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´╗┐Title: Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom; or, the escape of William and Ellen Craft from slavery
Author: Craft, Ellen, Craft, William
Language: English
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William and Ellen Craft


  "Slaves cannot breathe in England: if their lungs
  Receive our air, that moment they are free;
  They touch our country, and their shackles fall."




Having heard while in Slavery that "God made of one blood all nations
of men," and also that the American Declaration of Independence says,
that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness;" we could not understand by what right we were held as
"chattels."  Therefore, we felt perfectly justified in undertaking the
dangerous and exciting task of "running a thousand miles" in order to
obtain those rights which are so vividly set forth in the Declaration.

I beg those who would know the particulars of our journey, to peruse
these pages.

This book is not intended as a full history of the life of my wife, nor
of myself; but merely as an account of our escape; together with other
matter which I hope may be the means of creating in some minds a deeper
abhorrence of the sinful and abominable practice of enslaving and
brutifying our fellow-creatures.

Without stopping to write a long apology for offering this little
volume to the public, I shall commence at once to pursue my simple






  "God gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
  Dominion absolute; that right we hold
  By his donation.  But man over man
  He made not lord; such title to himself
  Reserving, human left from human free."


My wife and myself were born in different towns in the State of
Georgia, which is one of the principal slave States.  It is true, our
condition as slaves was not by any means the worst; but the mere idea
that we were held as chattels, and deprived of all legal rights--the
thought that we had to give up our hard earnings to a tyrant, to enable
him to live in idleness and luxury--the thought that we could not call
the bones and sinews that God gave us our own: but above all, the fact
that another man had the power to tear from our cradle the new-born
babe and sell it in the shambles like a brute, and then scourge us if
we dared to lift a finger to save it from such a fate, haunted us for

But in December, 1848, a plan suggested itself that proved quite
successful, and in eight days after it was first thought of we were
free from the horrible trammels of slavery, rejoicing and praising God
in the glorious sunshine of liberty.

My wife's first master was her father, and her mother his slave, and
the latter is still the slave of his widow.

Notwithstanding my wife being of African extraction on her mother's
side, she is almost white--in fact, she is so nearly so that the
tyrannical old lady to whom she first belonged became so annoyed, at
finding her frequently mistaken for a child of the family, that she
gave her when eleven years of age to a daughter, as a wedding present.
This separated my wife from her mother, and also from several other
dear friends.  But the incessant cruelty of her old mistress made the
change of owners or treatment so desirable, that she did not grumble
much at this cruel separation.

It may be remembered that slavery in America is not at all confined to
persons of any particular complexion; there are a very large number of
slaves as white as any one; but as the evidence of a slave is not
admitted in court against a free white person, it is almost impossible
for a white child, after having been kidnapped and sold into or reduced
to slavery, in a part of the country where it is not known (as often is
the case), ever to recover its freedom.

I have myself conversed with several slaves who told me that their
parents were white and free; but that they were stolen away from them
and sold when quite young.  As they could not tell their address, and
also as the parents did not know what had become of their lost and dear
little ones, of course all traces of each other were gone.

The following facts are sufficient to prove, that he who has the power,
and is inhuman enough to trample upon the sacred rights of the weak,
cares nothing for race or colour:--

In March, 1818, three ships arrived at New Orleans, bringing several
hundred German emigrants from the province of Alsace, on the lower
Rhine.  Among them were Daniel Muller and his two daughters, Dorothea
and Salome, whose mother had died on the passage.  Soon after his
arrival, Muller, taking with him his two daughters, both young
children, went up the river to Attakapas parish, to work on the
plantation of John F. Miller.  A few weeks later, his relatives, who
had remained at New Orleans, learned that he had died of the fever of
the country.  They immediately sent for the two girls; but they had
disappeared, and the relatives, notwithstanding repeated and
persevering inquiries and researches, could find no traces of them.
They were at length given up for dead.  Dorothea was never again heard
of; nor was any thing known of Salome from 1818 till 1843.

In the summer of that year, Madame Karl, a German woman who had come
over in the same ship with the Mullers, was passing through a street in
New Orleans, and accidentally saw Salome in a wine-shop, belonging to
Louis Belmonte, by whom she was held as a slave.  Madame Karl
recognised her at once, and carried her to the house of another German
woman, Mrs. Schubert, who was Salome's cousin and godmother, and who no
sooner set eyes on her than, without having any intimation that the
discovery had been previously made, she unhesitatingly exclaimed, "My
God! here is the long-lost Salome Muller."

The Law Reporter, in its account of this case, says:--

"As many of the German emigrants of 1818 as could be gathered together
were brought to the house of Mrs. Schubert, and every one of the number
who had any recollection of the little girl upon the passage, or any
acquaintance with her father and mother, immediately identified the
woman before them as the long-lost Salome Muller.  By all these
witnesses, who appeared at the trial, the identity was fully
established.  The family resemblance in every feature was declared to
be so remarkable, that some of the witnesses did not hesitate to say
that they should know her among ten thousand; that they were as certain
the plaintiff was Salome Muller, the daughter of Daniel and Dorothea
Muller, as of their own existence."

Among the witnesses who appeared in Court was the midwife who had
assisted at the birth of Salome.  She testified to the existence of
certain peculiar marks upon the body of the child, which were found,
exactly as described, by the surgeons who were appointed by the Court
to make an examination for the purpose.

There was no trace of African descent in any feature of Salome Muller.
She had long, straight, black hair, hazel eyes, thin lips, and a Roman
nose.  The complexion of her face and neck was as dark as that of the
darkest brunette.  It appears, however, that, during the twenty-five
years of her servitude, she had been exposed to the sun's rays in the
hot climate of Louisiana, with head and neck unsheltered, as is
customary with the female slaves, while labouring in the cotton or the
sugar field.  Those parts of her person which had been shielded from
the sun were comparatively white.

Belmonte, the pretended owner of the girl, had obtained possession of
her by an act of sale from John F. Miller, the planter in whose service
Salome's father died.  This Miller was a man of consideration and
substance, owning large sugar estates, and bearing a high reputation
for honour and honesty, and for indulgent treatment of his slaves.  It
was testified on the trial that he had said to Belmonte, a few weeks
after the sale of Salome, "that she was white, and had as much right to
her freedom as any one, and was only to be retained in slavery by care
and kind treatment." The broker who negotiated the sale from Miller to
Belmonte, in 1838, testified in Court that he then thought, and still
thought, that the girl was white!

The case was elaborately argued on both sides, but was at length
decided in favour of the girl, by the Supreme Court declaring that "she
was free and white, and therefore unlawfully held in bondage."

The Rev. George Bourne, of Virginia, in his Picture of Slavery,
published in 1834, relates the case of a white boy who, at the age of
seven, was stolen from his home in Ohio, tanned and stained in such a
way that he could not be distinguished from a person of colour, and
then sold as a slave in Virginia.  At the age of twenty, he made his
escape, by running away, and happily succeeded in rejoining his parents.

I have known worthless white people to sell their own free children
into slavery; and, as there are good-for-nothing white as well as
coloured persons everywhere, no one, perhaps, will wonder at such
inhuman transactions: particularly in the Southern States of America,
where I believe there is a greater want of humanity and high principle
amongst the whites, than among any other civilized people in the world.

I know that those who are not familiar with the working of "the
peculiar institution," can scarcely imagine any one so totally devoid
of all natural affection as to sell his own offspring into returnless
bondage.  But Shakespeare, that great observer of human nature, says:--

  "With caution judge of probabilities.
  Things deemed unlikely, e'en impossible,
  Experience often shews us to be true."

My wife's new mistress was decidedly more humane than the majority of
her class.  My wife has always given her credit for not exposing her to
many of the worst features of slavery.  For instance, it is a common
practice in the slave States for ladies, when angry with their maids,
to send them to the calybuce sugar-house, or to some other place
established for the purpose of punishing slaves, and have them severely
flogged; and I am sorry it is a fact, that the villains to whom those
defenceless creatures are sent, not only flog them as they are ordered,
but frequently compel them to submit to the greatest indignity.  Oh! if
there is any one thing under the wide canopy of heaven, horrible enough
to stir a man's soul, and to make his very blood boil, it is the
thought of his dear wife, his unprotected sister, or his young and
virtuous daughters, struggling to save themselves from falling a prey
to such demons!

It always appears strange to me that any one who was not born a
slaveholder, and steeped to the very core in the demoralizing
atmosphere of the Southern States, can in any way palliate slavery.  It
is still more surprising to see virtuous ladies looking with patience
upon, and remaining indifferent to, the existence of a system that
exposes nearly two millions of their own sex in the manner I have
mentioned, and that too in a professedly free and Christian country.
There is, however, great consolation in knowing that God is just, and
will not let the oppressor of the weak, and the spoiler of the
virtuous, escape unpunished here and hereafter.

I believe a similar retribution to that which destroyed Sodom is
hanging over the slaveholders.  My sincere prayer is that they may not
provoke God, by persisting in a reckless course of wickedness, to pour
out his consuming wrath upon them.

I must now return to our history.

My old master had the reputation of being a very humane and Christian
man, but he thought nothing of selling my poor old father, and dear
aged mother, at separate times, to different persons, to be dragged off
never to behold each other again, till summoned to appear before the
great tribunal of heaven.  But, oh! what a happy meeting it will be on
that day for those faithful souls.  I say a happy meeting, because I
never saw persons more devoted to the service of God than they.  But
how will the case stand with those reckless traffickers in human flesh
and blood, who plunged the poisonous dagger of separation into those
loving hearts which God had for so many years closely joined
together--nay, sealed as it were with his own hands for the eternal
courts of heaven?  It is not for me to say what will become of those
heartless tyrants.  I must leave them in the hands of an all-wise and
just God, who will, in his own good time, and in his own way, avenge
the wrongs of his oppressed people.

My old master also sold a dear brother and a sister, in the same manner
as he did my father and mother.  The reason he assigned for disposing
of my parents, as well as of several other aged slaves, was, that "they
were getting old, and would soon become valueless in the market, and
therefore he intended to sell off all the old stock, and buy in a young
lot."  A most disgraceful conclusion for a man to come to, who made
such great professions of religion!

This shameful conduct gave me a thorough hatred, not for true
Christianity, but for slave-holding piety.

My old master, then, wishing to make the most of the rest of his
slaves, apprenticed a brother and myself out to learn trades: he to a
blacksmith, and myself to a cabinet-maker.  If a slave has a good
trade, he will let or sell for more than a person without one, and many
slave-holders have their slaves taught trades on this account.  But
before our time expired, my old master wanted money; so he sold my
brother, and then mortgaged my sister, a dear girl about fourteen years
of age, and myself, then about sixteen, to one of the banks, to get
money to speculate in cotton.  This we knew nothing of at the moment;
but time rolled on, the money became due, my master was unable to meet
his payments; so the bank had us placed upon the auction stand and sold
to the highest bidder.

My poor sister was sold first: she was knocked down to a planter who
resided at some distance in the country.  Then I was called upon the
stand.  While the auctioneer was crying the bids, I saw the man that
had purchased my sister getting her into a cart, to take her to his
home.  I at once asked a slave friend who was standing near the
platform, to run and ask the gentleman if he would please to wait till
I was sold, in order that I might have an opportunity of bidding her
good-bye.  He sent me word back that he had some distance to go, and
could not wait.

I then turned to the auctioneer, fell upon my knees, and humbly prayed
him to let me just step down and bid my last sister farewell.  But,
instead of granting me this request, he grasped me by the neck, and in
a commanding tone of voice, and with a violent oath, exclaimed, "Get
up!  You can do the wench no good; therefore there is no use in your
seeing her."

On rising, I saw the cart in which she sat moving slowly off; and, as
she clasped her hands with a grasp that indicated despair, and looked
pitifully round towards me, I also saw the large silent tears trickling
down her cheeks.  She made a farewell bow, and buried her face in her
lap.  This seemed more than I could bear.  It appeared to swell my
aching heart to its utmost.  But before I could fairly recover, the
poor girl was gone;--gone, and I have never had the good fortune to see
her from that day to this!  Perhaps I should have never heard of her
again, had it not been for the untiring efforts of my good old mother,
who became free a few years ago by purchase, and, after a great deal of
difficulty, found my sister residing with a family in Mississippi.  My
mother at once wrote to me, informing me of the fact, and requesting me
to do something to get her free; and I am happy to say that, partly by
lecturing occasionally, and through the sale of an engraving of my wife
in the disguise in which she escaped, together with the extreme
kindness and generosity of Miss Burdett Coutts, Mr. George Richardson
of Plymouth, and a few other friends, I have nearly accomplished this.
It would be to me a great and ever-glorious achievement to restore my
sister to our dear mother, from whom she was forcibly driven in early

I was knocked down to the cashier of the bank to which we were
mortgaged, and ordered to return to the cabinet shop where I previously

But the thought of the harsh auctioneer not allowing me to bid my dear
sister farewell, sent red-hot indignation darting like lightning
through every vein.  It quenched my tears, and appeared to set my brain
on fire, and made me crave for power to avenge our wrongs!  But alas!
we were only slaves, and had no legal rights; consequently we were
compelled to smother our wounded feelings, and crouch beneath the iron
heel of despotism.

I must now give the account of our escape; but, before doing so, it may
be well to quote a few passages from the fundamental laws of slavery;
in order to give some idea of the legal as well as the social tyranny
from which we fled.

According to the law of Louisiana, "A slave is one who is in the power
of a master to whom he belongs.  The master may sell him, dispose of
his person, his industry, and his labour; he can do nothing, possess
nothing, nor acquire anything but what must belong to his
master."--Civil Code, art. 35.

In South Carolina it is expressed in the following language:--"Slaves
shall be deemed, sold, taken, reputed and judged in law to be chattels
personal in the hands of their owners and possessors, and their
executors, administrators, and assigns, to all intents, constructions,
and purposes whatsoever.--2 Brevard's Digest, 229.

The Constitution of Georgia has the following (Art. 4, sec. 12):--"Any
person who shall maliciously dismember or deprive a slave of life,
shall suffer such punishment as would be inflicted in case the like
offence had been committed on a free white person, and on the like
proof, except in case of insurrection of such slave, and unless SUCH
CORRECTION."--Prince's Digest, 559.

I have known slaves to be beaten to death, but as they died under
"moderate correction," it was quite lawful; and of course the murderers
were not interfered with.

"If any slave, who shall be out of the house or plantation where such
slave shall live, or shall be usually employed, or without some white
person in company with such slave, shall REFUSE TO SUBMIT to undergo
the examination of ANY WHITE person, (let him be ever so drunk or
crazy), it shall be lawful for such white person to pursue, apprehend,
and moderately correct such slave; and if such slave shall assault and
strike such white person, such slave may be LAWFULLY KILLED."--2
Brevard's Digest, 231.

"Provided always," says the law, "that such striking be not done by the
command and in the defence of the person or property of the owner, or
other person having the government of such slave; in which case the
slave shall be wholly excused."

According to this law, if a slave, by the direction of his overseer,
strike a white person who is beating said overseer's pig, "the slave
shall be wholly excused."  But, should the bondman, of his own accord,
fight to defend his wife, or should his terrified daughter
instinctively raise her hand and strike the wretch who attempts to
violate her chastity, he or she shall, saith the model republican law,
suffer death.

From having been myself a slave for nearly twenty-three years, I am
quite prepared to say, that the practical working of slavery is worse
than the odious laws by which it is governed.

At an early age we were taken by the persons who held us as property to
Macon, the largest town in the interior of the State of Georgia, at
which place we became acquainted with each other for several years
before our marriage; in fact, our marriage was postponed for some time
simply because one of the unjust and worse than Pagan laws under which
we lived compelled all children of slave mothers to follow their
condition.  That is to say, the father of the slave may be the
President of the Republic; but if the mother should be a slave at the
infant's birth, the poor child is ever legally doomed to the same cruel

It is a common practice for gentlemen (if I may call them such), moving
in the highest circles of society, to be the fathers of children by
their slaves, whom they can and do sell with the greatest impunity; and
the more pious, beautiful, and virtuous the girls are, the greater the
price they bring, and that too for the most infamous purposes.

Any man with money (let him be ever such a rough brute), can buy a
beautiful and virtuous girl, and force her to live with him in a
criminal connexion; and as the law says a slave shall have no higher
appeal than the mere will of the master, she cannot escape, unless it
be by flight or death.

In endeavouring to reconcile a girl to her fate, the master sometimes
says that he would marry her if it was not unlawful.*  However, he will
always consider her to be his wife, and will treat her as such; and
she, on the other hand, may regard him as her lawful husband; and if
they have any children, they will be free and well educated.

I am in duty bound to add, that while a great majority of such men care
nothing for the happiness of the women with whom they live, nor for the
children of whom they are the fathers, there are those to be found,
even in that heterogeneous mass of licentious monsters, who are true to
their pledges.  But as the woman and her children are legally the
property of the man, who stands in the anomalous relation to them of
husband and father, as well as master, they are liable to be seized and
sold for his debts, should he become involved.

There are several cases on record where such persons have been sold and
separated for life.  I know of some myself, but I have only space to
glance at one.

I knew a very humane and wealthy gentleman, that bought a woman, with
whom he lived as his wife.  They brought up a family of children, among
whom were three nearly white, well educated, and beautiful girls.

* It is unlawful in the slave States for any one of purely European
descent to intermarry with a person of African extraction; though a
white man may live with as many coloured women as he pleases without
materially damaging his reputation in Southern society.

On the father being suddenly killed it was found that he had not left a
will; but, as the family had always heard him say that he had no
surviving relatives, they felt that their liberty and property were
quite secured to them, and, knowing the insults to which they were
exposed, now their protector was no more, they were making preparations
to leave for a free State.

But, poor creatures, they were soon sadly undeceived.  A villain
residing at a distance, hearing of the circumstance, came forward and
swore that he was a relative of the deceased; and as this man bore, or
assumed, Mr. Slator's name, the case was brought before one of those
horrible tribunals, presided over by a second Judge Jeffreys, and
calling itself a court of justice, but before whom no coloured person,
nor an abolitionist, was ever known to get his full rights.

A verdict was given in favour of the plaintiff, whom the better portion
of the community thought had wilfully conspired to cheat the family.

The heartless wretch not only took the ordinary property, but actually
had the aged and friendless widow, and all her fatherless children,
except Frank, a fine young man about twenty-two years of age, and Mary,
a very nice girl, a little younger than her brother, brought to the
auction stand and sold to the highest bidder.  Mrs. Slator had cash
enough, that her husband and master left, to purchase the liberty of
herself and children; but on her attempting to do so, the pusillanimous
scoundrel, who had robbed them of their freedom, claimed the money as
his property; and, poor creature, she had to give it up.  According to
law, as will be seen hereafter, a slave cannot own anything.  The old
lady never recovered from her sad affliction.

At the sale she was brought up first, and after being vulgarly
criticised, in the presence of all her distressed family, was sold to a
cotton planter, who said he wanted the "proud old critter to go to his
plantation, to look after the little woolly heads, while their mammies
were working in the field."

When the sale was over, then came the separation, and

  "O, deep was the anguish of that slave mother's heart,
  When called from her darlings for ever to part;
  The poor mourning mother of reason bereft,
  Soon ended her sorrows, and sank cold in death."

Antoinette, the flower of the family, a girl who was much beloved by
all who knew her, for her Christ-like piety, dignity of manner, as well
as her great talents and extreme beauty, was bought by an uneducated
and drunken salve-dealer.

I cannot give a more correct description of the scene, when she was
called from her brother to the stand, than will be found in the
following lines--

  "Why stands she near the auction stand?
    That girl so young and fair;
  What brings her to this dismal place?
    Why stands she weeping there?

  Why does she raise that bitter cry?
    Why hangs her head with shame,
  As now the auctioneer's rough voice
    So rudely calls her name!

  But see! she grasps a manly hand,
    And in a voice so low,
  As scarcely to be heard, she says,
    "My brother, must I go?"

  A moment's pause: then, midst a wail
    Of agonizing woe,
  His answer falls upon the ear,--
    "Yes, sister, you must go!

  No longer can my arm defend,
    No longer can I save
  My sister from the horrid fate
    That waits her as a SLAVE!"

  Blush, Christian, blush! for e'en the dark
    Untutored heathen see
  Thy inconsistency, and lo!
    They scorn thy God, and thee!"

The low trader said to a kind lady who wished to purchase Antoinette
out of his hands, "I reckon I'll not sell the smart critter for ten
thousand dollars; I always wanted her for my own use."  The lady,
wishing to remonstrate with him, commenced by saying, "You should
remember, Sir, that there is a just God."  Hoskens not understanding
Mrs. Huston, interrupted her by saying, "I does, and guess its
monstrous kind an' him to send such likely niggers for our
convenience."  Mrs. Huston finding that a long course of reckless
wickedness, drunkenness, and vice, had destroyed in Hoskens every noble
impulse, left him.

Antoinette, poor girl, also seeing that there was no help for her,
became frantic.  I can never forget her cries of despair, when Hoskens
gave the order for her to be taken to his house, and locked in an upper
room.  On Hoskens entering the apartment, in a state of intoxication, a
fearful struggle ensued.  The brave Antoinette broke loose from him,
pitched herself head foremost through the window, and fell upon the
pavement below.

Her bruised but unpolluted body was soon picked up--restoratives
brought--doctor called in; but, alas! it was too late: her pure and
noble spirit had fled away to be at rest in those realms of endless
bliss, "where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at

Antoinette like many other noble women who are deprived of liberty,

  "Holds something sacred, something undefiled;
  Some pledge and keepsake of their higher nature.
  And, like the diamond in the dark, retains
  Some quenchless gleam of the celestial light."

On Hoskens fully realizing the fact that his victim was no more, he
exclaimed "By thunder I am a used-up man!"  The sudden disappointment,
and the loss of two thousand dollars, was more than he could endure: so
he drank more than ever, and in a short time died, raving mad with
delirium tremens.

The villain Slator said to Mrs. Huston, the kind lady who endeavoured
to purchase Antoinette from Hoskens, "Nobody needn't talk to me 'bout
buying them ar likely niggers, for I'm not going to sell em."  "But
Mary is rather delicate," said Mrs. Huston, "and, being unaccustomed to
hard work, cannot do you much service on a plantation."  "I don't want
her for the field," replied Slator, "but for another purpose."  Mrs.
Huston understood what this meant, and instantly exclaimed, "Oh, but
she is your cousin!"  "The devil she is!" said Slator; and added, "Do
you mean to insult me, Madam, by saying that I am related to niggers?"
"No," replied Mrs. Huston, "I do not wish to offend you, Sir.  But
wasn't Mr. Slator, Mary's father, your uncle?"  "Yes, I calculate he
was," said Slator; "but I want you and everybody to understand that I'm
no kin to his niggers."  "Oh, very well," said Mrs. Huston; adding,
"Now what will you take for the poor girl?"  "Nothin'," he replied;
"for, as I said before, I'm not goin' to sell, so you needn't trouble
yourself no more.  If the critter behaves herself, I'll do as well by
her as any man."

Slator spoke up boldly, but his manner and sheepish look clearly
indicated that

  "His heart within him was at strife
    With such accursed gains;
  For he knew whose passions gave her life,
    Whose blood ran in her veins."

  "The monster led her from the door,
    He led her by the hand,
  To be his slave and paramour
    In a strange and distant land!"

Poor Frank and his sister were handcuffed together, and confined in
prison.  Their dear little twin brother and sister were sold, and taken
where they knew not.  But it often happens that misfortune causes those
whom we counted dearest to shrink away; while it makes friends of those
whom we least expected to take any interest in our affairs.  Among the
latter class Frank found two comparatively new but faithful friends to
watch the gloomy paths of the unhappy little twins.

In a day or two after the sale, Slator had two fast horses put to a
large light van, and placed in it a good many small but valuable things
belonging to the distressed family.  He also took with him Frank and
Mary, as well as all the money for the spoil; and after treating all
his low friends and bystanders, and drinking deeply himself, he started
in high glee for his home in South Carolina.  But they had not
proceeded many miles, before Frank and his sister discovered that
Slator was too drunk to drive.  But he, like most tipsy men, thought he
was all right; and as he had with him some of the ruined family's best
brandy and wine, such as he had not been accustomed to, and being a
thirsty soul, he drank till the reins fell from his fingers, and in
attempting to catch them he tumbled out of the vehicle, and was unable
to get up.  Frank and Mary there and then contrived a plan by which to
escape.  As they were still handcuffed by one wrist each, they
alighted, took from the drunken assassin's pocket the key, undid the
iron bracelets, and placed them upon Slator, who was better fitted to
wear such ornaments.  As the demon lay unconscious of what was taking
place, Frank and Mary took from him the large sum of money that was
realized at the sale, as well as that which Slator had so very meanly
obtained from their poor mother.  They then dragged him into the woods,
tied him to a tree, and left the inebriated robber to shift for
himself, while they made good their escape to Savannah.  The fugitives
being white, of course no one suspected that they were slaves.

Slator was not able to call any one to his rescue till late the next
day; and as there were no railroads in that part of the country at that
time, it was not until late the following day that Slator was able to
get a party to join him for the chase.  A person informed Slator that
he had met a man and woman, in a trap, answering to the description of
those whom he had lost, driving furiously towards Savannah.  So Slator
and several slavehunters on horseback started off in full tilt, with
their bloodhounds, in pursuit of Frank and Mary.

On arriving at Savannah, the hunters found that the fugitives had sold
the horses and trap, and embarked as free white persons, for New York.
Slator's disappointment and rascality so preyed upon his base mind,
that he, like Judas, went and hanged himself.

As soon as Frank and Mary were safe, they endeavoured to redeem their
good mother.  But, alas! she was gone; she had passed on to the realm
of spirit life.

In due time Frank learned from his friends in Georgia where his little
brother and sister dwelt.  So he wrote at once to purchase them, but
the persons with whom they lived would not sell them.  After failing in
several attempts to buy them, Frank cultivated large whiskers and
moustachios, cut off his hair, put on a wig and glasses, and went down
as a white man, and stopped in the neighbourhood where his sister was;
and after seeing her and also his little brother, arrangements were
made for them to meet at a particular place on a Sunday, which they
did, and got safely off.

I saw Frank myself, when he came for the little twins.  Though I was
then quite a lad, I well remember being highly delighted by hearing him
tell how nicely he and Mary had served Slator.

Frank had so completely disguised or changed his appearance that his
little sister did not know him, and would not speak till he showed
their mother's likeness; the sight of which melted her to tears,--for
she knew the face.  Frank might have said to her

  "'O, Emma!  O, my sister, speak to me!
  Dost thou not know me, that I am thy brother?
  Come to me, little Emma, thou shalt dwell
  With me henceforth, and know no care or want.'
  Emma was silent for a space, as if
 'Twere hard to summon up a human voice."

Frank and Mary's mother was my wife's own dear aunt.

After this great diversion from our narrative, which I hope dear
reader, you will excuse, I shall return at once to it.

My wife was torn from her mother's embrace in childhood, and taken to a
distant part of the country.  She had seen so many other children
separated from their parents in this cruel manner, that the mere
thought of her ever becoming the mother of a child, to linger out a
miserable existence under the wretched system of American slavery,
appeared to fill her very soul with horror; and as she had taken what I
felt to be an important view of her condition, I did not, at first,
press the marriage, but agreed to assist her in trying to devise some
plan by which we might escape from our unhappy condition, and then be

We thought of plan after plan, but they all seemed crowded with
insurmountable difficulties.  We knew it was unlawful for any public
conveyance to take us as passengers, without our master's consent.  We
were also perfectly aware of the startling fact, that had we left
without this consent the professional slave-hunters would have soon had
their ferocious bloodhounds baying on our track, and in a short time we
should have been dragged back to slavery, not to fill the more
favourable situations which we had just left, but to be separated for
life, and put to the very meanest and most laborious drudgery; or else
have been tortured to death as examples, in order to strike terror into
the hearts of others, and thereby prevent them from even attempting to
escape from their cruel taskmasters.  It is a fact worthy of remark,
that nothing seems to give the slaveholders so much pleasure as the
catching and torturing of fugitives.  They had much rather take the
keen and poisonous lash, and with it cut their poor trembling victims
to atoms, than allow one of them to escape to a free country, and
expose the infamous system from which he fled.

The greatest excitement prevails at a slave-hunt.  The slaveholders and
their hired ruffians appear to take more pleasure in this inhuman
pursuit than English sportsmen do in chasing a fox or a stag.
Therefore, knowing what we should have been compelled to suffer, if
caught and taken back, we were more than anxious to hit upon a plan
that would lead us safely to a land of liberty.

But, after puzzling our brains for years, we were reluctantly driven to
the sad conclusion, that it was almost impossible to escape from
slavery in Georgia, and travel 1,000 miles across the slave States.  We
therefore resolved to get the consent of our owners, be married, settle
down in slavery, and endeavour to make ourselves as comfortable as
possible under that system; but at the same time ever to keep our dim
eyes steadily fixed upon the glimmering hope of liberty, and earnestly
pray God mercifully to assist us to escape from our unjust thraldom.

We were married, and prayed and toiled on till December, 1848, at which
time (as I have stated) a plan suggested itself that proved quite
successful, and in eight days after it was first thought of we were
free from the horrible trammels of slavery, and glorifying God who had
brought us safely out of a land of bondage.

Knowing that slaveholders have the privilege of taking their slaves to
any part of the country they think proper, it occurred to me that, as
my wife was nearly white, I might get her to disguise herself as an
invalid gentleman, and assume to be my master, while I could attend as
his slave, and that in this manner we might effect our escape.  After I
thought of the plan, I suggested it to my wife, but at first she shrank
from the idea.  She thought it was almost impossible for her to assume
that disguise, and travel a distance of 1,000 miles across the slave
States.  However, on the other hand, she also thought of her condition.
She saw that the laws under which we lived did not recognize her to be
a woman, but a mere chattel, to be bought and sold, or otherwise dealt
with as her owner might see fit.  Therefore the more she contemplated
her helpless condition, the more anxious she was to escape from it.  So
she said, "I think it is almost too much for us to undertake; however,
I feel that God is on our side, and with his assistance,
notwithstanding all the difficulties, we shall be able to succeed.
Therefore, if you will purchase the disguise, I will try to carry out
the plan."

But after I concluded to purchase the disguise, I was afraid to go to
any one to ask him to sell me the articles.  It is unlawful in Georgia
for a white man to trade with slaves without the master's consent.
But, notwithstanding this, many persons will sell a slave any article
that he can get the money to buy.  Not that they sympathize with the
slave, but merely because his testimony is not admitted in court
against a free white person.

Therefore, with little difficulty I went to different parts of the
town, at odd times, and purchased things piece by piece, (except the
trowsers which she found necessary to make,) and took them home to the
house where my wife resided.  She being a ladies' maid, and a favourite
slave in the family, was allowed a little room to herself; and amongst
other pieces of furniture which I had made in my overtime, was a chest
of drawers; so when I took the articles home, she locked them up
carefully in these drawers.  No one about the premises knew that she
had anything of the kind.  So when we fancied we had everything ready
the time was fixed for the flight.  But we knew it would not do to
start off without first getting our master's consent to be away for a
few days.  Had we left without this, they would soon have had us back
into slavery, and probably we should never have got another fair
opportunity of even attempting to escape.

Some of the best slaveholders will sometimes give their favourite
slaves a few days' holiday at Christmas time; so, after no little
amount of perseverance on my wife's part, she obtained a pass from her
mistress, allowing her to be away for a few days.  The cabinet-maker
with whom I worked gave me a similar paper, but said that he needed my
services very much, and wished me to return as soon as the time granted
was up.  I thanked him kindly; but somehow I have not been able to make
it convenient to return yet; and, as the free air of good old England
agrees so well with my wife and our dear little ones, as well as with
myself, it is not at all likely we shall return at present to the
"peculiar institution" of chains and stripes.

On reaching my wife's cottage she handed me her pass, and I showed
mine, but at that time neither of us were able to read them.  It is not
only unlawful for slaves to be taught to read, but in some of the
States there are heavy penalties attached, such as fines and
imprisonment, which will be vigorously enforced upon any one who is
humane enough to violate the so-called law.

The following case will serve to show how persons are treated in the
most enlightened slaveholding community.


  NORFOLK COUNTY, ss.         } Court.  The
Grand Jurors empannelled in the body of the said County on their oath
present, that Margaret Douglass, being an evil disposed person, not
having the fear of God before her eyes, but moved and instigated by the
devil, wickedly, maliciously, and feloniously, on the fourth day of
July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
fifty-four, at Norfolk, in said County, did teach a certain black girl
named Kate to read in the Bible, to the great displeasure of Almighty
God, to the pernicious example of others in like case offending,
contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided, and
against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"VICTOR VAGABOND, Prosecuting Attorney."

"On this indictment Mrs. Douglass was arraigned as a necessary matter
of form, tried, found guilty of course; and Judge Scalaway, before whom
she was tried, having consulted with Dr. Adams, ordered the sheriff to
place Mrs. Douglass in the prisoner's box, when he addressed her as
follows: 'Margaret Douglass, stand up.  You are guilty of one of the
vilest crimes that ever disgraced society; and the jury have found you
so.  You have taught a slave girl to read in the Bible.  No enlightened
society can exist where such offences go unpunished.  The Court, in
your case, do not feel for you one solitary ray of sympathy, and they
will inflict on you the utmost penalty of the law.  In any other
civilized country you would have paid the forfeit of your crime with
your life, and the Court have only to regret that such is not the law
in this country.  The sentence for your offence is, that you be
imprisoned one month in the county jail, and that you pay the costs of
this prosecution.  Sheriff, remove the prisoner to jail.'  On the
publication of these proceedings, the Doctors of Divinity preached each
a sermon on the necessity of obeying the laws; the New York Observer
noticed with much pious gladness a revival of religion on Dr. Smith's
plantation in Georgia, among his slaves; while the Journal of Commerce
commended this political preaching of the Doctors of Divinity because
it favoured slavery.  Let us do nothing to offend our Southern

However, at first, we were highly delighted at the idea of having
gained permission to be absent for a few days; but when the thought
flashed across my wife's mind, that it was customary for travellers to
register their names in the visitors' book at hotels, as well as in the
clearance or Custom-house book at Charleston, South Carolina--it made
our spirits droop within us.

So, while sitting in our little room upon the verge of despair, all at
once my wife raised her head, and with a smile upon her face, which was
a moment before bathed in tears, said, "I think I have it!"  I asked
what it was.  She said, "I think I can make a poultice and bind up my
right hand in a sling, and with propriety ask the officers to register
my name for me."  I thought that would do.

It then occurred to her that the smoothness of her face might betray
her; so she decided to make another poultice, and put it in a white
handkerchief to be worn under the chin, up the cheeks, and to tie over
the head.  This nearly hid the expression of the countenance, as well
as the beardless chin.

The poultice is left off in the engraving, because the likeness could
not have been taken well with it on.

My wife, knowing that she would be thrown a good deal into the company
of gentlemen, fancied that she could get on better if she had something
to go over the eyes; so I went to a shop and bought a pair of green
spectacles.  This was in the evening.

We sat up all night discussing the plan, and making preparations.  Just
before the time arrived, in the morning, for us to leave, I cut off my
wife's hair square at the back of the head, and got her to dress in the
disguise and stand out on the floor.  I found that she made a most
respectable looking gentleman.

My wife had no ambition whatever to assume this disguise, and would not
have done so had it been possible to have obtained our liberty by more
simple means; but we knew it was not customary in the South for ladies
to travel with male servants; and therefore, notwithstanding my wife's
fair complexion, it would have been a very difficult task for her to
have come off as a free white lady, with me as her slave; in fact, her
not being able to write would have made this quite impossible.  We knew
that no public conveyance would take us, or any other slave, as a
passenger, without our master's consent.  This consent could never be
obtained to pass into a free State.  My wife's being muffled in the
poultices, &c., furnished a plausible excuse for avoiding general
conversation, of which most Yankee travellers are passionately fond.

There are a large number of free negroes residing in the southern
States; but in Georgia (and I believe in all the slave States,) every
coloured person's complexion is prima facie evidence of his being a
slave; and the lowest villain in the country, should he be a white man,
has the legal power to arrest, and question, in the most inquisitorial
and insulting manner, any coloured person, male or female, that he may
find at large, particularly at night and on Sundays, without a written
pass, signed by the master or some one in authority; or stamped free
papers, certifying that the person is the rightful owner of himself.

If the coloured person refuses to answer questions put to him, he may
be beaten, and his defending himself against this attack makes him an
outlaw, and if he be killed on the spot, the murderer will be exempted
from all blame; but after the coloured person has answered the
questions put to him, in a most humble and pointed manner, he may then
be taken to prison; and should it turn out, after further examination,
that he was caught where he had no permission or legal right to be, and
that he has not given what they term a satisfactory account of himself,
the master will have to pay a fine.  On his refusing to do this, the
poor slave may be legally and severely flogged by public officers.
Should the prisoner prove to be a free man, he is most likely to be
both whipped and fined.

The great majority of slaveholders hate this class of persons with a
hatred that can only be equalled by the condemned spirits of the
infernal regions.  They have no mercy upon, nor sympathy for, any negro
whom they cannot enslave.  They say that God made the black man to be a
slave for the white, and act as though they really believed that all
free persons of colour are in open rebellion to a direct command from
heaven, and that they (the whites) are God's chosen agents to pour out
upon them unlimited vengeance.  For instance, a Bill has been
introduced in the Tennessee Legislature to prevent free negroes from
travelling on the railroads in that State.  It has passed the first
reading.  The bill provides that the President who shall permit a free
negro to travel on any road within the jurisdiction of the State under
his supervision shall pay a fine of 500 dollars; any conductor
permitting a violation of the Act shall pay 250 dollars; provided such
free negro is not under the control of a free white citizen of
Tennessee, who will vouch for the character of said free negro in a
penal bond of one thousand dollars.  The State of Arkansas has passed a
law to banish all free negroes from its bounds, and it came into effect
on the 1st day of January, 1860.  Every free negro found there after
that date will be liable to be sold into slavery, the crime of freedom
being unpardonable.  The Missouri Senate has before it a bill providing
that all free negroes above the age of eighteen years who shall be
found in the State after September, 1860, shall be sold into slavery;
and that all such negroes as shall enter the State after September,
1861, and remain there twenty-four hours, shall also be sold into
slavery for ever.  Mississippi, Kentucky, and Georgia, and in fact, I
believe, all the slave States, are legislating in the same manner.
Thus the slaveholders make it almost impossible for free persons of
colour to get out of the slave States, in order that they may sell them
into slavery if they don't go.  If no white persons travelled upon
railroads except those who could get some one to vouch for their
character in a penal bond of one thousand dollars, the railroad
companies would soon go to the "wall."  Such mean legislation is too
low for comment; therefore I leave the villainous acts to speak for

But the Dred Scott decision is the crowning act of infamous Yankee
legislation.  The Supreme Court, the highest tribunal of the Republic,
composed of nine Judge Jeffries's, chosen both from the free and slave
States, has decided that no coloured person, or persons of African
extraction, can ever become a citizen of the United States, or have any
rights which white men are bound to respect.  That is to say, in the
opinion of this Court, robbery, rape, and murder are not crimes when
committed by a white upon a coloured person.

Judges who will sneak from their high and honourable position down into
the lowest depths of human depravity, and scrape up a decision like
this, are wholly unworthy the confidence of any people.  I believe such
men would, if they had the power, and were it to their temporal
interest, sell their country's independence, and barter away every
man's birthright for a mess of pottage.  Well may Thomas Campbell say--

  United States, your banner wears,
    Two emblems,--one of fame,
  Alas, the other that it bears
    Reminds us of your shame!
  The white man's liberty in types
    Stands blazoned by your stars;
  But what's the meaning of your stripes?
    They mean your Negro-scars.

When the time had arrived for us to start, we blew out the lights,
knelt down, and prayed to our Heavenly Father mercifully to assist us,
as he did his people of old, to escape from cruel bondage; and we shall
ever feel that God heard and answered our prayer.  Had we not been
sustained by a kind, and I sometimes think special, providence, we
could never have overcome the mountainous difficulties which I am now
about to describe.

After this we rose and stood for a few moments in breathless
silence,--we were afraid that some one might have been about the
cottage listening and watching our movements.  So I took my wife by the
hand, stepped softly to the door, raised the latch, drew it open, and
peeped out.  Though there were trees all around the house, yet the
foliage scarcely moved; in fact, everything appeared to be as still as
death.  I then whispered to my wife, "Come, my dear, let us make a
desperate leap for liberty!"  But poor thing, she shrank back, in a
state of trepidation.  I turned and asked what was the matter; she made
no reply, but burst into violent sobs, and threw her head upon my
breast.  This appeared to touch my very heart, it caused me to enter
into her feelings more fully than ever.  We both saw the many
mountainous difficulties that rose one after the other before our view,
and knew far too well what our sad fate would have been, were we caught
and forced back into our slavish den.  Therefore on my wife's fully
realizing the solemn fact that we had to take our lives, as it were, in
our hands, and contest every inch of the thousand miles of slave
territory over which we had to pass, it made her heart almost sink
within her, and, had I known them at that time, I would have repeated
the following encouraging lines, which may not be out of place here--

  "The hill, though high, I covet to ascend,
  For I perceive the way to life lies here:
  Come, pluck up heart, let's neither faint nor fear;
  Better, though difficult, the right way to go,--
  Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe."

However, the sobbing was soon over, and after a few moments of silent
prayer she recovered her self-possession, and said, "Come, William, it
is getting late, so now let us venture upon our perilous journey."

We then opened the door, and stepped as softly out as "moonlight upon
the water."  I locked the door with my own key, which I now have before
me, and tiptoed across the yard into the street.  I say tiptoed,
because we were like persons near a tottering avalanche, afraid to
move, or even breathe freely, for fear the sleeping tyrants should be
aroused, and come down upon us with double vengeance, for daring to
attempt to escape in the manner which we contemplated.

We shook hands, said farewell, and started in different directions for
the railway station.  I took the nearest possible way to the train, for
fear I should be recognized by some one, and got into the negro car in
which I knew I should have to ride; but my MASTER (as I will now call
my wife) took a longer way round, and only arrived there with the bulk
of the passengers.  He obtained a ticket for himself and one for his
slave to Savannah, the first port, which was about two hundred miles
off.  My master then had the luggage stowed away, and stepped into one
of the best carriages.

But just before the train moved off I peeped through the window, and,
to my great astonishment, I saw the cabinet-maker with whom I had
worked so long, on the platform.  He stepped up to the ticket-seller,
and asked some question, and then commenced looking rapidly through the
passengers, and into the carriages.  Fully believing that we were
caught, I shrank into a corner, turned my face from the door, and
expected in a moment to be dragged out.  The cabinet-maker looked into
my master's carriage, but did not know him in his new attire, and, as
God would have it, before he reached mine the bell rang, and the train
moved off.

I have heard since that the cabinet-maker had a presentiment that we
were about to "make tracks for parts unknown;" but, not seeing me, his
suspicions vanished, until he received the startling intelligence that
we had arrived freely in a free State.

As soon as the train had left the platform, my master looked round in
the carriage, and was terror-stricken to find a Mr. Cray--an old friend
of my wife's master, who dined with the family the day before, and knew
my wife from childhood--sitting on the same seat.

The doors of the American railway carriages are at the ends.  The
passengers walk up the aisle, and take seats on either side; and as my
master was engaged in looking out of the window, he did not see who
came in.

My master's first impression, after seeing Mr. Cray, was, that he was
there for the purpose of securing him.  However, my master thought it
was not wise to give any information respecting himself, and for fear
that Mr. Cray might draw him into conversation and recognise his voice,
my master resolved to feign deafness as the only means of self-defence.

After a little while, Mr. Cray said to my master, "It is a very fine
morning, sir."  The latter took no notice, but kept looking out of the
window.  Mr. Cray soon repeated this remark, in a little louder tone,
but my master remained as before.  This indifference attracted the
attention of the passengers near, one of whom laughed out.  This, I
suppose, annoyed the old gentleman; so he said, "I will make him hear;"
and in a loud tone of voice repeated, "It is a very fine morning, sir."

My master turned his head, and with a polite bow said, "Yes," and
commenced looking out of the window again.

One of the gentlemen remarked that it was a very great deprivation to
be deaf.  "Yes," replied Mr. Cray, "and I shall not trouble that fellow
any more."  This enabled my master to breathe a little easier, and to
feel that Mr. Cray was not his pursuer after all.

The gentlemen then turned the conversation upon the three great topics
of discussion in first-class circles in Georgia, namely, Niggers,
Cotton, and the Abolitionists.

My master had often heard of abolitionists, but in such a connection as
to cause him to think that they were a fearful kind of wild animal.
But he was highly delighted to learn, from the gentlemen's
conversation, that the abolitionists were persons who were opposed to
oppression; and therefore, in his opinion, not the lowest, but the very
highest, of God's creatures.

Without the slightest objection on my master's part, the gentlemen left
the carriage at Gordon, for Milledgeville (the capital of the State).

We arrived at Savannah early in the evening, and got into an omnibus,
which stopped at the hotel for the passengers to take tea.  I stepped
into the house and brought my master something on a tray to the
omnibus, which took us in due time to the steamer, which was bound for
Charleston, South Carolina.

Soon after going on board, my master turned in; and as the captain and
some of the passengers seemed to think this strange, and also
questioned me respecting him, my master thought I had better get out
the flannels and opodeldoc which we had prepared for the rheumatism,
warm them quickly by the stove in the gentleman's saloon, and bring
them to his berth.  We did this as an excuse for my master's retiring
to bed so early.

While at the stove one of the passengers said to me, "Buck, what have
you got there?"  "Opodeldoc, sir," I replied.  "I should think it's
opo-DEVIL," said a lanky swell, who was leaning back in a chair with
his heels upon the back of another, and chewing tobacco as if for a
wager; "it stinks enough to kill or cure twenty men.  Away with it, or
I reckon I will throw it overboard!"

It was by this time warm enough, so I took it to my master's berth,
remained there a little while, and then went on deck and asked the
steward where I was to sleep.  He said there was no place provided for
coloured passengers, whether slave or free.  So I paced the deck till a
late hour, then mounted some cotton bags, in a warm place near the
funnel, sat there till morning, and then went and assisted my master to
get ready for breakfast.

He was seated at the right hand of the captain, who, together with all
the passengers, inquired very kindly after his health.  As my master
had one hand in a sling, it was my duty to carve his food.  But when I
went out the captain said, "You have a very attentive boy, sir; but you
had better watch him like a hawk when you get on to the North.  He
seems all very well here, but he may act quite differently there.  I
know several gentlemen who have lost their valuable niggers among them
d----d cut-throat abolitionists."

Before my master could speak, a rough slave-dealer, who was sitting
opposite, with both elbows on the table, and with a large piece of
broiled fowl in his fingers, shook his head with emphasis, and in a
deep Yankee tone, forced through his crowded mouth the words, "Sound
doctrine, captain, very sound."  He then dropped the chicken into the
plate, leant back, placed his thumbs in the armholes of his fancy
waistcoat, and continued, "I would not take a nigger to the North under
no consideration.  I have had a deal to do with niggers in my time, but
I never saw one who ever had his heel upon free soil that was worth a
d----n."  "Now stranger," addressing my master, "if you have made up
your mind to sell that ere nigger, I am your man; just mention your
price, and if it isn't out of the way, I will pay for him on this board
with hard silver dollars."  This hard-featured, bristly-bearded,
wire-headed, red-eyed monster, staring at my master as the serpent did
at Eve, said, "What do you say, stranger?"  He replied, "I don't wish
to sell, sir; I cannot get on well without him."

"You will have to get on without him if you take him to the North,"
continued this man; "for I can tell ye, stranger, as a friend, I am an
older cove than you, I have seen lots of this ere world, and I reckon I
have had more dealings with niggers than any man living or dead.  I was
once employed by General Wade Hampton, for ten years, in doing nothing
but breaking 'em in; and everybody knows that the General would not
have a man that didn't understand his business.  So I tell ye,
stranger, again, you had better sell, and let me take him down to
Orleans.  He will do you no good if you take him across Mason's and
Dixon's line; he is a keen nigger, and I can see from the cut of his
eye that he is certain to run away."  My master said, "I think not,
sir; I have great confidence in his fidelity."  "FiDEVIL," indignantly
said the dealer, as his fist came down upon the edge of the saucer and
upset a cup of hot coffee in a gentleman's lap.  (As the scalded man
jumped up the trader quietly said, "Don't disturb yourself, neighbour;
accidents will happen in the best of families.")  "It always makes me
mad to hear a man talking about fidelity in niggers.  There isn't a
d----d one on 'em who wouldn't cut sticks, if he had half a chance."

By this time we were near Charleston; my master thanked the captain for
his advice, and they all withdrew and went on deck, where the trader
fancied he became quite eloquent.  He drew a crowd around him, and with
emphasis said, "Cap'en, if I was the President of this mighty United
States of America, the greatest and freest country under the whole
universe, I would never let no man, I don't care who he is, take a
nigger into the North and bring him back here, filled to the brim, as
he is sure to be, with d----d abolition vices, to taint all quiet
niggers with the hellish spirit of running away.  These air, cap'en, my
flat-footed, every day, right up and down sentiments, and as this is a
free country, cap'en, I don't care who hears 'em; for I am a Southern
man, every inch on me to the backbone."  "Good!" said an
insignificant-looking individual of the slave-dealer stamp.  "Three
cheers for John C. Calhoun and the whole fair sunny South!" added the
trader.  So off went their hats, and out burst a terrific roar of
irregular but continued cheering.  My master took no more notice of the
dealer.  He merely said to the captain that the air on deck was too
keen for him, and he would therefore return to the cabin.

While the trader was in the zenith of his eloquence, he might as well
have said, as one of his kit did, at a great Filibustering meeting,
that "When the great American Eagle gets one of his mighty claws upon
Canada and the other into South America, and his glorious and starry
wings of liberty extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, oh! then,
where will England be, ye gentlemen?  I tell ye, she will only serve as
a pocket-handkerchief for Jonathan to wipe his nose with."

On my master entering the cabin he found at the breakfast-table a young
southern military officer, with whom he had travelled some distance the
previous day.

After passing the usual compliments the conversation turned upon the
old subject,--niggers.

The officer, who was also travelling with a man-servant, said to my
master, "You will excuse me, Sir, for saying I think you are very
likely to spoil your boy by saying 'thank you' to him.  I assure you,
sir, nothing spoils a slave so soon as saying, 'thank you' and 'if you
please' to him.  The only way to make a nigger toe the mark, and to
keep him in his place, is to storm at him like thunder, and keep him
trembling like a leaf.  Don't you see, when I speak to my Ned, he darts
like lightning; and if he didn't I'd skin him."

Just then the poor dejected slave came in, and the officer swore at him
fearfully, merely to teach my master what he called the proper way to
treat me.

After he had gone out to get his master's luggage ready, the officer
said, "That is the way to speak to them.  If every nigger was drilled
in this manner, they would be as humble as dogs, and never dare to run

The gentleman urged my master not to go to the North for the
restoration of his health, but to visit the Warm Springs in Arkansas.

My master said, he thought the air of Philadelphia would suit his
complaint best; and, not only so, he thought he could get better advice

The boat had now reached the wharf.  The officer wished my master a
safe and pleasant journey, and left the saloon.

There were a large number of persons on the quay waiting the arrival of
the steamer: but we were afraid to venture out for fear that some one
might recognize me; or that they had heard that we were gone, and had
telegraphed to have us stopped.  However, after remaining in the cabin
till all the other passengers were gone, we had our luggage placed on a
fly, and I took my master by the arm, and with a little difficulty he
hobbled on shore, got in and drove off to the best hotel, which John C.
Calhoun, and all the other great southern fire-eating statesmen, made
their head-quarters while in Charleston.

On arriving at the house the landlord ran out and opened the door: but
judging, from the poultices and green glasses, that my master was an
invalid, he took him very tenderly by one arm and ordered his man to
take the other.

My master then eased himself out, and with their assistance found no
trouble in getting up the steps into the hotel.  The proprietor made me
stand on one side, while he paid my master the attention and homage he
thought a gentleman of his high position merited.

My master asked for a bed-room.  The servant was ordered to show a good
one, into which we helped him.  The servant returned.  My master then
handed me the bandages, I took them downstairs in great haste, and told
the landlord my master wanted two hot poultices as quickly as possible.
He rang the bell, the servant came in, to whom he said, "Run to the
kitchen and tell the cook to make two hot poultices right off, for
there is a gentleman upstairs very badly off indeed!"

In a few minutes the smoking poultices were brought in.  I placed them
in white handkerchiefs, and hurried upstairs, went into my master's
apartment, shut the door, and laid them on the mantel-piece.  As he was
alone for a little while, he thought he could rest a great deal better
with the poultices off.  However, it was necessary to have them to
complete the remainder of the journey.  I then ordered dinner, and took
my master's boots out to polish them.  While doing so I entered into
conversation with one of the slaves.  I may state here, that on the
sea-coast of South Carolina and Georgia the slaves speak worse English
than in any other part of the country.  This is owing to the frequent
importation, or smuggling in, of Africans, who mingle with the natives.
Consequently the language cannot properly be called English or African,
but a corruption of the two.

The shrewd son of African parents to whom I referred said to me, "Say,
brudder, way you come from, and which side you goin day wid dat ar
little don up buckra" (white man)?

I replied, "To Philadelphia."

"What!" he exclaimed, with astonishment, "to Philumadelphy?"

"Yes," I said.

"By squash!  I wish I was going wid you!  I hears um say dat dare's no
slaves way over in dem parts; is um so?"

I quietly said, "I have heard the same thing."

"Well," continued he, as he threw down the boot and brush, and, placing
his hands in his pockets, strutted across the floor with an air of
independence--"Gorra Mighty, dem is de parts for Pompey; and I hope
when you get dare you will stay, and nebber follow dat buckra back to
dis hot quarter no more, let him be eber so good."

I thanked him; and just as I took the boots up and started off, he
caught my hand between his two, and gave it a hearty shake, and, with
tears streaming down his cheeks, said:--

"God bless you, broder, and may de Lord be wid you.  When you gets de
freedom, and sitin under your own wine and fig-tree, don't forget to
pray for poor Pompey."

I was afraid to say much to him, but I shall never forget his earnest
request, nor fail to do what little I can to release the millions of
unhappy bondmen, of whom he was one.

At the proper time my master had the poultices placed on, came down,
and seated himself at a table in a very brilliant dining-room, to have
his dinner.  I had to have something at the same time, in order to be
ready for the boat; so they gave me my dinner in an old broken plate,
with a rusty knife and fork, and said, "Here, boy, you go in the
kitchen."  I took it and went out, but did not stay more than a few
minutes, because I was in a great hurry to get back to see how the
invalid was getting on.  On arriving I found two or three servants
waiting on him; but as he did not feel able to make a very hearty
dinner, he soon finished, paid the bill, and gave the servants each a
trifle, which caused one of them to say to me, "Your massa is a big
bug"--meaning a gentleman of distinction--"he is the greatest gentleman
dat has been dis way for dis six months."  I said, "Yes, he is some
pumpkins," meaning the same as "big bug."

When we left Macon, it was our intention to take a steamer at
Charleston through to Philadelphia; but on arriving there we found that
the vessels did not run during the winter, and I have no doubt it was
well for us they did not; for on the very last voyage the steamer made
that we intended to go by, a fugitive was discovered secreted on board,
and sent back to slavery.  However, as we had also heard of the
Overland Mail Route, we were all right.  So I ordered a fly to the
door, had the luggage placed on; we got in, and drove down to the
Custom-house Office, which was near the wharf where we had to obtain
tickets, to take a steamer for Wilmington, North Carolina.  When we
reached the building, I helped my master into the office, which was
crowded with passengers.  He asked for a ticket for himself and one for
his slave to Philadelphia.  This caused the principal officer--a very
mean-looking, cheese-coloured fellow, who was sitting there--to look up
at us very suspiciously, and in a fierce tone of voice he said to me,
"Boy, do you belong to that gentleman?" I quickly replied, "Yes, sir"
(which was quite correct).  The tickets were handed out, and as my
master was paying for them the chief man said to him, "I wish you to
register your name here, sir, and also the name of your nigger, and pay
a dollar duty on him."

My master paid the dollar, and pointing to the hand that was in the
poultice, requested the officer to register his name for him.  This
seemed to offend the "high-bred" South Carolinian.  He jumped up,
shaking his head; and, cramming his hands almost through the bottom of
his trousers pockets, with a slave-bullying air, said, "I shan't do it."

This attracted the attention of all the passengers.  Just then the
young military officer with whom my master travelled and conversed on
the steamer from Savannah stepped in, somewhat the worse for brandy; he
shook hands with my master, and pretended to know all about him.  He
said, "I know his kin (friends) like a book;" and as the officer was
known in Charleston, and was going to stop there with friends, the
recognition was very much in my master's favor.

The captain of the steamer, a good-looking, jovial fellow, seeing that
the gentleman appeared to know my master, and perhaps not wishing to
lose us as passengers, said in an off-hand sailor-like manner, "I will
register the gentleman's name, and take the responsibility upon
myself."  He asked my master's name.  He said, "William Johnson."  The
names were put down, I think, "Mr. Johnson and slave."  The captain
said, "It's all right now, Mr. Johnson."  He thanked him kindly, and
the young officer begged my master to go with him, and have something
to drink and a cigar; but as he had not acquired these accomplishments,
he excused himself, and we went on board and came off to Wilmington,
North Carolina.  When the gentleman finds out his mistake, he will, I
have no doubt, be careful in future not to pretend to have an intimate
acquaintance with an entire stranger.  During the voyage the captain
said, "It was rather sharp shooting this morning, Mr. Johnson.  It was
not out of any disrespect to you, sir; but they make it a rule to be
very strict at Charleston.  I have known families to be detained there
with their slaves till reliable information could be received
respecting them.  If they were not very careful, any d----d
abolitionist might take off a lot of valuable niggers."

My master said, "I suppose so," and thanked him again for helping him
over the difficulty.

We reached Wilmington the next morning, and took the train for
Richmond, Virginia.  I have stated that the American railway carriages
(or cars, as they are called), are constructed differently to those in
England.  At one end of some of them, in the South, there is a little
apartment with a couch on both sides for the convenience of families
and invalids; and as they thought my master was very poorly, he was
allowed to enter one of these apartments at Petersburg, Virginia, where
an old gentleman and two handsome young ladies, his daughters, also got
in, and took seats in the same carriage.  But before the train started,
the gentleman stepped into my car, and questioned me respecting my
master.  He wished to know what was the matter with him, where he was
from, and where he was going.  I told him where he came from, and said
that he was suffering from a complication of complaints, and was going
to Philadelphia, where he thought he could get more suitable advice
than in Georgia.

The gentleman said my master could obtain the very best advice in
Philadelphia.  Which turned out to be quite correct, though he did not
receive it from physicians, but from kind abolitionists who understood
his case much better.  The gentleman also said, "I reckon your master's
father hasn't any more such faithful and smart boys as you."  "O, yes,
sir, he has," I replied, "lots on 'em."  Which was literally true.
This seemed all he wished to know.  He thanked me, gave me a ten-cent
piece, and requested me to be attentive to my good master.  I promised
that I would do so, and have ever since endeavoured to keep my pledge.
During the gentleman's absence, the ladies and my master had a little
cosy chat.  But on his return, he said, "You seem to be very much
afflicted, sir."  "Yes, sir," replied the gentleman in the poultices.
"What seems to be the matter with you, sir; may I be allowed to ask?"
"Inflammatory rheumatism, sir."  "Oh! that is very bad, sir," said the
kind gentleman: "I can sympathise with you; for I know from bitter
experience what the rheumatism is." If he did, he knew a good deal more
than Mr. Johnson.

The gentleman thought my master would feel better if he would lie down
and rest himself; and as he was anxious to avoid conversation, he at
once acted upon this suggestion.  The ladies politely rose, took their
extra shawls, and made a nice pillow for the invalid's head.  My master
wore a fashionable cloth cloak, which they took and covered him
comfortably on the couch.  After he had been lying a little while the
ladies, I suppose, thought he was asleep; so one of them gave a long
sigh, and said, in a quiet fascinating tone, "Papa, he seems to be a
very nice young gentleman."  But before papa could speak, the other
lady quickly said, "Oh! dear me, I never felt so much for a gentleman
in my life!"  To use an American expression, "they fell in love with
the wrong chap."

After my master had been lying a little while he got up, the gentleman
assisted him in getting on his cloak, the ladies took their shawls, and
soon they were all seated.  They then insisted upon Mr. Johnson taking
some of their refreshments, which of course he did, out of courtesy to
the ladies.  All went on enjoying themselves until they reached
Richmond, where the ladies and their father left the train.  But,
before doing so, the good old Virginian gentleman, who appeared to be
much pleased with my master, presented him with a recipe, which he said
was a perfect cure for the inflammatory rheumatism.  But the invalid
not being able to read it, and fearing he should hold it upside down in
pretending to do so, thanked the donor kindly, and placed it in his
waistcoat pocket.  My master's new friend also gave him his card, and
requested him the next time he travelled that way to do him the
kindness to call; adding, "I shall be pleased to see you, and so will
my daughters." Mr. Johnson expressed his gratitude for the proffered
hospitality, and said he should feel glad to call on his return.  I
have not the slightest doubt that he will fulfil the promise whenever
that return takes place.  After changing trains we went on a little
beyond Fredericksburg, and took a steamer to Washington.

At Richmond, a stout elderly lady, whose whole demeanour indicated that
she belonged (as Mrs. Stowe's Aunt Chloe expresses it) to one of the
"firstest families," stepped into the carriage, and took a seat near my
master.  Seeing me passing quickly along the platform, she sprang up as
if taken by a fit, and exclaimed, "Bless my soul!  there goes my
nigger, Ned!"

My master said, "No; that is my boy."

The lady paid no attention to this; she poked her head out of the
window, and bawled to me, "You Ned, come to me, sir, you runaway

On my looking round she drew her head in, and said to my master, "I beg
your pardon, sir, I was sure it was my nigger; I never in my life saw
two black pigs more alike than your boy and my Ned."

After the disappointed lady had resumed her seat, and the train had
moved off, she closed her eyes, slightly raising her hands, and in a
sanctified tone said to my master, "Oh! I hope, sir, your boy will not
turn out to be so worthless as my Ned has.  Oh! I was as kind to him as
if he had been my own son.  Oh! sir, it grieves me very much to think
that after all I did for him he should go off without having any cause

"When did he leave you?" asked Mr. Johnson.

"About eighteen months ago, and I have never seen hair or hide of him

"Did he have a wife?" enquired a very respectable-looking young
gentleman, who was sitting near my master and opposite to the lady.

"No, sir; not when he left, though he did have one a little before
that.  She was very unlike him; she was as good and as faithful a
nigger as any one need wish to have.  But, poor thing! she became so
ill, that she was unable to do much work; so I thought it would be best
to sell her, to go to New Orleans, where the climate is nice and warm."

"I suppose she was very glad to go South for the restoration of her
health?" said the gentleman.

"No; she was not," replied the lady, "for niggers never know what is
best for them.  She took on a great deal about leaving Ned and the
little nigger; but, as she was so weakly, I let her go."

"Was she good-looking?" asked the young passenger, who was evidently
not of the same opinion as the talkative lady, and therefore wished her
to tell all she knew.

"Yes; she was very handsome, and much whiter than I am; and therefore
will have no trouble in getting another husband.  I am sure I wish her
well.  I asked the speculator who bought her to sell her to a good
master.  Poor thing! she has my prayers, and I know she prays for me.
She was a good Christian, and always used to pray for my soul.  It was
through her earliest prayers," continued the lady, "that I was first
led to seek forgiveness of my sins, before I was converted at the great

This caused the lady to snuffle and to draw from her pocket a richly
embroidered handkerchief, and apply it to the corner of her eyes.  But
my master could not see that it was at all soiled.

The silence which prevailed for a few moments was broken by the
gentleman's saying, "As your 'July' was such a very good girl, and had
served you so faithfully before she lost her health, don't you think it
would have been better to have emancipated her?"

"No, indeed I do not!" scornfully exclaimed the lady, as she
impatiently crammed the fine handkerchief into a little work-bag.  "I
have no patience with people who set niggers at liberty.  It is the
very worst thing you can do for them.  My dear husband just before he
died willed all his niggers free.  But I and all our friends knew very
well that he was too good a man to have ever thought of doing such an
unkind and foolish thing, had he been in his right mind, and, therefore
we had the will altered as it should have been in the first place."

"Did you mean, madam," asked my master, "that willing the slaves free
was unjust to yourself, or unkind to them?"

"I mean that it was decidedly unkind to the servants themselves.  It
always seems to me such a cruel thing to turn niggers loose to shift
for themselves, when there are so many good masters to take care of
them.  As for myself," continued the considerate lady, "I thank the
Lord my dear husband left me and my son well provided for.  Therefore I
care nothing for the niggers, on my own account, for they are a great
deal more trouble than they are worth, I sometimes wish that there was
not one of them in the world; for the ungrateful wretches are always
running away.  I have lost no less than ten since my poor husband died.
It's ruinous, sir!"

"But as you are well provided for, I suppose you do not feel the loss
very much," said the passenger.

"I don't feel it at all," haughtily continued the good soul; "but that
is no reason why property should be squandered.  If my son and myself
had the money for those valuable niggers, just see what a great deal of
good we could do for the poor, and in sending missionaries abroad to
the poor heathen, who have never heard the name of our blessed
Redeemer.  My dear son who is a good Christian minister has advised me
not to worry and send my soul to hell for the sake of niggers; but to
sell every blessed one of them for what they will fetch, and go and
live in peace with him in New York.  This I have concluded to do.  I
have just been to Richmond and made arrangements with my agent to make
clean work of the forty that are left."

"Your son being a good Christian minister," said the gentleman, "It's
strange he did not advise you to let the poor negroes have their
liberty and go North."

"It's not at all strange, sir; it's not at all strange.  My son knows
what's best for the niggers; he has always told me that they were much
better off than the free niggers in the North.  In fact, I don't
believe there are any white labouring people in the world who are as
well off as the slaves."

"You are quite mistaken, madam," said the young man.  "For instance, my
own widowed mother, before she died, emancipated all her slaves, and
sent them to Ohio, where they are getting along well.  I saw several of
them last summer myself."

"Well," replied the lady, "freedom may do for your ma's niggers, but it
will never do for mine; and, plague them, they shall never have it;
that is the word, with the bark on it."

"If freedom will not do for your slaves," replied the passenger, "I
have no doubt your Ned and the other nine negroes will find out their
mistake, and return to their old home.

"Blast them!" exclaimed the old lady, with great emphasis, "if I ever
get them, I will cook their infernal hash, and tan their accursed black
hides well for them!  God forgive me," added the old soul, "the niggers
will make me lose all my religion!"

By this time the lady had reached her destination.  The gentleman got
out at the next station beyond.  As soon as she was gone, the young
Southerner said to my master, "What a d----d shame it is for that old
whining hypocritical humbug to cheat the poor negroes out of their
liberty!  If she has religion, may the devil prevent me from ever being

For the purpose of somewhat disguising myself, I bought and wore a very
good second-hand white beaver, an article which I had never indulged in
before.  So just before we arrived at Washington, an uncouth planter,
who had been watching me very closely, said to my master, "I reckon,
stranger, you are 'SPILING' that ere nigger of yourn, by letting him
wear such a devilish fine hat.  Just look at the quality on it; the
President couldn't wear a better.  I should just like to go and kick it
overboard." His friend touched him, and said, "Don't speak so to a
gentleman."  "Why not?" exclaimed the fellow.  He grated his short
teeth, which appeared to be nearly worn away by the incessant chewing
of tobacco, and said, "It always makes me itch all over, from head to
toe, to get hold of every d----d nigger I see dressed like a white man.
Washington is run away with SPILED and free niggers.  If I had my way I
would sell every d----d rascal of 'em way down South, where the devil
would be whipped out on 'em."

This man's fierce manner made my master feel rather nervous, and
therefore he thought the less he said the better; so he walked off
without making any reply.  In a few minutes we were landed at
Washington, where we took a conveyance and hurried off to the train for

We left our cottage on Wednesday morning, the 21st of December, 1848,
and arrived at Baltimore, Saturday evening, the 24th (Christmas Eve).
Baltimore was the last slave port of any note at which we stopped.

On arriving there we felt more anxious than ever, because we knew not
what that last dark night would bring forth.  It is true we were near
the goal, but our poor hearts were still as if tossed at sea; and, as
there was another great and dangerous bar to pass, we were afraid our
liberties would be wrecked, and, like the ill-fated Royal Charter, go
down for ever just off the place we longed to reach.

They are particularly watchful at Baltimore to prevent slaves from
escaping into Pennsylvania, which is a free State.  After I had seen my
master into one of the best carriages, and was just about to step into
mine, an officer, a full-blooded Yankee of the lower order, saw me.  He
came quickly up, and, tapping me on the shoulder, said in his
unmistakable native twang, together with no little display of his
authority, "Where are you going, boy?" "To Philadelphia, sir," I humbly
replied.  "Well, what are you going there for?"  "I am travelling with
my master, who is in the next carriage, sir." "Well, I calculate you
had better get him out; and be mighty quick about it, because the train
will soon be starting.  It is against my rules to let any man take a
slave past here, unless he can satisfy them in the office that he has a
right to take him along."

The officer then passed on and left me standing upon the platform, with
my anxious heart apparently palpitating in the throat.  At first I
scarcely knew which way to turn.  But it soon occurred to me that the
good God, who had been with us thus far, would not forsake us at the
eleventh hour.  So with renewed hope I stepped into my master's
carriage, to inform him of the difficulty.  I found him sitting at the
farther end, quite alone.  As soon as he looked up and saw me, he
smiled.  I also tried to wear a cheerful countenance, in order to break
the shock of the sad news.  I knew what made him smile.  He was aware
that if we were fortunate we should reach our destination at five
o'clock the next morning, and this made it the more painful to
communicate what the officer had said; but, as there was no time to
lose, I went up to him and asked him how he felt.  He said "Much
better," and that he thanked God we were getting on so nicely.  I then
said we were not getting on quite so well as we had anticipated.  He
anxiously and quickly asked what was the matter.  I told him.  He
started as if struck by lightning, and exclaimed, "Good Heavens!
William, is it possible that we are, after all, doomed to hopeless
bondage?"  I could say nothing, my heart was too full to speak, for at
first I did not know what to do.  However we knew it would never do to
turn back to the "City of Destruction," like Bunyan's Mistrust and
Timorous, because they saw lions in the narrow way after ascending the
hill Difficulty; but press on, like noble Christian and Hopeful, to the
great city in which dwelt a few "shining ones."  So, after a few
moments, I did all I could to encourage my companion, and we stepped
out and made for the office; but how or where my master obtained
sufficient courage to face the tyrants who had power to blast all we
held dear, heaven only knows!  Queen Elizabeth could not have been more
terror-stricken, on being forced to land at the traitors' gate leading
to the Tower, than we were on entering that office.  We felt that our
very existence was at stake, and that we must either sink or swim.
But, as God was our present and mighty helper in this as well as in all
former trials, we were able to keep our heads up and press forwards.

On entering the room we found the principal man, to whom my master
said, "Do you wish to see me, sir?"  "Yes," said this eagle-eyed
officer; and he added, "It is against our rules, sir, to allow any
person to take a slave out of Baltimore into Philadelphia, unless he
can satisfy us that he has a right to take him along."  "Why is that?"
asked my master, with more firmness than could be expected.  "Because,
sir," continued he, in a voice and manner that almost chilled our
blood, "if we should suffer any gentleman to take a slave past here
into Philadelphia; and should the gentleman with whom the slave might
be travelling turn out not to be his rightful owner; and should the
proper master come and prove that his slave escaped on our road, we
shall have him to pay for; and, therefore, we cannot let any slave pass
here without receiving security to show, and to satisfy us, that it is
all right."

This conversation attracted the attention of the large number of
bustling passengers.  After the officer had finished, a few of them
said, "Chit, chit, chit;" not because they thought we were slaves
endeavouring to escape, but merely because they thought my master was a
slaveholder and invalid gentleman, and therefore it was wrong to detain
him.  The officer, observing that the passengers sympathised with my
master, asked him if he was not acquainted with some gentleman in
Baltimore that he could get to endorse for him, to show that I was his
property, and that he had a right to take me off.  He said, "No;" and
added, "I bought tickets in Charleston to pass us through to
Philadelphia, and therefore you have no right to detain us here."
"Well, sir," said the man, indignantly, "right or no right, we shan't
let you go."  These sharp words fell upon our anxious hearts like the
crack of doom, and made us feel that hope only smiles to deceive.

For a few moments perfect silence prevailed.  My master looked at me,
and I at him, but neither of us dared to speak a word, for fear of
making some blunder that would tend to our detection.  We knew that the
officers had power to throw us into prison, and if they had done so we
must have been detected and driven back, like the vilest felons, to a
life of slavery, which we dreaded far more than sudden death.

We felt as though we had come into deep waters and were about being
overwhelmed, and that the slightest mistake would clip asunder the last
brittle thread of hope by which we were suspended, and let us down for
ever into the dark and horrible pit of misery and degradation from
which we were straining every nerve to escape.  While our hearts were
crying lustily unto Him who is ever ready and able to save, the
conductor of the train that we had just left stepped in.  The officer
asked if we came by the train with him from Washington; he said we did,
and left the room.  Just then the bell rang for the train to leave; and
had it been the sudden shock of an earthquake it could not have given
us a greater thrill.  The sound of the bell caused every eye to flash
with apparent interest, and to be more steadily fixed upon us than
before.  But, as God would have it, the officer all at once thrust his
fingers through his hair, and in a state of great agitation said, "I
really don't know what to do; I calculate it is all right."  He then
told the clerk to run and tell the conductor to "let this gentleman and
slave pass;" adding, "As he is not well, it is a pity to stop him here.
We will let him go." My master thanked him, and stepped out and hobbled
across the platform as quickly as possible.  I tumbled him
unceremoniously into one of the best carriages, and leaped into mine
just as the train was gliding off towards our happy destination.

We thought of this plan about four days before we left Macon; and as we
had our daily employment to attend to, we only saw each other at night.
So we sat up the four long nights talking over the plan and making

We had also been four days on the journey; and as we travelled night
and day, we got but very limited opportunities for sleeping.  I believe
nothing in the world could have kept us awake so long but the intense
excitement, produced by the fear of being retaken on the one hand, and
the bright anticipation of liberty on the other.

We left Baltimore about eight o'clock in the evening; and not being
aware of a stopping-place of any consequence between there and
Philadelphia, and also knowing that if we were fortunate we should be
in the latter place early the next morning, I thought I might indulge
in a few minutes' sleep in the car; but I, like Bunyan's Christian in
the arbour, went to sleep at the wrong time, and took too long a nap.
So, when the train reached Havre de Grace, all the first-class
passengers had to get out of the carriages and into a ferry-boat, to be
ferried across the Susquehanna river, and take the train on the
opposite side.

The road was constructed so as to be raised or lowered to suit the
tide.  So they rolled the luggage-vans on to the boat, and off on the
other side; and as I was in one of the apartments adjoining a
baggage-car, they considered it unnecessary to awaken me, and tumbled
me over with the luggage.  But when my master was asked to leave his
seat, he found it very dark, and cold, and raining.  He missed me for
the first time on the journey.  On all previous occasions, as soon as
the train stopped, I was at hand to assist him.  This caused many
slaveholders to praise me very much: they said they had never before
seen a slave so attentive to his master: and therefore my absence
filled him with terror and confusion; the children of Israel could not
have felt more troubled on arriving at the Red Sea.  So he asked the
conductor if he had seen anything of his slave.  The man being somewhat
of an abolitionist, and believing that my master was really a
slaveholder, thought he would tease him a little respecting me.  So he
said, "No, sir; I haven't seen anything of him for some time: I have no
doubt he has run away, and is in Philadelphia, free, long before now."
My master knew that there was nothing in this; so he asked the
conductor if he would please to see if he could find me.  The man
indignantly replied, "I am no slave-hunter; and as far as I am
concerned everybody must look after their own niggers."  He went off
and left the confused invalid to fancy whatever he felt inclined.  My
master at first thought I must have been kidnapped into slavery by some
one, or left, or perhaps killed on the train.  He also thought of
stopping to see if he could hear anything of me, but he soon remembered
that he had no money.  That night all the money we had was consigned to
my own pocket, because we thought, in case there were any pickpockets
about, a slave's pocket would be the last one they would look for.
However, hoping to meet me some day in a land of liberty, and as he had
the tickets, he thought it best upon the whole to enter the boat and
come off to Philadelphia, and endeavour to make his way alone in this
cold and hollow world as best he could.  The time was now up, so he
went on board and came across with feelings that can be better imagined
than described.

After the train had got fairly on the way to Philadelphia, the guard
came into my car and gave me a violent shake, and bawled out at the
same time, "Boy, wake up!"  I started, almost frightened out of my
wits.  He said, "Your master is scared half to death about you."  That
frightened me still more--I thought they had found him out; so I
anxiously inquired what was the matter.  The guard said, "He thinks you
have run away from him."  This made me feel quite at ease.  I said,
"No, sir; I am satisfied my good master doesn't think that."  So off I
started to see him.  He had been fearfully nervous, but on seeing me he
at once felt much better.  He merely wished to know what had become of

On returning to my seat, I found the conductor and two or three other
persons amusing themselves very much respecting my running away.  So
the guard said, "Boy, what did your master want?"* I replied, "He
merely wished to know what had become of me."  "No," said the man,
"that was not it; he thought you had taken French leave, for parts
unknown.  I never saw a fellow so badly scared about losing his slave
in my life.  Now," continued the guard, "let me give you a little
friendly advice.  When you get to Philadelphia, run away and leave that
cripple, and have your liberty."  "No, sir," I indifferently replied,
"I can't promise to do that."  "Why not?" said the conductor, evidently
much surprised; "don't you want your liberty?"  "Yes, sir," I replied;
"but I shall never run away from such a good master as I have at

* I may state here that every man slave is called boy till he is very
old, then the more respectable slaveholders call him uncle.  The women
are all girls till they are aged, then they are called aunts.  This is
the reason why Mrs. Stowe calls her characters Uncle Tom, Aunt Chloe,
Uncle Tiff, &c.

One of the men said to the guard, "Let him alone; I guess he will open
his eyes when he gets to Philadelphia, and see things in another
light." After giving me a good deal of information, which I afterwards
found to be very useful, they left me alone.

I also met with a coloured gentleman on this train, who recommended me
to a boarding-house that was kept by an abolitionist, where he thought
I would be quite safe, if I wished to run away from my master.  I
thanked him kindly, but of course did not let him know who we were.
Late at night, or rather early in the morning, I heard a fearful
whistling of the steam-engine; so I opened the window and looked out,
and saw a large number of flickering lights in the distance, and heard
a passenger in the next carriage--who also had his head out of the
window--say to his companion, "Wake up, old horse, we are at

The sight of those lights and that announcement made me feel almost as
happy as Bunyan's Christian must have felt when he first caught sight
of the cross.  I, like him, felt that the straps that bound the heavy
burden to my back began to pop, and the load to roll off.  I also
looked, and looked again, for it appeared very wonderful to me how the
mere sight of our first city of refuge should have all at once made my
hitherto sad and heavy heart become so light and happy.  As the train
speeded on, I rejoiced and thanked God with all my heart and soul for
his great kindness and tender mercy, in watching over us, and bringing
us safely through.

As soon as the train had reached the platform, before it had fairly
stopped, I hurried out of my carriage to my master, whom I got at once
into a cab, placed the luggage on, jumped in myself, and we drove off
to the boarding-house which was so kindly recommended to me.  On
leaving the station, my master--or rather my wife, as I may now
say--who had from the commencement of the journey borne up in a manner
that much surprised us both, grasped me by the hand, and said, "Thank
God, William, we are safe!" and then burst into tears, leant upon me,
and wept like a child.  The reaction was fearful.  So when we reached
the house, she was in reality so weak and faint that she could scarcely
stand alone.  However, I got her into the apartments that were pointed
out, and there we knelt down, on this Sabbath, and Christmas-day,--a
day that will ever be memorable to us,--and poured out our heartfelt
gratitude to God, for his goodness in enabling us to overcome so many
perilous difficulties, in escaping out of the jaws of the wicked.



AFTER my wife had a little recovered herself, she threw off the
disguise and assumed her own apparel.  We then stepped into the
sitting-room, and asked to see the landlord.  The man came in, but he
seemed thunderstruck on finding a fugitive slave and his wife, instead
of a "young cotton planter and his nigger."  As his eyes travelled
round the room, he said to me, "Where is your master?"  I pointed him
out.  The man gravely replied, "I am not joking, I really wish to see
your master."  I pointed him out again, but at first he could not
believe his eyes; he said "he knew that was not the gentleman that came
with me."

But, after some conversation, we satisfied him that we were fugitive
slaves, and had just escaped in the manner I have described.  We asked
him if he thought it would be safe for us to stop in Philadelphia.  He
said he thought not, but he would call in some persons who knew more
about the laws than himself.  He then went out, and kindly brought in
several of the leading abolitionists of the city, who gave us a most
hearty and friendly welcome amongst them.  As it was in December, and
also as we had just left a very warm climate, they advised us not to go
to Canada as we had intended, but to settle at Boston in the United
States.  It is true that the constitution of the Republic has always
guaranteed the slaveholders the right to come into any of the so-called
free States, and take their fugitives back to southern Egypt.  But
through the untiring, uncompromising, and manly efforts of Mr.
Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Theodore Parker, and a host of other noble
abolitionists of Boston and the neighbourhood, public opinion in
Massachusetts had become so much opposed to slavery and to kidnapping,
that it was almost impossible for any one to take a fugitive slave out
of that State.

So we took the advice of our good Philadelphia friends, and settled at
Boston.  I shall have something to say about our sojourn there

Among other friends we met with at Philadelphia, was Robert Purves,
Esq., a well educated and wealthy coloured gentleman, who introduced us
to Mr. Barkley Ivens, a member of the Society of Friends, and a noble
and generous-hearted farmer, who lived at some distance in the country.

This good Samaritan at once invited us to go and stop quietly with his
family, till my wife could somewhat recover from the fearful reaction
of the past journey.  We most gratefully accepted the invitation, and
at the time appointed we took a steamer to a place up the Delaware
river, where our new and dear friend met us with his snug little cart,
and took us to his happy home.  This was the first act of great and
disinterested kindness we had ever received from a white person.

The gentleman was not of the fairest complexion, and therefore, as my
wife was not in the room when I received the information respecting him
and his anti-slavery character, she thought of course he was a quadroon
like herself.  But on arriving at the house, and finding out her
mistake, she became more nervous and timid than ever.

As the cart came into the yard, the dear good old lady, and her three
charming and affectionate daughters, all came to the door to meet us.
We got out, and the gentleman said, "Go in, and make yourselves at
home; I will see after the baggage." But my wife was afraid to approach
them.  She stopped in the yard, and said to me, "William, I thought we
were coming among coloured people?"  I replied, "It is all right; these
are the same."  "No," she said, "it is not all right, and I am not
going to stop here; I have no confidence whatever in white people, they
are only trying to get us back to slavery."  She turned round and said,
"I am going right off."  The old lady then came out, with her sweet,
soft, and winning smile, shook her heartily by the hand, and kindly
said, "How art thou, my dear?  We are all very glad to see thee and thy
husband.  Come in, to the fire; I dare say thou art cold and hungry
after thy journey."

We went in, and the young ladies asked if she would like to go upstairs
and "fix" herself before tea.  My wife said, "No, I thank you; I shall
only stop a little while."  "But where art thou going this cold night?"
said Mr. Ivens, who had just stepped in.  "I don't know," was the
reply.  "Well, then," he continued, "I think thou hadst better take off
thy things and sit near the fire; tea will soon be ready."  "Yes, come,
Ellen," said Mrs. Ivens, "let me assist thee;" (as she commenced
undoing my wife's bonnet-strings;) "don't be frightened, Ellen, I shall
not hurt a single hair of thy head.  We have heard with much pleasure
of the marvellous escape of thee and thy husband, and deeply sympathise
with thee in all that thou hast undergone.  I don't wonder at thee,
poor thing, being timid; but thou needs not fear us; we would as soon
send one of our own daughters into slavery as thee; so thou mayest make
thyself quite at ease!" These soft and soothing words fell like balm
upon my wife's unstrung nerves, and melted her to tears; her fears and
prejudices vanished, and from that day she has firmly believed that
there are good and bad persons of every shade of complexion.

After seeing Sally Ann and Jacob, two coloured domestics, my wife felt
quite at home.  After partaking of what Mrs. Stowe's Mose and Pete
called a "busting supper," the ladies wished to know whether we could
read.  On learning we could not, they said if we liked they would teach
us.  To this kind offer, of course, there was no objection.  But we
looked rather knowingly at each other, as much as to say that they
would have rather a hard task to cram anything into our thick and
matured skulls.

However, all hands set to and quickly cleared away the tea-things, and
the ladies and their good brother brought out the spelling and copy
books and slates, &c., and commenced with their new and green pupils.
We had, by stratagem, learned the alphabet while in slavery, but not
the writing characters; and, as we had been such a time learning so
little, we at first felt that it was a waste of time for any one at our
ages to undertake to learn to read and write.  But, as the ladies were
so anxious that we should learn, and so willing to teach us, we
concluded to give our whole minds to the work, and see what could be
done.  By so doing, at the end of the three weeks we remained with the
good family we could spell and write our names quite legibly.  They all
begged us to stop longer; but, as we were not safe in the State of
Pennsylvania, and also as we wished to commence doing something for a
livelihood, we did not remain.

When the time arrived for us to leave for Boston, it was like parting
with our relatives.  We have since met with many very kind and
hospitable friends, both in America and England; but we have never been
under a roof where we were made to feel more at home, or where the
inmates took a deeper interest in our well-being, than Mr. Barkley
Ivens and his dear family.  May God ever bless them, and preserve each
one from every reverse of fortune!

We finally, as I have stated, settled at Boston, where we remained
nearly two years, I employed as cabinet-maker and furniture broker, and
my wife at her needle; and, as our little earnings in slavery were not
all spent on the journey, we were getting on very well, and would have
made money, if we had not been compelled by the General Government, at
the bidding of the slaveholders, to break up business, and fly from
under the Stars and Stripes to save our liberties and our lives.

In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Bill, an enactment too
infamous to have been thought of or tolerated by any people in the
world, except the unprincipled and tyrannical Yankees.  The following
are a few of the leading features of the above law; which requires,
under heavy penalties, that the inhabitants of the FREE States should
not only refuse food and shelter to a starving, hunted human being, but
also should assist, if called upon by the authorities, to seize the
unhappy fugitive and send him back to slavery.

In no case is a person's evidence admitted in Court, in defence of his
liberty, when arrested under this law.

If the judge decides that the prisoner is a slave, he gets ten dollars;
but if he sets him at liberty, he only receives five.

After the prisoner has been sentenced to slavery, he is handed over to
the United States Marshal, who has the power, at the expense of the
General Government, to summon a sufficient force to take the poor
creature back to slavery, and to the lash, from which he fled.

Our old masters sent agents to Boston after us.  They took out
warrants, and placed them in the hands of the United States Marshal to
execute.  But the following letter from our highly esteemed and
faithful friend, the Rev. Samuel May, of Boston, to our equally dear
and much lamented friend, Dr. Estlin of Bristol, will show why we were
not taken into custody.

"21, Cornhill, Boston, "November 6th, 1850.

"My dear Mr Estlin,

"I trust that in God's good providence this letter will be handed to
you in safety by our good friends, William and Ellen Craft.  They have
lived amongst us about two years, and have proved themselves worthy, in
all respects, of our confidence and regard.  The laws of this
republican and Christian land (tell it not in Moscow, nor in
Constantinople) regard them only as slaves--chattels--personal
property.  But they nobly vindicated their title and right to freedom,
two years since, by winning their way to it; at least, so they thought.
But now, the slave power, with the aid of Daniel Webster and a band of
lesser traitors, has enacted a law, which puts their dearly-bought
liberties in the most imminent peril; holds out a strong temptation to
every mercenary and unprincipled ruffian to become their kidnapper; and
has stimulated the slaveholders generally to such desperate acts for
the recovery of their fugitive property, as have never before been
enacted in the history of this government.

"Within a fortnight, two fellows from Macon, Georgia, have been in
Boston for the purpose of arresting our friends William and Ellen.  A
writ was served against them from the United States District Court; but
it was not served by the United States Marshal; why not, is not
certainly known: perhaps through fear, for a general feeling of
indignation, and a cool determination not to allow this young couple to
be taken from Boston into slavery, was aroused, and pervaded the city.
It is understood that one of the judges told the Marshal that he would
not be authorised in breaking the door of Craft's house.  Craft kept
himself close within the house, armed himself, and awaited with
remarkable composure the event.  Ellen, in the meantime, had been taken
to a retired place out of the city.  The Vigilance Committee (appointed
at a late meeting in Fanueil Hall) enlarged their numbers, held an
almost permanent session, and appointed various subcommittees to act in
different ways.  One of these committees called repeatedly on Messrs.
Hughes and Knight, the slave-catchers, and requested and advised them
to leave the city.  At first they peremptorily refused to do so, ''till
they got hold of the niggers.'  On complaint of different persons,
these two fellows were several times arrested, carried before one of
our county courts, and held to bail on charges of 'conspiracy to
kidnap,' and of 'defamation,' in calling William and Ellen 'SLAVES.' At
length, they became so alarmed, that they left the city by an indirect
route, evading the vigilance of many persons who were on the look-out
for them.  Hughes, at one time, was near losing his life at the hands
of an infuriated coloured man.  While these men remained in the city, a
prominent whig gentleman sent word to William Craft, that if he would
submit peaceably to an arrest, he and his wife should be bought from
their owners, cost what it might.  Craft replied, in effect, that he
was in a measure the representative of all the other fugitives in
Boston, some 200 or 300 in number; that, if he gave up, they would all
be at the mercy of the slave-catchers, and must fly from the city at
any sacrifice; and that, if his freedom could be bought for two cents,
he would not consent to compromise the matter in such a way.  This
event has stirred up the slave spirit of the country, south and north;
the United States government is determined to try its hand in enforcing
the Fugitive Slave law; and William and Ellen Craft would be prominent
objects of the slaveholders' vengeance.  Under these circumstances, it
is the almost unanimous opinion of their best friends, that they should
quit America as speedily as possible, and seek an asylum in England!
Oh! shame, shame upon us, that Americans, whose fathers fought against
Great Britain, in order to be FREE, should have to acknowledge this
disgraceful fact!  God gave us a fair and goodly heritage in this land,
but man has cursed it with his devices and crimes against human souls
and human rights.  Is America the 'land of the free, and the home of
the brave?'  God knows it is not; and we know it too.  A brave young
man and a virtuous young woman must fly the American shores, and seek,
under the shadow of the British throne, the enjoyment of 'life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'

"But I must pursue my plain, sad story.  All day long, I have been busy
planning a safe way for William and Ellen to leave Boston.  We dare not
allow them to go on board a vessel, even in the port of Boston; for the
writ is yet in the Marshal's hands, and he MAY be waiting an
opportunity to serve it; so I am expecting to accompany them to-morrow
to Portland, Maine, which is beyond the reach of the Marshal's
authority; and there I hope to see them on board a British steamer.

"This letter is written to introduce them to you.  I know your infirm
health; but I am sure, if you were stretched on your bed in your last
illness, and could lift your hand at all, you would extend it to
welcome these poor hunted fellow-creatures.  Henceforth, England is
their nation and their home.  It is with real regret for our personal
loss in their departure, as well as burning shame for the land that is
not worthy of them, that we send them away, or rather allow them to go.
But, with all the resolute courage they have shown in a most trying
hour, they themselves see it is the part of a foolhardy rashness to
attempt to stay here longer.

"I must close; and with many renewed thanks for all your kind words and
deeds towards us,

"I am, very respectfully yours,


Our old masters, having heard how their agents were treated at Boston,
wrote to Mr. Filmore, who was then President of the States, to know
what he could do to have us sent back to slavery.  Mr. Filmore said
that we should be returned.  He gave instructions for military force to
be sent to Boston to assist the officers in making the arrest.
Therefore we, as well as our friends (among whom was George Thompson,
Esq., late M.P. for the Tower Hamlets--the slave's long-tried,
self-sacrificing friend, and eloquent advocate) thought it best, at any
sacrifice, to leave the mock-free Republic, and come to a country where
we and our dear little ones can be truly free.--"No one daring to
molest or make us afraid."  But, as the officers were watching every
vessel that left the port to prevent us from escaping, we had to take
the expensive and tedious overland route to Halifax.

We shall always cherish the deepest feelings of gratitude to the
Vigilance Committee of Boston (upon which were many of the leading
abolitionists), and also to our numerous friends, for the very kind and
noble manner in which they assisted us to preserve our liberties and to
escape from Boston, as it were like Lot from Sodom, to a place of
refuge, and finally to this truly free and glorious country; where no
tyrant, let his power be ever so absolute over his poor trembling
victims at home, dare come and lay violent hands upon us or upon our
dear little boys (who had the good fortune to be born upon British
soil), and reduce us to the legal level of the beast that perisheth.
Oh! may God bless the thousands of unflinching, disinterested
abolitionists of America, who are labouring through evil as well as
through good report, to cleanse their country's escutcheon from the
foul and destructive blot of slavery, and to restore to every bondman
his God-given rights; and may God ever smile upon England and upon
England's good, much-beloved, and deservedly-honoured Queen, for the
generous protection that is given to unfortunate refugees of every
rank, and of every colour and clime.

On the passing of the Fugitive Slave Bill, the following learned
doctors, as well as a host of lesser traitors, came out strongly in its

The Rev. Dr. Gardiner Spring, an eminent Presbyterian Clergyman of New
York, well known in this country by his religious publications,
declared from the pulpit that, "if by one prayer he could liberate
every slave in the world he would not dare to offer it."

The Rev. Dr. Joel Parker, of Philadelphia, in the course of a
discussion on the nature of Slavery, says, "What, then, are the evils
inseparable from slavery?  There is not one that is not equally
inseparable from depraved human nature in other lawful relations."

The Rev. Moses Stuart, D.D., (late Professor in the Theological College
of Andover), in his vindication of this Bill, reminds his readers that
"many Southern slaveholders are true CHRISTIANS."  That "sending back a
fugitive to them is not like restoring one to an idolatrous people."
That "though we may PITY the fugitive, yet the Mosaic Law does not
authorize the rejection of the claims of the slaveholders to their
stolen or strayed PROPERTY."

The Rev. Dr. Spencer, of Brooklyn, New York, has come forward in
support of the "Fugitive Slave Bill," by publishing a sermon entitled
the "Religious Duty of Obedience to the Laws," which has elicited the
highest encomiums from Dr. Samuel H. Cox, the Presbyterian minister of
Brooklyn (notorious both in this country and America for his sympathy
with the slaveholder).

The Rev. W. M. Rogers, an orthodox minister of Boston, delivered a
sermon in which he says, "When the slave asks me to stand between him
and his master, what does he ask?  He asks me to murder a nation's
life; and I will not do it, because I have a conscience,--because there
is a God."  He proceeds to affirm that if resistance to the carrying
out of the "Fugitive Slave Law" should lead the magistracy to call the
citizens to arms, their duty was to obey and "if ordered to take human
life, in the name of God to take it;" and he concludes by admonishing
the fugitives to "hearken to the Word of God, and to count their own
masters worthy of all honour."

The Rev. William Crowell, of Waterfield, State of Maine, printed a
Thanksgiving Sermon of the same kind, in which he calls upon his
hearers not to allow "excessive sympathies for a few hundred fugitives
to blind them so that they may risk increased suffering to the millions
already in chains."

The Rev. Dr. Taylor, an Episcopal Clergyman of New Haven, Connecticut,
made a speech at a Union Meeting, in which he deprecates the agitation
on the law, and urges obedience to it; asking,--"Is that article in the
Constitution contrary to the law of Nature, of nations, or to the will
of God?  Is it so?  Is there a shadow of reason for saying it?  I have
not been able to discover it.  Have I not shown you it is lawful to
deliver up, in compliance with the laws, fugitive slaves, for the high,
the great, the momentous interests of those [Southern] States?"

The Right Rev. Bishop Hopkins, of Vermont, in a Lecture at Lockport,
says, "It was warranted by the Old Testament;" and inquires, "What
effect had the Gospel in doing away with slavery?  None whatever."
Therefore he argues, as it is expressly permitted by the Bible, it does
not in itself involve any sin; but that every Christian is authorised
by the Divine Law to own slaves, provided they were not treated with
unnecessary cruelty.

The Rev. Orville Dewey, D.D., of the Unitarian connexion, maintained in
his lectures that the safety of the Union is not to be hazarded for the
sake of the African race.  He declares that, for his part, he would
send his own brother or child into slavery, if needed to preserve the
Union between the free and the slaveholding States; and, counselling
the slave to similar magnanimity, thus exhorts him:--"YOUR RIGHT TO BE
If my espousal of your claim is likely to involve your race and mine
together in disasters infinitely greater than your personal servitude,
then you ought not to be free.  In such a case personal rights ought to
be sacrificed to the general good.  You yourself ought to see this, and
be willing to suffer for a while--one for many."

If the Doctor is prepared, he is quite at liberty to sacrifice his
"personal rights to the general good."  But, as I have suffered a long
time in slavery, it is hardly fair for the Doctor to advise me to go
back.  According to his showing, he ought rather to take my place.
That would be practically carrying out his logic, as respects
"suffering awhile--one for many."

In fact, so eager were they to prostrate themselves before the great
idol of slavery, and, like Balaam, to curse instead of blessing the
people whom God had brought out of bondage, that they in bring up
obsolete passages from the Old Testament to justify their downward
course, overlooked, or would not see, the following verses, which show
very clearly, according to the Doctor's own textbook, that the slaves
have a right to run away, and that it is unscriptural for any one to
send them back.

In the 23rd chapter of Deuteronomy, 15th and 16th verses, it is thus
written:--"Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is
escaped from his master unto thee.  He shall dwell with thee, even
among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates,
where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him."

"Hide the outcast.  Bewray not him that wandereth.  Let mine outcasts
dwell with thee.  Be thou a covert to them from the face of the
spoiler."--(Isa. xvi. 3, 4.)

The great majority of the American ministers are not content with
uttering sentences similar to the above, or remaining wholly
indifferent to the cries of the poor bondman; but they do all they can
to blast the reputation, and to muzzle the mouths, of the few good men
who dare to beseech the God of mercy "to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free." These
reverend gentlemen pour a terrible cannonade upon "Jonah," for refusing
to carry God's message against Nineveh, and tell us about the whale in
which he was entombed; while they utterly overlook the existence of the
whales which trouble their republican waters, and know not that they
themselves are the "Jonahs" who threaten to sink their ship of state,
by steering in an unrighteous direction.  We are told that the whale
vomited up the runaway prophet.  This would not have seemed so strange,
had it been one of the above lukewarm Doctors of Divinity whom he had
swallowed; for even a whale might find such a morsel difficult of

  "I venerate the man whose heart is warm,
  Whose hands are pure; whose doctrines and whose life
  Coincident, exhibit lucid proof
  That he is honest in the sacred cause."

  "But grace abused brings forth the foulest deeds,
  As richest soil the most luxuriant weeds."

I must now leave the reverend gentlemen in the hands of Him who knows
best how to deal with a recreant ministry.

I do not wish it to be understood that all the ministers of the States
are of the Balaam stamp.  There are those who are as uncompromising
with slaveholders as Moses was with Pharaoh, and, like Daniel, will
never bow down before the great false God that has been set up.

On arriving at Portland, we found that the steamer we intended to take
had run into a schooner the previous night, and was lying up for
repairs; so we had to wait there, in fearful suspense, for two or three
days.  During this time, we had the honour of being the guest of the
late and much lamented Daniel Oliver, Esq., one of the best and most
hospitable men in the State.  By simply fulfilling the Scripture
injunction, to take in the stranger, &c., he ran the risk of incurring
a penalty of 2,000 dollars, and twelve months' imprisonment.

But neither the Fugitive Slave Law, nor any other Satanic enactment,
can ever drive the spirit of liberty and humanity out of such noble and
generous-hearted men.

May God ever bless his dear widow, and eventually unite them in His
courts above!

We finally got off to St. John's, New Brunswick, where we had to wait
two days for the steamer that conveyed us to Windsor, Nova Scotia.

On going into a hotel at St. John's, we met the butler in the hall, to
whom I said, "We wish to stop here to-night."  He turned round,
scratching his head, evidently much put about.  But thinking that my
wife was white, he replied, "We have plenty of room for the lady, but I
don't know about yourself; we never take in coloured folks."  "Oh,
don't trouble about me," I said; "if you have room for the lady, that
will do; so please have the luggage taken to a bed-room."  Which was
immediately done, and my wife went upstairs into the apartment.

After taking a little walk in the town, I returned, and asked to see
the "lady."  On being conducted to the little sitting-room, where she
then was, I entered without knocking, much to the surprise of the whole
house.  The "lady" then rang the bell, and ordered dinner for two.
"Dinner for two, mum!" exclaimed the waiter, as he backed out of the
door.  "Yes, for two," said my wife.  In a little while the stout,
red-nosed butler, whom we first met, knocked at the door.  I called
out, "Come in."  On entering, he rolled his whisky eyes at me, and then
at my wife, and said, in a very solemn tone, "Did you order dinner for
two, mum?" "Yes, for two," my wife again replied.  This confused the
chubby butler more than ever; and, as the landlord was not in the
house, he seemed at a loss what to do.

When dinner was ready, the maid came in and said, "Please, mum, the
Missis wishes to know whether you will have dinner up now, or wait till
your friend arrives?"  "I will have it up at once, if you please."
"Thank you, mum," continued the maid, and out she glided.

After a good deal of giggling in the passage, some one said, "You are
in for it, butler, after all; so you had better make the best of a bad
job."  But before dinner was sent up, the landlord returned, and having
heard from the steward of the steamer by which we came that we were
bound for England, the proprietor's native country, he treated us in
the most respectful manner.

At the above house, the boots (whose name I forget) was a fugitive
slave, a very intelligent and active man, about forty-five years of
age.  Soon after his marriage, while in slavery, his bride was sold
away from him, and he could never learn where the poor creature dwelt.
So after remaining single for many years, both before and after his
escape, and never expecting to see again, nor even to hear from, his
long-lost partner, he finally married a woman at St. John's.  But, poor
fellow, as he was passing down the street one day, he met a woman; at
the first glance they nearly recognized each other; they both turned
round and stared, and unconsciously advanced, till she screamed and
flew into his arms.  Her first words were, "Dear, are you married?"  On
his answering in the affirmative, she shrank from his embrace, hung her
head, and wept.  A person who witnessed this meeting told me it was
most affecting.

This couple knew nothing of each other's escape or whereabouts.  The
woman had escaped a few years before to the free States, by secreting
herself in the hold of a vessel; but as they tried to get her back to
bondage, she fled to New Brunswick for that protection which her native
country was too mean to afford.

The man at once took his old wife to see his new one, who was also a
fugitive slave, and as they all knew the workings of the infamous
system of slavery, the could (as no one else can,) sympathise with each
other's misfortune.

According to the rules of slavery, the man and his first wife were
already divorced, but not morally; and therefore it was arranged
between the three that he should live only with the lastly married
wife, and allow the other one so much a week, as long as she requested
his assistance.

After staying at St. John's two days, the steamer arrived, which took
us to Windsor, where we found a coach bound for Halifax.  Prejudice
against colour forced me on the top in the rain.  On arriving within
about seven miles of the town, the coach broke down and was upset.  I
fell upon the big crotchety driver, whose head stuck in the mud; and as
he "always objected to niggers riding inside with white folks," I was
not particularly sorry to see him deeper in the mire than myself.  All
of us were scratched and bruised more or less.  After the passengers
had crawled out as best they could, we all set off, and paddled through
the deep mud and cold and rain, to Halifax.

On leaving Boston, it was our intention to reach Halifax at least two
or three days before the steamer from Boston touched there, en route
for Liverpool; but, having been detained so long at Portland and St.
John's, we had the misfortune to arrive at Halifax at dark, just two
hours after the steamer had gone; consequently we had to wait there a
fortnight, for the Cambria.

The coach was patched up, and reached Halifax with the luggage, soon
after the passengers arrived.  The only respectable hotel that was then
in the town had suspended business, and was closed; so we went to the
inn, opposite the market, where the coach stopped: a most miserable,
dirty hole it was.

Knowing that we were still under the influence of the low Yankee
prejudice, I sent my wife in with the other passengers, to engage a bed
for herself and husband.  I stopped outside in the rain till the coach
came up.  If I had gone in and asked for a bed they would have been
quite full.  But as they thought my wife was white, she had no
difficulty in securing apartments, into which the luggage was
afterwards carried.  The landlady, observing that I took an interest in
the baggage, became somewhat uneasy, and went into my wife's room, and
said to her, "Do you know the dark man downstairs?" "Yes, he is my
husband."  "Oh!  I mean the black man--the NIGGER?"  "I quite
understand you; he is my husband."  "My God!" exclaimed the woman as
she flounced out and banged to the door.  On going upstairs, I heard
what had taken place: but, as we were there, and did not mean to leave
that night, we did not disturb ourselves.  On our ordering tea, the
landlady sent word back to say that we must take it in the kitchen, or
in our bed-room, as she had no other room for "niggers." We replied
that we were not particular, and that they could sent it up to our
room,--which they did.

After the pro-slavery persons who were staying there heard that we were
in, the whole house became agitated, and all sorts of oaths and fearful
threats were heaped upon the "d----d niggers, for coming among white
folks."  Some of them said they would not stop there a minute if there
was another house to go to.

The mistress came up the next morning to know how long we wished to
stop.  We said a fortnight.  "Oh! dear me, it is impossible for us to
accommodate you, and I think you had better go: you must understand, I
have no prejudice myself; I think a good deal of the coloured people,
and have always been their friend; but if you stop here we shall lose
all our customers, which we can't do nohow."  We said we were glad to
hear that she had "no prejudice," and was such a staunch friend to the
coloured people.  We also informed her that we would be sorry for her
"customers" to leave on our account; and as it was not our intention to
interfere with anyone, it was foolish for them to be frightened away.
However, if she would get us a comfortable place, we would be glad to
leave.  The landlady said she would go out and try.  After spending the
whole morning in canvassing the town, she came to our room and said, "I
have been from one end of the place to the other, but everybody is
full."  Having a little foretaste of the vulgar prejudice of the town,
we did not wonder at this result.  However, the landlady gave me the
address of some respectable coloured families, whom she thought, "under
the circumstances," might be induced to take us.  And, as we were not
at all comfortable--being compelled to sit, eat and sleep, in the same
small room--we were quite willing to change our quarters.

I called upon the Rev. Mr. Cannady, a truly good-hearted Christian man,
who received us at a word; and both he and his kind lady treated us
handsomely, and for a nominal charge.

My wife and myself were both unwell when we left Boston, and, having
taken fresh cold on the journey to Halifax, we were laid up there under
the doctor's care, nearly the whole fortnight.  I had much worry about
getting tickets, for they baffled us shamefully at the Cunard office.
They at first said that they did not book till the steamer came; which
was not the fact.  When I called again, they said they knew the steamer
would come full from Boston, and therefore we had "better try to get to
Liverpool by other means." Other mean Yankee excuses were made; and it
was not till an influential gentleman, to whom Mr. Francis Jackson, of
Boston, kindly gave us a letter, went and rebuked them, that we were
able to secure our tickets.  So when we went on board my wife was very
poorly, and was also so ill on the voyage that I did not believe she
could live to see Liverpool.

However, I am thankful to say she arrived; and, after laying up at
Liverpool very ill for two or three weeks, gradually recovered.

It was not until we stepped upon the shore at Liverpool that we were
free from every slavish fear.

We raised our thankful hearts to Heaven, and could have knelt down,
like the Neapolitan exiles, and kissed the soil; for we felt that from

  "Heaven sure had kept this spot of earth uncurs'd,
  To show how all things were created first."

In a few days after we landed, the Rev. Francis Bishop and his lady
came and invited us to be their guests; to whose unlimited kindness and
watchful care my wife owes, in a great degree, her restoration to

We enclosed our letter from the Rev. Mr. May to Mr. Estlin, who at once
wrote to invite us to his house at Bristol.  On arriving there, both
Mr. and Miss Estlin received us as cordially as did our first good
Quaker friends in Pennsylvania.  It grieves me much to have to mention
that he is no more.  Everyone who knew him can truthfully say--

  "Peace to the memory of a man of worth,
  A man of letters, and of manners too!
  Of manners sweet as Virtue always wears
  When gay Good-nature dresses her in smiles."

It was principally through the extreme kindness of Mr. Estlin, the
Right Hon. Lady Noel Byron, Miss Harriet Martineau, Mrs. Reid, Miss
Sturch, and a few other good friends, that my wife and myself were able
to spend a short time at a school in this country, to acquire a little
of that education which we were so shamefully deprived of while in the
house of bondage.  The school is under the supervision of the Misses
Lushington, D.C.L.  During our stay at the school we received the
greatest attention from every one; and I am particularly indebted to
Thomas Wilson, Esq., of Bradmore House, Chiswick, (who was then the
master,) for the deep interest he took in trying to get me on in my
studies.  We shall ever fondly and gratefully cherish the memory of our
endeared and departed friend, Mr. Estlin.  We, as well as the
Anti-Slavery cause, lost a good friend in him.  However, if departed
spirits in Heaven are conscious of the wickedness of this world, and
are allowed to speak, he will never fail to plead in the presence of
the angelic host, and before the great and just Judge, for down-trodden
and outraged humanity.

  "Therefore I cannot think thee wholly gone;
    The better part of thee is with us still;
  Thy soul its hampering clay aside hath thrown,
   And only freer wrestles with the ill.

  "Thou livest in the life of all good things;
    What words thou spak'st for Freedom shall not die;
  Thou sleepest not, for now thy Love hath wings
   To soar where hence thy hope could hardly fly.

  "And often, from that other world, on this
   Some gleams from great souls gone before may shine,
  To shed on struggling hearts a clearer bliss,
   And clothe the Right with lustre more divine.

  "Farewell! good man, good angel now! this hand
    Soon, like thine own, shall lose its cunning, too;
  Soon shall this soul, like thine, bewildered stand,
   Then leap to thread the free unfathomed blue."


In the preceding pages I have not dwelt upon the great barbarities
which are practised upon the slaves; because I wish to present the
system in its mildest form, and to show that the "tender mercies of the
wicked are cruel."  But I do now, however, most solemnly declare, that
a very large majority of the American slaves are over-worked,
under-fed, and frequently unmercifully flogged.

I have often seen slaves tortured in every conceivable manner.  I have
seen him hunted down and torn by bloodhounds.  I have seen them
shamefully beaten, and branded with hot irons.  I have seen them
hunted, and even burned alive at the stake, frequently for offences
that would be applauded if committed by white persons for similar

In short, it is well known in England, if not all over the world, that
the Americans, as a people, are notoriously mean and cruel towards all
coloured persons, whether they are bond or free.

      "Oh, tyrant, thou who sleepest
  On a volcano, from whose pent-up wrath,
  Already some red flashes bursting up,

Note:  I have omitted the running heads [RUNNING A THOUSAND MILES and
FOR FREEDOM], the cedilla on "Macon" [pages 15, 55, 74, and 89], the
acute accent on "Salome" [pages 3, 4, 5, and 6], and the circumflex
accent on "prima" [page 36], and the signatures [B through H2, pages 1,
3, 17, 33, 35, 49, 51, 65, 67, 81, 83, 97, and 99].  In addition I have
made the following changes to the text:

   14    21  "mode ate         moderate
   22    18  Hoskins,          Hoskens,
   22    22  I                 "I
   22    27  me                me,
   29    15  sucess-           success-
   39     6  villanous         villainous
   40    27  "Come             "Come,
   71    13  master,"          master,
   77    12  want?*            want?"*
   80     8  to me.            to me,
   84    18  come              come,
   85    17  sculls.           skulls.
   98     5  Baalam,           Balaam,
  100     5  Baalam            Balaam
  101    18  house."           house.
  102     5  "Please           "Please,
  103    27  long she          long as she

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