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Title: A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin - Presenting the original facts and documents upon which the - story is founded. Together with corroborative statements - verifying the truth of the work.
Author: Stowe, Harriet Beecher
Language: English
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                                 A KEY
                           UNCLE TOM’S CABIN;
                        PRESENTING THE ORIGINAL
                          FACTS AND DOCUMENTS
                    UPON WHICH THE STORY IS FOUNDED.
                             TOGETHER WITH
                        Corroborative Statements
                         THE TRUTH OF THE WORK.

                       BY HARRIET BEECHER STOWE,

                     AUTHOR OF “UNCLE TOM’S CABIN.”

                   PUBLISHED BY JOHN P. JEWETT & CO.
                            CLEVELAND, OHIO:
                     JEWETT, PROCTOR & WORTHINGTON.
                        LONDON: LOW AND COMPANY.

       Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by
                         HARRIET BEECHER STOWE,
    In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court for the District of

                             STEREOTYPED BY
                           HOBART & ROBBINS,

         Damrell & Moore, Printers, 16 Devonshire St., Boston.



The work which the writer here presents to the public is one which has
been written with no pleasure, and with much pain.

In fictitious writing, it is possible to find refuge from the hard and
the terrible, by inventing scenes and characters of a more pleasing
nature. No such resource is open in a work of fact; and the subject of
this work is one on which the truth, if told at all, must needs be very
dreadful. There is no bright side to slavery, as such. Those scenes
which are made bright by the generosity and kindness of masters and
mistresses, would be brighter still if the element of slavery were
withdrawn. There is nothing picturesque or beautiful, in the family
attachment of old servants, which is not to be found in countries where
these servants are legally free. The tenants on an English estate are
often more fond and faithful than if they were slaves. Slavery,
therefore, is not the element which forms the picturesque and beautiful
of Southern life. What is peculiar to slavery, and distinguishes it from
free servitude, is evil, and only evil, and that continually.

In preparing this work, it has grown much beyond the author’s original
design. It has so far overrun its limits that she has been obliged to
omit one whole department;—that of the characteristics and developments
of the colored race in various countries and circumstances. This is more
properly the subject for a volume; and she hopes that such an one will

The author desires to express her thanks particularly to those legal
gentlemen who have given her their assistance and support in the legal
part of the discussion. She also desires to thank those, at the North
and at the South, who have kindly furnished materials for her use. Many
more have been supplied than could possibly be used. The book is
actually selected out of a mountain of materials.

The great object of the author in writing has been to bring this subject
of slavery, as a moral and religious question, before the minds of all
those who profess to be followers of Christ, in this country. A minute
history has been given of the action of the various denominations on
this subject.

The writer has aimed, as far as possible, to say what is true, and only
that, without regard to the effect which it may have upon any person or
party. She hopes that what she has said will be examined without
bitterness,—in that serious and earnest spirit which is appropriate for
the examination of so very serious a subject. It would be vain for her
to indulge the hope of being wholly free from error. In the wide field
which she has been called to go over, there is a possibility of many
mistakes. She can only say that she has used the most honest and earnest
endeavors to learn the truth.

The book is commended to the candid attention and earnest prayers of all
true Christians, throughout the world. May they unite their prayers that
Christendom may be delivered from so great an evil as slavery!

                                PART I.

                               CHAPTER I.

At different times, doubt has been expressed whether the representations
of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” are a fair representation of slavery as it at
present exists. This work, more, perhaps, than any other work of fiction
that ever was written, has been a collection and arrangement of real
incidents,—of actions really performed, of words and expressions really
uttered,—grouped together with reference to a general result, in the
same manner that the mosaic artist groups his fragments of various
stones into one general picture. His is a mosaic of gems,—this is a
mosaic of facts.

Artistically considered, it might not be best to point out in which
quarry and from which region each fragment of the mosaic picture had its
origin; and it is equally unartistic to disentangle the glittering web
of fiction, and show out of what real warp and woof it is woven, and
with what real coloring dyed. But the book had a purpose entirely
transcending the artistic one, and accordingly encounters, at the hands
of the public, demands not usually made on fictitious works. It is
_treated_ as a reality,—sifted, tried and tested, as a reality; and
therefore as a reality it may be proper that it should be defended.

The writer acknowledges that the book is a very inadequate
representation of slavery; and it is so, necessarily, for this
reason,—that slavery, in some of its workings, is too dreadful for the
purposes of art. A work which should represent it strictly as it is
would be a work which could not be read. And all works which ever mean
to give pleasure must draw a veil somewhere, or they cannot succeed.

The author will now proceed along the course of the story, from the
first page onward, and develop, as far as possible, the incidents by
which different parts were suggested.

                              CHAPTER II.
                               MR. HALEY.

In the very first chapter of the book we encounter the character of
the negro-trader, Mr. Haley. His name stands at the head of this
chapter as the representative of all the different characters
introduced in the work which exhibit the trader, the kidnapper, the
negro-catcher, the negro-whipper, and all the other inevitable
auxiliaries and indispensable appendages of what is often called the
“divinely-instituted relation” of slavery. The author’s first personal
observation of this class of beings was somewhat as follows:

Several years ago, while one morning employed in the duties of the
nursery, a colored woman was announced. She was ushered into the
nursery, and the author thought, on first survey, that a more surly,
unpromising face she had never seen. The woman was thoroughly black,
thick-set, firmly built, and with strongly-marked African features.
Those who have been accustomed to read the expressions of the African
face know what a peculiar effect is produced by a lowering, desponding
expression upon its dark features. It is like the shadow of a
thunder-cloud. Unlike her race generally, the woman did not smile when
smiled upon, nor utter any pleasant remark in reply to such as were
addressed to her. The youngest pet of the nursery, a boy about three
years old, walked up, and laid his little hand on her knee, and seemed
astonished not to meet the quick smile which the negro almost always has
in reserve for the little child. The writer thought her very cross and
disagreeable, and, after a few moments’ silence, asked, with perhaps a
little impatience, “Do you want anything of me to-day?”

“Here are some papers,” said the woman, pushing them towards her;
“perhaps you would read them.”

The first paper opened was a letter from a negro-trader in Kentucky,
stating concisely that he had waited about as long as he could for her
child; that he wanted to start for the South, and must get it off his
hands; that, if she would send him two hundred dollars before the end of
the week, she should have it; if not, that he would set it up at
auction, at the court-house door, on Saturday. He added, also, that he
might have got more than that for the child, but that he was willing to
let her have it cheap.

“What sort of a man is this?” said the author to the woman, when she had
done reading the letter.

“Dunno, ma’am; great Christian, I know,—member of the Methodist church,

The expression of sullen irony with which this was said was a thing to
be remembered.

“And how old is this child?” said the author to her.

The woman looked at the little boy who had been standing at her knee,
with an expressive glance, and said, “She will be three years old this

On further inquiry into the history of the woman, it appeared that she
had been set free by the will of her owners; that the child was legally
entitled to freedom, but had been seized on by the heirs of the estate.
She was poor and friendless, without money to maintain a suit, and the
heirs, of course, threw the child into the hands of the trader. The
necessary sum, it may be added, was all raised in the small neighborhood
which then surrounded the Lane Theological Seminary, and the child was

If the public would like a specimen of the correspondence which passes
between these worthies, who are the principal reliance of the community
for supporting and extending the institution of slavery, the following
may be interesting as a matter of literary curiosity. It was forwarded
by Mr. M. J. Thomas, of Philadelphia, to the _National Era_, and stated
by him to be “a copy taken verbatim from the original, found among the
papers of the person to whom it was addressed, at the time of his arrest
and conviction, for passing a variety of counterfeit bank-notes.”

                                     _Poolsville, Montgomery Co., Md.,
                                                   March 24, 1831._

  DEAR SIR: I arrived home in safety with Louisa, John having been
  rescued from me, out of a two-story window, at twelve o’clock at
  night. I offered a reward of fifty dollars, and have him here safe
  in jail. The persons who took him brought him to Fredericktown jail.
  I wish you to write to no person in this state but myself. Kephart
  and myself are determined to go the whole hog for any negro you can
  find, and you must give me the earliest information, as soon as you
  do find any. Enclosed you will receive a handbill, and I can make a
  good bargain, if you can find them. I will in all cases, as soon as
  a negro runs off, send you a handbill immediately, so that you may
  be on the look-out. Please tell the constable to go on with the sale
  of John’s property; and, when the money is made, I will send on an
  order to you for it. Please attend to this for me; likewise write to
  me, and inform me of any negro you think has run away,—no matter
  where you think he has come from, nor how far,—and I will try and
  find out his master. Let me know where you think he is from, with
  all particular marks, and if I don’t find his master, _Joe’s dead!_

  Write to me about the crooked-fingered negro, and let me know which
  hand and which finger, color, &c.; likewise any mark the fellow has
  who says he got away from the negro-buyer, with his height and
  color, or any other you think has run off.

  Give my respects to your partner, and be sure you write to no person
  but myself. If any person writes to you, you can inform me of it,
  and I will try to _buy_ from them. I think we can make money, if we
  do business together; for I have plenty of money, if you can find
  plenty of negroes. Let me know if Daniel is still where he was, and
  if you have heard anything of Francis since I left you. Accept for
  yourself my regard and esteem.

                                                    REUBEN B. CARLLEY.


This letter strikingly illustrates the character of these
fellow-patriots with whom the great men of our land have been acting in
conjunction, in carrying out the beneficent provisions of the Fugitive
Slave Law.

With regard to the _Kephart_ named in this letter the community of
Boston may have a special interest to know further particulars, as he
was one of the dignitaries sent from the South to assist the good
citizens of that place in the religious and patriotic enterprise of
1851, at the time that Shadrach was unfortunately rescued. It therefore
may be well to introduce somewhat particularly JOHN KEPHART, as sketched
by RICHARD H. DANA, Jr., one of the lawyers employed in the defence of
the perpetrators of the rescue.

  I shall never forget John Caphart. I have been eleven years at the
  bar, and in that time have seen many developments of vice and
  hardness, but I never met with anything so cold-blooded as the
  testimony of that man. John Caphart is a tall, sallow man, of about
  fifty, with jet-black hair, a restless, dark eye, and an anxious,
  care-worn look, which, had there been enough of moral element in the
  expression, might be called melancholy. His frame was strong, and in
  youth he had evidently been powerful, but he was not robust. Yet
  there was a calm, cruel look, a power of will and a quickness of
  muscular action, which still render him a terror in his vocation.

  In the manner of giving in his testimony there was no bluster or
  outward show of insolence. His contempt for the humane feelings of
  the audience and community about him was too true to require any
  assumption of that kind. He neither paraded nor attempted to conceal
  the worst features of his calling. He treated it as a matter of
  business which he knew the community shuddered at, but the moral
  nature of which he was utterly indifferent to, beyond a certain
  secret pleasure in thus indirectly inflicting a little torture on
  his hearers.

  I am not, however, altogether clear, to do John Caphart justice,
  that he is entirely conscience-proof. There was something in his
  anxious look which leaves one not without hope.

  At the first trial we did not know of his pursuits, and he passed
  merely as a police-man of Norfolk, Virginia. But, at the second
  trial, some one in the room gave me a hint of the occupations many
  of these police-men take to, which led to my cross-examination.

    _From the Examination of John Caphart, in the “Rescue Trials,”
      at Boston, in June and Nov., 1851, and October, 1852._

  _Question._ Is it a part of your duty, as a police-man, to take up
  colored persons who are out after hours in the streets?

  _Answer._ Yes, sir.

  _Q._ What is done with them?

  _A._ We put them in the lock-up, and in the morning they are brought
  into court and ordered to be punished,—those that are to be

  _Q._ What punishment do they get?

  _A._ Not exceeding thirty-nine lashes.

  _Q._ Who gives them these lashes?

  _A._ Any of the officers. I do, sometimes.

  _Q._ Are you paid _extra_ for this? How much?

  _A._ Fifty cents a head. It used to be sixty-two cents. Now it is
  fifty. Fifty cents for each one we arrest, and fifty more for each
  one we flog.

  _Q._ Are these persons you flog men and boys only, or are they women
  and girls also?

  _A._ Men, women, boys and girls, just as it happens.

  [The government interfered, and tried to prevent any further
  examination; and said, among other things, that he only performed
  his duty as police-officer under the law. After a discussion, Judge
  Curtis allowed it to proceed.]

  _Q._ Is your flogging confined to these cases? Do you not flog
  slaves at the request of their masters?

  _A._ Sometimes I do. Certainly, when I am called upon.

  _Q._ In these cases of private flogging, are the negroes sent to
  you? Have you a place for flogging?

  _A._ No. I go round, as I am sent for.

  _Q._ Is this part of your duty as an officer?

  _A._ No, sir.

  _Q._ In these cases of private flogging, do you inquire into the
  circumstances, to see what the fault has been, or if there is any?

  _A._ That’s none of my business. I do as I am requested. The master
  is responsible.

  _Q._ In these cases, too, I suppose you flog women and girls, as
  well as men.

  _A._ Women and men.

  _Q._ Mr. Caphart, how long have you been engaged in this business?

  _A._ Ever since 1836.

  _Q._ How many negroes do you suppose you have flogged, in all, women
  and children included?

  _A._ [Looking calmly round the room.] I don’t know how many niggers
  you have got here in Massachusetts, but I should think I had flogged
  as many as you’ve got in the state.

  [The same man testified that he was often employed to pursue
  fugitive slaves. His reply to the question was, “I never refuse a
  good job in that line.”]

  _Q._ Don’t they sometimes turn out bad jobs?

  _A._ Never, if I can help it.

  _Q._ Are they not sometimes discharged after you get them?

  _A._ Not often. I don’t know that they ever are, except those
  Portuguese the counsel read about.

  [I had found, in a Virginia report, a case of some two hundred
  Portuguese negroes, whom this John Caphart had seized from a vessel,
  and endeavored to get condemned as slaves, but whom the court

Hon. John P. Hale, associated with Mr. Dana, as counsel for the defence,
in the Rescue Trials, said of him, in his closing argument:

  Why, gentlemen, _he sells agony_! Torture is his stock-in-trade! He
  is a walking scourge! He hawks, peddles, retails, groans and tears
  about the streets of Norfolk!

See also the following correspondence between two traders, one in North
Carolina, the other in New Orleans; with a word of comment, by Hon.
William Jay, of New York:

                                      _Halifax, N. C., Nov. 16, 1839._

  DEAR SIR: I have shipped in the brig Addison,—prices are below:

                    No. 1. Caroline Ennis,  $650.00
                    No. 2. Silvy Holland,    625.00
                    No. 3. Silvy Booth,      487.50
                    No. 4. Maria Pollock,    475.00
                    No. 5. Emeline Pollock,  475.00
                    No. 6. Delia Averit,     475.00

  The two girls that cost $650 and $625 were bought before I shipped
  my first. I have a great many negroes offered to me, but I will not
  pay the prices they ask, for I know they will come down. I have no
  opposition in market. I will wait until I hear from you before I
  buy, and then I can judge what I must pay. Goodwin will send you the
  bill of lading for my negroes, as he shipped them with his own.
  Write often, as the times are critical, and it depends on the prices
  you get to govern me in buying. Yours, &c.,

                                                         G. W. BARNES.

           New Orleans.           }

  The above was a small but choice invoice of wives and mothers. Nine
  days before, namely, 7th Nov., Mr. Barnes advised Mr. Freeman of
  having shipped a lot of forty-three men and women. Mr. Freeman,
  informing one of his correspondents of the state of the market,
  writes (_Sunday_, 21st Sept., 1839), “I bought a boy yesterday,
  sixteen years old, and likely, _weighing_ one hundred and ten
  pounds, at $700. I sold a likely girl, twelve years old, at $500. I
  bought a man yesterday, twenty years old, six feet high, at $820;
  one _to-day_, twenty-four years old, at $850, black and sleek as a

The writer has drawn in this work only one class of the negro-traders.
There are all varieties of them, up to the great wholesale purchasers,
who keep their large trading-houses; who are gentlemanly in manners and
courteous in address; who, in many respects, often perform actions of
real generosity; who consider slavery a very great evil, and hope the
country will at some time be delivered from it, but who think that so
long as clergyman and layman, saint and sinner, are all agreed in the
propriety and necessity of slave-holding, it is better that the
necessary trade in the article be conducted by men of humanity and
decency, than by swearing, brutal men, of the Tom Loker school. These
men are exceedingly sensitive with regard to what they consider the
injustice of the world in excluding them from good society, simply
because they undertake to supply a demand in the community which the
bar, the press and the pulpit, all pronounce to be a proper one. In this
respect, society certainly imitates the unreasonableness of the ancient
Egyptians, who employed a certain class of men to prepare dead bodies
for embalming, but flew at them with sticks and stones the moment the
operation was over, on account of the sacrilegious liberty which they
had taken. If there is an ill-used class of men in the world, it is
certainly the slave-traders; for, if there is no harm in the institution
of slavery,—if it is a divinely-appointed and honorable one, like civil
government and the family state, and like other species of property
relation,—then there is no earthly reason why a man may not as
innocently be a slave-trader as any other kind of trader.

                              CHAPTER III.
                          MR. AND MRS. SHELBY.

It was the design of the writer, in delineating the domestic
arrangements of Mr. and Mrs. Shelby, to show a picture of the fairest
side of slave-life, where easy indulgence and good-natured forbearance
are tempered by just discipline and religious instruction, skilfully and
judiciously imparted.

The writer did not come to her task without reading much upon both sides
of the question, and making a particular effort to collect all the most
favorable representations of slavery which she could obtain. And, as the
reader may have a curiosity to examine some of the documents, the writer
will present them quite at large. There is no kind of danger to the
world in letting the very fairest side of slavery be seen; in fact, the
horrors and barbarities which are necessarily inherent in it are so
terrible that one stands absolutely in need of all the comfort which can
be gained from incidents like the subjoined, to save them from utter
despair of human nature. The first account is from Mr. J. K. Paulding’s
Letters on Slavery; and is a letter from a Virginia planter, whom we
should judge, from his style, to be a very amiable, agreeable man, and
who probably describes very fairly the state of things on his own

  DEAR SIR: As regards the first query, which relates to the “rights
  and duties of the slave,” I do not know how extensive a view of this
  branch of the subject is contemplated. In its simplest aspect, as
  understood and acted on in Virginia, I should say that the slave is
  entitled to an abundance of good plain food; to coarse but
  comfortable apparel; to a warm but humble dwelling; to protection
  when well, and to succor when sick; and, in return, that it is his
  duty to render to his master all the service he can consistently
  with perfect health, and to behave submissively and honestly. Other
  remarks suggest themselves, but they will be more appropriately
  introduced under different heads.

  2d. “The domestic relations of master and slave.”—These relations
  are much misunderstood by many persons at the North, who regard the
  terms as synonymous with oppressor and oppressed. Nothing can be
  further from the fact. The condition of the negroes in this state
  has been greatly ameliorated. The proprietors were formerly fewer
  and richer than at present. Distant quarters were often kept up to
  support the aristocratic mansion. They were rarely visited by their
  owners; and heartless overseers, frequently changed, were employed
  to manage them for a share of the crop. These men scourged the land,
  and sometimes the slaves. Their tenure was but for a year, and of
  course they made the most of their brief authority. Owing to the
  influence of our institutions, property has become subdivided, and
  most persons live on or near their estates. There are exceptions, to
  be sure, and particularly among wealthy gentlemen in the towns; but
  these last are almost all enlightened and humane, and alike liberal
  to the soil and to the slave who cultivates it. I could point out
  some noble instances of patriotic and spirited improvement among
  them. But, to return to the resident proprietors: most of them have
  been raised on the estates; from the older negroes they have
  received in infancy numberless acts of kindness; the younger ones
  have not unfrequently been their playmates (not the most suitable, I
  admit), and much good-will is thus generated on both sides. In
  addition to this, most men feel attached to their property; and this
  attachment is stronger in the case of persons than of things. I know
  it, and feel it. It is true, there are harsh masters; but there are
  also bad husbands and bad fathers. They are all exceptions to the
  rule, not the rule itself. Shall we therefore condemn in the gross
  those relations, and the rights and authority they imply, from their
  occasional abuse? I could mention many instances of strong
  attachment on the part of the slave, but will only adduce one or
  two, of which I have been the object. It became a question whether a
  faithful servant, bred up with me from boyhood, should give up his
  master or his wife and children, to whom he was affectionately
  attached, and most attentive and kind. The trial was a severe one,
  but he determined to break those tender ties and remain with me. I
  left it entirely to his discretion, though I would not, from
  considerations of interest, have taken for him quadruple the price I
  should probably have obtained. Fortunately, in the sequel, I was
  enabled to purchase his family, with the exception of a daughter,
  happily situated; and nothing but death shall henceforth part them.
  Were it put to the test, I am convinced that many masters would
  receive this striking proof of devotion. A gentleman but a day or
  two since informed me of a similar, and even stronger case, afforded
  by one of his slaves. As the reward of assiduous and delicate
  attention to a venerated parent, in her last illness, I proposed to
  purchase and liberate a healthy and intelligent woman, about thirty
  years of age, the best nurse, and, in all respects, one of the best
  servants in the state, of which I was only part owner; but she
  declined to leave the family, and has been since rather better than
  free. I shall be excused for stating a ludicrous case I heard of
  some time ago:—A favorite and indulged servant requested his master
  to sell him to another gentleman. His master refused to do so, but
  told him he was at perfect liberty to go to the North, if he were
  not already free enough. After a while he repeated the request; and,
  on being urged to give an explanation of his singular conduct, told
  his master that he considered himself consumptive, and would soon
  die; and he thought Mr. B—— was better able to bear the loss than
  his master. He was sent to a medicinal spring and recovered his
  health, if, indeed, he had ever lost it, of which his master had
  been unapprised. It may not be amiss to describe my deportment
  towards my servants, whom I endeavor to render happy while I make
  them profitable. I never turn a deaf ear, but listen patiently to
  their communications. I chat familiarly with those who have passed
  service, or have not begun to render it. With the others I observe a
  more prudent reserve, but I encourage all to approach me without
  awe. I hardly ever go to town without having commissions to execute
  for some of them; and think they prefer to employ me, from a belief
  that, if their money should not quite hold out, I would add a little
  to it; and I not unfrequently do, in order to get a better article.
  The relation between myself and my slaves is decidedly friendly. I
  keep up pretty exact discipline, mingled with kindness, and hardly
  ever lose property by thievish, or labor by runaway slaves. I never
  lock the outer doors of my house. It is done, but done by the
  servants; and I rarely bestow a thought on the matter. I leave home
  periodically for two months, and commit the dwelling-house, plate,
  and other valuables, to the servants, without even an enumeration of
  the articles.

  3d. “The duration of the labor of the slave.”—The day is usually
  considered long enough. Employment at night is not exacted by me,
  except to shell corn once a week for their own consumption, and on a
  few other extraordinary occasions. _The people_, as we generally
  call them, are required to leave their houses at daybreak, and to
  work until dark, with the intermission of half an hour to an hour at
  breakfast, and one to two hours at dinner, according to the season
  and sort of work. In this respect I suppose our negroes will bear a
  favorable comparison with any laborers whatever.

  4th. “The liberty usually allowed the slave,—his holidays and
  amusements, and the way in which they usually spend their evenings
  and holidays.”—They are prohibited from going off the estate without
  first obtaining leave; though they often transgress, and with
  impunity, except in flagrant cases. Those who have wives on other
  plantations visit them on certain specified nights, and have an
  allowance of time for going and returning, proportioned to the
  distance. My negroes are permitted, and, indeed, encouraged, to
  raise as many ducks and chickens as they can; to cultivate
  vegetables for their own use, and a patch of corn for sale; to
  exercise their trades, when they possess one, which many do; to
  catch muskrats and other animals for the fur or the flesh; to raise
  bees, and, in fine, to earn an honest penny in any way which chance
  or their own ingenuity may offer. The modes specified are, however,
  those most commonly resorted to, and enable provident servants to
  make from five to thirty dollars apiece. The corn is of a different
  sort from that which I cultivate, and is all bought by me. A great
  many fowls are raised; I have this year known ten dollars worth sold
  by one man at one time. One of the chief sources of profit is the
  fur of the muskrat; for the purpose of catching which the marshes on
  the estate have been parcelled out and appropriated from time
  immemorial, and are held by a tenure little short of fee-simple. The
  negroes are indebted to Nat Turner[1] and Tappan for a curtailment
  of some of their privileges. As a sincere friend to the blacks, I
  have much regretted the reckless interference of these persons, on
  account of the restrictions it has become, or been thought,
  necessary to impose. Since the exploit of the former hero, they have
  been forbidden to preach, except to their fellow-slaves, the
  property of the same owner; to have public funerals, unless a white
  person officiates; or to be taught to read and write. Their funerals
  formerly gave them great satisfaction, and it was customary here to
  furnish the relations of the deceased with bacon, spirit, flour,
  sugar and butter, with which a grand entertainment, in their way,
  was got up. We were once much amused by a hearty fellow requesting
  his mistress to let him have his funeral during his lifetime, when
  it would do him some good. The waggish request was granted; and I
  venture to say there never was a funeral the subject of which
  enjoyed it so much. When permitted, some of our negroes preached
  with great fluency. I was present, a few years since, when an
  Episcopal minister addressed the people, by appointment. On the
  conclusion of an excellent sermon, a negro preacher rose and thanked
  the gentleman kindly for his discourse, but frankly told him the
  congregation “did not understand his _lingo_.” He then proceeded
  himself, with great vehemence and volubility, coining words where
  they had not been made to his hand, or rather his tongue, and
  impressing his hearers, doubtless, with a decided opinion of his
  superiority over his white co-laborer in the field of grace. My
  brother and I, who own contiguous estates, have lately erected a
  chapel on the line between them, and have employed an acceptable
  minister of the Baptist persuasion, to which the negroes almost
  exclusively belong, to afford them religious instruction. Except as
  a preparatory step to emancipation, I consider it exceedingly
  impolitic, even as regards the slaves themselves, to permit them to
  read and write: “Where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.”
  And it is certainly impolitic as regards their masters, on the
  principle that “knowledge is power.” My servants have not as long
  holidays as those of most other persons. I allow three days at
  Christmas, and a day at each of three other periods, besides a
  little time to work their patches; or, if very busy, I sometimes
  prefer to work them myself. Most of the ancient pastimes have been
  lost in this neighborhood, and religion, mock or real, has succeeded
  them. The banjo, their national instrument, is known but in name, or
  in a few of the tunes which have survived. Some of the younger
  negroes sing and dance, but the evenings and holidays are usually
  occupied in working, in visiting, and in praying and singing hymns.
  The primitive customs and sports are, I believe, better preserved
  further south, where slaves were brought from Africa long after they
  ceased to come here.

  6th. “The provision usually made for their food and clothing,—for
  those who are too young or too old to labor.”—My men receive twelve
  quarts of Indian meal (the abundant and universal allowance in this
  state), seven salted herrings, and two pounds of smoked bacon or
  three pounds of pork, a week; the other hands proportionally less.
  But, generally speaking, their food is issued daily, with the
  exception of meal, and consists of fish or bacon for breakfast, and
  meat, fresh or salted, with vegetables whenever we can provide them,
  for dinner; or, for a month or two in the spring, fresh fish cooked
  with a little bacon. This mode is rather more expensive to me than
  that of weekly rations, but more comfortable to the servants.
  Superannuated or invalid slaves draw their provisions regularly once
  a week; and the moment a child ceases to be nourished by its mother,
  it receives eight quarts of meal (more than it can consume), and one
  half-pound of lard. Besides the food furnished by me, nearly all the
  servants are able to make some addition from their private stores;
  and there is among the adults hardly an instance of one so
  improvident as not to do it. He must be an unthrifty fellow, indeed,
  who cannot realize the wish of the famous Henry IV. in regard to the
  French peasantry, and enjoy his fowl on Sunday. I always keep on
  hand, for the use of the negroes, sugar, molasses, &c., which,
  though not regularly issued, are applied for on the slightest
  pretexts, and frequently no pretext at all, and are never refused,
  except in cases of misconduct. In regard to clothing:—the men and
  boys receive a winter coat and trousers of strong cloth, three
  shirts, a stout pair of shoes and socks, and a pair of summer
  pantaloons, every year; a hat about every second year, and a
  great-coat and blanket every third year. Instead of great-coats and
  hats, the women have large capes to protect the bust in bad weather,
  and handkerchiefs for the head. The articles furnished are good and
  serviceable; and, with their own acquisitions, make their appearance
  decent and respectable. On Sunday they are even fine. The aged and
  invalid are clad as regularly as the rest, but less substantially.
  Mothers receive a little raw cotton, in proportion to the number of
  children, with the privilege of having the yarn, when spun, woven at
  my expense. I provide them with blankets. Orphans are put with
  careful women, and treated with tenderness. I am attached to the
  little slaves, and encourage familiarity among them. Sometimes, when
  I ride near the quarters, they come running after me with the most
  whimsical requests, and are rendered happy by the distribution of
  some little donation. The clothing described is that which is given
  to the crop hands. Home-servants, a numerous class in Virginia, are
  of course clad in a different and very superior manner. I neglected
  to mention, in the proper place, that there are on each of my
  plantations a kitchen, an oven, and one or more cooks; and that each
  hand is furnished with a tin bucket for his food, which is carried
  into the field by little negroes, who also supply the laborers with

  7th. “Their treatment when sick.”—My negroes go, or are carried, as
  soon as they are attacked, to a spacious and well-ventilated
  hospital, near the mansion-house. They are there received by an
  attentive nurse, who has an assortment of medicine, additional
  bed-clothing, and the command of as much light food as she may
  require, either from the table or the store-room of the proprietor.
  Wine, sago, rice, and other little comforts appertaining to such an
  establishment, are always kept on hand. The condition of the sick is
  much better than that of the poor whites or free colored people in
  the neighborhood.

  8th. “Their rewards and punishments.”—I occasionally bestow little
  gratuities for good conduct, and particularly after harvest; and
  hardly ever refuse a favor asked by those who faithfully perform
  their duty. Vicious and idle servants are punished with stripes,
  moderately inflicted; to which, in the case of theft, is added
  privation of meat, a severe punishment to those who are never
  suffered to be without it on any other account. From my limited
  observation, I think that servants to the North work much harder
  than our slaves. I was educated at a college in one of the free
  states, and, on my return to Virginia, was struck with the contrast.
  I was astonished at the number of idle domestics, and actually
  worried my mother, much to my contrition since, to reduce the
  establishment. I say to my contrition, because, after eighteen
  years’ residence in the good Old Dominion, I find myself surrounded
  by a troop of servants about as numerous as that against which I
  formerly so loudly exclaimed. While on this subject it may not be
  amiss to state a case of manumission which occurred about three
  years since. My nearest neighbor, a man of immense wealth, owned a
  favorite servant, a fine fellow, with polished manners and excellent
  disposition, who reads and writes, and is thoroughly versed in the
  duties of a butler and housekeeper, in the performance of which he
  was trusted without limit. This man was, on the death of his master,
  emancipated with a legacy of six thousand dollars, besides about two
  thousand dollars more which he had been permitted to accumulate, and
  had deposited with his master, who had given him credit for it. The
  use that this man, apparently so well qualified for freedom, and who
  has had an opportunity of travelling and of judging for himself,
  makes of his money and his time, is somewhat remarkable. In
  consequence of his exemplary conduct, he has been permitted to
  reside in the state, and for very moderate wages occupies the same
  situation he did in the old establishment, and will probably
  continue to occupy it as long as he lives. He has no children of his
  own, but has put a little girl, a relation of his, to school. Except
  in this instance, and in the purchase of a few plain articles of
  furniture, his freedom and his money seem not much to have benefited
  him. A servant of mine, who is intimate with him, thinks he is not
  as happy as he was before his liberation. Several other servants
  were freed at the same time, with smaller legacies, but I do not
  know what has become of them.

  I do not regard negro-slavery, however mitigated, as a Utopian
  system, and have not intended so to delineate it. But it exists, and
  the difficulty of removing it is felt and acknowledged by all, save
  the fanatics, who, like “fools, rush in where angels dare not
  tread.” It is pleasing to know that its burdens are not too heavy to
  be borne. That the treatment of slaves in this state is humane, and
  even indulgent, may be inferred from the fact of their rapid
  increase and great longevity. I believe that, constituted as they
  are, morally and physically, they are as happy as any peasantry in
  the world; and I venture to affirm, as the result of my reading and
  inquiry, that in no country are the laborers so liberally and
  invariably supplied with bread and meat as are the negro slaves of
  the United States. However great the dearth of provisions, famine
  never reaches them.

  P. S.—It might have been stated above that on this estate there are
  about one hundred and sixty blacks. With the exception of infants,
  there has been, in eighteen months, but one death that I
  remember,—that of a man fully sixty-five years of age. The bill for
  medical attendance, from the second day of last November, comprising
  upwards of a year, is less than forty dollars.

The following accounts are taken from “Ingraham’s Travels in the
South-west,” a work which seems to have been written as much to show the
beauties of slavery as anything else. Speaking of the state of things on
some Southern plantations, he gives the following pictures, which are
presented without note or comment:

  The little candidates for “field honors” are useless articles on a
  plantation during the first five or six years of their existence.
  They are then to take their first lesson in the elementary part of
  their education. When they have learned their manual alphabet
  tolerably well, they are placed in the field to take a spell at
  cotton-picking. The first day in the field is their proudest day.
  The young negroes look forward to it with as much restlessness and
  impatience as school-boys to a vacation. Black children are not put
  to work so young as many children of poor parents in the North. It
  is often the case that the children of the domestic servants become
  pets in the house, and the playmates of the white children of the
  family. No scene can be livelier or more interesting to a
  Northerner, than that which the negro quarters of a well-regulated
  plantation present on a Sabbath morning, just before church-hours.
  In every cabin the men are shaving and dressing; the women, arrayed
  in their gay muslins, are arranging their frizzly hair,—in which
  they take no little pride,—or investigating the condition of their
  children; the old people, neatly clothed, are quietly conversing or
  smoking about the doors; and those of the younger portion who are
  not undergoing the infliction of the wash-tub are enjoying
  themselves in the shade of the trees, or around some little pond,
  with as much zest as though slavery and freedom were synonymous
  terms. When all are dressed, and the hour arrives for worship, they
  lock up their cabins, and the whole population of the little village
  proceeds to the chapel, where divine service is performed, sometimes
  by an officiating clergyman, and often by the planter himself, if a
  church-member. The whole plantation is also frequently formed into a
  Sabbath class, which is instructed by the planter, or some member of
  his family; and often, such is the anxiety of the master that they
  should perfectly understand what they are taught,—a hard matter in
  the present state of their intellect,—that no means calculated to
  advance their progress are left untried. I was not long since shown
  a manuscript catechism, drawn up with great care and judgment by a
  distinguished planter, on a plan admirably adapted to the
  comprehension of the negroes.

  It is now popular to treat slaves with kindness; and those planters
  who are known to be inhumanly rigorous to their slaves are scarcely
  countenanced by the more intelligent and humane portion of the
  community. Such instances, however, are very rare; but there are
  unprincipled men everywhere, who will give vent to their ill
  feelings and bad passions, not with less good will upon the back of
  an indented apprentice, than upon that of a purchased slave. Private
  chapels are now introduced upon most of the plantations of the more
  wealthy, which are far from any church; Sabbath-schools are
  instituted for the black children, and Bible-classes for the
  parents, which are superintended by the planter, a chaplain, or some
  of the female members of the family.

  Nor are planters indifferent to the comfort of their gray-headed
  slaves. I have been much affected at beholding many exhibitions of
  their kindly feeling towards them. They always address them in a
  mild and pleasant manner, as “Uncle,” or “Aunty,”—titles as peculiar
  to the old negro and negress as “boy” and “girl” to all under forty
  years of age. Some old Africans are allowed to spend their last
  years in their houses, without doing any kind of labor; these, if
  not too infirm, cultivate little patches of ground, on which they
  raise a few vegetables,—for vegetables grow nearly all the year
  round in this climate,—and make a little money to purchase a few
  extra comforts. They are also always receiving presents from their
  masters and mistresses, and the negroes on the estate, the latter of
  whom are extremely desirous of seeing the old people comfortable. A
  relation of the extra comforts which some planters allow their
  slaves would hardly obtain credit at the North. But you must
  recollect that Southern planters are men, and men of feeling,
  generous and high-minded, and possessing as much of the “milk of
  human kindness” as the sons of colder climes—although they may have
  been educated to regard that as right which a different education
  has led Northerners to consider wrong.

With regard to the character of Mrs. Shelby the writer must say a few
words. While travelling in Kentucky, a few years since, some pious
ladies expressed to her the same sentiments with regard to slavery which
the reader has heard expressed by Mrs. Shelby.

There are many whose natural sense of justice cannot be made to tolerate
the enormities of the system, even though they hear it defended by
clergymen from the pulpit, and see it countenanced by all that is most
honorable in rank and wealth.

A pious lady said to the author, with regard to instructing her slaves,
“I am ashamed to teach them what is right; I know that they know as well
as I do that it is wrong to hold them as slaves, and I am ashamed to
look them in the face.” Pointing to an intelligent mulatto woman who
passed through the room, she continued, “Now, there’s B——. She is as
intelligent and capable as any white woman I ever knew, and as well able
to have her liberty and take care of herself; and she knows it isn’t
right to keep her as we do, and I know it too; and yet I cannot get my
husband to think as I do, or I should be glad to set them free.”

A venerable friend of the writer, a lady born and educated a
slave-holder, used to the writer the very words attributed to Mrs.
Shelby:—“I never thought it was right to hold slaves. I always thought
it was wrong when I was a girl, and I thought so still more when I came
to join the church.” An incident related by this friend of her
examination for the church shows in a striking manner what a difference
may often exist between theoretical and practical benevolence.

A certain class of theologians in America have advocated the doctrine of
disinterested benevolence with such zeal as to make it an imperative
article of belief that every individual ought to be willing to endure
everlasting misery, if by doing so they could, on the whole, produce a
greater amount of general good in the universe; and the inquiry was
sometimes made of candidates for church-membership whether they could
bring themselves to this point, as a test of their sincerity. The
clergyman who was to examine this lady was particularly interested in
these speculations. When he came to inquire of her with regard to her
views as to the obligations of Christianity, she informed him decidedly
that she had brought her mind to the point of emancipating all her
slaves, of whom she had a large number. The clergyman seemed rather to
consider this as an excess of zeal, and recommended that she should take
time to reflect upon it. He was, however, very urgent to know whether,
if it should appear for the greatest good of the universe, she would be
willing to be damned. Entirely unaccustomed to theological speculations,
the good woman answered, with some vehemence, that “she was sure she was
not;” adding, naturally enough, that if that had been her purpose she
need not have come to join the church. The good lady, however, was
admitted, and proved her devotion to the general good by the more
tangible method of setting all her slaves at liberty, and carefully
watching over their education and interests after they were liberated.

Mrs. Shelby is a fair type of the very best class of Southern women; and
while the evils of the institution are felt and deplored, and while the
world looks with just indignation on the national support and patronage
which is given to it, and on the men who, knowing its nature,
deliberately make efforts to perpetuate and extend it, it is but justice
that it should bear in mind the virtues of such persons.

Many of them, surrounded by circumstances over which they can have no
control, perplexed by domestic cares of which women in free states can
have very little conception, loaded down by duties and responsibilities
which wear upon the very springs of life, still go on bravely and
patiently from day to day, doing all they can to alleviate what they
cannot prevent, and, as far as the sphere of their own immediate power
extends, rescuing those who are dependent upon them from the evils of
the system.

We read of Him who shall at last come to judgment, that “His fan is in
his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat
into the garner.” Out of the great abyss of national sin he will rescue
every grain of good and honest purpose and intention. His eyes, which
are as a flame of fire, penetrate at once those intricate mazes where
human judgment is lost, and will save and honor at last the truly good
and sincere, however they may have been involved with the evil; and such
souls as have resisted the greatest temptations, and persisted in good
under the most perplexing circumstances, are those of whom he has
written, “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day
when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own
son that serveth him.”


Footnote 1:

  The leader of the insurrection in lower Virginia, in which upwards of
  a hundred white persons, principally women and children, were
  massacred in cold blood.

                              CHAPTER IV.
                             GEORGE HARRIS.

The character of George Harris has been represented as overdrawn, both
as respects personal qualities and general intelligence. It has been
said, too, that so many afflictive incidents happening to a slave are
improbable, and present a distorted view of the institution.

In regard to person, it must be remembered that the half-breeds often
inherit, to a great degree, the traits of their white ancestors. For
this there is abundant evidence in the advertisements of the papers.
Witness the following from the _Chattanooga_ (Tenn.) _Gazette_, Oct.
5th, 1852:

                              $500 REWARD.


  Runaway from the subscriber, on the 25th May, a VERY BRIGHT MULATTO
  BOY, about 21 or 22 years old, named WASH. Said boy, without close
  observation, might pass himself for a white man, as he is very
  bright—has sandy hair, blue eyes, and a fine set of teeth. He is an
  excellent bricklayer; but I have no idea that he will pursue his
  trade, for fear of detection. Although he is like a white man in
  appearance, he has the disposition of a negro, and delights in comic
  songs and witty expressions. He is an excellent house servant, very
  handy about a hotel,—tall, slender, and has rather a down look,
  especially when spoken to, and is sometimes inclined to be sulky. I
  have no doubt but he has been decoyed off by some scoundrel, and I
  will give the above reward for the apprehension of the boy and
  thief, if delivered at Chattanooga. Or, I will give $200 for the boy
  alone; or $100 if confined in any jail in the United States, so that
  I can get him.

                                                    GEORGE O. RAGLAND.

  _Chattanooga, June 15, 1852._

From the _Capitolian Vis-a-vis_, West Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Nov. 1,

                              $150 REWARD.

  Runaway about the 15th of August last, _Joe_, a yellow man; small,
  about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, and about 20 years of age. _Has a
  Roman nose_, was raised in New Orleans, and _speaks French and
  English_. He was bought last winter of Mr. Digges, Banks Arcade, New

In regard to general intelligence, the reader will recollect that the
writer stated it as a fact which she learned while on a journey through
Kentucky, that a young colored man invented a machine for cleaning hemp,
like that alluded to in her story.

Advertisements, also, occasionally propose for sale artisans of
different descriptions. Slaves are often employed as pilots for vessels,
and highly valued for their skill and knowledge. The following are
advertisements from recent newspapers.

From the _South Carolinian_ (Columbia), Dec. 4th, 1852:

                      VALUABLE NEGROES AT AUCTION.

                          BY J. & L. T. LEVIN.

  WILL be sold, on MONDAY, the 6th day of December, the following
  valuable NEGROES:

  Andrew, 24 years of age, a bricklayer and plasterer, and thorough

  George, 22 years of age, one of the best barbers in the State.

  James, 19 years of age, an excellent painter.

  These boys were raised in Columbia, and are exceptions to most of
  boys, and are sold for no fault whatever.

  The terms of sale are one-half cash, the balance on a credit of six
  months, with interest, for notes payable at bank, with two or more
  approved endorsers.

  Purchasers to pay for necessary papers.

                                                     WILLIAM DOUGLASS.

  _November 27, 36._

From the same paper, of November 18th, 1852:

  Will be sold at private sale, a LIKELY MAN, boat hand, and good
  pilot; is well acquainted with all the inlets between here and
  Savannah and Georgetown.

With regard to the incidents of George Harris’ life, that he may not be
supposed a purely exceptional case, we propose to offer some parallel
facts from the lives of slaves of our personal acquaintance.

Lewis Clark is an acquaintance of the writer. Soon after his escape from
slavery, he was received into the family of a sister-in-law of the
author, and there educated. His conduct during this time was such as to
win for him uncommon affection and respect, and the author has
frequently heard him spoken of in the highest terms by all who knew him.

The gentleman in whose family he so long resided says of him, in a
recent letter to the writer, “I would trust him, as the saying is, with
untold gold.”

Lewis is a quadroon, a fine-looking man, with European features, hair
slightly wavy, and with an intelligent, agreeable expression of

The reader is now desired to compare the following incidents of his
life, part of which he related personally to the author, with the
incidents of the life of George Harris.

His mother was a handsome quadroon woman, the daughter of her master,
and given by him in marriage to a free white man, a Scotchman, with the
express understanding that she and her children were to be free. This
engagement, if made sincerely at all, was never complied with. His
mother had nine children, and, on the death of her husband, came back,
with all these children, as slaves in her father’s house.

A married daughter of the family, who was the dread of the whole
household, on account of the violence of her temper, had taken from the
family, upon her marriage, a young girl. By the violence of her abuse
she soon reduced the child to a state of idiocy, and then came
imperiously back to her father’s establishment, declaring that the child
was good for nothing, and that she would have another; and, as poor
Lewis’ evil star would have it, fixed her eye upon him.

To avoid one of her terrible outbreaks of temper, the family offered up
this boy as a pacificatory sacrifice. The incident is thus described by
Lewis, in a published narrative:

  Every boy was ordered in, to pass before this female sorceress, that
  she might select a victim for her unprovoked malice, and on whom to
  pour the vials of her wrath for years. I was that unlucky fellow.
  Mr. Campbell, my grandfather, objected, because it would divide a
  family, and offered her Moses; * * * but objections and claims of
  every kind were swept away by the wild passion and shrill-toned
  voice of Mrs. B. Me she would have, and none else. Mr. Campbell went
  out to hunt, and drive away bad thoughts; the old lady became quiet,
  for she was sure none of her blood run in my veins, and, if there
  was any of her husband’s there, it was no fault of hers.
  Slave-holding women are always revengeful toward the children of
  slaves that have any of the blood of their husbands in them. I was
  too young—only seven years of age—to understand what was going on.
  But my poor and affectionate mother understood and appreciated it
  all. When she left the kitchen of the mansion-house, where she was
  employed as cook, and came home to her own little cottage, the tear
  of anguish was in her eye, and the image of sorrow upon every
  feature of her face. She knew the female Nero whose rod was now to
  be over me. That night sleep departed from her eyes. With the
  youngest child clasped firmly to her bosom, she spent the night in
  walking the floor, coming ever and anon to lift up the clothes and
  look at me and my poor brother, who lay sleeping together.
  _Sleeping_, I said. Brother slept, but not I. I saw my mother when
  she first came to me, and I could not sleep. The vision of that
  night—its deep, ineffaceable impression—is now before my mind with
  all the distinctness of yesterday. In the morning I was put into the
  carriage with Mrs. B. and her children, and my weary pilgrimage of
  suffering was fairly begun.

Mrs. Banton is a character that can only exist where the laws of the
land clothe with absolute power the coarsest, most brutal and
violent-tempered, equally with the most generous and humane.

If irresponsible power is a trial to the virtue of the most watchful and
careful, how fast must it develop cruelty in those who are naturally
violent and brutal!

This woman was united to a drunken husband, of a temper equally
ferocious. A recital of all the physical torture which this pair
contrived to inflict on a hapless child, some of which have left
ineffaceable marks on his person, would be too trying to humanity, and
we gladly draw a veil over it.

Some incidents, however, are presented in the following extracts:

  A very trivial offence was sufficient to call forth a great burst of
  indignation from this woman of ungoverned passions. In my
  simplicity, I put my lips to the same vessel, and drank out of it,
  from which her children were accustomed to drink. She expressed her
  utter abhorrence of such an act by throwing my head violently back,
  and dashing into my face two dippers of water. The shower of water
  was followed by a heavier shower of _kicks_; but the words, bitter
  and cutting, that followed, were like a storm of hail upon my young
  heart. “She would teach me better manners than that; she would let
  me know I was to be brought up to her hand; she would have _one_
  slave that knew his place; if I wanted water, go to the spring, and
  not drink there in the house.” This was new times for me; for some
  days I was completely benumbed with my sorrow.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  If there be one so lost to all feeling as even to say that the
  slaves do not suffer when _families_ are separated, let such a one
  go to the ragged quilt which was my couch and pillow, and stand
  there night after night, for long, weary hours, and see the bitter
  tears streaming down the face of that more than orphan boy, while
  with half-suppressed sighs and sobs he calls again and again upon
  his absent mother.

            “Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed?
            Hovered thy spirit o’er thy sorrowing son?
            Wretch even _then_! life’s journey just begun.”

He was employed till late at night in spinning flax or rocking the baby,
and called at a very early hour in the morning; and if he did not start
at the first summons, a cruel chastisement was sure to follow. He says:

  Such horror has seized me, lest I might not hear the first shrill
  call, that I have often in dreams fancied I heard that unwelcome
  voice, and have leaped from my couch and walked through the house
  and out of it before I awoke. I have gone and called the other
  slaves, in my sleep, and asked them if they did not hear master
  call. Never, while I live, will the remembrance of those long,
  bitter nights of fear pass from my mind.

He adds to this words which should be deeply pondered by those who lay
the flattering unction to their souls that the oppressed do not feel the
sundering of family ties.

  But all my severe labor, and bitter and cruel punishments, for these
  ten years of captivity with this worse than Arab family, all these
  were as nothing to the sufferings I experienced by being separated
  from my mother, brothers and sisters; the same things, with them
  near to sympathize with me, to hear my story of sorrow, would have
  been comparatively tolerable.

  They were distant only about thirty miles; and yet, in ten long,
  lonely years of childhood, I was only permitted to see them three

  My mother occasionally found an opportunity to send me some token of
  remembrance and affection,—a sugar-plum or an apple; but I scarcely
  ever ate them; they were laid up, and handled and wept over, till
  they wasted away in my hand.

  My thoughts continually by day, and my dreams by night, were of
  mother and home; and the horror experienced in the morning, when I
  awoke and behold it was a dream, is beyond the power of language to

Lewis had a beautiful sister by the name of Delia, who, on the death of
her grandfather, was sold, with all the other children of his mother,
for the purpose of dividing the estate. She was a pious girl, a member
of the Baptist church. She fell into the hands of a brutal, drunken man,
who wished to make her his mistress. Milton Clark, a brother of Lewis,
in the narrative of his life describes the scene where he, with his
mother, stood at the door while this girl was brutally whipped before it
for wishing to conform to the principles of her Christian profession. As
her resolution was unconquerable, she was placed in a coffle and sent
down to the New Orleans market. Here she was sold to a Frenchman, named
Coval. He took her to Mexico, emancipated and married her. After
residing some time in France and the West Indies with him, he died,
leaving her a fortune of twenty or thirty thousand dollars. At her death
she endeavored to leave this by will to purchase the freedom of her
brothers; but, as a slave cannot take property, or even have it left in
trust for him, they never received any of it.

The incidents of the recovery of Lewis’ freedom are thus told:

  I had long thought and dreamed of LIBERTY. I was now determined to
  make an effort to gain it. No tongue can tell the doubt, the
  perplexities, the anxiety, which a slave feels, when making up his
  mind upon this subject. If he makes an effort, and is not
  successful, he must be laughed at by his fellows, he will be beaten
  unmercifully by the master, and then watched and used the harder for
  it all his life.

  And then, if he gets away, _who_, _what_ will he find? He is
  ignorant of the world. All the white part of mankind, that he has
  ever seen, are enemies to him and all his kindred. How can he
  venture where none but white faces shall greet him? The master tells
  him that abolitionists _decoy_ slaves off into the free states to
  catch them and sell them to Louisiana or Mississippi; and, if he
  goes to Canada, the British will put him in a _mine under ground,
  with both eyes put out, for life_. How does he know what or whom to
  believe? A horror of great darkness comes upon him, as he thinks
  over what may befall him. Long, very long time did I think of
  escaping, before I made the effort.

  At length, the report was started that I was to be sold for
  Louisiana. Then I thought it was time to act. My mind was made up.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  What my feelings were when I reached the free shore can be better
  imagined than described. I trembled all over with deep emotion, and
  I could feel my hair rise up on my head. I was on what was called a
  _free_ soil, among a people who had no slaves. I saw white men at
  work, and no slave smarting beneath the lash. Everything was indeed
  _new_ and wonderful. Not knowing where to find a friend, and being
  ignorant of the country, unwilling to inquire, lest I should betray
  my ignorance, it was a whole week before I reached Cincinnati. At
  one place where I put up, I had a great many more questions put to
  me than I wished to answer. At another place, I was very much
  annoyed by the officiousness of the landlord, who made it a point to
  supply every guest with newspapers. I took the copy handed me, and
  turned it over, in a somewhat awkward manner, I suppose. He came to
  me to point out a veto, or some other very important news. I thought
  it best to decline his assistance, and gave up the paper, saying my
  eyes were not in a fit condition to read much.

  At another place, the neighbors, on learning that a Kentuckian was
  at the tavern, came, in great earnestness, to find out what my
  business was. Kentuckians sometimes came there to kidnap their
  citizens. They were in the habit of watching them close. I at length
  satisfied them by assuring them that I was not, nor my father before
  me, any slave-holder at all; but, lest their suspicions should be
  excited in another direction, I added my grandfather was a

                  *       *       *       *       *

  At daylight we were in Canada. When I stepped ashore here, I said,
  sure enough, I AM FREE. Good heavens! what a sensation, when it
  first visits the bosom of a full-grown man; one _born_ to bondage;
  one who had been taught, from early infancy, that this was his
  inevitable lot for life! Not till _then_ did I dare to cherish, for
  a moment, the feeling that _one_ of the limbs of my body was my own.
  The slaves often say, when cut in the hand or foot, “Plague on the
  old foot” or “the old hand! It is master’s,—let him take care of it.
  Nigger don’t care if he never get well.” My hands, my feet, were now
  my own.

It will be recollected that George, in conversing with Eliza, gives an
account of a scene in which he was violently beaten by his master’s
young son. This incident was suggested by the following letter from John
M. Nelson to Mr. Theodore Weld, given in _Slavery as It Is_, p. 51.

Mr. Nelson removed from Virginia to Highland County, Ohio, many years
since, where he is extensively known and respected. The letter is dated
January 3d, 1839.

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

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

With regard to the intelligence of George, and his teaching himself to
read and write, there is a most interesting and affecting parallel to it
in the “Life of Frederick Douglass,”—a book which can be recommended to
any one who has a curiosity to trace the workings of an intelligent and
active mind through all the squalid misery, degradation and oppression,
of slavery. A few incidents will be given.

Like Clark, Douglass was the son of a white man. He was a plantation
slave in a proud old family. His situation, probably, may be considered
as an average one; that is to say, he led a life of dirt, degradation,
discomfort of various kinds, made tolerable as a matter of daily habit,
and considered as enviable in comparison with the lot of those who
suffer worse abuse. An incident which Douglass relates of his mother is
touching. He states that it is customary at an early age to separate
mothers from their children, for the purpose of blunting and deadening
natural affection. When he was three years old his mother was sent to
work on a plantation eight or ten miles distant, and after that he never
saw her except in the night. After her day’s toil she would occasionally
walk over to her child, lie down with him in her arms, hush him to sleep
in her bosom, then rise up and walk back again to be ready for her field
work by daylight. Now, we ask the highest-born lady in England or
America, who is a mother, whether this does not show that this poor
field-laborer had in her bosom, beneath her dirt and rags, a true
mother’s heart?

The last and bitterest indignity which has been heaped on the head of
the unhappy slaves has been the denial to them of those holy affections
which God gives alike to all. We are told, in fine phrase, by languid
ladies of fashion, that “it is not to be supposed that those creatures
have the same feelings that we have,” when, perhaps, the very speaker
could not endure one tithe of the fatigue and suffering which the
slave-mother often bears for her child. Every mother who has a mother’s
heart within her, ought to know that this is blasphemy against nature,
and, standing between the cradle of her living and the grave of her dead
child, should indignantly reject such a slander on all motherhood.

Douglass thus relates the account of his learning to read, after he had
been removed to the situation of house-servant in Baltimore.

It seems that his mistress, newly married and unaccustomed to the
management of slaves, was very kind to him, and, among other acts of
kindness, commenced teaching him to read. His master, discovering what
was going on, he says,

  At once forbade Mrs. Auld to instruct me further, telling her, among
  other things, that it was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a
  slave to read. To use his own words, further, he said, “If you give
  a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. A nigger should know nothing
  but to obey his master—to do as he is told to do. Learning would
  _spoil_ the best nigger in the world. Now,” said he, “if you teach
  that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there would be no
  keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at
  once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. As to
  himself, it could do him no good, but a great deal of harm. It would
  make him discontented and unhappy.” There words sank deep into my
  heart, stirred up sentiments within that lay slumbering, and called
  into existence an entirely new train of thought. It was a new and
  special revelation, explaining dark and mysterious things, with
  which my youthful understanding had struggled, but struggled in
  vain. I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing
  difficulty—to wit, the white man’s power to enslave the black man.
  It was a grand achievement, and I prized it highly. From that
  moment, I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom.

After this, his mistress was as watchful to prevent his learning to read
as she had before been to instruct him. His course after this he thus

  From this time I was most narrowly watched. If I was in a separate
  room any considerable length of time, I was sure to be suspected of
  having a book, and was at once called to give an account of myself.
  All this, however, was too late. The first step had been taken.
  Mistress, in teaching me the alphabet, had given me the _inch_, and
  no precaution could prevent me from taking the _ell_.

  The plan which I adopted, and the one by which I was most
  successful, was that of making friends of all the little white boys
  whom I met in the street. As many of these as I could I converted
  into teachers. With their kindly aid, obtained at different times
  and in different places, I finally succeeded in learning to read.
  When I was sent of errands I always took my book with me, and by
  going one part of my errand quickly, I found time to get a lesson
  before my return. I used also to carry bread with me, enough of
  which was always in the house, and to which I was always welcome;
  for I was much better off in this regard than many of the poor white
  children in our neighborhood. This bread I used to bestow upon the
  hungry little urchins, who, in return, would give me that more
  valuable bread of knowledge. I am strongly tempted to give the names
  of two or three of those little boys, as a testimonial of the
  gratitude and affection I bear them; but prudence forbids;—not that
  it would injure me, but it might embarrass them; for it is almost an
  unpardonable offence to teach slaves to read in this Christian
  country. It is enough to say of the dear little fellows, that they
  lived on Philpot-street, very near Durgin and Bailey’s ship-yard. I
  used to talk this matter of slavery over with them. I would
  sometimes say to them I wished I could be as free as they would be
  when they got to be men. “You will be free as soon as you are
  twenty-one, _but I am a slave for life_! Have not I as good a right
  to be free as you have?” These words used to trouble them; they
  would express for me the liveliest sympathy, and console me with the
  hope that something would occur by which I might be free.

  I was now about twelve years old, and the thought of being _a slave
  for life_ began to bear heavily upon my heart. Just about this time
  I got hold of a book entitled “The Columbian Orator.” Every
  opportunity I got I used to read this book. Among much of other
  interesting matter, I found in it a dialogue between a master and
  his slave. The slave was represented as having run away from his
  master three times. The dialogue represented the conversation which
  took place between them when the slave was retaken the third time.
  In this dialogue, the whole argument in behalf of slavery was
  brought forward by the master, all of which was disposed of by the
  slave. The slave was made to say some very smart as well as
  impressive things in reply to his master—things which had the
  desired though unexpected effect; for the conversation resulted in
  the voluntary emancipation of the slave on the part of the master.

  In the same book I met with one of Sheridan’s mighty speeches on and
  in behalf of Catholic emancipation. These were choice documents to
  me. I read them over and over again, with unabated interest. They
  gave tongue to interesting thoughts of my own soul, which had
  frequently flashed through my mind, and died away for want of
  utterance. The moral which I gained from the dialogue was the power
  of truth over the conscience of even a slave-holder. What I got from
  Sheridan was a bold denunciation of slavery, and a powerful
  vindication of human rights. The reading of these documents enabled
  me to utter my thoughts, and to meet the arguments brought forward
  to sustain slavery; but, while they relieved me of one difficulty,
  they brought on another even more painful than the one of which I
  was relieved. The more I read, the more I was led to abhor and
  detest my enslavers. I could regard them in no other light than a
  band of successful robbers, who had left their homes, and gone to
  Africa, and stolen us from our homes, and in a strange land reduced
  us to slavery. I loathed them as being the meanest as well as the
  most wicked of men. As I read and contemplated the subject, behold!
  that very discontentment which Master Hugh had predicted would
  follow my learning to read had already come, to torment and sting my
  soul to unutterable anguish. As I writhed under it, I would at times
  feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing.
  It had given me a view of my wretched condition without the remedy.
  It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which
  to get out. In moments of agony I envied my fellow-slaves for their
  stupidity. I have often wished myself a beast. I preferred the
  condition of the meanest reptile to my own. Anything, no matter
  what, to get rid of thinking! It was this everlasting thinking of my
  condition that tormented me. There was no getting rid of it. It was
  pressed upon me by every object within sight or hearing, animate or
  inanimate. The silver trump of freedom had roused my soul to eternal
  wakefulness. Freedom now appeared, to disappear no more forever. It
  was heard in every sound, and seen in every thing. It was ever
  present to torment me with a sense of my wretched condition. I saw
  nothing without seeing it, I heard nothing without hearing it, and
  felt nothing without feeling it. It looked from every star, it
  smiled in every calm, breathed in every wind, and moved in every

  I often found myself regretting my own existence, and wishing myself
  dead; and but for the hope of being free, I have no doubt but that I
  should have killed myself, or done something for which I should have
  been killed. While in this state of mind I was eager to hear any one
  speak of slavery. I was a ready listener. Every little while I could
  hear something about the abolitionists. It was some time before I
  found what the word meant. It was always used in such connections as
  to make it an interesting word to me. If a slave ran away and
  succeeded in getting clear, or if a slave killed his master, set
  fire to a barn, or did anything very wrong in the mind of a
  slave-holder, it was spoken of as the fruit of _abolition_. Hearing
  the word in this connection very often, I set about learning what it
  meant. The dictionary afforded me little or no help. I found it was
  “the act of abolishing;” but then I did not know what was to be
  abolished. Here I was perplexed. I did not dare to ask any one about
  its meaning, for I was satisfied that it was something they wanted
  me to know very little about. After a patient waiting, I got one of
  our city papers, containing an account of the number of petitions
  from the North praying for the abolition of slavery in the District
  of Columbia, and of the slave-trade between the states. From this
  time I understood the words _abolition_ and _abolitionist_, and
  always drew near when that word was spoken, expecting to hear
  something of importance to myself and fellow-slaves. The light broke
  in upon me by degrees. I went one day down on the wharf of Mr.
  Waters; and, seeing two Irishmen unloading a scow of stone, I went,
  unasked, and helped them. When we had finished, one of them came to
  me and asked me if I were a slave. I told him I was. He asked, “Are
  ye a slave for life?” I told him that I was. The good Irishman
  seemed to be deeply affected by the statement. He said to the other
  that it was a pity so line a little fellow as myself should be a
  slave for life. He said it was a shame to hold me. They both advised
  me to run away to the North; that I should find friends there, and
  that I should be free. I pretended not to be interested in what they
  said, and treated them as if I did not understand them; for I feared
  they might be treacherous. White men have been known to encourage
  slaves to escape, and then, to get the reward, catch them and return
  them to their masters. I was afraid that these seemingly good men
  might use me so; but I nevertheless remembered their advice, and
  from that time I resolved to run away. I looked forward to a time at
  which it would be safe for me to escape. I was too young to think of
  doing so immediately; besides, I wished to learn how to write, as I
  might have occasion to write my own pass. I consoled myself with the
  hope that I should one day find a good chance. Meanwhile I would
  learn to write.

  The idea as to how I might learn to write was suggested to me by
  being in Durgin and Bailey’s ship-yard, and frequently seeing the
  ship carpenters, after hewing and getting a piece of timber ready
  for use, write on the timber the name of that part of the ship for
  which it was intended. When a piece of timber was intended for the
  larboard side it would be marked thus—“L.” When a piece was for the
  starboard side it would be marked thus—“S.” A piece for the larboard
  side forward would be marked thus—“L. F.” When a piece was for
  starboard side forward it would be marked thus—“S. F.” For larboard
  aft it would be marked thus—“L. A.” For starboard aft it would be
  marked thus—“S. A.” I soon learned the names of these letters, and
  for what they were intended when placed upon a piece of timber in
  the ship-yard. I immediately commenced copying them, and in a short
  time was able to make the four letters named. After that, when I met
  with any boy who I knew could write, I would tell him I could write
  as well as he. The next word would be, “I don’t believe you. Let me
  see you try it.” I would then make the letters which I had been so
  fortunate as to learn, and ask him to beat that. In this way I got a
  good many lessons in writing, which it is quite possible I should
  never have gotten in any other way. During this time my copy-book
  was the board fence, brick wall and pavement; my pen and ink was a
  lump of chalk. With these I learned mainly how to write. I then
  commenced and continued copying the Italics in Webster’s
  Spelling-book, until I could make them all without looking on the
  book. By this time my little Master Thomas had gone to school and
  learned how to write, and had written over a number of copy-books.
  These had been brought home, and shown to some of our near
  neighbors, and then laid aside. My mistress used to go to
  class-meeting at the Wilk-street meeting-house every Monday
  afternoon, and leave me to take care of the house. When left thus I
  used to spend the time in writing in the spaces left in Master
  Thomas’ copy-book, copying what he had written. I continued to do
  this until I could write a hand very similar to that of Master
  Thomas. Thus, after a long, tedious effort for years, I finally
  succeeded in learning how to write.

These few quoted incidents will show that the case of George Harris is
by no means so uncommon as might be supposed.

Let the reader peruse the account which George Harris gives of the sale
of his mother and her children, and then read the following account
given by the venerable Josiah Henson, now pastor of the missionary
settlement at Dawn, in Canada.

After the death of his master, he says, the slaves of the plantation
were all put up at auction and sold to the highest bidder.

  My brothers and sisters were bid off one by one, while my mother,
  holding my hand, looked on in an agony of grief, the cause of which
  I but ill understood at first, but which dawned on my mind with
  dreadful clearness as the sale proceeded. My mother was then
  separated from me, and put up in her turn. She was bought by a man
  named Isaac R., residing in Montgomery County [Maryland], and then I
  was offered to the assembled purchasers. My mother, half distracted
  with the parting forever from all her children, pushed through the
  crowd, while the bidding for me was going on, to the spot where R.
  was standing. She fell at his feet, and clung to his knees,
  entreating him, in tones that a mother only could command, to buy
  her _baby_ as well as herself, and spare to her one of her little
  ones at least. Will it, can it be believed, that this man, thus
  appealed to, was capable not merely of turning a deaf ear to her
  supplication, but of disengaging himself from her with such violent
  blows and kicks as to reduce her to the necessity of creeping out of
  his reach, and mingling the groan of bodily suffering with the sob
  of a breaking heart?

Now, all these incidents that have been given are _real_ incidents of
slavery, related by those who know slavery by the best of all
tests—experience; and they are given by men who have earned a character
in freedom which makes their word as good as the word of any man living.

The case of Lewis Clark might be called a harder one than common. The
case of Douglass is probably a very fair average specimen.

The writer has conversed, in her time, with a very considerable number
of liberated slaves, many of whom stated that their own individual lot
had been comparatively a mild one; but she never talked with one who did
not let fall, first or last, some incident which he had observed, some
scene which he had witnessed, which went to show some most horrible
abuse of the system; and, what was most affecting about it, the narrator
often evidently considered it so much a matter of course as to mention
it incidentally, without any particular emotion.

It is supposed by many that the great outcry among those who are opposed
to slavery comes from a morbid reading of unauthenticated accounts
gotten up in abolition papers, &c. This idea is a very mistaken one. The
accounts which tell against the slave-system are derived from the
continual living testimony of the poor slave himself; often from that of
the fugitives from slavery who are continually passing through our
Northern cities.

As a specimen of some of the incidents thus developed, is given the
following fact of recent occurrence, related to the author by a lady in
Boston. This lady, who was much in the habit of visiting the poor, was
sent for, a month or two since, to see a mulatto woman who had just
arrived at a colored boarding-house near by, and who appeared to be in
much dejection of mind. A little conversation showed her to be a
fugitive. Her history was as follows: She, with her brother, were, as is
often the case, both the children and slaves of their master. At his
death they were left to his legitimate daughter as her servants, and
treated with as much consideration as very common kind of people might
be expected to show to those who were entirely and in every respect at
their disposal.

The wife of her brother ran away to Canada; and as there was some talk
of selling her and her child, in consequence of some embarrassment in
the family affairs, her brother, a fine-spirited young man, determined
to effect her escape, also, to a land of liberty. He concealed her for
some time in the back part of an obscure dwelling in the city, till he
could find an opportunity to send her off. While she was in this
retreat, he was indefatigable in his attentions to her, frequently
bringing her fruit and flowers, and doing everything he could to beguile
the weariness of her imprisonment.

At length, the steward of a vessel, whom he had obliged, offered to
conceal him on board the ship, and give him a chance to escape. The
noble-hearted fellow, though tempted by an offer which would enable him
immediately to join his wife, to whom he was tenderly attached,
preferred to give this offer to his sister, and during the absence of
the captain of the vessel she and her child were brought on board and

The captain, when he returned and discovered what had been done, was
very angry, as the thing, if detected, would have involved him in very
serious difficulties. He declared, at first, that he would send the
woman up into town to jail; but, by her entreaties and those of the
steward, was induced to wait till evening, and send word to her brother
to come and take her back. After dark the brother came on board, and,
instead of taking his sister away, began to appeal to the humanity of
the captain in the most moving terms. He told his sister’s history and
his own, and pleaded eloquently his desire for her liberty. The captain
had determined to be obdurate, but, alas! he was only a man. Perhaps he
had himself a wife and child,—perhaps he felt that, were he in the young
man’s case, he would do just so for his sister. Be it as it may, he was
at last overcome. He said to the young man, “I must send you away from
my ship; I’ll put off a boat and see you got into it, and you must row
off, and never let me see your faces again; and if, after all, you
should come back and get on board, it will be your fault, and not mine.”

So, in the rain and darkness, the young man and his sister and child
were lowered over the side of the vessel, and rowed away. After a while
the ship weighed anchor, but before she reached Boston it was discovered
that the woman and child were on board.

The lady to whom this story was related was requested to write a letter,
in certain terms, to a person in the city whence the fugitive had come,
to let the brother know of her safe arrival.

The fugitive was furnished with work, by which she could support herself
and child, and the lady carefully attended to her wants for a few weeks.

One morning she came in, with a good deal of agitation, exclaiming, “O,
ma’am, he’s come! George is come!” And in a few minutes the young man
was introduced.

The lady who gave this relation belongs to the first circles of Boston
society; she says that she never was more impressed by the personal
manners of any gentleman than by those of this fugitive brother. So much
did he have the air of a perfect, finished gentleman, that she felt she
could not question him with regard to his escape with the familiarity
with which persons of his condition are commonly approached; and it was
not till he requested her to write a letter for him, because he could
not write himself, that she could realize that this fine specimen of
manhood had been all his life a slave.

The remainder of the history is no less romantic. The lady had a friend
in Montreal, whither George’s wife had gone; and, after furnishing money
to pay their expenses, she presented them with a letter to this
gentleman, requesting the latter to assist the young man in finding his
wife. When they landed at Montreal, George stepped on shore and
presented this letter to the first man he met, asking him if he knew to
whom it was directed. The gentleman proved to be the very person to whom
the letter was addressed. He knew George’s wife, brought him to her
without delay, so that, by return mail, the lady had the satisfaction of
learning the happy termination of the adventure.

This is but a specimen of histories which are continually transpiring;
so that those who speak of slavery can say, “We speak that which we do
know, and testify that we have seen.”

But we shall be told the slaves are all a lying race, and that these are
lies which they tell us. There are some things, however, about these
slaves, which cannot lie. Those deep lines of patient sorrow upon the
face; that attitude of crouching and humble subjection; that sad,
habitual expression of hope deferred, in the eye,—would tell their
story, if the slave never spoke.

It is not long since the writer has seen faces such as might haunt one’s
dreams for weeks.

Suppose a poor, worn-out mother, sickly, feeble and old,—her hands worn
to the bone with hard, unpaid toil,—whose nine children have been sold
to the slave-trader, and whose tenth soon is to be sold, unless by her
labor as washerwoman she can raise nine hundred dollars! Such are the
kind of cases constantly coming to one’s knowledge,—such are the
witnesses which will not let us sleep.

Doubt has been expressed whether such a thing as an advertisement for a
man, “_dead or alive_,” like the advertisement for George Harris, was
ever published in the Southern States. The scene of the story in which
that occurs is supposed to be laid a few years back, at the time when
the black laws of Ohio were passed. That at this time such
advertisements were common in the newspapers, there is abundant
evidence. That they are less common now, is a matter of hope and

In the year 1839, Mr. Theodore D. Weld made a systematic attempt to
collect and arrange the statistics of slavery. A mass of facts and
statistics was gathered, which were authenticated with the most
unquestionable accuracy. Some of the “one thousand witnesses,” whom he
brings upon the stand, were ministers, lawyers, merchants, and men of
various other callings, who were either natives of the slave states, or
had been residents there for many years of their life. Many of these
were slave-holders. Others of the witnesses were, or had been,
slave-drivers, or officers of coasting-vessels engaged in the

Another part of his evidence was gathered from public speeches in
Congress, in the state legislatures, and elsewhere. But the majority of
it was taken from recent newspapers.

The papers from which these facts were copied were preserved and put on
file in a public place, where they remained for some years, for the
information of the curious. After Mr. Weld’s book was completed, a copy
of it was sent, through the mail, to every editor from whose paper such
advertisements had been taken, and to every individual of whom any facts
had been narrated, with the passages which concerned them marked.

It is quite possible that this may have had some influence in rendering
such advertisements less common. Men of sense often go on doing a thing
which is very absurd, or even inhuman, simply because it has always been
done before them, and they follow general custom, without much
reflection. When their attention, however, is called to it by a stranger
who sees the thing from another point of view, they become immediately
sensible of the impropriety of the practice, and discontinue it. The
reader will, however, be pained to notice, when he comes to the legal
part of the book, that even in some of the largest cities of our slave
states this barbarity had not been entirely discontinued, in the year

The list of advertisements in Mr. Weld’s book is here inserted, not to
weary the reader with its painful details, but that, by running his eye
over the dates of the papers quoted, and the places of their
publication, he may form a fair estimate of the extent to which this
atrocity was _publicly_ practised:

  The _Wilmington_ (North Carolina) _Advertiser_ of July 13, 1838,
  contains the following advertisement:

  “$100 will be paid to any person who may apprehend and safely
  confine in any jail in this state a certain negro man, named ALFRED.
  And the same reward will be paid, if satisfactory evidence is given
  of _his having been_ KILLED. He has one or more scars on one of his
  hands, caused by his having been shot.

                                               THE CITIZENS OF ONSLOW.

  “_Richlands, Onslow Co., May 16, 1838._”

In the same column with the above, and directly under it, is the

  “RANAWAY, my negro man RICHARD. A reward of $25 will be paid for his
  apprehension, DEAD or ALIVE. Satisfactory proof will only be
  required of his being KILLED. He has with him, in all probability,
  his wife, ELIZA, who ran away from Col. Thompson, now a resident of
  Alabama, about the time he commenced his journey to that state.

                                                    DURANT H. RHODES.”

In the _Macon_ (Georgia) _Telegraph_, May 28, is the following:

  “About the 1st of March last the negro man RANSOM left me without
  the least provocation whatever; I will give a reward of twenty
  dollars for said negro, if taken, DEAD OR ALIVE,—and if killed in
  any attempt, an advance of five dollars will be paid.

                                                       BRYANT JOHNSON.

  “_Crawford Co., Georgia._”

See the _Newbern_ (N. C.) _Spectator_, Jan. 5, 1838, for the following:

  “RANAWAY from the subscriber, a negro man named SAMPSON. Fifty
  dollars reward will be given for the delivery of him to me, or his
  confinement in any jail, so that I get him; and should he resist in
  being taken, so that violence is necessary to arrest him, I will not
  hold any person liable for damages should the slave be KILLED.

                                                            ENOCH FOY.

  “_Jones Co., N. C._”

From the _Charleston_ (S. C.) _Courier_, Feb. 20, 1836:

  “$300 REWARD.—Ranaway from the subscriber, in November last, his two
  negro men named Billy and Pompey.

  “Billy is 25 years old, and is known as the patroon of my boat for
  many years; in all probability he may resist; in that event 50
  dollars will be paid for his HEAD.”

                               CHAPTER V.

The writer stated in her book that Eliza was a portrait drawn from life.
The incident which brought the original to her notice may be simply

While the writer was travelling in Kentucky, many years ago, she
attended church in a small country town. While there, her attention was
called to a beautiful quadroon girl, who sat in one of the slips of the
church, and appeared to have charge of some young children. The
description of Eliza may suffice for a description of her. When the
author returned from church, she inquired about the girl, and was told
that she was as good and amiable as she was beautiful; that she was a
pious girl, and a member of the church; and, finally, that she was
_owned_ by Mr. So-and-so. The idea that this girl was a slave struck a
chill to her heart, and she said, earnestly, “O, I hope they treat her

“O, certainly,” was the reply; “they think as much of her as of their
own children.”

“I hope they will never sell her,” said a person in the company.

“Certainly they will not; a Southern gentleman, not long ago, offered
her master a thousand dollars for her: but he told him that she was too
good to be his wife, and he certainly should not have her for a

This is all that the writer knows of that girl.

With regard to the incident of Eliza’s crossing the river on the ice,—as
the possibility of the thing has been disputed,—the writer gives the
following circumstance in confirmation.

Last spring, while the author was in New York, a Presbyterian clergyman,
of Ohio, came to her, and said, “I understand they dispute that fact
about the woman’s crossing the river. Now, I know all about that, for I
got the story from the very man that helped her up the bank. I know it
is true, for she is now living in Canada.”

It has been objected that the representation of the scene in which the
plan for kidnapping Eliza, concocted by Haley, Marks and Loker, at the
tavern, is a gross caricature on the state of things in Ohio.

What knowledge the author has had of the facilities which some justices
of the peace, under the old fugitive law of Ohio, were in the habit of
giving to kidnapping, may be inferred by comparing the statement in her
book with some in her personal knowledge.

  “Ye see,” said Marks to Haley, stirring his punch as he did so, “ye
  see, we has justices convenient at all p’ints along shore, that does
  up any little jobs in our line quite reasonable. Tom, he does the
  knockin’ down, and that ar; and I come in all dressed up,—shining
  boots,—everything first chop,—when the swearin’ ‘s to be done. You
  oughter see me, now!” said Marks, in a glow of professional pride,
  “how I can tone it off. One day I’m Mr. Twickem, from New Orleans;
  ‘nother day, I’m just come from my plantation on Pearl river, where
  I works seven hundred niggers; then, again, I come out a distant
  relation to Henry Clay, or some old cock in Kentuck. Talents is
  different, you know. Now, Tom’s a roarer when there’s any thumping
  or fighting to be done; but at lying he an’t good, Tom an’t; ye see
  it don’t come natural to him; but, Lord! if thar’s a feller in the
  country that can swear to anything and everything, and put in all
  the circumstances and flourishes with a longer face, and carry’t
  through better’n I can, why, I’d like to see him, that’s all! I
  b’lieve, my heart, I could get along, and make through, even if
  justices were more particular than they is. Sometimes I rather wish
  they was more particular; ‘twould be a heap more relishin’ if they
  was,—more fun, yer know.”

In the year 1839, the writer received into her family, as a servant, a
girl from Kentucky. She had been the slave of one of the lowest and most
brutal families, with whom she had been brought up, in a log-cabin, in a
state of half-barbarism. In proceeding to give her religious
instruction, the author heard, for the first time in her life, an
inquiry which she had not supposed possible to be made in America:—“Who
is Jesus Christ, now, anyhow?”

When the author told her the history of the love and life and death of
Christ, the girl seemed wholly overcome; tears streamed down her cheeks;
and she exclaimed, piteously, “Why didn’t nobody never tell me this

“But,” said the writer to her, “haven’t you ever seen the Bible?”

“Yes, I have seen missus a-readin’ on’t sometimes; but, law sakes! she’s
just a-readin’ on’t ‘cause she could; don’t s’pose it did her no good,
no way.”

She said she had been to one or two camp-meetings in her life, but
“didn’t notice very particular.”

At all events, the story certainly made great impression on her, and had
such an effect in improving her conduct, that the writer had great hopes
of her.

On inquiring into her history, it was discovered that, by the laws of
Ohio, she was legally entitled to her freedom, from the fact of her
having been brought into the state, and left there, temporarily, by the
consent of her mistress. These facts being properly authenticated before
the proper authorities, papers attesting her freedom were drawn up, and
it was now supposed that all danger of pursuit was over. After she had
remained in the family for some months, word was sent, from various
sources, to Professor Stowe, that the girl’s young master was over,
looking for her, and that, if care were not taken, she would be conveyed
back into slavery.

Professor Stowe called on the magistrate who had authenticated her
papers, and inquired whether they were not sufficient to protect her.
The reply was, “Certainly they are, in law, if she could have a fair
hearing; but they will come to your house in the night, with an officer
and a warrant; they will take her before Justice D——, and swear to her.
He’s the man that does all this kind of business, and, he’ll deliver her
up, and there’ll be an end to it.”

Mr. Stowe then inquired what could be done; and was recommended to carry
her to some place of security till the inquiry for her was over.
Accordingly, that night, a brother of the author, with Professor Stowe,
performed for the fugitive that office which the senator is represented
as performing for Eliza. They drove about ten miles on a solitary road,
crossed the creek at a very dangerous fording, and presented themselves,
at midnight, at the house of John Van Zandt, a noble-minded Kentuckian,
who had performed the good deed which the author, in her story, ascribes
to Van Tromp.

After some rapping at the door, the worthy owner of the mansion
appeared, candle in hand, as has been narrated.

“Are you the man that would save a poor colored girl from kidnappers?”
was the first question.

“Guess I am,” was the prompt response; “where is she?”

“Why, she’s here.”

“But how did you come?”

“I crossed the creek.”

“Why, the Lord helped you!” said he; “I shouldn’t dare cross it myself
in the night. A man and his wife, and five children, were drowned there,
a little while ago.”

The reader may be interested to know that the poor girl never was
retaken; that she married well in Cincinnati, is a very respectable
woman, and the mother of a large family of children.

                              CHAPTER VI.
                               UNCLE TOM.

The character of Uncle Tom has been objected to as improbable; and yet
the writer has received more confirmations of that character, and from a
greater variety of sources, than of any other in the book.

Many people have said to her, “I knew an Uncle Tom in such and such a
Southern State.” All the histories of this kind which have thus been
related to her would of themselves, if collected, make a small volume.
The author will relate a few of them.

While visiting in an obscure town in Maine, in the family of a friend,
the conversation happened to turn upon this subject, and the gentleman
with whose family she was staying related the following. He said that,
when on a visit to his brother, in New Orleans, some years before, he
found in his possession a most valuable negro man, of such remarkable
probity and honesty that his brother literally trusted him with all he
had. He had frequently seen him take out a handful of bills, without
looking at them, and hand them to this servant, bidding him go and
provide what was necessary for the family, and bring him the change. He
remonstrated with his brother on this imprudence; but the latter replied
that he had had such proof of this servant’s impregnable
conscientiousness that he felt it safe to trust him to any extent.

The history of the servant was this. He had belonged to a man in
Baltimore, who, having a general prejudice against all the religious
exercises of slaves, did all that he could to prevent his having any
time for devotional duties, and strictly forbade him to read the Bible
and pray, either by himself, or with the other servants; and because,
like a certain man of old, named Daniel, he constantly disobeyed this
unchristian edict, his master inflicted upon him that punishment which a
master always has in his power to inflict,—he sold him into perpetual
exile from his wife and children, down to New Orleans.

The gentleman who gave the writer this information says that, although
not himself a religious man at the time, he was so struck with the man’s
piety that he said to his brother, “I hope you will never do anything to
deprive this man of his religious privileges, for I think a judgment
will come upon you if you do.” To this his brother replied that he
should be very foolish to do it, since he had made up his mind that the
man’s religion was the root of his extraordinary excellences.

Some time since, there was sent to the writer from the South, through
the mail, a little book, entitled, “Sketches of Old Virginia Family
Servants,” with a preface by Bishop Meade. The book contains an account
of the following servants: African Bella, Old Milly, Blind Lucy, Aunt
Betty, Springfield Bob, Mammy Chris, Diana Washington, Aunt Margaret,
Rachel Parker, Nelly Jackson, My Own Mammy, Aunt Beck.

  The following extract from Bishop Meade’s preface may not be

  The following sketches were placed in my hands with a request that I
  would examine them with a view to publication.

  After reading them I could not but think that they would be both
  pleasing and edifying.

  Very many such examples of fidelity and piety might be added from
  the old Virginia families. These will suffice as specimens, and will
  serve to show how interesting the relation between master and
  servant often is.

  Many will doubtless be surprised to find that there was so much
  intelligence, as well as piety, in some of the old servants of
  Virginia, and that they had learned to read the Sacred Scriptures,
  so as to be useful in this way among their fellow-servants. It is,
  and always has been true, in regard to the servants of the Southern
  States, that although public schools may have been prohibited, yet
  no interference has been attempted, where the owners have chosen to
  teach their servants, or permit them to learn in a private way, how
  to read God’s word. Accordingly, there always have been some who
  were thus taught. In the more southern states the number of these
  has most abounded. Of this fact I became well assured, about thirty
  years since, when visiting the Atlantic states, with a view to the
  formation of auxiliary colonization societies, and the selection of
  the first colonists for Africa. In the city of Charleston, South
  Carolina, I found more intelligence and character among the free
  colored population than anywhere else. The same was true of some of
  those in bondage. A respectable number might be seen in certain
  parts of the Episcopal churches which I attended using their
  prayer-books, and joining in the responses of the church.

  Many purposes of convenience and hospitality were subserved by this
  encouragement of cultivation in some of the servants, on the part of
  the owners.

  When travelling many years since with a sick wife, and two female
  relatives, from Charleston to Virginia, at a period of the year when
  many of the families from the country resort to the town for health,
  we were kindly urged to call at the seat of one of the first
  families in South Carolina, and a letter from the mistress, then in
  the city, was given us, to her servant, who had charge of the house
  in the absence of the family. On reaching there and delivering the
  letter to a most respectable-looking female servant, who immediately
  read it, we were kindly welcomed, and entertained, during a part of
  two days, as sumptuously as though the owner had been present. We
  understood that it was no uncommon thing in South Carolina for
  travellers to be thus entertained by the servants in the absence of
  the owners, on receiving letters from the same.

  Instances of confidential and affectionate relationship between
  servants and their masters and mistresses, such as are set forth in
  the following Sketches, are still to be found in all the
  slaveholding states. I mention one, which has come under my own
  observation. The late Judge Upshur, of Virginia, had a faithful
  house-servant (by his will now set free), with whom he used to
  correspond on matters of business, when he was absent on his
  circuit. I was dining at his house, some years since, with a number
  of persons, himself being absent, when the conversation turned on
  the subject of the presidential election, then going on through the
  United States, and about which there was an intense interest; when
  his servant informed us that he had that day received a letter from
  his master, then on the western shore, in which he stated that the
  friends of General Harrison might be relieved from all uneasiness,
  as the returns already received made his election quite certain.

  Of course it is not to be supposed that we design to convey the
  impression that such instances are numerous, the nature of the
  relationship forbidding it; but we do mean emphatically to affirm
  that there is far more of kindly and Christian intercourse than many
  at a distance are apt to believe. That there is a great and sad want
  of Christian instruction, notwithstanding the more recent efforts
  put forth to impart it, we most sorrowfully acknowledge.

Bishop Meade adds that these sketches are published with the hope that
they might have the effect of turning the attention of ministers and
heads of families more seriously to the duty of caring for the souls of
their servants.

With regard to the servant of Judge Upshur, spoken of in this
communication of Bishop Meade, his master has left, in his last will,
the following remarkable tribute to his worth and excellence of

  I emancipate and set free my servant, David Rice, and direct my
  executors to give him _one hundred dollars_. I recommend him in the
  strongest manner to the respect, esteem and confidence, of any
  community in which he may happen to live. He has been my slave for
  twenty-four years, during all which time he has been trusted to
  every extent, and in every respect; my confidence in him has been
  unbounded; his relation to myself and family has always been such as
  to afford him daily opportunities to deceive and injure us, yet he
  has never been detected in any serious fault, nor even in an
  unintentional breach of the decorum of his station. His intelligence
  is of a high order, his integrity above all suspicion, and his sense
  of right and propriety correct, and even refined. I feel that he is
  justly entitled to carry this certificate from me in the new
  relations which he must now form; it is due to his long and most
  faithful services, and to the sincere and steady friendship which I
  bear to him. In the uninterrupted confidential intercourse of
  twenty-four years, I have never given him, nor had occasion to give
  him, one unpleasant word. I know no man who has fewer faults or more
  excellences than he.

In the free states there have been a few instances of such extraordinary
piety among negroes, that their biography and sayings have been
collected in religious tracts, and published for the instruction of the

One of these was, before his conversion, a convict in a state-prison in
New York, and there received what was, perhaps, the first religious
instruction that had ever been imparted to him. He became so eminent an
example of humility, faith, and, above all, fervent love, that his
presence in the neighborhood was esteemed a blessing to the church. A
lady has described to the writer the manner in which he would stand up
and exhort in the church-meetings for prayer, when, with streaming eyes
and the deepest abasement, humbly addressing them as his masters and
misses, he would nevertheless pour forth religious exhortations which
were edifying to the most cultivated and refined.

In the town of Brunswick, Maine, where the writer lived when writing
“Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” may now be seen the grave of an aged colored woman,
named Phebe, who was so eminent for her piety and loveliness of
character, that the writer has never heard her name mentioned except
with that degree of awe and respect which one would imagine due to a
saint. The small cottage where she resided is still visited and looked
upon as a sort of shrine, as the spot where old Phebe lived and prayed.
Her prayers and pious exhortations were supposed to have been the cause
of the conversion of many young people in the place. Notwithstanding
that the unchristian feeling of caste prevails as strongly in Maine as
anywhere else in New England, and the negro, commonly speaking, is an
object of aversion and contempt, yet, so great was the influence of her
piety and loveliness of character, that she was uniformly treated with
the utmost respect and attention by all classes of people. The most
cultivated and intelligent ladies of the place esteemed it a privilege
to visit her cottage; and when she was old and helpless, her wants were
most tenderly provided for. When the news of her death was spread abroad
in the place, it excited a general and very tender sensation of regret.
“We have lost Phebe’s prayers,” was the remark frequently made
afterwards by members of the church, as they met one another. At her
funeral the ex-governor of the state and the professors of the college
officiated as pall-bearers, and a sermon was preached in which the many
excellences of her Christian character were held up as an example to the
community. A small religious tract, containing an account of her life,
was published by the American Tract Society, prepared by a lady of
Brunswick. The writer recollects that on reading the tract, when she
first went to Brunswick, a doubt arose in her mind whether it was not
somewhat exaggerated. Some time afterwards she overheard some young
persons conversing together about the tract, and saying that they did
not think it gave exactly the right idea of Phebe. “Why, is it too
highly colored?” was the inquiry of the author. “O, no, no, indeed,” was
the earnest response; “it doesn’t begin to give an idea of how good she

Such instances as these serve to illustrate the words of the apostle,
“God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;
and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things
which are mighty.”

John Bunyan says that although the valley of humiliation be unattractive
in the eyes of the men of this world, yet the very sweetest flowers grow
there. So it is with the condition of the lowly and poor in this world.
God has often, indeed always, shown a particular regard for it, in
selecting from that class the recipients of his grace. It is to be
remembered that Jesus Christ, when he came to found the Christian
dispensation, did not choose his apostles from the chief priests and the
scribes, learned in the law, and high in the church; nor did he choose
them from philosophers and poets, whose educated and comprehensive minds
might be supposed best able to appreciate his great designs; but he
chose twelve plain, poor fishermen, who were ignorant, and felt that
they were ignorant, and who, therefore, were willing to give themselves
up with all simplicity to his guidance. What God asks of the soul more
than anything else is faith and simplicity, the affection and reliance
of the little child. Even these twelve fancied too much that they were
wise, and Jesus was obliged to set a little child in the midst of them,
as a more perfect teacher.

The negro race is confessedly more simple, docile, childlike and
affectionate, than other races; and hence the divine graces of love and
faith, when in-breathed by the Holy Spirit, find in their natural
temperament a more congenial atmosphere.

A last instance parallel with that of Uncle Tom is to be found in the
published memoirs of the venerable Josiah Henson, now, as we have said,
a clergyman in Canada. He was “raised” in the State of Maryland. His
first recollections were of seeing his father mutilated and covered with
blood, suffering the penalty of the law for the crime of raising his
hand against a white man,—that white man being the overseer, who had
attempted a brutal assault upon his mother. This punishment made his
father surly and dangerous, and he was subsequently sold south, and thus
parted forever from his wife and children. Henson grew up in a state of
heathenism, without any religious instruction, till, in a camp-meeting,
he first heard of Jesus Christ, and was electrified by the great and
thrilling news that He had tasted death for every man, the bond as well
as the free. This story produced an immediate conversion, such as we
read of in the Acts of the Apostles, where the Ethiopian eunuch, from
one interview, hearing the story of the cross, at once believes and is
baptized. Henson forthwith not only became a Christian, but began to
declare the news to those about him; and, being a man of great natural
force of mind and strength of character, his earnest endeavors to
enlighten his fellow-heathen were so successful that he was gradually
led to assume the station of a negro preacher; and though he could not
read a word of the Bible or hymn-book, his labors in this line were much
prospered. He became immediately a very valuable slave to his master,
and was intrusted by the latter with the oversight of his whole estate,
which he managed with great judgment and prudence. His master appears to
have been a very ordinary man in every respect,—to have been entirely
incapable of estimating him in any other light then as exceedingly
valuable property, and to have had no other feeling excited by his
extraordinary faithfulness than the desire to make the most of him. When
his affairs became embarrassed, he formed the design of removing all his
negroes into Kentucky, and intrusted the operation entirely to his
overseer. Henson was to take them alone, without any other attendant,
from Maryland to Kentucky, a distance of some thousands of miles, giving
only his promise as a Christian that he would faithfully perform this
undertaking. On the way thither they passed through a portion of Ohio,
and there Henson was informed that he could now secure his own freedom
and that of all his fellows, and he was strongly urged to do it. He was
exceedingly tempted and tried, but his Christian principle was
invulnerable. No inducements could lead him to feel that it was right
for a Christian to violate a pledge solemnly given, and his influence
over the whole band was so great that he took them all with him into
Kentucky. Those casuists among us who lately seem to think and teach
that it is right for us to violate the plain commands of God whenever
some great national good can be secured by it, would do well to
contemplate the inflexible principle of this poor slave, who, without
being able to read a letter of the Bible, was yet enabled to perform
this most sublime act of self-renunciation in obedience its commands.
Subsequently to this his master, in a relenting moment, was induced by a
friend to sell him his freedom for four hundred dollars; but, when the
excitement of the importunity had passed off, he regretted that he had
suffered so valuable a piece of property to leave his hands for so
slight a remuneration. By an unworthy artifice, therefore, he got
possession of his servant’s free papers, and condemned him still to
hopeless slavery. Subsequently, his affairs becoming still more
involved, he sent his son down the river with a flat-boat loaded with
cattle and produce for the New Orleans market, directing him to take
Henson along, and sell him after they had sold the cattle and the boat.
All the depths of the negro’s soul were torn up and thrown into
convulsion by this horrible piece of ingratitude, cruelty and injustice;
and, while outwardly calm, he was struggling with most bitter
temptations from within, which, as he could not read the Bible, he could
repel only by a recollection of its sacred truths, and by earnest
prayer. As he neared the New Orleans market, he says that these
convulsions of soul increased, especially when he met some of his old
companions from Kentucky, whose despairing countenances and emaciated
forms told of hard work and insufficient food, and confirmed all his
worst fears of the lower country. In the transports of his despair, the
temptation was more urgently presented to him to murder his young master
and the other hand on the flat-boat in their sleep, to seize upon the
boat, and make his escape. He thus relates the scene where he was almost
brought to the perpetration of this deed:

  One dark, rainy night, within a few days of New Orleans, my hour
  seemed to have come. I was alone on the deck; Mr. Amos and the hands
  were all asleep below, and I crept down noiselessly, got hold of an
  axe, entered the cabin, and looking by the aid of the dim light
  there for my victims, my eye fell upon Master Amos, who was nearest
  to me; my hand slid along the axe-handle, I raised it to strike the
  fatal blow,—when suddenly the thought came to me, “What! commit
  _murder_! and you a Christian?” I had not called it murder before.
  It was self-defence,—it was preventing others from murdering me,—it
  was justifiable, it was even praiseworthy. But now, all at once, the
  truth burst upon me that it was a crime. I was going to kill a young
  man, who had done nothing to injure me, but obey commands which he
  could not resist; I was about to lose the fruit of all my efforts at
  self-improvement, the character I had acquired, and the peace of
  mind which had never deserted me. All this came upon me instantly,
  and with a distinctness which made me almost think I heard it
  whispered in my ear; and I believe I even turned my head to listen.
  I shrunk back, laid down the axe, crept up on deck again, and
  thanked God, as I have done every day since, that I had not
  committed murder.

  My feelings were still agitated, but they were changed. I was filled
  with shame and remorse for the design I had entertained, and with
  the fear that my companions would detect it in my face, or that a
  careless word would betray my guilty thoughts. I remained on deck
  all night, instead of rousing one of the men to relieve me; and
  nothing brought composure to my mind, but the solemn resolution I
  then made to resign myself to the will of God, and take with
  thankfulness, if I could, but with submission, at all events,
  whatever he might decide should be my lot. I reflected that if my
  life were reduced to a brief term I should have less to suffer, and
  that it was better to die with a Christian’s hope, and a quiet
  conscience, than to live with the incessant recollection of a crime
  that would destroy the value of life, and under the weight of a
  secret that would crush out the satisfaction that might be expected
  from freedom, and every other blessing.

Subsequently to this, his young master was taken violently down with the
river fever, and became as helpless as a child. He passionately
entreated Henson not to desert him, but to attend to the selling of the
boat and produce, and put him on board the steamboat, and not to leave
him, dead or alive, till he had carried him back to his father.

The young master was borne in the arms of his faithful servant to the
steamboat, and there nursed by him with unremitting attention during the
journey up the river; nor did he leave him till he had placed him in his
father’s arms.

Our love for human nature would lead us to add, with sorrow, that all
this disinterestedness and kindness was rewarded only by empty praises,
such as would be bestowed upon a very fine dog; and Henson indignantly
resolved no longer to submit to the injustice. With a degree of
prudence, courage and address, which can scarcely find a parallel in any
history, he managed, with his wife and two children, to escape into
Canada. Here he learned to read, and, by his superior talent and
capacity for management, laid the foundation for the fugitive settlement
of Dawn, which is understood to be one of the most flourishing in

It would be well for the most cultivated of us to ask, whether our ten
talents in the way of religious knowledge have enabled us to bring forth
as much fruit to the glory of God, to withstand temptation as patiently,
to return good for evil as disinterestedly, as this poor, ignorant
slave. A writer in England has sneeringly remarked that such a man as
Uncle Tom might be imported as a missionary to teach the most cultivated
in England or America the true nature of religion. These instances show
that what has been said with a sneer is in truth a sober verity; and it
should never be forgotten that out of this race whom man despiseth have
often been chosen of God true messengers of his grace, and temples for
the indwelling of his Spirit.

“_For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose
name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is
of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and
to revive the heart of the contrite ones._”

The vision attributed to Uncle Tom introduces quite a curious chapter of
psychology with regard to the negro race, and indicates a peculiarity
which goes far to show how very different they are from the white race.
They are possessed of a nervous organization peculiarly susceptible and
impressible. Their sensations and impressions are very vivid, and their
fancy and imagination lively. In this respect the race has an oriental
character, and betrays its tropical origin. Like the Hebrews of old and
the oriental nations of the present, they give vent to their emotions
with the utmost vivacity of expression, and their whole bodily system
sympathizes with the movements of their minds. When in distress, they
actually lift up their voices to weep, and “cry with an exceeding bitter
cry.” When alarmed, they are often paralyzed, and rendered entirely
helpless. Their religious exercises are all colored by this sensitive
and exceedingly vivacious temperament. Like oriental nations, they
incline much to outward expressions, violent gesticulations, and
agitating movements of the body. Sometimes, in their religious meetings,
they will spring from the floor many times in succession, with a
violence and rapidity which is perfectly astonishing. They will laugh,
weep, embrace each other convulsively, and sometimes become entirely
paralyzed and cataleptic. A clergyman from the North once remonstrated
with a Southern clergyman for permitting such extravagances among his
flock. The reply of the Southern minister was, in effect, this: “Sir, I
am satisfied that the races are so essentially different that they
cannot be regulated by the same rules. I, at first, felt as you do; and,
though I saw that genuine conversions did take place, with all this
outward manifestation, I was still so much annoyed by it as to forbid it
among my negroes, till I was satisfied that the repression of it was a
serious hindrance to real religious feeling; and then I became certain
that all men cannot be regulated in their religious exercises by one
model. I am assured that conversions produced with these accessories are
quite as apt to be genuine, and to be as influential over the heart and
life, as those produced in any other way.” The fact is, that the
Anglo-Saxon race—cool, logical and practical—have yet to learn the
doctrine of toleration for the peculiarities of other races; and perhaps
it was with a foresight of their peculiar character, and dominant
position in the earth, that God gave the Bible to them in the fervent
language and with the glowing imagery of the more susceptible and
passionate oriental races.

Mesmerists have found that the negroes are singularly susceptible to all
that class of influences which produce catalepsy, mesmeric sleep, and
partial clairvoyant phenomena.

The African race, in their own climate, are believers in spells, in
“fetish and obi,” in “the evil eye,” and other singular influences, for
which, probably, there is an origin in this peculiarity of constitution.
The magicians in scriptural history were Africans; and the so-called
magical arts are still practised in Egypt, and other parts of Africa,
with a degree of skill and success which can only be accounted for by
supposing peculiarities of nervous constitution quite different from
those of the whites. Considering those distinctive traits of the race,
it is no matter of surprise to find in their religious histories, when
acted upon by the powerful stimulant of the Christian religion, very
peculiar features. We are not surprised to find almost constantly, in
the narrations of their religious histories, accounts of visions, of
heavenly voices, of mysterious sympathies and transmissions of knowledge
from heart to heart without the intervention of the senses, or what the
Quakers call being “baptized into the spirit” of those who are distant.

Cases of this kind are constantly recurring in their histories. The
young man whose story was related to the Boston lady, and introduced
above in the chapter on George Harris, stated this incident concerning
the recovery of his liberty: That, after the departure of his wife and
sister, he, for a long time, and very earnestly, sought some opportunity
of escape, but that every avenue appeared to be closed to him. At
length, in despair, he retreated to his room, and threw himself upon his
bed, resolving to give up the undertaking, when, just as he was sinking
to sleep, he was roused by a voice saying in his ear, “Why do you sleep
now? Rise up, if you ever mean to be free!” He sprang up, went
immediately out, and, in the course of two hours, discovered the means
of escape which he used.

A lady whose history is known to the writer resided for some time on a
Southern plantation, and was in the habit of imparting religious
instruction to the slaves. One day, a woman from a distant plantation
called at her residence, and inquired for her. The lady asked, in
surprise, “How did you know about me?” The old woman’s reply was, that
she had long been distressed about her soul; but that, several nights
before, some one had appeared to her in a dream, told her to go to this
plantation and inquire for the strange lady there, and that she would
teach her the way to heaven.

Another specimen of the same kind was related to the writer by a
slave-woman who had been through the whole painful experience of a
slave’s life. She was originally a young girl of pleasing exterior and
gentle nature, carefully reared as a seamstress and nurse to the
children of a family in Virginia, and attached, with all the warmth of
her susceptible nature, to these children. Although one of the tenderest
of mothers when the writer knew her, yet she assured the writer that she
had never loved a child of her own as she loved the dear little young
mistress who was her particular charge. Owing, probably, to some
pecuniary difficulty in the family, this girl, whom we will call Louisa,
was sold, to go on to a Southern plantation. She has often described the
scene when she was forced into a carriage, and saw her dear young
mistress leaning from the window, stretching her arms towards her,
screaming, and calling her name, with all the vehemence of childish
grief. She was carried in a coffle, and sold as cook on a Southern
plantation. With the utmost earnestness of language she has described to
the writer her utter loneliness, and the distress and despair of her
heart, in this situation, parted forever from all she held dear on
earth, without even the possibility of writing letters or sending
messages, surrounded by those who felt no kind of interest in her, and
forced to a toil for which her more delicate education had entirely
unfitted her. Under these circumstances, she began to believe that it
was for some dreadful sin she had thus been afflicted. The course of her
mind after this may be best told in her own simple words:

“After that, I began to feel awful wicked,—O, so wicked, you’ve no idea!
I felt so wicked that my sins seemed like a load on me, and I went so
heavy all the day! I felt so wicked that I didn’t feel worthy to pray in
the house, and I used to go way off in the lot and pray. At last, one
day, when I was praying, the Lord he came and spoke to me.”

“The Lord spoke to you?” said the writer; “what do you mean, Louisa?”

With a face of the utmost earnestness, she answered, “Why, ma’am, the
Lord Jesus he came and spoke to me, you know; and I never, till the last
day of my life, shall forget what he said to me.”

“What was it?” said the writer.

“He said, ‘Fear not, my little one; thy sins are forgiven thee;’” and
she added to this some verses, which the writer recognized as those of a
Methodist hymn.

Being curious to examine more closely this phenomenon, the author said,

“You mean that you dreamed this, Louisa.”

With an air of wounded feeling, and much earnestness, she answered,

“O no, Mrs. Stowe; that never was a dream; you’ll never make me believe

The thought at once arose in the writer’s mind, If the Lord Jesus is
indeed everywhere present, and if he is as tender-hearted and
compassionate as he was on earth,—and we know he is,—must he not
sometimes long to speak to the poor, desolate slave, when he knows that
no voice but His can carry comfort and healing to his soul?

This instance of Louisa is so exactly parallel to another case, which
the author received from an authentic source, that she is tempted to
place the two side by side.

Among the slaves who were brought into the New England States, at the
time when slavery was prevalent, was one woman, who, immediately on
being told the history of the love of Jesus Christ, exclaimed, “He is
the one; this is what I wanted.”

This language causing surprise, her history was inquired into. It was
briefly this: While living in her simple hut in Africa, the kidnappers
one day rushed upon her family, and carried her husband and children off
to the slave-ship, she escaping into the woods. On returning to her
desolate home, she mourned with the bitterness of “Rachel weeping for
her children.” For many days her heart was oppressed with a heavy weight
of sorrow; and, refusing all sustenance, she wandered up and down the
desolate forest.

At last, she says, a strong impulse came over her to kneel down and pour
out her sorrows into the ear of some unknown Being whom she fancied to
be above her, in the sky.

She did so; and, to her surprise, found an inexpressible sensation of
relief. After this, it was her custom daily to go out to this same spot,
and supplicate this unknown Friend. Subsequently, she was herself taken,
and brought over to America; and, when the story of Jesus and his love
was related to her, she immediately felt in her soul that this Jesus was
the very friend who had spoken comfort to her yearning spirit in the
distant forest of Africa.

Compare now these experiences with the earnest and beautiful language of
Paul: “He hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all
the face of the earth; and hath determined the times before appointed
_and the bounds_ of their habitation, _that_ THEY SHOULD _seek the Lord,
if haply they might_ FEEL AFTER HIM AND FIND HIM, _though he be not far
from every one of us_.”

Is not this truly “_feeling after God and finding Him_”? And may we not
hope that the yearning, troubled, helpless heart of man, pressed by the
insufferable anguish of this short life, or wearied by its utter vanity,
never extends its ignorant, pleading hand to God in vain? Is not the
veil which divides us from an almighty and most merciful Father much
thinner than we, in the pride of our philosophy, are apt to imagine? and
is it not the most worthy conception of Him to suppose that the more
utterly helpless and ignorant the human being is that seeks His aid, the
more tender and the more condescending will be His communication with
that soul?

If a mother has among her children one whom sickness has made blind, or
deaf, or dumb, incapable of acquiring knowledge through the usual
channels of communication, does she not seek to reach its darkened mind
by modes of communication tenderer and more intimate than those which
she uses with the stronger and more favored ones? But can the love of
any mother be compared with the infinite love of Jesus? Has He not
described himself as that good Shepherd who leaves the whole flock of
secure and well-instructed ones, to follow over the mountains of sin and
ignorance the one lost sheep; and, when He hath found it, rejoicing more
over that one than over the ninety and nine that went not astray? Has He
not told us that each of these little ones has a guardian angel that
doth always behold the face of his Father which is in heaven? And is it
not comforting to us to think that His love and care will be in
proportion to the ignorance and the wants of His chosen ones?

                  *       *       *       *       *

Since the above was prepared for the press the author has received the
following extract from a letter written by a gentleman in Missouri to
the editor of the _Oberlin_ (Ohio) _Evangelist_:

  I really thought, while reading “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” that the
  authoress, when describing the character of Tom, had in her mind’s
  eye a slave whose acquaintance I made some years since, in the State
  of Mississippi, called “Uncle Jacob.” I was staying a day or two
  with a planter, and in the evening, when out in the yard, I heard a
  well-known hymn and tune sung in one of the “quarters,” and then the
  voice of prayer; and O, _such_ a prayer! what fervor, what
  unction,—nay, the man “prayed right up;” and when I read of Uncle
  Tom, how “nothing could exceed the touching simplicity, the
  childlike earnestness, of his prayer, enriched with the language of
  Scripture, which seemed so entirely to have wrought itself into his
  being as to have become a part of himself,” the recollections of
  that evening prayer were strangely vivid. On entering the house and
  referring to what I had heard, his master replied, “Ah, sir, if I
  covet anything in this world, it is Uncle Jacob’s religion. If there
  is a good man on earth, he certainly is one.” He said Uncle Jacob
  was a regulator on the plantation; that a _word_ or a _look_ from
  him, addressed to younger slaves, had more efficacy than a _blow_
  from the overseer.

  The next morning Uncle Jacob informed me he was from Kentucky,
  opposite Cincinnati; that his opportunities for attending religious
  worship had been frequent; that at about the age of forty he was
  sold south, was set to picking cotton; could not, when doing his
  best, pick the task assigned him; was whipped and whipped, he could
  not possibly tell how often; was of the opinion that the overseer
  came to the conclusion that whipping could not bring one more pound
  out of him, for he set him to driving a team. At this and other work
  he could “make a _hand_;” had changed owners three or four times. He
  expressed himself as well pleased with his present situation as he
  expected to be in the South, but was yearning to return to his
  former associations in Kentucky.

                              CHAPTER VII.
                             MISS OPHELIA.

Miss Ophelia stands as the representative of a numerous class of the
very best of Northern people; to whom, perhaps, if our Lord should again
address his churches a letter, as he did those of old time, he would use
the same words as then: “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy
patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil; and thou hast
tried them which are apostles and are not, and hast found them liars;
and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored
and hast not fainted. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love.”

There are in this class of people activity, zeal, unflinching
conscientiousness, clear intellectual discriminations between truth and
error, and great logical and doctrinal correctness; but there is a want
of that spirit of love, without which, in the eye of Christ, the most
perfect character is as deficient as a wax flower—wanting in life and

Yet this blessed principle is not dead in their hearts, but only
sleepeth; and so great is the real and genuine goodness, that, when the
true magnet of divine love is applied, they always answer to its touch.

So when the gentle Eva, who is an impersonation in childish form of the
love of Christ, solves at once, by a blessed instinct, the problem which
Ophelia has long been unable to solve by dint of utmost hammering and
vehement effort, she at once, with a good and honest heart, perceives
and acknowledges her mistake, and is willing to learn even of a little

Miss Ophelia, again, represents one great sin, of which, unconsciously,
American Christians have allowed themselves to be guilty. Unconsciously
it must be, for nowhere is conscience so predominant as among this
class, and nowhere is there a more honest strife to bring every thought
into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

One of the first and most declared objects of the gospel has been to
break down all those irrational barriers and prejudices which separate
the human brotherhood into diverse and contending clans. Paul says, “In
Christ Jesus there is neither Jew nor Greek, barbarian, Scythian, bond
nor free.” The Jews at that time were separated from the Gentiles by an
insuperable wall of prejudice. They could not eat and drink together,
nor pray together. But the apostles most earnestly labored to show them
the sin of this prejudice. St. Paul says to the Ephesians, speaking of
this former division, “He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath
broken down the middle wall of partition between us.”

It is very easy to see that although slavery has been abolished in the
New England States, it has left behind it the most baneful feature of
the system—that which makes American worse than Roman slavery—the
prejudice of caste and color. In the New England States the negro has
been treated as belonging to an inferior race of beings;—forced to sit
apart by himself in the place of worship; his children excluded from the
schools; himself excluded from the railroad-car and the omnibus, and the
peculiarities of his race made the subject of bitter contempt and

This course of conduct has been justified by saying that they are a
degraded race. But how came they degraded? Take any class of men, and
shut them from the means of education, deprive them of hope and
self-respect, close to them all avenues of honorable ambition, and you
will make just such a race of them as the negroes have been among us.

So singular and so melancholy is the dominion of prejudice over the
human mind, that professors of Christianity in our New England States
have often, with very serious self-denial to themselves, sent the gospel
to heathen as dark-complexioned as the Africans, when in their very
neighborhood were persons of dark complexion, who, on that account, were
forbidden to send their children to the schools, and discouraged from
entering the churches. The effect of this has been directly to degrade
and depress the race, and then this very degradation and depression has
been pleaded as the reason for continuing this course.

Not long since the writer called upon a benevolent lady, and during the
course of the call the conversation turned upon the incidents of a fire
which had occurred the night before in the neighborhood. A deserted
house had been burned to the ground. The lady said it was supposed it
had been set on fire. “What could be any one’s motive for setting it on
fire?” said the writer.

“Well,” replied the lady, “it was supposed that a colored family was
about to move into it, and it was thought that the neighborhood wouldn’t
consent to that. So it was supposed that was the reason.”

This was said with an air of innocence and much unconcern.

The writer inquired, “Was it a family of bad character?”

“No, not particularly, that I know of,” said the lady; “but then they
are negroes, you know.”

Now, this lady is a very pious lady. She probably would deny herself to
send the gospel to the heathen, and if she had ever thought of
considering this family a heathen family, would have felt the deepest
interest in their welfare; because on the subject of duty to the heathen
she had been frequently instructed from the pulpit, and had all her
religious and conscientious sensibilities awake. Probably she had never
listened from the pulpit to a sermon which should exhibit the great
truth, that “in Christ Jesus there is neither Jew nor Greek, barbarian,
Scythian, bond nor free.”

Supposing our Lord was now on earth, as he was once, what course is it
probable that he would pursue with regard to this unchristian prejudice
of color?

There was a class of men in those days as much despised by the Jews as
the negroes are by us; and it was a complaint made of Christ that he was
a friend of publicans and sinners. And if Christ should enter, on some
communion season, into a place of worship, and see the colored man
sitting afar off by himself, would it not be just in his spirit to go
there and sit with him, rather than to take the seats of his richer and
more prosperous brethren?

It is, however, but just to our Northern Christians to say that this sin
has been committed ignorantly and in unbelief, and that within a few
years signs of a much better spirit have begun to manifest themselves.
In some places, recently, the doors of school-houses have been thrown
open to the children, and many a good Miss Ophelia has opened her eyes
in astonishment to find that, while she has been devouring the
_Missionary Herald_, and going without butter on her bread and sugar in
her tea to send the gospel to the Sandwich Islands, there is a very
thriving colony of heathen in her own neighborhood at home; and, true to
her own good and honest heart, she has resolved, _not_ to give up her
prayers and efforts for the heathen abroad, but to add thereunto labors
for the heathen at home.

Our safety and hope in this matter is this: that there are multitudes in
all our churches who do most truly and sincerely love Christ above all
things, and who, just so soon as a little reflection shall have made
them sensible of their duty in this respect, will most earnestly perform

It is true that, if they do so, they may be called Abolitionists; but
the true Miss Ophelia is not afraid of a hard name in a good cause, and
has rather learned to consider “the reproach of Christ a greater
treasure than the riches of Egypt.”

That there is much already for Christians to do in enlightening the
moral sense of the community on this subject, will appear if we consider
that even so well-educated and gentlemanly a man as Frederick Douglass
was recently obliged to pass the night on the deck of a steamer, when in
delicate health, because this senseless prejudice deprived him of a
place in the cabin; and that that very laborious and useful minister,
Dr. Pennington, of New York, has, during the last season, been often
obliged seriously to endanger his health, by walking to his pastoral
labors, over his very extended parish, under a burning sun, because he
could not be allowed the common privilege of the omnibus, which conveys
every class of white men, from the most refined to the lowest and most

Let us consider now the number of professors of the religion of Christ
in New York, and consider also that, by the very fact of their
profession, they consider Dr. Pennington the brother of their Lord, and
a member with them of the body of Christ.

Now, these Christians are influential, rich and powerful; they can
control public sentiment on any subject that they think of any
particular importance, and they profess, by their religion, that “if one
member suffers, all the members suffer with it.”

It is a serious question, whether such a marked indignity offered to
Christ and his ministry, in the person of a colored brother, without any
remonstrance on their part, will not lead to a general feeling that all
that the Bible says about the union of Christians is a mere hollow
sound, and means nothing.

Those who are anxious to do something directly to improve the condition
of the slave, can do it in no way so directly as by elevating the
condition of the free colored people around them, and taking every pains
to give them equal rights and privileges.

This unchristian prejudice has doubtless stood in the way of the
emancipation of hundreds of slaves. The slave-holder, feeling and
acknowledging the evils of slavery, has come to the North, and seen
evidences of this unkindly and unchristian state of feeling towards the
slave, and has thus reflected within himself:

“If I keep my slave at the South, he is, it is true, under the dominion
of a very severe law; but then he enjoys the advantage of my friendship
and assistance, and derives, through his connection with me and my
family, some kind of a position in the community. As my servant he is
allowed a seat in the car and a place at the table. But if I emancipate
and send him North, he will encounter substantially all the
disadvantages of slavery, with no master to protect him.”

This mode of reasoning has proved an apology to many a man for keeping
his slaves in a position which he confesses to be a bad one; and it will
be at once perceived that, should the position of the negro be
conspicuously reversed in our northern states, the effect upon the
emancipation of the slave would be very great. They, then, who keep up
this prejudice, may be said to be, in a certain sense, slave-holders.

It is not meant by this that all distinctions of society should be
broken over, and that people should be obliged to choose their intimate
associates from a class unfitted by education and habits to sympathize
with them.

The negro should not be lifted out of his sphere of life because he is a
negro, but he should be treated with Christian courtesy _in_ his sphere.
In the railroad car, in the omnibus and steamboat, all ranks and degrees
of white persons move with unquestioned freedom side by side; and
Christianity requires that the negro have the same privilege.

That the dirtiest and most uneducated foreigner or American, with breath
redolent of whiskey and clothes foul and disordered, should have an
unquestioned right to take a seat next to any person in a railroad car
or steamboat, and that the respectable, decent and gentlemanly negro
should be excluded simply because he is a negro, cannot be considered
otherwise than as an irrational and unchristian thing: and any Christian
who allows such things done in his presence without remonstrance, and
the use of his Christian influence, will certainly be made deeply
sensible of his error when he comes at last to direct and personal
interview with his Lord.

There is no hope for this matter, if the love of Christ is not strong
enough, and if it cannot be said, with regard to the two races, “He is
our peace who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall
of partition between us.”

The time is coming rapidly when the upper classes in society must learn
that their education, wealth and refinement, are not their own; that
they have no right to use them for their own selfish benefit; but that
they should hold them rather, as Fenelon expresses it, as “a ministry,”
a stewardship, which they hold in trust for the benefit of their poorer

In some of the very highest circles in England and America we begin to
see illustrious examples of the commencement of such a condition of

One of the merchant princes of Boston, whose funeral has lately been
celebrated in our city, afforded in his life a beautiful example of this
truth. His wealth was the wealth of thousands. He was the steward of the
widow and the orphan. His funds were a savings bank, wherein were laid
up the resources of the poor; and the mourners at his funeral were the
scholars of the schools which he had founded, the officers of literary
institutions which his munificence had endowed, the widows and orphans
whom he had counselled and supported, and the men, in all ranks and
conditions of life, who had been made by his benevolence to feel that
his wealth was their wealth. May God raise up many men in Boston to
enter into the spirit and labors of Amos Lawrence!

This is the _true_ socialism, which comes from the spirit of Christ,
and, without breaking down existing orders of society, _by love_ makes
the property and possessions of the higher class the property of the

Men are always seeking to begin their reforms with the _outward_ and
_physical_. Christ begins his reforms in the heart. Men would break up
all ranks of society, and throw all property into a common stock; but
Christ would inspire the higher class with that Divine Spirit by which
all the wealth and means and advantages of their position are used for
the good of the lower.

We see, also, in the highest aristocracy of England, instances of the
same tendency.

Among her oldest nobility there begin to arise lecturers to mechanics
and patrons of ragged schools; and it is said that even on the throne of
England is a woman who weekly instructs her class of Sunday-school
scholars from the children in the vicinity of her country residence.

In this way, and not by an outward and physical division of property,
shall all things be had in common. And when the white race shall regard
their superiority over the colored one only as a talent intrusted for
the advantage of their weaker brother, _then_ will the prejudice of
caste melt away in the light of Christianity.

                             CHAPTER VIII.
                            MARIE ST. CLARE.

Marie St. Clare is the type of a class of women not peculiar to any
latitude, nor any condition of society. She may be found in England or
in America. In the northern free states we have many Marie St. Clares,
more or less fully developed.

When found in a northern latitude, she is forever in trouble about her
domestic relations. Her servants never do anything right. Strange to
tell, they are not perfect, and she thinks it a very great shame. She is
fully convinced that she ought to have every moral and Christian virtue
in her kitchen for a little less than the ordinary wages; and when her
cook leaves her, because she finds she can get better wages and less
work in a neighboring family, she thinks it shockingly selfish,
unprincipled conduct. She is of opinion that servants ought to be
perfectly disinterested; that they ought to be willing to take up with
the worst rooms in the house, with very moderate wages, and very
indifferent food, when they can get much better elsewhere, purely for
the sake of pleasing her. She likes to get hold of foreign servants, who
have not yet learned our ways, who are used to working for low wages,
and who will be satisfied with almost anything; but she is often heard
to lament that they soon get spoiled, and want as many privileges as
anybody else,—which is perfectly shocking. Marie often wishes that she
could be a slave-holder, or could live somewhere where the lower class
are kept down, and made to know their place. She is always hunting for
cheap seamstresses, and will tell you, in an under-tone, that she has
discovered a woman who will make linen shirts beautifully, stitch the
collars and wristbands twice, all for thirty-seven cents, when many
seamstresses get a dollar for it; says she does it because she’s poor,
and has no friends; thinks you had better be careful in your
conversation, and not let her know what prices are, or else she will get
spoiled, and go to raising her price,—these sewing-women are so selfish.
When Marie St. Clare has the misfortune to live in a free state, there
is no end to her troubles. Her cook is always going off for better wages
and more comfortable quarters; her chambermaid, strangely enough, won’t
agree to be chambermaid and seamstress both for half wages, and so she
deserts. Marie’s kitchen-cabinet, therefore, is always in a state of
revolution; and she often declares, with affecting earnestness, that
servants are the torment of her life. If her husband endeavor to
remonstrate, or suggest another mode of treatment, he is a hard-hearted,
unfeeling man; “he doesn’t love her, and she always knew he didn’t;” and
so he is disposed of.

But, when Marie comes under a system of laws which gives her absolute
control over her dependants,—which enables her to separate them, at her
pleasure, from their dearest family connections, or to inflict upon them
the most disgraceful and violent punishments, without even the restraint
which seeing the execution might possibly produce,—then it is that the
character arrives at full maturity. Human nature is no worse at the
South than at the North; but law at the South distinctly provides for
and protects the worst abuses to which that nature is liable.

It is often supposed that domestic servitude in slave states is a kind
of paradise; that house-servants are invariably pets; that young
mistresses are always fond of their “mammies,” and young masters always
handsome, good-natured and indulgent.

Let any one in Old England or New England look about among their
immediate acquaintances, and ask how many there are who would use
absolute despotic power amiably in a family, especially over a class
degraded by servitude, ignorant, indolent, deceitful, provoking, as
slaves almost necessarily are, and always must be.

Let them look into their own hearts, and ask themselves if they would
dare to be trusted with such a power. Do they not find in themselves
temptations to be unjust to those who are inferiors and dependants? Do
they not find themselves tempted to be irritable and provoked, when the
service of their families is negligently performed? And, if they had the
power to inflict cruel punishments, or to have them inflicted by sending
the servant out to some place of correction, would they not be tempted
to use that liberty?

With regard to those degrading punishments to which females are
subjected, by being sent to professional whippers, or by having such
functionaries sent for to the house,—as John Caphart testifies that he
has often been, in Baltimore,—what can be said of their influence both
on the superior and on the inferior class? It is very painful indeed to
contemplate this subject. The mind instinctively shrinks from it; but
still it is a very serious question whether it be not our duty to
encounter this pain, that our sympathies may be quickened into more
active exercise. For this reason, we give here the testimony of a
gentleman whose accuracy will not be doubted, and who subjected himself
to the pain of being an eye-witness to a scene of this kind in the
calaboose in New Orleans. As the reader will perceive from the account,
it was a scene of such every-day occurrence as not to excite any
particular remark, or any expression of sympathy from those of the same
condition and color with the sufferer.

When our missionaries first went to India, it was esteemed a duty among
Christian nations to make themselves acquainted with the cruelties and
atrocities of idolatrous worship, as a means of quickening our zeal to
send them the gospel.

If it be said that we in the free states have no such interest in
slavery, as we do not support it, and have no power to prevent it, it is
replied that slavery does exist in the District of Columbia, which
belongs to the whole United States; and that the free states are, before
God, guilty of the crime of continuing it there, unless they will
honestly do what in them lies for its extermination.

The subjoined account was written by the benevolent Dr. Howe, whose
labors in behalf of the blind have rendered his name dear to humanity,
and was sent in a letter to the Hon. Charles Sumner. If any one think it
too painful to be perused, let him ask himself if God will hold those
guiltless who suffer a system to continue, the details of which they
cannot even read. That this describes a common scene in the calaboose,
we shall by and by produce other witnesses to show.

  I have passed ten days in New Orleans, not unprofitably, I trust, in
  examining the public institutions,—the schools, asylums, hospitals,
  prisons, &c. With the exception of the first, there is little hope
  of amelioration. I know not how much merit there may be in their
  system; but I do know that, in the administration of the penal code,
  there are abominations which should bring down the fate of Sodom
  upon the city. If Howard or Mrs. Fry ever discovered so
  ill-administered a den of thieves as the New Orleans prison, they
  never described it. In the negro’s apartment I saw much which made
  me blush that I was a white man, and which, for a moment, stirred up
  an evil spirit in my animal nature. Entering a large paved
  court-yard, around which ran galleries filled with slaves of all
  ages, sexes and colors, I heard the snap of a whip, every stroke of
  which sounded like the sharp crack of a pistol. I turned my head,
  and beheld a sight which absolutely chilled me to the marrow of my
  bones, and gave me, for the first time in my life, the sensation of
  my hair stiffening at the roots. There lay a black girl flat upon
  her face, on a board, her two thumbs tied, and fastened to one end,
  her feet tied, and drawn tightly to the other end, while a strap
  passed over the small of her back, and, fastened around the board,
  compressed her closely to it. Below the strap she was entirely
  naked. By her side, and six feet off, stood a huge negro, with a
  long whip, which he applied with dreadful power and wonderful
  precision. Every stroke brought away a strip of skin, which clung to
  the lash, or fell quivering on the pavement, while the blood
  followed after it. The poor creature writhed and shrieked, and, in a
  voice which showed alike her fear of death and her dreadful agony,
  screamed to her master, who stood at her head, “O, spare my life!
  don’t cut my soul out!” But still fell the horrid lash; still strip
  after strip peeled off from the skin; gash after gash was cut in her
  living flesh, until it became a livid and bloody mass of raw and
  quivering muscle. It was with the greatest difficulty I refrained
  from springing upon the torturer, and arresting his lash; but, alas!
  what could I do, but turn aside to hide my tears for the sufferer,
  and my blushes for humanity? This was in a public and
  regularly-organized prison; the punishment was one recognized and
  authorized by the law. But think you the poor wretch had committed a
  heinous offence, and had been convicted thereof, and sentenced to
  the lash? Not at all. She was brought by her master to be whipped by
  the common executioner, without trial, judge or jury, just at his
  beck or nod, for some real or supposed offence, or to gratify his
  own whim or malice. And he may bring her day after day, without
  cause assigned, and inflict any number of lashes he pleases, short
  of twenty-five, provided only he pays the fee. Or, if he choose, he
  may have a private whipping-board on his own premises, and brutalize
  himself there. A shocking part of this horrid punishment was its
  publicity, as I have said; it was in a court-yard surrounded by
  galleries, which were filled with colored persons of all
  sexes,—runaway slaves, committed for some crime, or slaves up for
  sale. You would naturally suppose they crowded forward, and gazed,
  horror-stricken, at the brutal spectacle below; but they did not;
  many of them hardly noticed it, and many were entirely indifferent
  to it. They went on in their childish pursuits, and some were
  laughing outright in the distant parts of the galleries; so low can
  man, created in God’s image, be sunk in brutality.

                              CHAPTER IX.
                               ST. CLARE.

It is with pleasure that we turn from the dark picture just presented,
to the character of the generous and noble-hearted St. Clare, wherein
the fairest picture of our Southern brother is presented.

It has been the writer’s object to separate carefully, as far as
possible, the system from the men. It is her sincere belief that, while
the irresponsible power of slavery is such that no human being ought
ever to possess it, probably that power was never exercised more
leniently than in many cases in the Southern States. She has been
astonished to see how, under all the disadvantages which attend the
early possession of arbitrary power, all the temptations which every
reflecting mind must see will arise from the possession of this power in
various forms, there are often developed such fine and interesting
traits of character. To say that these cases are common, alas! is not in
our power. Men know human nature too well to believe us, if we should.
But the more dreadful the evil to be assailed, the more careful should
we be to be just in our apprehensions, and to balance the horror which
certain abuses must necessarily excite, by a consideration of those
excellent and redeeming traits which are often found in individuals
connected with the system.

The twin brothers, Alfred and Augustine St. Clare, represent two classes
of men which are to be found in all countries. They are the radically
aristocratic and democratic men. The aristocrat by position is not
always the aristocrat by nature, and _vice versa_; but the aristocrat by
nature, whether he be in a higher or lower position in society, is he
who, though he may be just, generous and humane, to those whom he
considers his equals, is entirely insensible to the wants, and
sufferings, and common humanity, of those whom he considers the lower
orders. The sufferings of a countess would make him weep; the sufferings
of a seamstress are quite another matter.

On the other hand, the democrat is often found in the highest position
of life. To this man, superiority to his brother is a thing which he can
never boldly and nakedly assert without a secret pain. In the lowest and
humblest walk of life, he acknowledges the sacredness of a common
humanity; and however degraded by the opinions and institutions of
society any particular class may be, there is an instinctive feeling in
his soul which teaches him that they are _men_ of like passions with
himself. Such men have a penetration which at once sees through all the
false shows of outward custom which make one man so dissimilar to
another, to those great generic capabilities, sorrows, wants and
weaknesses, wherein all men and women are alike; and there is no such
thing as making them realize that one order of human beings have any
prescriptive right over another order, or that the tears and sufferings
of one are not just as good as those of another order.

That such men are to be found at the South in the relation of
slave-masters, that when so found they cannot and will not be deluded by
any of the shams and sophistry wherewith slavery has been defended, that
they look upon it as a relic of a barbarous age, and utterly scorn and
contemn all its apologists, we can abundantly show. Many of the most
illustrious Southern men of the Revolution were of this class, and many
men of distinguished position of later day have entertained the same

Witness the following letter of Patrick Henry, the sentiments of which
are so much an echo of those of St. Clare that the reader might suppose
one to be a copy of the other:

                        LETTER OF PATRICK HENRY.

                                        _Hanover, January 18th, 1773._

  DEAR SIR: I take this opportunity to acknowledge the receipt of
  Anthony Benezet’s book against the slave-trade; I thank you for it.
  Is it not a little surprising that the professors of Christianity,
  whose chief excellence consists in softening the human heart, in
  cherishing and improving its finer feelings, should encourage a
  practice so totally repugnant to the first impressions of right and
  wrong? What adds to the wonder is, that this abominable practice has
  been introduced in the most enlightened ages. Times that seem to
  have pretensions to boast of high improvements in the arts and
  sciences, and refined morality, have brought into general use, and
  guarded by many laws, a species of violence and tyranny which our
  more rude and barbarous, but more honest ancestors detested. Is it
  not amazing that at a time when the rights of humanity are defined
  and understood with precision, in a country above all others fond of
  liberty,—that in such an age and in such a country we find men
  professing a religion the most mild, humane, gentle and generous,
  adopting such a principle, as repugnant to humanity as it is
  inconsistent with the Bible, and destructive to liberty? Every
  thinking, honest man rejects it in speculation. How free in practice
  from conscientious motives!

  Would any one believe that I am master of slaves of my own purchase?
  I am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living here without
  them. I will not, I cannot, justify it. However culpable my conduct,
  I will so far pay my devoir to virtue as to own the excellence and
  rectitude of her precepts, and lament my want of conformity to them.

  I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to
  abolish this lamentable evil. Everything we can do is to improve it,
  if it happens in our day; if not, let us transmit to our
  descendants, together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot,
  and an abhorrence for slavery. If we cannot reduce this wished-for
  reformation to practice, let us treat the unhappy victims with
  lenity. It is the furthest advance we can make towards justice. It
  is a debt we owe to the purity of our religion, to show that it is
  at variance with that law which warrants slavery.

  I know not when to stop. I could say many things on the subject, a
  serious view of which gives _a gloomy prospect to future times_!

What a sorrowful thing it is that such men live an inglorious life,
drawn along by the general current of society, when they ought to be its
regenerators! Has God endowed them with such nobleness of soul, such
clearness of perception, for nothing? Should they, to whom he has given
superior powers of insight and feeling, live as all the world live?

Southern men of this class have often risen up to reprove the men of the
North, when they are drawn in to apologize for the system of slavery.
Thus, on one occasion, a representative from one of the northern states,
a gentleman now occupying the very highest rank of distinction and
official station, used in Congress the following language:

  The great relation of servitude, in some form or other, with greater
  or less departure from the theoretic equality of men, is inseparable
  from our nature. Domestic slavery is not, in my judgment, to be set
  down as an immoral or irreligious relation. The slaves of this
  country are better clothed and fed than the peasantry of some of the
  most prosperous states of Europe.

He was answered by Mr. Mitchell, of Tennessee, in these words:

  Sir, I do not go the length of the gentleman from Massachusetts, and
  hold that the existence of slavery in this country is almost a
  blessing. On the contrary, I am firmly settled in the opinion that
  it is a great curse,—one of the greatest that could have been
  interwoven in our system. I, Mr. Chairman, am one of those whom
  these poor wretches call masters. I do not task them; I feed and
  clothe them well; but yet, alas! they are slaves, and slavery is a
  curse in any shape. It is no doubt true that there are persons in
  Europe far more degraded than our slaves,—worse fed, worse clothed,
  &c., but, sir, this is far from proving that negroes ought to be

The celebrated John Randolph, of Roanoke, said in Congress, on one

  Sir, I envy neither the heart nor the head of that man from the
  North who rises here to defend slavery on principle.

The following lines from the will of this eccentric man show that this
clear sense of justice, which is a gift of superior natures, at last
produced some appropriate fruits in practice:

  _I give to my slaves their freedom, to which my conscience tells me
  they are justly entitled._ It has a long time been a matter of the
  deepest regret to me, that the circumstances under which I inherited
  them, and the obstacles thrown in the way by the laws of the land,
  have prevented my emancipating them in my lifetime, which it is my
  full intention to do in case I can accomplish it.

The influence on such minds as these of that kind of theological
teaching which prevails in the majority of pulpits at the South, and
which justifies slavery directly from the Bible, cannot be sufficiently
regretted. Such men are shocked to find their spiritual teachers less
conscientious than themselves; and if the Biblical argument succeeds in
bewildering them, it produces scepticism with regard to the Bible
itself. Professor Stowe states that, during his residence in Ohio, he
visited at the house of a gentleman who had once been a Virginian
planter, and during the first years of his life was an avowed sceptic.
He stated that his scepticism was entirely referable to this one
cause,—that his minister had constructed a scriptural argument in
defence of slavery which he was unable to answer, and that his moral
sense was so shocked by the idea that the Bible defended such an
atrocious system, that he became an entire unbeliever, and so continued
until he came under the ministration of a clergyman in Ohio, who
succeeded in presenting to him the true scriptural view of the subject.
He immediately threw aside his scepticism, and became a member of a
Christian church.

So we hear the _Baltimore Sun_, a paper in a slave state, and no way
suspected of leaning towards abolitionism, thus scornfully disposing of
the scriptural argument:

  Messrs. Burgess, Taylor & Co., Sun Iron Building, send us a copy of
  a work of imposing exterior, a handsome work of nearly six hundred
  pages, from the pen of Rev. Josiah Priest, A.M., and published by
  Rev. W. S. Brown, M.D., at Glasgow, Kentucky, the copy before us
  conveying the assurance that it is the “fifth edition—stereotyped.”
  And we have no doubt it is; and the _fiftieth_ edition may be
  published; but it will amount to nothing, for there is nothing in
  it. The book comprises the usually quoted facts associated with the
  history of slavery as recorded in the Scriptures, accompanied by the
  opinions and arguments of _another_ man in relation thereto. And
  this sort of thing may go on to the end of time. It can accomplish
  nothing towards the perpetuation of slavery. The book is called
  “Bible Defence of Slavery; and Origin, Fortunes, and History, of the
  Negro Race.” Bible defence of slavery! There is no such thing as a
  Bible defence of slavery at the present day. Slavery in the United
  States is a social institution, originating in the convenience and
  cupidity of our ancestors, existing by state laws and recognized to
  a certain extent—for the recovery of slave property—by the
  constitution. And nobody would pretend that, if it were inexpedient
  and unprofitable for any man or any state to continue to hold
  slaves, they would be bound to do so, on the ground of a “Bible
  defence” of it. Slavery is recorded in the Bible, and approved, with
  many degrading characteristics. War is recorded in the Bible, and
  approved, under what seems to us the extreme of cruelty. But are
  slavery and war to _endure_ forever, because we find them in the
  Bible? Or, are they to _cease_ at once and forever, because the
  Bible inculcates peace and brotherhood?

  The book before us exhibits great research, but is obnoxious to
  severe criticism, on account of its gratuitous assumptions. The
  writer is constantly assuming this, that, and the other. In a work
  of this sort, a “doubtless” this, and “no doubt” the other, and
  “such is our belief,” with respect to important premises, will not
  be acceptable to the intelligent reader. Many of the positions
  assumed are ludicrous; and the fancy of the writer runs to
  exuberance in putting words and speeches into the mouths of the
  ancients, predicated upon the brief record of Scripture history. The
  argument from the _curse of Ham_ is not worth the paper it is
  written upon. It is just equivalent to that of _Blackwood’s
  Magazine_, we remember examining some years since, in reference to
  the admission of Rothschild to Parliament. The writer maintained the
  religious obligation of the _Christian_ public to perpetuate the
  political disabilities of the Jews, because it would be resisting
  the Divine will to remove them, in view of the “curse” which the
  aforesaid Christian Pharisee understood to be levelled against the
  sons of Abraham. Admitting that God has cursed both the Jewish race
  and the descendants of Ham, He is able to fulfil His purpose, though
  the “rest of mankind” should in all things act up to the benevolent
  precepts of the “Divine law.” _Man_ may very safely cultivate the
  highest principles of the Christian dispensation, and leave God to
  work out the fulfilment of His _curse_.

  According to the same book and the same logic, all mankind being
  under a “curse,” none of us ought to work out any alleviation for
  ourselves, and we are sinning heinously in harnessing steam to the
  performance of manual labor, cutting wheat by McCormick’s
  _diablerie_, and laying hold of the lightning to carry our messages
  for us, instead of footing it ourselves as our father Adam did. With
  a little more common sense, and much less of the uncommon sort, we
  should better understand Scripture, the institutions under which we
  live, the several rights of our fellow-citizens in all sections of
  the country, and the good, sound, practical, social relations, which
  ought to contribute infinitely more than they do to the happiness of

If the reader wishes to know what kind of preaching it is that St. Clare
alludes to, when he says he can learn what is quite as much to the
purpose from the _Picayune_, and that such scriptural expositions of
their peculiar relations don’t edify him much, he is referred to the
following extract from a sermon preached in New Orleans, by the Rev.
Theophilus Clapp. Let our reader now imagine that he sees St. Clare
seated in the front slip, waggishly taking notes of the following
specimen of ethics and humanity.

  Let all Christian teachers show our servants the importance of being
  submissive, obedient, industrious, honest and faithful to the
  interests of their masters. Let their minds be filled with sweet
  anticipations of rest eternal beyond the grave. Let them be trained
  to direct their views to that fascinating and glorious futurity,
  where the sins, sorrows, and troubles of earth, will be contemplated
  under the aspect of means indispensable to our everlasting progress
  in knowledge, virtue and happiness. I would say to every slave in
  the United States, “You should realize that a wise, kind, and
  merciful Providence has appointed for you your condition in life;
  and, all things considered, you could not be more eligibly situated.
  The burden of your care, toils and responsibilities, is much lighter
  than that which God has imposed on your master. The most enlightened
  philanthropists, with unlimited resources, could not place you in a
  situation more favorable to your present and everlasting welfare
  than that which you now occupy. You have your troubles. So have all.
  Remember how evanescent are the pleasures and joys of human life.”

But, as Mr. Clapp will not, perhaps, be accepted as a representation of
orthodoxy, let him be supposed to listen to the following declarations
of the Rev. James Smylie, a clergyman of great influence in the
Presbyterian church, in a tract upon slavery, which he states in the
introduction to have been written with particular reference to removing
the conscientious scruples of religious people in Mississippi and
Louisiana, with regard to its propriety.

  If I believed, or was of opinion, that it was the legitimate
  tendency of the gospel to abolish slavery, how would I approach a
  man, possessing as many slaves as Abraham had, and tell him I wished
  to obtain his permission to preach to his slaves?

  Suppose the man to be ignorant of the gospel, and that he would
  inquire of me what was my object. I would tell him candidly (and
  every minister ought to be candid) that I wished to preach the
  gospel, because its legitimate tendency is to make his slaves
  honest, trusty and faithful: not serving “with eye service, as men
  pleasers,” “not purloining, but showing all good fidelity.” “And is
  this,” he would ask, “really the tendency of the gospel?” I would
  answer, Yes. Then I might expect that a man who had a thousand
  slaves, if he believed me, would not only permit me to preach to his
  slaves, but would do more. He would be willing to build me a house,
  furnish me a garden, and ample provision for a support. Because, he
  would conclude, _verily, that this preacher would be worth more to
  him than a dozen overseers_. But, suppose, then, he would tell me
  that he had understood that the tendency of the gospel was to
  abolish slavery, and inquire of me if that was the fact. Ah! this is
  the rub. He has now cornered me. What shall I say? Shall I, like a
  dishonest man, twist and dodge, and shift and turn, to evade an
  answer? No. I must Kentuckian like, come out, _broad, flat-footed_,
  and tell him that _abolition is the tendency of the gospel_. What am
  I now to calculate upon? I have told the man that it is the tendency
  of the gospel to make him so poor as to oblige him to take hold of
  the maul and wedge himself; he must catch, curry, and saddle his own
  horse; he must black his own _brogans_ (for he will not be able to
  buy boots). His wife must go, herself, to the wash-tub, take hold of
  the scrubbing-broom, wash the pots, and cook all that she and her
  rail mauler will eat.

  _Query._—Is it to be expected that a master ignorant heretofore of
  the tendency of the gospel would fall so desperately in love with
  it, from a knowledge of its tendency, that he would encourage the
  preaching of it among his slaves? Verily, NO.

  But suppose, when he put the last question to me, as to its
  tendency, I _could_ and _would_, without a twist or quibble, tell
  him, _plainly_ and _candidly_, that it was a slander on the gospel
  to say that emancipation or abolition was its legitimate tendency. I
  would tell him that the commandments of _some_ men, and not the
  commandments of God, made slavery a sin.—_Smylie on Slavery_, p. 71.

One can imagine the expression of countenance and tone of voice with
which St. Clare would receive such expositions of the gospel. It is to
be remarked that this tract does not contain the opinions of one man
only, but that it has in its appendix a letter from two ecclesiastical
bodies of the Presbyterian church, substantially endorsing its

Can any one wonder that a man like St. Clare should put such questions
as these?

“Is what you hear at church religion? Is that which can bend and turn,
and descend and ascend, to fit every crooked phase of selfish, worldly
society, religion? Is _that_ religion, which is less scrupulous, less
generous, less just, less considerate for man, than even my own ungodly,
worldly, blinded nature? No! When I look for a religion, I must look for
something above me, and not something beneath.”

The character of St. Clare was drawn by the writer with enthusiasm and
with hope. Will this hope never be realized? Will those men at the
South, to whom God has given the power to perceive and the heart to feel
the unutterable wrong and injustice of slavery, always remain silent and
inactive? What nobler ambition to a Southern man than to deliver his
country from this disgrace? From the South must the deliverer arise. How
long shall he delay? There is a crown brighter than any earthly ambition
has ever worn,—there is a laurel which will not fade: it is prepared and
waiting for that hero who shall rise up for liberty at the South, and
free that noble and beautiful country from the burden and disgrace of

                               CHAPTER X.

As St. Clare and the Shelbys are the representatives of one class of
masters, so Legree is the representative of another; and, as all good
masters are not as enlightened, as generous, and as considerate, as St.
Clare and Mr. Shelby, or as careful and successful in religious training
as Mrs. Shelby, so all bad masters do not unite the personal ugliness,
the coarseness and profaneness, of Legree.

Legree is introduced not for the sake of vilifying masters as a class,
but for the sake of bringing to the minds of honorable Southern men, who
are masters, a very important feature in the system of slavery, upon
which, perhaps, they have never reflected. It is this: that _no Southern
law requires any test of_ CHARACTER _from the man to whom the absolute
power of master is granted_.

In the second part of this book it will be shown that the legal power of
the master amounts to an absolute despotism over body and soul; and that
there is no protection for the slave’s life or limb, his family
relations, his conscience, nay, more, his eternal interests, but the
CHARACTER of the master.

Rev. Charles C. Jones, of Georgia, in addressing masters, tells them
that they have the power to open the kingdom of heaven or to shut it, to
their slaves (_Religious Instruction of the Negroes_, p. 158), and a
South Carolinian, in a recent article in _Fraser’s Magazine_, apparently
in a very serious spirit, thus acknowledges the fact of this awful
power: “Yes, we would have the whole South to feel that the _soul_ of
the slave is in some sense in the master’s keeping, and to be charged
against him hereafter.”

Now, it is respectfully submitted to men of this high class, who are the
law-makers, whether this awful power to bind and to loose, to open and
to shut the kingdom of heaven, ought to be intrusted to every man in the
community, without any other qualification than that of property to buy.
Let this gentleman of South Carolina cast his eyes around the world. Let
him travel for one week through any district of country either in the
South or the North, and ask himself how many of the men whom he meets
are fit to be trusted with this power,—how many are fit to be trusted
with their own souls, much less with those of others?

Now, in all the theory of government as it is managed in our country,
just in proportion to the extent of power is the strictness with which
qualification for the proper exercise of it is demanded. The physician
may not meddle with the body, to prescribe for its ailments, without a
certificate that he is properly qualified. The judge may not decide on
the laws which relate to property, without a long course of training,
and most abundant preparation. It is only this office of MASTER, which
contains the power to bind and to loose, and to open and shut the
kingdom of heaven, and involves responsibility for the soul as well as
the body, that is thrown out to every hand, and committed without
inquiry to any man of any character. A man may have made all his
property by piracy upon the high seas, as we have represented in the
case of Legree, and there is no law whatever to prevent his investing
that property in acquiring this absolute control over the souls and
bodies of his fellow-beings. To the half-maniac drunkard, to the man
notorious for hardness and cruelty, to the man sunk entirely below
public opinion, to the bitter infidel and blasphemer, the law confides
this power, just as freely as to the most honorable and religious man on
earth. And yet, men who make and uphold these laws think they are
guiltless before God, because individually they do not perpetrate the
wrongs which they allow others to perpetrate!

To the pirate Legree the law gives a power which no man of woman born,
save One, ever was good enough to exercise.

Are there such men as Legree? Let any one go into the low districts and
dens of New York, let them go into some of the lanes and alleys of
London, and will they not there see many Legrees? Nay, take the purest
district of New England, and let people cast about in their memory and
see if there have not been men there, hard, coarse, unfeeling, brutal,
who, if they had possessed the absolute power of Legree, would have used
it in the same way; and that there should be Legrees in the Southern
States, is only saying that human nature is the same there that it is
everywhere. The only difference is this,—that in free states Legree is
chained and restrained by law; in the slave states, the law makes him an
absolute, irresponsible despot.

It is a shocking task to confirm by fact this part of the writer’s
story. One may well approach it in fear and trembling. It is so mournful
to think that man, made in the image of God, and by his human birth a
brother of Jesus Christ, can sink so low, can do such things as the very
soul shudders to contemplate,—and to think that the very man who thus
sinks is our brother,—is capable, like us, of the renewal by the Spirit
of grace, by which he might be created in the image of Christ and be
made equal unto the angels. They who uphold the laws which grant this
awful power have another heavy responsibility, of which they little
dream. How many souls of masters have been ruined through it! How has
this absolute authority provoked and developed wickedness which
otherwise might have been suppressed! How many have stumbled into
everlasting perdition over this stumbling-stone of IRRESPONSIBLE POWER!

What facts do the judicial trials of slaveholding states occasionally
develop! What horrible records defile the pages of the law-book,
describing unheard-of scenes of torture and agony, perpetrated in this
nineteenth century of the Christian era, by the irresponsible despot who
owns the body and soul! Let any one read, if they can, the ninety-third
page of Weld’s _Slavery as It Is_, where the Rev. Mr. Dickey gives an
account of a trial in Kentucky for a deed of butchery and blood too
repulsive to humanity to be here described. The culprit was convicted,
and _sentenced_ to death. Mr. Dickey’s account of the finale is thus:

  The Court sat—Isham was judged to be guilty of a capital crime in
  the affair of George. He was to be hanged at Salem. The day was set.
  My good old father visited him in the prison—two or three times
  talked and prayed with him; I visited him once myself. We fondly
  hoped that he was a sincere penitent. Before the day of execution
  same, by some means, I never knew what, Isham was _missing_. About
  two years after, we learned that he had gone down to Natchez, and
  had married a lady of some refinement and piety. I saw her letters
  to his sisters, who were worthy members of the church of which I was
  pastor. The last letter told of his death. He was in Jackson’s army,
  and fell in the famous battle of New Orleans.

                                           I am, sir, your friend,
                                                           WM. DICKEY.

But the reader will have too much reason to know of the possibility of
the existence of such men as Legree, when he comes to read the records
of the trials and judicial decisions in Part II.

Let not the Southern country be taunted as the only country in the world
which produces such men;—let us in sorrow and in humility concede that
such men are found everywhere; but let not the Southern country deny the
awful charge that she invests such men with absolute, irresponsible
power over both the body and the soul.

With regard to that atrocious system of working up the human being in a
given time, on which Legree is represented as conducting his plantation,
there is unfortunately too much reason to know that it has been
practised and is still practised.

In Mr. Weld’s book, “Slavery as It Is,” under the head of Labor, p. 39,
are given several extracts from various documents, to show that this
system has been pursued on some plantations to such an extent as to
shorten life, and to prevent the increase of the slave population, so
that, unless annually renewed, it would of itself die out. Of these
documents we quote the following:

  The Agricultural Society of Baton Rouge, La., in its report,
  published in 1829, furnishes a labored estimate of the amount of
  expenditure necessarily incurred in conducting “a well-regulated
  sugar estate.” In this estimate, the annual net loss of slaves, over
  and above the supply by propagation, is set down at TWO AND A HALF
  PER CENT.! The late Hon. Josiah S. Johnson, a member of Congress
  from Louisiana, addressed a letter to the Secretary of the United
  States’ Treasury, in 1830, containing a similar estimate, apparently
  made with great care, and going into minute details. Many items in
  this estimate differ from the preceding; but the estimate of the
  annual _decrease_ of the slaves on a plantation was the same,—TWO

  In September, 1834, the writer of this had an interview with James
  G. Birney, Esq., who then resided in Kentucky, having removed, with
  his family, from Alabama, the year before. A few hours before that
  interview, and on the morning of the same day, Mr. B. had spent a
  couple of hours with Hon. Henry Clay, at his residence, near
  Lexington. Mr. Birney remarked that Mr. Clay had just told him he
  had lately been led to mistrust certain estimates as to the increase
  of the slave population in the far South-west,—estimates which he
  had presented, I think, in a speech before the Colonization Society.
  He now believed that the births among the slaves in that quarter
  were _not equal to the deaths_; and that, of course, the slave
  population, independent of immigration from the slave-selling
  states, was _not sustaining itself_.

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

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

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

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

  Dr. Demming, a gentleman of high respectability, residing in
  Ashland, Richland County, Ohio, stated to Professor Wright, of New
  York city,

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

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

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

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

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

A friend of the writer—the Rev. Mr. Barrows, now officiating as teacher
of Hebrew in Andover Theological Seminary—stated the following, in
conversation with her:—That, while at New Orleans, some time since, he
was invited by a planter to visit his estate, as he considered it to be
a model one. He found good dwellings for the slaves, abundant provision
distributed to them, all cruel punishments superseded by rational and
reasonable ones, and half a day every week allowed to the negroes to
cultivate their own grounds. Provision was also made for their moral and
religious instruction. Mr. Barrows then asked the planter,

“Do you consider your estate a fair specimen?” The gentleman replied,
“There are two systems pursued among us. One is, to make all we can out
of a negro in a few years, and then supply his place with another; and
the other is, to treat him as I do. My neighbor on the next plantation
pursues the opposite system. His boys are hard worked and scantily fed;
and I have had them come to me, and get down on their knees to beg me to
buy them.”

Mr. Barrows says he subsequently passed by this plantation, and that the
woe-struck, dejected aspect of its laborers fully confirmed the account.
He also says that the gentleman who managed so benevolently told him, “I
do not make much money out of my slaves.”

It will be easy to show that such is the nature of slavery, and the
temptations of masters, that such well-regulated plantations are and
must be infinitely in the minority, and exceptional cases.

The Rev. Charles C. Jones, a man of the finest feelings of humanity, and
for many years an assiduous laborer for the benefit of the slave,
himself the owner of a plantation, and qualified, therefore, to judge,
both by experience and observation, says, after speaking of the great
improvidence of the negroes, engendered by slavery:

  And, indeed, once for all, I will here say that the wastes of the
  system are so great, as well as the fluctuation in prices of the
  staple articles for market, that it is _difficult, nay, impossible_,
  to indulge in large expenditures on plantations, and make them
  savingly profitable.—_Religious Instruction_, p. 116.

If even the religious and benevolent master feels the difficulty of
uniting any great consideration for the comfort of the slave with
prudence and economy, how readily must the moral question be solved by
minds of the coarse style of thought which we have supposed in Legree!

  “I used to, when I first begun, have considerable trouble fussin’
  with ‘em, and trying to make ‘em hold out,—doctorin’ on ‘em up when
  they’s sick, and givin’ on ‘em clothes, and blankets, and what not,
  trying to keep ‘em all sort o’ decent and comfortable. Law, ‘twant
  no sort o’ use; I lost money on ‘em, and ‘twas heaps o’ trouble.
  Now, you see, I just put ‘em straight through, sick or well. When
  one nigger’s dead, I buy another; and I find it comes cheaper and
  easier every way.”

Added to this, the peculiar mode of labor on the sugar plantation is
such that the master, at a certain season of the year, must over-work
his slaves, unless he is willing to incur great pecuniary loss. In that
very gracefully written apology for slavery, Professor Ingraham’s
“Travels in the South-west,” the following description of sugar-making
is given. We quote from him in preference to any one else, because he
speaks as an apologist, and describes the thing with the grace of a Mr.

  When the grinding has once commenced, there is no cessation of labor
  till it is completed. From beginning to end a busy and cheerful
  scene continues. The negroes,

                         “—— Whose sore task
               Does not divide the Sunday from the week,”

  work from eighteen to twenty hours,

            “And make the night joint laborer with the day;”

  though, to lighten the burden as much as possible, the gang is
  divided into two watches, one taking the first and the other the
  last part of the night; and, notwithstanding this continued labor,
  the negroes improve in appearance, and appear fat and flourishing.
  They drink freely of cane-juice, and the sickly among them revive,
  and become robust and healthy.

  After the grinding is finished, the negroes have several holidays,
  when they are quite at liberty to dance and frolic as much as they
  please; and the cane-song—which is improvised by one of the gang,
  the rest all joining in a prolonged and unintelligible chorus—now
  breaks, night and day, upon the ear, in notes “most musical, most

The above is inserted as a specimen of the facility with which the most
horrible facts may be told in the genteelest phrase. In a work entitled
“Travels in Louisiana in 1802” is the following extract (see Weld’s
“Slavery as It Is,” p. 134), from which it appears that this _cheerful_
process of laboring night and day lasts _three months_!

  “At the rolling of sugars, an interval of from two to three months,
  they (the slaves in Louisiana) work _both night and day_. Abridged
  of their sleep, they scarcely retire to rest during the whole

Now, let any one learn the private history of seven hundred blacks,—men
and women,—compelled to work day and night, under the lash of a driver,
for a period of three months.

Possibly, if the gentleman who wrote this account were employed, with
his wife and family, in this “cheerful scene” of labor,—if he saw the
woman that he loved, the daughter who was dear to him as his own soul,
forced on in the general gang, in this toil which

            “Does not divide the Sabbath from the week,
            And makes the night joint laborer with the day,”

—possibly, if he saw all this, he might have another opinion of its
cheerfulness; and it might be an eminently salutary thing if every
apologist for slavery were to enjoy some such privilege for a season,
particularly as Mr. Ingraham is careful to tell us that its effect upon
the general health is so excellent that the negroes improve in
appearance, and appear fat and flourishing, and that the sickly among
them revive, and become robust and healthy. One would think it a
surprising fact, if working slaves night and day, and giving them
cane-juice to drink, really produces such salutary results, that the
practice should not be continued the whole year round; though, perhaps,
in this case, the negroes would become so fat as to be unable to labor.
Possibly, it is because this healthful process is not longer continued
that the agricultural societies of Louisiana are obliged to set down an
annual loss of slaves on sugar plantations to the amount of two and a
half per cent. This ought to be looked into by philanthropists. Perhaps
working them all night for six months, instead of three, might remedy
the evil.

But this periodical pressure is not confined to the making of sugar.
There is also a press in the cotton season, as any one can observe by
reading the Southern newspapers. At a certain season of the year, the
whole interest of the community is engaged in gathering in the cotton
crop. Concerning this Mr. Weld says (“Slavery as It Is,” page 34):

  In the cotton and sugar region there is a fearful amount of
  desperate gambling, in which, though money is the ostensible stake
  and forfeit, _human life_ is the real one. The length to which this
  rivalry is carried at the South and South-west, the multitude of
  planters who engage in it, and the recklessness of human life
  exhibited in driving the murderous game to its issue, cannot well be
  imagined by one who has not lived in the midst of it. Desire of gain
  is only one of the motives that stimulates them; the _éclat_ of
  having made the largest crop with a given number of hands is also a
  powerful stimulant; the Southern newspapers, at the crop season,
  chronicle carefully the “cotton brag,” and the “crack
  cotton-picking,” and “unparalleled driving,” &c. Even the editors of
  professedly religious papers cheer on the _mêlée_, and sing the
  triumphs of the victor. Among these we recollect the celebrated Rev.
  J. N. Maffit, recently editor of a religious paper at Natchez,
  Miss., in which he took care to assign a prominent place and
  capitals to “THE COTTON BRAG.”

As a specimen, of recent date, of this kind of affair, we subjoin the
following from the _Fairfield Herald_, Winsboro’, S. C., Nov. 4, 1852.


  We find in many of our southern and western exchanges notices of the
  amount of cotton picked by hands, and the quantity by each hand;
  and, as we have received a similar account, which we have not seen
  excelled, so far as regards the quantity picked by one hand, we with
  pleasure furnish the statement, with the remark that it is from a
  citizen of this district, overseeing for Maj. H. W. Parr.

                                        “_Broad River, Oct. 12, 1852._

  “MESSRS. EDITORS:—By way of contributing something to your variety
  (provided it meets your approbation), I send you the return of a
  day’s picking of cotton, not by picked hands, but the fag end of a
  set of hands on one plantation, the able-bodied hands having been
  drawn out for other purposes. Now for the result of a day’s picking,
  from sun-up until sun-down, by twenty-two hands,—women, boys, and
  two men:—four thousand eight hundred and eighty pounds of clean
  picked cotton, from the stalk.

  “The highest, three hundred and fifty pounds, by several; the
  lowest, one hundred and fifteen pounds. One of the number has picked
  in the last seven and a half days (Sunday excepted), eleven hours
  each day, nineteen hundred pounds clean cotton. When any of my
  agricultural friends beat this, in the same time, and during
  sunshine, I will try again.

                                                       JAMES STEWARD.”

It seems that this agriculturist professes to have accomplished all
these extraordinary results with what he very elegantly terms the “fag
end” of a set of hands; and, the more to exalt his glory in the matter,
he distinctly informs the public that there were no “able-bodied” hands
employed; that this whole triumphant result was worked out of women and
children, and two disabled men; in other words, he boasts that out of
women and children, and the feeble and sickly, _he_ has extracted four
thousand eight hundred and eighty pounds of clean picked cotton in a
day; and that one of these same hands has been made to pick nineteen
hundred pounds of clean cotton in a week! and adds, complacently, that,
when any of his agricultural friends beat this, in the same time, and
during sunshine, he “will try again.”

Will any of our readers now consider the forcing up of the hands on
Legree’s plantation an exaggeration? Yet see how complacently this
account is quoted by the editor, as a most praiseworthy and laudable


That the representations of the style of dwelling-house, modes of
housekeeping, and, in short, the features of life generally, as
described on Legree’s plantation, are not wild and fabulous drafts on
the imagination, or exaggerated pictures of exceptional cases, there is
the most abundant testimony before the world, and has been for a long
number of years. Let the reader weigh the following testimony with
regard to the dwellings of the negroes, which has been for some years
before the world, in the work of Mr. Weld. It shows the state of things
in this respect, at least up to the year 1838.

  Mr. Stephen E. Maltby, Inspector of Provisions, Skaneateles, N. Y.,
  who has lived in Alabama.—“The huts where the slaves slept generally
  contained but _one_ apartment, and that _without floor_.”

  Mr. George A. Avery, elder of the 4th Presbyterian Church,
  Rochester, N. Y., who lived four years in Virginia.—“Amongst all the
  negro cabins which I saw in Virginia, _I cannot call to mind one_ in
  which there was any other floor than the _earth_; anything that a
  Northern laborer, or mechanic, white or colored, would call a _bed_,
  nor a solitary _partition_, to separate the sexes.”

  William Ladd, Esq., Minot, Maine, President of the American Peace
  Society, formerly a slave-holder in Florida.—“The dwellings of the
  slaves were palmetto huts, built by themselves of stakes and poles,
  thatched with the palmetto-leaf. The door, when they had any, was
  generally of the same materials, sometimes boards found on the
  beach. They had _no floors_, no separate apartments; except the
  Guinea negroes had sometimes a small enclosure for their ‘god
  houses.’ These huts the slaves built themselves after task and on

  Rev. Joseph M. Sadd, pastor Presbyterian Church, Castile, Greene
  Co., N. Y., who lived in Missouri five years previous to 1837.—“The
  slaves live _generally_ in _miserable huts_, which are _without
  floors_; and have a single apartment only, where both sexes are
  herded promiscuously together.”

  Mr. George W. Westgate, member of the Congregational church in
  Quincy, Illinois, who has spent a number of years in slave
  states.—“On old plantations the negro quarters are of frame and
  clapboards, seldom affording a comfortable shelter from wind or
  rain; their size varies from eight by ten to ten by twelve feet, and
  six or eight feet high; sometimes there is a hole cut for a window,
  but I never saw a sash, or glass, in any. In the new country, and in
  the woods, the quarters are generally built of logs, of similar

  Mr. Cornelius Johnson, a member of a Christian church in Farmington,
  Ohio. Mr. J. lived in Mississippi in 1837–8.—“Their houses were
  commonly built of logs; sometimes they were framed, often they had
  no floor; some of them have two apartments, commonly but one; each
  of those apartments contained a family. Sometimes these families
  consisted of a man and his wife and children, while in other
  instances persons of both sexes were thrown together, without any
  regard to family relationship.”

  The _Western Medical Reformer_, in an article on the Cachexia
  Africana, by a Kentucky physician, thus speaks of the huts of the
  slaves: “They are _crowded_ together in a _small hut_, and sometimes
  having an imperfect and sometimes no floor, and seldom raised from
  the ground, ill ventilated, and surrounded with filth.”

  Mr. William Leftwich, a native of Virginia, but has resided most of
  his life in Madison Co., Alabama.—“The dwellings of the slaves are
  log huts, from ten to twelve feet square, often without windows,
  doors or floors; they have neither chairs, table, or bedstead.”

  Reuben L. Macy, of Hudson, N. Y., a member of the religious society
  of Friends. He lived in South Carolina in 1818–19.—“The houses for
  the field-slaves were about fourteen feet square, built in the
  coarsest manner, with one room, _without any chimney or flooring,
  with a hole in the roof to let the smoke out_.”

  Mr. Lemuel Sapington, of Lancaster, Pa., a native of Maryland,
  formerly a slave-holder.—“The descriptions generally given of negro
  quarters are correct; the quarters are _without floors, and not
  sufficient to keep off the inclemency of the weather_; they are
  uncomfortable both in summer and winter.”

  Rev. John Rankin, a native of Tennessee.—“When they return to their
  miserable huts at night, they find not there the means of
  comfortable rest; but _on the cold ground they must lie without
  covering, and shiver while they slumber_.”

  Philemon Bliss, Esq., Elyria, Ohio, who lived in Florida in
  1835.—“The dwellings of the slaves are usually small _open_ log
  huts, with but one apartment, and very generally _without floors_.”

                                            _Slavery as It Is_, p. 43.

The Rev. C. C. Jones, to whom we have already alluded, when taking a
survey of the condition of the negroes considered as a field for
missionary effort, takes into account all the conditions of their
external life. He speaks of a part of Georgia where as much attention
had been paid to the comfort of the negro as in any part of the United
States. He gives the following picture:

  Their _general mode of living_ is coarse and vulgar. Many negro
  houses are small, low to the ground, blackened with smoke, often
  with dirt floors, and the furniture of the plainest kind. On some
  estates the houses are framed, weather-boarded, neatly white-washed,
  and made sufficiently large and comfortable in every respect. The
  improvement in the size, material and finish, of negro houses, is
  extending. Occasionally they may be found constructed of tabby or

                       _Religious Instruction of the Negroes_, p. 116.

Now, admitting what Mr. Jones says, to wit, that improvements with
regard to the accommodation of the negroes are continually making among
enlightened and Christian people, still, if we take into account how
many people there are who are neither enlightened nor Christian, how
unproductive of any benefit to the master all these improvements are,
and how entirely, therefore, they must be the result either of native
generosity or of Christian sentiment, the reader may fairly conclude
that such improvements are the exception, rather than the rule.

A friend of the writer, travelling in Georgia during the last month,
thus writes:

  Upon the long line of rice and cotton plantations extending along
  the railroad from Savannah to this city, the negro quarters contain
  scarcely a single hut which a Northern farmer would deem fit shelter
  for his cattle. They are all built of poles, with the ends so
  slightly notched that they are almost as open as children’s
  cob-houses (which they very much resemble), without a single glazed
  window, and with only one mud chimney to each cluster of from four
  to eight cabins. And yet our fellow-travellers were quietly
  expatiating upon the negro’s strange inability to endure cold

Let this modern picture be compared with the account given by the Rev.
Horace Moulton, who spent five years in Georgia between 1817 and 1824,
and it will be seen, in that state at least, there is some resemblance
between the more remote and more recent

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

                                            _Slavery as It Is_, p. 19.

The same Mr. Moulton gives the following account of the food of the
slaves, and the mode of procedure on the plantation on which he was
engaged. It may be here mentioned that at the time he was at the South
he was engaged in certain business relations which caused him frequently
to visit different plantations, and to have under his control many of
the slaves. His opportunities for observation, therefore, were quite
intimate. There is a homely matter-of-fact distinctness in the style
that forbids the idea of its being a fancy sketch:

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

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

  Some of the planters have no corn; others often get out. The
  substitute for it is the equivalent of one peck of corn, either in
  rice or sweet potatoes, neither of which is as good for the slaves
  as corn. They complain more of being faint when fed on rice or
  potatoes than when fed on corn. I was with one man a few weeks who
  gave me his hands to do a job of work, and, to save time, one cooked
  for all the rest. The following course was taken:—Two crotched
  sticks were driven down at one end of the yard, and, a small pole
  being laid on the crotches, they swung a large iron kettle on the
  middle of the pole; then made up a fire under the kettle, and boiled
  the hominy; when ready, the hands were called around this kettle
  with their wooden plates and spoons. They dipped out and ate
  standing around the kettle, or sitting upon the ground, as best
  suited their convenience. When they had potatoes, they took them out
  with their hands, and ate them.

                                            _Slavery as It Is_, p. 18.

Thomas Clay, Esq., a slave-holder of Georgia, and a most benevolent man,
and who interested himself very successfully in endeavoring to promote
the improvement of the negroes, in his address before the Georgia
Presbytery, 1833, says of their food, “The quantity allowed by custom is
a _peck of corn a week_.”

The _Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser_, May 30, 1788, says, “A
single peck of corn, or the same measure of rice, is the ordinary
provision for a hard-working slave, to which a small quantity of meat is
occasionally, though rarely, added.”

Captain William Ladd, of Minot, Maine, formerly a slave-holder in
Florida, says, “The usual allowance of food was a quart of corn a day to
a full-task hand, with a modicum of salt; _kind_ masters allowed a peck
of corn a week.”

The law of North Carolina provides that the master shall give his slave
a quart of corn a day, which is less than a peck a week by one
quart.—_Haywood’s Manual_, 525; _Slavery as It Is_, p. 29. The master,
therefore, who gave a peck a week would feel that he was going beyond
the law, and giving a quart for generosity.

This condition of things will appear far more probable in the section of
country where the scene of the story is laid. It is in the south-western
states, where no provision is _raised_ on the plantations, but the
supply for the slaves is all purchased from the more northern states.

Let the reader now imagine the various temptations which might
occur to retrench the allowance of the slaves, under these
circumstances;—scarcity of money, financial embarrassment, high
price of provisions, and various causes of the kind, bring a great
influence upon the master or overseer.

At the time when it was discussed whether the State of Missouri should
be admitted as a slave state, the measure, like all measures for the
advancement of this horrible system, was advocated on the good old plea
of humanity to the negroes; thus Mr. Alexander Smyth, in his speech on
the slavery question, Jan. 21, 1820, says:

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

                                            _Slavery as It Is_, p. 28.

This is a simple recognition of the state of things we have adverted to.
To the same purport, Mr. Asa A. Stone, a theological student, who
resided near Natchez, Miss., in 1834–5, says:

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

Mr. Tobias Baudinot, St. Albans, Ohio, a member of the Methodist Church,
who for some years was a navigator on the Mississippi, says:

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


On the whole, while it is freely and cheerfully admitted that many
individuals have made most commendable advances in regard to the
provision for the physical comfort of the slave, still it is to be
feared that the picture of the accommodations on Legree’s plantation has
as yet too many counterparts. Lest, however, the author should be
suspected of keeping back anything which might serve to throw light on
the subject, she will insert in full the following incidents on the
other side, from the pen of the accomplished Professor Ingraham. How far
these may be regarded as exceptional cases, or as pictures of the
general mode of providing for slaves, may safely be left to the good
sense of the reader. The professor’s anecdotes are as follows:

  “What can you do with so much tobacco?” said a gentleman,—who
  related the circumstance to me,—on hearing a planter, whom he was
  visiting, give an order to his teamster to bring two hogsheads of
  tobacco out to the estate from the “Landing.”

  “I purchase it for my negroes; it is a harmless indulgence, which it
  gives me pleasure to afford them.”

  “Why are you at the trouble and expense of having high-post
  bedsteads for your negroes?” said a gentleman from the North, while
  walking through the handsome “quarters,” or village, for the slaves,
  then in progress on a plantation near Natchez—addressing the

  “To suspend their ‘bars’ from, that they may not be troubled with

  “Master, me would like, if you please, a little bit gallery front my

  “For what, Peter?”

  “‘Cause, master, the sun too hot [an odd reason for a negro to give]
  that side, and when he rain we no able to keep de door open.”

  “Well, well, when a carpenter gets a little leisure, you shall have

  A few weeks after, I was at the plantation, and riding past the
  quarters one Sabbath morning, beheld Peter, his wife and children,
  with his old father, all sunning themselves in the new gallery.

  “Missus, you promise me a Chrismus gif’.”

  “Well, Jane, there is a new calico frock for you.”

  “It werry pretty, Missus,” said Jane, eying it at a distance without
  touching it, “but me prefer muslin, if you please: muslin de fashion
  dis Chrismus.”

  “Very well, Jane, call to-morrow, and you shall have a muslin.”

The writer would not think of controverting the truth of these
anecdotes. Any probable amount of high-post bedsteads and mosquito
“bars,” of tobacco distributed as gratuity, and verandas constructed by
leisurely carpenters for the sunning of fastidious negroes, may be
conceded, and they do in no whit impair the truth of the other facts.
When the reader remembers that the “gang” of some opulent owners amounts
to from five to seven hundred working hands, besides children, he can
judge how extensively these accommodations are likely to be provided.
Let them be safely thrown into the account, for what they are worth.

At all events, it is pleasing to end off so disagreeable a chapter with
some more agreeable images.

                              CHAPTER XI.

In this chapter of _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_ were recorded some of the most
highly-wrought and touching incidents of the slave-trade. It will be
well to authenticate a few of them.

One of the first sketches presented to view is an account of the
separation of a very old, decrepit negro woman from her young son, by a
sheriff’s sale. The writer is sorry to say that not the slightest credit
for invention is due to her in this incident. She found it, almost
exactly as it stands, in the published journal of a young Southerner,
related as a scene to which he was eye-witness. The only circumstance
which she has omitted in the narrative was one of additional inhumanity
and painfulness which he had delineated. He represents the boy as being
bought by a planter, who fettered his hands, and tied a rope round his
neck which he attached to the neck of his horse, thus compelling the
child to trot by his side. This incident alone was suppressed by the

Another scene of fraud and cruelty, in the same chapter, is described as
perpetrated by a Kentucky slave-master, who sells a woman to a trader,
and induces her to go with him by the deceitful assertion that she is to
be taken down the river a short distance, to work at the same hotel with
her husband. This was an instance which occurred under the writer’s own
observation, some years since, when she was going down the Ohio river.
The woman was very respectable both in appearance and dress. The writer
recalls her image now with distinctness, attired with great neatness in
a white wrapper, her clothing and hair all arranged with evident care,
and having with her a prettily-dressed boy about seven years of age. She
had also a hair trunk of clothing, which showed that she had been
carefully and respectably brought up. It will be seen, in perusing the
account, that the incident is somewhat altered to suit the purpose of
the story, the woman being there represented as carrying with her a
young infant.

The custom of unceremoniously separating the infant from its mother,
when the latter is about to be taken from a Northern to a Southern
market, is a matter of every-day notoriety in the trade. It is not done
occasionally and sometimes, but always, whenever there is occasion for
it; and the mother’s agonies are no more regarded than those of a cow
when her calf is separated from her.

The reason of this is, that the care and raising of children is no part
of the intention or provision of a Southern plantation. They are a
trouble; they detract from the value of the mother as a field-hand, and
it is more expensive to raise them than to buy them ready raised; they
are therefore left behind in the making up of a coffle. Not longer ago
than last summer, the writer was conversing with Thomas Strother, a
slave minister of the gospel in St. Louis, for whose emancipation she
was making some effort. He incidentally mentioned to her a scene which
he had witnessed but a short time before, in which a young woman of his
acquaintance came to him almost in a state of distraction, telling him
that she had been sold to go South with a trader, and leave behind her a
nursing infant.

In Lewis Clark’s narrative he mentions that a master in his neighborhood
sold a woman and child to a trader, with the charge that he should not
sell the child from its mother. The man, however, traded off the child
in the very next town, in payment of his tavern-bill.

The following testimony is from a gentleman who writes from New Orleans
to the _National Era_.

This writer says:

  While at Robinson, or Tyree Springs, twenty miles from Nashville, on
  the borders of Kentucky and Tennessee, my hostess said to me, one
  day, “Yonder comes a gang of slaves, chained.” I went to the
  road-side and viewed them. For the better answering my purpose of
  observation, I stopped the white man in front, who was at his ease
  in a one-horse wagon, and asked him if those slaves were for sale. I
  counted them and observed their position. They were divided by three
  one-horse wagons, each containing a man-merchant, so arranged as to
  command the whole gang. Some were unchained; sixty were chained in
  two companies, thirty in each, the right hand of one to the left
  hand of the other opposite one, making fifteen each side of a large
  ox-chain, to which every hand was fastened, and necessarily
  compelled to hold up,—men and women promiscuously, and about in
  equal proportions,—all young people. No children here, except a few
  in a wagon behind, which were the only children in the four gangs. I
  said to a respectable mulatto woman in the house, “Is it true that
  the negro-traders take mothers from their babies?” “Massa, it is
  true; for here, last week, such a girl [naming her], who lives about
  a mile off, was taken after dinner,—knew nothing of it in the
  morning,—sold, put into the gang, and her baby given away to a
  neighbor. She was a stout young woman, and brought a good price.”

Nor is the pitiful lie to be regarded which says that these unhappy
mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, do not feel when the most
sacred ties are thus severed. Every day and hour bears living witness of
the falsehood of this slander, the more false because spoken of a race
peculiarly affectionate, and strong, vivacious and vehement, in the
expression of their feelings.

The case which the writer supposed of the woman’s throwing herself
overboard is not by any means a singular one. Witness the following
recent fact, which appeared under the head of


  The editorial correspondent of the _Oneida_ (N. Y.) _Telegraph_,
  writing from a steamer on the Mississippi river, gives the following
  sad story:

  “At Louisville, a gentleman took passage, having with him a family
  of blacks,—husband, wife and children. The master was bound for
  Memphis, Tenn., at which place he intended to take all except the
  man ashore. The latter was handcuffed, and although his master said
  nothing of his intention, the negro made up his mind, from
  appearances, as well as from the remarks of those around him, that
  he was destined for the _Southern market_. We reached Memphis during
  the night, and whilst within sight of the town, just before landing,
  the negro caused his wife to divide their things, as though resigned
  to the intended separation, and then, taking a moment when his
  master’s back was turned, ran forward and jumped into the river. Of
  course he sank, and his master was several hundred dollars poorer
  than a moment before. That was all; at least, scarcely any one
  mentioned it the next morning. I was obliged to get my information
  from the deck hands, and did not hear a remark concerning it in the
  cabin. In justice to the master, I should say, that after the
  occurrence he disclaimed any intention to separate them.
  Appearances, however, are quite against him, if I have been rightly
  informed. This sad affair needs no comment. It is an argument,
  however, that I might have used to-day, with some effect, whilst
  talking with a highly-intelligent Southerner of the evils of
  slavery. He had been reading _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_, and spoke of it as
  a _novel_, which, like other romances, was well calculated to excite
  the sympathies, by the recital of heart-touching incidents which
  _never had an existence_, except in the imagination of the writer.”

Instances have occurred where mothers, whose children were about to be
sold from them, have, in their desperation, murdered their own
offspring, to save them from this worst kind of orphanage. A case of
this kind has been recently tried in the United States, and was alluded
to, a week or two ago, by Mr. Giddings, in his speech on the floor of

An American gentleman from Italy, complaining of the effect of “Uncle
Tom’s Cabin” on the Italian mind, states that images of fathers dragged
from their families to be sold into slavery, and of babes torn from the
breasts of weeping mothers, are constantly presented before the minds of
the people as scenes of every-day life in America. The author can only
say, sorrowfully, that it is _only the truth_ which is thus presented.

These things _are_, every day, part and parcel of one of _the most
thriving trades that is carried on in America_. The only difference
between us and foreign nations is, that we have got used to it, and they
have not. The thing has been done, and done again, day after day, and
year after year, reported and lamented over in every variety of way; but
it is _going on this day_ with more briskness than ever before, and such
scenes as we have described are enacted oftener, as the author will
prove when she comes to the chapter on the internal slave-trade.

The incident in this same chapter which describes the scene where the
wife of the unfortunate article, catalogued as “John aged 30,” rushed on
board the boat and threw her arms around him, with moans and
lamentations, was a real incident. The gentleman who related it was so
stirred in his spirit at the sight, that he addressed the trader in the
exact words which the writer represents the young minister as having
used in her narrative.

  My friend, how can you, how dare you, carry on a trade like this?
  Look at those poor creatures! Here I am, rejoicing in my heart that
  I am going home to my wife and child; and the same bell which is the
  signal to carry me onward towards them will part this poor man and
  his wife forever. Depend upon it, God will bring you into judgment
  for this.

If that gentleman has read the work,—as perhaps he has before now,—he
has probably recognized his own words. One affecting incident in the
narrative, as it really occurred, ought to be mentioned. The wife was
passionately bemoaning her husband’s fate, as about to be forever
separated from all that he held dear, to be sold to the hard usage of a
Southern plantation. The husband, in reply, used that very simple but
sublime expression which the writer has placed in the mouth of Uncle
Tom, in similar circumstances: “_There’ll be the same God there that
there is here._”

One other incident mentioned in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” may, perhaps, be as
well verified in this place as in any other.

The case of old Prue was related by a brother and sister of the writer,
as follows: She was the woman who supplied _rusks_ and other articles of
the kind at the house where they boarded. Her manners, appearance and
character, were just as described. One day another servant came in her
place, bringing the rusks. The sister of the writer inquired what had
become of _Prue_. She seemed reluctant to answer for some time, but at
last said that they had taken her into the cellar and beaten her, and
that the flies had got at her, and she was dead!

It is well known that there are no _cellars_, properly so called, in New
Orleans, the nature of the ground being such as to forbid digging. The
slave who used the word had probably been imported from some state where
cellars were in use, and applied the term to the place which was used
for the ordinary purposes of a cellar. A cook who lived in the writer’s
family, having lived most of her life on a plantation, always applied
the descriptive terms of the plantation to the very limited enclosures
and retinue of a very plain house and yard.

This same lady, while living in the same place, used frequently to have
her compassion excited by hearing the wailings of a sickly baby in a
house adjoining their own, as also the objurgations and tyrannical abuse
of a ferocious virago upon its mother. She once got an opportunity to
speak to its mother, who appeared heart-broken and dejected, and
inquired what was the matter with her child. Her answer was that she had
had a fever, and that her milk was all dried away; and that her mistress
was set against her child, and would not buy milk for it. She had tried
to feed it on her own coarse food, but it pined and cried continually;
and in witness of this she brought the baby to her. It was emaciated to
a skeleton. The lady took the little thing to a friend of hers in the
house who had been recently confined, and who was suffering from a
redundancy of milk, and begged her to nurse it. The miserable sight of
the little, famished, wasted thing affected the mother so as to overcome
all other considerations, and she placed it to her breast, when it
revived, and took food with an eagerness which showed how much it had
suffered. But the child was so reduced that this proved only a transient
alleviation. It was after this almost impossible to get sight of the
woman, and the violent temper of her mistress was such as to make it
difficult to interfere in the case. The lady secretly afforded what aid
she could, though, as she confessed, with a sort of misgiving that it
was a cruelty to try to hold back the poor little sufferer from the
refuge of the grave; and it was a relief to her when at last its
wailings ceased, and it went where the weary are at rest. This is one of
those cases which go to show that the _interest_ of the owner will not
always insure kind treatment of the slave.

There is one other incident, which the writer interwove into the history
of the mulatto woman who was bought by Legree for his plantation. The
reader will remember that, in telling her story to Emmeline, she says:

  “My Mas’r was Mr. Ellis,—lived on Levee-street. P’raps you’ve seen
  the house.”

  “Was he good to you?” said Emmeline.

  “Mostly, till he tuk sick. He’s lain sick, off and on, more than six
  months, and been orful oneasy. ‘Pears like he warn’t willin’ to have
  nobody rest, day nor night; and got so cur’ous, there couldn’t
  nobody suit him. ‘Pears like he just grew crosser every day; kep me
  up nights till I got fairly beat out, and couldn’t keep awake no
  longer; and ‘cause I got to sleep one night, Lors! he talk so orful
  to me, and he tell me he’d sell me to just the hardest master he
  could find; and he’d promised me my freedom, too, when he died.”

An incident of this sort came under the author’s observation in the
following manner: A quadroon slave family, liberated by the will of the
master, settled on Walnut Hills, near her residence, and their children
were received into her family school, taught in her house. In this
family was a little quadroon boy, four or five years of age, with a sad,
dejected appearance, who excited their interest.

The history of this child, as narrated by his friends, was simply this:
His mother had been the indefatigable nurse of her master, during a
lingering and painful sickness, which at last terminated his life. She
had borne all the fatigue of the nursing, both by night and by day,
sustained in it by his promise that she should be rewarded for it by her
liberty, at his death. Overcome by exhaustion and fatigue, she one night
fell asleep, and he was unable to rouse her. The next day, after
violently upbraiding her, he altered the directions of his will, and
sold her to a man who was noted in all the region round as a cruel
master, which sale, immediately on his death, which was shortly after,
took effect. The only mitigation of her sentence was that her child was
not to be taken with her into this dreaded lot, but was given to this
quadroon family to be brought into a free state.

The writer very well remembers hearing this story narrated among a group
of liberated negroes, and their comments on it. A peculiar form of grave
and solemn irony often characterizes the communications of this class of
people. It is a habit engendered in slavery to comment upon proceedings
of this kind in language apparently respectful to the perpetrators, and
which is felt to be irony only by a certain peculiarity of manner,
difficult to describe. After the relation of this story, when the writer
expressed her indignation in no measured terms, one of the oldest of the
sable circle remarked, gravely,

“The man was a mighty great Christian, anyhow.”

The writer warmly expressed her dissent from this view, when another of
the same circle added,

“Went to glory, anyhow.”

And another continued,

“Had the greatest kind of a time when he was a-dyin’; said he was goin’
straight into heaven.”

And when the writer remarked that many people thought so who never got
there, a singular smile of grim approval passed round the circle, but no
further comments were made. This incident has often recurred to the
writer’s mind, as showing the danger to the welfare of the master’s soul
from the possession of absolute power. A man of justice and humanity
when in health, is often tempted to become unjust, exacting and
exorbitant, in sickness. If, in these circumstances, he is surrounded by
inferiors, from whom law and public opinion have taken away the rights
of common humanity, how is he tempted to the exercise of the most
despotic passions, and, like this unfortunate man, to leave the world
with the weight of these awful words upon his head: “If ye forgive not
men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

                              CHAPTER XII.

Topsy stands as the representative of a large class of the children who
are growing up under the institution of slavery,—quick, active, subtle
and ingenious, apparently utterly devoid of principle and conscience,
keenly penetrating, by an instinct which exists in the childish mind,
the degradation of their condition, and the utter hopelessness of rising
above it; feeling the black skin on them, like the mark of Cain, to be a
sign of reprobation and infamy, and urged on by a kind of secret
desperation to make their “calling and election” in sin “sure.”

Christian people have often been perfectly astonished and discouraged,
as Miss Ophelia was, in the attempt to bring up such children decently
and Christianly, under a state of things which takes away every
stimulant which God meant should operate healthfully on the human mind.

We are not now speaking of the Southern States merely, but of the New
England States; for, startling as it may appear, _slavery is not yet
wholly abolished in the free states of the North_. The most unchristian
part of it, that which gives to it all the bitterness and all the sting,
is yet, in a great measure, unrepealed; it is the practical denial to
the negro of the rights of human brotherhood. In consequence of this,
Topsy is a character which may be found at the North as well as at the

In conducting the education of negro, mulatto and quadroon children, the
writer has often observed this fact:—that, for a certain time, and up to
a certain age, they kept equal pace with, and were often superior to,
the white children with whom they were associated; but that there came a
time when they became indifferent to learning, and made no further
progress. This was invariably at the age when they were old enough to
reflect upon life, and to perceive that society had no place to offer
them for which anything more would be requisite than the rudest and most
elementary knowledge.

Let us consider how it is with our own children; how few of them would
ever acquire an education from the mere love of learning.

In the process necessary to acquire a handsome style of hand-writing, to
master the intricacies of any language, or to conquer the difficulties
of mathematical study, how often does the perseverance of the child
flag, and need to be stimulated by his parents and teachers by such
considerations as these: “It will be necessary for you, in such or such
a position in life, to possess this or that acquirement or
accomplishment. How could you ever become a merchant, without
understanding accounts? How could you enter the learned professions,
without understanding languages? If you are ignorant and uninformed, you
cannot take rank as a gentleman in society.”

Does not every one know that, without the stimulus which teachers and
parents thus continually present, multitudes of children would never
gain a tolerable education? And is it not the absence of all such
stimulus which has prevented the negro child from an equal advance?

It is often objected to the negro race that they are frivolous and vain,
passionately fond of show, and are interested only in trifles. And who
is to blame for all this? Take away all high aims, all noble ambition,
from any class, and what is left for them to be interested in _but_

The present attorney-general of Liberia, Mr. Lewis, is a man who
commands the highest respect, for talent and ability in his position;
yet, while he was in America, it is said that, like many other young
colored men, he was distinguished only for foppery and frivolity. What
made the change in Lewis after he went to Liberia? Who does not see the
answer? Does any one wish to know what is inscribed on the seal which
keeps the great stone over the sepulchre of African mind? It is
this;—which was so truly said by poor Topsy,—“NOTHING BUT A NIGGER!”

It is this, burnt into the soul by the branding-iron of cruel and
unchristian scorn, that is a sorer and deeper wound than all the
physical evils of slavery together.

There never was a slave who did not feel it. Deep, deep down in the
dark, still waters of his soul is the conviction, heavier, bitterer than
all others, that he is _not regarded as a man_. On this point may be
introduced the testimony of one who has known the wormwood and the gall
of slavery by bitter experience. The following letter has been received
from Dr. Pennington, in relation to some inquiries of the author:

                                     { _50 Laurens-street,_
                                     {      _New York, Nov. 30, 1852._


  ESTEEMED MADAM: I have duly received your kind letter in answer to
  mine of the 15th instant, in which you state that you “have an
  intense curiosity to know how far you have rightly divined the heart
  of the slave.” You give me your idea in these words: “There lies
  buried down in the heart of the most seemingly careless and stupid
  slave a _bleeding spot_, that bleeds and aches, though he could
  scarcely tell why; and that this sore spot is the _degradation_ of
  his position.”

  After escaping from the plantation of Dr. Tilghman, in Washington
  County, Md., where I was held as a slave, and worked as a
  blacksmith, I came to the State of Pennsylvania, and, after
  experiencing there some of the vicissitudes referred to in my little
  published narrative, I came into New York State, bringing in my mind
  a certain indescribable feeling of wretchedness. They used to say of
  me at Dr. Tilghman’s, “That blacksmith Jemmy is a ‘cute fellow;
  still water runs deep.” But I confess that “blacksmith Jemmy” was
  not ‘cute enough to understand the cause of his own wretchedness.
  The current of the still water may have run deep, but it did not
  reach down to that awful bed of lava.

  At times I thought it occasioned by the lurking fear of betrayal.
  There was no Vigilance Committee at the time,—there were but
  anti-slavery men. I came North with my counsels in my own cautious
  breast. I married a wife, and did not tell her I was a fugitive.
  None of my friends knew it. I knew not the means of safety, and
  hence I was constantly in fear of meeting with some one who would
  betray me.

  It was fully two years before I could hold up my head; but still
  that feeling was in my mind. In 1846, after opening my bosom as a
  fugitive to John Hooker, Esq., I felt this much relief,—“Thank God
  there is one brother-man in hard old Connecticut that knows my

  Soon after this, when I sailed to the island of Jamaica, and on
  landing there saw colored men in all the stations of civil, social,
  commercial life, where I had seen white men in this country, that
  feeling of wretchedness experienced a sensible relief, as if some
  feverish sore had been just reached by just the right kind of balm.
  There was before my eye evidence that a colored man is more than “a
  nigger.” I went into the House of Assembly at Spanishtown, where
  fifteen out of forty-five members were colored men. I went into the
  courts, where I saw in the jury-box colored and white men together,
  colored and white lawyers at the bar. I went into the Common Council
  of Kingston; there I found men of different colors. So in all the
  counting-rooms, &c. &c.

  But still there was this drawback. Somebody says, “This is nothing
  but a nigger island.” Now, then, my old trouble came back again; “a
  nigger among niggers is but a nigger still.”

  In 1849, when I undertook my second visit to Great Britain, I
  resolved to prolong and extend my travel and intercourse with the
  best class of men, with a view to see if I could banish that
  troublesome old ghost entirely out of my mind. In England, Scotland,
  Wales, France, Germany, Belgium and Prussia, my whole power has been
  concentrated on this object. “I’ll be a man, and I’ll kill off this
  enemy which has haunted me these twenty years and more.” I believe I
  have succeeded in some good degree; at least, I have now no more
  trouble on the score of equal manhood with the whites. My European
  tour was certainly useful, because there the trial was fair and
  honorable. I had nothing to complain of. I got what was due to man,
  and I was expected to do what was due from man to man. I sought not
  to be treated as a pet. I put myself into the harness, and wrought
  manfully in the first pulpits, and the platforms in peace
  congresses, conventions, anniversaries, commencements, &c.; and in
  these exercises that rusty old iron came out of my soul, and went
  “clean away.”

  You say again you have never seen a slave how ever careless and
  merry-hearted, who had not this sore place, and that did not shrink
  or get angry if a finger was laid on it. I see that you have been a
  close observer of negro nature.

  So far as I understand your idea, I think you are perfectly correct
  in the impression you have received, as explained in your note.

  O, Mrs. Stowe, slavery is an awful system! It takes man as God made
  him; it demolishes him, and then mis-creates him, or perhaps I
  should say mal-creates him!

  Wishing you good health and good success in your arduous work,

                                          I am yours, respectfully,
                                                  J. W. C. PENNINGTON.

People of intelligence, who have had the care of slaves, have often made
this remark to the writer: “They are a singular whimsical people; you
can do a great deal more with them by humoring some of their prejudices,
than by bestowing on them the most substantial favors.” On inquiring
what these prejudices were, the reply would be, “They like to have their
weddings elegantly celebrated, and to have a good deal of notice taken
of their funerals, and to give and go to parties dressed and appearing
like white people; and they will often put up with material
inconveniences, and suffer themselves to be worked very hard, if they
are humored in these respects.”

Can any one think of this without compassion? Poor souls! willing to
bear with so much for simply this slight acknowledgment of their common
humanity. To honor their weddings and funerals is, in some sort,
acknowledging that they are human, and therefore they prize it. Hence we
see the reason of the passionate attachment which often exists in a
faithful slave to a good master. It is, in fact, a transfer of his
identity to his master. A stern law and an unchristian public sentiment
has taken away his birthright of humanity, erased his name from the
catalogue of men, and made him an anomalous creature—neither man nor
brute. When a kind master recognizes his humanity, and treats him as a
humble companion and a friend, there is no end to the devotion and
gratitude which he thus excites. He is to the slave a deliverer and a
saviour from the curse which lies on his hapless race. Deprived of all
legal rights and privileges, all opportunity or hope of personal
advancement or honor, he transfers, as it were, his whole existence into
his master’s, and appropriates his rights, his position, his honor, as
his own; and thus enjoys a kind of reflected sense of what it might be
to be a man himself. Hence it is that the appeal to the more generous
part of the negro character is seldom made in vain.

An acquaintance of the writer was married to a gentleman in Louisiana,
who was the proprietor of some eight hundred slaves. He, of course, had
a large train of servants in his domestic establishment. When about to
enter upon her duties, she was warned that the servants were all so
thievish that she would be under the necessity, in common with all other
housekeepers, of keeping everything under lock and key. She, however,
announced her intention of training her servants in such a manner as to
make this unnecessary. Her ideas were ridiculed as chimerical, but she
resolved to carry them into practice. The course she pursued was as
follows: She called all the family servants together; told them that it
would be a great burden and restraint upon her to be obliged to keep
everything locked from them; that she had heard that they were not at
all to be trusted, but that she could not help hoping that they were
much better than they had been represented. She told them that she
should provide abundantly for all their wants, and then that she should
leave her stores unlocked, and trust to their honor.

The idea that they were supposed capable of having any honor struck a
new chord at once in every heart. The servants appeared most grateful
for the trust, and there was much public spirit excited, the older and
graver ones exerting themselves to watch over the children, that nothing
might be done to destroy this new-found treasure of honor.

At last, however, the lady discovered that some depredations had been
made on her cake by some of the juvenile part of the establishment; she,
therefore, convened all the servants and stated the fact to them. She
remarked that it was not on account of the value of the cake that she
felt annoyed, but that they must be sensible that it would not be
pleasant for her to have it indiscriminately fingered and handled, and
that, therefore, she should set some cake out upon a table, or some
convenient place, and beg that all those who were disposed to take it
would go there and help themselves, and allow the rest to remain
undisturbed in the closet. She states that the cake stood upon the table
and dried, without a morsel of it being touched, and that she never
afterwards had any trouble in this respect.

A little time after, a new carriage was bought, and one night the
leather boot of it was found to be missing. Before her husband had time
to take any steps on the subject, the servants of the family called a
convention among themselves, and instituted an inquiry into the offence.
The boot was found and promptly restored, though they would not reveal
to their master and mistress the name of the offender.

One other anecdote which this lady related illustrates that peculiar
devotion of a slave to a good master, to which allusion has been made.
Her husband met with his death by a sudden and melancholy accident. He
had a personal attendant and confidential servant who had grown up with
him from childhood. This servant was so overwhelmed with grief as to be
almost stupefied. On the day of the funeral a brother of his deceased
master inquired of him if he had performed a certain commission for his
mistress. The servant said that he had forgotten it. Not perceiving his
feelings at the moment, the gentleman replied, “I am surprised that you
should neglect any command of your mistress, when she is in such

This remark was the last drop in the full cup. The poor fellow fell to
the ground entirely insensible, and the family were obliged to spend
nearly two hours employing various means to restore his vitality. The
physician accounted for his situation by saying that there had been such
a rush of all the blood in the body towards the heart, that there was
actual danger of a rupture of that organ,—a literal death by a broken

Some thoughts may be suggested by Miss Ophelia’s conscientious but
unsuccessful efforts in the education of Topsy.

Society has yet need of a great deal of enlightening as to the means of
restoring the vicious and degraded to virtue.

It has been erroneously supposed that with brutal and degraded natures
only coarse and brutal measures could avail; and yet it has been found,
by those who have most experience, that their success with this class of
society has been just in proportion to the delicacy and kindliness with
which they have treated them.

Lord Shaftsbury, who has won so honorable a fame by his benevolent
interest in the efforts made for the degraded lower classes of his own
land, says, in a recent letter to the author:

  You are right about Topsy: our ragged schools will afford you many
  instances of poor children, hardened by kicks, insults and neglect,
  moved to tears and docility by the first word of kindness. It opens
  new feelings, develops, as it were, a new nature, and brings the
  wretched outcast into the family of man.

Recent efforts which have been made among unfortunate females in some of
the worst districts of New York show the same thing. What is it that
rankles deepest in the breast of fallen woman, that makes her so
hopeless and irreclaimable? It is that burning consciousness of
degradation which stings worse than cold or hunger, and makes her shrink
from the face of the missionary and the philanthropist. They who have
visited these haunts of despair and wretchedness have learned that they
must touch gently the shattered harp of the human soul, if they would
string it again to divine music; that they must encourage self-respect,
and hope, and sense of character, or the bonds of death can never be

Let us examine the gospel of Christ, and see on what principles its
appeals are constructed. Of what nature are those motives which have
melted _our_ hearts and renewed _our_ wills? Are they not appeals to the
most generous and noble instincts of our nature? Are we not told of One
fairer than the sons of men,—One reigning in immortal glory, who loved
us so that he could bear pain, and want, and shame, and death itself,
for our sake?

When Christ speaks to the soul, does he crush one of its nobler
faculties? Does he taunt us with our degradation, our selfishness, our
narrowness of view, and feebleness of intellect, compared with his own?
Is it not true that he not only saves us from our sins, but saves us in
a way most considerate, most tender, most regardful of our feelings and
sufferings? Does not the Bible tell us that, in order to fulfil his
office of Redeemer the more perfectly, he took upon him the condition of
humanity, and endured the pains, and wants, and temptations of a mortal
existence, that he might be to us a sympathizing, appreciating friend,
“touched with the feeling of our infirmities,” and cheering us gently on
in the hard path of returning virtue?

O, when shall we, who have received so much of Jesus Christ, learn to
repay it in acts of kindness to our poor brethren? When shall we be
Christ-like, and not man-like, in our efforts to reclaim the fallen and

                             CHAPTER XIII.
                              THE QUAKERS.

The writer’s sketch of the character of this people has been drawn from
personal observation. There are several settlements of these people in
Ohio, and the manner of living, the tone of sentiment, and the habits of
life, as represented in her book, are not at all exaggerated.

These settlements have always been refuges for the oppressed and
outlawed slave. The character of Rachel Halliday was a real one, but she
has passed away to her reward. Simeon Halliday, calmly risking fine and
imprisonment for his love to God and man, has had in this country many
counterparts among the sect.

The writer had in mind, at the time of writing, the scenes in the trial
of Thomas Garret, of Wilmington, Delaware, for the crime of hiring a
hack to convey a mother and four children from Newcastle jail to
Wilmington, a distance of _five miles_.

The writer has received the facts in this case in a letter from John
Garret himself, from which some extracts will be made:

                                           { _Wilmington, Delaware,_
                                           {   _1st month 18th, 1853._


  HARRIET BEECHER STOWE: I have this day received a request from
  Charles K. Whipple, of Boston, to furnish thee with a statement,
  authentic and circumstantial, of the trouble and losses which have
  been brought upon myself and others of my friends from the aid we
  had rendered to fugitive slaves, in order, if thought of sufficient
  importance, to be published in a work thee is now preparing for the

  I will now endeavor to give thee a statement of what John Hunn and
  myself suffered by aiding a family of slaves, a few years since. I
  will give the facts as they occurred, and thee may condense and
  publish so much as thee may think useful in thy work, and no more:

  “In the 12th month, year 1846, a family, consisting of Samuel
  Hawkins, a freeman, his wife Emeline, and six children, who were
  afterwards _proved slaves_, stopped at the house of a friend named
  John Hunn, near Middletown, in this state, in the evening about
  sunset, to procure food and lodging for the night. They were seen by
  some of Hunn’s pro-slavery neighbors, who soon came with a
  constable, and had them taken before a magistrate. Hunn had left the
  slaves in his kitchen when he went to the village of Middletown,
  half a mile distant. When the officer came with a warrant for them,
  he met Hunn at the kitchen door, and asked for the blacks; Hunn,
  with truth, said he did not know where they were. Hunn’s wife,
  thinking they would be safer, had sent them up stairs during his
  absence, where they were found. Hunn made no resistance, and they
  were taken before the magistrate, and from his office direct to
  Newcastle jail, where they arrived about one o’clock on 7th day

  The sheriff and his daughter, being kind, humane people, inquired of
  Hawkins and wife the facts of their case; and his daughter wrote to
  a lady here, to request me to go to Newcastle and inquire into the
  case, as her father and self really believed they were most of them,
  if not all, entitled to their _freedom_. Next morning I went to
  Newcastle: had the family of colored people brought into the parlor,
  and the sheriff and myself came to the conclusion that the parents
  and four youngest children were by law entitled to their freedom. I
  prevailed on the sheriff to show me the commitment of the
  magistrate, which I found was defective, and not in due form
  according to law. I procured a copy and handed it to a lawyer. He
  pronounced the commitment irregular, and agreed to go next morning
  to Newcastle and have the whole family taken before Judge Booth,
  Chief Justice of the state, by _habeas corpus_, when the following
  admission was made by Samuel Hawkins and wife: They admitted that
  the two eldest boys were held by one Charles Glaudin, of Queen Anne
  County, Maryland, as slaves; that after the birth of these two
  children, Elizabeth Turner, also of Queen Anne, the mistress of
  their mother, had set her free, and permitted her to go and live
  with her husband, near twenty miles from her residence, after which
  the four youngest children were born; that her mistress during all
  that time, eleven or twelve years, had never contributed one dollar
  to their support, or come to see them. After examining the
  commitment in their case, and consulting with my attorney, the judge
  set the whole family at liberty. The day was wet and cold; one of
  the children, three years old, was a cripple from white swelling,
  and could not walk a step; another, eleven months old, at the
  breast; and the parents being desirous of getting to Wilmington,
  five miles distant, I asked the judge if there would be any risk or
  impropriety in my hiring a conveyance for the mother and four young
  children to Wilmington. His reply, in the presence of the sheriff
  and my attorney, was there would not be any. I then requested the
  sheriff to procure a hack to take them over to Wilmington.”

The whole family escaped. John Hunn and John Garret were brought up to
trial for having practically fulfilled these words of Christ which read,
“I was a stranger and ye took me in, I was sick and in prison and ye
came unto me.” For John Hunn’s part of this crime, he was fined two
thousand five hundred dollars, and John Garret was fined five thousand
four hundred. Three thousand five hundred of this was the fine for
hiring a hack for them, and one thousand nine hundred was assessed on
him as the value of the slaves! Our European friends will infer from
this that it costs something to obey Christ in America, as well as in

After John Garret’s trial was over, and this heavy judgment had been
given against him, he calmly rose in the court-room, and requested leave
to address a few words to the court and audience.

Leave being granted, he spoke as follows:

  I have a few words which I wish to address to the court, jury and
  prosecutors, in the several suits that have been brought against me
  during the sittings of this court, in order to determine the amount
  of penalty I must pay for doing what my feelings prompted me to do
  as a lawful and meritorious act; a simple act of humanity and
  justice, as I believed, to eight of that oppressed race, the people
  of color, whom I found in the Newcastle jail, in the 12th month,
  1845. I will now endeavor to state the facts of those cases, for
  your consideration and reflection after you return home to your
  families and friends. You will then have time to ponder on what has
  transpired here since the sitting of this court, and I believe that
  your verdict will then be unanimous, that the law of the United
  States, as explained by our venerable judge, when compared with the
  act committed by me, was cruel and oppressive, and needs

Here follows a very brief and clear statement of the facts in the case,
of which the reader is already apprized.

After showing conclusively that he had no reason to suppose the family
to be slaves, and that they had all been discharged by the judge, he
nobly adds the following words:

  _Had I believed every one of them to be slaves, I should have done
  the same thing._ I should have done violence to my convictions of
  duty, had I not made use of all the lawful means in my power to
  liberate those people, and assist them to become men and women,
  rather than leave them in the condition of chattels personal.

  I am called an Abolitionist; once a name of reproach, but one I have
  ever been proud to be considered worthy of being called. For the
  last twenty-five years I have been engaged in the cause of this
  despised and much-injured race, and consider their cause worth
  suffering for; but, owing to a multiplicity of other engagements, I
  could not devote so much of my time and mind to their cause as I
  otherwise should have done.

  The impositions and persecutions practised on those unoffending and
  innocent brethren are extreme beyond endurance. I am now placed in a
  situation in which I have not so much to claim my attention as
  formerly; and I now pledge myself, in the presence of this assembly,
  to use all lawful and honorable means to lessen the burdens of this
  oppressed people, and endeavor, according to ability furnished, to
  burst their chains asunder, and set them free; not relaxing my
  efforts on their behalf while blessed with health, and a slave
  remains to tread the soil of the state of my adoption,—Delaware.

  After mature reflection, I can assure this assembly it is my opinion
  at this time that the verdicts you have given the prosecutors
  against John Hunn and myself, within the past few days, will have a
  tendency to raise a spirit of inquiry throughout the length and
  breadth of the land, respecting this monster evil (slavery), in many
  minds that have not heretofore investigated the subject. The reports
  of those trials will be published by editors from Maine to Texas and
  the far West; and what must be the effect produced? It will, no
  doubt, add hundreds, perhaps thousands, to the present large and
  rapidly increasing army of abolitionists. The injury is great to us
  who are the immediate sufferers by your verdict; but I believe the
  verdicts you have given against us within the last few days will
  have a powerful effect in bringing about the abolition of slavery in
  this country, this land of boasted freedom, where not only the slave
  is fettered at the South by his lordly master, but the white man at
  the North is bound as in chains to do the bidding of his Southern

In his letter to the writer John Garret adds, that after this speech a
young man who had served as juryman came across the room, and taking him
by the hand, said:

“Old gentleman, I believe every statement that you have made. I came
from home prejudiced against you, and I now acknowledge that I have
helped to do you injustice.”

Thus calmly and simply did this Quaker confess Christ before men,
according as it is written of them of old,—“He esteemed the reproach of
Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt.”

Christ has said, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him
shall the Son of Man be ashamed.” In our days it is not customary to be
ashamed of Christ personally, but of _his words_ many are ashamed. But
when they meet Him in judgment they will have cause to remember them;
for heaven and earth shall pass away, but His word shall not pass away.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Another case of the same kind is of a more affecting character.

_Richard Dillingham_ was the son of a respectable Quaker family in
Morrow County, Ohio. His pious mother brought him up in the full belief
of the doctrine of St. John, that the love of God and the love of man
are inseparable. He was diligently taught in such theological notions as
are implied in such passages as these: “Hereby perceive we the love of
God, because he laid down his life for us; and we ought also to lay down
our lives for the brethren.—But whoso hath this world’s goods and seeth
his brother have need and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him,
how dwelleth the love of God in him?—My little children, let us not love
in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

In accordance with these precepts, Richard Dillingham, in early manhood,
was found in Cincinnati teaching the colored people, and visiting in the
prisons and doing what in him lay to “love in deed and in truth.”

Some unfortunate families among the colored people had dear friends who
were slaves in Nashville, Tennessee. Richard was so interested in their
story, that when he went into Tennessee he was actually taken up and
caught in the very fact of helping certain poor people to escape to
their friends.

He was seized and thrown into prison. In the language of this world he
was imprisoned as a “negro-stealer.” His own account is given in the
following letter to his parents:

                                _Nashville Jail, 12th mo. 15th, 1849._

  DEAR PARENTS: I presume you have heard of my arrest and imprisonment
  in the Nashville jail, under a charge of aiding in an attempted
  escape of slaves from the city of Nashville, on the 5th inst. I was
  arrested by M. D. Maddox (district constable), aided by Frederick
  Marshal, watchman at the Nashville Inn, and the bridge-keeper, at
  the bridge across the Cumberland river. When they arrested me, I had
  rode up to the bridge on horseback and paid the toll for myself and
  for the hack to pass over, in which three colored persons, who were
  said to be slaves, were found by the men who arrested me. The driver
  of the hack (who is a free colored man of this city), and the
  persons in the hack, were also arrested; and after being taken to
  the Nashville Inn and searched, we were all taken to jail. My arrest
  took place about eleven o’clock at night.

In another letter he says:

  At the bridge, Maddox said to me, “You are just the man we wanted.
  We will make an example of you.” As soon as we were safe in the
  bar-room of the inn, Maddox took a candle and looked me in the face,
  to see if he could recognize my countenance; and looking intently at
  me a few moments, he said, “Well, you are too good-looking a young
  man to be engaged in such an affair as this.” The bystanders asked
  me several questions, to which I replied that under the present
  circumstances I would rather be excused from answering any questions
  relating to my case; upon which they desisted from further inquiry.
  Some threats and malicious wishes were uttered against me by the
  ruffian part of the assembly, being about twenty-five persons. I was
  put in a cell which had six persons in it, and I can assure thee
  that they were very far from being agreeable companions to me,
  although they were kind. But thou knows that I do not relish cursing
  and swearing, and worst of all loathsome and obscene blasphemy; and
  of such was most of the conversation of my prison mates when I was
  first put in here. The jailers are kind enough to me, but the jail
  is so constructed that it cannot be warmed, and we have to either
  warm ourselves by walking in our cell, which is twelve by fifteen
  feet, or by lying in bed. I went out to my trial on the 16th of last
  month, and put it off till the next term of the court, which will be
  commenced on the second of next 4th month. I put it off on the
  ground of excitement.

  Dear brother, I have no hopes of getting clear of being convicted
  and sentenced to the penitentiary; but do not think that I am
  without comfort in my afflictions, for I assure thee that I have
  many reflections that give me sweet consolation in the midst of my
  grief. I have a clear conscience before my God, which is my greatest
  comfort and support through all my troubles and afflictions. An
  approving conscience none can know but those who enjoy it. It nerves
  us in the hour of trial to bear our sufferings with fortitude, and
  even with cheerfulness. The greatest affliction I have is the
  reflection of the sorrow and anxiety my friends will have to endure
  on my account. But I can assure thee, brother, that with the
  exception of this reflection, I am far, very far, from being one of
  the most miserable of men. Nay, to the contrary, I am not terrified
  at the prospect before me, though I am grieved about it; but all
  have enough to grieve about in this unfriendly wilderness of sin and
  woe. My hopes are not fixed in this world, and therefore I have a
  source of consolation that will never fail me, so long as I slight
  not the offers of mercy, comfort and peace, which my blessed Saviour
  constantly privileges me with.

  One source of almost constant annoyance to my feelings is the
  profanity and vulgarity, and the bad, disagreeable temper, of two or
  three fellow-prisoners of my cell. They show me considerable
  kindness and respect; but they cannot do otherwise, when treated
  with the civility and kindness with which I treat them. If it be my
  fate to go to the penitentiary for eight or ten years, I can, I
  believe, meet my doom without shedding a tear. I have not yet shed a
  tear, though there may be many in store. My bail-bonds were set at
  seven thousand dollars. If I should be bailed out, I should return
  to my trial, unless my security were rich, and did not wish me to
  return; for _I am Richard yet_, although I am in the prison of my
  enemy, and will not flinch from what I believe to be right and
  honorable. These are the principles which, in carrying out, have
  lodged me here; for there was a time, at my arrest, that I might
  have, in all probability, escaped the police, but it would have
  subjected those who were arrested with me to punishment, perhaps
  even to death, in order to find out who I was, and if they had not
  told more than they could have done in truth, they would probably
  have been punished without mercy; and I am determined no one shall
  suffer for me. I am now a prisoner, but those who were arrested with
  me are all at liberty, and I believe without whipping. I now stand
  alone before the Commonwealth of Tennessee to answer for the affair.
  Tell my friends I am in the midst of consolation here.

Richard was engaged to a young lady of amiable disposition and fine
mental endowments.

To her he thus writes:

  O, dearest! Canst thou upbraid me? canst thou call it crime? wouldst
  thou call it crime, or couldst thou upbraid me, for rescuing, or
  attempting to rescue, _thy_ father, mother, or brother and sister,
  or even friends, from a captivity among a cruel race of oppressors?
  O, couldst thou only see what I have seen, and hear what I have
  heard, of the sad, vexatious, degrading, and soul-trying situation
  of as noble minds as ever the Anglo-Saxon race were possessed of,
  mourning in vain for that universal heaven-born boon of freedom,
  which an all-wise and beneficent Creator has designed for all, thou
  couldst not censure, but wouldst deeply sympathize with me! Take all
  these things into consideration, and the thousands of poor mortals
  who are dragging out far more miserable lives than mine will be,
  even at ten years in the penitentiary, and thou wilt not look upon
  my fate with so much horror as thou would at first thought.

In another letter he adds:

  I have happy hours here, and I should not be miserable if I could
  only know you were not sorrowing for me at home. It would give me
  more satisfaction to hear that you were not grieving about me than
  anything else.

  The nearer I live to the principle of the commandment, “Love thy
  neighbor as thyself,” the more enjoyment I have of this life. None
  can know the enjoyments that flow from feelings of good will towards
  our fellow-beings, both friends and enemies, but those who cultivate
  them. Even in my prison-cell I may be happy, if I will. For the
  Christian’s consolation cannot be shut out from him by enemies or
  iron gates.

In another letter to the lady before alluded to he says:

  By what I am able to learn, I believe thy “Richard” has not fallen
  altogether unlamented; and the satisfaction it gives me is
  sufficient to make my prison life more pleasant and desirable than
  even a life of liberty without the esteem and respect of my friends.
  But it gives bitterness to the cup of my afflictions to think that
  my dear friends and relatives have to suffer such grief and sorrow
  for me.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Though persecution ever so severe be my lot, yet I will not allow my
  indignation ever to ripen into revenge even against my bitterest
  enemies; for there will be a time when all things must be revealed
  before Him who has said “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” Yes, my
  heart shall ever glow with love for my poor fellow-mortals, who are
  hastening rapidly on to their final destination—the awful tomb and
  the solemn judgment.

  Perhaps it will give thee some consolation for me to tell thee that
  I believe there is a considerable sympathy existing in the minds of
  some of the better portion of the citizens here, which may be of
  some benefit to me. But all that can be done in my behalf will still
  leave my case a sad one. Think not, however, that it is all loss to
  me, for by my calamity I have learned many good and useful lessons,
  which I hope may yet prove both temporal and spiritual blessings to

                     “Behind a frowning providence
                     He hides a smiling face.”

  Therefore I hope thou and my dear distressed parents will be
  somewhat comforted about me, for I know you regard my spiritual
  welfare far more than anything else.

In his next letter to the same friend he says:

  Since I wrote my last, I have had a severe moral conflict, in which
  I believe the right conquered, and has completely gained the
  ascendency. The matter was this: A man with whom I have become
  acquainted since my imprisonment offered to bail me out and let me
  stay away from my trial, and pay the bail-bonds for me, and was very
  anxious to do it. [Here he mentions that the funds held by this
  individual had been placed in his hands by a person who obtained
  them by dishonest means.] But having learned the above facts, which
  he in confidence made known to me, I declined accepting his offer,
  giving him my reasons in full. The matter rests with him, my
  attorneys and myself. My attorneys do not know who he is, but, with
  his permission, I in confidence informed them of the nature of the
  case, after I came to a conclusion upon the subject, and had
  determined not to accept the offer; which was approved by them. I
  also had an offer of iron saws and files and other tools by which I
  could break jail; but I refused them also, as I do not wish to
  pursue any such underhanded course to extricate myself from my
  present difficulties; for when I leave Tennessee—if I ever do—I am
  determined to leave it a free man. Thou need not fear that I shall
  ever stoop to dishonorable means to avoid my severe impending fate.
  When I meet thee again I want to meet thee with a clear conscience,
  and a character unspotted by disgrace.

In another place he says, in view of his nearly approaching trial:

  O dear parents! The principles of love for my fellow-beings which
  you have instilled into my mind are some of the greatest
  consolations I have in my imprisonment, and they give me resignation
  to bear whatever may be inflicted upon me without feeling any malice
  or bitterness toward my vigilant prosecutors. If they show me mercy,
  it will be accepted by me with gratitude; but if they do not, I will
  endeavor to bear whatever they may inflict with Christian fortitude
  and resignation, and try not to murmur at my lot; but it is hard to
  obey the commandment, “Love your enemies.”

The day of his trial at length came.

His youth, his engaging manners, frank address, and invariable
gentleness to all who approached him, had won many friends, and the
trial excited much interest.

  His mother and her brother, Asa Williams, went a distance of seven
  hundred and fifty miles to attend his trial. They carried with them
  a certificate of his character, drawn up by Dr. Brisbane, and
  numerously signed by his friends and acquaintances, and officially
  countersigned by civil officers. This was done at the suggestion of
  his counsel, and exhibited by them in court. When brought to the bar
  it is said that “his demeanor was calm, dignified and manly.” His
  mother sat by his side. The prosecuting attorney waived his plea,
  and left the ground clear for Richard’s counsel. Their defence was
  eloquent and pathetic. After they closed, Richard rose, and in a
  calm and dignified manner spoke extemporaneously as follows:

  “By the kind permission of the Court, for which I am sincerely
  thankful, I avail myself of the privilege of adding a few words to
  the remarks already made by my counsel. And although I stand, by my
  own confession, as a criminal in the eyes of your violated laws, yet
  I feel confident that I am addressing those who have hearts to feel;
  and in meting out the punishment that I am about to suffer I hope
  you will be lenient, for it is a new situation in which I am placed.
  Never before, in the whole course of my life, have I been charged
  with a dishonest act. And from my childhood kind parents, whose
  names I deeply reverence, have instilled into my mind a desire to be
  virtuous and honorable; and it has ever been my aim so to conduct
  myself as to merit the confidence and esteem of my fellow-men. But,
  gentlemen, I have violated your laws. This offence I did commit; and
  I now stand before you, to my sorrow and regret, as a criminal. But
  I was prompted to it by feelings of humanity. It has been suspected,
  as I was informed, that I am leagued with a fraternity who are
  combined for the purpose of committing such offences as the one with
  which I am charged. But, gentlemen, the impression is false. I alone
  am guilty, I alone committed the offence, and I alone must suffer
  the penalty. My parents, my friends, my relatives, are as innocent
  of any participation in or knowledge of my offence as the babe
  unborn. My parents are still living,[2] though advanced in years,
  and, in the course of nature, a few more years will terminate their
  earthly existence. In their old age and infirmity they will need a
  stay and protection; and if you can, consistently with your ideas of
  justice, make my term of imprisonment a short one, you will receive
  the lasting gratitude of a son who reverences his parents, and the
  prayers and blessings of an aged father and mother who love their

  A great deal of sensation now appeared in the court-room, and most
  of the jury are said to have wept. They retired for a few moments,
  and returned a verdict for three years imprisonment in the

  The _Nashville Daily Gazette_ of April 13, 1849, contains the
  following notice:

                         “THE KIDNAPPING CASE.

  “Richard Dillingham, who was arrested on the 5th day of December
  last, having in his possession three slaves whom he intended to
  convey with him to a free state, was arraigned yesterday and tried
  in the Criminal Court. The prisoner confessed his guilt, and made a
  short speech in palliation of his offence. He avowed that the act
  was undertaken by himself without instigation from any source, and
  he alone was responsible for the error into which his education had
  led him. He had, he said, no other motive than the good of the
  slaves, and did not expect to claim any advantage by freeing them.
  He was sentenced to three years imprisonment in the penitentiary,
  the least time the law allows for the offence committed. Mr.
  Dillingham is a Quaker from Ohio, and has been a teacher in that
  state. He belongs to a respectable family, and he is not without the
  sympathy of those who attended the trial. It was a foolhardy
  enterprise in which he embarked, and dearly has he paid for his

  His mother, before leaving Nashville, visited the governor, and had
  an interview with him in regard to pardoning her son. He gave her
  some encouragement, but thought she had better postpone her petition
  for the present. After the lapse of several months, she wrote to him
  about it; but he seemed to have changed his mind, as the following
  letter will show:

                                        “_Nashville, August 29, 1849._

  “DEAR MADAM: Your letter of the 6th of the 7th mo. was received, and
  would have been noticed earlier but for my absence from home. Your
  solicitude for your son is natural, and it would be gratifying to be
  able to reward it by releasing him, if it were in my power. But the
  offence for which he is suffering was clearly made out, and its
  tendency here is very hurtful to our rights, and our peace as a
  people. He is doomed to the shortest period known to our statute.
  And, at all events, I could not interfere with his case for some
  time to come; and, to be frank with you, I do not see how his time
  can be lessened at all. But my term of office will expire soon, and
  the governor elect, Gen. William Tronsdale, will take my place. To
  him you will make any future appeal.

                                        “Yours, &c.      N. L. BROWN.”

  The warden of the penitentiary, John McIntosh, was much prejudiced
  against him. He thought the sentence was too light, and, being of a
  stern bearing, Richard had not much to expect from his kindness. But
  the same sterling integrity and ingenuousness which had ever, under
  all circumstances, marked his conduct, soon wrought a change in the
  minds of his keepers, and of his enemies generally. He became a
  favorite with McIntosh, and some of the guard. According to the
  rules of the prison, he was not allowed to write oftener than once
  in three months, and what he wrote had, of course, to be inspected
  by the warden.

He was at first put to sawing and scrubbing rock; but, as the delicacy
of his frame unfitted him for such labors, and the spotless sanctity of
his life won the reverence of his jailers, he was soon promoted to be
steward of the prison hospital. In a letter to a friend he thus
announces this change in his situation:

  I suppose thou art, ere this time, informed of the change in my
  situation, having been placed in the hospital of the penitentiary as
  steward.... I feel but poorly qualified to fill the situation they
  have assigned me, but will try to do the best I can.... I enjoy the
  comforts of a good fire and a warm room, and am allowed to sit up
  evenings and read, which I prize as a great privilege.... I have now
  been here nearly nine months, and have twenty-seven more to stay. It
  seems to me a long time in prospect. I try to be as patient as I
  can, but sometimes I get low-spirited. I throw off the thoughts of
  home and friends as much as possible; for, when indulged in, they
  only increase my melancholy feelings. And what wounds my feelings
  most is the reflection of what you all suffer of grief and anxiety
  for me. Cease to grieve for me, for I am unworthy of it; and it only
  causes pain for you, without availing aught for me.... As ever,
  thine in the bonds of affection,

                                                                 R. D.

He had been in prison little more than a year when the cholera invaded
Nashville, and broke out among the inmates; Richard was up day and night
in attendance on the sick, his disinterested and sympathetic nature
leading him to labors to which his delicate constitution, impaired by
confinement, was altogether inadequate.

           “Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
           And sorrow, grief and pain, by turns dismayed,
           The youthful champion stood: at his control
           Despair and anguish fled the trembling soul,
           Comfort came down the dying wretch to raise,
           And his last faltering accents whispered praise.”

Worn with these labors, the gentle, patient lover of God and of his
brother, sank at last overwearied, and passed peacefully away to a world
where all are lovely and loving.

Though his correspondence with her he most loved was interrupted, from
his unwillingness to subject his letters to the surveillance of the
warden, yet a note reached her, conveyed through the hands of a prisoner
whose time was out. In this letter, the last which any earthly friend
ever received, he says:

  I ofttimes, yea, _all_ times, think of thee;—if I did not, I should
  cease to exist.

What must that system be which makes it necessary to imprison with
convicted felons a man like this, because he loves his brother man “not
wisely but too well”?

On his death Whittier wrote the following:

       “Si crucem libenter portes, te portabit.”—_Imit. Christ._

             “The Cross, if freely borne, shall be
             No burthen, but support, to thee.”
             So, moved of old time for our sake,
             The holy man of Kempen spake.

             Thou brave and true one, upon whom
             Was laid the Cross of Martyrdom,
             How didst thou, in thy faithful youth,
             Bear witness to this blessed truth!

             Thy cross of suffering and of shame
             A staff within thy hands became;—
             In paths, where Faith alone could see
             The Master’s steps, upholding thee.

             Thine was the seed-time: God alone
             Beholds the end of what is sown;
             Beyond our vision, weak and dim,
             The harvest-time is hid with Him.

             Yet, unforgotten where it lies,
             That seed of generous sacrifice,
             Though teeming on the desert cast,
             Shall rise with bloom and fruit at last.

                                           J. G. WHITTIER.

  _Amesbury, Second. mo. 18th, 1852._


Footnote 2:

  R. D.’s father survived him only a few months.

                              CHAPTER XIV.
                        THE SPIRIT OF ST. CLARE.

The general tone of the press and of the community in the slave states,
so far as it has been made known at the North, has been loudly
condemnatory of the representations of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Still, it
would be unjust to the character of the South to refuse to acknowledge
that she has many sons with candor enough to perceive, and courage
enough to avow, the evils of her “peculiar institutions.” The manly
independence exhibited by these men, in communities where popular
sentiment rules despotically, either by law or in spite of law, should
be duly honored. The sympathy of such minds as these is a high
encouragement to philanthropic effort.

The author inserts a few testimonials from Southern men, not without
some pride in being thus kindly judged by those who might have been
naturally expected to read her book with prejudice against it.

The _Jefferson Inquirer_, published at Jefferson City, Missouri, Oct.
23, 1852, contains the following communication:

                           UNCLE TOM’S CABIN.

  I have lately read this celebrated book, which, perhaps, has gone
  through more editions, and been sold in greater numbers, than any
  work from the American press, in the same length of time. It is a
  work of high literary finish, and its several characters are drawn
  with great power and truthfulness, although, like the characters in
  most novels and works of fiction, in some instances too highly
  colored. There is no attack on slave-holders as such, but, on the
  contrary, many of them are represented as highly noble, generous,
  humane and benevolent. Nor is there any attack upon them as a class.
  It sets forth many of the evils of slavery, as _an institution
  established by law_, but without charging these evils on those who
  hold the slaves, and seems fully to appreciate the difficulties in
  finding a remedy. Its effect upon the slave-holder is to make him a
  kinder and better master; to which none can object. This is said
  without any intention to endorse everything contained in the book,
  or, indeed, in any novel, or work of fiction. But, if I mistake not,
  there are few, excepting those who are greatly prejudiced, that will
  rise from a perusal of the book without being a truer and better
  Christian, and a more humane and benevolent man. As a slave-holder,
  I do not feel the least aggrieved. How Mrs. Stowe, the authoress,
  has obtained her extremely accurate knowledge of the negroes, their
  character, dialect, habits, &c., is beyond my comprehension, as she
  never resided—as appears from the preface—in a slave state, or among
  slaves or negroes. But they are certainly admirably delineated. The
  book is highly interesting and amusing, and will afford a rich treat
  to its reader.

                                                     THOMAS JEFFERSON.

The opinion of the editor himself is given in these words:

                           UNCLE TOM’S CABIN.

  Well, like a good portion of “the world and the rest of mankind,” we
  have read the book of Mrs. Stowe bearing the above title.

  From numerous statements, newspaper paragraphs and rumors, we
  supposed the book was all that fanaticism and heresy could invent,
  and were therefore greatly prejudiced against it. But, on reading
  it, we cannot refrain from saying that it is a work of more than
  ordinary moral worth, and is entitled to consideration. We do not
  regard it as “a corruption of moral sentiment,” and a gross “libel
  on a portion of our people.” The authoress seems disposed to treat
  the subject fairly, though, in some particulars, the scenes are too
  highly colored, and too strongly drawn from the imagination. The
  book, however, may lead its readers at a distance to misapprehend
  some of the general and better features of “Southern life as it is”
  (which, by the way, we, as an individual, prefer to Northern life);
  yet it is a perfect mirror of several classes of people “we have in
  our mind’s eye, who are not free from all the ills flesh is heir
  to.” It has been feared that the book would result in injury to the
  slave-holding interests of the country; but we apprehend no such
  thing, and hesitate not to recommend it to the perusal of our
  friends and the public generally.

  Mrs. Stowe has exhibited a knowledge of many peculiarities of
  Southern society which is really wonderful, when we consider that
  she is a Northern lady by birth and residence.

  We hope, then, before our friends form any harsh opinions of the
  merits of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” and make up any judgment against us
  for pronouncing in its favor (barring some objections to it), that
  they will give it a careful perusal; and, in so speaking, we may say
  that we yield to no man in his devotion to Southern rights and

The editor of the _St. Louis_ (Missouri) _Battery_ pronounces the
following judgment:

  We took up this work, a few evenings since, with just such
  prejudices against it as we presume many others have commenced
  reading it. We have been so much in contact with ultra
  abolitionists,—have had so much evidence that their benevolence was
  much more hatred for the master than love for the slave, accompanied
  with a profound ignorance of the circumstances surrounding both, and
  a most consummate, supreme disgust for the whole negro race,—that we
  had about concluded that anything but rant and nonsense was out of
  the question from a Northern writer upon the subject of slavery.

  Mrs. Stowe, in these delineations of life among the lowly, has
  convinced us to the contrary.

  She brings to the discussion of her subject a perfectly cool,
  calculating judgment, a wide, all-comprehending intellectual vision,
  and a deep, warm, sea-like woman’s soul, over all of which is flung
  a perfect iris-like imagination, which makes the light of her
  pictures stronger and more beautiful, as their shades are darker and

  We do not wonder that the copy before us is of the seventieth
  thousand. And seventy thousand more will not supply the demand, or
  we mistake the appreciation of the American people of the real
  merits of literary productions. Mrs. Stowe has, in “Uncle Tom’s
  Cabin,” set up for herself a monument more enduring than marble. It
  will stand amid the wastes of slavery as the Memnon stands amid the
  sands of the African desert, telling both the white man and the
  negro of the approach of morning. The book is not an abolitionist
  work, in the offensive sense of the word. It is, as we have
  intimated, free from everything like fanaticism, no matter what
  amount of enthusiasm vivifies every page, and runs like electricity
  along every thread of the story. It presents at one view the
  excellences and the evils of the system of slavery, and breathes the
  true spirit of Christian benevolence for the slave, and charity for
  the master.

The next witness gives his testimony in a letter to the _New York
Evening Post_:

                          LIGHT IN THE SOUTH.

  The subjoined communication comes to us postmarked New Orleans, June
  19, 1852:

  “I have just been reading ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or, Scenes in Lowly
  Life,’ by Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe. It found its way to me through
  the channel of a young student, who purchased it at the North, to
  read on his homeward passage to New Orleans. He was entirely
  unacquainted with its character; he was attracted by its title,
  supposing it might amuse him while travelling. Through his family it
  was shown to me, as something that I would probably like. I looked
  at the author’s name, and said, ‘O, yes; anything from that lady I
  will read;’ otherwise I should have disregarded a work of fiction
  without such a title.

  “The remarks from persons present were, that it was a most amusing
  work, and the scenes most admirably drawn to life. I accepted the
  offer of a perusal of it, and brought it home with me. Although I
  have not read every sentence, I have looked over the whole of it,
  and I now wish to bear my testimony to its just delineation of the
  position that the slave occupies. Colorings in the work there are,
  but no colorings of the actual and real position of the slave worse
  than really exist. Whippings to death do occur; I know it to be so.
  Painful separations of master and slave, under circumstances
  creditable to the master’s feelings of humanity, do also occur. I
  know that, too. Many families, after having brought up their
  children in entire dependence on slaves to do everything for them,
  and after having been indulged in elegances and luxuries, have
  exhausted all their means; and the black people only being left,
  whom they must sell, for further support. Running away, everybody
  knows, is the worst crime a slave can commit, in the eyes of his
  master, except it be a humane master; and from such few slaves care
  to run away.

  “I am a slave-holder myself. I have long been dissatisfied with the
  system; particularly since I have made the Bible my criterion for
  judging of it. I am convinced, from what I read there, slavery is
  not in accordance with what God delights to honor in his creatures.
  I am altogether opposed to the system; and I intend always to use
  whatever influence I may have against it. I feel very bold in
  speaking against it, though living in the midst of it, because I am
  backed by a powerful arm, that can overturn and overrule the
  strongest efforts that the determined friends of slavery are now
  making for its continuance.

  “I sincerely hope that more of Mrs. Stowes may be found, to show up
  the reality of slavery. It needs master minds to show it as it is,
  that it may rest upon its own merits.

  “Like Mrs. Stowe, I feel that, since so many and good people, too,
  at the North, have quietly consented to leave the slave to his fate,
  by acquiescing in and approving the late measures of government,
  those who do feel differently should bestir themselves. Christian
  effort must do the work; and soon it would be done, if Christians
  would unite, not to destroy the Union states, but honestly to speak
  out, and speak freely, against that they know is wrong. They are not
  aware what countenance they give to slave-holders to hold on to
  their prey. Troubled consciences can be easily quieted by the
  sympathies of pious people, particularly when interest and
  inclination come in as aids.

  “I am told there is to be a reply made to ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’
  entitled ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin as It Is.’ I am glad of it.
  Investigation is what is wanted.

  “You will wonder why this communication is made to you by an
  unknown. It is simply made to encourage your heart, and strengthen
  your determination to persevere, and do all you can to put the
  emancipation of the slave in progress. Who I am you will never know;
  nor do I wish you to know, nor any one else. I am a


The following facts make the fiction of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” appear tame
in the comparison. They are from the _New York Evangelist_.

                           UNCLE TOM’S CABIN.

  MR. EDITOR: I see in your paper that some persons deny the
  statements of Mrs. Stowe. I have read her book, _every word of it_.
  I was born in East Tennessee, near Knoxville, and, _we thought_, in
  an enlightened part of the Union, much favored in our social,
  political and religious privileges, &c. &c. Well, I think about the
  year 1829, or, perhaps, ‘28, a good old German Methodist owned a
  black man named Robin, a Methodist preacher, and the manager of
  farm, distillery, &c., salesman and financier. This good old German
  Methodist had a son named Willey, a schoolmate of mine, and, as
  times were, a first-rate fellow. The old man also owned a keen,
  bright-eyed mulatto girl; and Willey—the naughty boy!—became
  enamored of the poor girl. The result was soon discovered; and our
  good German Methodist told his brother Robin to flog the girl for
  her wickedness. Brother Robin said he could not and would not
  perform such an act of cruelty as to flog the girl for what she
  could not help; and for that act of disobedience old Robin was
  flogged by the good old German brother, until he could not stand. He
  was carried to bed; and, some three weeks thereafter, when my father
  left the state, he was still confined to his bed from the effects of
  that flogging.

  Again: in the fall of 1836 I went South, for my health, stopped at a
  village in Mississippi, and obtained employment in the largest house
  in the county, as a book-keeper, with a firm from Louisville, Ky. A
  man residing near the village—a bachelor, thirty years of age—became
  embarrassed, and executed a mortgage to my employer on a fine,
  likely boy, weighing about two hundred pounds,—quick-witted, active,
  obedient, and remarkably faithful, trusty and honest; so much so,
  that he was held up as an example. He had a wife that he loved. His
  owner cast his eyes upon her, and she became his paramour. His boy
  remonstrated with his master; told him that he tried faithfully to
  perform his every duly; that he was a good and faithful “nigger” to
  him; and it was hard, after he had toiled hard all day, and till ten
  o’clock at night, for him to have his domestic relations broken up
  and interfered with. The white man denied the charge, and the wife
  also denied it. One night, about the first of September, the boy
  came home earlier than usual, say about nine o’clock. It was a wet,
  dismal night; he made a fire in his cabin, went to get his supper,
  and found ocular demonstration of the guilt of his master. He became
  enraged, as I suppose any man would, seized a butcher-knife, and cut
  his master’s throat, stabbed his wife in twenty-seven places, came
  to the village, and knocked at the office-door. I told him to come
  in. He did so, and asked for my employer. I called him. The boy then
  told him that he had killed his master and his wife, and what for.
  My employer locked him up, and he, a doctor and myself, went out to
  the house of the old bachelor, and found him dead, and the boy’s
  wife nearly so. She, however, lived. We (my employer and myself)
  returned to the village, watched the boy until about sunrise, left
  him locked up, and went to get our breakfasts, intending to take the
  boy to jail (as it was my employer’s interest, if possible, to save
  the boy, having one thousand dollars at stake in him). But, whilst
  we were eating, some persons who had heard of the murder broke open
  the door, took the poor fellow, put a log chain round his neck, and
  started him for the woods, at the point of the bayonet, marching by
  where we were eating, with a great deal of noise. My employer,
  hearing it, ran out, and rescued the boy. The mob again broke in and
  took the boy, and marched him, as before stated, out of town.

  My employer then begged them not to disgrace their town in such a
  manner; but to appoint a jury of twelve sober men, to decide what
  should be done. And twelve as _sober_ men as could be found (I was
  not sober) said he must be hanged. They then tied a rope round his
  neck, and set him on an old horse. He made a speech to the mob,
  which I, at the time, thought if it had come from some senator,
  would have been received with rounds of applause; and, withal, he
  was more calm than I am now, in writing this. And, after he had told
  all about the deed, and its cause, he then kicked the horse out from
  under him, and was launched into eternity. My employer has often
  remarked that he never saw anything more noble, in his whole life,
  than the conduct of that boy.

  Now, Mr. Editor, I have given you facts, and can give you names and
  dates. You can do what you think is best for the cause of humanity.
  I hope I have seen the evil of my former practices, and will
  endeavor to reform.

                                                Very respectfully,
                                                        JAMES L. HILL.

  _Springfield, Ill., Sept. 17th, 1852._

“The Opinion of a Southerner,” given below, appeared in the _National
Era_, published at Washington. This is an anti-slavery journal, but by
its generous tone and eminent ability it commands the respect and
patronage of many readers in the slave states:

  The following communication comes enclosed in an envelope from
  Louisiana.—_Ed. Era._

                      THE OPINION OF A SOUTHERNER.

  _To the Editor of the National Era_:

  I have just been reading, in the _New York Observer_ of the 12th of
  August, an article from the _Southern Free Press_, headed by an
  editorial one from the _Observer_, that has for its caption,
  “_Progress in the Right Quarter_.”

  The editor of the _New York Observer_ says that the _Southern Free
  Press_ has been an able and earnest defender of Southern
  institutions; but that he now advocates the passage of a law to
  prohibit the separation of families, and recommends instruction to a
  portion of slaves that are most honest and faithful. The _Observer_
  further adds: “It was such language as this that was becoming
  common, before Northern fanaticism ruined the prospects of
  emancipation.” It is not so! Northern fanaticism, as he calls it,
  has done everything that has been done for bettering the condition
  of the slave. Every one who knows anything of slavery for the last
  thirty years will recollect that about that time since, the
  condition of the slave in Louisiana—for about Louisiana only do I
  speak, because about Louisiana only do I know—was as depressed and
  miserable as any of the accounts of the abolitionists that ever I
  have seen have made it. I say abolitionists; I mean friends and
  advocates of freedom, in a fair and honorable way. If any doubt my
  assertion, let them seek for information. Let them get the black
  laws of Louisiana, and read them. Let them get facts from
  individuals of veracity, on whose statements they would rely.

  This wretched condition of slaves roused the friends of humanity,
  who, like men, and Christian men, came fearlessly forward, and told
  truths, indignantly expressing their abhorrence of their oppressors.
  Such measures, of course, brought forth strife, which caused the
  cries of humanity to sound louder and louder throughout the land.
  The friends of freedom gained the ascendency in the hearts of the
  people, and the slave-holders were brought to a stand. Some, through
  fear of consequences, lessened their cruelties, while others were
  made to think, that, perhaps, were not unwilling to do so when it
  was urged upon them. Cruelties were not only refrained from, but the
  slave’s comforts were increased. A retrograde treatment now was not
  practicable. Fears of rebellion kept them to it. The slave had found
  friends, and they were watchful. It was, however, soon discovered
  that too many privileges, too much leniency, and giving knowledge,
  would destroy the power to keep down the slave, and tend to weaken,
  if not destroy, the system. Accordingly, stringent laws had to be
  passed, and a penalty attached to them. No one must teach, or cause
  to be taught, a slave, without incurring the penalty. The law is now
  in force. These necessary laws, as they are called, are all put down
  to the account of the friends of freedom—to their interference. I do
  suppose that they do justly belong to their interference; for who
  that studies the history of the world’s transactions does not know
  that in all contests with power the weak, until successful, will be
  dealt with more rigorously? Lose not sight, however, of their former
  condition. Law after law has since been passed to draw the cord
  tighter around the poor slave, and all attributed to the
  abolitionists. Well, anyhow, progress is being made. Here comes out
  the _Southern Press_, and makes some honorable concessions. He says:
  “The assaults upon slavery, made for the last twenty years by the
  North, have increased the evils of it. The treatment of slaves has
  undoubtedly become a delicate and difficult question. The South has
  a great and moral conflict to wage; and it is for her to put on _the
  most invulnerable moral panoply_.” He then thinks the availability
  of slave property would not be injured by passing a law to prohibit
  the separation of slave families; for he says, “Although cases
  sometimes occur which we observe are seized by these Northern
  fanatics as characteristic of the system,” &c. Nonsense! there are
  no “cases sometimes” occurring—no such thing! They are every day’s
  occurrences, though there are families that form the exception, and
  many, I would hope, that would not do it. While I am writing I can
  call before me three men that were brought here by negro traders
  from Virginia, each having left six or seven children, with their
  wives, from whom they have never heard. One other died here, a short
  time since, who left the same number in Carolina, from whom he had
  never heard.

  I spent the summer of 1845 in Nashville. During the month of
  September, six hundred slaves passed through that place, in four
  different gangs, for New Orleans—final destination, probably, Texas.
  A goodly proportion were women; young women, of course; many mothers
  must have left not only their children, but their babies. One gang
  only had a few children. I made some excursions to the different
  watering places around Nashville; and while at Robinson, or Tyree
  Springs, twenty miles from Nashville, on the borders of Kentucky and
  Tennessee, my hostess said to me, one day, “Yonder comes a gang of
  slaves, chained.” I went to the road-side, and viewed them. For the
  better answering my purpose of observation, I stopped the white man
  in front, who was at his ease in a one-horse wagon, and asked him if
  those slaves were for sale. I counted them and observed their
  position. They were divided by three one-horse wagons, each
  containing a man-merchant, so arranged as to command the whole gang.
  Some were unchained; sixty were chained, in two companies, thirty in
  each, the right hand of one to the left hand of the other opposite
  one, making fifteen each side of a large ox-chain, to which every
  hand was fastened, and necessarily compelled to hold up,—men and
  women promiscuously, and about in equal proportions,—all young
  people. No children here, except a few in a wagon behind, which were
  the only children in the four gangs. I said to a respectable mulatto
  woman in the house, “Is it true that the negro traders take mothers
  from their babies?” “Missis, it is true; for here, last week, such a
  girl [naming her], who lives about a mile off, was taken after
  dinner,—knew nothing of it in the morning,—sold, put into the gang,
  and her baby was given away to a neighbor. She was a stout young
  woman, and brought a good price.”

  The annexation of Texas induced the spirited traffic that summer.
  Coming down home in a small boat, water low, a negro trader on board
  had forty-five men and women crammed into a little spot, some
  handcuffed. One respectable-looking man had left a wife and seven
  children in Nashville. Near Memphis the boat stopped at a plantation
  by previous arrangement, to take in thirty more. An hour’s delay was
  the stipulated time with the captain of the boat. Thirty young men
  and women came down the bank of the Mississippi, looking
  wretchedness personified—just from the field; in appearance dirty,
  disconsolate and oppressed; some with an old shawl under their arm,
  a few had blankets; some had nothing at all—looked as though they
  cared for nothing. I calculated, while looking at them coming down
  the bank, that I could hold in a bundle all that the whole of them
  had. The short notice that was given them, when about to leave, was
  in consequence of the fears entertained that they would slip one
  side. They all looked distressed,—leaving all that was dear to them
  behind, to be put under the hammer, for the property of the highest
  bidder. No children here! The whole seventy-five were crammed into a
  little space on the boat, men and women all together.

  I am happy to see that morality is rearing its head with advocates
  for slavery, and that a “most invulnerable moral panoply” is thought
  to be necessary. I hope it may not prove to be like Mr. Clay’s
  compromises. The _Southern Press_ says: “As for caricatures of
  slavery in ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ and the ‘White Slave,’ all founded in
  imaginary circumstances, &c., we consider them highly incendiary. He
  who undertakes to stir up strife between two individual neighbors,
  by detraction, is justly regarded, by all men and all moral codes,
  as a criminal.” Then he quotes the ninth commandment, and adds: “But
  to bear false witness against whole states, and millions of people,
  &c., would seem to be a crime as much deeper in turpitude as the
  mischief is greater and the provocation less.” In the first place, I
  will put the _Southern Press_ upon proof that Mrs. Harriet Beecher
  Stowe has told one falsehood. If she has told truth, it is, indeed,
  a powerful engine of “assault on slavery,” such as these Northern
  fanatics have made for the “last twenty years.” The number against
  whom she offends, in the editor’s opinion, seems to increase the
  turpitude of her crime. That is good reasoning! I hope the editor
  will be brought to feel that wholesale wickedness is worse than
  single-handed, and is infinitely harder to reach, particularly if of
  long standing. It gathers boldness and strength when it is
  sanctioned by the authority of time, and aided by numbers that are
  interested in supporting it. Such is slavery; and Mrs. Harriet
  Beecher Stowe deserves the gratitude of “states and millions of
  people” for her talented work, in showing it up in its true light.
  She has advocated truth, justice and humanity, and they will back
  her efforts. Her work will be read by “states and millions of
  people;” and when the _Southern Press_ attempts to malign her, by
  bringing forward her own avowal, “that the subject of slavery had
  been so painful to her, that she had abstained from conversing on it
  for several years,” and that, in his opinion, “it accounts for the
  intensity of the venom of her book,” his _really_ envenomed shafts
  will fall harmless at her feet; for readers will judge for
  themselves, and be very apt to conclude that more venom comes from
  the _Southern Press_ than from her. She advocates what is right, and
  has a straight road, which “few get lost on;” he advocates what is
  wrong, and has, consequently, to tack, concede, deny, slander, and
  all sorts of things.

  With all due deference to whatever of just principles the _Southern
  Press_ may have advanced in favor of the slave, I am a poor judge of
  human nature if I mistake in saying that Mrs. Stowe has done much to
  draw from him those concessions; and the putting forth of this
  “_most invulnerable moral panoply_,” that has just come into his
  head as a bulwark of safety for slavery, owes its impetus to her,
  and other like efforts. I hope the _Southern Press_ will not imitate
  the spoiled child, who refused to eat his pie for spite.

  The “White Slave” I have not seen. I guess its character, for I made
  a passage to New York, some fourteen or fifteen years since, in a
  packet-ship, with a young woman whose face was enveloped in a
  profusion of light brown curls, and who sat at the table with the
  passengers all the way as a white woman. When at the quarantine,
  Staten Island, the captain received a letter, sent by express mail,
  from a person in New Orleans, claiming her as his slave, and
  threatening the captain with the penalty of the existing law if she
  was not immediately returned. The streaming eyes of the poor,
  unfortunate girl told the truth, when the captain reluctantly broke
  it to her. She unhesitatingly confessed that she had run away, and
  that a friend had paid her passage. Proper measures were taken, and
  she was conveyed to a packet-ship that was at Sandy Hook, bound for
  New Orleans.

  “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” I think, is a just delineation of slavery. The
  incidents are colored, but the position that the slave is made to
  hold is just. I did not read every page of it, my object being to
  ascertain what position the slave occupied. I could state a case of
  whipping to death that would equal Uncle Tom’s; still, such cases
  are not very frequent.

  The stirring up of strife between neighbors, that the _Southern
  Press_ complains of, deserves notice. Who are neighbors? The most
  explicit answer to this question will be found in the reply Christ
  made to the lawyer, when he asked it of him. Another question will
  arise, Whether, in Christ’s judgment, Mrs. Stowe would be considered
  a neighbor or an incendiary? As the Almighty Ruler of the universe
  and the Maker of man has said that He has made all the nations of
  the earth of one blood, and man in His own image, the black man,
  irrespective of his color, would seem to be a neighbor who has
  fallen among his enemies, that have deprived him of the fruits of
  his labor, his liberty, his right to his wife and children, his
  right to obtain the knowledge to read, or to anything that earth
  holds dear, except such portions of food and raiment as will fit him
  for his despoiler’s purposes. Let not the apologists for slavery
  bring up the isolated cases of leniency, giving instruction, and
  affectionate attachment, that are found among some masters, as
  specimens of slavery! It is unfair! They form exceptions, and much
  do I respect them; but they are not the rules of slavery. The strife
  that is being stirred up is not to take away anything that belongs
  to another,—neither their silver or gold, their fine linen or
  purple, their houses or land, their horses or cattle, or anything
  that is their property; but to rescue a neighbor from their unmanly

                                                         A REPUBLICAN.

No introduction is necessary to explain the following correspondence,
and no commendation will be required to secure for it a respectful
attention from thinking readers:

                                      { _Washington City, D. C.,_
                                      {                _Dec. 6, 1852._


  DEAR SIR: I understand that you are a North Carolinian, and have
  always resided in the South, you must, consequently, be acquainted
  with the workings of the institution of slavery. You have doubtless
  also read that world-renowned book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” by Mrs.
  Stowe. The apologists for slavery deny that this book is a truthful
  picture of slavery. They say that its representations are
  exaggerated, its scenes and incidents unfounded, and, in a word,
  that the whole book is a _caricature_. They also deny that families
  are separated,—that children are sold from their parents, wives from
  their husbands, &c. Under these circumstances, I am induced to ask
  your opinion of Mrs. Stowe’s book, and whether or not, in your
  opinion, her statements are entitled to credit.

                                           I have the honor to be,
                                                   Yours, truly,
                                                       A. M. GANGEWER.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                           _Washington, Dec. 8, 1852._

  DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 6th inst., asking my opinion of “Uncle
  Tom’s Cabin,” has been received; and there being no reason why I
  should withhold it, unless it be the fear of public opinion (your
  object being, as I understand, the publication of my reply), I
  proceed to give it in some detail.

  A book of fiction, to be worth reading, must necessarily be filled
  with rare and striking incidents, and the leading characters must be
  remarkable, some for great virtues, others, perhaps, for great vices
  or follies. A narrative of the ordinary events in the lives of
  commonplace people would be insufferably dull and insipid; and a
  book made up of such materials would be, to the elegant and graphic
  pictures of life and manners which we have in the writings of Sir
  Walter Scott and Dickens, what a surveyor’s plot of a ten-acre field
  is to a painted landscape, in which the eye is charmed by a thousand
  varieties of hill and dale, of green shrubbery and transparent
  water, of light and shade, at a glance. In order to determine
  whether a novel is a fair picture of society, it is not necessary to
  ask if its chief personages are to be met with every day; but
  whether they are characteristic of the times and country,—whether
  they embody the prevalent sentiments, virtues, vices, follies, and
  peculiarities,—and whether the events, tragic or otherwise, are such
  as may and do occasionally occur.

  Judging “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by these principles, I have no
  hesitation in saying that it is a faithful portraiture of Southern
  life and institutions. There is nothing in the book inconsistent
  with the laws and usages of the slave-holding states; the virtues,
  vices, and peculiar hues of character and manners, are all Southern,
  and must be recognized at once by every one who reads the book. I
  may never have seen such depravity in one man as that exhibited in
  the character of Legree, though I have ten thousand times witnessed
  the various shades of it in different individuals. On the other
  hand, I have never seen so many perfections concentrated in one
  human being as Mrs. Stowe has conferred upon the daughter of a
  slave-holder. Evangeline is an image of beauty and goodness which
  can never be effaced from the mind, whatever may be its prejudices.
  Yet her whole character is fragrant of the South; her generous
  sympathy, her beauty and delicacy, her sensibility are all Southern.
  They are “to the manor born,” and embodying as they do the Southern
  ideal of beauty and loveliness, cannot be ostracized from Southern
  hearts, even by the power of the vigilance committees.

  The character of St. Clare cannot fail to inspire love
  and admiration. He is the _beau idéal_ of a Southern
  gentleman,—honorable, generous and humane, of accomplished manners,
  liberal education, and easy fortune. In his treatment of his slaves,
  he errs on the side of lenity, rather than vigor; and is always
  their kind protector, from a natural impulse of goodness, without
  much reflection upon what may befall them when death or misfortune
  shall deprive them of his friendship.

  Mr. Shelby, the original owner of Uncle Tom, and who sells him to a
  trader, from the pressure of a sort of pecuniary necessity, is by no
  means a bad character; his wife and son are whatever honor and
  humanity could wish; and, in a word, the only white persons who make
  any considerable figure in the book to a disadvantage are the
  villain Legree, who is a Vermonter by birth, and the oily-tongued
  slave-trader Haley, who has the accent of a Northerner. It is,
  therefore, evident that Mrs. Stowe’s object in writing “Uncle Tom’s
  Cabin” has not been to disparage Southern character. A careful
  analysis of the book would authorize the opposite inference,—that
  she has studied to shield the Southern people from opprobrium, and
  even to convey an elevated idea of Southern society, at the moment
  of exposing the evils of the system of slavery. She directs her
  batteries against the institution, not against individuals; and
  generously makes a renegade Vermonter stand for her most hideous
  picture of a brutal tyrant.

  Invidious as the duty may be, I cannot withhold my testimony to the
  fact that families of slaves are often separated. I know not how any
  man can have the hardihood to deny it. The thing is notorious, and
  is often the subject of painful remark in the Southern States. I
  have often heard the practice of separating husband and wife, parent
  and child, defended, apologized for, palliated in a thousand ways,
  but have never heard it denied. How could it be denied, in fact,
  when probably the very circumstance which elicited the conversation
  was a case of cruel separation then transpiring? No, sir! the denial
  of this fact by mercenary scribblers may deceive persons at a
  distance, but it can impose upon no one at the South.

  In all the slave-holding states the relation of matrimony between
  slaves, or between a slave and free person, is merely voluntary.
  There is no law sanctioning it, or recognizing it in any shape,
  directly or indirectly. In a word, it is illicit, and binds no
  one,—neither the slaves themselves nor their masters. In separating
  husband and wife, or parent and child, the trader or owner violates
  no law of the state—neither statute nor common law. He buys or sells
  at auction or privately that which the majesty of the law has
  declared to be property. The victims may writhe in agony, and the
  tender-hearted spectator may look on with gloomy sorrow and
  indignation, but it is to no purpose. The promptings of mercy and
  justice in the heart are only in rebellion against the law of the

  The law itself not unfrequently performs the most cruel separations
  of families, almost without the intervention of individual agency.
  This happens in the case of persons who die insolvent, or who become
  so during lifetime. The estate, real and personal, must be disposed
  of at auction to the highest bidder, and the executor,
  administrator, sheriff, trustee, or other person whose duty it is to
  dispose of the property, although he may possess the most humane
  intentions in the world, cannot prevent the final severance of the
  most endearing ties of kindred. The illustration given by Mrs.
  Stowe, in the sale of Uncle Tom by Mr. Shelby, is a very common
  case. Pecuniary embarrassment is a most fruitful source of
  misfortune to the slave as well as the master; and instances of
  family ties broken from this cause are of daily occurrence.

  It often happens that great abuses exist in violation of law, and in
  spite of the efforts of the authorities to suppress them; such is
  the case with drunkenness, gambling, and other vices. But here is a
  law common to all the slave-holding states, which upholds and gives
  countenance to the wrong-doer, while its blackest terrors are
  reserved for those who would interpose to protect the innocent.
  Statesmen of elevated and honorable characters, from a vague notion
  of state necessity, have defended this law in the abstract, while
  they would, without hesitation, condemn every instance of its
  application as unjust.

  In one respect I am glad to see it publicly denied that the families
  of slaves are separated; for while it argues a disreputable want of
  candor, it at the same time evinces a commendable sense of shame,
  and induces the hope that the public opinion at the South will not
  much longer tolerate this most odious, though not essential, part of
  the system of slavery.

  In this connection I will call to your recollection a remark of the
  editor of the _Southern Press_, in one of the last numbers of that
  paper, which acknowledges the existence of the abuse in question,
  and recommends its correction. He says:

  “The South has a great moral conflict to wage; and it is for her to
  put on the most invulnerable moral panoply. Hence it is her duty, as
  well as interest, to mitigate or remove whatever of evil that
  results incidentally from the institution. The separation of husband
  and wife, parent and child, is one of these evils, which we know is
  generally avoided and repudiated there—although cases sometimes
  occur which we observe are seized by these Northern fanatics as
  characteristic illustrations of the system. Now we can see no great
  evil or inconvenience, but much good, in the prohibition by law of
  such occurrences. Let the husband and wife be sold together, and the
  parents and minor children. Such a law would affect but slightly the
  general value or availability of slave property, and would prevent
  in some cases the violence done to the feelings of such connections
  by sales either compulsory or voluntary. We are satisfied that it
  would be beneficial to the master and slave to promote marriage, and
  the observance of all its duties and relations.”

  Much as I have differed with the editor of the _Southern Press_ in
  his general views of public policy, I am disposed to forgive him
  past errors in consideration of his public acknowledgment of this
  “incidental evil,” and his frank recommendation of its removal. A
  Southern newspaper less devoted than the _Southern Press_ to the
  maintenance of slavery would be seriously compromised by such a
  suggestion, and its advice would be far less likely to be heeded. I
  think, therefore, that Mr. Fisher deserves the thanks of every good
  man, North and South, for thus boldly pointing out the necessity of

  The picture which Mrs. Stowe has drawn of slavery as an institution
  is anything but favorable. She has illustrated the frightful cruelty
  and oppression that must result from a law which gives to one class
  of society almost absolute and irresponsible power over another. Yet
  the very machinery she has employed for this purpose shows that all
  who are parties to the system are not necessarily culpable. It is a
  high virtue in St. Clare to purchase Uncle Tom. He is actuated by no
  selfish or improper motive. Moved by a desire to gratify his
  daughter, and prompted by his own humane feelings, he purchases a
  slave, in order to rescue him from a hard fate on the plantations.
  If he had not been a slave-holder before, it was now his duty to
  become one. This, I think, is the moral to be drawn from the story
  of St. Clare, and the South have a right to claim the authority of
  Mrs. Stowe in defence of slave-holding, to this extent.

  It may be said that it was the duty of St. Clare to emancipate Uncle
  Tom; but the wealth of the Rothschilds would not enable a man to act
  out his benevolent instincts at such a price. And if such was his
  duty, is it not equally the duty of every monied man in the free
  states to attend the New Orleans slave-mart with the same benevolent
  purpose in view? It seems to me that to purchase a slave with the
  purpose of saving him from a hard and cruel fate, and without any
  view to emancipation, is itself a good action. If the slave should
  subsequently become able to redeem himself, it would doubtless be
  the duty of the owner to emancipate him; and it would be but
  even-handed justice to set down every dollar of the slave’s
  earnings, above the expense of his maintenance, to his credit, until
  the price paid for him should be fully restored. This is all that
  justice could exact of the slave-holder.

  Those who have railed against “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” as an incendiary
  publication have singularly (supposing that they have read the book)
  overlooked the moral of the hero’s life. Uncle Tom is the most
  faithful of servants. He literally “obeyed in all things” his
  “masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as
  men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God.” If his
  conduct exhibits the slightest departure from a literal fulfilment
  of this injunction of Scripture, it is in a case which must command
  the approbation of the most rigid casuist; for the injunction of
  obedience extends, of course, only to lawful commands. It is only
  when the monster Legree commands him to inflict undeserved
  chastisement upon his fellow-servants, that Uncle Tom refuses
  obedience. He would not listen to a proposition of escaping into
  Ohio with the young woman Eliza, on the night after they were sold
  by Mr. Shelby to the trader Haley. He thought it would be bad faith
  to his late master, whom he had nursed in his arms, and might be the
  means of bringing him into difficulty. He offered no resistance to
  Haley, and obeyed even Legree in every legitimate command. But when
  he was required to be the instrument of his master’s cruelty, he
  chose rather to die, with the courage and resolution of a Christian
  martyr, than to save his life by a guilty compliance. Such was Uncle
  Tom—not a bad example for the imitation of man or master.

                                         I am, sir, very respectfully,
                                             Your ob’t serv’t,
                                                 DANIEL R. GOODLOE.

  A. M. GANGEWER, Esq.,
    Washington, D. C.

The writer has received permission to publish the following extract from
a letter received by a lady at the North from the editor of a Southern
paper. The mind and character of the author will speak for themselves,
in the reading of it:

                                _Charleston, Sunday, 25th July, 1852._

  * * * The books, I infer, are Mrs. Beecher Stowe’s “_Uncle Tom’s
  Cabin_.” The book was furnished me by —— ——, about a fortnight ago,
  and you may be assured I read it with an attentive interest. “Now,
  what is your opinion of it?” you will ask; and, knowing my
  preconceived opinions upon the question of slavery, and the
  embodiment of my principles, which I have so long supported, in
  regard to that _peculiar_ institution, you may be prepared to meet
  an indirect answer. This my own consciousness of truth would not
  allow, in the present instance. The book is a truthful picture of
  life, with the dark outlines beautifully portrayed. The life—the
  characteristics, incidents, and the dialogues—is life itself reduced
  to paper. In her appendix she rather evades the question whether it
  was taken from actual scones, but says there are many counterparts.
  In this she is correct, beyond doubt. Had she changed the picture of
  Legree, on Red river, for —— ——, on —— Island, South Carolina, she
  could not have drawn a more admirable portrait. I am led to question
  whether she had not some knowledge of this beast, as he is known to
  be, and made the transposition for effect.

  My position in connection with the extreme party, both in Georgia
  and South Carolina, would constitute a restraint to the full
  expression of my feelings upon several of the governing principles
  of the institution. I have studied slavery, in all its different
  phases,—have been thrown in contact with the negro in different
  parts of the world, and made it my aim to study his nature, so far
  as my limited abilities would give me light,—and, whatever my
  opinions have been, they were based upon what I supposed to be
  honest convictions.

  During the last three years you well know what my opportunities have
  been to examine all the sectional bearings of an institution which
  now holds the great and most momentous question of our federal
  well-being. These opportunities I have not let pass, but have given
  myself, body and soul, to a knowledge of its vast intricacies,—to
  its constitutional compact, and its individual hardships. Its wrongs
  are in the constituted rights of the master, and the _blank letter_
  of those laws which pretend to govern the bondman’s rights. What
  legislative act, based upon the construction of self-protection for
  the very men who contemplate the laws,—even though their intention
  was amelioration,—could be enforced, when the legislated object is
  held as the _bond property_ of the legislator? The very fact of
  constituting a law for the amelioration of property becomes an
  absurdity, so far as carrying it out is concerned. A law which is
  intended to govern, and gives the governed no means of seeking its
  protection, is like the clustering together of so many useless words
  for vain show. But why talk of law? That which is considered the
  popular rights of a people, and every tenacious prejudice set forth
  to protect its property interest, creates its own power, against
  every weaker vessel. Laws which interfere with this become
  unpopular,—repugnant to a forceable will, and a dead letter in
  effect. So long as the voice of the governed cannot be heard, and
  his wrongs are felt beyond the jurisdiction or domain of the law, as
  nine-tenths are, where is the hope of redress? The master is the
  powerful vessel; the negro feels his dependence, and, fearing the
  consequences of an appeal for his rights, submits to the cruelty of
  his master, in preference to the dread of something more cruel. It
  is in those disputed cases of cruelty we find the wrongs of slavery,
  and in those governing laws which give power to bad Northern men to
  become the most cruel taskmasters. Do not judge, from my
  observations, that I am seeking consolation for the abolitionists.
  Such is not my intention; but truth to a course which calls loudly
  for reformation constrains me to say that humanity calls for some
  law to govern the force and absolute will of the master, and to
  reform no part is more requisite than that which regards the slave’s
  food and raiment. A person must live years at the South before he
  can become fully acquainted with the many workings of slavery. A
  Northern man not prominently interested in the political and social
  weal of the South may live for years in it, and pass from town to
  town in his every-day pursuits, and yet see but the polished side of
  slavery. With me it has been different. Its effect upon the negro
  himself, and its effect upon the social and commercial well-being of
  Southern society, has been laid broadly open to me, and I have seen
  more of its workings within the past year than was disclosed to me
  all the time before. It is with these feelings that I am constrained
  to do credit to Mrs. Stowe’s book, which I consider must have been
  written by one who derived the materials from a thorough
  acquaintance with the subject. The character of the slave-dealer,
  the bankrupt owner in Kentucky, and the New Orleans merchant, are
  simple every-day occurrences in these parts. Editors may speak of
  the dramatic effect as they please; the tale is not told them, and
  the occurrences of common reality would form a picture more glaring.
  I could write a work, with date and incontrovertible facts, of
  abuses which stand recorded in the knowledge of the community in
  which they were transacted, that would need no dramatic effect, and
  would stand out ten-fold more horrible than anything Mrs. Stowe has

  I have read two columns in the _Southern Press_ of Mrs. Eastman’s
  “_Aunt Phillis’ Cabin_, or Southern Life as It Is,” with the remarks
  of the editor. I have no comments to make upon it, that being done
  by itself. The editor might have saved himself being writ down an
  ass by the public, if he had withheld his nonsense. If the two
  columns are a specimen of Mrs. Eastman’s book, I pity her attempt
  and her name as an author.

                                PART II.

                               CHAPTER I.

The New York _Courier and Enquirer_ of November 5th contained an article
which has been quite valuable to the author, as summing up, in a clear,
concise and intelligible form, the principal objections which may be
urged to _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_. It is here quoted in full, as the
foundation of the remarks in the following pages.

The author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” that writer states, has committed
false-witness against thousands and millions of her fellow-men.

  She has done it [he says] by attaching to them as slaveholders, in
  the eyes of the world, the guilt of the abuses of an institution of
  which they are absolutely guiltless. Her story is so devised as to
  present slavery in three dark aspects: first, the _cruel treatment_
  of the slaves; second, _the separation of families_; and, third,
  their _want of religious instruction_.

  To show the first, she causes a reward to be offered for the
  recovery of a runaway slave, “dead or alive,” when no reward with
  such an alternative was ever heard of, or dreamed of, south of Mason
  and Dixon’s line, and it has been decided over and over again in
  Southern courts that “a slave who is merely flying away cannot be
  killed.” She puts such language as this into the mouth of one of her
  speakers:—“The master who goes furthest and does the worst only uses
  within limits the power that the law gives him;” when, in fact, the
  civil code of the very state where it is represented the language
  was uttered—Louisiana—declares that

  “The slave is entirely subject to the will of his master, who may
  correct and chastise him, _though not with unusual rigor, nor so as
  to maim or mutilate him, or to expose him to the danger of loss of
  life, or to cause his death_.”

  And provides for a compulsory sale

  “When the master shall be convicted of cruel treatment of his
  slaves, and the judge shall deem proper to pronounce, besides the
  penalty established for such cases, that the slave be sold at public
  auction, _in order to place him out of the reach of the power which
  the master has abused_.”

  “If any person whatsoever shall wilfully kill his slave, or the
  slave of another person, the said person, being convicted thereof,
  shall be tried and condemned agreeably to the laws.”

  In the General Court of Virginia, last year, in the case of Souther
  _v._ the Commonwealth, it was held that the killing of a slave by
  his master and owner, by wilful and excessive whipping, is murder in
  the first degree, _though it may not have been the purpose of the
  master and owner to kill the slave_! And it is not six months since
  Governor Johnston, of Virginia, pardoned a slave who killed his
  master, who was beating him with brutal severity.

  And yet, in the face of such laws and decisions as these, Mrs. Stowe
  winds up a long series of cruelties upon her other black personages,
  by causing her faultless hero, Tom, to be literally whipped to death
  in Louisiana, by his master, Legree; and these acts, which the laws
  make criminal, and punish as such, she sets forth in the most
  repulsive colors, to illustrate the institution of slavery!

  So, too, in reference to the separation of children from their
  parents. A considerable part of the plot is made to hinge upon the
  selling, in Louisiana, of the child Eliza, “eight or nine years
  old,” away from her mother; when, had its inventor looked in the
  statute-book of Louisiana, she would have found the following

  “Every person is expressly prohibited from selling separately from
  their mothers _the children who shall not have attained the full age
  of ten years_.”

  “_Be it further enacted_, That if any person or persons shall sell
  the mother of any slave child or children _under the age of ten
  years, separate from said child or children, or shall, the mother
  living, sell any slave child or children of ten years of age, or
  under, separate from said mother_, said person or persons shall be
  fined not less than one thousand nor more than two thousand dollars,
  and be imprisoned in the public jail for a period of not less than
  six months nor more than one year.”

  The privation of religious instruction, as represented by Mrs.
  Stowe, is utterly unfounded in fact. The largest churches in the
  Union consist entirely of slaves. The first African church in
  Louisville, which numbers fifteen hundred persons, and the first
  African church in Augusta, which numbers thirteen hundred, are
  specimens. On multitudes of the large plantations in the different
  parts of the South the ordinances of the gospel are as regularly
  maintained, by competent ministers, as in any other communities,
  north or south. A larger proportion of the slave population are in
  communion with some Christian church, than of the white population
  in any part of the country. A very considerable portion of every
  southern congregation, either in city or country, is sure to consist
  of blacks; whereas, of our northern churches, not a colored person
  is to be seen in one out of fifty.

  The peculiar falsity of this whole book consists in making
  exceptional or impossible cases the representatives of the system.
  By the same process which she has used, it would not be difficult to
  frame a fatal argument against the relation of husband and wife, or
  parent and child, or of guardian and ward; for thousands of wives
  and children and wards have been maltreated, and even murdered. It
  is wrong, unpardonably wrong, to impute to any relation of life
  those enormities which spring only out of the worst depravity of
  human nature. A ridiculously extravagant spirit of generalization
  pervades this fiction from beginning to end. The Uncle Tom of the
  authoress is a perfect angel, and her blacks generally are half
  angels; her Simon Legree is a perfect demon, and her whites
  generally are half demons. She has quite a peculiar spite against
  the clergy; and, of the many she introduces at different times into
  the scenes, all, save an insignificant exception, are Pharisees or
  hypocrites. One who could know nothing of the United States and its
  people, except by what he might gather from this book, would judge
  that it was some region just on the confines of the infernal world.
  We do not say that Mrs. Stowe was actuated by wrong motives in the
  preparation of this work, but we do say that she has done a wrong
  which no ignorance can excuse and no penance can expiate.

A much-valued correspondent of the author, writing from Richmond,
Virginia, also uses the following language:

  I will venture this morning to make a few suggestions which have
  occurred to me in regard to future editions of your work, “Uncle
  Tom’s Cabin,” which I desire should have all the influence of which
  your genius renders it capable, not only abroad, but in the local
  sphere of slavery, where it has been hitherto repudiated. Possessing
  already the great requisites of artistic beauty and of sympathetic
  affection, it may yet be improved in regard to accuracy of statement
  without being at all enfeebled. For example, you do less than
  justice to the formalized laws of the Southern States, while you
  give more credit than is due to the virtue of public or private
  sentiment in restricting the evil which the laws permit.

  I enclose the following extracts from a southern paper:

    “‘I’ll manage that ar; they’s young in the business, and must
    spect to work cheap,’ said Marks, as he continued to read.
    ‘Thar’s three on ‘em easy cases, ‘cause all you’ve got to do is
    to shoot ‘em, or swear they is shot; they couldn’t, of course,
    charge much for that.’”

  “The reader will observe that two charges against the South are
  involved in this precious discourse;—one that it is the habit of
  Southern masters to offer a reward, with the alternative of ‘dead or
  alive,’ for their fugitive slaves; and the other, that it is usual
  for pursuers to shoot them. Indeed, we are led to infer that, as the
  shooting is the easier mode of obtaining the reward, it is the more
  frequently employed in such cases. Now, when a Southern master
  offers a reward for his runaway slave, it is because he has lost a
  certain amount of property, represented by the negro which he wishes
  to recover. What man of Vermont, having an ox or an ass that had
  gone astray, would forthwith offer half the full value of the
  animal, not for the carcass, which might be turned to some useful
  purpose, but for the unavailing satisfaction of its head? Yet are
  the two cases exactly parallel? With regard to the assumption that
  men are permitted to go about, at the South, with double-barrelled
  guns, shooting down runaway negroes, in preference to apprehending
  them, we can only say that it is as wicked and wilful as it is
  ridiculous. Such Thugs there may have been as Marks and Loker, who
  have killed negroes in this unprovoked manner; but, if they have
  escaped the gallows, they are probably to be found within the walls
  of our state penitentiaries, where they are comfortably provided for
  at public expense. The laws of the Southern States, which are
  designed, as in all good governments, for the protection of persons
  and property, have not been so loosely framed as to fail of their
  object where person and property are one.

  “The law with regard to the killing of runaways is laid down with so
  much clearness and precision by a South Carolina judge, that we
  cannot forbear quoting his dictum, as directly in point. In the case
  of Witsell _v._ Earnest and Parker, Colcock J. delivered the opinion
  of the court:

[Sidenote: Jan. term, 1818 1 Nott & McCord’s S. C. Rep. 182.]

  “‘By the statute of 1740, any white man may apprehend, and
  moderately correct, any slave who may be found out of the plantation
  at which he is employed; and if the slave assaults the white person,
  he may be killed; but a slave who is merely flying away cannot be
  killed. Nor can the defendants be justified by the common law, if we
  consider the negro as a person; for they were not clothed with the
  authority of the law to apprehend him as a felon, and without such
  authority he could not be killed.’

    “‘It’s commonly supposed that the _property_ interest is a
    sufficient guard in these cases. If people choose to ruin their
    possessions, I don’t know what’s to be done. It seems the poor
    creature was a thief and a drunkard; and so there won’t be much
    hope to get up sympathy for her.’

    “‘It is perfectly outrageous,—it is horrid, Augustine! It will
    certainly bring down vengeance upon you.’

    “‘My dear cousin, I didn’t do it, and I can’t help it; I would,
    if I could. If low-minded, brutal people will act like
    themselves, what am I to do? _They have absolute control; they
    are irresponsible despots._ There would be no use in
    interfering; _there is no law, that amounts to anything
    practically, for such a case_. The best we can do is to shut our
    eyes and ears, and let it alone. It’s the only resource left

  “In a subsequent part of the same conversation, St. Clare says:

    “‘For pity’s sake, for shame’s sake, because we are men born of
    women, and not savage beasts, many of us do not, and dare
    not,—we would _scorn_ to use the full power which our savage
    laws put into our hands. _And he who goes furthest and does the
    worst only uses within limits the power that the law gives

  “Mrs. Stowe tells us, through St. Clare, that ‘there is no law that
  amounts to anything’ in such cases, and that he who goes furthest in
  severity towards his slave,—that is, to the deprivation of an eye or
  a limb, or even the destruction of life,—‘only uses within limits
  the power that the law gives him.’ This is an awful and tremendous
  charge, which, lightly and unwarrantably made, must subject the
  maker to a fearful accountability. Let us see how the matter stands
  upon the statute-book of Louisiana. By referring to the civil code
  of that state, chapter 3d, article 173, the reader will find this
  general declaration:

  “‘The slave is entirely subject to the will of his master, who may
  correct and chastise him, _though not with unusual rigor, nor so as
  to maim or mutilate him, or to expose him to the danger of loss of
  life, or to cause his death_.’

  “On a subsequent page of the same volume and chapter, article 192,
  we find provision made for the slave’s protection against his
  master’s cruelty, in the statement that one of two cases, in which a
  master can be compelled to sell his slave, is

  “‘When the master shall be convicted of cruel treatment of his
  slave, and the judge shall deem proper to pronounce, _besides the
  penalty established for such cases_, that the slave shall be sold at
  public auction, _in order to place him out of the reach of the power
  which the master has abused_.’

  “A code thus watchful of the negro’s safety in life and limb
  confines not its guardianship to inhibitory clauses, but proscribes
  extreme penalties in case of their infraction. In the Code Noir
  (Black Code) of Louisiana, under head of Crimes and Offences, No.
  55, § xvi., it is laid down, that

  “‘If any person whatsoever shall wilfully kill his slave, or the
  slave of another person, the said person, being convicted thereof,
  shall be tried and condemned agreeably to the laws.’

  “And because negro testimony is inadmissible in the courts of the
  state, and therefore the evidence of such crimes might be with
  difficulty supplied, it is further provided that,

[Sidenote: Code Noir. Crimes and Offences, 56, xvii.]

  “‘If any slave be mutilated, beaten or ill-treated, contrary to the
  true intent and meaning of this act, when no one shall be present,
  in such case the owner, or other person having the management of
  said slave thus mutilated, shall be deemed responsible and guilty of
  the said offence, and shall be prosecuted without further evidence,
  unless the said owner, or other person so as aforesaid, can prove
  the contrary by means of good and sufficient evidence, or can clear
  himself by his own oath, which said oath every court, under the
  cognizance of which such offence shall have been examined and tried,
  is by this act authorized to administer.’

  “Enough has been quoted to establish the utter falsity of the
  statement, made by our authoress through St. Clare, that brutal
  masters are ‘irresponsible despots,’—at least in Louisiana. It would
  extend our review to a most unreasonable length, should we undertake
  to give the law, with regard to the murder of slaves, as it stands
  in each of the Southern States. The crime is a rare one, and
  therefore the reporters have had few cases to record. We may refer,
  however, to two. In _Fields v. the State of Tennessee_, the
  plaintiff in error was indicted in the circuit court of Maury county
  for the murder of a negro slave. He pleaded not guilty; and at the
  trial was found guilty of wilful and felonious slaying of the slave.
  From this sentence he prosecuted his writ of error, which was
  disallowed, the court affirming the original judgment. The opinion
  of the court, as given by Peck J., overflows with the spirit of
  enlightened humanity. He concludes thus:

[Sidenote: 1 Yerger’s Tenn. Rep. 156.]

  “‘It is well said by one of the judges of North Carolina, that the
  master has a right to exact the labor of his slave; that far, the
  rights of the slave are suspended; but this gives the master no
  right over the life of his slave. I add to the saying of the judge,
  that law which says thou shalt not kill, protects the slave; and he
  is within its very letter. Law, reason, Christianity, and common
  humanity, all point but one way.’

[Sidenote: 7 Grattan’s Rep. 673.]

  “In the General Court of Virginia, June term, 1851, in _Souther v.
  the Commonwealth_, it was held that ‘the killing of a slave by his
  master and owner, by wilful and excessive whipping, is murder in the
  first degree; _though it may not have been the purpose of the master
  and owner to kill the slave_.’ The writer shows, also, an ignorance
  of the law of contracts, as it affects slavery in the South, in
  making George’s master take him from the factory against the
  proprietor’s consent. George, by virtue of the contract of hiring,
  had become the property of the proprietor for the time being, and
  his master could no more have taken him away forcibly than the owner
  of a house in Massachusetts can dispossess his lessee, at any
  moment, from mere whim or caprice. There is no court in Kentucky
  where the hirer’s rights, in this regard, would not be enforced.

    “‘No. Father bought her once, in one of his trips to New
    Orleans, and brought her up as a present to mother. She was
    about eight or nine years old, then. Father would never tell
    mother what he gave for her; but, the other day, in looking over
    his old papers, we came across the bill of sale. He paid an
    extravagant sum for her, to be sure. I suppose, on account of
    her extraordinary beauty.’

    “George sat with his back to Cassy, and did not see the absorbed
    expression of her countenance, as he was giving these details.

    “At this point in the story, she touched his arm, and, with a
    face perfectly white with interest, said, ‘Do you know the names
    of the people he bought her of?’

    “‘A man of the name of Simmons, I think, was the principal in
    the transaction. At least, I think that was the name in the bill
    of sale.’

    “‘O, my God!’ said Cassy, and fell insensible on the floor of
    the cabin.”

  “Of course Eliza turns out to be Cassy’s child, and we are soon
  entertained with the family meeting in Montreal, where George Harris
  is living, five or six years after the opening of the story, in
  great comfort.

  “Now, the reader will perhaps be surprised to know that such an
  incident as the sale of Cassy apart from Eliza, upon which the whole
  interest of the foregoing narrative hinges, never could have taken
  place in Louisiana, and that the bill of sale for Eliza would not
  have been worth the paper it was written on. Observe. George Shelby
  states that Eliza was _eight or nine years old_ at the time his
  father purchased her in New Orleans. Let us again look at the
  statute-book of Louisiana.

  “In the _Code Noir_ we find it set down that

  “‘Every person is expressly prohibited from selling separately from
  their mothers _the children who shall not have attained the full age
  of ten years_.’

  “And this humane provision is strengthened by a statute, one clause
  of which runs as follows:

  “‘Be it further enacted, That if any person or persons shall sell
  the mother of any slave child or children _under the age of ten
  years, separate from said child or children, or shall, the mother
  living, sell any slave child or children of ten years of age, or
  under, separate from said mother_, such person or persons shall
  incur the penalty of the sixth section of this act.’

  “This penalty is a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than
  two thousand dollars, and imprisonment in the public jail for a
  period of not less than six months nor more than one year.—_Vide
  Acts of Louisiana, 1 Session, 9th Legislature_, 1828, 1829, No. 24,
  Section 16.”

The author makes here a remark. Scattered through all the Southern
States are slaveholders who are such only in name. They have no pleasure
in the system, they consider it one of wrong altogether, and they hold
the legal relation still, only because not yet clear with regard to the
best way of changing it, so as to better the condition of those held.
Such are most earnest advocates for state emancipation, and are friends
of anything, written in a right spirit, which tends in that direction.
From such the author ever receives criticisms with pleasure.

She has endeavored to lay before the world, in the fullest manner, all
that can be objected to her work, that both sides may have an
opportunity of impartial hearing.

When writing “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” though entirely unaware and
unexpectant of the importance which would be attached to its statements
and opinions, the author of that work was anxious, from love of
consistency, to have some understanding of the laws of the slave system.
She had on hand for reference, while writing, the Code Noir of
Louisiana, and a sketch of the laws relating to slavery in the different
states, by Judge Stroud, of Philadelphia. This work, professing to have
been compiled with great care from the latest editions of the
statute-books of the several states, the author supposed to be a
sufficient guide for the writing of a work of fiction.[3] As the
accuracy of those statements which relate to the slave-laws has been
particularly contested, a more especial inquiry has been made in this
direction. Under the guidance and with the assistance of legal gentlemen
of high standing, the writer has proceeded to examine the statements of
Judge Stroud with regard to statute-law, and to follow them up with some
inquiry into the decisions of courts. The result has been an increasing
conviction on her part that the impressions first derived from Judge
Stroud’s work were correct; and the author now can only give the words
of St. Clare, as the best possible expression of the sentiments and
opinion which this course of reading has awakened in her mind.

  This cursed business, accursed of God and man,—what is it? Strip it
  of all its ornament, run it down to the root and nucleus of the
  whole, and what is it? Why, because my brother Quashy is ignorant
  and weak, and I am intelligent and strong,—because I know how, and
  _can_ do it,—therefore I may steal all he has, keep it, and give him
  only such and so much as suits my fancy! Whatever is too hard, too
  dirty, too disagreeable for me, I may set Quashy to doing. Because I
  don’t like work, Quashy shall work. Because the sun burns me, Quashy
  shall stay in the sun. Quashy shall earn the money, and I will spend
  it. Quashy shall lie down in every puddle, that I may walk over dry
  shod. Quashy shall do my will, and not his, all the days of his
  mortal life, and have such a chance of getting to heaven at last as
  I find convenient. This I take to be about what slavery is. I defy
  anybody on earth to read our slave-code, as it stands in our
  law-books, and make anything else of it. Talk of the _abuses_ of
  slavery! Humbug! The _thing itself_ is the essence of all abuse. And
  the only reason why the land don’t sink under it, like Sodom and
  Gomorrah, is because it is _used_ in a way infinitely better than it
  is. For pity’s sake, for shame’s sake, because we are men born of
  women, and not savage beasts, many of us do not, and dare not,—we
  would _scorn_ to use the full power which our savage laws put into
  our hands. And he who goes the furthest, and does the worst, only
  uses within limits the power that the law gives him!

The author still holds to the opinion that slavery in itself, as legally
defined in law-books and expressed in the records of courts, _is_ the
SUM AND ESSENCE OF ALL ABUSE; and she still clings to the hope that
there are _many_ men at the South _infinitely_ better than their laws;
and after the reader has read all the extracts which she has to make,
for the sake of a common humanity they will hope the same. The author
must state, with regard to some passages which she must quote, that the
language of certain enactments was so incredible that she would not take
it on the authority of any compilation whatever, but copied it with her
own hand from the latest edition of the statute-book where it stood and
still stands.


Footnote 3:

  In this connection it may be well to state that the work of Judge
  Stroud is now out of print, but that a work of the same character is
  in course of preparation by William I. Bowditch, Esq., of Boston,
  which will bring the subject out, by the assistance of the latest
  editions of statutes, and the most recent decisions of courts.

                              CHAPTER II.
                            WHAT IS SLAVERY?

The author will now enter into a consideration of slavery as it stands
revealed in slave law.

[Sidenote: Civil Code, Art. 35.]

[Sidenote: 2 Brev. Dig. 229. Prince’s Digest, 446.]

What is it, according to the definition of law-books and of legal
interpreters? “A slave,” says the law of Louisiana, “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 labor; he can do nothing,
possess nothing, nor acquire anything, but what must belong to his
master.” South Carolina says “slaves shall be deemed, sold, taken,
reputed and adjudged in law, to be chattels personal in the hands of
their owners and possessors, and their executors, administrators, and
of Georgia is similar.

[Sidenote: Wheeler’s Law of Slavery, 246. State _v._ Mann.]

Let the reader reflect on the extent of the meaning in this last clause.
Judge Ruffin, pronouncing the opinion of the Supreme Court of North
Carolina, says, a slave is “one doomed in his own person, and his
posterity, to live without knowledge, and without the capacity to make
anything his own, and to toil that another may reap the fruits.”

This is what slavery _is_,—this is what it is to be a slave! The
slave-code, then, of the Southern States, is designed to keep millions
of human beings in the condition of chattels personal; to keep them in a
condition in which the master may sell them, dispose of their time,
person and labor; in which they can do nothing, possess nothing, and
acquire nothing, except for the benefit of the master; in which they are
doomed in themselves and in their posterity to live without knowledge,
without the power to make anything their own,—to toil that another may
reap. The laws of the slave-code are designed to work out this problem,
consistently with the peace of the community, and the safety of that
superior race which is constantly to perpetrate this outrage.

From this simple statement of what the laws of slavery are designed to
do,—from a consideration that the class thus to be reduced, and
oppressed, and made the subjects of a perpetual robbery, are _men_ of
like passions with our own, men originally made in the image of God as
much as ourselves, men partakers of that same humanity of which Jesus
Christ is the highest ideal and expression,—when we consider that the
material thus to be acted upon is that fearfully explosive element, the
soul of man; that soul elastic, upspringing, immortal, whose free will
even the Omnipotence of God refuses to coerce,—we may form some idea of
the tremendous force which is necessary to keep this mightiest of
elements in the state of repression which is contemplated in the
definition of slavery.

Of course, the system necessary to consummate and perpetuate such a
work, from age to age, must be a fearfully stringent one; and our
readers will find that it is so. Men who make the laws, and men who
interpret them, may be fully sensible of their terrible severity and
inhumanity; but, if they are going to preserve the THING, they have no
resource but to make the laws, and to execute them faithfully after they
are made. They may say, with the honorable Judge Ruffin, of North
Carolina, when solemnly from the bench announcing this great foundation
principle of slavery, that “THE POWER OF THE MASTER MUST BE ABSOLUTE, TO
most freely confess my sense of the harshness of this proposition; I
feel it as deeply as any man can; and, as a principle of moral right,
every person in his retirement must repudiate it;”—but they will also be
obliged to add, with him, “But, in the _actual condition_ of things, it
MUST BE SO. * * This discipline belongs to the state of slavery. * * *
It is INHERENT in the relation of master and slave.”

And, like Judge Ruffin, men of honor, men of humanity, men of kindest
and gentlest feelings, are _obliged_ to interpret these severe laws with
inflexible severity. In the perpetual reaction of that awful force of
human passion and human will, which necessarily meets the compressive
power of slavery,—in that seething, boiling tide, never wholly
repressed, which rolls its volcanic stream underneath the whole
frame-work of society so constituted, ready to find vent at the least
rent or fissure or unguarded aperture,—there is a constant necessity
which urges to severity of law and inflexibility of execution. So Judge
Ruffin says, “We cannot allow the _right_ of the matter to be brought
into discussion in the courts of justice. The slave, to remain a slave,
must be made sensible that there is NO APPEAL FROM HIS MASTER.”
Accordingly, we find in the more southern states, where the slave
population is most accumulated, and slave property most necessary and
valuable, and, of course, the determination to abide by the system the
most decided, _there_ the enactments are most severe, and the
interpretation of courts the most inflexible.[4] And, when legal
decisions of a contrary character begin to be made, it would appear that
it is a symptom of leaning towards emancipation. So abhorrent is the
slave-code to every feeling of humanity, that just as soon as there is
any hesitancy in the community about perpetuating the institution of
slavery, judges begin to listen to the voice of their more honorable
nature, and by favorable interpretations to soften its necessary

Such decisions do not commend themselves to the professional admiration
of legal gentlemen. But in the workings of the slave system, when the
irresponsible power which it guarantees comes to be used by men of the
most brutal nature, cases sometimes arise for trial where the consistent
exposition of the law involves results so loathsome and frightful, that
the judge prefers to be illogical, rather than inhuman. Like a spring
outgushing in the desert, some noble man, now and then, from the fulness
of his own better nature, throws out a legal decision, generously
inconsistent with every principle and precedent of slave jurisprudence,
and we bless God for it. All we wish is that there were more of them,
for then should we hope that the day of redemption was drawing nigh.

The reader is now prepared to enter with us on the proof of this
proposition: That the slave-code is designed _only for the security of
the master, and not with regard to the welfare of the slave_.

This is implied in the whole current of law-making and
law-administration, and is often asserted in distinct form, with a
precision and clearness of legal accuracy which, in a literary point of
view, are quite admirable. Thus, Judge Ruffin, after stating that
considerations restricting the power of the master had often been drawn
from a comparison of slavery with the relation of parent and child,
master and apprentice, tutor and pupil, says distinctly:

  The court does not recognize their application. There is no likeness
  between the cases. They are in opposition to each other, and there
  is an impassable gulf between them. * * * *

[Sidenote: Wheeler’s Law of Slavery, page 246.]

  In the one [case], the end in view is the _happiness of the youth_,
  born to equal rights with that governor, on whom the duty devolves
  of training the young to usefulness, in a station which he is
  afterwards to assume among freemen. * * * * With slavery it is far
  otherwise. The _end is the profit of the master_, his security and
  the public safety.

[Sidenote: Wheeler’s Law of Slavery, p. 239.]

Not only is this principle distinctly asserted in so many words, but it
is more distinctly implied in multitudes of the arguings and reasonings
which are given as grounds of legal decisions. Even such provisions as
seem to be for the benefit of the slave we often find carefully
interpreted so as to show that it is only on account of his property
value to his master that he is thus protected, and not from any
consideration of humanity towards himself. Thus it has been decided that
a master can bring no action for assault and battery on his slave,
_unless the injury be such as to produce a loss of service_.

The spirit in which this question is discussed is worthy of remark. We
give a brief statement of the case, as presented in Wheeler, p. 239.

[Sidenote: Cornfute _v._ Dale, April Term, 1800. 1 Har. & Johns. Rep. 4]

[Sidenote: 2 Lutw. 1481; 20 Viner’s Abr. 454.]

It was an action for assault and battery committed by Dale on one
Cornfute’s slave. It was contended by Cornfute’s counsel that it was not
necessary to _prove loss of service_, in order that the action should be
sustained; that an action might be supported for beating plaintiff’s
_horse_; and that the lord might have an action for the battery of his
villein, which is founded on this principle, that, as the villein could
not support the action, _the injury would be without redress, unless the
lord could_. On the other side it was said that Lord Chief Justice
Raymond had decided that an assault on a horse was no cause of action,
unless accompanied with _a special damage of the animal_, which would
impair his value.

Chief Justice Chase decided that no redress could be obtained in the
case, because the value of the slave had not been impaired, and _without
injury or wrong to the master_ no action could be sustained; and
assigned this among other reasons for it, that there was no reciprocity
in the case, as the master was not liable for assault and battery
committed by his slave, neither could he gain redress for one committed
upon his slave.

Let any reader now imagine what an amount of wanton cruelty and
indignity may be heaped upon a slave man or woman or child without
actually impairing their power to do service to the master, and he will
have a full sense of the cruelty of this decision.

[Sidenote: Tate _v._ O’Neal, 1 Hawks, 418. U. S. Dig. Sup. 2, p. 797, §

In the same spirit it has been held in North Carolina that patrols
(night watchmen) are not liable to the master for inflicting punishment
on the slave, unless their conduct clearly demonstrates _malice against
the master_.

[Sidenote: State _v._ Maner, 2 Hill’s Rep. 453. Wheeler’s Law of
           Slavery, page 243.]

The cool-bloodedness of some of these legal discussions is forcibly
shown by two decisions in Wheeler’s Law of Slavery, p. 243. On the
question whether the criminal offence of assault and battery can be
committed on a slave, there are two decisions of the two States of South
and North Carolina; and it is difficult to say which of these decisions
has the preëminence for cool legal inhumanity. That of South Carolina
reads thus.

Judge O’Neill says:

  The criminal offence of assault and battery can not, at common law,
  be committed upon the person of a slave. For notwithstanding (for
  some purposes) a slave is regarded by law as a _person_, yet
  generally he is a mere chattel personal, and his right of personal
  protection belongs to his master, who can maintain an action of
  trespass for the battery of his slave. There can be therefore no
  offence against the state for a _mere beating of a slave
  unaccompanied with any circumstances of cruelty_ (!!), or an attempt
  to kill and murder. The peace of the state _is not thereby broken_;
  for a slave is not generally regarded as legally capable of being
  within the peace of the state. He is not a citizen, and is not in
  that character entitled to her protection.

[Sidenote: See State _v._ Hale. Wheeler, p. 239. 2 Hawk. N. C. Rep.

What declaration of the utter indifference of the state to the
sufferings of the slave could be more elegantly cool and clear? But in
North Carolina it appears that the case is argued still more

Chief Justice Taylor thus shows that, after all, there are reasons why
an assault and battery upon the slave may, on the whole, have some such
general connection with the comfort and security of the community, that
it may be construed into a breach of the peace, and should be treated as
an indictable offence.

[Sidenote: 1 Rev. Code 448.]

  The instinct of a slave may be, and generally is, tamed into
  subservience to his master’s will, and from him he receives
  chastisement, whether it be merited or not, with perfect submission;
  for he knows the extent of the dominion assumed over him, and that
  the law ratifies the claim. But when the same authority is wantonly
  usurped by a stranger, nature is disposed to assert her rights, and
  to prompt the slave to a resistance, often momentarily successful,
  sometimes fatally so. The public peace is thus broken, as much as if
  a free man had been beaten; for the party of the aggressor is always
  the strongest, and such contests usually terminate by overpowering
  the slave, and inflicting on him a severe chastisement, without
  regard to the original cause of the conflict. There is,
  consequently, as much reason for making such offences indictable as
  if a white man had been the victim. A wanton injury committed on a
  slave _is a great provocation to the owner, awakens his resentment,
  and has a direct tendency to a breach of the peace, by inciting him
  to seek immediate vengeance_. If resented in the heat of blood, it
  would probably extenuate a homicide to manslaughter, upon the same
  principle with the case stated by Lord Hale, that if A riding on the
  road, B had whipped his horse out of the track, and then A had
  alighted and killed B. These offences are usually committed by men
  of dissolute habits, hanging loose upon society, _who, being
  repelled from association with well-disposed citizens, take refuge
  in the company of colored persons and slaves, whom they deprave by
  their example, embolden by their familiarity, and then beat, under
  the expectation that a slave dare not resent a blow from a white
  man_. If such offences may be committed with impunity, the public
  peace will not only be rendered extremely insecure, but _the value
  of slave property must be much impaired_, for the offenders can
  seldom make any reparation in damages. Nor is it necessary, in any
  case, that a person who has received an injury, real or imaginary,
  from a slave, should carve out his own justice; _for the law has
  made ample and summary provision for the punishment of all trivial
  offences committed by slaves, by carrying them before a justice, who
  is authorized to pass sentence for their being publicly whipped_.
  This provision, while it excludes the necessity of private
  vengeance, would seem to forbid its legality, since it effectually
  protects all persons from the insolence of slaves, even where their
  masters are unwilling to correct them upon complaint being made. The
  common law has often been called into efficient operation, for the
  punishment of public cruelty inflicted _upon animals_, for needless
  and wanton barbarity exercised even by masters upon their slaves,
  and for various violations of _decency, morals, and comfort_. Reason
  and analogy seem to require that a human being, _although the
  subject of property_, should be _so far protected as the public
  might be injured through him_.

  For all purposes necessary to enforce the obedience of the slave,
  and to render him useful as property, the law secures to the master
  a complete authority over him, and it will not lightly interfere
  with the relation thus established. _It is a more effectual
  guarantee of his right of property, when the slave is protected from
  wanton abuse from those who have no power over him_; for it cannot
  be disputed that a slave is rendered less capable of performing his
  master’s service when he finds himself exposed by the law to the
  capricious violence of every turbulent man in the community.

If this is not a scrupulous disclaimer of all humane intention in the
decision, as far as the slave is concerned, and an explicit declaration
that he is protected only out of regard to the comfort of the community,
and his property value to his master, it is difficult to see how such a
declaration could be made. After all this cool-blooded course of remark,
it is somewhat curious to come upon the following certainly most
unexpected declaration, which occurs in the very next paragraph:

  Mitigated as slavery is by the _humanity of our laws_, the
  refinement of manners, and by _public opinion, which revolts at
  every instance of cruelty towards_ them, it would be an anomaly in
  the system of police which affects them, if the offence stated in
  the verdict were not indictable.

The reader will please to notice that this remarkable declaration is
made of the State of North Carolina. We shall have occasion again to
refer to it by and by, when we extract from the statute-book of North
Carolina some specimens of these humane laws.

[Sidenote: Jourdain _v._ Patton, July term, 1818. 5 Martin’s Louis Rep.

In the same spirit it is decided, under the law of Louisiana, that if an
individual injures another’s slave so as to make him _entirely useless_,
and the owner recovers from him the full value of the slave, the slave
by that act becomes thenceforth the property of the person who injured
him. A decision to this effect is given in Wheeler’s Law of Slavery, p.
249. A woman sued for an injury done to her slave by the slave of the
defendant. The injury was such as to render him entirely useless, his
_only_ eye being put out. The parish court decreed that she should
recover twelve hundred dollars, that the defendant should pay a further
sum of twenty-five dollars a month from the time of the injury; also the
physician’s bill, and two hundred dollars for the sustenance of the
slave during his life, and that he should remain forever in the
possession of his mistress.

The case was appealed. The judge reversed the decision, and delivered
the slave into the possession of the man whose slave had committed the
outrage. In the course of the decision, the judge remarks, with that
calm legal explicitness for which many decisions of this kind are
remarkable, that

  The principle of humanity, which would lead us to suppose that the
  mistress, whom he had long served, would treat her miserable blind
  slave with more kindness than the defendant, to whom the judgment
  ought to transfer him, cannot be taken into consideration in
  deciding this case.

[Sidenote: Jan. term, 1828. 9 Martin La. Rep. 350.]

Another case, reported in Wheeler’s Law, page 198, the author thus
summarily abridges. It is Dorothee _v._ Coquillon _et al._ A young girl,
by will of her mistress, was to have her freedom at twenty-one; and it
was required by the will that in the mean time she should be educated in
such a manner as to enable her to earn her living when free, her
services in the mean time being bequeathed to the daughter of the
defendant. Her mother (a free woman) entered complaint that no care was
taken of the child’s education, and that she was cruelly treated. The
prayer of the petition was that the child be declared free at
twenty-one, and in the mean time hired out by the sheriff. The suit was
decided against the mother, on this ground,—that she could not sue _for_
her daughter in a case where the daughter could not sue for herself were
she of age,—the object of the suit being _relief from ill-treatment
during the time of her slavery, which a slave cannot sue for_.

[Sidenote: Jan. term, 1827. 4 M’Cord’s Rep. 161. Wheeler’s Law of
           Slavery, p. 201.]

Observe, now, the following case of Jennings _v._ Fundeberg. It seems
Jennings brings an action of trespass against Fundeberg for killing his
slave. The case was thus: Fundeberg with others, being out hunting
runaway negroes, surprised them in their camp, and, as the report says,
“_fired his gun towards them_ as they were running away, _to induce them
to stop_.” One of them, being shot through the head, was thus _induced
to stop_,—and the master of the boy brought action for trespass against
the firer for killing his slave.

The decision of the inferior court was as follows:

The court “thought the killing accidental, and that the defendant ought
not to be made answerable as a trespasser.” * * * *

“When one is lawfully interfering with the property of another, and
accidentally destroys it, he is no trespasser, and ought not to be
answerable for the value of the property. In this case, the defendant
was engaged in a lawful and _meritorious_ service, and if he really
fired his gun in the manner stated it was an allowable act.”

The superior judge reversed the decision, on the ground that in dealing
with another person’s property one is responsible for any injury which
he could have avoided by any degree of circumspection. “The firing ...
was _rash_ and _incautious_.”

Does not the whole spirit of this discussion speak for itself?

[Sidenote: Jan. T. 1827. 4 M’Cord’s Rep. 156.]

See also the very next case in Wheeler’s Law. Richardson _v._ Dukes, p.

  Trespass for killing the plaintiff’s slave. It appeared the slave
  was stealing potatoes from a bank near the defendant’s house. The
  defendant fired upon him with a gun loaded with buckshot, and killed
  him. The jury found a verdict for plaintiff for one dollar. Motion
  for a new trial.

  _The Court._ _Nott_ J. held, there must be a new trial; that the
  jury ought to have given the plaintiff the value of the slave. That
  if the jury were of opinion the slave was of bad character, some
  deduction from the usual price ought to be made, but the plaintiff
  was certainly entitled to his actual damage for killing his slave.
  Where property is in question, the value of the article, as nearly
  as it can be ascertained, furnishes a rule from which they are not
  at liberty to depart.

[Sidenote: Wheeler’s Law of Slavery, 220.]

It seems that the value of this unfortunate piece of property was
somewhat reduced from the circumstance of his “stealing potatoes.”
Doubtless he had his own best reasons for this; so, at least, we should
infer from the following remark, which occurs in one of the reasonings
of Judge Taylor, of N. Carolina.

  “The act of 1786 (Iredell’s Revisal, p. 588) does, in the preamble,
  recognize the fact, that many persons, _by cruel treatment to their
  slaves, cause_ them to commit crimes for which they are executed.
  * * The cruel treatment here alluded to must consist in _withholding
  from them the necessaries of life_; and the crimes thus resulting
  are such as are calculated to _furnish them with food and raiment_.”

Perhaps “stealing potatoes” in this case was one of the class of crimes
alluded to.

[Sidenote: Witsell _v._ Earnest & Parker. Wheeler, p. 202.]

Again we have the following case:

  The defendants went to the plantation of Mrs. Witsell for the
  purpose of hunting for runaway negroes; there being many in the
  neighborhood, and the place in considerable alarm. As they
  approached the house with loaded guns, a negro ran from the house,
  or near the house, towards a swamp, when they fired and killed him.

  The judge charged the jury, that such circumstances might exist, by
  the excitement and alarm of the neighborhood, as to authorize the
  killing of a negro without the sanction of a magistrate.

This decision was reversed in the Superior Court, in the following

  By the statute of 1740, any white man may apprehend and moderately
  correct any slave who may be found out of the plantation at which he
  is employed, and if the slave assaults the white person, _he may be
  killed_; but a slave who is merely flying away cannot be killed. Nor
  can the defendants be justified by common law, IF _we consider the
  negro as a person_; for they were not clothed with the authority of
  the law to apprehend him as a felon, and without such authority he
  could not be killed.

[Sidenote: Wheeler, p. 252. June T., 1820. Walker’s Rep. 83.]

IF _we consider the negro a person_, says the judge; and, from his
decision in the case, he evidently intimates that he has a strong
leaning to this opinion, though it has been contested by so many eminent
legal authorities that he puts forth his sentiment modestly, and in an
hypothetical form. The reader, perhaps, will need to be informed that
the question whether the slave is to be considered a person or a human
being in any respect has been extensively and ably argued on both sides
in legal courts, and it may be a comfort to know that the balance of
legal opinion inclines in favor of the slave. Judge Clarke, of
Mississippi, is quite clear on the point, and argues very ably and
earnestly, though, as he confesses, against very respectable legal
authorities, that the slave _is_ a person,—that he _is_ a reasonable
creature. The reasoning occurs in the case State of Mississippi _v._
Jones, and is worthy of attention as a literary curiosity.

It seems that a case of murder of a slave had been clearly made out and
proved in the lower court, and that judgment was arrested and the case
appealed on the ground whether, in that state, murder could be committed
on a slave. Judge Clarke thus ably and earnestly argues:

  The question in this case is, whether murder can be committed on a
  slave. Because individuals may have been deprived of many of their
  rights by society, it does not follow, that they have been deprived
  of all their rights. In some respects, slaves may be considered as
  chattels; but in others, they are regarded as men. The law views
  them as capable of committing crimes. This can only be upon the
  principle, that they are _men_ and rational beings. The Roman law
  has been much relied on by the counsel of the defendant. That law
  was confined to the Roman empire, giving the power of life and death
  over captives in war, as slaves; but it no more extended here, than
  the similar power given to parents over the lives of their children.
  Much stress has also been laid by the defendant’s counsel on the
  case cited from Taylor’s Reports, decided in North Carolina; yet, in
  that case, two judges against one were of opinion, that killing a
  slave was murder. Judge Hall, who delivered the dissenting opinion
  in the above case based his conclusions, as we conceive, upon
  erroneous principles, by considering the laws of Rome applicable
  here. His inference, also, that a person cannot be condemned
  capitally, because he may be liable in a civil action, is not
  sustained by reason or authority, but appears to us to be in direct
  opposition to both. At a very early period in Virginia, the power of
  life over slaves was given by statute; but Tucker observes, that as
  soon as these statutes were repealed, it was at once considered by
  their courts that the killing of a slave might be murder.
  Commonwealth _v._ Dolly Chapman: indictment for maliciously stabbing
  a slave, under a statute. It has been determined in Virginia that
  slaves are persons. In the constitution of the United States, slaves
  are expressly designated as “persons.” In this state the legislature
  have considered slaves as reasonable and accountable beings; and it
  would be a stigma upon the character of the state, and a reproach to
  the administration of justice, if the life of a slave could be taken
  with impunity, or if he could be murdered in cold blood, without
  subjecting the offender to the highest penalty known to the criminal
  jurisprudence of the country. Has the slave no rights, because he is
  deprived of his freedom? He is still a human being, and possesses
  all those rights of which he is not _deprived by the positive
  provisions of the law_; but in vain shall we look for any law passed
  by the enlightened and philanthropic legislature of this state,
  giving even to the master, much less to a stranger, power over the
  life of a slave. Such a statute would be worthy the age of Draco or
  Caligula, and would be condemned by the unanimous voice of the
  people of this state, where even cruelty to slaves, much [more] the
  taking away of life, meets with universal reprobation. By the
  provisions of our law, a slave may commit murder, and be punished
  with death; why, then, is it not murder to kill a slave? Can a mere
  chattel commit murder, and be subject to punishment?

                  *       *       *       *       *

  _The right of the master exists not by force of the law of nature or
  nations, but by virtue only of the positive law of the state_; and
  although that gives to the master the right to command the services
  of the slave, requiring the master to feed and clothe the slave from
  infancy till death, yet it gives the master no right to take the
  life of the slave; and, if the offence be not murder, it is not a
  crime, and subjects the offender to no punishment.

  The taking away the life of a reasonable creature, under the king’s
  peace, with malice aforethought, express or implied, is murder at
  common law. Is not a slave a reasonable creature?—is he not a human
  being? And the meaning of this phrase, _reasonable creature_, is, a
  human being. For the killing a lunatic, an idiot, or even a child
  unborn, is murder, as much as the killing a philosopher; and has not
  the slave as much reason as a lunatic, an idiot, or an unborn child?

Thus triumphantly, in this nineteenth century of the Christian era and
in the State of Mississippi, has it been made to appear that the slave
is a reasonable creature,—a human being!

What sort of system, what sort of a public sentiment, was that which
made this argument _necessary_?

And let us look at some of the admissions of this argument with regard
to the _nature_ of slavery. According to the judge, it is depriving
human beings of _many of their rights_. Thus he says: “Because
individuals may have been deprived of many of their rights by society,
it does not follow that they have been deprived of _all_ their rights.”
Again, he says of the slave: “He is still a human being, and possesses
all those _rights_ of which he is not deprived by the _positive
provisions of the law_.” Here he admits that the provisions of law
deprive the slave of natural _rights_. Again he says: “The right of the
master exists not by force of the law of nature or of nations, but by
virtue only of the positive law of the state.” According to the decision
of this judge, therefore, slavery exists by the same right that robbery
or oppression of any kind does,—the right of _ability_. A gang of
robbers associated into a society have rights over all the neighboring
property that they can acquire, of precisely the same kind.

With the same unconscious serenity does the law apply that principle of
force and robbery which is the essence of slavery, and show how far the
master may proceed in appropriating another human being as his property.

[Sidenote: Wheeler, p. 28. Banks, Adm’r, _v._ Marksbury. Spring T. 1823.
           3 Little’s Rep. 275.]

The question arises, May a master give a woman to one person, and her
_unborn children_ to another one? Let us hear the case argued. The
unfortunate mother selected as the test point of this interesting legal
principle comes to our view in the will of one Samuel Marksbury, under
the style and denomination of “my negro wench Pen.” Said Samuel states
in his will that, for the good will and love he bears to his _own_
children, he gives said negro wench Pen to son Samuel, and all her
future increase to daughter Rachael. When daughter Rachael, therefore,
marries, her husband sets up a claim for this increase,—as it is stated,
quite off-hand, that the “wench had several children.” Here comes a
beautifully interesting case, quite stimulating to legal acumen.
Inferior court decides that Samuel Marksbury could not have given away
unborn children on the strength of the legal maxim, “_Nemo dat quod non
habet_,”—i. e., “Nobody can give what he has not got,”—which certainly
one should think sensible and satisfactory enough. The case, however, is
appealed, and reversed in the superior court; and now let us hear the

The judge acknowledges the force of the maxim above quoted,—says, as one
would think any man might say, that it is quite a correct maxim,—the
only difficulty being that it does not at all apply to the present case.
Let us hear him:

  He who is the absolute owner of a _thing_ owns all its faculties for
  profit or increase; and he may, no doubt, grant the profits or
  increase, as well as the _thing_ itself. Thus, it is every day’s
  practice to grant the future rents or profits of real estate; and it
  is held that a man may grant the wool of a flock of sheep for years.

See also p. 33, Fanny _v._ Bryant, 4 J. J. Marshall’s Rep., 368. In this
almost precisely the same language is used. If the reader will proceed,
he will find also this principle applied with equal clearness to the
hiring, selling, mortgaging of unborn children; and the perfect legal
nonchalance of these discussions is only comparable to running a
dissecting-knife through the course of all the heart-strings of a living
subject, for the purpose of demonstrating the laws of nervous

Judge Stroud, in his sketch of the slave-laws, page 99, lays down for
proof the following assertion: That the penal codes of the slave states
bear much more severely on slaves than on white persons. He introduces
his consideration of this proposition by the following humane and
sensible remarks:

  A being, ignorant of letters, unenlightened by religion, and
  deriving but little instruction from good example, cannot be
  supposed to have right conceptions as to the nature and extent of
  moral or political obligations. This remark, with but a slight
  qualification, is applicable to the condition of the slave. It has
  been just shown that the benefits of education are not conferred
  upon him, while his _chance_ of acquiring a knowledge of the
  precepts of the gospel is so remote as scarcely to be appreciated.
  He may be regarded, therefore as almost without the capacity to
  comprehend the force of laws; and, on this account, such as are
  designed for his government should be recommended by their
  simplicity and mildness.

  His condition suggests another motive for tenderness on his behalf
  in these particulars. _He is unable to read_, and holding little or
  no communication with those who are better informed than himself;
  how is he to become acquainted with the fact that a law for his
  observance has been made? To exact obedience to a law which has not
  been promulgated,—which is unknown to the subject of it,—has ever
  been deemed most unjust and tyrannical. The reign of Caligula, were
  it obnoxious to no other reproach than this, would never cease to be
  remembered with abhorrence.

  The lawgivers of the slaveholding states seem, in the formation of
  their penal codes, to have been uninfluenced by these claims of the
  slave upon their compassionate consideration. The _hardened convict_
  moves their sympathy, and is to be _taught_ the laws _before_ he is
  expected to obey them; yet the _guiltless slave_ is subjected to an
  extensive system of cruel enactments, of no part of which, probably,
  has he ever heard.

  Parts of this system apply to the slave exclusively, and for every
  infraction a large retribution is demanded; while, with respect to
  offences for which whites as well as slaves are amenable,
  _punishments of much greater severity are inflicted upon the latter_
  than upon the former.

This heavy charge of Judge Stroud is sustained by twenty pages of proof,
showing the very great disproportion between the number of offences made
capital for slaves, and those that are so for whites. Concerning this,
we find the following cool remark in Wheeler’s Law of Slavery, page 222,

  Much has been said of the disparity of punishment between the white
  inhabitants and the slaves and negroes of the same state; that
  slaves are punished with much more severity, for the commission of
  similar crimes, by white persons, than the latter. The charge is
  undoubtedly true to a considerable extent. It must be remembered
  that the primary object of the enactment of penal laws, is the
  protection and security of those who make them. The slave has no
  agency in making them. He is indeed one cause of the apprehended
  evils to the other class, which those laws are expected to remedy.
  That he should be held amenable for a violation of those rules
  established for the security of the other, is the natural result of
  the state in which he is placed. And the severity of those rules
  will always bear a relation to that danger, real or ideal, of the
  other class.

  It has been so among all nations, and will ever continue to be so,
  while the disparity between bond and free remains.

[Sidenote: The State _v._ Mann. Dec. Term, 1829. 2 Devereaux’s North
           Carolina Rep. 265.]

A striking example of a legal decision to this purport is given in
Wheeler’s Law of Slavery, page 224. The case, apart from legal
technicalities, may be thus briefly stated:

The defendant, Mann, had hired a slave-woman for a year. During this
time the slave committed some slight offence, for which the defendant
undertook to chastise her. While in the act of doing so the slave ran
off, whereat he shot at and wounded her. The judge in the inferior court
charged the jury that if they believed the punishment was cruel and
unwarrantable, and disproportioned to the offence, in law the defendant
was guilty, _as he had only a special property in the slave_. The jury
finding evidence that the punishment _had_ been cruel, unwarrantable and
_disproportioned to the offence_, found verdict against the defendant.
But on what ground?—Because, according to the law of North Carolina,
cruel, unwarrantable, disproportionate punishment of a slave from a
master, is an indictable offence? No. They decided against the
defendant, not because the punishment was cruel and unwarrantable, but
because _he_ was not the person who had the right to inflict it, “as he
had only a SPECIAL _right of property in the slave_.”

The defendant appealed to a higher court, and the decision was reversed,
on the ground that the hirer has for the time being all the rights of
the master. The remarks of Judge Ruffin are so characteristic, and so
strongly express the conflict between the feelings of the humane judge
and the logical necessity of a strict interpreter of slave-law, that we
shall quote largely from it. One cannot but admire the unflinching
calmness with which a man, evidently possessed of honorable and humane
feelings, walks through the most extreme and terrible results and
conclusions, in obedience to the laws of legal truth. Thus he says:

  A judge cannot but lament, when such cases as the present are
  brought into judgment. It is impossible that the reasons on which
  they go can be appreciated, but where institutions similar to our
  own exist, and are _thoroughly understood_. The struggle, too, in
  the judge’s own breast, between the feelings of the man and the duty
  of the magistrate, is a severe one, presenting strong temptation to
  put aside such questions, if it be possible. It is useless, however,
  to complain of things inherent in our political state. And it is
  criminal in a court to avoid any responsibility which the laws
  impose. With whatever reluctance, therefore, it is done, the court
  is compelled to express an opinion upon the extent of the dominion
  of the master over the slave in North Carolina. The indictment
  charges a battery on Lydia, a slave of Elizabeth Jones.... The
  inquiry here is, whether a cruel and unreasonable battery on a slave
  by the hirer is indictable. The judge below instructed the jury that
  it is. He seems to have put it on the ground, that the defendant had
  but a special property. Our laws uniformly treat the master, or
  other person having the possession and command of the slave, as
  entitled to the same extent of authority. _The object is the same,
  the service of the slave_; and the same powers must be confided. In
  a criminal proceeding, and, indeed, in reference to all other
  persons but the general owner, the hirer and possessor of the slave,
  in relation to both rights and duties, is, for the time being, the
  owner.... But, upon the general question, whether the owner is
  answerable _criminaliter_, for a battery upon his own slave, or
  other exercise of authority of force, not forbidden by statute, the
  court entertains but little doubt. That he is so liable, has never
  been decided; nor, as far as is known, been hitherto contended.
  There has been no prosecution of the sort. The established habits
  and uniform practice of the country, in this respect, is the best
  evidence of the portion of power deemed by the whole community
  requisite to the preservation of the master’s dominion. If we
  thought differently, we could not set our notions in array against
  the judgment of everybody else, and say that this or that authority
  may be safely lopped off. This has indeed been assimilated at the
  bar to the other domestic relations; and arguments drawn from the
  well-established principles, which _confer_ and _restrain_ the
  authority of the parent over the child, the tutor over the pupil,
  the master over the apprentice, have been pressed on us.

  The court does not recognize their application. There is no likeness
  between the cases. They are in opposition to each other, and there
  is an impassable gulf between them. The difference is that which
  exists between freedom and slavery; and a greater cannot be
  imagined. In the one, the end in view is the happiness of the youth
  born to equal rights with that governor on whom the duty devolves of
  training the young to usefulness, in a station which he is
  afterwards to assume among freemen. To such an end, and with such a
  subject, moral and intellectual instruction seem the natural means;
  and, for the most part, they are found to suffice. Moderate force is
  superadded only to make the others effectual. If that fail, it is
  better to leave the party to his own headstrong passions, and the
  ultimate correction of the law, than to allow it to be immoderately
  inflicted by a private person. With slavery it is far otherwise. The
  end is the profit of the master, his security and the public safety;
  the subject, one doomed, in his own person and his posterity, to
  live without knowledge, and without the capacity to make anything
  his own, and to toil that another may reap the fruits. What moral
  considerations shall be addressed to such a being, to convince him
  what it is impossible but that the most stupid must feel and know
  can never be true,—that he is thus to labor upon a principle of
  natural duty, or for the sake of his own personal happiness? Such
  services can only be expected from one who has no will of his own;
  who surrenders his will in implicit obedience to that of another.
  Such obedience is the consequence only of uncontrolled authority
  over the body. There is nothing else which can operate to produce
  SUBMISSION OF THE SLAVE PERFECT. I most freely confess my sense of
  the harshness of this proposition. I feel it as deeply as any man
  can. And, as a principle of moral right, every person in his
  retirement must repudiate it. But, in the actual condition of
  things, it must be so. There is no remedy. This discipline belongs
  to the state of slavery. They cannot be disunited without abrogating
  at once the rights of the master, and absolving the slave from his
  subjection. It constitutes the curse of slavery to both the bond and
  the free portions of our population. But it is _inherent in the
  relation_ of master and slave. That there may be particular
  instances of cruelty and deliberate barbarity, where in conscience
  the law might properly interfere, is most probable. The difficulty
  is to determine where _a court_ may properly begin. Merely in the
  abstract, it may well be asked which power of the master accords
  with right. The answer will probably sweep away all of them. But we
  cannot look at the matter in that light. The truth is that we are
  forbidden to enter upon a train of general reasoning on the subject.
  We cannot allow the right of the master to be brought into
  discussion in the courts of justice. The slave, to remain a slave,
  must be made sensible that there is no appeal from his master; that
  his power is, in no instance, usurped, but is conferred by the laws
  of man, at least, if not by the law of God. The danger would be
  great, indeed, if the tribunals of justice should be called on to
  graduate the punishment appropriate to every temper and every
  dereliction of menial duty.

  No man can anticipate the many and aggravated provocations of the
  master which the slave would be constantly stimulated by his own
  passions, or the instigation of others, to give; or the consequent
  wrath of the master, prompting him to bloody vengeance upon the
  turbulent traitor; a vengeance _generally practised with impunity,
  by reason of its privacy_. The court, therefore, disclaims the power
  of changing the relation in which these parts of our people stand to
  each other.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  I repeat, that I would gladly have avoided this ungrateful question.
  But, being brought to it, the court is compelled to declare that
  while slavery exists amongst us in its present state, or until it
  shall seem fit to the legislature to interpose express enactments to
  the contrary, it will be the imperative _duty_ of the judges _to
  recognize the full dominion of the owner over the slave_, except
  where the exercise of it is forbidden by statute.

  And this we do upon the ground that _this dominion is essential to
  the value of slaves as property, to the security of the master and
  the public tranquility, greatly dependent upon their subordination_;
  and, in fine, as most effectually securing the general protection
  and comfort of the slaves themselves. Judgment below reversed; and
  judgment entered for the defendant.

No one can read this decision, so fine and clear in expression, so
dignified and solemn in its earnestness, and so dreadful in its results,
without feeling at once deep respect for the man and horror for the
system. The man, judging him from this short specimen, which is all the
author knows,[5] has one of that high order of minds, which looks
straight through all verbiage and sophistry to the heart of every
subject which it encounters. He has, too, that noble scorn of
dissimulation, that straight-forward determination not to call a bad
thing by a good name, even when most popular and reputable and legal,
which it is to be wished could be more frequently seen, both in our
Northern and Southern States. There is but one sole regret; and that is
that such a man, with such a mind, should have been merely an
_expositor_, and not a _reformer_ of law.


Footnote 4:

  We except the State of Louisiana. Owing to the influence of the French
  code in that state, more really humane provisions prevail there. How
  much these provisions avail in point of fact, will be shown when we
  come to that part of the subject.

Footnote 5:

  More recently the author has met with a passage in a North Carolina
  newspaper, containing some further particulars of the life of Judge
  Ruffin, which have proved interesting to her, and may also to the

                 _From the Raleigh_ (_N. C._) _Register._


  We publish below the letter of Chief Justice Ruffin, of the Supreme
  Court, resigning his seat on the bench.

  This act takes us, and no less will it take the state, by surprise.
  The public are not prepared for it; and we doubt not there will
  scarcely be an exception to the deep and general regret which will be
  felt throughout the state. Judge Ruffin’s great and unsurpassed legal
  learning, his untiring industry, the ease with which he mastered the
  details and comprehended the whole of the most complicated cases, were
  the admiration of the bar; and it has been a common saying of the
  ablest lawyers of the state, for a long time past, that his place on
  the bench could be supplied by no other than himself.

  He is now, as we learn, in the sixty-fifth year of his age, in full
  possession of his usual excellent health, unaffected, so far as we can
  discover, in his natural vigor and strength, and certainly without any
  symptom of mental decay. Forty-five years ago he commenced the
  practice of the law. He has been on the bench twenty-eight years, of
  which time he has been one of the Supreme Court twenty-three years.
  During this long public career he has, in a pecuniary point of view,
  sacrificed many thousands; for there has been no time of it in which
  he might not, with perfect ease, have doubled, by practice, the amount
  of his salary as judge.

    “_To the Honorable the General Assembly of North Carolina, now in

  “Gentlemen: I desire to retire to the walks of private life, and
  therefore pray your honorable body to accept the resignation of my
  place on the bench of the Supreme Court. In surrendering this trust, I
  would wish to express my grateful sense of the confidence and honors
  so often and so long bestowed on me by the General Assembly. But I
  have no language to do it suitably. I am very sensible that they were
  far beyond my deserts, and that I have made an insufficient return of
  the service. Yet I can truly aver that, to the best of my ability, I
  have administered the law as I understood it, and to the ends of
  suppressing crime and wrong, and upholding virtue, truth and right;
  aiming to give confidence to honest men, and to confirm in all good
  citizens love for our country, and a pure trust in her law and

  “In my place I hope I have contributed to these ends; and I firmly
  believe that our laws will, as heretofore, be executed, and our people
  happy in the administration of justice, honest and contented, as long
  as they keep, and only so long as they keep, the independent and sound
  judiciary now established in the constitution; which, with all other
  blessings, I earnestly pray may be perpetuated to the people of North

  “I have the honor to be, gentlemen, your most obliged and obedient

                                                          THOMAS RUFFIN.

  “_Raleigh, November 10, 1852._”

                              CHAPTER III.

“Yet in the face of _such_ laws and decisions as _these_! Mrs. Stowe,
&c.”—_Courier & Enquirer_.

The case of Souther _v._ the Commonwealth has been cited by the _Courier
& Enquirer_ as a particularly favorable specimen of judicial proceedings
under the slave-code, with the following remark:

  And yet, in the face of such laws and decisions as these, Mrs. Stowe
  winds up a long series of cruelties upon her other black personages,
  by causing her faultless hero, Tom, to be literally whipped to death
  in Louisiana, by his master, Legree; and these acts, which the laws
  make criminal, and punish as such, she sets forth in the most
  repulsive colors, to illustrate the institution of slavery!

By the above language the author was led into the supposition that this
case had been conducted in a manner so creditable to the feelings of our
common humanity as to present a fairer side of criminal jurisprudence in
this respect. She accordingly took the pains to procure a report of the
case, designing to publish it as an offset to the many barbarities which
research into this branch of the subject obliges one to unfold. A legal
gentleman has copied the case from Grattan’s Reports, and it is here
given. If the reader is astounded at it, he cannot be more so than was
the writer.

          _Souther v. The Commonwealth. 7 Grattan, 673, 1851._

    The killing of a slave by his master and owner, by wilful and
      excessive whipping, is murder in the first degree: though it
      may not have been the purpose and intention of the master and
      owner to kill the slave.

  Simeon Souther was indicted at the October Term, 1850, of the
  Circuit Court for the County of Hanover, for the murder of his own
  slave. The indictment contained fifteen counts, in which the various
  modes of punishment and torture by which the homicide was charged to
  have been committed were stated singly, and in various combinations.
  The fifteenth count unites them all: and, as the court certifies
  that the _indictment was sustained by the evidence_, the giving the
  facts stated in that count will show what was the charge against the
  prisoner, and what was the proof to sustain it.

  The count charged that on the 1st day of September, 1849, the
  prisoner tied his negro slave, Sam, with ropes about his wrists,
  neck, body, legs and ankles, to a tree. That whilst so tied, the
  prisoner first whipped the slave with switches. That he next beat
  and cobbed the slave with a shingle, and compelled two of his
  slaves, a man and a woman, also to cob the deceased with the
  shingle. That whilst the deceased was so tied to the tree, the
  prisoner did strike, knock, kick, stamp and beat him upon various
  parts of his head, face and body; that he applied fire to his body;
  * * * * that he then washed his body with warm water, in which pods
  of red pepper had been put and steeped; and he compelled his two
  slaves aforesaid also to wash him with this same preparation of warm
  water and red pepper. That after the tying, whipping, cobbing,
  striking, beating, knocking, kicking, stamping, wounding, bruising,
  lacerating, burning, washing and torturing, as aforesaid, the
  prisoner untied the deceased from the tree in such way as to throw
  him with violence to the ground; and he then and there did knock,
  kick, stamp and beat the deceased upon his head, temples, and
  various parts of his body. That the prisoner then had the deceased
  carried into a shed-room of his house, and there he compelled one of
  his slaves, in his presence, to confine the deceased’s feet in
  stocks, by making his legs fast to a piece of timber, and to tie a
  rope about the neck of the deceased, and fasten it to a bed-post in
  the room, thereby strangling, choking and suffocating the deceased.
  And that whilst the deceased was thus made fast in stocks as
  aforesaid, the prisoner did kick, knock, stamp and beat him upon his
  head, face, breast, belly, sides, back and body; and he again
  compelled his two slaves to apply fire to the body of the deceased,
  whilst he was so made fast as aforesaid. And the count charged that
  from these various modes of punishment and torture the slave Sam
  then and there died. It appeared that the prisoner commenced the
  punishment of the deceased in the morning, and that it was continued
  throughout the day: and that the deceased died in the presence of
  the prisoner, and one of his slaves, and one of the witnesses,
  whilst the punishment was still progressing.

  Field J. delivered the opinion of the court.

  The prisoner was indicted and convicted of _murder in the second
  degree_, in the Circuit Court of Hanover, at its April term last
  past, and was sentenced to the _penitentiary for five years_, the
  period of time ascertained by the jury. The murder consisted in the
  killing of a negro man-slave by the name of Sam, the property of the
  prisoner, by cruel and excessive whipping and torture, inflicted by
  Souther, aided by two of his other slaves, on the 1st day of
  September, 1849. The prisoner moved for a new trial, upon the ground
  that the offence, _if any_, amounted only to manslaughter. The
  motion for a new trial was overruled, and a bill of exceptions taken
  to the opinion of the court, setting forth the facts proved, or as
  many of them as were deemed material for the consideration of the
  application for a new trial. The bill of exception states: That the
  slave Sam, in the indictment mentioned, was the slave and property
  of the prisoner. That for the purpose of chastising the slave for
  the offence of getting drunk, and dealing as the slave confessed and
  alleged with Henry and Stone, two of the witnesses for the
  Commonwealth, he caused him to be tied and punished in the presence
  of the said witnesses, with the exception of slight whipping with
  peach or apple-tree switches, before the said witnesses arrived at
  the scene after they were sent for by the prisoner (who were present
  by request from the defendant), and of several slaves of the
  prisoner, in the manner and by the means charged in the indictment;
  and the said slave died under and from the infliction of the said
  punishment, in the presence of the prisoner, one of his slaves, and
  of one of the witnesses for the Commonwealth. But it did not appear
  that it was the design of the prisoner to kill the said slave,
  unless such design be properly inferable from the manner, means and
  duration of the punishment. And, on the contrary, it did appear that
  the prisoner frequently declared, while the said slave was
  undergoing the punishment, that he believed the said slave was
  feigning, and pretending to be suffering and injured when he was
  not. The judge certifies that the slave was punished in the _manner
  and by the means charged in the indictment_. The indictment contains
  fifteen counts, and sets forth a case of the most cruel and
  excessive whipping and torture.[6]

                  *       *       *       *       *

  It is believed that the records of criminal jurisprudence do not
  contain a case of more atrocious and wicked cruelty than was
  presented upon the trial of Souther; and yet it has been gravely and
  earnestly contended here by his counsel that his offence amounts to
  manslaughter only.

  It has been contended by the counsel of the prisoner that a man
  cannot be indicted and prosecuted for the cruel and excessive
  whipping of his own slave. That it is lawful for the master to
  chastise his slave, and that if death ensues from such chastisement,
  unless it was intended to produce death, it is like the case of
  homicide which is committed by a man in the performance of a lawful
  act, which is manslaughter only. It has been decided by this court
  in Turner’s case, 5 Rand, that the owner of a slave, for the
  malicious, cruel and excessive beating of his own slave, cannot be
  indicted; yet it by no means follows, when such malicious, cruel and
  excessive beating results in death, though not intended and
  premeditated, that the beating is to be regarded as lawful for the
  purpose of reducing the crime to manslaughter, when the whipping is
  inflicted for the sole purpose of chastisement. _It is the policy of
  the law, in respect to the relation of master and slave, and for the
  sake of securing proper subordination and obedience on the part of
  the slave, to protect the master from prosecution in all such cases,
  even if the whipping and punishment be malicious, cruel and
  excessive._ But in so inflicting punishment for the sake of
  punishment, the owner of the slave acts at his peril; and if death
  ensues in consequence of such punishment, the relation of master and
  slave affords no ground of excuse or palliation. The principles of
  the common law, in relation to homicide, apply to his case without
  qualification or exception; and according to those principles, the
  act of the prisoner, in the case under consideration, amounted to
  murder. * * * The crime of the prisoner is not manslaughter, but
  murder in the first degree.

On the case now presented there are some remarks to be made.

This scene of torture, it seems, occupied about twelve hours. It
occurred in the State of Virginia, in the County of Hanover. Two white
men were witnesses to nearly the whole proceeding, and, so far as we can
see, made no effort to arouse the neighborhood, and bring in help to
stop the outrage. What sort of an education, what habits of thought,
does this presuppose in these men?

The case was brought to trial. It requires no ordinary nerve to read
over the counts of this indictment. Nobody, one would suppose, could
willingly read them twice. One would think that it would have laid a
cold hand of horror on every heart;—that the community would have risen,
by an universal sentiment, to shake out the man, as Paul shook the viper
from his hand. It seems, however, that they were quite self-possessed;
that lawyers calmly sat, and examined, and cross-examined, on
particulars known before only in the records of the Inquisition; that it
was “ably and earnestly argued” by educated, intelligent, American men,
that this catalogue of horrors did not amount to a murder! and, in the
cool language of legal precision, that “the offence, IF ANY, amounted to
manslaughter;” and that an American jury found that the offence was
murder _in the second degree_. Any one who reads the indictment will
certainly think that, if this be murder in the _second degree_, in
Virginia, one might earnestly pray to be murdered in the first degree,
to begin with. Had Souther walked up to the man, and shot him through
the head with a pistol, before white witnesses, _that_ would have been
murder in the _first_ degree. As he preferred to spend _twelve hours_ in
killing him by torture, under the name of “_chastisement_,” that, says
the verdict, is murder in the second degree; “_because_,” says the bill
of exceptions, with admirable coolness, “_it did not appear that it was
the design of the prisoner to kill the slave_, UNLESS SUCH DESIGN BE

The bill evidently seems to have a leaning to the idea that twelve hours
spent in beating, stamping, scalding, burning and mutilating a human
being, might possibly be considered as presumption of something beyond
the limits of lawful chastisement. So startling an opinion, however, is
expressed cautiously, and with a becoming diffidence, and is balanced by
the very striking fact, which is also quoted in this remarkable paper,
that the prisoner frequently declared, while the slave was undergoing
the punishment, that he believed the slave was feigning and pretending
to be suffering, when he was not. This view appears to have struck the
court as eminently probable,—as going a long way to prove the propriety
of Souther’s intentions, making it at least extremely probable that only
_correction_ was intended.

It seems, also, that Souther, so far from being crushed by the united
opinion of the community, found those to back him who considered five
years in the penitentiary an unjust severity for his crime, and hence
the bill of exceptions from which we have quoted, and the appeal to the
Superior Court; and hence the form in which the case stands in
law-books, “_Souther v. the Commonwealth_.” Souther evidently considers
himself an ill-used man, and it is in this character that he appears
before the Superior Court.

As yet there has been no particular overflow of humanity in the
treatment of the case. The manner in which it has been discussed so far
reminds one of nothing so much as of some discussions which the reader
may have seen quoted from the records of the Inquisition, with regard to
the propriety of roasting the feet of children who have not arrived at
the age of thirteen years, with a view to eliciting evidence.

Let us now come to the decision of the Superior Court, which the editor
of the _Courier & Enquirer_ thinks so particularly enlightened and
humane. Judge Field thinks that the case is a very atrocious one, and in
this respect he seems to differ materially from judge, jury and lawyers,
of the court below. Furthermore, he doubts whether the annals of
jurisprudence furnish a case of equal atrocity, wherein certainly he
appears to be not far wrong; and he also states unequivocally the
principle that killing a slave by torture under the name of correction
is murder in the first degree; and here too, certainly, everybody will
think that he is also right: the only wonder being that any man could
ever have been called to express such an opinion, judicially. But he
states, quite as unequivocally as Judge Ruffin, that awful principle of
slave-laws, that the law cannot interfere with the master for any amount
of torture inflicted on his slave which does not result in death. The
decision, if it establishes anything, establishes this principle quite
as strongly as it does the other. Let us hear the words of the decision:

  It has been decided by this court, in Turner’s case, that _the owner
  of a slave, for the malicious, cruel and excessive beating of his
  own slave, cannot be indicted. * * * * * * It is the policy of the
  law, in respect to the relation of master and slave, and for the
  sake of securing proper subordination and obedience on the part of
  the slave, to protect the master from prosecution in all such cases,
  even if the whipping and punishment be malicious, cruel and

What follows as a corollary from this remarkable declaration is
this,—that if the victim of this twelve hours’ torture had only
possessed a little stronger constitution, and had not actually died
under it, there is no law in Virginia by which Souther could even have
been indicted for misdemeanor.

If this is not filling out the measure of the language of St. Clare,
that “he who goes the furthest and does the worst only uses within
limits the power which the law gives him,” how could this language be
verified? Which is “_the worst_,” death outright, or torture
indefinitely prolonged? This decision, in so many words, gives every
master the power of indefinite torture, and takes from him only the
power of terminating the agony by merciful death. And this is the
judicial decision which the _Courier & Enquirer_ cites as a perfectly
convincing specimen of legal humanity. It must be hoped that the editor
never read the decision, else he never would have cited it. Of all who
knock at the charnel-house of legal precedents, with the hope of
disinterring any evidence of humanity in the slave system, it may be
said, in the awful words of the Hebrew poet:

            “He knoweth not that the dead are there,
            And that her guests are in the depths of hell.”

The upshot of this case was, that Souther, instead of getting off from
his five years’ imprisonment, got simply a judicial _opinion_ from the
Superior Court that he ought to be hung; but he could not be tried over
again, and, as we may infer from all the facts in the case that he was a
man of tolerably resolute nerves and not very exquisite sensibility, it
is not likely that the _opinion_ gave him any very serious uneasiness.
He has probably made up his mind to get over his five years with what
grace he may. When he comes out, there is no law in Virginia to prevent
his buying as many more negroes as he chooses, and going over the same
scene with any one of them at a future time, if only he profit by the
information which has been so explicitly conveyed to him in this
decision, that he must take care and stop his tortures short of the
point of death,—a matter about which, as the history of the Inquisition
shows, men, by careful practice, can be able to judge with considerable
precision. Probably, also, the next time, he will not be so foolish as
to send out and request the attendance of two white witnesses, even
though they may be so complacently interested in the proceedings as to
spend the whole day in witnessing them without effort at prevention.

Slavery, as defined in American law, is no more capable of being
regulated in its administration by principles of humanity, than the
torture system of the Inquisition. Every act of humanity of every
individual owner is an illogical result from the legal definition; and
the reason why the slave-code of America is more atrocious than any ever
before exhibited under the sun, is that the Anglo-Saxon race are a more
coldly and strictly logical race, and have an unflinching courage to
meet the consequences of every premise which they lay down, and to work
out an accursed principle, with mathematical accuracy, to its most
accursed results. The decisions in American law-books show nothing so
much as this severe, unflinching accuracy of logic. It is often and
evidently, not because judges are inhuman or partial, but because they
are logical and truthful, that they announce from the bench, in the
calmest manner, decisions which one would think might make the earth
shudder, and the sun turn pale.

The French and the Spanish nations are, by constitution, more impulsive,
passionate and poetic, than logical; hence it will be found that while
there may be more instances of individual barbarity, as might be
expected among impulsive and passionate people, there is in their
slave-code more exhibition of humanity. The code of the State of
Louisiana contains more really humane provisions, were there any means
of enforcing them, than that of any other state in the Union.

It is believed that there is no code of laws in the world which contains
such a perfect cabinet crystallization of every tear and every drop of
blood which can be wrung from humanity, so accurately, elegantly and
scientifically arranged, as the slave-code of America. It is a case of
elegant surgical instruments for the work of dissecting the living human
heart;—every instrument wrought with exactest temper and polish, and
adapted with exquisite care, and labelled with the name of the nerve or
artery or muscle which it is designed to sever. The instruments of the
anatomist are instruments of earthly steel and wood, designed to operate
at most on perishable and corruptible matter; but these are instruments
of keener temper, and more ethereal workmanship, designed in the most
precise and scientific manner to DESTROY THE IMMORTAL SOUL, and
carefully and gradually to reduce man from the high position of a free
agent, a social, religious, accountable being, down to the condition of
the brute, or of inanimate matter.


Footnote 6:

  The following is Judge Field’s statement of the punishment:

  The negro was tied to a tree and whipped with switches. When Souther
  became fatigued with the labor of whipping, he called upon a negro man
  of his, and made him cob Sam with a shingle. He also made a negro
  woman of his help to cob him. And, after cobbing and whipping, he
  applied fire to the body of the slave. * * * * He then caused him to
  be washed down with hot water, in which pods of red pepper had been
  steeped. The negro was also tied to a log and to the bed-post with
  ropes, which choked him, and he was kicked and stamped by Souther.
  This sort of punishment was continued and repeated until the negro
  died under its infliction.

                              CHAPTER IV.
                          PROTECTIVE STATUTES.

  Apprentices protected.—Outlawry.—Melodrama of Prue in the
    Swamp.—Harry the Carpenter, a Romance of Real Life.

But the question now occurs, Are there not protective statutes, the
avowed object of which is the protection of the life and limb of the
slave? We answer, there are; and these protective statutes are some of
the most remarkable pieces of legislation extant.

That they were dictated by a spirit of humanity, charity, which hopeth
_all_ things, would lead us to hope; but no newspaper stories of bloody
murders and shocking outrages convey to the mind so dreadful a picture
of the numbness of public sentiment caused by slavery as these so-called
protective statutes. The author copies the following from the statutes
of North Carolina. Section 3d of the act passed in 1798 runs thus:

  Whereas by another Act of the Assembly, passed in 1774, the killing
  of a slave, however wanton, cruel and deliberate, is only punishable
  in the first instance by imprisonment and paying the value thereof
  to the owner, which _distinction of criminality between the murder
  of a white person and one who is equally a human creature, but
  merely of a different complexion, is_ DISGRACEFUL TO HUMANITY, AND
  any person shall hereafter be guilty of wilfully and maliciously
  killing a slave, such offender shall, upon the first conviction
  thereof, be adjudged guilty of murder, and shall suffer the same
  punishment as if he had killed a free man: “_Provided always, this
  act shall not extend to the person killing a slave_ OUTLAWED BY
  VIRTUE OF ANY ACT OF ASSEMBLY OF THIS STATE, _or to any slave in the
  act of resistance to his lawful owner or master, or to any slave
  dying under moderate correction_.”

A law with a like proviso, except the outlawry clause, exists in
Tennessee. _See Caruthers and Nicholson’s Compilation_, 1836, p. 676.

The language of the constitution of Georgia, art. iv., sec. 12, is as

  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 by such slave, and
  _unless such death should_ happen _by accident in giving such slave
  moderate correction_.—_Cobb’s Dig._ 1851, p. 1125.

Let now any Englishman or New Englander imagine that such laws with
regard to apprentices had ever been proposed in Parliament or State
Legislature under the head of _protective acts_;—laws which in so many
words permit the killing of the subject in three cases, and those
comprising all the acts which would generally occur under the law;
namely, if the slave resist, if he be outlawed, or if he die under
_moderate_ correction.

What rule in the world will ever prove correction immoderate, if the
fact that the subject _dies_ under it is not held as proof? How many
such “accidents” would have to happen in Old England or New England,
before Parliament or Legislature would hear from such a protective law.

“But,” some one may ask, “what is the _outlawry_ spoken of in this act?”
The question is pertinent, and must be answered. The author has copied
the following from the Revised Statutes of North Carolina, chap. cxi,
sec. 22. It may be remarked in passing that the preamble to this law
presents rather a new view of slavery to those who have formed their
ideas from certain pictures of blissful contentment and Arcadian repose,
which have been much in vogue of late.

  Whereas, MANY TIMES _slaves run away and be out, hid and lurking in
  swamps, woods, and other obscure places_, killing cattle and hogs,
  and committing other injuries to the inhabitants of this state; in
  all such cases, upon intelligence of any slave or slaves lying out
  as aforesaid, any two justices of the peace for the county wherein
  such slave or slaves is or are supposed to lurk or do mischief,
  shall, and they are hereby empowered and required to issue
  proclamation against such slave or slaves (reciting his or their
  names, and the name or names of the owner or owners, if known),
  thereby requiring him or them, and every of them, forthwith to
  surrender him or themselves; and also to empower and require the
  sheriff of the said county to take such power with him as he shall
  think fit and necessary for going in search and pursuit of, and
  effectually apprehending, such outlying slave or slaves; which
  proclamation shall be published at the door of the court-house, and
  at such other places as said justices shall direct. And if any slave
  or slaves against whom proclamation hath been thus issued stay out,
  and do not immediately return home, it shall be lawful for any
  person or persons whatsoever to kill and destroy such slave or
  slaves by _such ways and means as he shall think fit_, without
  accusation or impeachment of any crime for the same.

What ways and means _have been_ thought fit, in actual experience, for
the destruction of the slave? What was done with the negro McIntosh, in
the streets of St. Louis in open daylight, and endorsed at the next
sitting of the Supreme Court of the state, as transcending the sphere of
law, because it was “an act of the majority of her most respectable
citizens”?[7] If these things are done in the green tree, what will be
done in the dry? If these things have once been done in the open streets
of St. Louis, by “a majority of her most respectable citizens,” what
will be done in the lonely swamps of North Carolina, by men of the stamp
of Souther and Legree?

This passage of the Revised Statutes of North Carolina is more terribly
suggestive to the imagination than any particulars into which the author
of Uncle Tom’s Cabin has thought fit to enter. Let us suppose a little
melodrama quite possible to have occurred under this act of the
legislature. Suppose some luckless Prue or Peg, as in the case we have
just quoted, in State _v._ Mann, getting tired of the discipline of
whipping, breaks from the overseer, clears the dogs, and gets into the
swamp, and there “lies out,” as the act above graphically says. The act
which we are considering says that _many_ slaves do this, and doubtless
they have their own best reasons for it. We all know what fascinating
places to “lie out” in these Southern swamps are. What with alligators
and moccasin snakes, mud and water, and poisonous vines, one would be
apt to think the situation not particularly eligible; but still, Prue
“lies out” there. Perhaps in the night some husband or brother goes to
see her, taking a hog, or some animal of the plantation stock, which he
has ventured his life in killing, that she may not perish with hunger.
Master overseer walks up to master proprietor, and reports the accident;
master proprietor mounts his horse, and assembles to his aid two
justices of the peace.

In the intervals between drinking brandy and smoking cigars a
proclamation is duly drawn up, summoning the contumacious Prue to
surrender, and requiring sheriff of said county to take such power as he
shall think fit to go in search and pursuit of said slave; which
proclamation, for Prue’s further enlightenment, is solemnly published at
the door of the court-house, and “at such other places as said justices
shall direct.”[8] Let us suppose, now, that Prue, given over to hardness
of heart and blindness of mind, pays no attention to all these means of
grace, put forth to draw her to the protective shadow of the patriarchal
roof. Suppose, further, as a final effort of long-suffering, and to
leave her utterly without excuse, the worthy magistrate rides forth in
full force,—man, horse, dog and gun,—to the very verge of the swamp, and
there proclaims aloud the merciful mandate. Suppose that, hearing the
yelping of the dogs and the proclamation of the sheriff mingled
together, and the shouts of Loker, Marks, Sambo and Quimbo, and other
such posse, black and white, as a sheriff can generally summon on such a
hunt, this very ignorant and contumacious Prue only runs deeper into the
swamp, and continues obstinately “lying out,” as aforesaid;—now she is
by act of the assembly _outlawed_, and, in the astounding words of the
act, “it shall be lawful for any person or persons whatsoever to kill
and destroy her, by such ways and means as he shall think fit, without
accusation or impeachment of any crime for the same.” What awful
possibilities rise to the imagination under the fearfully suggestive
clause “_by such ways and means as he shall think fit_!” Such ways and
means as ANY man shall think fit, of _any_ character, of _any_ degree of
fiendish barbarity!! Such a permission to kill even a dog, by “any ways
and means which anybody should think fit,” never ought to stand on the
law-books of a Christian nation; and yet this stands against one bearing
that same humanity which Jesus Christ bore,—against one, perhaps, who,
though blinded, darkened and ignorant, he will not be ashamed to own,
when he shall come in the glory of his Father, and all his holy angels
with him!

That this law has not been a dead letter there is sufficient proof. In
1836 the following proclamation and advertisement appeared in the
“Newbern (N. C.) Spectator:”

  STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, LENOIR COUNTY.—Whereas complaint hath been
  this day made to us, two of the justices of the peace for the said
  county, by William D. Cobb, of Jones County, that two negro-slaves
  belonging to him, named Ben (commonly known by the name of Ben Fox)
  and Rigdon, have absented themselves from their said master’s
  service, and are lurking about in the Counties of Lenoir and Jones,
  committing acts of felony; these are, in the name of the state, to
  command the said slaves forthwith to surrender themselves, and turn
  home to their said master. And we do hereby also require the sheriff
  of said County of Lenoir to make diligent search and pursuit after
  the above-mentioned slaves.... And we do hereby, by virtue of an act
  of assembly of this state concerning servants and slaves, intimate
  and declare, if the said slaves do not surrender themselves and
  return home to their master immediately after the publication of
  these presents, that any person may kill or destroy said slaves by
  such means as he or they think fit, without accusation or
  impeachment of any crime or offence for so doing, or without
  incurring any penalty or forfeiture thereby.

  Given under our hands and seals, this 12th of November, 1836.

                                             B. COLEMAN, J. P. [Seal.]
                                             JAS. JONES, J. P. [Seal.]

                  *       *       *       *       *

  $200 REWARD.—Ran away from the subscriber, about three years ago, a
  certain negro-man, named Ben, commonly known by the name of Ben Fox;
  also one other negro, by the name of Rigdon, who ran away on the 8th
  of this month.

  I will give the reward of $100 for each of the above negroes, to be
  delivered to me, or confined in the jail of Lenoir or Jones County,
  _or for the killing of them, so that I can see them_.

  _Nov. 12, 1836._

                                                           W. D. COBB.

That this act was _not_ a dead letter, also, was plainly implied in the
protective act first quoted. If slaves were not, as a matter of fact,
ever outlawed, why does the act formally recognize such a
class?—“provided that this act shall not extend to the killing of any
slave _outlawed_ by any act of the assembly.” This language sufficiently
indicates the existence of the custom.

Further than this, the statute-book of 1821 contained two acts: the
first of which provides that all masters in certain counties, who have
had slaves killed in consequence of outlawry, shall have a claim on the
treasury of the state for their value, unless cruel treatment of the
slave be proved on the part of the master: the second act extends the
benefits of the latter provision to all the counties in the state.[9]

Finally, there is evidence that this act of outlawry was executed so
recently as the year 1850,—the year in which “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was
written. See the following from the Wilmington Journal of December 13,

  oath hath this day been made to us, two of the justices of the peace
  for the said state and county aforesaid, by Guilford Horn, of
  Edgecombe County, that a certain male slave belonging to him, named
  Harry, a carpenter by trade, about forty years old, five feet five
  inches high, or thereabouts; yellow complexion; stout built; with a
  scar on his left leg (from the cut of an axe); has very thick lips;
  eyes deep sunk in his head; forehead very square; tolerably loud
  voice; has lost one or two of his upper teeth; and has a very dark
  spot on his jaw, supposed to be a mark,—hath absented himself from
  his master’s service, and is supposed to be lurking about in this
  county, committing acts of felony or other misdeeds; these are,
  therefore, in the name of the state aforesaid, to command the said
  slave forthwith to surrender himself and return home to his said
  master; and we do hereby, by virtue of the act of assembly in such
  cases made and provided, intimate and declare that if the said slave
  Harry doth not surrender himself and return home immediately after
  the publication of these presents, that any person or persons may
  KILL and DESTROY the said slave by such means as he or they may
  think fit, without accusation or impeachment of any crime or offence
  for so doing, and without incurring any penalty or forfeiture

  Given under our hands and seals, this 29th day of June, 1850.

                                      JAMES T. MILLER, J. P.   [Seal.]
                                      W. C. BETTENCOURT, J. P. [Seal.]

                  *       *       *       *       *

  delivery of the said Harry to me at Tosnott Depot, Edgecombe County,
  or for his confinement in any jail in the state, so that I can get
  him; or _One Hundred and Fifty Dollars will be given for his head_.

  He was lately heard from in Newbern, where he called himself Henry
  Barnes (or Burns), and will be likely to continue the same name, or
  assume that of Copage or Farmer. He has a free mulatto woman for a
  wife, by the name of Sally Bozeman, who has lately removed to
  Wilmington, and lives in that part of the town called Texas, where
  he will likely be lurking.

  Masters of vessels are particularly cautioned against harboring or
  concealing the said negro on board their vessels, as the full
  penalty of the law will be rigorously enforced.

  _June 29th, 1850._

                                                        GUILFORD HORN.

There is an inkling of history and romance about the description of this
same Harry, who is thus publicly set up to be killed in any way that any
of the negro-hunters of the swamps may think the most piquant and
enlivening. It seems he is a carpenter,—a powerfully made man, whose
thews and sinews might be a profitable acquisition to himself. It
appears also that he has a wife, and the advertiser intimates that
possibly he may be caught prowling about somewhere in her vicinity. This
indicates sagacity in the writer, certainly. Married men generally have
a way of liking the society of their wives; and it strikes us, from what
we know of the nature of carpenters here in New England, that Harry was
not peculiar in this respect. Let us further notice the portrait of
Harry: “_Eyes deep sunk in his head;—forehead very square_.” This
picture reminds us of what a persecuting old ecclesiastic once said, in
the days of the Port-Royalists, of a certain truculent abbess, who stood
obstinately to a certain course, in the face of the whole power,
temporal and spiritual, of the Romish church, in spite of fining,
imprisoning, starving, whipping, beating, and other enlightening
argumentative processes, not wholly peculiar, it seems, to that age.
“You will never subdue that woman,” said the ecclesiastic, who was a
phrenologist before his age; “she’s got a _square head_, and I have
always noticed that people with _square heads_ never can be turned out
of their course.” We think it very probable that Harry, with his “square
head,” is just one of this sort. He is probably one of those articles
which would be extremely valuable, if the owner could only get the use
of him. His head is well enough, but he will use it for himself. It is
of no use to any one but the wearer; and the master seems to symbolize
this state of things, by offering twenty-five dollars more for the head
without the body, than he is willing to give for head, man and all. Poor
Harry! We wonder whether they have caught him yet; or whether the
impenetrable thickets, the poisonous miasma, the deadly snakes, and the
unwieldy alligators of the swamps, more humane than the slave-hunter,
have interposed their uncouth and loathsome forms to guard the only
fastness in Carolina where a slave can live in freedom.

It is not, then, in mere poetic fiction that the humane and graceful pen
of Longfellow has drawn the following picture:

             “In the dark fens of the Dismal Swamp
               The hunted negro lay;
             He saw the fire of the midnight camp,
             And heard at times the horse’s tramp,
               And a bloodhound’s distant bay.

             “Where will-o’the-wisps and glow-worms shine,
               In bulrush and in brake;
             Where waving mosses shroud the pine,
             And the cedar grows, and the poisonous vine
               Is spotted like the snake;

             “Where hardly a human foot could pass,
               Or a human heart would dare,—
             On the quaking turf of the green morass
             He crouched in the rank and tangled grass,
               Like a wild beast in his lair.

             “A poor old slave! infirm and lame,
               Great scars deformed his face;
             On his forehead he bore the brand of shame,
             And the rags that hid his mangled frame
               Were the livery of disgrace.

             “All things above were bright and fair,
               All things were glad and free;
             Lithe squirrels darted here and there,
             And wild birds filled the echoing air
               With songs of liberty!

             “On him alone was the doom of pain,
               From the morning of his birth;
             On him alone the curse of Cain[10]
             Fell like the flail on the garnered grain,
               And struck him to the earth.”

The civilized world may and will ask, in what state this law has been
drawn, and passed, and revised, and allowed to appear at the present day
on the revised statute-book, and to be executed in the year of our Lord
1850, as the above-cited extracts from its most respectable journals
show. Is it some heathen, Kurdish tribe, some nest of pirates, some
horde of barbarians, where destructive gods are worshipped, and
libations to their honor poured from human skulls? The civilized world
will not believe it,—but it is actually a fact, that this law has been
made, and is still kept in force, by men in every other respect than
what relates to their slave-code as high-minded, as enlightened, as
humane, as any men in Christendom;—by citizens of a state which glories
in the blood and hereditary Christian institutions of Scotland.
Curiosity to know what sort of men the legislators of North Carolina
might be, led the writer to examine with some attention the proceedings
and debates of the convention of that state, called to amend its
constitution, which assembled at Raleigh, June 4th, 1835. It is but
justice to say that in these proceedings, in which all the different and
perhaps conflicting interests of the various parts of the state were
discussed, there was an exhibition of candor, fairness and moderation,
of gentlemanly honor and courtesy in the treatment of opposing claims,
and of an overruling sense of the obligations of law and religion, which
certainly have not always been equally conspicuous in the proceedings of
deliberative bodies in such cases. It simply goes to show that one can
judge nothing of the religion or of the humanity of individuals from
what seems to us objectionable practice, where they have been educated
under a system entirely incompatible with both. Such is the very
equivocal character of what we call virtue.

It could not be for a moment supposed that such men as Judge Ruffin, or
many of the gentlemen who figure in the debates alluded to, would ever
think of availing themselves of the savage permissions of such a law.
But what then? It follows that the law is a direct permission, letting
loose upon the defenceless slave that class of men who exist in every
community, who have no conscience, no honor, no shame,—who are too far
below public opinion to be restrained by that, and from whom accordingly
this provision of the law takes away the only available restraint of
their fiendish natures. Such men are not peculiar to the South. It is
unhappily too notorious that they exist everywhere,—in England, in New
England, and the world over; but they can only arrive at full maturity
in wickedness under a system where the law clothes them with absolute
and irresponsible power.


Footnote 7:

  This man was burned alive.

Footnote 8:

  The old statute of 1741 had some features still more edifying. That
  provides that said “proclamation shall be published on a Sabbath day,
  at the door of every church or chapel, or, for want of such, at the
  place where divine service shall be performed in the said county, by
  the parish clerk or reader, _immediately_ after divine service.”
  _Potter’s Revisal_, i. 166. What a peculiar appropriateness there must
  have been in this proclamation, particularly after a sermon on the
  love of Christ, or an exposition of the text “thou shalt love thy
  neighbor as thyself!”

Footnote 9:

[Sidenote: Potter’s Revisal, ch. 467, § 2.]

  _Be it further enacted_, That when any slave shall be legally outlawed
  in any of the counties within mentioned, the owner of which shall
  reside in one of the said counties, and the said slave shall be killed
  in consequence of such outlawry, the value of such slave shall be
  ascertained by a jury which shall be empanelled at the succeeding
  court of the county where the said slave was killed, and a certificate
  of such valuation shall be given by the clerk of the court to the
  owner of said slave, who shall be entitled to receive two-thirds of
  such valuation from the sheriff of the county wherein the slave was
  killed. [Extended to other counties in 1797.—Potter, ch. 480, § 1.]
  _now obsolete_.

Footnote 10:

  Gen. 4:14.—“And it shall come to pass that every one that findeth me
  shall slay me.”

                               CHAPTER V.
                     LOUISIANA AND NORTH CAROLINA.

Thus far by way of considering the protective acts of North Carolina,
Georgia and Tennessee.

Certain miscellaneous protective acts of various other states will now
be cited, merely as specimens of the spirit of legislation.

[Sidenote: Stroud, p. 39. 2 Brevard’s Digest, p. 241.]

In South Carolina, the act of 1740 punished the wilful, deliberate
murder of a slave by disfranchisement, and by a fine of seven hundred
pounds current money, or, in default of payment, imprisonment for seven
years. But the wilful murder of a slave, in the sense contemplated in
this law, is a crime which would not often occur. The kind of murder
which was most frequent among masters or overseers was guarded against
by another section of the same act,—_how adequately_ the reader will
judge for himself, from the following quotation:

[Sidenote: Stroud’s Sketch, p. 40. 2 Brevard’s Digest, 241. James’
           Digest, 392.]

  If any person shall, on a sudden heat or passion, or by _undue
  correction_, kill his own slave, or the slave of any other person,
  he shall forfeit the sum of _three hundred and fifty pounds_ current

In 1821 the act punishing the wilful murder of the slave only with fine
or imprisonment was mainly repealed, and it was enacted that such crime
should be punished by death; but the latter section, which relates to
killing the slave in sudden heat or passion, or by undue correction, has
been altered only by _diminishing_ the pecuniary penalty to a fine of
five hundred dollars, authorizing also imprisonment for six months.

The next protective statute to be noticed is the following from the act
of 1740, South Carolina.

[Sidenote: Stroud, p. 40. 2 Brevard’s Digest, 241.]

  In case any person shall wilfully cut out the tongue, put out the
  eye, * * * or cruelly scald, burn, or deprive any slave of any limb,
  or member, or shall inflict any other cruel punishment, _other than_
  by whipping or beating with a horse-whip, cowskin, switch or small
  stick, or by putting irons on, or confining or imprisoning such
  slave, every such person shall, for every such offence, forfeit the
  sum of one hundred pounds, current money.

The language of this law, like many other of these protective
enactments, is exceedingly suggestive; the first suggestion that occurs
is, What sort of an institution, and what sort of a state of society is
it, that called out a law worded like this? Laws are generally not made
against practices that do not exist, and exist with some degree of

The advocates of slavery are very fond of comparing it to the apprentice
system of England and America. Let us suppose that in the British
Parliament, or in a New England Legislature, the following law is
proposed, under the title of An Act for the Protection of Apprentices,
&c. &c.

  In case any person shall wilfully cut out the tongue, put out the
  eye, or cruelly scald, burn, or deprive any apprentice of any limb
  or member, or shall inflict any other cruel punishment, other than
  by whipping or beating with a horse-whip, cowskin, switch or small
  stick, or by putting irons on or confining or imprisoning such
  apprentice, every such person shall, for every such offence, forfeit
  the sum of one hundred pounds, current money.

What a sensation such a proposed law would make in England may be best
left for Englishmen to say; but in New England it would simply
constitute the proposer a candidate for Bedlam. Yet that such a statute
is necessary in South Carolina is evident enough, if we reflect that,
because there is no such statute in Virginia, it has been decided that a
wretch who perpetrates all these enormities on a slave cannot even be
indicted for it, unless the slave dies.

But let us look further:—What is to be the penalty when any of these
fiendish things are done?

Why, the man forfeits a hundred pounds, current money. Surely he ought
to pay as much as that for doing so very unnecessary an act, when the
Legislature bountifully allows him to inflict any torture which
revengeful ingenuity could devise, by means of horse-whip, cowskin,
switch or small stick, or putting irons on, or confining and
imprisoning. One would surely think that here was sufficient scope and
variety of legalized means of torture to satisfy any ordinary appetite
for vengeance. It would appear decidedly that any more piquant varieties
of agony ought to be an extra charge. The advocates of slavery are fond
of comparing the situation of the slave with that of the English
laborer. We are not aware that the English laborer has been so
unfortunate as to be protected by any enactment like this, since the
days of villeinage.

[Sidenote: Stroud’s Sketch, p. 41. 1 Mar. Digest, 654.]

Judge Stroud says, that the same law, substantially, has been adopted in
Louisiana. It is true that the civil code of Louisiana thus expresses
its humane intentions.

  The slave is entirely subject to the will of his master, who may
  correct and chastise him, though not with unusual rigor, nor so as
  to maim or mutilate him, or to expose him to the danger of loss of
  life, or to cause his death.—_Civil Code of Louisiana, Article 173._

The expression “unusual rigor” is suggestive, again. It will afford
large latitude for a jury, in states where slaves are in the habit of
_dying_ under _moderate_ correction; where outlawed slaves may be killed
by any means which any person thinks fit; and where laws have to be
specifically made against scalding, burning, cutting out the tongue,
putting out the eye, &c. What will be thought unusual rigor? This is a
question, certainly, upon which persons in states not so constituted can
have no means of forming an opinion.

In one of the newspaper extracts with which we prefaced our account, the
following protective act of Louisiana is alluded to, as being
particularly satisfactory and efficient. We give it, as quoted by Judge
Stroud in his Sketch, page 58, giving his reference.

  No master shall be compelled to sell his slave, but in one of two
  cases, to wit: the first, when, being only co-proprietor of the
  slave, his co-proprietor demands the sale, in order to make
  partition of the property; _second_, when the master shall be
  CONVICTED of cruel treatment of his slave, AND THE JUDGE SHALL DEEM
  IT PROPER TO PRONOUNCE, besides the penalty established for such
  cases, that the slave shall be sold at public auction, in order to
  place him out of the reach of the power which his master has
  abused.—_Civil Code, Art. 192._

The question for a jury to determine in this case is, What is cruel
treatment of a slave? Now, if all these barbarities which have been
sanctioned by the legislative acts which we have quoted are not held to
be cruel treatment, the question is, What _is_ cruel treatment of a

Everything that fiendish barbarity could desire can be effected under
the protection of the law of South Carolina, which, as we have just
shown, exists also in Louisiana. It is true the law restrains from some
particular forms of cruelty. If any person has a mind to scald or burn
his slave,—and it seems, by the statute, that there have been such
people,—these statutes merely provide that he shall do it in decent
privacy; for, as the very keystone of Southern jurisprudence is the
rejection of colored testimony, such an outrage, if perpetrated most
deliberately in the presence of hundreds of slaves, could not be proved
upon the master.

It is to be supposed that the fiendish people whom such statutes have in
view will generally have enough of common sense not to perform it in the
presence of white witnesses, since this simple act of prudence will
render them entirely safe in doing whatever they have a mind to. We are
told, it is true, as we have been reminded by our friend in the
newspaper before quoted, that in Louisiana the deficiency caused by the
rejection of negro testimony is supplied by the following most
remarkable provision of the Code Noir:

  If any slave be mutilated, beaten, or ill treated, contrary to the
  true intent and meaning of this section, when no one shall be
  present, in such case the owner, or other person having the charge
  or management of said slave thus mutilated, shall be deemed
  responsible and guilty of the said offence, and shall be
  prosecuted without further evidence, unless the said owner, or
  other person so as aforesaid, can prove the contrary by means of
  good and sufficient evidence, or can clear himself by his own
  oath, which said oath every court under the cognizance of which
  such offence shall have been examined and tried is by this act
  authorized to administer.—_Code Noir. Crimes and Offences_, 56.
  xvii. _Rev. Stat._ 1852, p. 550, § 141.

Would one have supposed that sensible people could ever publish as a law
such a specimen of utter legislative nonsense—so ridiculous on the very
face of it!

The object is to bring to justice those fiendish people who burn, scald,
mutilate, &c. How is this done? Why, it is enacted that the fact of
finding the slave in this condition shall be held presumption against
the owner or overseer, unless—unless what? Why, unless he will prove to
the contrary,—or swear to the contrary, it is no matter which—either
will answer the purpose. The question is, If a man is bad enough to do
these things, will he not be bad enough to swear falsely? As if men who
are the incarnation of cruelty, as supposed by the deeds in question,
would not have sufficient intrepidity of conscience to compass a false

What was this law ever made for? Can any one imagine?

Upon this whole subject, we may quote the language of Judge Stroud, who
thus sums up the whole amount of the protective laws for the slave, in
the United States of America:

  Upon a fair review of what has been written on the subject of this
  proposition, the result is found to be—that the master’s power to
  inflict corporal punishment to any extent, short of life and limb,
  is fully sanctioned by law, in _all_ the slave-holding states; that
  the master, in at least two states, is _expressly_ protected in
  using the horse-whip and cowskin as instruments for _beating_ his
  slave; that he may with entire impunity, in the same states, load
  his slave with irons, or subject him to perpetual imprisonment,
  whenever he may so choose; that, for cruelly scalding, wilfully
  cutting out the tongue, putting out an eye, and for any other
  dismemberment, if proved, a fine of one hundred pounds currency only
  is incurred in South Carolina; that, though in all the states the
  wilful, deliberate and malicious murder of the slave is now
  _directed_ to be punished with death, yet, as in the case of a
  _white_ offender none except whites can give evidence, a conviction
  can seldom, if ever, take place.—_Stroud’s Sketch_, p. 43.

One very singular antithesis of two laws of Louisiana will still further
show that deadness of public sentiment on cruelty to the slave which is
an inseparable attendant on the system. It will be recollected that the
remarkable _protective_ law of South Carolina, with respect to scalding,
burning, cutting out the tongue, and putting out the eye of the slave,
has been substantially enacted in Louisiana; and that the penalty for a
man’s doing these things there, if he has not sense enough to do it
privately, is not more than five hundred dollars.

Now, compare this other statute of Louisiana, (Rev. Stat. 1852, p. 552,
§ 151):

[Sidenote: Stroud, p. 41.]

  If any person or persons, &c., shall cut or break any iron chain or
  collar, which any master of slaves should have used, in order to
  prevent the running away or escape of any such slave or slaves, such
  person or persons so offending shall, on conviction, &c., be fined
  not less than two hundred dollars, nor exceeding one thousand
  dollars; and suffer imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years,
  nor less than six months.—_Act of Assembly of March 6, 1819.
  Pamphlet, page 64._

Some Englishmen may naturally ask, “What is this iron collar which the
Legislature have thought worthy of being protected by a special act?” On
this subject will be presented the testimony of an unimpeachable
witness, Miss Sarah M. Grimké, a personal friend of the author. “Miss
Grimké is a daughter of the late Judge Grimké, of the Supreme Court of
South Carolina, and sister of the late Hon. Thomas S. Grimké.” She is
now a member of the Society of Friends, and resides in Bellville, New
Jersey. The statement given is of a kind that its author did not mean to
give, nor wish to give, and never would have given, had it not been made
necessary to illustrate this passage in the slave-law. The account
occurs in a statement which Miss Grimké furnished to her brother-in-law,
Mr. Weld, and has been before the public ever since 1839, in his work
entitled _Slavery as It Is_, p. 22.

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

This iron collar the author has often heard of from sources equally
authentic.[11] That one will meet with it every day in walking the
streets, is not probable; but that it must have been used with some
great degree of frequency, is evident from the fact of a law being
thought necessary to protect it. But look at the penalty of the two
_protective_ laws! The fiendish cruelties described in the act of South
Carolina cost the perpetrator not more than five hundred dollars, if he
does them before white people. The act of humanity costs from two
hundred to one thousand dollars, and imprisonment from six months to two
years, according to discretion of court! What public sentiment was it
which made these laws?


Footnote 11:

  The iron collar was also in vogue in North Carolina, as the following
  extract from the statute-book will show. The wearers of this article
  of apparel certainly have some reason to complain of the “tyranny of

  “When the keeper of the said public jail shall, by direction of such
  court as aforesaid, let out any negro or runaway to hire, to any
  person or persons whomsoever, the said keeper shall, at the time of
  his delivery, cause an iron collar to be put on the neck of such negro
  or runaway, with the letters P. G. stamped thereon; and thereafter the
  said keeper shall not be answerable for any escape of the said negro
  or runaway.”—_Potter’s Revisal_, i. 162.

                              CHAPTER VI.

  Illustrative Drama of Tom _v._ Legree, under the Law of South
    Carolina.—Separation of Parent and Child.

[Sidenote: Wheeler, p. 220. State _v._ Sue, Cameron & Norwood’s C. Rep.

Having finished the consideration of the laws which protect the life and
limb of the slave, the reader may feel a curiosity to know something of
the provisions by which he is protected in regard to food and clothing,
and from the exactions of excessive labor. It is true, there are
multitudes of men in the Northern States who would say, at once, that
such enactments, on the very face of them, must be superfluous and
absurd. “What!” they say, “are not the slaves property? and is it likely
that any man will impair the market value of his own property by not
giving them sufficient food or clothing, or by over-working them?” This
process of reasoning appears to have been less convincing to the
legislators of Southern States than to gentlemen generally at the North;
since, as Judge Taylor says, “the act of 1786 (Iredell’s Revisal, p.
588) does, in the preamble, recognize the fact, that _many_ persons, by
cruel treatment of their slaves, cause them to commit crimes for which
they are executed;” and the judge further explains this language, by
saying, “The cruel treatment here alluded to must consist in withholding
from them the necessaries of life; and the crimes thus resulting are
such as are necessary to furnish them with food and raiment.”

The State of South Carolina, in the act of 1740 (see Stroud’s Sketch, p.
28), had a section with the following language in its preamble:

[Sidenote: Stroud, p. 29.]

  Whereas _many_ owners of slaves, and _others_ who have the care,
  management, and overseeing of slaves, _do confine them so closely to
  hard labor that they have not sufficient time for natural rest_;—

And the law goes on to enact that the slave shall not work more than
fifteen hours a day in summer, and fourteen in winter. Judge Stroud
makes it appear that in three of the slave states the time allotted for
work to convicts in prison, whose punishment is to consist in hard
labor, cannot exceed _ten_ hours, even in the summer months.

This was the protective act of South Carolina, designed to reform the
abusive practices of masters who confined their slaves so closely that
they had not time for natural rest! What sort of habits of thought do
these humane provisions show, in the makers of them? In order to protect
the slave from what they consider undue exaction, they humanely provide
that he shall be obliged to work only four or five hours longer than the
convicts in the prison of the neighboring state! In the Island of
Jamaica, besides many holidays which were accorded by law to the slave,
ten hours a day was the extent to which he was compelled by law
ordinarily to work.—See _Stroud_, p. 29.

With regard to protective acts concerning food and clothing, Judge
Stroud gives the following example from the legislation of South
Carolina. The author gives it as quoted by _Stroud_, p. 32.

  In case any person, &c., who shall be the owner, or who shall have
  the care, government or charge, of any slave or slaves, shall deny,
  neglect or refuse to allow, such slave or slaves, &c., sufficient
  clothing, covering or food, it shall and may be lawful for any
  person or persons, on behalf of such slave or slaves, to make
  complaint to the next neighboring justice in the parish where such
  slave or slaves live, or are usually employed, * * * and the said
  justice shall summons the party against whom such complaint shall be
  made, and shall inquire of, hear and determine, the same; and, if
  the said justice shall find the said complaint to be true, or that
  such person will not exculpate or clear himself from the charge, by
  his or her own oath, which _such person shall be at liberty to do in
  all cases_ where positive proof is not given of the offence, such
  justice shall and may make such orders upon the same, for the relief
  of such slave or slaves, as he in his discretion shall think fit;
  and shall and may set and impose a fine or penalty on any person who
  shall offend in the premises, in any sum not exceeding twenty pounds
  current money, for each offence.—_2 Brevard’s, Dig. 241._ Also
  _Cobb’s Dig. 827_.

A similar law obtains in Louisiana.—_Rev. Stat._ 1852, p. 557, § 166.

Now, would not anybody think, from the virtuous solemnity and gravity of
this act, that it was intended in some way to amount to something? Let
us give a little sketch, to show how much it does amount to. Angelina
Grimké Weld, sister to Sarah Grimké, before quoted, gives the following
account of the situation of slaves on plantations:[12]

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

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

With regard to overseers, Miss Grimké’s testimony is further borne out
by the universal acknowledgment of Southern owners. A description of
this class of beings is furnished by Mr. Wirt, in his Life of Patrick
Henry, page 34. “Last and lowest,” he says, [of different classes in
society] “a _feculum_ of beings called overseers,—a most abject,
degraded, unprincipled race.” Now, suppose, while the master is in
Charleston, enjoying literary leisure, the slaves on some Bellemont or
other plantation, getting tired of being hungry and cold, form
themselves into a committee of the whole, to see what is to be done. A
broad-shouldered, courageous fellow, whom we will call Tom, declares it
is too bad, and he won’t stand it any longer; and, having by some means
become acquainted with this benevolent protective act, resolves to make
an appeal to the horns of this legislative altar. Tom talks stoutly,
having just been bought on to the place, and been used to better
quarters elsewhere. The women and children perhaps admire, but the
venerable elders of the plantation,—Sambo, Cudge, Pomp and old Aunt
Dinah,—tell him he better mind himself, and keep clar o’ dat ar. Tom,
being young and progressive, does not regard these conservative maxims;
he is determined that, if there is such a thing as justice to be got, he
will have it. After considerable research, he finds some white man in
the neighborhood verdant enough to enter the complaint for him. Master
Legree finds himself, one sunshiny, pleasant morning, walked off to some
Justice Dogberry’s, to answer to the charge of not giving his niggers
enough to eat and wear. We will call the infatuated white man who has
undertaken this fool’s errand Master Shallow. Let us imagine a
scene:—Legree, standing carelessly with his hands in his pockets,
rolling a quid of tobacco in his mouth; Justice Dogberry, seated in all
the majesty of law, reinforced by a decanter of whiskey and some
tumblers, intended to assist in illuminating the intellect in such
obscure cases.

_Justice Dogberry._ Come, gentlemen, take a little something, to begin
with. Mr. Legree, sit down; sit down, Mr.—a’ what’s-your-name?—Mr.

Mr. Legree and Mr. Shallow each sit down, and take their tumbler of
whiskey and water. After some little conversation, the justice
introduces the business as follows:

“Now, about this nigger business. Gentlemen, you know the act
of——um—um,—where the deuce _is_ that act? [Fumbling an old law-book.]
How plagued did you ever hear of that act, Shallow? I’m sure I’m forgot
all about it;—O! here ‘tis. Well, Mr. Shallow, the act says you must
make proof, you observe.”

_Mr. Shallow._ [Stuttering and hesitating.] Good land! why, don’t
everybody see that them ar niggers are most starved? Only see how ragged
they are!

_Justice._ I can’t say as I’ve observed it particular. Seem to be very
well contented.

_Shallow._ [Eagerly.] But just ask Pomp, or Sambo, or Dinah, or Tom!

_Justice Dogberry._ [With dignity.] I’m astonished at you, Mr. Shallow!
You think of producing negro testimony? I hope I know the law better
than that! We must have direct proof, you know.

Shallow is posed; Legree significantly takes another tumbler of whiskey
and water, and Justice Dogberry gives a long ahe-a-um. After a few
moments the justice speaks:

“Well, after all, I suppose, Mr. Legree, you wouldn’t have any
objections to swarin’ off; that settles it all, you know.”

As swearing is what Mr. Legree is rather more accustomed to do than
anything else that could be named, a more appropriate termination of the
affair could not be suggested; and he swears, accordingly, to any
extent, and with any fulness and variety of oath that could be desired;
and thus the little affair terminates. But it does not terminate thus
for Tom or Sambo, Dinah, or any others who have been alluded to for
authority. What will happen to them, when Mr. Legree comes home, had
better be left to conjecture.

It is claimed, by the author of certain paragraphs quoted at the
commencement of Part II., that there exist in Louisiana ample protective
acts to prevent the separation of young children from their mothers.
This writer appears to be in the enjoyment of an amiable ignorance and
unsophisticated innocence with regard to the workings of human society
generally, which is, on the whole, rather refreshing. For, on a certain
incident in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which represented Cassy’s little
daughter as having been sold from her, he makes the following _naïf_

  Now, the reader will perhaps be surprised to know that such an
  incident as the sale of Cassy apart from Eliza, upon which the whole
  interest of the foregoing narrative hinges, never could have taken
  place in Louisiana, and that the bill of sale for Eliza would not
  have been worth the paper it was written on.—Observe. George Shelby
  states that Eliza was _eight or nine years old_ at the time his
  father purchased her in New Orleans. Let us again look at the
  statute-book of Louisiana.

  In the _Code Noir_ we find it set down that

  “Every person is expressly prohibited from selling separately from
  their mothers _the children who shall not have attained the full age
  of ten years_.”

  And this humane provision is strengthened by a statute, one clause
  of which runs as follows:

  “Be it further enacted, that if any person or persons shall sell the
  mother of any slave child or children _under the age of ten years,
  separate from said child or children, or shall, the mother living,
  sell any slave child or children of ten years of age or under,
  separate from said mother_, such person or persons shall incur the
  penalty of the sixth section of this act.”

  This penalty is a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than
  two thousand dollars, and imprisonment in the public jail for a
  period of not less than six months nor more than one year.—_Vide
  Acts of Louisiana, 1 Session, 9th Legislature_, 1828–9, No. 24,
  Section 16. (_Rev. Stat._ 1852, p. 550, § 143.)

What a charming freshness of nature is suggested by this assertion! A
thing could not have happened in a certain state, because there is a law
against it!

Has there not been for two years a law forbidding to succor fugitives,
or to hinder their arrest?—and has not this thing been done thousands of
times in all the Northern States, and is not it more and more likely to
be done every year? What is a law, against the whole public sentiment of
society?—and will anybody venture to say that the public sentiment of
Louisiana _practically_ goes against separation of families?

But let us examine a case more minutely, remembering the bearing on it
of two great foundation principles of slave jurisprudence: namely, that
a slave cannot bring a suit in any case, except in a suit for personal
freedom, and this in some states must be brought by a guardian; and that
a slave cannot bear testimony in any case in which whites are

Suppose Butler wants to sell Cassy’s child of nine years. There is a
statute forbidding to sell under ten years;—what is Cassy to do? She
cannot bring suit. Will the state prosecute? Suppose it does,—what then?
Butler says the child is ten years old; if he pleases, he will say she
is ten and a half, or eleven. What is Cassy to do? She cannot testify;
besides, she is utterly in Butler’s power. He may tell her that if she
offers to stir in the affair, he will whip the child within an inch of
its life; and she knows he can do it, and that there is no help for
it;—he may lock her up in a dungeon, sell her on to a distant
plantation, or do any other despotic thing he chooses, and there is
nobody to say Nay.

How much does the protective statute amount to for Cassy? It may be very
well as a piece of advice to the public, or as a decorous expression of
opinion; but one might as well try to stop the current of the
Mississippi with a bulrush as the tide of trade in human beings with
such a regulation.

We think that, by this time, the reader will agree with us, that the
less the defenders of slavery say about protective statutes, the better.


Footnote 12:

  Slavery as It Is; Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses. New York, 1839,
  pp. 52, 53.

                              CHAPTER VII.
                       THE EXECUTION OF JUSTICE.

 State _v._ Eliza Rowand.—The “Ægis of Protection” to the Slave’s Life.

  “We cannot but regard the fact of this trial as a salutary
    occurrence.”—_Charleston Courier._

Having given some account of what sort of statutes are to be found on
the law-books of slavery, the reader will hardly be satisfied without
knowing what sort of trials are held under them. We will quote one
specimen of a trial, reported in the _Charleston Courier_ of May 6th,
1847. The _Charleston Courier_ is one of the leading papers of South
Carolina, and the case is reported with the utmost apparent innocence
that there was anything about the trial that could reflect in the least
on the character of the state for the utmost legal impartiality. In
fact, the _Charleston Courier_ ushers it into public view with the
following flourish of trumpets, as something which is forever to
confound those who say that South Carolina does not protect the life of
the slave:

                         THE TRIAL FOR MURDER.

  Our community was deeply interested and excited, yesterday, by a
  case of great importance, and also of entire novelty in our
  jurisprudence. It was the trial of a lady of respectable family, and
  the mother of a large family, charged with the murder of her own or
  her husband’s slave. The court-house was thronged with spectators of
  the exciting drama, who remained, with unabated interest and
  undiminished numbers, until the verdict was rendered acquitting the
  prisoner. We cannot but regard the fact of this trial as a salutary,
  although in itself lamentable occurrence, as it will show to the
  world that, however panoplied in station and wealth, and although
  challenging those sympathies which are the right and inheritance of
  the female sex, no one will be suffered, in this community, to
  escape the most sifting scrutiny, at the risk of even an ignominious
  death, who stands charged with the suspicion of murdering a
  slave,—to whose life our law now extends the ægis of protection, in
  the same manner as it does to that of the white man, _save only in
  the character of the evidence necessary for conviction or defence_.
  While evil-disposed persons at home are thus taught that they may
  expect rigorous trial and condign punishment, when, actuated by
  malignant passions, they invade the life of the humble slave, the
  enemies of our domestic institution abroad will find, their
  calumnies to the contrary notwithstanding, that we are resolved, in
  this particular, to do the full measure of our duty to the laws of
  humanity. We subjoin a report of the case.

The proceedings of the trial are thus given:

                    TRIAL FOR THE MURDER OF A SLAVE.

         _State_ v. _Eliza Rowand_.—_Spring Term, May 5, 1847._

                 Tried before his Honor Judge O’Neall.

  The prisoner was brought to the bar and arraigned, attended by her
  husband and mother, and humanely supported, during the trying scene,
  by the sheriff, J. B. Irving, Esq. On her arraignment, she pleaded
  “Not Guilty,” and for her trial, placed herself upon “God and her
  country.” After challenging John M. Deas, James Bancroft, H. F.
  Harbers, C. J. Beckman, E. R. Cowperthwaite, Parker J. Holland,
  Moses D. Hyams, Thomas Glaze, John Lawrence, B. Archer, J. S.
  Addison, B. P. Colburn, B. M. Jenkins, Carl Houseman, Geo. Jackson,
  and Joseph Coppenberg, the prisoner accepted the subjoined panel,
  who were duly sworn, and charged with the case: 1. John L. Nowell,
  foreman. 2. Elias Whilden. 3. Jesse Coward. 4. Effington Wagner. 5.
  Wm. Whaley. 6. James Culbert. 7. R. L. Baker. 8. S. Wiley. 9. W. S.
  Chisolm. 10. T. M. Howard. 11. John Bickley. 12. John Y. Stock.

The following is the indictment on which the prisoner was arraigned for

   _The State_ v. _Eliza Rowand_—_Indictment for murder of a slave_.

                   STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, } to wit:
                    _Charleston District_,  }

  At a Court of General Sessions, begun and holden in and for the
  district of Charleston, in the State of South Carolina, at
  Charleston, in the district and state aforesaid, on Monday, the
  third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred
  and forty-seven:

  The jurors of and for the district of Charleston, aforesaid, in the
  State of South Carolina, aforesaid, upon their oaths present, that
  Eliza Rowand, the wife of Robert Rowand, Esq., not having the fear
  of God before her eyes, but being moved and seduced by the
  instigation of the devil, on the 6th day of January, in the year of
  our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven, with force and
  arms, at Charleston, in the district of Charleston, and state
  aforesaid, in and upon a certain female slave of the said Robert
  Rowand, named Maria, in the peace of God, and of the said state,
  then and there being, feloniously, maliciously, wilfully,
  deliberately, and of her malice aforethought, did make an assault;
  and that a certain other slave of the said Robert Rowand, named
  Richard, then and there, being then and there in the presence and by
  the command of the said Eliza Rowand, with a certain piece of wood,
  which he the said Richard in both his hands then and there had and
  held, the said Maria did beat and strike, in and upon the head of
  her the said Maria, then and there giving to her the said Maria, by
  such striking and beating, as aforesaid, with the piece of wood
  aforesaid, divers mortal bruises on the top, back, and sides of the
  head of her the said Maria, of which several mortal bruises she, the
  said Maria, then and there instantly died; and that the said Eliza
  Rowand was then and there present, and then and there feloniously,
  maliciously, wilfully, deliberately, and of her malice aforethought,
  did order, command, and require, the said slave named Richard the
  murder and felony aforesaid, in manner and form aforesaid, to do and
  commit. And as the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do
  say, that the said Eliza Rowand her the said slave named Maria, in
  the manner and by the means, aforesaid, feloniously, maliciously,
  wilfully, deliberately, and of her malice aforethought, did kill and
  murder, against the form of the act of the General Assembly of the
  said state in such case made and provided, and against the peace and
  dignity of the same state aforesaid.

  And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do further
  present, that the said Eliza Rowand, not having the fear of God
  before her eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of
  the devil, on the sixth day of January, in the year of our Lord one
  thousand eight hundred and forty-seven, with force and arms, at
  Charleston, in the district of Charleston, and state aforesaid, in
  and upon a certain other female slave of Robert Rowand, named Maria,
  in the peace of God, and of the said state, then and there being,
  feloniously, maliciously, wilfully, deliberately, and of her malice
  aforethought, did make an assault; and that the said Eliza Rowand,
  with a certain piece of wood, which she, the said Eliza Rowand, in
  both her hands then and there had and held, her the said
  last-mentioned slave named Maria did then and there strike, and
  beat, in and upon the head of her the said Maria, then and there
  giving to her the said Maria, by such striking and beating
  aforesaid, with the piece of wood aforesaid, divers mortal bruises,
  on the top, back, and side of the head, of her the said Maria, of
  which said several mortal bruises she the said Maria then and there
  instantly died. And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths
  aforesaid, do say, that the said Eliza Rowand her the said
  last-mentioned slave named Maria, in the manner and by the means
  last mentioned, feloniously, maliciously, wilfully, deliberately,
  and of her malice aforethought, did kill and murder, against the
  form of the act of the General Assembly of the said state in such
  case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the
  same state aforesaid.

                                        H. BAILEY, _Attorney-general_.

As some of our readers may not have been in the habit of endeavoring to
extract anything like common sense or information from documents so very
concisely and luminously worded, the author will just state her own
opinion that the above document is intended to charge Mrs. Eliza Rowand
with having killed her slave Maria, in one of two ways: either with
beating her on the head with her own hands, or having the same deed
performed by proxy, by her slave-man Richard. The whole case is now
presented. In order to make the reader clearly understand the arguments,
it is necessary that he bear in mind that the law of 1740, as we have
before shown, punished the murder of the slave only with fine and
disfranchisement, while the law of 1821 punishes it with death.

  On motion of Mr. Petigru, the prisoner was allowed to remove from
  the bar, and take her place by her counsel; the judge saying he
  granted the motion only because the prisoner was a woman, but that
  no such privilege would have been extended by him to any man.

  The Attorney-general, Henry Bailey, Esq., then rose and opened the
  case for the state, in substance, as follows: He said that, after
  months of anxiety and expectation, the curtain had at length risen,
  and he and the jury were about to bear their part in the sad drama
  of real life, which had so long engrossed the public mind. He and
  they were called to the discharge of an important, painful, and
  solemn duty. They were to pass between the prisoner and the state—to
  take an inquisition of blood; on their decision hung the life or
  death, the honor or ignominy, of the prisoner; yet he trusted he and
  they would have strength and ability to perform their duty
  faithfully; and, whatever might be the result, their consciences
  would be consoled and quieted by that reflection. He bade the jury
  pause and reflect on the great sanctions and solemn responsibilities
  under which they were acting. The constitution of the state invested
  them with power over all that affected the life and was dear to the
  family of the unfortunate lady on trial before them. They were
  charged, too, with the sacred care of the law of the land; and to
  their solution was submitted one of the most solemn questions ever
  intrusted to the arbitrament of man. They should pursue a direct and
  straight-forward course, turning neither to the right hand nor to
  the left—influenced neither by prejudice against the prisoner, nor
  by a morbid sensibility in her behalf. Some of them might
  practically and personally be strangers to their present duty; but
  they were all familiar with the laws, and must be aware of the
  responsibilities of jurymen. It was scarcely necessary to tell them
  that, if evidence fixed guilt on this prisoner, they should not
  hesitate to record a verdict of guilty, although they should write
  that verdict in tears of blood. They should let no sickly
  sentimentality, or morbid feeling on the subject of capital
  punishments, deter them from the discharge of their plain and
  obvious duty. They were to administer, not to make, the law; they
  were called on to enforce the law, by sanctioning the highest duty
  to God and to their country. If any of them were disturbed with
  doubts or scruples on this point, he scarcely supposed they would
  have gone into the jury-box. The law had awarded capital punishment
  as the meet retribution for the crime under investigation, and they
  were sworn to administer that law. It had, too, the full sanction of
  Holy Writ; we were there told that “the land cannot be cleansed of
  the blood shed therein, except by the blood of him that shed it.” He
  felt assured, then, that they would be swayed only by a firm resolve
  to act on this occasion in obedience to the dictates of sound
  judgments and enlightened consciences. The prisoner, however, had
  claims on them, as well as the community; she was entitled to a fair
  and impartial trial. By the wise and humane principles of our law,
  they were bound to hold the prisoner _innocent_, and she stood
  _guiltless_ before them, until proved guilty, by legal, competent,
  and satisfactory evidence. Deaf alike to the voice of sickly
  humanity and heated prejudice, they should proceed to their task
  with minds perfectly equipoised and impartial; they should weigh the
  circumstances of the case with a nice and careful hand; and if, by
  legal evidence, circumstantial and satisfactory, although not
  positive, guilt be established, they should unhesitatingly,
  fearlessly and faithfully, record the result of their convictions.
  He would next call their attention to certain legal distinctions,
  but would not say a word of the facts; he would leave _them_ to the
  lips of the witnesses, unaffected by any previous comments of his
  own. The prisoner stood indicted for the murder of a slave. This was
  supposed not to be murder at common law. At least, it was not murder
  by our former statute; but the act of 1821 had placed the killing of
  the white man and the black man on the same footing. He here read
  the act of 1821, declaring that “any person who shall wilfully,
  deliberately, and maliciously murder a slave, shall, on conviction
  thereof, suffer death without benefit of clergy.” The rules
  applicable to murder at common law were generally applicable,
  however, to the present case. The inquiries to be made may be
  reduced to two: 1. Is the party charged guilty of the fact of
  killing? This must be clearly made out by proof. If she be not
  guilty of killing, there is an end of the case. 2. The character of
  that killing, or of the offence. Was it done with malice
  aforethought? Malice is the essential ingredient of the crime. Where
  killing takes place, malice is presumed, unless the contrary appear;
  and this must be gathered from the attending circumstances. Malice
  is a technical term, importing a different meaning from that
  conveyed by the same word in common parlance. According to the
  learned Michael Foster, it consists not in “malevolence to
  particulars,” it does not mean hatred to any particular individual,
  but is general in its import and application. But even killing, with
  intention to kill, is not always murder; there may be justifiable
  and excusable homicide, and killing in sudden heat and passion is so
  modified to manslaughter. Yet there may be murder when there is no
  ill-feeling,—nay, perfect indifference to the slain,—as in the case
  of the robber who slays to conceal his crime. Malice aforethought is
  that depraved feeling of the heart, which makes one regardless of
  social duty, and fatally bent on mischief. It is fulfilled by that
  recklessness of law and human life which is indicated by shooting
  into a crowd, and thus doing murder on even an unknown object. Such
  a feeling the law regards as hateful, and visits, in its practical
  exhibition, with condign punishment, because opposed to the very
  existence of law and society. One may do fatal mischief without this
  recklessness; but when the act is done, regardless of consequences,
  and death ensues, it is murder in the eye of the law. If the facts
  to be proved in this case should not come up to these requisitions,
  he implored the jury to acquit the accused, as at once due to law
  and justice. They should note every fact with scrutinizing eye, and
  ascertain whether the fatal result proceeded from passing accident
  or from brooding revenge, which the law stamped with the odious name
  of malice. He would make no further preliminary remarks, but proceed
  at once to lay the facts before them, from the mouths of the


  _J. Porteous Deveaux_ sworn.—He is the coroner of Charleston
  district; held the inquest, on the seventh of January last, on the
  body of the deceased slave, _Maria_, the slave of Robert Rowand, at
  the residence of Mrs. T. C. Bee (the mother of the prisoner), in
  Logan-street. The body was found in an outbuilding—a kitchen; it was
  the body of an old and emaciated person, between fifty and sixty
  years of age; it was not examined in his presence by physicians; saw
  some few scratches about the face; adjourned to the City Hall. Mrs.
  Rowand was examined; her examination was in writing; it was here
  produced, and read, as follows:

  “Mrs. _Eliza Rowand_ sworn.—Says _Maria_ is her nurse, and had
  misbehaved on yesterday morning; deponent sent Maria to Mr. Rowand’s
  house, to be corrected by Simon; deponent sent Maria from the house
  about seven o’clock, A. M.; she returned to her about nine o’clock;
  came into her chamber; Simon did not come into the chamber at any
  time previous to the death of Maria; deponent says Maria fell down
  in the chamber; deponent had her seated up by Richard, who was then
  in the chamber, and deponent gave Maria some asafœtida; deponent
  then left the room; Richard came down and said Maria was dead;
  deponent says Richard did not strike Maria, nor did any one else
  strike her, in deponent’s chamber. Richard left the chamber
  immediately with deponent; Maria was about fifty-two years of age;
  deponent sent Maria by Richard to Simon, to Mr Rowand’s house, to be
  corrected; Mr. Rowand was absent from the city; Maria died about
  twelve o’clock; Richard and Maria were on good terms; deponent was
  in the chamber all the while that Richard and Maria were there

                                                        “ELIZA ROWAND.

  “Sworn to before me this seventh January, 1847.

                                     “J. P. DEVEAUX, _Coroner, D. C._”

  Witness went to the chamber of prisoner, where the death occurred;
  saw nothing particular; some pieces of wood in a box, set in the
  chimney; his attention was called to one piece, in particular,
  eighteen inches long, three indies wide, and about one and a half
  inch thick; did not measure it; the jury of inquest did; it was not
  a light-wood knot; thinks it was of oak; there was some pine wood
  and some split oak. Dr. Peter Porcher was called to examine the body
  professionally, who did so out of witness’ presence.

  Before this witness left the stand, B. F. Hunt, Esq., one of the
  counsel for the prisoner, rose and opened the defence before the
  jury, in substance as follows:

  He said that the scene before them was a very novel one; and whether
  for good or evil, he would not pretend to prophesy. It was the first
  time, in the history of this state, that a lady of good character
  and respectable connections stood arraigned at the bar, and had been
  put on trial for her life, on facts arising out of her domestic
  relations to her own slave. It was a spectacle consoling, and
  cheering, perhaps, to those who owed no good will to the
  institutions of our country; but calculated only to excite pain and
  regret among ourselves. He would not state a proposition so
  revolting to humanity as that crime should go unpunished; but
  judicial interference between the slave and the owner was a matter
  at once of delicacy and danger. It was the first time he had ever
  stood between a slave-owner and the public prosecutor, and his
  sensations were anything but pleasant. _This is an entirely
  different case from homicide between equals in society._
  Subordination is indispensable where slavery exists; and in this
  there is no new principle involved. The same principle prevails in
  every country; on shipboard and in the army a large discretion is
  always left to the superior. Charges by inferiors against their
  superiors were always to be viewed with great circumspection at
  least, and especially when the latter are charged with cruelty or
  crime against subordinates. In the relation of owner and slave there
  is an absence of the usual motives for murder, and strong
  inducements against it on the part of the former. Life is usually
  taken from avarice or passion. The master gains nothing, but loses
  much, by the death of his slave; and when he takes the life of the
  latter deliberately, there must be more than ordinary malice to
  instigate the deed. The policy of altering the old law of 1740,
  which punished the killing of a slave with fine and political
  disfranchisement, was more than doubtful. It was the law of our
  colonial ancestors; it conformed to their policy and was approved by
  their wisdom, and it continued undisturbed by their posterity until
  the year 1821. It was engrafted on our policy in counteraction of
  the schemes and machinations, or in deference to the clamors, of
  those who formed plans for our improvement, although not interested
  in nor understanding our institutions, and whose interference led to
  the tragedy of 1822. He here adverted to the views of Chancellor
  Harper on this subject, who, in his able and philosophical memoir on
  slavery, said: “It is a somewhat singular fact, that when there
  existed in our state no law for punishing the murder of a slave,
  other than a pecuniary fine, there were, I will venture to say, at
  least ten murders of freemen for one murder of a slave. Yet it is
  supposed that they are less protected than their masters.” “The
  change was made in subserviency to the opinions and clamor of
  others, who were utterly incompetent to form an opinion on the
  subject; and a wise act is seldom the result of legislation in this
  spirit. From the fact I have stated, it is plain they need less
  protection. Juries are, therefore, less willing to convict, and it
  may sometimes happen that the guilty will escape all punishment.
  _Security_ is one of the compensations of their humble position. We
  challenge the comparison, that with us there have been fewer murders
  of slaves than of parents, children, apprentices, and other murders,
  cruel and unnatural, in society where slavery does not exist.”

  Such was the opinion of Chancellor Harper on this subject, who had
  profoundly studied it, and whose views had been extensively read on
  this continent and in Europe. Fortunately, the jury, he said, were
  of the country, acquainted with our policy and practice; composed of
  men too independent and honorable to be led astray by the noise and
  clamor out of doors. All was now as it should be;—at least, a court
  of justice had assembled, to which his client had fled for refuge
  and safety; its threshold was sacred; no profane clamors entered
  there; but legal investigation was had of facts, derived from the
  testimony of sworn witnesses; and this should teach the community to
  shut their bosoms against sickly humanity, and their ears to
  imaginary tales of blood and horror, the food of a depraved
  appetite. _He warned the jury that they were to listen to no
  testimony but that of free white persons, given on oath in open
  court._ They were to _imagine_ none that came not from them. It was
  for this that they were selected,—their intelligence putting them
  beyond the influence of unfounded accusations, unsustained by legal
  proof; of legends of aggravated cruelty, founded on the evidence of
  negroes, and arising from weak and wicked falsehoods. Were slaves
  permitted to testify against their owner, it would cut the cord that
  unites them in peace and harmony, and enable them to sacrifice their
  masters to their ill will or revenge. Whole crews had been often
  leagued to charge captains of vessels with foulest murder, but
  judicial trial had exposed the falsehood. Truth has been distorted
  in this case, and murder manufactured out of what was nothing more
  than _ordinary domestic discipline_. Chastisement must be inflicted
  until subordination is produced; and the extent of the punishment is
  not to be judged of by one’s neighbors, but by himself. The event in
  this case has been unfortunate and sad; but there was no motive for
  the taking of life. There is no pecuniary interest in the owner to
  destroy his slave; the murder of his slave can only happen from
  ferocious passions of the master, filling his own bosom with anguish
  and contrition. This case has no other basis but unfounded rumor,
  commonly believed, _on evidence that will not venture here_, the
  offspring of that passion and depravity which make up falsehood. The
  hope of freedom, of change of owners, revenge, are all motives with
  slave witnesses to malign their owners; and to credit such testimony
  would be to dissolve human society. Where deliberate, wilful, and
  malicious murder is done, whether by male or female, the retribution
  of the law is a debt to God and man; but the jury should beware lest
  it fall upon the innocent. The offence charged was not strictly
  murder at common law. The act of 1740 was founded on the practical
  good sense of our old planters, and its spirit still prevails. The
  act of 1821 is, by its terms, an act only to increase the punishment
  of persons convicted of murdering a slave,—_and this is a refinement
  in humanity of doubtful policy_. But, by the act of 1821, the murder
  must be wilful, deliberate and malicious; and, when punishment is
  due to the slave, the master must not be held to strict account for
  going _an inch beyond the mark_; whether for doing so he shall be a
  felon, is a question for the jury to solve. The master must conquer
  a refractory slave; and deliberation, so as to render clear the
  existence of malice, is necessary to bring the master within the
  provision of the act. He bade the jury remember the words of Him who
  spake as never man spake,—“_Let him that has never sinned throw the
  first stone_.” _They, as masters, might regret excesses to which
  they have themselves carried punishment._ He was not at all
  surprised at the course of the attorney-general; it was his wont to
  treat every case with perfect fairness. He (Colonel H.) agreed that
  the inquiry should be—

  1. Into the fact of the death.

  2. The character or motive of the act.

  The examination of the prisoner showed conclusively that the slave
  died a natural death, and not from personal violence. She was
  chastised with a lawful weapon,—was in weak health, nervous, made
  angry by her punishment,—excited. The story was then a plain one;
  the community had been misled by the creations of imagination, or
  the statements of interested slaves. The negro came into her
  mistress’ chamber; fell on the floor; medicine was given her; it was
  supposed she was asleep, but she slept the sleep of death. To show
  the wisdom and policy of the old act of 1740 (this indictment is
  under both acts,—the punishment only altered by that of 1821), he
  urged that a case like this was not murder at common law; nor is the
  same evidence applicable at common law. There, murder was presumed
  from killing; not so in the case of a slave. The act of 1740 permits
  a master, when his slave is killed in his presence, there being no
  other white person present, to exculpate himself by his own oath;
  and this exculpation is complete, unless clearly contravened by the
  evidence of two white witnesses. This is exactly what the prisoner
  has done; she has, as the law permits, by calling on God, exculpated
  herself. And her oath is good, at least against the slander of her
  own slaves. Which, then, should prevail, the clamors of others, or
  the policy of the law established by our colonial ancestors? There
  would not be a tittle of positive evidence against the prisoner,
  nothing but circumstantial evidence; and ingenious combination might
  be made to lead to any conclusion. Justice was all that his client
  asked. She appealed to liberal and high-minded men,—and she rejoiced
  in the privilege of doing so,—to accord her that justice they would
  demand for themselves.

  Mr. Deveaux was not cross-examined.

                          _Evidence resumed._

  _Dr. E. W. North_ sworn.—(Cautioned by attorney-general to avoid
  hearsay evidence.) Was the family physician of Mrs. Rowand. Went on
  the 6th January, at Mrs. Rowand’s request, to see her at her
  mother’s, in Logan-street; found her down stairs, in sitting-room.
  She was in a nervous and excited state; had been so for a month
  before; he had attended her; she said nothing to witness of slave
  Maria; found Maria in a chamber, up stairs, about one o’clock, P.
  M.; she was dead; she appeared to have been dead about an hour and a
  half; his attention was attracted to a piece of pine wood on a trunk
  or table in the room; it had a large knot on one end; had it been
  used on Maria, it must have caused considerable contusion; other
  pieces of wood were in a box, and much smaller ones; the corpse was
  lying one side in the chamber; it was not laid out; presumed she
  died there; the marks on the body were, to witness’ view, very
  slight; some scratches about the face; he purposely avoided making
  an examination; observed no injuries about the head; had no
  conversation with Mrs. Rowand about Maria; left the house; it was on
  the 6th January last,—the day before the inquest; knew the slave
  before, but had never attended her.

  _Cross-examined._—Mrs. Rowand was in feeble health, and nervous; the
  slave Maria was weak and emaciated in appearance; sudden death of
  such a person, in such a state, from apoplexy or action of nervous
  system, not unlikely; her sudden death would not imply violence; had
  prescribed asafœtida for Mrs. Rowand on a former visit; it is an
  appropriate remedy for nervous disorders. Mrs. Rowand was not of
  bodily strength to handle the pine knot so as to give a severe blow;
  Mrs. Rowand has five or six children, the elder of them large enough
  to have carried pieces of the wood about the room; there must have
  been a severe contusion, and much extravasation of blood, to infer
  death from violence in this case; apoplexy is frequently attended
  with extravasation of blood; there were two Marias in the family.

  _In reply._—Mrs. Rowand could have raised the pine knot, but could
  not have struck a blow with it; such a piece of wood could have
  produced death, but it would have left its mark; saw the fellow
  Richard; he was quite capable of giving such a blow.

  _Dr. Peter Porcher._—Was called in by the Coroner’s jury to examine
  Maria’s body; found it in the wash-kitchen; it was the corpse of one
  feeble and emaciated; partly prepared for burial; had the clothes
  removed; the body was lacerated with stripes; abrasions about face
  and knuckles; skin knocked off; passed his hand over the head; no
  bone broken; on request, opened her thorax, and examined the
  viscera; found them healthy; heart unusually so for one of her age;
  no particular odor; some undigested food; no inflammation; removed
  the scalp, and found considerable extravasation between scalp and
  skull; scalp bloodshot; just under the scalp, found the effects of a
  single blow, just over the right ear; after removing the scalp,
  lifted the bone; no rupture of any blood-vessel; some softening of
  the brain in the upper hemisphere; there was considerable
  extravasation under the scalp, the result of a succession of blows
  on the top of the head; this extravasation was general, but that
  over the ear was a single spot; the butt-end of a cowhide would have
  sufficed for this purpose; an ordinary stick, a heavy one, would
  have done it; a succession of blows on the head, in a feeble woman,
  would lead to death, when, in a stronger one, it would not; saw no
  other appearance about her person, to account for her death, except
  those blows.

  _Cross-examined._—To a patient in this woman’s condition, the blows
  would probably cause death; they were not such as were calculated to
  kill an ordinary person; witness saw the body twenty-four hours
  after her death; it was winter, and bitter cold; no disorganization,
  and the examination was therefore to be relied on; the blow behind
  the ear might have resulted from a fall, but not the blow on the top
  of the head, unless she fell head foremost; came to the conclusion
  of a succession of blows, from the extent of the extravasation; a
  single blow would have shown a distinct spot, with a gradual
  spreading or diffusion; one large blow could not account for it, as
  the head was spherical; no blood on the brain; the softening of the
  brain did not amount to much; in an ordinary dissection would have
  passed it over; anger sometimes produces apoplexy, which results in
  death; blood between the scalp and the bone of the skull; it was
  evidently a fresh extravasation; twenty-four hours would scarcely
  have made any change; knew nothing of this negro before; even after
  examination, the cause of death is sometimes inscrutable,—not usual,

  _In reply._—Does not attribute the softening of the brain to the
  blows; it was slight, and might have been the result of age; it was
  some evidence of impairment of vital powers by advancing age.

  _Dr. A. P. Hayne._—At request of the coroner, acted with Dr.
  Porcher; was shown into an outhouse; saw on the back of the corpse
  evidences of contusion; arms swollen and enlarged; laceration of
  body; contusions on head and neck; between scalp and skull
  extravasation of blood, on the top of head, and behind the right
  ear; a burn on the hand; the brain presented healthy appearance;
  opened the body, and no evidences of disease in the chest or
  viscera; attributed the extravasation of blood to external injury
  from blows,—blows from a large and broad and blunt instrument;
  attributes the death to those blows; supposes they were adequate to
  cause death, as she was old, weak and emaciated.

  _Cross-examined._—Would not have caused death in a young and robust

                  *       *       *       *       *

  The evidence for the prosecution here closed, and no witnesses were
  called for the defence.

  The jury were then successively addressed, ably and eloquently, by
  J. L. Petigru and James S. Rhett, Esqrs., on behalf of the prisoner,
  and H. Bailey, Esq., on behalf of the state, and by B. F. Hunt,
  Esq., in reply. Of those speeches, and also of the judge’s charge,
  we have taken full notes, but have neither time nor space to insert
  them here.

  His Honor, Judge O’Neall, then charged the jury eloquently and ably
  on the facts, vindicating the existing law, making death the penalty
  for the murder of a slave; but, on the law, intimated to the jury
  that he held the act of 1740 so far still in force as to admit of
  the prisoner’s exculpation by her own oath, unless clearly disproved
  by the oaths of two witnesses; and that they were, therefore, in his
  opinion, bound to acquit,—although he left it to them, wholly, to
  say whether the prisoner was guilty of murder, killing in sudden
  heat and passion, or not guilty.

  The jury then retired, and, in about twenty or thirty minutes,
  returned with a verdict of “Not Guilty.”

There are some points which appear in this statement of the trial,
especially in the plea for the defence. Particular attention is called
to the following passage:

  “Fortunately,” said the lawyer, “the jury were of the
  country;—acquainted with our policy and practice; composed of men
  too honorable to be led astray by the _noise and clamor out of
  doors_. All was now as it should be; at least, a court of justice
  had assembled to which his client had fled for refuge and safety;
  its threshold was sacred; _no profane clamors entered there_; but
  legal investigation was had of facts.”

From this it plainly appears that the case was a notorious one; so
notorious and atrocious as to break through all the apathy which
slave-holding institutions tend to produce, and to surround the
court-house with noise and clamor.

From another intimation in the same speech, it would appear that there
was abundant testimony of slaves to the direct fact,—testimony which
left no kind of doubt on the popular mind. Why else does he thus
earnestly warn the jury?

  He warned the jury that they were to listen to no evidence but that
  of free white persons, given on oath in open court; they were to
  imagine none that came not from them. It was for this that they were
  selected;—their intelligence putting them beyond the influence of
  unfounded accusations, unsustained by legal proof; of legends of
  aggravated cruelty, founded on the evidence of negroes, and arising
  from weak and wicked falsehoods.

See also this remarkable admission:—“Truth had been distorted in this
case, and murder manufactured out of what was nothing more than ORDINARY
DOMESTIC DISCIPLINE.” If the reader refers to the testimony, he will
find it testified that the woman appeared to be about sixty years old;
that she was much emaciated; that there had been a succession of blows
on the top of her head, and one violent one over the ear; and that, in
the opinion of a surgeon, these blows were sufficient to cause death.
Yet the lawyer for the defence coolly remarks that “murder had been
_manufactured_ out of what was _ordinary domestic discipline_.” Are we
to understand that beating feeble old women on the head, in this manner,
is a specimen of _ordinary domestic discipline_ in Charleston? What
would have been said if any anti-slavery newspaper at the North had made
such an assertion as this? Yet the _Charleston Courier_ reports this
statement without comment or denial. But let us hear the lady’s lawyer
go still further in vindication of this ordinary domestic discipline:
“Chastisement must be inflicted until subordination is produced; and the
extent of the punishment is not to be judged by one’s neighbors, but by
himself. The event, IN THIS CASE, has been unfortunate and sad.” The
lawyer admits that the result of thumping a feeble old woman on the head
has, _in this case_, been “unfortunate and sad.” The old thing had not
strength to bear it, and had no greater regard for the convenience of
the family, and the reputation of “the institution,” than to die, and so
get the family and the community generally into trouble. It will appear
from this that in most cases where old women are thumped on the head
they have stronger constitutions—or more consideration.

Again he says, “When punishment is due to the slave, the master must not
be held to strict account _for going an inch beyond the mark_.” And
finally, and most astounding of all, comes this: “_He bade the jury
remember the words of him who spake as never man spake_,—‘LET HIM THAT
HATH NEVER SINNED THROW THE FIRST STONE.’ They, as masters, might regret
excesses to which they themselves might have carried punishment.”

What sort of an insinuation is this? Did he mean to say that almost all
the jurymen had probably done things of the same sort, and therefore
could have nothing to say in this case? and did no member of the jury
get up and resent such a charge? From all that appears, the jury
acquiesced in it as quite a matter of course; and the _Charleston
Courier_ quotes it without comment, in the record of a trial which it
says “will show to the world HOW the law extends the ægis of her
protection alike over the white man and the humblest slave.”

Lastly, notice the decision of the judge, which has become law in South
Carolina. What point does it establish? That the simple oath of the
master, in face of all circumstantial evidence to the contrary, may
clear him, when the murder of a slave is the question. And this trial is
paraded as a triumphant specimen of legal impartiality and equity! “If
the _light_ that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

                             CHAPTER VIII.
                          THE GOOD OLD TIMES.

            “A refinement in humanity of doubtful policy.”

                                                B. F. HUNT.

The author takes no pleasure in presenting to her readers the shocking
details of the following case. But it seems necessary to exhibit what
were the actual workings of the ancient law of South Carolina, which has
been characterized as one “conformed to the policy, and approved by the
wisdom,” of the fathers of that state, and the reform of which has been
called “a refinement in humanity of doubtful policy.”

It is well, also, to add the charge of Judge Wilds, partly for its
intrinsic literary merit, and the nobleness of its sentiments, but
principally because it exhibits such a contrast as could scarcely be
found elsewhere, between the judge’s high and indignant sense of
justice, and the shameful impotence and imbecility of the laws under
which he acted.

The case was brought to the author’s knowledge by a letter from a
gentleman of Pennsylvania, from which the following is an extract:

  Some time between the years 1807 and 1810, there was lying in the
  harbor of Charleston a ship commanded by a man named Slater. His
  crew were slaves: one of them committed some offence, not specified
  in the narrative. The captain ordered him to be bound and laid upon
  the deck; and there, in the harbor of Charleston, in the broad
  daylight, compelled another slave-sailor to chop off his head. The
  affair was public—notorious. A prosecution was commenced against
  him; the offence was proved beyond all doubt,—perhaps, indeed, it
  was not denied,—and the judge, in a most eloquent charge or rebuke
  of the defendant, expressed his sincere regret that he could inflict
  no punishment, under the laws of the state.

  I was studying law when the case was published in “Hall’s American
  Law Journal, vol. I.” I have not seen the book for twenty-five or
  thirty years. I may be in error as to names, &c., but while I have
  life and my senses the facts of the case cannot be forgotten.

The following is the “charge” alluded to in the above letter. It was
pronounced by the Honorable Judge Wilds, of South Carolina, and is
copied from Hall’s Law Journal, I. 67.

  John Slater! You have been convicted by a jury of your country of
  the wilful murder of your own slave; and I am sorry to say, the
  short, impressive, uncontradicted testimony, on which that
  conviction was founded, leaves but too little room to doubt its

  The annals of human depravity might be safely challenged for a
  parallel to this unfeeling, bloody and diabolical transaction.

  You caused your unoffending, unresisting slave to be bound hand and
  foot, and, by a refinement in cruelty, compelled his companion,
  perhaps the friend of his heart, to chop his head with an axe, and
  to cast his body, yet convulsing with the agonies of death, into the
  water! And this deed you dared to perpetrate in the very harbor of
  Charleston, within a few yards of the shore, unblushingly, in the
  face of open day. Had your murderous arm been raised against your
  equals, whom the laws of self-defence and the more efficacious law
  of the land unite to protect, your crimes would not have been
  without precedent, and would have seemed less horrid. Your personal
  risk would at least have proved, that though a murderer, you were
  not a coward. But you too well knew that this unfortunate man, whom
  chance had subjected to your caprice, had not, like yourself,
  chartered to him by the laws of the land the sacred rights of
  nature; and that a stern, but necessary policy, had disarmed him of
  the rights of self-defence. Too well you knew that to you alone he
  could look for protection; and that your arm alone could shield him
  from oppression, or avenge his wrongs; yet, that arm you cruelly
  stretched out for his destruction.

  The counsel, who generously volunteered his services in your behalf,
  shocked at the enormity of your offence, endeavored to find a
  refuge, as well for his own feelings as for those of all who heard
  your trial, in a derangement of your intellect. Several witnesses
  were examined to establish this fact; but the result of their
  testimony, it is apprehended, was as little satisfactory to his
  mind, as to those of the jury to whom it was addressed. I sincerely
  wish this defence had proved successful, not from any desire to save
  you from the punishment which awaits you, and which you so richly
  merit, but from the desire of saving my country from the foul
  reproach of having in its bosom so great a monster.

  From the peculiar situation of this country, our fathers felt
  themselves justified in subjecting to a very slight punishment him
  who murders a slave. Whether the present state of society require a
  continuation of this policy, so opposite to the apparent rights of
  humanity, it remains for a subsequent legislature to decide. Their
  attention would ere this have been directed to this subject, but,
  for the honor of human nature, such hardened sinners as yourself are
  rarely found, to disturb the repose of society. The grand jury of
  this district, deeply impressed with your daring outrage against the
  laws both of God and man, have made a very strong expression of
  their feelings on the subject to the legislature; and, from the
  wisdom and justice of that body, the friends of humanity may
  confidently hope soon to see this blackest in the catalogue of human
  crimes pursued by appropriate punishment.

  In proceeding to pass the sentence which the law provides for your
  offence, I confess I never felt more forcibly the want of power to
  make respected the laws of my country, whose minister I am. You have
  already violated the majesty of those laws. You have profanely
  pleaded the law under which you stand convicted, as a justification
  of your crime. You have held that law in one hand, and brandished
  your bloody axe in the other, impiously contending that the _one_
  gave a license to the unrestrained use of the _other_.

  But, though you will go off unhurt in person, by the present
  sentence, expect not to escape with impunity. Your bloody deed has
  set a mark upon you, which I fear the good actions of your future
  life will not efface. You will be held in abhorrence by an impartial
  world, and shunned as a monster by every honest man. Your
  unoffending posterity will be visited, for your iniquity, by the
  stigma of deriving their origin from an unfeeling murderer. Your
  days, which will be but few, will be spent in wretchedness; and, if
  your conscience be not steeled against every virtuous emotion, if
  you be not entirely abandoned to hardness of heart, the mangled,
  mutilated corpse of your murdered slave will ever be present in your
  imagination, obtrude itself into all your amusements, and haunt you
  in the hours of silence and repose.

  But, should you disregard the reproaches of an offended world,
  should you hear with callous insensibility the gnawings of a guilty
  conscience, yet remember, I charge you, remember, that an awful
  period is fast approaching, and with you is close at hand, when you
  must appear before a tribunal whose want of power can afford you no
  prospect of impunity; when you must raise your bloody hands at the
  bar of an impartial omniscient Judge! Remember, I pray you,
  remember, whilst yet you have time, that God is just, and that his
  vengeance will not sleep forever!

The penalty that followed this solemn denunciation was a fine of _seven
hundred pounds_, current money, or, in default of payment, imprisonment
for seven years.

And yet it seems that there have not been wanting those who consider the
reform of this law “_a refinement in humanity of doubtful policy_”! To
this sentiment, so high an authority as that of Chancellor Harper is
quoted, as the reader will see by referring to the speech of Mr. Hunt,
in the last chapter. And, as is very common in such cases, the old law
is vindicated, as being, on the whole, a surer protection to the life of
the slave than the new one. From the results of the last two trials,
there would seem to be a fair show of plausibility in the argument. For
under the old law it seems that Slater had at least to pay seven hundred
pounds, while under the new Eliza Rowand comes off with only the penalty
of “a most sifting scrutiny.”

Thus, it appears, the penalty of the law goes with the murderer of the

How is it executed in the cases which concern the life of the master?
Look at this short notice of a recent trial of this kind, which is given
in the _Alexandria_ (Va.) _Gazette_, of Oct. 23, 1852, as an extract
from the _Charlestown_ (Va.) _Free Press_.

                         TRIAL OF NEGRO HENRY.

  The trial of this slave for an attack, with intent to kill, on the
  person of Mr. Harrison Anderson, was commenced on Monday and
  concluded on Tuesday evening. His Honor, Braxton Davenport, Esq.,
  chief justice of the county, with four associate gentlemen justices,
  composed the court.

  The commonwealth was represented by its attorney, Charles B.
  Harding, Esq., and the accused ably and eloquently defended by Wm.
  C. Worthington and John A. Thompson, Esqs. The evidence of the
  prisoner’s guilt was conclusive. A majority of the court thought
  that he ought to suffer the extreme penalty of the law; but, as this
  required a unanimous agreement, he was sentenced to receive five
  hundred lashes, not more than thirty-nine at one time. The physician
  of the jail was instructed to see that they should not be
  administered too frequently, and only when, in his opinion, he could
  bear them.

In another paper we are told that the _Free Press_ says:

  A majority of the court thought that he ought to suffer the extreme
  penalty of the law; but, as this required a unanimous agreement, he
  was sentenced to receive five hundred lashes, not more than
  thirty-nine at any one time. The physician of the jail was
  instructed to see that they should not be administered too
  frequently, and _only_ when, in his opinion, he could bear them.
  This _may seem_ to be a harsh and inhuman punishment; but, when we
  take into consideration that it is in accordance with the _law of
  the land_, and the further fact that the insubordination among the
  slaves of that state has become truly alarming, we cannot question
  the righteousness of the judgment.

Will anybody say that the master’s life is in more danger from the slave
than the slave’s from the master, that this disproportionate retribution
is meted out? Those who countenance such legislation will do well to
ponder the solemn words of an ancient book, inspired by One who is no
respecter of persons:

     “If I have refused justice to my man-servant or maid-servant,
     When they had a cause with me,
     What shall I do when God riseth up?
     And when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?
     Did not he that made me in the womb make him?
     Did not the same God fashion us in the womb?”

                                         JOB 31:13–15.

                              CHAPTER IX.

The author remarks that the record of the following trial was read by
her a little time before writing the account of the death of Uncle Tom.
The shocking particulars haunted her mind and were in her thoughts when
the following sentence was written:

  What man has nerve to do, man has not nerve to hear. What brother
  man and brother Christian must suffer, cannot be told us, even in
  our secret chamber, it so harrows up the soul. And yet, O my
  country, these things are done under the shadow of thy laws! O
  Christ, thy church sees them almost in silence!

It is given precisely as prepared by Dr. G. Bailey, the very liberal and
fair-minded editor of the National Era.

  _From the National Era, Washington, November 6, 1851._


  Some time since, the newspapers of Virginia contained an account of
  a horrible tragedy, enacted in Clarke County, of that state. A slave
  of Colonel James Castleman, it was stated, had been chained by the
  neck, and whipped to death by his master, on the charge of stealing.
  The whole neighborhood in which the transaction occurred was
  incensed; the Virginia papers abounded in denunciations of the cruel
  act; and the people of the North were called upon to bear witness to
  the justice which would surely be meted out in a slave state to the
  master of a slave. We did not publish the account. The case was
  horrible; it was, we were confident, exceptional; it should not be
  taken as evidence of the general treatment of slaves; we chose to
  delay any notice of it till the courts should pronounce their
  judgment, and we could announce at once the crime and its
  punishment, so that the state might stand acquitted of the foul

  Those who were so shocked at the transaction will be surprised and
  mortified to hear that the actors in it have been tried and
  _acquitted_; and when they read the following account of the trial
  and verdict, published at the instance of the friends of the
  accused, their mortification will deepen into bitter indignation:

                   _From the “Spirit of Jefferson.”_

  “COLONEL JAMES CASTLEMAN.—The following statement, understood to
  have been drawn up by counsel, since the trial, has been placed by
  the friends of this gentleman in our hands for publication:

  “At the Circuit Superior Court of Clarke County, commencing on the
  13th of October, Judge Samuels presiding, James Castleman and his
  son Stephen D. Castleman were indicted jointly for the murder of
  negro Lewis, property of the latter. By advice of their counsel, the
  parties elected to be tried separately, and the attorney for the
  commonwealth directed that James Castleman should be tried first.

  “It was proved, on this trial, that for many months previous to the
  occurrence the money-drawer of the tavern kept by Stephen D.
  Castleman, and the liquors kept in large quantities in his cellar,
  had been pillaged from time to time, until the thefts had attained
  to a considerable amount. Suspicion had, from various causes, been
  directed to Lewis, and another negro, named Reuben (a blacksmith),
  the property of James Castleman; but by the aid of two of the
  house-servants they had eluded the most vigilant watch.

  “On the 20th of August last, in the afternoon, S. D. Castleman
  accidentally discovered a clue, by means of which, and through one
  of the house-servants implicated, he was enabled fully to detect the
  depredators, and to ascertain the manner in which the theft had been
  committed. He immediately sent for his father, living near him, and
  after communicating what he had discovered, it was determined that
  the offenders should be punished at once, and before they should
  know of the discovery that had been made.

  “Lewis was punished first; and in a manner, as was fully shown, to
  preclude all risk of injury to his person, by stripes with a broad
  leathern strap. He was punished severely, but to an extent by no
  means disproportionate to his offence; nor was it pretended, in any
  quarter, that this punishment implicated either his life or health.
  He confessed the offence, and admitted that it had been effected by
  false keys, furnished by the blacksmith, Reuben.

  “The latter servant was punished immediately afterwards. It was
  believed that he was the principal offender, and he was found to be
  more obdurate and contumacious than Lewis had been in reference to
  the offence. Thus it was proved, both by the prosecution and the
  defence, that he was punished with greater severity than his
  accomplice. It resulted in a like confession on his part, and he
  produced the false key, one fashioned by himself, by which the theft
  had been effected.

  “It was further shown, on the trial, that Lewis was whipped in the
  upper room of a warehouse, connected with Stephen Castleman’s store,
  and near the public road, where he was at work at the time; that
  after he had been flogged, to secure his person, whilst they went
  after Reuben, he was confined by a chain around his neck, which was
  attached to a joist above his head. The length of this chain, the
  breadth and thickness of the joist, its height from the floor, and
  the circlet of chain on the neck, were accurately measured; and it
  was thus shown that the chain unoccupied by the circlet and the
  joist was a foot and a half longer than the space between the
  shoulders of the man and the joist above, or to that extent the
  chain hung loose above him; that the circlet (which was fastened so
  as to prevent its contraction) rested on the shoulders and breast,
  the chain being sufficiently drawn only to prevent being slipped
  over his head, and that there was no other place in the room to
  which he could be fastened, except to one of the joists above. His
  hands were tied in front; a white man, who had been at work with
  Lewis during the day, was left with him by the Messrs. Castleman,
  the better to insure his detention, whilst they were absent after
  Reuben. It was proved by this man (who was a witness for the
  prosecution) that Lewis asked for a box to stand on, or for
  something that he could jump off from; that after the Castlemans had
  left him he expressed a fear that when they came back he would be
  whipped again; and said, if he had a knife, and could get one hand
  loose, he would cut his throat. The witness stated that the negro
  ‘stood firm on his feet,’ that he could turn freely in whatever
  direction he wished, and that he made no complaint of the mode of
  his confinement. This man stated that he remained with Lewis about
  half an hour, and then left there to go home.

  “After punishing Reuben, the Castlemans returned to the warehouse,
  bringing him with them; their object being to confront the two men,
  in the hope that by further examination of them jointly all their
  accomplices might be detected.

  “They were not absent more than half an hour. When they entered the
  room above, Lewis was found hanging by the neck, his feet thrown
  behind him, his knees a few inches from the floor, and his head
  thrown forward—the body warm and supple (or relaxed), but life was

  “It was proved by the surgeons who made a post-mortem examination
  before the coroner’s inquest that the death was caused by
  strangulation by hanging; and other eminent surgeons were examined
  to show, from the appearance of the brain and its blood-vessels
  after death (as exhibited at the post-mortem examination), that the
  subject could not have fainted before strangulation.

  “After the evidence was finished on both sides, the jury from their
  box, and of their own motion, without a word from counsel on either
  side, informed the court that they had agreed upon their verdict.
  The counsel assented to its being thus received, and a verdict of
  “_not guilty_” was immediately rendered. The attorney for the
  commonwealth then informed the court that all the evidence for the
  prosecution had been laid before the jury; and as no new evidence
  could be offered on the trial of Stephen D. Castleman, he submitted
  to the court the propriety of entering a _nolle prosequi_. The judge
  replied that the case had been fully and fairly laid before the jury
  upon the evidence; that the court was not only satisfied with the
  verdict, but, if any other had been rendered, it must have been set
  aside; and that if no further evidence was to be adduced on the
  trial of Stephen, the attorney for the commonwealth would exercise a
  proper discretion in entering a _nolle prosequi_ as to him, and the
  court would approve its being done. A _nolle prosequi_ was entered
  accordingly, and both gentlemen discharged.

  “It may be added that two days were consumed in exhibiting the
  evidence, and that the trial was by a jury of Clarke County. Both
  the parties had been on bail from the time of their arrest, and were
  continued on bail whilst the trial was depending.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Let us admit that the evidence does not prove the legal crime of
  homicide: what candid man can doubt, after reading this _ex parte_
  version of it, that the slave died in consequence of the punishment
  inflicted upon him?

  In criminal prosecutions the federal constitution guarantees to the
  accused the right to a public trial by an impartial jury; the right
  to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be
  confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory
  process for obtaining witness in his favor; and to have the
  assistance of counsel; guarantees necessary to secure innocence
  against hasty or vindictive judgment,—absolutely necessary to
  prevent injustice. Grant that they were not intended for slaves;
  every master of a slave must feel that they are still morally
  binding upon him. He is the sole judge; he alone determines the
  offence, the proof requisite to establish it, and the amount of the
  punishment. The slave then has a peculiar claim upon him for
  justice. When charged with a crime, common humanity requires that he
  should be informed of it, that he should be confronted with the
  witnesses against him, that he should be permitted to show evidence
  in favor of his innocence.

  But how was poor Lewis treated? The son of Castleman said he had
  discovered who stole the money; and it was forthwith “determined
  that the offenders should be punished at once, and _before they
  should know of the discovery that had been made_.” Punished without
  a hearing! Punished on the testimony of a house-servant, the nature
  of which does not appear to have been inquired into by the court!
  Not a word is said which authorizes the belief that any careful
  examination was made, as it respects their guilt. Lewis and Reuben
  were assumed, on loose evidence, without deliberate investigation,
  to be guilty; and then, without allowing them to attempt to show
  their evidence, they were whipped, until a confession of guilt was
  extorted by bodily pain.

  Is this Virginia justice?

  Lewis was punished with “a _broad leathern strap_,”—he was “punished
  severely:” this we do not need to be told. A “broad leathern strap”
  is well adapted to severity of punishment. “Nor was it pretended,”
  the account says, “in any quarter, that this punishment implicated
  either his life or his health.” This is false; it was expressly
  stated in the newspaper accounts at the time, and such was the
  general impression in the neighborhood, that the punishment did very
  severely implicate his life. But more of this anon.

  Lewis was left. A chain was fastened around his neck, so as not to
  choke him, and secured to the joist above, leaving a slack of about
  a foot and a half. Remaining in an upright position, he was secure
  against strangulation, but he could neither sit nor kneel; and
  should he faint, he would be choked to death. The account says that
  they fastened him thus for the purpose of securing him. If this had
  been the sole object, it could have been accomplished by safer and
  less cruel methods, as every reader must know. This mode of securing
  him was intended probably to intimidate him, and, at the same time,
  afforded some gratification to the vindictive feeling which
  controlled the actors in this foul transaction. The man whom they
  left to watch Lewis said that, after remaining there about half an
  hour, he went home; and Lewis was then alive. The Castlemans say
  that, after punishing Reuben, they returned, having been absent not
  more than half an hour, and they found him hanging by the neck,
  dead. We direct attention to this part of the testimony, to show how
  loose the statements were which went to make up the evidence.

  Why was Lewis chained at all, and a man left to watch him? “To
  secure him,” say the Castlemans. Is it customary to chain slaves in
  this manner, and set a watch over them, after severe punishment, to
  prevent their running away? If the punishment of Lewis had not been
  unusual, and if he had not been threatened with another infliction
  on their return, there would have been no necessity for chaining

  The testimony of the man left to watch represents him as desperate,
  apparently, with pain and fright. “Lewis asked for a box to stand
  on:” why? Was he not suffering from pain and exhaustion, and did he
  not wish to rest himself, without danger of slow strangulation?
  Again: he asked for “something he could jump off from;” “after the
  Castlemans left, he expressed a fear when they came back that he
  would be whipped again; and said, if he had a knife, and could get
  one hand loose, he would cut his throat.”

  The punishment that could drive him to such desperation must have
  been horrible.

  How long they were absent we know not, for the testimony on this
  point is contradictory. They found him hanging by the neck, dead,
  “his feet thrown behind him, his knees a few inches from the floor,
  and his head thrown forward,”—just the position he would naturally
  fall into, had he sunk from exhaustion. They wish it to appear that
  he hung himself. Could this be proved (we need hardly say that it is
  not), it would relieve but slightly the dark picture of their guilt.
  The probability is that he sank, exhausted by suffering, fatigue and
  fear. As to the testimony of “surgeons,” founded upon a post-mortem
  examination of the brain and blood-vessels, “that the subject could
  not have fainted before strangulation,” it is not worthy of
  consideration. We know something of the fallacies and fooleries of
  such examinations.

  From all we can learn, the only evidence relied on by the
  prosecution was that white man employed by the Castlemans. He was
  dependent upon them for work. Other evidence might have been
  obtained; why it was not is for the prosecuting attorney to explain.
  To prove what we say, and to show that justice has not been done in
  this horrible affair, we publish the following communication from an
  old and highly-respectable citizen of this place, and who is very
  far from being an Abolitionist. The slave-holders whom he mentions
  are well known here, and would have promptly appeared in the case,
  had the prosecution, which was aware of their readiness, summoned

                  *       *       *       *       *

  “_To the Editor of the Era_:

  “I see that Castleman, who lately had a trial for whipping a slave
  to death, in Virginia, was ‘_triumphantly acquitted_,’—as many
  expected. There are three persons in this city, with whom I am
  acquainted, who staid at Castleman’s the same night in which this
  awful tragedy was enacted. They heard the dreadful lashing and the
  heart-rending screams and entreaties of the sufferer. They implored
  the only white man they could find on the premises, not engaged in
  the bloody work, to interpose; but for a long time he refused, on
  the ground that he was a dependent, and was afraid to give offence;
  and that, moreover, they had been drinking, and he was in fear for
  his own life, should he say a word that would be displeasing to
  them. He did, however, venture, and returned and reported the cruel
  manner in which the slaves were chained, and lashed, and secured in
  a blacksmith’s vice. In the morning, when they ascertained that one
  of the slaves was dead, they were so shocked and indignant that they
  refused to eat in the house, and reproached Castleman with his
  cruelty. He expressed his regret that the slave had died, and
  especially as he had ascertained that he _was innocent_ of the
  accusation for which he had suffered. The idea was that he had
  fainted from exhaustion; and, the chain being round his neck, he was
  strangled. The persons I refer to are themselves slave-holders,—but
  their feelings were so harrowed and lacerated that they could not
  sleep (two of them are ladies); and for many nights afterwards their
  rest was disturbed, and their dreams made frightful, by the
  appalling recollection.

  “These persons would have been material witnesses, and would have
  willingly attended on the part of the prosecution. The knowledge
  they had of the case was communicated to the proper authorities, yet
  their attendance was not required. The only witness was that
  dependent who considered his own life in danger.

                                              “Yours, &c.,      J. F.”

  The account, as published by the friends of the accused parties,
  shows a case of extreme cruelty. The statements made by our
  correspondent prove that the truth has not been fully revealed, and
  that justice has been baffled. The result of the trial shows how
  irresponsible is the power of a master over his slave; and that
  whatever security the latter has is to be sought in the humanity of
  the former, not in the guarantees of law. Against the cruelty of an
  inhuman master he has really no safeguard.

  Our conduct in relation to this case, deferring all notice of it in
  our columns till a legal investigation could be had, shows that we
  are not disposed to be captious towards our slave-holding
  countrymen. In no unkind spirit have we examined this lamentable
  case; but we must expose the utter repugnance of the slave system to
  the proper administration of justice. The newspapers of Virginia
  generally publish the account from the _Spirit of Jefferson_,
  without comment. They are evidently not satisfied that justice was
  done; they doubtless will deny that the accused were guilty of
  homicide, legally; but they will not deny that they were guilty of
  an atrocity which should brand them forever, in a Christian country.

                               CHAPTER X.

From a review of all the legal cases which have hitherto been presented,
and of the principles established in the judicial decisions upon them,
the following facts must be apparent to the reader:

_First_, That masters do, now and then, kill slaves by the torture.

_Second_, That the fact of so killing a slave is not of itself held
presumption of murder, in slave jurisprudence.

_Third_, That the slave in the act of resistance to his master may
always be killed.

From these things it will be seen to follow, that, if the facts of the
death of Tom had been fully proved by two white witnesses, in open
court, Legree could not have been held by any _consistent_ interpreter
of slave-law to be a murderer; for Tom was in the act of resistance to
the will of his master. His master had laid a command on him, in the
presence of other slaves. Tom had deliberately refused to obey the
command. The master commenced chastisement, to reduce him to obedience.
And it is evident, at the first glance, to every one, that, if the law
does not sustain him in enforcing obedience in such a case, there is an
end of the whole slave power. No Southern court would dare to decide
that Legree did wrong to continue the punishment, as long as Tom
continued the insubordination. Legree stood by him every moment of the
time, pressing him to yield, and offering to let him go as soon as he
did yield. Tom’s resistance was _insurrection_. It was an example which
could not be allowed, for a moment, on any Southern plantation. By the
express words of the constitution of Georgia, and by the understanding
and usage of all slave-law, the power of life and death is always left
in the hands of the master, in exigences like this. This is not a case
like that of Souther v. The Commonwealth. The victim of Souther was not
in a state of resistance or insurrection. The punishment, in his case,
was a simple vengeance for a past offence, and not an attempt to reduce
him to subordination.

There is no principle of slave jurisprudence by which a man could be
pronounced a murderer, for acting as Legree did, in his circumstances.
Everybody must see that such an admission would strike at the
foundations of the slave system. To be sure, Tom was in a state of
insurrection for conscience’ sake. But the law does not, and cannot,
contemplate that the negro shall have a conscience independent of his
master’s. To allow that the negro may refuse to obey his master whenever
he thinks that obedience would be wrong, would be to produce universal
anarchy. If Tom had been allowed to disobey his master in this case, for
conscience’ sake, the next day Sambo would have had a case of
conscience, and Quimbo the next. Several of them might very justly have
thought that it was a sin to work as they did. The mulatto woman would
have remembered that the command of God forbade her to take another
husband. Mothers might have considered that it was more their duty to
stay at home and take care of their children, when they were young and
feeble, than to work for Mr. Legree in the cotton-field. There would be
no end to the havoc made upon cotton-growing operations, were the negro
allowed the right of maintaining his own conscience on moral subjects.
If the slave system is a right system, and ought to be maintained, Mr.
Legree ought not to be blamed for his conduct in this case; for he did
only what was absolutely essential to maintain the system; and Tom died
in fanatical and foolhardy resistance to “the powers that be, which are
ordained of God.” He followed a sentimental impulse of his desperately
depraved heart, and neglected those “solid teachings of the written
word,” which, as recently elucidated, have proved so refreshing to
eminent political men.

                              CHAPTER XI.
                    THE TRIUMPH OF JUSTICE OVER LAW.

Having been obliged to record so many trials in which justice has been
turned away backward by the hand of law, and equity and common humanity
have been kept out by the bolt and bar of logic, it is a relief to the
mind to find one recent trial recorded, in North Carolina, in which the
nobler feelings of the human heart have burst over formalized limits,
and where the prosecution appears to have been conducted by _men_, who
were not ashamed of possessing in their bosoms that very dangerous and
most illogical agitator, a human heart. It is true that, in giving this
trial, very sorrowful, but inevitable, inferences will force themselves
upon the mind, as to that state of public feeling which allowed such
outrages to be perpetrated in open daylight, in the capital of North
Carolina, upon a hapless woman. It would seem that the public were too
truly instructed in the awful doctrine pronounced by Judge Ruffin, that
“THE POWER OF THE MASTER MUST BE ABSOLUTE,” to think of interfering
while the poor creature was dragged, barefoot and bleeding, at a horse’s
neck, at the rate of five miles an hour, through the streets of Raleigh.
It seems, also, that the most horrible brutalities and enormities that
could be conceived of were _witnessed_, without any efficient
interference, by a number of the citizens, among whom we see the name of
the Hon. W. H. Haywood, of Raleigh. It is a comfort to find the
attorney-general, in this case, speaking as a man ought to speak.
Certainly there can be no occasion to wish to pervert or overstate the
dread workings of the slave system, or to leave out the few comforting
and encouraging features, however small the encouragement of them may

The case is now presented, as narrated from the published reports, by
Dr. Bailey, editor of the _National Era_; a man whose candor and
fairness need no indorsing, as every line that he writes speaks for

The reader may at first be surprised to find slave testimony in the
court, till he recollects that it is a slave that is on trial, the
testimony of slaves being only null when it concerns whites.

                         AN INTERESTING TRIAL.

  We find in one of the Raleigh (North Carolina) papers, of June 5,
  1851, a report of an interesting trial, at the spring term of the
  Superior Court. Mima, a slave, was indicted for the murder of her
  master, William Smith, of Johnston County, on the night of the 29th
  of November, 1850. The evidence for the prosecution was Sidney, a
  slave-boy, twelve years old, who testified that, in the night, he
  and a slave-girl, named Jane, were roused from sleep by the call of
  their master, Smith, who had returned home. They went out, and found
  Mima tied to his horse’s neck, with two ropes, one round her neck,
  the other round her hands. Deceased carried her into the house,
  jerking the rope fastened to her neck, and tied her to a post. He
  called for something to eat, threw her a piece of bread, and, after
  he had done, beat her on her naked back with a large piece of
  light-wood, giving her many hard blows. In a short time, deceased
  went out of the house, for a special purpose, witness accompanying
  him with a torchlight, and hearing him say that he intended “to use
  the prisoner up.” The light was extinguished, and he reëntered the
  house for the purpose of lighting it. Jane was there; but the
  prisoner had been untied, and was not there. While lighting his
  torch, he heard blows outside, and heard the deceased cry out, two
  or three times, “O, Leah! O, Leah!” Witness and Jane went out, saw
  the deceased bloody and struggling, were frightened, ran back, and
  shut themselves up. Leah, it seems, was mother of the prisoner, and
  had run off two years, on account of cruel treatment by the

  Smith was speechless and unconscious till he died, the following
  morning, of the wounds inflicted on him.

  It was proved on the trial that Carroll, a white man, living about a
  mile from the house of the deceased, and whose wife was said to be
  the illegitimate daughter of Smith, had in his possession, the
  morning of the murder, the receipt given the deceased by sheriff
  High, the day before, for jail fees, and a note for thirty-five
  dollars, due deceased from one Wiley Price, which Carroll collected
  a short time thereafter; also the chest-keys of the deceased; and no
  proof was offered to show how Carroll came into possession of these

  The following portion of the testimony discloses facts so horrible,
  and so disgraceful to the people who tolerated, in broad daylight,
  conduct which would have shamed the devil, that we copy it just as
  we find it in the Raleigh paper. The scene, remember, is the city of

  “The defence was then opened. James Harris, C. W. D. Hutchings, and
  Hon. W. H. Haywood, of Raleigh; John Cooper, of Wake; Joseph Hane
  and others, of Johnston, were examined for the prisoner. The
  substance of their testimony was as follows: On the forenoon of
  Friday, 29th of November last, deceased took prisoner from Raleigh
  jail, tied her round the neck and wrist; ropes were then latched to
  the horse’s neck; he cursed the prisoner several times, got on his
  horse, and started off; when he got opposite the Telegraph office,
  on Fayetteville-street, he pulled her shoes and stockings off,
  cursed her again, went off in a swift trot, the prisoner running
  after him, doing apparently all she could to keep up; passed round
  by Peck’s store; prisoner seemed very humble and submissive; took
  down the street east of the capitol, going at the rate of five miles
  an hour; continued this gait until he passed O. Rork’s corner, about
  half or three-quarters of a mile from the capitol; that he reached
  Cooper’s (one of the witnesses), thirteen miles from Raleigh, about
  four o’clock, P. M.; that it was raining very hard; deceased got off
  his horse, turned it loose with prisoner tied to its neck; witness
  went to take deceased’s horse to stable; heard great lamentations at
  the house; hurried back; saw his little daughter running through the
  rain from the house, much frightened; got there; deceased was
  gouging prisoner in the eyes, and she making outcries; made him
  stop; became vexed, and insisted upon leaving; did leave in a short
  time, in the rain, sun about an hour high; when he left, prisoner
  was tied as she was before; her arms and fingers were very much
  swollen; the rope around her wrist was small, and had sunk deep into
  the flesh, almost covered with it; that around the neck was large,
  and tied in a slipknot; deceased would jerk it every now and then;
  when jerked, it would choke prisoner; she was barefoot and bleeding;
  deceased was met some time after dark, in about six miles of home,
  being twenty-four or twenty-five from Raleigh.”

  Why did they not strike the monster to the earth, and punish him for
  his infernal brutality?

  The attorney-general conducted the prosecution with evident
  loathing. The defence argued, first, that the evidence was
  insufficient to fasten the crime upon the prisoner; secondly, that,
  should the jury be satisfied beyond a rational doubt that the
  prisoner committed the act charged, it would yet be only

  “A single blow between equals would mitigate a killing instanter
  from murder to manslaughter. It could not, in law, be anything more,
  if done under the _furor brevis_ of passion. But the rule was
  different as between master and slave. It was necessary that this
  should be, to preserve the subordination of the slave. The
  prisoner’s counsel then examined the authorities at length, and
  contended that the prisoner’s case came within the rule laid down in
  The State _v._ Will (1 Dev. and Bat. 121). The rule there given by
  Judge Gaston is this: ‘If a slave, in defence of his life, and under
  circumstances strongly calculated to excite his passions of terror
  and resentment, kill his overseer or master, the homicide is, by
  such circumstances, mitigated to manslaughter.’ The cruelties of the
  deceased to the prisoner were grievous and long-continued. They
  would have shocked a barbarian. The savage loves and thirsts for
  blood; but the acts of civilized life have not afforded him such
  refinement of torture as was here exhibited.”

  The attorney-general, after discussing the law, appealed to the jury
  “not to suffer the prejudice which the counsel for the defence had
  attempted to create against the deceased (_whose conduct, he
  admitted, was disgraceful to human nature_) to influence their
  judgments in deciding whether the act of the prisoner was criminal
  or not, and what degree of criminality attached to it. He desired
  the prisoner _to have a fair and impartial trial_. He wished her to
  receive _the benefit of every rational doubt_. It _was her right,
  however humble her condition; he hoped he had not that heart, as he
  certainly had not the right by virtue of his office, to ask in her
  case for anything more than he would ask from the highest and
  proudest of the land on trial_, that the jury should decide
  according to the evidence, and vindicate the violated law.”

  These were honorable sentiments.

  After an able charge by Judge Ellis, the jury retired, and, after
  having remained out several hours, returned with a verdict of NOT
  GUILTY. Of course, we see not how they could hesitate to come to
  this verdict at once.

  The correspondent who furnishes the _Register_ with a report of the
  case says:

  “It excited an intense interest in the community in which it
  occurred, and, although it develops a series of cruelties shocking
  to human nature, the result of the trial, nevertheless, vindicates
  the benignity and justice of our laws towards that class of our
  population whose condition Northern fanaticism has so carefully and
  grossly misrepresented, for their own purposes of selfishness,
  agitation, and crime.”

  We have no disposition to misrepresent the condition of the slaves,
  or to disparage the laws of North Carolina; but we ask, with a
  sincere desire to know the truth, Do the _laws_ of North Carolina
  allow a master to practise such horrible cruelties upon his slaves
  as Smith was guilty of, and would the _public sentiment_ of the city
  of Raleigh permit a repetition of such enormities as were
  perpetrated in its streets, in the light of day, by that miscreant?

In conclusion, as the accounts of these various trials contain so many
shocking incidents and particulars the author desires to enter a caution
against certain mistaken uses which may be made of them, by
well-intending persons. The crimes themselves, which form the foundation
of the trials, are not to be considered and spoken of as specimens of
the _common_ working of the slave system. They are, it is true, the
logical and legitimate fruits of a system which makes every individual
owner an irresponsible despot. But the actual number of them, compared
with the whole number of masters, we take pleasure in saying, is small.
It is an injury to the cause of freedom to ground the argument against
slavery upon the _frequency_ with which such scenes as these occur. It
misleads the popular mind as to the real issue of the subject. To hear
many men talk, one would think that they supposed that unless negroes
actually were whipped or burned alive at the rate of two or three dozen
a week, there was no harm in slavery. They seem to see nothing in the
system but its gross bodily abuses. If these are absent, they think
there is no harm in it. They do not consider that the twelve hours’
torture of some poor victim, bleeding away his life, drop by drop, under
the hands of a SOUTHER, is only a symbol of that more atrocious process
by which the divine, immortal soul is mangled, burned, lacerated, thrown
down, stamped upon, and suffocated, by the fiend-like force of the
tyrant Slavery. And as, when the torturing work was done, and the poor
soul flew up to the judgment-seat, to stand there in awful witness,
there was not a vestige of humanity left in that dishonored body, nor
anything by which it could be said, “See, this was a man!”—so, when
Slavery has finished her legitimate work upon the soul, and trodden out
every spark of manliness, and honor, and self-respect, and natural
affection, and conscience, and religious sentiment, then there is
nothing left _in the soul_, by which to say, “This was a man!” and it
becomes necessary for judges to construct grave legal arguments to prove
that the slave is a human being.

Such _extreme_ cases of bodily abuse from the despotic power of slavery
are comparatively rare. Perhaps they may be paralleled by cases brought
to light in the criminal jurisprudence of other countries. They might,
perhaps, have happened anywhere; at any rate, we will concede that they
might. But where under the sun did _such_ TRIALS, of such cases, ever
take place, in any nation professing to be free and Christian? The
reader of English history will perhaps recur to the trials under Judge
Jeffries, as a parallel. A moment’s reflection will convince him that
there is no parallel between the cases. The decisions of Jeffries were
the decisions of a monster, who violently wrested law from its
legitimate course, to gratify his own fiendish nature. The decisions of
American slave-law have been, for the most part, the decisions of
honorable and humane men, who have wrested from their natural course the
most humane feelings, to fulfil the mandates of a cruel law.

In the case of Jeffries, the sacred forms of the administration of
justice were violated. In the case of the American decisions, every form
has been maintained. Revolting to humanity as these decisions appear,
they are strictly logical and legal.

Therefore, again, we say, Where, ever, in any nation professing to be
civilized and Christian, did _such_ TRIALS, of _such cases_, take place?
When were ever _such_ legal arguments made? When, ever, such legal
principles judicially affirmed? Was ever such a trial held in England as
that in Virginia, of SOUTHER _v._ THE COMMONWEALTH? Was it ever
necessary in England for a judge to declare on the bench, contrary to
the opinion of a lower court, that the death of an apprentice, by twelve
hours’ torture from his master, _did_ amount to murder in the first
degree? Was such a decision, if given, accompanied by the affirmation of
the principle, that any amount of torture inflicted by the master,
_short of the point of death_, was not indictable? Not being read in
English law, the writer cannot say; but there is strong impression from
within that such a decision as this would have shaken the whole island
of Great Britain; and that such a case as _Souther_ v. _The
Commonwealth_ would never have been forgotten under the sun. Yet it is
probable that very few persons in the United States ever heard of the
case, or ever would have heard of it, had it not been quoted by the New
York _Courier and Enquirer_ as an overwhelming example of legal

The horror of the whole matter is, that more than one such case should
ever need to happen in a country, in order to make the whole community
feel, as one man, that such power ought not to be left in the hands of a
master. How many such cases do people _wish_ to have happen?—how many
_must_ happen, before they will learn that utter despotic power is not
to be trusted in any hands? If one white man’s son or brother had been
treated in this way, under the law of _apprenticeship_, the whole
country would have trembled, from Louisiana to Maine, till that law had
been altered. They forget that the black man has also a father. It is
“He that sitteth upon the circle of the heavens, who bringeth the
princes to nothing, and maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.” He
hath said that “When he maketh inquisition for blood, he FORGETTETH NOT
the cry of the humble.” That blood which has fallen so despised to the
earth,—that blood which lawyers have quibbled over, in the quiet of
legal nonchalance, discussing in great ease whether it fell by murder in
the first or second degree,—HE will one day reckon for as the blood of
his own child. He “is not slack concerning his promises, as some men
count slackness, but is long-suffering to usward;” but the day of
vengeance is surely coming, and the year of his redeemed is in his

Another court will sit upon these trials, when the Son of Man shall come
in his glory. It will be not alone Souther, and such as he, that will be
arraigned there; but all those in this nation, north and south, who have
abetted the system, and made the laws which MADE Souther what he was. In
_that_ court negro testimony will be received, if never before; and the
judges and the counsellors, and the chief men, and the mighty men,
marshalled to that awful bar, will say to the mountains and the rocks,
“Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne,
and from the wrath of the Lamb.”

The wrath of the Lamb! Think of it! Think that Jesus Christ has been
present, a witness,—a silent witness through every such scene of torture
and anguish,—a silent witness in every such court, calmly hearing the
evidence given in, the lawyers pleading, the bills filed, and cases
appealed! And think what a heart Jesus Christ has, and with what
age-long patience he has suffered! What awful depths are there in that
word, LONG-SUFFERING! and what must be that wrath, when, after ages of
endurance, this dread accumulation of wrong and anguish comes up at last
to judgment!

                              CHAPTER XII.

The writer has expressed the opinion that the American law of slavery,
taken throughout, is a more severe one than that of any other civilized
nation, ancient or modern, if we except, perhaps, that of the Spartans.
She has not at hand the means of comparing French and Spanish
slave-codes; but, as it is a common remark that Roman slavery was much
more severe than any that has ever existed in America, it will be well
to compare the Roman with the American law. We therefore present a
description of the Roman slave-law, as quoted by William Jay, Esq., from
Blair’s “_Inquiry into the State of Slavery among the Romans_,” giving
such references to _American authorities_ as will enable the reader to
make his own comparison, and to draw his own inferences.

  I. _The slave had no protection against the avarice, rage, or lust
  of the master, whose authority was founded in absolute property; and
  the bondman was viewed less as a human being subject to arbitrary
  dominion, than as an inferior animal, dependent wholly on the will
  of his owner._

See law of South Carolina, in Stroud’s “_Sketch of the Laws of
Slavery_,” p. 23.

[Sidenote: 2 Brev. Dig. 229. Prince’s Dig. 446. Cobb’s Dig. 971.]

  Slaves shall be deemed, sold, taken, reputed and adjudged 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 whatever.

[Sidenote: Lou. Civil Code, art. 35. Stroud’s Sketch, p. 22.]

  A slave is one who is in the power of a master to whom he belongs.

[Sidenote: Judge Ruffin’s Decision in the case of The State _v._ Mann.
           Wheeler’s Law of Slavery, 246.]

  ——Such obedience is the consequence only of uncontrolled authority
  over the body. There is nothing else which can operate to produce
  the effect. The power of the master must be _absolute_, to render
  the submission of the slave perfect.

  II. _At first, the master possessed the uncontrolled power of life
  and death._

[Sidenote: Judge Clarke, in case of State of Miss. _v._ Jones.
           Wheeler, 252.]

  At a very early period in Virginia, the power of life over slaves
  was _given by statute_.

  III. _He might kill, mutilate or torture his slaves, for any or no
  offence; he might force them to become gladiators or prostitutes_.

The privilege of killing is now somewhat abridged; as to mutilation and
torture, see the case of _Souther_ v. _The Commonwealth_, 7 _Grattan_,
673, quoted in Chapter III., above. Also _State_ v. _Mann_, in the same
chapter, from _Wheeler_, p. 244.

  IV. _The temporary unions of male with female slaves were formed and
  dissolved at his command; families and friends were separated when
  he pleased._

See the decision of Judge Mathews in the case of _Girod_ v. _Lewis_,
Wheeler, 199:

  It is clear, that slaves have no legal capacity to assent to any
  contract. With the consent of their master, they may marry, and
  their moral power to agree to such a contract or connection as that
  of marriage cannot be doubted; but whilst in a state of slavery it
  cannot produce any civil effect, because slaves are deprived of all
  civil rights.

See also the chapter below on “the separation of families,” and the
files of _any_ southern newspaper, _passim_.

  V. _The laws recognized no obligation upon the owners of slaves, to
  furnish them with food and clothing, or to take care of them in

The extent to which this deficiency in the Roman law has been supplied
in the American, by “_protective acts_,” has been exhibited above.[13]

  VI. _Slaves could have no property but by the sufferance of their
  master, for whom they acquired everything, and with whom they could
  form no engagements which could be binding on him._

The following chapter will show how far American legislation is in
advance of that of the Romans, in that it makes it a penal offence on
the part of the master to permit his slave to hold property, and a crime
on the part of the slave to be so permitted. For the present purpose, we
give an extract from the Civil code of Louisiana, as quoted by Judge

[Sidenote: Civil Code, Article 35. Stroud, p. 22.]

  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 labor; he can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire anything
  but what must belong to his master.

[Sidenote: Wh’ler’s Law of Slavery, p. 246. State _v._ Mann.]

According to Judge Ruffin, a slave is “one doomed in his own person, and
his posterity, to live without knowledge, and without the capacity to
make anything his own, and to toil that another may reap the fruits.”

With reference to the binding power of engagements between master and
slave, the following decisions from the United States Digest are in
point (7, p. 449):

[Sidenote: Gist _v._ Toohey, 2 Rich. 424.]

  All the acquisitions of the slave in possession are the property of
  his master, notwithstanding the promise of his master that the slave
  shall have certain of them.

[Sidenote: Ibid.]

  A slave paid money which he had earned over and above his wages, for
  the purchase of his children into the hands of B, and B purchased
  such children with the money. Held that the master of such slave was
  entitled to recover the money of B.

  VII. _The master might transfer his rights by either sale or gift,
  or might bequeath them by will._

[Sidenote: Law of S. Carolina. Cobb’s Digest, 971.]

  Slaves shall be deemed, sold, taken, reputed and adjudged 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.

  VIII. _A master selling, giving, or bequeathing a slave, sometimes
  made it a provision that he should never be carried abroad, or that
  he should be manumitted on a fixed day; or that, on the other hand,
  he should never be emancipated, or that he should be kept in chains
  for life._

[Sidenote: Williams _v._ Ash, 1 How. U. S. Rep. 1. 5 U. S. Dig. 792, §

We hardly think that a provision that a slave should never be
emancipated, or that he should be kept in chains for life, would be
sustained. A provision that the slave should not be carried out of the
state, or sold, and that on the happening of either event he should be
free, has been sustained.

The remainder of Blair’s account of Roman slavery is devoted rather to
the practices of masters than the state of the law itself. Surely, the
writer is not called upon to exhibit in the society of enlightened,
republican and Christian America, in the nineteenth century, a parallel
to the atrocities committed in pagan Rome, under the sceptre of the
persecuting Cæsars, when the amphitheatre was the favorite resort of the
most refined of her citizens, as well as the great “school of morals”
for the multitude. A few references only will show, as far as we desire
to show, how much safer it is now to trust man with absolute power over
his fellow, than it was then.

  IX. _While slaves turned the hand-mill they were generally chained,
  and had a broad wooden collar, to prevent them from eating the
  grain. The_ FURCA, _which in later language means a gibbet, was, in
  older dialect, used to denote a wooden fork or collar, which was
  made to bear upon their shoulders, or around their necks, as a mark
  of disgrace, as much as an uneasy burden._

The reader has already seen, in Chapter V., that this instrument of
degradation has been in use, in our own day, in certain of the slave
states, under the express sanction and protection of statute laws;
although the material is different, and the construction doubtless
improved by modern ingenuity.

  X. _Fetters and chains were much used for punishment or restraint,
  and were, in some instances, worn by slaves during life, through the
  sole authority of the master. Porters at the gates of the rich were
  generally chained. Field laborers worked for the most part in irons
  posterior to the first ages of the republic._

The Legislature of South Carolina specially sanctions the same
practices, by excepting them in the “_protective enactment_,” which
inflicts the penalty of _one hundred pounds_ “in case any person shall
wilfully cut out the tongue,” &c., of a slave, “or shall inflict _any
other cruel_ punishment, _other than_ by whipping or beating with a
horse-whip, cowskin, switch, or small stick, _or by putting irons on, or
confining or imprisoning such slave_.”

  XI. _Some persons made it their business to catch runaway slaves._

That such a profession, constituted by the highest legislative authority
in the nation, and rendered respectable by the commendation expressed or
implied of statesmen and divines, and of newspapers political and
religious, exists in our midst, _especially in the free states_, is a
fact which is, day by day, making itself too apparent to need testimony.
The matter seems, however, to be managed in a more perfectly open and
business-like manner in the State of Alabama than elsewhere. Mr. Jay
cites the following advertisement from the _Sumpter County_ (Ala.)

                              NEGRO DOGS.

  The undersigned having bought the entire pack of Negro Dogs (of the
  Hay and Allen stock), he now proposes to catch runaway negroes. His
  charges will be Three Dollars per day for hunting, and Fifteen
  Dollars for catching a runaway. He resides three and one half miles
  north of Livingston, near the lower Jones’ Bluff road.

                                                       WILLIAM GAMBEL.

  _Nov. 6, 1845._—6m.

The following is copied, _verbatim et literatim_, and with the pictorial
embellishments, from _The Dadeville_ (Ala.) _Banner_, of November 10th,
1852. _The Dadeville Banner_ is “_devoted to politics, literature,
education, agriculture, &c._”




  The undersigned having an excellent pack of HOUNDS, for trailing and
  catching runaway slaves, informs the public that his prices in
  future will be as follows for such services:

          For each day employed in hunting or trailing, $2.50
          For catching each slave,                      10.00
          For going over ten miles and catching slaves, 20.00

  If sent for, the above prices will be exacted in cash. The
  subscriber resides one mile and a half south of Dadeville, Ala.

                                                             B. BLACK.

  _Dadeville, Sept. 1, 1852._      1tf

  XII. _The runaway, when taken, was severely punished by authority of
  the master, or by the judge, at his desire; sometimes with
  crucifixion, amputation of a foot, or by being sent to fight as a
  gladiator with wild beasts; but most frequently by being branded on
  the brow with letters indicative of his crime._

That severe punishment would be the lot of the recaptured runaway, every
one would suppose, from the “_absolute power_” of the master to inflict
it. That it _is_ inflicted in many cases, it is equally easy and
needless to prove. The peculiar forms of punishment mentioned above are
now very much out of vogue, but the following advertisement by Mr.
Micajah Ricks, in the _Raleigh_ (N. C.) _Standard_ of July 18th, 1838,
shows that something of classic taste in torture still lingers in our
degenerate days.

  Ran away, a negro woman and two children; a few days before she went
  off, I burnt her with a hot iron, on the left side of her face. I
  tried to make the letter M.

It is charming to notice the _naïf_ betrayal of literary pride on the
part of Mr. Ricks. He did not wish that letter M to be taken as a
specimen of what he could do in the way of writing. The creature would
not hold still, and he fears the M may be illegible.

The above is only one of a long list of advertisements of maimed,
cropped and branded negroes, in the book of Mr. Weld, entitled _American
Slavery as It Is_, p. 77.

  XIII. _Cruel masters sometimes hired torturers by profession, or had
  such persons in their establishments, to assist them in punishing
  their slaves. The noses and ears and teeth of slaves were often in
  danger from an enraged owner; and sometimes the eyes of a great
  offender were put out. Crucifixion was very frequently made the fate
  of a wretched slave for a trifling misconduct, or from mere

For justification of such practices as these, we refer again to that
horrible list of maimed and mutilated men, advertised by slaveholders
themselves, in Weld’s _American Slavery as It Is_, p. 77. We recall the
reader’s attention to the evidence of the monster Kephart, given in Part
I. As to crucifixion, we presume that there are wretches whose religious
scruples would deter them from this particular form of torture, who
would not hesitate to inflict equal cruelties by other means; as the
Greek pirate, during a massacre in the season of Lent, was
conscience-stricken at having tasted a drop of blood. We presume?—Let
any one but read again, if he can, the sickening details of that twelve
hours’ torture of Souther’s slave, and say how much more merciful is
American slavery than Roman.

The last item in Blair’s description of Roman slavery is the following:

  _By a decree passed by the Senate, if a master was murdered when his
  slaves might possibly have aided him, all his household within reach
  were held as implicated, and deserving of death; and Tacitus relates
  an instance in which a family of four hundred were all executed._

To this alone, of all the atrocities of the slavery of old heathen Rome,
do we fail to find a parallel in the slavery of the United States of

There are other respects, in which American legislation has reached a
refinement in tyranny of which the despots of those early days never
conceived. The following is the language of Gibbon:

  Hope, the best comfort of our imperfect condition, was not denied to
  the Roman slave; and if he had any opportunity of rendering himself
  either useful or agreeable, he might very naturally expect that the
  diligence and fidelity of a few years would be rewarded with the
  inestimable gift of freedom. * * * Without destroying the
  distinction of ranks, a distant prospect of freedom and honors was
  presented even to those whom pride and prejudice almost disdained to
  number among the human species.[14]

  The youths of promising genius were instructed in the arts and
  sciences, and their price was ascertained by the degree of their
  skill and talents. Almost every profession, either liberal or
  mechanical, might be found in the household of an opulent

The following chapter will show how “the best comfort” which Gibbon knew
for human adversity is taken away from the American slave; how he is
denied the commonest privileges of education and mental improvement, and
how the whole tendency of the unhappy system, under which he is in
bondage, is to take from him the consolations of religion itself, and to
degrade him from our common humanity, and common brotherhood with the
Son of God.


Footnote 13:

  See also the case of _State_ v. _Abram, 10 Ala. 928. 7 U. S. Dig._ p.
  449. “The master or overseer, and not the slave, is the proper judge
  whether the slave is too sick to be able to labor. The latter cannot,
  therefore, resist the order of the former to go to work.”

Footnote 14:

  Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall,” Chap. II.

Footnote 15:


                             CHAPTER XIII.
                    THE MEN BETTER THAN THEIR LAWS.

         Judgment is turned away backward,
         And Justice standeth afar off;
         For Truth is fallen in the street,
         And Equity cannot enter.
         Yea, Truth faileth;

                                             ISAIAH 59: 14, 15.

There is one very remarkable class of laws yet to be considered.

So full of cruelty and of unmerciful severity is the slave-code,—such an
atrocity is the institution of which it is the legal definition,—that
there are multitudes of individuals too generous and too just to be
willing to go to the full extent of its restrictions and deprivations.

A generous man, instead of regarding the poor slave as a piece of
property, dead, and void of rights, is tempted to regard him rather as a
helpless younger brother, or as a defenceless child, and to extend to
him, by his own good right arm, that protection and those rights which
the law denies him. A religious man, who, by the theory of his belief,
regards all men as brothers, and considers his Christian slave, with
himself, as a member of Jesus Christ,—as of one body, one spirit, and
called in one hope of his calling,—cannot willingly see him “doomed to
live without knowledge,” without the power of reading the written Word,
and to raise up his children after him in the same darkness.

Hence, if left to itself, individual humanity would, in many cases,
practically abrogate the slave-code. Individual humanity would teach the
slave to read and write,—would build school-houses for his children, and
would, in very, very many cases, enfranchise him.

The result of all this has been foreseen. It has been foreseen that the
result of education would be general intelligence; that the result of
intelligence would be a knowledge of personal rights; and that an
inquiry into the doctrine of personal rights would be fatal to the
system. It has been foreseen, also, that the example of
disinterestedness and generosity, in emancipation, might carry with it a
generous contagion, until it should become universal; that the example
of educated and emancipated slaves would prove a dangerous excitement to
those still in bondage.

For this reason, the American slave-code, which, as we have already
seen, embraces, substantially, all the barbarities of that of ancient
Rome, has had added to it a set of laws more cruel than any which
ancient and heathen Rome ever knew,—laws designed to shut against the
slave his last refuge,—the humanity of his master. The master, in
ancient Rome, might give his slave whatever advantages of education he
chose, or at any time emancipate him, and the state did not interfere to

But in America the laws, throughout all the slave states, most
rigorously forbid, in the first place, the _education_ of the slave. We
do not profess to give all these laws, but a few striking specimens may
be presented. Our authority is Judge Stroud’s “Sketch of the Laws of

[Sidenote: Stroud’s Sketch, p. 88.]

The legislature of South Carolina, in 1740, enounced the following
preamble:—“Whereas, the having of slaves taught to write, or suffering
them to be employed in writing, may be attended with _great
inconveniences_;” and enacted that the crime of teaching a slave to
write, or of employing a slave as a scribe, should be punished by a fine
of _one hundred pounds_, current money. If the reader will turn now to
the infamous “protective” statute, enacted by the same legislature, in
the same year, he will find that the _same penalty_ has been appointed
for the cutting out of the tongue, putting out of the eye, cruel
scalding, &c., of any slave, as for the offence of teaching him to
write! That is to say, that to teach him to write, and to put out his
eyes, are to be regarded as equally reprehensible.

[Sidenote: Stroud’s Sketch, p. 89. 2 Brevard’s Digest, pp. 254–5.]

That there might be no doubt of the “great and fundamental policy” of
the state, and that there might be full security against the “_great
inconveniences_” of “having of slaves taught to write,” it was enacted,
in 1800, “That assemblies of slaves, free negroes, &c., * * * * for the
purpose of _mental instruction_, in a confined or secret place, &c. &c.,
is [are] declared to be an unlawful meeting;” and the officers are
required to enter such confined places, and disperse the “unlawful
assemblage,” inflicting, at their discretion, “_such corporal
punishment_, not exceeding twenty lashes, upon such slaves, free
negroes, &c., as they may judge _necessary for deterring them from the
like unlawful assemblage in future_.”

[Sidenote: Stroud, pp. 88, 89.]

The statute-book of Virginia is adorned with a law similar to the one
last quoted.

[Sidenote: Stroud’s Sketch, pp. 89, 90.]

The offence of teaching a slave to write was early punished, in Georgia,
as in South Carolina, by a pecuniary fine. But the city of Savannah
seems to have found this penalty insufficient to protect it from “_great
inconveniences_,” and we learn, by a quotation in the work of Judge
Stroud from a number of “The Portfolio,” that “the city has passed an
ordinance, by which any person that teaches any person of color, _slave
or free_, to _read or write_, or causes such person to be so taught, is
subjected to a fine of thirty dollars for _each_ offence; and every
person of color who shall keep a school, to teach reading or writing, is
subject to a fine of thirty dollars, or to be imprisoned ten days, and
whipped thirty-nine lashes.”

_Secondly._ In regard to religious privileges:

The State of Georgia has enacted a law, “To _protect_ religious
societies in the exercise of their religious duties.” This law, after
appointing rigorous penalties for the offence of interrupting or
disturbing a congregation of _white persons_, concludes in the following

[Sidenote: Stroud, p. 92. Prince’s Digest, p. 342.]

  No congregation, or company of _negroes_, shall, under _pretence of
  divine worship_, assemble themselves, contrary to the act regulating

[Sidenote: Stroud, p. 93. Prince’s Digest, p. 447.]

“The act regulating patrols,” as quoted by the editor of Prince’s
Digest, empowers _every justice of the peace to disperse_ ANY _assembly
or meeting of slaves_ which _may_ disturb the peace, &c., of his
majesty’s subjects, and permits that every slave found at such a meeting
shall “_immediately_ be corrected, WITHOUT TRIAL, _by receiving on the
bare back twenty-five stripes with a whip, switch, or cowskin_.”

The history of legislation in South Carolina is significant. An act was
passed in 1800, containing the following section:

[Sidenote: Stroud, p. 93. 2 Brevard’s Dig. 254, 255.]

  It shall not be lawful for any number of slaves, free negroes,
  mulattoes or mestizoes, even in company with white persons, to meet
  together and assemble for the purpose of mental instruction _or
  religious worship_, either before the rising of the sun, or after
  the going down of the same. And all magistrates, sheriffs, militia
  officers, &c. &c., are hereby vested with power, &c., for dispersing
  such assemblies, &c.

The law just quoted seems somehow to have had a prejudicial effect upon
the religious interests of the “slaves, free negroes,” &c., specified in
it; for, three years afterwards, on the petition of certain religious
societies, a “_protective act_” was passed, which should secure them
this _great religious privilege_; to wit, that it should be unlawful,
before nine o’clock, “to break into a place of meeting, wherein shall be
assembled the members of any religious society of this state, _provided
a majority of them shall be white persons_, or otherwise to disturb
their devotion, _unless_ such person shall have first obtained * * * * a
warrant, &c.”

_Thirdly._ It appears that many masters, who are disposed to treat their
slaves generously, have allowed them to accumulate property, to raise
domestic animals for their own use, and, in the case of intelligent
servants, to go at large, to hire their own time, and to trade upon
their own account. Upon all these practices the law comes down, with
unmerciful severity. A penalty is inflicted on the owner, but, with a
rigor quite accordant with the tenor of slave-law the offence is
considered, in law, as that of the slave, rather than that of the
master; so that, if the master is generous enough not to regard the
penalty which is imposed upon himself, he may be restrained by the fear
of bringing a greater evil upon his dependent. These laws are, in some
cases, so constructed as to make it for the interest of the lowest and
most brutal part of society that they be enforced, by offering half the
profits to the informer. We give the following, as specimens of slave
legislation on this subject:

The law of South Carolina:

[Sidenote: Stroud, pp. 46, 47. James’ Digest, 385, 386. Act of 1740.]

  It shall not be lawful for any slave to buy, sell, trade, &c., for
  any goods, &c., without a license from the owner, &c.; nor shall any
  slave be permitted to keep any boat, periauger,[17] or canoe, or
  raise and breed, for the benefit of such slave, any horses, mares,
  cattle, sheep, or hogs, under pain of forfeiting all the goods, &c.,
  and all the boats, periaugers, or canoes, horses, mares, cattle,
  sheep or hogs. And it shall be lawful for any person whatsoever to
  seize and take away from any slave all such goods, &c., boats, &c.
  &c., and to deliver the same into the hands of any justice of the
  peace, nearest to the place where the seizure shall be made; and
  such justice shall take the oath of the person making such seizure,
  concerning the manner thereof; and if the said justice shall be
  satisfied that such seizure has been made according to law, he shall
  pronounce and declare the goods so seized to be forfeited, and order
  the same to be sold at public outcry, one half of the moneys arising
  from such sale to go to the state, and the other half to him or them
  that sue for the same.

[Sidenote: 2 Cobb’s Dig. 284.]

The laws in many other states are similar to the above; but the State of
Georgia has an additional provision, against permitting the slave to
hire himself to another for his own benefit; a penalty of thirty dollars
is imposed for every weekly offence, on the part of the master, unless
the labor be done on his own premises. Savannah, Augusta, and Sunbury,
are places excepted.

[Sidenote: Stroud, p. 47]

In Virginia, “if the master shall permit his slave to hire himself out,”
the _slave_ is to be apprehended, &c., and the _master_ to be fined.

In an early act of the legislature of the orthodox and Presbyterian
State of North Carolina, it is gratifying to see how the judicious
course of public policy is made to subserve the interests of Christian
charity,—how, in a single ingenious sentence, provision is made for
punishing the offender against society, rewarding the patriotic
informer, and feeding the poor and destitute:

[Sidenote: Stroud’s Sketch, p. 47.]

  All horses, cattle, hogs or sheep, that, one month after the passing
  of this act, shall belong to any slave, or be of any slave’s mark,
  in this state, shall be seized and sold by the county wardens, and
  by them applied, the one-half to the support of the poor of the
  county, and the other half to the informer.

[Sidenote: Stroud, p. 48.]

In Mississippi a fine of fifty dollars is imposed upon the master who
permits his slave to cultivate cotton for his own use; or who licenses
his slave to go at large and trade as a freeman; or who is _convicted_
of permitting his slave to keep “_stock of any description_.”

To show how the above law has been interpreted by the highest judicial
tribunal of the sovereign State of Mississippi, we repeat here a portion
of a decision of Chief Justice Sharkey, which we have elsewhere given
more in full.

  Independent of the principles laid down in adjudicated cases, our
  statute-law prohibits slaves from owning certain kinds of property;
  and it may be inferred that the legislature supposed they were
  extending the act as far as it could be necessary to exclude them
  from owning _any_ property, as the prohibition includes that kind of
  property which they would most likely be permitted to own without
  interruption, to wit: hogs, horses, cattle, &c. They cannot be
  prohibited from holding such property in consequence of its being of
  a dangerous or offensive character, but because _it was deemed
  impolitic for them to hold property of any description_.

It was asserted, at the beginning of this head, that the permission of
the master to a slave to hire his own time is, by law, considered the
offence of the slave; the slave being subject to prosecution therefor,
not the master. This is evident from the tenor of some of the laws
quoted and alluded to above. It will be still further illustrated by the
following decisions of the courts of North Carolina. They are copied
from the Supplement to the U. S. Digest, vol. II. p. 798:

[Sidenote: The State _v._ Clarissa. 5 Iredell, 221.]

  139. An indictment charging that a certain negro did hire her own
  time, contrary to the form of the statute, &c., is defective and
  must be quashed, because it was omitted to be charged that _she was
  permitted by her master to go at large, which is one essential part
  of the offence_.

  140. Under the first clause of the thirty-first section of the 111th
  chapter of the Revised Statutes, prohibiting masters from hiring to
  slaves their own time, the master is not _indictable_; he is only
  subject to a penalty of forty dollars. Nor is the master indictable
  under the second clause of that section; the process being _against
  the slave_, not against the master.—Ib.

  142. To constitute the offence under section 32 (Rev. Stat. c. cxi.
  § 32) it is not necessary that the slave should have hired his time;
  it is sufficient if the master permits him to go at large as a

This is maintaining the ground that “_the master can do no wrong_” with
great consistency and thoroughness. But it is in perfect keeping, both
in form and spirit, with the whole course of slave-law, which always
upholds the supremacy of the master, and always depresses the slave.

_Fourthly._ Stringent laws against emancipation exist in nearly all the
slave states.

[Sidenote: Stroud, 147. Prince’s Dig. 456. James’ Dig. 398. Toulmin’s
           Dig. 632. Miss. Rev. Code, 386.]

In four of the states,—South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and
Mississippi,—emancipation cannot be effected, except by a special act of
the legislature of the state.

In Georgia, the _offence_ of setting free “any slave, or slaves, in any
other manner and form than the one prescribed,” was punishable,
according to the law of 1801, by the forfeiture of two hundred dollars,
to be recovered by action _or indictment_; the slaves in question still
remaining, “_to all intents and purposes, as much in a state of slavery
as before they were manumitted_.”

Believers in human progress will be interested to know that since the
law of 1801 there has been a reform introduced into this part of the
legislation of the republic of Georgia. In 1818, a new law was passed,
which, as will be seen, contains a grand remedy for the abuses of the
old. In this it is provided, with endless variety of specifications and
synonyms, as if to “let suspicion double-lock the door” against any
possible evasion, that, “All and every will, testament and deed, whether
by way of trust or otherwise, contract, or agreement, or stipulation, or
other instrument in writing or by parol, made and executed for the
purpose of effecting, or endeavoring to effect, the manumission of any
slave or slaves, either directly ... or indirectly, or virtually, &c.
&c., shall be, and the same are hereby, declared to be utterly null and
void.” And the guilty author of the outrage against the peace of the
state, contemplated in such deed, &c. &c., “and all and every person or
persons concerned in giving or attempting to give effect thereto, ... in
any way or manner whatsoever, shall be severally liable to a penalty not
exceeding one thousand dollars.”

[Sidenote: Stroud’s Sketch, pp. 147–8. Prince’s Dig. 466.]

It would be quite anomalous in slave-law, and contrary to the “great and
fundamental policy” of slave states, if the negroes who, not having the
fear of God before their eyes, but being instigated by the devil, should
be guilty of being thus manumitted, were suffered to go unpunished;
accordingly, the law very properly and judiciously provides that “each
and every slave or slaves in whose behalf such will or testament, &c.
&c. &c., shall have been made, shall be liable to be _arrested_ by
warrant, &c.; and, _being thereof convicted_, &c., shall be liable to be
sold as a slave or slaves by public outcry; and the proceeds of such
slaves shall be appropriated, &c. &c.”

Judge Stroud gives the following account of the law of Mississippi:

[Sidenote: Stroud’s Sketch, 149. Miss. Rev. Code, 385–6 (Act June 18,

  The emancipation must be by an _instrument in writing_, a last will
  or deed &c., _under seal_, attested by at least _two credible
  witnesses_, or _acknowledged in the court_ of the county or
  corporation where the emancipator resides; _proof satisfactory to
  the General Assembly_ must be adduced that the slave has done _some
  meritorious act for the benefit of his master_, or rendered _some
  distinguished service to the state_; all which circumstances are but
  _pre-requisites_, and are of no efficacy until a special _act of
  assembly_ sanctions the emancipation; to which may be added, as has
  been already stated, a saving of the _rights of creditors_, and the
  protection of _the widow’s thirds_.

The same _pre-requisite_ of “_meritorious services_, to be adjudged of
and allowed by the county court,” is exacted by an act of the General
Assembly of North Carolina; and all slaves emancipated contrary to the
provisions of this act are to be committed to the jail of the county,
and at the next court held for that county are to be sold to the highest

But the law of North Carolina does not refuse opportunity for
repentance, even after the crime has been proved: accordingly,

[Sidenote: Stroud’s Sketch, 148. Haywood’s Manual, 525, 526, 529,

  The sheriff is directed, five days before the time for the sale of
  the _emancipated_ negro, to give notice, in writing, to the person
  by whom the emancipation was made, to the end,

and with the hope that, smitten by remorse of conscience, and brought to
a sense of his guilt before God and man,

  such person may, if he thinks proper, renew his claim to the negro
  so emancipated by him; on failure to do which, the sale is to be
  made by the sheriff, and one-fifth part of the net proceeds is to
  become the property of the freeholder by whom the apprehension was
  made, and the remaining four-fifths are to be paid into the public

[Sidenote: Stroud, pp. 148–154.]

It is proper to add that we have given examples of the laws of states
whose legislation on this subject has been most severe. The laws of
Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky and Louisiana, are much less

A striking case, which shows how inexorably the law contends with the
kind designs of the master, is on record in the reports of legal
decisions in the State of Mississippi. The circumstances of the case
have been thus briefly stated in the _New York Evening Post_, edited by
Mr. William Cullen Bryant. They are a romance of themselves.

  A man of the name of Elisha Brazealle, a planter in Jefferson
  County, Mississippi, was attacked with a loathsome disease. During
  his illness he was faithfully nursed by a mulatto slave, to whose
  assiduous attentions he felt that he owed his life. He was duly
  impressed by her devotion, and soon after his recovery took her to
  Ohio, and had her educated. She was very intelligent, and improved
  her advantages so rapidly that when he visited her again he
  determined to marry her. He executed a deed for her emancipation,
  and had it recorded both in the States of Ohio and Mississippi, and
  made her his wife.

  Mr. Brazealle returned with her to Mississippi, and in process of
  time had a son. After a few years he sickened and died, leaving a
  will, in which, after reciting the deed of emancipation, he declared
  his intention to ratify it, and devised all his property to this
  lad, acknowledging him in the will to be such.

  Some poor and distant relations in North Carolina, whom he did not
  know, and for whom he did not care, hearing of his death, came on to
  Mississippi, and claimed the property thus devised. They instituted
  a suit for its recovery, and the case (it is reported in Howard’s
  Mississippi Reports, vol. II., p. 837) came before Judge Sharkey,
  our new consul at Havana. He decided it, and in that decision
  declared the act of emancipation _an offence against morality_, and
  pernicious and detestable as an example. He set _aside the will,
  gave the property of Brazealle to his distant relations, condemned
  Brazealle’s son, and his wife, that_ son’s mother, again to bondage,
  and made them the slaves of these North Carolina kinsmen, as part of
  the assets of the estate.

Chief Justice Sharkey, after narrating the circumstances of the case,
declares the validity of the deed of emancipation to be the main
question in the controversy. He then argues that, although according to
principles of national comity “contracts are to be construed according
to the laws of the country or state where they are made,” yet these
principles are not to be followed when they lead to conclusions in
conflict with “the great and fundamental policy of the state.” What this
“great and fundamental policy” is, in Mississippi, may be gathered from
the remainder of the decision, which we give in full.

  Let us apply these principles to the deed of emancipation. To give
  it validity would be, in the first place, a violation of the
  declared policy, and contrary to a positive law of the state.

  The policy of a state is indicated by the general course of
  legislation on a given subject; and we find that free negroes are
  deemed offensive, because they are not permitted to emigrate to or
  remain in the state. They are allowed few privileges, and subject to
  heavy penalties for offences. They are required to leave the state
  within thirty days after notice, and in the mean time give security
  for good behavior; and those of them who can lawfully remain must
  register and carry with them their certificates, or they may be
  committed to jail. It would also violate a positive law, passed by
  the legislature, expressly to maintain this settled policy, and to
  prevent emancipation. No owner can emancipate his slave, but by a
  deed or will properly attested, or acknowledged in court, and proof
  to the legislature that such slave has performed some meritorious
  act for the benefit of the master, or some distinguished service for
  the state; and the deed or will can have no validity until ratified
  by special act of legislature. It is believed that this law and
  policy are too essentially important to the interests of our
  citizens to permit them to be evaded.

  The state of the case shows conclusively that the contract had its
  origin in an offence against morality, pernicious and detestable as
  an example. But, above all, it seems to have been planned and
  executed with a fixed design to evade the rigor of the laws of this
  state. The acts of the party in going to Ohio with the slaves, and
  there executing the deed, and his immediate return with them to this
  state, point with unerring certainty to his purpose and object. The
  laws of this state cannot be thus defrauded of their operation by
  one of our own citizens. If we could have any doubts about the
  principle, the case reported in 1 Randolph, 15, would remove them.

  As we think the validity of the deed must depend upon the laws of
  this state, it becomes unnecessary to inquire whether it could have
  any force by the laws of Ohio. If it were even valid there, it can
  have no force here. The consequence is, that the negroes, John
  Monroe and his mother, are still slaves, and a part of the estate of
  Elisha Brazealle. They have not acquired a right to their freedom
  under the will; for, even if the clause in the will were sufficient
  for that purpose, their emancipation has not been consummated by an
  act of the legislature.

  John Monroe, being a slave, cannot take the property as devisee; and
  I apprehend it is equally clear that it cannot be held in trust for
  him. 4 Desans. Rep. 266. Independent of the principles laid down in
  adjudicated cases, our statute law prohibits slaves from owning
  certain kinds of property; and it may be inferred that the
  legislature supposed they were extending the act as far as it could
  be necessary to exclude them from owning any property, as the
  prohibition includes that kind of property which they would most
  likely be permitted to own without interruption, to wit, hogs,
  horses, cattle, &c. They cannot be prohibited from holding such
  property in consequence of its being of a dangerous or offensive
  character, but because it was deemed impolitic for them to hold
  property of any description. It follows, therefore, that his heirs
  are entitled to the property.

  As the deed was void, and the devisee could not take under the will,
  the heirs might, perhaps, have had a remedy at law; but, as an
  account must be taken for the rents and profits, and for the final
  settlement of the estate, I see no good reason why they should be
  sent back to law. The remedy is, doubtless, more full and complete
  than it could be at law. The decree of the chancellor overruling the
  demurrer must be affirmed, and the cause remanded for further

The Chief Justice Sharkey who pronounced this decision is stated by the
_Evening Post_ to have been a principal agent in the passage of the
severe law under which this horrible inhumanity was perpetrated.

Nothing more forcibly shows the absolute despotism of the slave-law over
all the kindest feelings and intentions of the master, and the
determination of courts to carry these severities to their full lengths,
than this cruel deed, which precipitated a young man who had been
educated to consider himself free, and his mother, an educated woman,
back into the bottomless abyss of slavery. Had this case been chosen for
the theme of a novel, or a tragedy, the world would have cried out upon
it as a plot of monstrous improbability. As it stands in the law-book,
it is only a specimen of that awful kind of truth, stranger than
fiction, which is all the time evolving, in one form or another, from
the workings of this anomalous system.

This view of the subject is a very important one, and ought to be
earnestly and gravely pondered by those in foreign countries, who are
too apt to fasten their condemnation and opprobrium rather on the
_person_ of the slave-holder than on the horrors of the legal system. In
some slave states it seems as if there was very little that the
benevolent owner could do which should permanently benefit his slave,
unless he should seek to _alter the laws_. Here it is that the highest
obligation of the Southern Christian lies. Nor will the world or God
hold _them_ guiltless who, with the elective franchise in their hands,
and the full power to speak, write and discuss, suffer this monstrous
system of legalized cruelty to go on from age to age.


Footnote 16:

  In and after the reign of Augustus, certain restrictive regulations
  were passed, designed to prevent an increase of unworthy citizens by
  emancipation. They had, however, nothing like the stringent force of
  American laws.

Footnote 17:

  _i. e._ Periagua.

                              CHAPTER XIV.

Having compared the American law with the Roman, we will now compare it
with one other code of slave-laws, to wit, the Hebrew.

This comparison is the more important, because American slavery has been
defended on the ground of God’s permitting Hebrew slavery.

The inquiry now arises, What kind of slavery was it that was permitted
among the Hebrews? for in different nations very different systems have
been called by the general name of slavery.

That the patriarchal state of servitude which existed in the time of
Abraham was a very different thing from American slavery, a few graphic
incidents in the scripture narrative show; for we read that when the
angels came to visit Abraham, although he had three hundred servants
born in his house, it is said that _Abraham_ hasted, and took a calf,
and killed it, and gave it to a young man to dress; and that he told
_Sarah_ to take three measures of meal and knead it into cakes; and
that, when all was done, he himself set it before his guests.

From various other incidents which appear in the patriarchal narrative,
it would seem that these servants bore more the relation of the members
of a Scotch clan to their feudal lord than that of an American slave to
his master;—thus it seems that if Abraham had died without children, his
head servant would have been his heir.—Gen. 15:3.

Of what species, then, was the slavery which God permitted among the
Hebrews? By what laws was it regulated?

In the New Testament the whole Hebrew system of administration is spoken
of as a relatively imperfect one, and as superseded by the Christian
dispensation.—Heb. 8:13.

We are taught thus to regard the Hebrew system as an educational system,
by which a debased, half-civilized race, which had been degraded by
slavery in its worst form among the Egyptians, was gradually elevated to
refinement and humanity.

As they went from the land of Egypt, it would appear that the most
disgusting personal habits, the most unheard-of and unnatural
impurities, prevailed among them; so that it was necessary to make laws
with relation to things of which Christianity has banished the very name
from the earth.

Beside all this, polygamy, war and slavery, were the universal custom of

It is represented in the New Testament that God, in educating this
people, proceeded in the same gradual manner in which a wise father
would proceed with a family of children.

He selected a few of the most vital points of evil practice, and forbade
them by positive statute, under rigorous penalties.

The worship of any other god was, by the Jewish law, constituted high
treason, and rigorously punished with death.

As the knowledge of the true God and religious instruction could not
then, as now, be afforded by printing and books, one day in the week had
to be set apart for preserving in the minds of the people a sense of His
being, and their obligations to Him. The devoting of this day to any
other purpose was also punished with death; and the reason is obvious,
that its sacredness was the principal means relied on for preserving the
allegiance of the nation to their king and God, and its desecration, of
course, led directly to high treason against the head of the state.

With regard to many other practices which prevailed among the Jews, as
among other heathen nations, we find the Divine Being taking the same
course which wise human legislators have taken.

When Lycurgus wished to banish money and its attendant luxuries from
Sparta, he did not forbid it by direct statute-law, but he instituted a
currency so clumsy and uncomfortable that, as we are informed by Rollin,
it took a cart and pair of oxen to carry home the price of a very
moderate estate.

In the same manner the Divine Being surrounded the customs of polygamy,
war, blood-revenge and slavery, with regulations which gradually and
certainly tended to abolish them entirely.

No one would pretend that the laws which God established in relation to
polygamy, cities of refuge, &c., have any application to Christian
nations now.

The following summary of some of these laws of the Mosaic code is given
by Dr. C. E. Stowe, Professor of Biblical Literature in Andover
Theological Seminary:

  1. It commanded a Hebrew, even though a married man, with wife and
  children living, to take the childless widow of a deceased brother,
  and beget children with her.—Deut. 25:5–10.

  2. The Hebrews, under certain restrictions, were allowed to make
  concubines, or wives for a limited time, of women taken in
  war.—Deut. 21:10–19.

  3. A Hebrew who already had a wife was allowed to take another also,
  provided he still continued his intercourse with the first as her
  husband, and treated her kindly and affectionately.—Exodus 21:9–11.

  4. By the Mosaic law, the nearest relative of a murdered Hebrew
  could pursue and slay the murderer, unless he could escape to the
  city of refuge; and the same permission was given in case of
  accidental homicide.—Num. 35:9–39.

  5. The Israelites were commanded to exterminate the Canaanites, men,
  women and children.—Deut. 9:12; 20:16–18.

  Any one, or all, of the above practices, can be justified by the
  Mosaic law, as well as the practice of slave-holding.

  Each of these laws, although in its time it was an ameliorating law,
  designed to take the place of some barbarous abuse, and to be a
  connecting link by which some higher state of society might be
  introduced, belongs confessedly to that system which St. Paul says
  made nothing perfect. They are a part of the commandment which he
  says was annulled for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof, and
  which, in the time which he wrote, was waxing old, and ready to
  vanish away. And Christ himself says, with regard to certain
  permissions of this system, that they were given on account of the
  “hardness of their hearts,”—because the attempt to enforce a more
  stringent system at that time, owing to human depravity, would have
  only produced greater abuses.

The following view of the Hebrew laws of slavery is compiled from
Barnes’ work on slavery, and from Professor Stowe’s manuscript lectures.

The legislation commenced by making the great and common source of
slavery—kidnapping—a capital crime.

The enactment is as follows: “He that stealeth a man and selleth him, or
if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.”—Exodus

The sources from which slaves were to be obtained were thus reduced to
two: first, the voluntary sale of an individual by himself, which
certainly does not come under the designation of involuntary servitude;
second, the appropriation of captives taken in war, and the buying from
the heathen.

With regard to the servitude of the Hebrew by a voluntary sale of
himself, such servitude, by the statute-law of the land, came to an end
once in seven years; so that the worst that could be made of it was that
it was a voluntary contract to labor for a certain time.

With regard to the servants bought of the heathen, or of foreigners in
the land, there was a statute by which their servitude was annulled once
in fifty years.

It has been supposed, from a disconnected view of one particular passage
in the Mosaic code, that God directly countenanced the treating of a
slave, who was a stranger and foreigner, with more rigor and severity
than a Hebrew slave. That this was not the case will appear from the
following enactments, which have express reference to strangers:

  The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born
  among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself.—Lev. 19:34.

  Thou shalt neither vex a stranger nor oppress him; for ye were
  strangers in the land of Egypt.—Exodus 22:21.

  Thou shalt not oppress a stranger, for ye know the heart of a
  stranger.—Exodus 23:9.

  The Lord your God regardeth not persons. He doth execute the
  judgment of the fatherless and the widow, and loveth the stranger in
  giving him food and raiment; love ye therefore the stranger.—Deut.

  Judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the
  stranger that is with him.—Deut. 1:16.

  Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger.—Deut.

Instead of making slavery an oppressive institution with regard to the
stranger, it was made by God a system within which heathen were adopted
into the Jewish state, educated and instructed in the worship of the
true God, and in due time emancipated.

In the first place, they were protected by law from personal violence.
The loss of an eye or a tooth, through the violence of his master, took
the slave out of that master’s power entirely, and gave him his liberty.
Then, further than this, if a master’s conduct towards a slave was such
as to induce him to run away, it was enjoined that nobody should assist
in retaking him, and that he should dwell wherever he chose in the land,
without molestation. Third, the law secured to the slave a very
considerable portion of time, which was to be at his own disposal. Every
seventh year was to be at his own disposal.—Lev. 25:4–6. Every seventh
day was, of course, secured to him.—Ex. 20:10.

The servant had the privilege of attending the three great national
festivals, when all the males of the nation were required to appear
before God in Jerusalem.—Ex. 34:23.

Each of these festivals, it is computed, took up about three weeks.

The slave also was to be a guest in the family festivals. In Deut.
12:12, it is said, “Ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, ye, and
your sons, and your daughters, and your men-servants, and your
maid-servants, and the Levite that is within your gates.”

Dr. Barnes estimates that the whole amount of time which a servant could
have to himself would amount to about twenty-three years out of fifty,
or nearly one-half his time.

Again, the servant was placed on an exact equality with his master in
all that concerned his religious relations.

Now, if we recollect that in the time of Moses the God and the king of
the nation were one and the same person, and that the civil and
religious relation were one and the same, it will appear that the slave
and his master stood on an equality in their civil relation with regard
to the state.

Thus, in Deuteronomy 29, is described a solemn national convocation,
which took place before the death of Moses, when the whole nation were
called upon, after a solemn review of their national history, to renew
their constitutional oath of allegiance to their supreme Magistrate and

On this occasion, Moses addressed them thus:—“Ye stand this day, all of
you, before the Lord your God; your captains of your tribes, your
elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, your little ones,
your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, _from the hewer of thy
wood unto the drawer of thy water_; that _thou_ shouldest enter into
covenant with the Lord thy God, and into his oath, which the Lord thy
God maketh with thee this day.”

[Sidenote: Wheeler’s Law of Slavery, p. 243.]

How different is this from the cool and explicit declaration of South
Carolina with regard to the position of the American slave:—“A slave is
not generally regarded as legally _capable of being within the peace of
the state_. He is not a citizen, and is not in that character entitled
to her protection.”

In all the religious services, which, as we have seen by the
constitution of the nation, were civil services, the slave and the
master mingled on terms of strict equality. There was none of the
distinction which appertains to a distinct class or caste. “There was no
special service appointed for them at unusual seasons. There were no
particular seats assigned to them, to keep up the idea that they were a
degraded class. There was no withholding from them the instruction which
the word of God gave about the equal rights of mankind.”

_Fifthly._ It was always contemplated that the slave would, as a matter
of course, choose the Jewish religion, and the service of God, and enter
willingly into all the obligations and services of the Jewish polity.

Mr. Barnes cites the words of Maimonides, to show how this was commonly
understood by the Hebrews.—_Inquiry into the Scriptural Views of
Slavery._ By Albert Barnes, p. 132.

  Whether a servant be born in the power of an Israelite, or whether
  he be purchased from the heathen, the master is to bring them both
  into the covenant.

  But he that is in the _house_ is entered on the eighth day; and he
  that is bought with money, on the day on which his master receives
  him, unless the slave be _unwilling_. For, if the master receive a
  grown slave, and he be _unwilling_, his master is to bear with him,
  to seek to win him over by instruction, and by love and kindness,
  for one year. After which, should he refuse so long, it is forbidden
  to keep him longer than a year. And the master must send him back to
  the strangers from whence he came. For the God of Jacob will not
  accept any other than the worship of a _willing_ heart.—_Maimon._
  _Hilcoth Miloth_, chap. I., sec. 8.

A sixth fundamental arrangement with regard to the Hebrew slave was that
he _could never be sold_. Concerning this Mr. Barnes remarks:

  A man, in certain circumstances, _might be bought_ by a Hebrew; but
  when once bought, that was an end of the matter. There is not the
  slightest evidence that any Hebrew ever sold a slave; and any
  provision contemplating that was unknown to the constitution of the
  Commonwealth. It is said of Abraham that he had “servants bought
  with money;” but there is no record of his having ever sold one, nor
  is there any account of its ever having been done by Isaac or Jacob.
  The only instance of a _sale_ of this kind among the patriarchs is
  that act of the brothers of Joseph, which is held up to so strong
  reprobation, by which they sold him to the Ishmaelites. Permission
  is given in the law of Moses to _buy_ a servant, but none is given
  to _sell_ him again; and the fact that no such permission is given
  is full proof that it was not contemplated. When he entered into
  that relation, it became certain that there could be no change,
  unless it was voluntary on his part (comp. Ex. 21:5,6), or unless
  his master gave him his freedom, until the not distant period fixed
  by law when he could be free. There is no arrangement in the law of
  Moses by which servants were to be taken in payment of their
  master’s debts, by which they were to be given as pledges, by which
  they were to be consigned to the keeping of others, or by which they
  were to be given away as presents. There are no instances occurring
  in the Jewish history in which any of these things were done. This
  law is positive in regard to the Hebrew servant, and the principle
  of the law would apply to all others. Lev. 25:42.—“They shall not be
  sold as bond men.” In all these respects there was a marked
  difference, and there was doubtless intended to be, between the
  estimate affixed to servants and to property.—_Inquiry_, &c., p.

As to the practical workings of this system, as they are developed in
the incidents of sacred history, they are precisely what we should
expect from such a system of laws. For instance, we find it mentioned
incidentally in the ninth chapter of the first book of Samuel, that when
Saul and his servant came to see Samuel, that Samuel, in anticipation of
his being crowned king, made a great feast for him; and in verse
twenty-second the history says: “And Samuel took Saul _and his servant_,
and brought them into the parlor, and made _them_ sit in the chiefest

We read, also, in 2 Samuel 9:10, of a servant of Saul who had large
estates, and twenty servants of his own.

We find, in 1 Chron. 2:34, the following incident related: “Now, Sheshan
had no sons, but daughters. And Sheshan had a servant, an Egyptian,
whose name was Jarha. And Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha, his
servant, to wife.”

Does this resemble American slavery?

We find, moreover, that this connection was not considered at all
disgraceful, for the son of this very daughter was enrolled among the
valiant men of David’s army.—1 Chron. 2:41.

In fine, we are not surprised to discover that the institutions of Moses
in effect so obliterated all the characteristics of slavery, that it had
ceased to exist among the Jews long before the time of Christ. Mr.
Barnes asks:

  On what evidence would a man rely to prove that slavery existed at
  all in the land in the time of the later prophets of the Maccabees,
  or when the Saviour appeared? There are abundant proofs, as we shall
  see, that it existed in Greece and Rome; but what is the evidence
  that it existed in Judea? So far as I have been able to ascertain,
  there are no declarations that it did to be found in the canonical
  books of the Old Testament, or in Josephus. There are no allusions
  to laws and customs which imply that it was prevalent. There are no
  coins or medals which suppose it. There are no facts which do not
  admit of an easy explanation on the supposition that slavery had
  ceased.—_Inquiry_, &c., p. 226.

Two objections have been urged to the interpretations which have been
given of two of the enactments before quoted.

1. It is said that the enactment, “Thou shalt not return to his master
the servant that has escaped,” &c., relates only to servants escaping
from heathen masters to the Jewish nation.

The following remarks on this passage are from Prof. Stowe’s lectures:

Deuteronomy 23:15,16.—These words make a statute which, like every other
statute, is to be strictly construed. There is nothing in the language
to limit its meaning; there is nothing in the connection in which it
stands to limit its meaning; nor is there anything in the history of the
Mosaic legislation to limit the application of this statute to the case
of servants escaping from foreign masters. The assumption that it is
thus limited is wholly gratuitous, and, so far as the Bible is
concerned, unsustained by any evidence whatever. It is said that it
would be absurd for Moses to enact such a law while servitude existed
among the Hebrews. It would indeed be absurd, were it the object of the
Mosaic legislation to sustain and perpetuate slavery; but, if it were
the object of Moses to limit and to restrain, and finally to extinguish
slavery, this statute was admirably adapted to his purpose. That it was
the object of Moses to extinguish, and not to perpetuate, slavery, is
perfectly clear from the whole course of his legislation on the subject.
Every slave was to have all the religious privileges and instruction to
which his master’s children were entitled. Every seventh year released
the Hebrew slave, and every fiftieth year produced universal
emancipation. If a master, by an accidental or an angry blow, deprived
the slave of a tooth, the slave, by that act, was forever free. And so,
by the statute in question, if the slave felt himself oppressed, he
could make his escape, and, though the master was not forbidden to
retake him if he could, every one was forbidden to aid his master in
doing it. This statute, in fact, made the servitude voluntary, and that
was what Moses intended.

Moses dealt with slavery precisely as he dealt with polygamy and with
war: without directly prohibiting, he so restricted as to destroy it;
instead of cutting down the poison-tree, he girdled it, and left it to
die of itself. There is a statute in regard to military expeditions
precisely analogous to this celebrated fugitive slave law. Had Moses
designed to perpetuate a warlike spirit among the Hebrews, the statute
would have been preëminently absurd; but, if it was his design to crush
it, and to render foreign wars almost impossible, the statute was
exactly adapted to his purpose. It rendered foreign military service, in
effect, entirely voluntary, just as the fugitive law rendered domestic
servitude, in effect, voluntary.

The law may be found at length in Deuteronomy 20:5–10; and let it be
carefully read and compared with the fugitive slave law already adverted
to. Just when the men are drawn up ready for the expedition,—just at the
moment when even the hearts of brave men are apt to fail them,—the
officers are commanded to address the soldiers thus:

  “What man of you is there that hath built a new house, and hath not
  dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the
  battle, and another man dedicate it.

  “And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard and hath not yet
  eaten of it? Let him also go and return to his house, lest he die in
  the battle, and another man eat of it.

  “And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not
  taken her? Let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the
  battle, and another man take her.”

  And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall
  say, “What man is there that is fearful and faint-hearted? Let him
  go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint, as
  well as his heart.”

Now, consider that the Hebrews were exclusively an agricultural people,
that warlike parties necessarily consist mainly of young men, and that
by this statute every man who had built a house which he had not yet
lived in, and every man who had planted a vineyard from which he had not
yet gathered fruit, and every man who had engaged a wife whom he had not
yet married, and every one who felt timid and faint-hearted, was
permitted and commanded to go home,—how many would there probably be
left? Especially when the officers, instead of exciting their military
ardor by visions of glory and of splendor, were commanded to repeat it
over and over again that they would probably die in the battle and never
get home, and hold this idea up before them as if it were the only idea
suitable for their purpose, how excessively absurd is the whole statute
considered as a military law,—just as absurd as the Mosaic fugitive law,
understood in its widest application, is, considered as a slave law!

It is clearly the object of this military law to put an end to military
expeditions; for, with this law in force, such expeditions must always
be entirely volunteer expeditions. Just as clearly was it the object of
the fugitive slave law to put an end to compulsory servitude; for, with
that law in force, the servitude must, in effect, be, to a great extent,
voluntary,—and that is just what the legislator intended. There is no
possibility of limiting the law, on account of its absurdity, when
understood in its widest sense, except by proving that the Mosaic
legislation was designed to perpetuate and not to limit slavery; and
this certainly cannot be proved, for it is directly contrary to the
plain matter of fact.

I repeat it, then, again: there is nothing in the language of this
statute, there is nothing in the connection in which it stands, there is
nothing in the history of the Mosaic legislation on this subject, to
limit the application of the law to the case of servants escaping from
foreign masters; but every consideration, from every legitimate source,
leads us to a conclusion directly the opposite. Such a limitation is the
arbitrary, unsupported _stet voluntas pro ratione_ assumption of the
commentator, and nothing else. The only shadow of a philological
argument that I can see, for limiting the statute, is found in the use
of the words _to thee_, in the fifteenth verse. It may be said that the
pronoun _thee_ is used in a _national_ and not _individual_ sense,
implying an escape from some other nation to the Hebrews. But, examine
the statute immediately preceding this, and observe the use of the
pronoun _thee_ in the thirteenth verse. Most obviously, the pronouns in
these statutes are used with reference to the _individuals_ addressed,
and not in a collective or national sense exclusively; very rarely, if
ever, can this sense be given to them in the way claimed by the argument
referred to.

2. It is said that the proclamation, “Thou shalt proclaim liberty
through the land to all the inhabitants thereof,” related only to Hebrew
slaves. This assumption is based entirely on the supposition that the
slave was not considered, in Hebrew law, as a person, as an inhabitant
of the land, and a member of the state; but we have just proved that in
the most solemn transaction of the state the hewer of wood and drawer of
water is expressly designated as being just as much an actor and
participator as his master; and it would be absurd to suppose that, in a
statute addressed to all the inhabitants of the land, he is not included
as an inhabitant.

Barnes enforces this idea by some pages of quotations from Jewish
writers, which will fully satisfy any one who reads his work.

From a review, then, of all that relates to the Hebrew slave-law, it
will appear that it was a very well-considered and wisely-adapted system
of education and gradual emancipation. No rational man can doubt that if
the same laws were enacted and the same practices prevailed with regard
to slavery in the United States, that the system of American slavery
might be considered, to all intents and purposes, practically at an end.
If there is any doubt of this fact, and it is still thought that the
permission of slavery among the Hebrews justifies American slavery, in
all fairness the experiment of making the two systems alike ought to be
tried, and we should then see what would be the result.

                              CHAPTER XV.
                         SLAVERY IS DESPOTISM.

It is always important, in discussing a thing, to keep before our minds
exactly what it is.

The only means of understanding precisely what a civil institution is
are an examination of the laws which regulate it. In different ages and
nations, very different things have been called by the name of slavery.
Patriarchal servitude was one thing, Hebrew servitude was another, Greek
and Roman servitude still a third; and these institutions differed very
much from each other. What, then, is American slavery, as we have seen
it exhibited by law, and by the decisions of courts?

Let us begin by stating what it is not.

1. It is not apprenticeship.

2. It is not guardianship.

3. It is in no sense a system for the education of a weaker race by a

4. The happiness of the governed is in no sense its object.

5. The temporal improvement or the eternal well-being of the governed is
in no sense its object.

The object of it has been distinctly stated in one sentence, by Judge
Ruffin,—“The end is the profit of the master, his security, and the
public safety.”

Slavery, then, is absolute despotism, of the most unmitigated form.

It would, however, be doing injustice to the absolutism of any
_civilized_ country to liken American slavery to it. The absolute
governments of Europe none of them pretend to be founded on a _property_
right of the governor to the persons and entire capabilities of the

This is a form of despotism which exists only in some of the most savage
countries of the world; as, for example, in Dahomey.

The European absolutism or despotism, now, does, to some extent,
recognize the happiness and welfare of the _governed_ as the foundation
of government; and the ruler is considered as invested with power _for
the benefit of the people_; and his right to rule is supposed to be
somewhat predicated upon the idea that he better understands how to
promote the good of the people than they themselves do. No government in
the _civilized_ world now presents the pure despotic idea, as it existed
in the old days of the Persian and Assyrian rule.

The arguments which defend slavery must be substantially the same as
those which defend despotism of any other kind; and the objections which
are to be urged against it are precisely those which can be urged
against despotism of any other kind. The customs and practices to which
it gives rise are precisely those to which despotisms in all ages have
given rise.

Is the slave suspected of a crime? His master has the power to examine
him by torture (see State _v._ Castleman). His master has, in fact, in
most cases, the power of life and death, owing to the exclusion of the
slave’s evidence. He has the power of banishing the slave, at any time,
and without giving an account to anybody, to an exile as dreadful as
that of Siberia, and to labors as severe as those of the galleys. He has
also unlimited power over the character of his slave. He can accuse him
of any crime, yet withhold from him all right of trial or investigation,
and sell him into captivity, with his name blackened by an unexamined

These are all abuses for which despotic governments are blamed. They are
powers which good men who are despotic rulers are beginning to disuse;
but, under the flag of every slave-holding state, and under the flag of
the whole United States in the District of Columbia, they are committed
indiscriminately to men of any character.

But the worst kind of despotism has been said to be that which extends
alike over the body and over the soul; which can bind the liberty of the
conscience, and deprive a man of all right of choice in respect to the
manner in which he shall learn the will of God, and worship Him. In
other days, kings on their thrones, and cottagers by their firesides,
alike trembled before a despotism which declared itself able to bind and
to loose, to open and to shut the kingdom of heaven.

Yet this power to control the conscience, to control the religious
privileges, and all the opportunities which man has of acquaintanceship
with his Maker, and of learning to do his will, is, under the flag of
every slave state, and under the flag of the United States, placed in
the hands of any men, of any character, who can afford to pay for it.

It is a most awful and most solemn truth that the greatest republic in
the world does sustain under her national flag the worst system of
despotism which can possibly exist.

With regard to one point to which we have adverted,—the power of the
master to deprive the slave of a legal trial while accusing him of
crime,—a very striking instance has occurred in the District of
Columbia, within a year or two. The particulars of the case, as stated,
at the time, in several papers, were briefly these: A gentleman in
Washington, our national capital,—an elder in the Presbyterian
church,—held a female slave, who had, for some years, supported a good
character in a Baptist church of that city. He accused her of an attempt
to poison his family, and immediately placed her in the hands of a
slave-dealer, who took her over and imprisoned her in the slave-pen at
Alexandria, to await the departure of a coffle. The poor girl had a
mother, who felt as any mother would naturally feel.

When apprized of the situation of her daughter, she flew to the pen,
and, with tears, besought an interview with her only child; but she was
cruelly repulsed, and told to be gone! She then tried to see the elder,
but failed. She had the promise of money sufficient to purchase her
daughter, but the owner would listen to no terms of compromise.

In her distress, the mother repaired to a lawyer in the city, and begged
him to give form to her petition in writing. She stated to him what she
wished to have said, and he arranged it for her in such a form as she
herself might have presented it in, had not the benefits of education
been denied her. The following is the letter:

                                          _Washington, July 25, 1851._

  MR. ——.

  SIR: I address you as a rich Christian freeman and father, while I
  am myself but a poor slave-mother! I come to plead with you for an
  only child whom I love, who is a professor of the Christian religion
  with yourself, and a member of a Christian church; and who, by your
  act of ownership, now pines in her imprisonment in a loathsome
  man-warehouse, where she is held for sale! I come to plead with you
  for the exercise of that blessed law, “Whatsoever ye would that men
  should do unto you, do ye even so to them.”

  With great labor, I have found friends who are willing to aid me in
  the purchase of my child, to save us from a cruel separation. You,
  as a _father_, can judge of my feelings when I was told that you had
  decreed her banishment to _distant_ as well as to _hopeless_

  For nearly six years my child has done for you the hard labor of a
  slave; from the age of sixteen to twenty-two, she has done the hard
  work of your chamber, kitchen, cellar, and stables. By night and by
  day, your will and your commands have been her highest law; and all
  this has been unrequited toil. If in all this time her scanty
  allowance of tea and coffee has been sweetened, it has been at the
  cost of her slave-mother, and not at yours.

  You are an office-bearer in the church, and a man of _prayer_. As
  such, and as the absolute owner of my child, I ask candidly whether
  she has enjoyed such mild and gentle treatment, and amiable example,
  as she ought to have had, to encourage her in her monotonous
  bondage? Has she received at your hands, in faithful religious
  instruction in the Word of God, a full and fair compensation for all
  her toil? It is not to me alone that you must answer these
  questions. You acknowledge the high authority of His laws who
  preached a deliverance to the captive, and who commands you to give
  to your servant “that which is just and equal.” O! I entreat you,
  withhold not, at this trying hour, from my child that which will cut
  off her last hope, and which may endanger your own soul!

  It has been said that you charge my daughter with crime. Can this be
  really so? Can it be that you would set aside the obligations of
  honor and good citizenship,—that you would dare to sell the guilty
  one away for money, rather than bring her to trial, which you _know_
  she is ready to meet? What would you say, if you were accused of
  guilt, and refused a trial? Is not her fair name as precious to her,
  in the church to which she belongs, as yours can be to you?

  Suppose, now, for a moment, that _your_ daughter, whom you love,
  instead of mine, was in these hot days incarcerated in a
  _negro-pen_, subject to my control, fed on the coarsest food,
  committed to the entire will of a brute, denied the privilege
  commonly allowed even to the murderer—that of seeing the face of his
  friends? O! then, you would FEEL! Feel soon, then, for a poor
  slave-mother and her child, and do for us as you shall wish you had
  done when we shall meet before the Great Judge, and when it shall be
  your greatest joy to say, “I _did_ let the oppressed free.”

                                                          ELLEN BROWN.

The girl, however, was sent off to the Southern market.

The writer has received these incidents from the gentleman who wrote the
letter. Whether the course pursued by the master was strictly legal is a
point upon which we are not entirely certain; that it was a course in
which the law did not in fact interfere is quite plain, and it is also
very apparent that it was a course against which public sentiment did
not remonstrate. The man who exercised this power was a professedly
religious man, enjoying a position of importance in a Christian church;
and it does not appear, from any movements in the Christian community
about him, that they did not consider his course a justifiable one.

Yet is not this kind of power the very one at which we are so shocked
when we see it exercised by foreign despots?

Do we not read with shuddering that in Russia, or in Austria, a man
accused of crime is seized upon, separated from his friends, allowed no
opportunities of trial or of self-defence, but hurried off to Siberia,
or some other dreaded exile?

Why is despotism any worse in the governor of a state than in a private

There is a great controversy now going on in the world between the
despotic and the republican principle. All the common arguments used in
support of slavery are arguments that apply with equal strength to
despotic government, and there are some arguments in favor of despotic
governments that do not apply to individual slavery.

There are arguments, and quite plausible ones, in favor of despotic
government. Nobody can deny that it possesses a certain kind of
efficiency, compactness, and promptness of movement, which cannot, from
the nature of things, belong to a republic. Despotism has established
and sustained much more efficient systems of police than ever a republic
did. The late King of Prussia, by the possession of absolute despotic
power was enabled to carry out a much more efficient system of popular
education than we ever have succeeded in carrying out in America. He
districted his kingdom in the most thorough manner, and obliged every
parent, whether he would or not, to have his children thoroughly

If we reply to all this, as we do, that the possession of absolute power
in a man qualified to use it right is undoubtedly calculated for the
good of the state, but that there are so few men that know how to use
it, that this form of government is not, on the whole, a safe one, then
we have stated an argument that goes to overthrow slavery as much as it
does a despotic government; for certainly the chances are much greater
of finding one man, in the course of fifty years, who is capable of
wisely using this power, than of finding thousands of men every day in
our streets, who can be trusted with such power. It is a painful and
most serious fact, that America trusts to the hands of the most brutal
men of her country, equally with the best, that despotic power which she
thinks an unsafe thing even in the hands of the enlightened, educated
and cultivated Emperor of the Russias.

With all our republican prejudices, we cannot deny that Nicholas is a
man of talent, with a mind liberalized by education; we have been
informed, also, that he is a man of serious and religious character;—he
certainly, acting as he does in the eye of all the world, must have
great restraint upon him from public opinion, and a high sense of
character. But who is the man to whom American laws intrust powers more
absolute than those of Nicholas of Russia, or Ferdinand of Naples? He
may have been a pirate on the high seas; he may be a drunkard; he may,
like Souther, have been convicted of a brutality at which humanity turns
pale; but, for all that, American slave-law will none the less trust him
with this irresponsible power,—power over the body, and power over the

On which side, then, stands the American nation, in the great
controversy which is now going on between self-government and despotism?
On which side does America stand, in the great controversy for liberty
of conscience?

Do foreign governments exclude their population from the reading of the
Bible?—The slave of America is excluded by the most effectual means
possible. Do we say, “Ah! but we read the Bible to our slaves, and
present the gospel orally?”—This is precisely what religious despotism
in Italy says. Do we say that we have no objection to our slaves reading
the Bible, if they will stop there; but that with this there will come
in a flood of general intelligence, which will upset the existing state
of things?—This is precisely what is said in Italy.

Do we say we should be willing that the slave should read his Bible, but
that he, in his ignorance, will draw false and erroneous conclusions
from it, and for that reason we prefer to impart its truths to him
orally?—This, also, is precisely what the religious despotism of Europe

Do we say, in our vain-glory, that despotic government dreads the coming
in of anything calculated to elevate and educate the people?—And is
there not the same dread through all the despotic slave governments of

On which side, then, does the American nation stand, in the great, last
QUESTION of the age?

                               PART III.

                               CHAPTER I.

The utter inefficiency of the law to protect the slave in any respect
has been shown.

But it is claimed that, precisely because the law affords the slave no
protection, therefore public opinion is the more strenuous in his

Nothing more frequently strikes the eye, in running over judicial
proceedings in the courts of slave states, than announcements of the
utter inutility of the law to rectify some glaring injustice towards
this unhappy race, coupled with congratulatory remarks on that
beneficent state of _public sentiment_ which is to supply entirely this
acknowledged deficiency of the law.

On this point it may, perhaps, be sufficient to ask the reader, whether
North or South, to review in his own mind the judicial documents which
we have presented, and ask himself what inference is to be drawn, as to
the state of public sentiment, from the cases there presented,—from the
pleas of lawyers, the decisions of judges, the facts sworn to by
witnesses, and the general style and spirit of the whole proceedings.

In order to appreciate this more fully, let us compare a trial in a free
state with a trial in a slave state.

In the free State of Massachusetts, a man of standing, learning and high
connections, murdered another man. He did not torture him, but with one
blow sent him in a moment from life. The murderer had every advantage of
position, of friends; it may be said, indeed, that he had the sympathy
of the whole United States; yet how calmly, with what unmoved and awful
composure, did the judicial examination proceed! The murderer was
condemned to die—what a sensation shook the country! Even sovereign
states assumed the attitude of petitioners for him.

There was a voice of entreaty, from Maine to New Orleans. There were
remonstrances, and there were threats; but still, with what passionless
calmness retributive justice held on its way! Though the men who were
her instruments were men of merciful and bleeding hearts, yet they bowed
in silence to her sublime will. In spite of all that influence and
wealth and power could do, a cultivated and intelligent man, from the
first rank of society, suffered the same penalty that would fall on any
other man who violated the sanctity of human life.

Now, compare this with a trial in a slave state. In Virginia, Souther
also murdered a man; but he did not murder him by one merciful blow, but
by twelve hours of torture so horrible that few readers could bear even
the description of it. It was a mode of death which, to use the language
that Cicero in his day applied to crucifixion, “ought to be forever
removed from the sight, hearing, and from the very thoughts of mankind.”
And to this horrible scene two white men were WITNESSES!

Observe the mode in which these two cases were tried, and the general
sensation they produced. Hear the lawyers, in this case of Souther,
coolly debating whether it can be considered any crime at all. Hear the
decision of the inferior court, that it is murder in the _second
degree_, and apportioning as its reward five years of imprisonment. See
the horrible butcher coming up to the Superior Court in the attitude of
an injured man! See the case recorded as that of _Souther_ VERSUS _The
Commonwealth_, and let us ask any intelligent man, North or South, what
sort of public sentiment does this show!

Does it show a belief that the negro is a man? Does it not show
decidedly that he is _not_ considered as a man? Consider further the
horrible principle which, reäffirmed in the case, is the law of the land
in Virginia. _It is the policy of the law, in respect to the relation of
master and slave, and for the sake of securing proper subordination on
the part of the slave, to protect the master from prosecution in all
such cases, even if the whipping and punishment be malicious, cruel and

When the most cultivated and intelligent men in the state formally,
calmly and without any apparent perception of saying anything inhuman,
utter such an astounding decision as this, what _can_ be thought of it?
If they do not consider this cruel, what is cruel? And, if their
feelings are so blunted as to see no cruelty in such a decision, what
hope is there of any protection to the slave?

This law is a plain and distinct permission to such wretches as Souther
to inflict upon the helpless slave any torture they may choose, without
any accusation or impeachment of crime. It distinctly tells Souther, and
the white witnesses who saw his deed, and every other low, unprincipled
man in the court, that it is the policy of the law to protect him in
malicious, cruel and excessive punishments.

What sort of an education is this for the intelligent and cultivated men
of a state to communicate to the lower and less-educated class? Suppose
it to be solemnly announced in Massachusetts, with respect to free
laborers or apprentices, that it is the policy of the law, for the sake
of producing subordination, to protect the master in inflicting any
punishment, however cruel, malicious and excessive, short of death. We
cannot imagine such a principle declared, without a rebellion and a
storm of popular excitement to which that of Bunker Hill was calmness
itself;—but, supposing the State of Massachusetts were so “twice dead
and plucked up by the roots” as to allow such a decision to pass without
comment concerning her working classes,—suppose it did pass, and become
an active, operative reality, what kind of an educational influence
would it exert upon the commonwealth? What kind of an estimate of the
working classes would it show in the minds of those who make and execute
the law?

What an immediate development of villany and brutality would be brought
out by such a law, avowedly made to protect men in cruelty! Cannot men
be cruel enough, without all the majesty of law being brought into
operation to sanction it, and make it reputable?

And suppose it were said, in vindication of such a law, “O, of course,
no respectable, humane man would ever think of taking advantage of it.”
Should we not think the old State of Massachusetts sunk very low, to
have on her legal records direct assurances of protection to deeds which
no decent man would ever do?

And, when this shocking permission is brought in review at the
judgment-seat of Christ, and the awful Judge shall say to its makers,
aiders, and abettors, Where is thy brother?—when all the souls that have
called from under the altar, “How long, O Lord, dost thou not judge and
avenge our blood,” shall rise around the judgment-seat as a great cloud
of witnesses, and the judgment is set and the books are opened,—what
answer will be made for such laws and decisions as these?

Will they tell the great Judge that it was necessary to preserve the
slave system,—that it could not be preserved without them?

Will they dare look upon those eyes, which are as a flame of fire, with
any such avowal?

Will He not answer, as with a voice of thunders, “Ye have killed the
poor and needy, and ye have forgotten that the Lord was his helper”?

The deadly sin of slavery is its denial of humanity to man. This has
been the sin of oppression, in every age. To tread down, to vilify and
crush, the image of God, in the person of the poor and lowly, has been
the great sin of man since the creation of the world. Against this sin
all the prophets of ancient times poured forth their thunders. A still
stronger witness was borne against this sin when God, in Jesus Christ,
took human nature, and made each human being a brother of the Lord. But
the last and most sublime witness shall be borne when a MAN shall judge
the whole earth—a Man who shall acknowledge for His brother the meanest
slave, equally with the proudest master.

In most singular and affecting terms it is asserted in the Bible that
the Father hath committed all judgment to the Son, BECAUSE HE IS THE SON
OF MAN. That human nature, which, in the person of the poor slave, has
been despised and rejected, scoffed and scorned, scourged and tortured,
shall in that day be glorified; and it shall appear the most fearful of
sins to have made light of the sacredness of humanity, as these laws and
institutions of slavery have done. The fact is, that the whole system of
slave-law, and the whole practice of the slave system, and the public
sentiment that is formed by it, are alike based on the greatest of all
heresies, _a denial of equal human brotherhood_. A whole race has been
thrown out of the range of human existence, their immortality
disregarded, their dignity as children of God scoffed at, their
brotherhood with Christ treated as a fable, and all the law and public
sentiment and practice with regard to them such as could be justified
only on supposition that they were a race of inferior animals.

It is because the negro is considered an _inferior animal_, and not
worthy of any better treatment, that the system which relates to him and
the treatment which falls to him are considered humane.

Take any class of white men, however uneducated, and place them under
the same system of laws, and make their civil condition in all respects
like that of the negro, and would it not be considered the most
outrageous cruelty?

Suppose the slave-law were enacted with regard to all the Irish in our
country, and they were parcelled off as the property of any man who had
money enough to buy them. Suppose their right to vote, their right to
bring suit in any case, their right to bear testimony in courts of
justice, their right to contract a legal marriage, their right to hold
property or to make contracts of any sort, were all by one stroke of law
blotted out. Furthermore, suppose it was forbidden to teach them to read
and write, and that their children to all ages were “doomed to live
without knowledge.” Suppose that, in judicial proceedings, it were
solemnly declared, with regard to them, that the _mere beating_ of an
Irishman, “apart from any circumstances of cruelty, or any attempt to
kill,” was no offence against the peace of the state. Suppose that it
were declared that, for the better preservation of subjection among
them, the law would protect the master in any kind of punishment
inflicted, even if it should appear to be malicious, cruel and
excessive; and suppose that monsters like Souther, in availing
themselves of this permission, should occasionally torture Irishmen to
death, but still this circumstance should not be deemed of sufficient
importance to call for any restriction on the part of the master.
Suppose it should be coolly said, “O yes, Irishmen are occasionally
tortured to death, we know; but it is not by any means a _general_
occurrence; in fact, no men of position in society would do it; and when
cases of the kind do occur, they are indignantly frowned upon.”

Suppose it should be stated that the reason that the law restraining the
power of the master cannot be made any more stringent is, that the
general system cannot be maintained without allowing this extent of
power to the master.

Suppose that, having got all the Irishmen in the country down into this
condition, they should maintain that such was the public sentiment of
humanity with regard to them as abundantly to supply the want of all
legal rights, and to make their condition, on the whole, happier than if
they were free. Should we not say that a public sentiment which saw no
cruelty in thus depriving a whole race of every right dear to manhood
could see no cruelty in anything, and had proved itself wholly unfit to
judge upon the subject? What man would not rather see his children in
the grave than see them slaves? What man, who, should he wake to-morrow
morning in the condition of an American slave, would not wish himself in
the grave? And yet all the defenders of slavery start from the point
that this legal condition is not _of itself_ a cruelty! They would hold
it the last excess of cruelty with regard to themselves, or any white
man; why do they call it no cruelty at all with regard to the negro?

The writer in defence of slavery in _Fraser’s Magazine_ justifies this
depriving of a whole class of any legal rights, by urging that “the good
there is in human nature will supply the deficiencies of human
legislation.” This remark is one most significant, powerful index of the
state of public sentiment, produced even in a generous mind, by the
slave system. This writer thinks the good there is in human nature will
supply the absence of all legal rights to thousands and millions of
human beings. He thinks it right to risk their bodies and their souls on
the good there is in human nature; yet this very man would not send a
fifty-dollar bill through the post-office, in an unsealed letter,
trusting to “the good there is in human nature.”

Would this man dare to place his children in the position of slaves, and
trust them to “the good in human nature”?

Would he buy an estate from the most honorable man of his acquaintance,
and have no legal record of the deed, trusting to “the good in human
nature”? And if “the good in human nature” will not suffice for him and
his children, how will it suffice for his brother and his brother’s
children? Is his happiness of any more importance in God’s sight than
his brother’s happiness, that his must be secured by legal bolts, and
bonds, and bars, and his brother’s left to “the good there is in human
nature”? Never are we so impressed with the utter deadness of public
sentiment to protect the slave, as when we see such opinions as these
uttered by men of a naturally generous and noble character.

The most striking and the most painful examples of the perversion of
public sentiment, with regard to the negro race, are often given in the
writings of men of humanity, amiableness and piety.

That devoted laborer for the slave, the Rev. Charles C. Jones, thus
expresses his sense of the importance of one African soul:

  Were it now revealed to us that the most extensive system of
  instruction which we could devise, requiring a vast amount of labor
  and protracted through ages, would result in the tender mercy of our
  God in the salvation of the soul of _one poor African_, we should
  feel warranted in cheerfully entering upon our work, with all its
  costs and sacrifices.

What a noble, what a sublime spirit, is here breathed! Does it not show
a mind capable of the very highest impulses?

And yet, if we look over his whole writings, we shall see painfully how
the moral sense of the finest mind may be perverted by constant
familiarity with such a system.

We find him constructing an appeal to masters to have their slaves
_orally_ instructed in religion. In many passages he speaks of oral
instruction as confessedly an imperfect species of instruction, very
much inferior to that which results from personal reading and
examination of the Word of God. He says, in one place, that in order to
do much good it must be begun very early in life, and intimates that
people in advanced years can acquire very little from it; and yet he
decidedly expresses his opinion that slavery is an institution with
which no Christian has cause to interfere.

The slaves, according to his own showing, are cut off from the best
means for the salvation of their souls, and restricted to one of a very
inferior nature. They are placed under restriction which makes their
souls as dependent upon others for spiritual food as a man without hands
is dependent upon others for bodily food. He recognizes the fact, which
his own experience must show him, that the slave is at all times liable
to pass into the hands of those who will not take the trouble thus to
feed his soul; nay, if we may judge from his urgent appeals to masters,
he perceives around him many who, having spiritually cut off the slave’s
hands, refuse to feed him. He sees that, by the operation of this law as
a matter of fact, thousands are placed in situations where the perdition
of the soul is almost certain, and yet he declares that he does not feel
called upon at all to interfere with their civil condition!

But, if the soul of every poor African is of that inestimable worth
which Mr. Jones believes, does it not follow that he ought to have the
very best means for getting to heaven which it is possible to give him?
And is not he who can read the Bible for himself in a better condition
than he who is dependent upon the reading of another? If it be said that
such teaching cannot be afforded, because it makes them unsafe property,
ought not a clergyman like Mr. Jones to meet this objection in his own
expressive language:

  Were it now revealed to us that the most extensive system of
  instruction which we could devise, requiring a vast amount of labor
  and protracted through ages, would result in the tender mercy of our
  God in the salvation of the soul of _one poor African_, we should
  feel warranted in cheerfully entering upon our work, with all its
  costs and sacrifices.

Should not a clergyman, like Mr. Jones, tell masters that they should
risk the loss of all things seen and temporal, rather than incur the
hazard of bringing eternal ruin on these souls? All the arguments which
Mr. Jones so eloquently used with masters, to persuade them to give
their slaves oral instruction, would apply with double force to show
their obligation to give the slave the power of reading the Bible for

Again, we come to hear Mr. Jones telling masters of the power they have
over the souls of their servants, and we hear him say,

  We may, according to the power lodged in our hands, forbid religious
  meetings and religious instruction on our own plantations; we may
  forbid our servants going to church at all, or only to such churches
  as we may select for them. We may literally shut up the kingdom of
  heaven against men, and suffer not them that are entering to go in.

And, when we hear Mr. Jones say all this, and then consider that he must
see and know this awful power is often lodged in the hands of wholly
irreligious men, in the hands of men of the most profligate character,
we can account for his thinking such a system right only by attributing
it to that blinding, deadening influence which the public sentiment of
slavery exerts even over the best-constituted minds.

Neither Mr. Jones nor any other Christian minister would feel it right
that the eternal happiness of their own children should be thus placed
in the power of any man who should have money to pay for them. How,
then, can they think it right that this power be given in the case of
their African brother?

Does this not show that, even in case of the most humane and Christian
people, who theoretically believe in the equality of all souls before
God, a constant familiarity with slavery works a practical infidelity on
this point; and that they give their assent to laws which practically
declare that the salvation of the servant’s soul is of less consequence
than the salvation of the property relation?

Let us not be thought invidious or uncharitable in saying, that where
slavery exists there are so many causes necessarily uniting to corrupt
public sentiment with regard to the slave, that the best-constituted
minds cannot trust themselves in it. In the northern and free states
public sentiment has been, and is, to this day, fatally infected by the
influence of a past and the proximity of a present system of slavery.
Hence the injustice with which the negro in many of our states is
treated. Hence, too, those apologies for slavery, and defences of it,
which issue from Northern presses, and even Northern pulpits. If even at
the North the remains of slavery can produce such baleful effects in
corrupting public sentiment, how much more must this be the case where
this institution is in full force!

The whole American nation is, in some sense, under a paralysis of public
sentiment on this subject. It was said by a heathen writer that the gods
gave us a fearful power when they gave us the faculty of becoming
accustomed to things. This power has proved a fearful one indeed in
America. We have got used to things which might stir the dead in their

When but a small portion of the things daily done in America has been
told in England, and France, and Italy, and Germany, there has been a
perfect shriek and outcry of horror. America alone remains cool, and
asks, “What is the matter?”

Europe answers back, “Why, we have heard that men are _sold_ like cattle
in your country.”

“Of course they are,” says America; “but what then?”

“We have heard,” says Europe, “that millions of men are forbidden to
read and write in your country.”

“We know that,” says America; “but what is this outcry about?”

“We have heard,” says Europe, “that Christian girls are sold to shame in
your markets!”

“That isn’t quite as it should be,” says America; “but still what is
this _excitement_ about?”

“We hear that three millions of your people can have no legal marriage
ties,” says Europe.

“Certainly that is true,” returns America; “but you made such an outcry,
we thought you saw some great _cruelty_ going on.”

“And you profess to be a free country!” says indignant Europe.

“Certainly we are the freest and most enlightened country in the
world,—what are you talking about?” says America.

“You send your missionaries to Christianize us,” says Turkey; “and our
religion has abolished this horrible system.”

“You! you are all heathen over there,—what business have you to talk?”
answers America.

Many people seem really to have thought that nothing but horrible
exaggerations of the system of slavery could have produced the sensation
which has recently been felt in all modern Europe. They do not know that
the thing they have become accustomed to, and handled so freely in every
discussion, seems to all other nations the sum and essence of villany.
Modern Europe, opening her eyes and looking on the legal theory of the
slave system, on the laws and interpretations of law which define it,
says to America, in the language of the indignant Othello, If thou wilt
justify a thing like this,

            “Never pray more; abandon all remorse;
            On Horror’s head horrors accumulate;
            Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amazed;
            For nothing canst thou to damnation add
            Greater than this.”

There is an awful state of familiarity with evil which the apostle calls
being “dead in trespasses and sins,” where truth has been resisted, and
evil perseveringly defended, and the convictions of conscience stifled,
and the voice of God’s Holy Spirit bidden to depart. There is an awful
paralysis of the moral sense, when deeds unholiest and crimes most
fearful cease any longer to affect the nerve. That paralysis, always a
fearful indication of the death and dissolution of nations, is a doubly
dangerous disease in a republic, whose only power is in intelligence,
justice and virtue.

                              CHAPTER II.

Rev. Charles C. Jones, in his interesting work on the Religious
Instruction of Negroes, has a passage which so peculiarly describes that
influence of public opinion which we have been endeavoring to
illustrate, that we shall copy it.

  Habits of feeling and prejudices in relation to any subject are wont
  to take their rise out of our _education_ or circumstances. Every
  man knows their influence to be great in shaping opinions and
  conduct, and ofttimes how unwittingly they are formed; that while we
  may be unconscious of their existence, they may grow with our growth
  and strengthen with our strength. Familiarity converts deformity
  into comeliness. Hence we are not always the best judges of our
  condition. Another may remark inconveniences, and, indeed, real
  evils, in it, of which we may be said to have been all our lives
  scarcely conscious. So, also, evils which, upon first acquaintance,
  revolted our whole nature, and appeared intolerable, custom almost
  makes us forget even to see. Men passing out of one state of society
  into another encounter a thousand things to which they feel that
  they can never be reconciled; yet, shortly after, their
  sensibilities become dulled,—a change passes over them, they
  scarcely know how. They have accommodated themselves to their new
  circumstances and relations,—they are Romans in Rome.

Let us now inquire what are the educational influences which bear upon
the mind educated in constant familiarity with the slave system.

Take any child of ingenuous mind and of generous heart, and educate him
under the influences of slavery, and what are the things which go to
form his character? An anecdote which a lady related to the writer may
be in point in this place. In giving an account of some of the things
which induced her to remove her family from under the influence of
slavery, she related the following incident: Looking out of her nursery
window one day, she saw her daughter, about three years of age, seated
in her little carriage, with six or eight young negro children harnessed
into it for horses. Two or three of the older slaves were standing
around their little mistress, and one of them, putting a whip into her
hand, said, “There, Misse, whip ‘em well; make ‘em go,—they’re all your

What a moral and religious lesson was this for that young soul! The
mother was a judicious woman, who never would herself have taught such a
thing; but the whole influence of slave society had burnt it into the
soul of every negro, and through them it was communicated to the child.

As soon as a child is old enough to read the newspapers, he sees in
every column such notices as the following from a late _Richmond Whig_,
and other papers.


  The subscriber, under a decree of the Circuit Superior Court for
  Fluvanna County, will proceed to sell, by public auction, at the
  late residence of William Galt, deceased, on TUESDAY, the 30th day
  of November, and WEDNESDAY, the 1st day of December next, beginning
  at 11 o’clock, the negroes, stock, &c., of all kinds, belonging to
  the estate, consisting of 175 _negroes, amongst whom are_ SOME
  CARPENTERS AND BLACKSMITHS,—10 horses, 33 mules, 100 head of cattle,
  100 sheep, 200 hogs, 1500 barrels corn, oats, fodder, &c., the
  plantation and shop tools of all kinds.

  The Negroes will be sold for cash; the other property on a credit of
  nine months, the purchaser giving bond, with approved security.

                                       JAMES GALT, _Administrator of
                                               William Galt, deceased_

  _Oct. 19._

From the _Nashville Gazette_, Nov. 23, 1852:


  On TUESDAY, the 21st day of December next, at the Plantation of the
  late N. A. MCNAIRY, on the Franklin Turnpike, on account of Mrs. C.
  B. McNairy, Executrix, we will offer at Public Sale

                        FIFTY VALUABLE NEGROES.

  These Negroes are good Plantation Negroes, and will be sold in
  families. Those wishing to purchase will do well to see them before
  the day of sale.

  CALVES, Cattle, Stock Hogs, 1200 barrels Corn, Oats, Hay, Fodder,
  &c. Two Wagons, One Cart, Farming Utensils, &c.

From the _Newberry Sentinel_:

                               FOR SALE.

  The subscriber will sell at Auction, on the 15th of this month, at
  the Plantation on which he resides, distant eleven miles from the
  Town of Newberry, and near the Laurens Railroad,

                      22 Young and Likely Negroes;

  comprising able-bodied field-hands, good cooks, house-servants, and
  an excellent blacksmith;—about 1500 bushels of corn, a quantity of
  fodder, hogs, mules, sheep, neat cattle, household and kitchen
  furniture, and other property.—_Terms made public on day of Sale._

                                                           M. C. GARY.

  _Dec. 1._

  ☞ _Laurensville Herald_ copy till day of sale.

From the _South Carolinian_, Oct. 21, 1852:


  The undersigned, as Administrator of the Estate of Col. T. Randell,
  deceased, will sell, on MONDAY, the 20th December next, all the
  personal property belonging to said estate, consisting of 56
  NEGROES, STOCK, CORN, FODDER, &c. &c. The sale will take place at
  the residence of the deceased, on Sandy River, 10 miles West of

  Terms of Sale: The negroes on a credit of 12 months, with interest
  from day of sale, and two good sureties. The other property will be
  sold for cash.

                                                    SAMUEL J. RANDELL.

  _Sept. 2._

See, also, _New Orleans Bee_, Oct. 28. After advertising the landed
estate of Madeline Lanoux, deceased, comes the following enumeration of

  Twelve slaves, men and women; a small, quite new schooner; a
  ferrying flat-boat; some cows, calves, heifers and sheep; a lot of
  household furniture; the contents of a store, consisting of
  hardware, crockery ware, groceries, dry goods, etc.

Now, suppose all parents to be as pious and benevolent as Mr. Jones,—a
thing not at all to be hoped for, as things are;—and suppose them to try
their very best to impress on the child a conviction that all souls are
of equal value in the sight of God; that the negro soul is as truly
beloved of Christ, and ransomed with his blood, as the master’s; and is
there any such thing as making him believe or realize it? Will he
believe that that which he sees, every week, advertised with hogs, and
horses, and fodder, and cotton-seed, and refuse furniture,—bedsteads,
tables and chairs,—is indeed so divine a thing? We will suppose that the
little child knows some pious slave; that he sees him at the
communion-table, partaking, in a far-off, solitary manner, of the
sacramental bread and wine. He sees his pious father and mother
recognize the slave as a Christian brother; they tell him that he is an
“heir of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ;” and the next week he sees
him advertised in the paper, in company with a lot of hogs, stock and
fodder. Can the child possibly believe in what his Christian parents
have told him, when he sees this? We have spoken now of only the common
advertisements of the paper; but suppose the child to live in some
districts of the country, and advertisements of a still more degrading
character meet his eye. In the State of Alabama, a newspaper devoted to
politics, literature and EDUCATION, has a standing weekly advertisement
of which this is a copy:




  The undersigned having an excellent pack of HOUNDS, for trailing and
  catching runaway slaves, informs the public that his prices in
  future will be as follows for such services:

          For each day employed in hunting or trailing, $2.50
          For catching each slave,                      10.00
          For going over ten miles and catching slaves, 20.00

  If sent for, the above prices will be exacted in cash. The
  subscriber resides one mile and a half south of Dadeville, Ala.

                                                             B. BLACK.

  _Dadeville, Sept. 1, 1852._      1tf

The reader will see, by the printer’s sign at the bottom, that it is a
season advertisement, and, therefore, would meet the eye of the child
week after week. The paper from which we have cut this contains among
its extracts passages from Dickens’ _Household Words_, from Professor
Felton’s article in the _Christian Examiner_ on the relation of the
sexes, and a most beautiful and chivalrous appeal from the eloquent
senator Soulé on the legal rights of women. Let us now ask, since this
paper is devoted to education, what sort of an educational influence
such advertisements have. And, of course, such an establishment is not
kept up without patronage. Where there are negro-hunters advertising in
a paper, there are also negro-hunts, and there are dogs being trained to
hunt; and all this process goes on before the eyes of children; and what
sort of education is it?

The writer has received an account of the way in which dogs are trained
for this business. The information has been communicated to the
gentleman who writes it by a negro man, who, having been always
accustomed to see it done, described it with as little sense of there
being anything out of the way in it as if the dogs had been trained to
catch raccoons. It came to the writer in a recent letter from the South.

  The way to train ‘em (says the man) is to take these yer pups,—any
  kind o’ pups will do,—fox-hounds, bull-dogs, most any;—but take the
  pups, and keep ‘em shut up and don’t let ‘em never see a nigger till
  they get big enough to be larned. When the pups gits old enough to
  be set on to things, then make ‘em run after a nigger; and when they
  cotches him, give ‘em meat. Tell the nigger to run as hard as he
  can, and git up in a tree, so as to larn the dogs to tree ‘em; then
  take the shoe of a nigger, and larn ‘em to find the nigger it
  belongs to; then a rag of his clothes; and so on. Allers be carful
  to tree the nigger, and teach the dog to wait and bark under the
  tree till you come up and give him his meat.

See also the following advertisement from the _Ouachita Register_, a
newspaper dated “Monroe, La., Tuesday evening, June 1, 1852.”

                              NEGRO DOGS.

  The undersigned would respectfully inform the citizens of Ouachita
  and adjacent parishes, that he has located about 2½ miles east of
  John White’s, on the road leading from Monroe to Bastrop, and that
  he has a fine pack of Dogs for catching negroes. Persons wishing
  negroes caught will do well to give him a call. He can always be
  found at his stand when not engaged in hunting, and even then
  information of his whereabouts can always be had of some one on the

  _Terms._—Five dollars per day and found, when there is no track
  pointed out. When the track is shown, twenty-five dollars will be
  charged for catching the negro.

                                                           M. C. GOFF.

  Monroe, Feb. 17, 1852.      15–3m

Now, do not all the scenes likely to be enacted under this head form a
fine education for the children of a Christian nation? and can we wonder
if children so formed see no cruelty in slavery? Can children realize
that creatures who are thus hunted are the children of one heavenly
Father with themselves?

But suppose the boy grows up to be a man, and attends the courts of
justice, and hears intelligent, learned men declaring from the bench
that “the mere beating of a slave, unaccompanied by any circumstances of
cruelty, or an attempt to kill, is no breach of the peace of the state.”
Suppose he hears it decided in the same place that no insult or outrage
upon any slave is considered worthy of legal redress, unless it impairs
his property value. Suppose he hears, as he would in Virginia, that it
is the policy of the law to protect the master even in inflicting cruel,
malicious and excessive punishment upon the slave. Suppose a slave is
murdered, and he hears the lawyers arguing that it cannot be considered
a murder, because the slave, in law, is not considered a human being;
and then suppose the case is appealed to a superior court, and he hears
the judge expending his forces on a long and eloquent dissertation to
prove that the slave _is_ a human being; at least, that he is as much so
as a lunatic, an idiot, or an unborn child, and that, therefore, he can
be murdered. (See Judge Clark’s speech, on p. 75.) Suppose he sees that
all the administration of law with regard to the slave proceeds on the
idea that he is absolutely nothing more than a bale of merchandise.
Suppose he hears such language as this, which occurs in the reasonings
of the Brazealle case, and which is a fair sample of the manner in which
such subjects are ordinarily discussed. “The slave has no more political
capacity, no more right to purchase, hold or transfer property, than the
mule in his plough; he is in himself but a mere chattel,—the subject of
absolute ownership.” Suppose he sees on the statute-book such sentences
as these, from the civil code of Louisiana:

  Art. 2500. The latent defects of slaves and animals are divided into
  two classes,—vices of body and vices of character.

  Art. 2501. The vices of body are distinguished into absolute and

  Art. 2502. The absolute vices of slaves are leprosy, madness and

  Art. 2503. The absolute vices of horses and mules are short wind,
  glanders, and founder.

The influence of this language is made all the stronger on the young
mind from the fact that it is not the language of contempt, or of
passion, but of calm, matter-of-fact, legal statement.

What effect must be produced on the mind of the young man when he comes
to see that, however atrocious and however well-proved be the murder of
a slave, the murderer uniformly escapes; and that, though the cases
where the slave has fallen a victim to passions of the white are so
multiplied, yet the fact of an execution for such a crime is yet almost
unknown in the country? Does not all this tend to produce exactly that
estimate of the value of negro life and happiness which Frederic
Douglass says was expressed by a common proverb among the white boys
where he was brought up: “It’s worth sixpence to kill a nigger, and
sixpence more to bury him”?

We see the public sentiment which has been formed by this kind of
education exhibited by the following paragraph from the _Cambridge
Democrat_, Md., Oct. 27, 1852. That paper quotes the following from the
_Woodville Republican_, of Mississippi. It seems a Mr. Joshua Johns had
killed a slave, and had been sentenced therefor to the penitentiary for
two years. The _Republican_ thus laments his hard lot:

                        STATE _v._ JOSHUA JOHNS.

  This cause resulted in the conviction of Johns, and his sentence to
  the penitentiary for two years. Although every member of the jury,
  together with the bar, and the public generally, signed a petition
  to the governor for young Johns’ pardon, yet there was no fault to
  find with the verdict of the jury. The extreme youth of Johns, and
  the circumstances in which the killing occurred, enlisted universal
  sympathy in his favor. There is no doubt that the negro had provoked
  him to the deed by the use of insolent language; but how often must
  it be told that words are no justification for blows? There are
  _many_ persons—and we regret to say it—_who think they have the same
  right to shoot a negro, if he insults them, or even runs from them,
  that they have to shoot down a dog_; but there are laws for the
  protection of the slave as well as the master, and the sooner the
  _error above alluded to is removed_, the better will it be for both

  The unfortunate youth who has now entailed upon himself the penalty
  of the law, we doubt not, had no idea that there existed such
  penalty; and even if he was aware of the fact, the repeated insults
  and taunts of the negro go far to mitigate the crime. Johns was
  defended by I. D. Gildart, Esq., who probably did all that could
  have been effected in his defence.

The _Democrat_ adds:

  We learn from Mr. Curry, deputy sheriff, of Wilkinson County, that
  Johns has been pardoned by the governor. We are gratified to hear

This error above alluded to, of thinking it is as innocent to shoot down
a negro as a dog, is one, we fairly admit, for which young Johns ought
not to be very severely blamed. He has been educated in a system of
things of which this opinion is the inevitable result; and he,
individually, is far less guilty for it, than are those men who support
the system of laws, and keep up the educational influences, which lead
young Southern men directly to this conclusion. Johns may be, for aught
we know, as generous-hearted and as just naturally as any young man
living; but the horrible system under which he has been educated has
rendered him incapable of distinguishing what either generosity or
justice is, as applied to the negro.

The public sentiment of the slave states is the sentiment of men who
have been thus educated, and in all that concerns the negro it is
utterly blunted and paralyzed. What would seem to them injustice and
horrible wrong in the case of white persons, is the coolest matter of
course in relation to slaves.

As this educational influence descends from generation to generation,
the moral sense becomes more and more blunted, and the power of
discriminating right from wrong, in what relates to the subject race,
more and more enfeebled.

Thus, if we read the writings of distinguished men who were
slave-holders about the time of our American Revolution, what clear
views do we find expressed of the injustice of slavery, what strong
language of reprobation do we find applied to it! Nothing more forcible
could possibly be said in relation to its evils than by quoting the
language of such men as Washington, Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. In
those days there were no men of that high class of mind who thought of
such a thing as defending slavery on principle: now there are an
abundance of the most distinguished men, North and South, statesmen,
civilians, men of letters, even clergymen, who in various degrees
palliate it, apologize for or openly defend it. And what is the cause of
this, except that educational influences have corrupted public
sentiment, and deprived them of the power of just judgment? _The public
opinion even of free America, with regard to slavery, is behind that of
all other civilized nations._

When the holders of slaves assert that they are, as a general thing,
humanely treated, what do they mean? Not that they would consider such
treatment humane if given to themselves and their children,—no,
indeed!—but it is humane _for slaves_.

They do, in effect, place the negro below the range of humanity, and on
a level with brutes, and then graduate all their ideas of humanity

They would not needlessly kick or abuse a dog or a negro. They may pet a
dog, and they often do a negro. Men have been found who fancied having
their horses elegantly lodged in marble stables, and to eat out of
sculptured mangers, but they thought them horses still; and, with all
the indulgences with which good-natured masters sometimes surround the
slave, he is to them but a negro still, and _not_ a man.

In what has been said in this chapter, and in what appears incidentally
in all the facts cited throughout this volume, there is abundant proof
that, notwithstanding there be frequent and most noble instances of
generosity towards the negro, and although the sentiment of honorable
men and the voice of Christian charity does everywhere protest against
what it _feels_ to be inhumanity, yet the popular sentiment engendered
by the system must _necessarily_ fall deplorably short of giving
anything like sufficient protection to the rights of the slave. It will
appear in the succeeding chapters, as it must already have appeared to
reflecting minds, that the whole course of educational influence upon
the mind of the slave-master is such as to deaden his mind to those
appeals which come from the negro as a fellow-man and a brother.

                              CHAPTER III.
                        SEPARATION OF FAMILIES.

  “What must the difference be,” said Dr. Worthington, with startling
  energy, “between Isabel and her servants! To _her_ it is loss of
  position, fortune, the fair hopes of life, perhaps even health; for
  she must inevitably break down under the unaccustomed labor and
  privations she will have to undergo. But to them it is _merely a
  change of masters_”!

  “Yes, for the neighbors won’t allow any of the families to be

  “Of course not. We read of such things in _novels_ sometimes. But I
  have yet to see it in real life, except in rare cases, or where the
  slave has been guilty of some misdemeanor, or crime, for which, in
  the North, he would have been imprisoned, perhaps for life.”—_Cabin
  and Parlor_, by J. Thornton Randolph, p. 39.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  “But they’re going to sell us all to Georgia, I say. How are we to
  escape that?”

  “Spec dare some mistake in dat,” replied Uncle Peter, stoutly. “I
  nebber knew of sich a ting in dese parts, ‘cept where some niggar’d
  been berry bad.”—_Ibid._

By such graphic touches as the above does Mr. Thornton Randolph
represent to us the patriarchal stability and security of the slave
population in the Old Dominion. Such a thing as a slave being sold out
of the state has never been heard of by Dr. Worthington, except in rare
cases for some crime; and old Uncle Peter never heard of such a thing in
his life.

Are these representations true?

The worst abuse of the system of slavery is its outrage upon the family;
and, as the writer views the subject, it is one which is more notorious
and undeniable than any other.

Yet it is upon this point that the most stringent and earnest denial has
been made to the representations of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” either
indirectly, as by the romance-writer above, or more directly in the
assertions of newspapers, both at the North and at the South. When made
at the North, they indicate, to say the least, very great ignorance of
the subject; when made at the South, they certainly do very great
injustice to the general character of the Southerner for truth and
honesty. All sections of country have faults peculiar to themselves. The
fault of the South, as a general thing, has not been cowardly evasion
and deception. It was with utter surprise that the author read the
following sentences in an article in _Fraser’s Magazine_, professing to
come from a South Carolinian.

  Mrs. Stowe’s favorite illustration of the master’s power to the
  injury of the slave is the separation of families. We are told of
  infants of ten months old being sold from the arms of their mothers,
  and of men whose habit it is to raise children to sell away from
  their mother as soon as they are old enough to be separated. Were
  our views of this feature of slavery derived from Mrs. Stowe’s book,
  we should regard the families of slaves as utterly unsettled and

And again:

  We feel confident that, if statistics could be had to throw light
  upon this subject, we should find that there is less separation of
  families among the negroes than occurs with almost any other class
  of persons.

As the author of the article, however, is evidently a man of honor, and
expresses many most noble and praiseworthy sentiments, it cannot be
supposed that these statements were put forth with any view to
misrepresent or to deceive. They are only to be regarded as evidences of
the facility with which a sanguine mind often overlooks the most glaring
facts that make against a favorite idea or theory, or which are
unfavorable in their bearings on one’s own country or family. Thus the
citizens of some place notoriously unhealthy will come to believe, and
assert, with the utmost sincerity, that there is actually less sickness
in their town than any other of its size in the known world. Thus
parents often think their children perfectly immaculate in just those
particulars in which others see them to be most faulty. This solution of
the phenomena is a natural and amiable one, and enables us to retain our
respect for our Southern brethren.

There is another circumstance, also, to be taken into account, in
reading such assertions as these. It is evident, from the pamphlet in
question, that the writer is one of the few who regard the possession of
absolute irresponsible power as the highest of motives to moderation and
temperance in its use. Such men are commonly associated in friendship
and family connection with others of similar views, and are very apt to
fall into the error of judging others by themselves, and thinking that a
thing may do for all the world because it operates well in their
immediate circle. Also it cannot but be a fact that the various
circumstances which from infancy conspire to degrade and depress the
negro in the eyes of a Southern-born man,—the constant habit of speaking
of them, and hearing them spoken of, and seeing them advertised, as mere
articles of property, often in connection with horses, mules, fodder,
swine, &c., as they are almost daily in every Southern paper,—must tend,
even in the best-constituted minds, to produce a certain obtuseness with
regard to the interests, sufferings and affections, of such as do not
particularly belong to himself, which will peculiarly unfit him for
estimating their condition. The author has often been singularly struck
with this fact, in the letters of Southern friends; in which, upon one
page, they will make some assertion regarding the condition of Southern
negroes, and then go on, and in other connections state facts which
apparently contradict them all. We can all be aware how this familiarity
would operate with ourselves. Were we called upon to state how often our
neighbors’ cows were separated from their calves, or how often their
household furniture and other effects are scattered and dispersed by
executor’s sales, we should be inclined to say that it was not a
misfortune of very common occurrence.

But let us open two South Carolina papers, published in the very state
where this gentleman is residing, and read the advertisements FOR ONE
WEEK. The author has slightly abridged them.


                          FAIRFIELD DISTRICT.

                R. W. Murray and wife and }
                         others           }
                          _v._            } _In Equity._
                 William Wright and wife  }
                       and others.        }

  In pursuance of an Order of the Court of Equity made in the above
  case at July Term, 1852, I will sell at public outcry, to the
  highest bidder, before the Court House in Winnsboro, on the first
  Monday in January next,

                        12 VERY LIKELY NEGROES,

  belonging to the estate of Micajah Mobley, deceased, late of
  Fairfield District.

  These Negroes consist chiefly of young boys and girls, and are said
  to be very likely.

  Terms of Sale, &c.

                                                   W. R. ROBERTSON,
                                                           C. E. F. D.

 Commisioner's Office,     }
 Winnsboro, Nov. 30, 1852. }
 Dec. 2      42      x4.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                         ADMINISTRATOR’S SALE.

  Will be sold at public outcry, to the highest bidder, on Tuesday,
  the 21st day of December next, at the late residence of Mrs. M. P.
  Rabb, deceased, all of the personal estate of said deceased,
  consisting in part of about

  2,000 Bushels of Corn.

  25,000 pounds of Fodder.

  Wheat—Cotton Seed.

  Horses, Mules, Cattle, Hogs, Sheep.

  There will, in all probability, be sold at the same time and place
  _several likely Young Negroes_.

  The Terms of Sale will be—all sums under Twenty-five Dollars, Cash.
  All sums of Twenty-five Dollars and over, twelve months’ credit,
  with interest from day of Sale, secured by note and two approved

                                                    WILLIAM S. RABB,

  Nov. 11.      39      x2


                          FAIRFIELD DISTRICT.

                   James E. Caldwell,     }
                  Admr., with the Will    }
                annexed, of Jacob Gibson, }
                        deceased,         } _In Equity._
                          _v._            }
                     Jason D. Gibson      }
                       and others.        }

  In pursuance of the order of sale made in the above case, I will
  sell at public outcry, to the highest bidder, before the Court House
  in Winnsboro, on the first Monday in January next, and the day
  following, the following real and personal estate of Jacob Gibson,
  deceased, late of Fairfield District, to wit:

  The Plantation on which the testator lived at the time of his death,
  containing 661 Acres, more or less, lying on the waters of Wateree
  Creek, and bounded by lands of Samuel Johnston, Theodore S. DuBose,
  Edward P. Mobley, and B. R. Cockrell. This plantation will be sold
  in two separate tracts, plats of which will be exhibited on the day
  of sale:

                        46 PRIME LIKELY NEGROES,

  _consisting of Wagoners, Blacksmiths, Cooks, House Servants, &c_.

                                                   W. R. ROBERTSON,
                                                           C. E. F. D.

 Commissioner’s Office,     }
 Winnsboro, 29th Nov. 1852. }

                  *       *       *       *       *


  On the first Monday in January next I will sell, before the Court
  House in Columbia, 50 of as Likely NEGROES as have ever been exposed
  to public sale, belonging to the estate of A. P. Vinson, deceased.
  The Negroes have been well cared for, and well managed in every
  respect. Persons wishing to purchase will not, it is confidently
  believed, have a better opportunity to supply themselves.

                                                       J. H. ADAMS,

  Nov. 18      40      x3

                  *       *       *       *       *

                         ADMINISTRATOR’S SALE.

  Will be sold on the 15th December next, at the late residence of
  Samuel Moore, deceased, in York District, all the personal property
  of said deceased, consisting of:

                           35 LIKELY NEGROES,

  a quantity of Cotton and Corn, Horses and Mules, Farming Tools,
  Household and Kitchen Furniture, with many other articles.

                                                  SAMUEL E. MOORE,

  Nov. 18      40      x4t.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                         ADMINISTRATOR’S SALE.

  Will be sold at public outcry, to the highest bidder, on Tuesday,
  the 14th day of December next, at the late residence of Robert W.
  Durham, deceased, in Fairfield District, all of the personal estate
  of said deceased: consisting in part as follows:

                        50 PRIME LIKELY NEGROES.

  About 3,000 Bushels of Corn. A large quantity of Fodder.

  Wheat, Oats, Cow Peas, Rye, Cotton Seed, Horses, Mules, Cattle,
  Hogs, Sheep.

                                                    C. H. DURHAM,

  Nov. 23.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                            SHERIFF’S SALE.

  By virtue of sundry executions to me directed, I will sell at
  Fairfield Court House, on the first Monday, and the day following,
  in December next, within the legal hours of sale, to the highest
  bidder, for cash, the following property. Purchasers to pay for

  2 NEGROES, levied upon as the property of Allen R. Crankfield, at
  the suit of Alexander Brodie, et al.

  2 Horses and 1 Jennet, levied upon as the property of Allen R.
  Crankfield, at the suit of Alexander Brodie.

  2 Mules, levied upon as the property of Allen R. Crankfield, at the
  suit of Temperance E. Miller and J. W. Miller.

  1 pair of Cart Wheels, levied upon as the property of Allen R.
  Crankfield, at the suit of Temperance E. Miller and J. W. Miller.

  1 Chest of Drawers, levied upon as the property of Allen R.
  Crankfield, at the suit of Temperance E. Miller and J. W. Miller.

  1 Bedstead, levied upon as the property of Allen R. Crankfield, at
  the suit of Temperance E. Miller and J. W. Miller.

  1 NEGRO, levied upon as the property of R. J. Gladney, at the suit
  of James Camak.

  1 NEGRO, levied upon as the property of Geo. McCormick, at the suit
  of W. M. Phifer.

  1 Riding Saddle, to be sold under an assignment of G. W. Boulware to
  J. B. Mickle, in the case of Geo. Murphy, Jr., _v._ G. W. Boulware.

                                                        R. E. ELLISON,
                                                              S. F. D.

 Sheriff’s Office, }

 Nov. 19 1852.     }

 Nov. 20      37

                  *       *       *       *       *

                          COMMISSIONER’S SALE.

                   John A. Crumpton,    }
                      and others,       } _In Equity._
                          _v._          }
                 Zachariah C. Crumpton. }

  In pursuance of the Decretal order made in this case, I will sell at
  public outcry to the highest bidder, before the Court House door in
  Winnsboro, on the first Monday in December next, three separate
  tracts or parcels of land, belonging to the estate of Zachariah
  Crumpton, deceased.

  I will also sell, at the same time and place, FIVE OR SIX LIKELY
  YOUNG NEGROES, sold as the property of the said Zachariah Crumpton,
  deceased, by virtue of the authority aforesaid.

  The Terms of sale are as follows, &c. &c.

                                                      W. R. ROBETSON,
                                                           C. E. F. D.

 Commissioner’s Office,   }
 Winnsboro, Nov. 8, 1852. }
 Nov. 11      30      x3

                  *       *       *       *       *


  The undersigned, as Administrator of the Estate of Col. T. Randell,
  deceased, will sell, on Monday the 20th December next, all the
  personal property belonging to said estate, consisting of

                              56 NEGROES,

                     STOCK, CORN, FODDER, ETC. ETC.

  Terms of sale, &c. &c.

                                                    SAMUEL J. RANDELL.

  Sep. 2      29      x16

The _Tri-weekly South Carolinian_, published at Columbia, S. C., has
this motto:


In the number dated December 23d, 1852, is found a “Reply of the Women
of Virginia to the Women of England,” containing this sentiment:

  Believe us, we deeply, prayerfully, _study God’s holy word_; we are
  fully persuaded that our institutions are in accordance with it.

After which, in other columns, come the ten advertisements following:

                  SHERIFF’S SALES FOR JANUARY 2, 1853.

  By virtue of sundry writs of _fieri facias_, to me directed, will be
  sold before the Court House in Columbia, within the legal hours, on
  the first Monday and Tuesday in January next,

  Seventy-four acres of Land, more or less, in Richland District,
  bounded on the north and east by Lorick’s, and on the south and west
  by Thomas Trapp.

  Also, Ten Head of Cattle, Twenty-five Head of Hogs, and Two Hundred
  Bushels of Corn, levied on as the property of M. A. Wilson, at the
  suit of Samuel Gardner _v._ M. A. Wilson.

  SEVEN NEGROES, named Grace, Frances, Edmund, Charlotte, Emuline,
  Thomas and Charles, levied on as the property of Bartholomew
  Turnipseed, at the suit of A. F. Dubard, J. S. Lever, Bank of the
  State and others, _v._ B. Turnipseed.

  450 acres of Land, more or less, in Richland District, bounded on
  the north, &c. &c.

                  *       *       *       *       *


  On Monday, the (7th) seventh day of February next, I will sell at
  Auction, without reserve, at the Plantation, near Linden, all the
  Horses, Mules, Wagons, Farming Utensils, Corn, Fodder, &c.

  And on the following Monday (14th), the fourteenth day of February
  next, at the Court House, at Linden, in Marengo County, Alabama, I
  will sell at public auction, without reserve, to the highest bidder,

                     110 PRIME AND LIKELY NEGROES,

  belonging to the Estate of the late John Robinson, of South

  Among the Negroes are _four valuable Carpenters, and a very superior

                  *       *       *       *       *

                           NEGROES FOR SALE.

  By permission of Peter Wylie, Esq., Ordinary for Chester District, I
  will sell, at public auction, before the Court House, in
  Chesterville, on the first Monday in February next,

                         FORTY LIKELY NEGROES,

  belonging to the Estate of F. W. Davie.

                                           W. D. DESAUSSURE, Executor.

  Dec. 23.      56      †tds.

                  *       *       *       *       *


  Will be sold, at our store, on Thursday, the 6th day of January
  next, all the Household and Kitchen Furniture, belonging to the
  Estate of B. L. McLaughlin, deceased, consisting in part of

  Hair Seat Chairs, Sofas and Rockers. Piano, Mahogany Dining, Tea,
  and Card Tables; Carpets, Rugs, Andirons, Fenders, Shovel and Tongs,
  Mantel Ornaments, Clocks, Side Board, Bureaus, Mahogany Bedsteads,
  Feather Beds and Mattresses, Wash Stands, Curtains, fine Cordial
  Stand, Glassware, Crockery, and a great variety of articles for
  family use.

  Terms cash.


  A NEGRO MAN, _named Leonard, belonging to same_.

  Terms, &c.


  At same time, a quantity of New Brick, belonging to Estate of A. S.
  Johnstone, deceased.

  Dec. 21.      53      ‡tds.

                  *       *       *       *       *


  On Thursday, December 30, at 11 o’clock, will be sold at the Court
  House in Columbia,

                     ONE HUNDRED VALUABLE NEGROES.

  It is seldom such an opportunity occurs us now offers. Among them
  are only four beyond 45 years old, and none above 50. There are
  twenty-five prime young men, between sixteen and thirty; forty of
  the most likely young women, and _as fine a set of children as can
  be shown!!_

  Terms, &c.

                                                         Dec. 18, ‘52.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                NEGROES AT AUCTION.—BY J. & L. T. LEVIN.

  Will be sold, on Monday, the 3d January next, at the Court House, at
  10 o’clock,

  22 LIKELY NEGROES, the larger number of which are young and
  desirable. Among them are Field Hands, Hostlers and Carriage
  Drivers, House Servants, &c., and of the following ages: Robinson
  40, Elsey 34, Yanaky 13, Sylla 11, Anikee 8, Robinson 6, Candy 3,
  Infant 9, Thomas 35, Die 38, Amey 18, Eldridge 13, Charles 6, Sarah
  60, Baket 50, Mary 18, Betty 16, Guy 12, Tilla 9, Lydia 24, Rachel
  4, Scipio 2.

  The above Negroes are sold for the purpose of making some other
  investment of the proceeds; the sale will, therefore, be positive.

  Terms.—A credit of one, two, and three years, for notes payable at
  either of the Banks, with two or more approved endorsers, with
  interest from date. Purchasers to pay for papers.

                                                              Dec 8 43

  ☞ _Black River Watchman_ will copy the above, and forward bill to
  the auctioneers for payment.

Poor little Scip!

                  *       *       *       *       *


  A LIKELY GIRL, about seventeen years old (raised in the up-country),
  a good Nurse and House Servant, can wash and iron, and do plain
  cooking, and is warranted sound and healthy. She may be seen at our
  office, where she will remain until sold.

                                                  ALLEN & PHILLIPS,
                                            Auctioneers & Com. Agents.

  Dec. 15, ‘49.

                  *       *       *       *       *


  The subscriber, having located in Columbia, offers for sale his
  Plantation in St. Matthew’s Parish, six miles from the Railroad,
  containing 1,500 acres, now in a high state of cultivation, with
  Dwelling House and all necessary Out-buildings.


  50 Likely NEGROES, with provisions, &c.

  The terms will be accommodating. Persons desirous to purchase can
  call upon the subscriber in Columbia, or on his son at the

  Dec. 6 41.

                                                        T. J. GOODWYN.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                               FOR SALE.

  A LIKELY NEGRO BOY, about twenty-one years old, a good wagoner and
  field hand. Apply at this office.

                                                           Dec. 20 52.

Now, it is scarcely possible that a person who has been accustomed to
see such advertisements from boyhood, and to pass them over with as much
indifference as we pass over advertisements of sofas and chairs for
sale, could possibly receive the shock from them which one wholly
unaccustomed to such a mode of considering and disposing of human beings
would receive. They make no impression upon him. His own family
servants, and those of his friends, are not in the market, and he does
not realize that any are. Under the advertisements, a hundred such
scenes as those described in “Uncle Tom” may have been acting in his
very vicinity. When Mr. Dickens drew pictures of the want and
wretchedness of London life, perhaps a similar incredulity might have
been expressed within the silken curtains of many a brilliant parlor.
_They_ had never seen such things, and they had always lived in London.
But, for all that, the writings of Dickens awoke in noble and
aristocratic bosoms the sense of a common humanity with the lowly, and
led them to feel how much misery might exist in their immediate
vicinity, of which they were entirely unaware. They have never accused
him as a libeller of his country, though he did make manifest much of
the suffering, sorrow and abuse, which were in it. The author is led
earnestly to entreat that the writer of this very paper _would_ examine
the “statistics” of the American internal slave-trade; that he would
look over the exchange files of some newspaper, and, for a month or two,
endeavor to keep some inventory of the number of human beings, with
hearts, hopes and affections, like his own, who are constantly subjected
to all the uncertainties and mutations of property relation. The writer
is sure that he could not do it long without a generous desire being
excited in his bosom to become, not an apologist for, but a reformer of,
these institutions of his country.

These papers of South Carolina are not exceptional ones; they may be
matched by hundreds of papers from any other state.

Let the reader now stop one minute, and look over again these two weeks’
advertisements. This is not novel-writing—_this_ is fact. See these
human beings tumbled promiscuously out before the public with horses,
mules, second-hand buggies, cotton-seed, bedsteads, &c. &c.; and
Christian ladies, in the same newspaper, saying that they prayerfully
study God’s word, and believe their institutions have his sanction! Does
he suppose that here, in these two weeks, there have been no scenes of
suffering? Imagine the distress of these families—the nights of anxiety
of these mothers and children, wives and husbands, when these sales are
about to take place! Imagine the scenes of the sales! A young lady, a
friend of the writer, who spent a winter in Carolina, described to her
the sale of a woman and her children. When the little girl, seven years
of age, was put on the block, she fell into spasms with fear and
excitement. She was taken off—recovered and put back—the spasms came
back—three times the experiment was tried, and at last the sale of the
_child_ was deferred!

See also the following, from Dr. Elwood Harvey, editor of a western
paper, to the _Pennsylvania Freeman_, Dec. 25, 1846.

  We attended a sale of land and other property, near Petersburg,
  Virginia, and unexpectedly saw slaves sold at public auction. The
  slaves were told they would not be sold, and were collected in front
  of the quarters, gazing on the assembled multitude. The land being
  sold, the auctioneer’s loud voice was heard, “Bring up the
  _niggers_!” A shade of astonishment and affright passed over their
  faces, as they stared first at each other, and then at the crowd of
  purchasers, whose attention was now directed to them. When the
  horrible truth was revealed to their minds that they were to be
  sold, and nearest relations and friends parted forever, the effect
  was indescribably agonizing. Women snatched up their babes, and ran
  screaming into the huts. Children hid behind the huts and trees, and
  the men stood in mute despair. The auctioneer stood on the portico
  of the house, and the “men and boys” were ranging in the yard for
  inspection. It was announced that no warranty of _soundness_ was
  given, and purchasers must examine for themselves. A few old men
  were sold at prices from thirteen to twenty-five dollars, and it was
  painful to see old men, bowed with years of toil and suffering,
  stand up to be the jest of brutal tyrants, and to hear them tell
  their disease and worthlessness, fearing that they would be bought
  by traders for the southern market.

  A white boy, about fifteen years old, was placed on the stand. His
  hair was brown and straight, his skin exactly the same hue as other
  white persons and no discernible trace of negro features in his

  Some vulgar jests were passed on his color, and two hundred dollars
  was bid for him; but the audience said “that it was not enough to
  begin on for such a likely young nigger.” Several remarked that they
  “would not have him as a gift.” Some said a white nigger was more
  trouble than he was worth. One man said it was wrong to sell _white_
  people. I asked him if it was more wrong than to sell black people.
  He made no reply. Before he was sold, his mother rushed from the
  house upon the portico, crying, in frantic grief, “My son, O! my
  boy, they will take away my dear—” Here her voice was lost, as she
  was rudely pushed back and the door closed. The sale was not for a
  moment interrupted, and none of the crowd appeared to be in the
  least affected by the scene. The poor boy, afraid to cry before so
  many strangers, who showed no signs of sympathy or pity, trembled,
  and wiped the tears from his cheeks with his sleeves. He was sold
  for about two hundred and fifty dollars. During the sale, the
  quarters resounded with cries and lamentations that made my heart
  ache. A woman was next called by name. She gave her infant one wild
  embrace before leaving it with an old woman, and hastened
  mechanically to obey the call; but stopped, threw her arms aloft,
  screamed and was unable to move.

  One of my companions touched my shoulder and said, “Come, let us
  leave here; I can bear no more.” We left the ground. The man who
  drove our carriage from Petersburg had two sons who belonged to the
  estate—small boys. He obtained a promise that they should not be
  sold. He was asked if they were his only children; he answered, “All
  that’s left of eight.” Three others had been sold to the south, and
  he would never see or hear from them again.

  As Northern people do not see such things, they should hear of them
  often enough to keep them awake to the sufferings of the victims of
  their indifference.

Such are the _common_ incidents, not the _admitted cruelties_, of an
institution which people have brought themselves to feel is in
accordance with God’s word!

Suppose it be conceded now that “the family relation is protected, _as
far as possible_.” The question still arises, _How far is it possible_?
Advertisements of sales to the number of those we have quoted, more or
less, appear from week to week in the same papers, in the same
neighborhood; and professional traders make it their business to attend
them, and buy up victims. Now, if the inhabitants of a given
neighborhood charge themselves with the care to see that no families are
separated in this whirl of auctioneering, one would fancy that they
could have very little else to do. It _is_ a fact, and a most honorable
one to our common human nature, that the distress and anguish of these
poor, helpless creatures does often raise up for them friends among the
generous-hearted. Southern men often go to the extent of their means,
and beyond their means, to arrest the cruel operations of trade, and
relieve cases of individual distress. There are men at the South who
could tell, if they would, how, when they have spent the last dollar
that they thought they could afford on one week, they have been
importuned by precisely such a case the next, and been unable to meet
it. There are masters at the South who could tell, if they would, how
they have stood and bid against a trader, to redeem some poor slave of
their own, till the bidding was perfectly ruinous, and they have been
obliged to give up by sheer necessity. Good-natured auctioneers know
very well how they have often been entreated to connive at keeping a
poor fellow out of the trader’s clutches; and how sometimes they
succeed, and sometimes they do not.

The very struggle and effort which generous Southern men make to stop
the regular course of trade only shows them the hopelessness of the
effort. We fully concede that many of them do as much or more than any
of us would do under similar circumstances; and yet _they know_ that
what they do amounts, after all, to the merest trifle.

But let us still further reason upon the testimony of advertisements.
What is to be understood by the following, of the _Memphis Eagle and
Inquirer_, Saturday, Nov. 13, 1852? Under the editorial motto,
“_Liberty_ and Union, now and forever,” come the following

                                 NO. I.

                              75 NEGROES.


  I have just received from the East 75 assorted A No. 1 negroes. Call
  soon, if you want to get the first choice.

                                                         BENJ. LITTLE.

                                NO. II.

                           CASH FOR NEGROES.


  I will pay as high cash prices for a few likely young negroes as any
  trader in this city. Also, will receive and sell on commission at
  Byrd Hill’s, old stand, on Adams-street, Memphis.

                                                         BENJ. LITTLE.

                                NO. III.

                          500 NEGROES WANTED.



  We will pay the highest cash price for all good negroes offered. We
  invite all those having negroes for sale to call on us at our Mart,
  opposite the lower steamboat landing. We will also have a large lot
  of Virginia negroes for sale in the Fall. We have as safe a jail as
  any in the country, where we can keep negroes safe for those that
  wish them kept.

                                                 BOLTON, DICKINS & CO.

Under the head of advertisements No. 1, let us humbly inquire what
“_assorted A No. 1 Negroes_” means. Is it likely that it means negroes
sold in families? What is meant by the invitation. “_Call soon if you
want to get the first choice_”?

So much for Advertisement No. 1. Let us now propound a few questions to
the initiated on No. 2. What does Mr. Benjamin Little mean by saying
that he “_will pay as high a cash price for a few likely young negroes
as any trader in the city_”? Do _families_ commonly consist exclusively
of “_likely young negroes_”?

On the third advertisement we are also desirous of some information.
Messrs. BOLTON, DICKINS & CO. state that they expect to receive a large
lot of _Virginia_ negroes in the fall.

Unfortunate Messrs. Bolton, Dickins & Co.! Do you suppose that Virginia
families will sell their negroes? Have you read Mr. J. Thornton
Randolph’s last novel, and have you not learned that old Virginia
families _never_ sell to traders? and, more than that, that they
_always_ club together and buy up the negroes that are for sale in their
neighborhood, and the traders when they appear on the ground are hustled
off with very little ceremony? One would really think that you had got
your impressions on the subject from “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” For we are
told that all who derive their views of slavery from this book “regard
the families of slaves as utterly unsettled and vagrant.”[18]

But, before we recover from our astonishment on reading this, we take up
the _Natchez_ (Mississippi) _Courier_ of Nov. 20th, 1852, and there



  The undersigned would respectfully state to the public that he has
  leased the stand in the Forks of the Road, near Natchez, for a term
  of years, and that he intends to keep a large lot of NEGROES on hand
  during the year. He will sell as low or lower than any other trader
  at this place or in New Orleans.

  He has just arrived from Virginia with a very likely lot of Field
  Men and Women; also, House Servants, three Cooks, and a Carpenter.
  Call and see.

  A fine Buggy Horse, a Saddle Horse and a Carryall, on hand, and for

                                                       THOS. G. JAMES.

  _Natchez, Sept. 28, 1852._

Where in the world did this lucky Mr. THOS. G. JAMES get this likely
Virginia “assortment”? Probably in some county which Mr. Thornton
Randolph never visited. And had no families been separated to form the
assortment? We hear of a lot of field men and women. Where are their
children? We hear of a lot of house-servants,—of “three cooks,” and “one
carpenter,” as well as a “fine buggy horse.” Had these unfortunate cooks
and carpenters no relations? Did no sad natural tears stream down their
dark checks, when they were being “assorted” for the Natchez market?
Does no mournful heart among them yearn to the song of

                  “O, carry me back to old Virginny”?

Still further, we see in the same paper the following:

                        SLAVES! SLAVES! SLAVES!

  FRESH ARRIVALS WEEKLY.—Having established ourselves at the Forks of
  the Road, near Natchez, for a term of years, we have now on hand,
  and intend to keep throughout the entire year, a large and
  well-selected stock of Negroes, consisting of field-hands, house
  servants, mechanics, cooks, seamstresses, washers, ironers, etc.,
  which we can and will sell as low or lower than any other house here
  or in New Orleans.


  Persons wishing to purchase would do well to call on us before
  making purchases elsewhere, as our regular arrivals will keep us
  supplied with a good and general assortment. Our terms are liberal.
  Give us a call.

                                                     GRIFFIN & PULLAM.

  _Natchez, Oct. 15, 1852._—6m.

  _Free Trader_ and _Concordia Intelligencer_ copy as above.

Indeed! Messrs. Griffin and Pullam, it seems, are equally fortunate!
They are having fresh supplies weekly, and are going to keep a large,
well-selected stock constantly on hand, to wit, “field-hands,
house-servants, mechanics, cooks, seamstresses, washers, ironers, etc.”

Let us respectfully inquire what is the process by which a trader
acquires a well-selected stock. He goes to Virginia to _select_. He has
had orders, say, for one dozen cooks, for half a dozen carpenters, for
so many house-servants, &c. &c. Each one of these individuals have their
own ties; besides being cooks, carpenters and house-servants, they are
also fathers, mothers, husbands, wives; but what of that? They must be
_selected_—it is an _assortment_ that is wanted. The gentleman who has
ordered a cook does not, of course, want her five children; and the
planter who has ordered a carpenter does not want the cook, his wife. A
carpenter is an expensive article, at any rate, as they cost from a
thousand to fifteen hundred dollars; and a man who has to pay out this
sum for him cannot always afford himself the luxury of indulging his
humanity; and as to the children, they must be left in the slave-raising
state. For, when the ready-raised article is imported _weekly_ into
Natchez or New Orleans, is it likely that the inhabitants will encumber
themselves with the labor of raising children? No, there must be
division of labor in all well-ordered business. The northern slave
states raise the article, and the southern ones consume it.

The extracts have been taken from the papers of the more southern
states. If, now, the reader has any curiosity to explore the _selecting_
process in the northern states, the daily prints will further enlighten
him. In the _Daily Virginian_ of Nov. 19, 1852, Mr. J. B. McLendon thus
announces to the Old Dominion that he has settled himself down to attend
to the selecting process:

                            NEGROEES WANTD.

  The subscriber, having located in Lynchburg, is giving the highest
  cash prices for negroes _between the ages of 10 and 30 years_. Those
  having negroes for sale may find it to their interest to call on him
  at the Washington Hotel, Lynchburg, or address him by letter.

  All communications will receive prompt attention.

                                                       J. B. MCLENDON.

  Nov. 5-dly.

Mr. McLendon distinctly announces that he is not going to take any
children under ten years of age, nor any grown people over thirty.
Likely _young_ negroes are what he is after:—families, of course, never

Again, in the same paper, Mr. Seth Woodroof is desirous of keeping up
the recollection in the community that he also is in the market, as it
would appear he has been, some time past. He, likewise, wants negroes
between ten and thirty years of age; but his views turn rather on
mechanics, blacksmiths, and carpenters,—witness his hand:

                            NEGROES WANTED.

  The subscriber continues in market for Negroes, of both sexes,
  _between the ages of 10 and 30_ years, including Mechanics, such as
  Blacksmiths, Carpenters, and will pay the highest market prices in
  cash. His office is a newly erected brick building on 1st or Lynch
  street, immediately in rear of the Farmers’ Bank, where he is
  prepared (having erected buildings with that view) to board negroes
  sent to Lynchburg for sale or otherwise on as moderate terms, and
  keep them as secure, as if they were placed in the jail of the

  Aug 26.

                                                        SETH WOODROOF.

There is no manner of doubt that this Mr. Seth Woodroof is a gentleman
of humanity, and wishes to avoid the separation of families _as much as
possible_. Doubtless he ardently wishes that all his blacksmiths and
carpenters would be considerate, and never have any children under ten
years of age; but, if the thoughtless dogs have got them, what’s a
humane man to do? He has to fill out Mr. This, That, and the Other’s
order,—that’s a clear case; and therefore John and Sam must take their
last look at their babies, as Uncle Tom did of his when he stood by the
rough trundle-bed and dropped into it great, useless tears.

Nay, my friends, don’t curse poor Mr. Seth Woodroof, because he does the
horrible, loathsome work of tearing up the living human heart, to make
twine and shoe-strings for you! It’s disagreeable business enough, he
will tell you, sometimes; and, if you must have him to do it for you,
treat him civilly, and don’t pretend that you are any better than he.

But the good trade is not confined to the Old Dominion, by any means.
See the following extract from a Tennessee paper, the _Nashville
Gazette_, Nov. 23, 1852, where Mr. A. A. McLean, general agent in this
kind of business, thus makes known his wants and intentions:


  I want to purchase immediately 25 likely NEGROES,—male and
  female,—_between the ages of 15 and 25 years_; for which I will pay
  the highest price in cash.

                                    A. A. MCLEAN, _General Agent_,
                                                      _Cherry Street_.

  Nov. 9

Mr. McLean, it seems, only wants those between the ages of fifteen and
twenty-five. This advertisement is twice repeated in the same paper,
from which fact we may conjecture that the gentleman is very much in
earnest in his wants, and entertains rather confident expectations that
somebody will be willing to sell. Further, the same gentleman states
another want.


  I want to purchase, immediately, a Negro man, Carpenter, and will
  give a good price.

  Sept. 29

                                          A. A. MCLEAN, _Gen’l Agent_.

Mr. McLean does not advertise for his wife and children, or where this
same carpenter is to be sent,—whether to the New Orleans market, or up
the Red River, or off to some far bayou of the Mississippi, never to
look upon wife or child again. But, again, Mr. McLean in the same paper
tells us of another want:

                          WANTED IMMEDIATELY.

  A Wet Nurse. Any price will be given for one of good character,
  constitution, &c. Apply to

                                          A. A. MCLEAN, _Gen’l Agent_.

And what is to be done with the baby of this wet nurse? Perhaps, at the
moment that Mr. McLean is advertising for her, she is hushing the little
thing in her bosom, and thinking, as many another mother has done, that
it is about the brightest, prettiest little baby that ever was born;
for, singularly enough, even black mothers do fall into this delusion
sometimes. No matter for all this,—she is wanted for a wet nurse! Aunt
Prue can take her baby, and _raise it_ on corn-cake, and what not. Off
with her to Mr. McLean!

See, also, the following advertisement of the good State of Alabama,
which shows how the trade is thriving there. Mr. S. N. Brown, in the
_Advertiser and Gazette_, Montgomery, Alabama, holds forth as follows:

                           NEGROES FOR SALE.

  S. N. BROWN takes this method of informing his old patrons, and
  others waiting to purchase Slaves, that he has now on hand, of his
  own selection and purchasing, a lot of likely young _Negroes_,
  consisting of Men, Boys, and Women, Field Hands, and superior House
  Servants, which he offers and will sell as low as the times will
  warrant. Office on Market-street, above the Montgomery Hall, at
  Lindsay’s Old Stand, where he intends to keep slaves for sale on his
  own account, and not on commission,—therefore thinks he can give
  satisfaction to those who patronize him.

  _Montgomery, Ala., Sept. 13, 1852._      twtf (J)

Where were these boys and girls of Mr. Brown _selected_, let us ask. How
did their fathers and mothers feel when they were “_selected_”? Emmeline
was taken out of one family, and George out of another. The judicious
trader has travelled through wide regions of country, leaving in his
track wailing and anguish. A little incident, which has recently been
the rounds of the papers, may perhaps illustrate some of the scenes he
has occasioned:

                          INCIDENT OF SLAVERY.

  A negro woman belonging to Geo. M. Garrison, of Polk Co., killed
  four of her children, by cutting their throats while they were
  asleep, on Thursday night, the 2d inst., and then put an end to her
  own existence by cutting her throat. Her master knows of no cause
  for the horrid act, unless it be that she heard him speak of selling
  her and two of her children, and keeping the others.

The uncertainty of the master in this case is edifying. He knows that
negroes cannot be expected to have the feelings of cultivated
people;—and yet, here is a case where the creature really acts
unaccountably, and he can’t think of any cause except that he was going
to sell her from her children.

But, compose yourself, dear reader; there was no great harm done. These
were all _poor_ people’s children, and some of them, though not all,
were black; and that makes all the difference in the world, you know!

But Mr. Brown is not alone in Montgomery. Mr. J. W. Lindsey wishes to
remind the people of his dépôt.

                         100 NEGROES FOR SALE.

  At my depot, on Commerce-street, immediately between the Exchange
  Hotel and F. M. Gilmer, Jr.’s Warehouse, where I will be receiving,
  from time to time, large lots of Negroes during the season, and will
  sell on as accommodating terms as any house in this city. I would
  respectfully request my old customers and friends to call and
  examine my stock.

                                                      JNO. W. LINDSEY.

  _Montgomery, Nov. 2, 1852._

Mr. Lindsey is going to be receiving, from time to time, all the season,
and will sell as cheap as anybody; so there’s no fear of the supply’s
falling off. And, lo! in the same paper, Messrs. Sanders & Foster press
their claims also on the public notice.

                           NEGROES FOR SALE.

  The undersigned have bought out the well-known establishment of
  Eckles & Brown, where they have now on hand a large lot of likely
  young Negroes, to wit: Men, Women, Boys and Girls, good field-hands.
  Also, several good House Servants and Mechanics of all kinds. The
  subscribers intend to keep constantly on hand a large assortment of
  Negroes, comprising every description. Persons wishing to purchase
  will find it much to their interest to call and examine previous to
  buying elsewhere.

                                                     SANDERS & FOSTER.

  _April 13._

Messrs. Sanders & Foster are going to have an _assortment_ also. All
their negroes are to be young and likely; the trashy old fathers and
mothers are all thrown aside like a heap of pig-weed, after one has been
weeding a garden.

Query: Are these Messrs. Sanders & Foster, and J. W. Lindsey, and S. N.
Brown, and McLean, and Woodroof, and McLendon, all members of the
church, in good and regular standing? Does the question shock you? Why
so? Why should they not be? The Rev. Dr. Smylie, of Mississippi, in a
document endorsed by two presbyteries, says distinctly that the Bible
gives a right to buy and sell slaves.[19]

If the Bible guarantees this right, and sanctions this trade, why should
it shock you to see the slave-trader at the communion-table? Do you feel
that there is blood on his hands,—the blood of human hearts, which he
has torn asunder? Do you shudder when he touches the communion-bread,
and when he drinks the cup which “whosoever drinketh unworthily drinketh
damnation to himself”? But who makes the trader? Do not you? Do you
think that the trader’s profession is a healthy one for the soul? Do you
think the scenes with which he must be familiar, and the deeds he must
do, in order to keep up an _assortment_ of negroes for your convenience,
are such things as Jesus Christ approves? Do you think they tend to
promote his growth in grace, and to secure his soul’s salvation? Or is
it so important for you to have _assorted_ negroes that the traders must
not only be turned out of good society in this life, but run the risk of
going to hell forever, for your accommodation?

But let us search the Southern papers, and see if we cannot find some
evidence of that humanity which avoids the separation of families, _as
far as possible_. In the _Argus_, published at Weston, Missouri, Nov. 5,
1852, see the following:

                           A NEGRO FOR SALE.

  I wish to sell a black girl about 24 years old, a good cook and
  washer, handy with a needle, can spin and weave. I wish to sell her
  in the neighborhood of Camden Point; if not sold there in a short
  time, I will hunt the best market; or I will trade her for two small
  ones, a boy and girl.

                                                             M. DOYAL.

Considerate Mr. Doyal! He is opposed to the separation of families, and,
therefore, wishes to sell this woman in the neighborhood of Camden
Point, where her family ties are,—perhaps her husband and children, her
brothers or sisters. He will not separate her from her family if it is
possible to avoid it; that is to say, if he can get as much for her
without; but, if he can’t, he will “_hunt the best market_.” What more
would you have of Mr. Doyal?

How speeds the blessed trade in the State of Maryland?—Let us take the
_Baltimore Sun_ of Nov. 23, 1852.

Mr. J. S. Donovan thus advertises the Christian public of the
accommodations of his jail:

                           CASH FOR NEGROES.

  The undersigned continues, at his old stand, No. 13 CAMDEN ST., to
  pay the highest price for NEGROES. Persons bringing Negroes by
  railroad or steamboat will find it very convenient to secure their
  Negroes, as my Jail is adjoining the Railroad Depot and near the
  Steamboat Landings. Negroes received for safe keeping.

                                                        J. S. DONOVAN.

Messrs. B. M. & W. L. Campbell, in the respectable old stand of Slatter,
advertise as follows:

                             SLAVES WANTED.

  We are at all times purchasing SLAVES, paying the highest cash
  prices. Persons wishing to sell will please call at 242 PRATT ST.
  (Slatter’s old stand). Communications attended to.

                                               B. M. & W. L. CAMPBELL.

In another column, however, Mr. John Denning has his season
advertisement, in terms which border on the sublime:

                          5000 NEGROES WANTED.

  I will pay the highest prices, in cash, for 5000 NEGROES, with good
  titles, slaves for life or for a term of years, in large or small
  families, or single negroes. I will also purchase Negroes restricted
  to remain in the State, that sustain good characters. Families never
  separated. Persons having Slaves for sale will please call and see
  me, as I am always in the market with the cash. Communications
  promptly attended to, and liberal commissions paid, by JOHN N.
  DENNING, No. 18 S. Frederick street, between Baltimore and Second
  streets, Baltimore, Maryland. Trees in front of the house.

Mr. John Denning, also, is a man of humanity. He never separates
families. Don’t you see it in his advertisement? If a man offers him a
wife without her husband, Mr. John Denning won’t buy her. O, no! His
five thousand are all unbroken families; he never takes any other; and
he transports them whole and entire. This is a comfort to reflect upon,

See, also, the _Democrat_, published in Cambridge, Maryland, Dec. 8,
1852. A gentleman gives this pictorial representation of himself, with
the proclamation to the slave-holders of Dorchester and adjacent
counties that he is again in the market:

                            NEGROES WANTED.


  I wish to inform the slave-holders of Dorchester and the adjacent
  counties that I am again in the Market. Persons having negroes that
  are slaves for life to dispose of will find it to their interest to
  see me before they sell, as I am determined to pay the highest
  prices in cash that the Southern market will justify. I can be found
  at A. Hall’s Hotel in Easton, where I will remain until the first
  day of July next. Communications addressed to me at Easton, or
  information given to Wm. Bell in Cambridge, will meet with prompt

                                                           WM. HARKER.

Mr. Harker is very accommodating. He keeps himself informed as to the
state of the southern market, and will give the very highest price that
it will justify. Moreover, he will be on hand till July, and will answer
any letters from the adjoining country on the subject. On one point he
ought to be spoken to. He has not advertised that he does not separate
families. It is a mere matter of taste, to be sure; but then some
well-disposed people like to see it on a trader’s card, thinking it has
a more creditable appearance; and probably, Mr. Harker, if he reflects a
little, will put it in next time. It takes up very little room, and
makes a good appearance.

We are occasionally reminded, by the advertisements for runaways, to how
small an extent it is found _possible to avoid_ the separation of
families: as in the _Richmond Whig_ of Nov. 5, 1852:

                              $10 REWARD.

  We are requested by Henry P. Davis to offer a reward of $10 for the
  apprehension of a negro man named HENRY, who ran away from the said
  Davis’ farm near Petersburg, on Thursday, the 27th October. Said
  slave came from near Lynchburg, Va., purchased of —— Cock, and has a
  wife in Halifax county, Va. He has recently been employed on the
  South Side Railroad. He may be in the neighborhood of his wife.

                                  PULLIAM & DAVIS, _Aucts., Richmond_.

It seems to strike the advertiser as _possible_ that Henry may be in the
neighborhood of his wife. We should not at all wonder if he were.

The reader, by this time, is in possession of some of those statistics
of which the South Carolinian speaks, when he says,

  We feel confident, if statistics could be had, to throw light upon
  the subject, we should find that there is less separation of
  families among the negroes than occurs with almost any other class
  of persons.

In order to give some little further idea of the extent to which this
kind of property is continually changing hands, see the following
calculation, which has been made from sixty-four Southern newspapers,
taken very much at random. The papers were all published in the last two
weeks of the month of November, 1852.

The negroes are advertised sometimes by name, sometimes in definite
numbers, and sometimes in “lots,” “assortments,” and other indefinite
terms. We present the result of this estimate, far as it must fall from
a fair representation of the facts, in a tabular form.

Here is recorded, in _only eleven papers_, the sale of eight hundred
forty-nine slaves in _two weeks_ in Virginia; the state where Mr. J.
Thornton Randolph describes such an event as a separation of families
being a thing that “we read of in _novels_ sometimes.”

          States where│  No. of  │  No. of   │ No. │  No. of
           published. │  Papers  │  Negroes  │ of  │ Runaways
          Virginia,   │        11│        849│    7│        15
          Kentucky,   │         5│        238│    1│         7
          Tennessee,  │         8│        385│    4│        17
          S. Carolina,│        12│        852│    2│         7
          Georgia,    │         6│         98│    2│         0
          Alabama,    │        10│        549│    5│         5
          Mississippi,│         8│        669│    5│         6
          Louisiana,  │         4│        460│    4│        35
                      │        ——│       ————│   ——│        ——
                      │        64│       4100│   30│        92

In South Carolina, where the writer in _Fraser’s Magazine_ dates from,
we have during these same two weeks a sale of eight hundred and
fifty-two recorded by one dozen papers. Verily, we must apply to the
newspapers of his state the same language which he applies to “Uncle
Tom’s Cabin:” “Were our views of the system of slavery to be derived
from _these papers_, we should regard the families of slaves as utterly
unsettled and vagrant.”

The total, in _sixty-four papers_, in different states, for only two
weeks, is four thousand one hundred, besides ninety-two _lots_, as they
are called.

And now, who is he who compares the hopeless, returnless separation of
the negro from his family, to the voluntary separation of the freeman,
whom necessary business interest takes for a while from the bosom of his
family? Is not the lot of the slave bitter enough, without this last of
mockeries and worst of insults? Well may they say, in their anguish,
“Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of them that are at
ease, and with the contempt of the proud!”

From the poor negro, exposed to bitterest separation, the law jealously
takes away the power of writing. For him the gulf of separation yawns
black and hopeless, with no redeeming signal. Ignorant of geography, he
knows not whither he is going, or where he is, or how to direct a
letter. To all intents and purposes, it is a separation hopeless as that
of death, and as final.


Footnote 18:

  Article in _Fraser’s Magazine_ for October, by a South Carolinian.

Footnote 19:

  “If language can convey a clear and definite meaning at all, I know
  not how it can more unequivocally or more plainly present to the mind
  any thought or idea than the twenty-fifth chapter of Leviticus clearly
  or unequivocally establishes the fact that slavery or bondage was
  sanctioned by God himself; and that ‘_buying, selling, holding and
  bequeathing_’ slaves, as property, are regulations which were
  established by himself.”—_Smylie on Slavery._

                              CHAPTER IV.
                            THE SLAVE-TRADE.

What is it that constitutes the vital force of the institution of
slavery in this country? Slavery, being an unnatural and unhealthful
condition of society, being a most wasteful and impoverishing mode of
cultivating the soil, would speedily run itself out in a community, and
become so unprofitable as to fall into disuse, were it not kept alive by
some unnatural process.

What has that process been in America? Why has that healing course of
nature which cured this awful wound in all the northern states stopped
short on Mason & Dixon’s line? In Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and
Kentucky, slave labor long ago impoverished the soil almost beyond
recovery, and became entirely unprofitable. In all these states it is
well known that the question of emancipation has been urgently
presented. It has been discussed in legislatures, and Southern men have
poured forth on the institution of slavery such anathemas as only
Southern men can pour forth. All that has ever been said of it at the
North has been said in four-fold thunders in these Southern discussions.
The State of Kentucky once came within one vote, in her legislature, of
taking measures for gradual emancipation. The State of Virginia has come
almost equally near, and Maryland has long been waiting at the door.
There was a time when no one doubted that all these states would soon be
free states; and what is now the reason that they are not? Why are these
discussions now silenced, and why does this noble determination now
retrograde? The answer is in a word. It is the extension of slave
territory, the opening of a great southern slave-market, and the
organization of a great internal slave-trade, that has arrested the
progress of emancipation.

While these states were beginning to look upon the slave as one who
might possibly yet become a man, while they meditated giving to him and
his wife and children the inestimable blessings of liberty, this great
southern slave-mart was opened. It began by the addition of Missouri as
slave territory, and the votes of two Northern men were those which
decided this great question. Then, by the assent and concurrence of
Northern men, came in all the immense acquisition of slave territory
which now opens so boundless a market to tempt the avarice and cupidity
of the northern slave-raising states.

This acquisition of territory has deferred perhaps for indefinite ages
the emancipation of a race. It has condemned to sorrow and
heart-breaking separation, to groans and wailings, hundreds of thousands
of slave families; it has built, through all the Southern States,
slave-warehouses, with all their ghastly furnishings of gags, and
thumb-screws, and cowhides; it has organized unnumbered slave-coffles,
clanking their chains and filing in mournful march through this land of

This accession of slave territory hardened the heart of the master. It
changed what was before, in comparison, a kindly relation, into the most
horrible and inhuman of trades.

The planter whose slaves had grown up around him, and whom he had
learned to look upon almost as men and women, saw on every sable
forehead now nothing but its market value. This man was a thousand
dollars, and this eight hundred. The black baby in its mother’s arms was
a hundred-dollar bill, and nothing more. All those nobler traits of mind
and heart which should have made the slave a brother became only so many
stamps on his merchandise. Is the slave intelligent?—Good! that raises
his price two hundred dollars. Is he conscientious and faithful?—Good!
stamp it down in his certificate; it’s worth two hundred dollars more.
Is he religious? Does that Holy Spirit of God, whose name we mention
with reverence and fear, make that despised form His temple?—Let that
also be put down in the estimate of his market value, and the gift of
the Holy Ghost shall be sold for money. Is he a minister of
God?—Nevertheless, he has his price in the market. From the church and
from the communion-table the Christian brother and sister are taken to
make up the slave-coffle. And woman, with her tenderness, her
gentleness, her beauty,—woman, to whom mixed blood of the black and the
white have given graces perilous for a slave,—what is her accursed lot,
in this dreadful commerce?—The next few chapters will disclose facts on
this subject which ought to wring the heart of every Christian mother,
if, indeed, she be worthy of that holiest name.

But we will not deal in assertions merely. We have stated the thing to
be proved; let us show the facts which prove it.

The existence of this fearful traffic is known to many,—the particulars
and dreadful extent of it realized but by few.

Let us enter a little more particularly on them. The slave-exporting
states are Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and
Missouri. These are slave-raising states, and the others are
slave-consuming states. We have shown, in the preceding chapters, the
kind of advertisements which are usual in those states; but, as we wish
to produce on the minds of our readers something of the impression which
has been produced on our own mind by their multiplicity and abundance,
we shall add a few more here. For the State of VIRGINIA, see all the

_Kanawha Republican_, Oct. 20, 1852, Charleston, Va. At the
head—Liberty, with a banner, “_Drapeau sans Tache_.”

                           CASH FOR NEGROES.

  The subscriber wishes to purchase a few young NEGROES, _from 12 to
  25 years of age_, for which the highest market price will be paid in
  cash. A few lines addressed to him through the Post Office, Kanawha
  C. H., or a personal application, will be promptly attended to.

                                                      JAS. L. FICKLIN.

  Oct. 20, ‘53.—3t

_Alexandria Gazette_, Oct. 28th:

                           CASH FOR NEGROES.

  I wish to purchase immediately, for the South, any number of
  NEGROES, _from 10 to 30 years of age_, for which I will pay the very
  highest cash price. All communications promptly attended to.

                                                         JOSEPH BRUIN.

  West End, Alexandria, Va., Oct. 26.—tf

_Lynchburg Virginian_, Nov. 18:

                            NEGROES WANTED.

  The subscriber, having located in Lynchburg, is giving the highest
  cash prices for negroes, _between the ages of 10 and 30 years_.
  Those having negroes for sale may find it to their interest to call
  on him at the Washington Hotel, Lynchburg, or address him by letter.

  All communications will receive prompt attention.

                                                       J. B. MCLENDON.

  Nov. 5.—dly

_Rockingham Register_, Nov. 13:

                           CASH FOR NEGROES.

  I wish to purchase a number of NEGROES of both sexes and all ages,
  for the Southern market, for which I will pay the highest cash
  prices. Letters addressed to me at Winchester, Virginia, will be
  promptly attended to.

                                   H. J. MCDANIEL, Agent for Wm. Crow.

  Nov. 24, 1846.—tf

_Richmond Whig_, Nov. 16:

                            PULLIAM & DAVIS,


                   D. M. PULLIAM.      HECTOR DAVIS.

  The subscribers continue to sell Negroes, at their office, on
  Wall-street. From _their experience in the business_, they can
  safely insure the highest prices for all negroes intrusted to their
  care. They will make sales of negroes in estates, and would say to
  Commissioners, Executors and Administrators, that they will make
  their sales on favorable terms. They are prepared to board and lodge
  negroes comfortably at 25 cents per day.

                        NOTICE.—CASH FOR SLAVES.

  Those who wish to sell slaves in Buckingham and the adjacent
  counties in Virginia, by application to ANDERSON D. ABRAHAM, Sr., or
  his son, ANDERSON D. ABRAHAM, Jr., they will find sale, at the
  highest cash prices, for one hundred and fifty to two hundred
  slaves. One or the other of the above parties will be found, for the
  next eight months, at their residence in the aforesaid county and
  state. Address ANDERSON D. ABRAHAM, Sr., Maysville Post Office,
  White Oak Grove, Buckingham County, Va.

_Winchester Republican_, June 29, 1852:

                            NEGROES WANTED.

  The subscriber having located himself in Winchester, Va., wishes to
  purchase a large number of SLAVES of both sexes, for which he will
  give the highest price in cash. Persons wishing to dispose of Slaves
  will find it to their advantage to give him a call before selling.

  All communications addressed to him at the _Taylor Hotel,
  Winchester, Va._, will meet with prompt attention.

                                  ELIJAH MCDOWEL,
                      Agent for B. M. & Wm. L. Campbell, of Baltimore.

  Dec. 27, 1851.—ly

                  *       *       *       *       *


_Port Tobacco Times_, Oct., ‘52:

                             SLAVES WANTED.

  The subscriber is permanently located at MIDDLEVILLE, Charles County
  (immediately on the road from Port Tobacco to Allen’s Fresh), where
  he will be pleased to buy any SLAVES that are for sale. The extreme
  value will be given at all times, and liberal commissions paid for
  information leading to a purchase. Apply personally, or by letter
  addressed to Allen’s Fresh, Charles County.

                                                     JOHN G. CAMPBELL.

  Middleville, April 14, 1852.

_Cambridge_ (Md.) _Democrat_, October 27, 1852:

                            NEGROES WANTED.

  I wish to inform the slave-holders of Dorchester and the adjacent
  counties that I am again in the market. Persons having negroes that
  are slaves for life to dispose of will find it to their interest to
  see me before they sell, as I am determined to pay the highest
  prices in cash that the Southern market will justify. I can be found
  at A. Hall’s Hotel, in Easton, where I will remain until the first
  day of July next. Communications addressed to me at Easton, or
  information given to Wm. Bell, in Cambridge, will meet with prompt

  I will be at John Bradshaw’s Hotel, in Cambridge, every Monday.

                                                           WM. HARKER.

  Oct. 6, 1852.—3m

The _Westminster Carroltonian_, Oct. 22, 1852:

                           25 NEGROES WANTED.

  The undersigned wishes to purchase 25 LIKELY YOUNG NEGROES, for
  which the highest cash prices will be paid. All communications
  addressed to me in Baltimore will be punctually attended to.

                                                        LEWIS WINTERS.

  Jan. 2.—tf

                  *       *       *       *       *

For TENNESSEE the following:

_Nashville True Whig_, Oct. 20th, ‘52:

                               FOR SALE.

  21 likely Negroes, of different ages.

  Oct. 6.

                                             A. A. MCLEAN, Gen. Agent.

                  *       *       *       *       *


  I want to purchase, immediately, a Negro man, Carpenter, and will
  give a good price.

  Oct. 6.

                                              A. A. MCLEAN, Gen. Agent

_Nashville Gazette_, October 22:

                               FOR SALE.

  SEVERAL likely girls from 10 to 18 years old, a woman 24, a very
  valuable woman 25 years old, with three very likely children.

                                                     WILLIAMS & GLOVER
                                                             A. B. U.

  Oct. 16th, 1852.

                  *       *       *       *       *


  I want to purchase Twenty-five LIKELY NEGROES, between the ages of
  18 and 25 years, male and female, for which I will pay the highest
  price IN CASH.

                                                      A. A. McLean,
                                                        Cherry Street.

  Oct. 20.

The _Memphis Daily Eagle and Enquirer_:

                          500 NEGROES WANTED.

  We will pay the highest cash price for all good negroes offered. We
  invite all those having negroes for sale to call on us at our mart,
  opposite the lower steamboat landing. We will also have a large lot
  of Virginia negroes for sale in the Fall. We have as safe a jail as
  any in the country, where we can keep negroes safe for those that
  wish them kept.

                                                 BOLTON, DICKINS & CO.

  je 13—d & w

                  *       *       *       *       *

                       LAND AND NEGROES FOR SALE.

  A good bargain will be given in about 400 acres of Land; 200 acres
  are in a fine state of cultivation, fronting the Railroad about ten
  miles from Memphis. Together with 18 or 20 likely negroes,
  consisting of men, women, boys and girls. Good time will be given on
  a portion of the purchase money.

                                                        J. M. PROVINE.

  Oct. 17.—1m.

_Clarksville Chronicle_, Dec. 3, 1852:

                            NEGROES WANTED.

  We wish to hire 25 good Steam Boat hands for the New Orleans and
  Louisville trade. We will pay very full prices for the Season,
  commencing about the 15th November.

                                             MCCLURE & CROZIER, Agents
                                                       S. B. Bellpoor

  Sept. 10th, 1852.—1m


The _Daily St. Louis Times_, October 14, 1852:

                            REUBEN BARTLETT,

  On Chesnut, between Sixth and Seventh streets, near the city jail,
  will pay the highest price in cash for all good negroes offered.
  There are also other buyers to be found in the office very anxious
  to purchase, who will pay the highest prices given in cash.

  Negroes boarded at the lowest rates.

  jy 15—6m.

                  *       *       *       *       *


  BLAKELY and McAFEE having dissolved co-partnership by mutual
  consent, the subscriber will at all times pay the highest cash
  prices for negroes of every description. Will also attend to the
  sale of negroes on commission, having a jail and yard fitted up
  expressly for boarding them.

  ☞ Negroes for sale at all times.

                                 3      A. B. MCAFEE, 93 Olive street.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                      ONE HUNDRED NEGROES WANTED.

  Having just returned from Kentucky, I wish to purchase, as soon as
  possible, one hundred likely negroes, consisting of men, women, boys
  and girls, for which I will pay at all times from fifty to one
  hundred dollars on the head more money than any other trading man in
  the city of St. Louis, or the State of Missouri. I can at all times
  be found at Barnum’s City Hotel, St. Louis, Mo.

                                       je12d&wly.      JOHN MATTINGLY.

From another St. Louis paper:

                            NEGROES WANTED.

  I will pay at all times the highest price in cash for all good
  negroes offered. I am buying for the Memphis and Louisiana markets,
  and can afford to pay, and will pay, as high as any trading man in
  this State. All those having negroes to sell will do well to give me
  a call at No. 210, corner of Sixth and Wash streets, St Louis, Mo.

                                                      THOS. DICKINS,
                                  of the firm of Bolton, Dickins & Co.


                  *       *       *       *       *

                      ONE HUNDRED NEGROES WANTED.

  Having just returned from Kentucky, I wish to purchase one hundred
  likely Negroes, consisting of men and women, boys and girls, for
  which I will pay in cash from fifty to one hundred dollars more than
  any other trading man in the city of St. Louis or the State of
  Missouri. I can at all times be found at Barnum’s City Hotel, St.
  Louis, Mo.

                                        je14d&wly      JOHN MATTINGLY.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                              B. M. LYNCH,

  No. 104 Locust street, St. Louis, Missouri,

  Is prepared to pay the highest prices in cash for good and likely
  negroes, or will furnish boarding for others, in comfortable
  quarters and under secure fastenings. He will also attend to the
  sale and purchase of negroes on commission.

  ☞ Negroes for sale at all times.


We ask you, Christian reader, we beg you to think, what sort of scenes
are going on in Virginia under these advertisements? You see that they
are carefully worded so as to take only the young people; and they are
only a specimen of the standing, season advertisements which are among
the most common things in the Virginia papers. A succeeding chapter will
open to the reader the interior of these slave-prisons, and show him
something of the daily incidents of this kind of trade. Now let us look
at the corresponding advertisements in the southern states. The coffles
made up in Virginia and other states are thus announced in the southern

From the _Natchez_ (Mississippi) _Free Trader_, Nov. 20:

                           NEGROES FOR SALE.

  The undersigned have just arrived, direct from Richmond, Va., with a
  large and likely lot of Negroes, consisting of Field Hands, House
  Servants, Seamstresses, Cooks, Washers and Ironers, a first-rate
  brick mason, and other mechanics, which they now offer for sale at
  the Forks of the Road, near Natchez (Miss.), on the most
  accommodating terms.

  They will continue to receive fresh supplies from Richmond, Va.,
  during the season, and will be able to furnish to any order any
  description of Negroes sold in Richmond.

  Persons wishing to purchase would do well to give us a call before
  purchasing elsewhere.


                                               MATTHEWS, BRANTON & CO.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             To The Public.

                        NEGROES BOUGHT AND SOLD.

  ROBERT S. ADAMS & MOSES J. WICKS have this day associated themselves
  under the name and style of ADAMS & WICKS, for the purpose of buying
  and selling Negroes, in the city of Aberdeen, and elsewhere. They
  have an Agent who has been purchasing Negroes for them in the Old
  States for the last two months. One of the firm, Robert S. Adams,
  leaves this day for North Carolina and Virginia, and will buy a
  large number of negroes for this market. They will keep at their
  depot in Aberdeen, during the coming fall and winter, a large lot of
  choice Negroes, which they will sell _low for cash_, or for bills on

                                                      ROBERT S. ADAMS,
                                                      MOSES J. WICKS.

  Aberdeen, Miss., May 7th, 1852.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                        SLAVES! SLAVES! SLAVES!

  FRESH ARRIVALS WEEKLY.—Having established ourselves at the Forks of
  the Road, near Natchez, for a term of years, we have now on hand,
  and intend to keep throughout the entire year, a large and
  well-selected stock of Negroes, consisting of field-hands, house
  servants, mechanics, cooks, seamstresses, washers, ironers, etc.,
  which we can sell and will sell as low or lower than any other house
  here or in New Orleans.

  Persons wishing to purchase would do well to call on us before
  making purchases elsewhere, as our regular arrivals will keep us
  supplied with a good and general assortment. Our terms are liberal.
  Give us a call.

                                                     GRIFFIN & PULLUM.

  Natchez, Oct. 16, 1852. 6m

                  *       *       *       *       *

                           NEGROES FOR SALE.

  I have just returned to my stand, at the Forks of the Road, with
  fifty likely young NEGROES for sale.

                                                           R. H. ELAM.

  Sept. 22

                  *       *       *       *       *


  The undersigned would respectfully state to the public that he has
  leased the stand in the Forks of the Road, near Natchez, for a term
  of years, and that he intends to keep a large lot of NEGROES on hand
  during the year. He will sell as low, or lower, than any other
  trader at this place or in New Orleans.

  He has just arrived from Virginia, with a very likely lot of field
  men and women and house servants, three cooks, a carpenter and a
  fine buggy horse, and a saddle-horse and carryall. Call and see.

                                                       THOS. G. JAMES.

_Daily Orleanian_, Oct. 19, 1852:

                            W. F. TANNEHILL,

                        NO. 159 GRAVIER STREET.

                       _SLAVES! SLAVES! SLAVES!_

  Constantly on hand, bought and sold on commission, at most
  reasonable prices.—Field hands, cooks, washers and ironers, and
  general house servants. City reference given, if required.

  Oct 14

                  *       *       *       *       *

                            DEPOT D’ESCLAVES

                       _DE LA NOUVELLE-ORLEANS_.

                          NO. 68, RUE BARONNE.

  WM. F. TANNEHILL & CO. ont constamment en mains un assortiment
  complet d’ESCLAVES bien choisis A VENDRE. Aussi, vente et achat
  d’esclaves par commission.

  Nous avons actuellement en mains un grand nombre de NEGRES à louer
  aux mois, parmi lesquels se trouvent des jeunes garcons, domestiques
  de maison, cuisinières, blanchisseuses et repasseuses, nourices,


                        Wright, Williams & Co.
                        Williams, Phillips & Co.
                        Moses Greenwood.
                        Moon, Titus & Co.
                        S. O. Nelson & Co.
                        E. W. Diggs. 3ms

_New Orleans Daily Crescent_, Oct. 21, 1852:


  JAMES WHITE, No. 73 Baronne street, New Orleans, will give strict
  attention to receiving, boarding and selling SLAVES consigned to
  him. He will also buy and sell on commission. References: Messrs.
  Robson & Allen, McRea, Coffman & Co., Pregram, Bryan & Co.

                                                               Sep. 23

                  *       *       *       *       *

                            NEGROES WANTED.

  Fifteen or twenty good Negro Men wanted to go on a Plantation. The
  best of wages will be given until the first of January, 1853.

  Apply to

                                    THOMAS G. MACKEY & CO.,
                        5 Canal street, corner of Magazine, up stairs.

  Sep 11

From another number of the _Mississippi Free Trader_ is taken the


  The undersigned would respectfully state to the public that he has a
  lot of about forty-five now on hand, having this day received a lot
  of twenty-five _direct from Virginia_, two or three good cooks, a
  carriage driver, a good house boy, _a fiddler_, _a fine seamstress_
  and a likely lot of _field men and women_; all of whom he will sell
  at a small profit. He wishes to close out and _go on to Virginia
  after a lot for the fall trade_. Call and see.

                                                      THOMAS G. JAMES.

The slave-raising business of the northern states has been variously
alluded to and recognized, both in the business statistics of the
states, and occasionally in the speeches of patriotic men, who have
justly mourned over it as a degradation to their country. In 1841, the
British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society addressed to the executive
committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society some inquiries on the
internal American slave-trade.

A labored investigation was made at that time, the results of which were
published in London; and from that volume are made the following

  The _Virginia Times_ (a weekly newspaper, published at Wheeling,
  Virginia) estimates, in 1836, the number of slaves exported for sale
  from that state alone, during “the twelve months preceding,” at
  _forty thousand_, the aggregate value of whom is computed at
  twenty-four millions of dollars.

  Allowing for Virginia one-half of the whole exportation during the
  period in question, and we have the appalling sum total of _eighty
  thousand slaves_ exported in a single year from the breeding states.
  We cannot decide with certainty what proportion of the above number
  was furnished by each of the breeding states, but Maryland ranks
  next to Virginia in point of numbers, North Carolina follows
  Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, then Tennessee and Delaware.

  The _Natchez_ (Mississippi) _Courier_ says “that the States of
  Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, imported _two hundred
  and fifty thousand_ slaves from the more northern states in the year

  This seems absolutely incredible, but it probably includes all the
  slaves introduced by the immigration of their masters. The
  following, from the _Virginia Times_, confirms this supposition. In
  the same paragraph which is referred to under the second query, it
  is said:

  “We have heard intelligent men estimate the number of slaves
  exported from Virginia, within the last twelve months, at a hundred
  and twenty thousand, each slave averaging at least six hundred
  dollars, making an aggregate of seventy-two million dollars. Of the
  number of slaves exported, not more than _one-third_ have been sold;
  the others having been carried by their masters, who have removed.”

  Assuming one-third to be the proportion of the sold, there are more
  than eighty thousand imported for sale into the four States of
  Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. Supposing one-half of
  eighty thousand to be sold into the other buying states,—S.
  Carolina, Georgia, and the territory of Florida,—and we are brought
  to the conclusion that more than a hundred and twenty thousand
  slaves were, for some years previous to the great pecuniary pressure
  in 1837, exported from the breeding to the consuming states.

  The _Baltimore American_ gives the following from a Mississippi
  paper of 1837:

  “The report made by the committee of the citizens of Mobile,
  appointed at their meeting held on the 1st instant; on the subject
  of the existing pecuniary pressure, states that so large has been
  the return of slave labor, that purchases by Alabama of that species
  of property from other states, since 1833, have amounted to about
  _ten million dollars annually_.”

  “Dealing in slaves,” says the _Baltimore_ (Maryland) _Register_ of
  1829, “has become a large business; establishments are made in
  several places in Maryland and Virginia, at which they are sold like
  cattle. These places of deposit are strongly built, and well
  supplied with iron thumb-screws and gags, and ornamented with
  cowskins and other whips, oftentimes bloody.”

  Professor Dew, now President of the University of William and Mary,
  in Virginia, in his review of the debate in the Virginia legislature
  in 1831–2, says (p. 120):

  “A full equivalent being left in the place of the slave (the
  purchase-money), this emigration becomes an advantage to the state,
  and does not check the black population as much as at first view we
  might imagine; because it furnishes every inducement to the master
  to attend to the negroes, _to encourage breeding, and to cause the
  greatest number possible to be raised_.” Again: “_Virginia is, in
  fact, a negro-raising state for the other states._”

  Mr. Goode, of Virginia, in his speech before the Virginia
  legislature, in January, 1832, said:

  “The superior usefulness of the slaves in the South will constitute
  an _effectual demand_, which will remove them from our limits. We
  shall send them from our state, because it will be _our interest_ to
  do so. But gentlemen are alarmed _lest the markets of other states_
  be closed against the introduction of our slaves. Sir, the demand
  for _slave labor must increase,” &c._

  In the debates of the Virginia Convention, in 1829, Judge Upshur

  “The value of slaves as an article of property depends much on the
  state of the market abroad. In this view, it is the value of land
  _abroad_, and not of land here, which furnishes the ratio. Nothing
  is more fluctuating than the value of slaves. A late law of
  Louisiana reduced their value twenty-five per cent. in two hours
  after its passage was known. _If it should be our lot, as I trust it
  will be, to acquire the country of Texas, their price will rise

  Hon. Philip Doddridge, of Virginia, in his speech in the Virginia
  Convention, in 1829 (Debates p. 89), said:

  “The acquisition of Texas will greatly enhance the value of the
  property in question (Virginia slaves).”

  Rev. Dr. Graham, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, at a Colonization
  meeting held at that place in the fall of 1837, said:

  “There were nearly seven thousand slaves offered in New Orleans
  market, last winter. From Virginia alone six thousand were annually
  sent to the South, and from Virginia and North Carolina there had
  gone to the South, in the last twenty years, THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND

  Hon. Henry Clay, of Kentucky, in his speech before the Colonization
  Society, in 1829, says:

  “It is believed that nowhere in the farming portion of the United
  States would slave labor be generally employed, if the proprietor
  were not tempted to _raise slaves by the high price of the southern
  markets_, which keeps it up in his own.”

  The _New York Journal of Commerce_ of October 12th, 1835, contains a
  letter from a Virginian, whom the editor calls “a very good and
  sensible man,” asserting that _twenty thousand_ slaves had been
  driven to the South from Virginia that year, but little more than
  three-fourths of which had then elapsed.

  Mr. Gholson, of Virginia, in his speech in the legislature of that
  state, January 18, 1831 (see _Richmond Whig_), says:

  “It has always (perhaps erroneously) been considered, by steady and
  old-fashioned people, that the owner of land had a reasonable right
  to its annual profits; the owner of orchards to their annual fruits;
  the owner of brood mares to their product; and the owner of _female
  slaves to their increase_. We have not the fine-spun intelligence
  nor legal acumen to discover the technical distinctions drawn by
  gentlemen (that is, the distinction between _female slaves_ and
  _brood mares_). The legal maxim of _partus sequitur ventrem_ is
  coëval with the existence of the right of property itself, and is
  founded in wisdom and justice. It is on the justice and
  inviolability of this maxim that the master foregoes the service of
  the female slave, has her nursed and attended during the period of
  her gestation, and raises the helpless infant offspring. The value
  of the property _justifies the expense_, and I do not hesitate to
  say that in its _increase consists much of our wealth_.”

Can any comment on the state of public sentiment produced by slavery
equal the simple reading of this extract, if we remember that it was
spoken in the Virginia legislature? One would think the cold cheek of
Washington would redden in its grave for shame, that his native state
had sunk so low. That there were Virginian hearts to feel this disgrace
is evident from the following reply of Mr. Faulkner to Mr. Gholson, in
the Virginia House of Delegates, 1832. See _Richmond Whig_:

  “But he (Mr. Gholson) has labored to show that the abolition of
  slavery would be impolitic, because your slaves constitute the
  entire wealth of the state, all _the productive capacity_ Virginia
  possesses; and, sir, as things are, _I believe he is correct_. He
  says that the slaves constitute the entire available wealth of
  Eastern Virginia. Is it true that for two hundred years the only
  increase in the wealth and resources of Virginia has been a remnant
  of the natural increase of this miserable race? Can it be that on
  this increase she places her sole dependence? Until I heard these
  declarations, I had not fully conceived the horrible extent of this
  evil. These gentlemen state the fact, which the history and _present
  aspect of the commonwealth_ but too well sustain. What, sir! have
  you lived for two hundred years without personal effort or
  productive industry, in extravagance and indolence, sustained alone
  by the return from the sales of the increase of slaves, and
  retaining merely such a number as your now impoverished lands can
  sustain as STOCK?”

  Mr. Thomas Jefferson Randolph in the Virginia legislature used the
  following language (_Liberty Bell_, p. 20):

  “I agree with gentlemen in the necessity of arming the state for
  internal defence. I will unite with them in any effort to restore
  confidence to the public mind, and to conduce to the sense of the
  safety of our wives and our children. Yet, sir, I must ask upon whom
  is to fall the burden of this defence? Not upon the lordly masters
  of their hundred slaves, who will never turn out except to retire
  with their families when danger threatens. No, sir; it is to fall
  upon the _less wealthy class of our citizens, chiefly upon_ the
  non-slaveholder. I have known patrols turned out where _there was
  not a slave-holder among them_; and this is the practice of the
  country. I have slept in times of alarm quiet in bed, without having
  a thought of care, while these individuals, owning none of this
  property themselves, were patrolling under a compulsory process, for
  a pittance of seventy-five cents per twelve hours, the very
  curtilage of my house, and guarding that property which was alike
  dangerous to them and myself. After all, this is but an expedient.
  As this population becomes more numerous, it becomes less
  productive. Your guard must be increased, until finally its profits
  will not pay for the expense of its subjection. Slavery has the
  effect of lessening the free population of a country.

  “The gentleman has spoken of the increase of the female slaves being
  a part of the profit. It is admitted; but no great evil can be
  averted, no good attained, without some inconvenience. It may be
  questioned how far it is desirable to foster and encourage this
  branch of profit. It is a practice, and an increasing practice, in
  parts of Virginia, to rear slaves for market. How can an honorable
  mind, a patriot, and a lover of his country, bear to see this
  Ancient Dominion, rendered illustrious by the noble devotion and
  patriotism of her sons in the cause of liberty, converted into one
  grand menagerie, where men are to be reared for the market, like
  oxen for the shambles? Is it better, is it not worse, than the
  slave-trade;—that trade which enlisted the labor of the good and
  wise of every creed, and every clime, to abolish it? The trader
  receives the slave, a stranger in language, aspect and manners, from
  the merchant who has brought him from the interior. The ties of
  father, mother, husband and child, have all been rent in twain;
  before he receives him, his soul has become callous. But here, sir,
  individuals whom the master has known from infancy, whom he has seen
  sporting in the innocent gambols of childhood, who have been
  accustomed to look to him for protection, he tears from the mother’s
  arms, and sells into a strange country, among strange people,
  subject to cruel taskmasters.

  “He has attempted to justify slavery here because it exists in
  Africa, and has stated that it exists all over the world. Upon the
  same principle, he could justify Mahometanism, with its plurality of
  wives, petty wars for plunder, robbery and murder, or any other of
  the abominations and enormities of savage tribes. Does slavery exist
  in any part of civilized Europe?—No sir, in no part of it.”

The calculations in the volume from which we have been quoting were made
in the year 1841. Since that time, the area of the southern slave-market
has been doubled, and the trade has undergone a proportional increase.
Southern papers are full of its advertisements. It is, in fact, the
great trade of the country. From the single port of Baltimore, in the
last two years, a thousand and thirty-three slaves have been shipped to
the southern market, as is apparent from the following report of the
custom-house officer:

                           NOVEMBER 20, 1852.

  Date.  │ Denomina’s.  │ Names of Vessels.  │   Where Bound.   │ Nos.
   1851  │              │                    │                  │
 Jan.   6│Sloop,        │Georgia,            │Norfolk, Va.      │     16
 Jan.  10│Sloop,        │Georgia,            │Norfolk, Va.      │      6
 Jan.  11│Bark,         │Elizabeth,          │New Orleans.      │     92
 Jan.  14│Sloop,        │Georgia,            │Norfolk, Va.      │      9
 Jan.  17│Sloop,        │Georgia,            │Norfolk, Va.      │      6
 Jan.  20│Bark,         │Cora,               │New Orleans.      │     14
 Feb.   6│Bark,         │E. H. Chapin,       │New Orleans.      │     31
 Feb.   8│Bark,         │Sarah Bridge,       │New Orleans.      │     34
 Feb.  12│Sloop,        │Georgia,            │Norfolk, Va.      │      5
 Feb.  24│Schooner,     │H. A. Barling,      │New Orleans.      │     37
 Feb.  26│Sloop,        │Georgia,            │Norfolk, Va.      │      3
 Feb.  28│Sloop,        │Georgia,            │Norfolk, Va.      │     42
 Mar.  10│Ship,         │Edward Everett,     │New Orleans.      │     20
 Mar.  21│Sloop,        │Georgia,            │Norfolk, Va.      │     11
 Mar.  19│Bark,         │Baltimore,          │Savannah.         │     13
 Apr.   1│Sloop,        │Herald,             │Norfolk, Va.      │      7
 Apr.   2│Brig,         │Waverley,           │New Orleans.      │     31
 Apr.  18│Sloop,        │Baltimore,          │Arquia Creek, Va. │      4
 Apr.  23│Ship,         │Charles,            │New Orleans.      │     25
 Apr.  28│Sloop,        │Georgia,            │Norfolk, Va.      │      5
 May   15│Sloop,        │Herald,             │Norfolk, Va.      │     27
 May   17│Schooner,     │Brilliant,          │Charleston.       │      1
 June  10│Sloop,        │Herald,             │Norfolk, Va.      │      3
 June  16│Sloop,        │Georgia,            │Norfolk, Va.      │      4
 June  20│Schooner,     │Truth,              │Charleston.       │      5
 June  21│Ship,         │Herman,             │New Orleans.      │     10
 July  19│Schooner,     │Aurora S.,          │Charleston.       │      1
 Sept.  6│Bark,         │Kirkwood,           │New Orleans.      │      2
 Oct.   4│Bark,         │Abbott Lord,        │New Orleans.      │      1
 Oct.  11│Bark,         │Elizabeth,          │New Orleans.      │     70
 Oct.  18│Ship,         │Edward Everett,     │New Orleans.      │     12
 Oct.  20│Sloop,        │Georgia,            │Norfolk, Va.      │      1
 Nov.  13│Ship,         │Eliza F. Mason,     │New Orleans.      │     57
 Nov.  18│Bark,         │Mary Broughtons,    │New Orleans.      │     47
 Dec.   4│Ship,         │Timalean,           │New Orleans.      │     22
 Dec.  18│Schooner,     │H. A. Barling,      │New Orleans.      │     45
         │              │                    │                  │
  1852.  │              │                    │                  │
 Jan.   5│Bark,         │Southerner,         │New Orleans.      │     52
 Feb.   7│Ship,         │Nathan Hooper,      │New Orleans.      │     51
 Feb.  21│Ship,         │Dumbarton,          │New Orleans.      │     22
 Mar.  27│Sloop,        │Palmetto,           │Charleston.       │     36
 Mar.   4│Sloop,        │Jewess,             │Norfolk, Va.      │     34
 Apr.  24│Sloop,        │Palmetto,           │Charleston.       │      8
 Apr.  25│Bark,         │Abbott Lord,        │New Orleans.      │     36
 May   15│Ship,         │Charles,            │New Orleans.      │      2
 June  12│Sloop,        │Pampero,            │New Orleans.      │      4
 July   3│Sloop,        │Palmetto,           │Charleston.       │      1
 July   6│Sloop,        │Herald,             │Norfolk, Va.      │      7
 July   6│Sloop,        │Maryland,           │Arquia Creek, Va. │      4
 Sept. 14│Sloop,        │North Carolina,     │Norfolk, Va.      │     15
 Sept. 23│Ship,         │America,            │New Orleans.      │      1
 Oct.  15│Ship,         │Brandywine,         │New Orleans.      │      6
 Oct.  18│Sloop,        │Isabel,             │Charleston.       │      1
 Oct.  28│Schooner,     │Maryland,           │Charleston.       │     12
 Oct.  29│Schooner,     │H. M. Gambrill,     │Savannah.         │     11
 Nov.   1│Ship,         │Jane Henderson,     │New Orleans.      │     18
 Nov.   6│Sloop,        │Palmetto,           │Charleston.       │      3
         │              │                    │                  │   ————
         │              │                    │                  │   1033

If we look back to the advertisements, we shall see that the traders
take only the younger ones, between the ages of ten and thirty. But this
is only one port, and only one mode of exporting; for multitudes of them
are sent in coffles over land; and yet Mr. J. Thornton Randolph
represents the negroes of Virginia as living in pastoral security,
smoking their pipes under their own vines and fig-trees, the venerable
patriarch of the flock declaring that “he nebber hab hear such a ting as
a nigger sold to Georgia all his life, unless dat nigger did someting
very bad.”

An affecting picture of the consequences of this traffic upon both
master and slave is drawn by the committee of the volume from which we
have quoted.

The writer cannot conclude this chapter better than by the language
which they have used.

  This system bears with extreme severity upon the slave. It subjects
  him to a perpetual fear of being sold to the “soul-driver,” which to
  the slave is the realization of all conceivable woes and horrors,
  more dreaded than death. An awful apprehension of this fate haunts
  the poor sufferer by day and by night, from his cradle to his grave.
  SUSPENSE hangs like a thunder-cloud over his head. He knows that
  there is not a passing hour, whether he wakes or sleeps, which may
  not be THE LAST that he shall spend with his wife and children.
  Every day or week some acquaintance is snatched from his side, and
  thus the consciousness of his own danger is kept continually awake.
  “Surely my turn will come next,” is his harrowing conviction; for he
  knows that he was reared for this, as the ox for the yoke, or the
  sheep for the slaughter. In this aspect, the slave’s condition is
  truly indescribable. _Suspense_, even when it relates to an event of
  no great moment, and “endureth but for a night,” is hard to bear.
  But when it broods over all, absolutely all that is dear, chilling
  the present with its deep shade, and casting its awful gloom over
  the future, it _must_ break the heart! Such is the suspense under
  which every slave in the breeding states lives. It poisons all his
  little lot of bliss. If a father, he cannot go forth to his toil
  without bidding a mental farewell to his wife and children. He
  cannot return, weary and worn, from the field, with any certainty
  that he shall not find his home robbed and desolate. Nor can he seek
  his bed of straw and rags without the frightful misgiving that his
  wife may be torn from his arms before morning. Should a white
  stranger approach his master’s mansion, he fears that the
  _soul-driver_ has come, and awaits in terror the overseer’s mandate,
  “You are sold; follow that man.” There is no being on earth whom the
  slaves of the breeding states regard with so much horror as the
  _trader_. He is to them what the prowling kidnapper is to their less
  wretched brethren in the wilds of Africa. The master knows this, and
  that there is no punishment so effectual to secure labor, or deter
  from misconduct, as the threat of being delivered to the
  soul-driver.[20] Another consequence of this system is the
  prevalence of licentiousness. This is indeed one of the foul
  features of slavery everywhere; but it is especially prevalent and
  indiscriminate where _slave-breeding_ is conducted as a business. It
  grows directly out of the system, and is inseparable from it. * * *
  The pecuniary inducement to general pollution must be very strong,
  since the larger the slave increase the greater the master’s gains,
  and especially since the _mixed blood_ demands a considerably
  _higher price than the pure black_.

The remainder of the extract contains specifications too dreadful to be
quoted. We can only refer the reader to the volume, p. 13.

The poets of America, true to the holy soul of their divine art, have
shed over some of the horrid realities of this trade the pathetic light
of poetry. Longfellow and Whittier have told us, in verses beautiful as
strung pearls, yet sorrowful as a mother’s tears, some of the incidents
of this unnatural and ghastly traffic. For the sake of a common
humanity, let us hope that the first extract describes no _common_

                           THE QUADROON GIRL.

              The Slaver in the broad lagoon
                Lay moored with idle sail;
              He waited for the rising moon,
                And for the evening gale.

              Under the shore his boat was tied
                And all her listless crew
              Watched the gray alligator slide
                Into the still bayou.

              Odors of orange-flowers and spice
                Reached them, from time to time,
              Like airs that breathe from Paradise
                Upon a world of crime.

              The Planter, under his roof of thatch,
                Smoked thoughtfully and slow;
              The Slaver’s thumb was on the latch,
                He scorned in haste to go.

              He said, “My ship at anchor rides
                In yonder broad lagoon;
              I only wait the evening tides,
                And the rising of the moon.”

              Before them, with her face upraised,
                In timid attitude,
              Like one half curious, half amazed,
                A Quadroon maiden stood.

              Her eyes were large, and full of light,
                Her arms and neck were bare;
              No garment she wore, save a kirtle bright,
                And her own long raven hair.

              And on her lips there played a smile
                As holy, meek, and faint,
              As lights in some cathedral aisle
                The features of a saint.

              “The soil is barren, the farm is old,”
                The thoughtful Planter said;
              Then looked upon the Slaver’s gold,
                And then upon the maid.

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

              But the voice of nature was too weak;
                He took the glittering gold!
              Then pale as death grew the maiden’s cheek,
                Her hands as icy cold.

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

                  *       *       *       *       *

                               THE FAREWELL


                 Gone, gone,—sold and gone,
                 To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
               Where the slave-whip ceaseless swings,
               Where the noisome insect stings,
               Where the fever demon strews
               Poison with the falling dews,
               Where the sickly sunbeams glare
               Through the hot and misty air,—
                 Gone, gone,—sold and gone,
                 To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
                 From Virginia’s hills and waters,—
                 Woe is me, my stolen daughters!

                 Gone, gone,—sold and gone,
                 To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
               There no mother’s eye is near them,
               There no mother’s ear can hear them;
               Never, when the torturing lash
               Seams their back with many a gash,
               Shall a mother’s kindness bless them,
               Or a mother’s arms caress them.
                 Gone, gone, &c.

                 Gone, gone,—sold and gone,
                 To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
               O, when weary, sad, and slow,
               From the fields at night they go,
               Faint with toil, and racked with pain,
               To their cheerless homes again,—
               There no brother’s voice shall greet them,
               There no father’s welcome meet them.
                 Gone, gone, &c.

                 Gone, gone,—sold and gone,
                 To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
               From the tree whose shadow lay
               On their childhood’s place of play;
               From the cool spring where they drank;
               Rock, and hill, and rivulet bank;
               From the solemn house of prayer,
               And the holy counsels there,—
                 Gone, gone, &c.

                 Gone, gone,—sold and gone,
                 To the rice-swamp dank and lone;
               Toiling through the weary day,
               And at night the spoiler’s prey.
               O, that they had earlier died,
               Sleeping calmly, side by side,
               Where the tyrant’s power is o’er,
               And the fetter galls no more!
                 Gone, gone, &c.

                 Gone, gone,—sold and gone,
                 To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
               By the holy love He beareth,
               By the bruised reed He spareth,
               O, may He, to whom alone
               All their cruel wrongs are known,
               Still their hope and refuge prove,
               With a more than mother’s love!
                 Gone, gone, &c.

                                   JOHN G. WHITTIER.

The following extract from a letter of Dr. Bailey, in the _Era_, 1847,
presents a view of this subject more creditable to some Virginia
families. May the number that refuse to part with slaves except by
emancipation increase!

  The sale of slaves to the south is carried to a great extent. The
  slave-holders do not, so far as I can learn, raise them for that
  special purpose. But, here is a man with a score of slaves, located
  on an exhausted plantation. It must furnish support for all; but,
  while they increase, its capacity of supply decreases. The result
  is, he must emancipate or sell. But he has fallen into debt, and he
  sells to relieve himself from debt, and also from an excess of
  mouths. Or, he requires money to educate his children; or, his
  negroes are sold under execution. From these and other causes, large
  numbers of slaves are continually disappearing from the state, so
  that the next census will undoubtedly show a marked diminution of
  the slave population.

  The season for this trade is generally from November to April; and
  some estimate that the average number of slaves passing by the
  southern railroad weekly, during that period of six months, is at
  least two hundred. A slave-trader told me that he had known one
  hundred pass in a single night. But this is only one route. Large
  numbers are sent off westwardly, and also by sea, coastwise. The
  Davises, in Petersburg, are the great slave-dealers. They are Jews,
  who came to that place many years ago as poor peddlers; and, I am
  informed, are members of a family which has its representatives in
  Philadelphia, New York, &c.! These men are always in the market,
  giving the highest price for slaves. During the summer and fall they
  buy them up at low prices, trim, shave, wash them, fatten them so
  that they may look sleek, and sell them to great profit. It might
  not be unprofitable to inquire how much Northern capital, and what
  firms in some of the Northern cities, are connected with this
  detestable business.

  There are many planters here who cannot be persuaded to sell their
  slaves. They have far more than they can find work for, and could at
  any time obtain a high price for them. The temptation is strong, for
  they want more money and fewer dependants. But they resist it, and
  nothing can induce them to part with a single slave, though they
  know that they would be greatly the gainers in a pecuniary sense,
  were they to sell one-half of them. Such men are too good to be
  slave-holders. Would that they might see it their duty to go one
  step further, and become emancipators! The majority of this class of
  planters are religious men, and this is the class to which generally
  are to be referred the various cases of emancipation _by will_, of
  which from time to time we hear accounts.


Footnote 20:

  This horribly expressive appellation is in common use among the slaves
  of the breeding states.

                               CHAPTER V.

The atrocious and sacrilegious system of breeding human beings for sale,
and trading them like cattle in the market, fails to produce the
impression on the mind that it ought to produce, because it is lost in

It is like the account of a great battle, in which we learn, in round
numbers, that ten thousand were killed and wounded, and throw the paper
by without a thought.

So, when we read of sixty or eighty thousand human beings being raised
yearly and sold in the market, it passes through our mind, but leaves no
definite trace.

Sterne says that when he would realize the miseries of captivity, he had
to turn his mind from the idea of hundreds of thousands languishing in
dungeons, and bring before himself the picture of one poor, solitary
captive pining in his cell. In like manner, we cannot give any idea of
the horribly cruel and demoralizing effect of this trade, except by
presenting facts in detail, each fact being a specimen of a class of

For a specimen of the public sentiment and the kind of morals and
manners which this breeding and trading system produces, both in slaves
and in their owners, the writer gives the following extracts from a
recent letter of a friend in one of the Southern States.

  DEAR MRS. S:—The sable goddess who presides over our bed and
  wash-stand is such a queer specimen of her race, that I would give a
  good deal to have you see her. Her whole appearance, as she goes
  giggling and curtseying about, is perfectly comical, and would lead
  a stranger to think her really deficient in intellect. This is,
  however, by no means the case. During our two months’ acquaintance
  with her, we have seen many indications of sterling good sense, that
  would do credit to many a white person with ten times her

  She is disposed to be very communicative;—seems to feel that she has
  a claim upon our sympathy, in the very fact that we come from the
  North; and we could undoubtedly gain no little knowledge of the
  practical workings of the “peculiar institution,” if we thought
  proper to hold any protracted conversation with her. This, however,
  would insure a visit from the authorities, requesting us to leave
  town in the next train of cars; so we are forced to content
  ourselves with gleaning a few items, now and then, taking care to
  appear quite indifferent to her story, and to cut it short by
  despatching her on some trifling errand;—being equally careful,
  however, to note down her peculiar expressions, as soon as she has
  disappeared. A copy of these I have thought you would like to see,
  especially as illustrating the views of the marriage institution
  which is a necessary result of the great human property relation

  A Southern lady, who thinks “negro sentiment” very much exaggerated
  in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” assures us that domestic attachments cannot
  be very strong, where one man will have two or three wives and
  families, on as many different plantations.(!) And the lady of our
  hotel tells us of her cook having received a message from her
  husband, that he has another wife, and she may get another husband,
  with perfect indifference; simply expressing a hope that “she won’t
  find another here during the next month, as she must then be sent to
  her owner, in Georgia, and would be more unwilling to go.” And yet,
  both of these ladies are quite religious, and highly resent any
  insinuation that the moral character of the slaves is not far above
  that of the free negroes at the North.

  With Violet’s story, I will also enclose that of one of our waiters;
  in which, I think, you will be interested.

  Violet’s father and mother both died, as she says, “‘fore I had any
  sense,” leaving eleven children—all scattered. “To sabe my life,
  Missis, couldn’t tell dis yer night where one of dem is. Massa lib
  in Charleston. My first husband,—when we was young,—nice man; he had
  seven children; den he sold off to Florida—neber hear from him
  ‘gain. Ole folks die. O, dat’s be my boderation, Missis,—when ole
  people be dead, den we be scattered all ‘bout. Den I sold up
  here—now hab ‘noder husband—hab four children up here. I lib bery
  easy when my young husband ‘libe—and we had children bery fast. But
  now dese yer ones tight fellers. Massa don’t ‘low us to raise
  noting; no pig—no goat—no dog—no noting; won’t allow us raise a bit
  of corn. _We has to do jist de best we can._ Dey don’t gib us a
  single grain but jist two homespun frocks—no coat ‘t all.

  “Can’t go to meetin, ‘cause, Missis, get dis work done—den get
  dinner. In summer, I goes ebery Sunday ebening; but dese yer short
  days, time done get dinner dishes washed, den time get supper.
  Gen’lly goes Baptist church.”

  “Do your people usually go there?”

  “Dere bees tree shares ob dem—Methodist gang, Baptist gang,
  ‘Piscopal gang. Last summer, use to hab right smart[21] meetins in
  our yard, Sunday night. Massa Johnson preach to us. Den he said
  couldn’t hab two meetins—we might go to church.”


  “Gracious knows. I lubs to go to meetin allers—‘specially when dere
  ‘s good preaching—lubs to hab people talk good to me—likes to hab
  people read to me, too. ‘Cause don’t b’long to church, no reason why
  I shan’t.”

  “Does your master like to have others read to you?”

  “He won’t hinder—I an’t bound tell him when folks reads to me. I hab
  _my_ soul to sabe—he hab _his_ soul to sabe. Our owners won’t stand
  few minutes and read to us—dey tink it too great honor—dey’s bery
  hard on us. Brack preachers sometimes talk good to us, and pray wid
  us,—and _pray a heap for_ DEM _too_.

  “I jest done hab great quarrel wid Dinah, down in de kitchen. I
  tells Dinah, ‘De way you goes on spile all do women’s
  character.’—She say she didn’t care, she do what she please wid
  herself. Dinah, she slip away somehow from her first husband, and
  hab ‘noder child by Sambo (he b’long to Massa D.); so she and her
  first husband dey fall out somehow. Dese yer men, yer know, is so
  queer, Missis, dey don’t neber like sich tings.

  “Ye know, Missis, tings we lub, we don’t like hab anybody else hab
  ‘em. Such a ting as dat, Missis, tetch your heart so, ef you don’t
  mind, ‘t will fret you almost to death. Ef my husband was to slip
  away from me, Missis, dat ar way, it ud wake me right up. I’m brack,
  but I wouldn’t do so to my husband, neider. What I hide behind de
  curtain now, I can’t hide it behind de curtain when I stand before
  God—de whole world know it den.

  “Dinah’s (second) husband say what she do for her first husband
  noting to him;—now, my husband don’t feel so. He say he wouldn’t do
  as Daniel do—he wouldn’t buy tings for de oder children—dem as has
  de children might buy de tings for dem. Well, so dere dey
  is.—Dinah’s first husband come up wheneber he can, to see his
  children,—and Sambo, he come up to see _his_ child, and gib Dinah
  tings for it.

  “You know, Missis, Massa hab no nigger but me and one yellow girl,
  when he bought me and my four children. Well, den Massa, he want me
  to breed; so he say, ‘Violet, you must take some nigger here in C.’

  “Den I say, ‘No, Massa, I can’t take any here.’ Den he say, ‘You
  _must_, Violet;’ ‘cause you see he want me breed for him; so he say
  plenty young fellers here, but I say I can’t hab any ob dem. Well,
  den, Missis, he go down Virginia, and he bring up two niggers,—and
  dey was pretty ole men,—and Missis say, ‘One of dem’s for you,
  Violet;’ but I say, ‘No, Missis, I can’t take one of dem, ‘cause I
  don’t lub ‘em, and I can’t hab one I don’t lub.’ Den Massa, he say,
  ‘You _must take one of dese_—and _den, ef you can’t lub him, you
  must find somebody else you can lub_.’ Den I say, ‘O, no, Massa! I
  can’t do dat—_I can’t hab one ebery day_.’ Well, den, by-and-by,
  Massa he buy tree more, and den Missis say, ‘Now, Violet, ones dem
  is for you.’ I say, ‘I do’no—maybe I can’t lub one dem neider;’ but
  she say, ‘You _must_ hab one ob dese.’ Well, so Sam and I we lib
  along two year—he watchin my ways, and I watchin his ways.

  “At last, one night, we was standin’ by de wood-pile togeder, and de
  moon bery shine, and I do’no how ‘t was, Missis, he answer me, he
  wan’t a wife, but he didn’t know where he get one. I say, plenty
  girls in G. He say, ‘Yes—but maybe I shan’t find any I like so well
  as you.’ Den I say maybe he wouldn’t like my ways, ‘cause I’se an
  ole woman, and I hab four children by my first husband; and anybody
  marry me, must be jest kind to dem children as dey was to me, else I
  couldn’t lub him. Den he say, ‘Ef he had a woman ‘t had
  children,’—mind you, he didn’t say me,—‘he would be jest as kind to
  de children as he was to de moder, and dat’s ‘cordin to how she do
  by him.’ Well, so we went on from one ting to anoder, till at last
  we say we’d take one anoder, and so we’ve libed togeder eber
  since—and I’s had four children by him—and he neber slip away from
  me, nor I from him.”

  “How are you married in your yard?”

  “We jest _takes_ one anoder—we asks de white folks’ leave—and den
  takes one anoder. Some folks, dey’s married by de book; but den,
  what’s de use? Dere’s my fus husband, we’se married by de book, and
  he sold way off to Florida, and I’s here. Dey wants to do what dey
  please wid us, so dey don’t want us to be married. Dey don’t care
  what we does, so we jest makes money for dem.

  “My fus husband,—he young, and he _bery_ kind to me,—O, Missis, he
  _bery kind indeed_. He set up all night and work, so as to make me
  comfortable. O, we got ‘long bery well when I had him; but he sold
  way off Florida, and, sence then, Missis, _I jest gone_ to noting.
  Dese yer white people dey hab here, dey won’t ‘low us noting—noting
  at all—jest gibs us food, and two suits a year—a broad stripe and a
  narrow stripe; you’ll see ‘em, Missis.”—

  And we did “see ‘em;” for Violet brought us the “narrow stripe,”
  with a request that we would fit it for her. There was just enough
  to cover her, but no hooks and eyes, cotton, or even lining; these
  extras she must get as she can; and yet her master receives from our
  host eight dollars per month for her services. We asked how she got
  the “broad stripe” made up.

  “O, Missis, my husband,—he working now out on de farm,—so he hab
  ‘lowance four pounds bacon and one peck of meal ebery week; so he
  stinge heself, so as to gib me four pounds bacon to pay for making
  my frock.” [Query.—Are there any husbands in refined circles who
  would do more than this?]

  Once, finding us all three busily writing, Violet stood for some
  moments silently watching the mysterious motion of our pens, and
  then, in a tone of deepest sadness, said,

  “O! dat be great comfort, Missis. _You_ can write to _your_ friends
  all ‘bout ebery ting, and so hab dem write to you. Our people can’t
  do so. Wheder dey be ‘live or dead, we can’t neber know—_only
  sometimes we hears dey be dead_.”

What more expressive comment on the cruel laws that forbid the slave to
be taught to write!

The history of the serving-man is thus given:

  George’s father and mother belonged to somebody in Florida. During
  the war, two older sisters got on board an English vessel, and went
  to Halifax. His mother was very anxious to go with them, and take
  the whole family; but her husband persuaded her to wait until the
  next ship sailed, when he thought he should be able to go too. By
  this delay opportunity of escape was lost, and the whole family were
  soon after sold for debt. George, one sister, and their mother, were
  bought by the same man. He says, “My old boss cry powerful when she
  (the mother) die; say he’d rather lost two thousand dollars. She was
  part Indian—hair straight as yourn—and she was white as dat ar
  pillow.” George married a woman in _another_ yard. He gave this
  reason for it: “‘Cause, when a man sees his wife ‘bused, he can’t
  help feelin’ it. When he _hears_ his wife’s ‘bused, ‘t an’t like as
  how it is when he _sees_ it. Then I can fadge for her better than
  when she’s in my own yard.” This wife was sold up country, but after
  some years became “lame and sick—couldn’t do much—so her massa gabe
  her her time, and paid her fare to G.”—[The sick and infirm are
  always provided for, you know.]—“Hadn’t seen her for tree years,”
  said George; “but soon as I heard of it, went right down,—hired a
  house, and got some one to take care ob her,—and used to go to see
  her ebery tree months.” He is a mechanic, and worked sometimes all
  night to earn money to do this. His master asks twenty dollars per
  month for his services, and allows him fifty cents per week for
  clothes, etc. J. says, if he could only save, by working nights,
  money enough to buy himself, he would get some one he could trust to
  buy him; “den work hard as eber, till I could buy my children, den
  I’d get away from dis yer.”—


  “O! Philadelphia—New York—somewhere North.”

  “Why, you’d freeze to death.”

  “O, no, Missis! I can bear cold. I want to go _where I can belong to
  myself_, and do as I want to.”

The following communication has been given to the writer by Captain
Austin Bearse, ship-master in Boston. Mr. Bearse is a native of
Barnstable, Cape Cod. He is well known to our Boston citizens and

  I am a native of the State of Massachusetts. Between the years 1818
  and 1830 I was, from time to time, mate on board of different
  vessels engaged in the coasting trade on the coast of South

  It is well known that many New England vessels are in the habit of
  spending their winters on the southern coast in pursuit of this
  business. Our vessels used to run up the rivers for the rough rice
  and cotton of the plantations, which we took to Charleston.

  We often carried gangs of slaves to the plantations, as they had
  been ordered. These slaves were generally collected by slave-traders
  in the slave-pens in Charleston,—brought there by various causes,
  such as the death of owners and the division of estates, which threw
  them into the market. Some were sent as punishment for
  insubordination, or because the domestic establishment was too
  large, or because persons moving to the North or West preferred
  selling their slaves to the trouble of carrying them. We had on
  board our vessels, from time to time, numbers of these
  slaves,—sometimes two or three, and sometimes as high as seventy or
  eighty. They were separated from their families and connections with
  as little concern as calves and pigs are selected out of a lot of
  domestic animals.

  Our vessels used to lie in a place called Poor Man’s Hole, not far
  from the city. We used to allow the relations and friends of the
  slaves to come on board and stay all night with their friends,
  before the vessel sailed.

  In the morning it used to be my business to pull off the hatches and
  warn them that it was time to separate; and the shrieks and
  heart-rending cries at these times were enough to make anybody’s
  heart ache.

  In the year 1828, while mate of the brig Milton, from Boston, bound
  to New Orleans, the following incident occurred, which I shall never

  The traders brought on board four quadroon men in handcuffs, to be
  stowed away for the New Orleans market. An old negro woman, more
  than eighty years of age, came screaming after them, “My son, O, my
  son, my son!” She seemed almost frantic, and when we had got more
  than a mile out in the harbor we heard her screaming yet.

  When we got into the Gulf Stream, I came to the men, and took off
  their handcuffs. They were resolute fellows, and they told me that I
  would see that they would never live to be slaves in New Orleans.
  One of the men was a carpenter, and one a blacksmith. We brought
  them into New Orleans, and consigned them over to the agent. The
  agent told the captain afterwards that in forty-eight hours after
  they came to New Orleans they were all dead men, having every one
  killed themselves, as they said they should. One of them, I know,
  was bought for a fireman on the steamer Post Boy, that went down to
  the Balize. He jumped over, and was drowned.

  The others,—one was sold to a blacksmith, and one to a carpenter.
  The particulars of their death I didn’t know, only that the agent
  told the captain that they were all dead.

  There was a plantation at Coosahatchie, back of Charleston, S. C.,
  kept by a widow lady, who owned eighty negroes. She sent to
  Charleston, and bought a quadroon girl, very nearly white, for her
  son. We carried her up. She was more delicate than our other slaves,
  so that she was not put with them, but was carried up in the cabin.

  I have been on the rice-plantations on the river, and seen the
  cultivation of the rice. In the fall of the year, the plantation
  hands, both men and women, work all the time above their knees in
  water in the rice-ditches, pulling out the grass, to fit the ground
  for sowing the rice. Hands sold here from the city, having been bred
  mostly to house-labor, find this very severe. The plantations are so
  deadly that white people cannot remain on them during the
  summer-time, except at a risk of life. The proprietors and their
  families are there only through the winter, and the slaves are left
  in the summer entirely under the care of the overseers. Such
  overseers as I saw were generally a brutal, gambling, drinking set.

  I have seen slavery, in the course of my wanderings, in almost all
  the countries in the world. I have been to Algiers, and seen slavery
  there. I have seen slavery in Smyrna, among the Turks. I was in
  Smyrna when our American consul ransomed a beautiful Greek girl in
  the slave-market. I saw her come aboard the brig Suffolk, when she
  came on board to be sent to America for her education. I have seen
  slavery in the Spanish and French ports, though I have not been on
  their plantations.

  My opinion is that American slavery, as I have seen it in the
  internal slave-trade, as I have seen it on the rice and sugar
  plantations, and in the city of New Orleans, is _full as bad_ as
  slavery in any country of the world, heathen or Christian. People
  who go for visits or pleasure through the Southern States cannot
  possibly know those things which can be seen of slavery by
  ship-masters who run up into the back plantations of countries, and
  who transport the slaves and produce of plantations.

  In my past days the system of slavery was not much discussed. I saw
  these things as others did, without interference. Because I no
  longer think it right to see these things in silence, I trade no
  more south of Mason & Dixon’s line.

                                                        AUSTIN BEARSE.

The following account was given to the writer by Lewis Hayden. Hayden
was a fugitive slave, who escaped from Kentucky by the assistance of a
young lady named Delia Webster, and a man named Calvin Fairbanks. Both
were imprisoned. Lewis Hayden has earned his own character as a free
citizen of Boston, where he can find an abundance of vouchers for his

  I belonged to the Rev. Adam Runkin, a Presbyterian minister in
  Lexington, Kentucky.

  My mother was of mixed blood,—white and Indian. She married my
  father when he was working in a bagging factory near by. After a
  while my father’s owner moved off and took my father with him, which
  broke up the marriage. She was a very handsome woman. My master kept
  a large dairy, and she was the milk-woman. Lexington was a small
  town in those days, and the dairy was in the town. Back of the
  college was the Masonic lodge. A man who belonged to the lodge saw
  my mother when she was about her work. He made proposals of a base
  nature to her. When she would have nothing to say to him, he told
  her that she need not be so independent, for if money could buy her
  he would have her. My mother told old mistress, and begged that
  master might not sell her. But he did sell her. My mother had a high
  spirit, being part Indian. She would not consent to live with this
  man, as he wished; and he sent her to prison, and had her flogged,
  and punished her in various ways, so that at last she began to have
  crazy turns. When I read in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” about Cassy, it put
  me in mind of my mother, and I wanted to tell Mrs. S—— about her.
  She tried to kill herself several times, once with a knife and once
  by hanging. She had long, straight black hair, but after this it all
  turned white, like an old person’s. When she had her raving turns
  she always talked about her children. The jailer told the owner that
  if he would let her go to her children, perhaps she would get quiet.
  They let her out one time, and she came to the place where we were.
  I might have been seven or eight years old,—don’t know my age
  exactly. I was not at home when she came. I came in and found her in
  one of the cabins near the kitchen. She sprung and caught my arms,
  and seemed going to break them, and then said, “I’ll fix _you_ so
  they’ll never get you!” I screamed, for I thought she was going to
  kill me; they came in and took me away. They tied her, and carried
  her off. Sometimes, when she was in her right mind, she used to tell
  me what things they had done to her. At last her owner sold her, for
  a small sum, to a man named Lackey. While with him she had another
  husband and several children. After a while this husband either died
  or was sold, I do not remember which. The man then sold her to
  another person, named Bryant. My own father’s owner now came and
  lived in the neighborhood of this man, and brought my mother with
  him. He had had another wife and family of children where he had
  been living. He and my mother came together again, and finished
  their days together. My mother almost recovered her mind in her last

  I never saw anything in Kentucky which made me suppose that
  ministers or professors of religion considered it any more wrong to
  separate the families of slaves by sale than to separate any
  domestic animals.

  There may be ministers and professors of religion who think it is
  wrong, but I never met with them. My master was a minister, and yet
  he sold my mother, as I have related.

  When he was going to leave Kentucky for Pennsylvania, he sold all my
  brothers and sisters at auction. I stood by and saw them sold. When
  I was just going up on to the block, he swapped me off for a pair of
  carriage-horses. I looked at those horses with strange feelings. I
  had indulged hopes that master would take me into Pennsylvania with
  him, and I should get free. How I looked at those horses, and walked
  round them, and thought for _them_ I was sold!

  It was commonly reported that my master had said in the pulpit that
  there was no more harm in separating a family of slaves than a
  litter of pigs. I did not hear him say it, and so cannot say whether
  this is true or not.

  It may seem strange, but it is a fact,—I had more sympathy and kind
  advice, in my efforts to get my freedom, from gamblers and such sort
  of men, than Christians. Some of the gamblers were very kind to me:

  I never knew a slave-trader that did not seem to think, in his
  heart, that the trade was a bad one. I knew a great many of them,
  such as Neal, McAnn, Cobb, Stone, Pulliam and Davis, &c. They were
  like Haley,—they meant to repent when they got through.

  Intelligent colored people in my circle of acquaintance, as a
  general thing, _felt no security whatever for their family ties_.
  Some, it is true, who belonged to rich families, felt some security,
  but those of us who looked deeper, and knew how many were not rich
  that seemed so, and saw how fast money slipped away, were always
  miserable. The trader was all around, the slave-pens at hand, and we
  did not know what time any of us might be in it. Then there were the
  rice-swamps, and the sugar and cotton plantations; we had had them
  held before us as terrors, by our masters and mistresses, all our
  lives. We knew about them all; and when a friend was carried off,
  why, it was the same as death, for we could not write or hear, and
  never expected to see them again.

  I have one child who is buried in Kentucky, and that grave is
  pleasant to think of. I’ve got another that is sold nobody knows
  where, and that I never can bear to think of.

                                                         LEWIS HAYDEN.

The next history is a long one, and part of it transpired in a most
public manner, in the face of our whole community.

The history includes in it the whole account of that memorable capture
of the Pearl, which produced such a sensation in Washington in the year
1848. The author, however, will preface it with a short history of a
slave woman who had six children embarked in that ill-fated enterprise.


Footnote 21:

  _Right smart of_—that is, a great many of—an idiom of Anglo-Ethiopia.

                              CHAPTER VI.

Milly Edmondson is an aged woman, now upwards of seventy. She has
received the slave’s inheritance of entire ignorance. She cannot read a
letter of a book, nor write her own name; but the writer must say that
she was never so impressed with any presentation of the Christian
religion as that which was made to her in the language and appearance of
this woman during the few interviews that she had with her. The
circumstances of the interviews will be detailed at length in the course
of the story.

Milly is above the middle height, of a large, full figure. She dresses
with the greatest attention to neatness. A plain Methodist cap shades
her face, and the plain white Methodist handkerchief is folded across
the bosom. A well-preserved stuff gown, and clean white apron, with a
white pocket-handkerchief pinned to her side, completes the inventory of
the costume in which the writer usually saw her. She is a mulatto, and
must once have been a very handsome one. Her eyes and smile are still
uncommonly beautiful, but there are deep-wrought lines of patient sorrow
and weary endurance on her face, which tell that this lovely and
noble-hearted woman has been all her life a slave.

Milly Edmondson was kept by her owners and allowed to live with her
husband, with the express understanding and agreement that her service
and value was to consist in breeding up her own children to be sold in
the slave-market. Her legal owner was a maiden lady of feeble capacity,
who was set aside by the decision of court as incompetent to manage her

The estate—that is to say, Milly Edmondson and her children—was placed
in the care of a guardian. It appears that Milly’s poor, infirm mistress
was fond of her, and that Milly exercised over her much of that
ascendency which a strong mind holds over a weak one. Milly’s husband,
Paul Edmondson was a free man. A little of her history, as she related
it to the writer, will now be given in her own words:

“Her mistress,” she said, “was always kind to her ‘poor thing!’ but then
she hadn’t _sperit_ ever to speak for herself, and her friends wouldn’t
let her have her own way. It always laid on my mind,” she said, “that I
was a slave. When I wan’t more than fourteen years old, Missis was doing
some work one day that she thought she couldn’t trust me with, and she
says to me, ‘Milly, now you see it’s I that am the slave, and not you.’
I says to her, ‘Ah, Missis, I am a poor slave, for all that.’ I’s sorry
afterwards I said it, for I thought it seemed to hurt her feelings.

“Well, after a while, when I got engaged to Paul, I loved Paul very
much; but I thought it wan’t right to bring children into the world to
be slaves, and I told our folks that I was never going to marry, though
I did love Paul. But that wan’t to be allowed,” she said, with a
mysterious air.

“What do you mean?” said I.

“Well, they told me I must marry, or I should be turned out of the
church—so it was,” she added, with a significant nod.—“Well, Paul and
me, we was married, and we was happy enough, if it hadn’t been for that;
but when our first child was born I says to him, ‘There ‘t is, now,
Paul, our troubles is begun; this child isn’t ours.’ And every child I
had, it grew worse and worse. ‘O, Paul,’ says I, ‘what a thing it is to
have children that isn’t ours!’ Paul he says to me, ‘Milly, my dear, if
they be God’s children, it an’t so much matter whether they be ours or
no; they may be heirs of the kingdom, Milly, for all that.’ Well, when
Paul’s mistress died, she set him free, and he got him a little place
out about fourteen miles from Washington; and they let me live out there
with him, and take home my tasks; for they had that confidence in me
that they always know’d that what I said I’d do was as good done as if
they’d seen it done. I had mostly sewing; sometimes a shirt to make in a
day,—it was coarse like, you know,—or a pair of sheets, or some such;
but, whatever ‘t was, I always got it done. Then I had all my house-work
and babies to take care of; and many’s the time, after ten o’clock, I’ve
took my children’s clothes and washed ‘em all out and ironed ‘em late in
the night, ‘cause I couldn’t never bear to see my children dirty,—always
wanted to see ‘em sweet and clean, and I brought ‘em up and taught ‘em
the very best ways I was able. But nobody knows what I suffered; I never
see a white man come on to the place that I didn’t think, ‘There, now,
he’s coming to look at my children;’ and when I saw any white man going
by, I’ve called in my children and hid ‘em, for fear he’d see ‘em and
want to buy ‘em. O, ma’am, mine’s been a long sorrow, a long sorrow!
I’ve borne this heavy cross a great many years.”

“But,” said I, “the Lord has been with you.”

She answered, with very strong emphasis, “Ma’am, if the Lord hadn’t held
me up, I shouldn’t have been alive this day. O, sometimes my heart’s
been so heavy, it seemed as if I _must_ die; and then I’ve been to the
throne of grace, and when I’d poured out all my sorrows there, I came
away _light_, and felt that I could live a little longer.”

This language is exactly her own. She had often a forcible and
peculiarly beautiful manner of expressing herself, which impressed what
she said strongly.

Paul and Milly Edmondson were both devout communicants in the Methodist
Episcopal Church at Washington, and the testimony to their blamelessness
of life and the consistence of their piety is unanimous from all who
know them. In their simple cottage, made respectable by neatness and
order, and hallowed by morning and evening prayer, they trained up their
children, to the best of their poor ability, in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord, to be sold in the slave-market. They thought
themselves only too happy, as one after another arrived at the age when
they were to be sold, that they were hired to families in their
vicinity, and not thrown into the trader’s pen to be drafted for the
dreaded southern market!

The mother, feeling, with a constant but repressed anguish, the weary
burden of slavery which lay upon her, was accustomed, as she told the
writer, thus to warn her daughters:

“Now, girls, don’t you never come to the sorrows that I have. Don’t you
never marry till you get your liberty. Don’t you marry, to be mothers to
_children that an’t your own_.”

As a result of this education, some of her older daughters, in
connection with the young men to whom they were engaged, raised the sum
necessary to pay for their freedom before they were married. One of
these young women, at the time that she paid for her freedom, was in
such feeble health that the physician told her that she could not live
many months, and advised her to keep the money, and apply it to making
herself as comfortable as she could.

She answered, “If I had only two hours to live, I would pay down that
money to die free.”

If this was setting an extravagant value on liberty, it is not for an
American to say so.

All the sons and daughters of this family were distinguished both for
their physical and mental developments, and therefore were priced
exceedingly high in the market. The whole family, rated by the market
prices which have been paid for certain members of it, might be
estimated as an estate of fifteen thousand dollars. They were
distinguished for intelligence, honesty and faithfulness, but above all
for the most devoted attachment to each other. These children, thus
intelligent, were all held as slaves in the city of Washington, the very
capital where our national government is conducted. Of course, the high
estimate which their own mother taught them to place upon liberty was in
the way of being constantly strengthened and reinforced by such
addresses, celebrations and speeches, on the subject of liberty, as
every one knows are constantly being made, on one occasion or another,
in our national capital.

On the 13th day of April, the little schooner PEARL, commanded by Daniel
Drayton, came to anchor in the Potomac river, at Washington.

The news had just arrived of a revolution in France, and the
establishment of a democratic government, and all Washington was turning
out to celebrate the triumph of Liberty.

The trees in the avenue were fancifully hung with many-colored
lanterns,—drums beat, bands of music played, the houses of the President
and other high officials were illuminated, and men, women and children,
were all turned out to see the procession, and to join in the shouts of
liberty that rent the air. Of course, all the slaves of the city,
lively, fanciful and sympathetic, most excitable as they are by music
and by dazzling spectacles, were everywhere listening, seeing, and
rejoicing, in ignorant joy. All the heads of department, senators,
representatives, and dignitaries of all kinds, marched in procession to
an open space on Pennsylvania Avenue, and there delivered congratulatory
addresses on the progress of universal freedom. With unheard-of
imprudence, the most earnest defenders of slave-holding institutions
poured down on the listening crowd, both of black and white, bond and
free, the most inflammatory and incendiary sentiments. Such, for
example, as the following language of Hon. Frederick P. Stanton, of

  We do not, indeed, propagate our principles with the sword of power;
  but there is one sense in which we are propagandists. We cannot help
  being so. Our example is contagious. In the section of this great
  country where I live, on the banks of the mighty Mississippi river,
  we have the true emblem of the tree of liberty. There you may see
  the giant cotton-wood spreading his branches widely to the winds of
  heaven. Sometimes the current lays bare his roots, and you behold
  them extending far around, and penetrating to an immense depth in
  the soil. When the season of maturity comes, the air is filled with
  a cotton-like substance, which floats in every direction, bearing on
  its light wings the living seeds of the mighty tree. Thus the seeds
  of freedom have emanated from the tree of our liberties. They fill
  the air. They are wafted to every part of the habitable globe. And
  even in the barren sands of tyranny they are destined to take root.
  The tree of liberty will spring up everywhere, and nations shall
  recline in its shade.

Senator Foote, of Mississippi, also, used this language:

  Such has been the extraordinary course of events in France, and in
  Europe, within the last two months, that the more deliberately we
  survey the scene which has been spread out before us, and the more
  rigidly we scrutinize the conduct of its actors, the more confident
  does our conviction become that the _glorious work_ which has been
  so well begun cannot possibly fail of complete accomplishment; that
  the age of TYRANTS AND SLAVERY is rapidly drawing to a close; and
  that the happy period to be signalized by the _universal
  emancipation of man_ from the _fetters of civil oppression_, and the
  recognition _in all countries_ of the great principles of _popular
  sovereignty, equality, and_ BROTHERHOOD, is, at this moment, visibly

Will any one be surprised, after this, that seventy-seven of the most
intelligent young slaves, male and female, in Washington city, honestly
taking Mr. Foote and his brother senators at their word, and believing
that the age of tyrants and slavery was drawing to a close, banded
together, and made an effort to obtain their part in this reign of
universal brotherhood?

The schooner Pearl was lying in the harbor, and Captain Drayton was
found to have the heart of a man. Perhaps he, too, had listened to the
addresses on Pennsylvania Avenue, and thought, in the innocence of his
heart, that a man who really _did_ something to promote universal
emancipation was no worse than the men who only made speeches about it.

At any rate, Drayton was persuaded to allow these seventy-seven slaves
to secrete themselves in the hold of his vessel, and among them were six
children of Paul and Milly Edmondson. The incidents of the rest of the
narrative will now be given as obtained from Mary and Emily Edmondson,
by the lady in whose family they have been placed by the writer for an

Some few preliminaries maybe necessary, in order to understand the

A respectable colored man, by the name of Daniel Bell, who had purchased
his own freedom, resided in the city of Washington. His wife, with her
eight children, were set free by her master, when on his death-bed. The
heirs endeavored to break the will, on the ground that he was not of
sound mind at the time of its preparation. The magistrate, however,
before whom it was executed, by his own personal knowledge of the
competence of the man at the time, was enabled to defeat their
purpose;—the family, therefore, lived as free for some years. On the
death of this magistrate, the heirs again brought the case into court,
and, as it seemed likely to be decided against the family, they resolved
to secure their legal rights by flight, and engaged passage on board the
vessel of Captain Drayton. Many of their associates and friends, stirred
up, perhaps, by the recent demonstrations in favor of liberty, begged
leave to accompany them, in their flight. The seeds of the cotton-wood
were flying everywhere, and springing up in all hearts; so that, on the
eventful evening of the 15th of April, 1848, not less than seventy-seven
men, women and children, with beating hearts, and anxious secrecy,
stowed themselves away in the hold of the little schooner, and Captain
Drayton was so wicked that he could not, for the life of him, say “Nay”
to one of them.

Richard Edmondson had long sought to buy his liberty; had toiled for it
early and late; but the price set upon him was so high that he despaired
of ever earning it. On this evening, he and his three brothers thought,
as the reign of universal brotherhood had begun, and the reign of
tyrants and slavery come to an end, that they would take to themselves
and their sisters that sacred gift of liberty, which all Washington had
been informed, two evenings before, it was the peculiar province of
America to give to all nations. Their two sisters, aged sixteen and
fourteen, were hired out in families in the city. On this evening Samuel
Edmondson called at the house where Emily lived, and told her of the
projected plan.

“But what will mother think?” said Emily.

“Don’t stop to think of her; she would rather we’d be free than to spend
time to talk about her.”

“Well, then, if Mary will go, I will.”

The girls give as a reason for wishing to escape, that though they had
never suffered hardships or been treated unkindly, yet they knew they
were liable at any time to be sold into rigorous bondage, and separated
far from all they loved.

They then all went on board the Pearl, which was lying a little way off
from the place where vessels usually anchor. There they found a company
of slaves, seventy-seven in number.

At twelve o’clock at night the silent wings of the little schooner were
spread, and with her weight of fear and mystery she glided out into the
stream. A fresh breeze sprang up, and by eleven o’clock next night they
had sailed two hundred miles from Washington, and began to think that
liberty was gained. They anchored in a place called Cornfield Harbor,
intending to wait for daylight. All laid down to sleep in peaceful
security, lulled by the gentle rock of the vessel and the rippling of
the waters.

But at two o’clock at night they were roused by terrible noises on deck,
scuffling, screaming, swearing and groaning. A steamer had pursued and
overtaken them, and the little schooner was boarded by an infuriated set
of armed men. In a moment, the captain, mate and all the crew, were
seized and bound, amid oaths and dreadful threats. As they, swearing and
yelling, tore open the hatches on the defenceless prisoners below,
Richard Edmondson stepped forward, and in a calm voice said to them,
“Gentlemen, do yourselves no harm, for we are all here.” With this
exception, all was still among the slaves as despair could make it; not
a word was spoken in the whole company. The men were all bound and
placed on board the steamer; the women were left on board the schooner,
to be towed after.

The explanation of their capture was this: In the morning after they had
sailed, many families in Washington found their slaves missing, and the
event created as great an excitement as the emancipation of France had,
two days before. At that time they had listened in the most complacent
manner to the announcement that the reign of slavery was near its close,
because they had not the slightest idea that the language meant
anything; and they were utterly confounded by this practical application
of it. More than a hundred men, mounted upon horses, determined to push
out into the country, in pursuit of these new disciples of the doctrine
of universal emancipation. Here a colored man, by the name of Judson
Diggs, betrayed the whole plot. He had been provoked, because, after
having taken a poor woman, with her luggage, down to the boat, she was
unable to pay the twenty-five cents that he demanded. So he told these
admirers of universal brotherhood that they need not ride into the
country, as their slaves had sailed down the river, and were far enough
off by this time. A steamer was immediately manned by two hundred armed
men, and away they went in pursuit.

When the cortege arrived with the captured slaves, there was a most
furious excitement in the city. The men were driven through the streets
bound with ropes, two and two. Showers of taunts and jeers rained upon
them from all sides. One man asked one of the girls if she “didn’t feel
pretty to be caught running away,” and another asked her “if she wasn’t
sorry.” She answered, “No, if it was to do again to-morrow, she would do
the same.” The man turned to a bystander and said, “Han’t she got good

But the most vehement excitement was against Drayton and Sayres, the
captain and mate of the vessel. Ruffians armed with dirk-knives and
pistols crowded around them, with the most horrid threats. One of them
struck so near Drayton as to cut his ear, which Emily noticed as
bleeding. Meanwhile there mingled in the crowd multitudes of the
relatives of the captives, who, looking on them as so many doomed
victims, bewailed and lamented them. A brother-in-law of the Edmondsons
was so overcome when he saw them that he fainted away and fell down in
the street, and was carried home insensible. The sorrowful news spread
to the cottage of Paul and Milly Edmondson; and, knowing that all their
children were now probably doomed to the southern market, they gave
themselves up to sorrow. “O! what a day that was!” said the old mother
when describing that scene to the writer. “Never a morsel of anything
could I put into my mouth. Paul and me we fasted and prayed before the
Lord, night and day, for our poor children.”

The whole public sentiment of the community was roused to the most
intense indignation. It was repeated from mouth to mouth that they had
been kindly treated and never abused; and what could have induced them
to try to get their liberty? All that Mr. Stanton had said of the
insensible influence of American institutions, and all his pretty
similes about the cotton-wood seeds, seemed entirely to have escaped the
memory of the community, and they could see nothing but the most
unheard-of depravity in the attempt of these people to secure freedom.
It was strenuously advised by many that their owners should not forgive
them,—that no mercy should be shown, but that they should be thrown into
the hands of the traders, forthwith, for the southern market,—that
Siberia of the irresponsible despots of America.

When all the prisoners were lodged in jail, the owners came to make oath
to their property, and the property also was required to make oath to
their owners. Among them came the married sisters of Mary and Emily, but
were not allowed to enter the prison. The girls looked through the iron
grates of the third-story windows, and saw their sisters standing below
in the yard weeping.

The guardian of the Edmondsons, who acted in the place of the real
owner, apparently touched with their sorrow, promised their family and
friends, who were anxious to purchase them, if possible, that they
should have an opportunity the next morning. Perhaps he intended at the
time to give them one; but, as Bruin and Hill, the keepers of the large
slave warehouse in Alexandria, offered him four thousand five hundred
dollars for the six children, they were irrevocably sold before the next
morning. Bruin would listen to no terms which any of their friends could
propose. The lady with whom Mary had lived offered a thousand dollars
for her; but Bruin refused, saying he could get double that sum in the
New Orleans market. He said he had had his eye upon the family for
twelve years, and had the promise of them should they ever be sold.

While the girls remained in the prison they had no beds or chairs, and
only one blanket each, though the nights were chilly; but, understanding
that the rooms below, where their brothers were confined, were still
colder, and that no blankets were given them, they sent their own down
to them. In the morning they were allowed to go down into the yard for a
few moments; and then they used to run to the window of their brothers’
room, to bid them good-morning, and kiss them through the grate.

At ten o’clock, Thursday night, the brothers were handcuffed, and, with
their sisters, taken into carriages by their new owners, driven to
Alexandria, and put into a prison called a Georgia Pen. The girls were
put into a large room alone, in total darkness, without bed or blanket,
where they spent the night in sobs and tears, in utter ignorance of
their brothers’ fate. At eight o’clock in the morning they were called
to breakfast, when, to their great comfort, they found their four
brothers all in the same prison.

They remained here about four weeks, being usually permitted by day to
stay below with their brothers, and at night to return to their own
rooms. Their brothers had great anxieties about them, fearing they would
be sold south. Samuel, in particular, felt very sadly, as he had been
the principal actor in getting them away. He often said he would gladly
_die_ for them, if that would save them from the fate he feared. He used
to weep a great deal, though he endeavored to restrain his tears in
their presence.

While in the slave-prison they were required to wash for thirteen men,
though their brothers performed a great share of the labor. Before they
left, their size and height were measured by their owners. At length
they were again taken out, the brothers handcuffed, and all put on board
a steamboat, where were about forty slaves, mostly men, and taken to
Baltimore. The voyage occupied one day and a night. When arrived in
Baltimore, they were thrown into a slave-pen kept by a partner of Bruin
and Hill. He was a man of coarse habits, constantly using the most
profane language, and grossly obscene and insulting in his remarks to
women. Here they were forbidden to pray together, as they had previously
been accustomed to do. But, by rising very early in the morning, they
secured to themselves a little interval which they could employ,
uninterrupted, in this manner. They, with four or five other women in
the prison, used to meet together, before daybreak, to spread their
sorrows before the Refuge of the afflicted; and in these prayers the
hard-hearted slave-dealer was daily remembered. The brothers of Mary and
Emily were very gentle and tender in their treatment of their sisters,
which had an influence upon other men in their company.

At this place they became acquainted with Aunt Rachel, a most godly
woman, about middle age, who had been sold into the prison away from her
husband. The poor husband used often to come to the prison and beg the
trader to sell her to _his_ owners, who he thought were willing to
purchase her, if the price was not too high. But he was driven off with
brutal threats and curses. They remained in Baltimore about three weeks.

The friends in Washington, though hitherto unsuccessful in their efforts
to redeem the family, were still exerting themselves in their behalf;
and one evening a message was received from them by telegraph, stating
that a person would arrive in the morning train of cars prepared to
bargain for the family, and that a part of the money was now ready. But
the trader was inexorable, and in the morning, an hour before the cars
were to arrive, they were all put on board the brig _Union_, ready to
sail for New Orleans. The messenger came, and brought nine hundred
dollars in money, the gift of a grandson of John Jacob Astor. This was
finally appropriated to the ransom of Richard Edmondson, as his wife and
children were said to be suffering in Washington; and the trader would
not sell the girls to them upon any consideration, nor would he even
suffer Richard to be brought back from the brig, which had not yet
sailed. The bargain was, however, made, and the money deposited in

On this brig the eleven women were put in one small apartment, and the
thirty or forty men in an adjoining one. Emily was very sea-sick most of
the time, and her brothers feared she would die. They used to come and
carry her out on deck and back again, buy little comforts for their
sisters, and take all possible care of them.

Frequently head winds blew them back, so that they made very slow
progress; and in their prayer-meetings, which they held every night,
they used to pray that head winds might blow them to New York; and one
of the sailors declared that if they could get within one hundred miles
of New York, and the slaves would stand by him, he would make way with
the captain, and pilot them into New York himself.

When they arrived near Key West, they hoisted a signal for a pilot, the
captain being aware of the dangers of the place, and yet not knowing how
to avoid them. As the pilot-boat approached, the slaves were all
fastened below, and a heavy canvas thrown over the grated hatchway door,
which entirely excluded all circulation of air, and almost produced
suffocation. The captain and pilot had a long talk about the price, and
some altercation ensued, the captain not being willing to give the price
demanded by the pilot; during which time there was great suffering
below. The women became so exhausted that they were mostly helpless; and
the situation of the men was not much better, though they managed with a
stick to break some holes through the canvas on their side, so as to let
in a little air, but a few only of the strongest could get there to
enjoy it. Some of them shouted for help as long as their strength would
permit; and at length, after what seemed to them an almost interminable
interview, the pilot left, refusing to assist them; the canvas was
removed, and the brig obliged to turn tack, and take another course.
Then, one after another, as they got air and strength, crawled out on
deck. Mary and Emily were carried out by their brothers as soon as they
were able to do it.

Soon after this the stock of provisions ran low, and the water failed,
so that the slaves were restricted to a gill a day. The sailors were
allowed a quart each, and often gave a pint of it to one of the
Edmondsons for their sisters; and they divided it with the other women,
as they always did every nice thing they got in such ways.

The day they arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi a terrible storm
arose, and the waves rolled mountain high, so that, when the pilot-boat
approached, it would sometimes seem to be entirely swallowed by the
waves, and again it would emerge, and again appear wholly buried. At
length they were towed into and up the river by a steamer, and there,
for the first time, saw cotton plantations, and gangs of slaves at work
on them.

They arrived at New Orleans in the night, and about ten the next day
were landed and marched to what they called the show-rooms, and, going
out into the yard, saw a great many men and women sitting around, with
such sad faces that Emily soon began to cry, upon which an overseer
stepped up and struck her on the chin, and bade her “stop crying, or he
would give her something to cry about.” Then pointing, he told her
“there was the calaboose, where they whipped those who did not behave
themselves!” As soon as he turned away, a slave-woman came and told her
to look cheerful, if she possibly could, as it would be far better for
her. One of her brothers soon came to inquire what the woman had been
saying to her; and when informed, encouraged Emily to follow the advice,
and endeavored to profit by it himself.

That night all the four brothers had their hair cut close, their
mustaches shaved off, and their usual clothing exchanged for a blue
jacket and pants, all of which so altered their appearance that at first
their sisters did not know them. Then, for three successive days, they
were all obliged to stand in an open porch fronting the street, for
passers by to look at, except, when one was tired out, she might go in
for a little time, and another take her place. Whenever buyers called,
they were paraded in the auction-room in rows, exposed to coarse jokes
and taunts. When any one took a liking to any girl in the company, he
would call her to him, take hold of her, open her mouth, look at her
teeth, and handle her person rudely, frequently making obscene remarks;
and she must stand and bear it, without resistance. Mary and Emily
complained to their brothers that they could not submit to such
treatment. They conversed about it with Wilson, a partner of Bruin and
Hill, who had the charge of the slaves at this prison. After this they
were treated with more decency.

Another brother of the girls, named Hamilton, had been a slave in or
near New Orleans for sixteen years, and had just purchased his own
freedom for one thousand dollars; having once before earned that sum for
himself, and then had it taken from him. Richard being now really free,
as the money was deposited in Baltimore for his ransom, found him out
the next day after their arrival at New Orleans, and brought him to the
prison to see his brothers and sisters. The meeting was overpoweringly

He had never before seen his sister Emily, as he had been sold away from
his parents before her birth.

The girls’ lodging-room was occupied at night by about twenty or thirty
women, who all slept on the bare floor, with only a blanket each. After
a few days, word was received (which was _really incorrect_), that half
the money had been raised for the redemption of Mary and Emily. After
this they were allowed, upon their brothers’ earnest request, to go to
their free brother’s house and spend their nights, and return in the
mornings, as they had suffered greatly from the mosquitos and other
insects, and their feet were swollen and sore.

While at this prison, some horrible cases of cruelty came to their
knowledge, and some of them under their own observation. Two persons,
one woman and one boy, were whipped to death in the prison while they
were there, though they were not in the same pen, or owned by the same
trader, as themselves.

None of the slaves were allowed to sleep in the day-time, and sometimes
little children sitting or standing idle all day would become so sleepy
as not to be able to hold up their eyelids; but, if they were caught
thus by the overseer, they were cruelly beaten. Mary and Emily used to
watch the little ones, and let them sleep until they heard the overseers
coming, and then spring and rouse them in a moment.

One young woman, who had been sold by the traders for the worst of
purposes, was returned, not being fortunate (?) enough to suit her
purchaser; and, as is their custom in such cases, was most cruelly
flogged,—so much so that some of her flesh mortified, and her life was
despaired of. When Mary and Emily first arrived at New Orleans they saw
and conversed with her. She was then just beginning to sit up; was quite
small, and very fine-looking, with beautiful straight hair, which was
formerly long, but had been cut off short by her brutal tormentors.

The overseer who flogged her said, in their hearing, that he would never
flog another girl in that way—it was too much for any one to bear. They
suggest that perhaps the reason why he promised this was because he was
obliged to be her nurse, and of course saw her sufferings. She was from
Alexandria, but they have forgotten her name.

One young man and woman of their company in the prison, who were engaged
to be married, and were sold to different owners, felt so distressed at
their separation that they could not or did not labor well; and the
young man was soon sent back, with the complaint that he would not
answer the purpose. Of course, the money was to be refunded, and he
flogged. He was condemned to be flogged each night for a week; and,
after about two hundred lashes by the overseer, each one of the male
slaves in the prison was required to come and lay on five lashes with
all his strength, upon penalty of being flogged himself. The young
woman, too, was soon sent there, with a note from her new mistress,
requesting that she might be whipped a certain number of lashes, and
enclosing the money to pay for it; which request was readily complied

While in New Orleans they saw gangs of women cleaning the streets,
chained together, some with a heavy iron ball attached to the chain; a
form of punishment frequently resorted to for household servants who had
displeased their mistresses.

Hamilton Edmondson, the brother who had purchased his own freedom, made
great efforts to get good homes for his brothers and sisters in New
Orleans, so that they need not be far separated from each other. One
day, Mr. Wilson, the overseer, took Samuel away with him in a carriage,
and returned without him. The brothers and sisters soon found that he
was sold, and gone they knew not whither; but they were not allowed to
weep, or even look sad, upon pain of severe punishment. The next day,
however, to their great joy, he came to the prison himself, and told
them he had a good home in the city with an Englishman, who had paid a
thousand dollars for him.

After remaining about three weeks in this prison, the Edmondsons were
told that, in consequence of the prevalence of the yellow fever in the
city, together with the fact of their not being acclimated, it was
deemed dangerous for them to remain there longer;—and, besides this,
purchasers were loth to give good prices under these circumstances. Some
of the slaves in the pen were already sick; some of them old, poor or
dirty, and for these reasons greatly exposed to sickness. Richard
Edmondson had already been ransomed, and must be sent back; and, upon
the whole, it was thought best to fit out and send off a gang to
Baltimore, without delay.

The Edmondsons received these tidings with joyful hearts, for they had
not yet been undeceived with regard to the raising of the money for
their ransom. Their brother who was free procured for them many comforts
for the voyage, such as a mattress, blankets, sheets and different kinds
of food and drink; and, accompanied to the vessel by their friends
there, they embarked on the brig Union just at night, and were towed out
of the river. The brig had nearly a full cargo of cotton, molasses,
sugar, &c., and, of course, the space for the slaves was exceedingly
limited. The place allotted the females was a little close, filthy room,
perhaps eight or ten feet square, filled with cotton within two or three
feet of the top of the room, except the space directly under the
hatchway door. Richard Edmondson kept his sisters upon deck with him,
though without a shelter; prepared their food himself, made up their bed
at night on the top of barrels, or wherever he could find a place, and
then slept by their side. Sometimes a storm would arise in the middle of
the night, when he would spring up and wake them, and, gathering up
their bed and bedding, conduct them to a little kind of a pantry, where
they could all three just stand, till the storm passed away. Sometimes
he contrived to make a temporary shelter for them out of bits of boards,
or something else on deck.

After a voyage of sixteen days, they arrived at Baltimore, fully
expecting that their days of slavery were numbered. Here they were
conducted back to the same old prison from which they had been taken a
few weeks before, though they supposed it would be but for an hour or
two. Presently Mr. Bigelow, of Washington, came for Richard. When the
girls found that they were not to be set free too, their grief and
disappointment were unspeakable. But they were _separated_,—Richard to
go to his home, his wife and children, and they to remain in the
slave-prison. Wearisome days and nights again rolled on. In the mornings
they were obliged to march round the yard to the music of fiddles,
banjoes, &c.; in the day-time they washed and ironed for the male
slaves, slept some, and wept a great deal. After a few weeks their
father came to visit them, accompanied by their sister.

His object was partly to ascertain what were the very lowest terms upon
which their keeper would sell the girls, as he indulged a faint hope
that in some way or other the money might be raised, if time enough were
allowed. The trader declared he should soon send them to some other
slave-market, but he would wait two weeks, and, if the friends could
raise the money in that time, they might have them.

The night their father and sister spent in the prison with them, he lay
in the room over their heads; and they could hear him groan all night,
while their sister was weeping by their side. None of them closed their
eyes in sleep.

In the morning came again the wearisome routine of the slave-prison. Old
Paul walked quietly into the yard, and sat down to see the poor slaves
marched around. He had never seen his daughters in such circumstances
before, and his feelings quite overcame him. The yard was narrow, and
the girls, as they walked by him, almost brushing him with their
clothes, could just hear him groaning within himself, “O, my children,
my children!”

After the breakfast, which none of them were able to eat, they parted
with sad hearts, the father begging the keeper to send them to New
Orleans, if the money could not be raised, as perhaps their brothers
there might secure for them kind masters.

Two or three weeks afterwards Bruin & Hill visited the prison, dissolved
partnership with the trader, settled accounts, and took the Edmondsons
again in their own possession.

The girls were roused about eleven o’clock at night, after they had
fallen asleep, and told to get up directly, and prepare for going home.
They had learned that the word of a slave-holder is not to be trusted,
and feared they were going to be sent to Richmond, Virginia, as there
had been talk of it. They were soon on their way in the cars with Bruin,
and arrived at Washington at a little past midnight.

Their hearts throbbed high when, after these long months of weary
captivity, they found themselves once more in the city where were their
brothers, sisters and parents. But they were permitted to see none of
them, and were put into a carriage and driven immediately to the
slave-prison at Alexandria, where, about two o’clock at night, they
found themselves in the same forlorn old room in which they had begun
their term of captivity!

This was the latter part of August. Again they were employed in washing,
ironing and sewing by day, and always locked up by night. Sometimes they
were allowed to sew in Bruin’s house, and even to eat there. After they
had been in Alexandria two or three weeks, their eldest married sister,
not having heard from them for some time, came to see Bruin, to learn,
if possible, something of their fate; and her surprise and joy were
great to see them once more, even there. After a few weeks their old
father came again to see them. Hopeless as the idea of their
emancipation seemed, he still clung to it. He had had some encouragement
of assistance in Washington, and he purposed to go North to see if
anything could be done there; and he was anxious to obtain from Bruin
what were the very lowest possible terms for which he would sell the
girls. Bruin drew up his terms in the following document, which we

                                     _Alexandria, Va., Sept. 5, 1848._

  The bearer, Paul Edmondson, is the father of two girls, Mary Jane
  and Emily Catharine Edmondson. These girls have been purchased by
  us, and once sent to the south; and, upon the positive assurance
  that the money for them would be raised if they were brought back,
  they were returned. Nothing, it appears, has as yet been done in
  this respect by those who promised, and we are on the very eve of
  sending them south the second time; and we are candid in saying
  that, if they go again, we will not regard any promises made in
  relation to them. The father wishes to raise money to pay for them;
  and intends to appeal to the liberality of the humane and the good
  to aid him, and has requested us to state in writing _the conditions
  upon which we will sell his daughters_.

  We expect to start our servants to the south in a few days; if the
  sum of twelve hundred ($1200) dollars be raised and paid to us in
  fifteen days, or we be assured of that sum, then we will retain them
  for twenty-five days more, to give an opportunity for the raising of
  the other thousand and fifty ($1050) dollars; otherwise we shall be
  compelled to send them along with our other servants.

                                                         BRUIN & HILL.

Paul took his papers, and parted from his daughters sorrowfully. After
this, the time to the girls dragged on in heavy suspense. Constantly
they looked for letter or message, and prayed to God to raise them up a
deliverer from some quarter. But day after day and week after week
passed, and the dreaded time drew near. The preliminaries for fitting up
the gang for South Carolina commenced. Gay calico was bought for them to
make up into “show dresses,” in which they were to be exhibited on sale.
They made them up with far sadder feelings than they would have sewed on
their own shrouds. Hope had almost died out of their bosoms. A few days
before the gang were to be sent off, their sister made them a sad
farewell visit. They mingled their prayers and tears, and the girls made
up little tokens of remembrance to send by her as parting gifts to their
brothers and sisters and aged father and mother, and with a farewell
sadder than that of a death-bed the sisters parted.

The evening before the coffle was to start drew on. Mary and Emily went
to the house to bid Bruin’s family good-by. Bruin had a little daughter
who had been a pet and favorite with the girls. She clung round them,
cried, and begged them not to go. Emily told her that, if she wished to
have them stay, she must go and ask her father. Away ran the little
pleader, full of her errand; and was so very earnest in her
importunities, that he, to pacify her, said he would consent to their
remaining, if his partner, Captain Hill, would do so. At this time
Bruin, hearing Mary crying aloud in the prison, went up to see her. With
all the earnestness of despair, she made her last appeal to his
feelings. She begged him to make the case his own, to think of his own
dear little daughter,—what if she were exposed to be torn away from
every friend on earth, and cut off from all hope of redemption, at the
very moment, too, when deliverance was expected! Bruin was not
absolutely a man of stone, and this agonizing appeal brought tears to
his eyes. He gave some encouragement that, if Hill would consent, they
need not be sent off with the gang. A sleepless night followed, spent in
weeping, groaning and prayer. Morning at last dawned, and, according to
orders received the day before, they prepared themselves to go, and even
put on their bonnets and shawls, and stood ready for the word to be
given. When the very last tear of hope was shed, and they were going out
to join the gang, Bruin’s heart relented. He called them to him, and
told them they might remain! O, how glad were their hearts made by this,
as they might _now_ hope on a little longer! Either the entreaties of
little Martha or Mary’s plea with Bruin had prevailed.

Soon the gang was started on foot,—men, women and children, two and two,
the men all handcuffed together, the right wrist of one to the left
wrist of the other, and a chain passing through the middle from the
handcuffs of one couple to those of the next. The women and children
walked in the same manner throughout, handcuffed or chained. Drivers
went before and at the side, to take up those who were sick or lame.
They were obliged to set off _singing_! accompanied with fiddles and
banjoes!—“_For they that carried us away captive required of us a song,
and they that wasted us required of us mirth._” And this is a scene of
daily occurrence in a Christian country!—and Christian ministers say
that the right to do these things is _given by God himself_!!

Meanwhile poor old Paul Edmondson went northward to supplicate aid. Any
one who should have travelled in the cars at that time might have seen a
venerable-looking black man, all whose air and attitude indicated a
patient humility, and who seemed to carry a weight of overwhelming
sorrow, like one who had long been acquainted with grief. That man was
Paul Edmondson.

Alone, friendless, unknown, and, worst of all, black, he came into the
great bustling city of New York, to see if there was any one there who
could give him twenty-five hundred dollars to buy his daughters with.
Can anybody realize what a poor man’s feelings are, who visits a great,
bustling, rich city, alone and unknown, for such an object? The writer
has now, in a letter from a slave father and husband who was visiting
Portland on a similar errand, a touching expression of it:

  I walked all day, till I was tired and discouraged. O! Mrs. S——,
  when I see so many people who seem to have so many more things than
  they want or know what to do with, and then think that I have worked
  hard, till I am past forty, all my life, and don’t own even my own
  wife and children, it makes me feel sick and discouraged!

So sick at heart and discouraged felt Paul Edmondson. He went to the
Anti-Slavery Office, and made his case known. The sum was such a large
one, and seemed to many so exorbitant, that, though they pitied the poor
father, they were disheartened about raising it. They wrote to
Washington to authenticate the particulars of the story, and wrote to
Bruin and Hill to see if there could be any reduction of price.
Meanwhile, the poor old man looked sadly from one adviser to another. He
was recommended to go to the Rev. H. W. Beecher, and tell his story. He
inquired his way to his door,—ascended the steps to ring the door-bell,
but his heart failed him,—he sat down on the steps weeping!

There Mr. Beecher found him. He took him in, and inquired his story.
There was to be a public meeting that night, to raise money. The hapless
father begged him to go and plead for his children. He did go, and spoke
as if he were pleading for his own father and sisters. Other clergymen
followed in the same strain,—the meeting became enthusiastic, and the
money was raised on the spot, and poor old Paul laid his head that night
on a grateful pillow,—not to sleep, but to give thanks!

Meanwhile the girls had been dragging on anxious days in the
slave-prison. They were employed in sewing for Bruin’s family, staying
sometimes in the prison and sometimes in the house.

It is to be stated here that Mr. Bruin is a man of very different
character from many in his trade. He is such a man as never would have
been found in the profession of a slave-trader, had not the most
respectable and religious part of the community defended the right to
buy and sell, as being conferred by God himself. It is a fact, with
regard to this man, that he was one of the earliest subscribers to the
_National Era_, in the District of Columbia; and, when a certain
individual there brought himself into great peril by assisting fugitive
slaves, and there was no one found to go bail for him, Mr. Bruin came
forward and performed this kindness.

While we abhor the horrible system and the horrible trade with our whole
soul, there is no harm, we suppose, in wishing that such a man had a
better occupation. Yet we cannot forbear reminding all such that, when
we come to give our account at the judgment-seat of Christ, every man
must speak _for himself alone_; and that Christ will not accept as an
apology for sin the word of all the ministers and all the synods in the
country. He has given fair warning, “Beware of false prophets;” and if
people will not beware of them, their blood is upon their own heads.

The girls, while under Mr. Bruin’s care, were treated with as much
kindness and consideration as could possibly consist with the design of
selling them. There is no doubt that Bruin was personally friendly to
them, and really wished most earnestly that they might be ransomed; but
then he did not see how he was to lose two thousand five hundred
dollars. He had just the same difficulty on this subject that some New
York members of churches have had, when they have had slaves brought
into their hands as security for Southern debts. He was sorry for them,
and wished them well, and hoped Providence would provide for them when
they were sold, but still he could not afford to lose his money; and
while such men remain elders and communicants in churches in New York,
we must not be surprised that there remain slave-traders in Alexandria.

It is one great art of the enemy of souls to lead men to compound for
their participation in one branch of sin by their righteous horror of
another. The slave-trader has been the general scape-goat on whom all
parties have vented their indignation, while buying of him and selling
to him.

There is an awful warning given in the fiftieth Psalm to those who in
word have professed religion and in deed consented to iniquity, where
from the judgment-seat Christ is represented as thus addressing them:
“What hast _thou_ to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst
take my covenant into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction, and
castest my words behind thee? When thou sawest a thief, then thou
consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.”

One thing is certain, that all who do these things, openly or secretly,
must, at last, make up their account with a Judge who is no respecter of
persons, and who will just as soon condemn an elder in the church for
slave-trading as a professed trader; nay, He may make it more tolerable
for the Sodom and Gomorrah of the trade than for them,—for it may be, if
the trader had the means of grace that they have had, that he would have
repented long ago.

But to return to our history.—The girls were sitting sewing near the
open window of their cage, when Emily said to Mary, “There, Mary, is
that white man we have seen from the North.” They both looked, and in a
moment more saw their own dear father. They sprang and ran through the
house and the office, and into the street, shouting as they ran,
followed by Bruin, who said he thought the girls were crazy. In a moment
they were in their father’s arms, but observed that he trembled
exceedingly, and that his voice was unsteady. They eagerly inquired if
the money was raised for their ransom. Afraid of exciting their hopes
too soon, before their free papers were signed, he said he would talk
with them soon, and went into the office with Mr. Bruin and Mr. Chaplin.
Mr. Bruin professed himself sincerely glad, as undoubtedly he was, that
they had brought the money; but seemed much hurt by the manner in which
he had been spoken of by the Rev. H. W. Beecher at the liberation
meeting in New York, thinking it hard that no difference should be made
between him and other traders, when he had shown himself so much more
considerate and humane than the great body of them. He, however, counted
over the money and signed the papers with great good will, taking out a
five-dollar gold piece for each of the girls, as a parting present.

The affair took longer than they supposed, and the time seemed an age to
the poor girls, who were anxiously walking up and down outside the room,
in ignorance of their fate. Could their father have brought the money?
Why did he tremble so? Could he have failed of the money, at last? Or
could it be that their dear mother was dead, for they had heard that she
was very ill!

At length a messenger came shouting to them, “You are free, you are
free!” Emily thinks she sprang nearly to the ceiling overhead. They
jumped, clapped their hands, laughed and shouted aloud. Soon their
father came to them, embraced them tenderly and attempted to quiet them,
and told them to prepare them to go and see their mother. This they did
they know not how, but with considerable help from the family, who all
seemed to rejoice in their joy. Their father procured a carriage to take
them to the wharf, and, with joy overflowing all bounds, they bade a
most affectionate farewell to each member of the family, not even
omitting Bruin himself. The “good that there is in human nature” for
once had the upper hand, and all were moved to tears of sympathetic joy.
Their father, with subdued tenderness, made great efforts to soothe
their tumultuous feelings, and at length partially succeeded. When they
arrived at Washington, a carriage was ready to take them to their
sister’s house. People of every rank and description came running
together to get a sight of them. Their brothers caught them up in their
arms, and ran about with them, almost frantic with joy. Their aged and
venerated mother, raised up from a sick bed by the stimulus of the glad
news, was there, weeping and giving thanks to God. Refreshments were
prepared in their sister’s house for all who called, and amid greetings
and rejoicings, tears and gladness, prayers and thanksgivings, but
without sleep, the night passed away, and the morning of November 4,
1848, dawned upon them free and happy.

This last spring, during the month of May, as the writer has already
intimated, the aged mother of the Edmondson family came on to New York,
and the reason of her coming may be thus briefly explained. She had
still one other daughter, the guide and support of her feeble age, or,
as she calls her in her own expressive language, “the last drop of blood
in her heart.” She had also a son, twenty-one years of age, still a
slave on a neighboring plantation. The infirm woman in whose name the
estate was held was supposed to be drawing near to death, and the poor
parents were distressed with the fear that, in case of this event, their
two remaining children would be sold for the purpose of dividing the
estate, and thus thrown into the dreaded southern market. No one can
realize what a constant horror the slave-prisons and the slave-traders
are to all the unfortunate families in the vicinity. Everything for
which other parents look on their children with pleasure and pride is to
these poor souls a source of anxiety and dismay, because it renders the
child so much more a merchantable article.

It is no wonder, therefore, that the light in Paul and Milly’s cottage
was overshadowed by this terrible idea.

The guardians of these children had given their father a written promise
to sell them to him for a certain sum, and by hard begging he had
acquired a hundred dollars towards the twelve hundred which were
necessary. But he was now confined to his bed with sickness. After
pouring out earnest prayers to the Helper of the helpless, Milly says,
one day she said to Paul, “I tell ye, Paul, I’m going up to New York
myself, to see if I can’t get that money.”

“Paul says to me, ‘Why, Milly dear, how can you? Ye an’t fit to be off
the bed, and ye’s never in the cars in your life.’

“‘Never you fear, Paul,’ says I; ‘I shall go trusting in the Lord; and
the Lord, He’ll take me, and He’ll bring me,—that I know.’

“So I went to the cars and got a white man to put me aboard; and, sure
enough, there I found two Bethel ministers; and one set one side o’ me,
and one set the other, all the way; and they got me my tickets, and
looked after my things, and did every thing for me. There didn’t
anything happen to me all the way. Sometimes, when I went to set down in
the sitting-rooms, people looked at me and moved off so scornful! Well,
I thought, I wish the Lord would give you a better mind.”

Emily and Mary, who had been at school in New York State, came to the
city to meet their mother, and they brought her directly to the Rev.
Henry W. Beecher’s house, where the writer then was.

The writer remembers now the scene when she first met this mother and
daughters. It must be recollected that they had not seen each other
before for four years. One was sitting each side the mother, holding her
hand; and the air of pride and filial affection with which they
presented her was touching to behold. After being presented to the
writer, she again sat down between them, took a hand of each, and looked
very earnestly first on one and then on the other; and then, looking up,
said, with a smile, “O, these children,—how they do lie round our

She then explained to the writer all her sorrows and anxieties for the
younger children. “Now, madam,” she says, “that man that keeps the great
trading-house at Alexandria, _that man_,” she said, with a strong,
indignant expression, “has sent to know if there’s any more of my
children to be sold. That man said he wanted to see _me_! Yes, ma’am, he
said he’d give twenty dollars to see me. I wouldn’t see him, if he’d
give me a hundred! He sent for me to come and see him, when he had my
daughters in his prison. I wouldn’t go to see him,—I didn’t want to see
them there!”

The two daughters, Emily and Mary, here became very much excited, and
broke out in some very natural but bitter language against all
slave-holders. “Hush, children! you must forgive your enemies,” she
said. “But they’re so wicked!” said the girls. “Ah, children, you must
hate the _sin_, but love the _sinner_.” “Well,” said one of the girls,
“mother, if I was taken again and made a slave of, I’d kill myself.” “I
trust not, child,—that would be wicked.” “But, mother, I _should_; I
know I never could bear it.” “Bear it, my child?” she answered, “it’s
they that bears the sorrow here is they that has the glories there.”

There was a deep, indescribable pathos of voice and manner as she said
these words,—a solemnity and force, and yet a sweetness, that can never
be forgotten.

This poor slave-mother, whose whole life had been one long outrage on
her holiest feelings,—who had been kept from the power to read God’s
Word, whose whole pilgrimage had been made one day of sorrow by the
injustice of a Christian nation,—she had yet learned to solve the
highest problem of Christian ethics, and to do what so few reformers can
do,—hate the _sin_, but love the _sinner_!

A great deal of interest was excited among the ladies in Brooklyn by
this history. Several large meetings were held in different parlors, in
which the old mother related her history with great simplicity and
pathos, and a subscription for the redemption of the remaining two of
her family was soon on foot. It may be interesting to know that the
subscription list was headed by the lovely and benevolent Jenny Lind

Some of the ladies who listened to this touching story were so much
interested in Mrs. Edmondson personally, they wished to have her
daguerreotype taken; both that they might be strengthened and refreshed
by the sight of her placid countenance, and that they might see the
beauty of true goodness beaming there.

She accordingly went to the rooms with them, with all the simplicity of
a little child. “O,” said she, to one of the ladies, “you can’t think
how happy it’s made me to get here, where everybody is _so kind_ to me!
Why, last night, when I went home, I was so happy I couldn’t sleep. I
had to go and tell my Saviour, over and over again, how happy I was.”

A lady spoke to her about reading something. “Law bless you, honey! I
can’t read a letter.”

“Then,” said another lady, “how have you learned so much of God, and
heavenly things?”

“Well, ‘pears like a _gift_ from above.”

“Can you have the Bible read to you?”

“Why, yes; Paul, he reads a little, but then he has so much work all
day, and when he gets home at night he’s so tired! and his eyes is bad.
But then the _Sperit_ teaches us.”

“Do you go much to meeting?”

“Not much now, we live so far. In winter I can’t never. But, O! what
meetings I have had, alone in the corner,—my Saviour and only me!” The
smile with which these words were spoken was a thing to be remembered. A
little girl, daughter of one of the ladies, made some rather severe
remarks about somebody in the daguerreotype rooms, and her mother
checked her.

The old lady looked up, with her placid smile. “That puts me in mind,”
she said, “of what I heard a preacher say once. ‘My friends,’ says he,
‘if you know of anything that will make a brother’s heart glad, _run
quick and tell it_; but if it is something that will only cause a sigh,
‘bottle it up, bottle it up!’ O, I often tell my children, ‘Bottle it
up, bottle it up!’”

When the writer came to part with the old lady, she said to her: “Well,
good-by, my dear friend; remember and pray for me.”

“Pray for _you_!” she said, earnestly. “Indeed I shall,—I can’t help
it.” She then, raising her finger, said, in an emphatic tone, peculiar
to the old of her race, “Tell you what! we never gets no good bread
ourselves till we begins _to ask for our brethren_.”

The writer takes this opportunity to inform all those friends, in
different parts of the country, who generously contributed for the
redemption of these children, that they are _at last free_!

The following extract from the letter of a lady in Washington may be
interesting to them:

  I have seen the Edmondson parents,—Paul and his wife Milly. I have
  seen the _free_ Edmondsons,—mother, son, and daughter,—the very day
  after the great era of _free life_ commenced, while yet the
  inspiration was on them, while the mother’s face was all light and
  love, the father’s eyes moistened and glistening with tears, the son
  calm in conscious manhood and responsibility, the daughter (not more
  than fifteen years old, I think) smiling a delightful appreciation
  of joy in the present and hope in the future, thus suddenly and
  completely unfolded.

Thus have we finished the account of one of the families who were taken
on board the _Pearl_. We have another history to give, to which we
cannot promise so fortunate a termination.

                              CHAPTER VII.

Among those unfortunates guilty of loving freedom too well, was a
beautiful young quadroon girl, named Emily Russell, whose mother is now
living in New York. The writer has seen and conversed with her. She is a
pious woman, highly esteemed and respected, a member of a Christian

By the avails of her own industry she purchased her freedom, and also
redeemed from bondage some of her children. Emily was a resident of
Washington, D. C., a place which belongs not to any state, but to the
United States; and there, under the laws of the United States, she was
held as a slave. She was of a gentle disposition and amiable manners;
she had been early touched with a sense of religious things, and was on
the very point of uniting herself with a Christian church; but her heart
yearned after her widowed mother and after freedom, and so, on the fatal
night when all the other poor victims sought the Pearl, the child Emily
went also among them.

How they were taken has already been told. The sin of the poor girl was
inexpiable. Because she longed for her mother’s arms and for liberty,
she could not be forgiven. Nothing would do for such a sin, but to throw
her into the hands of the trader. She also was thrown into Bruin &
Hill’s jail, in Alexandria. Her poor mother in New York received the
following letter from her. Read it, Christian mother, and think what if
your daughter had written it to you!


                                          _Alexandria, Jan. 22, 1850._

  MY DEAR MOTHER: I take this opportunity of writing you a few lines,
  to inform you that I am in _Bruin’s Jail_, and Aunt Sally and all of
  her children, and Aunt Hagar and all her children, and grandmother
  is almost crazy. My dear mother, will you please to come on as soon
  as you can? I expect to go away very shortly. O, mother! my dear
  mother! come now and see your distressed and heart-broken daughter
  once more. Mother! my dear mother! do not forsake me, for I feel
  desolate! Please to come now.

                                                Your daughter,
                                                        EMILY RUSSELL.

  P. S.—If you do not come as far as Alexandria, come to Washington,
  and do what you can.

That letter, blotted and tear-soiled, was brought by this poor
washerwoman to some Christian friends in New York, and shown to them.
“What do you suppose they will ask for her?” was her question. All that
she had,—her little house, her little furniture, her small earnings,—all
these poor Nancy was willing to throw in; but all these were but as a
drop to the bucket.

The first thing to be done, then, was to ascertain what Emily could be
redeemed for; and, as it may be an interesting item of American trade,
we give the reply of the traders in full:

                                          _Alexandria, Jan. 31, 1850._

  DEAR SIR: When I received your letter I had not bought the negroes
  you spoke of, but since that time I have bought them. All I have to
  say about the matter is, that we paid very high for the negroes, and
  cannot afford to sell the girl Emily for less than EIGHTEEN HUNDRED
  DOLLARS. This may seem a high price to you, but, cotton being very
  high, consequently slaves are high. We have two or three offers for
  Emily from _gentlemen_ from the south. _She is said to be the
  finest-looking woman in this country._ As for Hagar and her seven
  children, we will take two thousand five hundred dollars for them.
  Sally and her four children. We will take for them two thousand
  eight hundred dollars. You may seem a little surprised at the
  difference in prices, but the difference in the negroes makes the
  difference in price. We expect to start south with the negroes on
  the 8th February, and if you intend to do anything, you had better
  do it soon.

                                                 Yours, respectfully,
                                                         BRUIN & HILL.

This letter came to New York before the case of the Edmondsons had
called the attention of the community to this subject. The enormous
price asked entirely discouraged effort, and before anything of
importance was done they heard that the coffle had departed, with Emily
in it.

Hear, O heavens! and give ear, O earth! Let it be known, in all the
countries of the earth, that the market-price of a beautiful Christian
girl in America is from EIGHTEEN HUNDRED to TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS; and
yet, judicatories in the church of Christ have said, in solemn conclave,

From the table of the sacrament and from the sanctuary of the church of
Christ this girl was torn away, because her beauty was a salable article
in the slave-market in New Orleans!

Perhaps some Northern apologist for slavery will say she was kindly
treated here—not handcuffed by the wrist to a chain, and forced to walk,
as articles less choice are; that a wagon was provided, and that she
rode; and that food abundant was given her to eat, and that her clothing
was warm and comfortable, and therefore no harm was done. We have heard
it told us, again and again, that there is no harm in slavery, if one is
only warm enough, and full-fed, and comfortable. It is true that the
slave-woman has no protection from the foulest dishonor and the utmost
insult that can be offered to womanhood,—none whatever in law or gospel;
but, so long as she has enough to eat and wear, our Christian fathers
and mothers tell us it is not so bad!

Poor Emily could not think so. There was no eye to pity, and none to
help. The food of her accursed lot did not nourish her; the warmest
clothing could not keep the chill of slavery from her heart. In the
middle of the overland passage, sick, weary, heart-broken, the child
laid her down and died. By that lonely pillow there was no mother. But
there was one Friend, who loveth at all times, who is closer than a
brother. Could our eyes be touched by the seal of faith, where others
see only the lonely wilderness and the dying girl, we, perhaps, should
see one clothed in celestial beauty, waiting for that short agony to be
over, that He might redeem her from all iniquity, and present her
faultless before the presence of his Grace with exceeding joy!

Even the hard-hearted trader was touched with her sad fate, and we are
credibly informed that he said he was sorry he had taken her.

Bruin & Hill wrote to New York that the girl Emily was dead. A friend of
the family went with the letter, to break the news to her mother. Since
she had given up all hope of redeeming her daughter from the dreadful
doom to which she had been sold, the helpless mother had drooped like a
stricken woman. She no longer lifted up her head, or seemed to take any
interest in life.

When the friend called on her, she asked, eagerly,

“Have you heard anything from my daughter?”

“Yes. I have,” was the reply, “a letter from Bruin & Hill.”

“And what is the news?”

He thought best to give a direct answer,—“_Emily is dead_.”

The poor mother clasped her hands, and, looking upwards, said, “The Lord
be thanked! He has heard my prayers at last!”

And, now, will it be said this is an exceptional case—it happens one
time in a thousand? Though we know that this is the foulest of
falsehoods, and that the case is only a specimen of what is acting every
day in the American slave-trade, yet, for argument’s sake, let us, for
once, admit it to be true. If only once in this nation, under the
protection of our law, a Christian girl had been torn from the altar and
the communion-table, and sold to foulest shame and dishonor, would that
have been a light sin? Does not Christ say, “Inasmuch as ye have done it
unto _one of the least_ of these, ye have done it unto me”? O, words of
woe for thee, America!—words of woe for thee, church of Christ! Hast
thou trod them under foot and trampled them in the dust so long that
Christ has forgotten them? In the day of judgment every one of these
words shall rise up, living and burning, as accusing angels to witness
against thee. Art thou, O church of Christ! praying daily, “Thy kingdom
come”? Darest thou pray, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly”? O, what if He
should come? What if the Lord, whom ye seek, should _suddenly_ come into
his temple? If his soul was stirred within him when he found within his
temple of old those that changed money, and sold sheep and oxen and
doves, what will he say now, when he finds them selling body, blood and
bones, of his own people? And is the Christian church, which justifies
this enormous system,—which has used the awful name of her Redeemer to
sanction the buying, selling and trading in the souls of men,—is this
church the bride of Christ? Is she one with Christ, even as Christ is
one with the Father? O, bitter mockery! Does this church believe that
every Christian’s body is a temple of the Holy Ghost? Or does she think
those solemn words were idle breath, when, a thousand times, every day
and week, in the midst of her, is this temple set up and sold at
auction, to be bought by any godless, blasphemous man, who has money to
pay for it!

As to poor Daniel Bell and his family, whose contested claim to freedom
was the beginning of the whole trouble, a few members of it were
redeemed, and the rest were plunged into the abyss of slavery. It would
seem as if this event, like the sinking of a ship, drew into its
maëlstrom the fate of every unfortunate being who was in its vicinity. A
poor, honest, hard-working slave-man, of the name of Thomas Ducket, had
a wife who was on board the _Pearl_. Tom was supposed to know the men
who countenanced the enterprise, and his master, therefore, determined
to sell him. He brought him to Washington for the purpose. Some in
Washington doubted his legal right to bring a slave from Maryland for
the purpose of selling him, and commenced legal proceedings to test the
matter. While they were pending, the counsel for the master told the men
who brought action against his client that Tom was anxious to be sold;
that he preferred being sold to the man who had purchased his wife and
children, rather than to have his liberty. It was well known, that Tom
did not wish to be separated from his family, and the friends here,
confiding in the representations made to them, consented to withdraw the

Some time after this, they received letters from poor Tom Ducket, dated
ninety miles above New Orleans, complaining sadly of his condition, and
making piteous appeals to hear from them respecting his wife and
children. Upon inquiry, nothing could be learned respecting them. They
had been sold and gone,—sold and gone,—no one knew whither; and as a
punishment to Tom for his contumacy in refusing to give the name of the
man who had projected the expedition of the _Pearl_, he was denied the
privilege of going off the place, and was not allowed to talk with the
other servants, his master fearing a conspiracy. In one of his letters
he says, “I have seen more trouble here in one day than I have in all my
life.” In another, “I would be glad to hear from her [his wife], but I
should be more glad to hear of her death than for her to come here.”

In his distress, Tom wrote a letter to Mr. Bigelow, of Washington.
People who are not in the habit of getting such documents have no idea
of them. We give a _facsimile_ of Tom’s letter, with all its poor
spelling, all its ignorance, helplessness, and misery.



                                                 [_February 18, 1852._

  MR. BIGELOW. DEAR SIR:—I write to let you know how I am getting
  along. Hard times here. I have not had one hour to go outside the
  place since I have been on it. I put my trust in the Lord to help
  me. I long to hear from you all I written to hear from you all. Mr.
  Bigelow, I hope you will not forget me. You know it was not my fault
  that I am here. I hope you will name me to Mr. Geden, Mr. Chaplin,
  Mr. Bailey, to help me out of it. I believe that if they would make
  the least move to it that it could be done. I long to hear from my
  family how they are getting along. You will please to write to me
  just to let me know how they are getting along. You can write to me.

                                    I remain your humble servant,
                                                        THOMAS DUCKET.

  You can direct your letters to Thomas Ducket, in care of Mr. Samuel
  T. Harrison, Louisiana, near Bayou Goula. For God’s sake let me hear
  from you all. My wife and children are not out of my mind day nor


Footnote 22:

  The words of the Georgia Annual Conference: _Resolved_, “That slavery,
  _as it exists_ in the United States, is not a moral evil.”

                             CHAPTER VIII.

The principle which declares that one human being may lawfully hold
another as property leads directly to the trade in human beings; and
that trade has, among its other horrible results, the temptation to the
crime of kidnapping.

The trader is generally a man of coarse nature and low associations,
hard-hearted, and reckless of right or honor. He who is not so is an
exception, rather than a specimen. If he has anything good about him
when he begins the business, it may well be seen that he is in a fair
way to lose it.

Around the trader are continually passing and repassing men and women
who would be worth to him thousands of dollars in the way of trade,—who
belong to a class whose rights nobody respects, and who, if reduced to
slavery, could not easily make their word good against him. The
probability is that hundreds of free men and women and children are all
the time being precipitated into slavery in this way.

The recent case of _Northrop_, tried in Washington, D. C., throws light
on this fearful subject. The following account is abridged from the _New
York Times_:

  Solomon Northrop is a free colored citizen of the United States; he
  was born in Essex county, New York, about the year 1808; became
  early a resident of Washington county, and married there in 1829.
  His father and mother resided in the county of Washington about
  fifty years, till their decease, and were both free. With his wife
  and children he resided at Saratoga Springs in the winter of 1841,
  and while there was employed by two gentlemen to drive a team South,
  at the rate of a dollar a day. In fulfilment of his employment, he
  proceeded to New York, and, having taken out free papers, to show
  that he was a citizen, he went on to Washington city, where he
  arrived the second day of April, the same year, and put up at
  Gadsby’s Hotel. Soon after he arrived he felt unwell, and went to

  While suffering with severe pain, some persons came in, and, seeing
  the condition he was in, proposed to give him some medicine, and did
  so. This is the last thing of which he had any recollection, until
  he found himself chained to the floor of Williams’ slave-pen in this
  city, and handcuffed. In the course of a few hours, James H. Burch,
  a slave-dealer, came in, and the colored man asked him to take the
  irons off from him, and wanted to know why they were put on. Burch
  told him it was none of his business. The colored man said he was
  free, and told where he was born. Burch called in a man by the name
  of Ebenezer Rodbury, and they two stripped the man and laid him
  across a bench, Rodbury holding him down by his wrists. Burch
  whipped him with a paddle until he broke that, and then with a
  cat-o’-nine-tails, giving him a hundred lashes; and he swore he
  would kill him if he ever stated to any one that he was a free man.
  From that time forward the man says he did not communicate the fact
  from fear, either that he was a free man, or what his name was,
  until the last summer. He was kept in the slave-pen about ten days,
  when he, with others, was taken out of the pen in the night by
  Burch, handcuffed and shackled, and taken down the river by a
  steamboat, and then to Richmond, where he, with forty-eight others,
  was put on board the brig _Orleans_. There Burch left them. Tho brig
  sailed for New Orleans, and on arriving there, before she was
  fastened to the wharf, Theophilus Freeman, another slave-dealer,
  belonging in the city of New Orleans, and who in 1833 had been a
  partner with Burch in the slavetrade, came to the wharf, and
  received the slaves as they were landed, under his direction. This
  man was immediately taken by Freeman and shut up in his pen in that
  city, he was taken sick with the small-pox immediately after getting
  there, and was sent to a hospital, where he lay two or three weeks.
  When he had sufficiently recovered to leave the hospital, Freeman
  declined to sell him to any person in that vicinity, and sold him to
  a Mr. Ford, who resided in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, where he was
  taken and lived more than a year, and worked as a carpenter, working
  with Ford at that business.

  Ford became involved, and had to sell him. A. Mr. Tibaut became the
  purchaser. He, in a short time, sold him to Edwin Eppes, in Bayou
  Beouf, about one hundred and thirty miles from the mouth of Red
  river, where Eppes has retained him on a cotton plantation since the
  year 1843.

  To go back a step in the narrative, the man wrote a letter, in June,
  1841, to Henry B. Northrop, of the State of New York, dated and
  postmarked at New Orleans, stating that he had been kidnapped and
  was on board a vessel, but was unable to state what his destination
  was; but requesting Mr. N. to aid him in recovering his freedom, if
  possible. Mr. N. was unable to do anything in his behalf, in
  consequence of not knowing where he had gone, and not being able to
  find any trace of him. His place of residence remained unknown until
  the month of September last, when the following letter was received
  by his friends:

                                          _Bayou Beouf, August, 1852._


  GENTLEMEN: It having been a long time since I have seen or heard
  from you, and not knowing that you are living, it is with
  uncertainty that I write to you; but the necessity of the case must
  be my excuse. Having been born free just across the river from you,
  I am certain you know me; and I am here now a slave. I wish you to
  obtain free papers for me, and forward them to me at Marksville,
  Louisiana, Parish of Avovelles, and oblige


                                                     SOLOMON NORTHROP.

  On receiving the above letter, Mr. N. applied to Governor Hunt, of
  New York, for such authority as was necessary for him to proceed to
  Louisiana as an agent to procure the liberation of Solomon. Proof of
  his freedom was furnished to Governor Hunt by affidavits of several
  gentlemen, General Clarke among others. Accordingly, in pursuance of
  the laws of New York, Henry B. Northrop was constituted an agent, to
  take such steps, by procuring evidence, retaining counsel, &c., as
  were necessary to secure the freedom of Solomon, and to execute all
  the duties of his agency.

The result of Mr. Northrop’s agency was the establishing of the claim of
Solomon Northrop to freedom, and the restoring him to his native land.

It is a singular coincidence that this man was carried to a plantation
in the Red river country, that same region where the scene of Tom’s
captivity was laid; and his account of this plantation, his mode of life
there, and some incidents which he describes, form a striking parallel
to that history. We extract them from the article of the _Times_:

  The condition of this colored man during the nine years that he was
  in the hands of Eppes was of a character nearly approaching that
  described by Mrs. Stowe as the condition of “Uncle Tom” while in
  that region. During that whole period his hut contained neither a
  floor, nor a chair, nor a bed, nor a mattress, nor anything for him
  to lie upon, except a board about twelve inches wide, with a block
  of wood for his pillow, and with a single blanket to cover him,
  while the walls of his hut did not by any means protect him from the
  inclemency of the weather. He was sometimes compelled to perform
  acts revolting to humanity, and outrageous in the highest degree. On
  one occasion, a colored girl belonging to Eppes, about seventeen
  years of age, went one Sunday, without the permission of her master,
  to the nearest plantation, about half a mile distant, to visit
  another colored girl of her acquaintance. She returned in the course
  of two or three hours, and for that offence she was called up for
  punishment, which Solomon was required to inflict. Eppes compelled
  him to drive four stakes into the ground at such distances that the
  hands and ankles of the girl might be tied to them, as she lay with
  her face upon the ground; and, having thus fastened her down, he
  compelled him, while standing by himself, to inflict one hundred
  lashes upon her bare flesh, she being stripped naked. Having
  inflicted the hundred blows, Solomon refused to proceed any further.
  Eppes tried to compel him to go on, but he absolutely set him at
  defiance, and refused to murder the girl. Eppes then seized the
  whip, and applied it until he was too weary to continue it. Blood
  flowed from her neck to her feet, and in this condition she was
  compelled the next day to go into the field to work as a field-hand.
  She bears the marks still upon her body although the punishment was
  inflicted four years ago.

  When Solomon was about to leave, under the care of Mr. Northrop,
  this girl came from behind her hut, unseen by her master, and,
  throwing her arms around the neck of Solomon, congratulated him on
  his escape from slavery, and his return to his family; at the same
  time, in language of despair, exclaiming, “But, O God! what will
  become of me?”

  These statements regarding the condition of Solomon while with
  Eppes, and the punishment and brutal treatment of the colored girls,
  are taken from Solomon himself. It has been stated that the nearest
  plantation was distant from that of Eppes a half-mile, and of course
  there could be no interference on the part of neighbors in any
  punishment, however cruel, or how ever well disposed to interfere
  they might be.

Had not Northrop been able to write, as few of the free blacks in the
slave states are, his doom might have been sealed for life in this den
of misery.

Two cases recently tried in Baltimore also unfold facts of a similar

The following is from


  It will be remembered that more than a year since a young colored
  woman, named Mary Elizabeth Parker, was abducted from Chester county
  and conveyed to Baltimore, where she was sold as a slave, and
  transported to New Orleans. A few days after, her sister, Rachel
  Parker, was also abducted in like manner, taken to Baltimore, and
  detained there in consequence of the interference of her Chester
  county friends. In the first case, Mary Elizabeth was, by an
  arrangement with the individual who had her in charge, brought back
  to Baltimore, to await her trial on a petition for freedom. So also
  with regard to Rachel. Both, after trial,—the proof in their favor
  being so overwhelming,—were discharged, and are now among their
  friends in Chester county. In this connection we give the narratives
  of both females, obtained since their release.

                      _Rachel Parker’s Narrative._

  “I was taken from Joseph C. Miller’s about twelve o’clock on Tuesday
  (Dec. 30th, 1851), by two men who came up to the house by the _back_
  door. One came in and asked Mrs. Miller where Jesse McCreary lived,
  and then seized me by the arm, and pulled me out of the house. Mrs.
  Miller called to her husband, who was in the _front_ porch, and he
  ran out and seized the man by the collar, and tried to stop him. The
  other, with an oath, then told him to take his hands off, and if he
  touched me he would kill him. He then told Miller that I belonged to
  Mr. Schoolfield, in Baltimore. They then hurried me to a wagon,
  where there was another large man, put me in, and drove off.

  “Mr. Miller ran across the field to head the wagon, and picked up a
  stake to run through the wheel, when one of the men pulled out a
  sword (I think it was a sword, I never saw one), and threatened to
  cut Miller’s arm off. Pollock’s wagon being in the way, and he
  refusing to get out of the road, we turned off to the left. After we
  rode away, one of the men tore a hole in the back of the carriage,
  to look out to see if they were coming after us, and they said they
  wished they had given Miller and Pollock a blow.

  “We stopped at a tavern near the railroad, and I told the landlord
  (I think it was) that I was free. I also told several persons at the
  car-office; and a very nice-looking man at the car-office was
  talking at the door, and he said he thought that they had better
  take me back again. One of the men did not come further than the
  tavern. I was taken to Baltimore, where we arrived about seven
  o’clock the same evening, and I was taken to jail.

  “The next morning, a man with large light-colored whiskers took me
  away by myself, and asked me if I was not Mr. Schoolfield’s slave. I
  told him I was not; he said that I was, and that if I did not say I
  was he would ‘cowhide me and salt me, and put me in a dungeon.’ I
  told him I was free, and that I would say nothing but the truth.”

                     _Mary E. Parker’s Narrative._

  “I was taken from Matthew Donnelly’s on Saturday night (Dec. 6th, or
  13th, 1851); was caught whilst out of doors, soon after I had
  cleared the supper-table, about seven o’clock, by two men, and put
  into a wagon. One of them got into the wagon with me, and rode to
  Elkton, Md., where I was kept until Sunday night at twelve o’clock,
  when I left there in the cars for Baltimore, and arrived there early
  on Monday morning.

  “At Elkton a man was brought in to see me, by one of the men, who
  said that I was not his father’s slave. Afterwards, when on the way
  to Baltimore in the cars, a man told me that I must say that I was
  Mr. Schoolfield’s slave, or he would shoot me, and pulled a ‘rifle’
  out of his pocket and showed it to me, and also threatened to whip

  “On Monday morning, Mr. Schoolfield called at the jail in Baltimore
  to see me; and on Tuesday morning he brought his wife and several
  other ladies to see me. I told them I did not know them, and then
  Mr. C. took me out of the room, and told me who they were, and took
  me back again, so that I might appear to know them. On the next
  Monday I was shipped to New Orleans.

  “It took about a month to get to New Orleans. After I had been there
  about a week, Mr. C. sold me to Madame C., who keeps a large
  flower-garden. She sends flowers to sell to the theatres, sells milk
  in market, &c. I went out to sell candy and flowers for her, when I
  lived with her. One evening, when I was coming home from the
  theatre, a watchman took me up, and I told him I was not a slave. He
  put me in the calaboose, and next morning took me before a
  magistrate, who sent for Madame C., who told him she bought me. He
  then sent for Mr. C., and told him he must account for how he got
  me. Mr. C. said that my mother and all the family were free, except
  me. The magistrate told me to go back to Madame C., and he told
  Madame C. that she must not let me go out at night; and he told Mr.
  C. that he must prove how he came by me. The magistrate afterwards
  called on Mrs. C., at her house, and had a long talk with her in the
  parlor. I do not know what he said, as they were by themselves.
  About a month afterwards, I was sent back to Baltimore. I lived with
  Madame C. about six months.

  “There were six slaves came in the vessel with me to Baltimore, who
  belonged to Mr. D., and were returned because they were sickly.

  “A man called to see me at the jail after I came back to Baltimore,
  and told me that I must say I was Mr. Schoolfield’s slave, and that
  if I did not do it he would kill me the first time he got a chance.
  He said Rachel [her sister] said she came from Baltimore and was Mr.
  Schoolfield’s slave. Afterwards some gentlemen called on me [Judge
  Campbell and Judge Bell, of Philadelphia, and William H. Norris,
  Esq., of Baltimore], and I told them I was Mr. Schoolfield’s slave.
  They said they were my friends, and I must tell them the truth. I
  then told them who I was and all about it.

  “When I was in New Orleans Mr. C. whipped me because I said that I
  was free.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Elizabeth, by her own account above, was seized and taken from
  Pennsylvania, Dec. 6th or 13th, 1851, which is confirmed by other

It is conceded that such cases, when brought into Southern courts, are
generally tried with great fairness and impartiality. The agent for
Northrop’s release testifies to this, and it has been generally admitted
fact. But it is probably only one case in a hundred that can get into
court:—of the multitudes who are drawn down in the ever-widening
maëlstrom only now and then one ever comes back to tell the tale.

The succeeding chapter of advertisements will show the reader how many
such victims there may probably be.

                              CHAPTER IX.

The investigation into the actual condition of the slave population at
the South is beset with many difficulties. So many things are said _pro_
and _con_,—so many said in one connection and denied in another,—that
the effect is very confusing.

Thus, we are told that the state of the slaves is one of blissful
contentment; that they would not take freedom as a gift; that their
family relations are only now and then invaded; that they are a stupid
race, almost sunk to the condition of animals; that generally they are
kindly treated, &c. &c. &c.

In reading over some two hundred Southern newspapers this fall, the
author has been struck with the very graphic and circumstantial
pictures, which occur in all of them, describing fugitive slaves. From
these descriptions one may learn a vast many things. The author will
here give an assortment of them, taken at random. It is a commentary on
the contented state of the slave population that the writer finds two or
three always, and often many more, in every one of the hundreds of
Southern papers examined.

In reading the following little sketches of “slaves as they are,” let
the reader notice:

1. The color and complexion of the majority of them.

2. That it is customary either to describe slaves by some _scar_, or to
say “_No scars recollected_.”

3. The _intelligence_ of the parties advertised.

4. The number that _say they are free_ that are to be _sold to pay

Every one of these slaves has a history,—a history of woe and crime,
degradation, endurance, and wrong. Let us open the chapter:

_South-side Democrat_, Oct. 28, 1852. Petersburgh, Virginia:


  Twenty-five dollars, with the payment of all necessary expenses,
  will be given for the apprehension and delivery of my man CHARLES,
  if taken on the Appomattox river, or within the precincts of
  Petersburgh. He ran off about a week ago, and, if he leaves the
  neighborhood, will no doubt make for Farmville and Petersburgh. He
  is _a mulatto_, rather below the medium height and size, but well
  proportioned, and very active and sensible. He is aged about 27
  years, has a mild, submissive look, _and will, no doubt, show the
  marks of a recent whipping, if taken_. He must be delivered to the
  care of Peebles, White, Davis & Co.

                                                   R. H. DEJARNETT,

  Oct. 25—3t.

Poor Charles!—_mulatto!_—has a mild, submissive look, and will probably
show marks of a recent whipping!

_Kosciusko Chronicle_, Nov. 24, 1852:


  To the Jail of Attila County, on the 8th instant, a negro boy, who
  calls his name GREEN, and says he belongs to James Gray, of Winston
  County. Said boy is about 20 years old, _yellow complexion_, round
  face, _has a scar on his face, one on his left thigh, and one in his
  left hand_, is about 5 feet 6 inches high. Had on when taken up a
  cotton cheek shirt, Linsey pants, new cloth cap, and was riding a
  large roan horse about 12 or 14 years old and thin in order. The
  owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and
  take him away, or he will be sold to pay charges.

                                           E. B. SANDERS, Jailer A. C.

  Oct. 12, 1842.      n12tf.

_Capitolian Vis-a-Vis_, West Baton Rouge, Nov. 1, 1852:

                              $100 REWARD.

  RUNAWAY from the subscriber, in Randolph County, on the 18th of
  October, a _yellow_ boy, named JIM. This boy is 19 years old, _a
  light mulatto with dirty sunburnt hair, inclined to be straight_; he
  is just 5 feet 7 inches high, and slightly made. He had on when he
  left a black cloth cap, black cloth pantaloons, a plaided sack coat,
  a fine shirt, and brogan shoes. One hundred dollars will be paid for
  the recovery of the above-described boy, if taken out of the State,
  or fifty dollars if taken in the State.

                                                   MRS. S. P. HALL,
                                                       Huntsville, Mo.

  Nov. 4, 1852.

_American Baptist_, Dec. 20, 1852:


  The following paragraph, headed “Twenty Dollars Reward,” appeared in
  a recent number of the _New Orleans Picayune_:

  “Run away from the plantation of the undersigned the negro man
  Shedrick, a preacher, 5 feet 9 inches high, about 40 years old, but
  looking not over 23, _stamped N. E. on the breast, and having both
  small toes cut off_. He is of a very dark complexion, with eyes
  small but bright, _and a look quite insolent_. He dresses good, and
  was arrested as a runaway at Donaldsonville, some three years ago.
  The above reward will be paid for his arrest, by addressing Messrs.
  Armant Brothers, St. James parish, or A. Miltenberger & Co., 30

Here is a preacher who is branded on the breast and has both toes cut
off,—and _will_ look insolent yet! There’s depravity for you!

_Jefferson Inquirer_, Nov. 27, 1852:

                          $100 DOLLARS REWARD.

  RANAWAY from my plantation, in Bolivar County, Miss., a negro man
  named MAY, aged 40 years, 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high, _copper
  colored_, and very straight; his front teeth are good and stand a
  little open; stout through the shoulders, _and has some scars on his
  back that show above the skin plain, caused by the whip_; he
  frequently hiccups when eating, if he has not got water handy; he
  was pursued into Ozark County, Mo., and there left. I will give the
  above reward for his confinement in jail, so that I can get him.

                                                    JAMES H. COUSAR,
                                Victoria, Bolivar County, Mississippi.

  Nov. 13, 1m.

Delightful master to go back to, this man must be!

_The Alabama Standard_ has for its motto:


Date of Nov. 29th, this advertisement:


  To the Jail of Choctaw County, by Judge Young, of Marengo County, a
  RUNAWAY SLAVE, who calls his name BILLY, and says he belongs to the
  late William Johnson, and was in the employment of John Jones, near
  Alexandria, La. He is about 5 feet 10 inches high, black, about 40
  years old, _much scarred on the face and head_, and _quite

  The owner is requested to come forward, prove his property, and take
  him from Jail, or he will be disposed of according to law.

                                           S. S. HOUSTON, Jailer C. C.

  December 1, 1852.      44-tf

Query: Whether this “quite intelligent” Billy hadn’t been corrupted by
hearing this incendiary motto of the _Standard_?

_Knoxville_ (Tenn.) _Register_, Nov. 3d:

                        LOOK OUT FOR RUNAWAYS!!

                              $25 REWARD!

  RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the night of the 26th July last, a
  negro woman named HARRIET. Said woman is about five feet five inches
  high, has prominent cheek-bones, large mouth and good front teeth,
  tolerably spare built, about 26 years old. We think it probable she
  is harbored by some negroes not far from John Mynatt’s, in Knox
  County, where she and they are likely making some arrangements to
  get to a free state; or she may be concealed by some negroes (her
  connections) in Anderson County, near Clinton. I will give the above
  reward for her apprehension and confinement in any prison in this
  state, or I will give fifty dollars for her confinement in any jail
  out of this state, so that I get her.

                                                      H. B. GOENS,
                                                        Clinton, Tenn.

  Nov. 3.      4m

_The Alexandria Gazette_, November 29, 1852, under the device of Liberty
trampling on a tyrant, motto “_Sic semper tyrannis_,” has the following:

                      TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.

  Ranaway from the subscriber, living in the County of Rappahannock,
  on Tuesday last, DANIEL, _a bright mulatto_, about 5 feet 8 inches
  high, about 35 years old, _very intelligent_, has been a wagoner for
  several years, and is pretty well acquainted from Richmond to
  Alexandria. He calls himself _DANIEL TURNER; his hair curls, without
  showing black blood, or wool; he has a scar on one cheek, and his
  left hand has been seriously injured by a pistol-shot_, and he was
  shabbily dressed when last seen. I will give the above reward if
  taken out of the county, and secured in jail, so that I get him
  again, or $10 if taken in the county.

                                                         A. M. WILLIS,

  Rappahannock Co., Va., Nov. 29.—eolm.

Another “very intelligent,” straight-haired man. Who was his father?

_The New Orleans Daily Crescent_, office No. 93 St. Charles-street;
Tuesday morning, December 13, 1852:


  NANCY, a griffe, about 34 years old, 5 feet 1¾ inch high, a _scar on
  left wrist_; says she belongs to Madame Wolf.

  CHARLES HALL, a black, about 13 years old, 5 feet 6 inches high;
  _says he is free_, but supposed to be a slave.

  PHILOMONIA, a mulattress, about 10 years old, 4 feet 3 inches high;
  _says she is free_, but supposed to be a slave.

  COLUMBUS, a griffe, about 21 years old, 5 feet 5¾ inches high; _says
  he is free_, but supposed to be a slave.

  SEYMOUR, a black, about 21 years old, 5 feet 1¾ inch high; _says he
  is free_, but supposed to be a slave

  The owners will please comply with the law respecting them.

                                                   J. WORRALL, Warden.

  New Orleans, Dec. 14, 1852.

What chance for any of these poor fellows who _say they are free_?

                              $50 REWARD.

  RANAWAY from the subscriber, living in Unionville, Frederick County,
  Md., on Sunday morning, the 17th instant, a DARK MULATTO GIRL, about
  18 years of age, 5 feet 4 or 5 inches high, _looks pleasant
  generally_, talks very quick, _converses tolerably well_, and can
  _read_. It is supposed she had on, when she left, a red Merino
  dress, black Visette or plaid Shawl, and a purple calico Bonnet, as
  those articles are missing.

  A reward of Twenty-five Dollars will be given for her, if taken in
  the State, or Fifty Dollars if taken out of the State, and lodged in
  jail, so that I get her again.

                                                     G. R. SAPPINGTON.

  Oct. 13.—2m.

_Kosciusko Chronicle_, Mississippi:

                         TWENTY DOLLARS REWARD

  Will be paid for the delivery of the boy WALKER, aged about 28
  years, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, black complexion, loose
  make, smiles when spoken to, has a mild, sweet voice, and fine
  teeth. Apply at 25 Tchoupitoulas-street, up stairs.


Walker has walked off, it seems. Peace be with him!

                              $25 REWARD.

  RANAWAY from the subscriber, living near White’s Store, Anson
  County, on the 3d of May last, a _bright mulatto boy_, named BOB.
  Bob is about 5 feet high, will weigh 130 pounds, is about 22 years
  old, and has some beard on his upper lip. His left leg is somewhat
  shorter than his right, causing him to hobble in his walk; has a
  very broad face, _and will show color like a white man_. It is
  probable he has gone off with some wagoner or trader, or he may have
  free papers and be passing as a free man. _He has straight hair._

  I will give a reward of TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS for the apprehension and
  delivery to me of said boy, or for his confinement in any jail, so
  that I get him again.

                                                      CLARA LOCKHART,
                                                      By Adam Lockhart

  June 30, 1852.      698: 5

_Southern Standard_, Oct. 16, 1852:

                             $50 REWARD!!!

  RANAWAY, or stolen, from the subscriber, living near Aberdeen,
  Miss., a light mulatto woman, of small size, and about 23 years old.
  She has _long, black, straight hair, and she usually keeps it in
  good order_. When she left she had on either a white dress, or a
  brown calico one with white spots or figures, and took with her a
  red handkerchief, and a red or pink sun-bonnet. _She generally
  dresses very neatly._ She generally calls herself Mary Ann
  Paine,—can _read print_,—has some freckles on her face and
  hands,—shoes No. 4,—had a ring or two on her fingers. She is very
  intelligent, and Converses well. The above reward will be given for
  her, if taken out of the State, and $25 if taken within the State.

                                                        U. MCALLISTER.

  _Memphis_ (weekly) _Appeal_ will insert to the amount of $5, and
  send account to this office.

  October 6th, 1853.      20—tf.

Much can be seen of this Mary Ann in this picture. The black, straight
hair, usually kept in order,—the general neatness of dress,—the ring or
two on the fingers,—the ability to read,—the fact of being intelligent
and conversing well, are all to be noticed.

                              $20 REWARD.

  Ranaway, on the 9th of last August, my servant boy _HENRY_: He is 14
  or 15 years old, _a bright mulatto_, has dark eyes, stoops a little,
  and stutters when confused. Had on, when he went away, white
  pantaloons, long blue summer coat, and a palm-leaf hat. I will give
  the above reward if he should be taken in the State of Virginia, or
  $30 if taken in either of the adjoining States, but in either case
  he must be so secured that I get him again.

                                                    EDWIN C. FITZHUGH.

  Oct. 7.—eotf.

Poor Henry!—only 14 or 15.


  To the Jail of Lowndes County, Mississippi, on the 9th of May, by
  Jno. K. Peirce, Esq., and taken up as a runaway slave by William S.
  Cox, a negro man, who says his name is ROLAND, and that he belongs
  to Maj. Cathey, of Marengo Co., Ala., was sold to him by Henry
  Williams, a negro trader from North Carolina.

  Said negro is about 35 years old, 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high, dark
  complexion, weighs about 150 pounds, _middle finger on the right
  hand off at the second joint_, and had on, when committed, a black
  silk hat, black _drap d’ete_ dress coat, and white linsey pants.

  The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges,
  and take him away, or he will be dealt with according to law.

                                                   L. H. WILLEFORD,

  June 6, 1852.      19—tf.

_Richmond Semi-weekly Examiner_, October 29, 1852:

                         FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD.

  Ranaway from the subscriber, residing in the County of Halifax,
  about the middle of last August, a Negro Man, Ned, aged some thirty
  or forty years, of medium height, _copper color_, full forehead, and
  cheek bones a little prominent. _No scars recollected_, except one
  of his fingers—the little one, probably—is stiff and crooked. The
  man Ned was purchased in Richmond, of Mr. Robert Goodwin, who
  resides near Frederick-Hall, in Louisa County, _and has a wife in
  that vicinity_. He has been seen in the neighborhood, and is
  supposed to have gone over the Mountains, and to be now at work as a
  free man at some of the Iron Works; some one having given him free
  papers. The above reward will be given for the apprehension of the
  slave Ned, and his delivery to R. H. Dickinson & Bro., in Richmond,
  or to the undersigned, in Halifax, Virginia, or twenty-five if
  confined in any jail in the Commonwealth, so that I get him.

                                              JAS. M. CHAPPELL,
                                          [Firm of Chappell & Tucker.]

  Aug. 10.—tf.

This unfortunate copper-colored article is supposed to have gone after
his _wife_.

_Kentucky Whig_, Oct. 22, ‘52:

                              $200 REWARD.

  Ranaway from the subscriber, near Mount Sterling, Ky., on the night
  of the 20th of October, a negro man named PORTER. Said boy is black,
  about 22 years old, very stout and active, weighs about 165 or 170
  pounds. _He is a smart fellow, converses well, without the negro
  accent; no particular scars recollected._ He had on a pair of coarse
  boots about half worn, no other clothing recollected. He was raised
  near Sharpsburg, in Bath county, by Harrison Caldwell, and may be
  lurking in that neighborhood, but will probably endeavor to reach

  I will pay the above-mentioned reward for him, if taken out of the
  State; $50, if taken in any county bordering on the Ohio river; or
  $25, if taken in this or any adjoining county, and secured so that I
  can get him.

  He is supposed to have ridden a yellow Horse, 15 hands and one inch
  high, mane and tail both yellow, five years old, and paces well.

  October 21st, 1852.

                                                        G. W. PROCTOR.

“No _particular scars_ recollected”!

_St. Louis Times_, Oct. 14, 1852:


  Taken up and committed to Jail in the town of Rockbridge, Ozark
  county, Mo., on the 31st of August last, a runaway slave, who calls
  his name MOSES. Had on, when taken, a brown Jeanes pantaloons, old
  cotton shirt, blue frock-coat, an old rag tied round his head. He is
  about six feet high, dark complexion, _a scar over the left eye_,
  supposed to be about 27 years old. The owner is hereby notified to
  come forward, prove said negro, and pay all lawful charges incurred
  on his account, or the said negro will be sold at public auction for
  ready money at the Court House door in the town of Rockbridge, on
  MONDAY, the 13th of December next, according to law in such cases
  made and provided, this 9th of September, 1852.

                                   s23d & w.      ROBERT HICKS, Sh’ff.

_Charleston Mercury_, Oct. 15, 1852:

                         FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD.

  Runaway on Sunday the 6th inst., from the South Carolina Railroad
  Company, their negro man SAM, recently bought by them, with others,
  at Messrs. Cothran & Sproull’s sale, at Aiken. He was raised in
  Cumberland County, North Carolina, and last brought from Richmond,
  Va. In height he is 5 feet 6¾ inches. Complexion copper color; _on
  the left arm and right leg somewhat scarred_. Countenance good. The
  above reward will be paid for his apprehension and lodgment in any
  one of the Jails of this or any neighboring State.

                                                       J. D. PETSCH,
                                                 Sup’t Transportation.

  June 12.

_Kosciusko Chronicle_, Nov. 24, ‘52:


  To the Jail of Attila County, Miss., October the 7th, 1852, a negro
  boy, who calls his name HAMBLETON, and says he belongs to Parson
  William Young, of Pontotoc County; is about 26 or 27 years old,
  about 5 feet 8 inches high, rather dark complexion, _has two or
  three marks on his back, a small scar on his left hip_. Had on, when
  taken up, a pair of blue cotton pants, white cotton drawers, a new
  cotton shirt, a pair of kip boots, an old cloth cap and wool hat.
  The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges
  and take him away, or he will be dealt with as provided in such

                                           E. B. SANDERS, Jailer A. C.

  Oct. 12, 1852.

                                                               n 12tf.

_Frankfort Commonwealth_, October 21, 1852:

                           COMMITTED TO JAIL.

  A negro boy, who calls his name ADAM, was committed to the
  Muhlenburg Jail on the 24th of July, 1852. Said boy is black; about
  16 or 17 years old; 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high; will weigh about 150
  lbs. He has _lost a part of the finger next to his little finger on
  the right hand; also the great toe on his left foot_. This boy says
  he belongs to Wm. Mosley; that said Mosley was moving to Mississippi
  from Virginia. He further states that he is lost, and not a runaway.
  His owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay
  expenses, and take him away, or he will be disposed of as the law

                                               S. H. DEMPSEY, J. M. C.

  Greenville, Ky., Oct. 20, 1852.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                             RUNAWAY SLAVE.

  A negro man arrested and placed in the Barren County Jail, Ky., on
  the 21st instant, calling himself HENRY, about 22 years old; says he
  ran away from near Florence, Alabama, and belongs to John Calaway.
  He is about five feet eight inches high, dark, but not very black,
  rather thin visage, pointed nose, _no scars perceivable_, rather
  spare built; says he has been runaway nearly three months. The owner
  can get him by applying and paying the reward and expenses; if not,
  he will be proceeded against according to law. This 24th of August,

                                                SAMUEL ADWELL, Jailer.

  Aug. 25, 1852.—6m

In the same paper are two more poor fellows, who probably have been sold
to pay jail-fees, before now.


  Taken up by M. H. Brand, as a runaway slave, on the 22d ult., in the
  city of Covington, Kenton county, Ky., a negro man calling himself
  CHARLES WARFIELD, about 30 years old, but looks older, about 6 feet
  high; no particular marks; had no free papers, but he _says he is
  free_, and _was born in Pennsylvania_, and in _Fayette county_. Said
  negro was lodged in jail on the said 22d ult., and the owner or
  owners, if any, are hereby notified to come forward, prove property,
  and pay charges, and take him away.

                                                  C. W. HULL, J. K. C.

  August 3, 1852.—6m.

                  *       *       *       *       *


  To the Jail of Graves county, Ky., on the 4th inst., a negro man
  calling himself DAVE or DAVID. He _says he is free_, but formerly
  belonged to Samuel Brown, of Prince William county, Virginia. He is
  of black color, about 5 feet 10 inches high, weighs about 180 lbs.;
  supposed to be about 45 years old; had on brown pants and striped
  shirt. He had in his possession an old rifle gun, an old pistol, and
  some old clothing. He also informs me that he has escaped from the
  Dyersburg Jail, Tennessee, where he had been confined some eight or
  nine months. The owner is hereby notified to come forward, prove
  property pay charges, &c.

                                         L. B. HOLEFIELD, Jailer G. C.

  June 28, 1852.—w6m.

_Charleston Mercury_, Oct. 29, 1852:

                              $200 REWARD.

  Runaway from the subscriber, some time in March last, his servant
  LYDIA, and is suspected of being in Charleston. I will give the
  above reward to any person who may apprehend her, and furnish
  evidence to conviction of the person supposed to harbor her, or $50
  for having her lodged in any Jail so that I get her. Lydia is a
  _Mulatto woman_, twenty-five years of age, four feet eleven inches
  high, with _straight black hair, which inclines to curl_, her front
  teeth defective, and has been plugged; the gold distinctly seen when
  talking; round face, _a scar under her chin, and two fingers on one
  hand stiff at the first joints_.

  June 16.      tuths

                                                         C. T. SCAIFE.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                              $25 REWARD.

  Runaway from the subscriber, on or about the first of May last, his
  negro boy GEORGE, about 18 years of age, about 5 feet high, _well
  set, and speaks properly_. He formerly belonged to Mr. J. D. A.
  Murphy, living in Blackville; _has a mother belonging to a Mr.
  Lorrick, living in Lexington District_. He is supposed to have a
  pass, and is likely to be lurking about Branchville or Charleston.

  The above reward will be paid to any one lodging George in any Jail
  in the State, so that I can get him.

                                       J. J. ANDREWS, Orangeburg C. H.

  Orangeburg, Aug. 7, 1852.      sw      Sept 11

                  *       *       *       *       *


  Committed to the Jail at Colleton District as a runaway, JORDAN, a
  negro man about thirty years of age, who says he belongs to Dobson
  Coely, of Pulaski County, Georgia. The owner has notice to prove
  property and take him away.

                                 L. W. MCCANTS, Sheriff Colleton Dist.

  Walterboro, So. Ca., Sept. 7, 1852.

The following are selected by the _Commonwealth_ mostly from New Orleans
papers. The characteristics of the slaves are interesting.

                       TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD

  Will be paid by the undersigned for the apprehension and delivery to
  any Jail in this city of the negro woman MARIAH, who ran away from
  the Phoenix House about the 15th of October last. She is about 45
  years old, 5 feet 4 inches high, stout built, _speaks French and
  English_. Was purchased from Chas. Deblanc.

                                     H. BIDWELL & Co., 16 Front Levee.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                         FIFTY DOLLARS REWARD.

  Ran away about the 25th ult., ALLEN, _a bright mulatto, aged about_
  22 years, 6 feet high, very well dressed, has an extremely careless
  gait, of slender build, and wore a moustache when he left; the
  property of J. P. Harrison, Esq., of this city. The above reward
  will be paid for his safe delivery at any safe place in the city.
  For further particulars apply at 10 Bank Place.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                      ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.

  We will give the above reward for the apprehension of the _light
  mulatto boy SEABOURN_, aged 20 years, about 5 feet 4 inches high; is
  stout, well made, and remarkably active. He is somewhat of a circus
  actor, by which he may easily be detected, as he is always showing
  his gymnastic qualifications. The said boy absented himself on the
  3d inst. Besides the above reward, all reasonable expenses will be

                                 W. & H. STACKHOUSE, 70 Tehoupitoulas.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                      TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.

  The above reward will be paid for the apprehension of the mulatto
  boy SEVERIN, aged 25 years, 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high; _most of his
  front teeth are out, and the letters C. V. are marked on either of
  his arms with India Ink. He speaks French, English and Spanish, and
  was formerly_ owned by Mr. Courcell, in the Third District. I will
  pay, in addition to the above reward, $50 for such information as
  will lead to the conviction of any person harboring said slave.

                                 JOHN ERMON, corner Camp and Race sts.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                      TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.

  Ran away from the Chain Gang in New Orleans, First Municipality, in
  February last, a negro boy named STEPHEN. He is about 5 feet 7
  inches in height, a very light mulatto, _with blue eyes and brownish
  hair_, stoops a little in the shoulders, has a cast-down look, and
  is very strongly built and muscular. He will not acknowledge his
  name or owner, is an habitual runaway, and _was shot somewhere in
  the ankle while endeavoring to escape from Baton Rouge Jail_. The
  above reward, with all attendant expenses, will be paid on his
  delivery to me, or for his apprehension and commitment to any Jail
  from which I can get him.

                                                       A. L. BINGAMAN.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                      TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.

  The above reward will be given to the person who will lodge in one
  of the Jails of this city the slave SARAH, belonging to Mr.
  Guisonnet, corner St. John Baptiste and Race streets; said slave is
  aged about 28 years, 5 feet high, _benevolent face, fine teeth, and
  speaking French and English_. Captains of vessels and steamboats are
  hereby cautioned not to receive her on board, under penalty of the

                                               AVET BROTHERS,
                               Corner Bienville and Old Levee streets.

_Lynchburg Virginian_, Nov. 6th:

                         TWENTY DOLLARS REWARD.

  Ranaway from the subscriber on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad,
  in the county of Wythe, on the 20th of June, 1852, a negro man named
  CHARLES, 6 feet high, _copper color, with several teeth out in
  front_, about 35 years of age, rather slow to reply, _but pleasing
  appearance when spoken to_. He wore, when he left, a cloth cap and a
  blue cloth sack coat; he was purchased in Tennessee, 14 months ago,
  by Mr. M. Connell, of Lynchburg, and carried to that place, where he
  remained until I purchased him 4 months ago. _It is more than
  probable that he will make his way to Tennessee, as he has a wife
  now living there_; or he may perhaps return to Lynchburg, and lurk
  about there, as he has acquaintances there. The above reward will be
  paid if he is taken in the State and confined so that I get him
  again; or I will pay a reward of $40, if taken out of the State and
  confined in Jail.

                                                       GEORGE W. KYLE.

  July 1.—d&c2twts

_Winchester Republican_ (Va.), Nov. 26:

                      ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS REWARD.

  Ranaway from the subscriber, near Culpepper Ct. House, Va., about
  the 1st of October, a negro man named ALFRED, about five feet seven
  inches in height, about twenty-five years of age, uncommonly
  muscular and active, complexion dark but not black, countenance mild
  and rather pleasant. He had a boil last winter on the middle joint
  of the middle or second finger of the right hand, which left the
  finger stiff in that joint, more visible in opening his hand than in
  shutting it. _He has a wife at Mr. Thomas G. Marshall’s, near
  Farrowsville, in Fauquier County_, and may be in that neighborhood,
  where he wishes to be sold, and where I am willing to sell him.

  I will give the above reward if he is taken out of the State and
  secured, so that I get him again; or $50 if taken in the State, and
  secured in like manner.

                                                      W. B. SLAUGHTER.

  October 29, 1852.

From the _Louisville Daily Journal_, Oct. 23, 1852:

                              $100 REWARD.

  Ran away from the subscriber, in this city, on Friday, May 28th, a
  negro boy named WYATT. Said boy is copper colored, 25 or 26 years
  old, about 5 feet 11 inches high, of large frame, slow and heavy
  gait, has very large hands and feet, small side-whiskers, a full
  head of hair which he combs to the side, quite a pleasing look, and
  is very likely. I recently purchased Wyatt from Mr. Garrett, of
  Garrett’s Landing, Ky., and _his wife is the property of Thos. G.
  Rowland, Esq._, of this city. I will pay the above reward for the
  apprehension and delivery of the boy to me if taken out of the
  State, or $50 if taken in the State.

  June 2d&wtf

                                                     DAVID W. YANDELL.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                              $200 REWARD.

  TWO NEGROES. Ranaway from the subscriber, living in Louisville, on
  the 2d, one negro man and girl. The man’s name is MILES. He is about
  5 feet 8 inches high, dark-brown color, _with a large scar upon his
  head, as if caused from a burn_; age about 25 years; and had with
  him two carpet sacks, one of cloth, the other enamelled leather,
  also a pass from Louisville to Owenton, Owen county, Ky., and back.
  The girl’s name is JULIA, and she is of light-brown color, short and
  heavy set, rather good looking, _with a scar upon her forehead_; had
  on a plaid silk dress when she left, and took other clothes with
  her; looks to be about 16 years of age.

  The above reward will be paid for the man, if taken out of the
  State, or $100 for the girl; $100 for the man, if taken in the
  State, or $50 for the girl. In either event, they are to be secured,
  so I get them.

                                                         JOHN W. LYNN.

  Oct 5 d&wtf

The following advertisements are all dated Shelby Co., Kentucky.

                            JAILER’S NOTICE.

  Was committed to the Jail of Shelby county a negro woman, who says
  her name is JUDA; dark complexion; twenty years of age; some five
  feet high; weighs about one hundred and twenty pounds; _no scars
  recollected_, and says she belongs to James Wilson, living in
  Denmark, Tennessee. The owner of said slave is requested to come
  forward, prove property, pay charges, and take her away, or she will
  be dealt with as the law directs.

                                                       W. H. EANES,
                                                 Jailer Shelby county.


                  *       *       *       *       *

                            JAILER’S NOTICE.

  Was committed to the Jail of Shelby county, on the 28th ult., a
  negro boy, who says his name is JOHN W. LOYD; of a bright
  complexion, 25 years of age, will weigh about one hundred and fifty
  pounds, about five feet nine or ten inches high, _three scars on his
  left leg, which was caused by a dog-bite_. _The said boy John claims
  to be free._ If he has any master, he is hereby notified to come
  forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will
  be dealt with as the law directs.


  ALSO—Committed at the same time a negro boy, who says his name is
  PATRICK, of a bright complexion, about 30 years of age, will weigh
  about one hundred and forty-five or fifty pounds; about six feet
  high; his face is very badly scarred, which he says was caused by
  being salivated. The disease caused him to lose the bone out of his
  nose, and his jaw-bone, also. Says he belongs to Dr. Wm. Cheathum,
  living in Nashville, Tenn. The owner of said slave is requested to
  come forward, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he
  will be dealt with as the law directs.


  ALSO—Committed at the same time a negro boy, who says his name is
  CLAIBORNE; dark complexion, 22 years of age, will weigh about one
  hundred and forty pounds, about five feet high; _no scars
  recollected_; says he belongs to Col. Rousell, living in De Soto
  county, Miss. The owner of said slave is requested to come forward,
  prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be dealt
  with as the law directs.

                                                      W. H. EANES,
                                              Jailer of Shelby county.


                  *       *       *       *       *

                            JAILER’S NOTICE.

  Was committed to the Jail of Shelby county a negro boy, who says his
  name is GEORGE; dark complexion, about twenty-five or thirty years
  of age, some five feet nine or ten inches high; will weigh about one
  hundred and forty pounds, _no scars_, and says he belongs to Malley
  Bradford, living in Issaqueen county, Mississippi. The owner of said
  slave is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and
  take him away, or he will be dealt with as the law directs.

                                                      W. H. EANES,
                                              Jailer of Shelby county.


                  *       *       *       *       *

                            JAILER’S NOTICE.

  Was committed to the Jail of Shelby county, on the 30th ult., a
  negro woman, who says her name is NANCY, of a bright complexion,
  some twenty or twenty-one years of age, will weigh about one hundred
  and forty pounds, about five feet high, _no scars_, and says she
  belongs to John Pittman, living in Memphis, Tenn. The owner of said
  slave is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges, and
  take her away, or she will be dealt with as the law directs.

                                                      W. H. EANES,
                                              Jailer of Shelby county.


Negro property is decidedly “brisk” in this county.

_Natchez_ (Miss.) _Free Trader_, November 6, 1852:

                           25 DOLLARS REWARD.

  Ranaway from the undersigned, on the 17th day of October, 1852, a
  negro man by the name of ALLEN, about 23 years old, near 6 feet
  high, of dark mulatto color, _no marks, save one, and that caused by
  the bite of a dog_; had on, when he left, lowell pants, and cotton
  shirt; reads imperfect, can make a short calculation correctly, and
  can write some few words; said negro has run away heretofore, and
  when taken up was in possession of a free pass. He is quick-spoken,
  lively, and smiles when in conversation.

  I will give the above reward to any one who will confine said negro
  in any Jail, so that I can get him.


                                                     THOS R. CHEATHAM.

_Newberry Sentinel_ (S. C.), Nov. 17, 1852:


  RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the 9th of July last, my Boy
  WILLIAM, a bright mulatto, about 26 years old, 5 feet 9 or 10 inches
  high, of slender make, quite intelligent, speaks quick when spoken
  to, and walks briskly. _Said boy was brought from Virginia, and will
  probably attempt to get back._ Any information of said boy will be
  thankfully received.

                                                         JOHN M. MARS.

  Near Mollohon P. O., Newberry Dist., S. C.

  Nov. 3.      414t.

  ☞ _Raleigh Register_ and _Richmond Enquirer_ will copy four times
  weekly, and send bills to this office.

_Greensboro’ Patriot_ (N. C.), Nov. 6:

                           10 DOLLARS REWARD.

  RANAWAY from my service, in February, 1851, a colored man named
  EDWARD WINSLOW, low, _thick-set_, _part Indian_, and a first rate
  fiddler. Said Winslow was sold out of Guilford jail, at February
  court, 1851, for his prison charges, for the term of five years. It
  is supposed that he is at work on the Railroad, somewhere in
  Davidson county. The above reward will be paid for his apprehension
  and confinement in the jail of Guilford or any of the adjoining
  counties, so that I get him, or for his delivery to me in the
  south-east corner of Guilford. My post-office is Long’s Mills,
  Randolph, N. C.

                                                          P. C. SMITH.

  October 27, 1852.      702—5w.

The New Orleans _True Delta_, of the 11th ult., 1853, has the following
editorial notice:

  enterprising and go-ahead Col. Jennings has got a raffle under way
  now, which eclipses all his previous undertakings in that line. The
  prizes are the celebrated trotting horse “Star,” buggy and harness,
  and a valuable negro servant,—the latter valued at nine hundred
  dollars. See his advertisement in another column.

The advertisement is as follows:


                          MR. JOSEPH JENNINGS

  Respectfully informs his friends and the public, that, at the
  request of many of acquaintances, he has been induced to purchase
  from Mr. Osborn, of Missouri, the celebrated dark bay horse “Star,”
  age five years, square trotter, and warranted sound, with a new
  light trotting Buggy and Harness; _also the stout mulatto girl_
  “_Sarah_,” _aged about twenty years, general house servant_, valued
  at nine hundred dollars, and guaranteed; will be raffled for at 4
  o’clock, P. M., February 1st, at any hotel selected by the

  The above is as represented, and those persons who may wish to
  engage in the usual practice of raffling will, I assure them, be
  perfectly satisfied with their destiny in this affair.

  Fifteen hundred chances, at $1 each.

  The whole is valued at its just worth, fifteen hundred dollars.

  The raffle will be conducted by gentleman selected by the interested
  subscribers present. Five nights allowed to complete the raffle.
  Both of above can be seen at my store, No. 78 Commonstreet, second
  door from Camp, at from 9 o’clock A. M., till half-past 2 P. M.

  Highest throw takes the first choice; the lowest throw the remaining
  prize, and the fortunate winners to pay Twenty Dollars each, for the
  refreshments furnished for the occasion.

  Jan. 9. 2w.

                                                          J. JENNINGS.

_Daily Courier_ (Natchez, Miss.), Nov. 20, 1852:

                      TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS REWARD.

  THE above reward will be given for the apprehension and confinement
  in any jail of the negro man HARDY, who ran away from the
  subscriber, residing on Lake St. John, near Rifle Point, Concordia
  parish, La., on the 9th August last. Hardy is a remarkably likely
  negro, _entirely free from all marks, scars or blemishes_, when he
  left home; about six feet high, of black complexion (though quite
  light), _fine countenance_, unusually smooth skin, good head of
  hair, _fine eyes and teeth_.

  Address the subscriber at Rifle Point, Concordia Parish, La.

                                                      ROBERT Y. JONES.

  Oct. 30.—1m.

What an unfortunate master—lost an article entirely free from “marks,
scars or blemishes”! Such a rarity ought to be choice!

_Savannah Daily Georgian_, 6th Sept., 1852:


  ABOUT three weeks ago, under suspicious circumstances, a negro
  woman, who calls herself PHEBE, or PHILLIS. _Says she is free_, and
  lately from Beaufort District, South Carolina. Said woman is about
  50 years of age, stout in stature, mild-spoken, 5 feet 4 inches
  high, and weighs about 140 pounds. Having made diligent inquiry by
  letter, and from what I can learn, said woman is a runaway. Any
  person owning said slave can get her by making application to me,
  properly authenticated.

                                                   WARING RUSSELL,
                                                     County Constable.

  Savannah, Oct. 25, 1852.      6      Oct. 26.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                          250 DOLLARS REWARD.

  RANAWAY from Sparta, Ga., about the first of last year my boy
  GEORGE. He is a good carpenter, about 35 years; a bright mulatto,
  tall and quite likely. _He was brought about three years ago from
  St. Mary’s, and had, when he ran away, a wife there, or near there,
  belonging to a Mr. Holzendorff._ I think he has told me he has been
  about Macon also. He had, and perhaps still has, a brother in
  Savannah. _He is very intelligent._ I will give the above reward for
  his confinement in some jail in the State, so that I can get him.
  Refer, for any further information, to Rabun & Whitehead, Savannah,

                                                       W. J. SASSNETT.

  Oxford, Ga., Aug. 13th, 1852.      tuths3m. a17.

From these advertisements, and hundreds of similar ones, one may learn
the following things:

1. That the arguments for the enslaving of the _negro_ do not apply to a
large part of the actual slaves.

2. That they are not, in the estimation of their masters, very stupid.

3. That they are not remarkably contented.

4. That they have no particular reason to be so.

5. That multitudes of men claiming to be free are constantly being sold
into slavery.

In respect to the complexion of these slaves, there are some points
worthy of consideration. The writer adds the following advertisements,
published by Wm. I. Bowditch, Esq., in his pamphlet “Slavery and the

From the _Richmond_ (Va.) _Whig_:

                           100 DOLLARS REWARD

  WILL be given for the apprehension of my negro (!) Edmund Kenney.
  _He has straight hair, and complexion so nearly white that it is
  believed a stranger would suppose there was no African blood in
  him._ He was with my boy Dick a short time since in Norfolk, _and
  offered him for sale_, and was apprehended, _but escaped under
  pretence of being a white man_!

                                                      ANDERSON BOWLES.

  January 6, 1836.

From the _Republican Banner and Nashville Whig_ of July 14, 1849:

                          200 DOLLARS REWARD.

  RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the 23d of June last, a bright
  mulatto woman, named Julia, about 25 years of age. She is of common
  size, _nearly white_, and very likely. She is a good seamstress, and
  can read a little. _She may attempt to pass for white_,—dresses
  fine. She took with her Anna, her child, 8 or 9 years old, and
  considerably darker than her mother.... She once belonged to a Mr.
  Helm, of Columbia, Tennessee.

  I will give a reward of $50 for said negro and child, if delivered
  to me, or confined in any jail in this state, so I can get them;
  $100, if caught in any other Slave state, and confined in a jail so
  that I can get them; and $200, if caught in any Free state, and put
  in any good jail in Kentucky or Tennessee, so I can get them.

                                                        A. W. JOHNSON.

  Nashville, July 9, 1849.

The following three advertisements are taken from Alabama papers:


  From the Subscriber, working on the plantation of Col. H. Tinker, a
  bright mulatto boy, named Alfred. Alfred is about 18 years old,
  pretty well grown, _has blue eyes, light flaxen hair, skin disposed
  to freckle_. _He will try to pass as free-born._

  Green County, Ala.

                                                        S. G. STEWART.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                          100 DOLLARS REWARD.

  Ran away from the subscriber, a bright mulatto man-slave, named Sam.
  _Light, sandy hair, blue eyes, ruddy complexion,—is so white as very
  easily to pass for a free white man._

                                                           EDWIN PECK.

  Mobile, April 22, 1837.


  On the 15th of May, from me, a negro woman, named Fanny. Said woman
  is 20 years old; is rather tall; can read and write, and so forge
  passes for herself. Carried away with her a pair of ear-rings,—a
  Bible with a red cover; is very pious. She prays a great deal, and
  was, as supposed, contented and happy. _She is as white as most
  white women, with straight, light hair, and blue eyes, and can pass
  herself for a white woman._ I will give $500 for her apprehension
  and delivery to me. She is very intelligent.

  Tuscaloosa, May 29, 1845.

                                                           JOHN BALCH.

From the _Newbern_ (N. C.) _Spectator_:

                           50 DOLLARS REWARD

  Will be given for the apprehension and delivery to me of the
  following slaves:—Samuel, and Judy his wife, with their four
  children, belonging to the estate of Sacker Dubberly, deceased.

  I will give $10 for the apprehension of _William Dubberly_, a slave
  belonging to the estate. William is about 19 years old, _quite
  white, and would not readily be taken for a slave_.

                                                         JOHN J. LANE.

  March 13, 1837.

The next two advertisements we cut from the _New Orleans Picayune_ of
Sept. 2, 1846:

                           25 DOLLARS REWARD.

  Ranaway from the plantation of Madame Fergus Duplantier, on or about
  the 27th of June, 1846, a bright mulatto, named Ned, very stout
  built, about 5 feet 11 inches high, _speaks English and French_,
  about 35 years old, waddles in his walk. _He may try to pass himself
  for a white man, as he is of a very clear color, and has sandy
  hair._ The above reward will be paid to whoever will bring him to
  Madame Duplantier’s plantation, Manchac, or lodge him in some jail
  where he can be conveniently obtained.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                          200 DOLLARS REWARD.

  Ran away from the subscriber, last November, _a white negro_ man,
  about 35 years old, height about 5 feet 8 or 10 inches, _blue eyes,
  has a yellow woolly head, very fair skin_.

These are the characteristics of three races. The copper-colored
complexion shows the Indian blood. The others are the mixed races of
negroes and whites. It is known that the poor remains of Indian races
have been in many cases forced into slavery. It is no less certain that
white children have sometimes been kidnapped and sold into slavery. Rev.
George Bourne, of Virginia, Presbyterian minister, who wrote against
slavery there as early as 1816, gives an account of a boy who was stolen
from his parents at seven years of age, immersed in a tan-vat to change
his complexion, tattooed and sold, and, after a captivity of fourteen
years, succeeded in escaping. The tanning process is not necessary now,
as a fair skin is no presumption against slavery. There is reason to
think that the grandmother of poor Emily Russell was a _white child_,
stolen by kidnappers. That kidnappers may steal and sell white children
at the South now, is evident from these advertisements.

The writer, within a week, has seen a fugitive quadroon mother, who had
with her two children,—a boy of ten months, and a girl of three years.
Both were surpassingly fair, and uncommonly beautiful. The girl had blue
eyes and golden hair. The mother and those children were about to be
sold for the division of an estate, which was the reason why she fled.
When the mind once becomes familiarized with the process of slavery,—of
enslaving first black, then Indian, then mulatto, then quadroon, and
when blue eyes and golden hair are advertised as properties of
_negroes_,—what protection will there be for poor white people,
especially as under the present fugitive law they can be carried away
without a jury trial?

A Governor of South Carolina openly declared, in 1835, that the laboring
population of any country, bleached or unbleached, were a _dangerous
element_, unless reduced to slavery. Will not this be the result, then?

                               CHAPTER X.
                          “POOR WHITE TRASH.”

When the public sentiment of Europe speaks in tones of indignation of
the system of American slavery, the common reply has been, “_Look at
your own lower classes_.” The apologists of slavery have pointed England
to _her own poor_. They have spoken of the heathenish ignorance, the
vice, the darkness, of her crowded cities,—nay, even of her agricultural

Now, in the first place, a country where the population is not crowded,
where the resources of the soil are more than sufficient for the
inhabitants,—a country of recent origin, not burdened with the worn-out
institutions and clumsy lumber of past ages,—ought not to be satisfied
to do _only_ as well as countries which have to struggle against all
these evils.

It is a poor defence for America to say to older countries, “We are no
worse than you are.” She ought to be infinitely better.

But it will appear that the institution of slavery has produced not only
heathenish, degraded, miserable slaves, but it produces a class of white
people who are, by universal admission, more heathenish, degraded, and
miserable. The institution of slavery has accomplished the double feat,
in America, not only of degrading and brutalizing her black working
classes, but of producing, notwithstanding a fertile soil and abundant
room, a poor white population as degraded and brutal as ever existed in
any of the most crowded districts of Europe.

The way that it is done can be made apparent in a few words. 1. The
distribution of the land into large plantations, and the consequent
sparseness of settlement, make any system of common-school education
impracticable. 2. The same cause operates with regard to the preaching
of the gospel. 3. The degradation of the idea of labor, which results
inevitably from enslaving the working class, operates to a great extent
in preventing respectable working men of the middling classes from
settling or remaining in slave states. Where carpenters, blacksmiths and
masons, are advertised every week with their own tools, or in company
with horses, hogs and other cattle, there is necessarily such an
estimate of the laboring class that intelligent, self-respecting
mechanics, such as abound in the free states, must find much that is
annoying and disagreeable. They may endure it for a time, but with much
uneasiness; and they are glad of the first opportunity of emigration.

Then, again, the filling up of all branches of mechanics and agriculture
with slave labor necessarily depresses free labor. Suppose, now, a
family of poor whites in Carolina or Virginia, and the same family in
Vermont or Maine; how different the influences that come over them! In
Vermont or Maine, the children have the means of education at hand in
public schools, and they have all around them in society avenues of
success that require only industry to make them available. The boys have
their choice among all the different trades, for which the organization
of free society makes a steady demand. The girls, animated by the spirit
of the land in which they are born, think useful labor no disgrace, and
find, with true female ingenuity, a hundred ways of adding to the family
stock. If there be one member of a family in whom diviner gifts and
higher longings seem a call for a more finished course of education,
then cheerfully the whole family unites its productive industry to give
that one the wider education which his wider genius demands; and thus
have been given to the world such men as Roger Sherman and Daniel

But take this same family and plant them in South Carolina or
Virginia—how different the result! No common school opens its doors to
their children; the only church, perhaps, is fifteen miles off, over a
bad road. The whole atmosphere of the country in which they are born
associates degradation and slavery with useful labor; and the only
standard of gentility is ability to live without work. What branch of
useful l