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Title: The Story of Mattie J. Jackson - Her Parentage—Experience of Eighteen years in - Slavery—Incidents during the War—Her Escape from Slavery
Author: Thompson, L. S.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                              THE STORY

                                 OF

                          MATTIE J. JACKSON;

  HER PARENTAGE--EXPERIENCE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS IN SLAVERY--INCIDENTS
               DURING THE WAR--HER ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY.


                            A TRUE STORY.



                       WRITTEN AND ARRANGED BY

                         DR. L. S. THOMPSON,

                      (FORMERLY MRS. SCHUYLER,)

                         AS GIVEN BY MATTIE.



                              LAWRENCE:
            PRINTED AT SENTINEL OFFICE, 123 ESSEX STREET.
                                1866.



PREFACE


The object in publishing this book is to gain sympathy from the
earnest friends of those who have been bound down by a dominant race
in circumstances over which they had no control--a butt of ridicule
and a mark of oppression; over whom weary ages of degradation have
passed. As the links have been broken and the shackles fallen from
them through the unwearied efforts of our beloved martyr President
Lincoln, as one I feel it a duty to improve the mind, and have ever
had a thirst for education to fill that vacuum for which the soul has
ever yearned since my earliest remembrance.

Thus I ask you to buy my little book to aid me in obtaining an
education, that I may be enabled to do some good in behalf of the
elevation of my emancipated brothers and sisters. I have now arrived
at the age of twenty. As the first dawn of morning has passed, and the
meridian of life is approaching, I know of no other way to speedily
gain my object than through the aid and patronage of the friends of
humanity.

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE: Miss Jackson sustains a high moral character--has been much
respected since she has been in Lawrence. She is from St. Louis,
Missouri, and arrived here on the 11th of April, 1866. To gain the
wish of the heart is utterly impossible without more means than she
can obtain otherwise. Her friends have borne her expenses to Lawrence,
and have and are still willing to render her aid as far their limited
means will allow. She was in the same condition of all the neglected
and oppressed. Her personal requirements are amply supplied. She now
only craves the means to clothe and qualify the intellect. My humble
prayer is that she may meet with unlimited success.

This young lady is highly worthy of all the aid our kind friends feel
a duty to bestow upon her. She purposes lecturing and relating her
story; and I trust she may render due satisfaction and bear some
humble part in removing doubts indulged by the prejudices against the
natural genius and talent of our race. May God give her grace and
speed her on her way.

Respectfully yours,
L. S. T.



MATTIE'S STORY


My ancestors were transported from Africa to America at the time the
slave trade flourished in the Eastern States. I cannot give dates, as
my progenitors, being slaves, had no means of keeping them. By all
accounts my great grandfather was captured and brought from Africa.
His original name I never learned. His master's name was Jackson, and
he resided in the State of New York. My grandfather was born in the
same State, and also remained a slave for some length of time, when he
was emancipated, his master presenting him with quite an amount of
property. He was true, honest and responsible, and this present was
given him as a reward. He was much encouraged by the cheering prospect
of better days. A better condition of things now presented itself. As
he possessed a large share of confidence, he came to the conclusion,
as he was free, that he was capable of selecting his own residence and
manage his own affairs with prudence and economy. But, alas, his hopes
were soon blighted. More heart rending sorrow and degradation awaited
him. He was earnestly invited by a white decoyer to relinquish his
former design and accompany him to Missouri and join him in
speculation and become wealthy. As partners, they embarked on board a
schooner for St. Charles, Mo. On the passage, my grandfather was
seized with a fever, and for a while was totally unconscious. When he
regained his reason he found himself, near his journey's end, divested
of his free papers and all others. On his arrival at St. Charles he
was seized by a huge, surly looking slaveholder who claimed him as
his property. The contract had previously been concluded by his
Judas-like friend, who had received the bounty. Oh, what a sad
disappointment. After serving for thirty years to be thrust again into
bondage where a deeper degradation and sorrow and hopeless toil were
to be his portion for the remaining years of his existence. In deep
despair and overwhelmed with grief, he made his escape to the woods,
determined to put an end to his sorrows by perishing with cold and
hunger. His master immediately pursued him, and in twenty-four hours
found him with hands and feet frost-bitten, in consequence of which he
lost the use of his fingers and toes, and was thenceforth of little
use to his new master. He remained with him, however, and married a
woman in the same station in life. They lived as happily as their
circumstances would permit. As Providence allotted, they only had one
son, which was my father, Westly Jackson. He had a deep affection for
his family, which the slave ever cherishes for his dear ones. He had
no other link to fasten him to the human family but his fervent love
for those who were bound to him by love and sympathy in their wrongs
and sufferings. My grandfather remained in the same family until his
death. My father, Westly Jackson, married, at the age of twenty-two, a
girl owned by James Harris, named Ellen Turner. Nothing of importance
occurred until three years after their marriage, when her master,
Harris failed through the extravagance and mismanagement of his wife,
who was a great spendthrift and a dreaded terror to the poor slaves
and all others with whom she associated in common circumstances,
consequently the entire stock was sold by the sheriff to a trader
residing in Virginia. On account of the good reputation my mother
sustained as a worthy servant and excellent cook, a tyrannical and
much dreaded slaveholder watched for an opportunity to purchase her,
but fortunately arrived a few moments too late, and she was bid off in
too poor a condition of health to remain long a subject of banter and
speculation. Her husband was allowed to carefully lift her down from
the block and accompany her to her new master's, Charles Canory, who
treated her very kindly while she remained in his family. Mr. Canory
resided in St. Charles County for five years after he purchased my
mother. During that time my father and mother were in the same
neighborhood, but a short distance from each other. But another trial
awaited them. Her master removed twenty miles away to a village called
Bremen, near St. Louis, Mo. My father, thereafter, visited my mother
once a week, walking the distance every Saturday evening and returning
on Sunday evening. But through all her trials and deprivations her
trust and confidence was in Him who rescued his faithful followers
from the fiery furnace and the lion's den, and led Moses through the
Red Sea. Her trust and confidence was in Jesus. She relied on His
precious promises, and ever found Him a present help in every time of
need. Two years after this separation my father was sold and separated
from us, but previous to his delivery to his new master he made his
escape to a free State. My mother was then left with two children. She
had three during the time they were permitted to remain together, and
buried one. Their names were Sarah Ann, Mattie Jane and Esther J. When
my father left I was about three years of age, yet I can well remember
the little kindnesses my father used to bestow upon us, and the deep
affection and fondness he manifested for us. I shall never forget the
bitter anguish of my parents' hearts, the sighs they uttered or the
profusion of tears which coursed down their sable cheeks. O, what a
horrid scene, but he was not her's, for cruel hands had separated
them.

    The strongest tie of earthly joy that bound the aching heart--
    His love was e'er a joyous light that o'er the pathway shone--
    A fountain gushing ever new amid life's desert wild--
    His slightest word was a sweet tone of music round her heart--
    Their lives a streamlet blent in one. O, Father, must they part?
    They tore him from her circling arms, her last and fond embrace--
    O never again can her sad eyes gaze upon his mournful face.
    It is not strange these bitter sighs are constant bursting forth.
    Amid mirth and glee and revelry she never took a part,
    She was a mother left alone with sorrow in her heart.

But my mother was conscious some time previous of the change that was
to take place with my father, and if he was sold in the immediate
vicinity he would be likely to be sold again at their will, and she
concluded to assist him to make his escape from bondage. Though the
parting was painful, it afforded her solace in the contemplation of
her husband becoming a free man, and cherishing a hope that her little
family, through the aid of some angel of mercy, might be enabled to
make their escape also, and meet to part no more on earth. My father
came to spend the night with us, according to his usual custom. It was
the last time, and sadness brooded upon his brow. It was the only
opportunity he had to make his escape without suspicion and detection,
as he was immediately to fall into the hands of a new master. He had
never been sold from the place of his birth before, and was determined
never to be sold again if God would verify his promise. My father was
not educated, but was a preacher, and administered the Word of God
according to the dictation and revelation of the spirit. His former
master had allowed him the privilege of holding meetings in the
village within the limits of his pass on the Sundays when he visited
my mother. But on this Saturday evening he arrived and gave us all his
farewell kiss, and hurried away. My mother's people were aware of my
father's intention, but rather than spare my mother, and for fear she
might be detected, they secreted his escape. His master called a
number of times and enquired for him and strongly pressed my mother to
give him an account of my father, but she never gave it. We waited
patiently, hoping to learn if he succeeded in gaining his freedom.
Many anxious weeks and months passed before we could get any tidings
from him, until at length my mother heard that he was in Chicago, a
free man and preaching the Gospel. He made every effort to get his
family, but all in vain. The spirit of slavery so strongly existed
that letters could not reach her; they were all destroyed. My parents
had never learned the rescuing scheme of the underground railroad
which had borne so many thousands to the standard of freedom and
victories. They knew no other resource than to depend upon their own
chance in running away and secreting themselves. If caught they were
in a worse condition than before.



THEIR ATTEMPT TO MAKE THEIR ESCAPE


Two years after my father's departure, my mother, with her two
children, my sister and myself, attempted to make her escape. After
traveling two days we reached Illinois. We slept in the woods at
night. I believe my mother had food to supply us but fasted herself.
But the advertisement had reached there before us, and loafers were
already in search of us, and as soon as we were discovered on the
brink of the river one of the spies made enquiries respecting her
suspicious appearance. She was aware that she was arrested,
consequently she gave a true account of herself--that she was in
search of her husband. We were then destitute of any articles of
clothing excepting our wearing apparel. Mother had become so weary
that she was compelled to leave our package of clothing on the way. We
were taken back to St. Louis and committed to prison and remained
there one week, after which they put us in Linch's trader's yard,
where we remained about four weeks. We were then sold to William
Lewis. Mr. Lewis was a very severe master, and inflicted such
punishment upon us as he thought proper. However, I only remember one
severe contest Mr. Lewis had with my mother. For some slight offence
Mrs. Lewis became offended and was tartly and loudly reprimanding her,
when Mr. L. came in and rashly felled her to the floor with his fist.
But his wife was constantly pulling our ears, snapping us with her
thimble, rapping us on the head and sides of it. It appeared
impossible to please her. When we first went to Mr. L.'s they had a
cowhide which she used to inflict on a little slave girl she
previously owned, nearly every night. This was done to learn the
little girl to wake early to wait on her children. But my mother was a
cook, as I before stated, and was in the habit of roasting meats and
toasting bread. As they stinted us for food my mother roasted the
cowhide. It was rather poor picking, but it was the last cowhide my
mother ever had an opportunity to cook while we remained in his
family. Mr. L. soon moved about six miles from the city, and entered
in partnership with his brother-in-law. The servants were then divided
and distributed in both families. It unfortunately fell to my lot to
live with Mrs. Larry, my mistress' sister, which rendered my condition
worse than the first. My master even disapproved of my ill treatment
and took me to another place; the place my mother resided before my
father's escape. After a short time Mr. Lewis again returned to the
city. My mother still remained as cook in his family. After six years'
absence of my father my mother married again a man by the name of
George Brown, and lived with her second husband about four years, and
had two children, when he was sold for requesting a different kind and
enough food. His master considered it a great insult, and declared he
would sell him. But previous to this insult, as he called it, my
step-father was foreman in Mr. L.'s tobacco factory. He was trusty and
of good moral habits, and was calculated to bring the highest price in
the human market; therefore the excuse to sell him for the above
offence was only a plot. The morning this offence occurred, Mr. L. bid
my father to remain in the kitchen till he had taken his breakfast.
After pulling his ears and slapping his face bade him come to the
factory; but instead of going to the factory he went to Canada. Thus
my poor mother was again left alone with two more children added to
her misery and sorrow to toil on her weary pilgrimage.

    Racked with agony and pain she was left alone again,
    With a purpose nought could move
    And the zeal of woman's love,
    Down she knelt in agony
    To ask the Lord to clear the way.

    True she said O gracious Lord,
    True and faithful is thy word;
    But the humblest, poorest, may
    Eat the crumbs they cast away.

    Though nine long years had passed
    Without one glimmering light of day
    She never did forget to pray
    And has not yet though whips and chains are cast away.

    For thus said the blessed Lord,
    I will verify my word;
    By the faith that has not failed,
    Thou hast asked and shall prevail.

We remained but a short time at the same residence when Mr. Lewis
moved again to the country. Soon after, my little brother was taken
sick in consequence of being confined in a box in which my mother was
obliged to keep him. If permitted to creep around the floor her
mistress thought it would take too much time to attend to him. He was
two years old and never walked. His limbs were perfectly paralyzed for
want of exercise. We now saw him gradually failing, but was not
allowed to render him due attention. Even the morning he died she was
compelled to attend to her usual work. She watched over him for three
months by night and attended to her domestic affairs by day. The night
previous to his death we were aware he could not survive through the
approaching day, but it made no impression on my mistress until she
came into the kitchen and saw his life fast ebbing away, then she put
on a sad countenance for fear of being exposed, and told my mother to
take the child to her room, where he only lived one hour. When she
found he was dead she ordered grave clothes to be brought and gave my
mother time to bury him. O that morning, that solemn morning. It
appears to me that when that little spirit departed as though all
heaven rejoiced and angels veiled their faces.

    My mother too in concert joined,--
    Her mingled praise with them combined.
    Her little saint had gone to God
    Who saved him with his precious blood.

Who said "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not."



THE SOLDIERS, AND OUR TREATMENT DURING THE WAR


Soon after the war commenced the rebel soldiers encamped near Mr.
Lewis' residence, and remained there one week. They were then ordered
by General Lyons to surrender, but they refused. There were seven
thousand Union and seven hundred rebel soldiers. The Union soldiers
surrounded the camp and took them and exhibited them through the city
and then confined them in prison. I told my mistress that the Union
soldiers were coming to take the camp. She replied that it was false,
that it was General Kelly coming to re-enforce Gen. Frost. In a few
moments the alarm was heard. I told Mrs. L. the Unionists had fired
upon the rebels. She replied it was only the salute of Gen. Kelly. At
night her husband came home with the news that Camp Jackson was taken
and all the soldiers prisoners. Mrs. Lewis asked how the Union
soldiers could take seven hundred men when they only numbered the
same. Mr. L. replied they had seven thousand. She was much astonished,
and cast her eye around to us for fear we might hear her. Her
suspicion was correct; there was not a word passed that escaped our
listening ears. My mother and myself could read enough to make out the
news in the papers. The Union soldiers took much delight in tossing a
paper over the fence to us. It aggravated my mistress very much. My
mother used to sit up nights and read to keep posted about the war. In
a few days my mistress came down to the kitchen again with another
bitter complaint that it was a sad affair that the Unionists had taken
their delicate citizens who had enlisted and made prisoners of
them--that they were babes. My mother reminded her of taking Fort
Sumpter and Major Anderson and serving them the same and that turn
about was fair play. She then hastened to her room with the speed of a
deer, nearly unhinging every door in her flight, replying as she went
that the Niggers and Yankees were seeking to take the country. One
day, after she had visited the kitchen to superintend some domestic
affairs, as she pretended, she became very angry without a word being
passed, and said--"I think it has come to a pretty pass, that old
Lincoln, with his long legs, an old rail splitter, wishes to put the
Niggers on an equality with the whites; that her children should never
be on an equal footing with a Nigger. She had rather see them dead."
As my mother made no reply to her remarks, she stopped talking, and
commenced venting her spite on my companion servant. On one occasion
Mr. Lewis searched my mother's room and found a picture of President
Lincoln, cut from a newspaper, hanging in her room. He asked her what
she was doing with old Lincoln's picture. She replied it was there
because she liked it. He then knocked her down three times, and sent
her to the trader's yard for a month as punishment. My mistress
indulged some hopes till the victory of New Orleans, when she heard
the famous Union song sang to the tune of Yankee Doodle:

    The rebels swore that New Orleans never should be taken,
    But if the Yankees came so near they should not save their bacon.
    That's the way they blustered when they thought they were so handy,
    But Farragut steamed up one day and gave them Doodle Dandy.

    Ben Butler then was ordered down to regulate the city;
    He made the rebels walk a chalk, and was not that a pity?
    That's the way to serve them out--that's the way to treat them,
    They must not go and put on airs after we have beat them.

    He made the rebel banks shell out and pay the loyal people,
    He made them keep the city clean from pig's sty to church steeple.
    That's the way Columbia speaks, let all men believe her;
    That's the way Columbia speaks instead of yellow fever.

    He sent the saucy women up and made them treat us well
    He helped the poor and snubbed the rich; they thought he was the devil,
    Bully for Ben. Butler, then, they thought he was so handy;
    Bully for Ben Butler then,--Yankee Doodle Dandy.

The days of sadness for mistress were days of joy for us. We shouted
and laughed to the top of our voices. My mistress was more enraged
than ever--nothing pleased her. One evening, after I had attended to
my usual duties, and I supposed all was complete, she, in a terrible
range, declared I should be punished that night. I did not know the
cause, neither did she. She went immediately and selected a switch.
She placed it in the corner of the room to await the return of her
husband at night for him to whip me. As I was not pleased with the
idea of a whipping I bent the switch in the shape of W, which was the
first letter of his name, and after I had attended to the dining room
my fellow servant and myself walked away and stopped with an aunt of
mine during the night. In the morning we made our way to the Arsenal,
but could gain no admission. While we were wandering about seeking
protection, the girl's father overtook us and persuaded us to return
home. We finally complied. All was quiet. Not a word was spoken
respecting our sudden departure. All went on as usual. I was permitted
to attend to my work without interruption until three weeks after. One
morning I entered Mrs. Lewis' room, and she was in a room adjoining,
complaining of something I had neglected. Mr. L. then enquired if I
had done my work. I told him I had. She then flew into a rage and told
him I was saucy, and to strike me, and he immediately gave me a severe
blow with a stick of wood, which inflicted a deep wound upon my head.
The blood ran over my clothing, which gave me a frightful appearance.
Mr. Lewis then ordered me to change my clothing immediately. As I did
not obey he became more enraged, and pulled me into another room and
threw me on the floor, placed his knee on my stomach, slapped me on
the face and beat me with his fist, and would have punished me more
had not my mother interfered. He then told her to go away or he would
compel her to, but she remained until he left me. I struggled
mightily, and stood him a good test for a while, but he was fast
conquering me when my mother came. He was aware my mother could
usually defend herself against one man, and both of us would overpower
him, so after giving his wife strict orders to take me up stairs and
keep me there, he took his carriage and drove away. But she forgot it,
as usual. She was highly gratified with my appropriate treatment, as
she called it, and retired to her room, leaving me to myself. I then
went to my mother and told her I was going away. She bid me go, and
added "May the Lord help you." I started for the Arsenal again and
succeeded in gaining admittance and seeing the Adjutant. He ordered me
to go to another tent, where there was a woman in similar
circumstances, cooking. When the General found I was there he sent me
to the boarding house. I remained there three weeks, and when I went I
wore the same stained clothing as when I was so severely punished,
which has left a mark on my head which will ever remind me of my
treatment while in slavery. Thanks be to God, though tortured by wrong
and goaded by oppression, the hearts that would madden with misery
have broken the iron yoke.



MR. LEWIS CALLS AT THE BOARDING HOUSE


At the expiration of three weeks Mr. Lewis called at my boarding
house, accompanied by his brother-in-law, and enquired for me, and the
General informed him where I was. He then told me my mother was very
anxious for me to come home, and I returned. The General had ordered
Mr. Lewis to call at headquarters, when he told him if he had treated
me right I would not have been compelled to seek protection of him;
that my first appearance was sufficient proof of his cruelty. Mr. L.
promised to take me home and treat me kindly. Instead of fulfilling
his promise he carried me to the trader's yard, where, to my great
surprise, I found my mother. She had been there during my absence,
where she was kept for fear she would find me and take my brother and
sister and make her escape. There was so much excitement at that time,
(1861), by the Union soldiers rendering the fugitives shelter and
protection, he was aware that if she applied to them, as he did not
fulfill his promise in my case, he would stand a poor chance. If my
mother made application to them for protection they would learn that
he did not return me home, and immediately detect the intrigue. After
I was safely secured in the trader's yard, Mr. L. took my mother home.
I remained in the yard three months. Near the termination of the time
of my confinement I was passing by the office when the cook of the
Arsenal saw and recognized me and informed the General that Mr. L. had
disobeyed his orders, and had put me in the trader's yard instead of
taking me home. The General immediately arrested Mr. L. and gave him
one hundred lashes with the cowhide, so that they might identify him
by a scarred back, as well as his slaves. My mother had the pleasure
of washing his stained clothes, otherwise it would not have been
known. My master was compelled to pay three thousand dollars and let
me out. He then put me to service, where I remained seven months,
after which he came in great haste and took me into the city and put
me into the trader's yard again. After he received the punishment he
treated my mother and the children worse than ever, which caused her
to take her children and secrete themselves in the city, and would
have remained undetected had it not been for a traitor who pledged
himself to keep the secret. But King Whiskey fired up his brain one
evening, and out popped the secret. My mother and sister were
consequently taken and committed to the trader's yard. My little
brother was then eight years of age, my sister sixteen, and myself
eighteen. We remained there two weeks, when a rough looking man,
called Capt. Tirrell, came to the yard and enquired for our family.
After he had examined us he remarked that we were a fine looking
family, and bid us retire. In about two hours he returned, at the edge
of the evening, with a covered wagon, and took my mother and brother
and sister and left me. My mother refused to go without me, and told
him she would raise an alarm. He advised her to remain as quiet as
possible. At length she was compelled to go. When she entered the
wagon there was a man standing behind with his hands on each side of
the wagon to prevent her from making her escape. She sprang to her
feet and gave this man a desperate blow, and leaping to the ground she
made an alarm. The watchmen came to her assistance immediately, and
there was quite a number of Union policemen guarding the city at that
time, who rendered her due justice as far as possible. This was before
the emancipation proclamation was issued. After she leaped from the
wagon they drove on, taking her children to the boat. The police
questioned my mother. She told them that Capt. Tirrell had put her
children on board the boat, and was going to take them to Memphis and
sell them into hard slavery. They accompanied her to the boat, and
arrived just as they were casting off. The police ordered them to stop
and immediately deliver up the children, who had been secreted in the
Captain's private apartment. They were brought forth and returned.
Slave speculation was forbidden in St. Louis at that time. The Union
soldiers had possession of the city, but their power was limited to
the suppression of the selling of slaves to got out of the city.
Considerable smuggling was done, however, by pretending Unionism,
which was the case with our family.



RELEASED FROM THE TRADER'S YARD AND TAKEN TO HER NEW MASTER


Immediately after dinner my mother called for me to accompany her to
our new home, the residence of the Captain, together with my brother
and sister. We fared very well while we were there. Mrs. Tirrell was
insane, and my mother had charge of the house. We remained there four
months. The Captain came home only once a week and he never troubled
us for fear we might desert him. His intention was to smuggle us away
before the State became free. That was the understanding when he
bought us of Mr. Lewis, as it was not much of an object to purchase
slaves while the proclamation was pending, and they likely to lose all
their property; but they would, for a trifle purchase a whole family
of four or five persons to send out of the State. Kentucky paid as
much, or more than ever, for slaves. As they pretended to take no part
in the rebellion they supposed they would be allowed to keep them
without interference. Consequently the Captain's intention was to keep
as quiet as possible till the excitement concerning us was over, and
he could get us off without detection. Mr. Lewis would rather have
disposed of us for nothing than have seen us free. He hated my mother
in consequence of her desire for freedom, and her endeavors to teach
her children the right way as far as her ability would allow. He also
held a charge against her for reading the papers and understanding
political affairs. When he found he was to lose his slaves he could
not bear the idea of her being free. He thought it too hard, as she
had raised so many tempests for him, to see her free and under her own
control. He had tantalized her in every possible way to humiliate and
annoy her; yet while he could demand her services he appreciated and
placed perfect confidence in mother and family. None but a fiendish
slaveholder could have rended an honest Christian heart in such a
manner as this.

    Though it was her sad and weary lot to toil in slavery
    But one thing cheered her weary soul
    When almost in despair
    That she could gain a sure relief in attitude of prayer



CAPT. TIRRELL REMOVES THE FAMILY--ANOTHER STRATEGY


One day the Captain commenced complaining of the expense of so large a
family, and proposed to my mother that we should work out and he take
part of the pay. My mother told him she would need what she earned for
my little brother's support. Finally the Captain consented, and I was
the first to be disposed of. The Captain took me in his buggy and
carried me to the Depot, and I was put into a Union family, where I
remained five months. Previous to my leaving, however, my mother and
the Captain entered into a contract--he agreeing not to sell us, and
mother agreeing not to make her escape. While she was carrying out her
promise in good faith, he was plotting to separate us. We were all
divided except mother and my little brother, who remained together. My
sister remained with one of the rebels, but was tolerably treated. We
all fared very well; but it was only the calm before the rending
tornado. Captain T. was Captain of the boat to Memphis, from which the
Union soldiers had rescued us. He commenced as a deck hand on the
boat, then attained a higher position, and continued to advance until
he became her Captain. At length he came in possession of slaves. Then
his accomplishments were complete. He was a very severe slave master.
Those mushroom slaveholders are much dreaded, as their severity knows
no bounds

    Bondage and torture, scourges and chains
    Placed on our backs indelible stains.

I stated previously, in relating a sketch of my mother's history, that
she was married twice, and both husbands were to be sold and made
their escape. They both gained their freedom. One was living,--the
other died before the war. Both made every effort to find us, but to
no purpose. It was some years before we got a correct account of her
second husband, and he had no account of her, except once he heard
that mother and children had perished in the woods while endeavoring
to make their escape. In a few years after his arrival in the free
States he married again.

When about sixteen years of age, while residing with her original
master, my mother became acquainted with a young man, Mr. Adams,
residing in a neighboring family, whom she much respected; but he was
soon sold, and she lost trace of him entirely, as was the common
occurrence with friends and companions though united by the nearest
ties. When my mother arrived at Captain Tirrell's, after leaving the
boat, in her excitement she scarce observed anything except her little
group so miraculously saved from perhaps a final separation in this
world. She at length observed that the servant who was waiting to take
her to the Captain's residence in the country was the same man with
whom she formed the acquaintance when sixteen years old, and they
again renewed their acquaintance. He had been married and buried his
wife. It appeared that his wife had been in Captain Tirrell's family
many years, and he also, for some time. They had a number of children,
and Capt. Tirrell had sold them down South. This cruel blow, assisted
by severe flogging and other ill treatment, rendered the mother
insane, and finally caused her death.

    In agony close to her bosom she pressed,
    The life of her heart, the child of her breast--
    Oh love from its tenderness gathering might
    Had strengthed her soul for declining age.

    But she is free. Yes, she has gone from the land of the slave;
    The hand of oppression must rest in the grave.
    The blood hounds have missed the scent of her way,
    The hunter is rifled and foiled of his prey.

After my mother had left the Captain to take care of herself and
child, according to agreement with the Captain, she became engaged to
Mr. Adams. He had bought himself previously for a large price. After
they became acquainted, the Captain had an excellent opportunity of
carrying out his stratagem. He commenced bestowing charity upon Mr.
Adams. As he had purchased himself, and Capt. T. had agreed not to
sell my mother, they had decided to marry at an early day. They hired
a house in the city and were to commence housekeeping immediately. The
Captain made him a number of presents and seemed much pleased with the
arrangement. The day previous to the one set for the marriage, while
they were setting their house in order, a man called and enquired for
a nurse, pretending he wanted one of us. Mother was absent; he said he
would call again, but he never came. On Wednesday evening we attended
a protracted meeting. After we had returned home and retired, a loud
rap was heard at the door. My Aunt enquired who was there. The reply
was, "Open the door or I will break it down." In a moment in rushed
seven men, four watchmen and three traders, and ordered mother to take
my brother and me and follow them, which she hastened to do as fast as
possible, but we were not allowed time to put on our usual attire.
They thrust us into a close carriage. For fear of my mother alarming
the citizens they threw her to the ground and choked her until she was
nearly strangled, then pushed her into a coach. The night was dark and
dreary; the stars refused to shine, the moon to shed her light.

    'Tis not strange the heavenly orbs
    In silence blushed neath Nature's sable garb
    When woman's gagged and rashly torn away
    Without blemish and without crime.
    Unheeded by God's holy word:--
    Unloose the fetters, break the chain,
    And make my people free again,
    And let them breath pure freedom's air
    And her rich bounty freely share.
    Let Eutopia stretch her bleeding hands abroad;
    Her cry of anguish finds redress from God.

We were hurried along the streets. The inhabitants heard our cries and
rushed to their doors, but our carriage being perfectly tight, and the
alarm so sudden, that we were at the jail before they could give us
any relief. There were strong Union men and officers in the city, and
if they could have been informed of the human smuggling they would
have released us. But oh, that horrid, dilapidated prison, with its
dim lights and dingy walls, again presented itself to our view. My
sister was there first, and we were thrust in and remained there until
three o'clock the following afternoon. Could we have notified the
police we should have been released, but no opportunity was given us.
It appears that this kidnapping had been in contemplation from the
time we were before taken and returned; and Captain Tirrell's kindness
to mother,--his benevolence towards Mr. Adams in assisting him to
furnish his house,--his generosity in letting us work for
ourselves,--his approbation in regard to the contemplated marriage was
only a trap. Thus instead of a wedding Thursday evening, we were
hurled across the ferry to Albany Court House and to Kentucky through
the rain and without our outer garments. My mother had lost her bonnet
and shawl in the struggle while being thrust in the coach,
consequently she had no protection from the storm, and the rest of us
were in similar circumstances. I believe we passed through
Springfield. I think it was the first stopping place after we left
East St. Louis, and we were put on board the cars and secreted in the
gentlemen's smoking car, in which there were only a few rebels. We
arrived in Springfield about twelve o'clock at night. When we took
the cars it was dark, bleak and cold. It was the 18th of March, and as
we were without bonnets and clothing to shield us from the sleet and
wind, we suffered intensely. The old trader, for fear that mother
might make her escape, carried my brother, nine years of age, from one
train to the other. We then took the cars for Albany, and arrived at
eight o'clock in the morning. We were then carried on the ferry in a
wagon. There was another family in the wagon, in the same condition.
We landed at Portland, from thence to Louisville, and were put into
John Clark's trader's yard, and sold out separately, except my mother
and little brother, who were sold together. Mother remained in the
trader's yard two weeks, my sister six, myself four.



THE FARE AT THEIR NEW HOMES


Mother was sold to Captain Plasio. My sister to Benj. Board, and
myself to Capt. Ephraim Frisbee. The man who bought my mother was a
Spaniard. After she had been there a short time he tried to have my
mother let my brother stop at his saloon, a very dissipated place, to
wait upon his miserable crew, but my mother objected. In spite of her
objections he took him down to try him, but some Union soldiers called
at the saloon, and noticing that he was very small, they questioned
him, and my brother, child like, divulged the whole matter. The
Captain, fearful of being betrayed and losing his property, let him
continue with my mother. The Captain paid eight hundred dollars for my
mother and brother. We were all sold for extravagant prices. My
sister, aged sixteen, was sold for eight hundred and fifty dollars; I
was sold for nine hundred dollars. This was in 1863. My mother was
cook and fared very well. My sister was sold to a single gentleman,
whose intended took charge of her until they were married, after which
they took her to her home. She was her waiter, and fared as well as
could be expected. I fared worse than either of the family. I was not
allowed enough to eat, exposed to the cold, and not allowed through
the cold winter to thoroughly warm myself once a month. The house was
very large, and I could gain no access to the fire. I was kept
constantly at work of the heaviest kind,--compelled to move heavy
trunks and boxes,--many times to wash till ten and twelve o'clock at
night. There were three deaths in the family while I remained there,
and the entire burden was put upon me. I often felt to exclaim as the
Children of Israel did: "O Lord, my burden is greater than I can
bear." I was then seventeen years of age. My health has been impaired
from that time to the present. I have a severe pain in my side by the
slightest over exertion. In the Winter I suffer intensely with cold,
and cannot get warm unless in a room heated to eighty degrees. I am
infirm and burdened with the influence of slavery, whose impress will
ever remain on my mind and body. For six months I tried to make my
escape. I used to rise at four o'clock in the morning to find some one
to assist me, and at last I succeeded. I was allowed two hours once in
two weeks to go and return three miles. I could contrive no other way
than to improve one of these opportunities, in which I was finally
successful. I became acquainted with some persons who assisted slaves
to escape by the underground railroad. They were colored people. I was
to pretend going to church, and the man who was to assist and
introduce me to the proper parties was to linger on the street
opposite the house, and I was to follow at a short distance. On Sunday
evening I begged leave to attend church, which was reluctantly
granted if I completed all my work, which was no easy task. It
appeared as if my mistress used every possible exertion to delay me
from church, and I concluded that her old cloven-footed companion had
impressed his intentions on her mind. Finally, when I was ready to
start, my mistress took a notion to go out to ride, and desired me to
dress her little boy, and then get ready for church. Extensive hoops
were then worn, and as I had attached my whole wardrobe under mine by
a cord around my waist, it required considerable dexterity and no
small amount of maneuvering to hide the fact from my mistress. While
attending to the child I had managed to stand in one corner of the
room, for fear she might come in contact with me and thus discover
that my hoops were not so elastic as they usually are. I endeavored to
conceal my excitement by backing and edging very genteelly out of the
door. I had nine pieces of clothing thus concealed on my person, and
as the string which fastened them was small it caused me considerable
discomfort. To my great satisfaction I at last passed into the street,
and my master and mistress drove down the street in great haste and
were soon out of sight. I saw my guide patiently awaiting me. I
followed him at a distance until we arrived at the church, and there
met two young ladies, one of whom handed me a pass and told me to
follow them at a square's distance. It was now twilight. There was a
company of soldiers about to take passage across the ferry, and I
followed. I showed my pass, and proceeded up the stairs on the boat.
While thus ascending the stairs, the cord which held my bundle of
clothing broke, and my feet became entangled in my wardrobe, but by
proceeding, the first step released one foot and the next the other.
This was observed only by a few soldiers, who were too deeply engaged
in their own affairs to interfere with mine. I seated myself in a
remote corner of the boat, and in a few moments I landed on free soil
for the first time in my life, except when hurled through Albany and
Springfield at the time of our capture. I was now under my own
control. The cars were waiting in Jefferson City for the passengers
for Indianapolis, where we arrived about nine o'clock.



MATTIE IN INDIANAPOLIS--THE GLORY OF FREEDOM--PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S
REMAINS EXHIBITED


My first business, after my arrival at Indianapolis was to find a
boarding place in which I at once succeeded, and in a few hours
thereafter was at a place of service of my own choice. I had always
been under the yoke of oppression, compelled to submit to its laws,
and not allowed to advance a rod from the house, or even out of call,
without a severe punishment. Now this constant fear and restless
yearning was over. It appeared as though I had emerged into a new
world, or had never lived in the old one before. The people I lived
with were Unionists, and became immediately interested in teaching and
encouraging me in my literary advancement and all other important
improvements, which precisely met the natural desires for which my
soul had ever yearned since my earliest recollection. I could read a
little, but was not allowed to learn in slavery. I was obliged to pay
twenty-five cents for every letter written for me. I now began to feel
that as I was free I could learn to write, as well as others;
consequently Mrs. Harris, the lady with whom I lived, volunteered to
assist me. I was soon enabled to write quite a legible hand, which I
find a great convenience. I would advise all, young, middle aged or
old, in a free country to learn to read and write. If this little book
should fall into the hands of one deficient of the important knowledge
of writing, I hope they will remember the old maxim:--"Never too old
to learn." Manage your own secrets, and divulge them by the silent
language of your own pen. Had our blessed President considered it too
humiliating to learn in advanced years, our race would yet have
remained under the galling yoke of oppression. After I had been with
Mrs. Harris seven months, the joyful news came of the surrender of
Lee's army and the capture of Richmond.

    Whilst the country's hearts were throbbing,
      Filled with joy for victories won;
    Whilst the stars and stripes were waving
      O'er each cottage, ship and dome,
    Came upon like winged lightning
      Words that turned each joy to dread,
    Froze with horror as we listened:
      Our beloved chieftain, Lincoln's dead

    War's dark clouds has long held o'er us,
      They have rolled their gloomy fold's away,
    And all the world is anxious, waiting
      For that promised peaceful day.
    But that fearful blow inflicted,
      Fell on his devoted head,
    And from every town and hamlet
      Came the cry our Chieftain's dead.

    Weep, weep, O bleeding nation
      For the patriot spirit fled,
    All untold our country's future--
      Buried with the silent dead.
    God of battles, God of nations to our country send relief
      Turn each lamentation into joy whilst we mourn our murdered chief.

On the Saturday after the assassination of the President there was a
meeting held on the Common, and a vote taken to have the President's
body brought through Indianapolis, for the people to see his dear dead
face. The vote was taken by raising the hands, and when the question
was put in favor of it a thousand black hands were extended in the
air, seemingly higher and more visible than all the rest. Nor were
their hands alone raised, for in their deep sorrow and gloom they
raised their hearts to God, for well they knew that He, through
martyred blood, had made them free. It was some time before the
remains reached Indianapolis, as it was near the last of the route.
The body was placed in the centre of the hall of the State House, and
we marched in by fours, and divided into two on each side of the
casket, and passed directly through the hall. It was very
rainy,--nothing but umbrellas were to be seen in any direction. The
multitude were passing in and out from eight o'clock in the morning
till four o'clock in the afternoon. His body remained until twelve
o'clock in the evening, many distinguished persons visiting it, when
amid the booming of cannon, it moved on its way to Springfield, its
final resting-place. The death of the President was like an electric
shock to my soul. I could not feel convinced of his death until I
gazed upon his remains, and heard the last roll of the muffled drum
and the farewell boom of the cannon. I was then convinced that though
we were left to the tender mercies of God, we were without a leader.

    Gone, gone is our chieftain,
    The tried and the true;
    The grief of our nation the world never knew.
    We mourn as a nation has never yet mourned;
    The foe to our freedom more deeply has scorned.

    In the height of his glory in manhood's full prime,
    Our country's preserver through darkest of time;
    A merciful being, whose kindness all shared
    Shown mercy to others. Why was he not spared?

    The lover of Justice, the friend of the slave,
    He struck at oppression and made it a grave;
    He spoke for our bond-men, and chains from them fell,
    By making them soldiers they served our land well.

    Because he had spoken from sea unto sea
    Glad tidings go heavenward, our country is free,
    And angels I'm thinking looked down from above,
    With sweet smiles approving his great works of love.

    His name with the honor forever will live,
    And time to his laurels new lustre will give;
    He lived so unselfish, so loyal and true,
    That his deeds will shine brighter at every view.

    Then honor and cherish the name of the brave,
    The champion of freedom, the friend to the slave,
    The far-sighted statesman who saw a fair end,
    When north land and south land one flag shall defend.

    Rest, rest, fallen chieftain, thy labors are o'er,
    For thee mourns a nation as never before;
    Farewell honored chieftain whom millions adore,
    Farewell gentle spirit, whom heaven has won.



SISTER LOST--MOTHER'S ESCAPE


In two or three weeks after the body of the President was carried
through, my sister made her escape, but by some means we entirely
lost trace of her. We heard she was in a free State. In three months
my mother also escaped. She rose quite early in the morning, took my
little brother, and arrived at my place of service in the afternoon. I
was much surprised, and asked my mother how she came there. She could
scarcely tell me for weeping, but I soon found out the mystery. After
so many long years and so many attempts, for this was her seventh, she
at last succeeded, and we were now all free. My mother had been a
slave for more than forty-three years, and liberty was very sweet to
her. The sound of freedom was music in our ears; the air was pure and
fragrant; the genial rays of the glorious sun burst forth with a new
lustre upon us, and all creation resounded in responses of praise to
the author and creator of him who proclaimed life and freedom to the
slave. I was overjoyed with my personal freedom, but the joy at my
mother's escape was greater than anything I had ever known. It was a
joy that reaches beyond the tide and anchors in the harbor of eternal
rest. While in oppression, this eternal life-preserver had continually
wafted her toward the land of freedom, which she was confident of
gaining, whatever might betide. Our joy that we were permitted to
mingle together our earthly bliss in glorious strains of freedom was
indescribable. My mother responded with the children of Israel,--"The
Lord is my strength and my song. The Lord is a man of war, and the
Lord is his name." We left Indianapolis the day after my mother
arrived, and took the cars at eleven o'clock the following evening for
St. Louis, my native State. We were then free, and instead of being
hurried along, bare headed and half naked, through cars and boats, by
a brutal master with a bill of sale in his pocket, we were our own,
comfortably clothed, and having the true emblems of freedom.



MOTHER'S MARRIAGE


It appeared to me that the city presented an entirely new aspect. The
reader will remember that my mother was engaged to be married on the
evening after we were kidnapped, and that Mr. Adams, her intended, had
prepared the house for the occasion. We now went in search of him. He
had moved about five miles into the country. He had carefully
preserved his furniture and was patiently awaiting our return. We were
gone two years and four months. The clothing and furniture which we
had collected were all destroyed. It was over a year after we left St.
Louis before we heard from there. We went immediately from the cars to
my aunt's, and from there went to Mr. Adams' residence and took him by
surprise. They were married in a week after our return. My mother is
comfortably situated on a small farm with a kind and affectionate
companion, with whom she had formed an early acquaintance, and from
whom she had been severed by the ruthless hand of Wrong; but by the
divine hand of Justice they were now reunited forever.



MATTIE MEETS HER OLD MASTER--GOES TO SERVICE--IS SENT FOR BY HER
STEP-FATHER IN LAWRENCE, MASS.


In a short time I had selected a place of service, and was improving
my studies in a small way. The place I engaged was in the family where
I was born, where my mother lived when my father Jackson made his
escape. Although Mr. Canory's family were always kind to us, I felt a
great difference between freedom and slavery. After I had been there a
short time my step-father sent for me and my half brother to come to
Lawrence. He had been waiting ever since the State was free, hoping to
get some account of us. He had been informed, previously, that mother,
in trying to make her escape, had perished by the way, and the
children also, but he was never satisfied. He was aware that my aunt
was permanently in St. Louis, as her master had given her family their
freedom twenty years previous. She was formerly owned by Major Howe,
harness and leather dealer, yet residing in St. Louis. And long may he
live and his good works follow him and his posterity forever. My
father well knew the deception of the rebels, and was determined to
persevere until he had obtained a satisfactory account of his family.
A gentleman moved directly from Lawrence to St. Louis, who made
particular enquiries for us, and even called at my aunt's. We then
heard directly from my father, and commenced correspondence. He had
not heard directly from us since he made his escape, which was nine
years. He had never heard of his little son who my mother was
compelled by Mrs. Lewis to confine in a box. He was born eight months
after he left. As soon as possible after my mother consented to let my
little brother go to his father he sent means to assist us to make
preparations for our journey to the North. At first he only sent for
his little son. My mother was anxious about sending him alone. He was
only eleven years old, and perfectly unused to traveling, and had
never been away from his mother. Finally my father came to the
conclusion that, as my mother had endured such extreme hardships and
sufferings during the nine years he was not permitted to participate
or render her any assistance, that it would afford him much pleasure
in sending for us both, bearing our expenses and making us as
comfortable as his means would allow. Money was sent us, and our kind
friend, Mr. Howe, obtained our tickets and voluntarily assisted us in
starting. We left for the North on Monday, April 9th, and arrived safe
and sound, on the 11th. We found my step-father's residence about six
o'clock in the evening. He was not expecting us till the next day. Our
meeting is better imagined than told. I cannot describe it. His little
son was only two years old when he left, and I was eleven, and we
never expected to meet him again this side of eternity. It was Freedom
that brought us together. My father was comfortably situated in a nice
white cottage, containing some eight rooms, all well furnished, and
attached to it was a fine garden. His wife, who is a physician, was
absent, but returned on the following day. The people were kind and
friendly. They informed me there was no other colored family in the
city, but my step-mother was continually crowded with friends and
customers without distinction. My step-mother had buried her only son,
who returned from the war in a decline. The white friends were all in
deep sympathy with them. I felt immediately at home among such kind
and friendly people, and have never felt homesick, except when I think
of my poor mother's farewell embrace when she accompanied us to the
cars. As soon as my step-mother had arrived, and our excitement was
over, they commenced calculating upon placing me in the Sabbath school
at the church where my mother belonged. On the next Sabbath I
accompanied her and joined the Sabbath school, she occupying a side
seat about middle way up the house. I was not reminded of my color
except by an occasional loafer or the Irish, usually the colored man's
enemy. I was never permitted to attend a white church before, or ride
in any public conveyance without being placed in a car for the
especial purpose; and in the street cars we were not permitted to ride
at all, either South or West. Here I ride where I please, without the
slightest remark, except from the ignorant. Many ask me if I am
contented. They can imagine by the above contrast. My brother and
myself entered the public school, and found a host of interested
friends and formed many dear acquaintances whom I shall never forget.
After attending school a month the term closed. I advanced in my
studies as fast as could be expected. I never attended school but one
month before. I needed more attention than my kind teacher could
possibly bestow upon me, encumbered as she was by so many small
children. Mother then proposed my entering some select school and
placing myself entirely under its discipline and influence. I was much
pleased with the idea, but as they had already been to so much expense
for me, I could not wish to place them under any heavier contribution.
I had previously told my step-mother my story, and how often my own
mother had wished she could have it published. I did not imagine she
could find time to write and arrange it, but she immediately proposed
writing and publishing the entire story, by the sale of which I might
obtain the aid towards completing my studies. I am glad I came to the
old Bay State, the people of which the rebels hate with an extreme
hatred. I found it just such a place as I had imagined by the
appearance of the soldiers and the kindness they manifested.

    New England, that blessed land,
    All in a happy Union band;
    They with the needy share their bread
    And teach the weak the Word of God.

We never heard from my sister Hester, who made her escape from
Kentucky, except when she was on the cars, though we have no doubt
she succeeded in gaining her freedom.



SUMMARY


On my return to St. Louis I met my old master, Lewis, who strove so
hard to sell us away that he might avoid seeing us free, on the
street. He was so surprised that before he was aware of it he dropped
a bow. My mother met Mrs. Lewis, her old mistress, with a large basket
on her arm, trudging to market. It appeared she had lived to see the
day when her children had to wait upon themselves, and she likewise.
The Yankees had taken possession, and her posterity were on an
equality with the black man. Mr. Lewis despised the Irish, and often
declared he would board at the hotel before he would employ Irish
help, but he now has a dissipated Irish cook. When I was his slave I
was obliged to keep away every fly from the table, and not allow one
to light on a person. They are now compelled to brush their own flies
and dress themselves and children. Mr. Lewis' brother Benjamin was a
more severe slave master than the one who owned me. He was a
tobacconist and very wealthy. As soon as the war commenced he turned
Unionist to save his property. He was very severe in his punishments.
He used to extend his victim, fastened to a beam, with hands and feet
tied, and inflict from fifty to three hundred lashes, laying their
flesh entirely open, then bathe their quivering wounds with brine,
and, through his nose, in a slow rebel tone he would tell them "You'd
better walk a fair chalk line or else I'll give yer twice as much."
His former friends, the guerrillas, were aware he only turned Union to
save his cash, and they gave those persons he had abused a large share
of his luxury. They then, in the presence of his wife and another
distinguished lady, tortured him in a most inhuman manner. For
pretending Unionism they placed him on a table and threatened to
dissect him alive if he did not tell them where he kept his gold. He
immediately informed them. They then stood him against the house and
fired over his head. From that, they changed his position by turning
him upside down, and raising him two feet from the floor, letting him
dash his head against the floor until his skull was fractured, after
which he lingered awhile and finally died. There was a long piece
published in the paper respecting his repentance, benevolence, & c.
All the slaves who ever lived in his family admit the Lord is able to
save to the uttermost. He saved the thief on the cross, and perhaps he
saved him.

When I made my escape from slavery I was in a query how I was to raise
funds to bear my expenses. I finally came to the conclusion that as
the laborer was worthy of his hire, I thought my wages should come
from my master's pocket. Accordingly I took twenty-five dollars. After
I was safe and had learned to write, I sent him a nice letter,
thanking him for the kindness his pocket bestowed to me in time of
need. I have never received any answer to it.

When I complete my education, if my life is spared, I shall endeavor
to publish further details of our history in another volume from my
own pen.



CHRISTIANITY


Christianity is a system claiming God for its author, and the welfare
of man for its object. It is a system so uniform, exalted and pure,
that the loftiest intellects have acknowledged its influence, and
acquiesced in the justness of its claims. Genius has bent from his
erratic course to gather fire from her altars, and pathos from the
agony of Gethsemane and the sufferings of Calvary. Philosophy and
science have paused amid their speculative researches and wonderous
revelations, to gain wisdom from her teachings and knowledge from her
precepts. Poetry has culled her fairest flowers and wreathed her
softest, to bind her Author's "bleeding brow." Music has strung her
sweetest lyres and breathed her noblest strains to celebrate His fame;
whilst Learning has bent from her lofty heights to bow at the lowly
cross. The constant friend of man, she has stood by him in his hour of
greatest need. She has cheered the prisoner in his cell, and
strengthened the martyr at the stake. She has nerved the frail and
sinking heart of woman for high and holy deeds. The worn and weary
have rested their fainting heads upon her bosom, and gathered strength
from her words and courage from her counsels. She has been the staff
of decrepit age, and the joy of manhood in its strength. She has bent
over the form of lovely childhood, and suffered it to have a place in
the Redeemer's arms. She has stood by the bed of the dying, and
unveiled the glories of eternal life; gilding the darkness of the tomb
with the glory of the resurrection.

Christianity has changed the moral aspect of nations. Idolatrous
temples have crumbled at her touch, and guilt owned its deformity in
her presence. The darkest habitations of earth have been irradiated
with heavenly light, and the death shriek of immolated victims changed
for ascriptions of praise to God and the Lamb. Envy and Malice have
been rebuked by her contented look, and fretful Impatience by her
gentle and resigned manner.

At her approach, fetters have been broken, and men have risen
redeemed from dust, and freed from chains. Manhood has learned its
dignity and worth, its kindred with angels, and alliance to God.

To man, guilty, fallen and degraded man, she shows a fountain drawn
from the Redeemer's veins; there she bids him wash and be clean. She
points him to "Mount Zion, the city of the living God, to an
innumerable company of angels, to the spirits of just men made
perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new Covenant," and urges him
to rise from the degradation of sin, renew his nature and join with
them. She shows a pattern so spotless and holy, so elevated and pure,
that he might shrink from it discouraged, did she not bring with her a
promise from the lips of Jehovah, that he would give power to the
faint, and might to those who have no strength. Learning may bring her
ample pages and her ponderous records, rich with the spoils of every
age, gathered from every land, and gleaned from every source.
Philosophy and science may bring their abstruse researches and
wonderous revelations--Literature her elegance, with the toils of the
pen, and the labors of the pencil--but they are idle tales compared to
the truths of Christianity. They may cultivate the intellect,
enlighten the understanding, give scope to the imagination, and refine
the sensibilities; but they open not, to our dim eyes and longing
vision, the land of crystal founts and deathless flowers. Philosophy
searches earth; Religion opens heaven. Philosophy doubts and trembles
at the portals of eternity; Religion lifts the veil, and shows us
golden streets, lit by the Redeemer's countenance, and irradiated by
his smile. Philosophy strives to reconcile us to death; Religion
triumphs over it. Philosophy treads amid the pathway of stars, and
stands a delighted listener to the music of the spheres; but Religion
gazes on the glorious palaces of God, while the harpings of the
blood-washed, and the songs of the redeemed, fall upon her ravished
ear. Philosophy has her place; Religion her important sphere; one is
of importance here, the other of infinite and vital importance both
here and hereafter.

Amid ancient lore the Word of God stands unique and pre-eminent.
Wonderful in its construction, admirable in its adaptation, it
contains truths that a child may comprehend, and mysteries into which
angels desire to look. It is in harmony with that adaptation of means
to ends which pervades creation, from the polypus tribes, elaborating
their coral homes, to man, the wonderous work of God. It forms the
brightest link of that glorious chain which unites the humblest work
of creation with the throne of the infinite and eternal Jehovah. As
light, with its infinite particles and curiously blended colors, is
suited to an eye prepared for the alterations of day; as air, with its
subtle and invisible essence, is fitted for the delicate organs of
respiration; and, in a word, as this material world is adapted to
man's physical nature; so the word of eternal truth is adapted to his
moral nature and mental constitution. It finds him wounded, sick and
suffering, and points him to the balm of Gilead and the Physician of
souls. It finds him stained by transgressions and defiled with guilt,
and directs him to the "blood that cleanseth from all unrighteousness
and sin." It finds him athirst and faint, pining amid the deserts of
life, and shows him the wells of salvation and the rivers of life. It
addresses itself to his moral and spiritual nature, makes provision
for his wants and weaknesses, and meets his yearnings and aspirations.
It is adapted to his mind in its earliest stages of progression, and
its highest state of intellectuality. It provides light for his
darkness, joy for his anguish, a solace for his woes, balm for his
wounds, and heaven for his hopes. It unveils the unseen world, and
reveals him who is the light of creation, and the joy of the universe,
reconciled through the death of His Son. It promises the faithful a
blessed re-union in a land undimmed with tears, undarkened by sorrow.
It affords a truth for the living and a refuge for the dying. Aided by
the Holy Spirit, it guides us through life, points out the shoals, the
quicksands and hidden rocks which endanger our path, and at last
leaves us with the eternal God for our refuge, and his everlasting
arms for our protection.





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