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Title: Memories of Childhood's Slavery Days
Author: Burton, Annie L., 1858-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memories of Childhood's Slavery Days" ***

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                       Memories of Childhood's
                             Slavery Days


                           Annie L. Burton


                       ROSS PUBLISHING COMPANY



The memory of my happy, care-free childhood days on the plantation,
with my little white and black companions, is often with me. Neither
master nor mistress nor neighbors had time to bestow a thought upon
us, for the great Civil War was raging. That great event in American
history was a matter wholly outside the realm of our childish
interests. Of course we heard our elders discuss the various events of
the great struggle, but it meant nothing to us.

On the plantation there were ten white children and fourteen colored
children. Our days were spent roaming about from plantation to
plantation, not knowing or caring what things were going on in the
great world outside our little realm. Planting time and harvest time
were happy days for us. How often at the harvest time the planters
discovered cornstalks missing from the ends of the rows, and blamed
the crows! We were called the "little fairy devils." To the sweet
potatoes and peanuts and sugar cane we also helped ourselves.

Those slaves that were not married served the food from the great
house, and about half-past eleven they would send the older children
with food to the workers in the fields. Of course, I followed, and
before we got to the fields, we had eaten the food nearly all up. When
the workers returned home they complained, and we were whipped.

The slaves got their allowance every Monday night of molasses, meat,
corn meal, and a kind of flour called "dredgings" or "shorts." Perhaps
this allowance would be gone before the next Monday night, in which
case the slaves would steal hogs and chickens. Then would come the
whipping-post. Master himself never whipped his slaves; this was left
to the overseer.

We children had no supper, and only a little piece of bread or
something of the kind in the morning. Our dishes consisted of one
wooden bowl, and oyster shells were our spoons. This bowl served for
about fifteen children, and often the dogs and the ducks and the
peafowl had a dip in it. Sometimes we had buttermilk and bread in our
bowl, sometimes greens or bones.

Our clothes were little homespun cotton slips, with short sleeves. I
never knew what shoes were until I got big enough to earn them myself.

If a slave man and woman wished to marry, a party would be arranged
some Saturday night among the slaves. The marriage ceremony consisted
of the pair jumping over a stick. If no children were born within a
year or so, the wife was sold.

At New Year's, if there was any debt or mortgage on the plantation,
the extra slaves were taken to Clayton and sold at the court house. In
this way families were separated.

When they were getting recruits for the war, we were allowed to go to
Clayton to see the soldiers.

I remember, at the beginning of the war, two colored men were hung in
Clayton; one, Cæsar King, for killing a blood hound and biting off an
overseer's ear; the other, Dabney Madison, for the murder of his
master. Dabney Madison's master was really shot by a man named
Houston, who was infatuated with Madison's mistress, and who had hired
Madison to make the bullets for him. Houston escaped after the deed,
and the blame fell on Dabney Madison, as he was the only slave of his
master and mistress. The clothes of the two victims were hung on two
pine trees, and no colored person would touch them. Since I have grown
up, I have seen the skeleton of one of these men in the office of a
doctor in Clayton.

After the men were hung, the bones were put in an old deserted house.
Somebody that cared for the bones used to put them in the sun in
bright weather, and back in the house when it rained. Finally the
bones disappeared, although the boxes that had contained them still

At one time, when they were building barns on the plantation, one of
the big boys got a little brandy and gave us children all a drink,
enough to make us drunk. Four doctors were sent for, but nobody could
tell what was the matter with us, except they thought we had eaten
something poisonous. They wanted to give us some castor oil, but we
refused to take it, because we thought that the oil was made from the
bones of the dead men we had seen. Finally, we told about the big
white boy giving us the brandy, and the mystery was cleared up.

Young as I was then, I remember this conversation between master and
mistress, on master's return from the gate one day, when he had
received the latest news: "William, what is the news from the seat of
war?" "A great battle was fought at Bull Run, and the Confederates
won," he replied. "Oh, good, good," said mistress, "and what did Jeff
Davis say?" "Look out for the blockade. I do not know what the end
may be soon," he answered. "What does Jeff Davis mean by that?" she
asked. "Sarah Anne, I don't know, unless he means that the niggers
will be free." "O, my God, what shall we do?" "I presume," he said,
"we shall have to put our boys to work and hire help." "But," she
said, "what will the niggers do if they are free? Why, they will
starve if we don't keep them." "Oh, well," he said, "let them wander,
if they will not stay with their owners. I don't doubt that many
owners have been good to their slaves, and they would rather remain
with their owners than wander about without home or country."

My mistress often told me that my father was a planter who owned a
plantation about two miles from ours. He was a white man, born in
Liverpool, England. He died in Lewisville, Alabama, in the year 1875.

I will venture to say that I only saw my father a dozen times, when I
was about four years old; and those times I saw him only from a
distance, as he was driving by the great house of our plantation.
Whenever my mistress saw him going by, she would take me by the hand
and run out upon the piazza, and exclaim, "Stop there, I say! Don't
you want to see and speak to and caress your darling child? She often
speaks of you and wants to embrace her dear father. See what a bright
and beautiful daughter she is, a perfect picture of yourself. Well, I
declare, you are an affectionate father." I well remember that
whenever my mistress would speak thus and upbraid him, he would whip
up his horse and get out of sight and hearing as quickly as possible.
My mistress's action was, of course, intended to humble and shame my
father. I never spoke to him, and cannot remember that he ever noticed
me, or in any way acknowledged me to be his child.

My mother and my mistress were children together, and grew up to be
mothers together. My mother was the cook in my mistress's household.
One morning when master had gone to Eufaula, my mother and my mistress
got into an argument, the consequence of which was that my mother was
whipped, for the first time in her life. Whereupon, my mother refused
to do any more work, and ran away from the plantation. For three years
we did not see her again.

Our plantation was one of several thousand acres, comprising large
level fields, upland, and considerable forests of Southern pine.
Cotton, corn, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, wheat, and rye were the
principal crops raised on the plantation. It was situated near the
P---- River, and about twenty-three miles from Clayton, Ala.

One day my master heard that the Yankees were coming our way, and he
immediately made preparations to get his goods and valuables out of
their reach. The big six-mule team was brought to the smoke-house
door, and loaded with hams and provisions. After being loaded, the
team was put in the care of two of the most trustworthy and valuable
slaves that my master owned, and driven away. It was master's
intention to have these things taken to a swamp, and there concealed
in a pit that had recently been made for the purpose. But just before
the team left the main road for the by-road that led to the swamp, the
two slaves were surprised by the Yankees, who at once took possession
of the provisions, and started the team toward Clayton, where the
Yankees had headquarters. The road to Clayton ran past our plantation.
One of the slave children happened to look up the road, and saw the
Yankees coming, and gave warning. Whereupon, my master left
unceremoniously for the woods, and remained concealed there for five
days. The niggers had run away whenever they got a chance, but now it
was master's and the other white folks' turn to run.

The Yankees rode up to the piazza of the great house and inquired who
owned the plantation. They gave orders that nothing must be touched or
taken away, as they intended to return shortly and take possession. My
mistress and the slaves watched for their return day and night for
more than a week, but the Yankees did not come back.

One morning in April, 1865, my master got the news that the Yankees
had left Mobile Bay and crossed the Confederate lines, and that the
Emancipation Proclamation had been signed by President Lincoln.
Mistress suggested that the slaves should not be told of their
freedom; but master said he would tell them, because they would soon
find it out, even if he did not tell them. Mistress, however, said she
could keep my mother's three children, for my mother had now been gone
so long.

All the slaves left the plantation upon the news of their freedom,
except those who were feeble or sickly. With the help of these, the
crops were gathered. My mistress and her daughters had to go to the
kitchen and to the washtub. My little half-brother, Henry, and myself
had to gather chips, and help all we could. My sister, Caroline, who
was twelve years old, could help in the kitchen.

After the war, the Yankees took all the good mules and horses from
the plantation, and left their old army stock. We children chanced to
come across one of the Yankees' old horses, that had "U. S." branded
on him. We called him "Old Yank" and got him fattened up. One day in
August, six of us children took "Old Yank" and went away back on the
plantation for watermelons. Coming home, we thought we would make the
old horse trot. When "Old Yank" commenced to trot, our big melons
dropped off, but we couldn't stop the horse for some time. Finally,
one of the big boys went back and got some more melons, and left us
eating what we could find of the ones that had been dropped. Then all
we six, with our melons, got on "Old Yank" and went home. We also used
to hitch "Old Yank" into a wagon and get wood. But one sad day in the
fall, the Yankees came back again, and gathered up their old stock,
and took "Old Yank" away.

One day mistress sent me out to do some churning under a tree. I went
to sleep and jerked the churn over on top of me, and consequently got
a whipping.

My mother came for us at the end of the year 1865, and demanded that
her children be given up to her. This, mistress refused to do, and
threatened to set the dogs on my mother if she did not at once leave
the place. My mother went away, and remained with some of the
neighbors until supper time. Then she got a boy to tell Caroline to
come down to the fence. When she came, my mother told her to go back
and get Henry and myself and bring us down to the gap in the fence as
quick as she could. Then my mother took Henry in her arms, and my
sister carried me on her back. We climbed fences and crossed fields,
and after several hours came to a little hut which my mother had
secured on a plantation. We had no more than reached the place, and
made a little fire, when master's two sons rode up and demanded that
the children be returned. My mother refused to give us up. Upon her
offering to go with them to the Yankee headquarters to find out if it
were really true that all negroes had been made free, the young men
left, and troubled us no more.

The cabin that was now our home was made of logs. It had one door, and
an opening in one wall, with an inside shutter, was the only window.
The door was fastened with a latch. Our beds were some straw.

There were six in our little family; my mother, Caroline, Henry, two
other children that my mother had brought with her upon her return,
and myself.

The man on whose plantation this cabin stood, hired my mother as
cook, and gave us this little home. We children used to sell
blueberries and plums that we picked. One day the man on whom we
depended for our home and support, left. Then my mother did washing by
the day, for whatever she could get. We were sent to get cold victuals
from hotels and such places. A man wanting hands to pick cotton, my
brother Henry and I were set to help in this work. We had to go to the
cotton field very early every morning. For this work, we received
forty cents for every hundred pounds of cotton we picked.

Caroline was hired out to take care of a baby.

In 1866, another man hired the plantation on which our hut stood, and
we moved into Clayton, to a little house my mother secured there. A
rich lady came to our house one day, looking for some one to take care
of her little daughter. I was taken, and adopted into this family.
This rich lady was Mrs. E. M. Williams, a music teacher, the wife of a
lawyer. We called her "Mis' Mary."

Some rich people in Clayton who had owned slaves, opened the Methodist
church on Sundays, and began the work of teaching the negroes. My new
mistress sent me to Sunday school every Sunday morning, and I soon got
so that I could read. Mis' Mary taught me every day at her knee. I
soon could read nicely, and went through Sterling's Second Reader,
and then into McGuthrie's Third Reader. The first piece of poetry I
recited in Sunday school was taught to me by Mis' Mary during the
week. Mis' Mary's father-in-law, an ex-judge, of Clayton, Alabama,
heard me recite it, and thought it was wonderful. It was this:

    "I am glad to see you, little bird,
    It was your sweet song I heard.
    What was it I heard you say?
    Give me crumbs to eat today?
    Here are crumbs I brought for you.
    Eat your dinner, eat away,
    Come and see us every day."

After this Mis' Mary kept on with my studies, and taught me to write.
As I grew older, she taught me to cook and how to do housework. During
this time Mis' Mary had given my mother one dollar a month in return
for my services; now as I grew up to young womanhood, I thought I
would like a little money of my own. Accordingly, Mis' Mary began to
pay me four dollars a month, besides giving me my board and clothes.
For two summers she "let me out" while she was away, and I got five
dollars a month.

While I was with Mis' Mary, I had my first sweetheart, one of the
young fellows who attended Sunday school with me. Mis' Mary, however,
objected to the young man's coming to the house to call, because she
did not think I was old enough to have a sweetheart.

I owe a great deal to Mis' Mary for her good training of me, in
honesty, uprightness and truthfulness. She told me that when I went
out into the world all white folks would not treat me as she had, but
that I must not feel bad about it, but just do what I was employed to
do, and if I wasn't satisfied, to go elsewhere; but always to carry an
honest name.

One Sunday when my sweetheart walked to the gate with me, Mis' Mary
met him and told him she thought I was too young for him, and that she
was sending me to Sunday school to learn, not to catch a beau. It was
a long while before he could see me again,--not until later in the
season, in watermelon time, when Mis' Mary and my mother gave me
permission to go to a watermelon party one Sunday afternoon. Mis' Mary
did not know, however, that my sweetheart had planned to escort me. We
met around the corner of the house, and after the party he left me at
the same place. After that I saw him occasionally at barbecues and
parties. I was permitted to go with him some evenings to church, but
my mother always walked ahead or behind me and the young man.

We went together for four years. During that time, although I still
called Mis' Mary's my home, I had been out to service in one or two

Finally, my mother and Mis' Mary consented to our marriage, and the
wedding day was to be in May. The winter before that May, I went to
service in the family of Dr. Drury in Eufaula. Just a week before I
left Clayton I dreamed that my sweetheart died suddenly. The night
before I was to leave, we were invited out to tea. He told me he had
bought a nice piece of poplar wood, with which to make a table for our
new home. When I told him my dream, he said, "Don't let that trouble
you, there is nothing in dreams." But one month from that day he died,
and his coffin was made from the piece of poplar wood he had bought
for the table.

After his death, I remained in Clayton for two or three weeks with my
people, and then went back to Eufaula, where I stayed two years.

My sweetheart's death made a profound impression on me, and I began to
pray as best I could. Often I remained all night on my knees.

Going on an excursion to Macon, Georgia, one time, I liked the place
so well that I did not go back to Eufaula. I got a place as cook in
the family of an Episcopal clergyman, and remained with them eight
years, leaving when the family moved to New Orleans.

During these eight years, my mother died in Clayton, and I had to take
the three smallest children into my care. My oldest sister was now
married, and had a son.

I now went to live with a Mrs. Maria Campbell, a colored woman, who
adopted me and gave me her name. Mrs. Campbell did washing and ironing
for her living. While living with her, I went six months to Lewis'
High School in Macon. Then I went to Atlanta, and obtained a place as
first-class cook with Mr. E. N. Inman. But I always considered Mrs.
Campbell's my home. I remained about a year with Mr. Inman, and
received as wages ten dollars a month.

One day, when the family were visiting in Memphis, I chanced to pick
up a newspaper, and read the advertisement of a Northern family for a
cook to go to Boston. I went at once to the address given, and made
agreement to take the place, but told the people that I could not
leave my present position until Mr. Inman returned home. Mr. and Mrs.
Inman did not want to let me go, but I made up my mind to go North.
The Northern family whose service I was to enter had returned to
Boston before I left, and had made arrangements with a friend, Mr.
Bullock, to see me safely started North.

After deciding to go North, I went to Macon, to make arrangements with
Mrs. Campbell for the care of my two sisters who lived with her. One
sister was now about thirteen and the other fifteen, both old enough
to do a little for themselves. My brother was dead. He went to
Brunswick in 1875, and died there of the yellow fever in 1876. One
sister I brought in later years to Boston. I stayed in Macon two
weeks, and was in Atlanta three or four days before leaving for the

About the 15th of June, 1879, I arrived at the Old Colony Station in
Boston, and had my first glimpse of the country I had heard so much
about. From Boston I went to Newtonville, where I was to work. The
gentleman whose service I was to enter, Mr. E. N. Kimball, was waiting
at the station for me, and drove me to his home on Warner Street. For
a few days, until I got somewhat adjusted to my new circumstances, I
had no work to do. On June 17th the family took me with them to
Auburndale. But in spite of the kindness of Mrs. Kimball and the
colored nurse, I grew very homesick for the South, and would often
look in the direction of my old home and cry.

The washing, a kind of work I knew nothing about, was given to me;
but I could not do it, and it was finally given over to a hired woman.
I had to do the ironing of the fancy clothing for Mrs. Kimball and the

About five or six weeks after my arrival, Mrs. Kimball and the
children went to the White Mountains for the summer, and I had more
leisure. Mr. Kimball went up to the mountains every Saturday night, to
stay with his family over Sunday; but he and his father-in-law were at
home other nights, and I had to have dinner for them.

To keep away the homesickness and loneliness as much as possible, I
made acquaintance with the hired girl across the street.

One morning I climbed up into the cherry tree that grew between Mr.
Kimball's yard and the yard of his next-door neighbor, Mr. Roberts. I
was thinking of the South, and as I picked the cherries, I sang a
Southern song. Mr. Roberts heard me, and gave me a dollar for the

By agreement, Mrs. Kimball was to give me three dollars and a half a
week, instead of four, until the difference amounted to my fare from
the South; after that, I was to have four dollars. I had, however,
received but little money. In the fall, after the family came home, we
had a little difficulty about my wages, and I left and came into
Boston. One of my Macon acquaintances had come North before me, and
now had a position as cook in a house on Columbus Avenue. I looked
this girl up. Then I went to a lodging-house for colored people on
Kendall Street, and spent one night there. Mrs. Kimball had refused to
give me a recommendation, because she wanted me to stay with her, and
thought the lack of a recommendation would be an inducement. In the
lodging-house I made acquaintance with a colored girl, who took me to
an intelligence office. The man at the desk said he would give me a
card to take to 24 Springfield Street, on receipt of fifty cents. I
had never heard of an office of this kind, and asked a good many
questions. After being assured that my money would be returned in case
I did not accept the situation, I paid the fifty cents and started to
find the address on the card. Being ignorant of the scheme of street
numbering, I inquired of a woman whom I met, where No. 24 was. This
woman asked me if I was looking for work, and when I told her I was,
she said a friend of hers on Springfield Street wanted a servant
immediately. Of course I went with this lady, and after a conference
with the mistress of the house as to my ability, when I could begin
work, what wages I should want, etc., I was engaged as cook at three
dollars and a half a week.

From this place I proceeded to 24 Springfield Street, as directed,
hoping that I would be refused, so that I might go back to the
intelligence office and get my fifty cents. The lady at No. 24 who
wanted a servant, said she didn't think I was large and strong enough,
and guessed I wouldn't do. Then I went and got my fifty cents.

Having now obtained a situation, I sent to Mr. Kimball's for my trunk.
I remained in my new place a year and a half. At the end of that time
the family moved to Dorchester, and because I did not care to go out
there, I left their service.

From this place, I went to Narragansett Pier to work as a chambermaid
for the summer. In the fall, I came back to Boston and obtained a
situation with a family, in Berwick Park. This family afterward moved
to Jamaica Plain, and I went with them. With this family I remained
seven years. They were very kind to me, gave me two or three weeks'
vacation, without loss of pay.

In June, 1884, I went with them to their summer home in the Isles of
Shoals, as housekeeper for some guests who were coming from Paris. On
the 6th of July I received word that my sister Caroline had died in
June. This was a great blow to me. I remained with the Reeds until
they closed their summer home, but I was not able to do much work
after the news of my sister's death.

I wrote home to Georgia, to the white people who owned the house in
which Caroline had lived, asking them to take care of her boy Lawrence
until I should come in October. When we came back to Jamaica Plain in
the fall, I was asked to decide what I should do in regard to this
boy. Mrs. Reed wanted me to stay with her, and promised to help pay
for the care of the boy in Georgia. Of course, she said, I could not
expect to find positions if I had a child with me. As an inducement to
remain in my present place and leave the boy in Georgia, I was
promised provision for my future days, as long as I should live. It
did not take me long to decide what I should do. The last time I had
seen my sister, a little over a year before she died, she had said,
when I was leaving, "I don't expect ever to see you again, but if I
die I shall rest peacefully in my grave, because I know you will take
care of my child."

I left Jamaica Plain and took a room on Village Street for the two or
three weeks until my departure for the South. During this time, a lady
came to the house to hire a girl for her home in Wellesley Hills. The
girl who was offered the place would not go. I volunteered to accept
the position temporarily, and went at once to the beautiful farm. At
the end of a week, a man and his wife had been engaged, and I was to
leave the day after their arrival. These new servants, however, spoke
very little English, and I had to stay through the next week until the
new ones were broken in. After leaving there I started for Georgia,
reaching there at the end of five days, at five o'clock.

I took a carriage and drove at once to the house where Lawrence was
being taken care of. He was playing in the yard, and when he saw me
leave the carriage he ran and threw his arms around my neck and cried
for joy. I stayed a week in this house, looking after such things of
my sister's as had not been already stored. One day I had a headache,
and was lying down in the cook's room. Lawrence was in the dining-room
with the cook's little girl, and the two got into a quarrel, in the
course of which my nephew struck the cook's child. The cook, in her
anger, chased the boy with a broom, and threatened to give him a good
whipping at all costs. Hearing the noise, I came out into the yard,
and when Lawrence saw me he ran to me for protection. I interceded for
him, and promised he should get into no more trouble. We went at once
to a neighbor's house for the night. The next day I got a room in the
yard of a house belonging to some white people. Here we stayed two
weeks. The only return I was asked to make for the room was to weed
the garden. Lawrence and I dug out some weeds and burned them, but
came so near setting fire to the place that we were told we need not
dig any more weeds, but that we might have the use of the room so long
as we cared to stay.

In about a week and a half more we got together such things as we
wanted to keep and take away with us.

The last time I saw my sister, I had persuaded her to open a bank
account, and she had done so, and had made small deposits from time to
time. When I came to look for the bankbook, I discovered that her
lodger, one Mayfield, had taken it at her death, and nobody knew where
it might be now. I found out that Mayfield had drawn thirty dollars
from the account for my sister's burial, and also an unknown amount
for himself. He had done nothing for the boy. I went down to the bank,
and was told that Mayfield claimed to look after my sister's burial
and her affairs. He had made one Reuben Bennett, who was no relation
and had no interest in the matter, administrator for Lawrence, until
his coming of age. But Bennett had as yet done nothing for him. The
book was in the bank, with some of the account still undrawn, how much
I did not know. I next went to see a lawyer, to find out how much it
would cost me to get this book. The lawyer said fifteen dollars. I
said I would call again. In the meantime, I went to the court house,
and when the case on trial was adjourned I went to the judge and
stated my case. The judge, who was slightly acquainted with my sister
and me, told me to have Reuben Bennett in court next morning at nine
o'clock, and to bring Lawrence with me. When we had all assembled
before the judge, he told Bennett to take Lawrence and go to the bank
and get the money belonging to my sister. Bennett went and collected
the money, some thirty-five dollars. The boy was then given into my
care by the judge. For his kindness, the judge would accept no return.
Happy at having obtained the money so easily, we went back to our
room, and rested until our departure the next night for Jacksonville,
Florida. I had decided to go to this place for the winter, on account
of Lawrence, thinking the Northern winter would be too severe for him.

My youngest sister, who had come to Macon from Atlanta a few days
before my arrival, did not hear of Caroline's death until within a few
days of our departure. This youngest sister decided to go to Florida
with us for the winter.

Our trunks and baggage were taken to the station in a team. We had a
goodly supply of food, given us by our friends and by the people whose
hospitality we had shared during the latter part of our stay.

The next morning we got into Jacksonville. My idea was to get a place
as chambermaid at Green Cove Springs, Florida, through the influence
of the head waiter at a hotel there, whom I knew. After I got into
Jacksonville I changed my plans. I did not see how I could move my
things any farther, and we went to a hotel for colored people, hired a
room for two dollars, and boarded ourselves on the food which had been
given us in Macon. This food lasted about two weeks. Then I had to
buy, and my money was going every day, and none coming in, I did not
know what to do. One night the idea of keeping a restaurant came to
me, and I decided to get a little home for the three of us, and then
see what I could do in this line of business. After a long and hard
search, I found a little house of two rooms where we could live, and
the next day I found a place to start my restaurant. For house
furnishings, we used at first, to the best advantage we could, the
things we had brought from Macon. Caroline's cookstove had been left
with my foster-mother in Macon. After hiring the room for the
restaurant, I sent for this stove, and it arrived in a few days. Then
I went to a dealer in second-hand furniture and got such things as
were actually needed for the house and the restaurant, on the
condition that he would take them back at a discount when I got
through with them.

Trade at the restaurant was very good, and we got along nicely. My
sister got a position as nurse for fifteen dollars a month. One day
the cook from a shipwrecked vessel came to my restaurant, and in
return for his board and a bed in the place, agreed to do my cooking.
After trade became good, I changed my residence to a house of four
rooms, and put three cheap cots in each of two of the rooms, and let
the cots at a dollar a week apiece to colored men who worked nearby in
hotels. Lawrence and I did the chamber work at night, after the day's
work in the restaurant.

I introduced "Boston baked beans" into my restaurant, much to the
amusement of the people at first; but after they had once eaten them
it was hard to meet the demand for beans.

Lawrence, who was now about eleven years old, was a great help to me.
He took out dinners to the cigarmakers in a factory nearby.

At the end of the season, about four months, it had grown so hot that
we could stay in Jacksonville no longer. From my restaurant and my
lodgers I cleared one hundred and seventy-five dollars, which I put
into the Jacksonville bank. Then I took the furniture back to the
dealer, who fulfilled his agreement.

My sister decided to go back to Atlanta when she got through with her
place as nurse, which would not be for some weeks.

I took seventy-five dollars out of my bank account, and with Lawrence
went to Fernandina. There we took train to Port Royal, S. C., then
steamer to New York. From New York we went to Brooklyn for a few days.
Then we went to Newport and stayed with a woman who kept a
lodging-house. I decided to see what I could do in Newport by keeping
a boarding and lodging-house. I hired a little house and agreed to pay
nine dollars a month for it. I left Lawrence with some neighbors while
I came to Boston and took some things out of storage. These things I
moved into the little house. But I found, after paying one month's
rent, that the house was not properly located for the business I
wanted. I left, and with Lawrence went to Narragansett Pier. I got a
place there as "runner" for a laundry; that is, I was to go to the
hotels and leave cards and solicit trade. Then Lawrence thought he
would like to help by doing a little work. One night when I came back
from the laundry, I missed him. Nobody had seen him. All night I
searched for him, but did not find him. In the early morning I met him
coming home. He said a man who kept a bowling alley had hired him at
fifty cents a week to set up the pins, and it was in the bowling alley
he had been all night. He said the man let him take a nap on his coat
when he got sleepy. I went at once to see this man, and told him not
to hire my nephew again. A lady who kept a hotel offered me two
dollars a week for Lawrence's services in helping the cook and serving
in the help's dining-room. When the season closed, the lady who hired
Lawrence was very reluctant to let him go.

We went back to Newport to see the landlady from whom I had hired the
house, and I paid such part of the rent as I could. Then I packed my
things and started for Boston. On reaching there, I kept such of my
things as I needed, and stored the rest, and took a furnished room. In
about a week's time I went to see the husband of the lady for whom I
had worked at Wellesley Hills just previous to my departure for the
South. He had told me to let him know when I returned to Boston. He
said a man and his wife were at present employed at his farm, but he
didn't know how long they would stay. Before another week had passed,
this gentleman sent for me. He said his wife wanted me to go out to
the farm, and that I could have Lawrence with me. The boy, he said,
could help his wife with the poultry, and could have a chance to go to
school. I was promised three dollars and a half a week, and no washing
to do. I was told that the farm had been offered for sale, and of
course it might change hands any day. I was promised, however, that I
should lose nothing by the change.

Lawrence was very lonely at the farm, with no companions, and used to
sit and cry.

The place was sold about ten weeks after I went there, and I came into
Boston to look about for a restaurant, leaving Lawrence at the farm.
When the home was broken up, the owners came to the Revere House,
Boston. Barrels of apples, potatoes and other provisions were given to

I found a little restaurant near the Providence depot for sale. I made
arrangements at once to buy the place for thirty-five dollars, and the
next day I brought Lawrence and my things from Wellesley Hills. I paid
two dollars a week rent for my little restaurant, and did very well.
The next spring I sold the place for fifty dollars, in time to get a
place at the beach for the summer.

Lawrence got a position in a drug store, and kept it four years. Then
he went to Hampton College, Hampton, Va. After finishing there, he
came back and then went to the World's Fair in Chicago. After that he
took a position on one of the Fall River line boats. At the outbreak
of the Spanish War, he enlisted in Brooklyn as powderman on the
battleship Texas. He was on the Texas when the first shot was fired.
He was present at the decoration of the graves of the American
soldiers in Havana, and also at the decoration of the battleship Maine
after she was raised. After the war, he came to Brooklyn and got an
honorable discharge. Then he served as valet to a rich New York man,
who travelled a good deal. About the middle of last November (1906)
Lawrence came to Boston to see me. He is now in Atlantic City, a
waiter in the Royal Hotel.

In 1888, I was married, at 27 Pemberton Street, to Samuel H. Burton,
by Dr. O. P. Gifford. After my marriage, Mr. Burton got a place in
Braintree as valet to an old gentleman who was slightly demented, and
he could not be satisfied until I joined him. So I put our things
into storage and went to Braintree. I remained there ten months, and
then came back to Boston. Then I got a position as head matron in the
help's dining-room in a hotel at Watch Hill, R. I. My husband was also
there as waiter. At the end of the season we both came home, and
rented a lodging-house, and lost money on it.


The times changed from slavery days to freedom's days. As young as I
was, my thoughts were mystified to see such wonderful changes; yet I
did not know the meaning of these changing days. But days glided by,
and in my mystified way I could see and hear many strange things. I
would see my master and mistress in close conversation and they seemed
anxious about something that I, a child, could not know the meaning

But as weeks went by, I began to understand. I saw all the slaves one
by one disappearing from the plantation (for night and day they kept
going) until there was not one to be seen.

All around the plantation was left barren. Day after day I could run
down to the gate and see down the road troops and troops of Garrison's
Brigade, and in the midst of them gangs and gangs of negro slaves who
joined with the soldiers, shouting, dancing and clapping their hands.
The war was ended, and from Mobile Bay to Clayton, Ala., all along
the road, on all the plantations, the slaves thought that if they
joined the Yankee soldiers they would be perfectly safe.

As I looked on these I did not know what it meant, for I had never
seen such a circus. The Yankee soldiers found that they had such an
army of men and women and children, that they had to build tents and
feed them to keep them from starving. But from what I, a little child,
saw and heard the older ones say, that must have been a terrible time
of trouble. I heard my master and mistress talking. They said, "Well,
I guess those Yankees had such a large family on their hands, we
rather guessed those fanatics on freedom would be only too glad to
send some back for their old masters to provide for them."

But they never came back to our plantation, and I could only speak of
my own home, but I thought to myself, what would become of my good
times all over the old plantation. Oh, the harvesting times, the great
hog-killing times when several hundred hogs were killed, and we
children watched and got our share of the slaughter in pig's liver
roasted on a bed of coals, eaten ashes and all. Then came the great
sugar-cane grinding time, when they were making the molasses, and we
children would be hanging round, drinking the sugar-cane juice, and
awaiting the moment to help ourselves to everything good. We did,
too, making ourselves sticky and dirty with the sweet stuff being
made. Not only were the slave children there, but the little white
children from Massa's house would join us and have a jolly time. The
negro child and the white child knew not the great chasm between their
lives, only that they had dainties and we had crusts.

My sister, being the children's nurse, would take them and wash their
hands and put them to bed in their luxurious bedrooms, while we little
slaves would find what homes we could. My brother and I would go to
sleep on some lumber under the house, where our sister Caroline would
find us and put us to bed. She would wipe our hands and faces and make
up our beds on the floor in Massa's house, for we had lived with him
ever since our own mother had run away, after being whipped by her
mistress. Later on, after the war, my mother returned and claimed us.
I never knew my father, who was a white man.

During these changing times, just after the war, I was trying to find
out what the change would bring about for us, as we were under the
care of our mistress, living in the great house. I thought this: that
Henry, Caroline and myself, Louise, would have to go as others had
done, and where should we go and what should we do? But as time went
on there were many changes. Our mistress and her two daughters, Martha
and Mary, had to become their own servants, and do all the work of the
house, going into the kitchen, cooking and washing, and feeling very
angry that all their house servants had run away to the Yankees. The
time had come when our good times were over, our many leisure hours
spent among the cotton fields and woods and our half-holiday on
Saturday. These were all gone. The boys had to leave school and take
the runaway slaves' places to finish the planting and pick the cotton.
I myself have worked in the cotton field, picking great baskets full,
too heavy for me to carry. All was over! I now fully understood the
change in our circumstances. Little Henry and I had no more time to
sit basking ourselves in the sunshine of the sunny south. The land was
empty and the servants all gone. I can see my dainty mistress coming
down the steps saying, "Rit, you and Henry will have to go and pick up
some chips, for Miss Mary and myself have to prepare the breakfast.
You children will have to learn to work. Do you understand me, Rit and
Henry?" "Yes, Missus, we understand." And away we flew, laughing, and
thinking it a great joke that we, Massa's pets, must learn to work.

But it was a sad, sad change on the old plantation, and the beautiful,
proud Sunny South, with its masters and mistresses, was bowed beneath
the sin brought about by slavery. It was a terrible blow to the owners
of plantations and slaves, and their children would feel it more than
they, for they had been reared to be waited upon by willing or
unwilling slaves.

In this place I will insert a poem my young mistress taught us, for
she was always reading poems and good stories. But first I will record
a talk I heard between my master and mistress. They were sitting in
the dining-room, and we children were standing around the table. My
mistress said, "I suppose, as Nancy has never returned, we had better
keep Henry, Caroline and Louise until they are of age." "Yes, we
will," said Massa, Miss Mary and Miss Martha, "but it is 'man proposes
and God disposes.'"

So in the following pages you will read the sequel to my childhood
life in the Sunny South.

Right after the war when my mother had got settled in her hut, with
her little brood hovered around her, from which she had been so long
absent, we had nothing to eat, and nothing to sleep on save some old
pieces of horse-blankets and hay that the soldiers gave her. The
first day in the hut was a rainy day; and as night drew near it grew
more fierce, and we children had gathered some little fagots to make a
fire by the time mother came home, with something for us to eat, such
as she had gathered through the day. It was only corn meal and pease
and ham-bone and skins which she had for our supper. She had started a
little fire, and said, "Some of you close that door," for it was cold.
She swung the pot over the fire and filled it with the pease and
ham-bone and skins. Then she seated her little brood around the fire
on the pieces of blanket, where we watched with all our eyes, our
hearts filled with desire, looking to see what she would do next. She
took down an old broken earthen bowl, and tossed into it the little
meal she had brought, stirring it up with water, making a hoe cake.
She said, "One of you draw that griddle out here," and she placed it
on the few little coals. Perhaps this griddle you have never seen, or
one like it. I will describe it to you. This griddle was a round piece
of iron, quite thick, having three legs. It might have been made in a
blacksmith's shop, for I have never seen one like it before or since.
It was placed upon the coals, and with an old iron spoon she put on
this griddle half of the corn meal she had mixed up. She said, "I will
put a tin plate over this, and put it away for your breakfast." We
five children were eagerly watching the pot boiling, with the pease
and ham-bone. The rain was pattering on the roof of the hut. All at
once there came a knock at the door. My mother answered the knock.
When she opened the door, there stood a white woman and three little
children, all dripping with the rain. My mother said, "In the name of
the Lord, where are you going on such a night, with these children?"
The woman said, "Auntie, I am travelling. Will you please let me stop
here to-night, out of the rain, with my children?" My mother said,
"Yes, honey. I ain't got much, but what I have got I will share with
you." "God bless you!" They all came in. We children looked in wonder
at what had come. But my mother scattered her own little brood and
made a place for the forlorn wanderers. She said, "Wait, honey, let me
turn over that hoe cake." Then the two women fell to talking, each
telling a tale of woe. After a time, my mother called out, "Here, you,
Louise, or some one of you, put some fagots under the pot, so these
pease can get done." We couldn't put them under fast enough, first one
and then another of us children, the mothers still talking. Soon my
mother said, "Draw that hoe cake one side, I guess it is done." My
mother said to the woman, "Honey, ain't you got no husband?" She
said, "No, my husband got killed in the war." My mother replied,
"Well, my husband died right after the war. I have been away from my
little brood for four years. With a hard struggle, I have got them
away from the Farrin plantation, for they did not want to let them go.
But I got them. I was determined to have them. But they would not let
me have them if they could have kept them. With God's help I will keep
them from starving. The white folks are good to me. They give me work,
and I know, with God's help, I can get along." The white woman
replied, "Yes, Auntie, my husband left me on a rich man's plantation.
This man promised to look out for me until my husband came home; but
he got killed in the war, and the Yankees have set his negroes free
and he said he could not help me any more, and we would have to do the
best we could for ourselves. I gave my things to a woman to keep for
me until I could find my kinsfolk. They live about fifty miles from
here, up in the country. I am on my way there now." My mother said,
"How long will it take you to get there?" "About three days, if it
don't rain." My mother said, "Ain't you got some way to ride there?"
"No, Auntie, there is no way of riding up where my folks live, the
place where I am from."

We hoped the talk was most ended, for we were anxiously watching that
pot. Pretty soon my mother seemed to realize our existence. She
exclaimed, "My Lord! I suppose the little children are nearly starved.
Are those pease done, young ones?" She turned and said to the white
woman, "Have you-all had anything to eat?" "We stopped at a house
about dinner time, but the woman didn't have anything but some bread
and buttermilk." My mother said, "Well, honey, I ain't got but a
little, but I will divide with you." The woman said, "Thank you,
Auntie. You just give my children a little; I can do without it."

Then came the dividing. We all watched with all our eyes to see what
the shares would be. My mother broke a mouthful of bread and put it on
each of the tin plates. Then she took the old spoon and equally
divided the pea soup. We children were seated around the fire, with
some little wooden spoons. But the wooden spoons didn't quite go
round, and some of us had to eat with our fingers. Our share of the
meal, however, was so small that we were as hungry when we finished as
when we began.

My mother said, "Take that rag and wipe your face and hands, and give
it to the others and let them use it, too. Put those plates upon the
table." We immediately obeyed orders, and took our seats again around
the fire. "One of you go and pull that straw out of the corner and get
ready to go to bed." We all lay down on the straw, the white children
with us, and my mother covered us over with the blanket. We were soon
in the "Land of Nod," forgetting our empty stomachs. The two mothers
still continued to talk, sitting down on the only seats, a couple of
blocks. A little back against the wall my mother and the white woman

Bright and early in the morning we were called up, and the rest of the
hoe cake was eaten for breakfast, with a little meat, some coffee
sweetened with molasses. The little wanderers and their mother shared
our meal, and then they started again on their journey towards their
home among their kinsfolk, and we never saw them again. My mother
said, "God bless you! I wish you all good luck. I hope you will reach
your home safely." Then mother said to us, "You young ones put away
that straw and sweep up the place, because I have to go to my work."
But she came at noon and brought us a nice dinner, more satisfactory
than the supper and breakfast we had had. We children were delighted
that there were no little white children to share our meal this time.

In time, my older sister, Caroline, and myself got work among good
people, where we soon forgot all the hard times in the little log
cabin by the roadside in Clayton, Alabama.

Up to my womanhood, even to this day, these memories fill my mind.
Some kind friends' eyes may see these pages, and may they recall some
fond memories of their happy childhood, as what I have written brings
back my young life in the great Sunny South.

I am something of the type of Moses on this 49th birthday; not that I
am wrapped in luxuries, but that my thoughts are wrapped in the
luxuries of the heavenly life in store for me, when my life work is
done, and my friends shall be blessed by the work I shall have done.
For God has commanded me to write this book, that some one may read
and receive comfort and courage to do what God commands them to do.
God bless every soul who shall read this true life story of one born
in slavery.

It is now six years since the inspiration to write this book came to
me in the Franklin evening school. I have struggled on, helped by
friends. God said, "Write the book and I will help you." And He has.

It was through a letter of my life that the principal of the Franklin
school said, "Write the book and I will help you." But he died before
the next term, and I worked on. On this, my 49th birthday, I can say I
believe that the book is close to the finish.

    My life is like the summer rose
    That opens to the morning sky,
    But ere the shades of evening close
    Is scattered on the ground to die.
    Yet on the rose's humble bed
    The sweetest dews of night are shed,
    As if she wept a tear for me,
    As if she wept the waste to see.

    My life is like the autumn leaf
    That trembles in the moon's pale ray.
    Its hold is frail, its date is brief,
    Restless, and soon to pass away.
    Yet, ere that leaf shall fall and fade,
    The parent tree will mourn its shade,
    The winds bewail the leafless tree;
    But none shall breathe a sigh for me.

    My life is like the prints which feet
    Have left on Tampa's desert strand.
    Soon as the rising tide shall beat
    All trace will vanish from the sand.
    Yet, as if grieving to efface
    All vestige of the human race,
    On that lone shore loud moans the sea.
    But none, alas, shall mourn for me.


There remains to be told the story of my conversion and how I came to
write the foregoing history of my life.

In 1875 I was taken sick. I thought I was going to die, and I promised
the Lord I would serve Him if he would only spare my life. When I got
well again, however, I forgot all about my promise. Then I was taken
sick again. It seemed I had to go through a dark desert place, where
great demons stood on either side. In the distance I could just see a
dim light, and I tried to get to this light, but could not reach it.
Then I found myself in a great marsh, and was sinking. I threw up my
hands and said, "Lord, if Thou wilt raise me from this pit, I will
never fail to serve Thee." Then it seemed as if I mounted on wings
into the air, and all the demons that stood about made a great
roaring. My flight ended on the top of a hill. But I was troubled
because I could not find the light. All at once, at the sound of a
loud peal of thunder, the earth opened, and I fell down into the pits
of hell. Again I prayed to God to save me from this, and again I
promised to serve Him. My prayer was answered, and I was able to fly
out of the pit, on to a bank. At the foot of the little hill on which
I sat were some little children, and they called to me to come down.
But I could not get down. Then the children raised a ladder for me,
and I came down among them. A little cherub took me by the hand and
led me in the River of Badjied of Jordan. I looked at my ankles and
shoulders and discovered I had little wings. On the river was a ship.
The children, the cherub and I got into the ship. When we reached a
beautiful spot, the little cherub made the ship fast, and there opened
before us pearly gates, and we all passed through into the golden
street. The street led to the throne of God, about which we marched.
Then the cherub conducted us to a table where a feast was spread. Then
the children vanished. The cherub took me by the hand, and said, "Go
back into the world, and tell the saints and sinners what a Savior you
have found, and if you prove faithful I will take you to Heaven to
live forever, when I come again."

When I recovered from my sickness, I was baptized by the Rev. Dr.
Pope, and joined the church in Macon. When I came North, I brought my
letter. Not finding any church for colored people, I came among the
white people, and was treated so kindly that I became very much
attached to them. The first church I became connected with in the
North, was in Newtonville. When I came to Boston, I went to the Warren
Avenue Baptist Church. Before my marriage I joined Tremont Temple,
when Dr. Lorimer was its pastor. When the church was burned, my letter
was destroyed, but when I went South on a visit I had the letter
duplicated, and took it to the new Temple. I am still a member of the
Temple, and hope to remain there as long as God gives me life.

Five years ago, I began to go to the Franklin evening school. Mr.
Guild was the master. At one time he requested all the pupils to write
the story of their lives, and he considered my composition so
interesting he said he thought if I could work it up and enlarge upon
it, I could write a book. He promised to help me. My teacher was Miss
Emerson, and she was interested in me. But the next year Miss Emerson
gave up teaching, and Mr. Guild died.

In each of the terms that I have attended, I have received the
certificates showing that I have been regular and punctual in
attendance, have maintained good deportment, and shown general
proficiency in the studies. I would have graduated in 1907, had it not
been for sickness. The following was to have been my graduating




In a little clearing in the backwoods of Harding County, Kentucky,
there stood years ago a rude cabin within whose walls Abraham Lincoln
passed his childhood. An "unaccountable" man he has been called, and
the adjective was well chosen, for who could account for a mind and
nature like Lincoln's with the ancestry he owned? His father was a
thriftless, idle carpenter, scarcely supporting his family, and with
but the poorest living. His mother was an uneducated woman, but must
have been of an entirely different nature, for she was able to impress
upon her boy a love of learning. During her life, his chief, in fact
his only book, was the Bible, and in this he learned to read. Just
before he was nine years old, the father brought his family across the
Ohio River into Illinois, and there in the unfloored log cabin, minus
windows and doors, Abraham lived and grew. It was during this time
that the mother died, and in a short time the shiftless father with
his family drifted back to the old home, and here found another for
his children in one who was a friend of earlier days. This woman was
of a thrifty nature, and her energy made him floor the cabin, hang
doors, and open up windows. She was fond of the children and cared for
them tenderly, and to her the boy Abraham owed many pleasant hours.

As he grew older, his love for knowledge increased and he obtained
whatever books he could, studying by the firelight, and once walking
six miles for an English Grammar. After he read it, he walked the six
miles to return it. He needed the book no longer, for with this as
with his small collection of books, what he once read was his. He
absorbed the books he read.

During these early years he did "odd jobs" for the neighbors. Even at
this age, his gift of story telling was a notable one, as well as his
sterling honesty. His first knowledge of slavery in all its horrors
came to him when he was about twenty-one years old. He had made a trip
to New Orleans, and there in the old slave market he saw an auction.
His face paled, and his spirits rose in revolt at the coarse jest of
the auctioneer, and there he registered a vow within himself, "If ever
I have a chance to strike against slavery, I will strike and strike
hard." To this end he worked and for this he paid "the last full
measure of devotion."

His political life began with a defeat for the Illinois Legislature in
1830, but he was returned in 1834, 1836, 1838, and declined
re-election in 1840, preferring to study law and prepare for his
future. "Honest Abe" he has been called, and throughout Illinois that
characteristic was the prominent one known of him. From this time his
rise was rapid. Sent to the Congress of the nation, he seldom spoke,
but when he did his terse though simple expression always won him a
hearing. His simplicity and frankness was deceptive to the political
leaders, and from its very fearlessness often defeated them.

His famous debates with Senator Douglas, the "Little Giant," spread
his reputation from one end of the country to the other, and at their
close there was no question as to Lincoln's position in the North, or
on the vital question of the day.

The spirit of forbearance he carried with him to the White House,
"with malice toward none, with charity for all." This was the spirit
that carried him through the four awful years of the war. The martyr's
crown hovered over him from the outset. The martyr's spirit was always
his. The burden of the war always rested on his shoulders. The
fathers, sons and brothers, the honored dead of Gettysburg, of
Antietam, all lay upon his mighty heart.

He never forgot his home friends, and when occasionally one dropped in
on him, the door was always open. They frequently had tea in the good
old-fashioned way, and then Lincoln listened to the news of the
village, old stories were retold, new ones told, and the old
friendships cemented by new bonds.

Then came the end, swift and sudden, and gloom settled upon the
country; for in spite of ancestry, self-education, ungainly figure,
ill-fitting clothes, the soul of the man had conquered even the
stubborn South, while the cold-blooded North was stricken to the
heart. The noblest one of all had been taken.





As a member of the negro race, I myself have suffered as a child whose
parents were born in slavery, deprived of all influences of the
ennobling life, made obedient to the will of the white man by the lash
and chain, and sold to the highest bidder when there was no more use
for them.

The first negro fact for white thought is--that my clients, the
colored people here in America, are not responsible for being here any
more than they are responsible for their conditions of ignorance and
poverty. They suddenly emerge from their prison house poor, without a
home, without food or clothing, and ignorant. Now the enemies of God
and of the progress of civilization in our country are to-day
introducing a system of slavery with which they hope to again enslave
the colored people. To carry out their evil designs they retain able
politicians, lawyers and newspapers to represent them, such as Senator
Tillman, the Hon. John Temple Graves of Georgia and the Baltimore Sun,
and they are trying the negro on four counts which allege that the
race is ignorant, cannot be taught, is lazy and immoral.

Now, are the negroes, as a whole, guilty of these charges? In the
first place, the negro race of America is not ignorant. In the year
1833 John C. Calhoun, senator from South Carolina, is reported to have
said that if he could find a single negro who understood the Greek
syntax, he would believe the negro was human and would treat him as
such. At that time it was a very safe test. God accepted the challenge
in behalf of the negro race, and inspired his white sons and daughters
both in the North and South to teach their brothers in black; and a
few years afterward black men were examined and the world pronounced
them scholars, while later still the schools were using a Greek
grammar written by a black man, W. S. Scarborough of Wilberforce, O.
In his class were Frederick Douglas, Henry Highland Garnett, Robert
Elliot, the Rev. J. C. Price and John M. Langstone, as defenders of
the race. Bishop Allen Payne, Bishop Hood and John B. Reaver will ever
be remembered for their godly piety and Christian example, as we shall
also remember Bishop, Sumner and Bubois for their great literary
productions, William Washington Brown as the greatest organizer and
financier of the century, Prof. Booker Washington as the greatest
industrial educator of the world, and last, but not least, Thomas
Condon, the greatest crank for the spiritual training and higher
education of the negro race.

Under the leadership of such men, assisted by our white friends and
backed up by our colored race journals--the Christian Banner of
Philadelphia, the Christian Recorder, the Star of Zion and the
Afro-American Ledger of Baltimore, Ind., the National Baptist Union
of Pennsylvania, the Age of New York, the Christian Organizer of
Virginia and the Guardian of Boston--our onward march to civilization
is phenomenal and by these means we have reduced illiteracy 50 per

In the South we have over $12,000,000 worth of school property, 3,000
teachers, 50 high schools, 17 academies, 125 colleges, 10 law and
medical schools, 25 theological seminaries, all doing a mighty work
for God and humanity.

Now as to laziness. We have now in practice 14,000 lawyers and
doctors, and have accumulated over $150,000,000 worth of church
property. In the South we have over 150,000 farms and houses, valued
at $900,000,000, and personal property at $170,000,000. We have raised
over $11,000,000 for educational purposes. The property per capita for
every colored man, woman and child in the United States is estimated
at $75, and we are operating successfully several banks and factories;
we have 7,500,000 acres of land, and the business activity of the
colored people was never as thoroughly aroused as it is to-day.

When I come to deal with the charge of immorality I bow my head and
blush for shame, first because if the charge be true, I see they are
getting like the white man every day. I know that at the close of the
American civil war the 4,000,000 negroes had more than 25 per cent. of
white blood coursing through their veins.

What about this new educated negro? Just ask the Pullman Car Company,
which employs hundreds of negroes, into whose care thousands of women
and children of our best American families are entrusted every day.

Now, you cannot do without the negro, because if you send him away,
you will run after him. He is here to stay. The only way to deal
successfully with the colored race is God's way. First, recognize that
he is your guest; second, recognize that you have robbed him of his
birthplace, home, family and savings. It is these facts that are
causing so much unrest on the part of the whites in this country. The
negro loves his country, which he has proved beyond a doubt in every
American battle, in every act of loyalty to his country, and in his
long and patient suffering. Pay him what you owe him by educating him.
Give him an opportunity to live. Allow him to live in decent parts of
your city. Pay wages sufficient to support his children. Do this and
God will remove the objectionable negro from the land.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Negro stands to-day upon an eminence that overlooks more than two
decades spent in efforts to ameliorate the condition of seven million
immortal souls by opening before their hitherto dark and cheerless
lives possibilities of development into a perfect and symmetrical
manhood and womanhood.

The retrospect presents to us a picture of a people's moral
degradation and mental gloom caused by slavery. A people absolutely
sunk in the lowest depth of a poverty which reduced them to objects of
charity and surrounded them with difficulties which have ever stood as
impregnable barriers in their way to speedy advancement in all those
qualities that make the useful citizen. Every influence of state and
society life seems to be against their progress and like some evil
genius, these Negro hating ghosts are forever hunting them with the
idea that their future must be one of subserviency to the white race.

Hated and oppressed by the combined wisdom, wealth and statesmanship
of a mighty confederacy who watched and criticised their mistakes
which were strongly magnified by those who fain would write
destruction upon the Emancipation; they are expected to rise from this

The idea of giving to the newly enfranchised a sound, practical
education was considered at the dawn of freedom, an easy solution of
what as an unsolved problem threatened the perpetuity of republican
institutions. Within a year from the firing on Sumter, benevolent and
farsighted Northern friends had established schools from Washington to
the Gulf of Mexico, which became centers of light penetrating the
darkness and scattering the blessings of an enlightened manhood far
and wide.

The history of the world cannot produce a more affecting spectacle
than the growth of this mighty Christian philanthropy which, in
beginning amid the din of battle, has steadily marched on through
every opposing influence, and lifted a race from weakness to strength,
from poverty to wealth, from moral and intellectual nonentity to place
and power among the nations of the earth.

We have ten millions of colored people in the United States whose
condition is much better to-day than it was fifty years ago. Then he
had nothing, not even a name. To-day he has 160,000 farms under good
cultivation and valued at $4,000,000 and has personal property valued
at $200,000,000. In the Southland the negroes own 160 first-class drug
stores, nine banks, 13 building associations, and 100 insurance and
benefit companies, two street railways and an electric at
Jacksonville, Fla., which they started some few years ago when the
white people passed the Jim Crow law for that state.

Now it is reckoned that the negroes in the United States are paying
about $700,000,000 property taxes and this is only one-fifth of all
they have accumulated, for the negro is getting more like the white
people every day and has learned from him that it is not a sign of
loyalty and patriotism to publish his property at its full taxable

In education and morals the progress is still greater. As you all
know, at the close of the war the whole race was practically
illiterate. It was a rare thing, indeed, to find a man of the race who
even knew his letters. In 1880 the illiteracy had fallen to 70 per
cent. and rapid strides along that line have been made ever since.

To-day there are 37,000 negro teachers in America, of which number
23,000 are regular graduates of high and normal schools and colleges,
23 are college presidents, 169 are principals of seminaries and many
are principals of higher institutions. At present there are 369 negro
men and women taking courses in the universities of Europe. The negro
ministry, together with these teachers have been prepared for their
work by our schools and are the greatest factors the North has
produced for the uplift of the colored man.

To-day there are those who wish to impede the negro's progress and
lessen his educational advantages by industrializing such colleges as
Howard University of Washington by placing on their Boards of Trustees
and Managers the pronounced leaders of industrialism, giving as a
reason that the better he is educated the worse he is; in other words,
they say crime has increased among educated negroes. While stern facts
show the opposite, the exact figures from the last census show that
the greater proportion of the negro criminals are from the illiterate
class. To-day the marriage vow, which by the teaching of the whites
the negro held to be of so little importance before the war, is
guarded more sacredly. The one room cabin, with its attendant evils,
is passing away, and the negro woman, the mightiest moral factor in
the life of her people, is beginning to be more careful in her
deportment and is no longer the easy victim of the unlicensed passion
of certain white men. This is a great gain and is a sign of real
progress, for no race can rise higher than its women.

Let me plead with the friends of the negro. Please continue to give
him higher ideals of a better life and stand by him in the struggle.
He has done well with the opportunities given him and is doing
something along all the walks of life to help himself, which is
gratitude of the best sort. What he needs to-day is moral sympathy,
which in his condition years ago he could hardly appreciate. The
sympathy must be moral, not necessarily social. It must be the
sympathy of a soul set on fire for righteousness and fair play in a
republic like ours. A sympathy which will see to it that every man
shall have a man's chance in all the affairs of this great nation
which boasts of being the land of the free and the home of the brave
for which the black man has suffered and done so much in every sense
of the word.

Let this great Christian nation of eighty millions of people do
justice to the Black Battalion, and seeing President Roosevelt
acknowledges that he overstepped the bounds of his power in
discharging and renouncing them before they had a fair trial, and now
that they are vindicated before the world, to take back what he called
them, Cutthroats, Brutal Murderers, Black Midnight Assassins, and
Cowards. This and this alone will to some extent atone for the wrong
he has done and help him to regain the respect and confidence of the

Now in order to change the condition of things, I would suggest:
First, that an international, industrial association be formed to help
Afro-Americans to engage in manufacturing and commercial pursuits,
assist them to buy farms, erect factories, open shops in which their
young men and women can enter and produce what the world requires
every day for its inhabitants.

If they were able to-day to produce the articles in common use as
boots, shoes, hats, cotton and woolen goods, made-up clothing and
enterprises such as farming, mining, forging, carpentering, etc.,
negroes would find a ready sale in preference to all others, because
of its being a race enterprise, doing what no other corporation does,
giving employment to members of the race as tradesmen, and teaching
others to become skilled workers. These enterprises should be started
in the southern, northern and western states, where the negro
population will warrant such an undertaking.

I would suggest "A School History of the Negro Race" to be placed in
our public schools as a text book. The general tone of all the
histories taught in our public schools points to the inferiority of
the negro and the superiority of the white. It must be indeed a
stimulus to any people to be able to refer to their ancestry as
distinguished in deeds of valor, and particularly so to the colored
people. With what eyes can the white child look upon the colored child
and the colored child look upon himself, when they have completed the
assigned course of United States history, and in it found not one word
of credit, not one word of favorable comment for even one among the
millions of his fore-parents who have lived through nearly three
centuries of his country's history. In them he is credited with no
heritage of valor, he is mentioned only as a slave, while true
historical records prove him to have been among the bravest of
soldiers and a faithful producer of the nation's wealth. Though then a
slave to the government, the negro's was the first blood shed in its
defence in those days when a foreign foe threatened its destruction.
In each and all of the American wars the negro was faithful, yes,
faithful in battle while members of his race were being lynched to
death; faithful to a land not his own in points of rights and
freedom, all and that after he had enriched with his own life's blood,
shouldered his musket to defend, when all this was done, regarded him
with renewed terms, Black, Negro.

Last but not least the negro needs a daily newspaper in every large
city, managed and edited by members of the race.

Such papers are needed to deal with questions of state and reflect the
thoughts of the social world, to enter the province of ethics and
tread the domain of morals and to give their opinion on the varying
phases of religious truths and pass judgment on matters of a political

There are hidden wrongs perpetrated by the whites against the negro
race that will never be brought to light until the race owns and
controls its own daily newspapers which alone have the power to
discover and enthrone truth, thus becoming a safe guide to all honest
seekers of facts respecting the race whether from a moral,
educational, political or religious field. To carry out the plans
suggested, whether viewed from an intellectual, industrial,
commercial, or editorial standpoint, the world must acknowledge that
to-day the negro race has the men and women, who are true to their
race and all that stands for negro progress.




It is only 132 years ago to-day that the British troops, who had
occupied Boston, made a riding school of the Old South church, and
otherwise sacrilegiously disported themselves, were persuaded to get
out under the compulsion of the batteries set up on Dorchester
Heights. But when the last company embarked for Halifax, it carried
the last British flag ever unfurled by a military organization on
Massachusetts soil. That was the end of foreign domination in
Massachusetts. And by a happy coincidence this is the legendary
anniversary of the birth of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland,
whose memory has been an inspiration in the struggle of another race
for Liberty.


New York, Dec. 17.--Andrew Carnegie declared yesterday in a speech on
the negro question that the negroes are a blessing to America, and
that their presence in the South makes this country impregnable and
without need of a navy to defend itself.

"Suppose," said Mr. Carnegie, "Great Britain were to send her war
fleets to America. It would amount to nothing. All that the President
of the United States would have to do would be to say, 'Stop exporting
cotton.' The war would be ended in four days, for England cannot do
without our cotton.

"We don't need a navy; we are impregnable. Because we have 9,000,000
colored men anxious and willing to work we hold this strong position,
and I am interested in the negro from this material standpoint, as
well as from the more humane point of view."



    On a green slope, most fragrant with the Spring,
      One sweet, fair day I planted a red rose,
    That grew, beneath my tender nourishing,
      So tall, so riotous of bloom, that those
    Who passed the little valley where it grew
      Smiled at its beauty. All the air was sweet
    About it! Still I tended it, and knew
      That he would come, e'en as it grew complete.

    And a day brought him! Up I led him, where
      In the warm sun my rose bloomed gloriously--
    Smiling and saying, Lo, is it not fair?
      And all for thee--all thine! But he passed by
    Coldly, and answered, Rose? I see no rose,--
      Leaving me standing in the barren vale
    Alone! alone! feeling the darkness close
      Deep o'er my heart, and all my being fail.

    Then came one, gently, yet with eager tread,
      Begging one rose-bud--but my rose was dead.


    The old, old Wind that whispers to old trees,
      Round the dark country when the sun has set,
    Goes murmuring still of unremembered seas
      And cities of the dead that men forget--
    An old blind beggar-man, distained and gray,
      With ancient tales to tell,
    Mumbling of this and that upon his way,
      Strange song and muttered spell--
    Neither to East or West, or South or North,
      His habitation lies,
    This roofless vagabond who wanders forth
      Aye under alien skies--
    A gypsy of the air, he comes and goes
      Between the tall trees and the shadowed grass,
    And what he tells only the twilight knows ...
      The tall trees and the twilight hear him pass.

    To him the Dead stretch forth their strengthless hands,
      He who campaigns in other climes than this,
    He who is free of the Unshapen Lands,
      The empty homes of Dis.


    Out of the scattered fragments
      Of castles I built in the air
    I gathered enough together
      To fashion a cottage with care;
    Thoughtfully, slowly, I planned it,
      And little by little it grew--
    Perfect in form and in substance,
      Because I designed it for you.

    The castles that time has shattered
      Gleamed spotless and pearly white
    As they stood in the misty distance
      That borders the Land of Delight;
    Sleeping and waking I saw them
      Grow brighter and fairer each day;
    But, alas! at the touch of a finger
      They trembled and crumbled away!

    Then out of the dust I gathered
      A bit of untarnished gold,
    And a gem unharmed by contact
      With stones of a baser mold;
    For sometimes a priceless jewel
      Gleams wondrously pure and fair
    From glittering paste foundations
      Of castles we see in the air.

    So, I turned from the realms of fancy,
      As remote as the stars above,
    And into the land of the living
      I carried the jewel of love;
    The mansions of dazzling brightness
      Have crumbled away, it is true;
    But firm upon gold foundations
      Stands the cottage I built for you!


    You do but jest, sir, and you jest not well.
    How could the hand be enemy of the arm,
    Or seed and sod be rivals? How could light
    Feel jealousy of heat, plant of the leaf,
    Or competition dwell 'twixt lip and smile?
    Are we not part and parcel of yourselves?
    Like strands in one great braid we intertwine
    And make the perfect whole. You could not be
    Unless we gave you birth: we are the soil
    From which you sprang, yet sterile were that soil
    Save as you planted. (Though in the Book we read
    One woman bore a child with no man's aid,
    We find no record of a man-child born
    Without the aid of woman! Fatherhood
    Is but a small achievement at the best,
    While motherhood is heaven and hell.)
    This ever-growing argument of sex
    Is most unseemly, and devoid of sense.
    Why waste more time in controversy, when
    There is not time enough for all of love,
    Our rightful occupation in this life?
    Why prate of our defects--of where we fail,
    When just the story of our worth would need
    Eternity for telling; and our best
    Development comes ever through your praise,
    As through our praise you reach your highest self?
    Oh! had you not been miser of your praise
    And let our virtues be their own reward,
    The old established order of the world
    Would never have been changed. Small blame is ours
    For this unsexing of ourselves, and worse
    Effeminizing of the male. We were
    Content, sir, till you starved us, heart and brain.
    All we have done, or wise or otherwise,
    Traced to the root, was done for love of you.
    Let us taboo all vain comparisons,
    And go forth as God meant us, hand in hand,
    Companions, mates and comrades evermore;
    Two parts of one divinely ordained whole.


    A widow had two sons,
      And one knelt at her knees,
    And sought to give her joy
      And toiled to give her ease;
    He heard his country's call
      And longed to go, to die
    If God so willed, but saw
    Her tears and heard her sigh.

    A widow had two sons,
      One filled her days with care
    And creased her brow and brought
      Her many a whitened hair
    His country called--he went.
      Nor thought to say good-by,
    And recklessly he fought,
      And died as heroes die.

    A widow had two sons,
      One fell as heroes fall,
    And one remained and toiled,
      And gave to her his all.
    She watched "her hero's" grave
      In dismal days and fair,
    And told the world her love,
      Her heart was buried there.

Our Mission

    In the legends of the Norsemen,
      Stories quaint and weird and wild,
    There's a strange and thrilling story,
      Of a mother and her child.
    And that child, so runs the story,
      In those quaint old Norsemen books,
    Fell one day from dangerous play ground,
      Dashed in pieces on the rocks;
    But with gentle hand that mother
      Gathered every tender part,
    Bore them gently, torn and bleeding,
      On her loving mother heart.
    And within her humble dwelling,
      Strong in faith and brave of soul,
    With her love-song low and tender
      Rocked and sang the fragments whole.
    Such the mission of the Christian,
      Taught by Christ so long ago;
    This the mark that bids us stay not,
      This the spirit each should know:
    Rent and torn by sin the race is,
      Heart from heart, and soul from soul;
    This our task with Christ's sweet love-song,
      Join, and heal, and make them whole.

--_Rev. E. M. Bartlett_


    Lord over all! Whose power the sceptre swayed,
      Ere first Creation's wondrous form was framed,
    When by His will Divine all things were made;
      Then, King, Almighty was His name proclaimed.

    When all shall cease--the universe be o'er,
      In awful greatness He alone will reign,
    Who was, Who is, and Who will evermore
      In glory most refulgent still remain.

    Sole God! unequalled and beyond compare,
      Without division or associate;
    Without commencing date, or final year,
      Omnipotent He reigns in awful state.

    He is my God! my living Savior He!
      My sheltering Rock in sad misfortune's hour!
    My standard, refuge, portion, still shall be,
      My lot's disposer when I seek His power.

    Into His hands my spirit I consign
      Whilst wrapped in sleep, that I again may wake,
    And with my soul, my body I resign;
      The Lord's with me--no fears my soul can shake.




    The earth, the firmament on high,
    With all the blue ethereal sky,
    Were made by God's creative power
    Six thousand years ago or more.
    Man, too, was formed to till the ground;
    Birds, beasts, and fish to move around;
    The fish to swim, the birds to fly,
    And all to praise the Love most high.
    This world is round, wise men declare,
    And hung on nothing in the air.
    The moon around the earth doth run;
      The earth moves on its center, too;
    The earth and moon around the sun
      As wheels and tops and pulleys do.
    Water and land make up the whole,
      From East to West, from pole to pole.
    Vast mountains rear their lofty heads,
      Rivers roll down their sandy beds;
    And all join in one grand acclaim
      To praise the Lord's almighty name.


The Ninety and Nine

    There were ninety and nine that safely lay
      In the shelter of the fold,
    But one was out on the hills away,
      Far-off from the gates of gold--
    Away on the mountains lone and bare,
    Away from the tender Shepherd's care.

    "Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine:
      Are they not enough for Thee?"
    But the Shepherd made answer: "This of mine
      Has wandered away from me,
    And, although the road be rough and steep,
    I go to the desert to find my sheep."

    But none of the ransomed ever knew
      How deep were the waters crossed;
    Nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed through
      Ere he found His sheep that was lost.
    Out in the desert he heard the cry--
    Sick and helpless, and ready to die.

    "Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way
      That mark out the mountain's track?"
    "They were shed for one who had gone astray
      Ere the Shepherd could bring him back."
    "Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?"
    "They are pierced tonight by many a thorn."

    But all through the mountains, thunder-riven,
      And up from the rocky steep,
    There arose a glad cry to the height of heaven,
      "Rejoice! I have found my sheep!"
    And the angels echoed around the throne:
    "Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!"

My Faith looks up to Thee

    My faith looks up to Thee,
    Thou Lamb of Calvary,
       Saviour divine!
    Now hear me while I pray,
    Take all my guilt away,
    O, let me from this day
       Be wholly Thine.

    May Thy rich grace impart
    Strength to my fainting heart,
       My zeal inspire;
    As Thou hast died for me,
    O, may my love to Thee
    Pure, warm, and changeless be,
       A living fire.

    When ends life's transient dream,
    When death's cold, sullen stream
       Shall o'er me roll,
    Blest Saviour, then, in love,
    Fear and distrust remove;
    O, bear me safe above,
       A ransomed soul.

Jordan's Strand

    My days are gliding swiftly by,
      And I, a pilgrim stranger,
    Would not detain them as they fly,
      Those hours of toil and danger.


    For, O we stand on Jordan's strand,
      Our friends are passing over;
    And, just before, the shining shore
      We may almost discover!

    We'll gird our loins, my brethren dear,
      Our heavenly home discerning;
    Our absent Lord has left us word,
      "Let every lamp be burning."

    Should coming days be cold and dark,
      We need not cease our singing;
    That perfect rest nought can molest,
      Where golden harps are ringing.

    Let sorrow's rudest tempest blow,
      Each cord on earth to sever;
    Our King says, "Come!" and there's our home,
      Forever, O forever.

Over the Line

    O tender and sweet was the Master's voice
      As he lovingly call'd to me,
    "Come over the line, it is only a step--
      I am waiting my child, for thee."


    "Over the line," hear the sweet refrain,
      Angels are chanting the heavenly strain:
    "Over the line,"--Why should I remain
      With a step between me and Jesus?

    But my sins are many, my faith is small,
      Lo! the answer came quick and clear;
    "Thou needest not trust in thyself at all,
      Step over the line, I am here."

    But my flesh is weak, I tearfully said,
      And the way I cannot see;
    I fear if I try I may sadly fail,
      And thus may dishonor Thee.

    Ah, the world is cold, and I cannot go back
      Press forward I surely must;
    I will place my hand in his wounded palm
      Step over the line, and trust.

O could I speak the Matchless Worth

    O could I speak the matchless worth,
    O could I sound the glories forth,
      Which in my Saviour shine,
    I'd soar, and touch the heav'nly strings,
    And vie with Gabriel while he sings,
      In notes almost divine.

    I'd sing the precious blood He spilt,
    My ransom from the dreadful guilt
      Of sin and wrath divine;
    I'd sing His glorious righteousness,
    In which all-perfect, heavenly dress
      My soul shall ever shine.

    I'd sing the characters He bears,
    And all the forms of love He wears,
      Exalted on His throne;
    In loftiest songs of sweetest praise,
    I would to everlasting days
      Make all His glories known.

    Well, the delightful day will come
    When my dear Lord will bring me home,
      And I shall see His face;
    Then with my Saviour, Brother, Friend,
    A blest eternity I'll spend,
      Triumphant in His grace.

O God, beneath Thy Guiding Hand

    O God, beneath Thy guiding hand,
      Our exiled fathers cross'd the sea;
    And when they trod the wintry strand,
      With pray'r and psalm they worshipp'd Thee.

    Thou heard'st, well pleased, the song, the prayer:
      Thy blessing came and still its power
    Shall onward through all ages bear
      The memory of that holy hour.

    Laws, freedom, truth, and faith in God
      Came with those exiles o'er the waves;
    And where their pilgrim feet have trod,
      The God they trusted guards their graves.

    And here Thy name, O God of love,
      Their children's children shall adore
    Till these eternal hills remove
    And spring adorns the earth no more.


    My country, 'tis of thee,
    Sweet land of liberty,
      Of thee I sing;
    Land where my fathers died,
    Land of the pilgrim's pride,
    From every mountain side
      Let freedom ring.

    My native country, thee,
    Land of the noble free,
      Thy name I love;
    I love thy rocks and rills,
    Thy woods and templed hills;
    My heart with rapture thrills
      Like that above.

    Let music swell the breeze,
    And ring from all the trees
      Sweet freedom's song;
    Let mortal tongues awake,
    Let all that breathe partake,
    Let rocks their silence break,
      The sound prolong.

    Our fathers' God to Thee,
    Author of liberty,
      To Thee we sing;
    Long may our land be bright
    With freedom's holy light;
    Protect us with Thy might,
      Great God our King.

In the Cross of Christ I Glory

    In the cross of Christ I glory,
      Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
    All the light of sacred story
      Gathers round its head sublime.

    When the woes of life o'ertake me,
      Hopes deceive and fears annoy,
    Never shall the cross forsake me:
      Lo! it glows with peace and joy.

    When the sun of bliss is beaming
      Light and love upon my way,
    From the cross the radiance streaming,
      Add more luster to the day.

    Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
      By the cross are sanctified;
    Peace is there that knows no measure,
      Joys that through all time abide.

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

    Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
      Pilgrim thro' this barren land;
    I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
      Hold me with Thy pow'rful hand;
        Bread of heaven,
    Feed me till I want no more.

    Open now the crystal fountain
      Whence the healing waters flow;
    Let the fiery, cloudy pillar
      Lead me all my journey through;
        Strong Deliverer,
    Be Thou still my strength and shield.

    When I tread the verge of Jordan,
      Bid my anxious fears subside;
    Bear me through the swelling current,
      Land me safe on Canaan's side;
        Songs of praises
    I will ever give to Thee.

Christ receiveth Sinful Men

    Sinners Jesus will receive;
      Sound this word of grace to all
    Who the heav'nly pathway leave,
      All who linger, all who fall.


    Sing it o'er and o'er again:
      Christ receiveth sinful men;
    Make the message clear and plain:
      Christ receiveth sinful men.

    Come, and He will give you rest;
      Trust Him, for His word is plain;
    He will take the sinfulest;
      Christ receiveth sinful men.

    Christ receiveth sinful men,
      Even me with all my sin;
    Purged from ev'ry spot and stain,
      Heav'n with Him I enter in.

Some Day the Silver Cord will break

    Some day the silver cord will break,
      And I no more as now shall sing;
    But, O, the joy when I shall wake
      Within the palace of the King!

    And I shall see Him face to face,
    And tell the story--Saved by grace.

    Some day my earthly house will fall,
      I cannot tell how soon 'twill be,
    But this I know--my All in All
      Has now a place in heaven for me.

    Some day; till then I'll watch and wait,
      My lamp all trimmed and burning bright,
    That when my Saviour ope's the gate.
      My soul to Him may take its flight.

Battle Hymn of the Republic

    Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
    He hath loos'd the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
              His truth is marching on.

    I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
    They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
    I can read His righteous sentence in the dim and flaring lamps;
              His day is marching on.

    I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel,
    "As ye deal with my contemners, so with you My grace shall deal";
    Let the hero born of woman crush the serpent with his heel;
              Since God is marching on.

    He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never sound retreat,
    He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
    O, be swift, my soul, to answer Him, be jubilant, my feet!
              Our God is marching on.

    In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
    With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
    As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
              While God is marching on.

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