of North and South Carolina;
  'Protection of slaves';
  Mischievous effects of 'public opinion' concerning slavery;
  Laws of different states;
  Heart of slaveholders;
  Reasons for enacting the laws concerning cruelties to slaves;
  'Moderate correction';
  Hypocrisy and malignity of slave laws;
  Testimony of slaves excluded;
  Capital crimes for slaves;
  'Slaveholding brutality,' worse than that of Caligula;
  Public opinion destroys fundamental rights;
  Character of slaveholders' advertisements;
  Public opinion is diabolical;
  Brutal indecency;
  Murder of slaves by law;
  Judge Lawless;
  Health of slaves;
  Acclimation of slaves;
  Liberty of Slaves;
  Kidnapping of free citizens;
  Law of Louisiana;
  FRIENDS', memorial;
  Domestic slavery;
  Childhood, old age;
  Butchering dead slaves;
  South Carolina Medical college;
  Charleston Medical Infirmary;
  Slave murders;
   John Randolph;
  Charleston slave auctions;
  'Never lose a day's work';
  Lynch law;
  Slaves murdered;
  Slavery among Christians;
  Licentiousness encouraged by preachers;
  'Fine old preacher who dealt in slaves';
  Cruelty to slaves by professors of religion;
  Daniel O'Connel, and Andrew Stevenson;
  Virginia a negro raising menagerie;
  Legislature of Virginia;
  Colonization Society;
  Inter-state slave traffic;
  Battles in Congress;
  Ignorance of slaveholders;
  'Slaveholding civilization, and morality';
  Slave driving ruffians;
  Butcheries in Mississippi;
  Fatal Affray in Columbia;
  Presentment of the Grand Jury of Shelby County;
  Testimony of Bishop Smith of Kentucky.

  North Carolina;
  Trading with Negroes;


Reader, you are empannelled as a juror to try a plain case and bring
in an honest verdict. The question at issue is not one of law, but of
facts--"What is the actual condition of the slaves in the United
States?" A plainer case never went to a jury. Look at it. TWENTY-SEVEN
HUNDRED THOUSAND PERSONS in this country, men, women, and children,
are in SLAVERY. Is slavery, as a condition for human beings, good,
bad, or indifferent? We submit the question without argument. You have
common sense, and conscience, and a human heart;--pronounce upon it.
You have a wife, or a husband, a child, a father, a mother, a brother
or a sister--make the case your own, make it theirs, and bring in your
verdict. The case of Human Rights against Slavery has been adjudicated
in the court of conscience times innumerable. The same verdict has
always been rendered--"Guilty;" the same sentence has always been
pronounced, "Let it be accursed;" and human nature, with her million
echoes, has rung it round the world in every language under heaven,
"Let it be accursed. Let it be accursed." His heart is false to human
nature, who will not say "Amen." There is not a man on earth who does
not believe that slavery is a curse. Human beings may be inconsistent,
but human _nature_ is true to herself. She has uttered her testimony
against slavery with a shriek ever since the monster was begotten; and
till it perishes amidst the execrations of the universe, she will
traverse the world on its track, dealing her bolts upon its head, and
dashing against it her condemning brand. We repeat it, every man knows
that slavery is a curse. Whoever denies this, his lips libel his
heart. Try him; clank the chains in his ears, and tell him they are
for _him_; give him an hour to prepare his wife and children for a
life of slavery; bid him make haste and get ready their necks for the
yoke, and their wrists for the coffle chains, then look at his pale
lips and trembling knees, and you have _nature's_ testimony against

Two millions seven hundred thousand persons in these States are in
this condition. They were made slaves and are held each by force, and
by being put in fear, and this for no crime! Reader, what have you to
say of such treatment? Is it right, just, benevolent? Suppose I should
seize you, rob you of your liberty, drive you into the field, and make
you work without pay as long as you live, would that be justice and
kindness, or monstrous injustice and cruelty? Now, every body knows
that the slaveholders do these things to the slaves every day, and yet
it is stoutly affirmed that they treat them well and kindly, and that
their tender regard for their slaves restrains the masters from
inflicting cruelties upon them. We shall go into no metaphysics to
show the absurdity of this pretence. The man who _robs_ you every day,
is, forsooth, quite too tender-hearted ever to cuff or kick you! True,
he can snatch your money, but he does it gently lest he should hurt
you. He can empty your pockets without qualms, but if your _stomach_
is empty, it cuts him to the quick. He can make you work a life time
without pay, but loves you too well to let you go hungry. He fleeces
you of your _rights_ with a relish, but is shocked if you work
bareheaded in summer, or in winter without warm stockings. He can make
you go without your _liberty_, but never without a shirt. He can
crush, in you, all hope of bettering your condition, by vowing that
you shall die his slave, but though he can coolly torture your
feelings, he is too compassionate to lacerate your back--he can break
your heart, but he is very tender of your skin. He can strip you of
all protection and thus expose you to all outrages, but if you are
exposed to the _weather_, half clad and half sheltered, how yearn his
tender bowels! What! slaveholders talk of treating men well, and yet
not only rob them of all they get, and as fast as they get it, but rob
them of _themselves_, also; their very hands and feet, all their
muscles, and limbs, and senses, their bodies and minds, their time and
liberty and earnings, their free speech and rights of conscience,
their right to acquire knowledge, and property, and reputation;--and
yet they, who plunder them of all these, would fain make us believe
that their soft hearts ooze out so lovingly toward their slaves that
they always keep them well housed and well clad, never push them too
hard in the field, never make their dear backs smart, nor let their
dear stomachs get empty.

But there is no end to these absurdities. Are slaveholders dunces, or
do they take all the rest of the world to be, that they think to
bandage our eyes with such thin gauzes? Protesting their kind regard
for those whom they hourly plunder of all they have and all they get!
What! when they have seized their victims, and annihilated all their
_rights_, still claim to be the special guardians of their
_happiness_! Plunderers of their liberty, yet the careful suppliers of
their wants? Robbers of their earnings, yet watchful sentinels round
their interests, and kind providers for their comfort? Filching all
their time, yet granting generous donations for rest and sleep?
Stealing the use of their muscles, yet thoughtful of their ease?
Putting them under _drivers_, yet careful that they are not
hard-pushed? Too humane forsooth to stint the stomachs of their
slaves, yet force their _minds_ to starve, and brandish over them
pains and penalties, if they dare to reach forth for the smallest
crumb of knowledge, even a letter of the alphabet!

It is no marvel that slaveholders are always talking of their _kind
treatment_ of their slaves. The only marvel is, that men of sense can
be gulled by such professions. Despots always insist that they are
merciful. The greatest tyrants that ever dripped with blood have
assumed the titles of "most gracious," "most clement," "most
merciful," &c., and have ordered their crouching vassals to accost
them thus. When did not vice lay claim to those virtues which are the
opposites of its habitual crimes? The guilty, according to their own
showing, are always innocent, and cowards brave, and drunkards sober,
and harlots chaste, and pickpockets honest to a fault. Every body
understands this. When a man's tongue grows thick, and he begins to
hiccough and walk cross-legged, we expect him, as a matter of course,
to protest that he is not drunk; so when a man is always singing the
praises of his own honesty, we instinctively watch his movements and
look out for our pocket-books. Whoever is simple enough to be hoaxed
by such professions, should never be trusted in the streets without
somebody to take care of him. Human nature works out in slaveholders
just as it does to other men, and in American slaveholders just as in
English, French, Turkish, Algerine, Roman and Grecian. The Spartans
boasted of their kindness to their slaves, while they whipped them to
death by thousands at the altars of their gods. The Romans lauded
their own mild treatment of their bondmen, while they branded their
names on their flesh with hot irons, and when old, threw them into
their fish ponds, or like Cato "the Just," starved them to death. It
is the boast of the Turks that they treat their slaves as though they
were their children, yet their common name for them is "dogs," and for
the merest trifles, their feet are bastinadoed to a jelly, or their
heads clipped off with the scimetar. The Portuguese pride themselves
on their gentle bearing toward their slaves, yet the streets of Rio
Janeiro are filled with naked men and women yoked in pairs to carts
and wagons, and whipped by drivers like beasts of burden.

Slaveholders, the world over, have sung the praises of their tender
mercies towards their slaves. Even the wretches that plied the African
slave trade, tried to rebut Clarkson's proofs of their cruelties, by
speeches, affidavits, and published pamphlets, setting forth the
accommodations of the "middle passage," and their kind attentions to
the comfort of those whom they had stolen from their homes, and kept
stowed away under hatches, during a voyage of four thousand miles. So,
according to the testimony of the autocrat of the Russias, he
exercises great clemency towards the Poles, though he exiles them by
thousands to the snows of Siberia, and tramples them down by millions,
at home. Who discredits the atrocities perpetrated by Ovando in
Hispaniola, Pizarro in Peru, and Cortez in Mexico,--because they
filled the ears of the Spanish Court with protestations of their
benignant rule? While they were yoking the enslaved natives like
beasts to the draught, working them to death by thousands in their
mines, hunting them with bloodhounds, torturing them on racks, and
broiling them on beds of coals, their representations to the mother
country teemed with eulogies of their parental sway! The bloody
atrocities of Philip II, in the expulsion of his Moorish subjects, are
matters of imperishable history. Who disbelieves or doubts them? And
yet his courtiers magnified his virtues and chanted his clemency and
his mercy, while the wail of a million victims, smitten down by a
tempest of fire and slaughter let loose at his bidding, rose above the
_Te Deums_ that thundered from all Spain's cathedrals. When Louis XIV.
revoked the edict of Nantz, and proclaimed two millions of his
subjects free plunder for persecution,--when from the English channel
to the Pyrennees the mangled bodies of the Protestants were dragged on
reeking hurdles by a shouting populace, he claimed to be "the father
of his people," and wrote himself "His most _Christian_ Majesty."

But we will not anticipate topics, the full discussion of which more
naturally follows than precedes the inquiry into the actual condition
and treatment of slaves in the United States.

As slaveholders and their apologists are volunteer witnesses in their
own cause, and are flooding the world with testimony that their slaves
are kindly treated; that they are well fed, well clothed, well housed,
well lodged, moderately worked, and bountifully provided with all
things needful for their comfort, we propose--first, to disprove their
assertions by the testimony of a multitude of impartial witnesses, and
then to put slaveholders themselves through a course of
cross-questioning which shall draw their condemnation out of their own
mouths. We will prove that the slaves in the United States are treated
with barbarous inhumanity; that they are overworked, underfed,
wretchedly clad and lodged, and have insufficient sleep; that they are
often made to wear round their necks iron collars armed with prongs,
to drag heavy chains and weights at their feet while working in the
field, and to wear yokes, and bells, and iron horns; that they are
often kept confined in the stocks day and night for weeks together,
made to wear gags in their mouths for hours or days, have some of
their front teeth torn out or broken off, that they may be easily
detected when they run away; that they are frequently flogged with
terrible severity, have red pepper rubbed into their lacerated flesh,
and hot brine, spirits of turpentine, &c., poured over the gashes to
increase the torture; that they are often stripped naked, their backs
and limbs cut with knives, bruised and mangled by scores and hundreds
of blows with the paddle, and terribly torn by the claws of cats,
drawn over them by their tormentors; that they are often hunted with
bloodhounds and shot down like beasts, or torn in pieces by dogs; that
they are often suspended by the arms and whipped and beaten till they
faint, and when revived by restoratives, beaten again till they faint,
and sometimes till they die; that their ears are often cut off, their
eyes knocked out, their bones broken, their flesh branded with red hot
irons; that they are maimed, mutilated and burned to death over slow
fires. All these things, and more, and worse, we shall _prove_.
Reader, we know whereof we affirm, we have weighed it well; _more and
worse_ WE WILL PROVE. Mark these words, and read on; we will establish
all these facts by the testimony of scores and hundreds of eye
witnesses, by the testimony of _slaveholders_ in all parts of the
slave states, by slaveholding members of Congress and of state
legislatures, by ambassadors to foreign courts, by judges, by doctors
of divinity, and clergymen of all denominations, by merchants,
mechanics, lawyers and physicians, by presidents and professors in
colleges and _professional_ seminaries, by planters, overseers and
drivers. We shall show, not merely that such deeds are committed, but
that they are frequent; not done in corners, but before the sun; not
in one of the slave states, but in all of them; not perpetrated by
brutal overseers and drivers merely, but by magistrates, by
legislators, by professors of religion, by preachers of the gospel, by
governors of states, by "gentlemen of property and standing," and by
delicate females moving in the "highest circles of society." We know,
full well, the outcry that will be made by multitudes, at these
declarations; the multiform cavils, the flat denials, the charges of
"exaggeration" and "falsehood" so often bandied, the sneers of
affected contempt at the credulity that can believe such things, and
the rage and imprecations against those who give them currency. We
know, too, the threadbare sophistries by which slaveholders and their
apologists seek to evade such testimony. If they admit that such deeds
are committed, they tell us that they are exceedingly rare, and
therefore furnish no grounds for judging of the general treatment of
slaves; that occasionally a brutal wretch in the _free_ states
barbarously butchers his wife, but that no one thinks of inferring
from that, the general treatment of wives at the North and West.

They tell us, also, that the slaveholders of the South are
proverbially hospitable, kind, and generous, and it is incredible that
they can perpetrate such enormities upon human beings; further, that
it is absurd to suppose that they would thus injure their own
property, that self-interest would prompt them to treat their slaves
with kindness, as none but fools and madmen wantonly destroy their own
property; further, that Northern visitors at the South come back
testifying to the kind treatment of the slaves, and that the slaves
themselves corroborate such representations. All these pleas, and
scores of others, are bruited in every corner of the free States; and
who that hath eyes to see, has not sickened at the blindness that saw
not, at the palsy of heart that felt not, or at the cowardice and
sycophancy that dared not expose such shallow fallacies. We are not to
be turned from our purpose by such vapid babblings. In their
appropriate places, we propose to consider these objections and
various others, and to show their emptiness and folly.

The foregoing declarations touching the inflictions upon slaves, are
not hap-hazard assertions, nor the exaggerations of fiction conjured
up to carry a point; nor are they the rhapsodies of enthusiasm, nor
crude conclusions, jumped at by hasty and imperfect investigation, nor
the aimless outpourings either of sympathy or poetry; but they are
proclamations of deliberate, well-weighed convictions, produced by
accumulations of proof, by affirmations and affidavits, by written
testimonies and statements of a cloud of witnesses who speak what they
know and testify what they have seen, and all these impregnably
fortified by proofs innumerable, in the relation of the slaveholder to
his slave, the nature of arbitrary power, and the nature and history
of man.

Of the witnesses whose testimony is embodied in the following pages, a
majority are slaveholders, many of the remainder have been
slaveholders, but now reside in free States.

Another class whose testimony will be given, consists of those who
have furnished the results of their own observation during periods of
residence and travel in the slave States.

We will first present the reader with a few PERSONAL NARRATIVES
furnished by individuals, natives of slave states and others,
embodying, in the main, the results of their own observation in the
midst of slavery--facts and scenes of which they were eye-witnesses.

In the next place, to give the reader as clear and definite a view of
the actual condition of slaves as possible, we propose to make
specific points; to pass in review the various particulars in the
slave's condition, simply presenting sufficient testimony under each
head to settle the question in every candid mind. The examination will
be conducted by stating distinct propositions, and in the following
order of topics.






6. _In conclusion,_ a variety of OBJECTIONS and ARGUMENTS will be
considered which are used by the advocates of slavery to set
aside the force of testimony, and to show that the slaves are kindly

Between the larger divisions of the work, brief personal narratives
will be inserted, containing a mass of facts and testimony, both
general and specific.

       *     *     *     *     *


MR. NEHEMIAH CAULKINS, of Waterford, New London Co., Connecticut, has
furnished the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery
Society, with the following statements relative to the condition and
treatment of slaves, in the south eastern part of North Carolina. Most
of the facts related by Mr. Caulkins fell under his personal
observation. The air of candor and honesty that pervades the
narrative, the manner in which Mr. C. has drawn it up, the good sense,
just views, conscience and heart which it exhibits, are sufficient of
themselves to commend it to all who have ears to hear.

The Committee have no personal acquaintance with Mr. Caulkins, but
they have ample testimonials from the most respectable sources, all of
which represent him to be a man whose long established character for
sterling integrity, sound moral principle and piety, have secured for
him the uniform respect and confidence of those who know him.

Without further preface the following testimonials are submitted to
the reader.

This may certify, that we the subscribers have lived for a number of
years past in the neighborhood with Mr. Nehemiah Caulkins, and have no
hesitation in stating that we consider him a man of high
respectability and that his character for truth and veracity is
_Waterford, Ct., Jan. 16th, 1839._

Mr. Comstock is a Justice of the Peace. Mr. L. Beebe is the Town Clerk
of Waterford. Mr. J. Beebe is a member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Otis
is a member of the Congregational Church. Mr. Morgan is a Justice of
the Peace, and Messrs. Perkins and Rogers are designated by their
titles. All those gentlemen are citizens of Waterford, Connecticut.

To whom it may concern. This may certify that Mr. Nehemiah Caulkins,
of Waterford, in New London County, is a near neighbor to the
subscriber, and has been for many years. I do consider him a man of
_unquestionable veracity_ and certify that he is so considered by
people to whom he is personally known. EDWARD R. WARREN. _Jan. 15th,

Mr. Warren is a Commissioner (Associate Judge) of the County Court,
for New London County.

This may certify that Mr. Nehemiah Caulkins, of the town of Waterford,
County of New London, and State of Connecticut, is a member of the
first Baptist Church in said Waterford, is in good standing, and is
esteemed by us a man of truth and veracity. FRANCIS DARROW, Pastor of
said Church. _Waterford, Jan. 16th, 1839._

This may certify that Nehemiah Caulkins, of Waterford, lives near me,
and I always esteemed him, and believe him to be a man of truth and
veracity. ELISHA BECKWITH. _Jan. 16th, 1839._

Mr. Beckwith is a Justice of the Peace, a Post Master, and a Deacon of
the Baptist Church.

Mr. Dwight P. Jones, a member of the Second Congregational Church in
the city of New London, in a recent letter, says;

"Mr. Caulkins is a member of the Baptist Church in Waterford, and in
every respect a very worthy citizen. I have labored with him in the
Sabbath School, and know him to be a man of active piety. The most
_entire confidence_ may be placed in the truth of his statements.
Where he is known, no one will call them in question."

We close these testimonials with an extract, of a letter from William
Bolles, Esq., a well known and respected citizen of New London, Ct.

"Mr. Nehemiah Caulkins resides in the town of Waterford, about six
miles from this City. His opportunities to acquire exact knowledge in
relation to Slavery, in that section of our country, to which his
narrative is confined, have been very great. He is a carpenter, and
was employed principally on the plantations, working at his trade,
being thus almost constantly in the company of the slaves as well as
of their masters. His full heart readily responded to the call, [for
information relative to slavery,] for, as he expressed it, he had long
desired that others might know what he had seen, being confident that
a general knowledge of facts as they exist, would greatly promote the
overthrow of the system. He is a man of undoubted character; and where
known, his statements need no corroboration.



I feel it my duty to tell some things that I know about slavery, in
order, if possible, to awaken more feeling at the North in behalf of
the slave. The treatment of the slaves on the plantations where I had
the greatest opportunity of getting knowledge, _was not so bad_ as
that on some neighboring estates, where the owners were noted for
their cruelty. There were, however, other estates in the vicinity,
where the treatment was better; the slaves were better clothed and
fed, were not worked so hard, and more attention was paid to their

The scenes that I have witnessed are enough to harrow up the soul; but
could the slave be permitted to tell the story of his sufferings,
which no white man, not linked with slavery, _is allowed to know,_ the
land would vomit out the horrible system, slaveholders and all, if
they would not unclinch their grasp upon their defenceless victims.

I spent eleven winters, between the years 1824 and 1835, in the state
of North Carolina, mostly in the vicinity of Wilmington; and four out
of the eleven on the estate of Mr. John Swan, five or six miles from
that place. There were on his plantation about seventy slaves, male
and female: some were married, and others lived together as man and
wife, without even a mock ceremony. With their owners generally, it is
a matter of indifference; the marriage of slaves not being recognized
by the slave code. The slaves, however, think much of being married by
a clergyman.

The cabins or huts of the slaves were small, and were built
principally by the slaves themselves, as they could find time on
Sundays and moonlight nights; they went into the swamps, cut the logs,
backed or hauled them to the quarters, and put up their cabins.

When I first knew Mr. Swan's plantation, his overseer was a man who
had been a Methodist minister. He treated the slaves with great
cruelty. His reason for leaving the ministry and becoming an overseer,
as I was informed, was this: his wife died, at which providence he was
so enraged, that he swore he would not preach for the Lord another
day. This man continued on the plantation about three years; at the
close of which, on settlement of accounts, Mr. Swan owed him about
$400, for which he turned him out a negro woman, and about twenty
acres of land. He built a log hut, and took the woman to live with
him; since which, I have been at his hut, and seen four or five
mulatto children. He has been appointed _justice of the peace_, and
his place as overseer was afterwards occupied by a Mr. Galloway.

It is customary in that part of the country, to let the hogs run in
the woods. On one occasion a slave caught a pig about two months old,
which he carried to his quarters. The overseer, getting information of
the fact, went to the field where he was at work, and ordered him to
come to him. The slave at once suspected it was something about the
pig, and fearing punishment, dropped his hoe and ran for the woods. He
had got but a few rods, when the overseer raised his gun, loaded with
duck shot, and brought him down. It is a common practice for overseers
to go into the field armed with a gun or pistols, and sometimes both.
He was taken up by the slaves and carried to the plantation hospital,
and the physician sent for. A physician was employed by the year to
take care of the sick or wounded slaves. In about six weeks this slave
got better, and was able to come out of the hospital. He came to the
mill where I was at work, and asked me to examine his body, which I
did, and counted twenty-six duck shot still remaining in his flesh,
though the doctor had removed a number while he was laid up.

There was a slave on Mr. Swan's plantation, by the name of Harry, who,
during the absence of his master, ran away and secreted himself is the
woods. This the slaves sometimes do, when the master is absent for
several weeks, to escape the cruel treatment of the overseer. It is
common for them to make preparations, by secreting a mortar, a
hatchet, some cooking utensils, and whatever things they can get that
will enable them to live while they are in the woods or swamps. Harry
staid about three months, and lived by robbing the rice grounds, and
by such other means as came in his way. The slaves generally know
where the runaway is secreted, and visit him at night and on Sundays.
On the return of his master, some of the slaves were sent for Harry.
When he came home, he was seized and confined in the stocks. The
stocks were built in the barn, and consisted of two heavy pieces of
timber, ten or more feet in length, and about seven inches wide; the
lower one, on the floor, has a number of holes or places cut in it,
for the ancles; the upper piece, being of the same dimensions, is
fastened at one end by a hinge, and is brought down after the ancles
are placed in the holes, and secured by a clasp and padlock at the
other end. In this manner the person is left to sit on the floor.
Barry was kept in the stocks _day and night for a week_, and flogged
_every morning_. After this, he was taken out one morning, a log chain
fastened around his neck, the two ends dragging on the ground, and he
sent to the field, to do his task with the other slaves. At night he
was again put in the stocks, in the morning he was sent to the field
in the same manner, and thus dragged out another week.

The overseer was a very miserly fellow, and restricted his wife in
what are considered the comforts of life--such as tea, sugar, &c. To
make up for this, she set her wits to work, and, by the help of a
slave, named Joe, used to take from the plantation whatever she could
conveniently, and watch her opportunity during her husband's absence,
and send Joe to sell them and buy for her such things as she directed.
Once when her husband was away, she told Joe to kill and dress one of
the pigs, sell it, and get her some tea, sugar, &c. Joe did as he was
bid, and she gave him the offal for his services. When Galloway
returned, not suspecting his wife, he asked her if she knew what had
become of his pig. She told him she suspected one of the slaves,
naming him, had stolen it, for she had heard a pig squeal the evening
before. The overseer called the slave up, and charged him with the
theft. He denied it, and said he knew nothing about it. The overseer
still charged him with it, and told him he would give him one week to
think of it, and if he did not confess the theft, or find out who did
steal the pig, he would flog every negro on the plantation; before the
week was up it was ascertained that Joe had killed the pig. He was
called up and questioned, and admitted that he had done so, and told
the overseer that he did it by the order of Mrs. Galloway, and that
she directed him to buy some sugar, &c. with the money. Mrs. Galloway
gave Joe the lie; and he was terribly flogged. Joe told me he had been
several times to the smoke-house with Mrs. G, and taken hams and sold
them, which her husband told me he supposed were stolen by the negroes
on a neighboring plantation. Mr. Swan, hearing of the circumstance,
told me he believed Joe's story, but that his statement would not be
taken as proof; and if every slave on the plantation told the same
story it could not be received as evidence against a white person.

To show the manner in which old and worn-out slaves are sometimes
treated, I will state a fact. Galloway owned a man about seventy years
of age. The old man was sick and went to his hut; laid himself down on
some straw with his feet to the fire, covered by a piece of an old
blanket, and there lay four or five days, groaning in great distress,
without any attention being paid him by his master, until death ended
his miseries; he was then taken out and buried with as little ceremony
and respect as would be paid to a brute.

There is a practice prevalent among the planters, of letting a negro
off from severe and long-continued punishment on account of the
intercession of some white person, who pleads in his behalf, that he
believes the negro will behave better, that he promises well, and he
believes he will keep his promise, &c. The planters sometimes get
tired of punishing a negro, and, wanting his services in the field,
they get some white person to come, and, in the presence of the slave,
intercede for him. At one time a negro, named Charles, was confined in
the stocks in the building where I was at work, and had been severely
whipped several times. He begged me to intercede for him and try to
get him released. I told him I would; and when his master came in to
whip him again, I went up to him and told him I had been talking with
Charles, and he had promised to behave better, &c., and requested him
not to punish him any more, but to let him go. He then said to
Charles, "As Mr. Caulkins has been pleading for you, I will let you go
on his account;" and accordingly released him.

Women are generally shown some little indulgence for three or four
weeks previous to childbirth; they are at such times not often
punished if they do not finish the task assigned them; it is, in some
cases, passed over with a severe reprimand, and sometimes without any
notice being taken of it. They ate generally allowed four weeks after
the birth of a child, before they are compelled to go into the field,
they then take the child with them, attended sometimes by a little
girl or boy, from the age of four to six, to take care of it while the
mother is at work. When there is no child that can be spared, or not
young enough for this service, the mother, after nursing, lays it
under a tree, or by the side of a fence, and goes to her task,
returning at stated intervals to nurse it. While I was on this
plantation, a little negro girl, six years of age, destroyed the life
of a child about two months old, which was left in her care. It seems
this little nurse, so called, got tired of her charge and the labor of
carrying it to the quarters at night, the mother being obliged to work
as long as she could see. One evening she nursed the infant at sunset
as usual, and sent it to the quarters. The little girl, on her way
home, had to cross a run or brook, which led down into the swamp; when
she came to the brook she followed it into the swamp, then took the
infant and plunged it head foremost into the water and mud, where it
stuck fast; she there left it and went to the negro quarters. When the
mother came in from the field, she asked the girl where the child was;
she told her she had brought it home, but did not know where it was;
the overseer was immediately informed, search was made, and it was
found as above stated, and dead. The little girl was shut up in the
barn, and confined there two or three weeks, when a speculator came
along and bought her for two hundred dollars.

The slaves are obliged to work from daylight till dark, as long as
they can see. When they have tasks assigned, which is often the case,
a few of the strongest and most expert, sometimes finish them before
sunset; others will be obliged to work till eight or nine o'clock in
the evening. All must finish their tasks or take a flogging. The whip
and gun, or pistol, are companions of the overseer; the former he uses
very frequently upon the negroes, during their hours of labor, without
regard to age or sex. Scarcely a day passed while I was on the
plantation, in which some of the slaves were not whipped; I do not
mean that they were _struck a few blows_ merely, but had a _set
flogging_. The same labor is commonly assigned to men and women,--such
as digging ditches in the rice marshes, clearing up land, chopping
cord-wood, threshing, &c. I have known the women go into the barn as
soon as they could see in the morning, and work as late as they could
see at night, threshing rice with the flail, (they now have a
threshing machine,) and when they could see to thresh no longer, they
had to gather up the rice, carry it up stairs, and deposit it in the

The allowance of clothing on this plantation to each slave, was given
out at Christmas for the year, and consisted of one pair of coarse
shoes, and enough coarse cloth to make a jacket and trowsers. If the
man has a wife she makes it up; if not, it is made up in the house.
The slaves on this plantation, being near Wilmington, procured
themselves extra clothing by working Sundays and moonlight nights,
cutting cordwood in the swamps, which they had to back about a quarter
of a mile to the ricer; they would then get a permit from their
master, and taking the wood in their canoes, carry it to Wilmington,
and sell it to the vessels, or dispose of it as they best could, and
with the money buy an old jacket of the sailors, some coarse cloth for
a shirt, &c. They sometimes gather the moss from the trees, which they
cleanse and take to market. The women receive their allowance of the
same kind of cloth which the men have. This they make into a frock; if
they have any under garments _they must procure them for themselves_.
When the slaves get a permit to leave the plantation, they sometimes
make all ring again by singing the following significant ditty, which
shows that after all there is a flow of spirits in the human breast
which for a while, at least, enables them to forget their

Hurra, for good ole Massa,
    He giv me de pass to go to de city
Hurra, for good ole Missis,
    She bile de pot, and giv me de licker.
                        Hurra, I'm goin to de city.

[Footnote 1: Slaves sometimes sing, and so do convicts in jails under
sentence, and both for the same reason. Their singing proves that they
_want_ to be happy not that they _are_ so. It is the _means_ that they
use to make themselves happy, not the evidence that they are so
already. Sometimes, doubtless, the excitement of song whelms their
misery in momentary oblivion. He who argues from this that they have
no conscious misery to forget, knows as little of human nature as of

Every Saturday night the slaves receive their allowance of provisions,
which must last them till the next Saturday night. "Potatoe time," as
it is called, begins about the middle of July. The slave may measure
for himself, the overseer being present, half a bushel of sweet
potatoes, and heap the measure as long as they will lie on; I have,
however, seen the overseer, if he think the negro is getting too many,
kick the measure; and if any fall off tell him he has got his measure.
No salt is furnished them to eat with their potatoes. When rice or
corn is given, they give them a little salt; sometimes half a pint of
molasses is given, but not often. The quantity of rice, which is of
the small, broken, unsaleable kind, is one peck. When corn is given
them, their allowance is the same, and if they get it ground, (Mr.
Swan had a mill on his plantation,) they must give one quart for
grinding, thus reducing their weekly allowance to seven quarts. When
fish (mullet) were plenty, they were allowed, in addition, one fish.
As to meat, they seldom had any. I do not think they had an allowance
of meat oftener than once in two or three months, and then the
quantity was very small. When they went into the field to work, they
took some of the meal or rice and a pot with them; the pots were given
to an old woman, who placed two poles parallel, set the pots on them,
and kindled a fire underneath for cooking; she took salt with her and
seasoned the messes as she thought proper. When their breakfast was
ready, which was generally about ten or eleven o'clock, they were
called from labor, ate, and returned to work; in the afternoon, dinner
was prepared in the same way. They had but two meals a day while in
the field; if they wanted more, they cooked for themselves after they
returned to their quarters at night. At the time of killing hogs on
the plantation, the pluck, entrails, and blood were given to the

When I first went upon Mr. Swan's plantation, I saw a slave in
shackles or fetters, which were fastened around each ankle and firmly
riveted, connected together by a chain. To the middle of this chain he
had fastened a string, so as in a manner to suspend them and keep them
from galling his ankles. This slave, whose name was Frank, was an
intelligent, good looking man, and a very good mechanic. There was
nothing vicious in his character, but he was one of those
high-spirited and daring men, that whips, chains, fetters, and all the
means of cruelty in the power of slavery, could not subdue. Mr. S. had
employed a Mr. Beckwith to repair a boat, and told him Frank was a
good mechanic, and he might have his services. Frank was sent for, his
_shackles still on_. Mr. Beckwith set him to work making _trundels_,
&c. I was employed in putting up a building, and after Mr. Beckwith
had done with Frank, he was sent for to assist me. Mr. Swan sent him
to a blacksmith's shop and had his shackles cut off with a cold
chisel. Frank was afterwards sold to a cotton planter.

I will relate one circumstance, which shows the little regard that is
paid to the feelings of the slave. During the time that Mr. Isaiah
Rogers was superintending the building of a rice machine, one of the
slaves complained of a severe toothache. Swan asked Mr. Rogers to take
his hammer and _knock out the tooth_.

There was a slave on the plantation named Ben, a waiting man. I
occupied a room in the same hut, and had frequent conversations with
him. Ben was a kind-hearted man, and, I believe, a Christian; he would
always ask a blessing before he sat down to eat, and was in the
constant practice of praying morning and night.--One day when I was at
the hut, Ben was sent for to go to the house. Ben sighed deeply and
went. He soon returned with a girl about seventeen years of age, whom
one of Mr. Swan's daughters had ordered him to flog. He brought her
into the room where I was, and told her to stand there while he went
into the next room: I heard him groan again as he went. While there I
heard his voice, and he was engaged in prayer. After a few minutes he
returned with a large cowhide, and stood before the girl, without
saying a word. I concluded he wished me to leave the hut, which I did;
and immediately after I heard the girl scream. At every blow she would
shriek, "Do, Ben! oh do, Ben!" This is a common expression of the
slaves to the person whipping them: "Do, Massa!" or, "Do, Missus!"

After she had gone, I asked Ben what she was whipped for: he told me
she had done something to displease her young missus; and in boxing
her ears, and otherwise beating her, she had scratched her finger by a
pin in the girl's dress, for which she sent her to be flogged. I asked
him if he stripped her before flogging; he said, yes; he did not like
to do this, but was _obliged_ to: he said he was once ordered to whip
a woman, which he did without stripping her: on her return to the
house, her mistress examined her back; and not seeing any marks, he
was sent for, and asked why he had not whipped her: he replied that he
had; she said she saw no marks, and asked him if he had made her pull
her clothes off; he said, No. She then told him, that when he whipped
any more of the women, he must make them strip off their clothes, as
well as the men, and flog them on their bare backs, or he should be
flogged himself.

Ben often appeared very gloomy and sad: I have frequently heard him,
when in his room, mourning over his condition, and exclaim, "Poor
African slave! Poor African slave!" Whipping was so common an
occurrence on this plantation, that it would be too great a repetition
to state the _many_ and _severe_ floggings I have seen inflicted on
the slaves. They were flogged for not performing their tasks, for
being careless, slow, or not in time, for going to the fire to warm,
&c. &c.; and it often seemed as if occasions were sought as an excuse
for punishing them.

On one occasion, I heard the overseer charge the hands to be at a
certain place the next morning at sun-rise. I was present in the
morning, in company with my brother, when the hands arrived. Joe, the
slave already spoken of, came running, all out of breath, about five
minutes behind the time, when, without asking any questions, the
overseer told him to take off his jacket. Joe took off his jacket. He
had on a piece of a shirt; he told him to take it off: Joe took it
off: he then whipped him with a heavy cowhide full six feet long. At
every stroke Joe would spring from the ground, and scream, "O my God!
Do, Massa Galloway!" My brother was so exasperated; that he turned to
me and said, "If I were Joe, I would kill the overseer if I knew I
should be shot the next minute."

In the winter the horn blew at about four in the morning, and all the
threshers were required to be at the threshing floor in fifteen
minutes after. They had to go about a quarter of a mile from their
quarters. Galloway would stand near the entrance, and all who did not
come in time would get a blow over the back or head as heavy as he
could strike. I have seen him, at such times, follow after them,
striking furiously a number of blows, and every one followed by their
screams. I have seen the women go to their work after such a flogging,
crying and taking on most piteously.

It is almost impossible to believe that human nature can endure such
hardships and sufferings as the slaves have to go through: I have seen
them driven into a ditch in a rice swamp to bail out the water, in
order to put down a flood-gate, when they had to break the ice, and
there stand in the water among the ice until it was bailed out. I have
_often_ known the hands to be taken from the field, sent down the
river in flats or boats to Wilmington, absent from twenty-four to
thirty hours, _without any thing to eat,_ no provision being made for
these occasions.

Galloway kept medicine on hand, that in case any of the slaves were
sick, he could give it to them without sending for the physician; but
he always kept a good look out that they did not sham sickness. When
any of them excited his suspicions, he would make them take the
medicine in his presence, and would give them a rap on the top of the
head, to make them swallow it. A man once came to him, of whom he said
he was suspicious: he gave him two potions of salts, and fastened him
in the stocks for the night. His medicine soon began to operate; and
_there he lay in all his filth till he was taken out the next day._

One day, Mr. Swan beat a slave severely, for alleged carelessness in
letting a boat get adrift. The slave was told to secure the boat:
whether he took sufficient means for this purpose I do not know; he
was not allowed to make any defence. Mr. Swan called him up, and asked
why he did not secure the boat: he pulled off his hat and began to
tell his story. Swan told him he was a damned liar, and commenced
beating him over the head with a hickory cane, and the slave retreated
backwards; Swan followed him about two rods, threshing him over the
head with the hickory as he went.

As I was one day standing near some slaves who were threshing, the
driver, thinking one of the women did not use her flail quick enough,
struck her over the head: the end of the whip hit her in the eye. I
thought at the time he had put it out; but, after poulticing and
doctoring for some days, she recovered. Speaking to him about it, he
said that he once struck a slave so as to put one of her eyes entirely

A patrol is kept upon each estate, and every slave found off the
plantation without a pass is whipped on the spot. I knew a slave who
started without a pass, one night, for a neighboring plantation, to
see his wife: he was caught, tied to a tree, and flogged. He stated
his business to the patrol, who was well acquainted with him but all
to no purpose. I spoke to the patrol about it afterwards: he said he
knew the negro, that he was a very clever fellow, but he had to whip
him; for, if he let him pass, he must another, &c. He stated that he
had sometimes caught and flogged four in a night.

In conversation with Mr. Swan about runaway slaves, he stated to me
the following fact:--A slave, by the name of Luke, was owned in
Wilmington; he was sold to a speculator and carried to Georgia. After
an absence of about two months the slave returned; he watched an
opportunity to enter his old master's house when the family were
absent, no one being at home but a young waiting man. Luke went to the
room where his master kept his arms; took his gun, with some
ammunition, and went into the woods. On the return of his master, the
waiting man told him what had been done: this threw him into a violent
passion; he swore he would kill Luke, or lose his own life. He loaded
another gun, took two men, and made search, but could not find him: he
then advertised him, offering a large reward if delivered to him or
lodged in jail. His neighbors, however, advised him to offer a reward
of two hundred dollars for him _dead or alive_, which he did. Nothing
however was heard of him for some months. Mr. Swan said, one of his
slaves ran away, and was gone eight or ten weeks; on his return he
said he had found Luke, and that he had a rifle, two pistols, and a

I left the plantation in the spring, and returned to the north; when I
went out again, the next fall, I asked Mr. Swan if any thing had been
heard of Luke; he said he was _shot_, and related to me the manner of
his death, as follows:--Luke went to one of the plantations, and
entered a hut for something to eat. Being fatigued, he sat down and
fell asleep. There was only a woman in the hut at the time: as soon as
she found he was asleep, she ran and told her master, who took his
rifle, and called two white men on another plantation: the three, with
their rifles, then went to the hut, and posted themselves in different
positions, so that they could watch the door. When Luke waked up he
went to the door to look out, and saw them with their rifles, he
stepped back and raised his gun to his face. They called to him to
surrender; and stated that they had him in their power, and said he
had better give up. He said he would not: and if they tried to take
him, he would kill one of them; for, if he gave up, he knew they would
kill him, and he was determined to sell his life as dear as he could.
They told him, if he should shoot one of them, the other two would
certainly kill him: he replied, he was determined not to give up, and
kept his gun moving from one to the other; and while his rifle was
turned toward one, another, standing in a different direction, shot
him through the head, and he fell lifeless to the ground.

There was another slave shot while I was there; this man had run away,
and had been living in the woods a long time, and it was not known
where he was, till one day he was discovered by two men, who went on
the large island near Belvidere to hunt turkeys; they shot him and
carried his head home.

It is common to keep dogs on the plantations, to pursue and catch
runaway slaves. I was once bitten by one of them. I went to the
overseer's house, the dog lay in the piazza, as soon as I put my foot
upon the floor, he sprang and bit me just above the knee, but not
severely; he tore my pantaloons badly. The overseer apologized for his
dog, saying he never knew him to bite a _white_ man before. He said he
once had a dog, when he lived on another plantation, that was very
useful to him in hunting runaway negroes. He said that a slave on the
plantation once ran away; as soon as he found the course he took, he
put the dog on the track, and he soon came so close upon him that the
man had to climb a tree, he followed with his gun, and brought the
slave home.

The slaves have a great dread of being sold and carried south. It is
generally said, and I have no doubt of its truth, that they are much
worse treated farther south.

The following are a few among the many facts related to me while I
lived among the slaveholder. The names of the planters and
plantations, I shall not give, _as they did not come under my own
observation_. I however place the fullest confidence in their truth.

A planter not far from Mr. Swan's employed an overseer to whom he paid
$400 a year; he became dissatisfied with him, because he did not drive
the slaves hard enough, and get more work out of them. He therefore
sent to South Carolina, or Georgia, and got a man to whom he paid I
believe $800 a year. He proved to be a cruel fellow, and drove the
slaves almost to death. There was a slave on this plantation, who had
repeatedly run away, and had been severely flogged every time. The
last time he was caught, a hole was dug in the ground, and he buried
up to the chin, his arms being secured down by his sides. He was kept
in this situation four or five days.

The following was told me by an intimate friend; it took place on a
plantation containing about one hundred slaves. One day the owner
ordered the women into the barn, he then went in among them, whip in
hand, and told them he meant to flog them all to death; they began
immediately to cry out "What have I done Massa? What have I done
Massa?" He replied; "D--n you, I will let you know what you have done,
you don't breed, I haven't had a young one from one of you for several
months." They told him they could not breed while they had to work in
the rice ditches. (The rice grounds are low and marshy, and have to be
drained, and while digging or clearing the ditches, the women had to
work in mud and water from one to two feet in depth; they were obliged
to draw up and secure their frocks about their waist, to keep them out
of the water, in this manner they frequently had to work from daylight
in the morning till it was so dark they could see no longer.) After
swearing and threatening for some time, he told them to tell the
overseer's wife, when they got in that way, and he would put them upon
the land to work.

This same planter had a female slave who was a member of the Methodist
Church; for a slave she was intelligent and conscientious. He proposed
a criminal intercourse with her. She would not comply. He left her and
sent for the overseer, and told him to have her flogged. It was done.
Not long after, he renewed his proposal. She again refused. She was
again whipped. He then told her why she had been twice flogged, and
told her he intended to whip her till she should yield. The girl,
seeing that her case was hopeless, her back smarting with the
scourging she had received, and dreading a repetition, gave herself up
to be the victim of his brutal lusts.

One of the slaves on another plantation, gave birth to a child which
lived but two or three weeks. After its death the planter called the
woman to him, and asked her how she came to let the child die; said it
was all owing to her carelessness, and that he meant to flog her for
it. She told, him with all the feeling of a mother, the circumstances
of its death. But her story availed her nothing against the savage
brutality of her master. She was severely whipped. A healthy child
four months old was then considered worth $100 in North Carolina.

The foregoing facts were related to me by white persons of character
and respectability. The following fact was related to me on a
plantation where I have spent considerable time and where the
punishment was inflicted. I have no doubt of its truth. A slave ran
away from his master, and got as far as Newbern. He took provisions
that lasted him a week; but having eaten all, he went to a house to
get something to satisfy his hunger. A white man suspecting him to be
a runaway, demanded his pass; as he had none he was seized and put in
Newbern jail. He was there advertised, his description given, &c. His
master saw the advertisement and sent for him; when he was brought
back, his wrists were tied together and drawn over his knees. A stick
was then passed over his arms and under his knees, and he secured in
this manner, his trowsers were then stripped down, and he turned over
on his side, and severely beaten with the paddle, then turned over and
severely beaten on the other side, and then turned back again, and
tortured by another bruising and beating. He was afterwards kept in
the stocks a week, and whipped every morning.

To show the disgusting pollutions of slavery, and how it covers with
moral filth every thing it touches, I will state two or three facts,
which I have on such evidence I cannot doubt their truth. A planter
offered a white man of my acquaintance twenty dollars for every one of
his female slaves, whom he would get in the family way. This offer was
no doubt made for the purpose of improving the stock, on the same
principle that farmers endeavour to improve their cattle by crossing
the breed.

Slaves belonging to merchants and others in the city, often hire their
own time, for which they pay various prices per week or month,
according to the capacity of the slave. The females who thus hire
their time, pursue various modes to procure the money; their masters
making no inquiry how they get it, provided the money comes. If it is
not regularly paid they are flogged. Some take in washing, some cook
on board vessels, pick oakum, sell peanuts, &c., while others, younger
and more comely, often resort to the vilest pursuits. I knew a man
from the north who, though married to a respectable southern woman,
kept two of these mulatto girls in an upper room at his store; his
wife told some of her friends that he had not lodged at home for two
weeks together, I have seen these two _kept misses_, as they are there
called, at his store; he was afterwards stabbed in an attempt to
arrest a runaway slave, and died in about ten days.

The clergy at the north cringe beneath the corrupting influence of
slavery, and their moral courage is borne down by it. Not the
hypocritical and unprincipled alone, but even such as can hardly be
supposed to be destitute of sincerity.

Going one morning to the Baptist Sunday School, in Wilmington, in
which I was engaged, I fell in with the Rev. Thomas P. Hunt, who was
going to the Presbyterian school. I asked him how he could bear to see
the little negro children beating their hoops, hallooing, and running
about the streets, as we then saw them, their moral condition entirely
neglected, while the whites were so carefully gathered into the
schools. His reply was substantially this:--"I can't bear it, Mr.
Caulkins. I feel as deeply as any one can on this subject, but what

Now, if Mr. Hunt was guilty of neglecting his duty, as a servant of
HIM who never failed to rebuke sin in high places, what shall be said
of those clergymen at the north, where the power that closed his mouth
is comparatively unfelt, who refuse to tell their people how God
abhors oppression, and who seldom open their mouth on this subject,
but to denounce the friends of emancipation, thus giving the strongest
support to the accursed system of slavery. I believe Mr. Hunt has
since become an agent of the Temperance Society.

In stating the foregoing facts, my object has been to show the
practical workings of the system of slavery, and if possible to
correct the misapprehension on this subject, so common at the north.
In doing this I am not at war with slave-holders. No, my soul is moved
for them as well as for the poor slaves. May God send them repentance
to the acknowledgment of the truth! Principle, on a subject of this
nature, is dearer to me than the applause of men, and should not be
sacrificed on any subject, even though the ties of friendship may be
broken. We have too long been silent on this subject, the slave has
been too much considered, by our northern states, as being kept by
necessity in his present condition.--Were we to ask, in the language
of Pilate, "what evil have they done"--we may search their history, we
cannot find that they have taken up arms against our government, nor
insulted us as a nation--that they are thus compelled to drag out a
life in chains! subjected to the most terrible inflictions if in any
way they manifest a wish to be released.--Let us reverse the question.
What evil has been done to them by those who call themselves masters?
First let us look at their persons, "neither clothed nor naked"--I
have seen instances where this phrase would not apply to boys and
girls, and that too in winter. I knew one young man seventeen years of
age, by the name of Dave, on Mr. J. Swan's plantation, worked day
after day in the rice machine as naked as when he was born. The reason
of his being so, his master said in my hearing, was, that he could not
keep clothes on him--he would get into the fire and burn them off.

Follow them next to their huts; some with and some without floors:--Go
at night, view their means of lodging, see them lying on benches, some
on the floor or ground, some sitting on stools, dozing away the
night:--others, of younger age, with a bare blanket wrapped about
them; and one or two lying in the ashes. These things _I have often
seen with my own eyes._

Examine their means of subsistence, which consists generally of seven
quarts of meal or eight quarts of small rice for one week; then follow
them to their work, with driver and overseer pushing them to the
utmost of their strength, by threatening and whipping.

If they are sick from fatigue and exposure, go to their huts, as I
have often been, and see them groaning under a burning fever or
pleurisy, lying on some straw, their feet to the fire with barely a
blanket to cover them; or on some boards nailed together in form of a

And after seeing all this, and hearing them tell of their sufferings,
need I ask, is there any evil connected with their condition? and if
so; upon whom is it to be charged? I answer for myself, and the reader
can do the same. Our government stands first chargeable for allowing
slavery to exist, under its own jurisdiction. Second, the states for
enacting laws to secure their victim. Third, the slaveholder for
carrying out such enactments, in horrid form enough to chill the
blood. Fourth, every person who knows what slavery is, and does not
raise his voice against this crying sin, but by silence gives consent
to its continuance, is chargeable with guilt in the sight of God. "The
blood of Zacharias who was slain between the temple and altar," says

Look at the slave, his condition but little, if at all, better than
that of the brute; chained down by the law, and the will of his
master; and every avenue closed against relief; and the names of those
who plead for him, cast out as evil;--must not humanity let its voice
be heard, and tell Israel their transgressions and Judah their sins?

May God look upon their afflictions, and deliver them from their cruel
task-masters! I verily believe he will, if there be any efficacy in
prayer. I have been to their prayer meetings and with them offered
prayer in their behalf. I have heard some of them in their huts before
day-light praying in their simple broken language, telling their
heavenly Father of their trials in the following and similar language.

"Fader in heaven, look upon de poor slave, dat have to work all de day
long, dat cant have de time to pray only in de night, and den massa
mus not know it.[2] Fader, have mercy on massa and missus. Fader, when
shall poor slave get through de world! when will death come, and de
poor slave go to heaven;" and in their meetings they frequently add,
"Fader, bless de white man dat come to hear de slave pray, bless his
family," and so on. They uniformly begin their meetings by singing the

"And are we yet alive
 To see each other's face," &c.

[Footnote 2: At this time there was some fear of insurrection and the
slaves were forbidden to hold meetings.]

Is the ear of the Most High deaf to the prayer of the slave? I do
firmly believe that their deliverance will come, and that the prayer
of this poor afflicted people will be answered.

Emancipation would be safe. I have had eleven winters to learn the
disposition of the slaves, and am satisfied that they would peaceably
and cheerfully work for pay. Give them education, equal and just laws,
and they will become a most interesting people. Oh, let a cry be
raised which shall awaken the conscience of this guilty nation, to
demand for the slaves immediate and unconditional emancipation.
                                   NEHEMIAH CAULKINS.

       *     *     *     *     *


Mr. Moulton is an esteemed minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
in Marlborough, Mass. He spent five years in Georgia, between 1817 and
1824. The following communication has been recently received from him.

MARLBOROUGH, MASS., Feb. 18, 1839.


Yours of Feb. 2d, requesting me to write out a few facts on the
subject of slavery, as it exists at the south, has come to hand. I
hasten to comply with your request. Were it not, however, for the
claims of those "who are drawn unto death," and the responsibility
resting upon me, in consequence of this request, I should forever hold
my peace. For I well know that I shall bring upon myself a flood of
persecution, for attempting to speak out for the dumb. But I am
willing to be set at nought by men, if I can be the means of promoting
the welfare of the oppressed of our land. I shall not relate many
particular cases of cruelty, though I might a great number; but shall
give some general information as to their mode of treatment, their
food, clothing, dwellings, deprivations, &c.

Let me say, in the first place, that I spent nearly five years in
Savannah, Georgia, and in its vicinity, between the years 1817 and
1824. My object in going to the south, was to engage in making and
burning brick; but not immediately succeeding, I engaged in no
business of much profit until late in the winter, when I took charge
of a set of hands and went to work. During my leisure, however, I was
an observer, at the auctions, upon the plantations, and in almost
every department of business. The next year, during the cold months, I
had several two-horse teams under my care, with which we used to haul
brick, boards, and other articles from the wharf into the city, and
cotton, rice, corn, and wood from the country. This gave me an
extensive acquaintance with merchants, mechanics and planters. I had
slaves under my control some portions of every year when at the south.
All the brick-yards, except one, on which I was engaged, were
connected either with a corn field, potatoe patch, rice field, cotton
field, tan-works, or with a wood lot. My business, usually, was to
take charge of the brick-making department. At those jobs I have
sometimes taken in charge both the field and brick-yard hands. I have
been on the plantations in South Carolina, but have never been an
overseer of slaves in that state, as has been said in the public

I think the above facts and explanations are necessary to be connected
with the account I may give of slavery, that the reader may have some
knowledge of my acquaintance with _practical_ slavery: for many
mechanics and merchants who go to the South, and stay there for years,
know but little of the dark side of slavery. My account of slavery
will apply to _field hands_, who compose much the largest portion of
the black population, (probably nine-tenths,) and not to those who are
kept for kitchen maids, nurses, waiters, &c., about the houses of the
planters and public hotels, where persons from the north obtain most
of their knowledge of the evils of slavery. I will now proceed to take
up specific points.


Males and females work together promiscuously on all the plantations.
On many plantations _tasks_ are given them. The best working hands can
have some leisure time; but the feeble and unskilful ones, together
with slender females, have indeed a hard time of it, and very often
answer for non-performance of tasks at the _whipping-posts_. None who
worked with me had tasks at any time. The rule was to work them from
sun to sun. But when I was burning brick, they were obliged to take
turns, and _sit up all night_ about every other night, and work all
day. On one plantation, where I spent a few weeks, the slaves were
called up to work long before daylight, when business pressed, and
worked until late at night; and sometimes some of them _all night_. A
large portion of the slaves are owned by masters who keep them on
purpose to hire out--and they usually let them to those who will give
the highest wages for them, irrespective of their mode of treatment;
and those who hire them, will of course try to get the greatest
possible amount of work performed, with the least possible expense.
Women are seen bringing their infants into the field to their work,
and leading others who are not old enough to stay at the cabins with
safety. When they get there, they must set them down in the dirt and
go to work. Sometimes they are left to cry until they fall asleep.
Others are left at home, shut up in their huts. Now, is it not
barbarous, that the mother, with her child of children around her,
half starved, must be whipped at night if she does not perform her
task? But so it is. Some who have very young ones, fix a little sack,
and place the infants on their backs, and work. One reason, I presume
is, that they will not cry so much when they can hear their mother's
voice. Another is, the mothers fear that the poisonous vipers and
snakes will bite them. Truly, I never knew any place where the land is
so infested with all kinds of the most venomous snakes, as in the low
lands round about Savannah. The moccasin snakes, so called, and water
rattle-snakes--the bites of both of which are as poisonous as our
upland rattlesnakes at the north,--are found in myriads about the
stagnant waters and swamps of the South. The females, in order to
secure their infants from these poisonous snakes, do, as I have said,
often work with their infants on their backs. Females are sometimes
called to take the hardest part of the work. On some brick yards where
I have been, the women have been selected as the _moulders_ of brick,
instead of the men.


It was a general custom, wherever I have been, for the masters to give
each of his slaves, male and female, _one peck of corn per week_ for
their food. This at fifty cents per bushel, which was all that it was
worth when I was there, would amount to twelve and a half cents per
week for board per head.

It cost me upon an average, when at the south, one dollar per day for
board. The price of fourteen bushels of corn per week. This would make
my board equal in amount to the board of _forty-six slaves!_ This is
all that good or bad masters allow their slaves round about Savannah
on the plantations. One peck of gourd-seed corn is to be measured out
to each slave once every week. One man with whom I labored, however,
being desirous to get all the work out of his hands he could, before I
left, (about fifty in number,) bought for them every week, or twice a
week, a beef's head from market. With this, they made a soup in a
large iron kettle, around which the hands came at meal-time, and
dipping out the soup, would mix it with their hommony, and eat it as
though it were a feast. This man permitted his slaves to eat twice a
day while I was doing a job for him. He promised me a beaver hat and
as good a suit of clothes as could be bought in the city, if I would
accomplish so much for him before I returned to the north; giving me
the entire control over his slaves. Thus you may see the temptations
overseers sometimes have, to get all the work they can out of the poor
slaves. The above is an exception to the general rule of feeding. For
in all other places where I worked and visited; the slaves had
_nothing from their masters but the corn_, or its equivalent in
potatoes or rice, and to this, they were not permitted to come but
_once a day_. The custom was to blow the horn early in the morning,
as a signal for the hands to rise and go to work, when commenced; they
continued work until about eleven o'clock, A.M., when, at the signal,
all hands left off and went into their huts, made their fires, made
their corn-meal into hommony or cake, ate it, and went to work again
at the signal of the horn, and worked until night, or until their
tasks were done. Some cooked their breakfast in the field while at
work. Each slave must grind his own corn in a hand-mill after he has
done his work at night. There is generally one hand-mill on every
plantation for the use of the slaves.

Some of the planters have no corn, others often get out. The
substitute for it is, the equivalent of one peek of corn either in
rice or sweet potatoes; neither of which is as good for the slaves as
corn. They complain more of being faint, when fed on rice or potatoes,
than when fed on corn. I was with one man a few weeks who gave me his
hands to do a job of work, and to save time one cooked for all the
rest. The following course was taken,--Two crotched sticks were driven
down at one end of the yard, and a small pole being laid on the
crotches, they swung a large iron kettle on the middle of the pole;
then made up a fire under the kettle and boiled the hommony; when
ready, the hands were called around this kettle with their wooden
plates and spoons. They dipped out and ate standing around the kettle,
or sitting upon the ground, as best suited their convenience. When
they had potatoes they took them out with their hands, and ate them.
As soon as it was thought they had had sufficient time to swallow
their food they were called to their work again. _This was the only
meal they ate through the day._ now think of the little, almost naked
and half starved children, nibbling upon a piece of cold Indian cake,
or a potato! Think of the poor female, just ready to be confined,
without any thing that can be called convenient or comfortable! Think
of the old toil-worn father and mother, without anything to eat but
the coarsest of food, and not half enough of that! then think of
_home_. When sick, their physicians are their masters and overseers,
in most cases, whose skill consists in bleeding and in administering
large potions of Epsom salts, when the whip and _cursing_ will not
start them from their cabins.


The huts of the slaves are mostly of the poorest kind. They are not as
good as those temporary shanties which are thrown up beside railroads.
They are erected with posts and crotches, with but little or no
frame-work about them. They have no stoves or chimneys; some of them
have something like a fireplace at one end, and a board or two off at
that side, or on the roof, to let off the smoke. Others have nothing
like a fireplace in them; in these the fire is sometimes made in the
middle of the hut. These buildings have but one apartment in them; the
places where they pass in and out, serve both for doors and windows;
the sides and roofs are covered with coarse, and in many instances
with refuse boards. In warm weather, especially in the spring, the
slaves keep up a smoke, or fire and smoke, all night, to drive away
the gnats and musketoes, which are very troublesome in all the low
country of the south; so much so that the whites sleep under frames
with nets over them, knit so fine that the musketoes cannot fly
through them.

Some of the slaves have rugs to cover them in the coldest weather, but
I should think _more have not_. During driving storms they frequently
have to run from one hut to another for shelter. In the coldest
weather, where they can get wood or stumps, they keep up fires all
night in their huts, and lay around them, with their feet towards the
blaze. Men, women and children all lie down together, in most
instances. There may be exceptions to the above statements in regard
to their houses, but so far as my observations have extended, I have
given a fair description, and I have been on a large number of
plantations in Georgia and South Carolina up and down the Savannah
river. Their huts are generally built compactly on the plantations,
forming villages of huts, their size proportioned to the number of
slaves on them. In these miserable huts the poor blacks are herded at
night like swine, _without any conveniences of beadsteads, tables or
chairs._ O Misery to the full! to see the aged sire beating off the
swarms of gnats and musketoes in the warm weather, and shivering in
the straw, or bending over a few coals in the winter, clothed in rags.
I should think males and females, both lie down at night with their
working clothes on them. God alone knows how much the poor slaves
suffer for the want of convenient houses to secure them from the
piercing winds and howling storms of winter, almost as much in Georgia
as I do in Massachusetts.


The masters [in Georgia] make a practice of getting two suits of
clothes for each slave per year, a thick suit for winter, and a thin
one for summer. They provide also one pair of northern made sale shoes
for each slave in _winter_. These shoes usually begin to rip in a few
weeks. The negroes' mode of mending them is, to _wire_ them together,
in many instances. Do our northern shoemakers know that they are
augmenting the sufferings of the poor slaves with their almost good
for nothing sale shoes? Inasmuch as it is done unto one of those poor
sufferers it is done unto our Saviour. The above practice of clothing
the slave is customary to some extent. How many, however, fail of
this, God only knows. The children and old slaves are, I should think,
_exceptions_ to the above rule. The males and females have their suits
from the same cloth for their winter dresses. These winter garments
appear to be made of a mixture of cotton and wool, very coarse and
_sleazy_. The whole suit for the men consists of a pair of pantaloons
and a short sailor-jacket, _without shirt, vest, hat, stockings, or
any kind of loose garments!_ These, if worn steadily when at work,
would not probably last more than one or two months; therefore, for
the sake of saving them, many of them work, especially in the summer,
with no clothing on them except a cloth tied round their waist, and
_almost all_ with nothing more on them than pantaloons, and these
frequently so torn that they do not serve the purposes of common
decency. The women have for clothing a short petticoat, and a short
loose gown, something like the male's sailor-jacket, _without any
under garment, stockings, bonnets, hoods, caps, or any kind of
over-clothes._ When at work in the warm weather, they usually strip
off the loose gown, and have nothing on but a short petticoat with
some kind of covering over their breasts. Many children may be seen in
the summer months _as naked as they came into the world_. I think, as
a whole, they suffer more for the want of comfortable bed clothes,
than they do for wearing apparel. It is true, that some by begging or
buying have more clothes than above described, but the _masters
provide them with no more_. They are miserable objects of pity. It may
be said of many of them, "I was _naked_ and ye clothed me not." It is
enough to melt the hardest heart to see the ragged mothers nursing
their almost naked children, with but a morsel of the coarsest food to
eat. The Southern horses and dogs have enough to eat and good care
taken of them, but Southern negroes, who can describe their misery?


The ordinary mode of punishing the slaves is both cruel and barbarous.
The masters seldom, if ever, try to govern their slaves by moral
influence, but by whipping, kicking, beating, starving, branding,
_cat-hauling_, loading with irons, imprisoning, or by some other cruel
mode of torturing. They often boast of having invented some new mode
of torture, by which they have "tamed the rascals," What is called a
moderate flogging at the south is horribly cruel. Should we whip our
horses for any offence as they whip their slaves for small offences,
we should expose ourselves to the penalty of the law. The masters whip
for the smallest offences, such as not performing their tasks, being
caught by the guard or patrol by night, or for taking any thing from
the master's yard without leave. For these, and the like crimes, the
slaves are whipped thirty-nine lashes, and sometimes seventy or a
hundred, on the bare back. One slave, who was under my care, was
whipped, I think one hundred lashes, for getting a small handful of
wood from his master's yard without leave. I heard an overseer
boasting to this same master that he gave one of the boys seventy
lashes, for not doing a job of work just as he thought it ought to be
done. The owner of the slave appeared to be pleased that the overseer
had been so faithful. The apology they make for whipping so cruelly
is, that it is to frighten the rest of the gang. The masters say, that
what we call an ordinary flogging will not subdue the slaves; hence
the most cruel and barbarous scourgings ever witnessed by man are
daily and _hourly_ inflicted upon the naked bodies of these miserable
bondmen; not by masters and negro-drivers only, but by the constables
in the common markets and jailors in their yards.

When the slaves are whipped, either in public or private, they have
their hands fastened by the wrists, with a rope or cord prepared for
the purpose: this being thrown over a beam, a limb of a tree, or
something else, the culprit is drawn up and stretched by the arms as
high as possible, without raising his feet from the ground or floor:
and sometimes they are made to stand on tip-toe; then the feet are
made fast to something prepared for them. In this distorted posture
the monster flies at them, sometimes in great rage, with his
implements of torture, and cuts on with all his might, over the
shoulders, under the arms, and sometimes over the head and ears, or on
parts of the body where he can inflict the greatest torment.
Occasionally the whipper, especially if his victim does not beg enough
to suit him, while under the lash, will fly into a passion, uttering
the most horrid oaths; while the victim of his rage is crying, at
every stroke, "Lord have mercy! Lord have mercy!" The scenes exhibited
at the whipping post are awfully terrific and frightful to one whose
heart has not turned to stone; I never could look on but a moment.
While under the lash, the bleeding victim writhes in agony, convulsed
with torture. Thirty-nine lashes on the bare back, which tear the skin
at almost every stroke, is what the South calls a very _moderate
punishment!_ Many masters whip until they are tired--until the back is
a gore of blood--then rest upon it: after a short cessation, get up
and go at it again; and after having satiated their revenge in the
blood of their victims, they sometimes _leave them tied, for hours
together, bleeding at every wound_.--Sometimes, after being whipped,
they are bathed with a brine of salt and water. Now and then a master,
but more frequently a mistress who has no husband, will send them to
jail a few days, giving orders to have them whipped, so many lashes,
once or twice a day. Sometimes, after being whipped, some have been
shut up in a dark place and deprived of food, in order to increase
their torments: and I have heard of some who have, in such
circumstances, died of their wounds and starvation.

Such scenes of horror as above described are so common in Georgia that
they attract no attention. To threaten them with death, with breaking
in their teeth or jaws, or cracking their heads, is _common talk_,
when scolding at the slaves.--Those who run away from their masters
and are caught again generally fare the worst. They are generally
lodged in jail, with instructions from the owner to have them cruelly
whipped. Some order the constables to whip them publicly in the
market. Constables at the south are generally savage, brutal men. They
have become so accustomed to catching and whipping negroes, that they
are as fierce as tigers. Slaves who are absent from their yards, or
plantations, after eight o'clock P.M., and are taken by the guard in
the cities, or by the patrols in the country, are, if not called for
before nine o'clock A.M. the next day, secured in prisons; and hardly
ever escape, until their backs are torn up by the cowhide. On
plantations, the _evenings_ usually present scenes of horror. Those
slaves against whom charges are preferred for not having performed
their tasks, and for various faults, must, after work-hours at night,
undergo their torments. I have often heard the sound of the lash, the
curses of the whipper, and the cries of the poor negro rending the
air, late in the evening, and long before day-light in the morning.

It is very common for masters to say to the overseers or drivers, "put
it on to them," "don't spare that fellow," "give that scoundrel one
hundred lashes," &c. Whipping the women when in delicate
circumstances, as they sometimes do, without any regard to their
entreaties or the entreaties of their nearest friends, is truly
barbarous. If negroes could testify, they would tell you of instances
of women being whipped until they have miscarried at the
whipping-post. I heard of such things at the south--they are
undoubtedly facts. Children are whipped unmercifully for the smallest
offences, and that before their mothers. A large proportion of the
blacks have their shoulders, backs, and arms all scarred up, and not a
few of them have had their heads laid open with clubs, stones, and
brick-bats, and with the butt-end of whips and canes--some have had
their jaws broken, others their teeth knocked in or out; while others
have had their ears cropped and the sides of their cheeks gashed out.
Some of the poor creatures have lost the sight of one of their eyes by
the careless blows of the whipper, or by some other violence.

But punishing of slaves as above described, is not the only mode of
torture. Some tie them up in a very uneasy posture, where they must
stand _all night_, and they will then work them hard all day--that is,
work them hard all day and torment them all night. Others punish by
fastening them down on a log, or something else, and strike them on
the bare skin with a board paddle full of holes. This breaks the skin,
I should presume, at every hole where it comes in contact with it.
Others, when other modes of punishment will not subdue them,
_cat-haul_ them--that is, take a cat by the nape of the neck and tail,
or by the hind legs, and drag the claws across the back until
satisfied. This kind of punishment poisons the flesh much worse than
the whip, and is more dreaded by the slave. Some are branded by a hot
iron, others have their flesh cut out in large gashes, to mark them.
Some who are prone to run away, have iron fetters riveted around their
ancles, sometimes they are put only on one foot, and are dragged on
the ground. Others have on large iron collars or yokes upon their
necks, or clogs riveted upon their wrists or ancles. Some have bells
put upon them, hung upon a sort of frame to an iron collar. Some
masters fly into a rage at trifles and knock down their negroes with
their fists, or with the first thing that they can get hold of. The
whiplash-knots, or rawhide, have sometimes by a reckless stroke
reached round to the front of the body and cut through to the bowels.
One slaveholder with whom I lived, whipped one of his slaves one day,
as many, I should think, as one hundred lashes, and then turned the
_butt-end_ and went to beating him over the head and ears, and truly I
was amazed that the slave was not killed on the spot. Not a few
slaveholders whip their slaves to death, and then say that they died
under a "moderate correction." I wonder that ten are not killed where
one is! Were they not much hardier than the whites many more of them
must die than do. One young mulatto man, with whom I was well
acquainted, was killed by his master in his yard with _impunity_. I
boarded at the same time near the place where this glaring murder was
committed, and knew the master well. He had a plantation, on which he
enacted, almost daily, cruel barbarities, some of them, I was
informed, more terrific, if possible, than death itself. Little notice
was taken of this murder, and it all passed off without any action
being taken against the murderer. The masters used to try to make me
whip their negroes. They said I could not get along with them without
flogging them--but I found I could get along better with them by
coaxing and encouraging them than by beating and flogging them. I had
not a heart to beat and kick about those beings; although I had not
grace in my heart the three first years I was there, yet I sympathised
with the slaves. I never was guilty of having but one whipped, and he
was whipped but eight or nine blows. The circumstances were as
follows: Several negroes were put under my care, one spring, _who were
fresh from Congo and Guinea_. I could not understand them, neither
could they me, in one word I spoke. I therefore pointed to them to go
to work; all obeyed me willingly but one--he refused. I told the
driver that he must tie him up and whip him. After he had tied him, by
the help of some others, we struck him eight or nine blows, and he
yielded. I told the driver not to strike him another blow. We untied
him, and he went to work, and continued faithful all the time he was
with me. This one was not a sample, however--many of them have such
exalted views of freedom that it is hard work for the masters to whip
them into brutes, that is to subdue their noble spirits. The negroes
being put under my care, did not prevent the masters from whipping
them when they pleased. But they never whipped much in my presence.
This work was usually left until I had dismissed the hands. On the
plantations, the masters chose to have the slaves whipped in the
presence of all the hands, to strike them with terror.


Numbers of poor slaves run away from their masters; some of whom
doubtless perish in the swamps and other secret places, rather than
return back again to their masters; others stay away until they almost
famish with hunger, and then return home rather than die, while others
who abscond are caught by the negro-hunters, in various ways.
Sometimes the master will hire some of his most trusty negroes to
secure any stray negroes, who come on to their plantations, for many
come at night to beg food of their friends on the plantations. The
slaves assist one another usually when they can, and not be found out
in it. The master can now and then, however, get some of his hands to
betray the runaways. Some obtain their living in hunting after lost
slaves. The most common way is to train up young dogs to follow them.
This can easily be done by obliging a slave to go out into the woods,
and climb a tree, and then put the young dog on his track, and with a
little assistance he can be taught to follow him to the tree, and when
found, of course the dog would bark at such game as a poor negro on a
tree. There was a man living in Savannah when I was there, who kept a
large number of dogs for no other purpose than to hunt runaway
negroes. And he always had enough of this work to do, for hundreds of
runaways are never found, but could he get news soon after one had
fled, he was almost sure to catch him. And this fear of the dogs
restrains multitudes from running off.

When he went out on a hunting excursion, to be gone several days, he
took several persons with him, armed generally with rifles and
followed by the dogs. The dogs were as true to the track of a negro,
if one had passed recently, as a hound is to the track of a fox when
he has found it. When the dogs draw near to their game, the slave must
turn and fight them or climb a tree. If the latter, the dogs will stay
and bark until the pursuer come. The blacks frequently deceive the
dogs by crossing and recrossing the creeks. Should the hunters who
have no dogs, start a slave from his hiding place, and the slave not
stop at the hunter's call, he will shoot at him, as soon as he would
at a deer. Some masters advertise so much for a runaway slave, dead or
alive. It undoubtedly gives such more satisfaction to know that their
property is dead, than to know that it is alive without being able to
get it. Some slaves run away who never mean to be taken alive. I will
mention one. He run off and was pursued by the dogs, but having a
weapon with him he succeeded in killing two or three of the dogs; but
was afterwards shot. He had declared, that he never would be taken
alive. The people rejoiced at the death of the slave, but lamented the
death of the dogs, they were such ravenous hunters. Poor fellow, he
fought for life and liberty like a hero; but the bullets brought him
down. A negro can hardly walk unmolested at the south.--Every colored
stranger that walks the streets is suspected of being a runaway slave,
hence he must be interrogated by every negro hater whom he meets, and
should he not have a pass, he must be arrested and hurried off to
jail. Some masters boast that their slaves would not be free if they
could. How little they know of their slaves! They are all sighing and
groaning for freedom. May God hasten the time!


When the slaves have done their day's work, they must be herded
together like sheep in their yards, or on their plantations. They have
not as much liberty as northern men have, who are sent to jail for
debt, for they have liberty to walk a larger yard than the slaves
have. The slaves must all be at their homes precisely at eight
o'clock, P.M. At this hour the drums beat in the cities, as a signal
for every slave to be in his den. In the country, the signal is given
by firing guns, or some other way by which they may know the hour when
to be at home. After this hour, the guard in the cities, and patrols
in the country, being well armed, are on duty until daylight in the
morning. If they catch any negroes during the night without a pass,
they are immediately seized and hurried away to the guard-house, or if
in the country to some place of confinement, where they are kept until
nine o'clock, A.M., the next day, if not called for by that time, they
are hurried off to jail, and there remain until called for by their
master and his jail and guard house fees paid. The guards and patrols
receive one dollar extra for every one they can catch, who has not a
pass from his master, or overseer, but few masters will give their
slaves passes to be out at night unless on some special business:
notwithstanding, many venture out, watching every step they take for
the guard or patrol, the consequence is, some are caught almost every
night, and some nights many are taken; some, fleeing after being
hailed by the watch, are shot down in attempting their escape, others
are crippled for life. I find I shall not be able to write out more at
present. My ministerial duties are pressing, and if I delay this till
the next mail, I fear it will not be in season. Your brother for those
who are in bonds,


       *     *     *     *     *


Miss Grimké is a daughter of the late Judge Grimké, of the Supreme
Court of South Carolina, and sister of the late Hon. Thomas S. Grimké.

As I left my native state on account of slavery, and deserted the home
of my fathers to escape the sound of the lash and the shrieks of
tortured victims, I would gladly bury in oblivion the recollection of
those scenes with which I have been familiar; but this may not, cannot
be; they come over my memory like gory spectres, and implore me with
resistless power, in the name of a God of mercy, in the name of a
crucified Savior, in the name of humanity; for the sake of the
slaveholder, as well as the slave, to bear witness to the horrors of
the southern prison house. I feel impelled by a sacred sense of duty,
by my obligations to my country, by sympathy for the bleeding victims
of tyranny and lust, to give my testimony respecting the system of
American slavery,--to detail a few facts, most of which came under my
_personal observation_. And here I may premise, that the actors in
these tragedies were all men and women of the highest respectability,
and of the first families in South Carolina, and, with one exception,
citizens of Charleston; and that their cruelties did not in the
slightest degree affect their standing in society.

A handsome mulatto woman, about 18 or 20 years of age, whose
independent spirit could not brook the degradation of slavery, was in
the habit of running away: for this offence she had been repeatedly
sent by her master and mistress to be whipped by the keeper of the
Charleston work-house. This had been done with such inhuman severity,
as to lacerate her back in a most shocking manner; a finger could not
be laid between the cuts. But the love of liberty was too strong to be
annihilated by torture; and, as a last resort, she was whipped at
several different times, and kept a close prisoner. A heavy iron
collar, with three long prongs projecting from it, was placed round
her neck, and a strong and sound front tooth was extracted, to serve
as a mark to describe her, in case of escape. Her sufferings at this
time were agonizing; she could lie in no position but on her back,
which was sore from scourgings, as I can testify, from personal
inspection, and her only place of rest was the floor, on a blanket.
These outrages were committed in a family where the mistress daily
read the scriptures, and assembled her children for family worship.
She was accounted, and was really, so far as almsgiving was concerned,
a charitable woman, and tender hearted to the poor; and yet this
suffering slave, who was the seamstress of the family, was continually
in her presence, sitting in her chamber to sew, or engaged in her
other household work, with her lacerated and bleeding back, her
mutilated mouth, and heavy iron collar, without, so far as appeared,
exciting any feelings of compassion.

A highly intelligent slave, who panted after freedom with ceaseless
longings, made many attempts to get possession of himself. For every
offence he was punished with extreme severity. At one time he was tied
up by his hands to a tree, and whipped until his back was one gore of
blood. To this terrible infliction he was subjected at intervals for
several weeks, and kept heavily ironed while at his work. His master
one day accused him of a fault, in the usual terms dictated by passion
and arbitrary power; the man protested his innocence, but was not
credited. He again repelled the charge with honest indignation. His
master's temper rose almost to frenzy; and seizing a fork, he made a
deadly plunge at the breast of the slave. The man being far his
superior in strength, caught the arm, and dashed the weapon on the
floor. His master grasped at his throat, but the slave disengaged
himself, and rushed from the apartment, having made his escape, he
fled to the woods; and after wandering about for many months, living
on roots and berries, and enduring every hardship, he was arrested and
committed to jail. Here he lay for a considerable time, allowed
scarcely food enough to sustain life, whipped in the most shocking
manner, and confined in a cell so loathsome, that when his master
visited him, he said the stench was enough to knock a man down. The
filth had never been removed from the apartment since the poor
creature had been immured in it. Although a black man, such had been
the effect of starvation and suffering, that his master declared he
hardly recognized him--his complexion was so yellow, and his hair,
naturally thick and black, had become red and scanty; an infallible
sign of long continued living on bad and insufficient food. Stripes,
imprisonment, and the gnawings of hunger, had broken his lofty spirit
for a season; and, to use his master's own exulting expression, he was
"as humble as a dog." After a time he made another attempt to escape,
and was absent so long, that a reward was offered for him, _dead or
alive_. He eluded every attempt to take him, and his master,
despairing of ever getting him again, offered to pardon him if he
would return home. It is always understood that such intelligence will
reach the runaway; and accordingly, at the entreaties of his wife and
mother, the fugitive once more consented to return to his bitter
bondage. I believe this was the last effort to obtain his liberty. His
heart became touched with the power of the gospel; and the spirit
which no inflictions could subdue, bowed at the cross of Jesus, and
with the language on his lips--"the cup that my father hath given me,
shall I not drink it?" submitted to the yoke of the oppressor, and
wore his chains in unmurmuring patience till death released him. The
master who perpetrated these wrongs upon his slave, was one of the
most influential and honored citizens of South Carolina, and to his
equals was bland, and courteous, and benevolent even to a proverb.

A slave who had been separated from his wife, because it best suited
the convenience of his owner, ran away. He was taken up on the
plantation where his wife, to whom he was tenderly attached, then
lived. His only object in running away was to return to her--no other
fault was attributed to him. For this offence he was confined in the
stocks _six weeks_, in a miserable hovel, not weather-tight. He
received fifty lashes weekly during that time, was allowed food barely
sufficient to sustain him, and when released from confinement, was not
permitted to return to his wife. His master, although himself a
husband and a father, was unmoved by the touching appeals of the
slave, who entreated that he might only remain with his wife,
promising to discharge his duties faithfully; his master continued
inexorable, and he was torn from his wife and family. The owner of
this slave was a professing Christian, in full membership with the
church, and this circumstance occurred when he was confined to his
chamber during his last illness.

A punishment dreaded more by the slaves than whipping, unless it is
unusually severe, is one which was invented by a female acquaintance
of mine in Charleston--I heard her say so with much satisfaction. It
is standing on one foot and holding the other in the hand. Afterwards
it was improved upon, and a strap was contrived to fasten around the
ankle and pass around the neck; so that the least weight of the foot
resting on the strap would choke the person. The pain occasioned by
this unnatural position was great; and when continued, as it sometimes
was, for an hour or more, produced intense agony. I heard this same
woman say, that she had the ears of her waiting maid _slit_ for some
petty theft. This she told me in the presence of the girl, who was
standing in the room. She often had the helpless victims of her
cruelty severely whipped, not scrupling herself to wield the
instrument of torture, and with her own hands inflict severe
chastisement. Her husband was less inhuman than his wife, but he was
often goaded on by her to acts of great severity. In his last illness
I was sent for, and watched beside his death couch. The girl on whom
he had so often inflicted punishment, haunted his dying hours; and
when at length the king of terrors approached, he shrieked in utter
agony of spirit, "Oh, the blackness of darkness, the black imps, I can
see them all around me--take them away!" and amid such exclamations he
expired. These persons were of one of the first families in

A friend of mine, in whose veracity I have entire confidence, told me
that about two years ago, a woman in Charleston with whom I was well
acquainted, had starved a female slave to death. She was confined in a
solitary apartment, kept constantly tied, and condemned to the slow
and horrible death of starvation. This woman was notoriously cruel. To
those who have read the narrative of James Williams I need only say,
that the character of young Larrimore's wife is an exact description
of this female tyrant, whose countenance was ever dressed in smiles
when in the presence of strangers, but whose heart was as the nether
millstone toward her slaves.

As I was traveling in the lower country in South Carolina, a number of
years since, my attention was suddenly arrested by an exclamation of
horror from the coachman, who called out, "Look there, Miss Sarah,
don't you see?"--I looked in the direction he pointed, and saw a human
head stuck up on a high pole. On inquiry, I found that a runaway
slave, who was outlawed, had been shot there, his head severed from
his body, and put upon the public highway, as a terror to deter slaves
from running away.

On a plantation in North Carolina, where I was visiting, I happened
one day, in my rambles, to step into a negro cabin; my compassion was
instantly called forth by the object which presented itself. A slave,
whose head was white with age, was lying in one corner of the hovel;
he had under his head a few filthy rags but the boards were his only
bed, it was the depth of winter, and the wind whistled through every
part of the dilapidated building--he opened his languid eyes when I
spoke, and in reply to my question, "What is the matter?" He said, "I
am dying of a cancer in my side."--As he removed the rags which
covered the sore, I found that it extended half round the body, and
was shockingly neglected. I inquired if he had any nurse. "No,
missey," was his answer, "but de people (the slaves) very kind to me,
dey often steal time to run and see me and fetch me some ting to eat;
if dey did not, I might starve." The master and mistress of this man,
who had been worn out in their service, were remarkable for their
intelligence, and their hospitality knew no bounds towards those who
were of their own grade in society: the master had for some time held
the highest military office in North Carolina, and not long previous
to the time of which I speak, was the Governor of the State.

On a plantation in South Carolina, I witnessed a similar case of
suffering--an aged woman suffering under an incurable disease in the
same miserably neglected situation. The "owner" of this slave was
proverbially kind to her negroes; so much so, that the planters in the
neighborhood said she spoiled them, and set a bad example, which might
produce discontent among the surrounding slaves; yet I have seen this
woman tremble with rage, when her slaves displeased her, and heard her
use language to them which could only be expected from an inmate of
Bridewell; and have known her in a gust of passion send a favorite
slave to the workhouse to be severely whipped.

Another fact occurs to me. A young woman about eighteen, stated some
circumstances relative to her young master, which were thought
derogatory to his character; whether true or false, I am unable to
say; she was threatened with punishment, but persisted in affirming
that she had only spoken the truth. Finding her incorrigible, it was
concluded to send her to the Charleston workhouse and have her whipt;
she pleaded in vain for a commutation of her sentence, not so much
because she dreaded the actual suffering, as because her delicate mind
shrunk from the shocking exposure of her person to the eyes of brutal
and licentious men; she declared to me that death would be preferable;
but her entreaties were vain, and as there was no means of escaping
but by running away, she resorted to it as a desperate remedy, for her
timid nature never could have braved the perils necessarily
encountered by fugitive slaves, had not her mind been thrown into a
state of despair.--She was apprehended after a few weeks, by two
slave-catchers, in a deserted house, and as it was late in the evening
they concluded to spend the night there. What inhuman treatment she
received from them has never been revealed. They tied her with cords
to their bodies, and supposing they had secured their victim, soon
fell into a deep sleep, probably rendered more profound by
intoxication and fatigue; but the miserable captive slumbered not; by
some means she disengaged herself from her bonds, and again fled
through the lone wilderness. After a few days she was discovered in a
wretched hut, which seemed to have been long uninhabited; she was
speechless; a raging fever consumed her vitals, and when a physician
saw her, he said she was dying of a disease brought on by over
fatigue; her mother was permitted to visit her, but ere she reached
her, the damps of death stood upon her brow, and she had only the sad
consolation of looking on the death-struck form and convulsive agonies
of her child.

A beloved friend in South Carolina, the wife of a slaveholder, with
whom I often mingled my tears, when helpless and hopeless we deplored
together the horrors of slavery, related to me some years since the
following circumstance.

On the plantation adjoining her husband's, there was a slave of
pre-eminent piety. His master was not a professor of religion, but the
superior excellence of this disciple of Christ was not unmarked by
him, and I believe he was so sensible of the good influence of his
piety that he did not deprive him of the few religious privileges
within his reach. A planter was one day dining with the owner of this
slave, and in the course of conversation observed, that all profession
of religion among slaves was mere hypocrisy. The other asserted a
contrary opinion, adding, I have a slave who I believe would rather
die than deny his Saviour. This was ridiculed, and the master urged to
prove the assertion. He accordingly sent for this man of God, and
peremptorily ordered him to deny his belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The slave pleaded to be excused, constantly affirming that he would
rather die than deny the Redeemer, whose blood was shed for him. His
master, after vainly trying to induce obedience by threats, had him
terribly whipped. The fortitude of the sufferer was not to be shaken;
he nobly rejected the offer of exemption from further chastisement at
the expense of destroying his soul, and this blessed martyr _died in
consequence of this severe infliction_. Oh, how bright a gem will this
victim of irresponsible power be, in that crown which sparkles on the
Redeemer's brow; and that many such will cluster there, I have not the
shadow of a doubt.

SARAH M. GRIMKÉ. _Fort Lee, Bergen County, New Jersey, 3rd Month,
26th_, 1830.

TESTIMONY OF THE LATE REV. JOHN GRAHAM of Townsend, Mass., who resided
in S. Carolina, from 1831, to the latter part of 1833. Mr. Graham
graduated at Amherst College in 1829, spent some time at the
Theological Seminary, in New Haven, Ct., and went to South Carolina,
for his health in 1830. He resided principally on the island of St.
Helena, S.C., and most of the time in the family of James Tripp, Esq.,
a wealthy slave holding planter. During his residence at St. Helena,
he was engaged as an instructer, and was most of the time the stated
preacher on the island. Mr. G. was extensively known in Massachusetts;
and his fellow students and instructers, at Amherst College, and at
Yale Theological Seminary, can bear testimony to his integrity and
moral worth. The following are extracts of letters, which he wrote
while in South Carolina, to an intimate friend in Concord,
Massachusetts, who has kindly furnished them for publication.


_Springfield, St. Helena Isl., S.C., Oct. 22, 1832._

"Last night, about one o'clock, I was awakened by the report of a
musket. I was out of bed almost instantly. On opening my window, I
found the report proceeded from my host's chamber. He had let off his
pistol, which he usually keeps by him night and day, at a slave, who
had come into the yard, and as it appears, had been with one of his
house servants. He did not hit him. The ball, taken from a pine tree
the next morning, I will show you, should I be spared by Providence
ever to return to you. The house servant was called to the master's
chamber, where he received 75 lashes, very severe too; and I could not
only hear every lash, but each groan which succeeded very distinctly
as I lay in my bed. What was then done with the servant I know not.
Nothing was said of this to me in the morning and I presume it will
ever be kept from me with care, if I may judge of kindred acts. I
shall make no comment."

In the same letter, Mr. Graham says:--

"You ask me of my hostess"--then after giving an idea of her character
says: "To day, she has I verily believe laid, in a very severe manner
too, more than 300 _stripes_, upon the house servants," (17 in

_Darlington, Court Moons. S.C. March, 28th, 1838._

"I walked up to the Court House to day, where I heard one of the most
interesting cases I ever heard. I say interesting, on account of its
novelty to me, though it had no novelty for the people, as such cases
are of frequent occurrence. The case was this: To know whether two
ladies, present in court, were _white_ or _black_. The ladies were
dressed well, seemed modest, and were retiring and neat in their look,
having blue eyes, black hair, and appeared to understand much of the
etiquette of southern behaviour.

"A man, more avaricious than humane, as is the case with most of the
rich planters, laid a remote claim to those two modest, unassuming,
innocent and free young ladies as his property, with the design of
putting them into the field, and thus increasing his STOCK! As well as
the people of Concord are known to be of a peaceful disposition, and
for their love of good order, I verily believe if a similar trial
should be brought forward there and conducted as this was, the good
people would drive the lawyers out of the house. Such would be their
indignation at their language, and at the mean under-handed manner of
trying to ruin those young ladies, as to their standing in society in
this district, if they could not succeed in dooming them for life to
the degraded condition of slavery, and all its intolerable cruelties.
Oh slavery! if statues of marble could curse you, they would speak. If
bricks could speak, they would all surely thunder out their anathemas
against you, accursed thing! How many white sons and daughters have
bled and groaned under the lash in this sultry climate," &c.

Under date of March, 1832, Mr. G. writes, "I have been doing what I
hope never to be called to do again, and what I fear I have badly
done, though performed to the best of my ability, namely, sewing up a
very bad wound made by a wild hog. The slave was hunting wild hogs,
when one, being closely pursued, turned upon his pursuer, who turning
to run, was caught by the animal, thrown down, and badly wounded in
the thigh. The wound is about five inches long and very deep. It was
made by the tusk of the animal. The slaves brought him to one of the
huts on Mr. Tripp's plantation and made every exertion to stop the
blood by filling the wound with ashes, (their remedy for stopping
blood) but finding this to fail they came to me (there being no other
white person on the plantation, as it is now holidays) to know if I
could stop the blood. I went and found that the poor creature must
bleed to death unless it could be stopped soon. I called for a needle
and succeeded in sewing it up as well as I could, and in stopping the
blood. In a short time his master, who had been sent for came; and
oh, you would have shuddered if you had heard the awful oaths that
fell from his lips, threatening in the same breath "_to pay him for
that_!" I left him as soon as decency would permit, with his hearty
thanks that I had saved him $500! Oh, may heaven protect the poor,
suffering, fainting slave, and show his master his wanton cruelty--oh
slavery! slavery!"

Under date of July, 1832, Mr. G. writes, "I wish you could have been
at the breakfast table with me this morning to have seen and heard
what I saw and heard, not that I wish your ear and heart and soul
pained as mine is, with every day's observation 'of wrong and outrage'
with which this place is filled, but that you might have auricular and
ocular evidence of the cruelty of slavery, of cruelties that mortal
language can never describe--that you might see the tender mercies of
a hardened slaveholder, one who bears the name of being _one of the
mildest and most merciful masters of which this island can boast_. Oh,
my friend, another is screaming under the lash, in the shed-room, but
for what I know not. The scene this morning was truly distressing to
me. It was this:--_After the blessing was asked_ at the breakfast
table, one of the servants, a woman grown, in giving one of the
children some molasses, happened to pour out a little more than usual,
though not more than the child usually eats. Her master was angry at
the petty and indifferent mistake, or slip of the hand. He rose from
the table, took both of her hands in one of his, and with the other
began to beat her, first on one side of her head and then on the
other, and repeating this, till, as he said on sitting down at table,
it hurt his hand too much to continue it longer. He then took off his
_shoe_, and with the heel began in the same manner as with his hand,
till the poor creature could no longer endure it without screeches and
raising her elbow as it is natural to ward off the blows. He then
called a great overgrown negro _to hold her hands behind her_ while he
should wreak his vengeance upon the poor servant. In this position he
began again to beat the poor suffering wretch. It now became
intolerable to bear; she _fell, screaming to me for help_. After she
fell, he beat her until I thought she would have died in his hands.
She got up, however, went out and washed off the blood and came in
before we rose from table, one of the most pitiable objects I ever saw
till I came to the South. Her ears were almost as thick as my hand,
her eyes awfully blood-shotten, her lips, nose, cheeks, chin, and
whole head swollen so that no one would have known it was Etta--and
for all this, she had to turn round as she was going out and _thank
her master!_ Now, all this was done while I was sitting at breakfast
with the rest of the family. Think you not I wished myself sitting
with the peaceful and happy circle around your table? Think of my
feelings, but pity the poor negro slave, who not only fans his cruel
master when he eats and sleeps, but bears the stripes his caprice may
inflict. Think of this, and let heaven hear your prayers."

In a letter dated St. Helena Island, S.C., Dec. 3, 1832, Mr. G.
writes, "If a slave here complains to his master, that his task is too
great, his master at once calls him a scoundrel and tells him it is
only because he has not enough to do, and orders the driver to
increase his task, however unable he may be for the performance of it.
I saw TWENTY-SEVEN _whipped at one time_ just because they did not do
more, when the poor creatures were so tired that they could scarcely
drag one foot after the other."


Mr. Poe is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and was formerly a
slaveholder. He was for several years a merchant in Richmond, and
subsequently in Lynchburg, Virginia. A few years since, he emancipated
his slaves, and removed to Hamilton County, Ohio, near Cincinnati;
where he is a highly respected ruling elder in the Presbyterian
church. He says,--

"I am pained exceedingly, and nothing but my duty to God, to the
oppressors, and to the poor down-trodden slaves, who go mourning all
their days, could move me to say a word. I will state to you a _few_
cases of the abuse of the slaves, but time would fail, if I had
language to tell how many and great are the inflictions of slavery,
even in its mildest form.

Benjamin James Harris, a wealthy tobacconist of Richmond, Virginia,
whipped a slave girl fifteen years old to death. While he was whipping
her, his wife heated a smoothing iron, put it on her body in various
places, and burned her severely. The verdict of the coroner's inquest
was, "Died of excessive whipping." He was tried in Richmond, and
acquitted. I attended the trial. Some years after, this same Harris
whipped another slave to death. The man had not done so much work as
was required of him. After a number of protracted and violent
scourgings, with short intervals between, the slave died under the
lash. Harris was tried, and again acquitted, because none but blacks
saw it done. The same man afterwards whipped another slave severely,
for not doing work to please him. After repeated and severe floggings
in quick succession, for the same cause, the slave, in despair of
pleasing him, cut off his own hand. Harris soon after became a
bankrupt, went to New Orleans to recruit his finances, failed, removed
to Kentucky, became a maniac, and died.

A captain in the United States' Navy, who married a daughter of the
collector of the port of Richmond, and resided there, became offended
with his negro boy, took him into the meat house, put him upon a
stool, crossed his hands before him, tied a rope to them, threw it
over a joist in the building, drew the boy up so that he could just
stand on the stool with his toes, and kept him in that position,
flogging him severely at intervals, until the boy became so exhausted
that he reeled off the stool, and swung by his hands until he died.
The master was tried and acquitted.

In Goochland County, Virginia, an overseer tied a slave to a tree,
flogged him again and again with great severity, then piled brush
around him, set it on fire, and burned him to death. The overseer was
tried and imprisoned. The whole transaction may be found on the
records of the court.

In traveling, one day, from Petersburg to Richmond, Virginia, I heard
cries of distress at a distance, on the road. I rode up, and found two
white men, beating a slave. One of them had hold of a rope, which was
passed under the bottom of a fence; the other end was fastened around
the neck of the slave, who was thrown flat on the ground, on his face,
with his back bared. The other was beating him furiously with a large

A slaveholder in Henrico County, Virginia, had a slave who used
frequently to work for my father. One morning he came into the field
with his back completely _cut up_, and mangled from his head to his
heels. The man was so stiff and sore he could scarcely walk. This same
person got offended with another of his slaves, knocked him down, and
struck out one of his eyes with a maul. The eyes of several of his
slaves were injured by similar violence.

In Richmond, Virginia, a company occupied as a dwelling a large
warehouse. They got angry with a negro lad, one of their slaves, took
him into the cellar, tied his hands with a rope, bored a hole though
the floor, and passed the rope up through it. Some of the family drew
up the boy, while others whipped. This they continued until the boy
died. The warehouse was owned by a Mr. Whitlock, on the scite of one
formerly owned by a Mr. Philpot.

Joseph Chilton, a resident of Campbell County, Virginia, purchased a
quart of tanners' oil, for the purpose, as he said, of putting it on
one of his negro's heads, that he had sometime previous pitched or
tarred over, for running away.

In the town of Lynchburg, Virginia, there was a negro man put in
prison, charged with having pillaged some packages of goods, which he,
as head man of a boat, received at Richmond, to be delivered at
Lynchburg. The goods belonged to A.B. Nichols, of Liberty, Bedford
County, Virginia. He came to Lynchburg, and desired the jailor to
permit him to whip the negro, to make him confess, as there was _no
proof against him_. Mr. Williams, (I think that is his name,) a pious
Methodist man, a great stickler for law and good order, professedly a
great friend to the black man, delivered the negro into the hands of
Nichols. Nichols told me that he took the slave, tied his wrists
together, then drew his arms down so far below his knees as to permit
a staff to pass above the arms under the knees, thereby placing the
slave in a situation that he could not move hand or foot. He then
commenced his bloody work, and continued, at intervals, until 500
blows were inflicted. I received this statement from Nichols himself,
who was, by the way, a _son of the land of "steady habits_," where
there are many like him, if we may judge from their writings, sayings,
and doings."



We begin with the _food_ of the slaves, because if they are ill
treated in this respect we may be sure that they will be ill treated
in other respects, and generally in a greater degree. For a man
habitually to stint his dependents in their food, is the extreme of
meanness and cruelty, and the greatest evidence he can give of utter
indifference to their comfort. The father who stints his children or
domestics, or the master his apprentices, or the employer his
laborers, or the officer his soldiers, or the captain his crew, when
able to furnish them with sufficient food, is every where looked upon
as unfeeling and cruel. All mankind agree to call such a character
inhuman. If any thing can move a hard heart, it is the appeal of
hunger. The Arab robber whose whole life is a prowl for plunder, will
freely divide his camel's milk with the hungry stranger who halts at
his tent door, though he may have just waylaid him and stripped him of
his money. Even savages take pity on hunger. Who ever went famishing
from an Indian's wigwam? As much as hunger craves, is the Indian's
free gift even to an enemy. The necessity for food is such a universal
want, so constant, manifest and imperative, that the heart is more
touched with pity by the plea of hunger, and more ready to supply that
want than any other. He who can habitually inflict on others the pain
of hunger by giving them insufficient food, can habitually inflict on
them any other pain. He can kick and cuff and flog and brand them, put
them in irons or the stocks, can overwork them, deprive them of sleep,
lacerate their backs, make them work without clothing, and sleep
without covering.

Other cruelties may be perpetrated in hot blood and the acts regretted
as soon as done--the feeling that prompts them is not a permanent
state of mind, but a violent impulse stung up by sudden provocation.
But he who habitually withholds from his dependents sufficient
sustenance, can plead no such palliation. The fact itself shows, that
his permanent state of mind toward them is a brutal indifference to
their wants and sufferings--A state of mind which will naturally,
necessarily, show itself in innumerable privations and inflictions
upon them, when it can be done with impunity.

If, therefore, we find upon examination, that the slaveholders do not
furnish their slaves with sufficient food, and do thus habitually
inflict upon them the pain of hunger, we have a clue furnished to
their treatment in other respects, and may fairly infer habitual and
severe privations and inflictions; not merely from the fact that men
are quick to feel for those who suffer from hunger, and perhaps more
ready to relieve that want than any other; but also, because it is
more for the interest of the slaveholder to supply that want than any
other; consequently, if the slave suffer in this respect, he must as
the general rule, suffer _more_ in other respects.

We now proceed to show that the slaves have insufficient food. This
will be shown first from the express declarations of slaveholders, and
other competent witnesses who are, or have been residents of slave
states, that the slaves generally are _under-fed._ And then, by the
laws of slave states, and by the testimony of slaveholders and others,
the _kind, quantity_, and _quality,_ of their allowance will be given,
and the reader left to judge for himself whether the slave _must_ not
be a sufferer.


Hon. Alexander Smyth, a slave holder, and for ten years, Member of
Congress from Virginia, in his speech on the Missouri question. Jan
28th, 1820.

"By confining the slaves to the Southern states, where crops are
raised for exportation, and bread and meat are purchased, you _doom
them to scarcity and hunger._ It is proposed to hem in the blacks
where they are ILL FED."

Rev. George Whitefield, in his letter, to the slave holders of Md. Va.
N.C. S.C. and Ga. published in Georgia, just one hundred years ago,

"My blood has frequently run cold within me, to think how many of your
slaves _have not sufficient food to eat;_ they are scarcely permitted
to _pick up the crumbs,_ that fall from their master's table."

Rev. John Rankin, of Ripley, Ohio, a native of Tennessee, and for same
years a preacher in slave states.

"Thousands of the slaves are pressed with the gnawings of cruel hunger
during their whole lives."

Report of the Gradual Emancipation Society, of North Carolina, 1826.
Signed Moses Swain, President, and William Swain, Secretary.

Speaking of the condition of slaves, in the eastern part of that
state, the report says,--"The master puts the unfortunate wretches
upon short allowances, scarcely sufficient for their sustenance, so
that a _great part_ of them go _half starved_ much of the time."

Mr. Asa A. Stone, a Theological Student, who resided near Natchez,
Miss., in 1834-5.

"On almost every plantation, the hands suffer more or less from hunger
at some seasons of almost every year. There is always a _good deal of
suffering_ from hunger. On many plantations, and particularly in
Louisiana, the slaves are in a condition of _almost utter famishment,_
during a great portion of the year."

Thomas Clay, Esq., of Georgia, a Slaveholder.

"From various causes this [the slave's allowance of food] is _often_
not adequate to the support of a laboring man."

Mr. Tobias Boudinot, St Albans, Ohio, a member of the Methodist
Church. Mr. B. for some years navigated the Mississippi.

"The slaves down the Mississippi, are _half-starved,_ the boats, when
they stop at night, are constantly boarded by slaves, begging for
something to eat."

President Edwards, the younger, in a sermon before the Conn. Abolition
Society, 1791.

"The slaves are supplied with barely enough to keep them from

Rev. Horace Moulton, a Methodist Clergyman of Marlboro' Mass., who
lived five years in Georgia.

"As a general thing on the plantations, the slaves suffer extremely
for the want of food."

Rev. George Bourne, late editor of the Protestant Vindicator, N.Y.,
who was seven years pastor of a church in Virginia.

"The slaves are deprived of _needful_ sustenance."


Hon. Robert Turnbull, a slaveholder of Charleston, South Carolina.

"The subsistence of the slaves consists, from March until August, of
corn ground into grits, or meal, made into what is called _hominy_, or
baked into corn bread. The other six months, they are fed upon the
sweet potatoe. Meat, when given, is only by way of _indulgence or

Mr. Eleazar Powell, Chippewa, Beaver Co., Penn., who resided in
Mississippi, in 1836-7.

"The food of the slaves was generally corn bread, and _sometimes_ meat
or molasses."

Reuben G. Macy, a member of the Society of Friends, Hudson, N.Y., who
resided in South Carolina.

"The slaves had no food allowed them besides _corn,_ excepting at
Christmas, when they had beef."

Mr. William Leftwich, a native of Virginia, and recently of Madison
Co., Alabama, now member, of the Presbyterian Church, Delhi, Ohio.

"On my uncle's plantation, the food of the slaves, was corn-pone and a
small allowance of meat."

WILLIAM LADD, Esq., of Minot, Me., president of the American Peace
Society, and formerly a slaveholder of Florida, gives the following
testimony as to the allowance of food to slaves.

"The usual food of the slaves was _corn_, with a modicum of salt. In
some cases the master allowed no salt, but the slaves boiled the sea
water for salt in their little pots. For about eight days near
Christmas, i.e., from the Saturday evening before, to the Sunday
evening after Christmas day, they were allowed some _meat_. They
always with one single exception ground their corn in a hand-mill, and
cooked their food themselves."

Extract of a letter from Rev. D.C. EASTMAN, a preacher of the
Methodist Episcopal church, in Fayette county, Ohio.

"In March, 1838, Mr. Thomas Larrimer, a deacon of the Presbyterian
church in Bloomingbury, Fayette county, Ohio, Mr. G.S. Fullerton,
merchant, and member of the same church, and Mr. William A. Ustick, an
elder of the same church, spent a night with a Mr. Shepherd, about 30
miles North of Charleston, S.C., on the Monk's corner road. He owned
five families of negroes, who, he said, were fed from the same meal
and meat tubs as himself, but that 90 out of a 100 of all the slaves
in that county _saw meat but once a year_, which was on Christmas

As an illustration of the inhuman experiments sometimes tried upon
slaves, in respect to the _kind_ as well as the quality and quantity
of their food, we solicit the attention of the reader to the testimony
of the late General Wade Hampton, of South Carolina. General Hampton
was for some time commander in chief of the army on the Canada
frontier during the last war, and at the time of his death, about
three years since, was the largest slaveholder in the United States.
The General's testimony is contained in the following extract of a
letter, just received from a distinguished clergyman in the west,
extensively known both as a preacher and a writer. His name is with
the executive committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

"You refer in your letter to a statement made to you while in this
place, respecting the late General Wade Hampton, of South Carolina,
and task me to write out for you the circumstances of the
case--considering them well calculated to illustrate two points in the
history of slavery: 1st, That the habit of slaveholding dreadfully
blunts the feelings toward the slave, producing such insensibility
that his sufferings and death are regarded with indifference. 2d, That
the slave often has insufficient food, both in quantity and quality.

"I received my information from a lady in the west of high
respectability and great moral worth,--but think it best to withhold
her name, although the statement was not made in confidence.

"My informant stated that she sat at dinner once in company with
General Wade Hampton, and several others; that the conversation turned
upon the treatment of their servants, &c.; when the General undertook
to entertain the company with the relation of an experiment he had
made in the feeding of his slaves on cotton seed. He said that he
first mingled one-fourth cotton seed with three-fourths corn, on which
they seemed to thrive tolerably well; that he then had measured out to
them equal quantities of each, which did not seem to produce any
important change; afterwards he increased the quantity of cotton seed
to three-fourths, mingled with one-fourth corn, and then he declared,
with an oath, that 'they died like rotten sheep!!' It is but justice
to the lady to state that she spoke of his conduct with the utmost
indignation; and she mentioned also that he received no countenance
from the company present, but that all seemed to look at each other
with astonishment. I give it to you just as I received it from one who
was present, and whose character for veracity is unquestionable.

"It is proper to add that I had previously formed an acquaintance with
Dr. Witherspoon, now of Alabama, if alive; whose former residence was
in South Carolina; from whom I received a particular account of the
manner of feeding and treating slaves on the plantations of General
Wade Hampton, and others in the same part of the State; and certainly
no one could listen to the recital without concluding that such
masters and overseers as he described must have hearts like the nether
millstone. The cotton seed experiment I had heard of before also, as
having been made in other parts of the south; consequently, I was
prepared to receive as true the above statement, even if I had not
been so well acquainted with the high character of my informant."


The legal allowance of food for slaves in North Carolina, is in the
words of the law, "a quart of corn per day." See Haywood's Manual,
525. The legal allowance in Louisiana is more, a barrel [flour barrel]
of corn, (in the ear,) or its equivalent in other grain, and a pint of
salt a month. In the other slave states the amount of food for the
slaves is left to the option of the master.

Thos. Clay, Esq., of Georgia, a slave holder, in his address before
the Georgia Presbytery, 1833.

"The quantity allowed by custom is _a peck of corn a week_!"

The Maryland Journal, and Baltimore Advertiser, May 30, 1788.

"_A single peck of corn a week, or the like measure of rice_, is the
_ordinary_ quantity of provision for a _hard-working_ slave; to which
a small quantity of meat is occasionally, though _rarely_, added."

W.C. Gildersleeve, Esq., a native of Georgia, and Elder in the
Presbyterian Church, Wilksbarre, Penn.

"The weekly allowance to grown slaves on this plantation, where I was
best acquainted, was _one peck of corn_."

Wm. Ladd, of Minot, Maine, formerly a slaveholder in Florida.

"The usual allowance of food was _one quart of corn a day_, to a full
task hand, with a modicum of salt; kind masters allowed _a peck of
corn a week_; some masters allowed no salt."

Mr. Jarvis Brewster, in his "Exposition of the treatment of slaves in
the Southern States," published in N. Jersey, 1815.

"The allowance of provisions for the slaves, is _one peck of corn, in
the grain, per week_."

Rev. Horace Moulton, a Methodist Clergyman of Marlboro, Mass., who
lived five years in Georgia.

"In Georgia the planters give each slave only _one peck of their gourd
seed corn per week_, with a small quantity of salt."

Mr. F.C. Macy, Nantucket, Mass., who resided in Georgia in 1820.

"The food of the slaves was three pecks of potatos a week during the
potato season, and _one peck of corn_, during the remainder of the

Mr. Nehemiah Caulkins, a member of the Baptist Church in Waterford,
Conn., who resided in North Carolina, eleven winters.

"The subsistence of the slaves, consists of _seven quarts of meal_ or
_eight quarts of small rice for one week!_"

William Savery, late of Philadelphia, an eminent Minister of the
Society of Friends, who travelled extensively in the slave states, on
a Religious Visitation, speaking of the subsistence of the slaves,
says, in his published Journal,

"_A peck of corn_ is their (the slaves,) miserable subsistence _for a

The late John Parrish, of Philadelphia, another highly respected
Minister of the Society of Friends, who traversed the South, on a
similar mission, in 1804 and 5, says in his "Remarks on the slavery of

"They allow them but _one peck of meal_, for a whole week, in some of
the Southern states."

Richard Macy, Hudson, N.Y. a Member of the Society of Friends, who has
resided in Georgia.

"Their usual allowance of food was one peck of corn per week, which
was dealt out to them every first day of the week. They had nothing
allowed them besides the corn, except one quarter of beef at

Rev. C.S. Renshaw, of Quincy, Ill., (the testimony of a Virginian).

"The slaves are generally allowanced: a pint of corn meal and a salt
herring is the allowance, or in lieu of the herring a "dab" of fat
meat of about the same value. I have known the sour milk, and clauber
to be served out to the hands, when there was an abundance of milk on
the plantation. This is a luxury not often afforded."

Testimony of Mr. George W. Westgate, member of the Congregational
Church, of Quincy, Illinois. Mr. W. has been engaged in the low
country trade for twelve years, more than half of each year,
principally on the Mississippi, and its tributary streams in the
south-western slave states.

"_Feeding is not sufficient_,--let facts speak. On the coast, i.e.
Natchez and the Gulf of Mexico, the allowance was one barrel of ears
of corn, and a pint of salt per month. They may cook this in what
manner they please, but it must be done after dark; they have no day
light to prepare it by. Some few planters, but only a few, let them
prepare their corn on Saturday afternoon. Planters, overseers, and
negroes, have told me, that in _pinching times_, i.e. when corn is
high, they did not get near that quantity. In Miss., I know some
planters who allowed their hands three and a half pounds of meat per
week, when it was cheap. Many prepare their corn on the Sabbath, when
they are not worked on that day, which however is frequently the case
on sugar plantations. There are very many masters on "the coast" who
will not suffer their slaves to come to the boats, because they steal
molasses to barter for meat; indeed they generally trade more or less
with stolen property. But it is impossible to find out what and when,
as their articles of barter are of such trifling importance. They
would often come on board our boats to beg a bone, and would tell how
badly they were fed, that they were almost starved; many a time I have
set up all night, to prevent them from stealing something to eat."


Having ascertained the kind and quantity of food allowed to the
slaves, it is important to know something of its _quality_, that we
may judge of the amount of sustenance which it contains. For, if their
provisions are of an inferior quality, or in a damaged state, their
power to sustain labor must be greatly diminished.

Thomas Clay, Esq. of Georgia, from an address to the Georgia
Presbytery, 1834, speaking of the quality of the corn given to the
slaves, says,

"There is _often a defect here_."

Rev. Horace Moulton, a Methodist clergyman at Marlboro, Mass. and
five years a resident of Georgia.

"The food, or 'feed' of slaves is generally of the _poorest_ kind."

The "Western Medical Reformer," in an article on the diseases peculiar
to negroes, by a Kentucky physician, says of the diet of the slaves;

"They live on a coarse, _crude, unwholesome diet_."

Professor A.G. Smith, of the New York Medical College; formerly a
physician in Louisville, Kentucky.

I have myself known numerous instances of large families of _badly
fed_ negroes swept off by a prevailing epidemic; and it is well known
to many intelligent planters in the south, that the best method of
preventing that horrible malady, _Chachexia Africana_, is to feed the
negroes with _nutritious_ food.


In determining whether or not the slaves suffer for want of food, the
number of hours intervening, and the labor performed between their
meals, and the number of meals each day, should be taken into

Philemon Bliss, Esq., a lawyer in Elyria, Ohio, and member of the
Presbyterian church, who lived in Florida, in 1834, and 1835.

"The slaves go to the field in the morning; they carry with them corn
meal wet with water, and at _noon_ build a fire on the ground and bake
it in the ashes. After the labors of the day are over, they take their
_second_ meal of ash-cake."

President Edwards, the younger.

"The slaves eat _twice_ during the day."

Mr. Eleazar Powell, Chippewa, Beaver county, Penn., who resided in
Mississippi in 1836 and 1837.

"The slaves received _two_ meals during the day. Those who have their
food cooked for them get their breakfast about eleven o'clock, and
their other meal _after night_."

Mr. Nehemiah Caulkins, Waterford, Conn., who spent eleven winters in
North Carolina.

"The _breakfast_ of the slaves was generally about _ten or eleven_

Rev. Phineas Smith, Centreville, N.Y., who has lived at the south some

"The slaves have usually _two_ meals a day, viz: at eleven o'clock
and at night."

Rev. C.S. Renshaw, Quincy, Illinois--the testimony of a Virginian.

"The slaves have _two_ meals a day. They breakfast at from ten to
eleven, A.M., and eat their supper at from six to nine or ten at
night, as the season and crops may be."

The preceding testimony establishes the following points.

1st. That the slaves are allowed, in general, _no meat_. This appears
from the fact, that in the _only_ slave states which regulate the
slaves' rations _by law_, (North Carolina and Louisiana,) the _legal
ration_ contains _no meat_. Besides, the late Hon. R.J. Turnbull, one
of the largest planters in South Carolina, says expressly, "meat, when
given, is only by the way of indulgence or favor." It is shown also by
the direct testimony recorded above, of slaveholders and others, in
all parts of the slaveholding south and west, that the general
allowance on plantations is corn or meal and salt merely. To this
there are doubtless many exceptions, but they are _only_ exceptions;
the number of slaveholders who furnish meat for their _field-hands_,
is small, in comparison with the number of those who do not. The
house slaves, that is, the cooks, chambermaids, waiters, &c.,
generally get some meat every day; the remainder bits and bones of
their masters' tables. But that the great body of the slaves, those
that compose the field gangs, whose labor and exposure, and consequent
exhaustion, are vastly greater than those of house slaves, toiling as
they do from day light till dark, in the fogs of the early morning,
under the scorchings of mid-day, and amid the damps of evening, are
_in general_ provided with _no meat_, is abundantly established by the
preceding testimony.

Now we do not say that meat _is necessary_ to sustain men under hard
and long continued labor, nor that it is _not_. This is not a treatise
on dietetics; but it is a notorious fact, that the medical faculty in
this country, with very few exceptions, do most strenuously insist
that it is necessary; and that working men in all parts of the country
do _believe_ that meat is indispensable to sustain them, even those
who work within doors, and only ten hours a day, every one knows.
Further, it is notorious, that the slaveholders themselves _believe_
the daily use of meat to be absolutely necessary to the comfort, not
merely of those who labor, but of those who are idle, as is proved by
the fact of meat being a part of the daily ration of food provided for
convicts in the prisons, in every one of the slave states, except in
those rare cases where meat is expressly prohibited, and the convict
is, by _way of extra punishment_ confined to bread and water; he is
occasionally, and for a little time only, confined to bread and water;
that is, to the _ordinary diet_ of slaves, with this difference in
favor of the convict, his bread is made for him, whereas the slave is
forced to pound or grind his own corn and make his own bread, when
exhausted with toil.

The preceding testimony shows also, that _vegetables_ form generally
no part of the slaves' allowance. The _sole_ food of the majority is
_corn_: at every meal--from day to day--from week to week--from month
to month, _corn_. In South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, the sweet
potato is, to a considerable extent, substituted for corn during a
part of the year.

2d. The preceding testimony proves conclusively, that the _quantity of
food_ generally allowed to a full-grown field-hand, is a peck of corn
a week, or a fraction over a quart and a gill of corn a day. The legal
ration of North Carolina is _less_--in Louisiana it is _more_. Of the
slaveholders and other witnesses, who give the fore-going testimony,
the reader will perceive that no one testifies to a larger allowance
of corn than a peck for a week; though a number testify, that within
the circle of their knowledge, _seven_ quarts was the usual allowance.
Frequently a small quantity of meat is added; but this, as has already
been shown, is not the general rule for _field-hands_. We may add,
also, that in the season of "pumpkins," "cimblins," "cabbages,"
"greens," &c., the slaves on small plantations are, to some extent,
furnished with those articles.

Now, without entering upon the vexed question of how much food is
necessary to sustain the human system, under severe toil and exposure,
and without giving the opinions of physiologists as to the
insufficiency or sufficiency of the slaves' allowance, we affirm that
all civilized nations have, in all ages, and in the most emphatic
manner, declared, that _eight quarts of corn a week_, (the usual
allowance of our slaves,) is utterly insufficient to sustain the human
body, under such toil and exposure as that to which the slaves are

To show this fully, it will be necessary to make some estimates, and
present some statistics. And first, the northern reader must bear in
mind, that the corn furnished to the slaves at the south, is almost
invariably the _white gourd seed_ corn, and that a quart of this kind
of corn weighs five or six ounces _less_ than a quart of "flint corn,"
the kind generally raised in the northern and eastern states;
consequently a peck of the corn generally given to the slaves, would
be only equivalent to a fraction more than six quarts and a pint of
the corn commonly raised in the New England States, New York, New
Jersey, &c. Now, what would be said of the northern capitalist, who
should allow his laborers but _six quarts and five gills of corn for a
week's provisions?_

Further, it appears in evidence, that the corn given to the slaves is
often _defective_. This, the reader will recollect, is the voluntary
testimony of Thomas Clay, Esq., the Georgia planter, whose testimony
is given above. When this is the case, the amount of actual nutriment
contained in a peck of the "gourd seed," may not be more than in five,
or four, or even three quarts of "flint corn."

As a quart of southern corn weighs at least five ounces less than a
quart of northern corn, it requires little arithmetic to perceive,
that the daily allowance of the slave fed upon that kind of corn,
would contain about one third of a pound less nutriment than though
his daily ration were the same quantity of northern corn, which would
amount, in a year, to more than a hundred and twenty pounds of human
sustenance! which would furnish the slave with his full allowance of a
peck of corn a week for two months! It is unnecessary to add, that
this difference in the weight of the two kinds of corn, is an item too
important to be overlooked. As one quart of the southern corn weighs
one pound and eleven-sixteenths of a pound, it follows that it would
be about one pound and six-eighths of a pound. We now solicit the
attention of the reader to the following unanimous testimony, of the
civilized world, to the utter insufficiency of this amount of food to
sustain human beings under labor. This testimony is to be found in the
laws of all civilized nations, which regulate the rations of soldiers
and sailors, disbursements made by governments for the support of
citizens in times of public calamity, the allowance to convicts in
prisons, &c. We will begin with the United States.

The daily ration for each United States soldier, established by act of
Congress, May 30, 1796. was the following: one pound of beef, one
pound of bread, half a gill of spirits; and at the rate of one quart
of salt, two quarts of vinegar, two pounds of soap, and one pound of
candles to every hundred rations. To those soldiers "who were on the
frontiers," (where the labor and exposure were greater,) the ration
was one pound two ounces of beef and one pound two ounces of bread.
Laws U.S. vol. 3d, sec. 10, p. 431.

After an experiment of two years, the preceding ration being found
_insufficient_, it was increased, by act of Congress, July 16, 1798,
and was as follows: beef one pound and a quarter, bread one pound two
ounces; salt two quarts, vinegar four quarts, soap four pounds, and
candles one and a half pounds to the hundred rations. The preceding
allowance was afterwards still further increased.

The _present daily ration_ for the United States' soldiers, is, as we
learn from an advertisement of Captain Fulton, of the United States'
army, in a late number of the Richmond (Va.) Enquirer, as follows: one
and a quarter pounds of beef, one and three-sixteenths pounds of
bread; and at the rate of _eight quarts of beans, eight pounds of
sugar_, four pounds of coffee, two quarts of salt, four pounds of
candles, and four pounds of soap, to every hundred rations.

We have before us the daily rations provided for the emigrating Ottawa
Indians, two years since, and for the emigrating Cherokees last fall.
They were the same--one pound of fresh beef, one pound of flour, &c.

The daily ration for the United States' navy, is fourteen ounces of
bread, half a pound of beef, six ounces of pork, three ounces of rice,
three ounces of peas, one ounce of cheese, one ounce of sugar, half an
ounce of tea, one-third of a gill molasses.

The daily ration in the British army is one and a quarter pounds of
beef, one pound of bread, &c.

The daily ration in the French army is one pound of beef, one and a
half pounds of bread, one pint of wine, &c.

The common daily ration for foot soldiers on the continent, is one
pound of meat, and one and a half pounds of bread.

The _sea ration_ among the Portuguese, has become the usual ration in
the navies of European powers generally. It is as follows: "one and a
half pounds of biscuit, one pound of salt meat, one pint of wine, with
some dried fish and onions."

PRISON RATIONS.--Before giving the usual daily rations of food allowed
to convicts, in the principal prisons in the United States, we will
quote the testimony of the "American Prison Discipline Society," which
is as follows:

"The common allowance of food in the penitentiaries, is equivalent to
DAY. It varies a little from this in some of them, but it is generally
equivalent to it." First Report of American Prison Discipline Society,
page 13.

The daily ration of food to each convict, in the principal prisons in
this country, is as follows:

In the New Hampshire State Prison, one and a quarter pounds of meal,
and fourteen ounces of beef, for _breakfast and dinner;_ and for
supper, a soup or porridge of potatos and beans, or peas, the
_quantity not limited_.

In the Vermont prison, the convicts are allowed to eat _as much as
they wish_.

In the Massachusetts' penitentiary, one and a half pounds of bread,
fourteen ounces of meat, half a pint of potatos, and one gill of
molasses, or one pint of milk.

In the Connecticut State Prison, one pound of beef, one pound of
bread, two and a half pounds of potatos, half a gill of molasses, with
salt, pepper, and vinegar.

In the New York State Prison, at Auburn, one pound of beef, twenty-two
ounces of flour and meal, half a gill of molasses; with two quarts of
rye, four quarts of salt, two quarts of vinegar, one and a half ounces
of pepper, and two and a half bushels of potatos to every hundred

In the New York State Prison at Sing Sing, one pound of beef, eighteen
ounces of flour and meal, besides potatos, rye coffee, and molasses.

In the New York City Prison, one pound of beef, one pound of flour;
and three pecks of potatos to every hundred rations, with other small

In the New Jersey State Prison, one pound of bread, half a pound of
beef, with potatos and cabbage, (quantity not specified,) one gill of
molasses, and a bowl of mush for supper.

In the late Walnut Street Prison, Philadelphia, one and a half pounds
of bread and meal, half a pound of beef, one pint of potatos, one gill
of molasses, and half a gill of rye, for coffee.

In the Baltimore prison, we believe the ration is the same with the

In the Pennsylvania Eastern Penitentiary, one pound of bread and one
pint of coffee for breakfast, one pint of meat soup, with potatos
without limit, for dinner, and mush and molasses for supper.

In the Penitentiary for the District of Columbia, Washington city, one
pound of beef, twelve ounces of Indian meal, ten ounces of wheat
flour, half a gill of molasses; with two quarts of rye, four quarts of
salt, four quarts of vinegar, and two and a half bushels of potatos to
every hundred rations.

RATIONS IN ENGLISH PRISONS.--The daily ration of food in the
Bedfordshire Penitentiary, is _two pounds of bread;_ and if at hard
labor, _a quart of soup for dinner._

In the Cambridge County House of Correction, three pounds of bread,
and one pint of beer.

In the Millbank General Penitentiary, one and a half pounds of bread,
one pound of potatos, six ounces of beef, with half a pint of broth

In the Gloucestershire Penitentiary, one and a half pounds of bread,
three-fourths of a pint of peas, made into soup, with beef, quantity
not stated. Also gruel, made of vegetables, quantity not stated, and
one and a half ounces of oatmeal mixed with it.

In the Leicestershire House of Correction, two pounds of bread, and
three pints of gruel; and when at hard labor, one pint of milk in
addition, and twice a week a pint of meat soup at dinner, instead of

In the Buxton House of Correction, one and a half pounds of bread, one
and a half pints of gruel, one and a half pints of soup, four-fifths
of a pound of potatos, and two-sevenths of an ounce of beef.

Notwithstanding the preceding daily ration in the Buxton Prison is
about double the usual daily allowance of our slaves, yet the visiting
physicians decided, that for those prisoners who were required to work
the tread-mill, it was _entirely sufficient_. This question was
considered at length, and publicly discussed at the sessions of the
Surry magistrates, with the benefit of medical advice; which resulted
in "large additions" to the rations of those who worked on the
tread-mill. See London Morning Chronicle, Jan. 13, 1830.

To the preceding we add the _ration of the Roman slaves_. The monthly
allowance of food to slaves in Rome was called "Dimensum." The
"Dimensum" was an allowance of wheat or of other grain, which
consisted of five _modii_ a month to each slave. Ainsworth, in his
Latin Dictionary estimates the _modius_, when used for the measurement
of grain, at _a peck and a half_ our measure, which would make the
Roman slave's allowance _two quarts of grain a day_, just double the
allowance provided for the slave by _law_ in North Carolina, and _six_
quarts more per week than the ordinary allowance of slaves in the
slave states generally, as already established by the testimony of
slaveholders themselves. But it must by no means be overlooked that
this "dimensum," or _monthly_ allowance, was far from being the sole
allowance of food to Roman slaves. In _addition_ to this, they had a
stated _daily_ allowance (_diarium_) besides a monthly allowance of
_money_, amounting to about a cent a day.

Now without further trenching on the reader's time, we add, compare
the preceding daily allowances of food to soldiers and sailors in this
and other countries; to convicts in this and other countries; to
bodies of emigrants rationed at public expense; and finally, with the
fixed allowance given to Roman slaves, and we find the states of this
Union, the _slave_ states as well as the free, the United States'
government, the different European governments, the old Roman empire,
in fine, we may add, the _world_, ancient and modern, uniting in the
testimony that to furnish men at hard labor from daylight till dark
with but 1-1/2 lbs. of _corn_ per day, their sole sustenance, is to
MURDER THEM BY PIECE-MEAL. The reader will perceive by examining the
preceding statistics that the _average daily_ ration throughout this
country and Europe exceeds the usual slave's allowance _at least a
pound a day_; also that one-third of this ration for soldiers and
convicts in the United States, and for solders and sailors in Europe
is _meat_, generally beef; whereas the allowance of the mass of our
slaves is corn, only. Further, the convicts in our prisons are
sheltered from the heat of the sun, and from the damps of the early
morning and evening, from cold, rain, &c.; whereas, the great body of
the slaves are exposed to all of these, in their season, from daylight
till dark; besides this, they labor more hours in the day than
convicts, as will be shown under another head, and are obliged to
prepare and cook their own food after they have finished the labor of
the day, while the convicts have theirs prepared for them. These, with
other circumstances, necessarily make larger and longer draughts upon
the strength of the slave, produce consequently greater exhaustion,
and demand a larger amount of food to restore and sustain the laborer
than is required by the convict in his briefer, less exposed, and less
exhausting toils.

That the slaveholders themselves regard the usual allowance of food to
slaves as insufficient, both in kind and quantity, for hard-working
men, is shown by the fact, that in all the slave states, we believe
without exception, _white_ convicts at hard labor, have a much
_larger_ allowance of food than the usual one of slaves; and generally
more than _one third_ of this daily allowance is meat. This conviction
of slaveholders shows itself in various forms. When persons wish to
hire slaves to labor on public works, in addition to the inducement of
high wages held out to masters to hire out their slaves, the
contractors pledge themselves that a certain amount of food shall be
given the slaves, taking care to specify a _larger_ amount than the
usual allowance, and a part of it _meat_.

The following advertisement is an illustration. We copy it from the
"Daily Georgian," Savannah, Dec. 14, 1838.


The Contractors upon the Brunswick and Alatamaha Canal are desirous to
hire a number of prime Negro Men, from the 1st October next, for
fifteen months, until the 1st January, 1810. They will pay at the rate
of eighteen dollars per month for each prime hand.

These negroes will be employed in the excavation of the Canal. They
will be provided with _three and a half pounds of pork or bacon, and
ten quarts of gourd seed corn per week_, lodged in comfortable
shantees and attended constantly a skilful physician. J.H. COUPER,

But we have direct testimony to this point. The late Hon. John Taylor,
of Caroline Co. Virginia, for a long time Senator in Congress, and for
many years president of the Agricultural Society of the State, says in
his "Agricultural Essays," No. 30, page 97, "BREAD ALONE OUGHT NEVER
He urges upon the planters of Virginia to give their slaves, in
addition to bread, "salt meat and vegetables," and adds, "we shall be
ASTONISHED to discover upon trial, that this great comfort to them is
a profit to the master."

The Managers of the American Prison Discipline Society, in their third
Report, page 58, say, "In the Penitentiaries generally, in the United
States, the animal food is equal to one pound of meat per day for each

Most of the actual suffering from hunger on the part of the slaves, is
in the sugar and cotton-growing region, where the crops are exported
and the corn generally purchased from the upper country. Where this is
the case there cannot but be suffering. The contingencies of bad
crops, difficult transportation, high prices, &c. &c., naturally
occasion short and often precarious allowances. The following extract
from a New Orleans paper of April 26, 1837, affords an illustration.
The writer in describing the effects of the money pressure in
Mississippi, says:

"They, (the planters,) are now left without provisions and the means
of living and using their industry, for the present year. In this
dilemma, planters whose crops have been from 100 to 700 bales, find
themselves forced to sacrifice many of their slaves in order to get
the common necessaries of life for the support of themselves and the
rest of their negroes. In many places, heavy planters compel their
slaves to fish for the means of subsistence, rather than sell them at
such ruinous rates. There are at this moment THOUSANDS OF SLAVES in
master must be ruined to save the wretches from being STARVED."



This is abundantly proved by the number of hours that the slaves are
obliged to be in the field. But before furnishing testimony as to
their hours of labor and rest, we will present the express
declarations of slaveholders and others, that the slaves are severely
driven in the field.

The Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South

"Many owners of slaves, and others who have the management of slaves,
_do confine them so closely at hard labor that they have not
sufficient time for natural rest_.--See 2 Brevard's Digest of the Laws
of South Carolina, 243."

History of Carolina.--Vol. I, page 190.

"So _laborious_ is the task of raising, beating, and cleaning rice,
that had it been possible to obtain European servants in sufficient
numbers, _thousands and tens of thousands_ MUST HAVE PERISHED."

Hon. Alexander Smyth, a slaveholder, and member of Congress from
Virginia, in his speech on the "Missouri question," Jan. 28, 1820.

"Is it not obvious that the way to render their situation _more
comfortable_, is to allow them to be taken where there is not the same
motive to force the slave to INCESSANT TOIL that there is in the
country where cotton, sugar, and tobacco are raised for exportation.
It is proposed to hem in the blacks _where they are_ HARD WORKED,
that they may be rendered unproductive and the race be prevented from
increasing. * * * The proposed measure would be EXTREME CRUELTY to the
blacks. * * * You would * * * doom them to HARD LABOR."

"Travels in Louisiana," translated from the French by John Davies,
Esq.--Page 81.

"At the rolling of sugars, an interval of from two to three months,
they _work both night and day_. Abridged of their sleep, they _scarce
retire to rest during the whole period_."

The Western Review, No. 2,--article "Agriculture of Louisiana."

"The work is admitted to be severe for the hands, (slaves,) requiring
when the process is commenced to be _pushed night and day_."

W.C. Gildersleeve, Esq., a native of Georgia, elder of the
Presbyterian church, Wilkesbarre, Penn.

"_Overworked_ I know they (the slaves) are."

Mr. Asa A. Stone, a theological student, near Natchez, Miss., in 1834
and 1835.

"Every body here knows _overdriving_ to be one of the most common
occurrences, the planters do not deny it, except, perhaps, to

Philemon Bliss, Esq., a lawyer of Elyria, Ohio, who lived in Florida
in 1834 and 1835.

"During the cotton-picking season they usually labor in the field
during the whole of the daylight, and then spend a good part of the
night in ginning and baling. The labor required is very frequently
excessive, and speedily impairs the constitution."

Hon. R.J. Turnbull of South Carolina, a slaveholder, speaking of the
harvesting of cotton, says:

"_All the pregnant women_ even, on the plantation, and weak and
_sickly_ negroes incapable of other labour, are then _in


Asa A. Stone, theological student, a classical teacher near Natchez,
Miss., 1835.

"It is a general rule on all regular plantations, that the slaves be
in the field as _soon as it is light enough for them to see to work_,
and remain there until it is _so dark that they cannot see_."

Mr. Cornelius Johnson, of  Farmington, Ohio, who lived in Mississippi
a part of 1837 and 1838.

"It is the common rule for the slaves to be kept at work _fifteen
hours in the day_, and in the time of picking cotton a certain number
of pounds is required of each. If this amount is not brought in at
night, the slave is whipped, and the number of pounds lacking is added
to the next day's job; this course is often repeated from day to day."

W.C. Gildersleeve, Esq., Wilkesbarre, Penn, a native of Georgia. "It
was customary for the overseers to call out the gangs _long before
day_, say three o'clock, in the winter, while dressing out the crops;
such work as could be done by fire light (pitch pine was abundant,)
was provided."

Mr. William Leftwich, a native of Virginia and son of a
slaveholder--he has recently removed to Delhi, Hamilton County, Ohio.

"_From dawn till dark_, the slaves are required to bend to their

Mr. Nehemiah Caulkins, Waterford, Conn., a resident in North Carolina
eleven winters.

"The slaves are obliged to work _from daylight till dark_, as long as
they can see."

Mr. Eleazar Powel, Chippewa, Beaver county, Penn., who lived in
Mississippi in 1836 and 1837.

"The slaves had to cook and eat their breakfast and be in the field by
_daylight, and continue there till dark_."

Philemon Bliss, Esq., a lawyer in Elyria, Ohio, who resided in Florida
in 1834 and 1835.

"The slaves commence labor _by daylight_ in the morning, and do not
leave the field _till dark_ in the evening."

"Travels in Louisiana," page 87.

"Both in summer and winter the slave must _be in the field by the
first dawning of day_."

Mr. Henry E. Knapp, member of a Christian church in Farmington, Ohio,
who lived in Mississippi in 1837 and 1838.

"The slaves were made to work, from _as soon as they could see_ in the
morning, till as late as they could see at night. Sometimes they were
made to work till nine o'clock at night, in such work as they could
do, as burning cotton stalks, &c."

A New Orleans paper, dated March 23, 1826, says: "To judge from the
activity reigning in the cotton presses of the suburbs of St. Mary,
and the _late hours_ during which their slaves work, the cotton trade
was never more brisk."

Mr. GEORGE W. WESTGATE, a member of the Congregational Church at
Quincy, Illinois, who lived in the south western slaves states a
number of years says, "the slaves are driven to the field in the
morning _about four o'clock_, the general calculation is to get them
at work by daylight; the time for breakfast is between nine and ten
o'clock, this meal is sometimes eaten '_bite and work_,' others allow
fifteen minutes, and this is the only rest the slave has while in the
field. I have never known a case of stopping for an hour, in
Louisiana; in Mississippi the rule is milder, though entirely subject
to the will of the master. On cotton plantations, in cotton picking
time, that is from October to Christmas, each hand has a certain
quantity to pick, and is flogged if his task is not accomplished;
their tasks are such as to keep them all the while busy."

The preceding testimony under this head has sole reference to the
actual labor of the slaves _in the field_. In order to determine how
many hours are left for sleep, we must take into the account, the time
spent in going to and from the field, which is often at a distance of
one, two and sometimes three miles; also the time necessary for
pounding, or grinding their corn, and preparing, overnight, their food
for the next day; also the preparation of tools, getting fuel and
preparing it, making fires and cooking their suppers, if they have
any, the occasional mending and washing of their clothes, &c. Besides
this, as everyone knows who has lived on a southern plantation, many
little errands and _chores_ are to be done for their masters and
mistresses, old and young, which have accumulated during the day and
been kept in reserve till the slaves return from the field at night.
To this we may add that the slaves are _social_ beings, and that
during the day, silence is generally enforced by the whip of the
overseer or driver.[3] When they return at night, their pent up social
feelings will seek vent, it is a law of nature, and though the body
may be greatly worn with toil, this law cannot be wholly stifled.
Sharers of the same woes, they are drawn together by strong
affinities, and seek the society and sympathy of their fellows; even
"_tired_ nature" will joyfully forego for a time needful rest, to
minister to a want of its being equally permanent and imperative as
the want of sleep, and as much more profound, as the yearnings of the
higher nature surpass the instincts of its animal appendage.

[Footnote 3: We do not mean that they are not suffered to _speak_, but,
that, as conversation would be a hindrance to labour, they are
generally permitted to indulge in it but little.]

All these things make drafts upon _time_. To show how much of the
slave's time, which is absolutely indispensable for rest and sleep, is
necessarily spent in various labors after his return from the field at
night, we subjoin a few testimonies.

Mr. CORNELIUS JOHNSON, Farmington, Ohio, who lived in Mississippi in
the years 1837 and 38, says:

"On all the plantations where I was acquainted, the slaves were kept
in the field till dark; after which, those who had to grind their own
corn, had that to attend to, get their supper, attend to other family
affairs of their own and of their master, such as bringing water,
washing, clothes, &c. &c., and be in the field as soon as it was
sufficiently light to commence work in the morning."

Mr. GEORGE W. WESTGATE, of Quincy, Illinois, who has spent several
years in the south western slave states, says:

"Their time, after full dark until four o'clock in the morning is
their own; this fact alone would seem to say they have sufficient
rest, but there are other things to be considered; much of their
making, mending and washing of clothes, preparing and cooking food,
hauling and chopping wood, fixing and preparing tools, and a variety
of little nameless jobs must be done between those hours."

PHILEMON BLISS, Esq. of Elyria, Ohio, who resided in Florida in 1834
and 5, gives the following testimony:

"After having finished their field labors, they are occupied till nine
or ten o'clock in doing _chores_, such as grinding corn, (as all the
corn in the vicinity is ground by hand,) chopping wood, taking care of
horses, mules, &c., and a thousand things necessary to be done on a
large plantation. If any extra job is to be done, it must not hinder
the 'niggers' from their work, but must be done in the night."

W.C. GILDERSLEEVE, Esq., a native of Georgia, an elder of the
Presbyterian Church at Wilkes-barre, Pa. says:

"The corn is ground in a handmill by the slave _after his task is
done_--generally there is but one mill on the plantation, and as but
one can grind at a time, the mill is going sometimes _very late at

We now present another class of facts and testimony, showing that the
slaves engaged in raising the large staples, are _overworked_.

In September, 1831, the writer of this had an interview with JAMES G.
BIRNEY, Esq., who then resided in Kentucky, having removed with his
family from Alabama the year before. A few hours before that
interview, and on the morning of the same day, Mr. B. had spent a
couple of hours with Hon. Henry Clay, at his residence, near
Lexington. Mr. Birney remarked, that Mr. Clay had just told him, he
had lately been led to mistrust certain estimates as to the increase
of the slave population in the far south west--estimates which he had
presented, I think, in a speech before the Colonization Society. He
now believed, that the births among the slaves in that quarter were
_not equal to the deaths_--and that, of course, the slave population,
independent of immigration from the slave-selling states, was _not
sustaining itself_.

Among other facts stated by Mr. Clay, was the following, which we copy
_verbatim_ from the original memorandum, made at the time by Mr.
Birney, with which he has kindly furnished us.

"Sept. 16, 1834.--Hon. H. Clay, in a conversation at his own house, on
the subject of slavery, informed me, that Hon. Outerbridge Horsey,
formerly a senator in Congress from the state of Delaware, and the
owner of a sugar plantation in Louisiana, declared to him, that his
overseer worked his hands so closely, that one of the women brought
forth a child whilst engaged in the labors of the field.

"Also, that a few years since, he was at a brick yard in the environs
of New Orleans, in which one hundred hands were employed; among them
were from _twenty to thirty young women_, in the prime of life. He was
told by the proprietor, that there had _not been a child born among
them for the last two or three years, although they all had

The preceding testimony of Mr. Clay, is strongly corroborated by
advertisements of slaves, by Courts of Probate, and by executors
administering upon the estates of deceased persons. Some of those
advertisements for the sale of slaves, contain the names, ages,
accustomed employment, &c., of all the slaves upon the plantation of
the deceased. These catalogues show large numbers of young men and
women, almost all of them between twenty and thirty-eight years old;
and yet the number of young children is _astonishingly small_. We have
laid aside many lists of this kind, in looking over the newspapers of
the slaveholding states; but the two following are all we can lay our
hands on at present. One is in the "Planter's Intelligencer,"
Alexandria, La., March 22, 1837, containing one hundred and thirty
slaves; and the other in the New Orleans Bee, a few days later, April
8, 1837, containing fifty-one slaves. The former is a "Probate sale"
of the slaves belonging to the estate of Mr. Charles S. Lee, deceased,
and is advertised by G.W. Keeton, Judge of the Parish of Concordia,
La. The sex, name, and age of each slave are contained in the
advertisement which fills two columns. The following are some of the

The whole number of slaves is _one hundred and thirty_. Of these,
_only three are over forty years old_. There are _thirty-five females_
between the ages of _sixteen and thirty-three_, and yet there are only
THIRTEEN children under the age of _thirteen years!_

It is impossible satisfactorily to account for such a fact, on any
other supposition, than that these thirty-five females were so
overworked, or underfed, or both, as to prevent child-bearing.

The other advertisement is that of a "Probate sale," ordered by the
Court of the Parish of Jefferson--including the slaves of Mr. William
Gormley. The whole number of slaves is fifty-one; the sex, age, and
accustomed labors of each are given. The oldest of these slaves is but
_thirty-nine years old_: of the females, _thirteen_ are between the
ages of sixteen and thirty-two, and the oldest female is but
_thirty-eight_--and yet there are but _two children under eight years

Another proof that the slaves in the south-western states are
over-worked, is the fact, that so few of them live to old age. A large
majority of them are _old_ at middle age, and few live beyond
fifty-five. In one of the preceding advertisements, out of one hundred
and thirty slaves, only _three_ are over forty years old!  In the
other, out of fifty-one slaves, only _two_ are over _thirty-five_; the
oldest is but thirty-nine, and the way in which he is designated in
the advertisement, is an additional proof, that what to others is
"middle age," is to the slaves in the south-west "old age:" he is
advertised as "_old_ Jeffrey."

But the proof that the slave population of the south-west is so
over-worked that it cannot _supply its own waste_, does not rest upon
mere inferential evidence. The Agricultural Society of Baton Rouge,
La., in its report, published in 1829, furnishes a labored estimate of
the amount of expenditure necessarily incurred in conducting "a
well-regulated sugar estate."  In this estimate, the annual net loss
of slaves, over and above the supply by propagation, is set down at
TWO AND A HALF PER CENT!  The late Hon. Josiah S. Johnson, a member of
Congress from Louisiana, addressed a letter to the Secretary of the
United States' Treasury, in 1830, containing a similar estimate,
apparently made with great care, and going into minute details. Many
items in this estimate differ from the preceding; but the estimate of
the annual _decrease_ of the slaves on a plantation was the same--TWO

The following testimony of Rev. Dr. Channing, of Boston, who resided
some time in Virginia, shows that the over-working of slaves, to such
an extent as to abridge life, and cause a decrease of population, is
not confined to the far south and south-west.

"I heard of an estate managed by an individual who was considered as
singularly successful, and who was able to govern the slaves without
the use of the whip. I was anxious to see him, and trusted that some
discovery had been made favorable to humanity. I asked him how he was
able to dispense with corporal punishment. He replied to me, with a
very determined look, 'The slaves know that the work _must_ be done,
and that it is better to do it without punishment than with it.'  In
other words, the certainty and dread of chastisement were so impressed
on them, that they never incurred it.

"I then found that the slaves on this well-managed estate, _decreased_
in number. I asked the cause. He replied, with perfect frankness and
ease, 'The gang is not large enough for the estate.'  In other words,
they were not equal to the work of the plantation, and, yet were _made
to do it_, though with the certainty of abridging life.

"On this plantation the huts were uncommonly convenient. There was an
unusual air of neatness. A superficial observer would have called the
slaves happy. Yet they were living under a severe, subduing
discipline, and were _over-worked_ to a degree that _shortened
life_."--_Channing on Slavery_, page 162, first edition.

PHILEMON BLISS, Esq., a lawyer of Elyria, Ohio, who spent some time in
Florida, gives the following testimony to the over-working of the

"It is not uncommon for hands, in hurrying times, beside working all
day, to labor half the night. This is usually the case on sugar
plantations, during the sugar-boiling season; and on cotton, during
its gathering. Beside the regular task of picking cotton, averaging of
the short staple, when the crop is good, 100 pounds a day to the hand,
the ginning (extracting the seed,) and baling was done in the night.
Said Mr. ---- to me, while conversing upon the customary labor of
slaves, 'I work my niggers in a hurrying time till 11 or 12 o'clock at
night, and have them up by four in the morning.'

"Beside the common inducement, the desire of gain, to make a large
crop, the desire is increased by that spirit of gambling, so common at
the south. It is very common to _bet_ on the issue of a crop. A.
lays a wager that, from a given number of hands, he will make more
cotton than B. The wager is accepted, and then begins the contest; and
who bears the burden of it?  How many tears, yea, how many broken
constitutions, and premature deaths, have been the effect of this
spirit?  From the desperate energy of purpose with which the gambler
pursues his object, from the passions which the practice calls into
exercise, we might conjecture many. Such is the fact. In Middle
Florida, a _broken-winded_ negro is more common than a _broken-winded_
horse; though usually, when they are declared unsound, or when their
constitution is so broken that their recovery is despaired of, they
are exported to New Orleans, to drag out the remainder of their days
in the cane-field and sugar house. I would not insinuate that all
planters gamble upon their crops; but I mention the practice as one of
the common inducements to 'push niggers.' Neither would I assert that
all planters drive the hands to the injury of their health. I give it
as a _general_ rule in the district of Middle Florida, and I have no
reason to think that negroes are driven worse there than in other
fertile sections. People there told me that the situation of the
slaves was far better than in Mississippi and Louisiana. And from
comparing the crops with those made in the latter states, and for
other reasons, I am convinced of the truth of their statements."

DR. DEMMING, a gentleman of high respectability, residing in Ashland,
Richland county, Ohio, stated to Professor Wright, of New York city,

"That during a recent tour at the south, while ascending the Ohio
river, on the steamboat Fame, he had an opportunity of conversing with
a Mr. Dickinson, a resident of Pittsburg, in company with a number of
cotton-planters and slave-dealers, from Louisiana, Alabama, and
Mississippi, Mr. Dickinson stated as a fact, that the sugar planters
upon the sugar coast in Louisiana had ascertained, that, as it was
usually necessary to employ about _twice_ the amount of labor during
the boiling season, that was required during the season of raising,
they could, by excessive driving, day and night, during the boiling
season, accomplish the whole labor _with one set of hands_. By
pursuing this plan, they could afford _to sacrifice a set of hands
once in seven years!_ He further stated that this horrible system was
now practised to a considerable extent! The correctness of this
statement was substantially admitted by the slaveholders then on

The late MR. SAMUEL BLACKWELL, a highly respected citizen of Jersey
city, opposite the city of New York, and a member of the Presbyterian
church, visited many of the sugar plantations in Louisiana a few years
since: and having for many years been the owner of an extensive sugar
refinery in England, and subsequently in this country, he had not only
every facility afforded him by the planters, for personal inspection
of all parts of the process of sugar-making, but received from them
the most unreserved communications, as to their management of their
slaves. Mr. B., after his return, frequently made the following
statement to gentlemen of his acquaintance,--"That the planters
generally declared to him, that they were _obliged_ so to over-work
their slaves during the sugar-making season, (from eight to ten
weeks,) as to use _them up_ in seven or eight years. For, said they,
after the process is commenced, it must be pushed without cessation,
night and day; and we cannot afford to keep a sufficient number of
slaves to do the _extra_ work at the time of sugar-making, as we could
not profitably employ them the rest of the year."

It is not only true of the sugar planters, but of the slaveholders
generally throughout the far south and south west, that they believe
it for their interest to wear out the slaves by excessive toil in
eight or ten years after they put them into the field.[4]

[Footnote 4: Alexander Jones. Esq., a large planter in West Feliciana,
Louisiana, published a communication in the "North Carolina True
American," Nov. 25, 1838, in which, speaking of the horses employed in
the mills on the plantations for ginning cotton, he says, they "are
much whipped and jaded;" and adds, "In fact, this service is so severe
on horses, as to shorten their lives in many instances, if not
actually kill them in gear."

Those who work one kind of their "live stock" so as to "shorten their
lives," or "kill them in gear" would not stick at doing the same thing
to another kind.]

REV. DOCTOR REED, of London, who went through Kentucky, Virginia and
Maryland in the summer of 1834, gives the following testimony:

"I was told confidently and from _excellent authority_, that recently
at a meeting of planters in South Carolina, the question was seriously
discussed whether the slave is more profitable to the owner, if well
fed, well clothed, and worked lightly, or if made the most of _at
once_, and exhausted in some eight years. The decision was in favor of
the last alternative. That decision will perhaps make many shudder.
But to my mind this is not the chief evil. The greater and original
evil is considering the _slave as property_. If he is only property
and my property, then I have some right to ask how I may make that
property most available."

"Visit to the American Churches," by Rev. Drs. Reed and Mattheson.
Vol. 2 p. 173.

REV. JOHN O. CHOULES, recently pastor of a Baptist Church at New
Bedford, Massachusetts, now of Buffalo, New York, made substantially
the following statement in a speech in Boston.

"While attending the Baptist Triennial Convention at Richmond,
Virginia, in the spring of 1835, as a delegate from Massachusetts, I
had a conversation on slavery, with an officer of the Baptist Church
in that city, at whose house I was a guest. I asked my host if he did
not apprehend that the slaves would eventually rise and exterminate
their masters.

"Why," said the gentleman, "I used to apprehend such a catastrophe,
but God has made a providential opening, a _merciful safety valve_,
and now I do not feel alarmed in the _prospect_ of what is coming.
'What do you mean,' said Mr. Choules, 'by providence opening a merciful
safety valve?' Why, said the gentleman, I will tell you; the slave
traders come from the cotton and sugar plantations of the South and
are willing to buy up more slaves than we can part with. We must keep
a stock for the purpose of _rearing_ slaves, but we part with the most
valuable, and at the same time, the most _dangerous_, and the demand
is very constant and likely to be so, for when they go to these
southern states, the average existence Is ONLY FIVE YEARS!"

Monsieur C.C. ROBIN, a highly intelligent French gentleman, who
resided in Louisiana from 1802 to 1806, and published a volume of
travels, gives the following testimony to the over-working of the
slaves there:

"I have been a witness, that after the fatigue of the day, their
labors have been prolonged several hours by the light of the moon; and
then, before they could think of rest, they must pound and cook their
corn; and yet, long before day, an implacable scold, whip in hand,
would arouse them from their slumbers. Thus, of more than twenty
negroes, who in twenty years should have doubled, the number _was
reduced to four or five_."

In conclusion we add, that slaveholders have in the most public and
emphatic manner declared themselves guilty of barbarous inhumanity
toward their slaves in exacting from them such _long continued daily
labor_. The Legislatures of Maryland, Virginia and Georgia, have
passed laws providing that convicts in their state prisons and
penitentiaries, "shall be employed in work each day in the year except
Sundays, not exceeding _eight_ hours, in the months of November,
December, and January; _nine_ hours, in the months of February and
October, and _ten_ hours in the rest of the year." Now contrast this
_legal_ exaction of labor from CONVICTS with the exaction from slaves
as established by the preceding testimony. The reader perceives that
the amount of time, in which by the preceding laws of Maryland,
Virginia, and Georgia, the _convicts_ in their prisons are required to
labor, is on an average during the year but little more than NINE
HOURS daily. Whereas, the laws of South Carolina permit the master to
_compel_ his slaves to work FIFTEEN HOURS in the twenty-four, in
summer, and FOURTEEN in the winter--which would be in winter, from
daybreak in the morning until _four hours_ after sunset!--See 2
Brevard's Digest, 243.

The other slave states, except Louisiana, have _no laws_ respecting
the labor of slaves, consequently if the master should work his slaves
day and night without sleep till they drop dead, _he violates no law!_

The law of Louisiana provides for the slaves but TWO AND A HALF HOURS
in the twenty-four for "rest!" See law of Louisiana, act of July 7
1806, Martin's Digest 6. 10--12.


We propose to show under this head, that the clothing of the slaves by
day, and their covering by night, are inadequate, either for comfort
or decency.

Hon. T.T. Bouldin, a slave-holder, and member of Congress from Virginia
in a speech in Congress, Feb. 16, 1835.

Mr. Bouldin said "_he knew_ that many negroes had _died_ from exposure
to weather," and added, "they are clad in a _flimsy fabric, that will
turn neither wind nor water_."

George Buchanan, M.D., of Baltimore, member of the American
Philosophical Society, in an oration at Baltimore, July 4, 1791.

"The slaves, _naked_ and starved, _often_ fall victims to the
inclemencies of the weather."

Wm. Savery of Philadelphia, an eminent Minister of the Society of
Friends, who went through the Southern states in 1791, on a religious
visit; after leaving Savannah, Ga., we find the following entry in his
journal, 6th, month, 28, 1791.

"We rode through many rice swamps, where the blacks were very
numerous, great droves of these poor slaves, working up to the middle
in water, men and women nearly _naked_."

Rev. John Rankin, of Ripley, Ohio, a native of Tennessee.

"In every slave-holding state, _many slaves suffer extremely_, both
while they labor and while they sleep, _for want of clothing_ to keep
them warm."

John Parrish, late of Philadelphia, a highly esteemed minister in the
Society of Friends, who travelled through the South in 1804.

"It is shocking to the feelings of humanity, in travelling through
some of those states, to see those poor objects, [slaves,] especially
in the inclement season, in _rags_, and _trembling with the cold_."

"They suffer them, both male and female, _to go without clothing_ at
the age of ten and twelve years"

Rev. Phineas Smith, Centreville, Allegany, Co., N.Y. Mr. S. has just
returned from a residence of several years at the south, chiefly in
Virginia, Louisiana, and among the American settlers in Texas.

"The apparel of the slaves, is of the coarsest sort and _exceedingly
deficient_ in quantity. I have been on many plantations where
children of eight and ten yeas old, were in a state of _perfect
nudity_. Slaves are _in general wretchedly clad_."

Wm. Ladd, Esq., of Minot, Maine, recently a slaveholder in Florida.

"They were allowed two suits of clothes a year, viz. one pair of
trowsers with a shirt or frock of osnaburgh for summer; and for
winter, one pair of trowsers, and a jacket of negro cloth, with a
baize shirt and a pair of shoes. Some allowed hats, and some did not;
and they were generally, I believe, allowed one blanket in two years.
Garments of similar materials were allowed the women."

A Kentucky physician, writing in the Western Medical Reformer, in
1836, on the diseases peculiar to slaves, says.

"They are _imperfectly clothed_ both summer and winter."

Mr. Stephen E. Maltby, Inspector of provisions, Skeneateles, N.Y., who
resided sometime in Alabama.

"I was at Huntsville, Alabama, in 1818-19, I frequently saw slaves on
and around the public square, _with hardly a rag of clothing on them_,
and in a _great many_ instances with but a single garment both in
summer and in winter; generally the only bedding of the slaves was a

Reuben G. Macy, Hudson, N.Y. member of the Society of Friends, who
resided in South Carolina, in 1818 and 19.

"Their clothing consisted of a pair of trowsers and jacket, made of
'negro cloth.' The women a petticoat, a very short 'short-gown,' and
_nothing else_, the same kind of cloth; some of the women had an old
pair of shoes, but they _generally went barefoot_."

Mr. Lemuel Sapington, of Lancaster, Pa., a native of Maryland, and
formerly a slaveholder.

"Their clothing is often made by themselves after night, though
sometimes assisted by the old women, who are no longer able to do
out-door work; consequently it is harsh and uncomfortable. And I have
very frequently seen those who had not attained the age of twelve
years _go naked_."

Philemon Bliss, Esq., a lawyer in Elyria, Ohio, who lived in Florida
in 1834 and 35.

"It is very common to see the younger class of slaves up to eight or
ten _without any clothing_, and most generally the laboring men wear
_no shirts_ in the warm season. The perfect nudity of the younger
slaves is so familiar to the whites of both sexes, that they seem to
witness it with perfect indifference. I may add that the aged and
feeble often _suffer from cold_."

Richard Macy, a member of the Society of Friends, Hudson, N.Y., who
has lived in Georgia.

"For _bedding_ each slave was allowed _one blanket_, in which they
rolled themselves up. I examined their houses, but could not find any
thing like _a bed_."

W.C. Gildersleeve, Esq., Wilkesbarre, Pa., a native of Georgia.

"It is an every day sight to see women as well as men, with no other
covering than a _few filthy rags fastened above the hips_, reaching
midway to the ankles. _I never knew any kind of covering for the head_
given. Children of both sexes, from infancy to ten years are seen in
companies on the plantations, _in a state of perfect nudity_. This was
so common that the most refined and delicate beheld them unmoved."

Mr. William Leftwich, a native of Virginia, now a member of the
Presbyterian Church, in Delhi, Ohio.

"The only bedding of the slaves generally consists of _two old

Advertisements like the following from the "New Orleans Bee," May 31,
1837, are common in the southern papers.

"10 DOLLARS REWARD.--Ranaway, the slave SOLOMON, about 28 years of
age; BADLY CLOTHED. The above reward will be paid on application to
FERNANDEZ & WHITING, No. 20, St. Louis St."

RANAWAY from the subscriber the negress FANNY, always badly dressed,
she is about 25 or 26 years old. JOHN MACOIN, 117 S. Ann st.

The Darien (Ga.), Telegraph, of Jan. 24, 1837, in an editorial
article, hitting off the aristocracy of the planters, incidentally
lets out some secrets, about the usual _clothing_ of the slaves. The
editor says,--"The planter looks down, with the most sovereign
contempt, on the merchant and the storekeeper. He deems himself a
lord, because he gets his two or three RAGGED servants, to row him to
his plantation every day, that he may inspect the labor of his hands."

The following is an extract from a letter lately received from Rev.
C.S. RENSHAW, of Quincy, Illinois.

"I am sorry to be obliged to give more testimony without the _name_.
An individual in whom I have great confidence, gave me the following
facts. That I am not alone in placing confidence in him, I subjoin a
testimonial from Dr. Richard Eells, Deacon of the Congregational
Church, of Quincy, and Rev. Mr. Fisher, Baptist Minister of Quincy.

"We have been acquainted with the brother who has communicated to you
some facts that fell under his observation, whilst in his native
state; he is a professed follower of our Lord, and we have great
confidence in him as a man of integrity, discretion, and strict
Christian principle. RICHARD EELLS. EZRA FISHER."

Quincy, Jan. 9th, 1839.

TESTIMONY.--"I lived for thirty years in Virginia, and have travelled
extensively through Fauquier, Culpepper, Jefferson, Stafford,
Albemarle and Charlotte Counties; my remarks apply to these Counties.

"The negro houses are miserably poor, generally they are a shelter
from neither the wind, the rain, nor the snow, and the earth is the
floor. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are only
exceptions; you may sometimes see puncheon floor, but never, or almost
never a plank floor. The slaves are generally without _beds or
bedsteads_; some few have cribs that they fasten up for themselves in
the corner of the hut. Their bed-clothes are a nest of rags thrown
upon a crib, or in the corner; sometimes there are three or four
families in one small cabin. Where the slaveholders have more than one
family, they put them in the same quarter till it is filled, then
build another. I have seen exceptions to this, when only one family
would occupy a hut, and where were tolerably comfortable bed-clothes.

"Most of the slaves in these counties are _miserably clad_. I have
known slaves who went without shoes all winter, perfectly barefoot.
The feet of many of them are frozen. As a general fact the planters do
not serve out to their slaves, drawers, or any under clothing, or
vests, or overcoats. Slaves sometimes, by working at night and on
Sundays, get better things than their masters serve to them.

"Whilst these things are true of _field-hands_, it is also true that
many slaveholders clothe their _waiters_ and coachmen like gentlemen.
I do not think there is any difference between the slaves of
professing Christians and others; at all events, it is so small as to
be scarcely noticeable.

"I have seen men and women at work in the field more than half naked:
and more than once in passing, when the overseer was not near, they
would stop and draw round them a tattered coat or some ribbons of a
skirt to hide their nakedness and shame from the stranger's eye."

Mr. GEORGE W. WESTGATE, a member of the Congregational Church in
Quincy, Illinois, who has spent the larger part of twelve years
navigating the rivers of the south-western slave states with keel
boats, as a trader, gives the following testimony as to the clothing
and lodging of the slaves.

"In lower Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana, the clothing of the
slaves is wretchedly poor; and grows worse as you go south, in the
order of the states I have named. The only material is cotton bagging,
i.e. bagging in which cotton is _baled_, not bagging made of cotton.
In Louisiana, especially in the lower country, I have frequently seen
them with nothing but a tattered coat, not sufficient to hide their
nakedness. In winter their clothing seldom serves the purpose of
comfort, and frequently not even of decent covering. In Louisiana _the
planters never think of serving out shoes to slaves_. In Mississippi
they give one pair a year generally. I never saw or heard of an
instance of masters allowing them _stockings_. A _small poor blanket
is generally the only bed-clothing_, and this they frequently wear in
the field when they have not sufficient clothing to hide their
nakedness or to keep them warm. Their manner of sleeping varies with
the season. In hot weather they stretch themselves anywhere and sleep.
As it becomes cool they roll themselves in their blankets, and lay
scattered about the cabin. In cold weather they nestle together with
their feet towards the fire, promiscuously. As a general fact the
earth is their only floor and bed--not one in ten have anything like a
bedstead, and then it is a mere bunk put up by themselves."

Mr. GEORGE A. AVERY, an elder in the fourth Congregational Church,
Rochester, N.Y., who spent four years in Virginia, says, "The slave
children, very commonly of both sexes, up to the ages of eight and ten
years, and I think in some instances beyond this age, go in a state of
_disgusting_ nudity. I have often seen them with their tow shirt
(their only article of summer clothing) which, to all human
appearance, had not been taken off from the time it was first put on,
worn off from the bottom upwards shred by shred, until nothing
remained but the straps which passed over their shoulders, and the
less exposed portions extending a very little way below the arms,
leaving the principal part of the chest, as well as the limbs,
entirely uncovered."

SAMUEL ELLISON, a member of the Society of Friends, formerly of
Southampton Co., Virginia, now of Marlborough, Stark Co., Ohio, says,
"I knew a Methodist who was the owner of a number of slaves. The
children of both sexes, belonging to him, under twelve years of age,
were _entirely_ destitute of clothing. I have seen an old man
compelled to labor in the fields, not having rags enough to cover his

Rev. H. LYMAN, late pastor of the Free Presbyterian Church, in
Buffalo, N.Y., in describing a tour down and up the Mississippi river
in the winter of 1832-3, says, "At the wood yards where the boats
stop, it is not uncommon to see female slaves employed in carrying
wood. Their dress which was quite uniform was provided without any
reference to comfort. They had no covering for their heads; the stuff
which constituted the outer garment was sackcloth, similar to that in
which brown domestic goods are done up. It was then December, and I
thought that in such a dress, and being as they were, without
_stockings_, they must suffer from the cold."

Mr. Benjamin Clendenon, Colerain, Lancaster Co., Pa., a member of the
Society of Friends, in a recent letter describing a short tour through
the northern part of Maryland in the winter of 1836, thus speaks of a
place a few miles from Chestertown. "About this place there were a
number of slaves; very few, if any, had _either stockings or shoes_;
the weather was intensely cold, and the ground covered with snow."

The late Major Stoddard of the United States' artillery, who took
possession of Louisiana for the U.S. government, under the cession of
1804, published a book entitled "Sketches of Louisiana," in which,
speaking of the planters of Lower Louisiana, he says, "_Few of them
allow any clothing to their slaves_."

The following is an extract from the Will of the late celebrated John
Randolph of Virginia.

"To my old and faithful servants, Essex and his wife Hetty, I give and
bequeath a pair of strong shoes, a suit of clothes and a blanket each,
to be paid them annually; also an annual hat to Essex."

No Virginia slaveholder has ever had a better name as a "kind master,"
and "good provider" for his slaves, than John Randolph. Essex and
Hetty were _favorite_ servants, and the memory of the long
uncompensated services of those "old and faithful servants," seems to
have touched their master's heart. Now as this master was _John
Randolph_, and as those servants were "faithful," and favorite
servants, advanced in years, and worn out in his service, and as their
allowance was, in their master's eyes, of sufficient moment to
constitute a paragraph in his last _will and testament_, it is fair to
infer that it would be _very liberal_, far better than the ordinary
allowance for slaves.

Now we leave the reader to judge what must be the _usual_ allowance of
clothing to common field slaves in the hands of common masters, when
Essex and Hetty, the "old" and "faithful" slaves of John Randolph,
were provided, in his last will and testament, with but _one_ suit of
clothes annually, with but _one blanket_ each for bedding, with no
_stockings_, nor _socks_, nor _cloaks_, nor overcoats, nor
_handkerchiefs_, nor _towels_, and with no _change_ either of under or
outside garments!



Mr. Stephen E. Maltby. Inspector of provisions, Skaneateles, N.Y. who
has lived in Alabama.

"The huts where the slaves slept, generally contained but _one_
apartment, and that _without floor_."

Mr. George A. Avery, elder of the 4th Presbyterian Church, Rochester,
N.Y. who lived four years in Virginia.

"Amongst all the negro cabins which I saw in Va., _I cannot call to
mind one_ in which there was any other floor than the _earth_; any
thing that a northern laborer, or mechanic, white or colored, would
call a _bed_, nor a solitary _partition_, to separate the sexes."

William Ladd, Esq., Minot, Maine. President of the American Peace
Society, formerly a slaveholder in Florida.

"The dwellings of the slaves were palmetto huts, built by themselves
of stakes and poles, thatched with the palmetto leaf. The door, when
they had any, was generally of the same materials, sometimes boards
found on the beach. They had _no floors_, no separate apartments,
except the guinea negroes had sometimes a small inclosure for their
'god house.' These huts the slaves built themselves after task and on

Rev. Joseph M. Sadd, Pastor Pres. Church, Castile, Greene Co., N.Y.,
who lived in Missouri five years previous to 1837.

"The slaves live _generally_ in _miserable huts_, which are _without
floors_, and have a single apartment only, where both sexes are herded
promiscuously together."

Mr. George W. Westgate, member of the Congregational Church in Quincy,
Illinois, who has spent a number of years in slave states.

"On old plantations, the negro quarters are of frame and clapboards,
seldom affording a comfortable shelter from wind or rain; their size
varies from 8 by 10, to 10 by 12, feet, and six or eight feet high;
sometimes there is a hole cut for a window, but I never saw a sash, or
glass in any. In the new country, and in the woods, the quarters are
generally built of logs, of similar dimensions."

Mr. Cornelius Johnson, a member of a Christian Church in Farmington,
Ohio. Mr. J. lived in Mississippi in 1837-8.

"Their houses were commonly built of logs, sometimes they were framed,
often they had no floor, some of them have two apartments, commonly
but one; each of those apartments contained a family. Sometimes these
families consisted of a man and his wife and children, while in other
instances persons of both sexes, were thrown together without any
regard to family relationship."

The Western Medical Reformer, in an article on the Cachexia Africana
by a Kentucky physician, thus speaks of the huts of the slaves.

"They are _crowded_ together in a _small hut_, and sometimes having an
imperfect, and sometimes no floor, and seldom raised from the ground,
ill ventilated, and surrounded with filth."

Mr. William Leftwich, a native of Virginia, but has resided most of
his life in Madison, Co. Alabama.

"The dwellings of the slaves are log huts, from 10 to 12 feet square,
often without windows, doors, or floors, they have neither chairs,
table, or bedstead."

Reuben L. Macy of Hudson, N.Y. a member of the Religious Society of
Friends. He lived in South Carolina in 1818-19.

"The houses for the field slaves were about 14 feet square, built in
the coarsest manner, with one room, _without any chimney or flooring,
with a hole in the roof to let the smoke out_."

Mr. Lemuel Sapington of Lancaster, Pa. a native of Maryland, formerly
a slaveholder.

"The descriptions generally given of negro quarters, are correct; the
quarters are _without floors, and not sufficient to keep off the
inclemency of the weather_; they are uncomfortable both in summer and

Rev. John Rankin, a native of Tennessee.

"When they return to their miserable huts at night, they find not
there the means of comfortable rest; _but on the cold ground they must
lie without covering, and shiver while they slumber."_

Philemon Bliss, Esq. Elyria, Ohio, who lived in Florida, in 1835.

"The dwellings of the slaves are usually small _open_ log huts, with
but one apartment, and very generally _without floors_."

Mr. W.C. Gildersleeve, Wilkesbarre, Pa., a native of Georgia.

"Their huts were generally put up without a nail, frequently without
floors, and with a single apartment."

Hon. R.J. Turnbull, of South Carolina, a slaveholder.

"The slaves live in _clay cabins_."



In proof of this we subjoin the following testimony:

Rev. Dr. CHANNING of Boston, who once resided in Virginia, relates the
following fact in his work on slavery, page 163, 1st edition.

"I cannot forget my feelings on visiting a hospital belonging to the
plantation of a gentleman _highly esteemed for his virtues_, and whose
manners and conversation expressed much _benevolence and
conscientiousness_. When I entered with him the hospital, the first
object on which my eye fell was a young woman, very ill, probably
approaching death. She was stretched on the floor. Her head rested on
something like a pillow; but _her body and limbs were extended on the
hard boards._ The owner, I doubt not, had at least as much kindness
as myself; but he was so used to see the slaves living without common
comforts, that the idea of unkindness in the present instance did not
enter his mind."

This _dying_ young woman "was _stretched on the floor_"--"her body and
limbs extended upon the hard boards,"--and yet her master "was highly
esteemed for his virtues," and his general demeanor produced upon Dr.
Channing the impression of "benevolence and conscientiousness" If the
_sick and dying female_ slaves of _such_ a master, suffer such
barbarous neglect, whose heart does not fail him, at the thought of
that inhumanity, exercised by the _majority_ of slaveholders, towards
their aged, sick, and dying victims.

The following testimony is furnished by SARAH M. GRIMKÉ, a sister of
the late Hon. Thomas S. Grimké, of Charleston, South Carolina.

"When the Ladies' Benevolent Society in Charleston, S.C., of which I
was a visiting commissioner, first went into operation, we were
applied to for the relief of several sick and aged colored persons;
one case I particularly remember, of an aged woman who was dreadfully
burnt from having fallen into the fire; she was living with some free
blacks who had taken her in out of compassion. On inquiry, we found
that _nearly all_ the colored persons who had solicited aid, were
_slaves_, who being no longer able to work for their "owners," were
thus inhumanly cast out in their sickness and old age, and must have
perished, but for the kindness of their friends.

"I was once visiting a sick slave in whose spiritual welfare peculiar
circumstances had led me to be deeply interested. I knew that she had
been early seduced from the path of virtue, as nearly all the female
slaves are. I knew also that her mistress, though a professor of
religion, had never taught her a single precept of Christianity, yet
that she had had her severely punished for this departure from them,
and that the poor girl was then ill of an incurable disease,
occasioned partly by her own misconduct, and partly by the cruel
treatment she had received, in a situation that called for tenderness
and care. Her heart seemed truly touched with repentance for her sins,
and she was inquiring, "What shall I do to be saved?" I was sitting by
her as she lay on the floor upon a blanket, and was trying to
establish her trembling spirit in the fullness of Jesus, when I heard
the voice of her mistress in loud and angry tones, as she approached
the door. I read in the countenance of the prostrate sufferer, the
terror which she felt at the prospect of seeing her mistress. I knew
my presence would be very unwelcome, but staid hoping that it might
restrain, in some measure, the passions of the mistress. In this,
however, I was mistaken; she passed me without apparently observing
that I was there, and seated herself on the other side of the sick
slave. She made no inquiry how she was, but in a tone of anger
commenced a tirade of abuse, violently reproaching her with her past
misconduct, and telling her in the most unfeeling manner, that eternal
destruction awaited her. No word of kindness escaped her. What had
then roused her temper I do not know. She continued in this strain
several minutes, when I attempted to soften her by remarking, that
------ was very ill, and she ought not thus to torment her, and that I
believed Jesus had granted her forgiveness. But I might as well have
tried to stop the tempest in its career, as to calm the infuriated
passions nurtured by the exercise of arbitrary power. She looked at me
with ineffable scorn, and continued to pour forth a torrent of abuse
and reproach. Her helpless victim listened in terrified silence, until
nature could endure no more, when she uttered a wild shriek, and
casting on her tormentor a look of unutterable agony, exclaimed, "Oh,
mistress, I am dying." This appeal arrested her attention, and she soon
left the room, but in the same spirit with which she entered it. The
girl survived but a few days, and, I believe, saw her mistress _no

Mr. GEORGE A. AVERY, an elder of a Presbyterian church in Rochester,
N.Y., who lived some years in Virginia, gives the following:

"The manner of treating the sick slaves, and especially in _chronic_
cases, was to my mind peculiarly revolting. My opportunities for
observation in this department were better than in, perhaps, any
other, as the friend under whose direction I commenced my medical
studies, enjoyed a high reputation as a _surgeon_. I rode considerably
with him in his practice, and assisted in the surgical operations and
dressings from time to time. In confirmed cases of disease, it was
common for the master to place the subject under the care of a
physician or surgeon, at whose expense the patient should be kept, and
if death ensued to the patient, or the disease was not cured, no
compensation was to be made, but if cured a bonus of one, two, or
three hundred dollars was to be given. No provision was made against
the _barbarity_ or _neglect_ of the physician, &c. I have seen
_fifteen or twenty of these helpless sufferers_ crowded together in
the true spirit of slaveholding inhumanity, like the "brutes that
perish," and driven from time to time _like_ brutes into a common
yard, where they had to suffer any and every operation and experiment,
which interest, caprice, or professional curiosity might
prompt,--unrestrained by law, public sentiment, or the claims of
common humanity."

Rev. WILLIAM T. ALLAN, son of Rev. Dr. Allan, a slaveholder, of
Huntsville, Alabama, says in a letter now before us:

"Colonel Robert H. Watkins, of Laurence county, Alabama, who owned
about three hundred slaves, after employing a physician among them for
some time, ceased to do so, alleging as the reason, that it was
cheaper to lose a few negroes every year than to pay a physician. This
Colonel Watkins was a Presidential elector in 1836."

A.A. GUTHRIE, Esq., elder in the Presbyterian church at Putnam,
Muskingum county, Ohio, furnishes the testimony which follows.

"A near female friend of mine in company with another young lady, in
attempting to visit a sick woman on Washington's Bottom, Wood county,
Virginia, missed the way, and stopping to ask directions of a group of
colored children on the outskirts of the plantation of Francis Keen,
Sen., they were told to ask 'aunty, in the house.'  On entering the
hut, says my informant, I beheld such a sight as I hope never to see
again; its sole occupant was a female slave of the said Keen--her
whole wearing apparel consisted of a frock, made of the coarsest tow
cloth, and so scanty, that it could not have been made more tight
around her person. In the hut there was neither table, chair, nor
chest--a stool and a rude fixture in one corner, were all its
furniture. On this last were a little straw and a few old remnants of
what had been bedding--all exceedingly filthy.

"The woman thus situated _had been for more than a day in travail_,
without any assistance, any nurse, or any kind of proper
provision--during the night she said some fellow slave woman would
stay with her, and the aforesaid children through the day. From a
woman, who was a slave of Keen's at the same time, my informant
learned, that this poor woman suffered for three days, and then
died--when too late to save her life her master sent assistance. It
was understood to be a rule of his, to neglect his women entirely in
such times of trial, unless they previously came and informed him,
and asked for aid."

Rev. PHINEAS SMITH, of Centreville, N.Y, who has resided four years
at the south, says:

"Often when the slaves are sick, their accustomed toil is exacted from
them. Physicians are rarely called for their benefit."

Rev. HORACE MOULTON, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church in
Marlborough, Mass., who resided a number of years in Georgia, says:

"Another dark side of slavery is the neglect of the _aged_ and
_sick_. Many when sick, are suspected by their masters of _feigning_
sickness, and are therefore whipped out to work after disease has got
fast hold of them; when the masters learn, that they are really sick,
they are in many instances left alone in their cabins during work
hours; not a few of the slaves are left to die without having one
friend to wipe off the sweat of death. When the slaves are sick, the
masters do not, as a general thing, employ physicians, but "doctor"
them themselves, and their mode of practice in almost all cases is to
bleed and give salts. When women are confined they have no physician,
but are committed to the care of slave midwives. Slaves complain very
little when sick, when they die they are frequently buried at night
without much ceremony, and in many instances without any; their
coffins are made by nailing together rough boards, frequently with
their feet sticking out at the end, and sometimes they are put into
the ground without a coffin or box of any kind."



Mr. ALLAN is a son of the Rev. Dr. Allan, a slaveholder and pastor of
the Presbyterian Church at Huntsville, Alabama. He has recently
become the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Chatham, Illinois.

"I was born and have lived most of my life in the slave states, mainly
in the village of Huntsville, Alabama, where my parents still reside.
I seldom went to a _plantation_, and as my visits were confined almost
exclusively to the families of professing Christians, my _personal_
knowledge of slavery, was consequently a knowledge of its _fairest_
side, (if fairest may be predicated of foul.)

"There was one plantation just opposite my father's house in the
suburbs of Huntsville, belonging to Judge Smith, formerly a Senator in
Congress from South Carolina, now of Huntsville. The name of his
overseer was Tune. I have often seen him flogging the slaves in the
field, and have often heard their cries. Sometimes, too, I have met
them with the tears streaming down their faces, and the marks of the
whip, ('whelks,') on their bare necks and shoulders. Tune was so
severe in his treatment, that his employer dismissed him after two or
three years, lest, it was said, he should kill off all the slaves. But
he was immediately employed by another planter in the neighborhood.
The following fact was stated to me by my brother, James M. Allan, now
residing at Richmond, Henry county, Illinois, and clerk of the circuit
and county courts. Tune became displeased with one of the women who
was pregnant, he made her lay down over a log, with her face towards
the ground, and beat her so unmercifully, that she was soon after
delivered of a _dead child_.

"My brother also stated to me the following, which occurred near my
father's house, and within sight and hearing of the academy and public
garden. Charles, a fine active negro, who belonged to a bricklayer in
Huntsville, exchanged the burning sun of the brickyard to enjoy for a
season the pleasant shade of an adjacent mountain. When his master got
him back, he tied him by his hands so that his feet could just touch
the ground--stripped off his clothes, took a paddle, bored full of
holes, and paddled him leisurely all day long. It was two weeks before
they could tell whether he would live or die. Neither of these cases
attracted any particular notice in Huntsville.

"While I lived in Huntsville a slave was killed in the mountain near
by. The circumstances were these. A white man (James Helton) hunting
in the woods, suddenly came upon a black man, and commanded him to
stop, the slave kept on running, Helton fired his rifle and the negro
was killed.[5]

[Footnote 5: This murder was committed about twelve years since. At
that time, James G. Birney, Esq., now Corresponding Secretary of the
American Anti-Slavery Society was the Solicitor (prosecuting attorney)
for that judicial district. His views and feelings upon the subject of
slavery were, even at that period, in advance of the mass of
slaveholders, and he determined if possible to bring the murderer to
justice. He accordingly drew up an indictment and procured the finding
of a true bill against Helton. Helton, meanwhile, moved over the line
into the state of Tennessee, and such was the apathy of the community,
individual effort proved unavailing; and though the murderer had gone
no further than to an adjoining county (where perhaps he still
resides) he was never brought to trial.--ED.]

"Mrs. Barr, wife of Rev. H. Barr of Carrollton, Illinois, formerly
from Courtland, Alabama, told me last spring, that she has very often
stopped her ears that she might not hear the screams of slaves who
were under the lash, and that sometimes she has left her house, and
retired to a place more distant, in order to get away from their
agonizing cries.

"I have often seen groups of slaves on the public squares in
Huntsville, who were to be sold at auction, and I have often seen
their tears gush forth and their countenances distorted with anguish.
A considerable number were generally sold publicly every month.

"The following facts I have just taken down from the lips of Mr. L.
Turner, a regular and respectable member of the Second Presbyterian
Church in Springfield, our county town. He was born and brought up in
Caroline county, Virginia. He says that the slaves are neither
considered nor treated as human beings. One of his neighbors whose
name was Barr, he says, on one occasion stripped a slave and lacerated
his back with a handcard (for cotton or wool) and then washed it with
salt and water, with pepper in it. Mr. Turner _saw_ this. He further
remarked that he believed there were _many_ slaves there in advanced
life whose backs had never been well since they began to work.

"He stated that one of his uncles had killed a woman--broke her skull
with an ax helve: she had insulted her mistress! No notice was taken
of the affair. Mr. T. said, further, that slaves were _frequently

"He mentioned the case of one slaveholder, whom he had seen lay his
slaves on a large log, which he kept for the purpose, strip them, tie
them with the face downward, then have a kettle of hot water
brought--take the paddle, made of hard wood, and perforated with
holes, dip it into the hot water and strike--before every blow dipping
it into the water--every hole at every blow would raise a 'whelk.'
This was the usual punishment fur _running away_.

"Another slaveholder had a slave who had often run away, and often
been severely whipped. After one of his floggings he burnt his master's
barn: this so enraged the man, that when he caught him he took a pair
of pincers and pulled his toe nails out. The negro then murdered two
of his master's children. He was taken after a desperate pursuit,
(having been shot through the shoulder) and hung.

"One of Mr. Turner's cousins, was employed as overseer on a large
plantation in Mississippi. On a certain morning he called the slaves
together, to give some orders. While doing it, a slave came running
out of his cabin, having a knife in his hand and eating his breakfast.
The overseer seeing him coming with the knife, was somewhat alarmed,
and instantly raised his gun and shot him dead. He said afterwards,
that he believed the slave was perfectly innocent of any evil
intentions, he came out hastily to hear the orders whilst eating. _No_
notice was taken of the killing.

"Mr. T. related the whipping habits of one of his uncles in Virginia.
He was a wealthy man, had a splendid house and grounds. A tree in his
_front yard_, was used as a _whipping post_. When a slave was to be
punished, he would frequently invite some of his friends, have a
table, cards and wine set out under the shade; he would then flog his
slave a little while, and then play cards and drink with his friends,
occasionally taunting the slave, giving him the privilege of
confessing such and such things, at his leisure, after a while flog
him again, thus keeping it up for hours or half the day, and sometimes
all day. This was his _habit_.

"_February 4th._--Since writing the preceding, I have been to
Carrollton, on a visit to my uncle, Rev. Hugh Barr, who was originally
from Tennessee, lived 12 or 14 years in Courtland, Lawrence county,
Alabama, and moved to Illinois in 1835. In conversation with the
family, around the fireside, they stated a multitude of horrid facts,
that were perfectly notorious in the neighborhood of Courtland.

"William P. Barr, an intelligent young man, and member of his father's
church in Carrollton, stated the following. Visiting at a Mr.
Mosely's, near Courtland, William Mosely came in with a bloody knife
in his hand, having just stabbed a negro man. The negro was sitting
quietly in a house in the village, keeping a woman company who had
been left in charge of the house,--when Mosely, passing along, went in
and demanded his business there. Probably his answer was not as civil
as slaveholding requires, Mosely rushed upon him and stabbed him. The
wound laid him up for a season. Mosley was called to no account for
it. When he came in with the bloody knife, he said he wished he had
killed him.

"John Brown, a slaveholder, and a member of the Presbyterian church in
Courtland, Alabama, stated the following a few weeks since, in
Carrollton. A man near Courtland, of the name of Thompson, recently
shot a negro _woman_ through the head; and put the pistol so close
that her hair was singed. He did it in consequence of some difficulty
in his dealings with her as a concubine. He buried her in a log heap;
she was discovered by the buzzards gathering around it.

"William P. Barr stated the following, as facts well known in the
neighborhood of Courtland, but not witnessed by himself. Two men, by
the name of Wilson, found a fine looking negro man at 'Dandridge's
Quarter,' without a pass; and flogged him so that he died in a short
time. They were not punished.

"Col. Blocker's overseer attempted to flog a negro--he refused to be
flogged; whereupon the overseer seized an axe, and cleft his skull.
The Colonel justified it.

"One Jones whipped a woman to death for 'grabbling' a potato hill. He
owned 80 or 100 negroes. His own children could not live with him.

"A man in the neighborhood of Courtland, Alabama, by the name of
Puryear, was so proverbially cruel that among the negroes he was
usually called 'the Devil.' Mrs. Barr, wife of Rev. H. Barr, was at
Puryear's house, and saw a negro girl about 13 years old, waiting
around the table, with a single garment--and that in cold weather;
arms and feet bare--feet wretchedly swollen--arms burnt, and full of
sores from exposure. All the negroes under his care made a wretched

"Col. Robert H. Watkins had a runaway slave, who was called Jim
Dragon. Before he was caught the last time, he had been out a year,
within a few miles of his master's plantation. He never stole from any
one but his master, except when necessity compelled him. He said he
had a right to take from his master; and when taken, that he had,
whilst out, seen his master a hundred times. Having been whipped,
clogged with irons, and yoked, he was set at work in the field. Col.
Watkins worked about 300 hands--generally had one negro out hunting
runaways. After employing a physician for some time among his negroes,
he ceased to do so, alleging as the reason, that it was cheaper to
lose a few negroes every year than to pay a physician. He was a
Presidential elector in 1836.

"Col. Ben Sherrod, another large planter in that neighborhood, is
remarkable for his kindness to his slaves. He said to Rev. Mr. Barr,
that he had no doubt he should be rewarded in heaven for his kindness
to his slaves; and yet his overseer, Walker, had to sleep with loaded
pistols, for fear of assassination. Three of the slaves attempted to
kill him once, because of his _treatment of their wives_.

"Old Major Billy Watkins was noted for his severity. I well remember,
when he lived in Madison county, to have often heard him yell at his
negroes with the most savage fury. He would stand at his house, and
watch the slaves picking cotton; and if any of them straitened their
backs for a moment, his savage yell would ring, 'bend your backs.'

"Mrs. Barr stated, that Mrs. H----, of Courtland, a member of the
Presbyterian church, sent a little negro girl to jail, suspecting that
she had attempted to put poison in the water pail. The fact was, that
the child had found a vial, and was playing in the water. This same
woman (in high standing too,) told the Rev. Mr. McMillan, that she
could 'cut Arthur Tappan's throat from ear to ear.'

"The clothing of slaves is in many cases comfortable, and in many it
is far from being so. I have very often seen slaves, whose tattered
rags were neither comfortable nor decent.

"Their _huts_ are sometimes comfortable, but generally they are
miserable _hovels_, where male and female are herded promiscuously

"As to the _usual_ allowance of food on the plantations in North
Alabama, I cannot speak confidently, from _personal_ knowledge. There
was a slave named Hadley, who was in the habit of visiting my father's
slaves occasionally. He had run away several times. His reason was, as
he stated, that they would not give him any meat--said he could not
work without meat. The last time I saw him, he had quite a heavy iron
yoke on his neck, the two prongs twelve or fifteen inches long,
extending out over his shoulders and bending upwards.

"_Legal_ marriage is unknown among the slaves, they sometimes have a
marriage form--generally, however, _none at all_. The pastor of the
Presbyterian church in Huntsville, had two families of slaves when I
left there. One couple were married by a negro preacher--the man was
robbed of his wife a number of months afterwards, by her '_owner_.'
The other couple just 'took up together,' without any form of
marriage. They are both members of churches--the man a Baptist deacon,
sober and correct in his deportment. They have a large family of
children--all children of concubinage--living in a minister's family.

"If these statements are deemed of any value by you, in forwarding
your glorious enterprize, you are at liberty to use them as you
please. The great wrong is _enslaving a man_; all other wrongs are
pigmies, compared with that. Facts might be gathered abundantly, to
show that it is _slavery itself_, and not cruelties merely, that make
slaves unhappy. Even those that are most kindly treated, are generally
far from being happy. The slaves in my father's family are almost as
kindly treated as _slaves_ can be, yet they pant for liberty.

"May the Lord guide you in this great movement. In behalf of the
perishing, Your friend and brother, WILLIAM. T. ALLAN"


Mr. Leftwich is a grandson of Gen. Jabez Leftwich, who was for some
years a member of Congress from Virginia. Though born in Virginia, he
has resided most of his life in Alabama. He now lives in Delhi,
Hamilton county, Ohio, near Cincinnati.

As an introduction to his letter, the reader is furnished with the
following testimonial to his character, from the Rev. Horace Bushnell,
pastor of the Presbyterian church in Delhi. Mr. B. says:

"Mr. Leftwich is a worthy member of this church, and is a young man of
sterling integrity and veracity.


The following is the letter of Mr. Leftwich, dated Dec. 26, 1838.

"Dear Brother--I am not ranked among the abolitionists, yet I cannot,
as a friend of humanity, withhold from the public such facts in
relation to the condition of the slaves, as have fallen under my own
observation. That I am somewhat acquainted with slavery will be seen,
as I narrate some incidents of my own life. My parents were
slaveholders, and moved from Virginia to Madison county, Alabama,
during my infancy. My mother soon fell a victim to the climate. Being
the youngest of the children, I was left in the care of my aged
grandfather, who never held a slave, though his sons owned from 90 to
100 during the time I resided with him. As soon as I could carry a
hoe, my uncle, by the name of Neely, persuaded my grandfather that I
should be placed in his hands, and brought up in habits of industry. I
was accordingly placed under his tuition. I left the domestic circle,
little dreaming of the horrors that awaited me. My mother's own
brother took me to the cotton field, there to learn habits of
industry, and to be benefited by his counsels. But the sequel proved,
that I was there to feel in my own person, and witness by experience
many of the horrors of slavery. Instead of kind admonition, I was to
endure the frowns of one, whose sympathies could neither be reached by
the prayers and cries of his slaves, nor by the entreaties and
sufferings of a sister's son. Let those who call slaveholders kind,
hospitable and humane, mark the course the slaveholder pursues with
one born free, whose ancestors fought and bled for liberty; and then
say, if they can without a blush of shame, that he who robs the
helpless of every _right_, can be truly kind and hospitable.

"In a short time after I was put upon the plantation, there was but
little difference between me and the slaves, except being _white_, I
ate at the master's table. The slaves were my companions in misery,
and I well learned their condition, both in the house and field. Their
dwellings are log huts, from ten to twelve feet square; often without
windows, doors or floors. They have neither chairs, tables or
bedsteads. These huts are occupied by eight, ten or twelve persons
each. Their bedding generally consists of two old blankets. Many of
them sleep night after night sitting upon their blocks or stools;
others sleep in the open air. Our task was appointed, and from dawn
till dark all must bend to their work. Their meals were taken without
knife or plate, dish or spoon. Their food was corn _pone_, prepared in
the coarsest manner, with a small allowance of meat. Their meals in
the field were taken from the hands of the carrier, wherever he found
them, with no more ceremony than in the feeding of swine. My uncle was
his own overseer. For punishing in the field, he preferred a large
hickory stick; and wo to him whose work was not done to please him,
for the hickory was used upon our heads as remorselessly as if we had
been mad dogs. I was often the object of his fury, and shall bear the
marks of it on my body till I die. Such was my suffering and
degradation, that at the end of five years, I hardly dared to say I
was _free_. When thinning cotton, we went mostly on our knees. One
day, while thus engaged, my uncle found my row behind; and, by way of
admonition, gave me a few blows with his hickory, the marks of which I
carried for weeks. Often I followed the example of the fugitive
slaves, and betook myself to the mountains; but hunger and fear drove
me back, to share with the wretched slave his toil and stripes. But I
have talked enough about my own bondage; I will now relate a few
facts, showing the condition of the slaves _generally_.

"My uncle wishing to purchase what is called a good 'house wench,' a
_trader_ in human flesh soon produced a woman, recommending her as
highly as ever a jockey did a horse. She was purchased, but on trial
was found wanting in the requisite qualifications. She then fell a
victim to the disappointed rage of my uncle; innocent or guilty, she
suffered greatly from his fury. He used to tie her to a peach tree in
the yard, and whip her till there was no sound place to lay another
stroke, and repeat it so often that her back was kept continually
sore. Whipping the females around the legs, was a favorite mode of
punishment with him. They must stand and hold up their clothes, while
he plied his hickory. He did not, like some of his neighbors, keep a
pack of hounds for hunting runaway negroes, but be kept one dog for
that purpose, and when he came up with a runaway, it would have been
death to attempt to fly, and it was nearly so to stand. Sometimes,
when my uncle attempted to whip the slaves, the dog would rush upon
them and relieve them of their rags, if not of their flesh. One object
of my uncle's special hate was "Jerry," a slave of a proud spirit. He
defied all the curses, rage and stripes of his tyrant. Though he was
often overpowered--for my uncle would frequently wear out his stick
upon his head--yet be would never submit. As he was not expert in
picking cotton, he would sometimes run away in the fall, to escape
abuse. At one time, after an absence of some months, he was arrested
and brought back. As is customary, he was stripped, tied to a log, and
the cow-skin applied to his naked body till his master was exhausted.
Then a large log chain was fastened around one ankle, passed up his
back, over his shoulders, then across his breast, and fastened under
his arm. In this condition he was forced to perform his daily task.
Add to this he was chained each night, and compelled to chop wood
every Sabbath, to make up lost time. After being thus manacled for
some months, he was released--but his spirit was unsubdued. Soon
after, his master, in a paroxysm of rage, fell upon him, wore out his
staff upon his head, loaded him again with chains, and after a month,
sold him farther south. Another slave, by the name of Mince, who was a
man of great strength, purloined some bacon on a Christmas eve. It was
missed in the morning, and he being absent, was of course suspected.
On returning home, my uncle commanded him to come to him, but he
refused. The master strove in vain to lay hands on him; in vain he
ordered his slaves to seize him--they dared not. At length the master
hurled a stone at his head sufficient to have felled a bullock--but he
did not heed it. At that instant my aunt sprang forward, and
presenting the gun to my uncle, exclaimed, 'Shoot him! shoot him !' He
made the attempt, but the gun missed fire, and Mince fled. He was
taken eight or ten months after while crossing the Ohio. When brought
back, the master, and an overseer on another plantation, took him to
the mountain and punished him to their satisfaction in secret; after
which he was loaded with chains and set to his task.

"I here spent nearly all my life in the midst of slavery. From being
the son of a slaveholder, I descended to the condition of a slave, and
from that condition I rose (if you please to call it so,) to the
station of a '_driver_.' I have lived in Alabama, Tennessee, and
Kentucky; and I _know_ the condition of the slaves to be that of
unmixed wretchedness and degradation. And on the part of slaveholders,
there is cruelty _untold_. The labor of the slave is constant toil,
wrung out by fear. Their food is scanty, and taken without comfort.
Their clothes answer the purposes neither of comfort nor decency. They
are not allowed to read or write. Whether they may worship God or not,
depends on the will of the master. The young children, until they can
work, often go naked during the warm weather. I could spend months in
detailing the sufferings, degradation and cruelty inflicted upon
slaves. But my soul sickens at the remembrance of these things."


Mr. Sapington, is a repentant "soul driver" or slave trader, now a
citizen of Lancaster, Pa. He gives the following testimony in a letter
dated, Jan. 21, 1839.

"I was born in Maryland, afterwards moved to Virginia, where I
commenced the business of farming and trafficking in slaves. In my
neighborhood the slaves were 'quartered.' The description generally
given of negro quarters is correct. The quarters are without floors,
and not sufficient to keep off the inclemency of the weather, they are
uncomfortable both in summer and winter. The food there consists of
potatoes, pork, and corn, which were given to them daily, by weight
and measure. The sexes were huddled together promiscuously. Their
clothing is made by themselves after night, though sometimes assisted
by the old women who are no longer able to do out door work,
consequently it is harsh and uncomfortable. I have frequently seen
those of both sexes who have not attained the age of twelve years go
naked. Their punishments are invariably cruel. For the slightest
offence, such as taking a hen's egg, I have seen them stripped and
suspended by their hands, their feet tied together, a fence rail of
ordinary size placed between their ankles, and then most cruelly
whipped, until, from head to foot, they were completely lacerated, a
pickle made for the purpose of salt and water, would then be applied
by a fellow-slave, for the purpose of healing the wounds as well as
giving pain. Then taken down and without the least respite sent to
work with their hoe.

"Pursuing my assumed right of driving souls, I went to the Southern
part of Virginia for the purpose of trafficking in slaves. In that
part of the state, the cruelties practised upon the slaves, are far
greater than where I lived. The punishments there often resulted in
death to the slave. There was no law for the negro, but that of the
overseer's whip. In that part of the country, the slaves receive
nothing for food, but corn in the ear, which has to be prepared for
baking after working hours, by grinding it with a hand-mill. This they
take to the fields with them, and prepare it for eating, by holding it
on their hoes, over a fire made by a stump. Among the gangs, are often
young women, who bring their children to the fields, and lay them in a
fence corner, while they are at work, only being permitted to nurse
them at the option of the overseer. When a child is three weeks old, a
woman is considered in working order. I have seen a woman, with her
young child strapped to her back, laboring the whole day, beside a
man, perhaps the father of the child, and he not being permitted to
give her any assistance, himself being under the whip. The uncommon
humanity of the driver allowing her the comfort of doing so. I was
then selling a drove of slaves, which I had brought by water from
Baltimore, my conscience not allowing me to drive, as was generally
the case uniting the slaves by collars and chains, and thus driving
them under the whip. About that time an unaccountable something, which
I now know was an interposition of Providence, prevented me from
prosecuting any farther this unholy traffic; but though I had quitted
it, I still continued to live in a slave state, witnessing every day
its evil effects upon my fellow beings. Among which was a
heart-rending scene that took place in my father's house, which led me
to lease a slave state, as well as all the imaginary comforts arising
from slavery. On preparing for my removal to the state of
Pennsylvania, it became necessary for me to go to Louisville, in
Kentucky, where, if possible, I became more horrified with the
impositions practiced upon the negro than before. There a slave was
sold to go farther south, and was hand-cuffed for the purpose of
keeping him secure. But choosing death rather than slavery, he jumped
overboard and was drowned. When I returned four weeks afterwards his
body, that had floated three miles below, was yet unburied. One fact;
it is impossible for a person to pass through a slave state, if he has
eyes open, without beholding every day cruelties repugnant to

Respectfully Yours,



Mrs. Lory, is a member of the non-conformist church in Osnaburg, Stark
County, Ohio, she is a native of Kentucky. We have received from her
the following testimony.

"I resided in the family of Reuben Long, the principal part of the
time, from seven to twenty-two years of age. Mr. Long had 16 slaves,
among whom were three who were treated with severity, although Mr.
Long was thought to be a very human master. These three, namely John,
Ned, and James, had wives; John and Ned had theirs at some distance,
but James had his with him. All three died a premature death, and it
was generally believed by his neighbors, that extreme whipping was the
cause. I believe so too. Ned died about the age of 25 and John 34 or
35. The cause of their flogging was commonly staying a little over the
time, with their wives. Mr. Long would tie them up by the wrist, so
high that their toes would just touch the ground, and then with a
cow-hide lay the lash upon the naked back, until he was exhausted,
when he would sit down and rest. As soon as he had rested
sufficiently, he would ply the cow-hide again, thus he would continue
until the whole back of the poor victim was lacerated into one uniform
coat of blood. Yet he was a strict professor of the Christian
religion, in the southern church. I frequently washed the wounds of
John, with salt water, to prevent putrefaction. This was the usual
course pursued after a severe flogging; their backs would be full of
gashes, so deep the I could almost lay my finger in them. They were
generally laid up after the flogging for several days. The last
flogging Ned got, he was confined to the bed, which he never left till
he was carried to his grave. During John's confinement in his last
sickness on one occasion while attending on him, he exclaimed, 'oh,
Nancy, Miss Nancy, I haven't much longer in this world, I feel as if
my whole body inside and all my bones were beaten into a jelly.' Soon
after he died. John and Ned were both professors of religion.

"John Ruffner, a slaveholder, had one slave named Pincy, whom he as
well as Mrs. Ruffner would often flog very severely. I frequently saw
Mrs. Ruffner flog her with the broom, shovel, or any thing she could
seize in her rage. She would knock her down and then kick and stamp
her most unmercifully, until she would be apparently so lifeless, that
I more than once thought she would never recover. Often Pincy would
try to shelter herself from the blows of her mistress, by creeping
under the bed, from which Mrs. Ruffner would draw her by the feet, and
then stamp and leap on her body, till her breath would be gone. Often
Pincy, would cry, 'Oh Missee, don't kill me!' 'Oh Lord, don't kill
me!' 'For God's sake don't kill me!' But Mrs. Ruffner would beat and
stamp away, with all the venom of a demon. The cause of Pincy's
flogging was, not working enough, or making some mistake in baking,
&c. &c. Many a night Pincy had to lie on the bare floor, by the side
of the cradle, rocking the baby of her mistress, and if she would fall
asleep, and suffer the child to cry, so as to waken Mrs. Ruffner, she
would be sure to receive a flogging."


MR. W.C. GILDERSLEEVE, a native of Georgia, is an elder of the
Presbyterian Church at Wilkesbarre, Pa.

"_Acts of cruelty, without number, fell under my observation_ while I
lived in Georgia. I will mention but one. A slave of a Mr. Pinkney, on
his way with a wagon to Savannah, 'camped' for the night by the road
side. That night, the nearest hen-roost was robbed. On his return, the
hen-roost was again visited, and the fowl counted one less in the
morning. The oldest son, with some attendants made search, and came
upon the poor fellow, in the act of dressing his spoil. He was too
nimble for them, and made his retreat good into a dense swamp. When
much effort to start him from his hiding place had proved
unsuccessful, it was resolved to lay an ambush for him, some distance
ahead. The wagon, meantime, was in charge of a lad, who accompanied
the teamster as an assistant. The little boy lay still till nearly
night, (in the hope probably that the teamster would return,) when he
started with his wagon. After travelling some distance, the lost one
made his appearance, when the ambush sprang upon him. The poor fellow
was conducted back to the plantation. He expected little mercy. He
begged for himself, in the most suplicating manner, 'pray massa give
me 100 lashes and let me go.' He was then tied by the hands, to a limb
of a large mulberry tree, which grew in the yard, so that his feet
were raised a few inches from the ground, while a _sharpened stick_
was driven underneath that he might rest his weight on it, or swing by
his hands. In this condition 100 lashes were laid on his bare body. I
stood by and witnessed the whole, without as I recollect feeling the
least compassion. So hardening is the influence of slavery, that it
very much destroys feeling for the slave."


Mr. WHITE resided thirty-two years in Chatham county, North Carolina,
and is now a member of the Baptist Church, at Otter Creek Prairie,

About the 20th December 1830, a report was raised that the slaves in
Chatham county, North Carolina, were going to rise on Christmas day,
in consequence of which a considerable commotion ensued among the
inhabitants; orders were given by the Governor to the militia
captains, to appoint patrolling captains in each district, and orders
were given for every man subject to military duty to patrol as their
captains should direct. I went two nights in succession, and after
that refused to patrol at all. The reason why I refused was this,
orders were given to search every negro house for books or prints of
any kind, and _Bibles_ and _Hymn books_ were particularly mentioned.
And should we find any, our orders were to inflict punishment by
whipping the slave until he _informed who_ gave them to him, or how
they came by them.

As regards the comforts of the slaves in the vicinity of my residence,
I can say they had nothing that would bear that name. It is true, the
slaves in general, of a good crop year, were tolerably well fed, but
of a bad crop year, they were, as a general thing, cut short of their
allowance. Their houses were pole cabins, without loft or floor. Their
beds were made of what is there called "broom-straw." The men more
commonly sleep on benches. Their clothing would compare well with
their lodging. Whipping was common. It was hardly possible for a man
with a common pair of ears, if he was out of his house but a short
time on Monday mornings, to miss of hearing the sound of the lash, and
the cries of the sufferers pleading with their masters to desist.
These scenes were more common throughout the time of my residence
there, from 1799 to 1831.

Mr. Hedding of Chatham county, held a slave woman. I traveled past
Heddings as often as once in two weeks during the winter of 1828, and
always saw her clad in a single cotton dress, sleeves came half way to
the elbow, and in order to prevent her running away, a child, supposed
to be about seven years of age, was connected with her by a long chain
fastened round her neck, and in this situation she was compelled all
the day to grub up the roots of shrubs and sapplings to prepare ground
for the plough. It is not uncommon for slaves to make up on Sundays
what they are not able to perform through the week of their tasks.

At the time of the rumored insurrection above named, Chatham jail was
filled with slaves who were said to have been concerned in the plot.
Without the least evidence of it, they were punished in divers ways;
some were whipped, some had their _thumbs screwed in a vice_ to make
them confess, but no proof satisfactory was ever obtained that the
negroes had ever thought of an insurrection, nor did any so far as I
could learn, acknowledge that an insurrection had ever been projected.
From this time forth, the slaves were prohibited from assembling
together for the worship of God, and many of those who had previously
been authorized to preach the gospel were prohibited.

Amalgamation was common. There was scarce a family of slaves that had
females of mature age where there were not some mulatto children.


_Otter Creek Prairie, Jan. 22, 1839_.


Extract of a letter, dated January 3, 1839, from John M. Nelson, Esq.,
of Hillsborough. Mr. Nelson removed from Virginia to Highland county,
Ohio, many years since, where he is extensively known and respected.

I was born and raised in Augusta county, Virginia; my father was an
elder in the Presbyterian Church, and was "owner" of about twenty
slaves; he was what was generally termed a "good master." His slaves
were generally tolerably well fed and clothed, and not over worked,
they were sometimes permitted to attend church, and called in to
family worship; few of them, however, availed themselves of these
privileges. On _some occasions_ I have seen him whip them severely,
particularly for the crime of trying to obtain their liberty, or for
what was called, "running away." For _this_ they were scourged more
severely than for any thing else. After they have been retaken, I have
seen them stripped naked and suspended by the hands, sometimes to a
tree, sometimes to a post, until their toes barely touched the ground,
and whipped with a cowhide until the blood dripped from their backs. A
boy named Jack, particularly, I have seen served in this way more than
once. When I was quite a child, I recollect it grieved me very much to
see one _tied up_ to be whipped, and I used to intercede with tears in
their behalf, and mingle my cries with theirs, and feel almost willing
to take part of the punishment; I have been severely rebuked by my
father for this kind of sympathy. Yet, such is the hardening nature of
such scenes, that from this kind of commiseration for the suffering
slave, I became so blunted that I could not only witness their stripes
with composure, but _myself_ inflict them, and that without remorse.
One case I have often looked back to with sorrow and contrition,
particularly since I have been convinced that "negroes are men." When
I was perhaps fourteen or fifteen years of age, I undertook to correct
a young fellow named Ned, for some supposed offence; I think it was
leaving a bridle out of its proper place; he being larger and stronger
than myself took hold of my arms and held me, in order to prevent my
striking him; this I considered the height of insolence, and cried for
help, when my father and mother both came running to my rescue. My
father stripped and tied him, and took him into the orchard, where
switches were plenty, and directed me to whip him; when one switch
wore out he supplied me with others. After I had whipped him a while,
he fell on his knees to implore forgiveness, and I kicked him in the
face; my father said, "don't kick him, but whip him;" this I did until
his back was literally covered with _welts_. I know I have repented,
and trust I have obtained pardon for these things.

My father owned a woman, (we used to call aunt Grace,) she was
purchased in Old Virginia. She has told me that her old master, in his
_will_, gave her her freedom, but at his death, his sons had sold her
to my father: when he bought her she manifested some unwillingness to
go with him, when she was put in irons and taken by force. This was
before I was born; but I remember to have seen the irons, and was told
that was what they had been used for. Aunt Grace is still living, and
must be between seventy and eighty years of age; she has, for the last
forty years, been an exemplary Christian. When I was a youth I took
some pains to learn her to read; this is now a great consolation to
her. Since age and infirmity have rendered her of little value to her
"owners," she is permitted to read as much as she pleases; this she
can do, with the aid of glasses, in the old family Bible, which is
almost the only book she has ever looked into. This with some little
mending for the black children, is all she does; she is still held as
a slave. I well remember what a _heart-rending scene_ there was in the
family when _my father sold her husband_; this was, I suppose,
thirty-five years ago. And yet my father was considered one of the
best of masters. I know of few who were better, but of _many_ who were

The last time I saw my father, which was in the fall of 1832, he
promised me that he would free all his slaves at his death. He died
however without doing it; and I have understood since, that he omitted
it, through the influence of Rev. Dr. Speece, a Presbyterian minister,
who lived in the family, and was a _warm friend of the Colonization

About the year 1809 or 10, I became a student of Rev. George Bourne;
he was the first abolitionist I had ever seen, and the first I had
ever heard pray or plead for the oppressed, which gave me the first
misgivings about the _innocence_ of slaveholding. I received
impressions from Mr. Bourne which I could not get rid of,[6] and
determined in my own mind that when I settled in life, it should be in
a free state; this determination I carried into effect in 1813, when I
removed to this place, which I supposed at that time, to be all the
opposition to slavery that was necessary, but the moment I became
convinced that all slaveholding was in itself _sinful_, I became an
abolitionist, which was about four years ago.

[Footnote 6: Mr. Bourne resided seven years in Virginia, "in perils
among false brethren; fiercely persecuted for his faithful testimony
against slavery. More than twenty years since he published a work
entitled 'The Book and Slavery irreconcileable.'"]


Mrs. Weld is the youngest daughter of the late Judge Grimké, of the
Supreme Court of South Carolina, and a sister of the late Hon. Thomas
S. Grimké, of Charleston.

Fort Lee, Bergen Co., New Jersey, Fourth month 6th, 1839.

I sit down to comply with thy request, preferred in the name of the
Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society. The
responsibility laid upon me by such a request, leaves me no option.
While I live, and slavery lives, I _must_ testify against it. If I
should hold my peace, "the stone would cry out of the wall, and the
beam out of the timber would answer it." But though I feel a necessity
upon me, and "a woe unto me," if I withhold my testimony, I give it
with a heavy heart. My flesh crieth out, "if it be possible, let
_this_ cup pass from me;" but, "Father, _thy_ will be done," is, I
trust, the breathing of my spirit. Oh, the slain of the daughter of my
people! they lie in all the ways; their tears fall as the rain, and
are their meat day and night; their blood runneth down like water;
their plundered hearths are desolate; they weep for their husbands and
children, because they are not; and the proud waves do continually go
over them, while no eye pitieth, and no man careth for their souls.

But it is not alone for the sake of my poor brothers and sisters in
bonds, or for the cause of truth, and righteousness, and humanity,
that I testify; the deep yearnings of affection for the mother that
bore me, who is still a slaveholder, both in fact and in heart; for my
brothers and sisters, (a large family circle,) and for my numerous
other slaveholding kindred in South Carolina, constrain me to speak:
for even were slavery no curse to its victims, the exercise of
arbitrary power works such fearful ruin upon the hearts of
_slaveholders_, that I should feel impelled to labor and pray for its
overthrow with my last energies and latest breath.

I think it important to premise, that I have seen almost nothing of
slavery on _plantations_. My testimony will have respect exclusively
to the treatment of "_house-servants_," and chiefly those belonging to
the first families in the city of Charleston, both in the religious
and in the fashionable world. And here let me say, that the treatment
of _plantation_ slaves cannot be fully known, except by the poor
sufferers themselves, and their drivers and overseers. In a multitude
of instances, even the master can know very little of the actual
condition of his own field-slaves, and his wife and daughters far
less. A few facts concerning my own family will show this. Our
permanent residence was in Charleston; our country-seat (Bellemont,)
was 200 miles distant, in the north-western part of the state; where,
for some years, our family spent a few months annually. Our
_plantation_ was three miles from this family mansion. There, all the
field-slaves lived and worked. Occasionally, once a month, perhaps,
some of the family would ride over to the plantation, but I never
visited the _fields where the slaves were at work_, and knew almost
nothing of their condition; but this I do know, that the overseers who
had charge of them, were generally unprincipled and intemperate men.
But I rejoice to know, that the general treatment of slaves in that
region of country, was far milder than on the plantations in the lower

Throughout all the eastern and middle portions of the state, the
planters very rarely reside permanently on their plantations. They
have almost invariably _two residences_, and spend less than half the
year on their estates. Even while spending a few months on them,
politics, field-sports, races, speculations, journeys, visits,
company, literary pursuits, &c., absorb so much of their time, that
they must, to a considerable extent, take the condition of their
slaves _on trust_, from the reports of their overseers. I make this
statement, because these slaveholders (the wealthier class,) are, I
believe, almost the only ones who visit the north with their
families;--and northern opinions of slavery are based chiefly on their

But not to dwell on preliminaries, I wish to record my testimony to
the faithfulness and accuracy with which my beloved sister, Sarah M.
Grimké, has, in her 'narrative and testimony,' on a preceding page,
described the condition of the slaves, and the effect upon the hearts
of slaveholders, (even the best,) caused by the exercise of unlimited
power over moral agents. Of the _particular acts_ which she has
stated, I have no personal knowledge, as they occurred before my
remembrance; but of the spirit that prompted them, and that constantly
displays itself in scenes of similar horror, the recollections of my
childhood, and the effaceless imprint upon my riper years, with the
breaking of my heart-strings, when, finding that I was powerless to
shield the victims, I tore myself from my home and friends, and became
an exile among strangers--all these throng around me as witnesses, and
their testimony is graven on my memory with a pen of fire.

Why I did not become totally hardened, under the daily operation of
this system, God only knows; in deep solemnity and gratitude, I say,
it was the _Lord's_ doing, and marvellous in mine eyes. Even before my
heart was touched with the love of Christ, I used to say, "Oh that I
had the wings of a dove, that I might flee away and be at rest;" for I
felt that there could be no rest for me in the midst of such outrages
and pollutions. And yet I saw _nothing_ of slavery in its most vulgar
and repulsive forms. I saw it in the city, among the fashionable and
the honorable, where it was garnished by refinement, and decked out
for show. A few _facts_ will unfold the state of society in the circle
with which I was familiar far better than any general assertions I can

I will first introduce the reader to a woman of the highest
respectability--one who was foremost in every benevolent enterprise,
and stood for many years, I may say, at the _head_ of the fashionable
Elite of the city of Charleston, and afterwards at the head of the
moral and religious female society there. It was after she had made a
profession of religion, and retired from the fashionable world, that I
knew her; therefore I will present her in her religious character.
This lady used to keep cowhides, or small paddles, (called 'pancake
sticks,') in four different apartments in her house; so that when she
wished to punish, or to have punished, any of her slaves, she might
not have the trouble of sending for an instrument of torture. For many
years, one or other, and _often_ more of her slaves, were flogged
_every day_; particularly the young slaves about the house, whose
faces were slapped, or their hands beat with the 'pancake stick; for
every trifling offence--and often for no fault at all. But the
floggings were not all; the scolding, and abuse daily heaped upon them
all, were worse: 'fools' and 'liars,' 'sluts' and 'husseys,'
'hypocrites' and 'good-for-nothing creatures'; were the common
epithets with which her mouth was filled, when addressing her slaves,
adults as well as children. Very often she would take a position at
her window, in an upper story, and scold at her slaves while working
in the garden, at some distance from the house, (a large yard
intervening,) and occasionally order a flogging. I have known her thus
on the watch, scolding for more than an hour at a time, in so loud a
voice that the whole neighborhood could hear her; and this without the
least apparent feeling of shame. Indeed, it was no disgrace among
slaveholders, and did not in the least injure her standing, either as
a lady or a Christian, in the aristocratic circle in which she moved.
After the 'revival' in Charleston, in 1825, she opened her house to
social prayer-meetings. The room in which they were held in the
evening, and where the voice of prayer was heard around the family
altar, and where she herself retired for private devotion thrice each
day, was the very place in which, when her slaves were to be whipped
with the cowhide, they were taken to receive the infliction; and the
wail of the sufferer would be heard, where, perhaps only a few hours
previous, rose the voices of prayer and praise. This mistress would
occasionally send her slaves, male and female, to the Charleston
work-house to be punished. One poor girl, whom she sent there to be
flogged, and who was accordingly stripped _naked_ and whipped, showed
me the deep gashes on her back--I might have laid my whole finger in
them--_large pieces of flesh had actually been cut out by the
torturing lash_. She sent another female slave there, to be imprisoned
and worked on the tread-mill. This girl was confined several days, and
forced to work the mill while in a state of suffering from another
cause. For ten days or two weeks after her return, she was lame, from
the violent exertion necessary to enable her to keep the step on the
machine. She spoke to me with intense feeling of this outrage upon
her, as a _woman_. Her men servants were sometimes flogged there; and
so exceedingly offensive has been the putrid flesh of their lacerated
backs, for days after the infliction, that they would be kept out of
the house--the smell arising from their wounds being too horrible to
be endured. They were always stiff and sore for some days, and not in
a condition to be seen by visitors.

This professedly Christian woman was a most awful illustration of the
ruinous influence of arbitrary power upon the temper--her bursts of
passion upon the heads of her victims were dreaded even by her own
children, and very often, all the pleasure of social intercourse
around the domestic board, was destroyed by her ordering the cook into
her presence, and storming at him, when the dinner or breakfast was
not prepared to her taste, and in the presence of all her children,
commanding the waiter to slap his face. _Fault-finding_, was with her
the constant accompaniment of every meal, and banished that peace
which should hover around the social board, and smile on every face.
It was common for her to order brothers to whip their own sisters, and
sisters their own brothers, and yet no woman visited among the poor
more than she did, or gave more liberally to relieve their wants.
This may seem perfectly unaccountable to a northerner, but these
seeming contradictions vanish when we consider that over _them_ she
possessed no arbitrary power, they were always presented to her mind
as unfortunate sufferers, towards whom her sympathies most freely
flowed; she was ever ready to wipe the tears from _their_ eyes, and
open wide her purse for _their_ relief, but the others were her
_vassals_, thrust down by public opinion beneath her feet, to be at
her beck and call, ever ready to serve in all humility, her, whom God
in his providence had set over them--it was their _duty_ to abide in
abject submission, and hers to _compel_ them to do so--_it was thus
that she reasoned_. Except at family prayers, none were permitted to
_sit_ in her presence, but the seamstresses and waiting maids, and
they, however delicate might be their circumstances, were forced to
sit upon low stools, without backs, that they might be constantly
reminded of their inferiority. A slave who waited in the house, was
guilty on a particular occasion of going to visit his wife, and kept
dinner waiting a little, (his wife was the slave of a lady who lived
at a little distance.)  When the family sat down to the table, the
mistress began to scold the waiter for the offence--he attempted to
excuse himself--she ordered him to hold his tongue--he ventured
another apology; her son then rose from the table in a rage, and beat
the face and ears of the waiter so dreadfully that the blood gushed
from his mouth, and nose, and ears. This mistress was a _professor of
religion_; her daughter who related the circumstance, was a _fellow
member_ of the Presbyterian church _with the poor outraged
slave_--instead of feeling indignation at this outrageous abuse of her
brother in the church, she justified the deed, and said "he got just
what he deserved."  I solemnly believe this to be a true picture of
_slaveholding religion_.

The following is another illustration of it:

A mistress in Charleston sent a grey headed female slave to the
workhouse, and had her severely flogged. The poor old woman went to
an acquaintance of mine and begged her to buy her, and told her how
cruelly she had been whipped. My friend examined her _lacerated back_,
and out of compassion did purchase her. The circumstance was
mentioned to one of the former owner's relatives, who asked her if it
were true. The mistress told her it was, and said that she had made
the severe whipping of this aged woman a _subject of prayer_, and that
she believed she had done right to have it inflicted upon her. The
last 'owner' of the poor old slave, said she, had no fault to find
with her as a servant.

I remember very well that when I was a child, our next door neighbor
whipped a young woman so brutally, that in order to escape his blows
she rushed through the drawing-room window in the second story, and
fell upon the street pavement below and broke her hip. This
circumstance produced no excitement or inquiry.

The following circumstance occurred in Charleston, in 1828:

A slaveholder, after flogging a little girl about thirteen years old,
set her on a table with her feet fastened in a pair of stocks. He then
locked the door and took out the key. When the door was opened she
was found dead, having fallen from the table. When I asked a
prominent lawyer, who belonged to one of the first families in the
State, whether the murderer of this helpless child could not be
indicted, he coolly replied, that the slave was Mr. ----'s property,
and if he chose to suffer the _loss_, no one else had any thing to do
with it. The loss of _human life_, the distress of the parents and
other relatives of the little girl, seemed utterly out of his
thoughts: it was the loss of _property_ only that presented itself to
his mind.

I knew a gentleman of great benevolence and generosity of character,
so essentially to injure the eye of a little boy, about ten years old,
as to destroy its sight, by the blow of a cowhide, inflicted whilst he
was whipping him.[7]  I have heard the same individual speak of
"breaking down the spirit of a slave under the lash" as perfectly

[Footnote 7: The Jewish law would have set this servant free, for his
eye's sake, but he was held in slavery and sold from hand to hand,
although, besides this title to his liberty according to Jewish law,
he was a _mulatto_, and therefore free under the Constitution of the
United States, in whose preamble our fathers declare that they
established it expressly to "secure the blessings of _liberty_ to
themselves and _their posterity_."--Ed.]

I also know that an aged slave of his, (by marriage,) was allowed to
get a scanty and precarious subsistence, by begging in the streets of
Charleston--he was too old to work, and therefore _his allowance was
stopped_, and he was turned out to make his living by begging.

When I was about thirteen years old, I attended a seminary, in
Charleston, which was superintended by a man and his wife of superior
education. They had under their instruction the daughters of nearly
all the aristocracy. Their cruelty to their slaves, both male and
female, I can never forget. I remember one day there was called into
the school room to open a window, a boy whose head had been shaved in
order to disgrace him, and he had been so dreadfully whipped that he
could hardly walk. So horrible was the impression produced upon my
mind by his heart-broken countenance and crippled person that I
fainted away. The sad and ghastly countenance of one of their female
mulatto slaves who used to sit on a low stool at her sewing in the
piazza, is now fresh before me. She often told me, secretly, how
cruelly she was whipped when they sent her to the work house. I had
known so much of the terrible scourgings inflicted in that house of
blood, that when I was once obliged to pass it, the very sight smote
me with such horror that my limbs could hardly sustain me. I felt as
if I was passing the precincts of hell. A friend of mine who lived in
the neighborhood, told me she often heard the screams of the slaves
under their torture.

I once heard a physician of a high family, and of great respectability
in his profession, say, that when he sent his slaves to the work-house
to be flogged, he always went to see it done, that he might be sure
they were properly, i.e. _severely_ whipped. He also related the
following circumstance in my presence. He had sent a youth of about
eighteen to this horrible place to be whipped and _afterwards_ to be
worked upon the treadmill. From not keeping the step, which probably
he COULD NOT do, in consequence of the lacerated state of his body;
his arm got terribly torn, from the shoulder to the wrist. This
physician said, he went every day to attend to it himself, in order
that he might use those restoratives, which _would inflict the
greatest possible pain_. This poor boy, after being imprisoned there
for some weeks, was then brought home, and compelled to wear iron
clogs on his ankles for one or two months. I saw him with those irons
on one day when I was at the house. This man was, when young,
remarkable in the fashionable world for his elegant and fascinating
manners, but the exercise of the slaveholder's power has thrown the
fierce air of tyranny even over these.

I heard another man of equally high standing say, that he believed he
suffered far more than his waiter did whenever he flogged him for he
felt the _exertion_ for days afterward, but he could not let his
servant go on in the neglect of his business, it was _his duty_ to
chastise him. "His duty" to flog this boy of seventeen so severely
that he felt _the exertion_ for days after! and yet he never felt it
to be his duty to instruct him, or have him instructed, even in the
common principles of morality. I heard the mother of this man say it
would be no surprise to her, if he killed a slave some day, for, that,
when transported with passion he did not seem to care what he did. He
once broke a _large_ stick over the back of a slave and at another
time the ivory butt-end of a long coach whip over the _head_ of
another. This last was attacked with epileptic fits some months after,
and has ever since been subject to them, and occasionally to violent
fits of insanity.

Southern mistresses sometimes flog their slaves themselves though
generally one slave is compelled to flog another. Whilst staying at a
friend's house some years ago, I one day saw the mistress with a
cow-hide in her hand, and heard her scolding in an under tone, her
waiting man, who was about twenty-five years old. Whether she actually
inflicted the blows I do not know, for I hastened out of sight and
hearing. It was not the first time I had seen a mistress thus engaged.
I knew she was a cruel mistress, and had heard her daughters
disputing, whether their mother did right or wrong, to send the slave
_children_, (whom she sent out to sweep chimneys) to the work house to
be whipped if they did not bring in their wages regularly. This woman
moved in the most fashionable circle in Charleston. The income of this
family was derived mostly from the hire of their slaves, about one
hundred in number. Their luxuries were blood-bought luxuries indeed.
And yet what stranger would ever have inferred their cruelties from
the courteous reception and bland manners of the parlor. Every thing
cruel and revolting is carefully concealed from strangers, especially
those from the north. Take an instance. I have known the master and
mistress of a family send to their friends to _borrow_ servants to
wait on company, because their own slaves had been so cruelly flogged
in the work house, that they could not walk without limping at every
step, and their putrified flesh emitted such an intolerable smell that
they were not fit to be in the presence of company. How can
northerners know these things when they are hospitably received at
southern tables and firesides? I repeat it, no one who has not been an
_integral part_ of a slaveholding community, can have any idea of its
abominations. It is a whited sepulchre full of dead men's bones and
all uncleanness. Blessed be God, the Angel of _Truth_ has descended
and rolled away the stone from the mouth of the sepulchre, and sits
upon it. The abominations so long hidden are now brought forth before
all Israel and the sun. Yes, the Angel of Truth _sits upon this
stone_, and it can never be rolled back again.

The utter disregard of the comfort of the slaves, in _little_ things,
can scarcely be conceived by those who have not been a _component
part_ of slaveholding communities. Take a few particulars out of
hundreds that might be named. In South Carolina musketoes swarm in
myriads, more than half the year--they are so excessively annoying at
night, that no family thinks of sleeping without nets or
"musketoe-bars" hung over their bedsteads, yet slaves are never
provided with them, unless it be the favorite old domestics who get
the cast-off pavilions; and yet these very masters and mistresses will
be so kind to their _horses_ as to provide them with _fly nets_.
Bedsteads and bedding too, are rarely provided for any of the
slaves--if the waiters and coachmen, waiting maids, cooks, washers,
&c., have beds at all, they must generally get them for themselves.
Commonly they lie down at night on the bare floor, with a small
blanket wrapped round them in winter, and in summer a coarse osnaburg
sheet, or nothing. Old slaves generally have beds, but it is because
when younger _they have provided them for themselves._

Only two meals a day are allowed the house slaves--the _first at
twelve o'clock_. If they eat before this time, it is by stealth, and I
am sure there must be a good deal of suffering among them from
_hunger_, and particularly by children. Besides this, they are often
kept from their meals by way of punishment. No table is provided for
them to eat from. They know nothing of the comfort and pleasure of
gathering round the social board--each takes his plate or tin pan and
iron spoon and holds it in the hand or on the lap. I _never_ saw
slaves seated round a _table_ to partake of any meal.

As the general rule, no lights of any kind, no firewood--no towels,
basins, or soap, no tables, chairs, or other furniture, are provided.
Wood for cooking and washing _for the family_ is found, but when the
master's work is done, the slave must find wood for himself if he has
a fire. I have repeatedly known slave children kept the whole winter's
evening, sitting on the stair-case in a cold entry, just to be at hand
to snuff candles or hand a tumbler of water from the side-board, or go
on errands from one room to another. It may be asked why they were not
permitted to stay in the parlor, when they would be still more at
hand. I answer, because waiters are not allowed to _sit_ in the
presence of their owners, and as children who were kept running all
day, would of course get very tired of standing for two or three
hours, they were allowed to go into the entry and sit on the staircase
until rung for. Another reason is, that even slaveholders at times
find the presence of slaves very annoying; they cannot exercise entire
freedom of speech before them on all subjects.

I have also known instances where seamstresses were kept in cold
entries to work by the stair case lamps for one or two hours, every
evening in winter--they could not see without standing up all the
time, though the work was often too large and heavy for them to sew
upon it in that position without great inconvenience, and yet they
were expected to do their work as _well_ with their cold fingers, and
standing up, as if they had been sitting by a comfortable fire and
provided with the necessary light. House slaves suffer a great deal
also from not being allowed to leave the house without permission. If
they wish to go even for a draught of water, they must _ask leave_,
and if they stay longer than the mistress thinks necessary, they are
liable to be punished, and often are scolded or slapped, or kept from
going down to the next meal.

It frequently happens that relatives, among slaves, are separated for
weeks or months, by the husband or brother being taken by the master
on a journey, to attend on his horses and himself.--When they return,
the white husband seeks the wife of his love; but the black husband
must wait to see _his_ wife, until mistress pleases to let her
chambermaid leave her room. Yes, such is the despotism of slavery,
that wives and sisters dare not run to meet their husbands and
brothers after such separations, and hours sometimes elapse before
they are allowed to meet; and, at times, a fiendish pleasure is taken
in keeping them asunder--this furnishes an opportunity to vent
feelings of spite for any little neglect of "duty."

The sufferings to which slaves are subjected by separations of various
kinds, cannot be imagined by those unacquainted with the working out
of the system behind the curtain. Take the following instances.

Chambermaids and seamstresses often sleep in their mistresses'
apartments, but with no bedding at all. I know an instance of a woman
who has been married eleven years, and yet has never been allowed to
sleep out of her mistress's chamber.--This is a _great_ hardship to
slaves. When we consider that house slaves are rarely allowed social
intercourse during _the day_, as their work generally _separates_
them; the barbarity of such an arrangement is obvious. It is
peculiarly a hardship in the above case, as the husband of the woman
does not "belong" to her "owner;" and because he is subject to
dreadful attacks of illness, and can have but little attention from
his wife in the _day_. And yet her mistress, who is an old lady, gives
her the highest character as a faithful servant, and told a friend of
mine, that she was "entirely dependent upon her for _all_ her
comforts; she dressed and undressed her, gave her all her food, and
was so _necessary_ to her that she could not do without her." I may
add, that this couple are tenderly attached to each other.

I also know an instance in which the husband was a slave and the wife
was free: during the illness of the former, the latter was _allowed_
to come and nurse him; she was obliged to leave the work by which she
had made a living, and come to stay with her husband, and thus lost
weeks of her time, or he would have suffered for want of proper
attention; and yet his "owner" made her no compensation for her
services. He had long been a faithful and a favorite slave, and his
owner was a woman very benevolent to the poor whites.--She went a
great deal among these, as a visiting commissioner of the Ladies'
Benevolent Society, and was in the constant habit of _paying the
relatives of the poor whites_ for nursing _their_ husbands, fathers,
and other relations; because she thought it very hard, when their time
was taken up, so that they could not earn their daily bread, that they
should be left to suffer. Now, such is the stupifying influence of the
"_chattel_ principle" on the minds of slaveholders, that I do not
suppose it ever occurred to her that this poor _colored_ wife ought to
be paid for her services, and particularly as she was spending her
time and strength in taking care of her "_property_." She no doubt
only thought how kind she was, to _allow_ her to come and stay so long
in her yard; for, let it be kept in mind, that slaveholders have
unlimited power to separate husbands and wives, parents and children,
however and whenever they please; and if this mistress had chosen to
do it, she could have debarred this woman from all intercourse with
her husband, by forbidding her to enter her premises.

Persons who own plantations and yet live in cities, often take
children from their parents as soon as they are weaned, and send them
into the country; because they do not want the time of the mother
taken up by attendance upon her own children, it being too valuable to
the mistress. As a _favor_, she is, in some cases, permitted to go to
see them once a year. So, on the other hand, if field slaves happen to
have children of an age suitable to the convenience of the master,
they are taken from their parents and brought to the city. Parents are
almost never consulted as to the disposition to be made of their
children; they have as little control over them, as have domestic
animals over the disposal of their young. Every natural and social
feeling and affection are violated with indifference; slaves are
treated as though they did not possess them.

Another way in which the feelings of slaves are trifled with and often
deeply wounded, is by changing their names; if, at the time they are
brought into a family, there is another slave of the same name; or if
the owner happens, for some other reason, not to like the name of the
new comer. I have known slaves very much grieved at having the names
of their children thus changed, when they had been called after a dear
relation. Indeed it would be utterly impossible to recount the
multitude of ways in which the _heart_ of the slave is continually
lacerated by the total disregard of his feelings as a social being and
a human creature.

The slave suffers also greatly from being continually watched. The
system of espionage which is constantly kept up over slaves is the
most worrying and intolerable that can be imagined. Many mistresses
are, in fact, during the absence of their husbands, really their
drivers; and the pleasure of returning to their families often, on the
part of the husband, is entirely destroyed by the complaints preferred
against the slaves when he comes home to his meals.

A mistress of my acquaintance asked her servant boy, one day, what was
the reason she could not get him to do his work whilst his master was
away, and said to him, "Your master works a great deal harder than you
do; he is at his office all day, and often has to study his law cases
at night." "Master," said the boy, "is working for himself, and for
you, ma'am, but I am working for _him_". The mistress turned and
remarked to a friend, that she was so struck with the truth of the
remark, that she could not say a word to him. But I forbear--the
sufferings of the slaves are not only innumerable, but they are
_indescribable_. I may paint the agony of kindred torn from each
other's arms, to meet no more in time; I may depict the inflictions of
the blood-stained lash, but I cannot describe the daily, hourly,
ceaseless torture, endured by the heart that is constantly trampled
under the foot of despotic power. This is a part of the horrors of
slavery which, I believe, no one has ever attempted to delineate; I
wonder not at it, it mocks all power of language. Who can describe the
anguish of that mind which feels itself impaled upon the iron of
arbitrary power--its living, writhing, helpless victim! every human
susceptibility tortured, its sympathies torn, and stung, and
bleeding--always feeling the death-weapon in its heart, and yet not so
deep as to _kill_ that humanity which is made the curse of Its

In the course of my testimony I have entered somewhat into the
_minutiae_ of slavery, because this is a part of the subject often
overlooked, and cannot be appreciated by any but those who have been
witnesses, and entered into sympathy with the slaves as human beings.
Slaveholders think nothing of them, because they regard their slaves
as _property_, the mere instruments of their convenience and pleasure.
_One who is a slaveholder at heart never recognises a human being in a

As thou hast asked me to testify respecting the _physical condition_
of the slaves merely, I say nothing of the awful neglect of their
_minds and souls_ and the systematic effort to imbrute them. A wrong
and an impiety, in comparison with which all the other unutterable
wrongs of slavery are but as the dust of the balance.




Before presenting to the reader particular details of the cruelties
inflicted upon American slaves, we will present in brief the
well-weighed declarations of slaveholders and other residents of slave
states, testifying that the slaves are treated with barbarous
inhumanity. All _details_ and particulars will be drawn out under
their appropriate heads. We propose in this place to present testimony
of a _general character_--the solemn declarations of slaveholders and
others, that the slaves are treated with great cruelty.

To discredit the testimony of witnesses who insist upon convicting
themselves, would be an anomalous scepticism.

To show that American slavery has _always_ had one uniform character
of diabolical cruelty, we will go back one hundred years, and prove it
by unimpeachable witnesses, who have given their deliberate testimony
to its horrid barbarity, from 1739 to 1839.


In a letter written by him in Georgia, and addressed to the
slaveholders of Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina and
Georgia, in 1739.--See Benezet's "Caution to Great Britain and her

"As I lately passed through your provinces on my way hither, I was
sensibly touched with a fellow-feeling of the miseries of the poor

"Sure I am, it is sinful to use them as bad, nay worse than if they
were brutes; and whatever particular _exceptions_ there may be, (as I
would charitably hope there are _some_,) I fear the _generality_ of
you that own negroes _are liable to such a charge_. Not to mention
what numbers have been given up to the inhuman usage of cruel
_taskmasters_, who by their unrelenting scourges, have ploughed their
backs and made long furrows, and at length brought them to the grave!

"_The blood of them, spilt for these many years, in your respective
provinces, will ascend up to heaven against you!_" The following is
the testimony of the celebrated JOHN WOOLMAN, an eminent minister of
the Society of Friends, who traveled extensively in the slave state.
We copy it from a "Memoir of JOHN WOOLMAN, chiefly extracted from a
Journal of his Life and Travels." It was published in Philadelphia, by
the "Society of Friends."

"The following reflections, were written in 1757, while he was
traveling on a religious account among slaveholders."

"Many of the white people in these provinces, take little or no care
of negro marriages; and when negroes marry, after their own way, some
make so little account of those marriages, that, with views of outward
interest, they often part men from their wives, by selling them far
asunder; which is common when estates are sold by executors at vendue.

"Many whose labor is heavy, being followed at their business in the
field by a man with a whip, hired for that purpose,--have, in common,
little else allowed them but _one peck_ of Indian corn and some salt
for one week, with a few potatoes. (The potatoes they commonly raise
by their labor on the first day of the week.) The correction ensuing
on their disobedience to overseers, or slothfulness in business, is
often _very severe_, and sometimes _desperate_. Men and women have
many times _scarce clothes enough to hide their nakedness_--and boys
and girls, ten and twelve years old, are often _quite naked_ among
their masters' children. Some use endeavors to instruct those (negro
children) they have in reading; but in common, this is not only
neglected, but disapproved."--p. 12.

30, 1788.

"In the ordinary course of the business of the country, the punishment
of relations frequently happens on the same farm, and in view of each
other: the father often sees his beloved son--the son his venerable
sire--the mother her much loved daughter--the daughter her
affectionate parent--the husband sees the wife of his bosom, and she
the husband of her affection, _cruelly bound up_ without delicacy or
mercy, and without daring to interpose in each other's behalf, and
punished with all the _extremity of incensed rage, and all the rigor
of unrelenting severity_. Let us reverse the case, and suppose it ours:


In a speech before the Maryland House of Delegates, in 1789, Mr. P.
calls slavery in that state, "a speaking picture of _abominable
oppression_;" and adds: "It will not do thus to ... act like
_unrelenting tyrants_, perpetually sermonizing it with liberty as our
text, and actual _oppression_ for our commentary. Is she [Maryland]
not ... the foster mother of _petty despots_,--the patron of _wanton

Extract from a speech of Mr. RICE, in the Convention for forming the
Constitution of Kentucky, in 1790:

"The master may, and _often does, inflict upon him all the severity of
punishment the human body is capable of bearing."_

President Edwards, the Younger, in a sermon before the Connecticut
Abolition Society, 1791, says:

"From these drivers, for every imagined, as well as real neglect or
want of exertion, they receive the lash--the smack of which is all day
long in the ears of those who are on the plantation or in the
vicinity; and it is used with such dexterity and severity, as not only
to lacerate the skin, but to tear out small portions of the flesh at
almost every stroke.

"This is the general treatment of the slaves. But many individuals
suffer still more severely. _Many, many are knocked down; some have
their eyes beaten out: some have an arm or a leg broken, or chopped
off_; and many, for a very small, or for no crime at all, have been
beaten to death, merely to gratify the fury of an enraged master or

Extract from an oration, delivered at Baltimore, July 4, 1797, by
GEORGE BUCHANAN, M.D., member of the American Philosophical Society.

Their situation (the slaves') is _insupportable_; misery inhabits
their cabins, and pursues them in the field. Inhumanly beaten, they
_often_ fall sacrifices to the turbulent tempers of their masters! Who
is there, unless inured to savage cruelties, that can hear of the
inhuman punishments _daily inflicted_ upon the unfortunate blacks,
without feeling for them? Can a man who calls himself a Christian,
coolly and deliberately tie up, _thumb-screw, torture with pincers_,
and beat unmercifully a poor slave, for perhaps a trifling neglect of
duty?--p. 14.


In one of his Congressional speeches, Mr. R. says: "Avarice alone can
drive, as it does drive, this _infernal_ traffic, and the wretched
victims of it, like so many post-horses _whipped to death_ in a mail
coach. Ambition has its cover-sluts in the pride, pomp, and
circumstance of glorious war; but where are the trophies of avarice?
_The hand-cuff; the manacle, the blood-stained cowhide!_"

MAJOR STODDARD, of the United States' army, who took possession of
Louisiana in behalf of the United States, under the cession of 1804,
in his Sketches of Louisiana, page 332, says:

"The feelings of humanity are outraged--the most odious tyranny
exercised in a land of freedom, and hunger and nakedness prevail
amidst plenty. * * * Cruel, and even unusual punishments are daily
inflicted on these wretched creatures, enfeebled with hunger, labor
and the lash. The scenes of misery and distress constantly witnessed
along the coast of the Delta, [of the Mississippi,] the wounds and
lacerations occasioned by demoralized masters and overseers, torture
the feelings of the passing stranger, and wring blood from the heart."

Though only the third of the following series of resolutions is
directly relevant to the subject now under consideration, we insert
the other resolutions, both because they are explanatory of the third,
and also serve to reveal the public sentiment of Indiana, at the date
of the resolutions. As a large majority of the citizens of Indiana at
that time, were _natives of slave states_, they well knew the actual
condition of the slaves.

1. "RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY, by the Legislative Council and House of
Representatives of Indiana Territory, that a suspension of the sixth
article of compact between the United States and the territories and
states north west of the river Ohio, passed the 13th day of January,
1783, for the term of ten years, would be highly advantageous to the
territory, and meet the approbation of at least nine-tenths of the
good citizens of the same."

2. "RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY, that the abstract question of liberty and
slavery, is not considered as involved in a suspension of the said
article, inasmuch as the number of slaves in the United States would
not be augmented by the measure."

3. "RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY, that the suspension of the said article
would be equally advantageous to the territory, to the states from
whence the negroes would be brought, and _to the negroes themselves._
The states which are overburthened with negroes which they cannot
comfortably support; * * and THE NEGRO HIMSELF WOULD EXCHANGE A SCANTY
PITTANCE OF THE COARSEST FOOD, for a plentiful and nourishing diet;
and a situation which admits not the most distant prospect of
emancipation, for one which presents no considerable obstacle to his

4. "RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY, that a copy of these resolutions be
delivered to the delegate to Congress from this territory, and that he
be, and he hereby is, instructed to use his best endeavors to obtain a
suspension of the said article."

J.B. THOMAS, _Speaker of the House of Representatives._

PIERRE MINARD, _President pro tem. of the Legislative Council.
Vincennes, Dec._ 20, 1806.

"Forwarded to the Speaker the United States' Senate, by WILLIAM HENRY
HARRISON, Governor"--_American State Papers_ vol 1. p. 467.

MONSIEUR C.C. ROBIN, who resided in Louisiana from 1802 to 1806, and
published a volume containing the results of his observations there,
thus speaks of the condition of the slaves:

"While they are at labor, the manager, the master, or the driver has
commonly the whip in hand to strike the idle. But those of the negroes
who are judged guilty of serious faults, are punished twenty,
twenty-five, forty, fifty, or one hundred lashes. The manner of this
cruel execution is as follows: four stakes are driven down, making a
long square; the culprit is extended naked between these stakes, face
downwards; his hands and his feet are bound separately, with strong
cords, to each of the stakes, so far apart that his arms and legs,
stretched in the form of St. Andrew's cross, give the poor wretch no
chance of stirring. Then the executioner, who is ordinarily a negro,
armed with the long whip of a coachman, strikes upon the reins and
thighs. The crack of his whip resounds afar, like that of an angry
cartman beating his horses. The blood flows, the long wounds cross
each other, strips of skin are raised without softening either the
hand of the executioner or the heart of the master, who cries 'sting
him harder.'

"The reader is moved; so am I: my agitated hand refuses to trace the
bloody picture, to recount how many times the piercing cry of pain has
interrupted my silent occupations; how many times I have shuddered at
the faces of those barbarous masters, where I saw inscribed the number
of victims sacrificed to their ferocity.

"The women are subjected to these punishments as rigorously as the
men--not even pregnancy exempts them; in that case, before binding
them to the stakes, a hole is made in the ground to accommodate the
enlarged form of the victim.

"It is remarkable that the white creole women are ordinarily more
inexorable than the men. Their slow and languid gait, and the trifling
services which they impose, betoken only apathetic indolence; but
should the slave not promptly obey, should he even fail to divine the
meaning of their gestures, or looks, in an instant they are armed with
a formidable whip; it is no longer the arm which cannot sustain the
weight of a shawl or a reticule--it is no longer the form which but
feebly sustains itself. They themselves order the punishment of one of
these poor creatures, and with a dry eye see their victim bound to
four stakes; they count the blows, and raise a voice of menace, if the
arm that strikes relaxes, or if the blood does not flow in sufficient
abundance. Their sensibility changed to fury must needs feed itself
for a while on the hideous spectacle; they must, as if to revive
themselves, hear the piercing shrieks, and see the flow of fresh
blood; there are some of them who, in their frantic rage, pinch and
bite their victims.

"It is by no means wonderful that the laws designed to protect the
slave, should be little respected by the generality of such masters. I
have seen some masters pay those unfortunate people the miserable
overcoat which is their due; but others give them nothing at all, and
do not even leave them the hours and Sundays granted to them by law. I
have seen some of those barbarous masters leave them, during the
winter, in a state of revolting nudity, even contrary to their own
true interests, for they thus weaken and shorten the lives upon which
repose the whole of their own fortunes. I have seen some of those
negroes obliged to conceal their nakedness with the long moss of the
country. The sad melancholy of these wretches, depicted upon their
countenances, the flight of some, and the death of others, do not
reclaim their masters; they wreak upon those who remain, the vengeance
which they can no longer exercise upon the others."

WHITMAN MEAD, Esq. of New York, in his journal, published nearly a
quarter of a century ago, under date of

"SAVANNAH, January 28, 1817.

"To one not accustomed to such scenes as slavery presents, the
condition of the slaves is _impressively shocking._ In the course of
my walks, I was every where witness to their wretchedness. Like the
brute creatures of the north, they are driven about at the pleasure of
all who meet them: _half naked and half starved_, they drag out a
pitiful existence, apparently almost unconscious of what they suffer.
A threat accompanies every command, and a bastinado is the usual
reward of disobedience."


_A native of Tennessee, educated there, and for a number of years a
preacher in slave states--now pastor of a church in Ripley, Ohio._

"Many poor slaves are stripped naked, stretched and tied across
barrels, or large bags, _and tortured with the lash during hours, and
even whole days, until their flesh is mangled to the very bones_.
Others are stripped and hung up by the arms, their feet are tied
together, and the end of a heavy piece of timber is put between their
legs in order to stretch their bodies, and so prepare them for the
torturing lash--and in this situation they are often whipped until
their bodies are covered _with blood and mangled flesh_--and in order
to add the greatest keenness to their sufferings, their wounds are
washed with _liquid salt_! And some of the miserable creatures are
permitted to hang in that position until they actually _expire_; some
die under the lash, others linger about for a time, and at length die
of their wounds, and many survive, and endure again similar torture.
These bloody scenes are _constantly exhibiting in every slave holding
country--thousands of whips are every day stained in African blood_!
Even the poor _females_ are not permitted to escape these shocking
cruelties."--_Rankin's Letters._

These letters were published fifteen years ago.--They were addressed
to a brother in Virginia, who was a slaveholder.


"We have heard of slavery as it exists in Asia, and Africa, and
Turkey--we have heard of the feudal slavery under which the peasantry
of Europe have groaned from the days of Alaric until now, but
excepting only the horrible system of the West India Islands, we have
never heard of slavery in any country, ancient or modern, Pagan,
Mohammedan, or _Christian! so terrible in its character_, as the
slavery which exists in these United States."--_Seventh Report
American Colonization Society,_ 1824.


_Signed by Moses Swain, President, and William Swain, Secretary._

"In the eastern part of the state, the slaves considerably outnumber
the free population. Their situation is there wretched beyond
description. Impoverished by the mismanagement which we have already
attempted to describe, the master, unable to support his own grandeur
and maintain his slaves, puts the unfortunate wretches upon short
allowances, scarcely sufficient for their sustenance, so that a great
part of them go half naked and half starved much of the time.
Generally, throughout the state, the African is an _abused, a
monstrously outraged creature."--See Minutes of the American
Convention, convened in Baltimore, Oct._ 25, 1826.


"Dealing in slaves has become a _large business_. Establishments are
made at 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 thumb-screws and gags_, and ornamented with
_catskins and other whips--often times bloody_."

Judge RUFFIN, of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, in one of his
judicial decisions, says--"The slave, to remain a slave, must feel
that there is NO APPEAL FROM HIS MASTER. No man can anticipate the
provocations which the slave would give, nor the consequent wrath of
the master, prompting him to BLOODY VENGEANCE on the turbulent
traitor, a vengeance _generally_ practiced with impunity, by reason of
its PRIVACY."--See _Wheeler's Law of Slavery_ p. 247.

MR. MOORE, of VIRGINIA, in his speech before the Legislature of that
state, Jan. 15, 1832, says: "It must be confessed, that although the
treatment of our slaves is in the general, as mild and humane as it
can be, that it must always happen, that there will be found hundreds
of individuals, who, owing either to the natural ferocity of their
dispositions, or to the effects of intemperance, will be guilty of
cruelty and barbarity towards their slaves, which is _almost
intolerable_, and at which humanity revolts."


"Let any man of spirit and feeling, for a moment cast his thoughts
over this land of slavery--think of the _nakedness_ of some, the
_hungry yearnings_ of others, the _flowing tears and heaving sighs_ of
parting relations, the _wailings and wo, the bloody cut of the keen
lash, and the frightful scream that rends the very skies_--and all
this to gratify ambition, lust, pride, avarice, vanity, and other
depraved feelings of the human heart.... THE WORST IS NOT GENERALLY
KNOWN. Were all the miseries, the horrors of slavery, to burst at once
into view, a peal of seven-fold thunder could scarce strike greater
alarm."--_See "Swain's Address,"_ 1830.


_Son of Dr. Finley, one of the founders of the Colonization Society,
and brother of R.S. Finley, agent of the American Colonization
Society._ Dr. J.C. Finley was formerly one of the editors of the
Western Medical Journal, at Cincinnati, and is well known in the west
as utterly hostile to immediate abolition.

"In almost the last conversation I had with you before I left
Cincinnati, I promised to give you some account of some scenes of
atrocious cruelty towards slaves, which I witnessed while I lived at
the south. I almost regret having made the promise, for not only are
they _so atrocious_ that you will with difficulty believe them, but I
also fear that they will have the effect of driving you into that
_abolitionism_, upon the borders of which you have been so long
hesitating. The people of the north _are ignorant of the horrors of
slavery_--of the _atrocities_ which it commits upon the unprotected
slave.   *     *     *

"I do not know that any thing could be gained by particularizing the
scenes of _horrible barbarity_, which fell under my observation during
my _short_ residence in one of the wealthiest, most intelligent, and
most moral parts of Georgia. Their _number_ and _atrocity_ are such,
that I am confident they would gain credit with none but
_abolitionists_. Every thing will be conveyed in the remark, that in a
state of society calculated to foster the worst passions of our
nature, the slave derives _no protection_ either from _law_ or _public
opinion_, and that ALL the cruelties which the Russians are reported
to have acted towards the Poles, after their late subjugation, ARE
SCENES OF EVERY-DAY OCCURRENCE in the southern states. This statement,
incredible as it may seem, falls short, very far short of the truth."

The foregoing is extracted from a letter written by Dr. Finley to Rev.
Asa Mahan, his former pastor, then of Cincinnati, now President of
Oberlin Seminary.

Slaveholder, Rev. Dr. Allan of Huntsville, Ala._

"At our house it is so common to hear their (the slaves') screams,
that we think nothing of it: and lest any one should think that in
_general_ the slaves are well treated, let me be distinctly
understood:--_cruelty_ is the _rule_, and _kindness_ the _exception_."

Extract of a letter dated July 2d, 1834, from Mr. NATHAN COLE, of St.
Louis, Missouri, to Arthur Tappan, Esq. of this city:

"I am not an advocate of the immediate and unconditional emancipation
of the slaves of our country, yet _no man has ever yet depicted the
wretchedness of the situation of the slaves in colors as dark for the
truth_.... I know that many good people _are not aware of the
treatment to which slaves are usually subjected_, nor have they any
just idea of the extent of the evil."

TESTIMONY OF REV. JAMES A. THOME, _A native of Kentucky--Son of Arthur
Thome Esq., till recently a Slaveholder._

"Slavery is the parent of more suffering than has flowed from any one
source since the date of its existence. Such sufferings too!
_Sufferings inconceivable and innumerable--unmingled wretchedness_
from the ties of nature rudely broken and destroyed, the _acutest
bodily tortures, groans, tears and blood_--lying forever in weariness
and painfulness, in watchings, in hunger and in thirst, in cold and

"Brethren of the North, be not deceived. _These sufferings still
exist_, and despite the efforts of their cruel authors to hush them
down, and confine them within the precincts of their own plantations,
they will ever and anon, struggle up and reach the ear of
humanity."--_Mr. Thome's Speech at New York, May,_ 1834.


The Editor, in speaking of the sufferings of the slaves which are
taken by the internal trade to the South West, says:

"Place yourself in imagination, for a moment, in their condition.
With _heavy galling chains_, riveted upon your person; _half-naked,
half-starved_; your back _lacerated_ with the 'knotted Whip;'
traveling to a region where your _condition through time will be
second only to the wretched creatures in Hell_.

"This depicting is not visionary. Would to God that it was."

whom are slaveholders._

"This system licenses and produces _great cruelty_.

"Mangling, imprisonment, starvation, every species of torture, may be
inflicted upon him, (the slave,) and he has no redress.

"There are now in our whole land two millions of human beings,
exposed, defenceless, to every insult, and every injury short of
maiming or death, which their fellow men may choose to inflict. _They
suffer all_ that can be inflicted by wanton caprice, by grasping
avarice, by brutal lust, by malignant spite, and by insane anger.
Their happiness is the sport of every whim, and the prey of every
passion that may, occasionally, or habitually, infest the master's
bosom. If we could calculate the amount of wo endured by ill-treated
slaves, it would overwhelm every compassionate heart--it would move
even the obdurate to sympathy. There is also a vast sum of suffering
inflicted upon the slave by humane masters, as a punishment for that
idleness and misconduct which slavery naturally produces.

"_Brutal stripes_ and all the varied kinds of personal indignities,
are not the only species of cruelty which slavery licenses."

TESTIMONY OF THE REV. N.H. HARDING, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church,
in Oxford, North Carolina, a slaveholder.

"I am greatly surprised that you should in any form have been the
apologist of a system so full of deadly poison to all holiness and
benevolence as slavery, the concocted essence of fraud, selfishness,
and cold hearted tyranny, and the fruitful parent of unnumbered evils,
both to the oppressor and the oppressed, THE ONE THOUSANDTH PART OF

MR. ASA A. STONE, a theological student, who lived near Natchez,
(Mi.,) in 1834 and 5, sent the following with other testimony, to be
published under his own name, in the N.Y. Evangelist, while he was
still residing there.

"Floggings for all offences, including deficiencies in work, are
_frightfully common_, and _most terribly severe._

"_Rubbing with salt and red pepper is very common after a severe

TESTIMONY OF REV. PHINEAS SMITH, Centreville, Allegany Co., N.Y. who
lived four years at the South.

"They are badly clothed, badly fed, wretchedly lodged, unmercifully
whipped, from month to month, from year to year, from childhood to old

REV. JOSEPH M. SADD, Castile, Genessee CO. N.Y. who was till recently
a preacher in Missouri, says,

"It is true that barbarous cruelties are inflicted upon them, such as
terrible lacerations with the whip, and excruciating tortures are
sometimes experienced from the thumb screw."

Extract of a letter from SARAH M. GRIMKÉ, dated 4th Month, 2nd, 1839

"If the following extracts from letters which I have received from
South Carolina, will be of any use thou art at liberty to publish
them. I need not say, that the names of the writers are withheld of
necessity, because such sentiments if uttered at the south would peril
their lives."


--South Carolina, 4th Month, 5th, 1835. "With regard to slavery I
must confess, though we had heard a great deal on the subject, we
found on coming South the _half_, the _worst_ half too, had not been
told us; not that we have ourselves seen much oppression, though truly
we have felt its deadening influence, but the accounts we have
received from every tongue that nobly dares to speak upon the subject,
are indeed _deplorable_. To quote the language of a lady, who with
true Southern hospitality, received us at her mansion. "The _northern_
people don't know anything of slavery at all, they think it is
_perpetual bondage merely_, but of the _depth of degradation_ that
that word involves, they have no conception; if they had any just idea
of it, they would I am sure use every effort until an end was put to
such a shocking system.'

"Another friend writing from South Carolina, and who sustains herself
the legal relation of slaveholder, in a letter dated April 4th, 1838,
says--'I have some time since, given you my views on the subject of
slavery, which so much engrosses your attention. I would most
willingly forget what I have seen and heard in my own family, with
regard to the slaves. _I shudder when I think of it_, and increasingly
feel that slavery is a curse since it leads to such _cruelty_.'"



The slaves are terribly lacerated with whips, paddles, &c.; red pepper
and salt are rubbed into their mangled flesh; hot brine and turpentine
are poured into their gashes; and innumerable other tortures inflicted
upon them.

We will in the first place, prove by a cloud of witnesses, that the
slaves are whipped with such inhuman severity, as to lacerate and
mangle their flesh in the most shocking manner, leaving permanent
scars and ridges; after establishing this, we will present a mass of
testimony, concerning a great variety of other tortures. The
testimony, for the most part, will be that of the slaveholders
themselves, and in their own chosen words. A large portion of it will
be taken from the advertisements, which they have published in their
own newspapers, describing by the scars on their bodies made by the
whip, their own runaway slaves. To copy these advertisements _entire_
would require a great amount of space, and flood the reader with a
vast mass of matter irrelevant to the _point_ before us; we shall
therefore insert only so much of each, as will intelligibly set forth
the precise point under consideration. In the column under the word
"witnesses," will be found the name of the individual, who signs the
advertisement, or for whom it is signed, with his or her place of
residence, and the name and date of the paper, in which it appeared,
and generally the name of the place where it is published. Opposite
the name of each witness, will be an extract, from the advertisement,
containing his or her testimony.

Mr. D. Judd, jailor, Davidson Co., Tennessee, in the "Nashville
Banner," Dec. 10th, 1838.

"Committed to jail as a runaway, a negro woman named Martha, 17 or 18
years of age, has _numerous scars of the whip on her back_."

Mr. Robert Nicoll, Dauphin st. between Emmanuel and Conception st's,
Mobile, Alabama, in the "Mobile Commercial Advertiser."

"Ten dollars reward for my woman Siby, _very much scarred about the
neck and ears by whipping_."

Mr. Bryant Johnson, Fort Valley Houston Co., Georgia, in the "Standard
of Union," Milledgeville Ga. Oct. 2, 1838. "Ranaway, a negro woman,
named Maria, _some scars on her back occasioned by the whip_."

Mr. James T. De Jarnett, Vernon, Autauga Co., Alabama, in the
"Pensacola Gazette," July 14, 1838.

"Stolen a negro woman, named Celia. On examining her back you will
find marks _caused by the whip_."

Maurice Y. Garcia, Sheriff of the County of Jefferson, La., in the
"New Orleans Bee,"  August, 14, 1838.

"Lodged in jail, a mulatto boy, _having large marks of the whip,_ on
his shoulders and other parts of his body."

R.J. Bland, Sheriff of Claiborne Co, Miss., in the "Charleston (S.C.)
Courier." August, 28, 1838.

"Was committed a negro boy, named Tom, is _much marked with the

Mr. James Noe, Red River Landing, La., in the "Sentinel," Vicksburg,
Miss., August 22, 1837.

"Ranaway, a negro fellow named Dick--has _many scars on his back from
being whipped."_

William Craze, jailor, Alexandria, La. in the "Planter's
Intelligencer." Sept. 26, 1838.

"Committed to jail, a negro slave--his back is _very badly scarred."_

John A. Rowland, jailor, Lumberton, North Carolina, in the
"Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer," June 20, 1838.

"Committed, a mulatto fellow--his back shows _lasting impressions of
the whip,_ and leaves no doubt of his being A SLAVE"

J.K. Roberts, sheriff, Blount county, Ala., in the "Huntsville
Democrat," Dec. 9, 1839.

"Committed to jail, a negro man--his back _much marked_ by the whip."

Mr. H. Varillat, No. 23 Girod street, New Orleans--in the "Commercial
Bulletin," August 27, 1838.

"Ranaway, the negro slave named Jupiter--has a _fresh mark_ of a
cowskin on one of his cheeks."

Mr. Cornelius D. Tolin, Augusta, Ga., in the "Chronicle and Sentinel,"
Oct. 18, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro man named Johnson--he has a _great many marks of the
whip_ on his back."

W.H. Brasseale, sheriff; Blount county, Ala., in the "Huntsville
Democrat," June 9, 1838.

"Committed to jail, a negro slave named James--_much scarred_ with a
whip on his back."

Mr. Robert Beasley, Macon, Ga., in the "Georgia Messenger," July 27,

"Ranaway, my man Fountain--he is marked _on the back with the whip."_

Mr. John Wotton, Rockville, Montgomery county, Maryland, in the
"Baltimore Republican," Jan. 13, 1838.

"Ranaway, Bill--has _several_ LARGE SCARS on his back from a _severe_
whipping in _early life."_

D.S. Bennett, sheriff, Natchitoches, La., in the "Herald," July 21,

"Committed to jail, a negro boy who calls himself Joe--said negro
bears _marks of the whip."_

Messrs. C.C. Whitehead, and R.A. Evans, Marion, Georgia, in the
Milledgeville (Ga.) "Standard of Union," June 26, 1838.

"Ranaway, negro fellow John--from being whipped, has _scars on his
back, arms, and thighs."_

Mr. Samuel Stewart, Greensboro', Ala., in the "Southern Advocate,"
Huntsville, Jan. 6, 1838.

"Ranaway, a boy named Jim--with the marks of the _whip_ on the small
of the back, reaching round to the flank."

Mr. John Walker, No. 6, Banks' Arcade New Orleans, in the "Bulletin,"
August 11, 1838.

"Ranaway, the mulatto boy Quash--_considerably marked_ on the back and
other places with the lash."

Mr. Jesse Beene, Cahawba, Ala., in the "State Intelligencer,"
Tuskaloosa, Dec. 25, 1837.

"Ranaway, my negro man Billy--he has the _marks of the_ whip."

Mr. John Turner, Thomaston, Upson county, Georgia--in the "Standard of
Union," Milledgeville, June 26, 1838.

"Left, my negro man named George--has _marks of the whip very plain on
his thighs."_

James Derrah, deputy sheriff; Claiborne county, Mi., in the "Port
Gibson Correspondent," April 15, 1837.

"Committed to jail, negro man Toy--he has been _badly whipped."_

S.B. Murphy, sheriff, Wilkinson county, Georgia--in the Milledgeville
"Journal," May 15, 1838.

"Brought to jail, a negro man named George--he has a _great many scars
from the lash."_

Mr. L.E. Cooner, Branchville Orangeburgh District, South Carolina--in
the Macon "Messenger," May 25, 1837.

"One hundred dollars reward, for my negro Glasgow, and Kate, his wife.
Glasgow is 24 years old--has _marks of the whip_ on his back. Kate is
26--has a _scar_ on her cheek, _and several marks of a whip."_

John H. Hand, jailor, parish of West Feliciana, La., in the St.
"Francisville Journal," July 6, 1837

"Committed to jail, a negro boy named John, about 17 years old--his
back _badly marked_ with the _whip_, his upper lip and chin _severely

The preceding are extracts from advertisements published in southern
papers, mostly in the year 1838. They are the mere _samples_ of
hundreds of similar ones published during the same period, with which,
as the preceding are quite sufficient to show the _commonness_ of
inhuman floggings in the slave states, we need not burden the reader.

The foregoing testimony is, as the reader perceives, that of the
slaveholders themselves, voluntarily certifying to the outrages which
their own hands have committed upon defenceless and innocent men and
women, over whom they have assumed authority. We have given to _their_
testimony precedence over that of all other witnesses, for the reason
that when men testify against _themselves_ they are under no
temptation to exaggerate.

We will now present the testimony of a large number of individuals,
with their names and residences,--persons who witnessed the
inflictions to which they testify. Many of them have been
slaveholders, and _all_ residents for longer or shorter periods in
slave states.

Rev. JOHN H. CURTISS, a native of Deep Creek, Norfolk county,
Virginia, now a local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church in
Portage co., Ohio, testifies as follows:--

"In 1829 or 30, one of my father's slaves was accused of taking the
key to the office and stealing four or five dollars: he denied it. A
constable by the name of Hull was called; he took the Negro, very
deliberately tied his hands, and whipped him till the blood ran freely
down his legs. By this time Hull appeared tired, and stopped; he then
took a rope, put a slip noose around his neck, and told the negro he
was going to _kill_ him, at the same time drew the rope and began
whipping: the Negro fell; his cheeks looked as though they would burst
with strangulation. Hull whipped and kicked him, till I really thought
he was going to kill him; when he ceased, the negro was in a complete
gore of blood from head to foot."

Mr. DAVID HAWLEY, a class-leader in the Methodist Church, at St.
Alban's, Licking county, Ohio, who moved from Kentucky to Ohio in
1831, testifies as follows:--

"In the year 1821 or 2, I saw a slave hung for killing his master. The
master had whipped the slave's mother to DEATH, and, locking him in a
room, threatened him with the same fate; and, cowhide in hand, had
begun the work, when the slave joined battle and slew the master."

SAMUEL ELLISON, a member of the Society of Friends, formerly of
Southampton county, Virginia, now of Marlborough, Stark county, Ohio,
gives the following testimony:--

"While a resident of Southampton county, Virginia, I knew two men,
after having been severely treated, endeavor to make their escape. In
this they failed--were taken, tied to trees, and whipped to _death_ by
their overseer. I lived a mile from the negro quarters, and, at that
distance, could frequently hear the screams of the poor creatures when
beaten, and could also hear the blows given by the overseer with some
heavy instrument."

Major HORACE NYE, of Putnam, Ohio, gives the following testimony of
Mr. Wm. Armstrong, of that place, a captain and supercargo of boats
descending the Mississippi river:--

"At Bayou Sarah, I saw a slave _staked out,_ with his face to the
ground, and whipped with a large whip, which laid open the flesh for
about two and a half inches _every stroke._ I stayed about five
minutes, but could stand it no longer, and left them whipping."

Mr. STEPHEN E. MALTBY, inspector of provisions, Skeneateles, New York,
who has resided in Alabama, speaking of the condition of the slaves,

"I have seen them cruelly whipped. I will relate one instance. One
Sabbath morning, before I got out of my bed, I heard an outcry, and
got up and went to the window, when I saw some six or eight boys, from
eight to twelve years of age, near a rack (made for tying horses) on
the public square. A man on horseback rode up, got off his horse, took
a cord from his pocket, _tied one of the boys_ by the _thumbs_ to the
rack, and with his horsewhip lashed him most severely. He then untied
him and rode off without saying a word.

"It was a general practice, while I was at Huntsville, Alabama, to
have a patrol every night; and, to my knowledge, this patrol was in
the habit of traversing the streets with cow-skins, and, if they found
any slaves out after eight o'clock without a pass, to whip them until
they were out of reach, or to confine them until morning."

Mr. J.G. BALDWIN, of Middletown, Connecticut, a member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, gives the following testimony:--

"I traveled at the south in 1827: when near Charlotte, N.C. a free
colored man fell into the road just ahead of me, and went on
peaceably.--When passing a public-house, the landlord ran out with a
large cudgel, and applied it to the head and shoulders of the man with
such force as to shatter it in pieces. When the reason of his conduct
was asked, he replied, that he owned slaves, and he would not permit
free blacks to come into his neighborhood.

"Not long after, I stopped at a public-house near Halifax, N.C.,
between nine and ten o'clock P.M., to stay over night. A slave sat
upon a bench in the bar-room asleep. The master came in, seized a
large horsewhip, and, without any warning or apparent provocation,
laid it over the face and eyes of the slave. The master cursed, swore,
and swung his lash--the slave cowered and trembled, but said not a
word. Upon inquiry the next morning, I ascertained that the only
offence was falling asleep, and this too in consequence of having been
up nearly all the previous night, in attendance upon company."

Rev. JOSEPH M. SADD, of Castile, N.Y., who has lately left Missouri,
where he was pastor of a church for some years, says:--

"In one case, near where we lived, a runaway slave, when brought back,
was most cruelly beaten--bathed in the _usual_ liquid--laid in the
sun, and a physician employed to heal his wounds:--then the same
process of punishment and healing was _repeated_, _and repeated
again_, and then the poor creature was sold for the New Orleans
market. This account we had from the _physician himself_."

MR. ABRAHAM BELL, of Poughkeepsie, New York, a member of the Scotch
Presbyterian Church, was employed, in 1837 and 38, in levelling and
grading for a rail-road in the state of Georgia: he had under his
direction, during the whole time, thirty slaves. Mr. B. gives the
following testimony:--

"_All_ the slaves had their backs scarred, from the oft-repeated
whippings they had received."

Mr. ALONZO BARNARD, of Farmington, Ohio, who was in Mississippi in
1837 and 8, says:--

"The slaves were often severely whipped. I saw one _woman_ very
severely whipped for accidentally cutting up a stalk of cotton.[8]
When they were whipped they were commonly _held down by four men_: if
these could not confine them, they were fastened by stakes driven
firmly into the ground, and then lashed often so as to draw blood at
each blow. I saw one woman who had lately been delivered of a child in
consequence of cruel treatment."

[Footnote 8: Mr. Cornelius Johnson, of Farmington, Ohio, was also a
witness to this inhuman outrage upon an unprotected woman, for the
unintentional destruction of a stalk of cotton! In his testimony he is
more particular, and says, that the number of lashes inflicted upon
her by the overseer was "ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY."]

Rev. H. LYMAN, late pastor of the Free Presbyterian Church at Buffalo,
N.Y. says:--

"There was a steam cotton press, in the vicinity of my boarding-house
at New Orleans, which was driven night and day, without intermission.
My curiosity led me to look at the interior of the establishment.
There I saw several slaves engaged in rolling cotton bags, fastening
ropes lading carts, &c.

"The presiding genius of the place was a driver, who held a rope four
feet long in his hand, which he wielded with cruel dexterity. He used
it in single blows, just as the men were lifting to _tighten_ the bale
cords. It seemed to me that he was desirous to edify me with a
specimen of his authority; at any rate the cruelty was horrible."

Mr. JOHN VANCE, a member of the Baptist Church, in St. Albans, Licking
county, Ohio, who moved from Culpepper county, Va., his native state
in 1814, testifies as follows:--

"In 1826, I saw a woman by the name of Mallix, flog her female slave
with a horse-whip so horribly that she was washed in salt and water
several days, to keep her bruises from mortifying.

"In 1811, I was returning from mill, in Shenandoah county, when I
heard the cry of murder, in the field of a man named Painter. I rode
to the place to see what was going on. Two men, by the names of John
Morgan and Michael Siglar, had heard the cry and came running to the
place. I saw Painter beating a negro with a tremendous club, or small
handspike, swearing he would kill him: but he was rescued by Morgan
and Siglar. I learned that Painter had commenced flogging the slave
for not getting to work soon enough. He had escaped, and taken refuge
under a pile of rails that were on some timbers up a little from the
ground. The master had put fire to one end, and stood at the other
with his club, to kill him as he came out. The pile was still burning.
Painter said he was a turbulent fellow and he _would_ kill him. The
apprehension of P. was TALKED ABOUT, but, as a compromise, the negro
was sold to another man."

Philadelphia, an eminent minister of the Religious Society of

"6th mo. 22d, 1791. We passed on to Augusta, Georgia. They can
scarcely tolerate us, on account of our abhorrence of slavery. On the
28th we got to Savannah, and lodged at one Blount's, a hard-hearted
slaveholder. One of his lads, aged about fourteen, was ordered to go
and milk the cow: and falling asleep, through weariness, the master
called out and ordered him a flogging. I asked him what he meant by a
flogging. He replied, the way we serve them here is, we cut their
backs until they are raw all over, and then salt them. Upon this my
feelings were roused; I told him that was too bad, and queried *if it
were possible; he replied it was, with many curses upon the blacks. At
supper this unfeeling wretch _craved a blessing_!

"Next morning I heard some one begging for mercy, and also the lash as
of a whip. Not knowing whence the sound came, I rose, and presently
found the poor boy tied up to a post, his toes scarcely touching the
ground, and a negro whipper. He had already cut him in an unmerciful
manner, and the blood ran to his heels. I stepped in between them, and
ordered him untied immediately, which, with some reluctance and
astonishment, was done. Returning to the house I saw the landlord, who
then showed himself in his true colors, the most abominably wicked man
I ever met with, full of horrid execrations and threatenings upon all
northern people; but I did not spare him; which occasioned a bystander
to say, with an oath, that I should be "popped over." We left them,
and were in full expectation of their way-laying or coming after us,
but the Lord restrained them. The next house we stopped at we found
the same wicked spirit."

Col. ELIJAH ELLSWORTH, of Richfield, Ohio, gives the following

"Eight or ten years ago I was in Putnam county, in the state of
Georgia, at a Mr. Slaughter's, the father of my brother's wife. A
negro, that belonged to Mr. Walker, (I believe,) was accused of
stealing a pedlar's trunk. The negro denied, but, without ceremony,
was lashed to a tree--the whipping commenced--six or eight men took
turns--the poor fellow begged for mercy, but without effect, until he
was literally _cut to pieces, from his shoulders to his hips_, and
covered with a gore of blood. When he said the trunk was in a stack of
fodder, he was unlashed. They proceeded to the stack, but found no
trunk. They asked the poor fellow, what he lied about it for; he said,
"Lord, Massa, to keep from being whipped to death; I know nothing
about the trunk." They commenced the whipping with redoubled vigor,
until I really supposed he would be whipped to death on the spot; and
such shrieks and crying for mercy! Again he acknowledged, and again
they were defeated in finding, and the same reason given as before.
Some were for whipping again, others thought he would not survive
another, and they ceased. About two months after, the trunk was found,
and it was then ascertained who the thief was: and the poor fellow,
after being nearly beat to death, and twice made to lie about it, was
as innocent as I was."

The following statements are furnished by Major HORACE NYE, of Putnam,
Muskingum county, Ohio.

"In the summer of 1837, Mr. JOHN H. MOOREHEAD, a partner of mine,
descended the Mississippi with several boat loads of flour. He told me
that floating in a place in the Mississippi, where he could see for
miles a head, he perceived a concourse of people on the bank, that for
at least a mile and a half above he saw them, and heard the screams of
some person, and from a great distance, the crack of a whip, he run
near the shore, and saw them whipping a black man, who was on the
ground, and at that time nearly unable to scream, but the whip
continued to be applied without intermission, as long as he was in
sight, say from one mile and a half, to two miles below--he probably
saw and heard them for one hour in all. He expressed the opinion that
the man could not survive.

"About four weeks since I had a conversation with Mr. Porter, a
respectable citizen of Morgan county of this state, of about fifty
years of age. He told me that he formerly traveled about five years in
the southern states, and that on one occasion he stopped at a private
house, to stay all night; (I think it was in Virginia,) while he was
conversing with the man, his wife came in, and complained that the
wench had broken some article in the kitchen, and that she must be
whipped. He took the _woman_ into the door yard, stripped her clothes
down to her hips--tied her hands together, and drawing them up to a
limb, so that she could just touch the ground, took a very large
cowskin whip, and commenced flogging; he said that every stroke at
first raised the skin, and immediately the blood came through; this he
continued, until the blood stood in a puddle down at her feet. He then
turned to my informant and said, 'Well, Yankee, what do you think of

EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM MR. W. DUSTIN, a member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, and, when the letter was written, 1835, a student of
Marietta College, Ohio.

"I find by looking over my journal that the murdering, which I spoke
of yesterday, took place about the first of June, 1834.

"Without commenting upon this act of cruelty, or giving vent to my own
feelings, I will simply give you a statement of the fact, as known
from _personal_ observation.

"Dr. K. a man of wealth, and a practising physician in the county of
Yazoo, state of Mississippi, personally known to me, having lived in
the same neighborhood more than twelve months, after having scourged
one of his negroes for running away, declared with an oath, that if he
ran away again, he would kill him. The negro, so soon as an
opportunity offered, ran away again. He was caught and brought back.
Again he was scourged, until his flesh, mangled and torn, and thick
mingled with the clotted blood, rolled from his back. He became
apparently insensible, and beneath the heaviest stroke would scarcely
utter a groan. The master got tired, laid down his whip and nailed the
negro's ear to a tree; in this condition, nailed fast to the rugged
wood, he remained all night!

"Suffice it to say, in the conclusion, that the next day he was found

"Well, what did they do with the master? The sum total of it is this:
he was taken before a magistrate and gave bonds, for his appearance at
the next court. Well, to be sure he had plenty of cash, so he paid up
his bonds and moved away, and there the matter ended.

"If the above fact will be of any service to you in exhibiting to the
world the condition of the unfortunate negroes, you are at liberty to
make use of it in any way you think best.

Yours, fraternally, M. DUSTIN."

Mr. ALFRED WILKINSON, a member of the Baptist Church in Skeneateles,
N.Y. and the assessor of that town, has furnished the following:

"I went down the Mississippi in December, 1838 and saw twelve of
fourteen negroes punished on one plantation, by stretching them on a
ladder and tying them to it; then stripping off their clothes, and
whipping them on the naked flesh with a heavy whip, the lash seven or
eight feet long: most of the strokes cut the skin. I understood they
were whipped for not doing the tasks allotted to them."

FROM THE PHILANTHROPIST, Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 26, 1839.

"A very intelligent lady the widow of a highly respectable preacher of
the gospel of the Presbyterian Church, formerly a resident of a free
state, and a colonizationist, and a strong antiabolitionist, who,
although an enemy to slavery, was opposed to abolition on the ground
that it was for carrying things too rapidly, and without regard to
circumstances, and especially who believed that abolitionists
exaggerated with regard to the evils of slavery, and used to say that
such men ought to go to slave states and see for themselves, to be
convinced that they did the slaveholders injustice, has gone and seen
for herself. Hear her testimony."

_Kentucky, Dec._ 25, 1835.

"Dear Mrs. W.--I am still in the land of oppression and cruelty, but
hope soon to breathe the air of a free state. My soul is sick of
slavery, and I rejoice that my time is nearly expired: but the scenes
that I have witnessed have made an impression that never can be
effaced, and have inspired me with the determination to unite my
feeble efforts with those who are laboring to suppress this horrid
system. I am _now_ an _abolitionist_. You will cease to be surprised
at this, when I inform you, that I have just seen a poor slave who was
beaten by his inhuman master until he could neither walk nor stand. I
saw him from my window carried from the barn where he had been
whipped to the cabin, by two negro men; and he now lies there, and if
he recovers, will be a sufferer for months, and probably for life. You
will doubtless suppose that he committed some great crime; but it was
not so. He was called upon by a young man (the son of his master,) to
do something, and not moving as quickly as his young master wished him
to do, he drove him to the barn, knocked him down, and jumped upon
him, stamped, and then cowhided him until he was almost dead. This is
not the first act of cruelty that I have seen, though it is the
_worst_; and I am convinced that those who have described the
cruelties of slaveholders, have not exaggerated."

Peterboro', December 1, 1838.

_To the Editor of the Union Herald_: "My dear Sir:--You will be happy
to hear, that the two fugitive slaves, to whom in the brotherly love
of your heart, you gave the use of your horse, are still making
undisturbed progress towards the _monarchical_ land whither
_republican_ slaves escape for the enjoyment of liberty. They had
eaten their breakfast, and were seated in my wagon, before day-dawn,
this morning.

"Fugitive slaves have before taken my house in their way, but never
any, whose lips and persons made so forcible an appeal to my
sensibilities, and kindled in me so much abhorrence of the
hell-concocted system of American slavery.

"The fugitives exhibited their bare backs to myself and a number of my
neighbors. Williams' back is comparatively scarred. But, I speak
within bounds, when I say, that one-third to one-half of the whole
surface of the back and shoulders of poor Scott, _consists of scars
and wales resulting from innumerable gashes._ His natural complexion
being yellow and the callous places being nearly black, his back and
shoulders remind you of a spotted animal."

The LOUISVILLE REPORTER (Kentucky,) Jan. 15, 1839, contains the report
of a trial for inhuman treatment of a female slave. The following is
some of the testimony given in court.

"Dr. CONSTANT testified that he saw Mrs. Maxwell at the kitchen door,
whipping the negro severely, without being particular whether she
struck her in the face or not. The negro was lacerated by the whip,
and the blood flowing. Soon after, on going down the steps, he saw
quantities of blood on them, and on returning, saw them again. She had
been thinly clad--barefooted in very cold weather. Sometimes she had
shoes--sometimes not. In the beginning of the winter she had linsey
dresses, since then, calico ones. During the last four months, had
noticed many scars on her person. At one time had one of her eyes tied
up for a week. During the last three months seemed declining, and had
become stupified. Mr. Winters was passing along the street, heard
cries, looked up through the window that was hoisted, saw the boy
whipping her, as much as forty or fifty licks, while he staid. The
girl was stripped down to the hips. The whip seemed to be a cow-hide.
Whenever she turned her face to him, he would hit her across the face
either with the butt end or small end of the whip to make her turn her
back round square to the lash, that he might get a fair blow at her.

"Mr. Say had noticed several wounds on her person, chiefly bruises.

"Captain Porter, keeper of the work-house, into which Milly had been
received, thought the injuries on her person very bad--some of them
appeared to be burns--some bruises or stripes, as of a cow-hide."

LETTER OF REV. JOHN RANKIN, of Ripley, Ohio, to the Editor of the

RIPLEY, Feb. 20, 1839.

"Some time since, a member of the Presbyterian Church of Ebenezer,
Brown county, Ohio, landed his boat at a point on the Mississippi. He
saw some disturbance among the colored people on the bank. He stepped
up, to see what was the matter. A black man was stretched naked on
the ground; his hands were tied to a stake, and one held each foot. He
was doomed to receive fifty lashes; but by the time the overseer had
given him twenty-five with his great whip, the blood was standing
round the wretched victim in little puddles. It appeared just as if it
had rained blood.--Another observer stepped up, and advised to defer
the other twenty-five to another time, lest the slave might die; and
he was released, to receive the balance when he should have so
recruited as to be able to bear it and live. The offence was, coming
one hour too late to work."

Mr. RANKIN, who is a native of Tennessee, in his letters on slavery,
published fifteen years since, says:

"A respectable gentleman, who is now a citizen of Flemingsburg,
Fleming county, Kentucky, when in the state of South Carolina, was
invited by a slaveholder, to walk with him and take a view of his
farm. He complied with the invitation thus given, and in their walk
they came to the place where the slaves were at work, and found the
overseer whipping one of them very severely for not keeping pace with
his fellows--in vain the poor fellow alleged that he was sick, and
could not work. The master seemed to think all was well enough, hence
he and the gentleman passed on. In the space of an hour they returned
by the same way, and found that the poor slave, who had been whipped
as they first passed by the field of labor, was actually dead! This I
have from unquestionable authority."

Extract of a letter from a MEMBER OF CONGRESS, to the Editor of the
New York American, dated Washington, Feb. 18, 1839. The name of the
writer is with the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery

"Three days ago, the inhabitants in the vicinity of the new Patent
Building were alarmed by an outcry in the street, which proved to be
that of a slave who had just been knocked down with a brick-bat by his
pursuing master. Prostrate on the ground, with a large gash in his
head, the poor slave was receiving the blows of his master on one
side, and the kicks of his master's son on the other. His cries
brought a few individuals to the spot; but no one dared to interfere,
save to exclaim--You will kill him--which was met by the response, "He
is mine, and I have a right to do what I please with him." The
heart-rending scene was closed from _public_ view by dragging the poor
bruised and wounded slave from the public street into his master's
stable. What followed is not known. The outcries were heard by members
of Congress and others at the distance of near a quarter of a mile
from the scene.

"And now, perhaps, you will ask, is not the city aroused by this
flagrant cruelty and breach of the peace? I answer--not at all. Every
thing is quiet. If the occurrence is mentioned at all, it is spoken of
in whispers."

_From the Mobile Examiner, August_ 1, 1837.

_Saturday morning, August_ 12, 1837.

"His Honor the Mayor presiding.

"Mr. MILLER, of the foundry, brought to the office this morning a
small negro girl aged about eight or ten years, whom he had taken into
his house some time during the previous night. She had crawled under
the window of his bed room to screen herself from the night air, and
to find a warmer shelter than the open canopy of heaven afforded. Of
all objects of pity that have lately come to our view, this poor
little girl most needs the protection of authority, and the sympathies
of the charitable. From the cruelty of her master and mistress, she
has been whipped, worked and starved, until she is now a breathing
skeleton, hardly able to stand upon her feet.

"The back of the poor little sufferer, (which we ourselves saw,) _was
actually cut into strings, and so perfectly was the flesh worn from
her limbs,_ by the wretched treatment she had received, that _every
joint showed distinctly its crevices_ and protuberances through the
skin. Her little lips clung closely over her teeth--her cheeks were
sunken and her head narrowed, and when her eyes were closed, the lids
resembled film more than flesh or skin.

"We would desire of our northern friends such as choose to publish to
the world their own version of the case we have related, not to forget
to add, in conclusion, that the owner of this little girl is a
foreigner, speaks against slavery as an institution, and reads his
Bible to his wife, with the view of finding proofs for his opinions."

Rev. WILLIAM SCALES, of Lyndon, Vermont, gives the following testimony
in a recent letter:

"I had a class-mate at the Andover Theological Seminary, who spent a
season at the south,--in Georgia, I think--who related the following
fact in an address before the Seminary. It occasioned very deep
sensation on the part of opponents. The gentleman was Mr. Julius C.
Anthony, of Taunton, Mass. He graduated at the Seminary in 1835. I do
not know where he is now settled. I have no doubt of the fact, as be
was an _eye-witness_ of it. The man with whom he resided had a very
athletic slave--a valuable fellow--a blacksmith. On a certain day a
small strap of leather was missing. The man's little son accused this
slave of stealing it. He denied the charge, while the boy most
confidently asserted it. The slave was brought out into the yard and
bound--his hands below his knees, and a stick crossing his knees, so
that he would lie upon either side in form of the letter S. One of the
overseers laid on fifty lashes--he still denied the theft--was turned
over and fifty more put on. Sometimes the master and sometimes the
overseers whipping--as they relieved each other to take breath. Then
he was for a time left to himself, and in the course of the day
received FOUR HUNDRED LASHES--still denying the charge, Next morning
Mr. Anthony walked out--the sun was just rising--he saw the man
greatly enfeabled, leaning against a stump. It was time to go to
work--he attempted to rise, but fell back--again attempted, and again
fell back--still making the attempt, and still falling back, Mr.
Anthony thought, nearly _twenty times_ before he succeeded in
standing--he then staggered off to his shop. In course of the morning
Mr. A. went to the door and looked in. Two overseers were standing by.
The slave was feverish and sick--his skin and mouth dry and parched.
He was very thirsty. One of the overseers, while Mr. A, was looking at
him, inquired of the other whether it were not best to give him a
little water. 'No. damn him, he will do well enough,' was the reply
from the other overseer. This was all the relief gained by the poor
slave. A few days after, the slaveholder's _son confessed that he
stole the strap himself._"

Rev. D.C. EASTMAN, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church at
Bloomingburg, Fayette county, Ohio, has just forwarded a letter, from
which the following is an extract:

"GEORGE ROEBUCK, an old and respectable farmer, near Bloomingburg,
Fayette county, Ohio, a member of the Methodist Episcopal church,
says, that almost forty-three years ago, he saw in Bath county,
Virginia, a slave girl with a sore between the shoulders of the size
and shape of a _smoothing iron._ The girl was 'owned' by one M'Neil. A
slaveholder who boarded at M'Neil's stated that Mrs. M'Neil had placed
the aforesaid iron when hot, between the girl's shoulders, and
produced the sore.

"Roebuck was once at this M'Neil's father's, and whilst the old man
was at morning prayer, he heard the son plying the whip upon a slave
out of doors.

"ELI WEST, of Concord township, Fayette county, Ohio, formerly of
North Carolina, a farmer and an exhorter in the Methodist Protestant
church, says, that many years since he went to live with an uncle who
owned about fifty negroes. Soon after his arrival, his uncle ordered
his waiting boy, who was _naked_, to be tied--his hands to horse rack,
and his feet together, with a rail passed between his legs, and held
down by a person at each end. In this position he was whipped, from
neck to feet, till covered with blood; after which he was _salted._

"His uncle's slaves received one quart of corn each day, and that
only, and were allowed one hour each day to cook and eat it. They had
no meat but once in the year. Such was the general usage in that

"West, after this, lived one year with Esquire Starky and mother. They
had two hundred slaves, who received the usual treatment of
starvation, nakedness, and the cowhide. They had one lively negro
woman who bore no children. For this neglect, her mistress had her
back made naked and a severe whipping inflicted. But as she continued
barren, she was sold to the 'negro buyers.'"

"THOMAS LARRIMER, a deacon in the Presbyterian church at Bloomingburg,
Fayette county, Ohio, and a respectable farmer, says, that in April,
1837, as he was going down the Mississippi river, about fifty miles
below Natchez, he saw ahead, on the left side of the river, a colored
person tied to a post, and a man with a driver's whip, the lash about
eight or ten feet long. With this the man commenced, with much
deliberation, to whip, with much apparent force, and continued till he
got out of sight.

"When coming up the river forty or fifty miles below Vicksburg, a
Judge Owens came on board the steamboat. He was owner of a cotton
plantation below there, and on being told of the above whipping, he
said that slaves were often whipped to death for great offences, such
as _stealing,_ &c.--but that when death followed, the overseers were
generally severely _reproved!_

"About the same time, he spent a night at Mr. Casey's, three miles
from Columbia, South Carolina. Whilst there they heard him giving
orders as to what was to be done, and amongst other things, "That
nigger must be buried." On inquiry, he learnt that a gentleman
traveling with a servant, had a short time previous called there, and
said his servant had just been taken ill, and he should be under the
necessity of leaving him. He did so. The slave became worst, and
Casey called in a physician, who pronounced it an old case, and said
that he must shortly die. The slave said, if that was the case he
would now tell the truth. He had been attacked, a long time since,
with a difficulty in the side--his master swore he would 'have his own
out of him' and started off to sell him, with a threat to kill him if
he told he had been sick, more than a few days. They saw them making
a rough plank box to bury him in.

"In March, 1833, twenty-five or thirty miles south of Columbia, on the
great road through Sumpterville district, they saw a large company of
female slaves carrying rails and building fence. Three of them were
far advanced in pregnancy.

"In the month of January, 1838, he put up with a drove of mules and
horses, at one Adams', on the Drovers' road, near the south border of
Kentucky. His son-in-law, who had lived in the south, was there. In
conversation about picking cotton, he said, 'some hands cannot get the
sleight of it. I have a girl who to-day has done as good a day's work
at grubbing as any _man_, but I could not make her a hand at
cotton-picking. I whipped her, and if I did it once I did it five
hundred times, but I found she _could_ not; so I put her to carrying
rails with the men. After a few days I found her shoulders were so
_raw_ that every rail was _bloody_ as she laid it down. I asked her if
she would not rather pick cotton than carry rails. 'No,' said she, 'I
don't get whipped now.'"

WILLIAM A. USTICK, an elder of the Presbyterian church at
Bloomingburg, and Mr. G.S. Fullerton, a merchant and member of the
same church, were with Deacon Larrimer on this journey, and are
witnesses to the preceding facts.

Mr. SAMUEL HALL, a teacher in Marietta College, Ohio, and formerly
secretary of the Colonization society in that village, has recently
communicated the facts that follow. We quote from his letter.

"The following horrid flagellation was witnessed in part, till his
soul was sick, by MR. GLIDDEN, an inhabitant of Marietta, Ohio, who
went down the Mississippi river, with a boat load of produce in the
autumn of 1837; it took place at what is called 'Matthews' or
'Matheses Bend' in December, 1837. Mr. G. is worthy of credit.

"A negro was tied up, and flogged until the blood ran down and filled
his shoes, so that when he raised either foot and set it down again,
the blood would run over their tops. I could not look on any longer,
but turned away in horror; the whipping was continued to the number of
500 lashes, as I understood; a quart of spirits of turpentine was then
applied to his lacerated body. The same negro came down to my boat, to
get some apples, and was so weak from his wounds and loss of blood,
that he could not get up the bank, but fell to the ground. The crime
for which the negro was whipped, was that of telling the other
negroes, that _the overseer had lain with his wife."_

Mr. Hall adds:--

"The following statement is made by a young man from Western Virginia.
He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a student in Marietta
College. All that prevents the introduction of his _name,_ is the
peril to his life, which would probably be the consequence, on his
return to Virginia. His character for integrity and veracity is above

"On the night of the great meteoric shower, in Nov. 1833. I was at
Remley's tavern, 12 miles west of Lewisburg, Greenbrier Co., Virginia.
A drove of 50 or 60 negroes stopped at the same place that night.
They usually 'camp out,' but as it was excessively muddy, they were
permitted to come into the house. So far as my knowledge extends,
'droves,' on their way to the south, eat but twice a day, early in the
morning and at night. Their supper was a compound of 'potatoes and
meal,' and was, without exception, the _dirtiest, blackest looking
mess I ever saw._ I remarked at the time that the food was not as
clean, in appearance, as that which was given to a _drove of hogs_, at
the same place the night previous. Such as it was, however, a black
woman brought it on her head, in a tray or trough two and a half feet
long, where the men and women were promiscuously herded. The slaves
rushed up and seized it from the trough in handfulls, before the woman
could take it off her head. They jumped at it as if half-famished.

"They slept on the floor of the room which they were permitted to
occupy, lying in every form imaginable, males and females,
promiscuously. They were so thick on the floor, that in passing
through the room it was necessary to step over them.

"There were three drivers, one of whom staid in the room to watch the
drove, and the other two slept in an adjoining room. Each of the
latter took a female from the drove to lodge with him, as is the
common practice of the drivers generally. There is no doubt about this
particular instance, _for they were seen together_. The mud was so
thick on the floor where this drove slept, that it was necessary to
take a shovel, the next morning, and clear it out. Six or eight in
this drove were chained; all were for the south.

In the autumn of the same year I saw a drove of upwards of a hundred,
between 40 and 50 of them were fastened to one chain, the links being
made of iron rods, as thick in diameter as a man's little finger. This
drove was bound westward to the Ohio river, to be shipped to the
south. I have seen many droves, and more or less in each, almost
without exception, were chained. I never saw but one drove, that went
on their way making merry. In that one they were blowing horns,
singing, &c., and appeared as if they had been drinking whisky.

"They generally appear extremely dejected. I have seen in the course
of five years, on the road near where I reside, 12 or 15 droves at
least, passing to the south. They would average 40 in each drove. Near
the first of January, 1834, I started about sunrise to go to
Lewisburg. It was a bitter cold morning. I met a drove of negroes, 30
or 40 in number, remarkably ragged and destitute of clothing. One
little boy particularly excited my sympathy. He was some distance
behind the others, not being able to keep up with the rest. Although
he was shivering with cold and crying, the driver was pushing him up
in a trot to overtake the main gang. All of them looked as if they
were half-frozen. There was one remarkable instance of tyranny,
exhibited by a boy, not more than eight years old, that came under my
observation, in a family by the name of D----n, six miles from
Lewisburg. This youngster would swear at the slaves, and exert all the
strength he possessed, to flog or beat them, with whatever instrument
or weapon he could lay hands on, provided they did not obey him
_instanter_. He was encouraged in this by his father, the master of
the slaves. The slaves often fled from this young tyrant in terror."

Mr. Hall adds:--

"The following extract is from a letter, to a student in Marietta
College, by his friend in Alabama. With the writer, Mr. Isaac Knapp, I
am perfectly acquainted. He was a student in the above College, for
the space of one year, before going to Alabama, was formerly a
resident of Dummerston, Vt. He is a professor of religion, and as
worthy of belief as any member of the community. Mr. K. has returned
from the South, and is now a member of the same college.

"In Jan. (1838) a negro of a widow Phillips, ranaway, was taken up,
and confined in Pulaski jail. One Gibbs, overseer for Mrs. P., mounted
on horseback, took him from confinement, compelled him to run back to
Elkton, a distance of fifteen miles, whipping him all the way. When he
reached home, the negro exhausted and worn out, exclaimed, 'you have
broke my heart,' i.e. you have killed me. For this, Gibbs flew into a
violent passion, tied the negro to a stake, and, in the language of a
witness, '_cut his back to mince-meat_.' But the fiend was not
satisfied with this. He burnt his legs to a blister, with hot embers,
and then chained him _naked_, in the open air, weary with running,
weak from the loss of blood, and smarting from his burns. It was a
cold night--and _in the morning the negro was dead_. Yet this monster
escaped without even _the shadow_ of a trial. 'The negro,' said the
doctor, 'died, by--he knew not what; any how, Gibbs did not kill
him.'[9]  A short time since, (the letter is dated, April, 1838.)
'Gibbs whipped another negro unmercifully because the horse, with
which he was ploughing, broke the reins and ran. He then raised his
whip against Mr. Bowers, (son of Mrs. P.) who shot him. Since I came
here,' (a period of about six months,) there have been eight white men
and two negroes killed, within 30 miles of me."

[Footnote 9: Mr. Knapp, gives me some further verbal particulars about
this affair. He says that his informant saw the negro dead the next
morning, that his legs were blistered, and that the negroes affirmed
that Gibbs compelled them to throw embers upon him. But Gibbs denied
it, and said the blistering was the effect of frost, as the negro was
much exposed to before being taken up. Mr. Bowers, a son of Mrs.
Phillips by a former husband, attempted to have Gibbs brought to
justice, but his mother justified Gibbs, and nothing was therefore
done about it. The affair took place in Upper Elkton, Tennessee, near
the Alabama line.]

The following is from Mr. Knapp's own lips, taken down a day or two

"Mr. Buster, with whom I boarded, in Limestone Co., Ala., related to me
the following incident: 'George a slave belonging to one of the
estates in my neighborhood, was lurking about my residence without a
pass. We were making preparations to give him a flogging, but he
escaped from us. Not long afterwards, meeting a patrol which had just
taken a negro in custody without a pass, I inquired, Who have you
there? on learning that it was _George_, well, I rejoined, there is a
small matter between him and myself that needs adjustment, so give me
the raw hide, which I accordingly took, and laid 60 strokes on his
back, to the utmost of my strength.' I was speaking of this barbarity,
afterwards, to Mr. Bradley, an overseer of the Rev. Mr. Donnell, who
lives in the vicinity of Moresville, Ala., 'Oh,' replied he, 'we
consider _that_ a very light whipping here' Mr. Bradley is a professor
of religion, and is esteemed in that vicinity a very pious, exemplary

dated Jan. 1, 1839.

"I do not feel at liberty to disclose the name of the brother who has
furnished the following facts. He is highly esteemed as a man of
scrupulous veracity. I will confirm my own testimony by the
certificate of Judge Snow and Mr. Keyes, two of the oldest and most
respectable settlers in Quincy.

Quincy, Dec. 29, 1838"

"Dear Sir,--We have been long acquainted with the Christian brother
who has named to you some facts that fell under his observation while
a resident of slave states. He is a member of a Christian church, in
good standing; and is a man of strict integrity of character.

Henry H. Snow, Willard Keyes.
Rev. C. Stewart Renshaw."

"My informant spent thirty years of his life in Kentucky and Missouri.
Whilst in Kentucky he resided in Hardin co. I noted down his testimony
very nearly in his own words, which will account for their
_evidence-like_ form. On the general condition of the slaves in
Kentucky, through Hardin co., he said, their houses were very
uncomfortable, generally without floors, other than the earth: many
had puncheon floors, but he never remembers to have seen a plank
floor. In regard to clothing they were very badly off. In summer
they cared little for clothing; but in winter they almost froze. Their
rags might hide their nakedness from the sun in summer, but would not
protect them from the cold in winter. Their bed-clothes were tattered
rags, thrown into a corner by day, and drawn before the fire by night.
'The only thing,' said he, 'to which I can compare them, in winter, is
_stock without a shelter.'_

"He made the following comparison between the condition of slaves in
Kentucky and Missouri. So far as he was able to compare them, he said,
that in Missouri the slaves had better _quarters_-but are not so well
clad, and are more severely punished than in Kentucky. In both states,
the slaves are huddled together, without distinction of sex, into the
same quarter, till it is filled, then another is built; often two or
three families in a log hovel, twelve feet square.

"It is proper to state, that the sphere of my informant's observation
was mainly in the region of Hardin co., Kentucky, and the eastern part
of Missouri, and not through those states generally.

"Whilst at St. Louis, a number of years ago, as he was going to work
with Mr. Henry Males, and another carpenter, they heard groans from a
barn by the road-side: they stopped, and looking through the cracks of
the barn, saw a negro bound hand and foot to a post, so that his toes
just touched the ground; and his master, Captain Thorpe, was
inflicting punishment; he had whipped him till exhausted,--rested
himself, and returned again to the punishment. The wretched sufferer
was in a most pitiable condition, and the warm blood and dry dust of
the barn had formed a mortar up to his instep. Mr. Males jumped the
fence, and remonstrated so effectually with Capt. Thorpe, that he
ceased the punishment. It was six weeks before that slave could put on
his shirt!

"John Mackey, a rich slaveholder, lived near Clarksville, Pike co.,
Missouri, some years since. He whipped his slave Billy, a boy fourteen
years old, till he was sick and stupid; he then sent him home. Then,
for his stupidity, whipped him again, and fractured his skull with an
axe-helve. He buried him away in the woods; dark words were whispered,
and the body was disinterred. A coroner's inquest was held, and Mr. R.
Anderson, the coroner, brought in a verdict of death from fractured
skull, occasioned by blows from an axe-handle, inflicted by John
Mackey. The case was brought into court, but Mackey was rich, and his
murdered victim was his SLAVE; after expending about $500 be walked

"One Mrs. Mann, living near ----, in ---- co., Missouri was known to
be very cruel to her slaves. She had a bench made purposely to whip
them upon; and what she called her "six pound paddle," an instrument
of prodigious torture, bored through with holes; this she would wield
with both hands as she stood over her prostrate victim.

"She thus punished a hired slave woman named Fanny, belonging to Mr.
Charles Trabue, who lives neat Palmyra, Marion co., Missouri; on the
morning after the punishment Fanny was a corpse; she was silently and
quickly buried, but rumor was not so easily stopped. Mr. Trabue heard
of it, and commenced suit for his _property_. The murdered slave was
disinterred, and an inquest held; her back was a mass of jellied
muscle; and the coroner brought in a verdict of death by the 'six
pound paddle.'  Mrs. Mann fled for a few months, but returned again,
and her friends found means to protract the suit.

"This same Mrs. Mann had another hired slave woman living with her,
called Patterson's Fanny, she belonged to a Mr. Patterson; she had a
young babe with her, just beginning to creep. One day, after washing,
whilst a tub of rinsing water yet stood in the kitchen, Mrs. Mann came
out in haste, and sent Fanny to do something out of doors. Fanny tried
to beg off--she was afraid to leave her babe, lest it should creep to
the tub and get hurt--Mrs. M. said she would watch the babe, and sent
her off. She went with much reluctance, and heard the child struggle
as she went out the door. Fearing lest Mrs. M. should leave the babe
alone, she watched the room, and soon saw her pass out of the opposite
door. Immediately Fanny hurried in, and looked around for her babe,
she could not see it, she looked at the tub--there her babe was
floating, a strangled corpse. The poor woman gave a dreadful scream;
and Mrs. M. rushed into the room, with her hands raised, and
exclaimed, 'Heavens, Fanny! have you drowned your child?' It was vain
for the poor bereaved one to attempt to vindicate herself: in vain she
attempted to convince them that the babe had not been alone a moment,
and could not have drowned itself; and that she had not been in the
house a moment, before she screamed at discovering her drowned babe.
All was false! Mrs. Mann declared it was all pretence--that Fanny had
drowned her own babe, and now wanted to lay the blame upon her! and
Mrs. Mann was a white woman--of course her word was more valuable than
the oaths of all the slaves of Missouri. No evidence but that of
slaves could be obtained, or Mr. Patterson would have prosecuted for
his 'loss of property.'  As it was, every one believed Mrs. M. guilty,
though the affair was soon hushed up."

Extract of a letter from Col. THOMAS ROGERS, a native of Kentucky, now
an elder in the Presbyterian Church at New Petersburg, Highland co.,

"When a boy, in Bourbon co., Kentucky, my father lived near a
slaveholder of the name of Clay, who had a large number of slaves; I
remember being often at their quarters; not one of their shanties, or
hovels, had any floor but the earth. Their clothing was truly neither
fit for covering nor decency. We could distinctly, of a still morning,
hear this man whipping his blacks, and hear their screams from my
father's farm; this could be heard almost any still morning about the
dawn of day. It was said to be his usual custom to repair, about the
break of day, to their cabin doors, and, as the blacks passed out, to
give them as many strokes of his cowskin as opportunity afforded; and
he would proceed in this manner from cabin to cabin until they were
all out. Occasionally some of his slaves would abscond, and upon being
retaken they were punished severely; and some of them, it is believed,
died in consequence of the cruelty of their usage. I saw one of this
man's slaves, about seventeen years old, wearing a collar, with long
iron horns extending from his shoulders far above his head.

"In the winter of 1828-29 I traveled through part of the states of
Maryland and Virginia to Baltimore. At Frost Town, on the national
road, I put up for the night. Soon after, there came in a slaver with
his drove of slaves; among them were two young men, chained together.
The bar room was assigned to them for their place of lodging--those in
chains were guarded when they had to go out. I asked the 'owner' why
he kept these men chained; he replied, that they were stout young
fellows, and should they rebel, he and his son would not be able to
manage them. I then left the room, and shortly after heard a
_scream_, and when the landlady inquired the cause, the slaver coolly
told her not to trouble herself, he was only chastising one of his
women. It appeared that three days previously her child had died on
the road, and been thrown into a hole or crevice in the mountain, and
a few stones thrown over it; and the mother weeping for her child was
chastised by her master, and told by him, she 'should have something
to cry for.' The name of this man I can give if called for.

"When engaged in this journey I spent about one month with my
relations in Virginia. It being shortly after new year, _the time of
hiring_ was over; but I saw the pounds, and the scaffolds which
remained of the pounds, in which the slaves had been penned up"

M. GEORGE W. WESTGATE, of Quincy, Illinois, who lived in the
southwestern slave states a number of years, has furnished the
following statement.

"The great mass of the slaves are under drivers and overseers. I never
saw an overseer without a whip; the whip usually carried is a short
loaded stock, with a heavy lash from five to six feet long. When they
whip a slave they make him pull off his shirt, if he has one, then
make him lie down on his face, and taking their stand at the length of
the lash, they inflict the punishment. Whippings are so _universal_
that a negro that has not been whipped is talked of in all the region
as a wonder. By whipping I do not mean a few lashes across the
shoulders, but a set flogging, and generally _lying down._

"On sugar plantations generally, and on some cotton plantations, they
have negro drivers, who are in such a degree responsible for their
gang, that if they are at fault, the driver is whipped. The result is,
the gang are constantly driven by him to the extent of the influence
of the lash; and it is uniformly the case that gangs dread a negro
driver more than a white overseer.

"I spent a winter on widow Culvert's plantation, near Rodney,
Mississippi, but was not in a situation to see extraordinary
punishments. Bellows, the overseer, for a trifling offence, took one
of the slaves, stripped him, and with a piece of burning wood applied
to his posteriors, burned him cruelly; while the poor wretch screamed
in the greatest agony. The principal preparation for punishment that
Bellows had, was single handcuffs made of iron, with chains, by which
the offender could be chained to four stakes on the ground. These are
very common in all the lower country. I noticed one slave on widow
Calvert's plantation, who was whipped from twenty-five to fifty lashes
every fortnight during the whole winter. The expression 'whipped to
death,' as applied to slaves, is common at the south.

"Several years ago I was going below New Orleans, in what is called
the Plaquemine country, and a planter sent down in my boat a runaway
he had found in New Orleans, to his plantation at Orange 5 Points. As
we came near the Points he told me, with deep feeling, that he
expected to be whipped almost to death: pointing to a graveyard, he
said, 'There lie five who were whipped to death.' Overseers generally
keep some of the women on the plantation; I scarce know an exception
to this. Indeed, their intercourse with them is very much
promiscuous,--they show them not much, if any favor. Masters
frequently follow the example of their overseers in this thing.



The slaves are often tortured by iron collars, with long prongs or
"horns" and sometimes bells attached to them--they are made to wear
chains, handcuffs, fetters, iron clogs, bars, rings, and bands of iron
upon their limbs, iron masks upon their faces, iron gags in their
mouths, &c.

In proof of this, we give the testimony of slaveholders themselves,
under their own names; it will be mostly in the form of extracts from
their own advertisements, in southern newspapers, in which, describing
their runaway slaves, they specify the iron collars, handcuffs,
chains, fetters, &c., which they wore upon their necks, wrists,
ankles, and other parts of their bodies. To publish the _whole_ of
each advertisement, would needlessly occupy space and tax the reader;
we shall consequently, as heretofore, give merely the name of the
advertiser, the name and date of the newspaper containing the
advertisement, with the place of publication, and only so much of the
advertisement as will give the particular _fact_, proving the truth of
the assertion contained in the _general head_.

William Toler, sheriff of Simpson county, Mississippi, in the
"Southern Sun," Jackson, Mississippi, September 22, 1838.

"Was committed to jail, a yellow boy named Jim--had on a _large lock
chain around his neck."_

Mr. James R. Green, in the "Beacon," Greensborough, Alabama, August
23, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro man named Squire--had on a _chain locked with a
house-lock, around his neck."_

Mr. Hazlet Loflano, in the "Spectator," Staunton, Virginia, Sept. 27,

"Ranaway, a negro named David--with some _iron hobbles around each

Mr. T. Enggy, New Orleans, Gallatin street, between Hospital and
Barracks, N.O. "Bee," Oct. 27, 1837.

"Ranaway, negress Caroline--had on a _collar with one prong turned

Mr. John Henderson, Washington, county, Mi., in the "Grand Gulf
Advertiser," August 29, 1838.

"Ranaway, a black woman, Betsey--had an _iron bar on her right leg."_

William Dyer sheriff, Claiborne, Louisiana, in the "Herald,"
Natchitoches, (La.) July 26, 1837.

"Was committed to jail, a negro named Ambrose--has a _ring of iron
around his neck."_

Mr. Owen Cooke, "Mary street, between Common and Jackson streets," New
Orleans, in the N.O. "Bee," September 12, 1837.

"Ranaway, my slave Amos, had a _chain_ attached to one of his legs"

H.W. Rice, sheriff, Colleton district, South Carolina, in the
"Charleston Mercury," September 1, 1838.

"Committed to jail, a negro named Patrick, about forty-five years old,
and is _handcuffed._"

W.P. Reeves, jailor, Shelby county, Tennessee, in the "Memphis
Enquirer, June 17, 1837.

"Committed to jail, a negro--had on his right leg an _iron band_ with
one link of a chain."

Mr. Francis Durett, Lexington, Lauderdale county, Ala., in the
"Huntsville Democrat," August 29, 1837.

"Ranaway, a negro man named Charles--had on a _drawing chain,_
fastened around his ankle with a house lock."

Mr. A. Murat, Baton Rouge, in the New Orleans "Bee," June 20, 1837.

"Ranaway, the negro Manuel, _much marked with irons."_

Mr. Jordan Abbott, in the "Huntsville Democrat," Nov. 17, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro boy named Daniel, about nineteen years old, and was

Mr. J. Macoin, No. 177 Ann street, New Orleans, in the "Bee," August
ll, 1838.

"Ranaway, the negress Fanny--had on an _iron band about her neck."_

Menard Brothers, parish of Bernard, Louisiana, In the N.O. "Bee,"
August 18, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro named John--having an _iron around his right foot."_

Messrs. J.L. and W.H. Bolton, Shelby county, Tennessee, in the
"Memphis Enquirer," June 7, 1837.

"Absconded, a colored boy named Peter--had an _iron round his neck_
when he went away."

H. Gridly, sheriff of Adams county, Mi., in the "Memphis (Tenn.)
Times," September, 1834.

"Was committed to jail, a negro boy--had on a _large neck iron_ with a
_huge pair of horns and a large bar or band of iron_ on his left leg."

Mr. Lambre, in the "Natchitoches (La.) Herald," March 29, 1837.

"Ranaway, the negro boy Teams--he had on his neck an _iron collar."_

Mr. Ferdinand Lemos, New Orleans, in the "Bee," January 29, 1838.

"Ranaway, the negro George--he had on _his neck an iron collar,_ the
branches of which had been taken off"

Mr. T.J. De Yampert, merchant, Mobile, Alabama, of the firm of De
Yampert, King & Co., in the "Mobile Chronicle," June 15, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro boy about _twelve_ years old--had round his neck _a
chain dog-collar_, with 'De Yampert' engraved on it."

J.H. Hand, jailor, St. Francisville, La., in the "Louisiana
Chronicle," July 26, 1837.

"Committed to jail, slave John--has several scars on his wrists,
occasioned, as he says, by _handcuffs."_

Mr. Charles Curener, New Orleans, in the "Bee," July 2, 1838.

"Ranaway, the negro, Hown--has a ring of iron on his left foot. Also,
Grise, his _wife,_ having a _ring and chain on the left leg."_

Mr. P.T. Manning, Huntsville, Alabama, in the "Huntsville Advocate,"
Oct. 23, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro boy named James--said boy was _ironed_ when he left

Mr. William L. Lambeth, Lynchburg, Virginia, in the "Moulton [Ala.]
Whig," January 30, 1836.

"Ranaway, Jim--had on when he escaped a pair of _chain handcuffs."_

Mr. D.F. Guex, Secretary of the Steam Cotton Press Company, New
Orleans, in the "Commercial Bulletin," May 27, 1837.

"Ranaway, Edmund Coleman--it is supposed he must have _iron shackles
on his ankles_."

Mr. Francis Durett, Lexington, Alabama, in the "Huntsville Democrat,"
March 8, 1838.

"Ranaway ----, a mulatto--had on when he left, a _pair of handcuffs_
and a _pair of drawing chains_."

B.W. Hodges, jailor, Pike county, Alabama, in the "Montgomery
Advertiser," Sept. 29, 1837.

"Committed to jail, a man who calls his name John--he has a _clog of
iron on his right foot which will weigh four or five pounds_."

P. Bayhi captain of police, in the N.O. "Bee," June 9, 1838.

"Detained at the police jail, the negro wench Myra--has several marks
of _lashing_, and has _irons on her feet_."

Mr. Charles Kernin, parish of Jefferson, Louisiana, in the N.O. "Bee,"
August 11, 1837.

"Ranaway, Betsey--when she left she had on her _neck an iron collar_."

The foregoing advertisements are sufficient for our purpose, scores of
similar ones may be gathered from the newspapers of the slave states
every month.

To the preceding testimony of slaveholders, published by themselves,
and vouched for by their own signatures, we subjoin the following
testimony of other witnesses to the same point.

JOHN M. NELSON, Esq., a native of Virginia, now a highly respected
citizen of highland county, Ohio, and member of the Presbyterian
Church in Hillsborough, in a recent letter states the following:--

"In Staunton, Va., at the horse of Mr. Robert M'Dowell, a merchant of
that place, I once saw a colored woman, of intelligent and dignified
appearance, who appeared to be attending to the business of the house,
with an _iron collar_ around her neck, with horns or prongs extending
out on either side, and up, until they met at something like a foot
above her head, at which point there was a bell attached. This _yoke_,
as they called it, I understood was to prevent her from running away,
or to punish her for having done so. I had frequently seen _men_ with
iron collars, but this was the first instance that I recollect to have
seen a _female_ thus degraded."

Major HORACE NYE, an elder in the Presbyterian Church at Putnam,
Muskingum county, Ohio, in a letter, dated Dec. 5, 1838, makes the
following statement:--

"Mr. Wm. Armstrong, of this place, who is frequently employed by our
citizens as captain and supercargo of descending boats, whose word may
be relied on, has just made to me the following statement:--

"While laying at Alexandria, on Red River, Louisiana, he saw a slave
brought to a blacksmith's shop and a collar of iron fastened round his
neck, with two pieces rivetted to the sides, meeting some distance
above his head. At the top of the arch, thus formed, was attached a
large cow-bell, the motion of which, while walking the streets, made
it necessary for the slave to hold his hand to one of its sides, to
steady it.

"In New Orleans he saw several with iron collars, with horns attached
to them. The first he saw had three prongs projecting from the collar
ten or twelve inches, with the letter S on the end of each. He says
iron collars are quite frequent there."

To the preceding Major Nye adds:--

"When I was about twelve years of age I lived at Marietta, in this
state: I knew little of slaves, as there were few or none, at that
time, in the part of Virginia opposite that place. But I remember
seeing a slave who had run away from some place beyond my knowledge at
that time: he had an iron collar round his neck, to which was a strap
of iron rivetted to the collar, on each side, passing over the top of
the head; and another strap, from the back side to the top of the
first--thus inclosing the head on three sides. I looked on while the
blacksmith severed the collar with a file, which, I think, took him
more than an hour."

Rev. JOHN DUDLEY, Mount Morris, Michigan, resided as a teacher at the
missionary station, among the Choctaws, in Mississippi, during the
years 1830 and 31. In a letter just received Mr. Dudley says:--

"During the time I was on missionary ground, which was in 1830 and 31,
I was frequently at the residence of the agent, who was a
slaveholder.--I never knew of his treating his own slaves with
cruelty; but the poor fellows who were escaping, and lodged with him
when detected, found no clemency. I once saw there a fetter for '_the
d----d runaways_,' the weight of which can be judged by its size. It
was at least three inches wide, half an inch thick, and something over
a foot long. At this time I saw a poor fellow compelled to work in the
field, at 'logging,' with such a galling fetter on his ankles. To
prevent it from wearing his ankles, a string was tied to the centre,
by which the victim suspended it when he walked, with one hand, and
with the other carried his burden. Whenever he lifted, the fetter
rested on his bare ankles. If he lost his balance and made a misstep,
which must very often occur in lifting and rolling logs, the torture
of his fetter was severe. Thus he was doomed to work while wearing the
torturing iron, day after day, and at night he was confined in the
runaways' jail. Some time after this, I saw the same dejected,
heart-broken creature obliged to wait on the other hands, who were
husking corn. The privilege of sitting with the others was too much
for him to enjoy; he was made to hobble from house to barn and barn to
house, to carry food and drink for the rest. He passed round the end
of the house where I was sitting with the agent: he seemed to take no
notice of me, but fixed his eyes on his tormentor till he passed quite
by us."

Mr. ALFRED WILKINSON, member of the Baptist Church in Skeneateles,
N.Y. and an assessor of that town, testifies as follows :--

"I stayed in New Orleans three weeks: during that time there used to
pass by where I stayed a number of slaves, each with an iron band
around his ankle, a chain attached to it, and an eighteen pound ball
at the end. They were employed in wheeling dirt with a wheelbarrow;
they would put the ball into the barrow when they moved.--I recollect
one day, that I counted nineteen of them, sometimes there were not as
many; they were driven by a slave, with a long lash, as if they were
beasts. These, I learned, were runaway slaves from the plantations
above New Orleans.

"There was also a negro woman, that used daily to come to the market
with milk; she had an iron band around her neck, with three rods
projecting from it, about sixteen inches long, crooked at the ends."

For the fact which follows we are indebted to Mr. SAMUEL HALL, a
teacher in Marietta College, Ohio. We quote his letter.

"Mr. Curtis, a journeyman cabinet-maker, of Marietta, relates the
following, of which he was an eye witness. Mr. Curtis is every way
worthy of credit.

"In September, 1837, at 'Milligan's Bend,' in the Mississippi river, I
saw a negro with an iron band around his head, locked behind with a
padlock. In the front, where it passed the mouth, there was a
projection inward of an inch and a half, which entered the mouth.

"The overseer told me, he was so addicted to running away, it did not
do any good to whip him for it. He said he kept this gag constantly on
him, and intended to do so as long as he was on the plantation: so
that, if he ran away, he could not eat, and would starve to death. The
slave asked for drink in my presence; and the overseer made him lie
down on his back, and turned water on his face two or three feet high,
in order to torment him, as he could not swallow a drop.--The slave
then asked permission to go to the river; which being granted, he
thrust his face and head entirely under the water, that being the only
way he could drink with his gag on. The gag was taken off when he took
his food, and then replaced afterwards."

daughter of Hon. Asher Robbins, senator in Congress for that state.

"There was lately found, in the hold of a vessel engaged in the
southern trade, by a person who was clearing it out, an iron collar,
with three horns projecting from it. It seems that a young female
slave, on whose slender neck was riveted this fiendish instrument of
torture, ran away from her tyrant, and begged the captain to bring her
off with him. This the captain refused to do; but unriveted the collar
from her neck, and threw it away in the hold of the vessel. The collar
is now at the anti-slavery office, Providence. To the truth of these
facts Mr. William H. Reed, a gentleman of the highest moral character,
is ready to vouch.

"Mr. Reed is in possession of many facts of cruelty witnessed by
persons of veracity; but these witnesses are not willing to give their
names. One case in particular he mentioned. Speaking with a certain
captain, of the state of the slaves at the south, the captain
contended that their punishments were often very _lenient_; and, as an
instance of their excellent clemency, mentioned, that in one instance,
not wishing to whip a slave, they sent him to a blacksmith, and had an
iron band fastened around him, with three long projections reaching
above his head; and this he wore some time."

Ohio. Mr. B. was formerly a merchant in Massillon, Ohio, and an elder
in the Presbyterian Church there.

"Dear Brother,--In conversation with Judge Lyman, of Litchfield
county, Connecticut, last June, he stated to me, that several years
since he was in Columbia, South Carolina, and observing a colored man
lying on the floor of a blacksmith's shop, as he was passing it, his
curiosity led him in. He learned the man was a slave and rather
unmanageable. Several men were attempting to detach from his ankle an
iron which had been bent around it.

"The iron was a piece of a flat bar of the ordinary size from the
forge hammer, and bent around the ankle, the ends meeting, and forming
a hoop of about the diameter of the leg. There was one or more strings
attached to the iron and extending up around his neck, evidently so to
suspend it as to prevent its galling by its weight when at work, yet
it had galled or griped till the leg had swollen out beyond the iron
and inflamed and suppurated, so that the leg for a considerable
distance above and below the iron, was a mass of putrefaction, the
most loathsome of any wound he had ever witnessed on any living
creature. The slave lay on his back on the floor, with his leg on an
anvil which sat also on the floor, one man had a chisel used for
splitting iron, and another struck it with a sledge, to drive it
between the ends of the hoop and separate it so that it might be taken
off. Mr. Lyman said that the man swung the sledge over his shoulders
as if splitting iron, and struck many blows before he succeeded in
parting the ends of the iron at all, the bar was so large and
stubborn--at length they spread it as far as they could without
driving the chisel so low as to ruin the leg. The slave, a man of
twenty-five years, perhaps, whose countenance was the index of a mind
ill adapted to the degradations of slavery, never uttered a word or a
groan in all the process, but the copious flow of sweat from every
pore, the dreadful contractions and distortions of every muscle in his
body, showed clearly the great amount of his sufferings; and all this
while, such was the diseased state of the limb, that at every blow,
the bloody, corrupted matter gushed out in all directions several
feet, in such profusion as literally to cover a large area around the
anvil. After various other fruitless attempts to spread the iron, they
concluded it was necessary to weaken by filing before it could be got
off which he left them attempting to do."

Mr. WILLIAM DROWN, a well known citizen of Rhode Island, formerly of
Providence, who has traveled in nearly all the slave states, thus
testifies in a recent letter:

"I recollect seeing large gangs of slaves, generally a considerable
number in each gang, being chained, passing westward over the
mountains from Maryland, Virginia, &c. to the Ohio. On that river I
have frequently seen flat boats loaded with them, and their keepers
armed with pistols and dirks to guard them.

"At New Orleans I recollect seeing gangs of slaves that were driven
out every day, the Sabbath not excepted, to work on the streets.
These had heavy chains to connect two or more together, and some had
iron collars and yokes, &c. The noise as they walked, or worked in
their chains, was truly dreadful!"

Rev. THOMAS SAVAGE, pastor of the Congregational Church at Bedford,
New Hampshire, who was for some years a resident of Mississippi and
Louisiana, gives the following fact, in a letter dated January 9,

"In 1819, while employed as an instructor at Second Creek, near
Natchez, Mississippi, I resided on a plantation where I witnessed the
following circumstance. One of the slaves was in the habit of running
away. He had been repeatedly taken, and repeatedly whipped, with
great severity, but to no purpose. He would still seize the first
opportunity to escape from the plantation. At last his owner
declared, I'll fix him, I'll put a stop to his running away. He
accordingly took him to a blacksmith, and had an _iron head-frame_
made for him, which may be called lock-jaw, from the use that was made
of it. It had a lock and key, and was so constructed, that when on the
head and locked, the slave could not open his mouth to take food, and
the design was to prevent his running away. But the device proved
unavailing. He was soon missing, and whether by his own desperate
effort, or the aid of others, contrived to sustain himself with food;
but he was at last taken, and if my memory serves me, his life was
soon terminated by the cruel treatment to which he was subjected."

The Western Luminary, a religious paper published at Lexington,
Kentucky, in an editorial article, in the summer of 1833, says:

"A few weeks since we gave an account of a company of men, women and
children, part of whom were manacled, passing through our streets.
Last week, a number of slaves were driven through the main street of
our city, among whom were a number manacled together, two abreast, all
connected by, and supporting a _heavy iron chain_, which extended the
whole length of the line."


The _name_ of this witness cannot be published, as it would put him in
peril; but his _credibility_ is vouched for by the Rev. Ezra Fisher,
pastor of the Baptist Church, Quincy, Illinois, and Dr. Richard Eels,
of the same place. These gentlemen say of him, "We have great
confidence in his integrity, discretion, and strict Christian
principle."  He says--

"About five years ago, I remember to have passed, in _a single day_,
four droves of slaves for the south west; the largest drove had 350
slaves in it, and the smallest upwards of 200. I counted 68 or 70 in
a single _coffle_. The '_coffle chain_' is a chain fastened at one
end to the centre of the bar of a pair of hand cuffs, which are
fastened to the right wrist of one, and the left wrist of another
slave, they standing abreast, and the chain between them. These are
the head of the coffle. The other end is passed through a ring in the
bolt of the next handcuffs, and the slaves being manacled thus, two
and two together, walk up, and the coffle chain is passed, and they go
up towards the head of the coffle. Of course they are closer or wider
apart in the coffle, according to the number to be coffled, and to the
length of the chain. _I have seen HUNDREDS of droves and
chain-coffles of this description_, and every coffle was a scene of
misery and wo, of tears and brokenness of heart."

Mr. SAMUEL HALL a teacher in Marietta College, Ohio, gives, in a late
letter, the following statement of a fellow student, from Kentucky, of
whom he says, "he is a professor of religion, and worthy of entire

"I have seen at least _fifteen_ droves of 'human cattle,' passing by
us on their way to the south; and I do not recollect an exception,
where there were not more or less of them _chained_ together."

Mr. GEORGE P.C. HUSSEY, of Fayetteville, Franklin county,
Pennsylvania, writes thus:

"I was born and raised in Hagerstown, Washington county, Maryland,
where slavery is perhaps milder than in any other part of the slave
states; and yet I have seen _hundreds_ of colored men and women
chained together, two by two, and driven to the south. I have seen
slaves tied up and lashed till the blood ran down to their heels."

Mr. GIDDINGS, member of Congress from Ohio, in his speech in the House
of Representatives, Feb. 13, 1839, made the following statement:

"On the beautiful avenue in front of the Capitol, members of Congress,
during this session, have been compelled to turn aside from their
path, to permit a coffle of slaves, males and females, _chained to
each other by their necks_, to pass on their way to this _national
slave market_."

Testimony of JAMES K. PAULDING, Esq. the present Secretary of the
United States' Navy.

In 1817, Mr. Paulding published a work, entitled 'Letters from the
South, written during an excursion in the summer of 1816.'  In the
first volume of that work, page 128, Mr. P. gives the following

"The sun was shining out very hot--and in turning the angle of the
road, we encountered the following group: first, a little cart drawn
by one horse, in which five or six half naked black children were
tumbled like pigs together. The cart had no covering, and they seemed
to have been broiled to sleep. Behind the cart marched three black
women, with head, neck and breasts uncovered, and without shoes or
stockings: next came three men, bare-headed, and _chained together
with an ox-chain_. Last of all, came a white man on horse back,
carrying his pistols in his belt, and who, as we passed him, had the
impudence to look us in the face without blushing. At a house where we
stopped a little further on, we learned that he had bought these
miserable beings in Maryland, and was marching them in this manner to
one of the more southern states. Shame on the State of Maryland! and I
say, shame on the State of Virginia! and every state through which
this wretched cavalcade was permitted to pass! I do say, that when
they (the slaveholders) permit such flagrant and indecent outrages
upon humanity as that I have described; when they sanction a villain
in thus marching half naked women and men, loaded with chains, without
being charged with any crime but that of being _black_ from one
section of the United States to another, hundreds of miles in the face
of day, they disgrace themselves, and the country to which they

[Footnote 10: The fact that Mr. Paulding, in the reprint of these
"Letters," in 1835, struck out this passage with all others
disparaging to slavery and its supporters, does not impair the force
of his testimony, however much it may sink the man. Nor will the next
generation regard with any more reverence, his character as a prophet,
because in the edition of 1835, two years after the American
Antislavery Society was formed, and when its auxiliaries were numbered
by hundreds, he inserted a _prediction_ that such movements would be
made at the North, with most disastrous results. "Wot ye not that such
a man as I can certainly divine!" Mr. Paulding has already been taught
by Judge Jay, that he who aspires to the fame of an oracle, without
its inspiration, must resort to other expedients to prevent detection,
than the clumsy one of _antedating_ his responses.]


The slaves are often branded with hot irons, pursued with fire arms
and _shot_, hunted with dogs and torn by them, shockingly maimed with
knives, dirks, &c.; have their ears cut off, their eyes knocked out,
their bones dislocated and broken with bludgeons, their fingers and
toes cut off, their faces and other parts of their persons disfigured
with scars and gashes, _besides_ those made with the lash.

We shall adopt, under this head, the same course as that pursued under
previous ones,--first give the testimony of the slaveholders
themselves, to the mutilations, &c. by copying their own graphic
descriptions of them, in advertisements published under their own
names, and in newspapers published in the slave states, and,
generally, in their own immediate vicinity. We shall, as heretofore,
insert only so much of each advertisement as will be necessary to make
the point intelligible.

Mr. Micajah Ricks, Nash County, North Carolina, in the Raleigh
"Standard," July 18, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro woman and two children; a few days before she went
off, _I burnt her with a hot iron_, on the left side of her face,_ I
tried to make the letter M._"

Mr. Asa B. Metcalf, Kingston, Adams Co. Mi. in the "Natchez Courier;'
June 15, 1832.

"Ranaway Mary, a black woman, has a _scar_ on her back and right arm
near the shoulder, _caused by a rifle ball._"

Mr. William Overstreet, Benton, Yazoo Co. Mi. in the "Lexington
(Kentucky) Observer," July 22, 1838.

"Ranaway a negro man named Henry, _his left eye out_, some scars from
a _dirk_ on and under his left arm, and _much scarred_ with the whip."

Mr. R.P. Carney, Clark Co. Ala., in the Mobile Register, Dec. 22, 1832

One hundred dollars reward for a negro fellow Pompey, 40 years old, he
is _branded_ on the _left jaw_.

Mr. J. Guyler, Savannah Georgia, in the "Republican," April 12, 1837.

"Ranaway Laman, an old negro man, grey, has _only one eye._"

J.A. Brown, jailor, Charleston, South Carolina, in the "Mercury," Jan.
12, 1837.

"Committed to jail a negro man, has _no toes_ on his left foot."

Mr. J. Scrivener, Herring Bay, Anne Arundel Co. Maryland, in the
Annapolis Republican, April 18, 1837.

"Ranaway negro man Elijah, has a scar on his left cheek, apparently
occasioned by _a shot_."

Madame Burvant corner of Chartres and Toulouse streets, New Orleans,
in the "Bee," Dec. 21, 1838.

"Ranaway a negro woman named Rachel, has _lost all her toes_ except
the large one."

Mr. O.W. Lains, In the "Helena, (Ark.) Journal," June 1, 1833.

"Ranaway Sam, he was _shot_ a short time since, through the hand, and
has _several shots in his left arm and side_."

Mr. R.W. Sizer, in the "Grand Gulf, [Mi.] Advertiser," July 8, 1837.

"Ranaway my negro man Dennis, said negro has been _shot_ in the left
arm between the shoulders and elbow, which has paralyzed the left

Mr. Nicholas Edmunds, in the "Petersburgh [Va.] Intelligencer," May
22, 1838.

"Ranaway my negro man named Simon, _he has been shot badly_ in his
back and right arm."

Mr. J. Bishop, Bishopville, Sumpter District, South Carolina, in the
"Camden [S.C.] Journal," March 4, 1837.

"Ranaway a negro named Arthur, has a considerable _scar_ across his
_breast and each arm_, made by a knife; loves to talk much of the
goodness of God."

Mr. S. Neyle, Little Ogeechee, Georgia, in the "Savannah Republican,"
July 3, 1837.

"Ranaway George, he has a _sword cut_ lately received on his left

Mrs. Sarah Walsh, Mobile, Ala. in the "Georgia Journal," March 27,

"Twenty five dollars reward for my man Isaac, he has a scar on his
forehead caused by a _blow_, and one on his back made by _a shot from
a pistol_."

Mr. J.P. Ashford, Adams Co. Mi. in the "Natchez Courier," August 24,

"Ranaway a negro girl called Mary, has a small scar over her eye, a
_good many teeth missing_, the letter A _is branded on her cheek and

Mr. Ely Townsend, Pike Co. Ala. in the "Pensacola Gazette," Sep. 16,

"Ranaway negro Ben, has a scar on his right hand, his thumb and fore
finger being injured by being _shot_ last fall, a part of _the bone
came out_, he has also one or two _large scars_ on his back and hips."

S.B. Murphy, jailer, Irvington, Ga. in the "Milledgeville Journal,"
May 29, 1838.

"Committed a negro man, is _very badly shot in the right side_ and
right hand."

Mr. A. Luminais, Parish of St. John Louisiana, in the New Orleans
"Bee," March 3, 1838.

"Detained at the jail, a mulatto named Tom, has a _scar_ on the right
cheek and appears to have been _burned with powder_ on the face."

Mr. Isaac Johnson, Pulaski Co. Georgia, in the "Milledgeville
Journal," June 19, 1838.

"Ranaway a negro man named Ned, _three of his fingers_ are drawn into
the palm of his hand by a _cut_, has a _scar_ on the back of his neck
nearly half round, done by a _knife_."

Mr. Thomas Hudnall, Madison Co. Mi. in the "Vicksburg Register,"
September 5, 1838.

"Ranaway a negro named Hambleton, _limps_ on his left foot where he
was _shot_ a few weeks ago, while runaway."

Mr. John McMurrain, Columbus, Ga. in the "Southern Sun," August 7,

"Ranaway a negro boy named Mose, he has a _wound_ in the right
shoulder near the back bone, which was occasioned by a _rifle shot_."

Mr. Moses Orme, Annapolis, Maryland, in the "Annapolis Republican,"
June 20, 1837.

"Ranaway my negro man Bill, he has a _fresh wound in his head_ above
his ear."

William Strickland, Jailor, Kershaw District, S.C. in the "Camden
[S.C.] Courier," July 8, 1837.

"Committed to jail a negro, says his name is Cuffee, he is lame in one
knee, occasioned _by a shot_."

The Editor of the "Grand Gulf Advertiser," Dec. 7, 1838.

"Ranaway Joshua, his thumb is off of his left hand."

Mr. William Bateman, in the "Grand Gulf Advertiser," Dec. 7, 1838.

"Ranaway William, _scar_ over his left eye, one between his eye brows,
one on his breast, and his right leg has been _broken_."

Mr. B.G. Simmons, in the "Southern Argus," May 30, 1837.

"Ranaway Mark, his left arm has been _broken_."

Mr. James Artop, in the "Macon [Ga.] Messenger, May 25, 1837.

"Ranaway, Caleb, 50 years old, has an awkward gait occasioned by his
being _shot_ in the thigh."

J.L. Jolley, Sheriff of Clinton, Co. Mi. in the "Clinton Gazette,"
July 23, 1836.

"Was committed to jail a negro man, says his name is Josiah, his back
very much scarred by the whip, and _branded on the thigh and hips, in
three or four places_, thus (J.M.) the _rim of his right ear has been
bit or cut off_."

Mr. Thomas Ledwith, Jacksonville East Florida, in the "Charleston
[S.C.] Courier, Sept. 1, 1838.

"Fifty dollars reward, for my fellow Edward, he has a _scar_ on the
corner of his mouth, two _cuts_ on and under his arm, and the _letter
E on his arm_."

Mr. Joseph James, Sen., Pleasant Ridge, Paulding Co. Ga., in the
"Milledgeville Union," Nov. 7, 1837.

"Ranaway, negro boy Ellie, has a _scar_ on one of his arms _from the
bite of a dog_."

Mr. W. Riley, Orangeburg District, South Carolina, in the "Columbia
[S.C.] Telescope," Nov. 11, 1837.

"Ranaway a negro man, has a _scar_ on the ankle produced by a _burn_,
and a _mark on his arm_ resembling the letter S."

Mr. Samuel Mason, Warren Co, Mi. in the "Vicksburg Register," July 18,

"Ranaway, a negro man named Allen, he has a scar on his breast, also a
scar under the left eye, and has _two buck shot in his right arm_."

Mr. F.L.C. Edwards, in the "Southern Telegraph", Sept. 25, 1837

"Ranaway from the plantation of James Surgette, the following negroes,
Randal, _has one ear cropped_; Bob, _has lost one eye_, Kentucky Tom,
_has one jaw broken_."

Mr. Stephen M. Jackson, in the "Vicksburg Register", March 10, 1837.

"Ranaway, Anthony, _one of his ears cut off_, and his left hand cut
with an axe."

Philip Honerton, deputy sheriff of Halifax Co. Virginia, Jan. 1837.

"Was committed, a negro man, has a _scar_ on his right side by a burn,
one on his knee, and one on the calf of his leg _by the bite of a

Stearns & Co. No. 28, New Levee, New Orleans, in the "Bee", March 22,

"Absconded, the mulatto boy Tom, his fingers _scarred_ on his right
hand, and has a _scar_ on his right cheek"

Mr. John W. Walton, Greensboro, Ala. in the "Alabama Beacon", Dec. 13,

"Ranaway my black boy Frazier, with a _scar_ below and one above his
right ear."

Mr. R. Furman, Charleston, S.C. in the "Charleston Mercury" Jan. 12,

"Ranaway, Dick, about 19, has lost the small toe of one foot."

Mr. John Tart, Sen. in the "Fayetteville [N.C.] Observer", Dec. 26,

"Stolen a mulatto boy, _ten_ years old, he has a _scar_ over his eye
which was made by an axe."

Mr. Richard Overstreet, Brook Neal, Campbell Co. Virginia, in the
"Danville [Va.] Reporter", Dec. 21, 1838.

"Absconded my negro man Coleman, has a _very large scar_ on one of his
legs, also one on _each_ arm, by a burn, and his heels have been

The editor of the New Orleans "Bee" in that paper, August 27, 1837.

"Fifty dollars reward, for the negro Jim Blake--has a _piece cut out
of each ear_, and the middle finger of the left hand _cut off_ to the
second joint."

Mr. Bryant Jonson, Port Valley, Houston county, Georgia, in the
Milledgeville "Union", Oct. 2, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro woman named Maria--has a scar on one side of her
cheek, by a _cut_--some scars on her back."

Mr. Leonard Miles, Steen's Creek, Rankin county, Mi. in the "Southern
Sun", Sept. 22, 1838

"Ranaway, Gabriel--has _two or three scars across his neck_ made with
a knife."

Mr. Bezou, New Orleans, in the "Bee" May 23, 1838.

"Ranaway, the mulatto wench Mary--has a _cut on the left arm, a scar
on the shoulder, and two upper teeth missing_."

Mr. James Kimborough, Memphis, Tenn. in the "Memphis Enquirer" July
13, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro boy, named Jerry--has a _scar_ on his right check
two inches long, from the cut of a knife."

Mr. Robert Beasley, Macon, Georgia, in the "Georgia Messenger", July
27, 1837.

"Ranaway, my man Fountain--has _holes in his ears, a scar_ on the
right side of his forehead--has been _shot in the hind parts of his
legs_--is marked on the back with the whip."

Mr. B.G. Barrer, St. Louis, Missouri, in the "Republican", Sept. 6,

"Ranaway, a negro man named Jarret--_has a scar_ on the under part of
one of his arms, occasioned by a wound from a knife."

Mr. John D. Turner, near Norfolk, Virginia, in the "Norfolk Herald",
June 27, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro by the name of Joshua--he has a cut across one of
his ears, which he will conceal as much as possible--one of his
ankles is _enlarged by an ulcer_."

Mr. William Stansell, Picksville, Ala. in the "Huntsville Democrat",
August 29, 1837.

"Ranaway, negro boy Harper--has a scar on one of his hips in the form
of a G."

Hon. Ambrose H. Sevier Senator, in Congress, from Arkansas in the
"Vicksburg Register", of Oct. 18.

"Ranaway, Bob, a slave--has a _scar across his breast_, another on the
_right side of his head_--his back is _much scarred_ with the whip."

Mr. R.A. Greene, Milledgeville, Georgia, in the "Macon Messenger" July
27, 1837.

"Two hundred and fifty dollars reward, for my negro man Jim--he is
much marked with _shot_ in his right thigh,--the shot entered on the
outside, half way between the hip and knee joints."

Benjamin Russel, deputy sheriff, Bibb county, Ga. in the "Macon
Telegraph", December 25, 1837.

"Brought to jail, John--_left ear cropt_."

Hon. H Hitchcock, Mobile, judge of the Supreme Court, in the
"Commercial Register", Oct. 27, 1837.

"Ranaway, the slave Ellis--he has _lost one of his ears_."

Mrs. Elizabeth L. Carter, near Groveton, Prince William county,
Virginia, in the "National Intelligencer", Washington, D.C. June 10,

"Ranaway, a negro man, Moses--he has _lost a part_ of one of his

Mr. William D. Buckels, Natchez, Mi. in the "Natchez Courier," July
28, 1838.

"Taken up, a negro man--is _very much scarred_ about the face and
body, and has the left _ear bit off_."

Mr. Walter R. English, Monroe county, Ala. in the "Mobile Chronicle,"
Sept. 2, 1837.

"Ranaway, my slave Lewis--he has lost a _piece of one ear_, and a
_part of one of his fingers_, a _part of one of his toes_ is also

Mr. James Saunders, Grany Spring, Hawkins county, Tenn. in the
"Knoxville Register," June 6, 1838.

"Ranaway, a black girl named Mary--has a _scar_ on her cheek, and the
end of one of her toes _cut off_."

Mr. John Jenkins, St Joseph's, Florida, captain of the steamboat
Ellen, "Apalachicola Gazette," June 7, 1838.

"Ranaway, the negro boy Caesar--he has _but one eye_."

Mr. Peter Hanson, Lafayette city, La., in the New Orleans "Bee," July
28, 1838.

"Ranaway, the negress Martha--she has _lost her right eye_."

Mr. Orren Ellis, Georgeville, Mi. in the "North Alabamian," Sept. 15,

"Ranaway, George--has had the lower part of _one of his ears bit

Mr. Zadock Sawyer, Cuthbert, Randolph county, Georgia, in the
"Milledgeville Union," Oct. 9, 1838.

"Ranaway, my negro Tom--has a piece _bit off the top of his right
ear_, and his little finger is _stiff_."

Mr. Abraham Gray, Mount Morino, Pike county, Ga. in the "Milledgeville
Union," Oct. 9, 1838.

"Ranaway, my mulatto woman Judy--she has had her _right arm broke_."

S.B. Tuston, jailer, Adams county, Mi. in the "Natchez Courier," June
15, 1838.

"Was committed to jail, a negro man named Bill--has had the _thumb of
his left hand split_."

Mr. Joshua Antrim, Nineveh, Warren county, Virginia, in the
"Winchester Virginian," July 11, 1837.

"Ranaway, a mulatto man named Joe--his fingers on the left hand are
_partly amputated_."

J.B. Randall, jailor,  Marietta, Cobb county, Ga., in the "Southern
Recorder;" Nov. 6, 1838.

"Lodged in jail, a negro man named Jupiter--is very _lame in his left
hip_, so that he can hardly walk--has lost a joint of the middle
finger of his left hand."

Mr. John N. Dillahunty, Woodville, Mi., in the "N.O. Commercial
Bulletin," July 21, 1837.

"Ranaway, Bill--has a scar over one eye, also one on his leg, from
_the bite of a dog_--has a _burn on his buttock, from a piece of hot
iron in shape of a T_."

William K. Ratcliffe, sheriff, Franklin county, Mi. in the "Natchez
Free Trader," August 23, 1838.

"Committed to jail, a negro named Mike--_his left ear off_"

Mr. Preston Halley, Barnwell, South Carolina, in the "Augusta [Ga.]
Chronicle," July 27, 1838.

"Ranaway, my negro man Levi--his left hand has been _burnt_, and I
think the end of his fore finger _is off_."

Mr. Welcome H. Robbins, St. Charles county, Mo. in the "St. Louis
Republican," June 30, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro named Washington--has _lost a part of his middle
finger and the end of his little finger_."

G. Gourdon & Co. druggists, corner of Rampart and Hospital streets,
New Orleans, in the "Commercial Bulletin," Sept. 18, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro named David Drier--has _two toes cut_."

Mr. William Brown, in the "Grand Gulf Advertiser," August 29, 1838.

"Ranaway, Edmund--has a _scar_ on his right temple, and under his
right eye, and _holes in both ears_."

Mr. James McDonnell, Talbot county, Georgia, in the "Columbus
Enquirer," Jan. 18, 1838.

"Runaway, a negro boy _twelve or thirteen_ years old--has a scar on
his left cheek _from the bite of a dog_."

Mr. John W. Cherry, Marengo county, Ala. in the "Mobile Register,"
June 15, 1838.

"Fifty dollars reward, for my negro man John--he has a considerable
scar on his _throat_, done with a _knife_."

Mr. Thos. Brown, Roane co. Tenn. in the "Knoxville Register," Sept 12,

"Twenty-five dollars reward, for my man John--the _tip_ of his nose is
_bit off_."

Messrs. Taylor, Lawton & Co., Charleston, South Carolina, in the
"Mercury," Nov. 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro fellow called Hover--has a _cut_ above the right

Mr. Louis Schmidt, Faubourg, Sivaudais, La. in the New Orleans "Bee,"
Sept. 5, 1837.

"Ranaway, the negro man Hardy--has a _scar_ on the upper lip, and
another made with a _knife_ on his neck."

W.M. Whitehead, Natchez, in the "New Orleans Bulletin," July 21,

"Ranaway, Henry--has half of one _ear bit off_."

Mr. Conrad Salvo, Charleston, South Carolina, in the "Mercury," August
10, 1837.

"Ranaway, my negro man Jacob--he has but _one eye_."

William Baker, jailer, Shelby county, Ala., in the "Montgomery (Ala.)
Advertiser," Oct. 5, 1838.

"Committed to jail, Ben--his _left thumb off_ at the first joint."

Mr. S.N. Hite, Camp street, New Orleans, in the "Bee," Feb. 19, 1838.

"Twenty-five dollars reward for the negro slave Sally--walks as though
_crippled_ in the back."

Mr. Stephen M. Richards, Whitesburg, Madison county, Alabama, in the
"Huntsville Democrat," Sept 8, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro man named Dick--has a _little finger off_ the right

Mr. A. Brose, parish of St. Charles, La. in the "New Orleans Bee,"
Feb. 19, 1838.

"Ranaway, the negro Patrick--has his little finger of the right hand
_cut close to the hand_."

Mr. Needham Whitefield, Aberdeen, Mi. in the "Memphis (Tenn.)
Enquirer," June 15, 1838.

"Ranaway, Joe Dennis--has a small _notch_ in one of his ears."

Col. M.J. Keith, Charleston, South Carolina, in the "Mercury," Nov.
27, 1837.

"Ranaway, Dick--has _lost the little toe_ of one of his feet."

Mr. R. Faucette, Haywood, North Carolina, in the "Raleigh Register,"
April 30, 1838.

"Escaped, my negro man Eaton--his _little finger_ of the right hand
has been _broke_."

Mr. G.C. Richardson, Owen Station, Mo., in the St. Louis "Republican,"
May 5, 1838.

"Ranaway, my negro man named Top--has had one of his _legs broken_."

Mr. E. Han, La Grange, Fayette county, Tenn. in the Gallatin "Union,"
June 23, 1837.

"Ranaway, negro boy Jack--has a small _crop out of his left ear_."

D. Herring, warden of Baltimore city jail, in the "Marylander," Oct 6,

"Was committed to jail, a negro man--has _two scars_ on his forehead,
and the _top of his left ear cut off_."

Mr. James Marks, near Natchitoches, La. in the "Natchitoches Herald,"
July 21, 1838.

"Stolen, a negro man named Winter--has a _notch_ cut out of the left
ear, and the mark of _four or five buck shot_ on his legs."

Mr. James Barr, Amelia Court House, Virginia, in the "Norfolk Herald,"
Sept. 12, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro man--_scar back of his left eye_, as if from the
_cut_ of a knife."

Mr. Isaac Michell, Wilkinson county, Georgia, in the "Augusta
Chronicle," Sept 21, 1837.

"Ranaway, negro man Buck--has a very _plain mark_ under his ear on his
jaw, about the size of a dollar, having been _inflicted by a knife._"

Mr. P. Bayhi, captain of the police, Suburb Washington, third
municipality, New Orleans, in the "Bee," Oct. 13, 1837.

"Detained at the jail, the negro boy Hermon--has a scar below his left
ear, from the _wound of a knife_."

Mr. Willie Paterson, Clinton, Jones county, Ga. in the "Darien
Telegraph," Dec. 5, 1837.

"Ranaway, a negro man by the name of John--he has a _scar_ across his
cheek, and one on his right arm, apparently done with a _knife_."

Mr. Samuel Ragland, Triana, Madison county, Alabama, in the
"Huntsville Advocate," Dec. 23, 1837.

"Ranaway, Isham--has a _scar_ upon the breast and upon the under lip,
from the _bite of a dog_."

Mr. Moses E. Bush, near Clayton, Ala. in the "Columbus (Ga.)
Enquirer," July 5, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro man--has a _scar_ on his hip and on his breast, and
_two front teeth out_."

C.W. Wilkins, sheriff Baldwin Co, Ala, is the "Mobile Advertiser;"
Sept. 24, 1837.

"Committed to jail, a negro man, he is _crippled_ in the right leg."

Mr. James H. Taylor, Charleston South Carolina, in the "Courier,"
August 7, 1837.

"Absconded, a colored boy, named Peter, _lame_ in the right leg."

N.M.C. Robinson, jailer, Columbus, Georgia, in the "Columbus (Ga.)
Enquirer," August 2, 1838.

"Brought to jail, a negro man, his left ankle has been _broke_."

Mr. Littlejohn Rynes, Hinds Co. Mi. in the "Natchez Courier," August,
17, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro man named Jerry, has a small piece _cut out of the
top of each ear_."

The Heirs of J.A. Alston, near Georgetown, South Carolina, in the
"Georgetown [S.C.] Union," June 17, 1837.

"Absconded a negro named Cuffee, has _lost one finger_; has an
_enlarged leg_."

A.S. Ballinger, Sheriff, Johnston Co, North Carolina, In the "Raleigh
Standard," Oct. 18, 1838.

"Committed to jail, a negro man; has a _very sore leg_."

Mr. Thomas Crutchfield, Atkins, Ten. in the "Tennessee Journal," Oct.
17, 1838.

"Ranaway, my mulatto boy Cy, has but _one hand_, all the fingers of
his right hand were _burnt off_ when young."

J.A. Brown, jailer, Orangeburg, South Carolina, in the "Charleston
Mercury," July 18, 1838.

"Was committed to jail, a negro named Bob, appears to be _crippled_ in
the right leg."

S.B. Turton, jailer, Adams Co. Miss. in the "Natchez Courier," Sept.
29, 1838.

"Was committed to jail, a negro man, has his _left thigh broke_."

Mr. John H. King,  High street, Georgetown, in the "National
Intelligencer," August 1, 1837.

"Ranaway, my negro man, he has the _end of one_ of his fingers

Mr. John B. Fox, Vicksburg, Miss. in the "Register," March 29, 1837.

"Ranaway, a yellowish negro boy named Tom, has a _notch_ in the back
of one of his ears."

Messrs. Fernandez and Whiting, auctioneers, New Orleans, in the "Bee,"
April 8, 1837.

"Will be sold Martha, aged nineteen, _has one eye out_."

Mr. Marshall Jett, Farrowsville, Fauquier Co. Virginia, in the
"National Intelligencer," May 30, 1837.

"Ranaway, negro man Ephraim, has a _mark_ over one of his eyes,
occasioned by a _blow_."

S.B. Turton, jailer Adams Co. Miss. in the "Natches Courier," Oct. 12,

"Was committed a negro, calls himself Jacob, has been _crippled_ in
his right leg."

John Ford, sheriff of Mobile County, in the "Mississippian," Jackson
Mi. Dec. 28, 1838.

"Committed to jail, a negro man Cary, a _large scar on his forehead_."

E.W. Morris, sheriff of Warren County, in the "Vicksburg [Mi.]
Register," March 28, 1838.

"Committed as a runaway, a negro man Jack, he has _several scars_ on
his face."

Mr. John P. Holcombe, In the "Charleston Mercury," April 17, 1828.

"Absented himself, his negro man Ben, _has scars_ on his throat,
occasioned by the _cut of a knife_."

Mr. Geo. Kinlock, in the "Charleston, S.C. Courier," May 1, 1839.

"Ranaway, negro boy Kitt, 15 or 16 years old, _has a piece taken out
of one of his ears_."

Wm. Magee, sheriff, Mobile Co. in the "Mobile Register," Dec. 27, 1837.

"Committed to jail, a runaway slave, Alexander, a _scar_ on his left

Mr. Henry M. McGregor, Prince George County, Maryland, in the
"Alexandria [D.C.] Gazette," Feb. 6, 1838.

"Ranaway, negro Phil, _scar through the right eye brow_ part of the
_middle toe_ right foot _cut off_."

Green B Jourdan, Baldwin County Ga. in the "Georgia Journal," April
18, 1837.

"Ranaway, John, has a _scar_ on one of his hands extending from the
wrist joint to the little finger, also a _scar_ on one of his legs."

Messrs. Daniel and Goodman, New Orleans, in the "N.O. Bee," Feb. 2,

"Absconded, mulatto slave Alick, has a _large scar over_ one of his

Jeremiah Woodward, Gonchland, Co. Va. in the "Richmond Va. Whig," Jan.
30, 1838.

"200 DOLLARS REWARD for Nelson, has a _scar_ on his forehead
occasioned by a _burn_, and one on his lower lip and one about the

Samuel Rawlins, Gwinet Co. Ga. in the "Columbus Sentinel," Nov. 29,

"Ranaway, a negro man and his wife, named Nat and Priscilla, he has a
small _scar_ on his left cheek, _two stiff fingers_ on his right hand
with a _running sore_ on them; his wife has a _scar_ on her left arm,
and one _upper tooth out_."

The reader perceives that we have under this head, as under previous
ones, given to the testimony of the slaveholders themselves, under
their own names, a precedence over that of all other witnesses. We now
ask the reader's attention to the testimonies which follow. They are
endorsed by responsible names--men who 'speak what they know, and
testify what they have seen'--testimonies which show, that the
slaveholders who wrote the preceding advertisements, describing the
work of their own hands, in branding with hot irons, maiming,
mutilating, cropping, shooting, knocking out the teeth and eyes of
their slaves, breaking their bones, &c., have manifested, _as far as
they have gone_ in the description, a commendable fidelity to truth.

It is probable that some of the scars and maimings in the preceding
advertisements were the result of accidents; and some _may be_ the
result of violence inflicted by the slaves upon each other. Without
arguing that point, we say, these are the _facts_; whoever reads and
ponders them, will need no argument to convince him, that the
proposition which they have been employed to sustain, _cannot be
shaken_. That any considerable portion of them were _accidental_, is
totally improbable, from the nature of the case; and is in most
instances disproved by the advertisements themselves. That they have
not been produced by assaults of the slaves upon each other, is
manifest from the fact, that injuries of that character inflicted by
the slaves upon each other, are, as all who are familiar with the
habits and condition of slaves well know, exceedingly rare; and of
necessity must be so, from the constant action upon them of the
strongest dissuasives from such acts that can operate on human nature.

Advertisements similar to the preceding may at any time be gathered by
scores from the daily and weekly newspapers of the slave states.
Before presenting the reader with further testimony in proof of the
proposition at the head of this part of our subject, we remark, that
some of the tortures enumerated under this and the preceding heads,
are not in all cases inflicted by slaveholders as _punishments_, but
sometimes merely as preventives of escape, for the greater security of
their 'property'. Iron collars, chains, &c. are put upon slaves when
they are driven or transported from one part of the country to
another, in order to keep them from running away. Similar measures are
often resorted to upon plantations. When the master or owner suspects
a slave of plotting an escape, an iron collar with long 'horns,' or a
bar of iron, or a ball and chain, are often fastened upon him, for the
double purpose of retarding his flight, should he attempt it, and of
serving as an easy means of detection.

Another inhuman method of _marking_ slaves, so that they may be easily
described and detected when they escape, is called _cropping_. In the
preceding advertisements, the reader will perceive a number of cases,
in which the runaway is described as '_cropt_,' or a '_notch cut_ in
the ear, or a part or the whole of the ear _cut off_,' &c.

Two years and a half since, the writer of this saw a letter, then just
received by Mr. Lewis Tappan, of New York, containing a negro's ear
cut off close to the head. The writer of the letter, who signed
himself Thomas Oglethorpe, Montgomery, Alabama, sent it to Mr. Tappan
as 'a specimen of a negro's ears,' and desired him to add it to his

Another method of _marking_ slaves, is by drawing out or breaking off
one or two _front teeth_--commonly the upper ones, as the mark would
in that case be the more obvious. An instance of this kind the reader
will recall in the testimony of Sarah M. Grimké, page 30, and of which
she had _personal_ knowledge; being well acquainted both with the
inhuman master, (a distinguished citizen of South Carolina,) by whose
order the brutal deed was done, and with the poor young girl whose
mouth was thus barbarously mutilated, to furnish a convenient mark by
which to describe her in case of her elopement, as she had frequently
run away.

The case stated by Miss G. serves to unravel what, to one uninitiated,
seems quite a mystery: i.e. the frequency with which, in the
advertisements of runaway slaves published in southern papers, they
are described as having _one or two front teeth out_. Scores of such
advertisements are in southern papers now on our table. We will
furnish the reader with a dozen or two.

Jesse Debruhl, sheriff, Richland District, "Columbia (S.C.)
Telescope," Feb. 24, 1839.

"Committed to jail, Ned, about 25 years of age, has lost his _two
upper front teeth_."

Mr. John Hunt, Black Water Bay, "Pensacola (Ga.) Gazette," October 14,

"100 DOLLARS REWARD, for Perry, _one under front tooth_ missing, aged
23 years."

Mr. John Frederick, Branchville, Orangeburgh District, S.C.
"Charleston (S.C.) Courier," June 12, 1837.

"10 DOLLARS REWARD, for Mary, _one or two upper teeth_ out, about 25
years old."

Mr. Egbert A. Raworth, eight miles west of Nashville on the Charlotte
road "Daily Republican Banner," Nashville, Tennessee, April 30, 1938.

"Ranaway, Myal, 23 years old, one of his _fore teeth out_."

Benjamin Russel, Deputy sheriff Bibb Co. Ga. "Macon (Ga.) Telegraph,"
Dec. 25, 1837.

"Brought to jail John, 23 years old, _one fore tooth out_."

F. Wisner, Master of the Work House, "Charleston (S.C.) Courier." Oct.
17, 1837.

"Committed to the Charleston Work House Tom, _two of his upper front
teeth out_, about 30 years of age."

Mr. S. Neyle, "Savannah (Ga.) Republican," July 3, 1837.

"Ranaway Peter, has lost _two front teeth_ in the upper jaw."

Mr. John McMurrain, near Columbus, "Georgia Messenger," Aug. 2, 1838.

"Ranaway, a boy named Moses, some of his _front teeth out_."

Mr. John Kennedy, Stewart Co. La. "New Orleans Bee," April 7, 1837.

"Ranaway, Sally, her _fore teeth out_."

Mr. A.J. Hutchings, near Florence, Ala. "North Alabamian," August 25,

"Ranaway, George Winston, two of his _upper fore teeth out_
immediately in front."

Mr. James Purdon, 33 Commons street, N.O. "New Orleans Bee," Feb. 13,

"Ranaway, Jackson, has lost _one of his front teeth_."

Mr. Robert Calvert, in the "Arkansas State Gazette," August 22, 1838.

"Ranaway, Jack, 25 years old, has lost _one of his fore teeth_."

Mr. A.G.A. Beazley, in the Memphis Gazette, March 18, 1838.

"Ranaway, Abraham, 20 or 22 years of age, _his front teeth out_."

Mr. Samuel Townsend, in the "Huntsville [Ala.] Democrat," May 24,

"Ranaway, Dick, 18 or 20 years of age, _has one front tooth out_."

Mr. Philip A. Dew, in the "Virginia Herald," of May 24, 1837.

"Ranaway, Washington, about 25 years of age, has _an upper front tooth

J.G. Dunlap, "Georgia Constitutionalist," April 24, 1838.

"Ranaway, negro woman Abbe, _upper front teeth out_."

John Thomas, "Southern Argus," August 7, 1838.

"Ranaway, Lewis, 25 or 26 years old, _one or two of his front teeth

M.E.W. Gilbert, in the "Columbus [Ga.] Enquirer," Oct. 5. 1837.

"50 DOLLARS REWARD, for Prince, 25 or 26 years old, _one or two teeth
out_ in front on the upper jaw."

Publisher of the "Charleston Mercury," Aug. 31, 1838.

"Ranaway, Seller Saunders, _one fore tooth out_, about 22 years of

Mr. Byrd M. Grace, in the "Macon [Ga.] Telegraph," Oct. 16, 1383.

"Ranaway, Warren, about 25 or 26 years old, has lost _some of his
front teeth_."

Mr. George W. Barnes, in the "Milledgeville [Ga.] Journal," May 22,

"Ranaway, Henry, about 23 years old, has one of his _upper front teeth

D. Herring, Warden of Baltimore Jail, in "Baltimore Chronicle," Oct.
6, 1837.

"Committed to jail Elizabeth Steward, 17 or 18 years old, has _one of
her front teeth out_."

Mr. J.L. Colborn, in the "Huntsville [Ala.] Democrat," July 4, 1837.

"Ranaway Liley, 26 years of age, _one fore tooth gone_."

Samuel Harman Jr. in the "New Orleans Bee," Oct. 12, 1838.

"50 DOLLARS REWARD, for Adolphe, 28 years old, _two of his front
teeth_ are missing."

Were it necessary, we might easily add to the preceding list,
_hundreds_. The reader will remark that all the slaves, whose ages are
given, are _young_--not one has arrived at middle age; consequently it
can hardly be supposed that they have lost their teeth either from age
or decay. The probability that their teeth were taken out by force, is
increased by the fact of their being _front teeth_ in almost every
case, and from the fact that the loss of no _other_ is mentioned in
the advertisements. It is well known that the front teeth are not
generally the first to fail. Further, it is notorious that the teeth
of the slaves are remarkably sound and serviceable, that they decay
far less, and at a much later period of life than the teeth of the
whites: owing partly, no doubt, to original constitution; but more
probably to their diet, habits, and mode of life.

As an illustration of the horrible mutilations _sometimes_ suffered by
them in the breaking and tearing out of their teeth, we insert the
following, from the New Orleans Bee of May 31, 1837.

$10 REWARD.--Ranaway, Friday, May 12, JULIA, a negress, EIGHTEEN OR
ALL BROKEN. Said reward will be paid to whoever will bring her to her
master, No. 172 Barracks-street, or lodge her in the jail.

The following is contained in the same paper.

Ranaway, NELSON, 27 years old,--"ALL HIS TEETH ARE MISSING."

This advertisement is signed by "S. ELFER," Faubourg Marigny.

We now call the attention of the reader to a mass of testimony in
support of our general proposition.

GEORGE B. RIPLEY, Esq. of Norwich, Connecticut, has furnished the
following statement, in a letter dated Dec. 12, 1838.

"GURDON CHAPMAN, Esq., a respectable merchant of our city, one of our
county commissioners,--last spring a member of our state
legislature,--and whose character for veracity is above suspicion,
about a year since visited the county of Nansemond, Virginia, for the
purpose of buying a cargo of corn. He purchased a large quantity of
Mr. ----, with whose family he spent a week or ten days; after he
returned, he related to me and several other citizens the following
facts. In order to prepare the corn for market by the time agreed
upon, the slaves were worked as hard as they would bear, from daybreak
until 9 or 10 o'clock at night. They were called directly from their
bunks in the morning to their work, without a morsel of food until
noon, when they took their breakfast and dinner, consisting of bacon
and corn bread. The quantity of meat was not one tenth of what the
same number of northern laborers usually have at a meal. They were
allowed but fifteen minutes to take this meal, at the expiration of
this time the horn was blown. The rigor with which they enforce
punctuality to its call, may be imagined from the fact, that a little
boy only nine years old was whipped so severely by the driver, that in
many places the whip cut through his clothes (which were of cotton,)
for tardiness of not over three minutes. They then worked without
intermission until 9 or 10 at night; after which they prepared and ate
their second meal, as scanty as the first. An aged slave, who was
remarkable for his industry and fidelity, was working with all his
might on the threshing floor; amidst the clatter of the shelling and
winnowing machines the master spoke to him, but he did not hear; he
presently gave him several severe cuts with the raw hide, saying, at
the same time, 'damn you, if you cannot hear I'll see if you can
feel.' One morning the master rose from breakfast and whipped most
cruelly, with a raw hide, a nice girl who was waiting on the table,
for not opening a _west_ window when he had told her to open an east
one. The number of slaves was only forty, and yet the lash was in
constant use. The bodies of all of them were literally covered with
old scars.

"Not one of the slaves attended church on the Sabbath. The social
relations were scarcely recognised among them, and they lived in a
state of promiscuous concubinage. The master said he took pains to
breed from his best stock--the whiter the progeny the higher they
would sell for house servants. When asked by Mr. C. if he did not fear
his slaves would run away if he whipped them so much, he replied, they
know too well what they must suffer if they are taken--and then said,
'I'll tell you how I treat my runaway niggers. I had a big nigger that
ran away the second time; as soon as I got track of him I took three
good fellows and went in pursuit, and found him in the night, some
miles distant, in a corn-house; we took him and ironed him hand and
foot, and carted him home. The next morning we tied him to a tree, and
whipped him until there was not a sound place on his back. I then tied
his ankles and hoisted him up to a _limb_--feet up and head down--we
then whipped him, until the damned nigger smoked so that I thought he
would take fire and burn up. We then took him down; and to make sure
that he should not run away the third time, I run my knife in back of
the ankles, and _cut off the large cords_,--and then I ought to have
put some lead into the wounds, but I forgot it'

"The truth of the above is from unquestionable authority; and you may
publish or suppress it, as shall best subserve the cause of God and

Jan. 12th, 1839. Mr. S. is a member of the Congregational church in
Winthrop, and late agent of the Winthrop Manufacturing company.

"Being somewhat acquainted with slavery, by a residence of about five
years in Alabama, and having witnessed many acts of slaveholding
cruelty, I will mention one or two that came under my eye; and one of
excessive cruelty mentioned to me at the time, by the gentleman (now
dead,) that interfered in behalf of the slave.

"I was witness to such cruelties by an overseer to a slave, that he
twice attempted to drown himself, to get out of his power: this was on
a raft of slaves, in the Mobile river. I saw an owner take his runaway
slave, tie a rope round him, then get on his horse, give the slave and
horse a cut the whip, and run the poor creature barefooted, very fast,
over rough ground, where small black jack oaks had been cut up,
leaving the sharp stumps, on which the slave would frequently fall;
then the master would drag him as long as he could himself hold out;
then stop, and whip him up on his feet again--then proceed as before.
This continued until he got out of my sight, which was about half a
mile. But what further cruelties this wretched man, (whose passion was
so excited that he could scarcely utter a word when he took the slave
into his own power,) inflicted upon his poor victim, the day of
judgment will unfold.

"I have seen slaves severely whipped on plantations, but this _is an
every day occurrence_, and comes under the head of general treatment.

"I have known the case of a husband compelled to whip his wife. This I
did not witness, though not two rods from the cabin at the time.

"I will now mention the case of cruelty before referred to. In 1820 or
21, while the public works were going forward on Dauphin Island,
Mobile Bay, a contractor, engaged on the works, beat one of his slaves
so severely that the poor creature had no longer power to writhe under
his suffering: he then took out his knife, and began to _cut his flesh
in strips, from his hips down_. At this moment, the gentleman referred
to, who was also a contractor, shocked at such inhumanity, stepped
forward, between the wretch and his victim, and exclaimed, 'If you
touch that slave again you do it at the peril of your life.' The
slaveholder raved at him for interfering between him and his slave;
but he was obliged to drop his victim, fearing the arm of my
friend--whose stature and physical powers were extraordinary."

Presbyterian church at Geneva, Ashtabula county, Ohio, dated 12th, mo.
18th, 1838. Mrs. Cowles is a daughter of Mr. James Colwell of Brook
county, Virginia, near West Liberty.

"In the year 1809, I think, when I was twenty-one years old, a man in
the vicinity where I resided, in Brooke co. Va. near West Liberty, by
the name of Morgan, had a little slave girl about six years old, who
had a habit or rather a natural infirmity common to children of that
age. On this account her master and mistress would pinch her ears with
hot tongs, and throw hot embers on her legs. Not being able to
accomplish their object by these means, they at last resorted to a
method too indelicate, and too horrible to describe in detail. Suffice
it to say, it soon put an end to her life in the most excruciating
manner. If further testimony to authenticate what I have stated is
necessary, I refer you to Dr. Robert Mitchel who then resided in the
vicinity, but now lives at Indiana, Pennsylvania, above Pittsburgh."


TESTIMONY OF WILLIAM LADD, Esq., now of Minot, Maine, formerly a
slaveholder in Florida. Mr. Ladd is now the President of the American
Peace Society. In a letter dated November 29, 1838, Mr. Ladd says:

"While I lived in Florida I knew a slaveholder whose name was
Hutchinson, he had been a preacher and a member of the Senate of
Georgia. He told me that he dared not keep a gun in his house, because
he was so passionate; and that he had _been the death of three or four
men_. I understood him to mean _slaves_. One of his slaves, a girl,
once came to my house. She had run away from him at Indian river. The
cords of one of her hands were so much contracted that her hand was
useless. It was said that he had thrust her hand into the fire while
he was in a fit of passion, and held it there, and this was the
effect. My wife had hid the girl, when Hutchinson came for her. Out of
compassion for the poor slave, I offered him more than she was worth,
which he refused. We afterward let the girl escape, and I do not know
what became of her, but I believe he never got her again. It was
currently reported of Hutchinson, that he once knocked down a _new_
negro (one recently from Africa) who was clearing up land, and who
complained of the cold, as it was mid-winter. The slave was stunned
with the blow. Hutchinson, supposing he had the 'sulks,' applied fire
to the side of the slave until it was so roasted that he said the
slave was not worth curing, and ordered the other slaves to pile on
brush, and he was consumed.

"A murder occurred at the settlement, (Musquito) while I lived there.
An overseer from Georgia, who was employed by a Mr. Cormick, in a fit
of jealousy shot a slave of Samuel Williams, the owner of the next
plantation. He was apprehended, but afterward suffered to escape. This
man told me that he had rather whip a negro than sit down to the best
dinner. This man had, near his house, a contrivance like that which is
used in armies where soldiers are punished with the picket; by this
the slave was drawn up from the earth, by a cord passing round his
wrists, so that his feet could just touch the ground. It somewhat
resembled a New England well sweep, and was used when the slaves were

"The treatment of slaves at Musquito I consider much milder than that
which I have witnessed in the United States. Florida was under the
Spanish government while I lived there. There were about fifteen or
twenty plantations at Musquito. I have an indistinct recollection of
four or five slaves dying of the cold in Amelia Island. They belonged
to Mr. Bunce of musquito. The compensation of the overseers was a
certain portion of the crop."

GERRIT SMITH, Esq. of Peterboro, in a letter, dated Dec. 15, 1838,

"I have just been conversing with an inhabitant of this town, on the
subject of the cruelties of slavery. My neighbors inform me that he is
a man of veracity. The candid manner of his communication utterly
forbade the suspicion that he was attempting to deceive me.

"My informant says that he resided in Louisiana and Alabama during a
great part of the years 1819 and 1820:--that he frequently saw slaves
whipped, never saw any killed; but often heard of their being
killed:--that in several instances he had seen a slave receive, in the
space of two hours, five hundred lashes--each stroke drawing blood. He
adds that this severe whipping was always followed by the application
of strong brine to the lacerated parts.

"My informant further says, that in the spring of 1819, he steered a
boat from Louisville to New Orleans. Whilst stopping at a plantation
on the east bank of the Mississippi, between Natchez and New Orleans,
for the purpose of making sale of some of the articles with which the
boat was freighted, he and his fellow boatmen saw a shockingly cruel
punishment inflicted on a couple of slaves for the repeated offence of
running away. Straw was spread over the whole of their backs, and,
after being fastened by a band of the same material, was ignited, and
left to burn, until entirely consumed. The agonies and screams of the
sufferers he can never forget."

Dr. DAVID NELSON, late president of Marion College, Missouri, a native
of Tennessee, and till forty years old a slaveholder, said in an
Anti-Slavery address at Northampton, Mass. Jan. 1839--

"I have not attempted to harrow your feelings with stories of cruelty.
I will, however, mention one or two among the many incidents that came
under my observation as family physician. I was one day dressing a
blister, and the mistress of the house sent a little black girl into
the kitchen to bring me some warm water. She probably mistook her
message; for she returned with a bowl full of boiling water; which her
mistress no sooner perceived, than she thrust her hand into it, and
held it there till it was half cooked."

Mr. HENRY H. LOOMIS, a member of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary
in the city of New York, says, in a recent letter--

"The Rev. Mr. Hart, recently my pastor, in Otsego county, New York,
and who has spent some time at the south as a teacher, stated to me
that in the neighborhood in which he resided a slave was set to watch
a turnip patch near an academy, in order to keep off the boys who
occasionally trespassed on it. Attempting to repeat the trespass in
presence of the slave, they were told that his 'master forbad it.' At
this the boys were enraged, and hurled brickbats at the slave until
his face and other parts were much injured and wounded--but nothing
was said or done about it as an injury to the slave.

"He also said, that a slave from the same neighborhood was found out
in the woods, with his arms and legs burned almost to a cinder, up as
far as the elbow and knee joints; and there appeared to be but little
more said or thought about it than if he had been a brute. It was
supposed that his master was the cause of it--making him an example of
punishment to the rest of the gang!"

The following is an extract of a letter dated March 5, 1839, from Mr.
JOHN CLARKE, a highly respected citizen of Scriba, Oswego county, New
York, and a member of the Presbyterian church.

The 'Mrs. Turner' spoken of in Mr. C.'s letter, is the wife of Hon.
Fielding S. Turner, who in 1803 resided at Lexington, Kentucky, and
was the attorney for the Commonwealth. Soon after that, he removed to
New Orleans, and was for many years Judge of the Criminal Court of
that city. Having amassed an immense fortune, he returned to Lexington
a few years since, and still resides there. Mr. C. the writer, spent
the winter of 1836-7 in Lexington. He says,

"Yours of the 27th ult. is received, and I hasten to state the facts
which came to my knowledge while in Lexington, respecting the
occurrences about which you inquire. Mrs. Turner was originally a
Boston lady. She is from 35 to 40 years of age, and the wife of Judge
Turner, formerly of New Orleans, and worth a large fortune in slaves
and plantations. I repeatedly heard, while in Lexington, Kentucky,
during the winter of 1836-7, of the wanton cruelty practised by this
woman upon her slaves, and that she had caused several to be _whipped
to death_; but I never heard that she was suspected of being deranged,
otherwise than by the indulgence of an ungoverned temper, until I
heard that her husband was attempting to incarcerate her in the
Lunatic Asylum. The citizens of Lexington, believing the charge to be
a false one, rose and prevented the accomplishment for a time, until,
lulled by the fair promises of his friends, they left his domicil, and
in the dead of night she was taken by force, and conveyed to the
asylum. This proceeding being judged illegal by her friends, a suit
was instituted to liberate her. I heard the testimony on the trial,
which related only to proceedings had in order to getting her admitted
into the asylum; and no facts came out relative to her treatment of
her slaves, other than of a general character.

"Some days after the above trial, (which by the way did not come to an
ultimate decision, as I believe) I was present in my brother's office,
when Judge Turner, in a long conversation with my brother on the
subject of his trials with his wife, said, '_That woman has been the
immediate cause of the death of_ six _of my servants, by her

"I was repeatedly told, while I was there, that she drove a colored
boy from the second story window, a distance of 15 to 18 feet, on to
the pavement, which made him a cripple for a time.

"I heard the trial of a man for the murder of his slave, by whipping,
where the evidence was to my mind perfectly conclusive of his guilt;
but the jury were two of them for convicting him of manslaughter, and
the rest for acquitting him; and as they could not agree were
discharged--and on a subsequent trial, as I learned by the papers, the
culprit was acquitted."

Rev. THOMAS SAVAGE, of Bedford, New Hampshire, in a recent letter,
states the following fact:

"The following circumstance was related to me last summer, by my
brother, now residing as a physician, at Rodney, Mississippi; and who,
though a pro-slavery man, spoke of it in terms of reprobation, as an
act of capricious, wanton cruelty. The planter who was the actor in it
I myself knew; and the whole transaction is so characteristic of the
man, that, independent of the strong authority I have, I should
entertain but little doubt of its authenticity. He is a wealthy
planter, residing near Natchez, eccentric, capricious and intemperate.
On one occasion he invited a number of guests to an elegant
entertainment, prepared in the true style of southern luxury. From
some cause, none of the guests appeared. In a moody humor, and under
the influence, probably, of mortified pride, he ordered the overseer
to call the people (a term by which the field hands are generally
designated,) on to the piazza. The order was obeyed, and the people
came. 'Now,' said he, 'have them seated at the table. Accordingly they
were seated at the well-furnished, glittering table, while he and his
overseer waited on them, and helped them to the various dainties of
the feast. 'Now,' said he, after awhile, raising his voice, 'take
these rascals, and give them twenty lashes a piece. I'll show them how
to eat at my table.' The overseer, in relating it, said he had to
comply, though reluctantly, with this brutal command."

Mr. HENRY P. THOMPSON, a native and still a resident of Nicholasville,
Kentucky, made the following statement at a public meeting in Lane
Seminary, Ohio, in 1833. He was at that time a slaveholder.

"_Cruelties_, said he, _are so common_, I hardly know what to relate.
But one fact occurs to me just at this time, that happened in the
village where I live. The circumstances are these. A colored man, a
slave, ran away. As he was crossing Kentucky river, a white man, who
suspected him, attempted to stop him. The negro resisted. The white
man procured help, and finally succeeded in securing him. He then
wreaked his vengeance on him for resisting--flogging him till he was
not able to walk. They then put him on a horse, and came on with him
ten miles to Nicholasville. When they entered the village, it was
noticed that he sat upon his horse like a drunken man. It was a very
hot day; and whilst they were taking some refreshment, the negro sat
down upon the ground, under the shade. When they ordered him to go, he
made several efforts before he could get up; and when he attempted to
mount the horse, his strength was entirely insufficient. One of the
men struck him, and with an oath ordered him to get on the horse
without any more fuss. The negro staggered back a few steps, fell
down, and died. I do not know that any notice was ever taken of it."

Rev. COLEMAN S. HODGES, a native and still a resident of Western
Virginia, gave the following testimony at the same meeting.

"I have frequently seen the mistress of a family in Virginia, with
whom I was well acquainted, beat the woman who performed the kitchen
work, with a stick two feet and a half long, and nearly as thick as my
wrist; striking her over the head, and across the small of the back,
as she was bent over at her work, with as much spite as you would a
snake, and for what I should consider no offence at all. There lived
in this same family a young man, a slave, who was in the habit of
running away. He returned one time after a week's absence. The master
took him into the barn, stripped him entirely naked, tied him up by
his hands so high that he could not reach the floor, tied his feet
together, and put a small rail between his legs, so that he could not
avoid the blows, and commenced whipping him. He told me that he gave
him five hundred lashes. At any rate, he was covered with wounds from
head to foot. Not a place as big as my hand but what was cut. Such
things as these are perfectly common all over Virginia; at least so
far as I am acquainted. Generally, planters avoid punishing their
slaves before strangers."

Mr. CALVIN H. TATE, of Missouri, whose father and brothers were
slaveholders, related the following at the same meeting. The
plantation on which it occurred, was in the immediate neighborhood of
his father's.

"A young woman, who was generally very badly treated, after receiving
a more severe whipping than usual, ran away. In a few days she came
back, and was sent into the field to work. At this time the garment
next her skin was stiff like a scab, from the running of the sores
made by the whipping. Towards night, she told her master that she was
sick, and wished to go to the house. She went, and as soon as she
reached it, laid down on the floor exhausted. The mistress asked her
what the matter was? She made no reply. She asked again; but received
no answer. 'I'll see,' said she, 'if I can't make you speak.' So
taking the tongs, she heated them red hot, and put them upon the
bottoms of her feet; then upon her legs and body; and, finally, in a
rage, took hold of her throat. This had the desired effect. The poor
girl faintly whispered, 'Oh, misse, don't--I am most gone;' and

Extract of a letter from Rev. C.S. RENSHAW, pastor of the
Congregational Church, Quincy, Illinois.

"Judge Menzies of Boone county, Kentucky, an elder in the Presbyterian
Church, and a slaveholder, told me that _he knew_ some overseers in
the tobacco growing region of Virginia, who, to make their slaves
careful in picking the tobacco, that is taking the worms off; (you
know what a loathsome thing the tobacco worm is) would make them _eat_
some of the worms, and others who made them eat every worm they missed
in picking."

"Mrs. NANCY JUDD, a member of the Non-Conformist Church in Osnaburg,
Stark county, Ohio, and formerly a resident of Kentucky, testifies
that she knew a slaveholder,

"Mr. Brubecker, who had a number of slaves, among whom was one who
would frequently avoid labor by hiding himself; for which he would get
severe floggings without the desired effect, and that at last Mr. B.
would tie large cats on his naked body and whip them to make them tear
his back, in order to break him of his habit of hiding."

Rev. HORACE MOULTON, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in
Marlborough, Massachusetts, says:

"Some, when other modes of punishment will not subdue them, _cat-haul_
them; that is, take a cat by the nape of the neck and tail, or by its
hind legs, and drag the claws across the back until satisfied; this
kind of punishment, as I have understood, poisons the flesh much worse
than the whip, and is more dreaded by the slave."

Rev. ABEL BROWN, Jr. late pastor of the first Baptist Church, Beaver,
Pennsylvania, in a communication to Rev. C.P. Grosvenor, Editor of
the Christian Reflector, says:

"I almost daily see the poor heart-broken slave making his way to a
land of freedom. A short time since, I saw a noble, pious, distressed,
spirit-crushed slave, a member of the Baptist church, escaping from a
(professed Christian) bloodhound, to a land where he could enjoy that
of which he had been robbed during forty years. His prayers would have
made us all feel. I saw a Baptist sister of about the same age, her
children had been torn from her, her head was covered with fresh
wounds, while her upper lip had scarcely ceased to bleed, in
consequence of a blow with the poker, which knocked out her teeth; she
too, was going to a land of freedom. Only a very few days since, I saw
a girl of about eighteen, with a child as white as myself, aged ten
months; a Christian master was raising her child (as well his own
perhaps) to sell to a southern market. She had heard of the
intention, and at midnight took her only treasure and traveled twenty
miles on foot through a land of strangers--she found friends."

Rev. HENRY T. HOPKINS, pastor of the Primitive Methodist Church in New
York City, who resided in Virginia from 1821 to 1826, relates the
following fact:

"An old colored man, the slave of Mr. Emerson; of Portsmouth,
Virginia, being under deep conviction for sin, went into the back part
of his master's garden to pour out his soul in prayer to God. For this
offence he was whipped thirty-nine lashes."

Extract of a letter from DOCTOR F. JULIUS LEMOYNE, of Washington,
Pennsylvania, dated Jan. 9, 1839.

"Lest you should not have seen the statement to which I am going to
allude, I subjoin a brief outline of the facts of a transaction which
occurred in Western Virginia, adjacent to this county, a number of
years ago--a full account of which was published in the "Witness"
about two years since by Dr. Mitchell, who now resides in Indiana
county, Pennsylvania. A slave boy ran away in cold weather, and during
his concealment had his legs frozen; he returned, or was retaken.
After some time the flesh decayed and _sloughed_--of course was
offensive--he was carried out to a field and left there without bed,
or shelter, _deserted to die_. His only companions were the house dogs
which he called to him. After several days and nights spent in
suffering and exposure, he was visited by Drs. McKitchen and Mitchell
in the field, of their own accord, having heard by report of his
lamentable condition; they remonstrated with the master; brought the
boy to the house, amputated both legs, and he finally recovered."

Hon. JAMES K. PAULDING, the Secretary of the Navy of the U. States, in
his "Letters from the South" published in 1817, relates the following:

"At one of the taverns along the road we were set down in the same
room with an elderly man and a youth who seemed to be well acquainted
with him, for they conversed familiarly and with true republican
independence--for they did not mind who heard them. From the tenor of
his conversation I was induced to look particularly at the elder. He
was telling the youth something like the following detested tale. He
was going, it seems, to Richmond, to inquire about a draft for seven
thousand dollars, which he had sent by mail, but which, not having
been acknowledged by his correspondent, he was afraid had been stolen,
and the money received by the thief. 'I should not like to lose it,'
said he, 'for I worked hard for it, and sold many a poor d----l of a
black to Carolina and Georgia, to scrape it together.' He then went on
to tell many a perfidious tale. All along the road it seems he made it
his business to inquire where lived a man who might be tempted to
become a party in this accursed traffic, and when he had got some half
dozen of these poor creatures, _he tied their hands behind their
backs_, and drove them three or four hundred miles or more,
bare-headed and half naked through the burning southern sun. Fearful
that _even southern humanity_ would revolt at such an exhibition of
human misery and human barbarity, he gave out that they were runaway
slaves he was carrying home to their masters. On one occasion a poor
black woman exposed this fallacy, and told the story of her being
_kidnapped_, and when he got her into a wood out of hearing, he beat
her, to use his own expression, 'till her back was white.' It seems he
married all the men and women he bought, himself, because they would
sell better for being man and wife! But, said the youth, were you not
afraid, in traveling through the wild country and sleeping in lone
houses, these slaves would rise and kill you? 'To be sure I was,' said
the other, 'but I always fastened my door, put a chair on a table
before it, so that it might wake me in falling, and slept with a
loaded pistol in each hand. It was a bad life, and I left it off as
soon as I could live without it; for many is the time I have separated
wives from husbands, and husbands from wives, and parents from
children, but then I made them amends by marrying them again as soon
as I had a chance, that is to say, I made them call each other man and
wife, and sleep together, which is quite enough for negroes. I made
one bad purchase though,' continued he. 'I bought a young mulatto
girl, a lively creature, a great bargain. She had been the favorite of
her master, who had lately married. The difficulty was to get her to
go, for the poor creature loved her master. However, I swore most
bitterly I was only going to take to take her to her mother's at ----
and she went with me, though she seemed to doubt me very much. But
when she discovered, at last, that we were out of the state, I thought
she would go mad, and in fact, the next night she drowned herself in
the river close by. I lost a good five hundred dollars by this foolish
trick.'" Vol. I. p. 121.

Mr. ---- SPILLMAN, a native, and till recently, a resident of
Virginia, now a member of the Presbyterian church in Delhi, Hamilton
co., Ohio, has furnished the two following facts, of which he had
personal knowledge.

"David Stallard, of Shenandoah co., Virginia, had a slave, who run
away; he was taken up and lodged in Woodstock jail. Stallard went with
another man and took him out of the jail--tied him to their
horses--and started for home. The day was excessively hot, and they
rode so fast, dragging the man by the rope behind them, that he became
perfectly exhausted--fainted--dropped down, and died.

"Henry Jones, of Culpepper co., Virginia, owned a slave, who ran away.
Jones caught him, tied him up, and for two days, at intervals,
continued to flog him, and rub salt into his mangled flesh, until his
back was literally cut up. The slave sunk under the torture; and for
some days it was supposed he must die. He, however, slowly recovered;
though it was some weeks before he could walk."

Mr. NATHAN COLE, of St. Louis, Missouri, in a letter to Mr. Arthur
Tappan, of New-York, dated July 2, 1834, says,--

"You will find inclosed an account of the proceedings of an inquest
lately held in this city upon the body of a slave, the details of
which, if published, not one in ten could be induced to believe
true.[11] It appears that the master or mistress, or both, suspected
the unfortunate wretch of hiding a bunch of keys which were missing;
and to extort some explanation, which, it is more than probable, the
slave was as unable to do as her mistress, or any other person, her
master, Major Harney, an officer of our army, had whipped her for
three successive days, and it is supposed by some, that she was kept
tied during the time, until her flesh was so lacerated and torn that
it was impossible for the jury to say whether it had been done with a
whip or hot iron; some think both--but she was tortured to death. It
appears also that the husband of the said slave had become suspected
of telling some neighbor of what was going on, for which Major Harney
commenced torturing him, until the man broke from him, and ran into
the Mississippi and drowned himself. The man was a pious and very
industrious slave, perhaps not surpassed by any in this place. The
woman has been in the family of John Shackford, Esq., the present
doorkeeper of the Senate of the United States, for many years; was
considered an excellent servant--was the mother of a number of
children--and I believe was sold into the family where she met her
fate, as matter of conscience, to keep her from being sent below."

[Footnote 11: The following is the newspaper notice referred to:--

An inquest was held at the dwelling house of Major Harney, in this
city, on the 27th inst. by the coroner, on the body of Hannah, a
slave. The jury, on their oaths, and after hearing the testimony of
physicians and several other witnesses, found, that said slave "came
to her death by wounds inflicted by William S. Harney."]

MR. EZEKIEL BIRDSEYE, a highly respected citizen of Cornwall,
Litchfield co., Connecticut, who resided for many years at the south,
furnished to the Rev. E. R. Tyler, editor of the Connecticut Observer,
the following personal testimony.

"While I lived in Limestone co., Alabama, in 1826-7, a tavern-keeper
of the village of Moresville discovered a negro carrying away a piece
of old carpet. It was during the Christmas holidays, when the slaves
are allowed to visit their friends. The negro stated that one of the
servants of the tavern owed him some twelve and a half or twenty-five
cents, and that he had taken the carpet in payment. This the servant
denied. The innkeeper took the negro to a field near by, and whipped
him cruelly. He then struck him with a stake, and punched him in the
face and mouth, knocking out some of his teeth. After this, he took
him back to the house, and committed him to the care of his son, who
had just then come home with another young man. This was at evening.
They whipped him by turns, with heavy cowskins, and made the _dogs
shake him_. A Mr. Phillips, who lodged at the house, heard the cruelty
during the night. On getting up he found the negro in the bar-room,
terribly mangled with the whip, and his flesh so torn by the dogs,
that the cords were bare. He remarked to the landlord that he was
dangerously hurt, and needed care. The landlord replied that he
deserved none. Mr. Phillips went to a neighboring magistrate, who took
the slave home with him, where he soon died. The father and son were
both tried, and acquitted!! A suit was brought, however, for damages
in behalf of the owner of the slave, a young lady by the name of Agnes
Jones. _I was on the jury when these facts were stated on oath_. Two
men testified, one that he would have given $1000 for him, the other
$900 or $950. The jury found the latter sum.

"At Union Court House, S.C., a tavern-keeper, by the name of Samuel
Davis, procured the conviction and execution of his own slave, for
stealing a cake of gingerbread from a grog shop. The slave raised the
latch of the back door, and took the cake, doing no other injury. The
shop keeper, whose name was Charles Gordon, was willing to forgive
him, but his master procured his conviction and execution by hanging.
The slave had but one arm; and an order on the state treasury by the
court that tried him, which also assessed his value, brought him more
money than he could have obtained for the slave in market."

Mr. ----, an elder of the Presbyterian Church in one of the slave
states, lately wrote a letter to an agent of the Anti-Slavery Society,
in which he states the following fact. The name of the writer is with
the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

"I was passing through a piece of timbered land, and on a sudden I
heard a sound as of murder; I rode in that direction, and at some
distance discovered a naked black man, hung to the limb of a tree by
his hands, his feet chained together, and a pine rail laid with one
end on the chain between his legs, and the other upon the ground, to
steady him; and in this condition the overseer gave him _four hundred
lashes_. The miserably lacerated slave was then taken down, and put to
the care of a physician. And what do you suppose was the offence for
which all this was done? Simply this; his owner, observing that he
laid off corn rows too crooked, he replied, 'Massa, much corn grow on
crooked row as on straight one!' This was it--this was enough. His
overseer, boasting of his skill in managing a _nigger_, he was
submitted to him, and treated as above."

DAVID L. CHILD, Esq., of Northampton, Massachusetts, Secretary of the
United States' minister at the Court of Lisbon during the
administration of President Monroe, stated the following fact in an
oration delivered by him in Boston, in 1831. (See Child's "Despotism
of Freedom," p. 30.

"An honorable friend, who stands high in the state and in the nation,
[12] was _present at the_ burial of a female slave in Mississippi, who
_had been whipped to death_ at the stake by her master, because she
was gone longer of an errand to the neighboring town than her master
thought necessary. Under the lash she protested tlat she was ill, and
was obliged to rest in the fields. To complete the climax of horror,
she was delivered of a dead infant while undergoing the punishment."

[Footnote 12: "The narrator of this fact is now absent from the United
States, and I do not feel at liberty to mention his name."]

The same fact is stated by MRS. CHILD in her "Appeal." In answer to a
recent letter, inquiring of Mr. and Mrs. Child if they were now at
liberty to disclose the name of their informant, Mr. C. says,--

"The witness who stated to us the fact was John James Appleton, Esq.,
of Cambridge, Mass. He is now in Europe, and it is not without some
hesitation that I give his name. He, however, has openly embraced our
cause, and taken a conspicuous part in some anti-slavery public
meetings since the time that I felt a scruple at publishing his name.
Mr. Appleton is a gentleman of high talents and accomplishments. He
has been Secretary of Legation at Rio Janeiro, Madrid, and the Hague;
Commissioner at Naples, and Charge d'Affaires at Stockholm."

The two following facts are stated upon the authority of the REV.
JOSEPH G. WILSON, pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Salem,
Washington co., Indiana.

"In Bath co., Kentucky, Mr. L., in the year '32 or '33, while
intoxicated, in a fit of rage whipped a female slave until she fainted
and fell on the floor. Then he whipped her to get up; then with red
hot tongs he burned off her ears, and whipped her again! but all in
vain. He then ordered his negro men to carry her to the cabin. There
she was found dead next morning.

"One Wall, in Chester district, S.C., owned a slave, whom he hired to
his brother-in-law, Wm. Beckman, for whom the slave worked eighteen
months, and worked well. Two weeks after returning to his master he
ran away on account of bad treatment. To induce him to return, the
master sold him _nominally_ to his neighbor, to whom the slave gave
himself up, and by whom he was returned to his master:--Punishment,
_stripes_. To prevent escape a bar of iron was fastened with three
bands, at the waist, knee, and ankle. That night he broke the bands
and bar, and escaped. Next day he was taken and whipped to death, by
three men, the master, Thorn, and the overseer. First, he was whipped
and driven towards home; on the way he attempted to escape, and was
shot at by the master,--caught, and knocked down with the butt of the
gun by Thorn. In attempting to cross a ditch he fell, with his feet
down, and face on the bank; they whipped in vain to get him up--he
died. His soul ascended to God, to be a swift witness against his
oppressors. This took place at 12 o'clock. Next evening an inquest was
held. Of thirteen jurors, summoned by the coroner, nine said it was
murder; two said it was manslaughter, and two said it was JUSTIFIABLE!
He was bound over to court, tried, and acquitted--not even fined!"

The following fact is stated on the authority of Mr. WM. WILLIS,  of
Green Plains, Clark co. Ohio; formerly of Caroline co. on the eastern
shore of Maryland.

"Mr. W. knew a slave called Peter White, who was sold to be taken to
Georgia; he escaped, and lived a long time in the woods--was finally
taken. When he found himself surrounded, he surrendered himself
quietly. When his pursuers had him in their possession, they shot him
in the leg, and broke it, out of mere wantonness. The next day a
Methodist minister set his leg, and bound it up with splints. The man
who took him, then went into his place of confinement, wantonly jumped
upon his leg and crushed it. His name was William Sparks."

Most of our readers are familiar with the horrible atrocities
perpetrated in New Orleans, in 1834, by a certain Madame La Laurie,
upon her slaves. They were published extensively in northern
newspapers at the time. The following are extracts from the accounts
as published in the New Orleans papers immediately after the
occurrence. The New Orleans Bee says:--

"Upon entering one of the apartments, the most appalling spectacle met
their eyes. Seven slaves, more or less horribly mutilated, were seen
suspended by the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn,
from one extremity to the other. They had been confined for several
months in the situation from which they had thus providentially been
rescued; and had been merely kept in existence to prolong their
sufferings, and to make them taste all that a most refined cruelty
could inflict."

The New Orleans Mercantile Advertiser says:

"A negro woman was found chained, covered with bruises and wounds from
severe flogging.--All the apartments were then forced open. In a room
on the ground floor, two more were found chained, and in a deplorable
condition. Up stairs and in the garret, four more were found chained;
some so weak as to be unable to walk, and all covered with wounds and
sores. One mulatto boy declares himself to have been chained for five
months, being fed daily with only a handful of meal, and receiving
every morning the most cruel treatment."

The New Orleans Courier says:--

"We saw one of these miserable beings.--He had a large hole in his
head--his body, from head to foot, was covered with scars and filled
with worms."

The New Orleans Mercantile Advertiser says:

"Seven poor unfortunate slaves were found--some chained to the floor,
others with chains around their necks, fastened to the ceiling; and
one poor old man, upwards of sixty years of age, chained hand and
foot, and made fast to the floor, in a _kneeling position_. His head
bore the appearance of having been beaten until it was broken, and the
worms were actually to be seen making a feast of his brains!! A woman
had her back literally cooked (if the expression may be used) with the
lash; _the very bones might be seen projecting through the skin!_"

The New York Sun, of Feb. 21, 1837, contains the following:--

"Two negroes, runaways from Virginia, were overtaken a few days since
near Johnstown, Cambria co. Pa. when the persons in pursuit called out
for them to stop or they would shoot them.--One of the negroes turned
around and said, he would die before he would be taken, and at the
moment received a rifle ball through his knee: the other started to
run, but was brought to the ground by a ball being shot in his back.
After receiving the above wounds they made battle with their pursuers,
but were captured and brought into Johnstown. It is said that the
young men who shot them had orders to take them dead or alive."

Mr. M.M. SHAFTER, of Townsend, Vermont, recently a graduate of the
Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut, makes the following

"Some of the events of the Southampton, Va. insurrection were narrated
to me by Mr. Benjamin W. Britt, from Riddicksville, N.C. Mr. Britt
claimed the honor of having shot a black on that occasion, for the
crime of disobeying Mr. Britt's imperative 'Stop.' And Mr. Ashurst, of
Edenton, Georgia, told me that a neighbor of his 'fired at a likely
negro boy of his mother,' because the said boy encroached upon his

Mr. DAVID HAWLEY, a class leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church at
St. Albans, Licking county, Ohio, who moved from Kentucky to Ohio in
1831, certifies as follows:--

"About the year 1825, a slave had escaped for Canada, but was arrested
in Hardin county. On his return, I saw him in Hart county--his wrists
tied together before, his arms tied close to his body, the rope then
passing behind his body, thence to the neck of a horse on which rode
the master, with a club about three feet long, and of the size of a
hoe handle; which, by the appearance of the slave, had been used on
his head, so as to wear off the hair and skin in several places, and
the blood was running freely from his mouth and nose; his heels very
much bruised by the horse's feet, as his master had rode on him
because he _would_ not go fast enough. Such was the slave's appearance
when passing through where I resided. Such cases were not unfrequent."

The following is furnished by Mr. F.A. HART, of Middletown,
Connecticut, a manufacturer, and an influential member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church. It occurred in 1824, about twenty-five
miles this side of Baltimore, Maryland.--

"I had spent the night with a Methodist brother; and while at
breakfast, a person came in and called for help. We went out and found
a crowd collected around a carriage. Upon approaching we discovered
that a slave-trader was endeavoring to force a woman into his
carriage. He had already put in three children, the youngest
apparently about eight years of age. The woman was strong, and
whenever he brought her to the side of the carriage, she resisted so
effectually with her feet that he could not get her in. The woman
becoming exhausted, at length, by her frantic efforts, he thrust her
in with great violence, _stamped her down upon the bottom with his
feet_! shouted to the driver to go on; and away they rolled, the
miserable captives moaning and shrieking, until their voices were lost
in the distance."

Mr. SAMUEL HALL, a teacher in Marietta College, Ohio, writes as

"Mr. ISAAC C. FULLER is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in
Marietta. He was a fellow student of mine while in college, and now
resides in this place. He says:--In 1832, as I was descending the Ohio
with a flat boat, near the 'French Islands,' so called, below
Cincinnati, I saw two negroes on horseback. The horses apparently took
fright at something and ran. Both jumped over a rail fence; and one of
the horses, in so doing, broke one of his fore-legs, falling at the
same time and throwing the negro who was upon his back. A white man
came out of a house not over two hundred yards distant, and came to
the spot. Seizing a stake from the fence, he knocked the negro down
five or six times in succession.

"In the same year I worked for a Mr. Nowland, eleven miles above Baton
Rouge, La. at a place called 'Thomas' Bend.' He had an overseer who
was accustomed to flog more or less of the slaves every morning. I
heard the blows and screams as regularly as we used to hear the
college bell that summoned us to any duty when we went to school. This
overseer was a nephew of Nowland, and there were about fifty slaves on
his plantation. Nowland himself related the following to me. One of
his slaves ran away, and came to the Homo Chitto river, where he found
no means of crossing. Here he fell in with a white man who knew his
master, being on a journey from that vicinity. He induced the slave to
return to Baton Rouge, under the promise of giving him a pass, by
which he might escape, but, in reality, to betray him to his master.
This he did, instead of fulfilling his promise. Nowland said that he
took the slave and inflicted five hundred lashes upon him, cutting his
back all to pieces, and then thew on hot embers. The slave was on the
plantation at the time, and told me the same story. He also rolled up
his sleeves, and showed me the scars on his arms, which, in
consequence, appeared in places to be callous to the bone. I was with
Nowland between five and six months."

Rev. JOHN RANKIN, formerly of Tennessee, now pastor of the
Presbyterian Church of Ripley, Ohio, has furnished the following

"The Rev. LUDWELL G. GAINES, now pastor of the Presbyterian Church of
Goshen, Clermont county, Ohio, stated to me, that while a resident of
a slave state, he was summoned to assist in taking a man who had made
his black woman work naked several days, and afterwards murdered her.
The murderer armed himself, and threatened to shoot the officer who
went to take him; and although there was ample assistance at hand, the
officer declined further interference."

Mr. RANKIN adds the following:--

"A Presbyterian preacher, now resident in a slave state, and therefore
it is not expedient to give his name, stated, that he saw on board of
a steamboat at Louisville, Kentucky, a woman who had been forced on
board, to be carried off from all she counted dear on earth. She ran
across the boat and threw herself into the river, in order to end a
life of intolerable sorrows. She was drawn back to the boat and taken
up. The brutal driver beat her severely, and she immediately threw
herself again into the river. She was hooked up again, chained, and
carried off."

Testimony of M. WILLIAM HANSBOROUGH, of Culpepper county, Virginia,
the "owner" of sixty slaves.

"I saw a slave taken out of prison by his master, on a hot summer's
day, and driven, by said master, on the road before him, till he
dropped down dead."

The above statement was made by Mr. Hansborough to Lindley Coates, of
Lancaster county, Pa. a distinguished member of the Society of
Friends, and a member of the late Convention in Pa. for altering the
State Constitution. The letter from Mr. C. containing this testimony
of Mr. H. is now before us.

Mr. TOBIAS BOUDINOT, a member of the Methodist Church in St. Albans,
Licking county, Ohio, says:

"In Nicholasville, Ky. in the year 1823, he saw a slave fleeing before
the patrol, but he was overtaken near where he stood, and a man with a
knotted cane, as large as his wrist, struck the slave a number of
times on his head, until the club was broken and he made tame; the
blood was thrown in every direction by the violence of the blows."

The Rev. WILLIAM DICKEY, of Bloomingburg, Fayette county, Ohio, wrote
a letter to the Rev. John Rankin, of Ripley, Ohio thirteen years
since, containing a description of the cutting up of a slave with a
broad axe; beginning at the feet and gradually cutting the legs, arms,
and body into pieces! This diabolical atrocity was committed in the
state of Kentucky, in the year 1807. The perpetrators of the deed were
two brothers, Lilburn and Isham Lewis, NEPHEWS OF PRESIDENT JEFFERSON.
The writer of this having been informed by Mr. Dickey, that some of
the facts connected with this murder were not contained in his letter
published by Mr. Rankin, requested him to write the account _anew_,
and furnish the additional facts. This he did, and the letter
containing it was published in the "Human Rights" for August, 1837. We
insert it here, slightly abridged, with the introductory remarks which
appeared in that paper.

"Mr. Dickey's first letter has been scattered all over the country,
south and north; and though multitudes have affected to disbelieve its
statements, _Kentuckians_ know the truth of them quite too well to
call them in question. The story is fiction or fact--if _fiction_, why
has it not been nailed to the wall? Hundreds of people around the
mouth of Cumberland River are personally knowing to these facts.
_There_ are the records of the court that tried the wretches.--_There_
their acquaintances and kindred still live. All over that region of
country, the brutal butchery of George is a matter of public
notoriety. It is quite needless, perhaps, to add, that the Rev. Wm.
Dickey is a Presbyterian clergyman, one of the oldest members of the
Chilicothe Presbytery, and greatly respected and beloved by the
churches in Southern Ohio. He was born in South Carolina, and was for
many years pastor of a church in Kentucky."


"In the county of Livingston, KY. near the mouth of Cumberland River,
lived Lilburn Lewis, a sister's son of the celebrated Jefferson. He
was the wealthy owner of a considerable gang of negroes, whom he drove
constantly, fed sparingly, and lashed severely. The consequence was,
that they would run away. Among the rest was an ill-thrived boy of
about seventeen, who, having just returned from a skulking spell, was
sent to the spring for water, and in returning let fall an elegant
pitcher: it was dashed to shivers upon the rocks. This was made the
occasion for reckoning with him. It was night, and the slaves were all
at home. The master had them all collected in the most roomy negro
house, and a rousing fire put on. When the door was secured, that none
might escape, either through _fear of him_ or _sympathy with George_,
he opened to them the design of the interview, namely, that they might
be effectually advised to _stay at home and obey his orders_. All
things now in train, he called up George, who approached his master
with unreserved submission. He bound him with cords; and by the
assistance of Isham Lewis, his youngest brother, laid him on a broad
bench, the _meat-block_. He then proceeded to _hack off George at the
ankles_! It was with the _broad axe_! In vain did the unhappy victim
_scream and roar_! for he was completely in his master's power; not a
hand among so many durst interfere; casting the feet into the fire, he
lectured them at some length.--He next _chopped him off below the
knees_! George _roaring out_ and praying his master to begin at the
_other end_! He admonished them again, throwing the legs into the
fire--then, above the knees, tossing the joints into the fire--the
next stroke severed the thighs from the body; these were also
committed to the flames--and so it may be said of the arms, head, and
trunk, until all was in the fire! He threatened any of them with
similar punishment who should in future disobey, run away, or disclose
the proceedings of that evening. Nothing now remained but to consume
the flesh and bones; and for this purpose the fire was brightly
stirred until two hours after midnight; when a coarse and heavy
back-wall, composed of rock and clay, covered the fire and the remains
of George. It was the Sabbath--this put an end to the _amusements_ of
the evening. The negroes were now permitted to disperse, with charges
to keep this matter among themselves, and never to whisper it in the
neighbourhood, under the penalty of a like punishment.

"When he returned home and retired, his wife exclaimed, 'Why, Mr.
Lewis, where have you been, and what were you doing?' She had heard a
strange _pounding_ and dreadful _screams_, and had smelled something
like fresh meat _burning_. The answer he returned was, that he had
never enjoyed himself at a ball so well as he had enjoyed himself that

"Next morning he ordered the hands to rebuild the back-wall, and he
himself superintended the work, throwing the pieces of flesh that
still remained, with the bones, behind, as it went up--thus hoping to
conceal the matter. But it _could not be hid_--much as the negroes
seemed to hazard, they did _whisper the horrid deed_. The neighbors
came, and in his presence tore down the wall; and finding the
_remains_ of the boy, they apprehended Lewis and his brother, and
testified against them. They were committed to jail, that they might
answer at the coming court for this shocking outrage; but finding
security for their appearance at court, THEY WERE ADMITTED TO BAIL!

"In the interim, other articles of evidence leaked out. That of Mrs.
Lewis hearing a pounding, and screaming and her smelling fresh meat
burning, for not till now had this come out. He was offended with her
for disclosing these things, alleging that they might have some weight
against him at the pending trial.

"In connection with this is another item, full of horror. Mr.s. Lewis,
or her girl, in making her bed one morning after this, found, under
her bolster, a keen BUTCHER KNIFE! The appalling discovery forced from
her the confession that she considered her life in jeopardy. Messrs.
Rice and Philips, whose wives were her sisters, went to see her and to
bring her away if she wished it. Mr. Lewis received them with all the
expressions of _Virginia hospitality_. As soon as they were seated
they said, 'Well, Letitia, we supposed that you might be unhappy here,
and afraid for your life; and we have come to-day to take you to your
father's, if you desire it.' She said, 'Thank you, kind brothers, I am
indeed afraid for my life.'--We need not interrupt the story to tell
how much surprised he affected to be with this strange procedure of
his brothers-in-law, and with this declaration of his wife. But all
his professions of fondness for her, to the contrary notwithstanding,
they rode off with her before his eyes.--He followed and overtook, and
went with them to her father's; but she was locked up from him, with
her own consent, and he returned home.

"Now he saw that his character was gone, his respectable friends
believed that he had massacred George; but, worst of all, he saw that
they considered the life of the harmless Letitia was in danger from
his perfidious hands. It was too much for his chivalry to sustain. The
proud Virginian sunk under the accumulated load of public odium. He
proposed to his brother Isham, who had been his accomplice in the
George affair, that they should finish the play of life with a still
deeper tragedy. The plan was, that they should shoot one another.
Having made the hot-brained bargain, they repaired with their guns to
the grave-yard, which was on an eminence in the midst of his
plantation. It was inclosed with a railing, say thirty feet square.
One was to stand at one railing, and the other over against him at the
other. They were to make ready, take aim, and count deliberately 1, 2,
3, and then fire. Lilburn's will was written, and thrown down open
beside him. They cocked their guns and raised them to their faces; but
the peradventure occurring that one of the guns might miss fire, Isham
was sent for a rod, and when it was brought, Lilburn cut it off at
about the length of two feet, and was showing his brother how the
survivor might do, provided one of the guns should fail; (for they
were determined upon going together;) but forgetting, perhaps, in the
perturbation of the moment that the gun was cocked, when he touched
trigger with the rod the gun fired, and he fell, and died in a few
minutes--and was with George in the eternal world, where _the slave is
free from his master_. But poor Isham was so terrified with this
unexpected occurrence and so confounded by the awful contortions of
his brother's face, that he had not nerve enough to follow up the
play, and finish the plan as was intended, but suffered Lilburn to go
alone. The negroes came running to see what it meant that a gun should
be fired in the grave-yard. There lay their master, dead! They ran for
the neighbors. Isham still remained on the spot. The neighbors at the
first charged him with the murder of his brother. But he, though as if
he had lost more than half his mind, told the whole story; and the
course of range of the ball in the dead man's body agreeing with his
statement, Isham was not farther charged with Lilburn's death.

"The Court sat--Isham was judged to be guilty of a capital crime in
the affair of George. He was to be hanged at Salem. The day was set.
My good old father visited him in the prison--two or three times
talked and prayed with him; I visited him once myself. We fondly hoped
that he was a sincere penitent. Before the day of execution came, by
some means, I never knew what, Isham was _missing_. About two years
after, we learned that he had gone down to Natchez, and had married a
lady of some refinement and piety. I saw her letters to his sisters,
who were worthy members of the church of which I was pastor. The last
letter told of his death. He was in Jackson's army, and fell in the
famous battle of New Orleans."

"I am, sir, your friend,




Mr. Hawley is the pastor of the Baptist Church in Colebrook,
Litchfield county, Connecticut. He has resided fourteen years in the
slave states, North and South Carolina. His character and standing
with his own denomination at the south, may be inferred from the
fact, that the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina appointed
him, a few years since, their general agent to visit the Baptist
churches within their bounds, and to secure their co-operation in
the objects of the Convention. Mr. H. accepted the appointment, and
for some time traveled in that capacity.

"I rejoice that the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery
Society have resolved to publish a volume of facts and testimony
relative to the character and workings of American slavery. Having
resided fourteen years at the south, I cheerfully comply with your
request, to give the result of my observation and experience.

"And I would here remark, that one may reside at the south for years,
and not witness extreme cruelties; a northern man, and one who is not
a slaveholder, would be the last to have an opportunity of witnessing
the infliction of cruel punishments."


"A majority of the large plantations are on the banks of rivers, far
from the public eye. A great deal of low marshy ground lies in the
vicinity of most of the rivers at the south; consequently the main
roads are several miles from the rivers, and generally no _public_
road passes the plantations. A stranger traveling on the _ridge_,
would think himself in a miserably poor country; but every two or
three miles he will see a road turning off and leading into the swamp;
taking one of those roads, and traveling from two to six miles, he
will come to a large gate; passing which, he will find himself in a
clearing of several hundred acres of the first quality of land;
passing on, he will see 30, or 40, or more slaves--men, women, boys
and girls, at their task, every one with a hoe; or, if in cotton
picking season, with their baskets. The overseer, with his whip,
either riding or standing about among them; or if the weather is hot,
sitting under a shade. At a distance, on a little rising ground, if
such there be, he will see a cluster of huts, with a tolerable house
in the midst, for the overseer. Those huts are from ten to fifteen
feet square, built of logs, and covered, not with shingles, but with
boards, about four feet long, split out of pine timber with a
'_frow_'. The floors are very commonly made in this way. Clay is first
worked until it is soft; it is then spread upon the ground, about four
or five inches thick; when it dries, it becomes nearly as hard as a
brick. The crevices between the logs are sometimes filled with the
same. These huts generally cost the master nothing--they are commonly
built by the negroes at night, and on Sundays. When a slave of a
neighboring plantation takes a wife, or to use the phrase common at
the south, 'takes up' with one of the women, he builds a hut, and it
is called her house. Upon entering these huts, (not as comfortable in
many instances as the horse stable,) generally, you will find no
chairs, but benches and stools; no table, no bedstead, and no bed,
except a blanket or two, and a few rags or moss; in some instances a
knife or two, but very rarely a fork. You may also find a pot or
skillet, and generally a number of gourds, which serve them instead of
bowls and plates. The cruelties practiced on those secluded
plantations, the judgment day alone can reveal. Oh, Brother, could I
summon ten slaves from ten plantations that I could name, and have
them give but one year's history of their bondage, it would thrill the
land with horror. Those overseers who follow the business of
overseeing for a livelihood, are generally the most unprincipled and
abandoned of men. Their wages are regulated according to their skill
in extorting labor. The one who can make the most bags of cotton, with
a given number of hands, is the one generally sought after; and there
is a competition among them to see who shall make the largest crop,
according to the hands he works. I ask, what must be the condition of
the poor slaves, under the unlimited power of such men, in whom, by
the long-continued practise of the most heart-rending cruelties, every
feeling of humanity has been obliterated? But it may be asked, cannot
the slaves have redress by appealing to their masters? In many
instances it is impossible, as their masters live hundreds of miles
off. There are perhaps thousands in the northern slave states, [and
many in the free states,] who own plantations in the southern slave
states, and many more spend their summers at the north, or at the
various watering places. But what would the slaves gain, if they
should appeal to the master? He has placed the overseer over them,
with the understanding that he will make as large a crop as possible,
and that he is to have entire control, and manage them according to
his own judgment. Now suppose that in the midst of the season, the
slaves make complaint of cruel treatment. The master cannot get along
without an overseer--it is perhaps very sickly on the plantation he
dare not risk his own life there. Overseers are all enraged at that
season, and if he takes part with his slave against the overseer, he
would destroy his authority, and very likely provoke him to leave his
service--which would of course be a very great injury to him. Thus, in
nineteen cases out of twenty, self-interest would prevent the master
from paying any attention to the complaints of his slaves. And, if any
should complain, it would of course come to the ears of the overseer,
and the complainant would be inhumanly punished for it."


"The rule, where slaves are hired out, is two suits of clothes per
year, one pair of shoes, and one blanket; but as it relates to the
great body of the slaves, this cannot be called a general rule. On
many plantations, the children under ten or twelve years old, go
_entirely naked_--or, it clothed at all, they have nothing more than a
shirt. The cloth is of the coarsest kind, far from being durable or
warm; and their shoes frequently come to pieces in a few weeks. I
have never known any provision made, or time allowed for the washing
of clothes. If they wish to wash, as they have generally but one suit,
they go after their day's toil to some stream, build a fire, pull off
their clothes and wash them in the stream, and dry them by the fire;
and in some instances they wear their clothes until they are worn off;
without washing. I have never known an instance of a slaveholder
putting himself to any expense, that his slaves might have decent
clothes for the Sabbath. If by making baskets, brooms, mats, &c. at
night or on Sundays, the slaves can get money enough to buy a Sunday
suit, very well. I have never known an instance of a slaveholder
furnishing his slaves with stockings or mittens. I _know_ that the
slaves suffer much, and no doubt many die in consequence of not being
well clothed."


"In the grain-growing part of the south, the slaves, as it relates to
food, fare tolerably well; but in the cotton, and rice-growing, and
sugar-making portion, some of them fare badly. I have been on
plantations where, from the appearance of the slaves, I should judge
they were half-starved. They receive their allowance very commonly on
Sunday morning. They are left to cook it as they please, and when they
please. Many slaveholders rarely give their slaves meat, and very few
give them more food than will keep them in a working condition. They
rarely ever have a _change_ of food. I have never known an instance of
slaves on plantations being furnished either with sugar, butter,
cheese, or milk."


"If the slaves on plantations were well fed and clothed, and had the
stimulus of wages, they could perhaps in general perform their tasks
without injury. The horn is blown soon after the dawn of day, when all
the hands destined for the field must be 'on the march!' If the field
is far from their huts, they take their breakfast with them. They toil
till about ten o'clock, when they eat it. They then continue their
toil till the sun is set.

"A neighbor of mine, who has been an overseer in Alabama, informs me,
that there they ascertain how much labor a slave can perform in a day,
in the following manner. When they commence a new cotton field, the
overseer takes his watch, and marks how long it takes them to hoe one
row, and then lays out the task accordingly. My neighbor also informs
me, that the slaves in Alabama are worked very hard; that the lash is
almost universally applied at the close of the day, if they fail to
perform their task in the cotton-picking season. You will see them,
with their baskets of cotton, slowly bending their way to the cotton
house, where each one's basket is weighed. They have no means of
knowing accurately, in the course of the day, how they make progress;
so that they are in suspense, until their basket is weighed. Here
comes the mother, with her children; she does not know whether
herself, or children, or all of them, must take the lash; they cannot
weigh the cotton themselves--the whole must be trusted to the
overseer. While the weighing goes on, all is still. So many pounds
short, cries the overseer, and takes up his whip, exclaiming, 'Step
this way, you d--n lazy scoundrel, or bitch.' The poor slave begs, and
promises, but to no purpose. The lash is applied until the overseer is
satisfied. Sometimes the whipping is deferred until the weighing is
all over. I have said that all must be _trusted_ to the overseer. If
he owes any one a grudge, or wishes to enjoy the fiendish pleasure of
whipping a little, (for some overseers really delight in it,) they
have only to tell a falsehood relative to the weight of their basket;
they can then have a pretext to gratify their diabolical disposition;
and from the character of overseers, I have no doubt that it is
frequently done. On all plantations, the male and female slaves fare
pretty much alike; those who are with child are driven to their task
till within a few days of the time of their delivery; and when the
child is a few weeks old, the mother must again go to the field. If it
is far from her hut, she must take her babe with her, and leave it in
the care of some of the children--perhaps of one not more than four or
five years old. If the child cries, she cannot go to its relief; the
eye of the overseer is upon her; and if, when she goes to nurse it,
she stays a little longer than the overseer thinks necessary, he
commands her back to her task, and perhaps a husband and father must
hear and witness it all. Brother, you cannot begin to know what the
poor slave mothers suffer, on thousands of plantations at the south.

"I will now give a few facts, showing the workings of the system. Some
years since, a Presbyterian minister moved from North Carolina to
Georgia. He had a negro man of an uncommon mind. For some cause, I
know not what, this minister whipped him most unmercifully. He next
nearly _drowned_ him; he then put him _in the fence_; this is done by
lifting up the corner of a 'worm' fence, and then putting the feet
through; the rails serve as _stocks_. He kept him there some time, how
long I was not informed, but the poor slave _died_ in a few days; and,
if I was rightly informed, nothing was done about it, either in church
or state. After some tame, he moved back to North Carolina, and is now
a member of ---- Presbytery. I have heard him preach, and have been in
the pulpit with him. May God forgive me!

"At Laurel Hill, Richmond county, North Carolina, it was reported that
a runaway slave was in the neighborhood. A number of young men took
their guns, and went in pursuit. Some of them took their station near
the stage road, and kept on the look-out. It was early in the
evening--the poor slave came along, when the ambush rushed upon him,
and ordered him to surrender. He refused, and kept them off with his
club. They still pressed upon him with their guns presented to his
breast. Without seeming to be daunted, he caught hold of the muzzle of
one of the guns, and came near getting possession of it. At length,
retreating to a fence on one side of the road, he sprang over into a
corn-field, and started to run in one of the rows. One of the young
men stepped to the fence, fired, and lodged the whole charge between
his shoulders; he fell, and died in a short time. He died without
telling who his master was, or whether he had any, or what his own
name was, or where he was from. A hole was dug by the side of the road
his body tumbled into it, and thus ended the whole matter.

"The Rev, Mr. C. a Methodist minister, held as his slave a negro man,
who was a member of his own church. The slave was considered a very
pious man, had the confidence of his master, and all who knew him, and
if I recollect right, he sometimes attempted to preach. Just before
the Nat Turner insurrection, in Southampton county, Virginia, by which
the whole south was thrown into a panic, then worthy slave obtained
permission to visit his relatives, who resided either in Southampton,
or the county adjoining. This was the only instance that ever came to
my knowledge, of a slave being permitted to go so far to visit his
relatives. He went and returned according to agreement. A few weeks
after his return, the insurrection took place, and the whole country
was deeply agitated. Suspicion soon fixed on this slave. Nat Turner
was a Baptist minister, and the south became exceedingly jealous of
all negro preachers. It seemed as if the whole community were
impressed with the belief that he knew all about it; that he and Nat
Turner had concocted an extensive insurrection; and so confident were
they in this belief, that they took the poor slave, tried him, and
hung him. It was all done in a few days. He protested his innocence to
the last. After the excitement was over, many were ready to
acknowledge that they believed him innocent. He was hung upon

"In R---- county, North Carolina, lived a Mr. B. who had the name of
being a cruel master. Three or four winters since, his slaves were
engaged in clearing a piece of new land. He had a negro girl, about 14
years old, whom he had severely whipped a few days before, for not
performing her task. She again failed. The hands left the field for
home; she went with them a part of the way, and fell behind; but the
negroes thought she would soon be along; the evening passed away, and
she did not come. They finally concluded that she had gone back to the
new ground, to lie by the log heaps that were on fire. But they were
mistaken: she had sat down by the foot of a large pine. She was thinly
clad--the night was cold and rainy. In the morning the poor girl was
found, but she was speechless and died in a short time.

"One of my neighbors sold to a speculator a negro boy, about 14 years
old. It was more than his poor mother could bear. Her reason fled, and
she became a perfect _maniac_, and had to be kept in close
confinement. She would occasionally get out and run off to the
neighbors. On one of these occasions she came to my house. She was
indeed a pitiable object. With tears rolling down her checks, and her
frame shaking with agony, she would cry out, _'don't you hear
him--they are whipping him now, and he is calling for me!'_ This
neighbor of mine, who tore the boy away from his poor mother, and thus
broke her heart, was a _member of the Presbyterian church._

"Mr. S----, of Marion District, South Carolina, informed me that a boy
was killed by the overseer on Mr. P----'s plantation. The boy was
engaged in driving the horses in a cotton gin. The driver generally
sits on the end of the sweep. Not driving to suit the overseer, he
knocked him off with the butt of his whip. His skull was fractured. He
died in a short time.

"A man of my acquaintance in South Carolina, and of considerable
wealth, had an only son, whom he educated for the bar; but not
succeeding in his profession, he soon returned home. His father having
a small plantation three or four miles off; placed his son on it as an
overseer. Following the example of his father, as I have good reason
to believe, he took the wife of one of the negro men. The poor slave
felt himself greatly injured, and expostulated with him. The wretch
took his gun, and deliberately shot him. Providentially he only
wounded him badly. When the father came, and undertook to remonstrate
with his son about his conduct, he threatened to shoot him also! and
finally, took the negro woman, and went to Alabama, where he still
resided when I left the south.

"An elder in the Presbyterian church related to me the following.--'A
speculator with his drove of negroes was passing my house, and I
bought a little girl, nine or ten years old. After a few months, I
concluded that I would rather have a plough-boy. Another speculator
was passing, and I sold the girl. She was much distressed, and was
very unwilling to leave.'--She had been with him long enough to become
attached to his own and his negro children, and he concluded by
saying, that in view of the little girl's tears and cries, he had
determined never to do the like again. I would not trust him, for I
know him to be a very avaricious man.

"While traveling in Anson county, North Carolina, I put up for a night
at a private house. The man of the house was not at home when I
stopped, but came in the course of the evening, and was noisy and
profane, and nearly drunk. I retired to rest, but not to sleep; his
cursing and swearing were enough to keep a regiment awake. About
midnight he went to his kitchen, and called out his two slaves, a man
and woman. His object, he said, was to whip them. They both begged and
promised, but to no purpose. The whipping began, and continued for
some time. Their cries might have been heard at a distance.

"I was acquainted with a very wealthy planter, on the Pedee river, in
South Carolina, who has since died in consequence of intemperance. It
was said that he had occasioned the death of twelve of his slaves, by
compelling them to work in water, opening a ditch in the midst of
winter. The disease with which they died was a pleurisy.

"In crossing Pedee river, at Cashway Ferry, I observed that the
ferryman had no hair on either side of his head, I asked him the
cause. He informed me that it was caused by his master's cane. I said,
you have a very bad master. 'Yes, a very bad master.' I understood
that he was once a number of Congress from South Carolina.

"While traveling as agent for the North Carolina Baptist State
Convention, I attended a three days' meeting in Gates county, Friday,
the first day, passed off. Saturday morning came, and the pastor of
the church, who lived a few miles off, did not make his appearance.
The day passed off, and no news from the pastor. On Sabbath morning,
he came hobbling along, having but little use of one foot. He soon
explained: said he had a hired negro man, who, on Saturday morning,
gave him a 'little _slack jaw.'_ Not having a stick at hand, he fell
upon him with his fist and foot, and in _kicking_ him, he injured his
foot so seriously, that he could not attend meeting on Saturday.

"Some of the slaveholding ministers at the south, put their slaves
under overseers, or hire them out, and then take the pastoral care of
churches. The Rev. Mr. B----, formerly of Pennsylvania, had a
plantation in Marlborough District, South Carolina, and was the pastor
of a church in Darlington District. The Rev. Mr. T----, of Johnson
county, North Carolina, has a plantation in Alabama.

"I was present, and saw the Rev. J---- W----, of Mecklenburg county,
North Carolina, hire out four slaves to work in the gold mines is
Burke county. The Rev. H---- M----, of Orange county, sold for $900, a
negro man to a speculator, on a Monday of a camp meeting.

"Runaway slaves are frequently hunted with guns and dogs. _I was once
out on such an excursion, with my rifle and two dogs._ I trust the
Lord has forgiven me this heinous wickedness! We did not take the

"Slaves are sometimes most unmercifully punished for trifling
offences, or mere mistakes.

"As it relates to amalgamation, I can say, that I have been in
respectable families, (so called,) where I could distinguish the
family resemblance in the slaves who waited upon the table. I once
hired a slave who belonged to his own _uncle._ It is so common for the
female slaves to have white children, that little or nothing is ever
said about it. Very few inquiries are made as to who the father is.

"Thus, brother ----, I have given you very briefly, the result, in
part, of my observations and experience relative to slavery. You can
make what disposition of it you please. I am willing that my name
should go to the world with what I have now written.

"Yours affectionately, for the oppressed,


_Colebrook, Connecticut, March_ 18, 1839.


The following is an extract of a letter recently received from CHARLES
MARRIOTT of Hudson, New York. Mr. Marriott is an elder in the
Religious Society of Friends, and is extensively known and respected.

"The two following brief statements, are furnished by Richard Macy and
Reuben G. Macy, brothers, both of Hudson, New York. They are head
carpenters by trade, and have been well known to me for more than
thirty years, as esteemed members of the Religious Society of Friends.
They inform me that during their stay in South Carolina, a number more
similar cases to those here related, came under their notice, which to
avoid repetition they omit.



"During the winter of 1818 and 19, I resided on an island near the
mouth of the Savanna river, on the South Carolina side. Most of the
slaves that came under my particular notice, belonged to a widow and
her daughter, in whose family I lived. No white man belonged to the
plantation. Her slaves were under the care of an overseer who came
once a week to give orders, and settled the score laid up against such
as their mistress thought deserved punishment, which was from
twenty-five to thirty lashes on their naked backs, with a whip which
the overseer generally brought with him. This whip had a stout handle
about two feet long, and a lash about four and a half feet. From two
to four received the above, I believe nearly every week during the
winter, sometimes in my presence, and always in my hearing. I examined
the backs and shoulders of a number of the men, which were mostly
naked while they were about their labor, and found them covered with
hard ridges in every direction. One day, while busy in the cotton
house, hearing a noise, I ran to the door and saw a colored woman
pleading with the overseer, who paid no attention to her cries, but
tied her hands together, and passed the rope over a beam, over head,
where was a platform for spreading cotton, he then drew the rope as
tight as he could, so as to let her toes touch the ground; then
stripped her body naked to the waist, and went deliberately to work
with his whip, and put on twenty-five or thirty lashes, she pleading
in vain all the time. I inquired, the cause of such treatment, and was
informed it was for answering her mistress rather '_short_.'"

"A woman from a neighboring plantation came where I was, on a visit;
she came in a boat rowed by six slaves, who, according to the common
practice, were left to take care of themselves, and having laid them
down in the boat and fallen asleep, the tide fell, and the water
filling the stern of the boat, wet their mistresses trunk of clothes.
When she discovered it, she called them up near where I was, and
compelled them to whip each other, till they all had received a severe
flogging. She standing by with a whip in her hand to see that they did
not spare each other. Their usual allowance of food was one peck of
corn per week, which was dealt out to them every first day of the
week, and such as were not there to receive their portion at the
appointed time, had to live as they could during the coming week. Each
one had the privilege of planting a small piece of ground, and raising
poultry for their own use which they generally sold, that is, such as
did improve the privilege which were but few. They had nothing allowed
them besides the corn, except one quarter of beef at Christmas which a
slave brought three miles on his head. They were allowed three days
rest at Christmas. Their clothing consisted of a pair of trowsers and
jacket, made of whitish woollen cloth called negro cloth. The women
had nothing but a petticoat, and a very short short-gown, made of the
same king of cloth. Some of the women had an old pair of shoes, but
they generally went _barefoot_. The houses for the field slaves were
about fourteen feet square, built in the coarsest manner, having but
one room, without any chimney, or flooring, with a hole at the roof at
one end to let the smoke out.

"Each one was allowed one blanket in which they rolled themselves up.
I examined their houses but could not discover any thing like a bed. I
was informed that when they had a sufficiency of potatoes the slaves
were allowed some; but the season that I was there they did not raise
more than were wanted for seed. All their corn was ground in one
hand-mill, every night just as much as was necessary for the family,
then each one his daily portion, which took considerable time in the
night. I often awoke and heard the sound of the mill. Grinding the
corn in the night, and in the dark, after their day's labor, and the
want of other food, were great hardships.

"The traveling in those parts, among the islands, was altogether with
boats, rowed by from four to ten slaves, which often stopped at our
plantation, and staid through the night, when the slaves, after rowing
through the day, were left to shift for themselves; and when they went
to Savannah with a load of cotton the were obliged to sleep in the
open boats, as the law did not allow a colored person to be out after
eight o'clock in the evening, without a pass from his master."


"The above account is from my brother, I was at work on Hilton Head
about twenty miles north of my brother, during the same winter. The
same allowance of one peck of corn for a week, the same kind of houses
to live in, and the same method of grinding their corn, and always in
the night, and in the dark, was practiced there.

"A number of instances of severe whipping came under my notice. The
first was this:--two men were sent out to saw some blocks out of large
live oak timber on which to raise my building. Their saw was in poor
order, and they sawed them badly, for which their master stripped them
naked and flogged them.

"The next instance was a boy about sixteen years of age. He had crept
into the coach to sleep; after two or three nights he was caught by
the coach driver, a _northern man_, and stripped _entirely naked_, and
whipped without mercy, his master looking on.

"Another instance. The overseer, a young white man, had ordered
several negroes a boat's crew, to be on the spot at a given time. One
man did not appear until the boat had gone. The overseer was very
angry and told him to strip and be flogged; he being slow, was told if
he did not instantly strip off his jacket, he, the overseer, would
whip it off which he did in shreds, whipping him cruelly.

"The man ran into the barrens and it was about a month before they
caught him. He was newly starved, and at last stole a turkey; then
another, and was caught.

"Having occasion to pass a plantation very early one foggy morning, in
a boat we heard the sound of the whip, before we could see, but as we
drew up in front of the plantation, we could see the negroes at work
in the field. The overseer was going from one to the other causing
them to lay down their hoe, strip off their garment, hold up their
hands and receive their number of lashes. Thus he went on from one to
the other until we were out of sight. In the course of the winter a
family came where I was, on a visit from a neighboring island; of
course, in a boat with negroes to row them--one of these a barber,
told me that he ran away about two years before, and joined a company
of negroes who had fled to the swamps. He said they suffered a great
deal--were at last discovered by a party of hunters, who fired among
them, and caused them to scatter. Himself and one more fled to the
coast, took a boat and put off to sea, a storm came on and swamped or
upset them, and his partner was drowned, he was taken up by a passing
vessel and returned to his master.


_Hudson, 12 mo. 29th_, 1838."


citizen of Beaver co. Pennsylvania, dated Jan 7, 1839.

_Chippeca Township, Beaver co. Pa. Jan._ 7, 1839.

"I send you the statement of Mr. Eleazar Powell, who was born, and has
mostly resided in this township from his birth. His character for
sobriety and truth stands above impeachment.

"With sentiments of esteem,
I am your friend,

"In the month of December, 1836, I went to the State of Mississippi to
work at my trade, (masonry and bricklaying,) and continued to work in
the counties of Adams and Jefferson, between four and five months. In
following my business I had an opportunity of seeing the treatment of
slaves in several places.

"In Adams county I built a chimney for a man named Joseph Gwatney; he
had forty-five field hands of both sexes. The field in which they
worked at that time, lay about two miles from the house; the hands had
to cook and eat their breakfast, prepare their dinner, and be in the
field at daylight, and continue there till dark. In the evening the
cotton they had picked was weighed, and if they fell short of their
task they were whipped. One night I attended the weighing--two women
fell short of their task, and the master ordered the black driver to
take them to the quarters and flog them; one of them was to receive
twenty-five lashes and pick a peck of cotton seed. I have been with
the overseer several times through the negro quarters. The huts are
generally built of split timber, some larger than rails, twelve and a
half feet wide and fourteen feet long--some with and some without
chimneys, and generally without floors; they were generally without
daubing, and mostly had split clapboards nailed on the cracks on the
outside, though some were without even that: in some there was a kind
of rough bedstead, made from rails, polished with the axe, and put
together in a very rough manner, the bottom covered with clapboards,
and over that a bundle of worn out clothes. In some huts there was no
bedstead at all. The above description applies to the places generally
with which I was acquainted, and they were mostly _old settlements._

"In the east part of Jefferson county I built a chimney for a man
named ---- M'Coy; he had forty-seven laboring hands. Near where I was
at work, M'Coy had ordered one of his slaves to set a post for a gate.
When he came to look at it, he said the slave had not set it in the
right place; and ordered him to strip, and lie down on his face;
telling him that if he struggled, or attempted to get up, two men, who
had been called to the spot, should seize and hold him fast. The slave
agreed to be quiet, and M'Coy commenced flogging him on the bare back,
with the wagon whip. After some time the sufferer attempted to get up;
one of the slaves standing by, seized him by the feet and held him
fast; upon which he yielded, and M'Coy continued to flog him ten or
fifteen minutes. When he was up, and had put on his trowsers, the
blood came through them.

"About half a mile from M'Coy's was a plantation owned by his
step-daughter. The overseer's name was James Farr, of whom it appears
Mrs. M'Coy's waiting woman was enamoured. One night, while I lived
there, M'Coy came from Natchez, about 10 o'clock at night. He said
that Dinah was gone, and wished his overseer to go with him to Farr's
lodgings. They went accordingly, one to each door, and caught Dinah as
she ran out, she was partly dressed in her mistress's clothes; M'Coy
whipped her unmercifully, and she afterwards made her escape. On the
next day, (Sabbath), M'Coy came to the overseer's, where I lodged, and
requested him and me to look for her, as he was afraid that she had
hanged herself. He then gave me the particulars of the flogging. He
stated that near Farr's he had made her strip and lie down, and had
flogged her until he was tired; that before he reached home he had a
second time made her strip, and again flogged her until he was tired;
that when he reached home he had tied her to a peach-tree, and after
getting a drink had flogged her until he was thirsty again; and while
he went to get a drink the woman made her escape. He stated that he
knew, from the whipping he had given her, there must be in her back
cuts an inch deep. He showed the place where she had been tied to the
tree; there appeared to be as much blood as if a hog had been stuck
there. The woman was found on Sabbath evening, near the sprang, and
had to be carried into the house.

"While I lived there I heard M'Coy say, if the slaves did not raise
him three hundred bales of cotton the ensuing season, he would kill
every negro he had.

"Another case of flogging came under my notice: Philip O. Hughes,
sheriff of Jefferson county, had hired a slave to a man, whose name I
do not recollect. On a Sabbath day the slave had drank somewhat
freely; he was ordered by the tavern keeper, (where his present master
had left his horse and the negro,) to stay in the kitchen; the negro
wished to be out. In persisting to go out he was knocked down three
times; and afterwards flogged until another young man and myself ran
about half a mile, having been drawn by the cries of the negro and the
sound of the whip. When we came up, a number of men that had been
about the tavern, were whipping him, and at intervals would ask him if
he would take off his clothes. At seeing them drive down the stakes
for a regular flogging he yielded, and took them off. They then
flogged him until satisfied. On the next morning I saw him, and his
pantaloons were all in a gore of blood.

"During my stay in Jefferson county, Philip O. Hughes was out one day
with his gun--he saw a negro at some distance, with a club in one hand
and an ear of corn in the other--Hughes stepped behind a tree, and
waited his approach; he supposed the negro to be a runaway, who had
escaped about nine months before from his master, living not very far
distant. The negro discovered Hughes before he came up, and started to
run; he refusing to stop, Hughes fired, and shot him through the arm.
Through loss of blood the negro was soon taken and put in jail. I saw
his wound twice dressed, and heard Hughes make the above statement.

"When in Jefferson county I boarded six weeks in Fayette, the county
town, with a tavern keeper named James Truly. He had a slave named
Lucy, who occupied the station of chamber maid and table waiter. One
day, just after dinner Mrs. Truly took Lucy and bound her arms round a
pine sapling behind the house, and commenced flogging her with a
riding-whip; and when tired would take her chair and rest. She
continued thus alternately flogging and resting, for at least an hour
and a half. I afterwards learned from the bar-keeper, and others, that
the woman's offence was that she had bought two candles to set on the
table the evening before, not knowing there were yet some in the box.
I did nor see the act of flogging above related; but it was commenced
before I left the house after dinner, and my work not being more than
twenty rods from the house, I distinctly heard the cries of the woman
all the time, and the manner of tying I had from those who did see it.

"While I boarded at Truly's, an overseer shot a negro about two miles
northwest of Fayette, belonging to a man named Hinds Stuart. I heard
Stuart himself state the particulars. It appeared that the negro's
wife fell under the overseer's displeasure, and he went to whip her.
The negro said she should not be whipped. The overseer then let her
go, and ordered him to be seized. The negro, having been a driver,
rolled the lash of his whip round his hand, and said he would not be
whipped at that time. The overseer repeated his orders. The negro took
up a hoe, and none dared to take hold of him. The overseer then went
to his coat, that he had laid off to whip the negro's wife, and took
out his pistol and shot him dead. His master ordered him to be buried
in a hole without a coffin. Stuart stated that he would not have taken
two thousand dollars for him. No punishment was inflicted on the



The following is an extract of a letter from two professional
gentlemen and their wives, who have lived for some years in a small
village in one of the slave states. They are all persons of the
highest respectability, and are well known in at least one of the New
England states. Their names are with the Executive Committee of the
American Anti-Slavery Society; but as the individuals would doubtless
be murdered by the slaveholders, if they were published, the Committee
feel sacredly bound to withhold them. The letter was addressed to a
respected clergyman in New England. The writers say:

"A man near us owned a valuable slave--his best--most faithful servant.
In a gust of passion, he struck him dead with a lever, or stick of

"During the years '36 and '37, the following transpired. A slave in
our neighborhood ran away and went to a place about thirty miles
distant. There he was found by his pursuers on horseback, and
compelled by the whip to run the distance of thirty miles. It was an
exceedingly hot day--and within a few hours after he arrived at the
end of his journey the slave was dead.

"Another slave ran away, but concluded to return. He had proceeded
some distance on his return, when he was met by a company of two or
three drivers who raced, whipped and abused him until he fell down and
expired. This took place on the Sabbath." The writer after speaking of
another murder of a slave in the neighborhood, without giving the
circumstances, say--"There is a powerful New England influence at
----" the village where they reside--"We may therefore suppose that
there would he as little of barbarian cruelty practiced there as any
where;--at least we might suppose that the average amount of cruelty
in that vicinity would be sufficiently favorable to the side of
slavery.--Describe a circle, the centre of which shall be--, the
residence of the writers, and the radius fifteen miles, and in about
one year three, and I think four slaves have been _murdered_, within
that circle, under circumstances of horrid cruelty.--What must have
been the amount of murder in the whole slave territory? The whole
south is rife with the crime of separating husbands and wives, parents
and children."


Mr. IDE is a respected member of the Baptist Church in Sheffield,
Caledonia county, Vt.; and recently the Postmaster in that town. He
spent a few months at the south in the years 1837 and 8. In a letter
to the Rev. Wm. Scales of Lyndon, Vt. written a few weeks since, Mr.
Ide writes as follows.

"In answering the proposed inquiries, I will say first, that although
there are various other modes resorted to, whipping with the cowskin
is the usual mode of inflicting punishment on the poor slave. I have
never actually witnessed a whipping scene, for they are usually taken
into some back place for that purpose; but I have often heard their
groans and screams while writhing under the lash; and have seen the
blood flow from their torn and lacerated skins after the vengeance of
the inhuman master or mistress had been glutted. You ask if the woman
where I boarded whipped a slave to death. I can give you the
particulars of the transaction as they were related to me. My
informant was a gentleman--a member of the Presbyterian church in
Massachusetts--who the winter before boarded where I did. He said that
Mrs. T---- had a female slave whom she used to whip unmercifully, and on
one occasion, she whipped her as long as she had strength, and after
the poor creature was suffered to go, she crawled off into a cellar.
As she did not immediately return, search was made, and she was found
dead in the cellar, and the horrid deed was kept a secret in the
family, and it was reported that she died of sickness. This wretch at
the same time was a member of a Presbyterian church. Towards her
slaves she was certainly the most cruel wretch of any woman with whom
I was ever acquainted--yet she was nothing more than a slaveholder.
She would deplore slavery as much as I did, and often told me she was
much of an abolitionist as I was. She was constant in the declaration
that her kind treatment to her slaves was proverbial. Thought I, then
the Lord have mercy on the rest. She has often told me of the cruel
treatment of the slaves on a plantation adjoining her father's in the
low country of South Carolina. She says she has often seen them driven
to the necessity of eating frogs and lizards to sustain life. As to
the mode of living generally, my information is rather limited, being
with few exceptions confined to the different families where I have
boarded. My stopping places at the south have mostly been in cities.
In them the slaves are better fed and clothed than on plantations. The
house servants are fed on what the families leave. But they are kept
short, and I think are oftener whipped for stealing something to eat
than any other crime. On plantations their food is principally
hommony, as the southerners call it. It is simply cracked corn boiled.
This probably constitutes seven-eights of their living. The
house-servants in cities are generally decently clothed, and some
favorite ones are richly dressed, but those on the plantations,
especially in their dress, if it can be called dress, exhibit the most
haggard and squalid appearance. I have frequently seen those of both
sexes more than two-thirds naked. I have seen from forty to sixty,
male and female, at work in a field, many of both sexes with their
bodies entirely naked--who did not exhibit signs of shame more than
cattle. As I did not go among them much on the plantations, I have
had but few opportunities for examining the backs of slaves--but have
frequently passed where they were at work, and been occasionally
present with them, and in almost every case there were marks of
violence on some parts of them--every age, sex and condition being
liable to the whip. A son of the gentleman with whom I boarded, a
young man about twenty-one years of age, had a plantation and eight or
ten slaves. He used to boast almost every night of whipping some of
them. One day he related to me a case of whipping an old negro--I
should judge sixty years of age. He said he called him up to flog him
for some real or supposed offence, and the poor old man, being pious,
asked the privilege of praying before he received his punishment. He
said he granted him the favor, and to use his own expression, 'The old
nigger knelt down and prayed for me, and then got up and took his
whipping.' In relation to negro huts, I will say that planters usually
own large tracts of land. They have extensive clearings and a
beautiful mansion house--and generally some forty or fifty rods from
the dwelling are situated the negro cabins, or huts, built of logs in
the rudest manner. Some consist of poles rolled up together and
covered with mud or clay--many of them not as comfortable as northern


MR. SMITH is now pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Centreville,
Allegany county, N.Y. He has recently returned from a residence in the
slave states, and the American slave holding settlements in Texas. The
following is an extract of a letter lately received from him.

"You inquire respecting instances of cruelty that have come within my
knowledge. I reply. Avarice and cruelty constitute the very gist of
the whole slave system. Many of the enormities committed upon the
plantations will not be described till God brings to light the hidden
things of darkness, then the tears and groans and blood of innocent
men, women and children will be revealed, and the oppressor's spirit
must confront that of his victim.

"I will relate a case of _torture_ which occurred on the Brassos while
I resided a few miles distant upon the Chocolate Bayou. The case
should be remembered as a true illustration of the nature of slavery,
as it exists at the south. The facts are these. An overseer by the
name of Alexander, notorious for his cruelty, was found dead in the
timbered lands of the Brassos. It was supposed that he was murdered,
but who perpetrated the act was unknown. Two black men were however
seized, taken into the Prairie and put to the torture. A physician by
the name of Parrott from Tennessee, and another from New England by
the name of Anson Jones, were present on this occasion. The latter
gentleman is now the Texan minister plenipotentiary to the United
States, and resides at Washington. The unfortunate slaves being
stripped, and all things arranged, the torture commenced by whipping
upon their bare backs. Six athletic men were employed in this scene of
inhumanity, the names of some of whom I well remember. There was one
of the name of Brown, and one or two of the name of Patton. Those six
executioners were successively employed in cutting up the bodies of
these defenceless slaves, who persisted to the last in the avowal of
their innocence. The bloody whip was however kept in motion till
savage barbarity itself was glutted. When this was accomplished, the
bleeding victims were re-conveyed to the inclosure of the mansion
house where they were deposited for a few moments. '_The dying groans
however incommoding the ladies, they were taken to a back shed where
one of them soon expired_.'[13] The life of the other slave was for a
time despaired of, but after hanging over the grave for months, he at
length so far recovered as to walk about and labor at light work.
These facts _cannot be controverted_. They were disclosed under the
solemnity of an oath, at Columbia, in a court of justice. I was
present, and shall never forget them. The testimony of Drs. Parrott
and Jones was most appalling. I seem to hear the death-groans of that
murdered man. His cries for mercy and protestations of innocence fell
upon adamantine hearts. The facts above stated, and others in relation
to this scene of cruelty came to light in the following manner. The
master of the murdered man commenced legal process against the actors
in this tragedy for the _recovery of the value of the chattel_, as one
would institute a suit for a horse or an ox that had been unlawfully
killed. It was a suit for the recovery of _damages_ merely. No
_indictment_ was even dreamed of. Among the witnesses brought upon the
stand in the progress of this cause were the physicians, Parrott and
Jones above named. The part which they were called to act in this
affair was, it is said, to examine the pulse of the victims during the
process of _torture_. But they were mistaken as to the quantum of
torture which a human being can undergo and not die under it. Can it
be believed that one of these physicians was born and educated in the
land of the pilgrims? Yes, in my own native New England. It is even
so! The stone-like apathy manifested at the trial of the above cause,
and the screams and the death-groans of an innocent man, as developed
by the testimony of the witnesses, can never be obliterated from my
memory. They form an era in my life, a point to which I look back with

[Footnote 13: The words of Dr. Parrott, a witness on the trial hereafter
referred to.]

"Another case of cruelty occurred on the San Bernard near Chance
Prairie, where I resided for some time. The facts were these. A slave
man fled from his master, (Mr. Sweeny) and being closely _pursued_ by
the overseer and a son of the owner, he stepped a few yards in the
Bernard and placed himself upon a root, from which there was no
possibility of his escape, for he could not swim. In this situation he
was fired upon with a blunderbuss loaded heavily with ball and grape
shot. The overseer who shot the gun was at a distance of a few feet
only. The charge entered the body of the negro near the groin. He was
conveyed to the plantation, lingered in inexpressible agony a few days
and expired. A physician was called, but medical and surgical skill
was unavailing. No notice whatever was taken of this murder by the
public authorities, and the murderer was not discharged from the
service of his employer.

"When slaves flee, as they not unfrequently do, to the timbered lands
of Texas, they are hunted with guns and dogs.

"The sufferings of the slave not unfrequently drive him to despair and
suicide. At a plantation on the San Bernard, where there were but five
slaves, two during the same year committed suicide by drowning."


Mr. Bliss is a highly respectable member of the bar, in Elyria, Lorain
Co. Ohio, and member of the Presbyterian church, in that place. He
resided in Florida, during the years 1834 and 5.

The following extracts are from letters, written by Mr. B. in 1835,
while residing on a plantation near Tallahassee, and published soon
after in the Ohio Atlas; also from letters written in 1836 and
published in the New York Evangelist.

"In speaking of slavery as it is, I hardly know where to begin. The
physical condition of the slave is far from being accurately known at
the north. Gentlemen _traveling_ in the south can know nothing of it.
They must make the south their residence; they must live on
plantations, before they can have any opportunity of judging of the
slave. I resided in Augustine five months, and had I not made
_particular_ inquiries, which most northern visitors very seldom or
never do, I should have left there with the impression that the slaves
were generally very _well_ treated, and were a happy people. Such is
the report of many northern travelers who have no more opportunity of
knowing their real condition than if they had remained at home. What
confidence could we place in the reports of the traveler, relative to
the condition of the Irish peasantry, who formed his opinion from the
appearance of the waiters at a Dublin hotel, or the household servants
of a country gentleman? And it is not often on plantations even, that
_strangers_ can witness the punishment of the slave. I was conversing
the other day with a neighboring planter, upon the brutal treatment of
the slaves which I had witnessed: he remarked, that had I been with
him I should not have seen this. "When I whip niggers, I take them out
of sight and hearing." Such being the difficulties in the way of a
stranger's ascertaining the treatment of the slaves, it is not to be
wondered at that gentlemen, of undoubted veracity, should give
directly false statements relative to it. But facts cannot lie, and in
giving these I confine myself to what has come under my own personal

"The negroes commence labor by daylight in the morning, and, excepting
the plowboys, who must feed and rest their horses, do not leave the
field till dark in the evening. There is a good deal of contention
among planters, who shall make the most cotton to the hand, or, who
shall drive their negroes the hardest; and I have heard bets made and
staked upon the issue of the crops. Col. W. was boasting of his large
crops, and swore that 'he made for his force, the largest crops in the
country.' He was disputed of course. On riding home in company with
Mr. C. the conversation turned upon Col. W. My companion remarked,
that though Col. W. had the reputation of making a large crop, yet he
could beat him himself, and did do it the last year. I remarked that I
considered it no honor to _Col. W_. to drive his slaves to death to
make a large crop. I have heard no more about large crops from him
since. Drivers or overseers usually drive the slaves worse than
masters.--Their reputation for good overseers depends in a great
measure upon the crops they make, and the death of a slave is no loss
to them.

"Of the extent and cruelty of the punishment of the slave, the
northern public know nothing. From the nature of the case they can
know little, as I have before mentioned.

"I _have seen_ a woman, a mother, compelled, in the presence of her
master and mistress, _to hold up her clothes_, and endure the whip of
the driver on the naked body for more than _twenty minutes_, and while
her cries would have rent the heart of any one, who had not hardened
himself to human suffering. Her master and mistress were conversing
with apparent indifference. What was her crime? She had a task given
her of sewing which she _must finish_ that day. Late at night she
finished it; but _the stitches were too long_, and she must be
whipped. The same was repeated three or four nights for the same
offence. _I have seen_ a man tied to a tree, hands and feet, and
receive 305 blows with the paddle[14] on the fleshy parts of the body.
Two others received the same kind of punishment at the time, though I
did not count the blows. One received 230 lashes. Their crime was
stealing mutton. I have _frequently_ heard the shrieks of the slaves,
male and female, accompanied by the strokes of the paddle or whip,
when I have not gone near the scene of horror. I knew not their
crimes, excepting of one woman, which was stealing _four potatoes_ to
eat with her bread! The more common number of lashes inflicted was
fifty or eighty; and this I saw not once or twice, but so frequently
that I can not tell the number of times I have seen it. So frequently,
that my own heart was becoming so hardened that I could witness with
comparative indifference, the female writhe under the lash, and her
shrieks and cries for mercy ceased to pierce my heart with that
keenness, or give me that anguish which they first caused. It was not
always that I could learn their crimes; but of those I did learn, the
most common was non-performance of tasks. I have seen men strip and
receive from one to three hundred strokes of the whip and paddle. My
studies and meditations were almost nightly interrupted by the cries
of the victims of cruelty and avarice. Tom, a slave of Col. N.
obtained permission of his overseer on Sunday, to visit his son, on a
neighboring plantation, belonging in part to his master, but neglected
to take a "pass." Upon its being demanded by the other overseer, he
replied that he had permission to come, and that his having a mule was
sufficient evidence of it, and if he did not consider it as such, he
could take him up. The overseer replied he would take him up; giving
him at the same time a blow on the arm with a stick he held in his
hand, sufficient to lame it for some time. The negro collared him, and
threw him; and on the overseer's commanding him to submit to be tied
and whipped, he said he would not be whipped by _him_ but would leave
it to massa J. They came to massa J.'s. I was there. After the
overseer had related the case as above, he was blamed for not shooting
or stabbing him at once.--After dinner the negro was tied, and the
whip given to the overseer, and he used it with a severity that was
shocking. I know not how many lashes were given, but from his
shoulders to his heels there was not a spot unridged! and at almost
every stroke the blood flowed. He could not have received less than
300, _well laid on_. But his offence was great, almost the greatest
known, laying hands on a _white_ man! Had he struck the overseer,
under any provocation, he would have been in some way disfigured,
perhaps by the loss of his ears, in addition to a whipping: or he
might have been hung. The most common cause of punishments is, not
finishing tasks.

[Footnote 14: A piece of oak timber two and a half feet long, flat and
wide at one end.]

"But it would be tedious mentioning further particulars. The negro has
no other inducement to work but the _lash_; and as man never acts
without motive, the lash must be used so long as all other motives are
withheld. Hence corporeal punishment is a necessary part of slavery.

"Punishments for runaways are usually severe. Once whipping is not
sufficient. I have known runaways to be whipped for six or seven
nights in succession for one offence. I have known others who, with
pinioned hands, and a chain extending from an iron collar on their
neck, to the saddle of their master's horse, have been driven at a
smart trot, one or two hundred miles, being compelled to ford water
courses, their drivers, according to their own confession, not abating
a whit in the rapidity of their journey for the case of the slave. One
tied a kettle of sand to his slave to render his journey more arduous.

"Various are the instruments of torture devised to keep the slave in
subjection. The stocks are sometimes used. Sometimes blocks are filled
with pegs and nails, and the slave compelled to stand upon them.

"While stopping on the plantation of a Mr. C. I saw a whip with a
knotted lash lying on the table, and inquired of my companion, who was
also an acquaintance of Mr. C's, if he used that to whip his negroes?
"Oh," says he, "Mr. C. is not severe with his hands. He never whips
very hard. The _knots in the lash are so large_ that he does not
usually draw blood in whipping them."

"It was principally from hearing the conversation of southern men on
the subject, that I judge of the cruelty that is generally practiced
toward slaves. They will deny that slaves are generally ill treated;
but ask them if they are not whipped for certain offences, which
either a freeman would have no temptation to commit, or which would
not be an offence in any but a slave, and for non-performance of
tasks, they will answer promptly in the affirmative. And frequently
have I heard them excuse their cruelty by citing Mr. A. or Mr. B. who
is a Christian, or Mr. C. a preacher, or Mr. D. from the _north_, who
"drives his hands tighter, and whips them harder, than we ever do."
Driving negroes to the utmost extent of their ability, with
occasionally a hundred lashes or more, and a few switchings in the
field if they hang back in the driving seasons, viz: in the hoing and
picking months, is perfectly consistent with good treatment!

"While traveling across the Peninsula in a stage, in company with a
northern gentleman, and southern lady, of great worth and piety, a
dispute arose respecting the general treatment of slaves, the
gentleman contending that their treatment was generally good--'O, no!'
interrupted the lady, 'you can know nothing of the treatment they
receive on the plantations. People here do whip the poor negroes most
cruelly, and many half starve them. You have neither of you had
opportunity to know scarcely anything of the cruelties that are
practiced in this country,' and more to the same effect. I met with
several others, besides this lady, who appeared to feel for the sins
of the land, but they are few and scattered, and not usually of
sufficiently stern mould to withstand the popular wave.

"Masters are not forward to publish their "domestic regulations," and
as neighbors are usually several miles apart, one's observation must
be limited. Hence the few instances of cruelty which break out can be
but a fraction of what is practised. A planter, a professor of
religion, in conversation upon the universality of whipping, remarked
that a planter in G--, who had whipped a great deal, at length got
tired of it, and invented the following _excellent_ method of
punishment, which I saw practised while I was paying him a visit. The
negro was placed in a sitting position, with his hands made fast above
his head, and feet in the stocks, so that he could not move any part
of the body.

"The master retired, intending to leave him till morning, but we were
awakened in the night by the groans of the negro, which were so
doleful that we feared he was dying. We went to him, and found him
covered with a cold sweat, and almost gone. He could not have lived an
hour longer. Mr. ---- found the 'stocks' such an effective punishment,
that it almost superseded the whip."

"How much do you give your niggers for a task while hoeing cotton,"
inquired Mr. C---- of his neighbor Mr. H----."

H. "I give my men an acre and a quarter, and my women an acre."[15]

[Footnote 15: Cotton is planted in drills about three feet apart, and
is hilled like corn.]

C. "Well, that is a fair task. Niggers do a heap better if they are
drove pretty tight."

H. "O yes, I have driven mine into complete subordination. When I
first bought them they were discontented and wished me to sell them,
but I soon whipped _that_ out of them; and they now work very

C. "Does Mary keep up with the rest?"

H. "No, she does'nt often finish the task alone, she has to get Sam to
help her out after he has done his, _to save her a whipping_. There's
no other way but to be severe with them."

C. "No other, sir, if you favor a nigger you spoil him."

"The whip is considered as necessary on a plantation as the plough;
and its use is almost as common. The negro whip is the common
teamster's whip with a black leather stock, and a short, fine, knotted
lash. The paddle is also frequently used, sometimes with holes bored
in the flattened end. The ladies (!) in chastising their domestic
servants, generally use the cowhide. I have known some use shovel and
tongs. It is, however, more common to commit them to the driver to be
whipped. The manner of whipping is as follows: The negro is tied by
his hands, and sometimes feet, to a post or tree, and stripped to the
skin. The female slave is not always tied. The number of lashes
depends upon the character for severity of the master or overseer.

"Another instrument of torture is sometimes used, how extensively I
know not. The negro, or, in the case which came to my knowledge, the
negress was compelled to stand barefoot upon a block filled with sharp
pegs and nails for two or three hours. In case of sickness, if the
master or overseer thinks them seriously ill, they are taken care of,
but their complaints are usually not much heeded. A physician told me
that he was employed by a planter last winter to go to a plantation of
his in the country, as many of the negroes were sick. Says he--"I
found them in a most miserable condition. The weather was cold, and
the negroes were barefoot, with hardly enough of _cotton_ clothing to
cover their nakedness. Those who had huts to shelter them were obliged
to build them nights and Sundays. Many were sick and some had died. I
had the sick taken to an older plantation of their masters, where they
could be made comfortable, and they recovered. I directed that they
should not go to work till after sunrise, and should not work in the
rain till their health became established. But the overseer refusing
to permit it, I declined attending on them farther. I was called,'
continued he, 'by the overseer of another plantation to see one of the
men. I found him lying by the side of a log in great pain. I asked him
how he did, 'O,' says he, 'I'm most dead, can live but little longer.'
How long have you been sick? I've felt for more than six weeks as
though I could hardly stir.' Why didn't you tell your master, you was
sick? 'I couldn't see my master, and the overseer always whips us when
we complain, I could not stand a whipping.' I did all I could for the
poor fellow, but his _lungs were rotten_. He died in three days from
the time he left off work.' The cruelty of that overseer is such that
the negroes almost tremble at his name. Yet he gets a high salary, for
he makes the largest crop of any other man in the neighborhood, though
none but the hardiest negroes can stand it under him. "That man," says
the Doctor, "would be hung in my country." He was a German."


REV. WILLIAM SCALES, of Lyndon, Vermont, has furnished the following
testimony, under date of Dec. 15, 1838.

"I send you an extract from a letter that I have just received, which
you may use _ad libitum_. The letter is from Rev. Wm. A. Chapin,
Greensborough, Vermont. To one who is acquainted with Mr. C. his
opinion and statements must carry conviction even to the most
obstinate and incredulous. He observes, 'I resided, as a teacher,
nearly two years in the family of Carroll Webb, Esq., of Hampstead,
New Kent co. about twenty miles from Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Webb had
three or four plantations, and was considered one of the two
wealthiest men in the county: it was supposed he owned about two
hundred slaves. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and was
elected an elder while I was with him. He was a native of Virginia,
but a graduate of a New-England college.

"The slaves were called in the morning before daylight, I believe at
all seasons of the year, that they might prepare their food, and be
ready to go to work as soon as it was light enough to see. I know that
at the season of husking corn, October and November, they were usually
compelled to work late--till 12 or 1 o'clock at night. I know this
fact because they accompanied their work with a loud singing of their
own sort. I usually retired to rest between 11 and 12 o'clock, and
generally heard them at their work as long as I was awake. The slaves
lived in wretched log cabins, of one room each, without floors or
windows. I believe the slaves sometimes suffer for want of food. One
evening, as I was sitting in the parlor with Mr. W. one of the most
resolute of the slaves came to the door, and said, "Master, I am
willing to work for you, but I want something to eat." The only reply
was, "Clear yourself." I learned that the slaves had been without food
all day, because the man who was sent to mill could not obtain his
grinding. He went again the next day, and obtained his grist, and the
slaves had no food till he returned. He had to go about five

[Footnote 16: To this, Rev. Mr. Scales adds, "In familiar language, and
in more detail, as I have learned it in conversation with Mr. Chapin,
the fact is as follows:--

"Mr. W. kept, what he called a 'boy,' i.e. a _man_, to go to mill. It
was his custom not to give his slaves anything to eat while he was
gone to mill--let him have been gone longer or shorter--for this
reason, if he was lazy, and delayed, the slaves would become hungry:
hence indignant, and abuse him--this was his punishment. On that
occasion he went to mill in the morning. The slaves came up at noon,
and returned to work without food. At night, after having worked hard
all day, without food, went to bed without supper. About 10 o'clock
the next day, they came up in a company, to their master's door, (that
master an elder in the church), and deputed one more resolute than the
rest to address him. This he did in the most respectful tones and
terms. "We are willing to work for you, master, but we can't work
without food; we want something to eat." "Clear yourself," was the
answer. The slaves retired; and in the morning were driven away to
work without food. At noon, I think, or somewhat after, they were

"I know the slaves were sometimes severely whipped. I saw the backs of
several which had numerous scars, evidently caused by long and deep
lacerations of the whip; and I have good reason to believe that the
slaves were generally in that condition; for I never saw the back of
one exposed that was not thus marked,--and from their tattered and
scanty clothing their backs were often exposed."


This testimony is communicated in a letter from Mr. Cyrus Pierce, a
respectable and well known citizen of Nantucket, Mass. Of the
witnesses, Messrs. T.D.M. and F.C. Macy, Mr. Pierce says, "They are
both inhabitants of this island, and have resided at the south; they
are both worthy men, for whose integrity and intelligence I can vouch
unqualifiedly; the former has furnished me with the following

"During the winter of 1832-3, I resided on the island of St. Simon,
Glynn county, Georgia. There are several extensive cotton plantations
on the island. The overseer of the plantation on that part of the
island where I resided was a Georgian--a man of stern character, and
at times _cruelly abusive_ to his slaves. I have often been witness of
the _abuse_ of his power. In South Carolina and Georgia, on the low
lands, the cultivation is chiefly of rice. The land where it is raised
is often inundated, and the labor of preparing it, and raising a crop,
is very arduous. Men and women are in the field from earliest dawn to
dark--often _without hats_, and up to their arm-pits in mud and water.
At St. Simon's, cotton was the staple article. Ocra, the driver,
usually waited on the overseer to receive orders for the succeeding
day. If any slave was insolent, or negligent, the driver was
authorized to punish him with the whip, with as many blows as the
magnitude of the crime justified. He was frequently cautioned, upon
the peril of his skin, to see that all the negroes were off to the
field in the morning. 'Ocra,' said the overseer, one evening, to the
driver, 'if any pretend to be sick, send me word--allow no lazy wench
or fellow to skulk in the negro house.' Next morning, a few minutes
after the departure of the hands to the field, Ocra was seen hastening
to the house of the overseer. He was soon in his presence. 'Well, Ocra,
what now?' 'Nothing, sir, only Rachel says she sick--can't go to de
field to-day.' 'Ah, sick, is she? I'll see to her; you may be off. She
shall see if I am longer to be fooled with in this way. Here,
Christmas, mix these salts--bring them to me at the negro house.' And
seizing his whip, he made off to the negro settlement. Having a strong
desire to see what would be the result, I followed him. As I
approached the negro house, I heard high words. Rachel was stating her
complaint--children were crying from fright--and the overseer
threatening. Rachel.--'I can't work to-day--I'm sick!' Overseer.--'But
you shall work, if you die for it. Here, take these salts. Now move
off--quick--let me see your face again before night, and, by G--d,
you shall smart for it. Be off--no begging--not a word;'--and he
dragged her from the house, and followed her 20 or 30 rods,
threatening. The woman did not reach the field. Overcome by the
exertion of walking, and by agitation, she sunk down exhausted by the
road side--was taken up, and carried back to the house, where an
_abortion_ occurred, and her life was greatly jeoparded.

"It was _no uncommon_ sight to see a whole family, father, mother, and
from two to five children, collected together around their piggin of
hommony, or pail of potatoes, watched by the overseer. One meal was
always eaten in the field. No time was allowed for relaxation.

"It was not unusual for a child of five or six years to perform the
office of nurse--because the mother worked in a remote part of the
field, and was not allowed to leave her employment to take care of her
infant. Want of proper nutriment induces sickness of the worst type.

"No matter what the nature of the service, a peck of corn, dealt out
on Sunday, must supply the demands of nature for a week.

"The Sabbath, on a southern plantation, is a mere nominal holiday. The
slaves are liable to be called upon at all times, by those who have
authority over them.

"When it rained, the slaves were allowed to collect under a tree until
the shower had passed. Seldom, on a week day, were they permitted to
go to their huts during rain; and even had this privilege been
granted, many of those miserable habitations were in so dilapidated a
condition, that they would afford little or no protection. Negro huts
are built of logs, covered with boards or thatch, having _no
flooring_, and but one apartment, serving all the purposes of
sleeping, cooking, &c. Some are furnished with a temporary loft. I
have seen a whole family herded together in a loft ten feet by twelve.
In cold weather, they gather around the fire, spread their blankets
_on the ground_, and keep as comfortable as they can. Their supply of
clothing is scanty--each slave being allowed a Holland coat and
pantaloons, of the coarsest manufacture, and one pair of cowhide
shoes. The women, enough of the same kind of cloth for one frock. They
have also one pair of shoes. Shoes are given to the slaves in the
winter only. In summer, their clothing is composed of osnaburgs.
Slaves on different plantations are not allowed without a written
permission, to visit their fellow bondsmen, under penalty of severe
chastisement. I witnessed the chastisement of a young male slave, who
was found lurking about the plantation, and could give no other
account of himself, than that he wanted to visit some of his
acquaintance. Fifty lashes was the penalty for this offence. I could
not endure the dreadful shrieks of the tortured slave, and rushed away
front the scene."

The remainder of this testimony is furnished by Mr. F.C. Macy.

"I went to Savannah in 1820. Sailing up the river, I had my first view
of slavery. A large number of men and women, with _a piece of board on
their heads, carrying mud_, for the purpose of dyking, near the river.
After tarrying a while in Savannah, I went down to the sea islands of
De Fuskee and Hilton Head, where I spent six months. Negro houses are
small, built of rough materials, _and no floor_. Their clothing, (one
suit,) coarse; which they received on Christmas day. Their food was
three pecks of potatoes per week, in the potatoe season, and one peck
of corn the remainder of the year. The slaves carried with them into
the field their meal, and a gourd of water. They cooked their hommony
in the field, and ate it with a wooden paddle. Their treatment was
little better than that of brutes. _Whipping_ was nearly an every-day
practice. On Mr. M----'s plantation, at the island De Fuskee, I saw an
old man whipped; he was about 60. He had no clothing on, except a
shirt. The man that inflicted the blows was Flim, a tall and stout
man. The whipping was _very severe_. I inquired into the cause. Some
vegetables had been stolen from his master's garden, of which he could
give no account. I saw several women whipped, some of whom were in
very _delicate_ circumstances. The case of one I will relate. She had
been purchased in Charleston, and separated from her husband. On her
passage to Savannah, or rather to the island, she was delivered of a
child; and in about three weeks after this, she appeared to be
deranged. She would leave her work, go into the woods, and sing. Her
master sent for her, and ordered the driver to whip her. I was near
enough to hear the strokes.

"I have known negro boys, partly by persuasion, and partly by force,
made to strip off their clothing and fight for _the amusement of their
masters_. They would fight until both got to crying.

"One of the planters told me that his boat had been used without
permission. A number of his negroes were called up, and put in a
building that was lathed and shingled. The covering could be easily
removed from the inside. He called one out for examination. While
examining this one, he discovered another negro, coming out of the
roof. He ordered him back: he obeyed. In a few moments he attempted it
again. The master took deliberate aim at his head, but his gun missed
fire. He told me he should probably have killed him, had his gun gone
off. The negro jumped and run. The master took aim again, and fired;
but he was so far distant, that he received only a few shots in the
calf of his leg. After several days he returned, and received a severe

"Mr. B----, planter at Hilton Head, freely confessed, that he kept one
of his slaves as a mistress. She slept in the same room with him.
This, I think, is a very common practice."


The following letter was written to Mr. ARTHUR TAPPAN, of New York, in
the summer of 1833. As the name of the writer cannot be published with
safety to himself, it is withheld.

The following testimonials, from Mr. TAPPAN, Professor WRIGHT, and
THOMAS RITTER, M.D. of New York, establish the trust-worthiness and
high respectability of the writer.

"I received the following letters from the south during the year 1833.
They were written by a gentleman who had then resided some years in
the slave states. Not being at liberty to give the writer's name, I
cheerfully certify that he is a gentleman of established character, a
graduate of Yale College, and a respected minister of the gospel.


"My acquaintance with the writer of the following letter commenced, I
believe, in 1823, from which time we were fellow students in Yale
College till 1826. I have occasionally seen him since. His character,
so far as it has come within my knowledge, has been that of an upright
and remarkably _candid_ man. I place great confidence both in his
habits of careful and unprejudiced observation and his veracity.

"E. WRIGHT, jun. New York, April 13, 1839."

"I have been acquainted with the writer of the following letter about
twelve years, and know him to be a gentleman of high respectability,
integrity, and piety. We were fellow students in Yale College, and my
opportunities for judging of his character, both at that time and
since our graduation, have been such, that I feel myself fully
warranted in making the above unequivocal declaration.

"THOMAS RITTER. 104, Cherry-street, New York."

"NATCHEZ, 1833.

"It has been almost four years since I came to the south-west; and
although I have been told, from month to month, that I should soon
wear off my northern prejudices, and probably have slaves of my own,
yet my judgment in regard to oppression, or my prejudices, if they are
pleased so to call them, remain with me still. I judge still from
those principles which were fixed in my mind at the north; and a
residence at the south has not enabled me so to pervert truth, as to
make injustice appear justice.

"I have studied the state of things here, now for years, coolly and
deliberately, with the eye of an uninterested looker on; and hence I
may not be altogether unprepared to state to you some facts, and to
draw conclusions from them.

"Permit me then to relate what I have seen; and do not imagine that
these are all exceptions to the general treatment, but rather believe
that thousands of cruelties are practised in this Christian land,
every year, which no eye that ever shed a tear of pity could look

"Soon after my arrival I made an excursion into the country, to the
distance of some twenty miles. And as I was passing by a cotton field,
where about fifty negroes were at work, I was inclined to stop by the
road side to view a scene which was then new to me. While I was, in my
mind, comparing this mode of labor with that of my own native place, I
heard the driver, with a rough oath, order one that was near him, who
seemed to be laboring to the extent of his power, to "lie down." In a
moment he was obeyed; and he commenced whipping the offender upon his
naked back, and continued, to the amount of about twenty lashes, with
a heavy raw-hide whip, the crack of which might have been heard more
than half a mile. Nor did the females escape; for although I stopped
scarcely fifteen minutes, no less than three were whipped in the same
manner, and that so severely, I was strongly inclined to interfere.

"You may be assured, sir, that I remained not unmoved: I could no
longer look on such cruelty, but turned away and rode on, while the
echoes of the lash were reverberating in the woods around me. Such
scenes have long since become familiar to me. But then the full effect
was not lost; and I shall never forget, to my latest day, the mingled
feelings of pity, horror, and indignation that took possession of my
mind. I involuntarily exclaimed, O God of my fathers, how dost thou
permit such things to defile our land! Be merciful to us! and visit us
not in justice, for all our iniquities and the iniquities of our

"As I passed on I soon found that I had escaped from one horrible
scene only to witness another. A planter with whom I was well
acquainted, had caught a negro without a pass. And at the moment I was
passing by, he was in the act of fastening his feet and hands to the
trees, having previously made him take off all his clothing except his
trowsers. When he had sufficiently secured this poor creature, he beat
him for several minutes with a green switch more than six feet long;
while he was writhing with anguish, endeavoring in vain to break the
cords with which he was bound, and incessantly crying out, "Lord,
master! do pardon me this time! do, master, have mercy!" These
expressions have recurred to me a thousand times since; and although
they came from one that is not considered among the sons of men, yet I
think they are well worthy of remembrance, as they might lead a wise
man to consider whether such shall receive mercy from the righteous
Judge, as never showed mercy to their fellow men.

"At length I arrived at the dwelling of a planter of my acquaintance,
with whom I passed the night. At about eight o'clock in the evening I
heard the barking of several dogs, mingled with the most agonizing
cries that I ever heard from any human being. Soon after the gentleman
came in, and began to apologize, by saying that two of his runaway
slaves had just been brought home; and as he had previously tried
every species of punishment upon them without effect, he knew not what
else to add, except to set his blood hounds upon them. 'And,'
continued he, 'one of them has been so badly bitten that he has been
trying to die. I am only sorry that he did not; for then I should not
have been further troubled with him. If he lives I intend to send him
to Natchez or to New Orleans, to work with the ball and chain.'

"From this last remark I understood that private individuals have the
right of thus subjecting their unmanageable slaves. I have since seen
numbers of these 'ball and chain' men, both in Natchez and New
Orleans, but I do not know whether there were any among them except
the state convicts.

"As the summer was drawing towards a close, and the yellow fever
beginning to prevail in town, I went to reside some months in the
country. This was the cotton picking season, during which, the
planters say, there is a greater necessity for flogging than at any
other time. And I can assure you, that as I have sat in my window
night after night, while the cotton was being weighed, I have heard
the crack of the whip, without much intermission, for a whole hour,
from no less than three plantations, some of which were a full mile

"I found that the slaves were kept in the field from daylight until
dark; and then, if they had not gathered what the master or overseer
thought sufficient, they were subjected to the lash.

"Many by such treatment are induced to run away and take up their
lodging in the woods. I do not say that all who run away are thus
closely pressed, but I do know that many are; and I have known no less
than a dozen desert at a time from the same plantation, in consequence
of the overseer's forcing them to work to the extent of their power,
and then whipping them for not having done more.

"But suppose that they run away--what is to become of them in the
forest? If they cannot steal they must perish of hunger--if the nights
are cold, their feet will be frozen; for if they make a fire they may
be discovered, and be shot at. If they attempt to leave the country,
their chance of success is about nothing. They must return, be
whipped--if old offenders, wear the collar, perhaps be branded, and
fare worse than before.

"Do you believe it, sir, not six months since, I saw a number of my
_Christian_ neighbors packing up provisions, as I supposed for a deer
hunt; but as I was about offering myself to the party, I learned that
their powder and balls were destined to a very different purpose: it
was, in short, the design of the party to bring home a number of
runaway slaves, or to shoot them if they should not be able to get
possession of them in any other way.

"You will ask, Is not this murder? Call it, sir, by what name you
please, such are the facts:--many are shot every year, and that too
while the masters say they treat their slaves well.

"But let me turn your attention to another species of cruelty. About a
year since I knew a certain slave who had deserted his master, to be
caught, and for the first time fastened to the stocks. In those same
stocks, from which at midnight I have heard cries of distress, while
the master slept, and was dreaming, perhaps, of drinking wine and of
discussing the price of cotton. On the next morning he was chained in
an immovable posture, and branded in both cheeks with red hot stamps
of iron. Such are the tender mercies of men who love wealth, and are
determined to obtain it at any price.

"Suffer me to add another to the list of enormities, and I will not
offend you with more.

"There was, some time since, brought to trial in this town a planter
residing about fifteen miles distant, for whipping his slave to death.
You will suppose, of course, that he was punished. No, sir, he was
acquitted, although there could be no doubt of the fact. I heard the
tale of murder from a man who was acquainted with all the
circumstances. 'I was,' said he, 'passing along the road near the
burying-ground of the plantation, about nine o'clock at night, when I
saw several lights gleaming through the woods; and as I approached, in
order to see what was doing, I beheld the coroner of Natchez, with a
number of men, standing around the body of a young female, which by
the torches seemed almost perfectly white. On inquiry I learned that
the master had so unmercifully beaten this girl that she died under
the operation: and that also he had so severely punished another of
his slaves that he was but just alive.'"

We here rest the case for the present, so far as respects the
presentation of facts showing the condition of the slaves, and proceed
to consider the main objections which are usually employed to weaken
such testimony, or wholly to set it aside. But before we enter upon
the examination of specific objections, and introductory to them, we

1. That the system of slavery must be a system of horrible cruelty,
follows of necessity, from the fact that two millions seven hundred
thousand human beings _are held by force_, and used as articles of
property. Nothing but a heavy yoke, and an iron one, could possibly
keep so many necks in the dust. That must be a constant and mighty
pressure which holds so still such a vast army; nothing could do it
but the daily experience of severities, and the ceaseless dread and
certainty of the most terrible inflictions if they should dare to toss
in their chains.

2. Were there nothing else to prove it a system of monstrous cruelty,
the fact that FEAR is the only motive with which the slave is plied
during his whole existence, would be sufficient to brand it with
execration as the grand tormentor of man. The slave's _susceptibility
of pain_ is the sole fulcrum on which slavery works the lever that
moves him. In this it plants all its stings; here it sinks its hot
irons; cuts its deep gashes; flings its burning embers, and dashes its
boiling brine and liquid fire: into this it strikes its cold flesh
hooks, grappling irons, and instruments of nameless torture; and by it
drags him shrieking to the end of his pilgrimage. The fact that the
master inflicts pain upon the slave not merely as an _end_ to gratify
passion, but constantly as a _means_ of extorting labor, is enough of
itself to show that the system of slavery is unmixed cruelty.

3. That the slaves must suffer frequent and terrible inflictions,
follows inevitably from the _character of those who direct their
labor_. Whatever may be the character of the slaveholders themselves,
all agree that the overseers are, as a class, most abandoned, brutal,
and desperate men. This is so well known and believed that any
testimony to prove it seems needless. The testimony of Mr. WIRT, late
Attorney General of the United States, a Virginian and a slaveholder,
is as follows. In his life of Patrick Henry, p. 36, speaking of the
different classes of society in Virginia, he says,--"Last and lowest a
feculum, of beings called 'overseers'--_the most abject, degraded,
unprincipled race_, always cap in hand to the dons who employ them,
and furnishing materials for the exercise of their _pride, insolence,
and spirit of domination_."

Rev. PHINEAS SMITH, of Centreville, New-York, who has resided some
years at the south, says of overseers--

"It need hardly be added that overseers are in general ignorant,
_unprincipled and cruel_, and in such low repute that they are not
permitted to come to the tables of their employers; yet they have the
constant control of all the human cattle that belong to the master.

"These men are continually advancing from their low station to the
higher one of masters. These changes bring into the possession of
power a class of men of whose mental and moral qualities I have
already spoken."

Rev. HORACE MOULTON, Marlboro', Massachusetts, who lived in Georgia
several years, says of them,--

"The overseers are _generally loose in their morals_; it is the object
of masters to employ those whom they think will get the most work out
of their hands,--hence those who _whip and torment the slaves the
most_ are in many instances called the best overseers. The masters
think those whom the slaves fear the most are the best. Quite a
portion of the masters employ their own slaves as overseers, or rather
they are called drivers; these are more subject to the will of the
masters than the white overseers are; some of them are as lordly as an
Austrian prince, and sometimes more cruel even than the whites."

That the overseers are, as a body, sensual, brutal, and violent men is
_proverbial_. The tender mercies of such men _must be cruel_.

4. The _ownership_ of human beings necessarily presupposes an utter
disregard of their happiness. He who assumes it monopolizes their
_whole capital_, leaves them no stock on which to trade, and out of
which to _make_ happiness. Whatever is the master's gain is the
slave's loss, a loss wrested from him by the master, for the express
purpose of making it _his own gain_; this is the master's constant
employment--forcing the slave to toil--violently wringing from him
all he has and all he gets, and using it as his own;--like the vile
bird that never builds its nest from materials of its own gathering,
but either drives other birds from theirs and takes possession of
them, or tears them in pieces to get the means of constructing their
own. This daily practice of forcibly robbing others, and habitually
living on the plunder, cannot but beget in the mind the _habit_ of
regarding the interests and happiness of those whom it robs, as of no
sort of consequence in comparison with its own; consequently whenever
those interests and this happiness are in the way of its own
gratification, they will be sacrificed without scruple. He who cannot
see this would be unable to _feel_ it, if it were seen.



The enormities inflicted by slaveholders upon their slaves will never
be discredited except by those who overlook the simple fact, that he
who holds human beings as his bona fide property, _regards_ them as
property, and not as _persons;_ this is his permanent state of mind
toward them. He does not contemplate slaves as human beings,
consequently does not _treat_ them as such; and with entire
indifference sees them suffer privations and writhe under blows,
which, if inflicted upon whites, would fill him with horror and
indignation. He regards that as good treatment of slaves, which would
seem to him insufferable abuse if practiced upon others; and would
denounce that as a monstrous outrage and horrible cruelty, if
perpretated upon white men and women, which he sees every day meted
out to black slaves, without perhaps ever thinking it cruel.
Accustomed all his life to regard them rather as domestic animals, to
hear them stormed at, and to see them cuffed and caned; and being
himself in the constant habit of treating them thus, such practices
have become to him a mere matter of course, and make no impression on
his mind. True, it is incredible that men should treat as _chattels_
those whom they truly regard as _human beings;_ but that they should
treat as chattels and working animals those whom they _regard_ as
such, is no marvel. The common treatment of dogs, when they are in the
way, is to kick them out of it; we see them every day kicked off the
sidewalks, and out of shops, and on Sabbaths out of churches,--yet, as
they are but _dogs_, these do not strike us as outrages; yet, if we
were to see men, women, and children--our neighbors and friends,
kicked out of stores by merchants, or out of churches by the deacons
and sexton, we should call the perpetrators inhuman wretches.

We have said that slaveholders regard their slaves not as human
beings, but as mere working animals, or merchandise. The whole
vocabulary of slaveholders, their laws, their usages, and their entire
treatment of their slaves fully establish this. The same terms are
applied to slaves that are given to cattle. They are called "stock."
So when the children of slaves are spoken of prospectively, they are
called their "increase;" the same term that is applied to flocks and
herds. So the female slaves that are mothers, are called "breeders"
till past child bearing; and often the same terms are applied to the
different sexes that are applied to the males and females among
cattle. Those who compel the labor of slaves and cattle have the same
appellation, "drivers:" the names which they call them are the same
and similar to those given to their horses and oxen. The laws of slave
states make them property, equally with goats and swine; they are
levied upon for debt in the same way; they are included in the same
advertisements of public sales with cattle, swine, and asses; when
moved from one part of the country to another, they are herded in
droves like cattle, and like them urged on by drivers; their labor is
compelled in the same way. They are bought and sold, and separated
like cattle: when exposed for sale, their good qualities are described
as jockies show off the good points of their horses; their strength,
activity, skill, power of endurance, &c. are lauded,--and those who
bid upon them examine their persons, just as purchasers inspect horses
and oxen; they open their mouths to see if their teeth are sound;
strip their backs to see if they are badly scarred, and handle their
limbs and muscles to see if they are firmly knit. Like horses, they
are warranted to be "sound," or to be returned to the owner if
"unsound." A father gives his son a horse and a _slave_; by his will
he distributes among them his race-horses, hounds, game-cocks, and
_slaves_. We leave the reader to carry out the parallel which we have
only begun. Its details would cover many pages.

That slaveholders do not practically regard slaves as _human beings_
is abundantly shown by their own voluntary testimony. In a recent work
entitled, "The South vindicated from the Treason and Fanaticism of
Northern Abolitionists," which was written, we are informed, by
Colonel Dayton, late member of Congress from South Carolina; the
writer, speaking of the awe with which the slaves regard the whites,

"The northerner looks upon a band of negroes as upon so many _men_,
but the planter or southerner _views them in a very different light._"

Extract from the speech of Mr. SUMMERS, of Virginia, in the
legislature of that state, Jan. 26, 1832. See the Richmond Whig.

"When, in the sublime lessons of Christianity, he (the slaveholder) is
taught to 'do unto others as he would have others do unto him,' HE

PRESIDENT JEFFERSON, in his letter to GOVERNOR COLES, of Illinois,
dated Aug. 25, 1814, asserts, that slaveholders regard their slaves as
brutes, in the following remarkable language.

"Nursed and educated in the daily habit of seeing the degraded
condition, both bodily and mental, of these unfortunate beings [the

Having shown that slaveholders regard their slaves as mere working
animals and cattle, we now proceed to show that their actual treatment
of them, is _worse_ than it would be if they were brutes. We repeat
Whoever heard of cows or sheep being deliberately tied up and beaten
and lacerated till they died? or horses coolly tortured by the hour,
till covered with mangled flesh, or of swine having their legs tied
and being suspended from a tree and lacerated with thongs for hours,
or of hounds stretched and made fast at full length, flayed with
whips, red pepper rubbed into their bleeding gashes, and hot brine
dashed on to aggravate the torture? Yet just such forms and degrees of
torture are _daily_ perpetrated upon the slaves. Now no man that knows
human nature will marvel at this. Though great cruelties have always
been inflicted by men upon brutes, yet incomparably the most horrid
ever perpetrated, have been those of men upon _their own species_. Any
leaf of history turned over at random has proof enough of this. Every
reflecting mind perceives that when men hold _human beings_ as
_property_, they must, from the nature of the case, treat them worse
than they treat their horses and oxen. It is impossible for _cattle_
to excite in men such tempests of fury as men excite in each other.
Men are often provoked if their horses or hounds refuse to do, or
their pigs refuse to go where they wish to drive them, but the feeling
is rarely intense and never permanent. It is vexation and impatience,
rather than settled rage, malignity, or revenge. If horses and dogs
were intelligent beings, and still held as property, their opposition
to the wishes of their owners, would exasperate them immeasurably more
than it would be possible for them to do, with the minds of brutes.
None but little children and idiots get angry at sticks and stones
that lie in their way or hurt them; but put into sticks and stones
intelligence, and will, and power of feeling and motion, while they
remain as now, articles of property, and what a towering rage would
men be in, if bushes whipped them in the face when they walked among
them, or stones rolled over their toes when they climbed hills! and
what exemplary vengeance would be inflicted upon door-steps and
hearth-stones, if they were to move out of their places, instead of
lying still where they were put for their owners to tread upon. The
greatest provocation to human nature is _opposition to its will_. If a
man's will be resisted by one far _below_ him, the provocation is
vastly greater, than when it is resisted by an acknowledged superior.
In the former case, it inflames strong passions, which in the latter
lie dormant. The rage of proud Haman knew no bounds against the poor
Jew who would not do as he wished, and so he built a gallows for him.
If the person opposing the will of another, be so far below him as to
be on a level with chattels, and be actually held and used as an
article of property; pride, scorn, lust of power, rage and revenge
explode together upon the hapless victim. The idea of _property_
having a will, and that too in opposition to the will of its _owner_,
and counteracting it, is a stimulant of terrible power to the most
relentless human passions and from the nature of slavery, and the
constitution of the human mind, this fierce stimulant must, with
various degrees of strength, act upon slaveholders almost without
ceasing. The slave, however abject and crushed, is an intelligent
being: he has a _will_, and that will cannot be annihilated, _it will
show itself_; if for a moment it is smothered, like pent up fires when
vent is found, it flames the fiercer. Make intelligence _property_,
and its manager will have his match; he is met at every turn by an
_opposing will_, not in the form of down-right rebellion and defiance,
but yet, visibly, an _ever-opposing will_. He sees it in the
dissatisfied look, and reluctant air and unwilling movement; the
constrained strokes of labor, the drawling tones, the slow hearing,
the feigned stupidity, the sham pains and sickness, the short memory;
and he _feels_ it every hour, in innumerable forms, frustrating his
designs by a ceaseless though perhaps invisible countermining. This
unceasing opposition to the will of its 'owner,' on the part of his
rational 'property,' is to the slaveholder as the hot iron to the
nerve. He raves under it, and storms, and gnashes, and smites; but the
more he smites, the hotter it gets, and the more it burns him.
Further, this opposition of the slave's will to his owner's, not only
excites him to severity, that he may gratify his rage, but makes it
necessary for him to use violence in breaking down this
resistance--thus subjecting the slave to additional tortures. There is
another inducement to cruel inflictions upon the slave, and a
necessity for it, which does not exist in the case of brutes.
Offenders must be made an example to others, to strike them with
terror. If a slave runs away and is caught, his master flogs him with
terrible severity, not merely to gratify his resentment, and to keep
him from running away again, but as a warning to others. So in every
case of disobedience, neglect, stubbornness, unfaithfulness,
indolence, insolence, theft, feigned sickness, when his directions are
forgotten, or slighted, or supposed to be, or his wishes crossed, or
his property injured, or left exposed, or his work ill-executed, the
master is tempted to inflict cruelties, not merely to wreak his own
vengeance upon him, and to make the slave more circumspect in future,
but to sustain his authority over the other slaves, to restrain them
from like practices, and to preserve his own property.

A multitude of facts, illustrating the position that slaveholders
treat their slaves _worse_ than they do their cattle, will occur to
all who are familiar with slavery. When cattle break through their
owners' inclosures and escape, if found, they are driven back and
fastened in again; and even slaveholders would execrate as a wretch,
the man who should tie them up, and bruise and lacerate them for
straying away; but when _slaves_ that have escaped are caught, they
are flogged with the most terrible severity. When herds of cattle are
driven to market, they are suffered to go in the easiest way, each by
himself; but when slaves are driven to market, they are fastened
together with handcuffs, galled by iron collars and chains, and thus
forced to travel on foot hundreds of miles, sleeping at night in their
chains. Sheep, and sometimes horned cattle are marked with their
owners' initials--but this is generally done with paint, and of course
produces no pain. Slaves, too, are often marked with their owners'
initials, but the letters are stamped into their flesh with a hot
iron. Cattle are suffered to graze their pastures without stint; but
the slaves are restrained in their food to a fixed allowance. The
slaveholders' horses are notoriously far better fed, more moderately
worked, have fewer hours of labor, and longer intervals of rest than
their slaves; and their valuable horses are far more comfortably
housed and lodged, and their stables more effectually defended from
the weather, than the slaves' huts. We have here merely _begun_ a
comparison, which the reader can easily carry out at length, from the
materials furnished in this work.

We will, however, subjoin a few testimonies of slaveholders, and
others who have resided in slave states, expressly asserting that
slaves are treated _worse than brutes_.

The late Dr. GEORGE BUCHANAN, of Baltimore, Maryland, a member of the
American Philosophical Society, in an oration delivered in Baltimore,
July 4, 1791, page 10, says:

"The Africans whom you despise, whom you _more inhumanly treat than
brutes_, are equally capable of improvement with yourselves."

The Rev. GEORGE WHITEFIELD, in his celebrated letter to the
slaveholders of Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and
Georgia, written one hundred years ago, (See Benezet's Caution to
Great Britain and her Colonies, page 13), says:

"Sure I am, it is sinful to use them as bad, nay worse than if they
were brutes; and whatever particular _exceptions_ there may be, (as I
would charitably hope there are _some_) I fear the _generality_ of you
that own negroes, _are liable to such a charge_."

Mr. RICE, of Kentucky in his speech in the Convention that formed the
Constitution of that state, in 1790, says:

"He [the slave] is a rational creature, reduced by the power of
legislation to the _state of a brute_, and thereby deprived of every
privilege of humanity.... The brute may steal or rob, to supply
his hunger; but the slave, though in the most starving condition,
_dare not do either, on penalty of death, or some severe punishment_."

Rev. HORACE MOULTON, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in
Marlborough, Mass. who lived some years in Georgia, says:

"The southern horses and dogs have enough to eat, and good care is
taken of them; but southern negroes--who can describe their misery and
their wretchedness, their nakedness and their cruel scourgings!  None
but God. Should we _whip our horses_ as they whip their slaves, even
for small offences, we should expose ourselves to the penalty of the

Rev. PHINEAS SMITH, Centerville, Allegany county, New York, who has
resided four years in the midst of southern slavery--

"Avarice and cruelty are twin sisters; and I do not hesitate to
declare before the world, as my deliberate opinion, that there is
_less compassion_ for working slaves at the south, than for working
oxen at the north."

STEVEN SEWALL, Esq. Winthrop, Maine, a member of the Congregational
Church, and late agent of the Winthrop Manufacturing Company, who
resided five years in Alabama, says--

"I do not think that brutes, not even horses, are treated with _so
much cruelty_ as American slaves."

If the preceding considerations are insufficient to remove incredulity
respecting the cruelties suffered by slaves, and if northern objectors
still say, 'We might believe such things of savages, but that
civilized men, and republicans, in this Christian country, can openly
and by system perpetrate such enormities, is impossible';--to such we
reply, that this incredulity of the people of the free states, is not
only discreditable to their intelligence, but to their consistency.

Who is so ignorant as not to know, or so incredulous as to disbelieve,
that the early Baptists of New England were fined, imprisoned,
scourged, and finally banished by our puritan forefathers?--and that
the Quakers were confined in dungeons, publicly whipped at the
cart-tail, had their ears cut off, cleft sticks put upon their
tongues, and that five of them, four men and one woman, were hung on
Boston Common, for propagating the sentiments of the Society of
Friends? Who discredits the fact, that the civil authorities in
Massachusetts, less than a hundred and fifty years ago, confined in
the public jail a little girl of four years old, and publicly hung the
Rev. Mr. Burroughs, and eighteen other persons, mostly women, and
killed another, (Giles Corey,) by extending him upon his back, and
piling weights upon his breast till he was crushed to death [17]--and
this for no other reason than that these men and women, and this
little child, were accused by others of _bewitching_ them.

[Footnote 17:  Judge Sewall, of Mass. in his diary, describing this
horrible scene, says that when the tongue of the poor sufferer had, in
the extremity of his dying agony, protruded from his mouth, a person
in attendance took his cane and thrust it back into his mouth.]

Even the children in Connecticut, know that the following was once a
law of that state:

"No food or lodging shall be allowed to a Quaker. If any person turns
Quaker, he shall be banished, and not be suffered to return on pain of

These objectors can readily believe the fact, that in the city of New
York, less than a hundred years since, thirteen persons were publicly
burned to death, over a slow fire: and that the legislature of the
same State took under its paternal care the African slave-trade, and
declared that "all encouragement should be given to the _direct_
importation of slaves; that all _smuggling_ of slaves should be
condemned, as _an eminent discouragement to the fair trader_."

They do not call in question the fact that the African slave-trade was
carried on from the ports of the free states till within thirty years;
that even members of the Society of Friends were actively engaged in
it, shortly before the revolutionary war; [18] that as late as 1807,
no less than fifty-nine of the vessels engaged in that trade, were
sent out from the little state of Rhode Island, which had then only
about seventy thousand inhabitants; that among those most largely
engaged in these foul crimes, are the men whom the people of Rhode
Island delight to honor: that the man who dipped most deeply in that
trade of blood (James De Wolf,) and amassed a most princely fortune by
it, was not long since their senator in Congress; and another, who was
captain of one of his vessels, was recently Lieutenant Governor of the

[Footnote 18: See Life and Travels of John Woolman, page 92.]

They can believe, too, all the horrors of the middle passage, the
chains, suffocation, maimings, stranglings, starvation, drownings, and
cold blooded murders, atrocities perpetrated on board these
slave-ships by their own citizens, perhaps by their own townsmen and
neighbors--possibly by their own _fathers_: but oh! they 'can't
believe that the slaveholders can be so hard-hearted towards their
slaves as to treat them with great cruelty.' They can believe that his
Holiness the Pope, with his cardinals, bishops and priests, have
tortured, broken on the wheel, and burned to death thousands of
Protestants--that eighty thousand of the Anabaptists were slaughtered
in Germany--that hundreds of thousands of the blameless Waldenses,
Huguenots and Lollards, were torn in pieces by the most titled
dignitaries of church and state, and that _almost every professedly
Christian sect, has, at some period of its history, persecuted unto
blood_ those who dissented from their creed. They can believe, also,
that in Boston, New York, Utica, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Alton, and
in scores of other cities and villages of the free states, 'gentlemen
of property and standing,' led on by civil officers, by members of
state legislatures, and of Congress, by judges and attorneys-general,
by editors of newspapers, and by professed ministers of the gospel,
have organized mobs, broken up lawful meetings of peaceable citizens,
committed assault and battery upon their persons, knocked them down
with stones, led them about with ropes, dragged them from their beds
at midnight, gagged and forced them into vehicles, and driven them
into unfrequented places, and there tormented and disfigured
them--that they have rifled their houses, made bonfires of their
furniture in the streets, burned to the ground, or torn in pieces the
halls or churches in which they were assembled--attacked them with
deadly weapons, stabbed some, shot others, and killed one. They can
believe all this--and further, that a majority of the citizens in the
places where these outrages have been committed, connived at them; and
by refusing to indict the perpetrators, or, if they were indicted, by
combining to secure their acquittal, and rejoicing in it, have
publicly adopted these felonies as their own. All these things they
can believe without hesitation, and that they have even been done by
their own acquaintances, neighbors, relatives; perhaps those with whom
they interchange courtesies, those for whom they _vote_, or to whose
_salaries they contribute_--but yet, oh! they can never believe that
slaveholders inflict cruelties upon their slaves!

They can give full credence to the kidnapping, imprisonment, and
deliberate murder of WILLIAM MORGAN, and that by men of high standing
in society; they can believe that this deed was aided and abetted, and
the murderers screened from justice, by a large number of influential
persons, who were virtually accomplices, either before or after the
fact; and that this combination was so effectual, as successfully to
defy and triumph over the combined powers of the government;--yet
that those who constantly rob men of their time, liberty, and wages,
and all their _rights_, should rob them of bits of flesh, and
occasionally of a tooth, make their backs bleed, and put fetters on
their legs, is too monstrous to be credited! Further these same
persons, who 'can't believe' that slaveholders are so iron-hearted as
to ill-treat their slaves, believe that the very _elite_ of these
slaveholders, those most highly esteemed and honored among them, are
continually daring each other to mortal conflict, and in the presence
of mutual friends, taking deadly aim at each other's hearts, with
settled purpose to _kill_, if possible. That among the most
distinguished governors of slave states, among their most celebrated
judges, senators, and representatives in Congress, there is hardly
_one_, who has not either killed, or tried to kill, or aided and
abetted his friends in trying to kill, one or more individuals. That
pistols, dirks, bowie knives, or other instruments of death are
generally carried throughout the slave states--and that deadly affrays
with them, in the streets of their cities and villages, are matters of
daily occurrence; that the sons of slaveholders in southern colleges,
bully, threaten, and fire upon their teachers, and their teachers upon
them; that during the last summer, in the most celebrated seat of
science and literature in the south, the University of Virginia, the
professors were attacked by more than seventy armed students, and, in
the words of a Virginia paper, were obliged 'to conceal themselves
from their fury;' also that almost all the riots and violence that
occur in northern colleges, are produced by the turbulence and lawless
passions of southern students. That such are the furious passions of
slaveholders, no considerations of personal respect, none for the
proprieties of life, none for the honor of our national legislature,
none for the character of our country abroad, can restrain the
slaveholding members of Congress from the most disgraceful personal
encounters on the floor of our nation's legislature--smiting their
fists in each other's faces, throttling and even _kicking_ and trying
to _gouge_ each other--that during the session of the Congress just
closed, no less than six slaveholders, taking fire at words spoken in
debate, have either rushed at each other's throats, or kicked, or
struck, or attempted to knock each other down; and that in all these
instances, they would doubtless have killed each other, if their
friends had not separated them. Further, they know full well, these
were not insignificant, vulgar blackguards, elected because they were
the head bullies and bottle-holders in a boxing ring, or because their
constituents went drunk to the ballot box; but they were some of the
most conspicuous members of the House--one of them a former speaker.

Our newspapers are full of these and similar daily occurrences among
slaveholders, copied verbatim from their own accounts of them in their
own papers and all this we fully credit; no man is simpleton enough to
cry out 'Oh, I can't believe that slaveholders do such things;'--and
yet when we turn to the treatment which these men mete out to their
_slaves_, and show that they are in the habitual practice of striking,
kicking, knocking down and shooting _them_ as well as each other--the
look of blank incredulity that comes over northern dough-faces, is a
study for a painter: and then the sentimental outcry, with eyes and
hands uplifted, 'Oh, indeed, I can't believe the slaveholders are so
cruel to their slaves.' Most amiable and touching charity! Truly, of
all Yankee notions and free state products, there is nothing like a
'_dough face_'--the great northern staple for the southern
market--'made to order,' in any quantity, and _always on hand_. 'Dough
faces!' Thanks to a slaveholder's contempt for the name, with its
immortality of truth, infamy and scorn.[19]

[Footnote 19: "_Doe_ face," which owes its paternity to John Randolph,
age has mellowed into "_dough_ face"--a cognomen quite as expressive
and appropriate, if not as classical.]

Though the people of the free states affect to disbelieve the
cruelties perpetrated upon the slaves, yet slaveholders believe _each
other_ guilty of them, and speak of them with the utmost freedom. If
slaveholders disbelieve any statement of cruelty inflicted upon a
slave, it is not on account of its _enormity_. The traveler at the
south will hear in Delaware, and in all parts of Maryland and
Virginia, from the lips of slaveholders, statements of the most
horrible cruelties suffered by the slaves _farther_ south, in the
Carolinas and Georgia; when he finds himself in those states he will
hear similar accounts about the treatment of the slaves in _Florida_
and _Louisiana_; and in Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee he will hear
of the tragedies enacted on the plantations in Arkansas, Alabama and
Mississippi. Since Anti-Slavery Societies have been in operation, and
slaveholders have found themselves on trial before the world, and put
upon their good behavior, northern slaveholders have grown cautious,
and now often substitute denials and set defences, for the voluntary
testimony about cruelty in the far south, which, before that period,
was given with entire freedom. Still, however, occasionally the 'truth
will out,' as the reader will see by the following testimony of an
East Tennessee newspaper, in which, speaking of the droves of slaves
taken from the upper country to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, etc.,
the editor says, they are 'traveling to a region where their condition
HELL.' See "Maryville Intelligencer," of Oct, 4, 1835. Distant
cruelties and cruelties _long past_, have been till recently, favorite
topics with slaveholders. They have not only been ready to acknowledge
that their _fathers_ have exercised great cruelty toward their slaves,
but have voluntarily, in their official acts, made proclamation of it
and entered it on their public records. The Legislature of North
Carolina, in 1798, branded the successive legislatures of that state
for more than thirty years previous, with the infamy of treatment
towards their slaves, which they pronounce to be 'disgraceful to
humanity, and degrading in the highest degree to the laws and
principles of a free, Christian, and enlightened country.' This
treatment was the enactment and perpetuation of a most barbarous and
cruel law.

But enough. As the objector can and does believe all the preceeding
facts, if he still '_can't_ believe' as to the cruelties of
slaveholders, it would be barbarous to tantalize his incapacity either
with evidence or argument. Let him have the benefit of the act in such
case made and provided.

Having shown that the incredulity of the objector respecting the
cruelty inflicted upon the slaves, is discreditable to his
consistency, we now proceed to show that it is equally so to his

Whoever disbelieves the foregoing statements of cruelties, on the
ground of their enormity, proclaims his own ignorance of the nature
and history of man. What! incredulous about the atrocities perpetrated
by those who hold human beings as property, to be used for their
pleasure, when history herself has done little else in recording human
deeds, than to dip her blank chart in the blood shed by arbitrary
power, and unfold to human gaze the great red scroll? That cruelty is
the natural effect of arbitrary power, has been the result of all
experience, and the voice of universal testimony since the world
began. Shall human nature's axioms, six thousand years old, go for
nothing? Are the combined product of human experience, and the
concurrent records of human character, to be set down as 'old wives'
fables?' To disbelieve that arbitrary power naturally and habitually
perpetrates cruelties, where it can do it with impunity, is not only
ignorance of man, but of _things_. It is to be blind to innumerable
proofs which are before every man's eyes; proofs that are stereotyped
in the very words and phrases that are on every one's lips. Take for
example the words _despot_ and _despotic_. Despot, signifies
etymologically, merely one who _possesses_ arbitrary power, and at
first, it was used to designate those alone who _possessed_ unlimited
power over human beings, entirely irrespective of the way in which
they exercised it, whether mercifully or cruelly. But the fact, that
those who possessed such power, made their subjects their _victims_,
has wrought a total change in the popular meaning of the word. It now
signifies, in common parlance, not one who _possesses_ unlimited power
over others, but one who exercises the power that he has, whether
little or much, _cruelly_. So _despotic_, instead of meaning what it
once did, something pertaining to the _possession_ of unlimited power,
signifies something pertaining to the _capricious, unmerciful and
relentless exercise_ of such power.

The word tyrant, is another example--formerly it implied merely a
_possession_ of arbitrary power, but from the invariable abuse of such
power by its possessors, the proper and entire meaning of the word is
lost, and it now signifies merely one who _exercises power to the
injury of others_. The words tyrannical and tyranny follow the same
analogy. So the word arbitrary; which formerly implied that which
pertains to the will of one, independently of others; but from the
fact that those who had no restraint upon their wills, were invariably
capricious, unreasonable and oppressive, these words convey accurately
the present sense of _arbitrary_, when applied to a person.

How can the objector persist in disbelieving that cruelty is the
natural effect of arbitrary power, when the very words of every day,
rise up on his lips in testimony against him--words which once
signified the _mere possession_ of arbitrary power, but have lost
their meaning, and now signify merely its cruel _exercise_; because
such a use of it has been proved by the experience of the world, to be
inseparable from its _possession_--words now frigid with horror, and
never used even by the objector without feeling a cold chill run over

Arbitrary power is to the mind what alcohol is to the body; it
intoxicates. Man loves power. It is perhaps the strongest human
passion; and the more absolute the power, the stronger the desire for
it; and the more it is desired, the more its exercise is enjoyed: this
enjoyment is to human nature a fearful temptation,--generally an
overmatch for it. Hence it is true, with hardly an exception, that
arbitrary power is abused in proportion as it is _desired_. The fact
that a person intensely desires power over others, _without
restraint_, shows the absolute necessity of restraint. What woman
would marry a man who made it a condition that he should have the
power to divorce her whenever he pleased? Oh! he might never wish to
exercise it, but the _power_ he would have! No woman, not stark mad,
would trust her happiness in such hands.

Would a father apprentice his son to a master, who insisted that his
power over the lad should be _absolute_? The master might perhaps,
never wish to commit a battery upon the boy, but if he should, he
insists upon having full swing! He who would leave his son in the,
clutches of such a wretch, would be bled and blistered for a lunatic
as soon as his friends could get their hands upon him.

The possession of power, even when greatly restrained, is such a fiery
stimulant, that its lodgement in human hands is always perilous. Give
men the handling of immense sums of money, and all the eyes of Argus
and the hands of Briarcus can hardly prevent embezzlement.

The mutual and ceaseless accusations of the two great political
parties in this country, show the universal belief that this tendency
of human nature to abuse power, is so strong, that even the most
powerful legal restraints are insufficient for its safe custody. From
congress and state legislatures down to grog-shop caucuses and street
wranglings, each party keeps up an incessant din about _abuses of
power_. Hardly an officer, either of the general or state governments,
from the President down to the ten thousand postmasters, and from
governors to the fifty thousand constables, escapes the charge of
'_abuse of power_.' 'Oppression,' 'Extortion,' 'Venality,' 'Bribery,'
'Corruption,' 'Perjury,' 'Misrule,' 'Spoils,' 'Defalcation,' stand on
every newspaper. Now without any estimate of the lies told in these
mutual charges, there is truth enough to make each party ready to
believe of the other, and _of their best men too,_ any abuse of power,
however monstrous. As is the State, so is the Church. From General
Conferences to circuit preachers; and from General Assemblies to
church sessions, abuses of power spring up as weeds from the dunghill.

All legal restraints are framed upon the presumption, that men will
abuse their power if not hemmed in by them. This lies at the bottom of
all those checks and balances contrived for keeping governments upon
their centres. If there is among human convictions one that is
invariable and universal, it is, that when men possess unrestrained
power over others, over their time, choice, conscience, persons,
votes, or means of subsistence, they are under great temptations to
abuse it; and that the intensity with which such power is desired,
generally measures the certainty and the degree of its abuse.

That American slaveholders possess a power over their slaves which is
virtually absolute, none will deny.[20] That they _desire_ this
absolute power, is shown from the fact of their holding and exercising
it, and making laws to confirm and enlarge it. That the desire to
possess this power, every tittle of it, is _intense_, is proved by the
fact, that slaveholders cling to it with such obstinate tenacity, as
well as by all their doings and sayings, their threats, cursings and
gnashings against all who denounce the exercise of such power as
usurpation and outrage, and counsel its immediate abrogation.

[Footnote 20: The following extracts from the laws of slave-states are
proofs sufficient.

"The slave is ENTIRELY subject to the WILL of his master."--Louisiana
Civil Code, Art. 273.

"Slaves shall be deemed, sold, taken, reputed and adjudged in law to
be _chattels personal,_ in the hands of their owner and possessors,
and their executors, administrators and assigns, TO ALL INTENTS,
Brev. Dig. 229; Prince's Digest, 446, &c.]

From the nature of the case--from the laws of mind, such power, so
intensely desired, griped with such a death-clutch, and with such
fierce spurnings of all curtailment or restraint, _cannot but be
abused._ Privations and inflictions must be its natural, habitual
products, with ever and anon, terror, torture, and despair let loose
to do their worst upon the helpless victims.

Though power over others is in every case liable to be used to their
injury, yet, in almost all cases, the subject individual is shielded
from great outrages by strong safeguards. If he have talents, or
learning, or wealth, or office, or personal respectability, or
influential friends, these, with the protection of law and the rights
of citizenship, stand round him as a body guard: and even if he lacked
all these, yet, had he the same color, features, form, dialect,
habits, and associations with the privileged caste of society, he
would find in _them_ a shield from many injuries, which would be
_invited,_ if in these respects he differed widely from the rest of
the community, and was on that account regarded with disgust and
aversion. This is the condition of the slave; not only is he deprived
of the artificial safeguards of the law, but has none of those
_natural_ safeguards enumerated above, which are a protection to
others. But not only is the slave destitute of those peculiarities,
habits, tastes, and acquisitions, which by assimilating the possessor
to the rest of the community, excite their interest in him, and thus,
in a measure, secure for him their protection; but he possesses those
peculiarities of bodily organization which are looked upon with deep
disgust, contempt, prejudice, and aversion. Besides this, constant
contact with the ignorance and stupidity of the slaves, their filth,
rags, and nakedness; their cowering air, servile employments,
repulsive food, and squalid hovels, their purchase and sale, and use
as brutes--all these associations, constantly mingling and circulating
in the minds of slaveholders, and inveterated by the hourly
irritations which must assail all who use human beings as things,
produce in them a permanent state of feeling toward the slave, made up
of repulsion and settled ill-will. When we add to this the corrosions
produced by the petty thefts of slaves, the necessity of constant
watching, their reluctant service, and indifference to their master's
interests, their ill concealed aversion to him, and spurning of his
authority; and finally, that fact, as old as human nature, that men
always hate those whom they oppress, and oppress those whom they hate,
thus oppression and hatred mutually begetting and perpetuating each
other--and we have a raging compound of fiery elements and disturbing
forces, so stimulating and inflaming the mind of the slaveholder
against the slave, that _it cannot but break forth upon him with
desolating fury._

To deny that cruelty is the spontaneous and uniform product of
arbitrary power, and that the natural and controlling tendency of such
power is to make its possessor cruel, oppressive, and revengeful
towards those who are subjected to his control, is, we repeat, to set
at nought the combined experience of the human race, to invalidate its
testimony, and to reverse its decisions from time immemorial.

A volume might be filled with the testimony of American slaveholders
alone, to the truth of the preceding position. We subjoin a few
illustrations, and first, the memorable declaration of President
Jefferson, who lived and died a slaveholder. It has been published a
thousand times, and will live forever. In his "Notes on Virginia,"
sixth Philadelphia edition, p. 251, he says,--

"The WHOLE COMMERCE between master and slave, is a PERPETUAL EXERCISE
of the most _boisterous passions_, the most unremitting DESPOTISM on
the one part, and degrading submission on the other..... The parent
_storms_, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of _wrath_, puts
on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, GIVES LOOSE TO THE
WORST OF PASSIONS; and thus _nursed, educated, and daily exercised in
tyranny,_ cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities."

Hon. Lewis Summers, Judge of the General Court of Virginia, and a
slaveholder, said in a speech before the Virginia legislature in 1832;
(see Richmond Whig of Jan. 26, 1832,)

"A slave population exercises _the most pernicious influence_ upon the
manners, habits and character, of those among whom it exists. Lisping
infancy learns the vocabulary of abusive epithets, and struts the
_embryo tyrant_ of its little domain. The consciousness of superior
destiny takes possession of his mind at its earliest dawning, and love
of power and rule, 'grows with his growth, and strengthens with his
strength.' Unless enabled to rise above the operation of those
powerful causes, he enters the world with miserable notions of
self-importance, and under the government of an unbridled temper."

The late JUDGE TUCKER of Virginia, a slaveholder, and Professor of Law
in the University of William and Mary, in his "Letter to a Member of
the Virginia Legislature," 1801, says,--

"I say nothing of the baneful effects of slavery on our _moral
character_, because I know you have been long sensible of this point."

The Presbyterian Synod of South Carolina and Georgia, consisting of
all the clergy of that denomination in those states, with a lay
representation from the churches, most, if not all of whom are
slaveholders, published a report on slavery in 1834, from which the
following is an extract.

"Those only who have the management of servants, know what the
_hardening effect_ of it is upon _their own feelings towards them._
There is no necessity to dwell on this point, as all _owners_ and
_managers_ fully understand it. He who commences to manage them with
tenderness and with a willingness to favor them in every way, must be
watchful, otherwise he will settle down in _indifference, if not

GENERAL WILLIAM H. HARRISON, now of Ohio, son of the late Governor
Harrison of Virginia, a slaveholder, while minister from the United
States to the Republic of Colombia, wrote a letter to General Simon
Bolivar, then President of that Republic, just as he was about
assuming despotic power. The letter is dated Bogota, Sept. 22, 1826.
The following is an extract.

"From a knowledge of your own disposition and present feelings, your
excellency will not be willing to believe that you could ever be
brought to an act of tyranny, or even to execute justice with
unnecessary rigor. But trust me, sir, there is nothing more
corrupting, nothing more _destructive of the noblest and finest
feelings of our nature than the exercise of unlimited power_. The man,
who in the beginning of such a career, might shudder at the idea of
taking away the life of a fellow-being, might soon have his conscience
so seared by the repetition of crime, that the agonies of his murdered
victims might become music to his soul, and the drippings of the
scaffold afford blood to swim in. History is full of such excesses."

WILLIAM H. FITZHUGH, Esq. of Virginia, a slaveholder, says,--"Slavery,
in its mildest form, is cruel and unnatural; _its injurious effects on
our morals and habits are mutually felt."_

HON. SAMUEL S. NICHOLAS, late Judge of the Court of Appeals of
Kentucky, and a slaveholder, in a speech before the legislature of
that state, Jan. 1837, says,--

"The deliberate convictions of the most matured consideration I can
give the subject, are, that the institution of slavery is a _most
serious injury to the habits, manners and morals_ of our white
population--that it leads to sloth, indolence, dissipation, and vice."

Dr. THOMAS COOPER, late President of the College of South Carolina, in
a note to his edition of the "Institutes of Justinian" page 413,

"All absolute power has a direct tendency, not only to detract from
the happiness of the persons who are subject to it, but to DEPRAVE THE
GOOD QUALITIES of those who possess it..... the whole history of human
nature, in the present and every former age, will justify me in saying
that _such is the tendency of power_ on the one hand and slavery on
the other."

A South Carolina slaveholder, whose name is with the executive
committee of the Am. A.S. Society, says, in a letter, dated April 4,

"I think it (slavery) _ruinous to the temper_ and to our spiritual
life; it is a thorn in the flesh, for ever and for ever goading us on
to say and to do what the Eternal God cannot but be displeased with. I
speak from experience, and oh! my desire is to be delivered from it."

Monsieur C.C. ROBIN, who was a resident of Louisiana from 1802 to
1806, published a work on that country; in which, speaking of the
effect of slaveholding on masters and their children, he says:--

"The young creoles make the negroes who surround them the play-things
of their whims: they flog, for pastime, those of their own age, just
as their fathers flog others at their will. These young creoles,
arrived at the age in which the passions are impetuous, do not _know
how to bear contradiction_; they will have every thing done which they
command, _possible or not_; and in default of this, they avenge their
offended pride by multiplied punishments."

Dr. GEORGE BUCHANAN, of Baltimore, Maryland, member of the American
Philosophical Society, in an oration at Baltimore, July 4, 1791,

"For such are the effects of subjecting man to slavery, that it
_destroys every humane principle_, vitiates the mind, instills ideas
of unlawful cruelties, and eventually subverts the springs of
government."--_Buchanan's Oration_, p. 12.

President EDWARDS the younger, in a sermon before the Connecticut
Abolition Society, in 1791, page 8, says:--

"Slavery has a most direct tendency to haughtiness, and a _domineering
spirit_ and conduct in the proprietors of the slaves, in their
children, and in all who have the control of them. A man who has been
bred up in domineering over negroes, can scarcely avoid contracting
such a habit of haughtiness and domination as will express itself in
his general treatment of mankind, whether in his private capacity, or
in any office, civil or military, with which he may be invested."

The celebrated MONTESQUIEU, in his "Spirit of the Laws," thus
describes the effect of slaveholding upon the master:--

"The master contracts all sorts of bad habits; and becomes _haughty,
passionate, obdurate, vindictive, voluptuous, and cruel_."

WILBERFORCE, in his speech at the anniversary of the London
Anti-Slavery Society, in March, 1828, said:--

"It is _utterly impossible_ that they who live in the administration
of the petty despotism of a slave community, whose minds have been
_warped_ and _polluted_ by that contamination, should not _lose that
respect_ for their fellow creatures over whom they tyrannize, which is
essential in the nature and moral being of man, to rescue them from
the abuse of power over their prostrate fellow creatures."

In the great debate, in the British Parliament, on the African
slave-trade, Mr. WHITBREAD said:

"Arbitrary power would spoil the hearts of the best."

But we need not multiply proofs to establish our position: it is
sustained by the concurrent testimony of sages, philosophers, poets,
statesmen, and moralists, in every period of the world; and who can
marvel that those in all ages who have wisely pondered men and things,
should be unanimous in such testimony, when the history of arbitrary
power has come down to us from the beginning of time, struggling
through heaps of slain, and trailing her parchments in blood.

Time would fail to begin with the first despot and track down the
carnage step by step. All nations, all ages, all climes crowd forward
as witnesses, with their scars, and wounds, and dying agonies.

But to survey a multitude bewilders; let us look at a single nation.
We instance Rome; both because its history is more generally known,
and because it furnishes a larger proportion of instances, in which
arbitrary power was exercised with comparative mildness, than any
other nation ancient or modern. And yet, her whole existence was a
tragedy, every actor was an executioner, the curtain rose amidst
shrieks and fell upon corpses, and the only shifting of the scenes was
from blood to blood. The whole world stood aghast, as under sentence
of death, awaiting execution, and all nations and tongues were driven,
with her own citizens, as sheep to the slaughter. Of her seven kings,
her hundreds of consuls, tribunes, decemvirs, and dictators, and her
fifty emperors, there is hardly one whose name has come down to us
unstained by horrible abuses of power; and that too, notwithstanding
we have mere shreds of the history of many of them, owing to their
antiquity, or to the perturbed times in which they lived; and these
shreds gathered from the records of their own partial countrymen, who
wrote and sung their praises. What does this prove? Not that the
Romans were worse than other men, nor that their rulers were worse
than other Romans, for history does not furnish nobler models of
natural character than many of those same rulers, when first invested
with arbitrary power. Neither was it mainly because the martial
enterprise of the earlier Romans and the gross sensuality of the
later, hardened their hearts to human suffering. In both periods of
Roman history, and in both these classes, we find men, the keen
sympathies, generosity, and benevolence of whose general character
embalmed their names in the grateful memories of multitudes. _They
were human beings, and possessed power without restraint_--this
unravels the mystery.

Who has not heard of the Emperor Trajan, of his moderation, his
clemency, his gashing sympathies, his forgiveness of injuries and
forgetfulness of self, his tearing in pieces his own robe, to furnish
bandages for the wounded--called by the whole world in his day, "the
best emperor of Rome;" and so affectionately regarded by his subjects,
that, ever afterwards, in blessing his successors upon their accession
to power, they always said, "May you have the virtue and goodness of
Trajan!" yet the deadly conflicts of gladiators who were trained to
kill each other, to make sport for the spectators, furnished his chief
pastime. At one time he kept up those spectacles for 123 days in
succession. In the tortures which he inflicted on Christians, fire
and poison, daggers and dungeons, wild beasts and serpents, and the
rack, did their worst. He threw into the sea, Clemens, the venerable
bishop of Rome, with an anchor about his neck; and tossed to the
famished lions in the amphitheatre the aged Ignatius.

Pliny the younger, who was proconsul under Trajan, may well be
mentioned in connection with the emperor, as a striking illustration
of the truth, that goodness and amiableness towards one class of men
is often turned into cruelty towards another. History can hardly show
a more gentle and lovely character than Pliny. While pleading at the
bar, he always sought out the grievances of the poorest and most
despised persons, entered into their wrongs with his whole soul, and
never took a fee. Who can read his admirable letters without being
touched by their tenderness and warmed by their benignity and
philanthropy: and yet, this tender-hearted Pliny coolly plied with
excruciating torture two spotless females, who had served as
deaconesses in the Christian church, hoping to extort from them matter
of accusation against the Christians. He commanded Christians to
abjure their faith, invoke the gods, pour out libations to the statues
of the emperor, burn incense to idols, and curse Christ. If they
refused, he ordered them to execution.

Who has not heard of the Emperor Titus--so beloved for his mild
virtues and compassionate regard for the suffering, that he was named
"The Delight of Mankind;" so tender of the lives of his subjects that
he took the office of high priest, that his hands might never be
defiled with blood; and was heard to declare, with tears, that he had
rather die than put another to death. So intent upon making others
happy, that when once about to retire to sleep, and not being able to
recall any particular act of beneficence performed during the day, he
cried out in anguish, "Alas! I have lost a day!"  And, finally, whom
the learned Kennet, in his Roman Antiquities, characterizes as "the
only prince in the world that has the character of _never doing an ill
action_."  Yet, witnessing the mortal combats of the captives taken to
war, killing each other in the amphitheatre, amidst the acclamations
of the populace, was a favorite amusement with Titus. At one time he
exhibited shows of gladiators, which lasted one hundred days, during
which the amphitheatre was flooded with human blood. At another of
his public exhibitions he caused five thousand wild beasts to be
baited in the amphitheatre. During the siege of Jerusalem, he set
ambushes to seize the famishing Jews, who stole out of the city by
night to glean food in the valleys: these he would first dreadfully
scourge, then torment them with all conceivable tortures, and, at
last, crucify them before the wall of the city. According to
Josephus, not less than five hundred a day were thus tormented. And
when many of the Jews, frantic with famine, deserted to the Romans,
Titus cut off their hands and drove them back. After the destruction
of Jerusalem, he dragged to Rome one hundred thousand captives, sold
them as slaves, and scattered them through every province of the

The kindness, condescension, and forbearance of Adrian were
proverbial; he was one of the most eloquent orators of his age; and
when pleading the cause of injured innocence, would melt and overwhelm
the auditors by the pathos of his appeals. It was his constant maxim,
that he was an Emperor, not for his own good, but for the benefit of
his fellow creatures. He stooped to relieve the wants of the meanest
of his subjects, and would peril his life by visiting them when sick
of infectious diseases; he prohibited, by law, masters from killing
their slaves, gave to slaves legal trial, and exempted them from
torture; yet towards certain individuals and classes, he showed
himself a monster of cruelty. He prided himself on his knowledge of
architecture, and ordered to execution the most celebrated architect
of Rome, because he had criticised one of the Emperor's designs. He
banished all the Jews from their native land, and drove them to the
ends of the earth; and unloosed the bloodhounds of persecution to rend
in pieces his Christian subjects.

The gentleness and benignity of the Emperor Aurelius, have been
celebrated in story and song. History says of him, 'Nothing could
quench his desire of being a blessing to mankind;' and Pope's eulogy
of him is in the mouth of every schoolboy--'Like good Aurelius, let
him reign;' and yet, '_good_ Aurelius,' lifted the flood gates of the
fourth, and one of the most terrible persecutions against Christians
that ever raged. He sent orders into different parts of his empire,
to have the Christians murdered who would not deny Christ. The
blameless Polycarp, trembling under the weight of a hundred years, was
dragged to the stake and burned to ashes. Pothinus, Bishop of Lyons,
at the age of ninety, was dragged through the streets, beaten, stoned,
trampled upon by the soldiers, and left to perish. Tender virgins
were put into nets, and thrown to infuriated wild bulls; others were
fastened in red hot iron chairs; and venerable matrons were thrown to
be devoured by dogs.

Constantine the Great has been the admiration of Christendom for his
virtues. The early Christian writers adorn his justice, benevolence
and piety with the most exalted eulogy. He was baptized, and admitted
to the Christian church. He abrogated Paganism, and made Christianity
the religion of his empire; he attended the councils of the early
fathers of the church, consulted with the bishops, and devoted himself
with the most untiring zeal to the propagation of Christianity, and to
the promotion of peace and love among its professors; he convened the
Council of Nice, to settle disputes which had long distracted the
church, appeared in the assembly with admirable modesty and temper,
moderated the heats of the contending parties, implored them to
exercise mutual forbearance, and exhorted them to love unfeigned, to
forgive one another, as they hoped to be forgiven by Christ. Who would
not think it uncharitable to accuse such a man of barbarity in the
exercise of power?--and yet he drove Arius and his associates into
banishment, for opinion's sake, denounced death against all with whom
his books should afterwards be found, and prohibited, on pain of
death, the exercise, however peaceably, of the functions of any other
religion than Christianity. In a fit of jealousy and rage, he ordered
his innocent son, Crispus, to execution, without granting him a
hearing; and upon finding him innocent, killed his own wife, who had
falsely accused him.

To the preceding maybe added Theodosius the Great, the last Roman
emperor before the division of the empire. He was a member of the
Christian church, and in his zeal against paganism, and what he deemed
heresy, surpassed all who were before him. The Christian writers of
his time speak of him as a most illustrious model of justice,
generosity, magnanimity, benevolence, and every virtue. And yet
Theodosius denounced capital punishments against those who held
'heretical' opinions, and commanded inter-marriage between cousins to
be punished by burning the parties alive. On hearing that the people
of Antioch had demolished the statues set up in that city, in honor of
himself, and had threatened the governor, he flew into a transport of
fury, ordered the city to be laid in ashes, and all the inhabitants to
be slaughtered; and upon hearing of a resistance to his authority in
Thessalonica, in which one of his lieutenants was killed, he instantly
ordered a _general massacre_ of the inhabitants; and in obedience to
his command, seven thousand men, women and children were butchered in
the space of three hours.

The foregoing are a few of many instances in the history of Rome, and
of a countless multitude in the history of the world, illustrating the
truth, that the lodgement of arbitrary power, in the best human hands,
is always a fearfully perilous experiment; that the mildest tempers,
the most humane and benevolent dispositions, the most blameless and
conscientious previous life, with the most rigorous habits of justice,
are no security, that, in a moment of temptation, the possessors of
such power will not make their subjects their victims; illustrating
also the truth, that, while men may exhibit nothing but honor,
honesty, mildness, justice, and generosity, in their intercourse with
those of their own grade, or language, or nation, or hue, they may
practice towards others, for whom they have contempt and aversion, the
most revolting meanness, perpetrate robbery unceasingly, and inflict
the severest privations, and the most barbarous cruelties. But this is
not all: history is full of examples, showing not only the effects of
arbitrary power on its victims, but its terrible reaction on those who
exercise it; blunting their sympathies, and hardening to adamant their
hearts toward _them_, at least, if not toward the human race
generally. This is shown in the fact, that almost every tyrant in the
history of the world, has entered upon the exercise of absolute power
with comparative moderation; multitudes of them with marked
forbearance and mildness, and not a few with the most signal
condescension, magnanimity, gentleness and compassion. Among these
last are included those who afterwards became the bloodiest monsters
that ever cursed the earth. Of the Roman Emperors, almost every one of
whom perpetrated the most barbarous atrocities, Vitellius seems to
have been the only one who cruelly exercised his power from the
_outset_. Most of the other emperors, sprung up into fiends in the
hot-bed of arbitrary power. If they had not been plied with its fiery
stimulants, but had lived under the legal restraints of other men,
instead of going to the grave under the curses of their generation,
multitudes might have called them blessed.

The moderation which has generally distinguished absolute monarchs at
the commencement of their reigns, was doubtless in some cases assumed
from policy; in the greater number, however, as is manifest from their
history, it has been the natural workings of minds held in check by
previous associations, and not yet hardened into habits of cruelty, by
being accustomed to the exercise of power without restraint. But as
those associations have weakened, and the wielding of uncontrolled
sway has become a habit, like other evil doers, they have, in the
expressive language of Scripture, 'waxed worse and worse.'

For eighteen hundred years an involuntary shudder has run over the
human race, at the mention of the name of Nero; yet, at the
commencement of his reign, he burst into tears when called upon to
sign the death-warrant of a criminal, and exclaimed, 'Oh, that I had
never learned to write!' His mildness and magnanimity won the
affections of his subjects; and it was not till the poison of absolute
power had worked within his nature for years, that it swelled him into
a monster.

Tiberius, Claudius, and Caligula, began the exercise of their power
with singular forbearance, and each grew into a prodigy of cruelty. So
averse was Caligula to bloodshed, that he refused to look at a list of
conspirators against his own life, which was handed to him; yet
afterwards, a more cruel wretch never wielded a sceptre. In his thirst
for slaughter, he wished all the necks in Rome _one_, that he might
cut them off at a blow.

Domitian, at the commencement of his reign, carried his abhorrence of
cruelty to such lengths, that he forbad the sacrificing of oxen, and
would sit whole days on the judgment-seat, reversing the unjust
decisions of corrupt judges; yet afterwards, he surpassed even Nero in
cruelty. The latter was content to torture and kill by proxy, and
without being a spectator; but Domitian could not be denied the luxury
of seeing his victims writhe, and hearing them shriek; and often with
his own hand directed the instrument of torture, especially when some
illustrious senator or patrician was to be killed by piece-meal.
Commodus began with gentleness and condescension, but soon became a
terror and a scourge, outstripping in his atrocities most of his
predecessors. Maximin too, was just and generous when first invested
with power, but afterwards rioted in slaughter with the relish of a
fiend. History has well said of this monarch, 'the change in his
disposition may readily serve to show how dangerous a thing is power,
that could transform a person of such rigid virtues into such a

Instances almost innumerable might be furnished in the history of
every age, illustrating the blunting of sympathies, and the total
transformation of character wrought in individuals by the exercise of
arbitrary power. Not to detain the reader with long details, let a
single instance suffice.

Perhaps no man has lived in modern times, whose name excites such
horror as that of Robespierre. Yet it is notorious that he was
naturally of a benevolent disposition, and tender sympathies.

"Before the revolution, when as a judge in his native city of Arras he
had to pronounce judgment on an assassin, he took no food for two days
afterwards, but was heard frequently exclaiming, 'I am sure he was
guilty; he is a villain; but yet, to put a human being to death!!' He
could not support the idea; and that the same necessity might not
recur, he relinquished his judicial office.--(See Laponneray's Life of
Robespierre, p. 8.) Afterwards, in the Convention of 1791, he urged
strongly the abolition of the punishment of death; and yet, for
sixteen months, in 1793 and 1794, till he perished himself by the same
guillotine which he had so mercilessly used on others, no one at Paris
consigned and caused so many fellow-creatures to be put to death by
it, with more ruthless insensibility."--_Turner's Sacred history of
the World_, vol. 2 p. 119.

But it is time we had done with the objection, "such cruelties are
INCREDIBLE." If the objector still reiterates it, he shall have the
last word without farther molestation.

An objection kindred to the preceding now claims notice. It is the
profound induction that slaves _must_ be well treated because
_slaveholders say they are!_


Self-justification is human nature; self-condemnation is a sublime
triumph over it, and as rare as sublime. What culprits would be
convicted, if their own testimony were taken by juries as good
evidence? Slaveholders are on trial, charged with cruel treatment to
their slaves, and though in their own courts they can clear themselves
_by their own oaths_,[21] they need not think to do it at the bar of
the world. The denial of crimes, by men accused of them, goes for
nothing as evidence in all _civilized_ courts; while the voluntary
confession of them, is the best evidence possible, as it is testimony
_against themselves_, and in the face of the strongest motives to
conceal the truth. On the preceding pages, are hundreds of just such
testimonies; the voluntary and explicit testimony of slaveholders
against themselves, their families and ancestors, their constituents
and their rulers; against their characters and their memories; against
their justice, their honesty, their honor and their benevolence. Now
let candor decide between those two classes of slaveholders, which is
most entitled to credit; that which testifies in its own favor, just
as self-love would dictate, or that which testifies against all
selfish motives and in spite of them; and though it has nothing to
gain, but every thing to lose by such testimony, still utters it.

But if there were no counter testimony, if all slaveholders were
unanimous in the declaration that the treatment of the slaves is
_good_, such a declaration would not be entitled to a feather's weight
as testimony; it is not _testimony_ but _opinion_. Testimony respects
matters of _fact_, not matters of opinion: it is the declaration of a
witness as to _facts_, not the giving of an opinion as to the nature
or qualities of actions, or the _character_ of a course of conduct.
Slaveholders organize themselves into a tribunal to adjudicate upon
their own conduct, and give us in their decisions, their estimate of
their own character; informing us with characteristic modesty, that
they have a high opinion of themselves; that in their own judgment
they are very mild, kind, and merciful gentlemen! In these conceptions
of their own merits, and of the eminent propriety of their bearing
towards their slaves, slaveholders remind us of the Spaniard, who
always took off his hat whenever he spoke of himself, and of the
Governor of Schiraz, who, from a sense of justice to his own character
added to his other titles, those of, 'Flower of Courtesy,' 'Nutmeg of
Consolation,' and 'Rose of Delight.'

[Footnote 21: The law of which the following is an extract, exists in
South Carolina. "If any slave shall suffer in life, limb or member,
when no white person shall be present, or being present, shall refuse
to give evidence, the owner or other person, who shall have the care
of such slave, and in whose power such slave shall be, shall be deemed
guilty of such offence, _unless_ such owner or other person shall make
the contrary appear by good and sufficient evidence, or shall BY HIS
OWN OATH CLEAR AND EXCULPATE HIMSELF. Which oath every court where
such offence shall be tried, is hereby compared to administer, and to
_acquit the offender_, if clear proof of the offence be not made by
_two_ witnesses at least."--2 Brevard's Digest, 242. The state of
Louisiana has a similar law.]

The _sincerity_ of those worthies, no one calls in question; their
real notions of their own merits doubtless ascended into the sublime:
but for aught that appears, they had not the arrogance to demand that
their own notions of their personal excellence, should be taken as the
_proof_ of it. Not so with our slaveholders. Not content with offering
incense at the shrine of their own virtues, they have the effrontery
to demand, that the rest of the world shall offer it, because _they_
do; and shall implicitly believe the presiding divinity to be a good
Spirit rather than a Devil, because _they_ call him so! In other
words, since slaveholders profoundly appreciate their own gentle
dispositions toward their slaves, and their kind treatment of them,
and everywhere protest that they do truly show forth these rare
excellencies, they demand that the rest of the world shall not only
believe that they _think_ so, but that they think _rightly_; that
these notions of themselves are _true_, that their taking off their
hats to themselves proves them worthy of homage, and that their
assumption of the titles of, 'Flower of Kindness,' and 'Nutmeg of
Consolation,' is conclusive evidence that they deserve such

Was there ever a more ridiculous doctrine, than that a man's opinion
of his own actions is the true standard for measuring them, and the
certificate of their real qualities!--that his own estimate of his
treatment of others; is to be taken as the true one, and such
treatment be set down as _good_ treatment upon the strength of his
judgment. He who argues the good treatment of the slave, from the
slaveholder's _good opinion_ of such treatment, not only argues
against human nature and all history, his own common sense, and even
the testimony of his senses, but refutes his own arguments by his
daily practice. Every body acts on the presumption that men's feelings
will vary with their _practices_; that the light in which they view
individuals and classes, and their feelings towards them, will modify
their opinions of the treatment which they receive. In any case of
treatment that affects himself, his church, or his political party, no
man so stultifies himself as to argue that such treatment must be
good, because the _author_ of it thinks so.

Who would argue that the American Colonies were well treated by the
mother country, because parliament thought so? Or that Poland was well
treated by Russia, because Nicholas thought so? Or that the treatment
of the Cherokees by Georgia is proved good by Georgia notions of it?
Or that of the Greeks by the Turks, by Turkish opinions of it? Or that
of the Jews by almost all nations, by the judgment of their
persecutors? Or that of the victims of the Inquisition, by the
opinions of the Inquisitor general, or of the Pope and his cardinals?
Or that of the Quakers and Baptists, at the hands of the Puritans,--to
be judged of by the opinions of the legislatures that authorized, and
the courts that carried it into effect. All those classes of persons
did not, in their own opinion, abuse their victims. If charged with
perpetrating outrageous cruelty upon them, all those oppressors would
have repelled the charge with indignation.

Our slaveholders chime lustily the same song, and no man with human
nature within him, and human history before him, and with sense enough
to keep him out of the fire, will be gulled by such professions,
unless his itch to be humbugged has put on the type of a downright
chronic incurable. We repeat it--when men speak of the treatment of
others as being either good or bad, their declarations are not
generally to be taken as testimony to matters of _fact_, so much as
expressions of _their own feelings_ towards those persons or classes
who are the subjects of such treatment. If those persons are their
fellow citizens; if they are in the same class of society with
themselves; of the same language, creed, and color; similar in their
habits, pursuits, and sympathies; they will keenly feel any wrong done
to them, and denounce it as base, outrageous treatment; but let the
same wrongs be done to persons of a condition in all respects the
reverse, persons whom they habitually despise, and regard only in the
light of mere conveniences, to be used for their pleasure, and the
idea that such treatment is barbarous will be laughed at as
ridiculous. When we hear slaveholders say that their slaves are _well
treated_, we have only to remember that they are not speaking of
_persons_, but of _property_; not of men and women, but of _chattels_
and _things_; not of friends but of _vassals_ and _victims_; not of
those whom they respect and honor, but of those whom they _scorn_ and
trample on; not of those with whom they sympathize, and co-operate,
and interchange courtesies, but of those whom they regard with
contempt and aversion and disdainfully set with the dogs of their
flock. Reader, keep this fact in your mind, and you will have a clue
to the slaveholder's definition of "_good treatment_." Remember also,
that a part of this "good treatment" of which the slaveholders boast,
is plundering the slaves of all their inalienable rights, of the
ownership of their own bodies, of the use of their own limbs and
muscles, of all their time, liberty, and earnings, of the free
exercise of choice, of the rights of marriage and parental authority,
of legal protection, of the right to be, to do, to go, to stay, to
think, to feel, to work, to rest, to eat, to sleep, to learn, to
teach, to earn money, and to expend it, to visit, and to be visited,
to speak, to be silent, to worship according to conscience, in fine,
their right to be protected by just and equal laws, and to be
_amenable to such only_. Of _all these rights the slaves are
plundered_; and this is a _part_ of that "good treatment" of which
their plunderers boast! What then is the _rest_ of it? The above is
enough for a sample, at least a specimen-brick from the kiln. Reader,
we ask you no questions, but merely tell you what _you know_, when we
say that men and women who can habitually do such things to human
beings, _can do_ ANY THING _to them_.

The declarations of slaveholders, that they treat their slaves well,
will put no man in a quandary, who keeps in mind this simple
principle, that the state of mind towards others, which leads one to
inflict cruelties on them _blinds the inflicter to the real nature of
his own acts_. To him, they do not _seem_ to be cruelties;
consequently, when speaking of such treatment toward such persons, he
will protest that it is not cruelty; though if inflicted upon himself
or his friends, he would indignantly stigmatize it as atrocious
barbarity. The objector equally overlooks another every-day fact of
human nature, which is this, that cruelties invariably cease to _seem_
cruelties when the _habit_ is formed though previously the mind
regarded them as such, and shrunk from them with horror.

The following fact, related by the late lamented THOMAS PRINGLE, whose
Life and Poems have published in England, is an appropriate
illustration. Mr. Pringle states it on the authority of Captain W. F.
Owen, of the Royal Navy.

"When his Majesty's ships, the Leven and the Barracouta, employed in
surveying the coast of Africa, were at Mozambique, in 1823, the
officers were introduced to the family of Senor Manuel Pedro
d'Almeydra, a native of Portugal, who was a considerable merchant
settled on that coast; and it was an opinion agreed in by all, that
Donna Sophia d'Almeydra was the most superior woman they had seen
since they left England, Captain Owen, the leader of the expedition,
expressing to Senor d'Almeydra his detestation of slavery, the Senor
replied, 'You will not be long here before you change your sentiments.
Look at my Sophia there. Before she would marry me, she made me
promise that I should give up the slave trade. When we first settled
at Mozambique, she was continually interceding for the slaves, and she
_constantly wept when I punished them_; and now she is among the
slaves front morning to night; she regulates the whole of my slave
establishment; she inquires into every offence committed by them,
pronounces sentence upon the offender, and _stands by and sees them

"To this, Mr. Pringle, who was himself for six years a resident of the
English settlement at the Cape of Good Hope, adds, 'The writer of this
article has seen, in the course of five or six years, as great a
change upon English ladies and gentleman of respectability, as that
described to have taken place in Donna Sophia d'Almeydra; and one of
the individuals whom he has in his eye, while he writes this passage,
lately confessed to him this melancholy change, remarking at the same
time, 'how altered I am in my feelings with regard to slavery. I do
not appear to myself the same person I was on my arrival in this
colony, and if I would give the world for the feelings I then had, I
could not recall them.'"

Slaveholders know full well that familiarity with slavery produces
indifference to its cruelties and reconciles the mind to them. The
late Judge Tucker, a Virginia slaveholder and professor of law in the
University of William and Mary, in the appendix to his edition of
Blackstone's Commentaries, part 2, pp. 56, 57, commenting on the law
of Virginia previous to 1792, which outlawed fugitive slaves, says:

"Such are the cruelties to which slavery gives rise, such the horrors
to which the mind becomes _reconciled_ by its adoption."

The following facts from the pen of CHARLES STUART, happily illustrate
the same principle:

"A young lady, the daughter of a Jamaica planter, was sent at an early
age to school to England, and after completing her education, returned
to her native country.

"She is now settled with her husband and family in England. I visited
her near Bath, early last spring, (1834.) Conversing on the above
subject, the paralyzing effects of slaveholding on the heart, she

"'While at school in England, I often thought with peculiar tenderness
of the kindness of a slave who had nursed and carried me about. Upon
returning to my father's, one of my first inquiries was about him. I
was deeply afflicted to find that he was on the point of undergoing a
"law flogging for having run away." I threw myself at my father's feet
and implored with tears, his pardon; but my father steadily replied,
that it would ruin the discipline of the plantation, and that the
punishment must take place. I wept in vain, and retired so grieved and
disgusted, that for some days after, I could scarcely bear with
patience, the sight of my own father. But many months had not elapsed
ere _I was as ready as any body_ to seize the domestic whip, _and flog
my slaves without hesitation_.'

"This lady is one of the most Christian and noble minds of my
acquaintance. She and her husband distinguished themselves several
years ago, in Jamaica, by immediately emancipating their slaves."

"A lady, now in the West Indies, was sent in her infancy, to her
friends, near Belfast, in Ireland, for education. She remained under
their charge from five to fifteen years of age, and grew up every
thing which her friends could wish. At fifteen, she returned to the
West Indies--was married--and after some years paid her friends near
Belfast, a second visit. Towards white people, she was the same
elegant, and interesting woman as before; apparently full of every
virtuous and tender feeling; but towards the colored people she was
like a tigress. If Wilberforce's name was mentioned, she would say,
'Oh, I wish we had the wretch in the West Indies, I would be one of
the first to help to tear his heart out!'--and then she would tell of
the manner in which the West Indian ladies used to treat their slaves.
'I have often,' she said, 'when my women have displeased me, snatched
their baby from their bosom, and running with it to a well, have tied
my shawl round its shoulders and pretended to be drowning it: oh, it
was so funny to hear the mother's screams!'--and then she laughed
almost convulsively at the recollection."

Mr. JOHN M. NELSON, a native of Virginia, whose testimony is on a
preceding page, furnishes a striking illustration of the principle in
his own case. He says:

"When I was quite a child, I recollect it grieved me very much to see
one tied up to be whipped, and I used to intercede _with tears in
their behalf_, and _mingle my cries with theirs_, and feel almost
willing to take part of the punishment. Yet such is the hardening
nature of such scenes, that from this kind of commiseration for the
suffering slave, I became so blunted that I could not only witness
their stripes with composure, but _myself_ inflict them, and that
without remorse. When I was perhaps fourteen or fifteen years of age,
I undertook to correct a young fellow named Ned, for some supposed
offence, I think it was leaving a bridle out of its proper place; he
being larger and stronger than myself took hold of my arms and held
me, in order to prevent my striking him; this I considered the height
of insolence, and cried for help, when my father and mother both came
running to my rescue. My father stripped and tied him, and took him
into the orchard, where switches were plenty, and directed me to whip
him; when one switch wore out he supplied me with others. After I had
whipped him a while, he fell on his knees to implore forgiveness, and
I kicked him in the face; my father said, 'don't kick him but whip
him,' this I did until his back was literally covered with _welts_."

W.C. GILDERSLEEVE, Esq., a native of Georgia, now elder of the
Presbyterian church, Wilkes-barre, Penn. after describing the flogging
of a slave, in which his hands were tied together, and the slave
hoisted by a rope, so that his feet could not touch the ground; in
which condition one hundred lashes were inflicted, says:

"I stood by and witnessed the whole without feeling the least
compassion; so _hardening_ is the influence of slavery that it _very
much destroys feeling for the slave_."

Mrs. CHILD, in her admirable "Appeal," has the following remarks:

"The ladies who remove from the free States into the slaveholding ones
almost invariably write that the sight of slavery was at first
exceedingly painful; but that they soon become habituated to it; and
after a while, they are very apt to vindicate the system, upon the
ground that it is extremely convenient to have such submissive
servants. This reason was actually given by a lady of my acquaintance,
who is considered an unusually fervent Christian. Yet Christianity
expressly teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves. This shows how
dangerous it is, for even the best of us, to become _accustomed_ to
what is wrong.

"A judicious and benevolent friend lately told me the story of one of
her relatives, who married a slave owner, and removed to his
plantation. The lady in question was considered very amiable, and had
a serene, affectionate expression of countenance. After several years
residence among her slaves, she visited New England. 'Her history was
written in her face,' said my friend; 'its expression had changed into
that of a fiend. She brought but few slaves with her; and those few
were of course compelled to perform additional labor. One faithful
negro woman nursed the twins of her mistress, and did all the washing,
ironing, and scouring. If, after a sleepless night with the restless
babes, (driven from the bosom of their mother,) she performed her
toilsome avocations with diminished activity, her mistress, with her
own lady-like hands, applied the cowskin, and the neighborhood
resounded with the cries of her victim. The instrument of punishment
was actually kept hanging in the entry, to the no small disgust of her
New England visitors. 'For my part,' continued my friend, 'I did not
try to be polite to her; for I was not hypocrite enough to conceal my

The fact that the greatest cruelties may be exercised quite
unconsciously when cruelty has become a habit, and that at the same
time, the mind may feel great sympathy and commiseration towards other
persons and even towards irrational animals, is illustrated in the
case of Tameriane the Great. In his Life, written by himself, he
speaks with the greatest sincerity and tenderness of his grief at
having accidentally crushed an ant; and yet he ordered melted lead to
be poured down the throats of certain persons who drank wine contrary
to his commands. He was manifestly sincere in thinking himself humane,
and when speaking of the most atrocious cruelties perpetrated by
himself, it does not seem to ruffle in the least the self-complacency
with which he regards his own humanity and piety. In one place he
says, "I never undertook anything but I commenced it placing my faith
on God"--and he adds soon after, "the people of Shiraz took part with
Shah Mansur, and put my governor to death; I therefore ordered _a
general massacre of all the inhabitants_."

It is one of the most common caprices of human nature, for the heart
to become by habit, not only totally insensible to certain forms of
cruelty, which at first gave it inexpressible pain, but even to find
its chief amusement in such cruelties, till utterly intoxicated by
their stimulation; while at the same time the mind seems to be pained
as keenly as ever, at forms of cruelty to which it has not become
accustomed, thus retaining _apparently_ the same general
susceptibilities. Illustrations of this are to be found every where;
one happens to lie before us. Bourgoing, in his history of modern
Spain, speaking of the bull fights, the barbarous national amusement
of the Spaniards, says:

"Young ladies, old men, people of all ages and of all characters are
present, and yet the habit of attending these bloody festivals does
not correct their weakness or their timidity, nor injure the sweetness
of their manners. I have moreover known foreigners, distinguished by
the gentleness of their manners, who experienced at first seeing a
bull-fight such very violent emotions as made them turn pale, and they
became ill; but, notwithstanding, this entertainment became afterwards
an irresistible attraction, without operating any revolution in their
characters." Modern State of Spain, by J. F. Bourgoing, Minister
Plenipotentiary from France to the Court of Madrid, Vol ii., page 342.

It is the _novelty_ of cruelty, rather than the _degree_, which repels
most minds. Cruelty in a _new_ form, however slight, will often pain a
mind that is totally unmoved by the most horrible cruelties in a form
to which it is _accustomed_. When Pompey was at the zenith of his
popularity in Rome, he ordered some elephants to be tortured in the
amphitheatre for the amusement of the populace; this was the first
time they had witnessed the torture of those animals, and though for
years accustomed to witness in the same place, the torture of lions,
tigers, leopards, and almost all sorts of wild beasts, as well as that
of men of all nations, and to shout acclamations over their agonies,
yet, this _novel form_ of cruelty so shocked the beholders, that the
most popular man in Rome was execrated as a cruel monster, and came
near falling a victim to the fury of those who just before were ready
to adore him.

We will now briefly notice another objection, somewhat akin to the
preceding, and based mainly upon the same and similar fallacies.


Multitudes scout as fictions the cruelties inflicted upon slaves,
because slaveholders are famed for their courtesy and hospitality.
They tell us that their generous and kind attentions to their guests,
and their well-known sympathy for the suffering, sufficiently prove
the charges of cruelty brought against them to be calumnies, of which
their uniform character is a triumphant refutation.

Now that slaveholders are proverbially hospitable to their guests, and
spare neither pains nor expense in ministering to their accommodation
and pleasure, is freely admitted and easily accounted for. That those
who make their inferiors work for them, without pay, should be
courteous and hospitable to those of their equals and superiors whose
good opinions they desire, is human nature in its every-day dress. The
objection consists of a fact and an inference: the fact, that
slaveholders have a special care to the accommodation of their
_guests;_ the inference, that therefore they must seek the comfort of
their _slaves_--that as they are bland and obliging to their equals,
they must be mild and condescending to their inferiors--that as the
wrongs of their own grade excite their indignation, and their woes
move their sympathies, they must be touched by those of their
chattels--that as they are full of pains-taking toward those whose
good opinions and good offices they seek, they will, of course, show
special attention to those to whose good opinions they are
indifferent, and whose good offices they can _compel_--that as they
honor the literary and scientific, they must treat with high
consideration those to whom they deny the alphabet--that as they are
courteous to certain _persons_, they must be so to "property"--eager
to anticipate the wishes of visitors, they cannot but gratify those of
their vassals--jealous for the rights of the Texans, quick to feel at
the disfranchisement of Canadians and of Irishmen, alive to the
oppressions of the Greeks and the Poles, they must feel keenly for
their _negroes!_ Such conclusions from such premises do not call for
serious refutation. Even a half-grown boy, who should argue, that
because men have certain feelings toward certain persons in certain
circumstances, they must have the same feelings toward all persons in
all circumstances, or toward persons in opposite circumstances, of
totally different grades, habits, and personal peculiarities, might
fairly be set down as a hopeless simpleton: and yet, men of sense and
reflection on other subjects, seem bent upon stultifying themselves by
just such shallow inferences from the fact, that slaveholders are
hospitable and generous to certain persons in certain grades of
society belonging to their own caste. On the ground of this reasoning,
all the crimes ever committed may be disproved, by showing, that their
perpetrators were hospitable and generous to those who sympathized and
co-operated with them. To prove that a man does not hate one of his
neighbors, it is only necessary to show that he loves another; to make
it appear that he does not treat contemptuously the ignorant, he has
only to show that he bows respectfully to the learned; to demonstrate
that he does not disdain his inferiors, lord it over his dependents,
and grind the faces of the poor, he need only show that he is polite
to the rich, pays deference to titles and office, and fawns for favor
upon those above him! The fact that a man always smiles on his
customers, proves that he never scowls at those who dun him! and since
he has always a melodious "good morning!" for "gentlemen of property
and standing," it is certain that he never snarls at beggars. He who
is quick to make room for a doctor of divinity, will, of course, see
to it that he never runs against a porter; and he who clears the way
for a lady, will be sure never to rub against a market woman, or
jostle an apple-seller's board. If accused of beating down his
laundress to the lowest fraction, of making his boot-black call a
dozen times for his pay, of higgling and screwing a fish boy till he
takes off two cents, or of threatening to discharge his seamstress
unless she will work for a shilling a day, how easy to brand it all as
slander, by showing that he pays his minister in advance, is generous
in Christmas presents, gives a splendid new-year's party, expends
hundreds on elections, and puts his name with a round sum on the
subscription paper of the missionary society.

Who can forget the hospitality of King Herod, that model of generosity
"beyond all ancient fame," who offered half his kingdom to a guest, as
a compensation for an hour's amusement.--Could such a noble spirit
have murdered John the Baptist? Incredible! Joab too! how his soft
heart was pierced at the exile of Absalom! and how his bowels yearned
to restore him to his home! Of course, it is all fiction about his
assassinating his nephew, Amasa, and Abner the captain of the host!
Since David twice spared the life of Saul when he came to murder him,
wept on the neck of Jonathan, threw himself upon the ground in anguish
when his child sickened, and bewailed, with a broken heart, the loss
of Absalom--it proves that he did not coolly plot and deliberately
consummate the murder of Uriah! As the Government of the United States
generously gave a township of land to General La Fayette, it proves
that they have never defrauded the Indians of theirs! So the fact,
that the slaveholders of the present Congress are, to a man, favorable
to recognizing the independence of Texas, with her fifty or sixty
thousand inhabitants, _before she has achieved it_, and before it is
recognized by any other government, proves that these same
slaveholders do _not oppose_ the recognition of Hayti, with her
million of inhabitants, whose independence was achieved nearly half a
century ago, and which is recognized by the most powerful governments
on earth!

But, seriously, no man is so slightly versed in human nature as not to
know that men habitually exercise the most opposite feelings, and
indulge in the most opposite practices toward different persons or
different classes of persons around them. No man has ever lived who
was more celebrated for his scrupulous observance of the most exact
justice, and for the illustration furnished in his life of the noblest
natural virtues, than the Roman Cato. His strict adherence to the
nicest rules of equity--his integrity, honor, and incorruptible
faith--his jealous watchfulness over the rights of his fellow
citizens, and his generous devotion to their interest, procured for
him the sublime appellation of "The Just." Towards _freemen_ his life
was a model of every thing just and noble: but to his slaves he was a
monster. At his meals, when the dishes were not done to his liking, or
when his slaves were careless or inattentive in serving, he would
seize a thong and violently beat them, in presence of his
guests.--When they grew old or diseased, and were no longer
serviceable, however long and faithfully they might have served him,
he either turned them adrift and left them to perish, or starved them
to death in his own family. No facts in his history are better
authenticated than these.

No people were ever more hospitable and munificent than the Romans,
and none more touched with the sufferings of others. Their public
theatres often rung with loud weeping, thousands sobbing convulsively
at once over fictitious woes and imaginary sufferers: and yet these
same multitudes would shout amidst the groans of a thousand dying
gladiators, forced by their conquerors to kill each other in the
amphitheatre for the _amusement_ of the public.[22]

[Footnote 22: Dr. Leland, in his "Necessity of a Divine Revelation,"
thus describes the prevalence of these shows among the Romans:--"They
were exhibited at the funerals of great and rich men, and on many
other occasions, by the Roman consuls, praetors, aediles, senators,
knights, priests, and almost all that bore great offices in the state,
as well as by the emperors; and in general, by all that had a mind to
make an interest with the people, who were extravagantly fond of those
kinds of shows. Not only the men, but the women, ran eagerly after
them; who were, by the prevalence of custom, so far divested of that
compassion and softness which is natural to the sex, that they took a
pleasure in seeing them kill one another, and only desired that they
should fall genteelly, and in an agreeable attitude. Such was the
frequency of those shows, and so great the number of men that were
killed on those occasions, that Lipsius says, no war caused such
slaughter of mankind, as did these sports of pleasure, throughout the
several provinces of the vast Roman empire."--_Leland's Neces. of Div.
Rev._ vol. ii. p. 51.]

Alexander, the tyrant of Phaeres, sobbed like a child over the
misfortunes of the Trojan queens, when the tragedy of Andromache and
Hecuba was played before him; yet he used to murder his subjects every
day for no crime, and without even setting up the pretence of any, but
merely _to make himself sport_.

The fact that slaveholders may be full of benevolence and kindness
toward their equals and toward whites generally, even so much so as to
attract the esteem and admiration of all, while they treat with the
most inhuman neglect their own slaves, is well illustrated by a
circumstance mentioned by the Rev. Dr. CHANNING, of Boston, (who once
lived in Virginia,) is his work on slavery, p. 162, 1st edition:--

"I cannot," says the doctor, "forget my feelings on visiting a
hospital belonging to the plantation of a gentleman _highly esteemed
for his virtues_, and whose manners and conversation expressed much
_benevolence_ and _conscientiousness_. When I entered with him the
hospital, the first object on which my eye fell was a young woman very
ill, probably approaching death. She was stretched on the floor. Her
head rested on something like a pillow, but her body and limbs were
extended on the hard boards. The owner, I doubt not, had, at least, as
much kindness as myself; but he was so used to see the slaves living
without common comforts, that the idea of unkindness in the present
instance did not enter his mind."

Mr. GEORGE A. AVERY, an elder of a Presbyterian church in Rochester,
N.Y. who resided some years in Virginia, says:--

"On one occasion I was crossing the plantation and approaching the
house of a friend, when I met him, _rifle in hand_, in pursuit of one
of his negroes, declaring he would shoot him in a moment if he got his
eye upon him. It appeared that the slave had refused to be flogged,
and ran off to avoid the consequences; _and yet the generous
hospitality of this man to myself, and white friends generally,
scarcely knew any bounds._

"There were amongst my slaveholding friends and acquaintances, persons
who were as _humane_ and _conscientious_ as men can be, and persist in
the impious claim of _property_ in a fellow being. Still I can
recollect but _one instance_ of corporal punishment, whether the
subject were male or female, in which the infliction was not on the
_bare back_ with the _raw hide_, or a similar instrument, the subject
being _tied_ during the operation to a post or tree. The _exception_
was under the following circumstances. I had taken a walk with a
friend on his plantation, and approaching his gang of slaves, I sat
down whilst he proceeded to the spot where they were at work; and
addressing himself somewhat earnestly to a female who was wielding the
hoe, in a moment caught up what I supposed a _tobacco stick_, (a stick
some three feet in length on which the tobacco, when out, is suspended
to dry.) about the size of a _man's wrist_, and laid on a number of
blows furiously over her head. The woman crouched, and seemed stunned
with the blows, but presently recommenced the motion of her hoe."

Dr. DAVID NELSON, a native of Tennessee, and late president of Marion
College, Missouri, in a lecture at Northampton, Mass. in January,
1839, made the following statement:--

"I remember a young lady who played well on the piano, and was very
ready to weep over any fictitious tale of suffering. I was present
when one of her slaves lay on the floor in a high fever, and we feared
she might not recover. I saw that young lady _stamp upon her with her
feet;_ and the only remark her mother made was, 'I am afraid Evelina
is too _much_ prejudiced against poor Mary.'"

General WILLIAM EATON, for some years U.S. Consul at Tunis, and
commander of the expedition against Tripoli, in 1895, thus gives vent
to his feelings at the sight of many hundreds of Sardinians who had
been enslaved by the Tunisians:

"Many have died of grief, and the others linger out a life less
tolerable than death. Alas! remorse seizes my whole soul when I
reflect, that this is indeed but a copy of the very barbarity which
_my eyes have seen_ in my own native country. _How frequently_, in the
southern states of my own country, have I seen _weeping mothers_
leading the guiltless infant to the sales with as _deep anguish_ as if
they led them to the slaughter; and _yet felt my bosom tranquil_ in
the view of these aggressions on defenceless humanity. But when I see
the same enormities practised upon beings whose complexions and blood
claim kindred with my own, _I curse the perpetrators, and weep over
the wretched victims of their rapacity._ Indeed, truth and justice
demand from me the confession, that the Christian slaves among the
barbarians of Africa are treated with more humanity than the African
slaves among professing Christians of civilized America; and yet
_here_ [in Tunis] sensibility _bleeds at every pore_ for the wretches
whom fate has doomed to slavery."

Rev. H. LYMAN, late pastor of the free Presbyterian Church, Buffalo,
N.Y. who spent the winter of 1832-3 at the south, says:--

"In the interior of Mississippi I was invited to the house of a
planter, where I was received with great cordiality, and entertained
with marked hospitality.

"There I saw a master in the midst of his household slaves. The
evening passed most pleasantly, as indeed it must, where assiduous
hospitalities are exercised towards the guest.

"Late in the morning, when I had gained the tardy consent of my host
to go on my way, as a final act of kindness, he called a slave to show
me across the fields by a nearer route to the main road. 'David,' said
he, 'go and show this gentleman as far as the post-office. Do you know
the big bay tree?' 'Yes, sir.' 'Do you know where the cotton mill is?'
'Yes, sir.' 'Where Squire Malcolm's old field is?' 'Y--e--s, sir,'
said David, (beginning to be bewildered). 'Do you know where Squire
Malcolm's cotton field is?' 'No, sir.' 'No, sir,' said the enraged
master, _levelling his gun at him_. 'What do you stand here, saying,
Yes, yes, yes, for, when you don't know?' All this was accompanied
with _threats_ and _imprecations_, and a manner that contrasted
strangely with the _religious conversation and gentle manners_ of the
previous evening."

The Rev. JAMES H. DICKEY, formerly a slaveholder in South Carolina,
now pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Hennepin, Ill. in his "Review
of Nevins' Biblical Antiquities," after asserting that slaveholding
tends to beget "a spirit of cruelty and tyranny, and to destroy every
generous and noble feeling," (page 33,) he adds the following as a

"It may be that this will be considered censorious, and the proverbial
generosity and hospitality of the south will be appealed to as a full
confutation of it. The writer thinks he can appreciate southern
kindness and hospitality. Having been born in Virginia, raised and
educated in South Carolina and Kentucky, he is altogether southern in
his feelings, and habits, and modes of familiar conversation. He can
say of the south as Cowper said of England, 'With all thy faults I
love thee still, my country.' And nothing but the abominations of
slavery could have induced him willingly to forsake a land endeared to
him by all the associations of childhood and youth.

"Yet it is candid to admit that it is not all gold that glitters.
There is a fictitious kindness and hospitality. The famous Robin Hood
was kind and generous--no man more hospitable--he robbed the rich to
supply the necessities of the poor. Others rob the poor to bestow
gifts and lavish kindness and hospitality on their rich friends and
neighbors. It is an easy matter for a man to appear kind and generous,
when he bestows that which others have earned.

"I said, there is a fictitious kindness and hospitality. I once knew a
man who left his wife and children three days, without fire-wood,
without bread-stuff and without shoes, while the ground was covered
with snow--that he might indulge in his cups. And when I attempted to
expostulate with him, he took the subject out of my hands, and
expatiating on the evils of intemperance more eloquently than I could,
concluded by warning me, _with tears_, to avoid the snares of the
latter. He had tender feelings, yet a hard heart. I once knew a young
lady of polished manners and accomplished education, who would weep
with sympathy over the fictitious woes exhibited in a novel. And
waking from her reverie of grief, while her eye was yet wet with
tears, would call her little waiter, and if she did not appear at the
first call, would rap her head with her thimble till my head ached.

"I knew a man who was famed for kindly sympathies. He once took off
his shirt and gave it to a poor white man. The same man hired a black
man, and gave him for his _daily task_, through the winter, to feed
the beasts, keep fires, and make one hundred rails: and in case of
failure the lash was applied so freely, that, in the spring, his back
was _one continued sore, from his shoulders to his waist_. Yet this
man was a professor of religion, and famous for his tender sympathies
to white men!"


ANSWER:--Their knowledge on this point must have been derived, either
from the slaveholders and overseers themselves, or from the slaves, or
from their own observation. If from the slaveholders, _their_
testimony has already been weighed and found wanting; if they derived
it from the slaves, they can hardly be so simple as to suppose that
the _guest, associate and friend of the master_, would be likely to
draw from his _slaves_ any other testimony respecting his treatment of
them, than such as would please _him_. The great shrewdness and tact
exhibited by slaves in _keeping themselves out of difficulty_, when
close questioned by strangers as to their treatment, cannot fail to
strike every accurate observer. The following remarks of CHIEF JUSTICE
HENDERSON, a North Carolina slaveholder, in his decision (in 1830,) in
the case of the State _versus_ Charity, 2 Devereaux's North Carolina
Reports, 513, illustrate the folly of arguing the good treatment of
slaves from their own declarations, _while in the power of their
masters_. In the case above cited, the Chief Justice, in refusing to
permit a master to give in evidence, declarations made to him by his
slave, says of masters and slaves generally--

"The master has an almost _absolute control_ over the body and _mind_
of his slave. The master's _will_ is the slave's _will_. All his acts,
_all his sayings_, are made with a view to propitiate his master. His
confessions are made, not from a love of truth, not from a sense of
duty, not to speak a falsehood, but to _please his master_--and it is
in vain that his master tells him to speak the truth and conceals from
him how he wishes the question answered. The slave _will_ ascertain,
or, which is the same thing, think that he has ascertained _the wishes
of his master,_ and MOULD HIS ANSWER ACCORDINGLY. We therefore more
often get the wishes of the master, or the slave's belief of his
wishes, than the truth."

The following extract of a letter from the Hon. SETH M. GATES, member
elect of the next Congress, furnishes a clue by which to interpret the
looks, actions, and protestations of slaves, when in the presence of
their masters' guests, and the pains sometimes taken by slaveholders,
in teaching their slaves the art of _pretending_ that they are treated
well, love their masters, are happy, &c. The letter is dated Leroy,
Jan. 4, 1839.

"I have sent your letter to Rev. Joseph M. Sadd, Castile, Genesee
county, who resided five years in a slave state, and left, disgusted
with slavery. I trust he will give you some facts. I remember one
fact, which his wife witnessed. A relative, where she boarded,
returning to his plantation after a temporary absence, was not met by
his servants with such demonstrations of joy as was their wont. He
ordered his horse put out, took down his whip, ordered his servants to
the barn, and gave them a most cruel beating, because they did not run
out to meet him, and pretend great attachment to him. Mrs. Sadd had
overheard the servants agreeing not to go out, before his return, as
they said _they did not love him_--and this led her to watch his
conduct to them. This man was a professor of religion!"

If these northern visitors derived their information that the slaves
are _not_ cruelly treated from _their own observation_, it amounts to
this, _they did not see_ cruelties inflicted on the slaves. To which
we reply, that the preceding pages contain testimony from hundreds of
witnesses, who testify that they _did see_ the cruelties whereof they
affirm. Besides this, they contain the solemn declarations of scores
of slaveholders themselves, in all parts of the slave states, that the
slaves are cruelly treated. These declarations are moreover fully
corroborated, by the laws of slave states, by a multitude of
advertisements in their newspapers, describing runaway slaves, by
their scars, brands, gashes, maimings, cropped ears, iron collars,
chains, &c. &c.

Truly, after the foregoing array of facts and testimony, and after the
objectors' forces have one after another filed off before them, now to
march up a phalanx of northern _visitors_, is to beat a retreat.
'Visitors!' What insight do casual visitors get into the tempers and
daily practices of those whom they visit, or of the treatment that
their slaves receive at their hands, especially if these visitors are
strangers, and from a region where there are no slaves, and which
claims to be opposed to slavery? What opportunity has a stranger, and
a temporary guest, to learn the every-day habits and caprices of his
host? Oh, these northern visitors tell us they have visited scores of
families at the south and never saw a master or mistress whip their
slaves. Indeed! They have, doubtless, visited hundreds of families at
the north--did they ever see, on such occasions, the father or mother
whip their children? If so, they must associate with very ill-bred
persons. Because well-bred parents do not whip their children in the
presence, or within the hearing of their guests are we to infer that
they never do it _out_ of their sight and hearing? But perhaps the
fact that these visitors do not _remember_ seeing slaveholders strike
their slaves, merely proves, that they had so little feeling for them,
that though they might be struck every day in their presence, yet as
they were only slaves and 'niggers,' it produced no effect upon them;
consequently they have no impressions to recall. These visitors have
also doubtless _rode_ with scores of slaveholders. Are they quite
certain they ever saw them whip their _horses_? and can they recall
the persons, times, places, and circumstances? But even if these
visitors regarded the slaves with some kind feelings, when they first
went to the south, yet being constantly with their oppressors, seeing
them used as articles of property, accustomed to hear them charged
with all kinds of misdemeanors, their ears filled with complaints of
their laziness, carelessness, insolence, obstinacy, stupidity, thefts,
elopements, &c. and at the same time, receiving themselves the most
gratifying attentions and caresses from the same persons, who, while
they make to them these representations of their slaves, are giving
them airings in their coaches, making parties for them, taking them on
excursions of pleasure, lavishing upon them their choicest
hospitalities, and urging them to protract indefinitely their
stay--what more natural than for the flattered guest to admire such
hospitable people, catch their spirit, and fully sympathize with their
feelings toward their slaves, regarding with increased disgust and
aversion those who can habitually tease and worry such loveliness and
generosity[23]. After the visitor had been in contact with the
slave-holding spirit long enough to have imbibed it, (no very tedious
process,) a cuff, or even a kick administered to a slave, would not be
likely to give him such a shock that his memory would long retain the
traces of it. But lest we do these visitors injustice, we will suppose
that they carried with them to the south humane feelings for the
slave, and that those feelings remained unblunted; still, what
opportunity could they have to witness the actual condition of the
slaves? They come in contact with the house-servants only, and as a
general thing, with none but the select ones of these, the
_parlor_-servants; who generally differ as widely in their appearance
and treatment from the cooks and scullions in the kitchen, as parlor
furniture does from the kitchen utensils. Certain servants are
assigned to the parlor, just as certain articles of furniture are
selected for it, _to be seen_--and it is no less ridiculous to infer
that the kitchen scullions are clothed and treated like those servants
who wait at the table, and are in the presence of guests, than to
infer that the kitchen is set out with sofas, ottomans, piano-fortes,
and full-length mirrors, because the parlor is. But the house-slaves
are only a fraction of the whole number. The _field-hands_ constitute
the great mass of the slaves, and these the visitors rarely get a
glimpse at. They are away at their work by day-break, and do not
return to their huts till dark. Their huts are commonly at some
distance from the master's mansion, and the fields in which they
labor, generally much farther, and out of sight. If the visitor
traverses the plantation, care is taken that he does not go alone; if
he expresses a wish to see it, the horses are saddled, and the master
or his son gallops the rounds with him; if he expresses a desire to
see the slaves at work, his conductor will know _where_ to take him,
and _when_, and _which_ of them to show; the overseer, too, knows
quite too well the part he has to act on such occasions, to shock the
uninitiated ears of the visitors with the shrieks of his victims. It
is manifest that visitors can see only the least repulsive parts of
slavery, inasmuch as it is wholly at the option of the master, what
parts to show them; as a matter of necessity, he can see only the
_outside_--and that, like the outside of doorknobs and andirons is
furbished up to be _looked at_. So long as it is human nature to wear
_the best side out_, so long the northern guests of southern
slaveholders will see next to nothing of the reality of slavery. Those
visitors may still keep up their autumnal migrations to the slave
states, and, after a hasty survey of the tinsel hung before the
curtain of slavery, without a single glance behind it, and at the
paint and varnish that _cover up_ dead men's bones, and while those
who have hoaxed them with their smooth stories and white-washed
specimens of slavery, are tittering at their gullibility, they return
in the spring on the same fool's-errand with their predecessors,
retailing their lesson, and mouthing the praises of the masters, and
the comforts of the slaves. They now become village umpires in all
disputes about the condition of the slaves, and each thence forward
ends all controversies with his oracular, "I've _seen_, and sure I
ought to know."

[Footnote 23: Well saith the Scripture, "A gift blindeth the eyes." The
slaves understand this, though the guest may not; they know very well
that they have no sympathy to expect from their master's guests; that
the good cheer of the "big house," and the attentions shown them, will
generally commit them in their master's favor, and against themselves.
Messrs. Thome and Kimball, in their late work, state the following
fact, in illustration of this feeling among the negro apprentices in

"The governor of one of the islands, shortly after his arrival, dined
with one of the wealthiest proprietors. The next day one of the
negroes of the estate said to another, "De new gubner been
_poison'd_." "What dat you say?" inquired the other in astonishment,
"De gubner been _poison'd_! Dah, now!--How him poisoned?" "_Him eat
massa's turtle soup last night_," said the shrewd negro. The other
took his meaning at once; and his sympathy for the governor was
turned into concern for himself, when he perceived that the
poison was one from which he was likely to suffer more than his
excellency."--_Emancipation in the West Indies_, p. 334.]

But all northern visitors at the south are not thus easily gulled.
Many of them, as the preceding pages show, have too much sense to be
caught with chaff.

We may add here, that those classes of visitors whose representations
of the treatment of slaves are most influential in moulding the
opinions of the free states, are ministers of the gospel, agents of
benevolent societies, and teachers who have traveled and temporarily
resided in the slave states--classes of persons less likely than any
others to witness cruelties, because slaveholders generally take more
pains to keep such visitors in ignorance than others, because their
vocations would furnish them fewer opportunities for witnessing them,
and because they come in contact with a class of society in which
fewer atrocities are committed than in any other, and that too, under
circumstances which make it almost impossible for them to witness
those which are actually committed.

Of the numerous classes of persons from the north who temporarily
reside in the slave states, the mechanics who find employment on the
_plantations_, are the only persons who are in circumstances to look
"behind the scenes." Merchants, pedlars, venders of patents, drovers,
speculators, and almost all descriptions of persons who go from the
free states to the south to make money see little of slavery, except
_upon the road_, at public inns, and in villages and cities.

Let not the reader infer from what has been said, that the
_parlor_-slaves, chamber-maids, &c. in the slave states are not
treated with cruelty--far from it. They often experience terrible
inflictions; not generally so terrible or so frequent as the
field-hands, and very rarely in the presence of guests[24]
House-slaves are for the most part treated far better than
plantation-slaves, and those under the immediate direction of the
master and mistress, than those under overseers and drivers. It is
quite worthy of remark, that of the thousands of northern men who have
visited the south, and are always lauding the kindness of slaveholders
and the comfort of the slaves, protesting that they have never seen
cruelties inflicted on them, &c. each perhaps, without exception, has
some story to tell which reveals, better perhaps than the most
barbarous butchery could do, a public sentiment toward slaves, showing
that the most cruel inflictions must of necessity be the constant
portion of the slaves.

[Footnote 24: Rev. JOSEPH M. SADD, a Presbyterian clergyman, in
Castile, Genesee county, N.Y. recently from Missouri, where he has
preached five years, in the midst of slaveholders, says, in a letter
just received, speaking of the pains taken by slaveholders to conceal
from the eyes of strangers and visitors, the cruelties which they
inflict upon their slaves--

"It is difficult to be an eye-witness of these things; the master and
mistress, almost invariably punish their slaves only in the presence
of themselves and other slaves."]

Though facts of this kind lie thick in every corner, the reader will,
we are sure, tolerate even a needless illustration, if told that it is
from the pen of N.P. Rogers, Esq. of Concord, N.H. who, whatever he
writes, though it be, as in this case, a mere hasty letter, always
finds readers to the end.

"At a court session at Guilford, Stafford county, N.H. in August,
1837, the Hon. Daniel M. Durell, of Dover, formerly Chief Justice
of the Common Pleas for that state, and a member of Congress,
was charging the abolitionists, in presence of several gentlemen
of the bar, at their boarding house, with exaggerations and
misrepresentations of slave treatment at the south. 'One instance
in particular,' he witnessed, he said, where he 'knew they
misrepresented. It was in the Congregational meeting house at Dover.
He was passing by, and saw a crowd entering and about the door; and on
inquiry, found that _abolition was going on in there_. He stood in the
entry for a moment, and found the Englishman, Thompson, was holding
forth. The fellow was speaking of the treatment of slaves; and he said
it was no uncommon thing for masters, when exasperated with the slave,
to hang him up by the two thumbs, and flog him. I knew the fellow lied
there,' said the judge, 'for I had traveled through the south, from
Georgia north, and I never saw a single instance of the kind. The
fellow said it was a common thing.' 'Did you see any _exasperated
masters_, Judge,' said I, 'in your journey?' 'No sir,' said he, 'not
an individual instance.' 'You hardly are able to convict Mr. Thompson
of falsehood, then, Judge,' said I, 'if I understood you right. He
spoke, as I understood you, of _exasperated masters_--and you say you
did not see any. Mr. Thompson did not say it was common for masters in
good humor to hang up their slaves.' The Judge did not perceive the
materiality of the distinction. 'Oh, they misrepresent and lie about
this treatment of the niggers,' he continued. 'In going through all
the states I visited, I do not now remember a single instance of cruel
treatment. Indeed, I remember of seeing but one nigger struck, during
my whole journey. There was one instance. We were riding in the stage,
pretty early one morning, and we met a black fellow, driving a span of
horses, and a load (I think he said) of hay. The fellow turned out
before we got to him, clean down into the ditch, as far as he could
get. He knew, you see, what to depend on, if he did not give the road.
Our driver, as we passed the fellow, fetched him a smart crack with
his whip across the chops. He did not make any noise, though I guess
it hurt him some--he grinned.--Oh, no! these fellows exaggerate. The
niggers, as a general thing, are kindly treated. There may be
exceptions, but I saw nothing of it.' (By the way, the Judge did not
know there were any abolitionists present.) 'What did you _do_ to the
driver, Judge,' said I, 'for striking that man?' 'Do,' said he, 'I did
nothing to him, to be sure.' 'What did you _say_ to him, sir?' said I.
'Nothing,' he replied: 'I said nothing to him.' 'What did the other
passengers do?' said I. 'Nothing, sir,' said the Judge. 'The fellow
turned out the white of his eye, but he did not make any noise.' 'Did
the driver say any thing, Judge, when he struck the man?' 'Nothing,'
said the Judge, 'only he _damned him_, and told him he'd learn him to
keep out of the reach of his whip.' 'Sir,' said I, 'if George Thompson
had told this story, in the warmth of an anti-slavery speech, I should
scarcely have credited it. I have attended many anti-slavery meetings,
and I never heard an instance of such _cold-blooded, wanton,
insolent_, DIABOLICAL cruelty as this; and, sir, if I live to attend
another meeting, I shall relate this, and give Judge Durell's name as
the witness of it.' An infliction of the most insolent character,
entirely unprovoked, on a perfect stranger, who had showed the utmost
civility, in giving all the road, and only could not get beyond the
long reach of the driver's whip--and he a stage driver, a class
_generous_ next to the sailor, in the sober hour of morning--and
_borne in silence_--and _told to show that the colored man of the
south was kindly treated_--all evincing, to an unutterable extent,
that the temper of the south toward the slave is merciless, even to
_diabolism_--and that the north regards him with, if possible, a more
fiendish indifference still!"

It seems but an act of simple justice to say, in conclusion, that many
of the slaveholders from whom our northern visitors derive their
information of the "good treatment" of the slave, may not design to
deceive them. Such visitors are often, perhaps generally brought in
contact with the better class of slaveholders, whose slaves are really
better fed, clothed, lodged, and housed; more moderately worked; more
seldom whipped, and with less severity, than the slaves generally.
Those masters in speaking of the good condition of their slaves, and
asserting that they are treated _well_, use terms that are not
_absolute_ but _comparative_: and it may be, and doubtless often is
true that their stares are treated well _as slaves_, in comparison
with the treatment received by slaves generally. So the overseers of
such slaves, and the slaves themselves, may, without lying or
designing to mislead, honestly give the same testimony. As the great
body of slaves within their knowledge _fare worse_, it is not strange
that, when speaking of the treatment on their own plantation, they
should call it _good_.


So it is for the interest of the drunkard to quit his cups; for the
glutton to curb his appetite; for the debauchee to bridle his lust;
for the sluggard to be up betimes; for the spendthrift to be
economical, and for all sinners to stop sinning. Even if it were for
the interest of masters to treat their slaves well, he must be a
novice who thinks _that_ a proof that the slaves _are_ well treated.
The whole history of man is a record of real interests sacrificed to
present gratification. If all men's actions were consistent with their
best interests, folly and sin would be words without meaning.

If the objector means that it is for the pecuniary interests of
masters to treat their slaves well, and thence infers their good
treatment, we reply, that though the love of money is strong, yet
appetite and lust, pride, anger and revenge, the love of power and
honor, are each an overmatch for it; and when either of them is roused
by a sudden stimulant, the love of money worsted in the grapple with
it. Look at the hourly lavish outlays of money to procure a momentary
gratification for those passions and appetites. As the desire for
money is, in the main, merely a desire for the means of gratifying
_other_ desires, or rather for one of the means, it must be the
_servant_ not the sovereign of those desires, to whose gratification
its only use is to minister. But even if the love of money were the
strongest human passion, who is simple enough to believe that it is
all the time so powerfully excited, that no other passion or appetite
can get the mastery over it?  Who does not know that gusts of rage,
revenge, jealousy and lust drive it before them as a tempest tosses a

The objector has forgotten his first lessons; they taught him that it
is human nature to gratify the _uppermost_ passion: and is _prudence_
the uppermost passion with slaveholders, and self-restraint their
great characteristic? The strongest feeling of any moment is the
sovereign of that moment, and rules. Is a propensity to practice
_economy_ the predominant feeling with slaveholders? Ridiculous!
Every northerner knows that slaveholders are proverbial for lavish
expenditures, never higgling about the _price_ of a gratification.
Human passions have not, like the tides, regular ebbs and flows, with
their stationary, high and low water marks. They are a dominion
convulsed with revolutions; coronations and dethronements in ceasless
succession--each ruler a usurper and a despot. Love of money gets a
snatch at the sceptre as well as the rest, not by hereditary right,
but because, in the fluctuations of human feelings, a chance wave
washes him up to the throne, and the next perhaps washes him off
without time to nominate his successor. Since, then, as a matter of
fact, a host of appetites and passions do hourly get the better of
love of money, what protection does the slave find in his master's
_interest_, against the sweep of his passions and appetites? Besides,
a master can inflict upon his slave horrible cruelties without
perceptibly injuring his health, or taking time from his labor, or
lessening his value as property. Blows with a small stick give more
acute pain, than with a large one. A club bruises, and benumbs the
nerves, while a switch, neither breaking nor bruising the flesh,
instead of blunting the sense of feeling, wakes up and stings to
torture all the susceptibilities of pain. By this kind of infliction,
more actual cruelty can be perpetrated in the giving of pain at the
instant, than by the most horrible bruisings and lacerations; and
that, too, with little comparative hazard to the slave's health, or to
his value as property, and without loss of time from labor. Even
giving to the objection all the force claimed for it, what protection
is it to the slave? It _professes_ to shield the slave from such
treatment alone, as would either lay him aside from labor, or injure
his health, and thus lessen his value as a working animal, making him
a _damaged article_ in the market. Now, is nothing _bad treatment_ of
a human being except that which produces these effects? Does the fact
that a man's constitution is not actually shattered, and his life
shortened by his treatment, prove that he is treated well? Is no
treatment cruel except what sprains muscles, or cuts sinews, or bursts
blood vessels, or breaks bones, and thus lessens a man's value as a
working animal?

A slave may get blows and kicks every hour in the day, without having
his constitution broken, or without suffering sensibly in his health,
or flesh, or appetite, or power to labor. Therefore, beaten and kicked
as he is, he must be treated _well_, according to the objector, since
the master's _interest_ does not suffer thereby.

Finally, the objector virtually maintains that all possible privations
and inflictions suffered by slaves, that do not actually cripple their
power to labor, and make them 'damaged merchandize,' are to be set
down as 'good treatment,' and that nothing is _bad_ treatment except
what produces these effects.

Thus we see that even if the slave were effectually shielded from all
those inflictions, which, by lessening his value as property, would
injure the interests of his master, he would still nave no protection
against numberless and terrible cruelties. But we go further, and
maintain that in respect to large classes of slaves, it is for the
_interest_ of their masters to treat them with barbarous inhumanity.

1. _Old slaves._ It would be for the interest of the masters to
shorten their days.

2. _Worn out slaves._ Multitudes of slaves by being overworked, have
their constitutions broken in middle life. It would be _economical_
for masters to starve or flog such to death.

3. _The incurably diseased and maimed._ In all such cases it would be
_cheaper_ for masters to buy poison than medicine.

4. _The blind, lunatics, and idiots_. As all such would be a tax on
him, it would be for his interest to shorten their days.

5. _The deaf and dumb, and persons greatly deformed._ Such might or
might not be serviceable to him; many of them at least would be a
burden, and few men carry burdens when they can throw them off.

6. _Feeble infants._ As such would require much nursing, the time,
trouble and expense necessary to raise them, would generally be more
than they would be worth as _working animals_. How many such infants
would be likely to be 'raised,' from _disinterested_ benevolence? To
this it may be added that in the far south and south west, it is
notoriously for the interest of the master not to 'raise' slaves at
all. To buy slaves when nearly grown, from the northern slave states,
would be _cheaper_ than to raise them. This is shown in the fact, that
mothers with infants sell for less in those states than those without
them. And when slave-traders purchase such in the upper country, it is
notorious that they not unfrequently either sell their infants, or
give them away. Therefore it would be for the _interest_ of the
masters, throughout that region, to have all the new-born children
left to perish. It would also be for their interest to make such
arrangements as effectually to separate the sexes, or if that were not
done, so to overwork the females as to prevent childbearing.

7. _Incorrigible slaves_. On most of the large plantations, there are,
more or less, incorrigible slaves,--that is, slaves who _will not_ be
profitable to their masters--and from whom torture can extort little
but defiance.[25] These are frequently slaves of uncommon minds, who
feel so keenly the wrongs of slavery that their proud spirits spurn
their chains and defy their tormentors.

[Footnote 25: Advertisements like the following are not unfrequent in
the southern papers.

_From the Elizabeth (N.C.) Phenix, Jan. 5, 1839._ "The subscriber
offers for sale his blacksmith NAT, 28 years of age, and _remarkably
large and likely_. The only cause of my selling him is I CANNOT
CONTROL HIM. _Hertford, Dec.5, 1838._ J. GORDON."]

They have commonly great sway over the other slaves, their example is
contagious, and their influence subversive of 'plantation discipline.'
Consequently they must be made a warning to others. It is for the
_interest_ of the masters (at least they believe it to be) to put upon
such slaves iron collars and chains, to brand and crop them; to
disfigure, lacerate, starve and torture them--in a word, to inflict
upon them such vengeance as shall strike terror into the other slaves.
To this class may be added the incorrigibly thievish and indolent; it
would be for the interest of the masters to treat them with such
severity as would deter others from following their example.

7. _Runaways._ When a slave has once runaway from his master and is
caught, he is thenceforward treated with severity. It is for the
interest of the master to make an example of him, by the greatest
privations and inflictions.

8. _Hired slaves._ It is for the interest of those who hire slaves to
get as much out of them as they can; the temptation to overwork them
is powerful. If it be said that the master could, in that case,
recover damages, the answer is, that damages would not be recoverable
in law unless actual injury--enough to impair the power of the slave
to labor, be _proved._ And this ordinarily would be impossible, unless
the slave has been worked so greatly beyond his strength as to produce
some fatal derangement of the vital functions. Indeed, as all who are
familiar with such cases in southern courts well know, the proof of
actual injury to the slave, so as to lessen his value, is exceedingly
difficult to make out, and every hirer of slaves can overwork them,
give them insufficient food, clothing, and shelter, and inflict upon
them nameless cruelties with entire impunity. We repeat then that it
is for the _interest_ of the hirer to push his slaves to their utmost
strength, provided he does not drive them to such an extreme, that
their constitutions actually give way under it, while in his hands.
The supreme court of Maryland has decided that, 'There must be _at
least a diminution of the faculty of the slave for bodily labor_ to
warrant an action by the master.'--_1 Harris and Johnson's Reports,

9. _Slaves under overseers whose wages are proportioned to the crop
which they raise._ This is an arrangement common in the slave states,
and in its practical operation is equivalent to a bounty on _hard
driving_--a virtual premium offered to overseers to keep the slaves
whipped up to the top of their strength. Even where the overseer has a
fixed salary, irrespective of the value of the crop which he takes
off, he is strongly tempted to overwork the slaves, as those overseers
get the highest wages who can draw the largest income from a
plantation with a given number of slaves; so that we may include in
this last class of slaves, the majority of all those who are under
overseers, whatever the terms on which those overseers are employed.

Another class of slaves may be mentioned; we refer to the slaves of
masters who _bet_ upon their crops. In the cotton and sugar region
there is a fearful amount of this desperate gambling, in which, though
money is the ostensible stake and forfeit, human life is the real one.
The length to which this rivalry is carried at the south and south
west, the multitude of planters who engage in it, and the recklessness
of human life exhibited in driving the murderous game to its issue,
cannot well be imagined by one who has not lived in the midst of it.
Desire of gain is only one of the motives that stimulates them;--the
_eclat_ of having made the largest crop with a given number of hands,
is also a powerful stimulant; the southern newspapers, at the crop
season, chronicle carefully the "cotton brag," and the "crack cotton
picking," and "unparalleled driving," &c. Even the editors of
professedly religious papers, cheer on the méleé and sing the triumphs
of the victor. Among these we recollect the celebrated Rev. J.N.
Maffit, recently editor of a religious paper at Natchez, Miss. in
which he took care to assign a prominent place, and capitals to "THE
COTTON BRAG." The testimony of Mr. Bliss, page 38, details some of the
particulars of this _betting_ upon crops. All the preceding classes of
slaves are in circumstances which make it "for the _interest_ of their
masters," or those who have the management of them, to treat them

Besides the operation of the causes already specified, which make it
for the interest of masters and overseers to treat cruelly _certain
classes_ of their slaves, a variety of others exist, which make it for
their interest to treat cruelly _the great body_ of their slaves.
These causes are, the nature of certain kinds of products, the kind of
labor required in cultivating and preparing them for market, the best
times for such labor, the state of the market, fluctuations in prices,
facilities for transportation, the weather, seasons, &c. &c. Some of
the causes which operate to produce this are--

1. _The early market_. If the planter can get his crop into market
early, he may save thousands which might be lost if it arrived later.

2. _Changes in the market_. A sudden rise in the market with the
probability that it will be short, or a gradual fall with a
probability that it will be long, is a strong temptation to the master
to push his slaves to the utmost, that he may in the one case make all
he can, by taking the tide at the flood, and in the other lose as
little as may be, by taking it as early as possible in the ebb.

3. _High prices_. Whenever the slave-grown staples bring a high price,
as is now the case with cotton, every slaveholder is tempted to
overwork his slaves. By forcing them to do double work for a few weeks
or months, while the price is up, he can _afford_ to lose a number of
them and to lessen the value of all by over-driving. A cotton planter
with a hundred vigorous slaves, would have made a profitable
speculation, if, during the years '34, 5, and 6, when the average
price of cotton was 17 cents a pound, he had so overworked his slaves
that half of them died upon his hands in '37, when cotton had fallen
to six and eight cents. No wonder that the poor slaves pray that cotton
and sugar may be cheap. The writer has frequently heard it declared by
planters in the lower country, that, it is more profitable to drive
the slaves to such over exertion as to _use them up_, in seven or
eight years, than to give them only ordinary tasks and protract their
lives to the ordinary period.[26]

[Footnote 26: The reader is referred to a variety of facts and
testimony on this point on the 39th page of this work.]

4. _Untimely seasons_. When the winter encroaches on the spring, and
makes late seed time, the first favorable weather is a temptation to
overwork the slaves, too strong to be resisted by those who hold men
as mere working animals. So when frosts set in early, and a great
amount of work is to be done in a little time, or great loss suffered.
So also after a long storm either in seed or crop time, when the
weather becomes favorable, the same temptation presses, and in all
these cases the master would _save money_ by overdriving his slaves.

5. _Periodical pressure of certain kinds of labor._ The manufacture of
sugar is an illustration. In a work entitled "Travels in Louisiana in
1802," translated from the French, by John Davis, is the following
testimony under this head:--

"At the rolling of sugars, an interval of from two to three months,
they (the slaves in Louisiana,) work _both night and day_. Abridged of
their sleep, they scarcely retire to rest during the whole period" See
page 81.

In an article on the agriculture of Louisiana, published in the second
number of the "Western Review," is the following:--"The work is
admitted to be severe for the hands, (slaves) requiring, when the
process of making sugar is commenced, TO BE PRESSED NIGHT AND DAY."

It would be for the interest of the sugar planter greatly to overwork
his slaves, during the annual process of sugar-making.

The severity of this periodical pressure, in preparing for market
other staples of the slave states besides sugar, may be inferred from
the following. Mr. Hammond, of South Carolina, in his speech in
Congress, Feb. 1. 1836, (See National Intelligencer) said, "In the
heat of the crop, the loss of one or two days, would inevitably ruin

6. _Times of scarcity_. Drought, long rain, frost, &c. are liable to
cut off the corn crop, upon which the slaves are fed. If this happens
when the staple which they raise is at a low price, it is for the
interest of the master to put the slave on short rations, thus forcing
him to suffer from hunger.

7. _The raising of crops for exportation_. In all those states where
cotton and sugar are raised for exportation, it is, for the most part,
more profitable to buy provisions for the slaves than to raise them.
Where this is the case the slaveholders believe it to be for their
interest to give their slaves less food, than their hunger craves, and
they do generally give them insufficient sustenance.[27]

[Footnote 27: Hear the testimony of a slaveholder, on this subject, a
member of Congress from Virginia, from 1817 to 1830, Hon. Alexander

In the debate on the Missouri question in the U.S. Congress, 1819-20,
the admission of Missouri to the Union, as a slave state, was urged,
among other grounds, as a measure of humanity to the slaves of the
south. Mr. Smyth, of Virginia said, "The plan of our opponents seems
to be to confine the slave population to the southern states, to the
countries where _sugar, cotton, and tobacco_ are cultivated. But, sir,
by confining the slaves to a part of the country where crops are
raised for exportation, and the bread and meat are _purchased, you
doom them to scarcity and hunger_. Is it not obvious that the way to
render their situation more comfortable, is to allow them to be taken
where there is not the same motive to force the slave to INCESSANT
TOIL, that there is in the country where cotton, sugar, and tobacco,
are raised for exportation. It is proposed to hem in the blacks _where
they are_ HARD WORKED and ILL FED, that they may be rendered
unproductive and the race be prevented from increasing. . . . The
proposed measure would be EXTREME CRUELTY to the blacks. . . . You
would . . . doom them to SCARCITY and HARD LABOR."--[Speech of Mr.
Smyth, Jan. 28, 1820]--See National Intelligencer.

Those states where the crops are raised for exportation, and a large
part of the provisions purchased, are, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Alabama, Arkansas, Western Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and, to a
considerable extent, South Carolina. That this is the case in
Louisiana, is shown by the following. "Corn, flour, and bread stuffs,
generally are obtained from Kentucky, Ohio;" &c. See "Emigrants Guide
through the Valley of the Mississippi," Page 275. That it is the case
with Alabama, appears from the testimony of W. Jefferson Jones, Esq. a
lawyer of high standing in Mobile. In a series of articles published
by him in the Mobile Morning Chronicle, he says; (See that paper for
Aug. 26, 1837.)

"The people of Alabama _export_ what they raise, and _import_ nearly
all they consume." But it seems quite unnecessary to prove, what all
persons of much intelligence well know, that the states mentioned
export the larger part of what they raise, and import the larger part
of what they consume. Now more than _one million of slaves_ are held
in those states, and parts of states, where provisions are mainly
imported, and consequently they are "_doomed to scarcity and hunger_."]

Now let us make some estimate of the proportion which the slaves,
included in the foregoing _nine classes_, sustain to the whole number,
and then of the proportion affected by the operation of the _seven_
causes just enumerated.

It would be nearly impossible to form an estimate of the proportion of
the slaves included in a number of these classes, such as the old, the
worn out, the incurably diseased, maimed and deformed, idiots, feeble
infants, incorrigible slaves, &c. More or less of this description are
to be found on all the considerable plantations, and often, many on
the same plantation; though we have no accurate data for an estimate,
the proportion cannot be less than one in twenty-five of the whole
number of slaves, which would give a total of more than _one hundred
thousand_. Of some of the remaining classes we have data for a pretty
accurate estimate.

1st. _Lunatics_.--Various estimates have been made, founded upon the
data procured by actual investigation, prosecuted under the direction
of the Legislatures of different States; but the returns have been so
imperfect and erroneous, that little reliance can be placed upon them.
The Legislature of New Hampshire recently ordered investigations to be
made in every town in the state, and the number of insane persons to
be reported. A committee of the legislature, who had the subject in
charge say, in their report--"From many towns no returns have been
received, from others the accounts are erroneous, there being cases
_known to the committee_ which escaped the notice of the 'selectmen.'
The actual number of insane persons is therefore much larger than
appears by the documents submitted to the committee." The Medical
Society of Connecticut appointed a committee of their number, composed
of some of the most eminent physicians in the state, to ascertain and
report the whole number of insane persons in that state. The committee
say, in their report, "The number of towns from which returns have
been received is seventy, and the cases of insanity which have been
noticed in them are five hundred and ten." The committee add, "fifty
more towns remain to be heard from, and if insanity should be found
equally prevalent in them, the entire number will scarcely fall short
of _one thousand_ in the state." This investigation was made in 1821,
when the population of the state was less than two hundred and eighty
thousand. If the estimate of the Medical Society be correct, the
proportion of the insane to the whole population would be about one in
two hundred and eighty. This strikes us as a large estimate, and yet a
committee of the legislature of that state in 1837, reported seven
hundred and seven insane persons in the state, who were either wholly
or in part supported as _town paupers, or by charity_. It can hardly
be supposed that more than _two-thirds_ of the insane in Connecticut
belong to families _unable to support them_. On this supposition, the
whole number would be greater than the estimate of the Medical Society
sixteen years previous, when the population was perhaps thirty
thousand less. But to avoid the possibility of an over estimate, let
us suppose the present number of insane persons in Connecticut to be
only seven hundred.

The population of the state is now probably about three hundred and
twenty thousand; according to this estimate, the proportion of the
insane to the whole population, would be one to about four hundred and
sixty. Making this the basis of our calculation, and estimating the
slaves in the United States at two millions, seven hundred thousand,
their present probable number, and we come to this result, that there
are about six thousand insane persons among the slaves of the United
States. We have no adequate data by which to judge whether the
proportion of lunatics among slaves is greater or less than among the
whites; some considerations favor the supposition that it is less. But
the dreadful physical violence to which the slaves are subjected, and
the constant sunderings of their tenderest ties, might lead us to
suppose that it would be more. The only data in our possession is the
official census of Chatham county, Georgia, for 1838, containing the
number of lunatics among the whites and the slaves.--(See the Savannah
Georgian, July 24, 1838.) According to this census, the number of
lunatics among eight thousand three hundred and seventy three whites
in the country, is only _two,_ whereas, the number among ten thousand
eight hundred and ninety-one slaves, is _fourteen_.

2d. _The Deaf and Dumb._--The proportion of deaf and dumb persons to
the other classes of the community, is about one in two thousand. This
is the testimony of the directors of the 'American Asylum for the Deaf
and Dumb,' located at Hartford, Connecticut. Making this the basis of
our estimate, there would be one thousand six hundred deaf and dumb
persons among the slaves of the United States.

3d. _The Blind._--We have before us the last United States census,
from which it appears, that in 1830, the number of blind persons in
New Hampshire was one hundred and seventeen, out of a population of
two hundred and sixty-nine thousand five hundred and thirty-three.
Adopting this as our basis, the number of blind slaves in the United
States would be nearly one thousand three hundred.

4th. _Runaways._--Of the proportion of the slaves that run away, to
those that do not, and of the proportion of the runaways that are
_taken_ to those that escape entirely, it would be difficult to make a
probable estimate. Something, however, can be done towards such an
estimate. We have before us, in the Grand Gulf (Miss.) Advertiser, for
August 2, 1838, a list of runaways that were then in the jails of the
two counties of Adams and Warren, in that State; the names, ages, &c.
of each one given; and their owners are called upon to take them away.
The number of runaways thus taken up and committed in these _two_
counties is FORTY-SIX. The whole number of _counties_ in Mississippi
is _fifty-six._ Many of them, however, are thinly populated. Now,
without making this the basis of our estimate for the whole slave
population in all the state--which would doubtless make the number
much too large--we are sure no one who has any knowledge of facts as
they are in the south, will charge upon us an over-statement when we
say, that of the present generation of slaves, probably _one in
thirty_ is of that class--i.e., has at some time, perhaps often,
runaway and been retaken; on that supposition the whole number would
be not far from NINETY THOUSAND.

5th. _Hired Slaves._--It is impossible to estimate with accuracy the
proportion which the hired slaves bear to the whole number. That it is
very large all who have resided at the south, or traveled there, with
their eyes open, well know. Some of the largest slaveholders in the
country, instead of purchasing plantations and working their slaves
themselves, hire them out to others. This practice is very common.

Rev. Horace Moulton, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church in
Marlborough, Mass., who lived some years in Georgia, says: "A _large
proportion_ of the slave are owned by masters who keep them on purpose
to hire out."

Large numbers of slaves, especially in Mississippi, Louisiana,
Arkansas, Alabama, and Florida, are owned by _non-residents_;
thousands of them by northern capitalists, who _hire them out_. These
capitalists in many cases own large plantations, which are often
leased for a term of years with a 'stock' of slaves sufficient to work

Multitudes of slaves 'belonging' to _heirs_, are hired out by their
guardians till such heirs become of age, or by the executors or
trustees of persons deceased.

That the reader may form some idea of the large number of slaves that
are hired out, we insert below a few advertisements, as a specimen of
hundreds in the newspapers of the slave states.

From the "Pensacola Gazette," May 27.

"NOTICE TO SLAVEHOLDERS. Wanted upon my contract, on the Alabama,
Florida, and Georgia Rail Road, FOUR HUNDRED BLACK LABORERS, _for
which_ a liberal price will be paid.

R. LORING, _Contractor_."

The same paper has the following, signed by an officer of the United

subsist and quarter them beyond the limits of the yard. Persons having
Laborers to hire, will apply to the Commanding Officer.


From the "Richmond (Va.) Enquirer," April 10, 1838.

"LABORERS WANTED.--The James River, and Kenawha Company, are in
immediate want of SEVERAL HUNDRED good laborers. Gentlemen wishing to
send negroes from the country, are assured that the very best care
shall be taken of them.

RICHARD REINS, _Agent of the James River, and Kenawha Co_."

From the "Vicksburg (Mis.) Register," Dec. 27, 1838.

"60 NEGROES, males and females, _for hire for the year_ 1839. Apply to

From the "Georgia Messenger," Dec. 27, 1838. "NEGROES To HIRE. On the
first Tuesday next, Including CARPENTERS, BLACKSMITHS, SHOEMAKERS,
SEAMSTRESSES, COOKS, &c. &c. For information; Apply to OSSIAN

From the "Alexandria (D.C.) Gazette," Dec. 30, 1837.

"THE subscriber wishes to _employ_ by the month or year, ONE HUNDRED
ABLE BODIED MEN, AND THIRTY BOYS. Persons having servants, will do
well to give him a call. PHILIP ROACH, near Alexandria."

From the "Columbia (S.C.) Telescope," May 19, 1838.

"WANTED TO HIRE, twelve or fifteen NEGRO GIRLS, from ten to fourteen
years of age. They are wanted for the term of two or three years.

E.H. & J. FISHER."

"NEGROES WANTED. The Subscriber is desirous of hiring 50 of 60 _first
rate Negro Men_. WILSON NESBITT."

From the "Norfolk (Va.) Beacon," March 21, 1838.

"LABORERS WANTED. One hundred able bodied men are wanted. The hands
will be required to be delivered in Halifax by the _owners_. Apply to

From the "Lynchburg Virginian," Dec. 13, 1838.

"40 NEGRO MEN. The subscribers wish to hire for the next year 40 NEGRO

"HIRING of NEGROES. On Saturday, the 29th day of December, 1838, at
Mrs. Tayloe's tavern, in Amherst county, there will be _hired_ thirty
or forty valuable Negroes.

In addition to the above, I have for _hire_, 20 men, women, boys, and
girls--several of them excellent house servants. MAURICE H. GARLAND."

From the "Savannah Georgian," Feb. 5, 1838.

"WANTED TO HIRE, ONE HUNDRED prime negroes, by the year. J.V.

From the "North Carolina Standard," Feb. 31, 1838.

"NEGROES WANTED.--W. & A. STITH, will give twelve dollars per month
for FIFTY strong Negro fellows, to commence work immediately; and for
FIFTY more on the first day of February, and for FIFTY on the first
day of March."

From the "Lexington (Ky.) Reporter," Dec. 26, 1838.

"WILL BE HIRED, for one year; on the first day of January, 1839, on
the farm of the late Mrs. Meredith, a number of valuable NEGROES.
R.S. TODD, Sheriff of Fayette Co. And Curator for James and Elizabeth

"NEGROES TO HIRE. On Wednesday, the 26th inst. I will hire to the
highest bidder, the NEGROES belonging to Charles and Robert Innes.
GEO. W. WILLIAMS. _Guardian_."

The following _nine_ advertisements were published in one column of
the "Winchester Virginian," Dec. 20, 1838.


"WILL be offered for hire, at Captain Long's Hotel, a number of
SLAVES--men, women, boys and girls--belonging to the orphans of George
Ash, deceased. RICHARD W. BARTON." _Guardian_.

"WILL be offered for hire, at my Hotel, a number of SLAVES, consisting
of men, women, boys and girls. JOSEPH LONG. _Exr. of Edmund
Shackleford, dec'd_."

"WILL be offered for hire, for the ensuing year, at Capt. Long's
Hotel, a number of SLAVES. MOSES R. RICHARDS."

"WILL be offered for hire, the slaves belonging to the estate of James
Bowen, deceased, consisting of men, and women, boys and girls. GILES
COOK. _One of the Exrs. of James Bowen dec'd_."

"THE _hiring_ at Millwood will take place on Friday, the 28th day of
December, 1838. BURWELL."

"N.B. We are desired to say that other valuable NEGROES will also be
_hired_ at Millwood on the same day, besides those offered by Mr. B."

"The SLAVES of the late John Jolliffe, about twenty in number, and of
all ages and both sexes, will be offered for hire at Cain's Depot.
DAVID W. BARTON. _Administrator_."

"I WILL hire at public hiring before the tavern door of Dr. Lacy,
about 30 NEGROES, consisting of men, and women. JAMES R. RICHARDS."

"WILL be hired, at Carter's Tavern, on 31st of December, a number of

"NEGROES FOR HIRE, (PRIVATELY.) About twelve servants, consisting of
men, women, boys, and girls, for hire privately. Apply to the
subscriber at Col. Smith's in Battletown. JOHN W. OWEN."

A volume might easily be filled with advertisements like the
preceding, showing conclusively that _hired_ slaves must be a large
proportion of the whole number. The actual proportion has been
variously estimated, at 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/2, &c. if we adopt the last
as our basis, it will make the number of hired slaves, in the United

6th. _Slaves under overseers whose wages are a part of the
crop_.--That this is a common usage; appears from the following
testimony. The late Hon. John Taylor, of Caroline Co. Virginia, one of
the largest slaveholders in the state, President of the State
Agricultural Society, and three times elected to the Senate of the
United States, says, in his "Agricultural Essays," No. 15. P. 57,

"This necessary class of men, (overseers,) are bribed by
agriculturalists, not to improve, but to impoverish their land, _by a
share of the crop for one year_.... The _greatest_ annual crop, and
not the most judicious culture, advances his interest, and establishes
his character; and the fees of these land-doctors, are much higher for
killing than for curing.... The most which the land can yield, and
seldom or never improvement with a view to future profit, is a point
of common consent, and mutual need between the agriculturist and his
overseer.... Must the practice of hiring a man for one year, by a
share of the crop, to lay out all his skill and industry in killing
land, and as little as possible in improving it, be kept up to
commemorate the pious leaning of man to his primitive state of
ignorance and barbarity? _Unless this is abolished_, the attempt to
fertilize our lands is needless."

Philemon Bliss, Esq, of Elyria, Ohio, who lived in Florida, in 1834-5,

"It is common for owners of plantations and slaves, to hire overseers
to take charge of them, while they themselves reside at a distance.
_Their wages depend principally upon the amount of labor which they
can exact from the slave_. The term "good overseer," signifies one who
can make the greatest amount of the staple, cotton for instance, from
a given number of hands, besides raising sufficient provisions for
their consumption. He has no interest in the life of the slave. Hence
the fact, so notorious at the south, that negroes are driven harder
and fare worse under overseers than under their owners."

William Ladd, Esq. of Minot, Maine, formerly a slaveholder in Florida,
speaking, in a recent letter of the system of labor adopted there,
says; "The compensation of the overseers _was a certain portion of the

Rev. Phineas Smith, of Centreville, Allegany Co. N.Y. who has
recently returned from a four years' residence, in the Southern slave
states and Texas, says,

"The mode in which _many_ plantations are managed, is calculated and
_designed_, as an inducement to the slave driver, to lay upon the
slave the _greatest possible burden, the overseer being entitled by
contract, to a certain share of the crop_."

We leave the reader to form his own opinion, as to the proportion of
slaves under overseers, whose wages are in proportion to the crop,
raised by them. We have little doubt that we shall escape the charge
of wishing to make out a "strong case" when we put the proportion at
_one-eighth_ of the whole number of slaves, which would be _three
hundred and fifty thousand_.

Without drawing out upon the page a sum in addition for the reader to
"run up," it is easily seen that the slaves in the preceding classes
amount to more than ELEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND, exclusive of the deaf and
dumb, and the blind, some of whom, especially the former, might be
profitable to their "owners";

Now it is plainly for the interest of the "owners" of these slaves, or
of those who have the charge of them, to _treat than cruelly_, to
overwork, under-feed, half-clothe, half-shelter, poison, or kill
outright, the aged, the broken down, the incurably diseased, idiots,
feeble infants, most of the blind, some deaf and dumb, &c. It is
besides a part of the slave-holder's creed, that it is _for his
interest_ to treat with terrible severity, all runaways and the
incorrigibly stubborn, thievish, lazy, &c.; also for those who hire
slaves, to overwork them; also for overseers to overwork the slaves
under them, when their own wages are increased by it.

We have thus shown that it would be "_for the interest_," of masters
and overseers to treat with _habitual_ cruelty _more than one million_
of the slaves in the United States. But this is not all; as we have
said already, it is for the interest of overseers generally, whether
their wages are proportioned to the crop or not, to overwork the
slaves; we need not repeat the reasons.

Neither is it necessary to re-state the arguments, going to show that
it is for the interest of slaveholders, who cultivate the great
southern staples, especially cotton, and the sugarcane, to overwork
periodically _all_ their slaves, and _habitually_ the majority of
them, when the demand for those staples creates high prices, as has
been the case with cotton for many years, with little exception.
Instead of entering into a labored estimate to get at the proportion
of the slaves, affected by the operation of these and the other causes
enumerated, we may say, that they operate _directly_ on the "field
hands," employed in raising the southern staples, and indirectly upon
all classes of the slaves.

Finally, the conclude this head by turning the objector's negative
proposition into an affirmative one, and state formally what has been
already proved.

_It is for the interest of shareholders, upon their own principles,
and by their own showing, TO TREAT CRUELLY the great body of their


To this we reply in brief, 1st. It has been already shown under a
previous head, that, in considerable sections of the slave states,
especially in the South West, the births among slaves are fewer than
the deaths, which would exhibit a fearful decrease of the slave
population in those sections, if the deficiency were not made up by
the slave trade from the upper country.

2d. The fact that all children born of slave _mothers_, whether their
fathers are whites or free colored persons, are included in the census
with the slaves, and further that all children born of white mothers,
whose fathers are mulattos or blacks, are also included in the census
with colored persons and almost invariably with _slaves_, shows that
it is impossible to ascertain with any accuracy, _what is the actual
increase of the slaves alone._

3d. The fact that thousands of slaves, generally in the prime of life,
are annually smuggled into the United States from Africa, Cuba, and
elsewhere, makes it manifest that all inferences drawn from the
increase of the slave population, which do not make large deductions,
for constant importations, must be fallacious. Mr. Middleton of South
Carolina, in a speech in Congress in 1819, declared that "THIRTEEN
Mercer of Virginia, in a speech in Congress about the same time
declared that "_Cargoes_," of African slaves were smuggled into the
South to a deplorable extent.

Mr. Wright, of Maryland, in a speech in Congress, estimated the number
annually at FIFTEEN THOUSAND. Miss Martineau, in her recent work,
(Society in America,) informs us that a large slaveholder in
Louisiana, assured her in 1835, that the annual importation of native
Africans was from thirteen to fifteen thousand.

The President of the United States, in his message to Congress,
December, 1837, says, "The large force under Commodore Dallas, (on the
West India station,) has been most actively and efficiently employed
in protecting our commerce, IN PREVENTING THE IMPORTATION OF SLAVES,"
&c. &c.

The New Orleans Courier of 15th February, 1839, has these remarks:

"It is believed that African negroes have been _repeatedly_ introduced
into the United States. The number and the proximity of the Florida
ports to the island of Cuba, make it no difficult matter; nor is our
extended frontier on the Sabine and Red rivers, at all unfavorable to
the smuggler. Human laws have, in all countries and ages, been
violated whenever the inducements to do so afforded hopes of great

"The United States' law against the importation of Africans, _could it
be strictly enforced_, might in a few years give the sugar and cotton
planters of Texas advantage over those of this state; as it would, we
apprehend, enable the former, under a stable government, to furnish
cotton and sugar at a lower price than we can do. When giving
publicity to such reflections as the subject seems to suggest, we
protest against being considered advocates for any violation of the
laws of our country. Every good citizen must respect those laws,
notwithstanding we may deem them likely to be evaded by men less

That both the south and north swarm with men 'less scrupulous,' every
one knows.

The Norfolk (Va.) Beacon, of June 8, 1837, has the following:

"_Slave Trade.--Eight African negroes_ have been taken into custody,
at Apalachicola, by the U.S. Deputy Marshal, alleged to have been
imported from Cuba, on board the schooner Emperor, Captain Cox.
Indictments for piracy, under the acts for the suppression of the
slave trade, have been found against Captain Cox, and other parties
implicated. The negroes were bought in Cuba by a Frenchman named
Malherbe, formerly a resident of Tallahassee, who was drowned soon
after the arrival of the schooner."

The following testimony of Rev. Horace Moulton, now a minister of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, in Marlborough, Mass., who resided some
years in Georgia, reveals some of the secrets of the slave-smugglers,
and the connivance of the Georgia authorities at their doings. It is
contained in a letter dated February 24, 1839.

"The foreign slave-trade was carried on to some considerable extent
when I was at the south, notwithstanding a law had been made some ten
years previous to this, making this traffic piracy on the high seas. I
was somewhat acquainted with the secrets of this traffic, and, I
suppose, I might have engaged in it, had I so desired. Were you to
visit all the plantations in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and
Mississippi, I think you would be convinced that the horrors of the
traffic in human flesh have not yet ceased. I was _surprised to find
so many that could not speak English among the slaves,_ until the
mystery was explained. This was done, when I learned that
slave-cargoes were landed on the coast of Florida, not a thousand
miles from St. Augustine. They could, and can still, in my opinion, be
landed as safely on this coast as in any port of this continent. You
can imagine for yourself how easy it was to carry on the traffic
between this place and the West Indies. When landed on the coast of
Florida, it is an easy matter to distribute them throughout the more
southern states. The law which makes it piracy to traffic in the
foreign slave trade is a dead letter; and I doubt not it has been so
in the more southern states ever since it was enacted. For you can
perceive at once, that interested men, who believe the colored man is so
much better off here than he possibly can be in Africa, will not
hesitate to kidnap the blacks whenever an opportunity presents itself.
I will notice one fact that came under my own observation, which will
convince you that the horrors of the foreign slave-trade have not yet
ceased among our southern gentry. It is as follows. A slave ship,
which I have reason to believe was employed by southern men, came near
the port of Savannah with about FIVE HUNDRED SLAVES, from Guinea and
Congo. It was said that the ship was driven there by contrary winds;
and the crew, pretending to be short of provisions, run the ship into
a by place, near the shore, between Tybee Light and Darien, to recruit
their stores. Well, as Providence would have it, the revenue cutter,
at that time taking a trip along the coast, fell in with this slave
ship, took her as a prize, and brought her up into the port of
Savannah. The cargo of human chattels was unloaded, and the captives
were placed in an old barracks, in the fort of Savannah, under the
protection of the city authorities, they pretending that they should
return them all to their native country again, as soon as a convenient
opportunity presented itself. The ship's crew of course were arrested,
and confined in jail. Now for the sequel of this history. About one
third part of the negroes died in a few weeks after they were landed,
in seasoning, so called, or in becoming acclimated--or, as I should
think, a distemper broke out among them, and they died like the
Israelites when smitten with the plague. Those who did not die in
seasoning, must be hired out a little while, to be sure, as the city
authorities could not afford to keep them on expense doing nothing. As
it happened, the man in whose employ I was when the cargo of human
beings arrived, hired some twenty or thirty of them, and put them
under my care. They continued with me until the sickly season drove me
off to the north. I soon returned, but could not hear a word about the
crew of pirates. They had something like a mock trial, as I should
think, for no one, as I ever learned, was condemned, fined, or
censured. But where were the poor captives, who were going to be
returned to Africa by the city authorities, as soon as they could make
it convenient? Oh, forsooth, those of whom I spoke, being under my
care, were tugging away for the same man; the remainder were scattered
about among different planters. When I returned to the north again,
the next year, the city authorities had not, down to that time; made
it convenient to return these poor victims. The fact is, they belonged
there; and, in my opinion, they were designed to be landed near by the
place where the revenue cutter seized them. Probably those very
planters for whom they were originally designed received them; and
still there was a pretence kept up that they would be returned to
Africa. This must have been done, that the consciences of those might
be quieted, who were looking for justice to be administered to these
poor captives. It is easy for a company of slaveholders, who desire to
traffic in human flesh, to fit out a vessel, under Spanish colors, and
then go prowling about the African coast for the victims of their
lusts. If all the facts with relation to the African slave-trade, now
secretly carried on at the south, could be disclosed, the people of
the free states would be filled with amazement."

It is plain, from the nature of this trade, and the circumstances
under which it is carried on, that the number of slaves imported would
be likely to be estimated far _below_ the truth. There can be little
doubt that the estimate of Mr. Wright, of Maryland, (fifteen thousand
annually,) is some thousands too small. But even according to his
estimate, the African slave-trade adds ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND
SLAVES TO EACH UNITED STATES' CENSUS. These are in the prime of life,
and their children would swell the slave population many thousands
annually--thus making a great addition to each census.

4. It is a notorious fact, that large numbers of free colored persons
are kidnapped every year in the free states, taken to the south, and
sold as slaves.

Hon. GEORGE M. STROUD, Judge of the Criminal Court of Philadelphia, in
his sketch of the slave laws, speaking of the kidnapping of free
colored persons in the northern states, says--

"Remote as is the city of Philadelphia from those slaveholding states
in which the introduction of slaves from places within the territory
of the United States is freely permitted, and where also the market is
tempting, _it has been ascertained,_ that MORE THAN THIRTY FREE
CARRIED AWAY, WITHIN THE LAST TWO YEARS. Five of these, through the
kind interposition of several humane gentlemen, have been restored to
their friends, though not without _great expense and difficulty_; the
others _are still retained in bondage_, and if rescued at all, it must
be by sending white witnesses a journey of more than a thousand miles.
The costs attendant upon lawsuits, under such circumstances, will
probably fall but little short of the estimated value, as slaves, of
the individuals kidnapped."

The following is an extract from Mrs. CHILD's Appeal, pp. 64-6.

"I know the names of four colored citizens of Massachusetts, who went
to Georgia on board a vessel, were seized under the laws of that
state, and sold as slaves. They have sent the most earnest
exhortations to their families and friends, to do something for their
relief; but the attendant expenses require more money than the friends
of negroes are apt to have, and the poor fellows, as yet, remain

"A New York paper, of November, 1829, contains the following caution.

_"Beware of Kidnappers!_--It is well understood, that there is at
present in this city, a gang of kidnappers, busily engaged in their
vocation, of stealing colored children for the southern market. It is
believed that three or four have been stolen within as many days.
There are suspicions of a foul nature connected with some who serve
the police in subordinate capacities. It is hinted that there may be
those in some authority, not altogether ignorant of these diabolical
practices. Let the public be on their guard! It is still fresh in the
memories of all, that a cargo, or rather drove of negroes, was made up
from this city and Philadelphia, about the time that the emancipation
of all the negroes in this state took place, under our present
constitution, and were taken through Virginia, the Carolinas, and
Tennessee, and disposed of in the state of Mississippi. Some of those
who were taken from Philadelphia were persons of intelligence; and
after they had been driven through the country in chains, and disposed
of by sale on the Mississippi, wrote back to their friends, and were
rescued from bondage. The persons who were guilty of this abominable
transaction are known, and now reside in North Carolina. They may very
probably be engaged in similar enterprizes at the present time--at
least there is reason to believe, that the system of kidnapping free
persons of color from the northern cities, has been carried on more
extensively than the public arc generally aware of."

GEORGE BRADBURN, Esq. of Nantucket, Mass. a member of the Legislature
of that state, at its last session, made a report to that body, March
6, 1839, 'On the deliverance of citizens liable to be sold as slaves.'
That report contains the following facts and testimony.

"The following facts are a few out of a VAST MULTITUDE, to which the
attention of the undersigned has been directed.

"On the 27th of February last, the undersigned had an interview with
the Rev. Samuel Snowden, a respectable and intelligent clergyman of
the city of Boston. This gentleman stated, and he is now ready to make
oath, that during the last six years, he has himself, by the aid of
various benevolent individuals, procured the deliverance from jail of
six citizens of Massachusetts, who had been, arrested and imprisoned
as runaway slaves, and who, but for his timely interposition, would
have been sold into perpetual bondage. The names and the places of
imprisonment of those persons, as stated by Mr. S. were as follows:

"James Hight, imprisoned at Mobile; William Adams, at Norfolk; William
Holmes, also at Norfolk; James Oxford, at Wilmington; James Smith, at
Baton Rouge; John Tidd, at New Orleans.

"In 1836, Mary Smith, a native of this state, returning from New
Orleans, whither she had been in the capacity of a servant, was cast
upon the shores of North Carolina. She was there seized and sold as a
slave. Information of the fact reached her friends at Boston. Those
friends made an effort to obtain her liberation. They invoked the
assistance of the Governor of this Commonwealth. A correspondence
ensued between His Excellency and the Governor of North Carolina:
copies of which were offered for the inspection of your committee.
Soon afterwards, by permission of the authorities of North Carolina,
'Mary Smith' returned to Boston. But it turned out, that this was not
_the_ Mary Smith, whom our worthy Governor, and other excellent
individuals of Boston, had taken so unwearied pains to redeem from
slavery. It was another woman, of the same name, who was also a native
of Massachusetts, and had been seized in North Carolina as a runaway
slave. The Mary Smith has not yet been heard of. If alive, she is now,
in all probability, wearing the chains of slavery.

"About a year and a half since, several citizens of different free
states were rescued from slavery, at New Orleans, by the direct
personal efforts of an acquaintance of the undersigned. The benevolent
individual alluded to is Jacob Barker, Esq. a name not unknown to the
commercial world. Mr. Barker is a resident of New Orleans. A statement
of the cases in reference is contained in a letter addressed by him to
the Hon. Samuel H. Jenks, of Nantucket."

The letter of Mr. Barker, referred to in this report to the
Legislature of Massachusetts, bears date August 19, 1837. The
following are extracts from it.

"A free man, belonging to Baltimore, by the name of Ephraim Larkin,
who came here cook of the William Tell, was arrested and thrown into
prison a few weeks since, and sent in chains to work on the road. I
heard of it, and with difficulty found him; and after the most
diligent and active exertions, got him released--in effecting which, I
traveled in the heat of the day, thermometer ranging in the shade from
94 to 100, more than twenty times to and from prison, the place of his
labor, and the different courts, a distance of near three miles from
my residence; and after I had established his freedom, had to pay for
his arrest, maintenance, and the advertising him as a runaway slave,
$29.89, as per copy of bill herewith--the allowance for work not
equalling the expenses, the amount augments with every day of

"In pursuing the cook of the William Tell, I found three other free
men, confined in the same prison; one belonged also to Baltimore, by
the name of Leaven Dogerty: he was also released, on my paying $28
expenses; one was a descendant of the Indians who once inhabited
Nantucket--his name is Eral Lonnon. Lonnon had been six weeks in
prison; he was released without difficulty, on my paying $20.38
expenses--and no one seemed to know why he had been confined or
arrested, as the law does not presume persons of mixed blood to be
slaves. But for the others, I had great difficulty in procuring what
was considered competent witnesses to prove them free. No complaint of
improper conduct had been made against either of them. At one time,
the Recorder said the witness must be white; at another, that one
respectable witness was insufficient; at another, that a person who
had been (improperly) confined and released, was not a competent
witness, &c. &c. Lonnon has been employed in the South Sea fishery
from Nantucket and New Bedford, nearly all his life; has sailed on
those voyages in the ships Eagle, Maryland, Gideon, Triton, and
Samuel. He was born at Marshpee, Plymouth (Barnstable) county, Mass.
and prefers to encounter the leviathan of the deep, rather than the
turnkeys of New Orleans.

"The other was born in St. Johns, Nova Scotia, and bears the name of
William Smith, a seaman by profession.

"Immediately after these men were released, two others were arrested.
They attempted to escape, and being pursued, ran for the river, in the
vain hope of being able to swim across the Mississippi, a distance of
a mile, with a current of four knots. One soon gave out, and made for
a boat which had been despatched for their recovery, and was saved;
the other being a better swimmer, continued on until much exhausted,
then also made for the boat--it was too late; he sank before the boat
could reach him, and was drowned. They claimed to be freemen.

"On Sunday last I was called to the prison of the Municipality in
which I reside, to serve on an inquest on the body of a drowned man.
There I saw one other free man confined, by the name of Henry Tier, a
yellow man, born in New York, and formerly in my employ. He had been
confined as a supposed runaway, near six months, without a particle of
testimony; although from his color, the laws of Louisiana presume him
to be free. I applied immediately for his release, which was promptly
granted. At first, expenses similar to those exacted in the third
Municipality were required; but on my demonstrating to the recorder
that the law imposed no such burden on free men, he was released
without any charge whatever. How free men can obtain satisfaction for
having been thus wrongfully imprisoned, and made to work in chains on
the highway, is not for me to decide. I apprehend no satisfaction can
be had without more active friends, willing to espouse their cause,
than can be found in this quarter. Therefore I repeat, that no person
of color should come here without a certificate of freedom from the
governor of the state to which he belongs.

"Very respectfully, your assured friend, Jacob Barker."

"N.B.--Since writing the preceding, I have procured the release of
another free man from the prison of the third Municipality, on the
payment of $39.65, as per bill, copy herewith. His name is William
Lockman--he was born in New Jersey, of free parents, and resides at
Philadelphia. A greater sum was required which was reduced by the
allowance of his maintenance (written _labor_,) while at work on the
road, which the law requires the Municipality to pay; but it had not
before been so expounded in the third Municipality. I hope to get it
back in the case of the other three. The allowance for labor, in
addition to their maintenance, is twenty-five cents per day; but they
require those illiterate men to advance the whole before they can
leave the prison, and then to take a certificate for their labor, and
go for it to another department--to collect which, is ten times more
trouble than the money when received is worth. While these free men,
without having committed any fault, were compelled to work in chains,
on the roads, in the burning sun, for 25 cents per day, and pay in
advance 18 3-4 cents per day for maintenance, doctor's, and other
bills, and not able to work half their time, I paid others, working on
ship-board, in sight, two dollars per day. J.B."

The preceding letter of Mr. Barker, furnishes grounds for the belief,
that _hundreds_, if not _thousands_ of free colored persons, from the
different states of this Union, both slave and free from the West
Indies, South America, Mexico, and the British possessions in North
America, and from other parts of the world, are reduced to slavery
_every year_ in our slave states. If a single individual, in the
course of a few days, _accidentally_ discovered _six_ colored free
men, working in irons, and soon to be sold as slaves, in a _single_
southern city, is it not fair to infer, that in all the slave states,
there must be _multitudes_ of such persons, now in slavery, and that
this number is rapidly increasing, by ceaseless accessions?

The letter of Mr. Barker is valuable, also, as a graphic delineation
of the 'public opinion' of the south. The great difficulty with which
the release of these free men was procured, notwithstanding the
personal efforts of Mr. Jacob Barker, who is a gentleman of influence,
and has, we believe, been an alderman of New Orleans, reveals a
'public opinion,' insensible as adamant to the liberty of colored men.

It would be easy to fill scores of pages with details similar to the
preceding. We have furnished enough, however, to show, that, in all
probability, _each_ United States' census of the _slave_ population,
is increased by the addition to it of _thousands_ of free colored
persons, kidnapped and sold as slaves.

5th. To argue that the rapid multiplication of any class in the
community, is proof that such a class is well-clothed, well-housed,
abundantly fed, and very _comfortable_, is as absurd as to argue that
those who have _few children_, must of course, be ill-clothed,
ill-housed, badly lodged, overworked, ill-fed, &c. &c. True,
privations and inflictions may be carried to such an extent as to
occasion a fearful diminishment of population. That was the case
generally with the slave population in the West Indies, and, as has
been shown, is true of certain portions of the southern states. But
the fact that such an effect is _not_ produced, does not prove that
the slaves do not experience great privations and severe inflictions.
They may suffer much hardship, and great cruelties, without
experiencing so great a derangement of the vital functions as to
prevent child-bearing. The Israelites multiplied with astonishing
rapidity, under the task-masters and burdens of Egypt. Does this
falsify the declarations of Scripture, that 'they sighed by reason of
their bondage,' and that the Egyptians 'made them serve _with rigor_,'
and made 'their lives bitter with _hard bondage_.' 'I have seen,' said
God, 'their _afflictions_. I have beard their _groanings_,' &c. The
history of the human race shows, that great _privations and much
suffering_ may be experienced, without materially checking the rapid
increase of population.

Besides, if we should give to the objection all it claims, it would
merely prove, that the female slaves, or rather a portion of them, are
in a comfortable condition; and that, so far as the absolute
necessities of life are concerned, the females of _child-bearing_ age,
in Delaware, Maryland, northern, western, and middle Virginia, the
upper parts of Kentucky and Missouri, and among the mountains of east
Tennessee and western North Carolina, are in general tolerably well
supplied. The same remark, with some qualifications, may be made of
the slaves generally, in those parts of the country where the people
are slaveholders, mainly, that they may enjoy the privilege and profit
of being _slave-breeders_.


ANSWER. It was public opinion that _made him a slave_. In a republican
government the people make the laws, and those laws are merely public
opinion _in legal forms_. We repeat it,--public opinion made them
slaves, and keeps them slaves; in other words, it sunk them from men
to chattels, and now, forsooth, this same public opinion will see to
it, that these _chattels_ are treated like _men!_

By looking a little into this matter, and finding out how this 'public
opinion' (law) protects the slaves in some particulars, we can judge
of the amount of its protection in others. 1. It protects the slaves
from _robbery_, by declaring that those who robbed their mothers may
rob them and their children. "All negroes, mulattoes, or mestizoes who
now are, or shall hereafter be in this province, and all their
offspring, are hereby declared to be, and shall remain, forever,
hereafter, absolute slaves, and shall follow the condition of the
mother."--Law of South Carolina, 2 Brevard's Digest, 229. Others of
the slave states have similar laws.

2. It protects their _persons_, by giving their master a right to
flog, wound, and beat them when he pleases. See Devereaux's North
Carolina Reports, 263.--Case of the State vs. Mann, 1829; in which the
Supreme Court decided, that a master who _shot_ at a female slave and
wounded her, because she got loose from him when he was flogging her,
and started to run from him, had violated _no law_, AND COULD NOT BE
INDICTED. It has been decided by the highest courts of the slave
states generally, that assault and battery upon a slave is not
indictable as a criminal offence.

The following decision on this point was made by the Supreme Court of
South Carolina in the case of the State vs. Cheetwood, 2 Hill's
Reports, 459.

_Protection of slaves_.--"The criminal offence of assault and battery
_cannot, at common law, be committed on the person of a slave_. For,
notwithstanding for some purposes a slave is regarded in law as a
person, yet generally he is a mere chattel personal, and his right of
personal protection belongs to his master, who can maintain an action
of trespass for the battery of his slave.

"There can be therefore no offence against the state for a mere
beating of a slave, unaccompanied by any circumstances of cruelty, or
an attempt to kill and murder. The peace of the state is not thereby
broken; for a slave is not generally regarded as legally capable of
being within the peace of the state. He is not a citizen, and _is not
in that character entitled to her protection_."

This 'public opinion' protects the _persons_ of the slaves by
depriving them of Jury trial;[28] their _consciences_, by forbidding
them to assemble for worship, unless their oppressors are present;[29]
their _characters_, by branding them as liars, in denying them their
oath in law;[30] their _modesty_, by leaving their master to clothe,
or let them go naked, as he pleases;[31] and their _health_, by
leaving him to feed or starve them, to work them, wet or dry, with or
without sleep, to lodge them, with or without covering, as the whim
takes him;[32] and their _liberty_, marriage relations, parental
authority, and filial obligations, by _annihilating_ the whole.[33]
This is the protection which 'PUBLIC OPINION,' in the form of _law_,
affords to the slaves; this is the chivalrous knight, always in
stirrups, with lance in rest, to champion the cause of the slaves.

[Footnote 28: Law of South Carolina. James' Digest, 392-3. Law of
Louisiana. Martin's Digest, 42. Law of Virginia. Rev. Code, 429.]

[Footnote 29: Miss. Rev. Code, 390. Similar laws exist in the slave
states generally.]

[Footnote 30: "A slave cannot be a witness against a white person,
either in a civil or criminal cause." Stroud's Sketch of the Laws of
Slavery, 65.]

[Footnote 31: Stroud's Sketch of the Slave Laws, 132.]

[Footnote 32: Stroud's Sketch, 26-32.]

[Footnote 33: Stroud's Sketch, 22-24.]

Public opinion, protection to the slave! Brazen effrontery, hypocrisy,
and falsehood! We have, in the laws cited and referred to above, the
formal testimony of the Legislatures of the slave states, that,
'public opinion' does pertinaciously _refuse_ to protect the slaves;
not only so, but that it does itself persecute and plunder them all:
that it originally planned, and now presides over, sanctions, executes
and perpetuates the whole system of robbery, torture, and outrage
under which they groan.

In all the slave states, this 'public opinion' has taken away from the
slave his _liberty_; it has robbed him of his right to his own body,
of his right to improve his mind, of his right to read the Bible, of
his right to worship God according to his conscience, of his right to
receive and enjoy what he earns, of his right to live with his wife
and children, of his right to better his condition, of his right to
eat when he is hungry, to rest when he is tired, to sleep when be
needs it, and to cover his nakedness with clothing: this 'public
opinion' makes the slave a prisoner for life on the plantation, except
when his jailor pleases to let him out with a 'pass,' or sells him,
and transfers him in irons to another jail-yard: this 'public opinion'
traverses the country, buying up men, women, children--chaining them
in coffles, and driving them forever from their nearest friends; it
sets them on the auction table, to be handled, scrutinized, knocked
off to the highest bidder; it proclaims that they shall not have their
liberty; and, if their masters give it them, 'public opinion' seizes
and throws them back into slavery. This same 'public opinion' has
formally attached the following legal penalties to the following acts
of slaves.

If more than seven slaves are found together in any road, without a
white person, _twenty lashes a piece_; for visiting a plantation
without a written pass, ten lashes; for letting loose a boat from
where it is made fast, _thirty-nine lashes for the first offence_; and
for the second, '_shall have cut off from his head one ear_;' for
keeping or carrying a _club, thirty-nine lashes_; for having any
article for sale, without a ticket from his master, _ten lashes_; for
traveling in any other than 'the most usual and accustomed road,' when
going alone to any place, _forty lashes_; for traveling in the night,
without a pass, _forty lashes_; for being found in another person's
negro-quarters, _forty lashes_; for hunting with dogs in the woods,
_thirty lashes_; for being on _horseback_ without the written
permission of his master, _twenty-five lashes_; for riding or going
abroad in the night, or riding horses in the day time, without leave,
a slave may be whipped, _cropped_, or _branded in the cheek_ with the
letter R, or otherwise punished, _not extending to life_, or so as to
render him _unfit for labor_. The laws referred to may be found by
consulting 2 Brevard's Digest, 228, 213, 216; Haywood's Manual, 78,
chap. 13, pp. 518, 529; 1 Virginia Revised Code, 722-3; Prince's
Digest, 454; 2 Missouri Laws, 741; Mississippi Revised Code, 571. Laws
similar to these exist throughout the southern slave code. Extracts
enough to fill a volume might be made from these laws, showing that
the protection which 'public opinion' grants to the slaves, is hunger,
nakedness, terror, bereavements, robbery, imprisonment, the stocks,
iron collars, hunting and worrying them with dogs and guns, mutilating
their bodies, and murdering them.

A few specimens of the laws and the judicial decisions on them, will
show what is the state of 'public opinion' among slaveholders towards
their slaves. Let the following suffice.--'Any person may lawfully
kill a slave, who has been outlawed for running away and lurking in
swamps, &c.'--Law of North Carolina; Judge Stroud's Sketch of the
Slave Laws, 103; Haywood's Manual, 524. 'A slave _endeavoring_ to
entice another slave to runaway, if provisions, &c. be prepared for
the purpose of aiding in such running away, shall be punished with
DEATH. And a slave who shall aid the slave so endeavoring to entice
another slave to run away, shall also suffer DEATH.'--Law of South
Carolina; Stroud's Sketch of Slave Laws, 103-4; 2 Brevard's Digest,
233, 244. Another law of South Carolina provides that if a slave
shall, when absent from the plantation, refuse to be examined by '_any
white_ person,' (no matter how crazy or drunk,) 'such white person may
seize and chastise him; and if the slave shall _strike_ such white
person, such slave may be lawfully killed.'--2 Brevard's Digest, 231.

The following is a law of Georgia.--'If any slave shall presume to
strike any white person, such slave shall, upon trial and conviction
before the justice or justices, suffer such punishment for the first
offence as they shall think fit, not extending to life or limb; and
for the second offence, DEATH.'--Prince's Digest, 450. The same law
exists in South Carolina, with this difference, that death is made the
punishment for the _third_ offence. In both states, the law contains
this remarkable proviso: 'Provided always, that such striking be not
done by the command and in the defence of the person or property of
the owner, or other person having the government of such slave, in
which case the slave shall be wholly excused!' According to this law,
if a slave, by the direction of his OVERSEER, strike a white man who
is beating said overseer's _dog_, 'the slave shall be wholly excused;'
but if the white man has rushed upon the slave himself, instead of the
_dog_, and is furiously beating him, if the slave strike back but a
single blow, the legal penalty is 'ANY _punishment_ not extending to
life or limb;' and if the tortured slave has a second onset made upon
him, and, after suffering all but death, again strike back in
self-defence, the law KILLS him for it. So, if a female slave, in
obedience to her mistress, and in defence of 'her property,' strike a
white man who is kicking her mistress' pet kitten, she 'shall be
wholly excused,' saith the considerate law: but if the unprotected
girl, when beaten and kicked _herself_, raise her hand against her
brutal assailant, the law condemns her to 'any punishment, not
extending to life or limb; and if a wretch assail her again, and
attempt to violate her chastity, and the trembling girl, in her
anguish and terror, instinctively raise her hand against him in
self-defence, she shall, saith the law, 'suffer DEATH.'

Reader, this diabolical law is the 'public opinion' of Georgia and
South Carolina toward the slaves. This is the vaunted 'protection'
afforded them by their 'high-souled chivalry.' To show that the
'public opinion' of the slave states far more effectually protects the
_property_ of the master than the _person_ of the slave, the reader is
referred to two laws of Louisiana, passed in 1819. The one attaches a
penalty 'not exceeding one thousand dollars,' and 'imprisonment not
exceeding two years,' to the crime of 'cutting or breaking any iron
chain or collar,' which any master of slaves has used to prevent their
running away; the other, a penalty 'not exceeding five hundred
dollars,' to 'wilfully cutting out the tongue, putting out the eye,
_cruelly_ burning, or depriving any slave of _any limb_.' Look at
it--the most horrible dismemberment conceivable cannot be punished by
a fine of _more_ than five hundred dollars. The law expressly fixes
that, as the utmost limit, and it _may_ not be half that sum; not a
single moment's imprisonment stays the wretch in his career, and the
next hour he may cut out another slave's tongue, or burn his hand off.
But let the same man break a chain put upon a slave, to keep him from
running away, and, besides paying double the penalty that could be
exacted from him for cutting off a slave's leg, the law imprisons him
not exceeding two years!

This law reveals the _heart_ of slaveholders towards their slaves,
their diabolical indifference to the most excruciating and protracted
torments inflicted on them by '_any_ person;' it reveals, too, the
_relative_ protection afforded by 'public opinion' to the _person_ of
the slave, in appalling contrast with the vastly surer protection
which it affords to the master's _property_ in the slave. The wretch
who cuts out the tongue, tears out the eyes, shoots off the arms, or
burns off the feet of a slave, over a slow fire, _cannot_ legally be
fined more than five hundred dollars; but if he should in pity loose a
chain from his galled neck, placed there by the master to keep him
from escaping, and thus put his property in some jeopardy, he may be
fined _one thousand dollars_, and thrust into a dungeon for two years!
and this, be it remembered, not for _stealing_ the slave from the
master, nor for _enticing_, or even advising him to run away, or
giving him any information how he can effect his escape; but merely,
because, touched with sympathy for the bleeding victim, as he sees the
rough iron chafe the torn flesh at every turn, he removes it;--and, as
escape without this incumbrance would be easier than with it, the
master's property in the slave is put at some risk. For having caused
this slight risk, the law provides a punishment--fine not exceeding
one thousand dollars, and imprisonment not exceeding _two years_. We
say 'slight risk,' because the slave may not be disposed to encounter
the dangers, and hunger, and other sufferings of the woods, and the
certainty of terrible inflictions if caught; and if he should attempt
it, the risk of losing him is small. An advertisement of five lines
will set the whole community howling on his track; and the trembling
and famished fugitive is soon scented out in his retreat, and dragged
back and delivered over to his tormentors.

The preceding law is another illustration of the 'protection' afforded
to the limbs and members of slaves, by 'public opinion' among

Here follow two other illustrations of the brutal indifference of
'public opinion' to the _torments_ of the slave, while it is full of
zeal to compensate the master, if any one disables his slave so as to
lessen his market value. The first is a law of South Carolina. It
provides, that if a slave, engaged in his owner's service, be attacked
by a person 'not having sufficient cause for so doing,' and if the
slave shall be '_maimed or disabled_' by him, so that the owner
suffers a loss from his inability to labor, the person maiming him
shall pay for his 'lost time,' and 'also the charges for the cure of
the slave!' This Vandal law does not deign to take the least notice of
the anguish of the '_maimed' slave_, made, perhaps, a groaning cripple
for life; the horrible wrong and injury done to _him_, is passed over
in utter silence. It is thus declared to be _not a criminal act_. But
the pecuniary interests of the master are not to be thus neglected by
'public opinion'. Oh no! its tender bowels run over with sympathy at
the master's injury in the 'lost _time_' of his slave, and it
carefully provides that he shall have pay for the whole of it.--See 2
_Brevard's Digest_, 231, 2.

A law similar to the above has been passed in Louisiana, which
contains an additional provision for the benefit of the
_master_--ordaining, that 'if the slave' (thus _maimed and disabled_,)
'be forever rendered unable to work,' the person maiming, shall pay
the master the appraised value of the slave before the injury, and
shall, in addition, _take_ the slave, and maintain him during life.'
Thus 'public opinion' transfers the helpless cripple from the hand of
his master, who, as he has always had the benefit of his services,
might possibly feel some tenderness for him, and puts him in the sole
power of the wretch who has disabled him for life--protecting the
victim from the fury of his tormentor, by putting him into his hands!
What but butchery by piecemeal can, under such circumstances, be
expected from a man brutal enough at first to 'maim' and 'disable'
him, and now exasperated by being obliged to pay his full value to the
master, and to have, in addition, the daily care and expense of his
maintenance. Since writing the above, we have seen the following
judicial decision, in the case of Jourdan, vs. Patton--5 Martin's
Louisiana Reports, 615. A slave of the plaintiff had been deprived of
his _only eye_, and thus rendered _useless_, on which account the
court adjudged that the defendant should pay the plaintiff his full
value. The case went up, by appeal, to the Supreme court. Judge
Mathews, in his decision said, that 'when the defendant had paid the
sum decreed, the slave ought to be placed in his possession,'--adding,
that 'the judgment making full compensation to the owner _operates a
change of property_. He adds, 'The principle of humanity which would
lead us to suppose, that the mistress whom he had long served, would
treat her miserable blind slave with more kindness than the defendant
to whom the judgment ought to transfer him, CANNOT BE TAKEN INTO
CONSIDERATION!' The full compensation of the mistress for the loss of
the services of the slave, is worthy of all 'consideration,' even to
the uttermost farthing; 'public opinion' is omnipotent for _her_
protection; but when the food, clothing, shelter, fire and lodging,
medicine and nursing, comfort and entire condition and treatment of
her poor blind slave throughout his dreary pilgrimage, is the
question--ah! that, says the mouthpiece of the law, and the
representative of 'public opinion,' 'CANNOT BE TAKEN INTO
CONSIDERATION.' Protection of slaves by 'public opinion' among

The foregoing illustrations of southern 'public opinion,' from the
laws made by it and embodying it, are sufficient to show, that, so far
from being an efficient protection to the slaves, it is their
deadliest foe, persecutor and tormentor.

But here we shall probably be met by the legal lore of some 'Justice
Shallow,' instructing us that the life of the slave is fully protected
by law, however unprotected he may be in other respects. This
assertion we meet with a point blank denial. The law does not, in
reality, protect the life of the slave. But even if the letter of the
law would fully protect the life of the slave, 'public opinion' in the
slave states would make it a dead letter. The letter of the law would
have been all-sufficient for the protection of the lives of the
miserable gamblers in Vicksburg, and other places in Mississippi, from
the rage of those whose money they had won; but 'gentlemen of property
and standing 'laughed the law to scorn, rushed to the gamblers' house,
put ropes round their necks, dragged them through the streets, hanged
them in the public square, and thus saved the sum they had not yet
paid. Thousands witnessed this wholesale murder, yet of the scores of
legal officers present, not a soul raised a finger to prevent it, the
whole city consented to it, and thus aided and abetted it. How many
hundreds of them helped to commit the murders, _with their own hands_,
does not appear, but not one of them has been indicted for it, and no
one made the least effort to bring them to trial. Thus, up to the
present hour, the blood of those murdered men rests on that whole
city, and it will continue to be a CITY OF MURDERERS, so long as its
citizens, agree together to shield those felons from punishment; and
they do thus agree together so long as they encourage each other in
refusing to bring them to justice. Now, the _laws_ of Mississippi were
not in fault that those men were murdered; nor are they now in fault,
that their murderers are not punished; the laws demand it, but the
people of Mississippi, the legal officers, the grand juries and
legislature of the state, with one consent agree, that the law _shall
be a dead letter_, and thus the whole state assumes the guilt of those
murders, and in bravado, flourishes her reeking hands in the face of
the world.[34]

[Footnote 34: We have just learned from Mississippi papers, that the
citizens of Vicksburg are erecting a public monument in honor of Dr.
H.S. Bodley, who was the ring-leader of the Lynchers in their attack
upon the miserable victims. To give the crime the cold encouragement
of impunity alone, or such slight tokens of favor as a home and a
sanctuary, is beneath the chivalry and hospitality of Mississippians;
so they tender it incense, an altar, and a crown of glory. Let the
marble rise till it be seen from afar, a beacon marking the spot where
law lies lifeless by the hand of felons; and murderers, with chaplets
on their heads, dance and shout upon its grave, while 'all the people
say, amen.']

The letter of the law on the statute book is one thing, the practice
of the community under that law often a totally different thing. Each
of the slave states has laws providing that the life of no _white_ man
shall be taken without his having first been indicted by a grand jury,
allowed an impartial trial by a petit jury, with the right of counsel,
cross-examination of witnesses, &c.; but who does not know that if
ARTHUR TAPPAN were pointed out in the streets of New Orleans, Mobile,
Savannah, Charleston, Natchez, or St. Louis, he would be torn in
pieces by the citizens with one accord, and that if any one should
attempt to bring his murderers to punishment, he would be torn in
pieces also. The editors of southern newspapers openly vaunt, that
every abolitionist who sets foot in their soil, shall, if he be
discovered, be hung at once, without judge or jury. What mockery to
quote the _letter of the law_ in those states, to show that
abolitionists would have secured to them the legal protection of an
impartial trial!

Before the objector can make out his case, that the life of the slave
is protected by the law, he must not only show that the _words of the
law_ grant him such protection, but that such a state of public
sentiment exists as will carry out the provisions of the law in their
true spirit. Any thing short of this will be set down as mere prating
by every man of common sense. It has been already abundantly shown in
the preceding pages, that the public sentiment of the slaveholding
states toward the slaves is diabolical. Now, if there were laws in
those states, the _words_ of which granted to the life of the slave
the same protection granted to that of the master, what would they
avail? ACTS constitute protection; and is that public sentiment which
makes the slave 'property,' and perpetrates hourly robbery and
batteries upon him, so penetrated with a sense of the sacredness of
his right to life, that it will protect it at all hazards, and drag to
the gallows his OWNER, if he take the life of his own _property_? If
it be asked, why the penalty for killing a slave is not a mere _fine_
then, if his life is not really regarded as sacred by public
sentiment--we answer, that formerly in most, if not in all the slave
states, the murder of a slave _was_ punished by a mere fine. This was
the case in South Carolina till a few years since. Yes, as late as
1821, in the state of South Carolina, which boasts of its chivalry and
honor, at least as loudly as any state in the Union, a slaveholder
might butcher his slave in the most deliberate manner--with the most
barbarous and protracted torments, and yet not be subjected to a
single hour's imprisonment--pay his fine, stride out of the court and
kill another--pay his fine again and butcher another, and so long as
he paid to the state, cash down, its own assessment of damages,
without putting it to the trouble of prosecuting for it, he might
strut 'a gentleman.'--See 2 _Brevard's Digest_, 241.

The reason assigned by the legislature for enacting a law which
punished the wilful murder of a human being by a _fine_, was that
'CRUELTY _is_ HIGHLY UNBECOMING,' and 'ODIOUS.' It was doubtless the
same reason that induced the legislature in 1821, to make a show of
giving _more_ protection to the life of the slave. Their fathers, when
they gave _some_ protection, did it because the time had come when,
not to do it would make them 'ODIOUS,' So the legislature of 1821 made
a show of giving still greater protection, because, not to do it would
make them '_odious_.' Fitly did they wear the mantles of their
ascending fathers! In giving to the life of a slave the miserable
protection of a fine, their fathers did not even pretend to do it out
of any regard to the sacredness of his life as a human being, but
merely because cruelty is 'unbecoming' and 'odious.' The legislature
of 1821 _nominally_ increased this protection; not that they cared
more for the slave's rights, or for the inviolabity of his life as a
human being, but the civilized world had advanced since the date of
the first law. The slave-trade which was then honorable merchandise,
and plied by lords, governors, judges, and doctors of divinity,
raising them to immense wealth, had grown 'unbecoming,' and only
raised its votaries by a rope to the yard arm; besides this, the
barbarity of the slave codes throughout the world was fast becoming
'odious' to civilized nations, and slaveholders found that the only
conditions on which they could prevent themselves from being thrust
out of the pale of civilization, was to meliorate the iron rigor of
their slave code, and thus _seem_ to secure to their slaves some
protection. Further, the northern states had passed laws for the
abolition of slavery--all the South American states were acting in the
matter; and Colombia and Chili passed acts of abolition that very
year. In addition to all this the Missouri question had been for two
years previous under discussion in Congress, in State legislatures,
and in every village and stage coach; and this law of South Carolina
had been held up to execration by northern members of Congress, and in
newspapers throughout the free states--in a word, the legislature of
South Carolina found that they were becoming 'odious;' and while in
their sense of justice and humanity they did not surpass their
fathers, they winced with equal sensitiveness under the sting of the
world's scorn, and with equal promptitude sued for a truce by
modifying the law.

The legislature of South Carolina modified another law at the same
session. Previously, the killing of a slave 'on a sudden heat or
passion, or by undue correction,' was punished by a fine of three
hundred and fifty pounds. In 1821 an act was passed diminishing the
fine to five hundred dollars, but authorizing an imprisonment 'not
exceeding six months.' Just before the American Revolution, the
Legislature of North Carolina passed a law making _imprisonment_ the
penalty for the wilful and malicious murder of a slave. About twenty
years after the revolution, the state found itself becoming 'odious,'
as the spirit of abolition was pervading the nations. The legislature,
perceiving that Christendom would before long rank them with
barbarians if they so cheapened human life, repealed the law, candidly
assigning in the preamble of the new one the reason for repealing the
old--that it was 'DISGRACEFUL' and 'DEGRADING! As this preamble
expressly recognizes the slave as 'a human creature,' and as it is
couched in a phraseology which indicates some sense of justice, we
would gladly give the legislature credit for sincerity, and believe
them really touched with humane movings towards the slave, were it not
for a proviso in the law clearly revealing that the show of humanity
and regard for their rights, indicated by the words, is nothing more
than a hollow pretence--hypocritical flourish to produce an impression
favorable to their justice and magnanimity. After declaring that he
who is 'guilty of wilfully and maliciously killing a slave, shall
suffer the same punishment as if he had killed a freeman;' the act
concludes thus: 'Provided, always, this act shall not extend to the
person killing a slave outlawed by virtue of any act of Assembly of
this state; or to any slave in the act of resistance to his lawful
overseer, or master, or to any slave dying under _moderate
correction_.' Reader, look at this proviso. 1. It gives free license
to all persons to kill _outlawed slaves_. Well, what is an outlawed
slave? A slave who runs away, lurks in swamps, &c., and kills a _hog_
or any other domestic animal to keep himself from starving, is subject
to a proclamation of _outlawry_; (Haywood's Manual, 521,) and then
whoever finds him may shoot him, tear him in pieces with dogs, burn
him to death over a slow fire, or kill him by any other tortures. 2.
The proviso grants full license to a master to kill his slave, if the
slave _resist_ him. The North Carolina Bench has decided that this law
contemplates not only actual resistance to punishment, &c., but also
_offering_ to resist. (Stroud's Sketch, 37.) If, for example, a slave
undergoing the process of branding should resist by pushing aside the
burning stamp; or if wrought up to frenzy by the torture of the lash,
he should catch and hold it fast; or if he break loose from his master
and run, refusing to stop at his command; or if he _refuse_ to be
flogged; or struggle to keep his clothes on while his master is trying
to strip him; if, in these, or any one of a hundred other ways he
_resist_, or offer, or _threaten_ to resist the infliction; or, if the
master attempt the violation of the slave's wife, and the husband
resist his attempts without the least effort to injure him, but merely
to shield his wife from his assaults, this law does not merely permit,
but it _authorizes_ the master to murder the slave on the spot.

The brutality of these two provisos brands its authors as barbarians.
But the third cause of exemption could not be outdone by the
legislation of fiends. 'DYING under MODERATE _correction_!' MODERATE
_correction_ and DEATH--cause and effect! 'Provided ALWAYS,' says the
law, 'this act shall not extend to any slave dying under _moderate
correction_!' Here is a formal proclamation of impunity to murder--an
express pledge of _acquittal_ to all slaveholders who wish to murder
their slaves, a legal absolution--an indulgence granted before the
commission of the crime! Look at the phraseology. Nothing is said of
maimings, dismemberments, skull fractures, of severe bruisings, or
lacerations, or even of floggings; but a word is used the
common-parlance import of which is, _slight chastisement_; it is not
even _whipping_, but '_correction_' And as if hypocrisy and malignity
were on the rack to outwit each other, even that weak word must be
still farther diluted; so '_moderate_' is added: and, to crown the
climax, compounded of absurdity, hypocrisy, and cold-blooded murder,
the _legal definition_ of 'moderate correction' is covertly given;
which is, _any punishment_ that KILLS the victim. All inflictions are
either _moderate_ or _immoderate_; and the design of this law was
manifestly to shield the murderer from conviction, _by carrying on its
face the rule for its own interpretation_; thus advertising,
beforehand, courts and juries, that the fact of any infliction
_producing death_, was no evidence that it was _immoderate_, and that
beating a man to death came within the legal meaning of 'moderate
correction!' The _design_ of the legislature of North Carolina in
framing this law is manifest; it was to produce the impression upon
the world, that they had so high a sense of justice as voluntarily to
grant adequate protection to the lives of their slaves. This is
ostentatiously set forth in the preamble, and in the body of the law.
That this was the most despicable hypocrisy, and that they had
predetermined to grant no such protection, notwithstanding the pains
taken to get the _credit_ of it, is fully revealed by the _proviso_,
which was framed in such a way as to nullify the law, for the express
accommodation of slaveholding gentlemen murdering their slaves. All
such find in this proviso a convenient accomplice before the fact, and
a packed jury, with a ready-made verdict of 'not guilty,' both
gratuitously furnished by the government! The preceding law and
proviso are to be found in Haywood's Manual, 530; also in Laws of
Tennessee, Act of October 23, 1791; and in Stroud's Sketch, 37.

Enough has been said already to show, that though the laws of the
slave states profess to grant adequate protection to the life of the
slave, such professions are mere empty pretence, no such protection
being in reality afforded by them. But there is still another fact,
showing that all laws which profess to protect the slaves from injury
by the whites are a mockery. It is this--that the testimony, neither
of a slave nor of a free colored person, is _legal_ testimony against
a white. To this rule there is _no exception_ in any of the slave
states: and this, were there no other evidence, would be sufficient to
stamp, as hypocritical, all the provisions of the codes which
_profess_ to protect the slaves. Professing to grant _protection_,
while, at the same time, it strips them of the only _means_ by which
they can make that protection available! Injuries must be legally
_proved_ before they can be legally _redressed_: to deprive men of the
power of _proving_ their injuries, is itself the greatest of all
injuries; for it not only exposes to all, but invites them, by a
virtual guarantee of impunity, and is thus the _author_ of all
injuries. It matters not what other laws exist, professing to throw
safeguards round the slave--_this_ makes them blank paper. How can a
slave prove outrages perpetrated upon him by his master or overseer,
when his own testimony and that of all his fellow-slaves, his kindred,
associates, and acquaintances, is ruled out of court? and when he is
entirely in the _power_ of those who injure him, and when the only
care necessary, on their part, is, to see that no _white_ witness is
looking on. Ordinarily, but _one_ white man, the overseer, is with the
slaves while they are at labor; indeed, on most plantations, to commit
an outrage in the _presence_ of a white witness would be more
difficult than in their absence. He who wished to commit an illegal
act upon a slave, instead of being obliged to _take pains_ and watch
for an opportunity to do it unobserved by a white, would find it
difficult to do it in the presence of a white if he wished to do so.
The supreme court of Louisiana, in their decision, in the case of
Crawford vs. Cherry,(15, _Martin's La. Rep._ 112; also "_Law of
Slavery,_" 249,) where the defendant was sued for the value of a slave
whom he had shot and killed, say, "The act charged here, is one
_rarely_ committed in the presence of _witnesses_," (whites). So in
the case of the State vs. Mann, (_Devereux, N.C. Rep._ 263; and _"Law
of Slavery," _247;) in which the defendant was charged with shooting a
slave girl 'belonging' to the plaintiff; the Supreme Court of North
Carolina, in their decision, speaking of the provocations of the
master by the slave, and 'the consequent wrath of the master'
prompting him to _bloody vengeance_, add, _'a vengeance generally
practised with impunity, by reason of its privacy.'_

Laws excluding the testimony of slaves and free colored persons, where
a white is concerned, do not exist in all the slave states. One or two
of them have no legal enactment on the subject; but, in those,
_'public opinion'_ acts with the force of law, and the courts
_invariably reject it_. This brings us back to the potency of that
oft-quoted 'public opinion,' so ready, according to our objector, to
do battle for the _protection_ of the slave!

Another proof that 'public opinion,' in the slave states, plunders,
tortures, and murders the slaves, instead of _protecting_ them, is
found in the fact, that the laws of slave states inflict _capital_
punishment on slaves for a variety of crimes, for which, if their
masters commit them, the legal penalty is merely _imprisonment_. Judge
Stroud in his Sketch of the Laws of Slavery, says, that by the laws of
Virginia, there are 'seventy-one crimes for which slaves are capitally
punished though in none of these are whites punished in manner more
severe than by imprisonment in the penitentiary.' (P. 107, where the
reader will find all the crimes enumerated.) It should be added,
however, that though the penalty for each of these seventy-one crimes
is 'death,' yet a majority of them are, in the words of the law,
'death within clergy;' and in Virginia, _clergyable_ offences, though
_technically_ capital, are not so in fact. In Mississippi, slaves are
punished capitally for more than _thirty_ crimes, for which whites are
punished only by fine or imprisonment, or both. Eight of these are not
_recognized as crimes_, either by common law or by statute, when
committed by whites. In South Carolina slaves are punished capitally
for _nine_ more crimes than the whites--in Georgia, for _six_--and in
Kentucky, for _seven_ more than whites, &c. We surely need not detain
the reader by comments on this monstrous inequality with which the
penal codes of slave states treat slaves and their masters. When we
consider that guilt is in proportion to intelligence, and that these
masters have by law doomed their slaves to ignorance, and then, as
they darkle and grope along their blind way, inflict penalties upon
them for a variety of acts regarded as praise worthy in whites;
killing them for crimes, when whites are only fined or imprisoned--to
call such a 'public opinion' inhuman, savage, murderous, diabolical,
would be to use tame words, if the English vocabulary could supply
others of more horrible import.

But slaveholding brutality does not stop here. While punishing the
slaves for crimes with vastly greater severity than it does their
masters for the same crimes, and making a variety of acts _crimes_ in
law, which are right, and often _duties_, it persists in refusing to
make known to the slaves that complicated and barbarous penal code
which loads them with such fearful liabilities. The slave is left to
get a knowledge of these laws as he can, and cases must be of constant
occurrence at the south, in which slaves get their first knowledge of
the existence of a law by suffering its penalty. Indeed, this is
probably the way in which they commonly learn what the laws are; for
how else can the slave get a knowledge of the laws? He cannot
_read_--he cannot _learn_ to read; if he try to master the alphabet,
so that he may spell out the words of the law, and thus avoid its
penalties, the law shakes its terrors at him; while, at the same time,
those who made the laws refuse to make them known to those for whom
they are designed. The memory of Caligula will blacken with execration
while time lasts, because be hung up his laws so high that people
could not read them, and then punished them because they did not keep
them. Our slaveholders aspire to blacker infamy. Caligula was content
with hanging up his laws where his subjects could _see_ them; and if
they could not read them, they knew where they were, and might get at
them, if, in their zeal to learn his will, they had used the same
means to get up to them that those did who hung them there. Even
Caligula, wretch as he was, would have shuddered at cutting their legs
off, to prevent their climbing to them; or, if they had got there, at
boring their eyes out, to prevent their reading them. Our slaveholders
virtually do both; for they prohibit their slaves acquiring that
knowledge of letters which would enable them to read the laws; and if,
by stealth, they get it in spite of them, they prohibit them books and
papers, and flog them if they are caught at them. Further--Caligula
merely hung his laws so high that they could not be _read_--our
slaveholders have hung theirs so high above the slave that they cannot
be _seen_--they are utterly out of sight, and he finds out that they
are there only by the falling of the penalties on his head.[35] Thus
the "public opinion" of slave states protects the defenceless slave by
arming a host of legal penalties and setting them in ambush at every
thicket along his path, to spring upon him unawares.

[Footnote 35: The following extract from the Alexandria (D.C.) Gazette
is all illustration. "CRIMINALS CONDEMNED.--On Monday last the Court
of the borough of Norfolk, Va. sat on the trial of four negro boys
arraigned for burglary. The first indictment charged them with
breaking into the hardware store of Mr. E.P. Tabb, upon which two of
them were found guilty by the Court, and condemned to suffer the
penalty of the law, which, in the case of a slave, is death. The
second Friday in April is appointed for the execution of their awful
sentence. _Their ages do not exceed sixteen_. The first, a fine active
boy, belongs to a widow lady in Alexandria; the latter, a house
servant, is owned by a gentleman in the borough. The value of one was
fixed at $1000, and the other at $800; which sums are to be
re-imbursed to their respective owners out of the state treasury." In
all probability these poor boys, who are to be hung for stealing,
never dreamed that death was the legal penalty of the crime.

Here is another, from the "New Orleans Bee" of ---- 14, 1837--"The
slave who STRUCK some citizens in Canal street, some weeks since, has
been tried and found guilty, and is sentenced to be HUNG on the 24th."]

Stroud, in his Sketch of the Laws of Slavery, page 100, thus comments
on this monstrous barbarity.

"The hardened convict moves their sympathy, and is to be taught the
laws before he is expected to obey them;[36] yet the guiltless slave
is subjected to an extensive system of cruel enactments, of no part of
which, probably, has he ever heard."

[Footnote 36: "It shall be the duty of the keeper [of the penitentiary]
on the receipt of each prisoner, to _read_ to him or her such parts of
the penal laws of this state as impose penalties for escape, and to
make all the prisoners in the penitentiary acquainted with the same.
It shall also be his duty, on the discharge of such prisoner, to read
to him or her such parts of the laws as impose additional punishments
for the repetition of offences."--_Rule 12th_, for the internal
government of the Penitentiary of Georgia. Sec. 26 of the Penitentiary
Act of 1816.--Prince's Digest, 386.]

Having already drawn so largely on the reader's patience, in
illustrating southern 'public opinion' by the slave laws, instead of
additional illustrations of the same point from another class of those
laws, as was our design, we will group together a few particulars,
which the reader can take in at a glance, showing that the "public
opinion" of slaveholders towards their slaves, which exists at the
south, in the form of law, tramples on all those fundamental
principles of right, justice, and equity, which are recognized as
sacred by all civilized nations, and receive the homage even of

1. One of these principles is, that the _benefits_ of law to the
subject should overbalance its burdens--its protection more than
compensate for its restraints and exactions--and its blessings
altogether outweigh its inconveniences and evils--the former being
numerous, positive, and permanent, the latter few, negative, and
incidental. Totally the reverse of all this is true in the case of the
slave. Law is to him all exaction and no protection: instead of
lightening his _natural_ burdens, it crushes him under a multitude of
artificial ones; instead of a friend to succor him, it is his
deadliest foe, transfixing him at every step from the cradle to the
grave. Law has been beautifully defined to be "benevolence acting by
rule;" to the American slave it is malevolence torturing by system. It
is an old truth, that _responsibility_ increases with _capacity_; but
those same laws which make the slave a "_chattel_," require of him
_more_ than of _men_. The same law which makes him a _thing_ incapable
of obligation, loads him with obligations superhuman--while sinking
him below the level of a brute in dispensing its _benefits_, he lays
upon him burdens which would break down an angel.

2. _Innocence is entitled to the protection of law._ Slaveholders make
innocence free plunder; this is their daily employment; their laws
assail it, make it their victim, inflict upon it all, and, in some
respects, more than all the penalties of the greatest guilt. To other
innocent persons, law is a blessing, to the slave it is a curse, only
a curse and that continually.

3. _Deprivation of liberty is one of the highest punishments of
crime_; and in proportion to its justice when inflicted on the guilty,
is its injustice when inflicted on the innocent; this terrible penalty
is inflicted on two million seven hundred thousand, innocent persons
in the Southern states.

4. _Self-preservation and self-defence_, are universally regarded as
the most sacred of human rights, yet the laws of slave states punish
the slave with _death_ for exercising these rights in that way, which
in others is pronounced worthy of the highest praise.

5. _The safeguards of law are most needed where natural safe-guards
are weakest._ Every principle of justice and equity requires, that,
those who are totally unprotected by birth, station, wealth, friends,
influence, and popular favor, and especially those who are the
innocent objects of public contempt and prejudice, should be more
vigilantly protected by law, than those who are so fortified by
defence, that they have far less need of _legal_ protection; yet the
poor slave who is fortified by _none_ of these _personal_ bulwarks, is
denied the protection of law, while the master, surrounded by them
all, is panoplied in the mail of legal protection, even to the hair of
his head; yea, his very shoe-tie and coat-button are legal protegees.

6. The grand object of law is to _protect men's natural rights_, but
instead of protecting the natural rights of the slaves, it gives
slaveholders license to wrest them from the weak by violence, protects
them in holding their plunder, and _kills_ the rightful owner if he
attempt to recover it.

This is the _protection_ thrown around the rights of American slaves
by the 'public opinion,' of slaveholders; these the restraints that
hold back their masters, overseers, and drivers, from inflicting
injuries upon them!

In a Republican government, _law_ is the pulse of its _heart_--as the
heart beats the pulse beats, except that it often beats _weaker_ than
the heart, never stronger--or to drop the figure, laws are never
_worse_ than those who make them, very often better. If human history
proves anything, cruelty of practice will always go beyond cruelty of

Law-making is a formal, deliberate act, performed by persons of mature
age, embodying the intelligence, wisdom, justice and humanity, of the
community; performed, too, at leisure, after full opportunity had for
a comprehensive survey of all the relations to be affected, after
careful investigation and protracted discussion. Consequently laws
must, in the main, be a true index of the permanent feelings, the
settled _frame of mind_, cherished by the community upon those
subjects, and towards those persons and classes whose condition the
laws are designed to establish. If the laws are in a high degree cruel
and inhuman, towards any class of persons, it proves that the feelings
habitually exercised towards that class of persons, by those who make
and perpetuate those laws, are at least _equally_ cruel and inhuman.
We say _at least equally_ so; for if the _habitual_ state of feeling
towards that class be unmerciful, it must be unspeakably cruel,
relentless and malignant when _provoked_; if its _ordinary_ action is
inhuman, its contortions and spasms must be tragedies; if the waves
run high when there has been no wind, where will they not break when
the tempest heaves them!

Further, when cruelty is the _spirit_ of the law towards a proscribed
class, when it _legalizes great outrages_ upon them, it connives at,
and abets _greater_ outrages, and is virtually an accomplice of all
who perpetrate them. Hence, in such cases, though the _degree_ of the
outrage is illegal, the perpetrator will rarely be convicted, and,
even if convicted, will be almost sure to escape punishment. This is
not _theory_ but _history_. Every judge and lawyer in the slave states
_knows_, that the legal conviction and _punishment_ of masters and
mistresses, for illegal outrages upon their slaves, is an event which
has rarely, if ever, occurred in the slave states; they know, also,
that although _hundreds_ of slaves have been _murdered_ by their
masters and mistresses in the slave states, within the last
twenty-five years, and though the fact of their having committed those
murders has been established beyond a _doubt_ in the minds of the
surrounding community, yet that the murderers have not, in a single
instance, suffered the penalty of the law.

Finally, since slaveholders have deliberately legalized the
perpetration of the most cold-blooded atrocities upon their slaves,
and do pertinaciously refuse to make these atrocities _illegal_, and
to punish those who perpetrate them, they stand convicted before the
world, upon their own testimony, of the most barbarous, brutal, and
habitual inhumanity. If this be slander and falsehood, their own lips
have uttered it, their own fingers have written it, their own acts
have proclaimed it; and however it may be with their _morality_, they
have too much human nature to perjure themselves for the sake of
publishing their own infamy.

Having dwelt at such length on the legal code of the slave states,
that unerring index of the public opinion of slaveholders towards
their slaves; and having shown that it does not protect the slaves
from cruelty, and that even in the few instances in which the letter
of the law, if _executed_, would afford some protection, it is
virtually nullified by the connivance of courts and juries, or by
popular clamor; we might safely rest the case here, assured that every
honest reader would spurn the absurd falsehood, that the 'public
opinion' of the slave states protects the slaves and restrains the
master. But, as the assertion is made so often by slaveholders, and
with so much confidence, notwithstanding its absurdity is fully
revealed by their own legal code, we propose to show its falsehood by
applying other tests.

We lay it down as a truth that can be made no plainer by reasoning,
that the same 'public opinion,' which restrains men from _committing_
outrages, will restrain them from _publishing_ such outrages, if they
do commit them;--in other words, if a man is restrained from certain
acts through fear of losing his character, should they become known,
he will not voluntarily destroy his character by _making them known_,
should he be guilty of them. Let us look at this. It is assumed by
slaveholders, that 'public opinion' at the south so frowns on cruelty
to the slaves, that _fear of disgrace_ would restrain from the
infliction of it, were there no other consideration.

Now, that this is sheer fiction is shown by the fact, that the
newspapers in the slaveholding states, teem with advertisements for
runaway slaves, in which the masters and _mistresses_ describe their
men and women, as having been 'branded with a hot iron,' on their
'cheeks,' 'jaws,' 'breasts,' 'arms,' 'legs,' and 'thighs;' also as
'scarred,' 'very much scarred,' 'cut up,' 'marked,' &c. 'with the
whip,' also with 'iron collars on,' 'chains,' 'bars of iron,'
'fetters,' 'bells,' 'horns,' 'shackles,' &c. They, also, describe them
as having been wounded by 'buck-shot,' 'rifle-balls,' &c. fired at
them by their 'owners,' and others when in pursuit; also, as having
'notches,' cut in their ears, the tops or bottoms of their ears 'cut
off,' or 'slit,' or 'one ear cut off' or 'both ears cut off' &c. &c.
The masters and mistresses who thus advertise their runaway slaves,
coolly sign their names to their advertisements, giving the street and
number of their residences, if in cities, their post office address,
&c. if in the country; thus making public proclamation as widely as
possible that _they_ 'brand,' 'scar,' 'gash,' 'cut up,' &c. the flesh
of their slaves; load them with irons, cut off their ears, &c.; they
speak of these things with the utmost _sang froid_, not seeming to
think it possible, that any one will esteem them at all the less
because of these outrages upon their slaves; further, these
advertisements swarm in many of the largest and most widely circulated
political and commercial papers that are published in the slave
states. The editors of those papers constitute the main body of the
literati of the slave states; they move in the highest circle of
society, are among the 'popular' men in the community, and _as a
class_, are more influential than any other; yet these editors publish
these advertisements with iron indifference. So far from proclaiming
to such felons, homicides, and murderers, that they will not be their
blood-hounds, to hunt down the innocent and mutilated victims who have
escaped from their torture, they freely furnish them with every
facility, become their accomplices and share their spoils; and instead
of outraging 'public opinion,' by doing it, they are the men after its
own heart, its organs, its representatives, its _self_.

To show that the 'public opinion' of the slave states, towards the
slaves, is absolutely _diabolical_, we will insert a few, out of a
multitude, of similar advertisements from a variety of southern papers
now before us.

The North Carolina Standard, of July 18, 1838, contains the

"TWENTY DOLLARS REWARD. Ranaway from the subscriber, a negro woman and
two children; the woman is tall and black, and _a few days before she
TRIED TO MAKE THE LETTER M, _and she kept a cloth over her head and
face, and a fly bonnet on her head so as to cover the burn;_ her
children are both boys, the oldest is in his seventh year; he is a
_mulatto_ and has blue eyes; the youngest is black and is in his fifth
year. The woman's name is Betty, commonly called Bet."


_Nash County, July 7_, 1838.

Hear the wretch tell his story, with as much indifference as if he
were describing the cutting of his initials in the bark of a tree.

_"I burnt her with a hot iron on the left side of her face,"--"I tried
to make the letter M_," and this he says in a newspaper, and puts his
name to it, and the editor of the paper who is, also, its proprietor,
publishes it for him and pockets his fee. Perhaps the reader will say,
'Oh, it must have been published in an insignificant sheet printed in
some obscure corner of the state; perhaps by a gang of 'squatters,' in
the Dismal Swamp, universally regarded as a pest, and edited by some
scape-gallows, who is detested by the whole community.' To this I reply
that the "North Carolina Standard," the paper which contains it, is a
large six columned weekly paper, handsomely printed and ably edited;
it is the leading Democratic paper in that state, and is published at
Raleigh, the Capital of the state, Thomas Loring, Esq. Editor and
Proprietor. The motto in capitals under the head of the paper is, "THE
same Editor and Proprietor, who exhibits such brutality of feeling
towards the slaves, by giving the preceding advertisement a
conspicuous place in his columns, and taking his pay for it, has
apparently a keen sense of the proprieties of life, where _whites_ are
concerned, and a high regard for the rights, character and feelings of
those whose skin is colored like his own. As proof of this, we copy
from the number of the paper containing the foregoing advertisement,
the following _Editorial_ on the pending political canvass.

"We cannot refrain from expressing the hope that the Gubernatorial
canvass will be conducted with a _due regard to the character_, and
_feelings_ of the distinguished individuals who are candidates for
that office; and that the press of North Carolina will _set an
example_ in this respect, worthy of _imitation and of praise_."

What is this but chivalrous and honorable feeling? The good name of
North Carolina is dear to him--on the comfort, 'character and
feelings,' of her _white_ citizens he sets a high value; he feels too,
most deeply for the _character of the Press_ of North Carolina, sees
that it is a city set on a hill, and implores his brethren of the
editorial corps to 'set an example' of courtesy and magnanimity worthy
of imitation and praise. Now, reader, put all these things together
and con them over, and then read again the preceding advertisement
contained in the same number of the paper, and you have the true
"North Carolina STANDARD," by which to measure the protection extended
to slaves by the 'public opinion' of that state.

J.P. Ashford advertises as follows in the "Natchez Courier," August
24, 1838.

"Ranaway, a negro girl called Mary, has a small scar over her eye, a
_good many teeth missing_, the letter A. _is branded on her cheek and

A.B. Metcalf thus advertises a woman in the same paper, June 15,

"Ranaway, Mary, a black woman, has a _scar_ on her back and right arm
near the shoulder, _caused by a rifle ball_."

John Henderson, in the "Grand Gulf Advertiser," August 29, 1838,
advertises Betsey.

"Ranaway, a black woman Betsey, has an _iron bar on her right leg_."

Robert Nicoll, whose residence is in Mobile, in Dauphin street,
between Emmanuel and Conception streets, thus advertises a woman in
the "Mobile Commercial Advertiser."

"TEN DOLLARS REWARD will be given for my negro woman Liby. The said
Liby is about 30 years old and VERY MUCH SCARRED ABOUT THE NECK AND
EARS, occasioned by whipping, had on a handkerchief tied round her
ears, as she COMMONLY wears it to HIDE THE SCARS."

To show that slaveholding brutality now is the same that it was the
eighth of a century ago, we publish the following advertisement from
the "Charleston (S.C.) Courier," of 1825.

"TWENTY DOLLARS REWARD.--Ranaway from the subscriber, on the 14th
instant, a negro girl named Molly.

"The said girl was sold by Messrs. Wm. Payne & Sons, as the property
of an estate of a Mr. Gearrall, and purchased by a Mr. Moses, and sold
by him to a Thomas Prisley, of Edgefield District, of whom I bought
her on the 17th of April, 1819. She is 16 or 17 years of age, slim

"ABNER ROSS, Fairfield District."

But instead of filling pages with similar advertisements, illustrating
the horrible brutality of slaveholders towards their slaves, the
reader is referred to the preceding pages of this work, to the scores
of advertisements written by slaveholders, printed by slaveholders,
published by slaveholders, in newspapers edited by slaveholders and
patronized by slaveholders; advertisement describing not only men and
boys, but women aged and middle-aged, matrons and girls of tender
years, their necks chafed with iron collars with prongs, their limbs
galled with iron rings and chains, and bars of iron, iron hobbles and
shackles, all parts of their persons scarred with the lash, and
branded with hot irons, and torn with rifle bullets, pistol balls and
buck shot, and gashed with knives, their eyes out, their ears cut off,
their teeth drawn out, and their bones broken. He is referred also to
the cool and shocking indifference with which these slaveholders,
'gentlemen' and 'ladies,' Reverends, and Honorables, and Excellencies,
write and print, and publish and pay, and take money for, and read and
circulate, and sanction, such infernal barbarity. Let the reader
ponder all this, and then lay it to heart, that this is that 'public
opinion' of the slaveholders which protects their slaves from all
injury, and is an effectual guarantee of personal security.

However far gone a community may be in brutality, something of
protection may yet be hoped for from its 'public opinion,' if _respect
for woman_ survive the general wreck; that gone, protection perishes;
public opinion becomes universal rapine; outrages, once occasional,
become habitual; the torture, which was before inflicted only by
passion, becomes the constant product of a _system_, and, instead of
being the index of sudden and fierce impulses, is coolly plied as the
permanent means to an end. When _women_ are branded with hot irons on
their faces; when iron collars, with prongs, are riveted about their
necks; when iron rings are fastened upon their limbs, and they are
forced to drag after them chains and fetters; when their flesh is torn
with whips, and mangled with bullets and shot, and lacerated with
knives; and when those who do such things, are regarded in the
community, and associated with as 'gentlemen' and 'ladies;' to say
that the 'public opinion' of _such_ a community is a protection to its
victims, is to blaspheme God, whose creatures they are, cast in his
own sacred image, and dear to him as the apple of his eye.

But we are not yet quite ready to dismiss this protector, 'Public
Opinion.' To illustrate the hardened brutality with which slaveholders
regard their slaves, the shameless and apparently unconscious
indecency with which they speak of their female slaves, examine their
persons, and describe them, under their own signatures, in newspapers,
hand-bills, &c. just as they would describe the marks of cattle and
swine, on all parts of their bodies; we will make a few extracts from
southern papers. Reader, as we proceed to these extracts, remember our
motto--'True humanity consists _not_ in a squeamish ear.'

Mr. P. ABDIE, of New Orleans, advertises in the New Orleans Bee, of
January 29, 1838, for one of his female slaves, as follows;

"Ranaway, the negro wench named Betsey, aged about 22 years,
handsome-faced, and good countenance; having the marks of the whip
behind her neck, and SEVERAL OTHERS ON HER RUMP. The above reward,
($10,) will be given to whoever will bring that wench to P. ABDIE."

The New Orleans Bee, in which the advertisement of this Vandal
appears, is the 'Official Gazette of the State--of the General
Council--and of the first and third Municipalities of New Orleans.' It
is the largest, and the most influential paper in the south-western
states, and perhaps the most ably edited--and has undoubtedly a larger
circulation than any other. It is a daily paper, of $12 a year, and
its circulation being mainly among the larger merchants, planters, and
professional men, it is a fair index of the 'public opinion' of
Louisiana, so far as represented by those classes of persons.
Advertisements equally gross, indecent, and abominable, or nearly so,
can be found in almost every number of that paper.

Mr. WILLIAM ROBINSON, Georgetown, District of Columbia, advertised for
his slave in the National Intelligencer, of Washington City, Oct. 2,
1837, as follows:

"Eloped from my residence a young negress, 22 years old, of a
chestnut, or brown color. She has a very singular mark--this mark, to
the best of my RECOLLECTION, covers a part of her _breasts_, _body_,
and _limbs_; and when her neck and arms are uncovered, is very
perceptible; she has been frequently seen east and south of the
Capitol Square, and is harbored by ill-disposed persons, of every
complexion, for her services."

Mr. JOHN C. BEASLEY, near Huntsville, Alabama, thus advertises a young
girl of eighteen, in the Huntsville Democrat, of August 1st, 1837.
"Ranaway Maria, about 18 years old, _very far advanced with child._"
He then offers a reward to any one who will commit this young girl, in
this condition, _to jail_.

Mr. JAMES T. DE JARNETT, Vernon, Autauga co. Alabama, thus advertises
a woman in the Pensacola Gazette, July 14, 1838. "Celia is a _bright_
copper-colored negress, _fine figure_ and _very smart_. On EXAMINING
HER BACK, you will find marks caused by the whip." He closes the
advertisement, by offering a reward of _five hundred dollars_ to any
person who will lodge her in _jail_, so that he can get her.

A person who lives at 124 Chartres street, New Orleans, advertises in
the 'Bee,' of May 31, for "the negress Patience, about 28 years old,
has _large hips_, and is _bow-legged_." A Mr. T. CUGGY, in the same
paper, thus describes "the negress Caroline." "_She has awkward feet,
clumsy ankles, turns out her toes greatly in walking, and has a sore
on her left shin_."

In another, of June 22, Mr. P. BAHI advertises "Maria, with a clear
white complexion, and _double nipple on her right breast_."

Mr. CHARLES CRAIGE, of Federal Point, New Hanover co. North Carolina,
in the Wilmington Advertiser, August 11, 1837, offers a reward for his
slave Jane, and says "_she is far advanced in pregnancy_."

The New Orleans Bulletin, August 18, 1838, advertises "the negress
Mary, aged nineteen, has a scar on her face, walks parrot-toed, and is

Mr. J.G. MUIR, of Grand Gulf, Mississippi, thus advertises a woman in
the Vicksburg Register, December 5, 1838. "Ranaway a negro girl--has a
number of _black lumps on her breasts, and is in a state of

Mr. JACOB BESSON, Donaldsonville, Louisiana, advertises in the New
Orleans Bee, August 7, 1838, "the negro woman Victorine--she is
_advanced in pregnancy_."

Mr. J.H. LEVERICH & Co. No. 10, Old Levee, New Orleans, advertises in
the 'Bulletin,' January 22, 1839, as follows.

"$50 REWARD.--Ranaway a negro girl named Caroline about 18 years of
age, is _far advanced in child-bearing_. The above reward will be paid
for her delivery at either of the _jails_ of the city."

Mr. JOHN DUGGAN, thus advertises a woman in the New Orleans Bee, of
Sept. 7.

"Ranaway from the subscriber a mulatto woman, named Esther, about
thirty years of age, _large stomach_, wants her upper front teeth, and
walks pigeon-toed--supposed to be about the lower fauxbourg."

Mr. FRANCIS FOSTER, of Troop co. Georgia, advertises in the Columbus
(Ga.) Enquirer of June 22, 1837--"My negro woman Patsey, has a stoop
in her walking, occasioned by a _severe burn on her abdomen_."

The above are a few specimens of the gross details, in describing the
persons of females, of all ages, and the marks upon all parts of their
bodies; proving incontestably, that slaveholders are in the habit not
only of stripping their female slaves of their clothing, and
inflicting punishment upon their 'shrinking flesh,' but of subjecting
their naked persons to the most minute and revolting inspection, and
then of publishing to the world the results of their examination, as
well as the scars left by their own inflictions upon them, their
length, size, and exact position on the body; and all this without
impairing in the least, the standing in the community of the shameless
wretches who thus proclaim their own abominations. That such things
should not at all affect the standing of such persons in society, is
certainly no marvel: how could they affect it, when the same
communities enact laws _requiring_ their own legal officers to inspect
minutely the persons and bodily marks of all slaves taken up as
runaways, and to publish in the newspapers a particular description of
all such marks and peculiarities of their persons, their size,
appearance position on the body, &c. Yea, verily, when the 'public
opinion' of the community, in the solemn form of law, commands
jailors, sheriffs, captains of police, &c. to divest of their clothing
aged matrons and young girls, minutely examine their naked persons,
and publish the results of their examination--who can marvel, that the
same 'public opinion' should tolerate the slaveholders themselves, in
doing the same things to their own property, which they have appointed
legal officers to do as their proxies.[37]

[Footnote 37: 'As a sample of these laws, we give the following extract
from one of the laws of Maryland, where slaveholding 'public opinion'
exists in its mildest form.'

"It shall be the duty of the sheriffs of the several counties of this
state, upon any runaway servant or slave being committed to his
custody, to cause the same to be advertised, &c. and to make
particular and minute descriptions of _the person and bodily marks_,
of such runaway."--_Laws of Maryland of 1802_, Chap. 96, Sec. 1 and 2.

That the sheriffs, jailors, &c. do not neglect this part of their
official 'duty,' is plain from the minute description which they give
in the advertisements of marks upon all parts of the persons of
females, as well as males; and also from the occasional declaration,
'no scars discoverable on any part,' or 'no marks discoverable _about_
her;' which last is taken from an advertisement in the Milledgeville
(Geo.) Journal, June 26, 1838, signed 'T.S. Denster, Jailor.']

The zeal with which slaveholding '_public opinion_' protects the lives
of the slaves, may be illustrated by the following advertisements,
taken from a multitude of similar ones in southern papers. To show
that slaveholding 'public opinion' is the same _now_, that it was half
a century ago, we will insert, in the first place, an advertisement
published in a North Carolina newspaper, Oct. 29, 1785, by W. SKINNER,
the Clerk of the County of Perquimons, North Carolina.

"Ten silver dollars reward will be paid for apprehending and
delivering to me my man Moses, who ran away this morning; or I will
give five times the sum to any person who will make due proof of his
_being killed_, and never ask a question to know by whom it was done."


_Perquimons County, N.C. Oct. 29, 1785._

The late JOHN PARRISH, of Philadelphia, an eminent minister of the
religious society of Friends, who traveled through the slave states
about _thirty-five years_ since, on a religious mission, published on
his return a pamphlet of forty pages, entitled 'Remarks on the Slavery
of the Black People.' From this work we extract the following
illustrations of 'public opinion' in North and South Carolina and
Virginia at that period.

"When I was traveling through North Carolina, a black man, who was
outlawed, being shot by one of his pursuers, and left wounded in the
woods, they came to an ordinary where I had stopped to feed my horse,
in order to procure a cart to bring the poor wretched object in.
Another, I was credibly informed, was shot, his head cut off, and
carried in a bag by the perpetrators of the murder, who received the
reward, which was said to be $200, continental currency, and that his
head was stuck on a coal house at an iron works in Virginia--and this
for going to visit his wife at a distance. Crawford gives an account
of a man being gibbetted alive in South Carolina, and the buzzards
came and picked out his eyes. Another was burnt to death at a stake in
Charleston, surrounded by a multitude of spectators, some of whom were
people of the _first rank_; ... the poor object was heard to cry, as
long as he could breathe, 'not guilty--not guilty.'"

The following is an illustration of the 'public opinion' of South
Carolina about fifty years ago. It is taken from Judge Stroud's Sketch
of the Slave Laws, page 39.

"I find in the case of 'the State vs. M'Gee,' I Bay's Reports, 164, it
is said incidentally by Messrs. Pinckney and Ford, counsel for the
state (of S.C.), 'that the _frequency_ of the offence (_wilful_ murder
of a slave) was owing to the _nature of the punishment_', &c.... This
remark was made in 1791, when the above trial took place. It was made
in a public place--a courthouse--and by men of great personal
respectability. There can be, therefore, no question as to its
_truth_, and as little of its _notoriety_."

In 1791 the Grand Jury for the district of Cheraw, S.C. made a
_presentment_, from which the following is an extract.

"We, the Grand Jurors of and for the district of Cheraw, do present
the INEFFICACY of the present punishment for killing negroes, as a
great defect in the legal system of this state: and we do earnestly
recommend to the attention of the legislature, that clause of the
negro act, which confines the penalty for killing slaves to fine and
imprisonment only: in full confidence, that they will provide some
other _more effectual_ measures to prevent the FREQUENCY of crimes of
this nature."--_Matthew Carey's American Museum, for Feb.
1791_.--Appendix, p. 10.

The following is a specimen of the 'public opinion' of Georgia twelve
years since. We give it in the strong words of COLONEL STONE, Editor
of the New York Commercial Advertiser. We take it from that paper of
June 8, 1827.

"HUNTING MEN WITH DOGS.-A negro who had absconded from his master, and
for whom a reward of $100 was offered, has been apprehended and
committed to prison in Savannah. The editor, who states the fact,
adds, with as much coolness as though there were no barbarity in the
matter, that he did not surrender till _he was considerably_ MAIMED BY
THE DOGS that had been set on him--desperately fighting them--one of
which he badly cut with a sword."

Twelve days after the publication of the preceding fact, the following
horrible transaction took place in Perry county, Alabama. We extract
it from the African Observer, a monthly periodical, published in
Philadelphia, by the society of Friends. See No. for August, 1827.

"Tuscaloosa, Ala. June 20, 1827.

"Some time during the last week a Mr. M'Neilly having lost some
clothing, or other property of no great value, the slave of a
neighboring planter was charged with the theft. M'Neilly, in company
with his brother, found the negro driving his master's wagon; they
seized him, and either did, or were about to chastise him, when the
negro stabbed M'Neilly, so that he died in an hour afterwards. The
negro was taken before a justice of the peace, who _waved his
authority_, perhaps through fear, as a crowd of persons had collected
to the number of seventy or eighty, near Mr. People's (the justice)
house. _He acted as president of the mob,_ and put the vote, when it
was decided he should be immediately executed by _being burnt to
death_. The sable culprit was led to a tree, and tied to it, and a
large quantity of pine knots collected and placed around him, and the
fatal torch applied to the pile, even against the remonstrances of
several gentlemen who were present; and the miserable being was in a
short time burned to ashes.

"This is the SECOND negro who has been THUS put to death, without
judge or jury, in this county."

The following advertisements, testimony, &c. will show that the
slaveholders of _to-day_ are the _children_ of those who shot, and
hunted with bloodhounds, and burned over slow fires, the slaves of
half a century ago; the worthy inheritors of their civilization,
chivalry, and tender mercies.

The "Wilmington (North Carolina) Advertiser" of July 13, 1838,
contains the following advertisement.

"$100 will be paid to any person who may apprehend and safely confine
in any jail in this state, a certain negro man, named ALFRED. And the
same reward will be paid, if satisfactory evidence is given of _having
been_ KILLED. He has one or more scars on one of his hands, caused by
his having been shot.


"Richlands, Onslow co. May 16th, 1838."

In the same column with the above and directly under it is the

"RANAWAY my negro man RICHARD. A reward of $25 will be paid for his
apprehension DEAD or ALIVE. Satisfactory proof will only be required
of his being KILLED. He has with him, in all probability, his wife
ELIZA, who ran away from Col. Thompson, now a resident of Alabama,
about the time he commenced his journey to that state. DURANT H.

In the "Mason (Georgia) Telegraph," May 28, is the following:

"About the 1st of March last the negro man RANSOM left me without the
least provocation whatever; I will give a reward of twenty dollars for
said negro, if taken DEAD OR ALIVE,--and if killed in any attempt, an
advance of five dollars will be paid. BRYANT JOHNSON.

"_Crawford co. Georgia_"

See the "Newbern (N.C.) Spectator," Jan. 5, 1838, for the

"RANAWAY, from the subscriber, a negro man named SAMPSON. Fifty
dollars reward will be given for the delivery of him to me, or his
confinement in any jail so that I get him, and should he resist in
being taken, so that violence is necessary to arrest him, I will not
hold any person liable for damages should the slave be KILLED. ENOCH

"Jones County, N.C."

From the "Macon (Ga.) Messenger," June 14, 1838.

"TO THE OWNERS OF RUNAWAY NEGROES. A large mulatto Negro man, between
thirty-five and forty years old, about six feet in height, having a
high forehead, and hair slightly grey, was KILLED, near my plantation,
on the 9th inst. _He would not surrender_ but assaulted Mr. Bowen, who
killed him in self-defence. If the owner desires further information
relative to the death of his negro, he can obtain it by letter, or by
calling on the subscriber ten miles south of Perry, Houston county.

From the 'Charleston (S.C.) Courier,' Feb. 20, 1836.

"$300 REWARD. Ranaway from the subscriber, in November last, his two
negro men, named Billy and Pompey.

"Billy is 25 years old, and is known as the patroon of my boat for
many years; in all probability he may resist; in that event 50 dollars
will be paid for his HEAD."

From the 'Newbern (N.C.) Spectator,' Dec 2. 1836.

"$200 REWARD. Ranaway from the subscriber, about three years ago, a
certain negro man named Ben, commonly known by the name of Ben Fox. He
had but one eye. Also, one other negro, by the name of Rigdon, who
ranaway on the 8th of this month.

"I will give the reward of one hundred dollars for each of the above
negroes, to be delivered to me or confined in the jail of Lenoir or

In the same number of the Spectator two Justices of the Peace
advertise the same runaways, and give notice that if they do not
immediately return to W.D. Cobb, their master, they will be considered
as outlaws, and any body may kill them. The following is an extract
from the proclamation of the JUSTICES.

"And we do hereby, by virtue of an act of the assembly of this state,
concerning servants and slaves, intimate and declare, if the said
slaves do not surrender themselves and return home to their master
immediately after the publication of these presents, _that any person
may kill and destroy said slaves by such means as he or they think
fit, without accusation or impeachment of any crime or offence for so
doing, or without incurring any penalty or forfeiture thereby._

"Given under our hands and seals, this 12th November, 1836.

"B. COLEMAN, J.P. [Seal.]

"JAS. JONES, J.P. [Seal.]"

On the 28th, of April 1836, in the city of St Louis, Missouri, a black
man, named McIntosh who had stabbed an officer, that had arrested him,
was seized by the multitude, fastened to a tree _in the midst of the
city_, wood piled around him, and in open day and in the presence of
an immense throng of citizens, he was burned to death. The Alton
(Ill.) Telegraph, in its account of the scene says;

"All was silent as death while the executioners were piling wood
around their victim. He said not a word, until feeling that the flames
had seized upon him. He then uttered an awful howl, attempting to sing
and pray, then hung his head, and suffered in silence, except in the
following instance:--After the flames had surrounded their prey, his
eyes burnt out of his head, and his mouth seemingly parched to a
cinder, some one in the crowd, more compassionate than the rest,
proposed to put an end to his misery by shooting him, when it was
replied, 'that would be of no use, since he was already out of pain.'
'No, no,' said the wretch, 'I am not, I am suffering as much as ever;
shoot me, shoot me.' 'No, no,' said one of the fiends who was standing
about the sacrifice they were roasting, 'he shall not be shot. _I
would sooner slacken the fire, if that would increase his misery_;'
and the man who said this was, as we understand, an OFFICER OF

The St. Louis correspondent of a New York paper adds,

"The shrieks and groans of the victim were loud and piercing, and to
observe one limb after another drop into the fire was awful indeed. He
was about fifteen minutes in dying. I visited the place this morning,
and saw his body, or the remains of it, at the place of execution. He
was burnt to a crump. His legs and arms were gone, and only a part of
his head and body were left."

Lest this demonstration of 'public opinion' should be regarded as a
sudden impulse merely, not an index of the settled tone of feeling in
that community, it is important to add, that the Hon. Luke E. Lawless,
Judge of the Circuit Court of Missouri, at a session of that Court in
the city of St. Louis, some months after the burning of this man,
decided officially that since the burning of McIntosh was the act,
either directly or by countenance of a _majority_ of the citizens, it
is 'a case which transcends the jurisdiction,' of the Grand Jury! Thus
the state of Missouri has proclaimed to the world, that the wretches
who perpetrated that unspeakably diabolical murder, and the thousands
that stood by consenting to it, were _her representatives_, and the
Bench sanctifies it with the solemnity of a judicial decision.

The 'New Orleans Post,' of June 7, 1836, publishes the following;

"We understand, that a negro man was lately condemned, by the mob, to
be BURNED OVER A SLOW FIRE, which was put into execution at Grand
Gulf, Mississippi, for murdering a black woman, and her master."

Mr. HENRY BRADLEY, of Pennyan, N.Y., has furnished us with an extract
of a letter written by a gentleman in Mississippi to his brother in
that village, detailing the particulars of the preceding transaction.
The letter is dated Grand Gulf, Miss. August 15, 1836. The extract is
as follows:

"I left Vicksburg and came to Grand Gulf. This is a fine place
immediately on the banks of the Mississippi, of something like fifteen
hundred inhabitants in the winter, and at this time, I suppose, there
are not over two hundred white inhabitants, but in the town and its
vicinity there are negroes by thousands. The day I arrived at this
place there was a man by the name of G---- murdered by a negro man
that belonged to him. G---- was born and brought up in A----, state of
New York. His father and mother now live south of A----. He has left a
property here, it is supposed, of forty thousand dollars, and no

"They took the negro, mounted him on a horse, led the horse under a
tree, put a rope around his neck, raised him up by throwing the rope
over a limb; they then got into a quarrel among themselves; some swore
that he should be burnt alive; the rope was cut and the negro dropped
to the ground. He immediately jumped to his feet; they then made him
walk a short distance to a tree; he was then tied fast and a fire
kindled, when another quarrel took place; the fire was pulled away
from him when about half dead, and a committee of twelve appointed to
say in what manner he should be disposed of. They brought in that he
should then be cut down, his head cut off, his body burned, and his
head stuck on a pole at the corner of the road in the edge of the
town. That was done and all parties satisfied!

"G---- _owned the negro's wife, and was in the habit of sleeping with
her!_ The negro said he had killed him, and he believed he should be
rewarded in heaven for it.

"This is but one instance among many of a similar nature.


We have received a more detailed account of this transaction from Mr.
William Armstrong, of Putnam, Ohio, through Maj. Horace Nye, of that
place. Mr. A. who has been for some years employed as captain and
supercargo of boats descending the river, was at Grand Gulf at the
time of the tragedy, and _witnessed_ it. It was on the Sabbath.
From Mr. Armstrong's statement, it appears that the slave was
a man of uncommon intelligence; had the over-sight of a large
business--superintended the purchase of supplies for his master,
&c.--that exasperated by the intercourse of his master with his wife,
he was upbraiding her one evening, when his master overhearing him,
went out to quell him, was attacked by the infuriated man and killed
on the spot. The name of the master was Green; he was a native of
Auburn, New York, and had been at the south but a few years.

Mr. EZEKIEL BIRDSEYE, of Cornwall, Conn., a gentleman well known and
highly respected in Litchfield county, who resided a number of years
in South Carolina, gives the following testimony:--

"A man by the name of Waters was killed by his slaves, in Newberry
District. Three of them were tried before the court, and ordered to be
burnt. I was but a few miles distant at the time, and conversed with
those who saw the execution. The slaves were tied to a stake, and
pitch pine wood piled around them, to which the fire was communicated.
Thousands were collected to witness this barbarous transaction. _Other
executions of this kind took place in various parts of the state,
during my residence in it, from 1818 to 1824_. About three or four
years ago, a young negro was burnt in Abbeville District, for an
attempt at rape."

In the fall of 1837, there was a rumor of a projected insurrection on
the Red River, in Louisiana. The citizens forthwith seized and hanged
previous to that transaction, a slave was seized in a similar manner
and publicly burned to death, in Arkansas. In July, 1835, the citizens
of Madison county, Mississippi, were alarmed by rumors of an
insurrection arrested five slaves and publicly executed them without

The Missouri Republican, April 30, 1838, gives the particulars of the
deliberate murder of a negro man named Tom, a cook on board the
steamboat Pawnee, on her passage up from New Orleans to St. Louis.
Some of the facts stated by the Republican are the following:

"On Friday night, about 10 o'clock, a deaf and dumb German girl was
found in the storeroom with Tom. The door was locked, and at first Tom
denied she was there. The girl's father came. Tom unlocked the door,
and the girl was found secreted in the room behind a barrel. The next
morning some four or five of the deck passengers spoke to the captain
about it. This was about breakfast time. Immediately after he left the
deck, a number of the deck passengers rushed upon the negro, bound his
arms behind his back and carried him forward to the bow of the boat. A
voice cried out 'throw him overboard,' and was responded to from every
quarter of the deck--and in an instant he was plunged into the river.
The whole scene of tying him and throwing him overboard scarcely
occupied _ten minutes_, and was so precipitate that the officers were
unable to interfere in time to save him.

"There were between two hundred and fifty and three hundred passengers
on board."

The whole process of seizing Tom, dragging him upon deck, binding his
arms behind his back, forcing him to the bow of the boat, and throwing
him overboard, occupied, the editor informs us, about TEN MINUTES, and
of the two hundred and fifty or three hundred deck passengers, with
perhaps as many cabin passengers, it does not appear that _a single
individual raised a finger to prevent this deliberate murder_; and the
cry "throw him overboard," was it seems, "responded to from every
quarter of the deck!"

Rev. JAMES A. THOME, of Augusta, Ky., son of Arthur Thome, Esq., till
recently a slaveholder, published five years since the following
description of a scene witnessed by him in New Orleans:

"In December of 1833, I landed at New Orleans, in the steamer W----.
It was after night, dark and rainy. The passengers were called out of
the cabin, from the enjoyment of a fire, which the cold, damp
atmosphere rendered very comfortable, by a sudden shout of, 'catch
him--catch him--catch the negro.' The cry was answered by a hundred
voices--'Catch him--_kill_ him,' and a rush from every direction
toward our boat, indicated that the object of pursuit was near. The
next moment we heard a man plunge into the river, a few paces above
us. A crowd gathered upon the shore, with lamps and stones, and clubs,
still crying, 'catch him--kill him--catch him--shoot him.'

"I soon discovered the poor man. He had taken refuge under the prow of
another boat, and was standing in the water up to his waist. The
angry vociferation of his pursuers, did not intimidate him. He defied
them all. 'Don't you _dare_ to come near me, or I will sink you in the
river.' He was armed with despair. For a moment the mob was palsied by
the energy of his threatenings. They were afraid to go to him with a
skiff, but a number of them went on to the boat and tried to seize
him. They threw a noose rope down repeatedly, _that they might pull
him up by the neck_! but he planted his hand firmly against the boat
and dashed the rope away with his arms. One of them took a long bar of
wood, and leaning over the prow, endeavored to strike him on the head,
The blow must have shattered the skull, but it did not reach low
enough. The monster raised up the heavy club again and said, 'Come out
now, you old rascal, or die.' 'Strike,' said the negro;
'strike--shiver my brains _now_; I want to die;' and down went the
club again, without striking. This was repeated several times. The
mob, seeing their efforts fruitless, became more enraged and
threatened to stone him, if he did not surrender himself into their
hands. He again defied them, and declared that he would drown himself
in the river, before they should have him. They then resorted to
persuasion, and promised they would not hurt him. 'I'll die first;'
was his only reply. Even the furious mob was awed, and for a while
stood dumb.

"After standing in the cold water for an hour, the miserable being
began to fail. We observed him gradually sinking--his voice grew weak
and tremulous--yet he continued to _curse_! In the midst of his oaths
he uttered broken sentences--'I did'nt steal the meat--I did'nt
steal--my master lives--master--master lives up the river--(his voice
began to gurgle in his throat, and he was so chilled that his teeth
chattered audibly)--I did'nt--steal--I did'nt steal--my--my
master--my--I want to see my master--I didn't--no--my mas--you
want--you want to kill me--I didn't steal the'--His last words could
just be heard as be sunk under the water.

"During this indescribable scene, _not one of the hundred that stood
around made any effort to save the man until he was apparently
drowned_. He was then dragged out and stretched on the bow of the
boat, and soon sufficient means were used for his recovery. The brutal
captain ordered him to be taken off his boat--declaring, with an oath,
that he would throw him into the river again, if he was not
immediately removed. I withdrew, sick and horrified with this
appalling exhibition of wickedness.

"Upon inquiry, I learned that the colored man lived some fifty miles
up the Mississippi; that he had been charged with stealing some
article from the wharf; was fired upon with a pistol, and pursued by
the mob.

"In reflecting upon this unmingled cruelty--this insensibility to
suffering and disregard of life--I exclaimed,

'Is there no flesh in man's obdurate heart?'

"One poor man, chased like a wolf by a hundred blood hounds, yelling,
howling, and gnashing their teeth upon him--plunges into the cold
river to seek protection! A crowd of spectators witness the scene,
with all the composure with which a Roman populace would look upon a
gladiatorial show. Not a voice heard in the sufferer's behalf. At
length the powers of nature give way; the blood flows back to the
heart--the teeth chatter--the voice trembles and dies, while the
victim drops down into his grave.

"What an atrocious system is that which leaves two millions of souls,
friendless and powerless--hunted and chased--afflicted and tortured
and driven to death, without the means of redress.--Yet such is the
system of slavery."

The 'public opinion' of slaveholders is illustrated by scores of
announcements in southern papers, like the following, from the
Raleigh, (N.C.) Register, August 20, 1838. Joseph Gale and Son,
editors and proprietors--the father and brother of the editor of the
National Intelligence, Washington city, D.C.

"On Saturday night, Mr. George Holmes, of this county, and some of his
friends, were in pursuit of a runaway slave (the property of Mr.
Holmes) and fell in with him in attempting to make his escape. Mr. H.
discharged a gun at his legs, for the purpose of disabling him; but
unfortunately, the slave stumbled, and the shot struck him near the
small of the back, of which wound he died in a short time. The slave
continued to run some distance after he was shot, until overtaken by
one of the party. We are satisfied, from all that we can learn, that
Mr. H. had no intention of inflicting a mortal wound."

Oh! the _gentleman_, it seems, only shot at his legs, merely to
'disable'--and it must be expected that every _gentleman_ will amuse
himself in shooting at his own property whenever the notion takes him,
and if he should happen to hit a little higher and go through the
small of the back instead of the legs, why every body says it is
'unfortunate,' and the whole of the editorial corps, instead of
branding him as a barbarous wretch for shooting at his slave, whatever
part be aimed at, join with the oldest editor in North Carolina, in
complacently exonerating Mr. Holmes by saying, "We are satisfied that
Mr. H. had no intention of inflicting a mortal wound." And so 'public
opinion' wraps it up!

The Franklin (La.) Republican, August 19, 1837, has the following:

"NEGROES TAKEN.--Four gentlemen of this vicinity, went out yesterday
for the purpose of finding the camp of some noted runaways, supposed
to be near this place; the camp was discovered about 11 o'clock, the
negroes four in number, three men and one woman, finding they were
discovered, tried to make their escape through the cane; two of them
were fired on, one of which made his escape; the other one fell after
running a short distance, his wounds are not supposed to be dangerous;
the other man was taken without any hurt; the woman also made her

Thus terminated the mornings amusement of the '_four gentlemen_,'
whose exploits are so complacently chronicled by the editor of the
Franklin Republican. The three men and one woman were all fired upon,
it seems, though only one of them was shot down. The half famished
runaways made not the least resistance, they merely rushed in panic
among the canes, at the sight of their pursuers, and the bullets
whistled after them and brought to the ground one poor fellow, who was
carried back by his captors as a trophy of the 'public opinion' among

In the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph, Nov. 27, 1838, we find the following
account of a runaway's den, and of the good luck of a 'Mr. Adams,' in
running down one of them 'with his excellent dogs:'

"A runaway's den was discovered on Sunday near the Washington Spring,
in a little patch of woods, where it had been for several months, so
artfully concealed under ground, that it was detected only by
accident, though in sight of two or three houses, and near the road
and fields where there has been constant daily passing. The entrance
was concealed by a pile of pine straw, representing a hog bed--which
being removed, discovered a trap door and steps that led to a room
about six feet square, comfortably ceiled with plank, containing a
small fire-place the flue of which was ingeniously conducted above
ground and concealed by the straw. The inmates took the alarm and made
their escape; but Mr. Adams and his excellent dogs being put upon the
trail, soon run down and secured one of them, which proved to be a
negro fellow who had been out about a year. He stated that the other
occupant was a woman, who had been a runaway a still longer time. In
the den was found a quantity of meal, bacon, corn, potatoes, &c., and
various cooking utensils and wearing apparel."

Yes, Mr. Adams' 'EXCELLENT DOGS' did the work! They were well trained,
swift, fresh, keen-scented, 'excellent' men-hunters, and though the
poor fugitive in his frenzied rush for liberty, strained every muscle,
yet they gained upon him, and after dashing through fens, brier-beds,
and the tangled undergrowth till faint and torn, he sinks, and the
blood-hounds are upon him. What blood-vessels the poor struggler burst
in his desperate push for life--how much he was bruised and lacerated
in his plunge through the forest, or how much the dogs tore him, the
Macon editor has not chronicled--they are matters of no moment--but
his heart is touched with the merits of Mr. Adams' 'EXCELLENT DOGS,'
that 'soon _run down_ and _secured_' a guiltless and trembling human

The Georgia Constitutionalist, of Jan. 1837, contains the following
letter from the coroner of Barnwell District, South Carolina, dated
Aiken, S.C. Dec. 20, 1836.

"_To the Editor of the Constitutionalist:_

"I have just returned from an inquest I held over the body of a negro
man, a runaway, that was shot near the South Edisto, in this District,
(Barnwell,) on Saturday last. He came to his death by his own
recklessness. He refused to be taken alive--and said that other
attempts to take him had been made, and he was determined that he
would not be taken. He was at first, (when those in pursuit of him
found it absolutely necessary,) shot at with small shot, with the
intention of merely crippling him. He was shot at several times, and
at last he was so disabled as to be compelled to surrender. He kept in
the run of a creek in a very dense swamp all the time that the
neighbors were in pursuit of him. As soon as the negro was taken, the
best medical aid was procured, but he died on the same evening. One of
the witnesses at the Inquisition, stated that the negro boy said he
was from Mississippi, and belonged to so many persons, that he did not
know who his master was, but again he said his master's name was
Brown. He said his name was Sam, and when asked by another witness,
who his master was, he muttered something like Augusta or Augustine.
The boy was apparently above thirty-five or forty years of age, about
six feet high, slightly yellow in the face, very long beard or
whiskers, and very stout built, and a stern countenance; and appeared
to have been a runaway for a long time.

_Coroner (Ex-officio,) Barnwell Dist. S.C._"

The Norfolk (Va.) Herald, of Feb. 1837, has the following:

"Three negroes in a ship's yawl, came on shore yesterday evening, near
New Point Comfort, and were soon after apprehended and lodged in jail.
Their story is, that they belonged to a brig from New York bound to
Havana, which was cast away to the southward of Cape Henry, some day
last week; that the brig was called the Maria, Captain Whittemore. I
have no doubt they are deserters from some vessel in the bay, as their
statements are very confused and inconsistent. One of these fellows is
a mulatto, and calls himself Isaac Turner; the other two are quite
black, the one passing by the name of James Jones and the other John
Murray. They have all their clothing with them, and are dressed in
sea-faring apparel. They attempted to make their escape, and _it was
not till a musket was fired at them, and one of them slightly
wounded_, that they surrendered. They will be kept in jail till
something further is discovered respecting them."

The 'St. Francisville (La.) Chronicle,' of Feb. 1, 1839. Gives the
following account of a 'negro hunt,' in that Parish.

"Two or three days since a gentleman of this parish, in _hunting
runaway negroes_, came upon a camp of them in the swamp on Cat Island.
He succeeded in arresting two of them, but the third made fight; and
upon _being shot in the shoulder_, fled to a sluice, where the _dogs
succeeded_ in drowning him before assistance could arrive."

"'The dogs _succeeded_ in drowning him'! Poor fellow! He tried hard for
his life, plunged into the sluice, and, with a bullet in his shoulder,
and the blood hounds unfleshing his bones, he bore up for a moment
with feeble stroke as best he might, but 'public opinion,'
'_succeeded_ in drowning him,' and the same 'public opinion,' calls
the man who fired and crippled him, and cheered on the dogs, 'a
gentleman,' and the editor who celebrates the exploit is a 'gentleman'

A large number of extracts similar to the above, might here be
inserted from Southern newspapers in our possession, but the foregoing
are more than sufficient for our purpose, and we bring to a close the
testimony on this point, with the following. Extract of a letter, from
the Rev. Samuel J. May, of South Scituate, Mass. dated Dec. 20, 1838.

"You doubtless recollect the narrative given in the Oasis, of a slave
in Georgia, who having ranaway from his master, (accounted a very
hospitable and even humane gentleman,) was hunted by his master and
his retainers with horses, dogs, and rifles, and having been driven
into a tree by the hounds, was shot down by his more cruel pursuers.
All the facts there given, and some others equally shocking, connected
with the same case, were first communicated to me in 1833, by Mr. W.
Russell, a highly respectable teacher of youth in Boston. He is
doubtless ready to vouch for them. The same gentleman informed me that
he was keeping school on or near the plantation of the monster who
perpetrated the above outrage upon humanity, that he was even invited
by him to join in the hunt, and when he expressed abhorrence at the
thought, the planter holding up the rifle which he had in his hand
said with an oath, 'damn that rascal, this is the third time he has
runaway, and he shall never run again. I'd rather put a ball into his
side, than into the best buck in the land.'"

Mr. Russell, in the account given by him of this tragedy in the
'Oasis,' page 267, thus describes the slaveholder who made the above
expression, and was the leader of the 'hunt,' and in whose family he
resided at the time as an instructor he says of him--he was "an
opulent planter, in whose family the evils of slaveholding were
palliated by every expedient that a humane and generous disposition
could suggest. He was a man of noble and elevated character, and
distinguished for his generosity, and kindness of heart."

In a letter to Mr. May, dated Feb. 3, 1839, Mr. Russell, speaking of
the hunting of runaways with dogs and guns, says: "Occurrences of a
nature similar to the one related in the 'Oasis,' were not unfrequent
in the interior of Georgia and South Carolina twenty years ago.
_Several_ such fell under my notice within the space of fifteen
months. In two such 'hunts,' I was solicited to join."

The following was written by a sister-in-law of Gerrit Smith, Esq.,
Peterboro. She is married to the son of a North Carolinian.

"In North Carolina, some years ago, several slaves were arrested for
committing serious crimes and depredations, in the neighborhood of
Wilmington, among other things, burning houses, and, in one or more
instances, murder.

"It happened that the wife of one of these slaves resided in one of
the most respectable families in W. in the capacity of nurse. Mr. J.
_the first lawyer in the place_, came into the room, where the lady of
the house, was sitting, with the nurse, who held a child in her arms,
and, addressing the nurse, said, Hannah! would you know your husband
if you should see him?--Oh, yes, sir, she replied--When HE DREW FROM
BENEATH HIS CLOAK THE HEAD OF THE SLAVE, at the sight of which the
poor woman immediately fainted. The heads of the others were placed
upon poles, in some part of the town, afterwards known as 'Negro Head

We have just received the above testimony, enclosed in a letter from
Mr. Smith, in which he says, "that the fact stated by my
sister-in-law, actually occurred, there can be no doubt."

The following extract from the Diary of the Rev. ELIAS CORNELIUS, we
insert here, having neglected to do it under a preceding head, to
which it more appropriately belongs.

"New Orleans, Sabbath, February 15, 1818. Early this morning
accompanied A.H. Esq. to the _hospital_, with the view of making
arrangements to preach to such of the sick as could understand
English. The first room we entered presented a scene of human misery,
such as I had never before witnessed. A poor negro man was lying upon
a couch, apparently in great distress; a more miserable object can
hardly be conceived. His face was much _disfigured_, an IRON COLLAR,
while one of his feet and part of the leg were in a state of
putrefaction. We inquired the cause of his being in this distressing
condition, and he answered us in a faltering voice, that he was
willing to tell us all the truth.

"He belonged to Mr. ---- a Frenchman, ran-away, was caught, and
punished with one hundred lashes! This happened about Christmas; and
during the cold weather at that time, he was confined in the
_Cane-house, with a scanty portion of clothing, and without fire_. In
this situation his foot had frozen, and mortified, and having been
removed from place to place, he was yesterday brought here by order of
his new master, who was an American. I had no time to protract my
conversation with him then, but resolved to return in a few hours and
pray with him.

"Having returned home, I again visited the hospital at half past
eleven o'clock, and concluded first of all [he was to preach at 12,]
to pray with the poor lacerated negro. I entered the apartment in
which he lay, and observed an old man sitting upon a couch; but,
without saying anything went up to the bed-side of the negro, who
appeared to be asleep. I spoke to him, but he gave no answer. I spoke
again, and moved his head, still he said nothing. My apprehensions
were immediately excited, and I felt for his pulse, but it was gone.
Said I to the old man, 'surely this negro is dead.' 'No,' he answered,
'he has fallen asleep, for he had a very restless season last night.'
I again examined and called the old gentleman to the bed, and alas, it
was found true, that he was dead. Not an eye had witnessed his last
struggle, and I was the first, as it should happen, to discover the
fact. I called several men into the room, and without ceremony they
wrapped him in a sheet, and carried him to the _dead-house_ as it is
called."--Edwards' Life of Rev. Elias Cornelius, pp. 101, 2, 3.


This may be judged of from the fact that it is perfectly notorious
among slaveholders, both North and South, that of the tens of
thousands of slaves sold annually in the northern slave states to be
transported to the south, large numbers of them die under the severe,
process of acclimation, _all_ suffer more or less, and multitudes
_much_, in their health and strength, during their first years in the
far south and south west. That such is the case is sufficiently proved
by the care taken by all who advertise for sale or hire in Louisiana,
Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, &c. to inform the reader, that their
slaves are 'Creoles,' 'southern born,' 'country born,' &c. or if they
are from the north, that they are 'acclimated,' and the importance
attached to their _acclimation_, is shown in the fact, that it is
generally distinguished from the rest of the advertisements either by
_italics_ or CAPITALS. Almost every newspaper published in the states
far south contains advertisements like the following.

[Footnote 38: See pp. 37-39.]

From the "Vicksburg (Mi.) Register," Dec. 27, 1838.

"I OFFER my plantation for sale. Also seventy-five _acclimated
Negroes_. O.B. COBB."

From the "Southerner," June 7, 1837.

"I WILL sell my Old-River plantation near Columbia in Arkansas;--also

_Port Gibson, Jan. 14, 1837._

From the "Planters' (La.) Intelligencer," March 22.

"Probate sale--Will be offered for sale at Public Auction, to the
highest bidder, ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY _acclimated_ slaves."

Judge of the Parish of Concordia"

From the "Arkansas Advocate," May 22, 1837.

"By virtue of a Deed of Trust, executed to me, I will sell at public
auction at Fisher's Prairie, Arkansas, sixty LIKELY NEGROES,
consisting of Men, Women, Boys and Girls, the most of whom are WELL


From the "New Orleans Bee," Feb. 9, 1838.


"Will be sold on Saturday, 10th inst. at 12 o'clock, at the city
exchange, St. Louis street."

Then follows a description of the slaves, closing with the same
assertion, which forms the caption of the advertisement "ALL

General Felix Houston, of Natchez, advertises in the "Natchez
Courier," April 6, 1838, "Thirty five very fine _acclimated_ Negroes."

Without inserting more advertisements, suffice it to say, that when
slaves are advertised for sale or hire, in the lower southern country,
if they are _natives_, or have lived in that region long enough to
become acclimated, it is _invariably_ stated.

But we are not left to _conjecture_ the amount of suffering
experienced by slaves from the north in undergoing the severe process
of 'seasoning' to the climate, or '_acclimation_' A writer in the New
Orleans Argus, September, 1830, in an article on the culture of the
sugar cane, says; 'The loss by _death_ in bringing slaves from a
northern climate, which our planters are under the necessity of doing,
is not less than TWENTY-FIVE PER CENT.'

Nothwithstanding the immense amount of suffering endured in the
process of acclimation, and the fearful waste of life, and the
_notoriety_ of this fact, still the 'public opinion' of Virginia,
Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, &c. annually DRIVES to the far
south, thousands of their slaves to undergo these sufferings, and the
'public opinion,' of the far south buys them, and forces the helpless
victims to endure them.


This is shown by hundreds of advertisements in southern papers, like
the following:

From the "Mobile Register," July 21. 1837. "WILL BE SOLD CHEAP FOR
CASH, in front of the Court House of Mobile County, on the 22d day of
July next, one mulatto man named HENRY HALL, WHO SAYS HE IS FREE; his
owner or owners, _if any_, having failed to demand him, he is to be
sold according to the statute in such cases made and provided, _to pay
Jail fees._

WM. MAGEE, Sh'ff M.C."

From the "Grand Gulf (Miss.) Advertiser," Dec. 7, 1838.

"COMMITTED to the jail of Chickasaw Co. Edmund, Martha, John and
Louisa; the man 50, the woman 35, John 3 years old, and Louisa 14
months. They say they are FREE and were decoyed to this state."

The "Southern Argus," of July 25, 1837, contains the following.

"RANAWAY from my plantation, a negro boy named William. Said boy was
taken up by Thomas Walton, and says _he was free_, and that his
parents live near Shawneetown, Illinois, and that he was _taken_ from
that place in July 1836; says his father's name is William, and his
mother's Sally Brown, and that they moved from Fredericksburg,
Virginia. I will give twenty dollars to any person who will deliver
said boy to me or Col. Byrn, Columbus. SAMUEL H. BYRN"

The first of the following advertisements was a standing one, in the
"Vicksburg Register," from Dec. 1835 till Aug. 1836. The second
advertises the same FREE man for sale.

"SHERIFF'S SALE" "COMMITTED, to the jail of Warren county, as a
Runaway, on the 23d inst. a Negro man, who calls himself John J.
Robinson; _says that he is free_, says that he kept a baker's shop in
Columbus, Miss. and that he peddled through the Chickasaw nation to
Pontotoc, and came to Memphis, where he sold his horse, took water,
and came to this place. The owner of said boy is requested to come
forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be
dealt with as the law directs.

WM. EVERETT, Jailer.
Dec. 24, 1835"

"NOTICE is hereby given, that the above described boy, who calls
himself John J. Robinson, having been confined in the Jail of Warren
county as a Runaway, for six months--and having been regularly
advertised during this period, I shall proceed to sell said Negro boy
at public auction, to the highest bidder for cash, at the door of the
Court House in Vicksburg, on Monday, 1st day of August, 1836, in
pursuance of the statute in such cases made and provided.

E. W. MORRIS, Sheriff.
_Vicksburg, July 2, 1836._"

See "Newborn (N.C.) Spectator," of Jan. 5, 1838, for the following

"RANAWAY, from the subscriber a negro man known as Frank Pilot. He is
five feet eight inches high, dark complexion, and about 50 years old,
_HAS BEEN FREE SINCE_ 1829--is now my property, as heir at law of his
last owner, _Samuel Ralston_, dec. I will give the above reward if he
is taken and confined in any jail so that I can get him.

SAMUEL RALSTON. Pactolus, Pitt County."

From the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) "Flag of the Union," June 7.

"COMMITTED to the jail of Tuscaloosa county, a negro man, who says his
name is Robert Winfield, and _says he is free_.

R.W. BARBER, _Jailer_."

That "public opinion," in the slave states affords no protection to
the liberty of colored persons, even after those persons become
legally free, by the operation of their own laws, is declared by
Governor Comegys, of Delaware, in his recent address to the
Legislature of that state, Jan. 1839. The Governor, commenting upon
the law of the state which provides that persons convicted of certain
crimes shall be sold as servants for a limited time, says,

"_The case is widely different with the negro(!)_ Although ordered to
be disposed of as a servant for a term of years, _perpetual slavery in
the south is his inevitable doom_; unless, peradventure, age or
disease may have rendered him worthless, or some resident of the
State, from motives of _benevolence_, will pay for him three or four
times his intrinsic _value_. It matters not for how short a time he is
ordered to be sold, so that he can be carried from the State. Once
beyond its limits, _all chance of restored freedom is gone_--for he is
removed far from the reach of any testimony to aid him in an effort to
be released from bondage, when his _legal_ term of servitude has
expired. _Of the many colored convicts sold out of the State, it is
believed none ever return_. Of course they are purchased _with the
express view to their transportation for life_, and bring such
enormous prices as to prevent all _competition_ on the part of those
of our citizens who _require_ their services, and _would keep them in
the State_."

From the "Memphis (Ten.) Enquirer," Dec. 28, 1838.

"$50 REWARD. Ranaway, from the subscriber, on Thursday last, a negro
man named Isaac, 22 years old, about 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high, dark
complexion, well made, full face, speaks quick, and very correctly for
a negro. _He was originally from New-York_, and no doubt will attempt
to pass himself as free. I will give the above reward for his
apprehension and delivery, or confinement, so that I obtain him, if
taken out of the state, or $30 if taken within the state.

JNO. SIMPSON. _Memphis, Dec. 28._"

Mark, with what shameless hardihood this JNO. SIMPSON, tells the
public that _he knew_ Isaac Wright was a free man! 'HE WAS ORIGINALLY
FROM NEW YORK,' he tells us. And yet he adds with brazen effrontery,
'_he will attempt to pass himself as free._' This Isaac Wright, was
shipped by a man named Lewis, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and sold
as a slave in New Orleans. After passing through several hands, and
being flogged nearly to death, he made his escape, and five days ago,
(March 5,) returned to his friends in Philadelphia.

From the "Baltimore Sun," Dec. 23, 1838.

"FREE NEGROES--Merry Ewall, a FREE NEGRO, from Virginia, was committed
to jail, at Snow Hill, Md. last week, for remaining in the State
longer than is allowed by the law of 1831. The fine in his case
amounts to $225. Capril Purnell, a negro from Delaware, is now in jail
in the same place, for a violation of the same act. His fine amounts

The following is the decision of the Supreme Court, of Louisiana, in
the case of Gomez _vs_. Bonneval, Martin's La. Reports, 656, and
Wheeler's "Law of Slavery," p. 380-1.

_Marginal remark of the Compiler.--"A slave does not become free on
his being illegally imported into the state."_

"_Per Cur. Derbigny_, J. The petitioner is a negro in actual state of
slavery; he claims his freedom, and is bound to prove it. In his
attempt, however, to show that he was free before he was introduced
into this country, he has failed, so that his claim rests entirely on
the laws prohibiting the introduction of slaves in the United States.
That the plaintiff was imported since that prohibition does exist is a
fact sufficiently established by the evidence. What right he has
acquired under the laws forbidding such importation is the only
question which we have to examine. Formerly, while the act dividing
Louisiana into two territories was in force in this country, slaves
introduced here in contravention to it, were freed by operation of
law; but that act was merged in the legislative provisions which were
subsequently enacted on the subject of importation of slaves into the
United States generally. Under the now existing laws, the individuals
thus imported acquire _no personal right_, they are mere passive
beings, who are disposed of _according to the will_ of the different
state legislatures. In this country they are to _remain slaves_, and
TO BE SOLD FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE STATE. The plaintiff, therefore, has
nothing to claim as a freeman; and as to a mere change of master,
should such be his wish, _he cannot be listened to in a court of

Extract from a speech of Mr. Thomson of Penn. in Congress, March 1,
1826, on the prisons in the District of Columbia.

"I visited the prisons twice that I might myself ascertain the truth.
* * In one of these cells (but eight feet square,) were confined at
that time, seven persons, three women and four children. The children
were confined under a strange system of law in this District, by which
a colored person who _alleges_ HE IS FREE, and appeals to the
tribunals of the country, to have the matter tried, is COMMITTED TO
PRISON, till the decision takes place. They were almost naked--one of
them was sick, lying on the damp brick floor, _without bed, pillow, or
covering_. In this abominable cell, seven human beings were confined
day by day, and night after night, without a bed, chair, or stool, or
any other of the most common necessaries of life."--_Gales'
Congressional Debates_, v.2, p. 1480.

The following facts serve to show, that the present generation of
slaveholders do but follow in the footsteps of their fathers, in their
zeal for LIBERTY.

Extract from a document submitted by the Committee of the yearly
meeting of Friends in Philadelphia, to the Committee of Congress, to
whom was referred the memorial of the people called Quakers, in 1797.

"In the latter part of the year 1776, several of the people called
Quakers, residing in the counties of Perquimans and Pasquotank, in the
state of North Carolina, liberated their negroes, as it was then clear
there was no existing law to prevent their so doing; for the law of
1741 could not at that time be carried into effect; and they were
suffered to remain free, until a law passed, in the spring of 1777,
under which they were taken up and sold, contrary to the Bill of
Rights, recognized in the constitution of that state, as a part
thereof, and to which it was annexed.

"In the spring of 1777, when the General Assembly met for the first
time, a law was enacted to prevent slaves from being emancipated,
except for meritorious services, &c. to be judged of by the county
courts or the general assembly; and ordering, that if any should be
manumitted in any other way, they be taken up, and the county courts
within whose jurisdictions they are apprehended should order them to
be sold. Under this law the county courts of Perquimans and
Pasquotank, in the year 1777, ordered A LARGE NUMBER OF PERSONS TO BE
several of those cases were, by certiorari, brought before the
superior court for the district of Edentorn, where the decisions of
the county courts were reversed, the superior court declaring, that
said county courts, in such their proceedings, have exceeded their
jurisdiction, violated the rights of the subject, and acted in direct
opposition to the Bill of Rights of this state, considered justly as
part of the constitution thereof; by giving to a law, not intended to
affect this case, a retrospective operation, thereby to deprive free
men of this state of their liberty, contrary to the laws of the land.
In consequence of this decree several of the negroes were again set at
liberty; but the next General Assembly, early in 1779, passed a law,
wherein they mention, that doubts have arisen, whether the purchasers
of such slaves have a good and legal title thereto, and CONFIRM the
same; under which they were again taken up by the purchasers and
reduced to slavery."

[The number of persons thus re-enslaved was 134.]

The following are the decrees of the Courts, ordering the sale of
those freemen:--

"Perquimans County, July term, at Hartford, A.D. 1777.

"These may certify, that it was then and there ordered, that the
sheriff of the county, to-morrow morning, at ten o'clock, expose to
sale, to the highest bidder, for ready money, at the court-house door,
the several negroes taken up as free, and in his custody, agreeable to

"Test. WM. SKINNER, Clerk. "A true copy, 25th August, 1791. "Test. J.
HARVEY, Clerk."

"Pasquotank County, September Court, &c. &c. 1777.

"Present, the Worshipful Thomas Boyd, Timothy Hickson, John Paelin,
Edmund Clancey, Joseph Reading, and Thomas Rees, Esqrs. Justices.

"It was then and there ordered, that Thomas Reading, Esq. take the
FREE negroes taken up under an act to prevent domestic insurrections
and other purposes, and expose the same to _the best bidder_, at
public vendue, for ready money, and be accountable for the same,
agreeable to the aforesaid act; and make return to this or the next
succeeding court of his proceedings.

"A copy. ENOCH REESE, C.C."


The barbarous indifference with which slaveholders regard the forcible
sundering of husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and
sisters, and the unfeeling brutality indicated by the language in
which they describe the efforts made by the slaves, in their yearnings
after those from whom they have been torn away, reveals a 'public
opinion' towards them as dead to their agony as if they were cattle.
It is well nigh impossible to open a southern paper without finding
evidence of this. Though the truth of this assertion can hardly be
called in question, we subjoin a few illustrations, and could easily
give hundreds.

From the "Savannah Georgian," Jan. 17, 1839. "$100 reward will be
given for my two fellows, Abram and Frank. Abram has a _wife_ at
Colonel Stewart's, in Liberty county, and a _sister_ in Savannah, at
Capt. Grovenstine's. Frank has a _wife_ at Mr. Le Cont's, Liberty
county; a _mother_ at Thunderbolt, and a _sister_ in Savannah.

WM. ROBARTS. Wallhourville, 5th Jan. 1839"

From the "Lexington (Ky.) Intelligencer." July 7, 1838.

"$160 Reward.--Ranaway from the subscribers living in this city, on
Saturday 16th inst. a negro man, named Dick, about 37 years of age. It
is highly probable said boy will make for New Orleans as _he has a
wife_ living in that city, and he has been heard to say frequently
that _he was determined to go to New Orleans_.

"DRAKE C. THOMPSON. "Lexington, June 17, 1838"

From the "Southern Argus," Oct. 31, 1837.

"Runaway--my negro man, Frederick, about 20 years of age. He is no
doubt near the plantation of G.W. Corprew, Esq of Noxubbee County,
Mississippi, as _his wife belongs to that gentleman, and he followed
her from my residence_. The above reward will be paid to any one who
will confine him in jail and inform me of it at Athens, Ala. "Athens,

From the "Savannah Georgian," July 8, 1837.

"Ran away from the subscriber, his man Joe. He visits the city
occasionally, where he has been harbored by his _mother_ and _sister_.
I will give one hundred dollars for proof sufficient to _convict his
harborers_. R.P.T. MONGIN."

The "Macon (Georgia) Messenger," Nov. 23, 1837, has the following:--

"$25 Reward.--Ran away, a negro man, named Cain. He was brought from
Florida, and _has a wife near Mariana_, and probably will attempt to
make his way there. H.L. COOK."

From the "Richmond (Va.) Whig," July 25, 1837.

"Absconded from the subscriber, a negro man, by the name of Wilson. He
was born in the county of New Kent, and raised by a gentleman named
Ratliffe, and by him sold to a gentleman named Taylor, on whose farm
he had a _wife_ and _several children_. Mr. Taylor sold him to a Mr.
Slater, who, in consequence of removing to Alabama, Wilson left; and
when retaken was sold, and afterwards purchased, by his present owner,
from T. McCargo and Co. of Richmond."

From the "Savannah (Ga. ) Republican," Sept. 3, 1838.

"$20 Reward for my negro man Jim.--Jim is about 50 or 55 years of age.
It is probable he will aim for Savannah, as he said _he had children_
in that vicinity.

Barnwell District, S.C."

From the "Staunton (Va.) Spectator," Jan. 3, 1839.

"Runaway, Jesse.--He has a _wife_, who belongs to Mr. John Ruff, of
Lexington, Rockbridge county, and he may probably be lurking in that
neighborhood. MOSES McCUE."

From the "Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle," July 10, 1837.

"$120 Reward for my negro Charlotte. She is about 20 years old. She
was purchased some months past from Mr. Thomas. J. Walton, of Augusta,
by Thomas W. Oliver; and, as her _mother_ and acquaintances live in
that city, it is very likely she is _harbored_ by some of them. MARTHA

From the "Raleigh (N.C.) Register," July 18, 1837.

Ranaway from the subscriber, a negro man named Jim, the property of
Mrs. Elizabeth Whitfield. He _has a wife_ at the late Hardy Jones',
and may probably be lurking in that neighborhood. JOHN O'RORKE."

From the "Richmond (Va.) Compiler," Sept. 8, 1837.

"Ranaway from the subscriber, Ben. He ran off without any known cause,
and _I suppose he is aiming to go to his wife, who was carried from
the neighborhood last winter_. JOHN HUNT."

From the "Charleston (S.C.) Mercury," Aug. 1, 1837.

"Absconded from Mr. E.D. Bailey, on Wadmalaw, his negro man, named
Saby. Said fellow was purchased in January, from Francis Dickinson, of
St. Paul's parish, and is probably now in that neighborhood, _where he
has a wife_. THOMAS N. GADSDEN."

From the "Portsmouth (Va.) Times," August 3, 1838.

"$50 dollars Reward will be given for the apprehension of my negro man
Isaac. He _has a wife_ at James M. Riddick's, of Gates county, N.C.
where he may probably be lurking. C. MILLER."

From the "Savannah (Georgia) Republican." May 24, 1838.

"$40 Reward.--Ran away from the subscriber in Savannah, his negro girl
Patsey. She was purchased among the gang of negroes, known as the
Hargreave's estate. She is no doubt lurking about Liberty county, at
which place _she has relatives_. EDWARD HOUSTOUN, of Florida"

From the "Charleston (S.C.) Courier," June 29, 1837.

"$20 Reward will be paid for the apprehension and delivery, at the
workhouse in Charleston, of a mulatto woman, named Ida. It is probable
she may have made her way into Georgia, where she has _connections_.

From the "Norfolk (Va.) Beacon," March 31, 1838.

"The subscriber will give $20 for the apprehension of his negro woman,
Maria, who ran away about twelve months since. She is known to be
lurking in or about Chuckatuch, in the county of Nansemond, where _she
has a husband_, and _formerly belonged_. PETER ONEILL."

From the "Macon (Georgia) Messenger," Jan. 16, 1839.

"Ranaway from the subscriber, two negroes, Davis, a man about 45 years
old; also Peggy, his wife, near the same age. Said negroes will
probably make their way to Columbia county, as _they have children_
living in that county. I will liberally reward any person who may
deliver them to me. NEHEMIAH KING."

From the "Petersburg (Va.) Constellation," June 27, 1837.

"Ranaway, a negro man, named Peter. _He has a wife_ at the plantation
of Mr. C. Haws, near Suffolk, where it is supposed he is still
lurking. JOHN L. DUNN."

From the "Richmond (Va.) Whig," Dec. 7, 1739.

"Ranaway from the subscriber, a negro man, named John Lewis. It is
supposed that he is lurking about in New Kent county, where he
professes to have a _wife_. HILL JONES, Agent for R.F. & P. Railroad Co."

From the "Red River (La.) Whig," June 2d, 1838.

"Ran away from the subscriber, a mulatto woman, named Maria. It is
probable she may be found in the neighborhood of Mr. Jesse Bynum's
plantation, where _she has relations_, &c. THOMAS J. WELLS."

From the "Lexington (Ky.) Observer and Reporter," Sept. 28, 1838.

"$50 Reward.--Ran away from the subscriber, a negro girl, named Maria.
She is of a copper color, between 13 and 14 years of age--_bare
headed_ and _bare footed_. She is small of her age--very sprightly and
very likely. She stated she was _going to see her mother_ at

From the "Jackson (Tenn.) Telegraph," Sept. 14, 1838.

"Committed to the jail of Madison county, a negro woman, who calls her
name Fanny, and says she belongs to William Miller, of Mobile. She
formerly belonged to John Givins, of this county, who now owns
_several of her children_. DAVID SHROPSHIRE, Jailor."

From the "Norfolk (Va.) Beacon," July 3d, 1838.

"Runaway from my plantation below Edenton, my negro man, Nelson. _He
has a mother living_ at Mr. James Goodwin's, in Ballahack, Perquimans
county; and _two brothers_, one belonging to Job Parker, and the other
to Josiah Coffield. WM. D. RASCOE."

From the "Charleston (S.C.) Courier," Jan. 12, 1838.

"$100 Reward.--Run away from the subscriber, his negro fellow, John.
He is well known about the city as one of my bread carriers: _has a
wife_ living at Mrs. Weston's, on Hempstead. John formerly belonged to
Mrs. Moor, near St. Paul's church, where his _mother_ still lives, and
_has been harbored by her_ before.

60, Tradd street."

From the "Newbern (N.C.) Sentinel," March 17, 1837.

"Ranaway, Moses, a black fellow, about 40 years of age--has a _wife_
in Washington.

Warrenton, N.C."

From the "Richmond (Va.) Whig," June 30, 1837.

"Ranaway, my man Peter.--He has a _sister_ and _mother_ in New Kent,
and a _wife_ about fifteen or eighteen miles above Richmond, at or
about Taylorsville. THEO. A. LACY."

From the "New Orleans Bulletin," Feb. 7, 1838.

"Ranaway, my negro Philip, aged about 40 years.--He may have gone to
St. Louis, as _he has a wife there_. W.G. CLARK, 70 New Levee."

From the "Georgian," Jan. 29, 1838.

"A Reward of $5 will be paid for the apprehension of his negro woman,
Diana. Diana is from 45 to 50 age. She formerly belonged to Mr. Nath.
Law, of Liberty county, _where her husband still lives_. She will
endeavor to go there perhaps. D. O'BYRNE."

From the "Richmond (Va.) Enquirer," Feb. 20, 1838.

"$10 Reward for a negro woman, named Sally, 40 years old. We have just
reason to believe the said negro to be now lurking on the James River
Canal, or in the Green Spring neighborhood, where, we are informed,
_her husband resides_. The above reward will be given to any person
_securing_ her.

Mount Elba, Feb. 19, 1838."

"$50 Reward.--Ran away from the subscriber, his negro man Pauladore,
commonly called Paul. I understand GEN. R.Y. HAYNE _has purchased his
wife and children_ from H.L. PINCKNEY, Esq. and has them now on his
plantation at Goosecreek, where, no doubt, the fellow is frequently
_lurking_. T. DAVIS."

"$25 Reward.--Ran away from the subscriber, a negro woman, named
Matilda. It is thought she may be somewhere up James River, as she was
claimed as _a wife_ by some boatman in Goochland. J. ALVIS."

"Stop the Runaway!!!--$25 Reward. Ranaway from the Eagle Tavern, a
negro fellow, named Nat. He is no doubt attempting to _follow his
wife, who was lately sold to a speculator_ named Redmond. The above
reward will be paid by Mrs. Lucy M. Downman, of Sussex county, Va."

Multitudes of advertisements like the above appear annually in the
southern papers. Reader, look at the preceding list--mark the
unfeeling barbarity with which their masters and _mistresses_ describe
the struggles and perils of sundered husbands and wives, parents and
children, in their weary midnight travels through forests and rivers,
with torn limbs and breaking hearts, seeking the embraces of each
other's love. In one instance, a mother torn from all her children and
taken to a remote part of another state, presses her way back through
the wilderness, hundreds of miles, to clasp once more her children to
her heart: but, when she has arrived within a few miles of them, in
the same county, is discovered, seized, dragged to jail, and her
purchaser told, through an advertisement, that she awaits his order.
But we need not trace out the harrowing details already before the

Rev. C.S. RENSHAW, of Quincy, Illinois, who resided some time in
Kentucky, says;--

"I was told the following fact by a young lady, daughter of a
slaveholder in Boone county, Kentucky, who lived within half a mile of
Mr. Hughes' farm. Hughes and Neil traded in slaves down the river:
they had bought up a part of their stock in the upper counties of
Kentucky, and brought them down to Louisville, where the remainder of
their drove was in jail, waiting their arrival. Just before the
steamboat put off for the lower country, two negro women were offered
for sale, each of them having a young child at the breast. The traders
bought them, took their babes from their arms, and offered them to the
highest bidder; and they were sold for one dollar apiece, whilst the
stricken parents were driven on board the boat; and in an hour were on
their way to the New Orleans market. You are aware that a young babe
_decreases_ the value of a field hand in the lower country, whilst it
increases her value in the 'breeding states.'"

The following is an extract from an address, published by the
Presbyterian Synod of Kentucky, to the churches under their care, in

"Brothers and sisters, parents and children, husbands and wives, are
_torn asunder_, and permitted to see each other no more. These acts
are DAILY occurring in the midst of us. The _shrieks_ and the _agony,
often_ witnessed on such occasions, proclaim, with a trumpet tongue,
the iniquity of our system. _There is not a neighborhood_ where these
heart-rending scenes are not displayed. _There is not a village or
road_ that does not behold the sad procession of manacled outcasts,
whose mournful countenances tell that they are exiled by _force_ from

Professor ANDREWS, late of the University of North Carolina, in his
recent work on Slavery and the Slave Trade, page 147, in relating a
conversation with a slave-trader, whom he met near Washington City,
says, he inquired,

"'Do you _often_ buy the wife without the husband?' 'Yes, VERY OFTEN;
and FREQUENTLY, too, they _sell me the mother while they keep her
children. I have often known them take away the infant from its
mother's breast, and keep it, while they sold her_.'"

The following sale is advertised in the "Georgia Journal," Jan, 2,

"Will be sold, the following PROPERTY, to wit: One ---- CHILD, by the
name of James, _about eight months old_, levied on as the property of
Gabriel Gunn."

The following is a standing advertisement in the Charleston (S.C.)

"120 Negroes for Sale--The subscriber has _just arrived from
Petersburg, Virginia_, with one hundred and twenty _likely young_
negroes of both sexes and every description, which he offers for sale
on the most reasonable terms.

"The lot now on hand consists of plough boys several likely and
well-qualified house servants of both sexes, several _women with
children, small girls_ suitable for nurses, and several SMALL BOYS
WITHOUT THEIR MOTHERS. Planters and traders are earnestly requested to
give the subscriber a call previously to making purchases elsewhere,
as he is enabled and will sell as cheap, or cheaper, than can be sold
by any other person in the trade. BENJAMIN DAVIS. Hamburg, S.C. Sept.
28, 1838."

Extract Of a letter to a member of Congress from a friend in
Mississippi, published in the "Washington Globe," June, 1837.

"The times are truly alarming here. Many plantations _are entirely
stripped of negroes_ (protection!) and horses, by the marshal or
sheriff.--Suits are multiplying--two thousand five hundred in the
United States Circuit Court, and three thousand in Hinds County

Testimony of MR. SILAS STONE, of Hudson, New York. Mr. Stone is a
member of the Episcopal Church, has several times been elected an
Assessor of the city of Hudson, and for three years has filled the
office of Treasurer of the County. In the fall of 1807, Mr. Stone
witnessed a sale of slaves, in Charleston, South Carolina, which he
thus describes in a communication recently received from him.

"I saw droves of the poor fellows driven to the slave markets kept in
different parts of the city, one of which I visited. The arrangements
of this place appeared something like our northern horse-markets,
having sheds, or barns, in the rear of a public house, where alcohol
was a handy ingredient to stimulate the spirit of jockeying. As the
traders appeared, lots of negroes were brought from the stables into
the bar room, and by a flourish of the whip were made to assume an
active appearance. 'What will you give for these fellows?' 'How old
are they? 'Are they healthy?' 'Are they quick?' &c. at the same time
the owner would give them a cut with a cowhide, and tell them to dance
and jump, cursing and swearing at them if they did not move quick. In
fact all the transactions in buying and selling slaves, partakes of
jockey-ship, as much as buying and selling horses. There was as little
regard paid to the feelings of the former as we witness in the latter.

"From these scenes I turn to another, which took place in front of the
noble 'Exchange Buildings,' in the heart of the city. On the left side
of the steps, as you leave the main hall, immediately under the
windows of that proud building, was a stage built, on which a mother
with eight children were placed, and sold at auction. I watched their
emotions closely, and saw their feelings were in accordance to human
nature. The sale began with the eldest child, who, being struck off to
the highest bidder, was taken from the stage or platform by the
purchaser, and led to his wagon and stowed away, to be carried into
the country; the second, and third were also sold, and so until seven
of the children were torn from their mother, while her discernment
told her they were to be separated probably forever, causing in that
mother the most agonizing sobs and cries, in which the children seemed
to share. The scene beggars description; suffice it to say, it was
sufficient to cause tears from one at least 'whose skin was not
colored like their own,' and I was not ashamed to give vent to them."


In the "New Orleans Bee," May 31, 1837, MR. P. BAHI, gives notice that
he has _committed to_ JAIL as a runaway 'a _little_ negro AGED ABOUT

In the "Mobile Advertiser," Sept. 13, 1838, WILLIAM MAGEE, Sheriff,
gives notice that George Walton, Esq. Mayor of the city has
_committed_ to JAIL as a runaway slave, Jordan, ABOUT TWELVE YEARS
OLD, and the Sheriff proceeds to give notice that if no one claims him
the boy will be _sold as a slave_ to pay jail fees.

In the "Memphis (Tenn.) Gazette," May 2, 1837, W.H. MONTGOMERY
advertises that he will sell at auction a BOY AGED 14, ANOTHER AGED
12, AND A GIRL 10, to pay the debts of their deceased master.

B.F. CHAPMAN, Sheriff, Natchitoches (La.) advertises in the
'Herald,' of May 17, 1837, that he has "_committed to_ JAIL, as a
runaway a negro boy BETWEEN 11 AND 12 YEARS OF AGE."

In the "Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle," Feb. 13, 1838. R.H. JONES, jailor,
says, "Brought to _jail_ a negro _woman_ Sarah, she is about 60 or 65
_years old_."

In the "Winchester Virginian," August 8, 1837, Mr. R.H. MENIFEE,
offers ten dollars reward to any one who will catch and lodge in jail,
Abram and Nelly, _about_ 60 _years old_, so that he can get them

J. SNOWDEN, Jailor, Columbia, S.C. gives notice in the "Telescope,"
Nov, 18, 1837, that he has committed to jail as a runaway slave,
"_Caroline fifty years of age_."

Y.S. PICKARD, Jailor, Savannah, Georgia, gives notice in the
"Georgian," June 22, 1837, that he has taken up for a runaway and
lodged in jail Charles, 60 _years of age_.

In the Savannah "Georgian," April 12, 1837, Mr. J. CUYLER, says he
will give five dollars, to anyone who will catch and bring back to him
"Saman, _an old negro man, and grey, and has only one eye_."

In the "Macon (Ga.) Telegraph," Jan. 15, 1839, MESSRS. T. AND L.
NAPIER, advertise for sale Nancy, a woman 65 _years of age_, and
Peggy, a woman 65 _years of age_.

The following is from the "Columbian (Ga.) Enquirer," March 8, 1838.

"$25 REWARD.--Ranaway, a Negro Woman named MATILDA, aged about 30 or
35 years. Also, on the same night, a Negro Fellow of small size, VERY
AGED, _stoop-shouldered_, who walks VERY DECREPIDLY, is supposed to
have gone off. His name is DAVE, and he has claimed Matilda for wife.
It may be they have gone off together.

"I will give twenty-five dollars for the woman, delivered to me in
Muscogee county, or confined in any jail so that I can get her. MOSES

J.B. RANDALL, Jailor, Cobb (Co.) Georgia, advertises an old negro man,
in the "Milledgeville Recorder," Nov. 6, 1838.

"A NEGRO MAN, has been lodged in the common jail of this county, who
says his name is JUPITER. He _has lost all his front teeth above and
below--speaks very indistinctly, is very lame, so that he can hardly

Rev. CHARLES STEWART RENSHAW, of Quincy, Illinois, who spent some time
in slave states, speaking of his residence in Kentucky, says:--

"One Sabbath morning, whilst riding to meeting near Burlington, Boone
Co. Kentucky, in company with Mr. Willis, a teacher of sacred music
and a member of the Presbyterian Church, I was startled at mingled
shouts and screams, proceeding from an old log house, some distance
from the road side. As we passed it, some five or six boys from 12 to
15 years of age, came out, some of them cracking whips, followed by
two colored boys crying. I asked Mr. W. what the scene meant. 'Oh,' he
replied, 'those boys have been whipping the niggers; that is the way
we bring slaves into subjection in Kentucky--we let the children beat
them.' The boys returned again into the house, and again their
shouting and stamping was heard, but ever and anon a scream of agony
that would not be drowned, rose above the uproar; thus they continued
till the sounds were lost in the distance."

Well did Jefferson say, that the children of slaveholders are 'NURSED,

The 'protection' thrown around a mother's yearnings, and the
helplessness of childhood by the 'public opinion' of slaveholders, is
shown by _thousands_ of advertisements of which the following are

From the "New Orleans Bulletin," June 2.

"NEGROES FOR SALE.--A negro woman 21 years of age, and has two
children, one eight and the other three years. Said negroes will be
sold SEPARATELY or together _as desired_. The woman is a good
seamstress. She will be sold low for cash, or _exchanged_ for
GROCERIES. For terms apply to MAYHEW BLISS, & CO. 1 Front Levee."

From the "Georgia Journal," Nov. 7.

"TO BE SOLD--One negro girl about 18 _months old_, belonging to the
estate of William Chambers, dec'd. Sold for the purpose of
_distribution!!_ JETHRO DEAN, SAMUEL BEALL, Ex'ors."

From the "Natchez Courier," April 2, 1838.

"NOTICE--Is hereby given that the undersigned pursuant to a certain
Deed of Trust will on Thursday the 12th day of April next, expose to
sale at the Court House, to the highest bidder for cash, the following
Negro slaves, to wit; Fanny, aged about 28 years; Mary, aged about 7
years; Amanda, aged about 3 months; Wilson, aged about 9 months.

Said slaves, to be sold for the satisfaction of the debt secured in
said Deed of Trust. W.J. MINOR."

From the "Milledgeville Journal," Dec. 26, 1837.


"Agreeable to an order of the court of Wilkinson county, will be sold
on the first Tuesday in April next, before the Court-house door in the
town of Irwington, ONE NEGRO GIRL _about two years old_, named Rachel,
belonging to the estate of William Chambers dec'd. Sold _for the
benefit_ of the heirs and creditors of said estate.


From the "Alexandria (D.C.) Gazette" Dec. 19.

"I will give the highest cash price for likely negroes, _from 10 to 25
years of age_.


From the "Southern Whig," March 2, 1838.--

"WILL be sold in La Grange, Troup county, one negro girl, by the name
of Charity, aged about 10 or 12 years; as the property of Littleton L.
Burk, to satisfy a mortgage fi. fa. from Troup Inferior Court, in
favor of Daniel S. Robertson vs. said Burk."

From the "Petersburgh (Va.) Constellation," March 18, 1837.

"50 _Negroes wanted immediately_.--The subscriber will give a good
market price for fifty likely negroes, _from 10 to 30 years of age_.


The following is an extract of a letter from a gentleman, a native and
still a resident of one of the slave states, and _still a
slaveholder_. He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church, his letter is
now before us, and his name is with the Executive Committee of the Am.
Anti-slavery Society.

"Permit me to say, that around this very place where I reside, slaves
are brought almost constantly, and sold to Miss. and Orleans; that _it
is usual_ to part families forever by such sales--the parents from the
children and the children from the parents, of every size and age. A
mother was taken not long since, in this town, from a _sucking child_,
and sold to the lower country. Three young men I saw some time ago
taken from this place in chains--while the mother of one of them, old
and decrepid, _followed with tears and prayers her son, 18 or 20
miles, and bid him a final farewell_! O, thou Great Eternal, is this
justice! is this equity!!--Equal Rights!!"

We subjoin a few miscellaneous facts illustrating the INHUMANITY of
slaveholding 'public opinion.'

The shocking indifference manifested at the death of slaves as _human
beings_, contrasted with the grief at their loss _as property_, is a
true index to the public opinion of slaveholders.

Colonel Oliver of Louisville, lost a valuable race-horse by the
explosion of the steamer Oronoko, a few months since on the
Mississippi river. Eight human beings whom he held as slaves were also
killed by the explosion. They were the riders and grooms of his
race-horses. A Louisville paper thus speaks of the occurrence:

"Colonel Oliver suffered severely by the explosion of the Oronoko. He
lost _eight_ of his rubbers and riders, and his horse, Joe Kearney,
which he had sold the night before for $3,000."

Mr. King, of the New York American, makes the following just comment
on the barbarity of the above paragraph:

"Would any one, in reading this paragraph from an evening paper,
conjecture that these '_eight_ rubbers and riders,' that together with
a horse, are merely mentioned as a 'loss' to their owner, were human
beings--immortal as the writer who thus brutalizes them, and perhaps
cherishing life as much? In this view, perhaps, the 'eight' lost as
much as Colonel Oliver."

The following is from the "Charleston (S.C.) Patriot," Oct. 18.

"_Loss of Property_!--Since I have been here, (Rice Hope, N. Santee,)
I have seen much misery, and much of human suffering. The loss of
PROPERTY has been immense, not only on South Santee, but also on this
river. Mr. Shoolbred has lost, (according to the statement of the
physician,) forty-six negroes--the majority lost being the _primest
hands_ he had--bricklayers, carpenters, blacksmiths and Coopers. Mr.
Wm. Mazyck has lost 35 negroes. Col. Thomas Pinkney, in the
neighborhood of 40, and many other planters, 10 to 20 on each
plantation. Mrs. Elias Harry, adjoining the plantation of Mr. Lucas,
has lost up to date, 32 negroes--the _best part of her primest_
negroes on her plantation."

From the "Natchez (Miss.) Daily Free Trader," Feb. 12, 1838.


The way in which slaveholding 'public opinion' protects a poor female
lunatic is illustrated in the following advertisement in the
"Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer," June 27, 1838:

"Taken and committed to jail, a negro girl named Nancy, who is
supposed to belong to Spencer P. Wright, of the State of Georgia. She
is about 30 years of age, and is a LUNATIC. The owner is requested to
come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take her away, or SHE

FRED'K HOME, Jailor."

A late PROSPECTUS Of the South Carolina Medical College, located in
Charleston, contains the following passage:--

"Some advantages of a _peculiar_ character are connected with this
Institution, which it may be proper to point out. No place in the
United States offers as great opportunities for the acquisition of

_Without offending any individuals in the community_! More than half
the population of Charleston, we believe, is 'colored;' _their_ graves
may be ravaged, their dead may be dug up, dragged into the dissecting
room, exposed to the gaze, heartless gibes, and experimenting knives,
of a crowd of inexperienced operators, who are given to understand in
the prospectus, that, if they do not acquire manual dexterity in
dissection, it will be wholly their own fault, in neglecting to
improve the unrivalled advantages afforded by the institution--since
each can have as many human bodies as he pleases to experiment
upon--and as to the fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, and
sisters, of those whom they cut to pieces from day to day, why, they
are not 'individuals in the community,' but 'property,' and however
_their_ feelings may be tortured, the 'public opinion' of slaveholders
is entirely too 'chivalrous' to degrade itself by caring for them!

The following which has been for some time a standing advertisement of
the South Carolina Medical College, in the Charleston papers, is
another index of the same 'public opinion' toward slaves. We give an

"_Surgery of the Medical College of South Carolina, Queen st_.--The
Faculty inform their professional brethren, and the public that they
have established a _Surgery_, at the Old College, Queen street, FOR
THE TREATMENT OF NEGROES, which will continue in operation, during the
session of the College, say from first November, to the fifteenth of
March ensuing.

"The _object_ of the Faculty, in opening this Surgery, is to collect
as _many interesting cases_, as possible, for the _benefit_ and
_instruction_ of their pupils--at the same time, they indulge the
hope, that it may not only prove an _accommodation_, but also a matter
of economy to the public. They would respectfully call the attention
of planters, living in the vicinity of the city, to this subject;
particularly such as may have servants laboring under Surgical
diseases. Such _persons of color_ as may not be able to pay for
Medical advice, will be attended to gratis, at stated hours, as often
as may be necessary.

"The Faculty take this opportunity of soliciting the co-operation of
such of their professional brethren, as are favorable to their

"The first thing that strikes the reader of the advertisement is, that
this _Surgery_ is established exclusively 'for the treatment of
_negroes_; and, if he knows little of the hearts of slaveholders
towards their slaves, he charitably supposes, that they 'feel the dint
of pity,' for the poor sufferers and have founded this institution as
a special charity for their relief. But the delusion vanishes as he
reads on; the professors take special care that no such derogatory
inference shall be drawn from their advertisement. They give us the
three reasons which have induced them to open this 'Surgery for the
treatment of negroes.' The first and main one is, 'to collect as many
_interesting cases_ as possible for the benefit and instruction of
their _pupils_--another is, 'the hope that it may prove an
_accommodation_,'--and the third, that it may be 'a matter of economy
to the _public_' Another reason, doubtless, and controlling one,
though the professors are silent about it, is that a large collection
of 'interesting surgical cases,' always on hand, would prove a
powerful attraction to students, and greatly increase the popularity
of the institution. In brief, then, the motives of its founders, the
professors, were these, the accommodation of their _students_--the
accommodation of the _public_ (which means, _the whites_)--and the
accommodation of slaveholders who have on their hands disabled slaves,
that would make 'interesting cases,' for surgical operation in the
presence of the pupils--to these reasons we may add the accommodation
of the Medical Institution and the accommodation of _themselves_! Not
a syllable about the _accommodation_ of the hopeless sufferers,
writhing with the agony of those gun shot wounds, fractured sculls,
broken limbs and ulcerated backs which constitute the 'interesting
cases' for the professors to 'show off' before their pupils, and, as
practice makes perfect, for the students themselves to try their hands
at by way of experiment.

Why, we ask, was this surgery established 'for the treatment of
_negroes'_ alone? Why were these 'interesting cases' selected from
that class exclusively? No man who knows the feeling of slave holders
towards slaves will be at a loss for the reason. 'Public opinion'
would tolerate surgical experiments, operations, processes, performed
upon them, which it would execrate if performed upon their master or
other whites. As the great object in collecting the disabled negroes
is to have 'interesting cases' for the students, the professors who
perform the operations will of course endeavor to make them as
'interesting' as possible. The _instruction of the student_ is the
immediate object, and if the professors can accomplish it best by
_protracting_ the operation, pausing to explain the different
processes, &c. the subject is only a negro, and what is his protracted
agony, that it should restrain the professor from making the case as
'interesting' as possible to the students by so using his knife as
will give them the best knowledge of the parts, and the process,
however it may protract or augment the pain of the subject. The _end_
to be accomplished is the _instruction_ of the student, operations
upon the negroes are the _means_ to the end; _that_ tells the whole
story--and he who knows the hearts of slaveholders and has common
sense, however short the allowance, can find the way to his
conclusions without a lantern.

By an advertisement of the same Medical Institution, dated November
12, 1838, and published in the Charleston papers, it appears that an
'infirmary has been opened in connection with the college.' The
professors manifest a great desire that the masters of servants should
send in their disabled slaves, and as an inducement to the furnishing
of such _interesting cases_ say, all medical and surgical aid will be
offered _without making them liable to any professional charges_.
Disinterested bounty, pity, sympathy, philanthropy. However difficult
or numerous the surgical cases of slaves thus put into their hands by
the masters, they charge not a cent for their _professional services_.
Their yearnings over human distress are so intense, that they beg the
privilege of performing all operations, and furnishing all the medical
attention needed, _gratis_, feeling that the relief of misery is its
own reward!!! But we have put down our exclamation points too
soon--upon reading the whole of the advertisement we find the
professors conclude it with the following paragraph:--

"The SOLE OBJECT Of the faculty in the establishment of such an
institution being to promote the interest of Medical Education within
their native State and City."

In the "Charleston (South Carolina) Mercury" of October 12, 1838, we
find an advertisement of half a column, by a Dr. T. Stillman, setting
forth the merits of another 'Medical Infirmary,' under his own special
supervision, at No. 110 Church street, Charleston. The doctor, after
inveighing loudly against 'men totally ignorant of medical science,'
who flood the country with quack nostrums backed up by 'fabricated
proofs of miraculous cures,' proceeds to enumerate the diseases to
which his 'Infirmary' is open, and to which his practice will be
mainly confined. Appreciating the importance of 'interesting cases,'
as a stock in trade, on which to commence his experiments, he copies
the example of the medical professors, and advertises for them. But,
either from a keener sense of justice, or more generosity, or greater
confidence in his skill, or for some other reason, he proposes to _buy
up_ an assortment of _damaged_ negroes, given over, as incurable, by
others, and to make such his 'interesting cases,' instead of
experimenting on those who are the 'property' of others.

Dr. Stillman closes his advertisement with the following notice:--

"To PLANTERS AND OTHERS.--Wanted _fifty negroes_. Any person having
sick negroes, considered incurable by their respective physicians, and
wishing to dispose of them, Dr. S. will pay cash for negroes affected
with scrofula or king's evil, confirmed hypocondriasm, apoplexy,
diseases of the liver, kidneys, spleen, stomach and intestines,
bladder and its appendages, diarrhea, dysentery, &c. The highest cash
price will be paid on application as above."

The absolute barbarism of a 'public opinion' which not only tolerates,
but _produces_ such advertisements as this, was outdone by nothing in
the dark ages. If the reader has a heart of flesh, he can feel it
without help, and if he has not, comment will not create it. The total
indifference of slaveholders to such a cold blooded proposition, their
utter unconsciousness of the paralysis of heart, and death of
sympathy, and every feeling of common humanity for the slave, which it
reveals, is enough, of itself to show that the tendency of the spirit
of slaveholding is, to kill in the soul whatever it touches. It has no
eyes to see, nor ears to hear, nor mind to understand, nor heart to
feel for its victims as _human beings_. To show that the above
indication of the savage state is not an index of individual feeling,
but of 'public opinion,' it is sufficient to say, that it appears to
be a standing advertisement in the Charleston Mercury, the leading
political paper of South Carolina, the organ of the Honorables John C.
Calhoun, Robert Barnwell Rhett, Hugh S. Legare, and others regarded as
the elite of her statesmen and literati. Besides, candidates for
popular favor, like the doctor who advertises for the fifty
'incurables,' take special care to conciliate, rather than outrage,
'public opinion.' Is the doctor so ignorant of 'public opinion' in his
own city, that he has unwittingly committed violence upon it in his
advertisement? We trow not. The same 'public opinion' which gave birth
to the advertisement of doctor Stillman, and to those of the
professors in both the medical institutions, founded the Charleston
'Work House'--a soft name for a Moloch temple dedicated to torture,
and reeking with blood, in the midst of the city; to which masters and
mistresses send their slaves of both sexes to be stripped, tied up,
and cut with the lash till the blood and mangled flesh flow to their
feet, or to be beaten and bruised with the terrible paddle, or forced
to climb the tread-mill till nature sinks, or to experience other
nameless torments.

The "Vicksburg (Miss.) Register," Dec. 27, 1838, contains the
following item of information: "ARDOR IN BETTING.--Two gentlemen, at a
tavern, having summoned the waiter, the poor fellow had scarcely
entered, when he fell down in a fit of apoplexy. 'He's dead!'
exclaimed one. 'He'll come to!' replied the other. 'Dead, for five
hundred!' 'Done!' retorted the second. The noise of the fall, and the
confusion which followed, brought up the landlord, who called out to
fetch a doctor. 'No! no! we must have no interference--there's a bet
depending!' 'But, sir, I shall lose a valuable servant!' 'Never mind!
you can put him down in the bill!'"

About the time the Vicksburg paper containing the above came to hand,
we received a letter from N.P. ROGERS, Esq. of Concord, N.H. the
editor of the 'Herald of Freedom,' from which the following is an

"Some thirty years ago, I think it was, Col. Thatcher, of Maine, a
lawyer, was in Virginia, on business, and was there invited to dine at
a public house, with a company of the gentry of the south. _The place_
I forget--the fact was told me by George Kimball, Esq. now of Alton,
Illinois who had the story from Col. Thatcher himself. Among the
servants waiting was a young negro man, whose beautiful person,
obliging and assiduous temper, and his activity and grace in serving,
made him a favorite with the company. The dinner lasted into the
evening, and the wine passed freely about the table. At length, one of
the gentlemen, who was pretty highly excited with wine, became
unfortunately incensed, either at some trip of the young slave, in
waiting, or at some other cause happening when the slave was within
his reach. He seized the long-necked wine bottle, and struck the young
man suddenly in the temple, and felled him dead upon the floor. The
fall arrested, for a moment, the festivities of the table. 'Devilish
unlucky,' exclaimed one. 'The gentleman is very unfortunate,' cried
another. 'Really a loss,' said a third, &c, &c. The body was dragged
from the dining hall, and the feast went on; and at the close, one of
the gentlemen, and the very one, I believe, whose hand had done the
homicide, shouted, in bacchanalian bravery, and _southern generosity_,
amid the broken glasses and fragments of chairs, 'LANDLORD! PUT THE
NIGGER INTO THE BILL!' This was that murdered young man's _requiem and
funeral service_."

Mr. GEORGE A. AVERY, a merchant in Rochester, New York, and an elder
in the Fourth Presbyterian Church in that city, who resided four years
in Virginia, gives the following testimony:

"I knew a young man who had been out hunting, and returning with some
of his friends, seeing a negro man in the road, at a little distance,
deliberately drew up his rifle, and shot him dead. This was done
without the slightest provocation, or a word passing. This young man
passed through the _form_ of a trial, and, although it was not even
_pretended_ by his counsel that he was not guilty of the act,
deliberately and wantonly perpetrated, _he was acquitted_. It was
urged by his counsel, that he was a _young_ man, (about 20 years of
age,) had no _malicious_ intention, his mother was a widow, &c, &c"

Mr. BENJAMIN CLENDENON, of Colerain, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, a
member of the Society of Friends, gives the following testimony:

"Three years ago the coming month, I took a journey of about
seventy-five miles from home, through the eastern shore of Maryland,
and a small part of Delaware. Calling one day, near noon, at
Georgetown Cross-Roads, I found myself surrounded in the tavern by
slaveholders. Among other subjects of conversation, their human cattle
came in for a share. One of the company, a middle-aged man, then
living with a second wife, acknowledged, that after the death of his
first wife, he lived in a state of concubinage with a female slave;
but when the time drew near for the taking of a second wife, he found
it expedient to remove the slave from the premises. The same person
gave an account of a female slave he formerly held, who had a
propensity for some one pursuit, I think the attendance of religious
meetings. On a certain occasion, she presented her petition to him,
asking for this indulgence; he refused--she importuned--and he, with
sovereign indignation, seized a chair, and with a blow upon the head,
knocked her senseless upon the floor. The same person, for some act of
disobedience, on the part, I think, of the same slave, when employed
in stacking straw, felled her to the earth with the handle of a pitch
fork. All these transactions were related with the _utmost composure_,
in a bar-room within thirty miles of the Pennsylvania line."

The two following advertisements are illustrations of the regard paid
to the marriage relations by slaveholding judges, governors, senators
in Congress, and mayors of cities.

From the "Montgomery, (Ala.) Advertiser," Sept. 29, 1837.

"$20 REWARD.--Ranaway from the subscriber, a negro man named Moses. He
is of common size, about 28 years old. He formerly belonged to Judge
Benson, of Montgomery, and it is said, has a wife in that county. John

The John Gayle who signs this advertisement, is an Ex-Governor of

From the "Charleston Courier," Nov. 28.

"Ranaway from the subscriber, about twelve months since, his negro man
Paulladore. His complexion is dark--about 50 years old. I understand
Gen. R.Y. Hayne has purchased his wife and children from H.L.
Pinckney, Esq. and has them now on his plantation, at Goose Creek,
where, no doubt, the fellow is frequently lurking. Thomas Davis."

It is hardly necessary to say, that the GENERAL R.Y. HAYNE, and H.L.
PINCKNEY, Esq. named in the advertisement, are Ex-Governor Hayne,
formerly U.S. Senator from South Carolina, and Hon. Henry L.
Pinckney, late member of Congress from Charleston District, and now
Intendant (mayor) of that city.

It is no difficult matter to get at the 'public opinion' of a
community, when _ladies_ 'of property and standing' publish, under
their own names, such advertisements as the following.

Mrs. ELIZABETH L. CARTER, of Groveton, Prince William county,
Virginia, thus advertises her negro man Moses:

"Ranaway from the subscriber, a negro man named Moses, aged about 40
years, about six feet high, well made, and possessing a good address,

Mrs. B. NEWMAN, of the same place, and in the same paper, advertises--

"Penny, the wife of Moses, aged about 30 years, brown complexion, tall
and likely, _no particular marks of person recollected._"

Both of the above advertisements appear in the National Intelligencer,
(Washington city,) June 10, 1837.

In the Mobile Mercantile Advertiser, of Feb. 13, 1838, is an
advertisement Signed SARAH WALSH, of which the following is an

"Twenty-five dollars reward will be paid to any one who may apprehend
and deliver to me, or confine in any jail, so that, I can get him, my
man Isaac, who ranaway sometime in September last. He is 26 years of
age, 5 feet 10 inches high, has a _scar on his forehead, caused by a
blow_, and one on his back, MADE BY A SHOT FROM A PISTOL."

In the "New Orleans Bee," Dec. 21, 1838, Mrs. BURVANT, whose residence
is at the corner of Chartres and Toulouse streets, advertises a woman
as follows:

"Ranaway, a negro woman named Rachel--_has lost all her toes except
the large one_."

From the "Huntsville (Ala.) Democrat," June 16, 1838:

"TEN DOLLARS REWARD.--Ranaway from the subscriber, a negro woman named
Sally, about 21 years of age, taking along her two children--one three
years, and the other seven months old. These negroes were PURCHASED BY
ME at the sale of George Mason's negroes, on the first Monday in May,
and left _a few days_ thereafter. Any person delivering them to the
jailor in Huntsville, or to me, at my plantation, five miles above
Triana, on the Tennessee river, shall receive the above reward.

From the "Mississippian," May 13, 1838:

"TEN DOLLARS REWARD.--Ranaway from the subscriber, a man named Aaron,
yellow complexion, blue eyes, &c. I have no doubt he is lurking about
Jackson and its vicinity, probably harbored by some of the negroes
sold as the property of _my late husband_, Harry Long, deceased. Some
of them are about Richland, in Madison co. I will give the above
reward when brought to me, about six miles north-west of Jackson, or
put IN JAIL, _so that I can get him_. LUCY LONG."

If the reader, after perusing the preceding facts, testimony, and
arguments, still insists that the 'public opinion' of the slave states
protects the slave from outrages, and alleges, as proof of it, that
_cruel_ masters are frowned upon and shunned by the community
generally, and regarded as monsters, we reply by presenting the
following facts and testimony.

"Col. MEANS, of Manchester, Ohio, says, that when he resided in South
Carolina, _his neighbor_, a physician, became enraged with his slave,
and sentenced him to receive two hundred lashes. After having received
one hundred and forty, he fainted. After inflicting the full number of
lashes, the cords with which he was bound were loosed. When he
revived, he staggered to the house, and sat down in the sun. Being
faint and thirsty, he _begged_ for some water to drink. The master
went to the well, and procured some water but instead of giving him to
drink, he threw the whole bucket-full in his face. Nature could not
stand the shock--he sunk to rise no more. For this crime, the
physician was bound over to Court, and tried, and _acquitted_--and THE

Testimony of Hon. JOHN RANDOLPH, of Virginia

"In one of his Congressional speeches, Mr. R. says: Avarice alone can
drive, as it does drive, this _infernal_ traffic, and the wretched
victims of it, like so many post horses, _whipped to death_ in a mail
coach. Ambition has its cover-sluts in the pride, pomp, and
circumstance of glorious war; but where are the trophies of avarice?
The hand cuff, the manacle, the blood-stained cowhide! WHAT MAN IS

Mr. GEORGE A. AVERY, of Rochester, New York, who resided four years in
Virginia, testifies as follows:

"I know a local Methodist minister, a man of talents, and popular as a
preacher, who took his negro girl into his barn, in order to whip
her--and _she was brought out a corpse_! His friends seemed to think
this of _so little importance to his ministerial standing_, that
although I lived near him about three years, I do not recollect to
have heard them apologize for the deed, though I recollect having
heard ONE of his neighbors allege this fact as a reason why he did not
wish to hear him preach."

Notwithstanding the mass of testimony which has been presented
establishing the fact that in the 'public opinion' of the South the
slaves find no protection, some may still claim that the 'public
opinion' exhibited by the preceding facts is not that of the _highest
class of society at the South_, and in proof of this assertion, refer
to the fact, that 'Negro Brokers,' Negro Speculators, Negro
Auctioneers, and Negro Breeders, &c., are by that class universally
despised and avoided, as are all who treat their slaves with cruelty.

To this we reply, that, if all claimed by the objector were true, it
could avail him nothing for 'public opinion' is neither made nor
unmade by 'the first class of society.' That class produces in it, at
most, but slight modifications; those who belong to it have generally
a 'public opinion,' within their own circle which has rarely more,
either of morality or mercy than the public opinion of the mass, and
is, at least, equally heartless and more intolerant. As to the
estimation in which 'speculators,' 'soul drivers,' &c. are held, we
remark, that, they are not despised because they _trade in slaves_ but
because they are _working_ men, all such are despised by slaveholders.
White drovers who go with droves of swine and cattle from the free
states to the slave states, and Yankee pedlars, who traverse the
south, and white day-laborers are, in the main, equally despised, or,
if negro-traders excite more contempt than drovers, pedlars, and
day-laborers, it is because, they are, as a class more ignorant and
vulgar, men from low families and boors in their manners. Ridiculous
to suppose, that a people, who have, _by law_, made men articles of
trade equally with swine, should despise men-drovers and traders, more
than hog-drovers and traders. That they are not despised because it is
their business to trade in _human beings_ and bring them to market, is
plain from the fact that when some 'gentleman of property and
standing' and of a 'good family' embarks in a negro speculation, and
employs a dozen 'soul drivers' to traverse the upper country, and
drive to the south coffles of slaves, expending hundreds of thousands
in his wholesale purchases, he does not lose caste. It is known in
Alabama, that Mr. Erwin, son-in-law of the Hon. Henry Clay, and
brother of J.P. Erwin, formerly postmaster, and late mayor of the
city of Nashville, laid the foundation of a princely fortune in the
slave-trade, carried on from the Northern Slave States to the Planting
South; that the Hon. H. Hitchcock, brother-in-law of Mr. E., and since
one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Alabama, was interested with
him in the traffic; and that a late member of the Kentucky Senate
(Col. Wall) not only carried on the same business, a few years ago,
but accompanied his droves in person down the Mississippi. Not as the
_driver_, for that would be vulgar drudgery, beneath a gentleman, but
as a nabob in state, ordering his understrappers.

It is also well known that President Jackson was a 'soul driver,' and
that even so late as the year before the commencement of the last war,
he bought up a coffle of slaves and drove them down to Louisiana for

Thomas N. Gadsden, Esq. the principal slave auctioneer in Charleston,
S.C. is of one of the first families in the state, and moves in the
very highest class of society there. He is a descendant of the
distinguished General Gadsden of revolutionary memory, the most
prominent southern member in the Continental Congress of 1765, and
afterwards elected lieutenant governor and then governor of the state.
The Rev. Dr. Gadsden, rector of St. Phillip's Church, Charleston, and
the Rev. Phillip Gadsden, both prominent Episcopal clergymen in South
Carolina, and Colonel James Gadsden of the United States army, after
whom a county in Florida was recently named, are all brothers of this
Thomas N. Gadsden, Esq. the largest slave auctioneer in the state,
under whose hammer, men, women and children go off by thousands; its
stroke probably sunders _daily_, husbands and wives, parents and
children, brothers and sisters, perhaps to see each other's faces no
more. Now who supply the auction table of this Thomas N. Gadsden, Esq.
with its loads of human merchandize? These same detested 'soul
drivers' forsooth! They prowl through the country, buy, catch, and
fetter them, and drive their chained coffles up to his stand, where
Thomas N. Gadsden, Esq. knocks them off to the highest bidder, to
Ex-Governor Butler perhaps, or to Ex-Governor Hayne, or to Hon. Robert
Barnwell Rhett, or to his own reverend brother, Dr. Gadsden. Now this
high born, wholesale _soul-seller_ doubtless despises the retail
'soul-drivers' who give him their custom, and so does the wholesale
grocer, the drizzling tapster who sneaks up to his counter for a keg
of whiskey to dole out under a shanty in two cent glasses; and both
for the same reason.

The plea that the 'public opinion' among the highest classes of
society at the south is mild and considerate towards the slaves, that
_they_ do not overwork, underfeed, neglect when old and sick, scantily
clothe, badly lodge, and half shelter their slaves; that _they_ do not
barbarously flog, load with irons, imprison in the stocks, brand and
maim them; hunt them when runaway with dogs and guns, and sunder by
force and forever the nearest kindred--is shown, by almost every page
of this work, to be an assumption, not only utterly groundless, but
directly opposed to masses of irrefragable evidence. If the reader
will be at the pains to review the testimony recorded on the foregoing
pages he will find that a very large proportion of the atrocities
detailed were committed, not by the most ignorant and lowest classes
of society, but by persons 'of property and standing,' by masters and
mistresses belonging to the 'upper classes,' by persons in the learned
professions, by civil, judicial, and military officers, by the
_literati_, by the fashionable elite and persons of more than ordinary
'respectability' and external morality--large numbers of whom are
professors of religion.

It will be recollected that the testimony of Sarah M. Grimké, and
Angelina G. Weld, was confined exclusively to the details of slavery
as exhibited in the _highest classes of society_, mainly in
Charleston, S.C. See their testimony pp. 22-24 and 52-57. The former
has furnished us with the following testimony in addition to that
already given.

"Nathaniel Heyward of Combahee, S.C., one of the wealthiest planters
in the state, stated, in conversation with some other planters who
were complaining of the idle and lazy habits of their slaves, and the
difficulty of ascertaining whether their sickness was real or
pretended, and the loss they suffered from their frequent absence on
this account from their work, said, 'I never lose a day's work: it is
an _established_ rule on my plantations that the tasks of all the sick
negroes _shall be done by those who are well in addition to their
own_. By this means a vigilant supervision is kept up by the slaves
over each other, and they take care that nothing but real sickness
keeps any one out of the field.' I spent several winters in the
neighborhood of Nathaniel Heyward's plantations, and well remember his
character as a severe task master. _I was present when the above
statement was made_."

The cool barbarity of such a regulation is hardly surpassed by the
worst edicts of the Roman Caligula--especially when we consider that
the plantations of this man were in the neighborhood of the Combahee
river, one of the most unhealthy districts in the low country of South
Carolina; further, that large numbers of his slaves worked in the
_rice marshes_, or 'swamps' as they are called in that state--and that
during six months of the year, so fatal to health is the malaria of
the swamps in that region that the planters and their families
invariably abandon their plantations, regarding it as downright
presumption to spend a single day upon them 'between the frosts' of
the early spring and the last of November.

The reader may infer the high standing of Mr. Heyward in South
Carolina, from the fact that he was selected with four other
freeholders to constitute a Court for the trial of the conspirators in
the insurrection plot at Charleston, in 1822. Another of the
individuals chosen to constitute that court was Colonel Henry Deas,
now president of the Board of Trustees of Charleston College, and a
few years since a member of the Senate of South Carolina. From a late
correspondence in the "Greenvile (S.C.) Mountaineer," between Rev.
William M. Wightman, a professor in Randolph, Macon, College, and a
number of the citizens of Lodi, South Carolina, it appears that the
cruelty of this Colonel Deas to his slaves, is proverbial in South
Carolina, so much that Professor Wightman, in the sermon which
occasioned the correspondence, spoke of the Colonel's inhumanity to
his slaves as a matter of perfect notoriety.

Another South Carolina slaveholder, Hon. Whitmarsh B. Seabrook,
recently, we believe, Lieut. Governor of the state, gives the
following testimony to his own inhumanity, and his certificate of the
'public opinion' among South Carolina slaveholders 'of high degree.'

In an essay on the management of slaves, read before the Agricultural
Society of St. Johns, S.C. and published by the Society, Charleston,
1834, Mr. S. remarks:

"I consider _imprisonment in the stocks at night_, with or without
hard labor in the day, as a powerful auxiliary in the cause of _good_
government. To the correctness of this opinion _many_ can bear
testimony. EXPERIENCE has convinced ME that there is no punishment to
which the slave looks with more _horror_."

The advertisements of the Professors in the Medical Colleges of South
Carolina, published with comments--on pp. 169, 170, are additional
illustrations of the 'public opinion' of the _literati_.

That the 'public opinion' of _the highest class of society_ in South
Carolina, regards slaves a mere _cattle_, is shown by the following
advertisement, which we copy from the "Charleston (S.C.) Mercury" of
May 16:

"NEGROES FOR SALE.--A girl about twenty years of age, (raised in
Virginia,) and her two female children, one four and the other two
year old--is remarkably strong and healthy--never having had a day's
sickness, with the exception of the small pox, in her life. The
children are fine and healthy. She is VERY PROLIFIC IN HER GENERATING
QUALITIES, _and affords a rare opportunity to any person who wishes to
raise a family of strong and healthy servants for their own use._

"Any person wishing to purchase will please leave their address at the
Mercury office."

The Charleston Mercury, in which this advertisement appears, _is the
leading political paper in South Carolina_, and is well known to be
the political organ of Messrs. Calhoun, Rhett, Pickens, and others of
the most prominent politicians in the state. Its editor, John Stewart,
Esq., is a lawyer of Charleston, and of a highly respectable family.
He is a brother-in-law of Hon. Robert Barnwell Rhett, the late
Attorney-General, now a Member of Congress, and Hon. James Rhett, a
leading member of the Senate of South Carolina; his wife is a niece of
the late Governor Smith, of North Carolina, and of the late Hon. Peter
Smith, Intendant (Mayor) of the city of Charleston; and a cousin of
the late Hon. Thomas S. Grimké.

The circulation of the 'Mercury' among the wealthy, the literary, and
the fashionable, is probably much larger than that of any other paper
in the state.

These facts in connection with the preceding advertisement, are a
sufficient exposition of the 'public opinion' towards slaves,
prevalent in these classes of society.

The following scrap of 'public opinion' in Florida, is instructive. We
take it from the Florida Herald, June 23, 1838:

Ranaway from my plantation, on Monday night, the 13th instant, a negro
fellow named Ben; eighteen years of age, polite when spoken to, and
speaks very good English for a negro. As I have traced him out in
several places in town, I am certain he is harbored. This notice is
given that I am determined, that whenever he is taken, _to punish him
till he informs me_ who has given him food and protection, and _I
shall apply the law of Judge Lynch to my own satisfaction_, on those
concerned in his concealment.

June 16, 1838."

Now, who is this A. Watson, who proclaims through a newspaper, his
determination to _put to the torture_ this youth of eighteen, and to
Lynch to his 'satisfaction' whoever has given a cup of cold water to
the panting fugitive. Is he some low miscreant beneath public
contempt? Nay, verily, he is a 'gentleman of property and standing,'
one of the wealthiest planters and largest slaveholders in Florida. He
resides in the vicinity of St. Augustine, and married the daughter of
the late Thomas C. Morton, Esq. one of the first merchants in New

We may mention in this connection the well known fact, that many
wealthy planters make it a _rule never to employ a physician among
their slaves_. Hon. William Smith, Senator in Congress, from South
Carolina, from 1816 to 1823, and afterwards from 1826 to 1831, is one
of this number. He owns a number of large plantations in the south
western states. One of these, borders upon the village of Huntsville,
Alabama. The people of that village can testify that it is a part of
Judge Smith's _system_ never to employ a physician _even in the most
extreme cases_. If the medical skill of the overseer, or of the slaves
themselves, can contend successfully with the disease, they live, if
not, _they die_. At all events, a physician is _not to be called_.
Judge Smith was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of the United
States three years since.

The reader will recall a similar fact in the testimony of Rev. W.T.
Allan, son of Rev. Dr. Allan, of Huntsville, (see p. 47,) who says
that Colonel Robert H. Watkins, a wealthy planter, in Alabama, and a
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTOR in 1836, who works on his plantations three
hundred slaves, 'After employing a physician for some time among his
negroes, he ceased to do so, alledging as the reason, that it was
_cheaper to lose a few negroes every year than to pay a physician_.'

It is a fact perfectly notorious, that the late General Wade Hampton,
of South Carolina, who was the largest slaveholder in the United
States, and probably the wealthiest man south of the Potomac, was
_excessively cruel_ in the treatment of his slaves. The anecdote of
him related by a clergyman, on page 29, is perfectly characteristic.

For instances of barbarous inhumanity of various kinds, and manifested
reader can consult the following references:--Testimony of Rev. John
Graham, p. 25, near the bottom; of Mr. Poe, p. 26, middle; of Rev. J.
O. Choules, p. 39, middle; of Rev. Dr. Channing, p. 41, top; of Mr.
George A. Avery, p. 44, bottom; of Rev. W.T. Allan, p. 47; of Mr. John
M. Nelson, p. 51, bottom; of Dr. J.C. Finley, p. 61, top; of Mr.
Dustin, p. 66, bottom; of Mr. John Clarke, p. 87; of Mr. Nathan Cole,
p. 89, middle; Rev. William Dickey, p. 93; Rev. Francis Hawley, p. 97;
of Mr. Powell, p. 100, middle; of Rev. P. Smith p. 102.

The preceding are but a few of a large number of similar cases
contained in the foregoing testimonies. The slaveholder mentioned by
Mr. Ladd, p. 86, who knocked down a slave and afterwards piled brush
upon his body, and consumed it, held the hand of a female slave in the
fire till it was burned so as to be useless for life, and confessed to
Mr. Ladd, that he had killed _four_ slaves, had been a _member of the
Senate of Georgia_ and a _clergyman_. The slaveholder who whipped a
female slave to death in St. Louis, in 1837, as stated by Mr. Cole,
p. 69, was a _Major in the United States Army_. One of the physicians
who was an abettor of the tragedy on the Brassos, in which a slave was
tortured to death, and another so that he barely lived, (see Rev. Mr.
Smith's testimony, p. 102.) was Dr. Anson Jones, a native of
Connecticut, who was soon after appointed minister plenipotentiary
from Texas to this government, and now resides at Washington city. The
slave mistress at Lexington, Ky., who, as her husband testifies, has
killed six of his slaves, (see testimony of Mr. Clarke, p. 87,) is the
wife of Hon. Fielding S. Turner, late judge of the criminal court of
New Orleans, and one of the wealthiest slaveholders in Kentucky.
Lilburn Lewis, who deliberately chopped in pieces his slave George,
with a broad-axe, (see testimony of Rev. Mr. Dickey, p. 93) was a
wealthy slaveholder, and a nephew of President Jefferson. Rev. Francis
Hawley, who was a general agent of the Baptist State Convention of
North Carolina, confesses (see p. 47,) that while residing in that
state he once went out with his hounds and rifle, to hunt fugitive
slaves. But instead of making further reference to testimony already
before the reader, we will furnish additional instances of the
barbarous cruelty which is tolerated and sanctioned by the 'upper
classes' of society at the south; we begin with clergymen, and other
officers and members of churches.

That the reader may judge of the degree of 'protection' which slaves
receive from 'public opinion,' and among the members and ministers of
professed christian churches, we insert the following illustrations.

Extract from an editorial article in the "Lowell (Mass.) Observer" a
religious paper edited at the time (1833) by the Rev. DANIEL S.
SOUTHMAYD, who recently died in Texas.

"We have been among the slaves at the south. We took pains to make
discoveries in respect to the evils of slavery. We formed our
sentiments on the subject of the cruelties exercised towards the
slaves from having witnessed them. We now affirm that we never saw a
man, who had never been at the south, who thought as much of the
cruelties practiced on the slaves, as we _know_ to be a fact.

"A slave whom I loved for his kindness and the amiableness of his
disposition, and who belonged to the family where I resided, happened
to stay out _fifteen minutes longer_ than he had permission to stay.
It was a mistake--it was _unintentional_. But what was the penalty? He
was sent to the house of correction with the order that he should have
_thirty lashes upon his naked body with a knotted rope!!!_ He was
brought home and laid down in the stoop, in the back of the house, in
_the sun, upon the floor_. And there he lay, with more the appearance
of a rotten carcass than a living man, for four days before he could
do more than move. And who was this inhuman being calling God's
property his own, and ruing it as he would not have dared to use a
beast? You may say he was a tiger--one of the more wicked sort, and
that we must not judge others by him. _He was a professor of that
religion which will pour upon the willing slaveholder the retribution
due to his sin_.

"We wish to mention another fact, which our own eyes saw and our own
ears heard. We were called to evening prayers. The family assembled
around the altar of their accustomed devotions. There was one female
_slave_ present, who belonged to another master, but who had been
hired for the day and tarried to attend family worship. The precious
Bible was opened, and nearly half a chapter had been read, when the
eye of the master, who was reading, observed that the new female
servant, instead of being seated like his own slaves, _flat upon the
floor_, was standing in a stooping posture upon her feet. He told her
to sit down on the floor. She said it was not her custom at home. He
ordered her again to do it. She replied that her master did not
require it. Irritated by this answer, he repeatedly _struck her upon
the head with the very Bible he held in his hand_. And not content
with this, he seized his cane and _caned her down stairs most
unmercifully_. He then returned to resume his profane work, but we
need not say that _all_ the family were not there. Do you ask again,
who was this wicked man? _He was a professor of religion!!_"

Rev. HUNTINGTON LYMAN, late pastor of the Free Church in Buffalo, New
York, says:--

"Walking one day in New Orleans with a professional gentleman, who was
educated in Connecticut, we were met by a black man; the gentleman was
greatly incensed with the black man for passing so _near_ him, and
turning upon him _he pushed him with violence off walk into the
street_. This man was a professor of religion."

(And _we_ add, a member, and if we mistake not an officer of the
Presbyterian Church which was established there by Rev. Joel Parker,
and which was then under his teachings-ED.)

Mr. EZEKIEL BIRDSEYE, a gentleman of known probity, in Cornwall,
Litchfield county, Conn. gives the testimony which follows:--

DEATH, whom he _suspected_ of having stolen about sixty dollars. The
slave was in the prime of life and was purchased a few weeks before
for $800 of a slave trader from Virginia or Maryland. The coroner, Wm.
Irby, at whose house I was then boarding, _told me_, that on reviewing
the dead body, he found it _beat to a jelly from head to foot_. The
master's wife discovered the money a day or two after the death of the
slave. She had herself removed it from where it was placed, not
knowing what it was, as it was tied up in a thick envelope. I happened
to be present when the trial of this man took place, at Laurens Court
House. His daughter testified that her father untied the slave, when
he appeared to be failing, and gave him cold water to drink, of which
he took freely. His counsel pleaded that his death _might_ have been
caused by drinking cold water in a state of excitement. The Judge
charged the jury, that it would be their duty to find the defendant
guilty, if they believed the death was caused by the whipping; but if
they were of opinion that drinking cold water caused the death, they
would find him not guilty! The jury found him--NOT GUILTY!"

Dr. JEREMIAH S. WAUGH, a physician in Somerville, Butler county, Ohio,
testifies as follows:--

"In the year 1825, I boarded with the Rev. John Mushat, a Seceder
minister, and principal of an academy in Iredel county, N.C. He had
slaves, and was in the habit of restricting them on the Sabbath. One
of his slaves, however, ventured to disobey his injunctions. The
offence was he went away on Sabbath evening, and did not return till
Monday morning. About the time we were called to breakfast, the Rev.
gentleman was engaged in chastising him for _breaking the Sabbath_. He
determined not to submit--attempted to escape by flight. The master
immediately took down his gun and pursued him--levelled his instrument
of death, and told him, if he did not stop instantly _he would blow
him through_. The poor slave returned to the house and submitted
himself to the lash; and the good master, while YET PALE WITH RAGE,
_sat down to the table, and with a trembling voice_ ASKED GOD'S

The following letter was sent by Capt. JACOB DUNHAM, of New York city,
to a slaveholder in Georgetown, D.C. more than twenty years since:

"Georgetown, June 13, 1815.

"Dear sir--Passing your house yesterday, I beheld a scene of cruelty
seldom witnessed--that was the brutal chastisement of your negro girl,
_lashed to a ladder and beaten in an inhuman manner, too bad to
describe_. My blood chills while I contemplate the subject. This has
led me to investigate your character from your neighbors; who inform
me that you have _caused the death_ of one negro man, whom you struck
with a sledge for some trivial fault--that you have beaten another
black girl with such severity that the _splinters_ remained in her
back for some weeks after you sold her--and many other acts of
barbarity, too lengthy to enumerate. And to my great surprise, I find
you are a _professor of the Christian religion!_

"You will naturally inquire, why I meddle with your family affairs. My
answer is, the cause of humanity and a sense of my duty requires
it.--these hasty remarks I leave you to reflect on the subject; but
wish you to remember, that there is an all-seeing eye who knows all
our faults and will reward us according to our deeds.

I remain, sir, yours, &c

Master of the brig Cyrus, of N.Y."

Rev. SYLVESTER COWLES, pastor of the Presbyterian church in Fredonia,
N.Y. says:--

"A young man, a member of the church in Conewango, went to Alabama
last year, to reside as a clerk in an uncle's store. When he had been
there about nine months, he wrote his father that he must return home.
To see members of the same church sit at the communion table of our
Lord one day, and the next to see one seize any weapon and knock the
other down, _as he had seen_, he _could not_ live there. His good
father forthwith gave him permission to return home."

The following is a specimen of the shameless hardihood with which a
professed minister of the Gospel, and editor of a religious paper,
assumes the right to hold God's image as a chattel. It is from the
Southern Christian Herald:--

"It is stated in the Georgetown Union, that a negro, supposed to have
died of cholera, when that disease prevailed in Charleston, was
carried to the public burying ground to be interred; but before
interment signs of life appeared, and, by the use of proper means, he
was restored to health. And now the man who first perceived the signs
of life in the slave, and that led to his preservation, claims the
property as his own, and is about bringing suit for its recovery. As
well might a man who rescued his neighbor's slave, or his _horse_,
from drowning, or who extinguished the flames that would otherwise
soon have burnt down his neighbor's house, claim the _property_ as his

Rev. GEORGE BOURNE, of New York city, late Editor of the "Protestant
Vindicator," who was a preacher seven years in Virginia, gives the
following testimony.[39]

"Benjamin Lewis, who was an elder in the Presbyterian church, engaged
a carpenter to repair and enlarge his house. After some time had
elapsed, Kyle, the builder, was awakened very early in the morning by
a most piteous moaning and shrieking. He arose, and following the
sound, discovered a colored woman nearly naked, tied to a fence, while
Lewis was lacerating her. Kyle instantly commanded the slave driver to
desist. Lewis maintained his jurisdiction over his slaves, and
threatened Kyle that he would punish him for his interference.
Finally Kyle obtained the release of the victim.

"A second and a third scene of the same kind occurred, and on the
third occasion the altercation almost produced a battle between the
elder and the carpenter.

"Kyle immediately arranged his affairs, packed up his tools and
prepared to depart. 'Where are you going?' demanded Lewis. 'I am
going home;' said Kyle. 'Then I will pay you nothing for what you
have done,' retorted the slave driver, 'unless you complete your
contract.'  The carpenter went away with this edifying declaration, 'I
will not stay here a day longer; for I expect the fire of God will
come down and burn you up altogether, and I do not choose to go to
hell with you.'  Through hush-money and promises not to whip the women
any more, I believe Kyle returned and completed his engagement.

"James Kyle of Harrisonburg, Virginia, frequently narrated that
circumstance, and his son, the carpenter, confirmed it with all the
minute particulars combined with his temporary residence on the
Shenandoah river.

"John M'Cue of Augusta county, Virginia, a _Presbyterian preacher_,
frequently on the Lord's day morning, tied up his slaves and whipped
them; and left them bound, while he went to the meeting house and
preached--and after his return home repeated his scourging. That
fact, with others more heinous, was known to all persons in his
congregation and around the vicinity; and so far from being censured
for it, he and his brethren justified it as essential to preserve
their 'domestic institutions.'

"Mrs. Pence, of Rockingham county, Virginia, used to boast,--'I am the
best hand to whip a _wench_ in the whole county.'  She used to pinion
the girls to a post in the yard on the Lord's day morning, scourge
them, put on the '_negro plaster_,' salt, pepper, and vinegar, leave
them tied, and walk away to church as demure as a nun, and after
service repeat her flaying, if she felt the whim. I once expostulated
with her upon her cruelly. 'Mrs. Pence, how can you whip your girls
so publicly and disturb your neighbors so on the Lord's day morning.'
Her answer was memorable. 'If I were to whip them on any other day I
should lose a day's work; but by whipping them on Sunday, their backs
get well enough by Monday morning.'  That woman, if alive, is
doubtless a member of the church now, as then.

"Rev. Dr. Staughton, formerly of Philadelphia, often stated, that when
he lived at Georgetown, S.C. he could tell the doings of one of the
slaveholders of the Baptist church there by his prayers at the prayer
meeting. 'If,' said he, 'that man was upon good terms with his
slaves, his words were cold and heartless as frost; if he had been
whipping a man, he would pray with life; but if he had left a woman
whom he had been flogging, tied to a post in his cellar, with a
determination to go back and torture her again, O! how he would pray!'
 The Rev. Cyrus P. Grosvenor of Massachusetts can confirm the above
statement by Dr. Staughton.

"William Wilson, a Presbyterian preacher of Augusta county, Virginia,
had a young colored girl who was constitutionally unhealthy. As no
means to amend her were availing, he sold her to a member of his
congregation, and in the usual style of human flesh dealers, warranted
her 'sound,' &c. The fraud was instantly discovered; but he would not
refund the amount. A suit was commenced, and was long continued, and
finally the plaintiff recovered the money out of which he had been
swindled by slave-trading with his own preacher. No Presbytery
censured him, although Judge Brown, the chancellor, severely condemned
the imposition.

"In the year 1811, Johab Graham, a preacher, lived with Alexander
Nelson a Presbyterian elder, near Stanton, Virginia, and he informed
me that a man had appeared before Nelson, who was a magistrate, and
swore falsely against his slave,--that the elder ordered him
thirty-nine lashes. All that wickedness was done as an excuse for his
dissipated owner to obtain money. A negro trader had offered him a
considerable sum for the 'boy,' and under the pretence of saving him
from the punishment of the law, he was trafficked away from his woman
and children to another state. The magistrate was aware of the
perjury, and the whole abomination, but all the truth uttered by every
colored person in the southern states would not be of any avail
against the notorious false swearing of the greatest white villain who
ever cursed the world. 'How,' said Johab Graham, can I preach
to-morrow?' I replied, 'Very well; go and thunder the doctrine of
retribution in their ears, Obadiah 15, till by the divine blessing you
kill or cure them. My friends, John M. Nelson of Hillsborough, Ohio,
Samuel Linn, and Robert Herron, and others of the same vicinity, could
'make both the ears of every one who heareth them tingle' with the
accounts which they can give of slave-driving by professors of
religion in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.

"In 1815, near Frederick, in Maryland, a most barbarous planter was
killed in a fit of desperation, by four of his slaves _in
self-defence_. It was declared by those slaves while in prison that,
besides his atrocities among their female associates, he had
deliberately butchered a number of his slaves. The four men were
murdered by law, to appease the popular clamor. I saw them executed on
the twenty-eighth day of Jan'y, 1816. The facts I received from the
Rev. Patrick Davidson of Frederick, who constantly visited them during
their imprisonment--and who became an abolitionist in consequence of
the disclosures which he heard from those men in the jail. The name of
the planter is not distinctly recollected, but it can be known by a
inspection of the record of the trial in the clerk's office,

"A minister of Virginia, still living, and whose name must not be
mentioned for fear of Nero Preston and his confederate-hanging
myrmidons, informed me of this fact in 1815, in his own house. 'A
member of my church, said he, lately whipped a colored youth to death.
What shall I do?' I answered, 'I hope you do not mean to continue him
in your church.' That minister replied, 'How can we help it'
We dare not call him to an account. We have no legal testimony.'
Their communion season was then approaching. I addressed his
wife,--'Mrs. ---- do you mean to sit at the Lord's table with that
murderer?'--,'Not I,' she answered: 'I would as soon commune with the
devil himself.' The slave killer was equally unnoticed by the civil
and ecclesiastical authority.

"John Baxter, a Presbyterian elder, the brother of that slaveholding
doctor in divinity, George A. Baxter, held as a slave the wife of a
Baptist colored preacher, familiarly called 'Uncle Jack.' In a late
period of pregnancy he scourged her so that the lives of herself and
her unborn child were considered in jeopardy. Uncle Jack was advised
to obtain the liberation of his wife. Baxter finally agreed, I think,
to sell the woman and her children, three of them, I believe for six
hundred dollars, and an additional hundred if the unborn child
survived a certain period after its birth. Uncle Jack was to pay one
hundred dollars per annum for his wife and children for seven years,
and Baxter held a sort of mortgage upon them for the payment. Uncle
Jack showed me his back in furrows like a ploughed field. His master
used to whip up the flesh, then beat it downwards, and then apply the
'negro plaster,' salt, pepper, mustard, and vinegar, until all Jack's
back was almost as hard and unimpressible as the bones. There is
slaveholding religion! A Presbyterian elder receiving from a Baptist
preacher seven hundred dollars for his wife and children. James Kyle
and uncle Jack used to tell that story with great Christian
sensibility; and uncle Jack would weep tears of anguish over his
wife's piteous tale, and tears of ecstasy at the same moment that he
was free, and that soon, by the grace of God, his wife and children,
as he said, 'would be all free together.'"

Rev. JAMES NOURSE, a Presbyterian clergyman of Mifflia co. Penn.,
whose father is, we believe, a slaveholder in Washington City, says,--

"The Rev. Mr. M----, now of the Huntingdon Presbytery, after an absence
of many months, was about visiting his old friends on what is commonly
called the 'Eastern Shore.' Late in the afternoon, on his journey, he
called at the house of Rev. A.C. of P----town, Md. With this brother
he had been long acquainted. Just at that juncture Mr. C. was about
proceeding to whip a colored female, who was his slave. She was firmly
tied to a post in FRONT of his dwelling-house. The arrival of a
clerical visitor at such a time, occasioned a temporary delay in the
execution of Mr. C's purpose. But the delay was only temporary; for
not even the presence of such a guest could destroy the bloody design.
The guest interceded with all the mildness yet earnestness of a
brother and new visitor. But all in vain, 'the woman had been saucy
and must be punished.' The cowhide was accordingly produced, and the
_Rev. Mr. C_., a large and very stout man, applied it 'manfully' on
'woman's' bare and 'shrinking flesh.' I say bare, because you know
that the slave women generally have but three or four inches of the
arm near the shoulder covered, and the neck is left entirely exposed.
As the cowhide moved back and forward, striking right and left, on the
head, neck and arms, at every few strokes the sympathizing guest would
exclaim, 'O, brother C. desist' But brother C. pursued his brutal
work, till, after inflicting about sixty lashes, the woman was found
to be suffused with blood on the hinder part of her neck, and under
her frock between the shoulders. Yet this Rev. gentleman is well
esteemed in the church--was, three or four years since, moderator of
the synod of Philadelphia, and yet walks abroad, feeling himself
unrebuked by law or gospel. Ah, sir does not this narration give
fearful force to the query--_What has the church to do with slavery_?'
Comment on the facts is unnecessary, yet allow me to conclude by
saying, that it is my opinion such occurrences _are not rare in the


REV. CHARLES STEWART RENSHAW, of Quincy, Illinois, in a recent letter,
speaking of his residence, for a period, in Kentucky, says--

"In a conversation with Mr. Robert Willis, he told me that his negro
girl had run away from him some time previous. He was convinced that
she was lurking round, and he watched for her. He soon found the place
of her concealment, drew her from it, got a rope, and tied her hands
across each other, then threw the rope over a beam in the kitchen, and
hoisted her up by the wrists; 'and,' said he, 'I whipped her there
till I made the lint fly, I tell you.' I asked him the meaning of
making 'the lint fly,' and he replied, '_till the blood flew_.' I spoke
of the iniquity and cruelty of slavery, and of its immediate
abandonment. He confessed it an evil, but said, 'I am a
_colonizationist_--I believe in that scheme.' Mr. Willis is a teacher
of sacred music, and a member of the Presbyterian Church in Lexington,

Mr. R. speaking of the PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER and church where he
resided, says:

"The minister and all the church members held slaves. Some were
treated kindly, others harshly. _There was not a shade of difference_
between their slaves and those of their _infidel_ neighbors, either in
their physical, intellectual, or moral state: in some cases they would
_suffer_ in the comparison.

"In the kitchen of the minister of the church, a slave man was living
in open adultery with a slave woman, who was a member of the church,
with an 'assured hope' of heaven--whilst the man's wife was on the
minister's farm in Fayette county. The minister had to bring a cook
down from his farm to the place in which he was preaching. The choice
was between the wife of the man and this church member. He _left the
wife_, and brought the church member to the adulterer's bed.

"A METHODIST PREACHER last fall took a load of produce down the river.
Amongst other _things_ he took down five slaves. He sold them at New
Orleans--he came up to Natchez--bought seven there--and took them down
and sold them also. Last March he came up to preach the Gospel again.
A number of persons on board the steamboat (the Tuscarora.) who had
seen him in the slave-shambles in Natchez and New Orleans, and now,
for the first time, found him to be a preacher, had much sport at the
expense of 'the fine old preacher who dealt in slaves.'

A non-professor of religion, in Campbell county, Ky. sold a female and
two children to a Methodist professor, with the proviso that they
should not leave that region of country. The slave-driver came, and
offered $5 more for the woman than he had given, and he sold her. She
is now in the lower country, and _her orphan babes are in Kentucky_.

"I was much shocked once, to see a Presbyterian elder's wife call a
little slave to her to kiss her feet. At first the boy hesitated--but
the command being repeated in tones not to be misunderstood, be
approached timidly, knelt, and kissed her foot."

Rev. W.T. ALLAN, of Chatham, Illinois, gives the following in a letter
dated Feb. 4, 1839:

"Mr. Peter Vanarsdale, an elder of the Presbyterian church in
Carrollton, formerly from Kentucky, told me, the other day, that a
Mrs. Burford, in the neighborhood of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, had
_separated a woman and her children_ from their husband and father,
taking them into another state. Mrs. B. was a member of the
_Presbyterian Church_. The bereaved husband and father was also a
professor of religion.

"Mr. V. told me of a slave woman who had lost her son, separated from
her by public sale. In the anguish of her soul, she gave vent to her
indignation freely, and perhaps harshly. Sometime after, she wished to
become a member of the church. Before they received her, she had to
make humble confession for speaking as she had done. _Some of the
elders that received her, and required the confession, were engaged is
selling the son from his mother_."

The following communication from the Rev. WILLIAM BARDWELL, of
Sandwich, Massachusetts, has just been published in Zion's Watchman,
New York city:

_Mr. Editor_:--The following fact was given me last evening, from the
pen of a shipmaster, who has traded in several of the principal ports
in the south. He is a man of unblemished character, a member of the
M.E. Church in this place, and familiarly known in this town. The
facts were communicated to me last fall in a letter to his wife, with
a request that she would cause them to be published. I give verbatim,
as they were written from the letter by brother Perry's own hand while
I was in his house.

"A Methodist preacher, Wm. Whitby by name, who married in Bucksville,
S.C., and by marriage came into possession of some slaves, in July,
1838, was about moving to another station to preach, and wished, also,
to move his family and slaves to Tennessee, much against the will of
the slaves, one of which, to get clear from him, ran into the woods
after swimming a brook. The parson took after him with his gun, which,
however, got wet and missed fire, when he ran to a neighbor for
another gun, with the intention, as he said, of killing him: he did
not, however, catch or kill him; he chained another for fear of his
running away also. The above particulars were related to me by William
Whitby himself. THOMAS C. PERRY. March 3, 1839."

"I find by examining the minutes of the S.C. Conference, that there is
such a preacher in the Conference, and brother Perry further stated to
me that he was well acquainted with him, and if this statement was
published, and if it could be known where he was since the last
Conference, he wished a paper to be sent him containing the whole
affair. He also stated to me, verbally, that the young man he
attempted to shoot was about nineteen years of age, and had been shut
up in a corn-house, and in the attempt of Mr. Whitby to chain him, he
broke down the door and made his escape as above mentioned, and that
Mr. W. was under the necessity of hiring him out for one year, with
the risk of his employer's getting him. Brother Perry conversed with
one of the slaves, who was so old that he thought it not profitable to
remove so far, and had been sold; _he_ informed him of all the above
circumstances, and said, with tears, that he thought he had been so
faithful as to be entitled to liberty, but instead of making him free,
he had sold him to another master, besides parting one husband and
wife from those ties rendered a thousand times dearer by an infant
child which was torn for ever from the husband.

_Sandwich, Mass._, March 4, 1839."

Mr. WILLIAM POE, till recently a slaveholder in Virginia, now an elder
in the Presbyterian Church at Delhi, Ohio, gives the following

"An elder in the Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg had a most faithful
servant, whom he flogged severely and sent him to prison, and had him
confined as a felon a number of days, for being _saucy_. Another elder
of the same church, an auctioneer, habitually sold slaves at his
stand--very frequently _parted families_--would often go into the
country to sell slaves on execution and otherwise; when remonstrated
with, he justified himself, saying, 'it was his business;' the church
also justified him on the same ground.

"A Doctor Duval, of Lynchburg, Va. got offended with a very faithful,
worthy servant, and immediately sold him to a negro trader, to be
taken to New Orleans; Duval still keeping the wife of the man as his
slave. This Duval was a professor of religion."

Mr. SAMUEL HALL, a teacher in Marietta College, Ohio, says, in a
recent letter:--

"A student in Marietta College, from Mississippi, a professor of
religion, and in every way worthy of entire confidence, made to me the
following statement. [If his name were published it would probably
cost him his life.]

"When I was in the family of the Rev. James Martin, of Louisville,
Winston county, Mississippi, in the spring of 1838, Mrs. Martin became
offended at a female slave, because she did not move faster. She
commanded her to do so; the girl quickened her pace; again she was
ordered to move faster, or, Mrs. M. declared, she would break the
broomstick over her head. Again the slave quickened her pace; but not
coming up to the _maximum_ desired by Mrs. M. the latter declared she
would _see_ whether she (the slave) could move or not: and, going into
another apartment, she brought in a raw hide, awaiting the return of
her husband for its application. In this instance I know not what was
the final result, but I have heard the sound of the raw-hide in at
least _two_ other instances, applied by this same reverend gentleman
to the back of his _female_ servant."

Mr. Hall adds--"The name of my informant must be suppressed, as" he
says, "there are those who would cut my throat in a moment, if the
information I give were to be coupled with my name." Suffice it to say
that he is a professor of religion, a native of Virginia, and a
student of Marietta College, whose character will bear the strictest
scrutiny. He says:--

"In 1838, at Charlestown, Va. I conversed with several members of the
church under the care of the Rev. Mr. Brown, of the same place. Taking
occasion to speak of slavery, and of the sin of slaveholding, to one
of them who was a lady, she replied, "I am a slaveholder, and I
_glory_ in it." I had a conversation, a few days after, with the
pastor himself, concerning the state of religion in his church, and
who were the most exemplary members in it. The pastor mentioned
several of those who were of that description; the _first_ of whom,
however, was the identical lady who _gloried_ in being a slaveholder!
That church numbers nearly two hundred members.

"Another lady, who was considered as devoted a Christian as any in the
same church, but who was in poor health, was accustomed to flog some
of her female domestics with a raw-hide till she was exhausted, and
then go and lie down till her strength was recruited, rising again and
resuming the flagellation. This she considered as not at all
derogatory to her Christian character."

Mr. JOEL S. BINGHAM, of Cornwall, Vermont, lately a student in
Middlebury College, and a member of the Congregational Church, spent a
few weeks in Kentucky, in the summer of 1838. He relates the following
occurrence which took place in the neighborhood where he resided, and
was a matter of perfect notoriety in the vicinity.

"Rev. Mr. Lewis, a Baptist minister in the vicinity of Frankfort, Ky.
had a slave that ran away, but was retaken and brought back to his
master, who threatened him with punishment for making an attempt to
escape. Though terrified the slave immediately attempted to run away
again. Mr. L. commanded him to stop, but he did not obey. _Mr. L. then
took a gun, loaded with small shot and fired at the slave, who fell_;
but was not killed, and afterward recovered. Mr. L. did not probably
intend to kill the slave, as it was his legs which were aimed at and
received the contents of the gun. The master asserted that he was
driven to this necessity to maintain his authority. This took place
about the first of July, 1838."

The following is given upon the authority of Rev. ORANGE SCOTT, of
Lowell, Mass. for many years a presiding elder in the Methodist
Episcopal Church.

"Rev. Joseph Hough, a Baptist minister, formerly of Springfield, Mass.
now of Plainfield, N.H. while traveling in the south, a few years ago,
put up one night with a Methodist family, and spent the Sabbath with
them. While there, one of the female slaves did something which
displeased her mistress. She took a chisel and mallet, and very
deliberately cut off one of her toes!"


But we shall be told, that 'slave-breeders' are regarded with
contempt, and the business of slave breeding is looked upon as
despicable; and the hot disclaimer of Mr. Stevenson, our Minister
Plenipotentiary at the Court of St. James, in reply to Mr. O'Connell,
who had intimated that he might be a 'slave breeder,' will doubtless
be quoted.[40] In reply, we need not say what every body knows, that
if Mr. Stevenson is not a 'slave breeder,' he is a solitary exception
among the large slaveholders of Virginia. What! Virginia slaveholders
not 'slave-breeders?' the pretence is ridiculous and contemptible; it
is meanness, hypocrisy, and falsehood, as is abundantly proved by the
testimony which follows:--

Mr. GHOLSON, of Virginia, in his speech in the Legislature of that
state, Jan. 18, 1832, (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. The legal maxim of '_Partus sequitur ventrem_' is coeval
with the existence of the rights 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 and 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_."

Hon. THOMAS MANN RANDOLPH, of Virginia. formerly Governor of that
state, in his speech before the legislature in 1832, while speaking of
the number of slaves annually sold from Virginia to the more southern
slave states, said:--

"The exportation has _averaged_ EIGHT THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED for the
last twenty years. Forty years ago, the whites exceeded the colored
25,000, the colored now exceed the whites 81,000; and these results
too during an exportation of near 260,000 slaves since the year 1790,
now perhaps the fruitful progenitors of half a million in other
states. 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
converted into one grand menagerie, where men are to be reared for
market, like oxen for the shambles."

Professor DEW, now President of the University of William and Mary,
Virginia, in his Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature,
1831-2, says, p 49.

"From all the information we can obtain, we have no hesitation in
saying that upwards of six thousand [slaves] are yearly exported [from
Virginia] to other states.' Again, p. 61: 'The 6000 slaves which
Virginia annually sends off to the south, are a source of wealth to
Virginia'--Again, p. 120: 'A full equivalent being thus left in the
place of the slave, 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._ &c."

_"Virginia is, in fact, a negro-raising state for other states."_

Extract from the speech of MR. FAULKNER, in the Va. House of
Delegates, 1832. [See Richmond Whig.]

"But he [Mr. Gholson,] has labored to show that the Abolition of
Slavery, were it practicable, would be _impolitic_, because as the
drift of this portion of his argument runs, 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, and in this he is sustained by the gentleman from Halifax, Mr.
Bruce, that the slaves constitute the entire available wealth at
present, of Eastern Virginia. Is it true that for 200 years