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Title: A Narrative of the Life and Travels of Mrs. Nancy Prince
Author: Prince, Nancy
Language: English
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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1850,
In the Clerk's office of the District court of Massachusetts.


A Sketch of the Early Life of Nancy Prince,                5

Marriage and Voyage to Russia,                            14

Mr. Prince,                                               16

Manners and Customs of the Russians,                      18

The Events that took Place During Nine Years
  residence in St. Petersburg,                            20

Her Voyage Home,                                          34

Her Voyage and Business to the West Indies,               38

Her Errand Home, and Success,                             49

Her Return Back, and State of things at that Time,        51

Description of the Country,                               58

Embarkment again Home, and Deception of the Captain,      68

Cast away at Key West,                                    69

Arrival at New Orleans,--Scenes witnessed while there,    70

Departure from New Orleans, and arrival at New York,      74


As my unprofitable life has been spared, and I have been, by the
providence of God, wonderfully preserved, it is with gratitude to my
Heavenly Father, and duty to myself, that I attempt to give to the
public a short narrative of my life and travels.

I was born in Newburyport, in 1799. My mother was the daughter of
Tobias Wornton, who was stolen from Africa, when a lad, and was a
slave of Capt. Winthrop Sargent; and, although a slave, he fought for
liberty, and was in the Revolutionary army at the battle of Bunker
Hill. My grandmother was an Indian. My father, Thomas Gardener, was
born on Nantucket; his parents were of African descent, and he died
of bleeding at the lungs, leaving my mother a widow the second time,
with an infant in her arms. She then returned to Gloucester, her native
place. My mother soon married again her third husband, by whom she
had six children. My step-father was stolen from Africa, and while
the vessel was at anchor in one of the Eastern ports, he succeeded
in making his escape from his captors by swimming ashore. After a
lapse of two years he came to Gloucester, and followed the sea, and
was twelve years with Capt. Elias Davis, in the employ of Capt. Fitz
W. Sargent. During the war he was taken by a British Privateer, and
pressed into their service. He was sick with the dropsy a long while,
and died in 1813. My mother was again left a widow, with an infant
six weeks old. When she heard of her husband's death, she replied, "I
thought it; what shall I do with these children?" Her grief, poverty,
and responsibilities, were too much for her; she never was the mother
that she had been before. I was at this time in Capt. Sargent's family.
I shall never forget the feelings I experienced on hearing of the
decease of my father-in-law; he was never very kind to the first set
of children. But by industry, a humble home was provided for my mother
and younger children. Death had twice visited our family within three
months, my father having buried my grandfather before he sailed. I
thought I would go home a little while, and try to comfort my mother.
The three oldest children were put into families. My brother and myself
went out of town, in one family, where we staid until the war was
over. We often went home with our wages, and all the comforts we could
get; but we could not approach our mother as we wished. God in mercy
took one little brother of seven years, who had pined in consumption;
thus our family was scattered. I determined to get more for my labor,
and I left Essex and went to Salem, in 1814, to service in a family.
I had always enjoyed the happy privilege of religious instruction. My
dear grandfather was a member of a Congregational Church, and a good
man; he always attended church in the morning, and took us with him;
and in the afternoon he took care of the smaller children, while my
mother attended with her little group. He thought it wrong for us to
go to a school where the teacher was not devoted to God, for I early
knew the difference between right and wrong. They had family prayers
morning and evening. I often looked at them, and thought to myself,
"Is this your religion?" I did not wonder that the girl who had lived
there previous to myself, went home to die. There were seven in the
family; two of them being sick, one with a fever and the other in a
consumption, of course the work must have been very severe, especially
the washing. Sabbath evening I had to prepare for the wash. I was
then but fourteen years of age, and a stranger. I was called up at
two o'clock in the morning, and what embittered my heavy task, I was
not spoken kindly to, but was blamed for being slow, and for not
performing my work well. Hard labor and unkindness were too much for
me, and in three months my health and strength were gone. I went home
to Gloucester in their chaise. I found my mother in poor health, but
through the mercy of God, and the attention and skill of Dr. Dale, and
the kindness of friends, I was restored, so that in a few months I
was able again to go to work, although my side afflicted me, which I
attributed to over-working myself.

In 1815 I returned to Salem, accompanied by my eldest sister, and
obtained good places. She afterwards returned to Boston as a nursery
girl, where she lived a few months, and was deluded away on February
7th of 1815. A friend came to Salem and informed me of it. Her death
would not have been so painful to me. We loved each other very much,
and more particularly as our step-father was not very kind to us; we
used to say as soon as we were large enough we would go away, as we
did. It was very cold, but notwithstanding, I was so distressed about
my sister, that I started on foot the next morning after I heard
of it. At Lynn Hotel we refreshed ourselves, and all seemed much
interested about me. Two women took me aside, and inquired how it was
I was with that woman. I told my reason. My companion had a little
son of hers in her arms. By the time we were seven miles from Salem,
cold and fatigued, I could walk no farther, and we hired a horse and
sleigh, and a man to drive us to Boston, where we arrived at seven
in the evening. I put up with a friend of mine, who lived in Bedford
street, who received me very kindly. My feet, hands, and ears, were all
frost-bitten. I needed all the hospitality that was extended to me. I
was young and inexperienced, but my object was hallowed. God chooses
in his wisdom the weak things of earth; without his aid how could I
ever have rescued my lost sister! Mr. Brown, when he learned my errand,
kindly offered to assist me. He found where my sister resided, and
taking with him a large cane, he accompanied me to the house. My sister
I found seated, with a number of others, round a fire, the mother of
harlots at the head. My sister did not see me until I clasped her
round the neck. The old woman flew at me, and bid me take my hands off
of her. Mr. Brown defended me with his cane from her attacks. There
were many men as well as girls there, and all was confusion. When my
sister came to herself, she looked upon me. I said, "Sylvia, my dear
sister, what are you here for? Will you go with me?" The enraged old
woman cried out, "No, she cannot go." Sylvia replied, "I will go." Then
followed a scene. The old woman seized her to drag her down into the
kitchen; I held on to her, while Mr. Brown, at my side, so used his
great cane, and so threatened her, that she was obliged to let her go;
and, after collecting her things, she left the house with Mr. Brown and

The next day we started for Salem, and went to the stage-office;
we expected Mr. Low, the driver of the Gloucester stage, who knew
us as his towns-people, would let us take passage with him without
any difficulty; but he refused, unless we would ride upon the top.
It was very cold, and we had never rode in that way; his inhumanity
grieves me even now. I had sent my mother my wages the week before,
and what money I had, I had taken in advance of my employers. We were
greatly embarrassed, when a colored man, unknown to us, penetrated
our difficulties, and asked us if we had two dollars; we told him we
had; he very kindly took us to another stage-office, and we bargained
for a horse and sleigh to take us to Salem, where we arrived safely
in about two hours and a half; and we gave up our conveyance to the
same owners, with ten thousand thanks to our colored friend, and to
our Heavenly Father; for had we attempted to walk, we must have frozen
by the way. The lady I lived with (Mrs. John Deland,) received us very
kindly, and permitted my sister to remain with me awhile; then she
returned to Gloucester, to the family who brought her up, and I thought
we had gained a great victory.

My brother George and myself were very desirous of making our mother
comfortable; he went to sea for that purpose. The next April I came
to Boston, to get a higher price for my labor, for we had agreed to
maintain our mother, and we hoped she would take our little brother,
who was supported by the town, and take care of him. George came home,
and sailed again in the same vessel, leaving her a drawbill of half
of his wages. My sister returned to Boston to find me, and wished to
procure a place to work out. She tried me much. I thought it a needy
time, for I had not yielded my heart to the will of God, though I had
many impressions, and formed many resolutions; but the situation that I
had been placed in, having left my mother's home at the age of eight,
had not permitted me to do as I wished, though the kind counsels of my
dear grandfather and pious teachers followed me wherever I went. Care
after care oppressed me; my mother wandered about like a Jew; the young
children who were in families were dissatisfied; all hope but in God
was lost. I then resolved in my mind to seek an interest in my Saviour,
and put my trust in him. For that purpose I changed my place for one
more retired, got my sister with me, and then God blessed my soul;
being justified by faith, I found peace with God, even the forgiveness
of sins, through Jesus Christ. After living sixteen years and five
months without any hope, myself and seven others were baptized, in
obedience to the great command.

My brother George returned home, and we again provided a home for
mother and the little ones; he went to sea, and affairs now seemed
to promise comfort and respectability. But mother chose to marry
again; this was like death to us all. George returned home, but was so
disappointed, that he shipped again to come no more. Although a boy of
sixteen years, he was as steady and capable as most men at twenty. My
cares were consequently increased, having no one to share them with me.
My next brother, who lived in S. Essex, came to Salem to his mother,
but was driven away by her husband, and came to me. I carried him to
Gloucester, and left him in the hands of the town; but he stayed but
three weeks, and returned to me again. I then boarded him for one
dollar a week, until I could procure suitable employment.

When winter came, poor mother's health was declining; little Samuel
could do but little; my father-in-law was very cross, for he expected
to be supported by my brother George. I could not see my mother suffer;
I therefore left my place and went to Salem, to watch over her and
Samuel, and lived with the Rev. Dr. Boles's family. In the spring I
returned to Boston, and took my brother with me. Soon after, my sister
Lucy left her place and went to her mother, but was not permitted to
stay. My mother wrote to me, requesting me to take care of her. I
then determined in my mind to bring her to Boston, and, if possible,
procure a place for her; and on her arrival, I obtained board for her
and Samuel at a friend's, for one dollar a week. My brother John, that
I had boarded, at last got a place where he had wages; soon the Lord
opened a way for little Samuel. Dr. Phelps took him to bring up, so
that I was left with one only to sustain. Soon my hopes were blasted.
John left his place, and was several months on my hands again; finally,
he made up his mind to go to sea. I was so thankful that he had
concluded to do something, that I took two month's wages in advance to
fit him out for Liverpool. In five months he returned, without a single
thing but what he stood in; his wages were small, not enough to render
him comfortable; had not a friend given him a home, he would have been
again dependent on my exertions. Another friend took Lucy, with whom
she staid eleven months; she continued in different families for some
time, till she was about twelve. I left her at the Rev. Mr. Mann's
family, at Westminster, for a certain time, thinking it would be best
for her, and John I left to fight his own battles. My sister Sylvia was
one of my greatest trials. Knowing she was in Boston, my mother, in one
of her spells of insanity, got away from her home, and travelled here
after her. She came where I lived. My employers were very kind to her.
After tarrying a few days with me, I hired a horse and chaise, and took
them both back to Salem; and returned back to my place in 1822, with a
determination to do something for myself. I left my place after three
months, and went to learn a trade; and, after seven years of anxiety
and toil, I made up my mind to leave this country.

September 1st, 1823, Mr. Prince arrived from Russia; February 15th, I
was married; April 14th, embarked in brig Romulus, arrived at Elsinore
May 24th, left the same day for Copenhagen, where we remained twelve
days. We visited the King's Palace, and several other extensive and
beautiful buildings. We attended a number of entertainments among the
Danes and English, which were religiously observed; their manners
and customs are similar; they are very attentive to strangers; the
Sabbath is strictly observed; the principal religion is the Lutheran
and Calvinistic, but all persuasions are tolerated. The languages of
that people are Dutch, French, English, &c. The Danes are very modest
and kind, but, like all other nations, they well know how to take the
advantage. I left there the 7th of June, and arrived at Cronstradt on
the 19th; left there the 21st for St. Petersburg, and in a few hours
were happy to find ourselves at our place of destination, through
the blessing of God, in good health, and soon made welcome from all
quarters. We took lodgings with a Mrs. Robinson, a native of our
country, who was Patience Mott, of Providence, who left there in the
year 1813, in the family of Alexander Gabriel, the man who was taken
for Mr. Prince. There I spent six weeks very pleasantly, visiting and
receiving friends, after the manner of the country. We then commenced
housekeeping. While there I attended two of their parties; there were
various amusements in which I did not participate, which caused them
much disappointment. I told them my religion did not allow of dancing
or dice playing, which formed part of the amusements. As they were very
strict in their religion, they indulged me in the same privilege. By
the help of God I was ever enabled to maintain my stand.

Mr. Prince was born in Marlborough, and lived in families in this
city. In 1810 he went to Gloucester, and sailed with Captain Theodore
Stanwood for Russia; he returned with him, and remained in his family,
and at this time visited my mother's family. He again sailed with
him, in 1812, for the last time. Captain Stanwood took with him his
son Theodore, for the purpose of attending school in the city of St.
Petersburg. Mr. Prince went to serve Princess Purtossozof, one of the
noble ladies of Court. It is well known that the color of one's skin
does not prohibit from any place or station that he or she may be
capable of occupying.

The Palace, where the Emperor resides, is called the Court, the seat
of government. This magnificent building is adorned with all the
ornaments that possibly can be explained; there are hundreds of people
that inhabit it, besides the soldiers that guard. There are several
of these splendid edifices in the city and vicinity. The one that I
was presented in, was in a village, three miles from the city. After
leaving the carriage, we entered the first ward; the usual salutation
by guards was performed. As we passed through the beautiful hall, a
door was opened by two colored men, in official dress, and there stood
the Emperor Alexander on his throne, in royal apparel. The throne is
circular, elevated two steps from the floor, and covered with scarlet
velvet tasseled with gold. As I entered, the Emperor stepped forward
with great politeness and condescension, and welcomed and asked me
several questions; he then accompanied us to the Empress Elizabeth;
she stood in her dignity, and received me in the same manner. They
presented me with a gold watch, and fifty dollars in gold.

The number of colored men that filled this station was twenty; when one
dies, the number is immediately made up. Mr. Prince filled the place
of one that had died. They serve in turns, four at a time, except on
some great occasions, when all are employed. Provision is made for the
families within or without the Palace. Those without go to Court at 8
o'clock in the morning; after breakfasting, they take their station in
the halls, for the purpose of opening the doors, at signal given, when
the Emperor and Empress pass.

First of August we visited the burying-ground, where the people meet,
as they say, to pay respect to their dead. It is a great holiday; they
drink and feast on the grave stones, or as near the grave as they
can come; some groan and pray, and some have music and dancing. At a
funeral no one attends except the invited; after the friends arrive,
a dish of rice boiled hard, with raisins, is handed round; all are
to take a spoonful, with the same spoon, and out of the same dish;
in the meanwhile the priest, with his clerk, performs the ceremony,
perfuming the room with incense. The lid is not put on to the coffin,
the corpse being laid out in his or her best dress. The torch-men (who
are dressed in black garments, made to slope down to their feet, with
broad brimmed hats that cover their shoulders,) form a procession,
with lighted torches in their hands, bowing their heads as they pass
along very gravely; then comes one more, with the lid on his head; then
the hearse with the corpse, drawn by four horses, covered with black
gowns down to their feet; they all move along with great solemnity.
Before entering the grave-yard, the procession goes to an adjoining
church, where there are many ladies, placed on benches, side by side,
according to their ages; the ladies dressed as if they were going to
a ball-room, displaying a most dreadful appearance. Each one has her
hands crossed, and holding in one of them a pass to give to Peter, that
they may enter into Heaven. At this place they light their candles, and
receive their rice in the manner before mentioned. The top is then put
on to the coffin, and the procession forms and repairs to the grave;
the priest sanctifies the grave, then casts in dust, and the coffin is
consigned to its narrow-house; then commence the yells; they drink, eat
cake, black bread, and finish their rice, when the party return back
to dinner, where every thing has been prepared during their absence.
This is the Greek mode of burying their dead. On the birth of a child,
the babe is not dressed until it is baptized; it is immersed all over
in water; a stand, with an oval basin, is brought for the purpose by
the clerk. The mother is presented with gifts, which are placed under
her pillow. Should the babe die before this rite is performed, it is
not placed with the others; but should it die having been baptized,
although not more than two hours old, it is dressed and placed on the
bench at church with the rest. In this manner the common people bury
their dead.

When any of the Imperial family dies, they are laid in state forty
days, and every thing accordingly. There is a building built expressly
for the Imperial families, where their remains are deposited. In the
front part of it, the criminals that have rebelled against the Imperial
family are placed in cells, thus combining the prison and the tomb; and
in sailing by, these miserable creatures are exposed to the careless
gaze of unfeeling observers.

St. Petersburg was inundated October 9th, 1824. The water rose sixteen
feet in most parts of the city; many of the inhabitants were drowned.
An Island between the city and Cronstradt, containing five hundred
inhabitants, was inundated, and all were drowned, and great damage was
done at Cronstradt. The morning of this day was fair; there was a high
wind. Mr. Prince went early to the Palace, as it was his turn to serve;
our children boarders were gone to school; our servant had gone of an
errand. I heard a cry, and to my astonishment, when I looked out to
see what was the matter, the waters covered the earth. I had not then
learned the language, but I beckoned to the people to come in; the
waters continued to rise until 10 o'clock, A. M. The waters were then
within two inches of my window, when they ebbed and went out as fast
as they had come in, leaving to our view a dreadful sight. The people
who came into my house for their safety retired, and I was left alone.
At four o'clock in the afternoon, there was darkness that might be
felt, such as I had never experienced before. My situation was the more
painful being alone, and not being able to speak. I waited until ten in
the evening; I then took a lantern, and started to go to a neighbor's,
whose children went to the same school with my boarders. I made my
way through a long yard, over the bodies of men and beasts, and when
opposite their gate I sunk; I made one grasp, and the earth gave away;
I grasped again, and fortunately got hold of the leg of a horse, that
had been drowned. I drew myself up covered with mire, and made my way
a little further, when I was knocked down by striking against a boat,
that had been washed up and left by the retiring waters; and as I had
lost my lantern, I was obliged to grope my way as I could, and feeling
along the walk, I at last found the door that I aimed at. My family
were safe, and they accompanied me home. At 12 o'clock, Mr. Prince came
home, as no one was permitted to leave the Palace till his Majesty had
viewed the city. In the morning the children and the girl returned, and
I went to view the pit into which I had sunk. It was large enough to
hold a dozen like myself, when the earth had caved in. Had not that
horse been there, I should never again seen the light of day, and no
one would have known my fate. Thus, through the providence of God, I
escaped from the flood and the pit.

     "My helper, God, I bless thy name;
     The same thy power, thy grace the same;
     I midst ten thousand dangers stand,
     Supported by thy guardian hand."

Should I attempt to give an account of all the holidays, it would fill
volumes. The next to notice is Christmas and New Year. The first day
of January a grand masquerade is given by his Majesty, at the winter
Palace; forty thousand tickets are distributed; every thing is done in
order; every gentleman wears a mask and cloak, and carries a lady with
him. They are formed in a procession, and enter at the west gate; as
they pass through, all the golden vessels and ornaments are displayed;
these were back of a counter, which extends two hundred feet; there
the company receive a cup of hot chocolate, and a paper of comfits,
and a bun; a great many are in attendance, as a vast many persons are
permitted to pass in and view the Palace, and go out at the east gate.

The 6th of January is a still greater day, for then the water is
christened; a church is built on the ice, ornamented with gold and
evergreens, and a row of spruce trees, extending from the door of
the Palace to the church. At this time all the nobles, of different
nations, make their appearance in their native costume. The Patriarch,
Archbishops, and other dignitaries of the Court, have a service; then
they pass through and christen the water, and make it holy; then there
is a great rush of the people for this holy water. On the plane an
ice hill is built, eighty feet high, where the Emperor and his Court
exercise themselves.

February 10th is another holiday. Buildings are constructed on the
plane for the occasion. All kinds of amusements may be found here, and
all kinds of animals seen; much time and money are spent. The buildings
are built in rotation. All the children of the different seminaries
and institutions of education, are driven round in gilded carriages to
witness the performances. After this is the great Fast, previous to the
crucifixion of our Saviour. Then Christ is represented as riding into
Jerusalem; branches of trees are placed in the ice, and strewed through
the streets, and every performance is carried out. The Saviour is made
of white marble; he is crucified and buried, and on the third day he
rises, according to the Scriptures; then the cannons are fired. At the
close of this forty day's Fast, they have a great Feast and Fair; all
business is suspended, and the festivity and frolic continue for one

The first of May is another great holiday. The merchants' daughters are
arranged on each side of a long mall, in the beautiful gardens, and
arrayed in their best clothes, under the care of an old woman known in
their families; the gentlemen walk round and observe them, and if they
see one they fancy, they speak to the old woman; she takes him to the
parents and introduces him; if the parties agree, they prepare for the
betrothal. It is their custom to marry one of their own station. All
these holidays are accounted sacred. The first year I noted them all,
as I was accustomed to attend them.

May, 1825, I spent some time visiting the different towns in the
vicinity of St. Petersburg. In the fall of the same year, the Emperor
retired to a warmer climate for the health of the Empress Elizabeth.
January, 1826, the corpse of Alexander was brought in state, and
was met three miles from the city by the nobles of the Court; and
they formed a procession, and the body was brought in state into the
building where the Imperial family were deposited. March, of the
same year, the corpse of Elizabeth was brought in the same manner.
Constantine was then king of Poland, he was next heir to the throne,
and was unanimously voted by the people, but refused, and resigned
the crown in favor of his brother Nicholas. The day appointed the
people were ordered to assemble as usual, at the ringing of the bells;
they rejected Nicholas, a sign was given by the leaders that was well
understood, and the people, great and small rushed to the square and
cried with one voice for Constantine. The Emperor with his prime
minister, and city governor, rode into the midst of them entreating
them to retire, without avail, they were obliged to order the cannons
fired upon the mob; it was not known when they discharged them that
the Emperor and his ministers were in the crowd. He was wonderfully
preserved while both his friends and their horses were killed. There
was a general seizing of all classes, who were taken into custody. The
scene cannot be described; the bodies of the killed and mangled were
cast into the river, and the snow and ice were stained with the blood
of human victims as they were obliged to drive the cannon to and fro
in the midst of the crowd. The bones of these wounded who might have
been cured were crushed. The cannon are very large, drawn by eight
horses trained for the purpose. The scene was awful; all business was
stopped. This deep plot originated, 1814, in Germany, with the Russian
nobility and German, under the pretence of the Free Mason's lodge.
When they returned home they increased their numbers and presented
their chart to the Emperor for permission which was granted. In the
year 1822, the Emperor being suspicious that all was not right took
their chart from them. They carried it on in small parties, rapidly
increasing, believing they would soon be able to destroy all the
Imperial branches, and have a republican government. Had not this taken
place undoubtedly they would have at last succeeded. So deep was the
foundation of this plot laid, both males and females were engaged in
it. The prison-houses were filled, and thirty of the leading men were
put into solitary confinement, and twenty-six of the number died, four
were burned. A stage was erected and faggots were placed underneath,
each prisoner was secured by iron chains, presenting a most appalling
sight to an eye-witness. A priest was in attendance to cheer their last
dying moments, then fire was set to the faggots and these brave men
were consumed. Others received the knout, and even the princesses and
ladies of rank were imprisoned and flogged in their own habitations.
Those that survived their punishment were banished to Siberia. The
mode of banishment is very imposing and very heart-rending, severing
them from all dear relatives and friends, for they are never permitted
to take their children. When they arrive at the gate of the city,
their first sight is a guard of soldiers, then wagons with provisions,
then the noblemen in their banished apparel guarded, then each side
conveyances for the females, then ladies in order guarded by soldiers.

Preparations were now being made for the coronation of the new Emperor
and Empress. This took place September, 1826, in Moscow, 555 miles
south-east from St. Petersburg. All persons engaged in the court were
sent beforehand, in order to prepare for the coming event. After his
majesty's laws were read as usual on such occasions, those who wished
to remain in his service did so, and those who did not were discharged.

After the coronation the Emperor and his court returned to St.
Petersburg. June, 1827, war was declared between Russia and Turkey.
They had several battles with varied success. The Russians surrounded
and laid siege to Constantinople. The Sultan of Turkey sued for peace,
and a treaty was at last signed and peace was proclaimed in 1829.
In March, of the same year, war was declared with Poland. 1831, the
cholera, that malignant disease, made its appearance in Austria, from
thence to little Russia, making great ravages, thousands of people
falling a prey. It then began to rage in St. Petersburg, carrying off
9255. This disease first appeared in Madagascar, 1814, there most of
the inhabitants died. It is called the plague that God sent among the
people of Israel and other nations for centuries back. Much might be
said of this dreadful disease and others that are but little known in
this country. God often visits nations, families, and persons, with
judgments as well as mercies.

The present Emperor and Empress are courteous and affable. The
Empress would often send for the ladies of the court at 8 o'clock
in the evening to sup with her, when they arrive at court they form
a procession and she takes the lead. On entering the hall, the band
strikes up; there are two long tables on each side, and in the midst
circular tables for the Imperial family. The tables are spread
apparently with every variety of eatable and deserts, but every thing
is artificial, presenting a novel appearance. When the company are
seated, the Emperor and Empress walk around the tables and shake hands
with each individual as they pass. The prisoners of war who are nobles,
are seated by themselves with their faces veiled. There is a tender or
waiter to each person, with two plates, one with soup and the other
with something else. After a variety of courses, in one hour they are
dismissed by the band. They then retire to another part of the palace
to attend a ball or theatrical amusements. At the Empress's command
they are dismissed. She carries power and dignity in her countenance
well adapted to her station. And after her late amusements at night she
would be out at an early hour in the morning visiting the abodes of
the distressed, dressed in as common apparel as any one here, either
walking or riding in a common sleigh. At her return she would call for
her children, take them in her arms and talk to them. "She riseth while
it is yet night and giveth meat to her household and a portion to her
maidens, she stretcheth out her hands to the poor, yea, she reacheth
out her hands to the needy; she is not afraid of the snow for all her
household are clothed in scarlet." Then she would go to the cabinet of
his Majesty; there she would write and advise with him.

The Russian ladies follow the fashions of the French and English.
Their religion is after the Greek church. There are no seats in their
churches; they stand, bow, and kneel, during the service. The principal
church is on the Main street. There are the statues of the great
commanders that have conquered in battle. They are clad in brass, with
flags in their hands, and all their ancient implements of war are
deposited there. The altar is surrounded by statues of the Virgin Mary
and the twelve apostles. When Russia is at war and her armies are about
to engage in battle, it is here that the Emperor and his family and
court, come to pray for victory over the enemy. The day they engaged in
battle against the Poles, the Empress Dowager took her death; she was
embalmed and laid in state six weeks in the hall of the winter palace.
I went a number of times to see her, and the people pay her homage, and
kiss the hands of that lump of clay. All religion is tolerated, but the
native Russians are subject to the Greek Church. There are a number of
institution in St. Petersburg where children of all classes have the
privilege of instruction. The sailors' and soldiers' boys enter the
corps at the age of seven, and are educated for that purpose. The girls
remain in the barracks with their parents, or go to some institutions
where they are instructed in all the branches of female education.
There are other establishments, where the higher classes send their

There is another spacious building called the Market, half a mile
square, where all kinds of articles may be bought. Between the Market
and the church there is a block of buildings where silver articles
of all kinds are to be purchased. These stores present a very superb
appearance and are visited by every foreigner that comes into the
place. Besides these buildings, Main Street is lined with elegant
buildings with projecting windows, to the extent of twelve miles.
Nearly at the termination of the street there is a spacious building of
stone which encloses the Taberisey Garden, so called from its having
every kind of tree, shrub, flower and fruit, of the known world, which
flourish alike in winter as in summer. There is an extensive Frozen
Market which forms a square as large as Boston Common. This space
of ground is covered with counters, on which may be purchased every
variety of eatable, such as frozen fish, fowl, and meats of every
description, besides every other article of commerce which will bear
the extreme cold of a St. Petersburg winter. This city was founded
by Peter the Great, and built upon a bog which was occupied by a few
fishermen's huts, and belonged to the Finns. It is situated at the
extremity of the Gulf of Finland, and is built partly on the main
land and partly on several small islands. The foundation of the city
is extremely marshy, which subjects it to frequent inundations. For
this reason there are canals which are cut through the streets, very
beautifully laid out, faced with granite, railed with iron chains
nubbed with brass, with bridges to cross from one street to the other.
The city houses are built of stone and brick, and twice the thickness
of American houses. They are heated by Peaches, of similar construction
to our furnaces; the outside of which is faced with China tiles,
presenting a very beautiful appearance. The village houses are built of
logs corked with oakum, where the peasants reside. This class of people
till the land, most of them are slaves and are very degraded. The rich
own the poor, but they are not suffered to separate families or sell
them off the soil. All are subject to the Emperor, and no nobleman can
leave without his permission. The mode of travelling is principally by
stages which are built something like our omnibusses, with settees upon
the top railed and guarded by soldiers, for the purpose of protecting
the travellers from the attacks of wild beasts. The common language is
a mixture of Sclavonian and Polish. The nobility make use of the modern
Greek, French, and English. I learned the languages in six months, so
as to be able to attend to my business, and also made some proficiency
in the French. My time was taken up in domestic affairs; I took two
children to board the third week after commencing housekeeping, and
increased their numbers. The baby linen making and children's garments
were in great demand. I started a business in these articles and
took a journeywoman and apprentices. The present Empress is a very
active one, and inquired of me respecting my business and gave me much
encouragement by purchasing of me garments for herself and children,
handsomely wrought in French and English styles, and many of the
nobility also followed her example. It was to me a great blessing that
we had the means of Grace afforded us. The Rev. Richard Kenell, was
the Protestant pastor. We had service twice every Sabbath and evening
prayer meetings, also a female society, so that I was occupied at all

At the time of the inundation, the Bibles and other books belonging to
the society were injured. But Mr. Kenell took the liberty to purchase
at full price and sell at an advance. In order that the poor might
have them, we all agreed to labor for that purpose; I often visited
the matron of the Empress' children, and encouraged by her I took some
to the Palace, and by this means disposed of many at head quarters.
Other friends without the court continued to labor until hundreds
and thousands were disposed of. The old Bishop finding his religion
was in danger sent a petition to the Emperor that all who were found
distributing Bibles and Tracts should be punished severely. Many were
taken and imprisoned, two devoted young men were banished; thus the
righteous were punished, while evil practices were not forbidden, for
there the sin of licentiousness is very common.

I have mentioned that the climate did not agree with me; in winter my
lungs were much affected; it was the advice of the best physicians
that I had better not remain in Russia during another cold season.
However painful it was to me to return without my husband, yet life
seemed desirable, and he flattered me and himself that he should soon
follow. It is difficult for any one in the Emperor's employment to
leave when they please. Mr. Prince thought it best for me to return to
my native country while he remained two years longer to accumulate a
little property and then return--but death took him away. I left St.
Petersburg, August 14th, 1833, having been absent about nine years and
six months. On the 17th I sailed from Cronstradt for New York. Arrived
at Elsinore the 25th. Tuesday 29, left. September the 2nd., laid to
in a gale. September 18th, made Plymouth, Old England. 19th sailed.
Arrived in New York Oct. 10th, left there Tuesday 18th, arrived in
Boston the 23d. Sabbath Nov. the 9th, I had the privilege of attending
service in the old place of worship. On this day I also had the
pleasure of meeting with an old friend of my grandfather, nearly one
hundred years of age. I found things much changed; my mother and sister
Silvia died in 1827, (that I was aware of.) The Rev. T. Paul was dead
and many of my old friends were gone to their long home. The old church
and society was in much confusion; I attempted to worship with them but
it was in vain. The voyage was of great benefit to me. By the advice of
friends I applied to a Mrs. Mott, a female physician in the city, that
helped me much. I am indebted to God for his great goodness in guiding
my youthful steps; my mind was directed to my fellow brethren whose
circumstances were similar to my own. I found many a poor little orphan
destitute and afflicted, and on account of color shut out from all the
asylums for poor children. At this my heart was moved, and proposed
to my friends the necessity of a home for such, where they might be
sheltered from the contaminating evils that beset their path. For this
purpose I called a meeting of the people and laid before them my plan:
as I had had the privilege of assisting in forming an Asylum for such a
purpose in St. Petersburg, I thought it would be well to establish one
on the same principles, not knowing that any person had had a thought
of any thing of the kind. We commenced with eight children. I gave
three months of my time. A board was formed of seven females, with a
committee of twelve gentlemen of standing, to superintend. At the end
of three months the committee was dispensed with, and for want of funds
our society soon fell through.

I passed my time in different occupations and making arrangements for
the return of my husband, but death took him from me. I made my home
at the Rev. J. W. Holman's, a Free Will Baptist, until I sailed for
Jamaica. There had been an Anti-Slavery Society established by W. L.
Garrison, Knapp, and other philanthropists of the day. Their design
was the amelioration of the nominally free colored people of these
States, and the emancipation of the slaves in other States. These
meetings I attended with much pleasure until a contention broke out
among themselves; there has been a great change in some things, but
much remains to be done; possibly I may not see so clearly as some, for
the weight of prejudice has again oppressed me, and were it not for the
promises of God one's heart would fail, for _He_ made man in his own
image, in the image of God, created he him, male and female, that they
should have dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and
the beast of the field, &c. This power did God give man, that thus far
should he go and no farther; but man has disobeyed his maker and become
vain in his imagination and their foolish hearts are darkened. We
gather from this, that God has in all ages of the world punished every
nation and people for their sins. The sins of my beloved country are
not hid from his notice; his all seeing eye sees and knows the secrets
of all hearts; the angels that kept not their first estate but left
their own habitations, he hath reserved in everlasting chains unto the
great day.

My mind, after the emancipation in the West Indies, was bent upon going
to Jamaica. A field of usefulness seemed spread out before me. While I
was thinking about it, the Rev. Mr. Ingraham, who had spent seven years
there, arrived in the city. He lectured in the city at the Marlboro'
Chapel, on the results arising from the emancipation at the British
Islands. He knew much about them, he had a station at a mountain near
Kingston, and was very desirous to have persons go there to labor. He
wished some one to go with him to his station. He called on me with the
Rev. Mr. Colyer, to persuade me to go. I told him it was my intention
to go if I could make myself useful, but that I was sensible that I was
very limited in education. He told me that the moral condition of the
people was very bad, and needed labor aside from any thing else.

I left America, November 16th, 1840, in the ship Scion, Captain
Mansfield, bound for Jamaica, freighted with ice and machinery for
the silk factory. There were on board a number of handicrafts-men and
other passengers. We sailed on Monday afternoon, from Charlestown,
Massachusetts. It rained continually until Saturday. Sunday the 23d,
was a fine day. Mr. De Grass, a young colored clergyman, was invited
to perform divine service which he did with much propriety; he spoke
of the dangers we had escaped and the importance of being prepared to
meet our God, (he died of fever about three weeks after arriving at
Jamaica,) some who were able to attend came on deck and listened to
him with respect, while others seemed to look on in derision; these
spent the afternoon and evening in card-playing. About twelve at night
a storm commenced; on Monday were in great peril; the storm continued
until Friday the 27th. On that day a sail was seen at some distance
making towards us, the captain judging her to be a piratical vessel
ordered the women and children below, and the men to prepare for
action. The pirates were not inclined to hazard an engagement; when
they saw the deck filled with armed men they left us. Thus were we
preserved from the storm and from the enemy. Sabbath, 29th, divine
service, our attention was directed to the goodness of God, in sparing

Monday, and we mortals are still alive. Tuesday, thus far the Lord has
led us on. Wednesday, thus far his power prolongs our days. Thursday,
December 3d, to-day made Turks Island. Friday, this day had a view of
Hayti, its lofty mountains presented a sublime prospect. Saturday,
we had a glance at Cuba. Sunday, December 6th, at six o'clock in
the evening, dropped anchor at St. Anne Harbor, Jamaica. We blessed
the Lord for his goodness in sparing us to see the place of our
destination; and here I will mention my object in visiting Jamaica. I
hoped that I might aid, in some small degree, to raise up and encourage
the emancipated inhabitants, and teach the young children to read and
work, to fear God, and put their trust in the Saviour. Mr. Whitmarsh
and his friend came on board and welcomed us. On Tuesday we went on
shore to see the place and the people; my intention had been to go
directly to Kingston, but the people urged me to stay with them and I
thought it my duty to comply, and wrote to Mr. Ingraham to that effect.
I went first to see the minister, Mr. Abbott, I thought as he was out,
I had better wait his return. The people promised to pay me for my
services, or send me to Kingston. When Mr. Abbot returned he made me
an offer, which I readily accepted. As I lodged in the house of one of
the class-leaders I attended her class a few times, and when I learned
the method, I stopped. She then commenced her authority and gave me
to understand if I did not comply I should not have any pay from that
society. I spoke to her of the necessity of being born of the spirit of
God before we become members of the church of Christ, and told her I
was sorry to see the people blinded in such a way.

She was very angry with me and soon accomplished her end by complaining
of me to the minister; and I soon found I was to be dismissed unless I
would yield obedience to this class-leader. I told the minister that I
did not come there to be guided by a poor foolish woman. He then told
me that I had spoken something about the necessity of moral conduct
in church members. I told him I had, and in my opinion, I was sorry
to see it so much neglected. He replied, that he hoped I would not
express myself so except to him; they have the gospel, he continued,
and let them into the church. I do not approve of women societies;
they destroy the world's convention; the American women have too many
of them. I talked with him an hour. He paid me for the time I had been
there. I continued with the same opinion that something must be done
for the elevation of the children, and it is for that I labor. I am
sorry to say the meeting house is more like a play house than a place
of worship. The pulpit stands about the middle of the building, behind
are about six hundred children that belong to the society; there they
are placed for Sabbath School, and there they remain until service is
over, playing most of the time. The house is crowded with the aged and
the young, the greater part of them barefooted. Some have on bonnets,
but most of the women wear straw hats such as our countrymen wear.

I gave several Bibles away, not knowing that I was hurting the
minister's sale, the people buy them of him at a great advance. I
gave up my school at St. Ann, the 18th of March. I took the fever and
was obliged to remain until the 7th of April. The people of St. Ann
fulfilled their promise which they made to induce me to stop with them.
On the 11th of April I arrived at Kingston, and was conducted to the
Mico Institution, where Mr. Ingraham directed me to find him; he had
lost his pulpit and his school, but Mr. Venning, the teacher, kindly
received me. I remained there longer than I expected; the next morning
he kindly sent one of the young men with me to the packet for my
baggage. I then called on the American Consul, he told me he was very
glad to see me for such a purpose as I had in view in visiting Jamaica,
but he said it was a folly for the Americans to come to the Island to
better their condition; he said they came to him every day praying him
to send them home.

He likewise mentioned to me the great mortality among the emigrants.
The same day I saw the Rev. Mr. J. S. Beadslee, one of our
missionaries, who wished me to accompany him forty miles into the
interior of the country.

On May the 18th, I attended the Baptist Missionary meeting, in Queen
Street Chapel; the house was crowded. Several ministers spoke of the
importance of sending the gospel to Africa; they complimented the
congregation on their liberality the last year, having given one
hundred pounds sterling; they hoped this year they would give five
hundred pounds, as there were five thousand members at the present
time. There was but one colored minister on the platform. It is
generally the policy of these missionaries to have the sanction of
colored ministers, to all their assessments and taxes. The colored
people give more readily, and are less suspicious of imposition, if
one from themselves recommends the measure; this the missionaries
understand very well, and know how to take advantage of it. On the 22d
and 23d of June, the colored Baptists held their missionary meeting,
the number of ministers colored and mulattoes was 18, the colored
magistrates were present. The resolutions that were offered were
unanimously accepted, and every thing was done in love and harmony.
After taking up a contribution they concluded with song and prayer, and
returned home saying jocosely, "they would turn macroon hunters."

Mack is the name of a small coin in circulation at Jamaica. I called,
on my return, at the market and counted the different stalls. For
vegetables and poultry 196, all numbered and under cover; beside 70
on the ground; these are all attended by colored women. The market is
conveniently arranged, as they can close the gates and leave all safe.
There are nineteen stalls for fresh fish, eighteen for pork, thirty for
beef, eighteen for turtle. These are all regular built markets, and are
kept by colored men and women. These are all in one place. Others also
may be found, as with us, all over the city. Thus it may be hoped they
are not the stupid set of beings they have been called; here _surely we
see industry_; they are enterprising and quick in their perceptions,
determined to possess themselves, and to possess property besides, and
quite able to take care of themselves. They wished to know why I was so
inquisitive about them, I told them we had heard in America that you
are lazy, and that emancipation has been of no benefit to you; I wish
to inform myself of the truth respecting you, and give a true account
on my return. Am I right? More than two hundred people were around me
listening to what I said.

They thanked me heartily, I gave them some tracts, and told them if
it so pleased God I would come back to them and bring them some more
books, and try what could be done with some of the poor children to
make them better. I then left them and went to the East Market, where
there are many of all nations. The Jews and Spanish looked at me very
black. The colored people gathered around me, I gave them little books
and tracts, and told them I hoped to see them again.

There are in this street upwards of a thousand young women and
children, living in sin of every kind. From thence I went to the jail,
where there were seventeen men, but no women. There were in the House
of Correction three hundred culprits; they are taken from there, to
work on plantations. I went to the Admiral's house, where the emigrants
find a shelter until they can find employment, then they work and pay
for their passage. Many leave their homes and come to Jamaica under the
impression that they are to have their passage free, and on reaching
the Island are to be found, until they can provide for themselves.

How the mistake originated, I am not able to say, but on arriving here,
strangers poor and unacclimated, find the debt for passage money hard
and unexpected. It is remarkable that whether fresh from Africa, or
from other Islands from the South or from New England, they all feel
deceived on this point. I called on many Americans and found them poor
and discontented,--rueing the day they left their country, where,
notwithstanding many obstacles, their parents lived and died, which
they helped to conquer with their toil and blood; now shall their
children stray abroad and starve in foreign lands.

There is in Jamaica an institution, established in 1836, called the
Mico Institution. It is named after its founder, Madame Mico, who left
a large sum of money to purchase, (or rather to ransom, the one being
a Christian act, the other a sin against the Holy Ghost, who expressly
forbids such traffic.) Madame Mico left this money to ransom the
English who were in bondage to the Algerines; if there was any left,
it was to be devoted to the instruction of the colored people in the
British Isles.

Beside the Mico establishment, there are in Jamaica twenty-seven church
missionary schools, where children are taught gratis. Whole number
taught, 952. London Missionary Society Schools, sixteen; the number
taught not ascertained. National Schools, thirty-eight. There are also
the Wesleyan, Presbyterian and Moravian Schools; it is supposed there
are private schools, where three or four thousand are educated in the
city of Kingston, and twice the number in the street without the means
of instruction. All the children and adults taught in the above named
schools, are taxed £1 a year, except the English Church School, this is
the most liberal. The Rev. Mr. Horton, a Baptist minister in Kingston,
told me he had sent ninety children away from the Baptist school
because they did not bring their money. It is sufficient to say they
had it not to bring!

Most of the people of Jamaica are emancipated slaves, many of them are
old, worn out and degraded. Those who are able to work, have yet many
obstacles to contend with, and very little to encourage them; every
advantage is taken of their ignorance; the same spirit of cruelty is
opposed to them as held them for centuries in bondage; even religious
teaching is bartered for their hard earnings, while they are allowed
but thirty-three cents a day, and are told if they will not work for
that they shall not work at all; an extraordinary price is asked of
them for every thing they may wish to purchase, even their Bibles
are sold to them at a large advance on the first purchase. Where are
their apologists, if they are found wanting in the strict morals that
Christians ought to practice? Who kindly says, forgive them when they
err? "Forgive them, this is the bitter fruit of slavery." Who has
integrity sufficient to hold the balance when these poor people are to
be weighed? Yet their present state is blissful, compared with slavery.

Many of the farmers bring their produce twenty or thirty miles. Some
have horses or ponys, but most of them bring, their burdens on their
head. As I returned from St. Andrews's Mountain, where I had been sent
for by a Mr. Rose, I was overtaken by a respectable looking man on
horseback; we rode about ten miles in company. The story he told me
of the wrongs he and his wife had endured while in slavery, are too
horrible to narrate. My heart sickens when I think of it. He asked
me many questions, such as where I came from? why I came to that
Isle? where had I lived, &c? I told him I was sent for by one of the
missionaries to help him in his school. Indeed, said he, our color
need the instruction. I asked him why the colored people did not hire
for themselves? We would be very glad to, he replied, but our money is
taken from us so fast we cannot. Sometimes they say we must all bring
£1; to raise this, we have to sell at a loss or to borrow, so that we
have nothing left for ourselves; the Macroon hunters take all--this is
a nickname they give the missionaries and the class-leaders--a cutting
sarcasm this!

Arrived at a tavern, about a mile from Kingston, I bade the man
adieu, and stopped for my guide. The inn-keeper kindly invited me in;
he asked me several questions, and I asked him as many. How do the
people get along, said I, since the emancipation? The negroes, he
replied, will have the Island in spite of the d----. Do not you see
how they live, and how much they can bear? We cannot do so. This man
was an Englishman, with a large family of mulatto children. I returned
with my mind fully made up what to do. Spent three weeks at the
Mico establishment, and three with my colored friends from America.
We thought something ought to be done for the poor girls that were
destitute; they consulted with their friends, called a meeting and
formed a society of forty; each agreed to pay three dollars a year and
collect, and provide a house, while I came back to America to raise the
money for all needful articles for the school. Here I met Mr. Ingraham
for the first time; he had come from the mountains, and his health
had rapidly declined; wishing to get his family home before the Lord
took him away, he embarked for Baltimore, in the Orb, and I sailed for
Philadelphia, July 20th, 1841, twenty-one days from Jamaica, in good
health. I found there, Fitz W. Sargent's family, from Gloucester, who I
lived with when a little girl; they received me very kindly, and gave
donations of books and money for that object.

I met the Anti Slavery Society at Mrs. Lucretia Motts, who took great
interest in the cause. I visited among the friends, and spent my time
very pleasantly. August 5th, I started for New York; arrived safely,
and staid with an old friend; ascertained that Mr. Ingraham's family
were at Newark, at Theodore Wells. He died four days after his arrival.
I was invited to Mrs. Ingraham's (his cousin's widow) to spend a week.
There I met with much encouragement to labor in the cause. Missionaries
were coming and going, and all seemed to be interested in my object.
Saturday evening I went to the bath room, where I left my neck ribbon:
returning after it, I had the misfortune to fall through an open
trap door, down fifteen feet, on hard coal. I had no light with me.
I dislocated my left shoulder, and was generally very much bruised;
my screams brought the girl to my assistance, and by the help of God
she brought me out of the cellar; it was some time before a surgeon
could be procured; at last Dr. Jossleyn came to my relief, he set my
shoulder. I was obliged to remain at Mrs. Ingraham's three weeks; as
soon as I was able I left there for Boston. I intended to have gone by
the western boat, but by mistake got on board Captain Comstock's, and
was exposed on deck all night in a damp east wind, and when I arrived
at the landing I could not assist myself; a sailor who saw and pitied
my situation, kindly took care of me and my baggage, and on my arrival
in Boston procured a carriage for me. If it had not been for his
kindness I know not how I should have got along.

As soon as I was able I commenced my task of collecting funds for my
Free Labor School in Jamaica. I collected in Boston and vicinity, in
New York and Philadelphia, but not sufficient to make up the required
sum, and I was obliged to take fifty dollars from my own purse,
thinking that when I returned to Jamaica they would refund the money
to me. April 15th, embarked on board the Brig Norma, of New York, for
Jamaica. I arrived at Kingston May 6th, and found every thing different
from what it was when I left; the people were in a state of agitation,
several were hanged, and the insurrection was so great that it was
found necessary to increase the army to quell it. Several had been
hanged. On the very day I arrived a man was hanged for shooting a man
as he passed through the street. Such was the state of things that it
was not safe to be there.

A few young people met to celebrate their freedom on an open plain,
where they hold their market; their former masters and mistresses
envious of their happiness, conspired against them and thought to put
them down by violence. This only served to increase their numbers;
but the oppressors were powerful and succeeded in accomplishing their
revenge, although many of them were relations. There was a rule among
the slave holders, to take care of the children they have by their
slaves; they select them out and place them in asylums. Those who
lived with their white fathers were allowed great power over their
slave mothers and her slave children; my heart was often grieved to see
their conduct to their poor old grand parents. Those over twenty-one
were freed in 1834, all under twenty-one, were to serve their masters
till twenty-one. It is well known that at that time, the children alike
with others, received twenty-five dollars a head for their relatives.
Were I to tell all my eyes have seen among that people it would not
be credited. It is well known that those that were freed, knowing
their children were still in bondage, were not satisfied. In the year
1838, general freedom throughout the British Islands gave the death
blow to the power of the master, and mothers received with joy their
emancipated children; they no longer looked the picture of despair,
fearing to see their mulatto son or daughter, beating or abusing their
younger brothers and sisters of a darker skin. On this occasion there
was an outrage committed by those who were in power. What little the
poor colored people had gathered during their four years of freedom,
was destroyed by violence; their fences were broken down, and their
horses and hogs taken from them. Most of the mulattoes and masters
are educated, many of them are very poor, some are very rich; the
property is left to the oldest daughter, she divides it with her
brothers and sisters; since slavery ended many of them have married;
those who are poor, and mean to live in sin, make for New Orleans and
other slave States; many of the planters left the Island when slavery
was abolished. In June, 1841, a number of people arrived from Sierra
Leone at Jamaica; these were Maroons who were banished from the Island.
They were some of the original natives who inhabited the mountains,
and were determined to destroy the whites. These Maroons would secrete
themselves in trees, and arrest the whites as they passed along, they
would pretend to guide them, when they would beat and abuse them as
the whites did their slaves; the English finding themselves defeated
in all their plans to subdue them, proposed to take them by craft.
They made a feast in a large tavern in Kingston, and invited them to
come; after they had eaten, they were invited on board three ships
of war, that were all ready to set sail for Sierra Leone; they were
many of them infants in their mother's arms, they were well taken care
of by the English and instructed; they were removed about the year
1796--they are bright and intelligent, I saw and conversed with them;
when they heard of the abolition of slavery, they sent a petition to
Queen Victoria that they might return to Jamaica, which was granted.
Several of them were very old when they returned; they were men and
women when they left the Island, they had not forgot the injuries they
had received from the hands of man, nor the mercies of God to them,
nor his judgments to their enemies. Their numbers were few but their
power was great; they say the Island, of right, belongs to them. Had
their been a vessel in readiness I should have come back immediately,
it seemed useless to attempt to establish a Manual Labor School, as
the government was so unsettled that I could not be protected. Some of
my former friends were gone as teachers to Africa, and some to other
parts of the Island. I called on the American Consul to consult with
him, he said that although such a school was much wanted, yet every
thing seemed so unsettled that I had no courage to proceed. I told
him there was so much excitement that I wished to leave the Island
as soon as he could find me a passage, it seemed useless to spend
my time there. As soon as it was known that I intended to return, a
movement was made to induce me to remain. I was persuaded to try the
experiment for three months, not thinking their motive was bad. Before
I left the United States, I got all that was needed, within fifty
dollars. The fifty dollars I supplied from my own purse, expecting
they would pay me. It cost me ten dollars for freight, and twenty-five
for passage money; these people that I had hoped to serve, were much
taken up with the things I had brought, they thought that I had money
and I was continually surrounded; the thought of color was no where
exhibited, much notice was taken of me. I was invited to breakfast in
one place, and to dine in another, &c. A society was organized, made
up of men and women of authority. A constitution was drafted by my
consent, by those who were appointed to meet at my rooms. Between the
time of the adjournment they altered it to suit themselves. At the
time appointed we came together with a spirit apparently becoming any
body of Christians; most of them were members of Christian churches;
the meeting was opened with reading the Scriptures and prayer. Then
said the leader, since our dear sister has left her native land and
her friends to come to us, we welcome her with our hearts and hands.
She will dwell among us, and we will take care of her--Brethren think
of it!, after which he sat down, and the constitution was called for.
The Preamble held out all the flattery that a fool could desire; after
which they commenced the articles, supposing that they could do as
they thought best. The fourth article unveiled their design. As we
have designed to take care of our sister, _we the undersigned will take
charge of all she has brought_; the vote was called, every person rose
in a moment except myself: every eye was upon me; one asked me why I
did not vote, I made no answer--they put the vote again and again, I
remained seated; well said the President, we can do nothing without her
vote; they remained some time silent, and then broke up the meeting.
The next day the Deacon called to see what the state of my mind was,
and some of the women proposed that we should have another meeting.
I told them no, I should do no more for them. As soon as they found
they could not get the things in the way they intended, they started
to plunder me; but I detected their design, and was on my guard, I
disposed of the articles, and made ready to leave when an opportunity
presented. A more skilful plan than this Satan never designed, but the
power of God was above it. It is not surprising that this people are
full of deceit and lies, this is the fruits of slavery, it makes master
and slaves knaves. It is the rule where slavery exists to swell the
churches with numbers, and hold out such doctrines, as _obedience to
tyrants_, is a duty to God. I went with a Baptist woman to the house of
a minister of the Church of England, to have her grandchild christened
before it died; she told me if she did not have it christened, it would
rise up in judgment against her. This poor deluded creature was a
class leader in the Baptist Church, and such is the condition of most
of the people: they seemed blinded to every thing but money. They are
great for trade, and are united in their determination for procuring
property, of which they have amassed a vast amount. Notwithstanding I
had made over various articles to one of the American Missionaries, a
Mr. J. S. Beadslee, of Clarendon Mountains, I also gave to others where
they were needed, which receipts and letters I have in my possession.
Notwithstanding all this, they made another attempt to rob me, and as a
passage could not be obtained for me to return home, I was obliged to
go to the Mico establishment again for safety, such was the outrage.
Houses were broken open and robbed every night. I came very near being
shot: there was a certain place where we placed ourselves the first
of the evening. A friend came to bring us some refreshments, I had
just left the window when a gun was fired through it, by one that
often sat with us; this was common in the time of slavery. Previous to
vessels arriving, passages were engaged. I disposed of my articles and
furniture at a very small profit. On the 1st of August, Capt. A. Miner
arrived, and advertised for passengers. The American Consul procured me
a passage, and on the 18th of August myself and nine other passengers
embarked for New York.

I might have diversified my book with more extended descriptions of
Jamaica, with its tropical climate and productions, and contrasted
it with Northern Russia. I hope my readers will not think that I was
unmoved by all the wonders and beauties of nature, that were presented
to me in various climes. Before giving an account of the voyage from
Jamaica, it may prove interesting to some readers, to have a brief
description of the country. With her liberty secured to her, may she
now rise in prosperity, morality and religion, and become a happy
people whose God is the Lord.


A denomination under which is comprehended a large chain of islands,
extending in a curve from the Florida shore on the northern peninsula
of America, to the Gulf of Venezuela on the southern. These islands
belong to five European powers, viz: Great Britain, Spain, France,
Holland, and Denmark. An inhabitant of New England can form no idea
of the climate and the productions of these islands. Many of the
particulars that are here mentioned, are peculiar to them all.

The climate in all the West India Islands is nearly the same, allowing
for those accidental differences which the several situations and
qualities of the lands themselves produce; as they lie within the
tropic of Cancer, and the sun is often almost at the meridian over
their heads, they are continually subjected to a heat that would be
intolerable but for the trade winds, which are so refreshing as to
enable the inhabitants to attend to their various occupations, even
under a noonday sun; as the night advances, a breeze begins to be
perceived, which blows smartly from the land, as it were from the
centre towards the sea, to all points of the compass at once. The
rains make the only distinction of seasons on these islands. The trees
are green the year round; they have no cold or frost; our heaviest
rains are but dews comparatively; with them floods of water are poured
from the clouds. About May, the periodical rains from the South may
be expected. Then the tropical summer, in all its splendor, makes
its appearance. The nights are calm and serene, the moon shines more
brightly than in New England, as do the planets and the beautiful
galaxy. From the middle of August to the end of September the heat is
most oppressive, the sea breeze is interrupted, and calms warn the
inhabitants of the periodical rains, which fall in torrents about the
first of October.

The most considerable and valuable of the British West India Islands,
lies between the 75th and the 79th degrees of west longitude from
London, and between 17 and 18 north latitude; it is of an oval figure,
150 miles long from east to west, sixty miles broad in the middle,
containing 4,080,000 acres. An elevated ridge, called the Blue
Mountains, runs lengthwise from east to west, whence numerous rivers
take their rise on both sides. The year is divided into two seasons,
wet and dry. The months of July, August, and September, are called the
hurricane months. The best houses are generally built low, on account
of the hurricanes and earthquakes. However pleasant the sun may rise,
in a moment the scene may be changed; a violent storm will suddenly
arise, attended with thunder and lightning; the rain falls in torrents,
and the seas and rivers rise with terrible destruction. I witnessed
this awful scene in June last, at Kingston, the capital of Jamaica;
the foundations of many houses were destroyed; the waters, as they
rushed from the mountains, brought with them the produce of the earth,
large branches of trees, together with their fruit; many persons were
drowned, endeavoring to reach their homes; those who succeeded, were
often obliged to travel many miles out of their usual way. Many young
children, without a parent's care, were at this time destroyed. A poor
old woman, speaking of these calamities to me, thus expressed herself:
"Not so bad now as in the time of slavery; then God spoke very loud
to _Bucker_, (the white people,) to let us go. Thank God, ever since
that they give us up, we go pray, and we have it not so bad like as
before." I would recommend this poor woman's remark to the fair sons
and daughters of America, the land of the pilgrims, "Then God spoke
very loud." May these words be engraved on the post of every door in
this land of New England. God speaks very loud, and while his judgments
are on the earth, may the inhabitants learn righteousness!

The mountains that intersect this island, seem composed of rocks,
thrown up by frequent earthquakes or volcanoes. These rocks, though
having little soil, are adorned with a great variety of beautiful
trees, growing from the fissures, which are nourished by frequent
rains, and flourish in perpetual spring. From these mountains flow a
vast number of small rivers of pure water, which sometimes fall in
cataracts, from stupendous heights; these, with the brilliant verdure
of the trees, form a most delightful landscape. Ridges of smaller
mountains are on each side of this great chain; on these, coffee grows
in great abundance; the valleys or plains between these ridges, are
level beyond what is usually found in similar situations. The highest
land in the island is Blue Mountain Peak, 7150 feet above the sea. The
most extensive plain is thirty miles long and five broad. Black river,
in the Parish of St. Elizabeth, is the only one navigable; flat-boats
bring down produce from plantations about thirty miles up the river.
Along the coast, and on the plains, the weather is very hot; but in the
mountains the air is pure and wholesome; the longest days in summer are
about thirteen hours, and the shortest in winter about eleven. In the
plains are found several salt fountains, and in the mountains, not far
from Spanish Town, is a hot bath of great medicinal virtues; this gives
relief in the complaint called the dry bowels malady, which, excepting
the bilious and yellow fevers, is one of the most terrible distempers
of Jamaica. The general produce of this island is sugar, rum, molasses,
ginger, cotton, indigo, pimento, cocoa, coffees, several kinds of
woods, and medicinal drugs. Fruits are in great plenty, as oranges,
lemons, shaddoks, citrons, pomegranates, pineapples, melons, pompions,
guavas, and many others. Here are trees whose wood, when dry, is
incorruptible; here is found the wild cinnamon tree, the mahogany, the
cabbage, the palm, yielding an oil much esteemed for food and medicine.
Here, too, is the soap tree, whose berries are useful in washing. The
plantain is produced in Jamaica in abundance, and is one of the most
agreeable and nutritious vegetables in the world: it grows about four
feet in height, and the fruit grows in clusters, which is filled with
a luscious sweet pulp. The Banana is very similar to the plantain,
but not so sweet. The whole island is divided into three counties,
Middlesex, Surry, and Cornwall, and these into six towns, twenty
parishes, and twenty-seven villages.

This island was originally part of the Spanish Empire in America, but
it was taken by the English in 1656. Cromwell had fitted out a squadron
under Penn and Venables, to reduce the Spanish Island of Hispaniola;
but there this squadron was unsuccessful, and the commanders, of their
own accord, to atone for this misfortune, made a descent on Jamaica,
and having arrived at St. Jago, soon compelled the whole island to

Ever since, it has been subject to the English, and the government,
next to that of Ireland, is the richest in the disposal of the crown.
Port Royal was formerly the capital of Jamaica; it stood upon the
point of a narrow neck of land, which, towards the sea, forms part of
the border of a very fine harbor of its own name. The conveniences of
this harbor, which was capable of containing a thousand sail of large
ships, and of such depth as to allow them to load and unload with
the greatest ease, weighed so much with the inhabitants, that they
chose to build their capital on this spot, although the place was a
hot, dry sand, and produced none of the necessaries of life, not even
fresh water. About the beginning of the year 1692, no place for its
size could be compared to this town for trade, wealth, and an entire
corruption of manners. In the month of June in this year, an earthquake
which shook the whole island to the foundation, totally overwhelmed
this city, so as to leave, in one quarter, not even the smallest
vestige remaining. In two minutes the earth opened and swallowed up
nine-tenths of the houses, and two thousand people. The waters gushed
out from the openings of the earth, and the people lay as it were in
heaps: some of them had the good fortune to catch hold of beams and
rafters of houses, and were afterwards saved by boats. Several ships
were cast away in the harbor, and the Swan Frigate, which lay in
the Dock, was carried over the tops of sinking houses, and did not
overset, but afforded a retreat to some hundreds of people, who saved
their lives upon her. An officer who was in the town at that time,
says the earth opened and shut very quick in some places, and he saw
several people sink down to the middle, and others appeared with their
heads just above ground, and were choked to death. At Savannah above
a thousand acres were sunk, with the houses and people in them, the
place appearing, for some time, like a lake; this was afterwards dried
up, but no houses were seen. In some parts mountains were split, and
at one place a plantation was removed to the distance of a mile. The
inhabitants again rebuilt the city, but it was a second time, ten years
after, destroyed by a great fire. The extraordinary convenience of the
harbor tempted them to build it once more, and in 1722 it was laid in
ruins by a hurricane, the most terrible on record.

Such repeated calamities seemed to mark out this spot as a devoted
place; the inhabitants, therefore, resolved to forsake it forever, and
to reside at the opposite bay, where they built Kingston, which is now
the capital of the island. In going up to Kingston, we pass over a part
of and between Port Royal, leaving the mountains on the left, and a
small town on the right. There are many handsome houses built there,
one story high, with porticos, and every convenience for those who
inhabit them. Not far from Kingston stands Spanish Town, which, though
at present far inferior to Kingston, was once the capital of Jamaica,
and is still the seat of government.

On the 3d of October, 1780, there was a dreadful hurricane, which
overwhelmed the little seaport town of Savannah, in Jamaica, and part
of the adjacent country; very few houses were left standing, and a
great number of lives were lost; much damage was done also, and many
lives lost, in other parts of the island.

In January, 1823, a society was formed in London for mitigating and
gradually abolishing slavery, throughout the British dominions, called
the Anti-Slavery Society. His Royal Highness, the Duke of Gloucester,
was President of the Society; in the list of Vice Presidents are the
names of many of the most distinguished philanthropists of the day,
and among them that of the never to be forgotten Mr. Wilberforce;
as a bold champion, we see him going forward, pleading the cause of
our down-trodden brethren. In the year 1834, it pleased God to break
the chains from 800,000 human beings, that had been held in a state
of personal slavery; and this great event was effected through the
instrumentality of Clarkson, Wilberforce, and other philanthropists of
the day.

The population of Jamaica is nearly 400,000; that of Kingston,
the capital, 40,000. There are many places of worship of various
denominations, namely, Church of England, and of Scotland, Wesleyan,
the Baptist, and Roman Catholics, besides a Jewish Synagogue. These
all differ from what I have seen in New England, and from those I have
seen elsewhere. The Baptist hold what they call class-meetings. They
have men and women, deacons and deaconesses in these churches; these
hold separate class-meetings; some of these can read, and some cannot.
Such are the persons who hold the office of judges, and go round and
urge the people to come to the class, and after they come in twice or
three times, they are considered candidates for baptism. Some pay fifty
cents, and some more, for being baptized; they receive a ticket as a
passport into the church, paying one mark a quarter, or more, and some
less, but nothing short of ten pence, that is, two English shillings
a year. They must attend their class once a week, and pay three pence
a week, total twelve English shillings a year, besides the sums they
pay once a month at communion, after service in the morning. On those
occasions the minister retires, and the deacons examine the people,
to ascertain if each one has brought a ticket; if not, they cannot
commune; after this the minister returns, and performs the ceremony,
then they give their money and depart. The churches are very large,
holding from four to six thousand; many bring wood and other presents
to their class-leader, as a token of their attachment; where there are
so many communicants, these presents, and the money exacted, greatly
enrich these establishments. Communicants are so ignorant of the
ordinance, that they join the church merely to have a decent burial;
for if they are not members, none will follow them to the grave, and no
prayers will be said over them; these are borne through the streets by
four men, the coffin a rough box; not so if they are church members; as
soon as the news is spread that one is dying, all the class, with their
leader, will assemble at the place, and join in singing hymns; this,
they say, is to help the spirit up to glory; this exercise sometimes
continues all night, in so loud a strain, that it is seldom that any of
the people in the neighborhood are lost in sleep.

After leaving Jamaica, the vessel was tacked to a south-west course. I
asked the Captain what this meant. He said he must take the current,
as there was no wind. Without any ceremony, I told him it was not the
case, and told the passengers that he had deceived us. There were two
English men that were born on the island, that had never been on the
water; before the third day passed, they asked the Captain why they had
not seen Hayti. He told them they passed when they were asleep. I told
them it was not true, he was steering south south-west. The passengers
in the steerage got alarmed, and every one was asking the Captain what
this meant. The ninth day we made land. "By ----," said the Captain,
"this is Key West; come, passengers, let us have a vote to run over the
neck, and I will go ashore and bring aboard fruit and turtle." They all
agreed but myself. He soon dropped anchor. The officers from the shore
came on board and congratulated him on keeping his appointment, thus
proving that my suspicions were well founded. The Captain went ashore
with these men, and soon came back, called for the passengers, and
asked for their vote for him to remain until the next day, saying that
he could, by this delay, make five or six hundred dollars, as there had
been a vessel wrecked there lately. They all agreed but myself. The
vessel was soon at the side of the wharf. In one hour there were twenty
slaves at work to unload her; every inducement was made to persuade
me to go ashore, or set my feet on the wharf. A law had just been
passed there that every free colored person coming there, should be put
in custody on their going ashore; there were five colored persons on
board; none dared to go ashore, however uncomfortable we might be in
the vessel, or however we might desire to refresh ourselves by a change
of scene. We remained at Key West four days.

September 3d we set sail for New York, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
At 10 o'clock a gale took us, that continued thirty-six hours; my
state-room was filled with water, and my baggage all upset; a woman,
with her little boy, and myself, were seated on a trunk thirty-six
hours, with our feet pressed against a barrel to prevent falling;
the water pouring over us at every breaker. Wednesday, the 9th, the
sun shone out, so that the Captain could take an observation. He
found himself in great peril, near the coast of Texas. All hands were
employed in pumping and bailing. On the eleventh, the New Orleans
steamer came to our assistance; as we passed up the river, I was made
to forget my own condition, as I looked with pity on the poor slaves,
who were laboring and toiling, on either side, as far as could be seen
with a glass. We soon reached the dock, and we were there on the old
wreck a spectacle for observation; the whites went on shore and made
themselves comfortable, while we poor blacks were obliged to remain
on that broken, wet vessel. The people were very busy about me; one
man asked me who I belonged to, and many other rude questions; he
asked me where I was born; I told him Newburyport. "What were your
parents' names?" I told him my father's name was Thomas Gardener; his
countenance changed; said he, "I knew him well;" and he proved friendly
to me. He appeared very kind, and offered to arrange my affairs so
that I might return to New York through the States. I thought it best
to decline his proposal, knowing my spirit would not suffer me to
pass on, and see my fellow-creatures suffering without a rebuke. We
remained four days on the wreck; the boxes that contained the sugar
were taken out; the two bottom tiers were washed out clean. There were
a great many people that came to see the vessel; they were astonished
that she did not sink; they watched me very closely. I asked them what
they wished. In the mean time, there came along a drove of colored
people, fettered together in pairs by the wrist; some had weights,
with long chains at their ankles, men and women, young and old. I
asked them what that meant. They all were ready to answer. Said they,
"these negroes have been impudent, and have stolen; some of them are
free negroes from the northern ships;" "and what," I asked, "are they
there for?" "For being on shore, some of them at night." I asked them
who made them Lord over God's inheritance. They told me I was very
foolish; they should think I had suffered enough to think of myself.
I looked pretty bad, it is true; I was seated on a box, but poorly
dressed; the mate had taken my clothes to a washer-woman; why he took
this care, he was afraid to send the cook or steward on shore, as they
were colored people. I kept still; but the other woman seemed to be in
perfect despair, running up and down the deck, ringing her hands and
crying, at the thought of all her clothes being destroyed; then her
mind dwelt upon other things, and she seemed as if she were deranged;
she took their attention for a few minutes, as she was white. Soon the
washer-woman came with my clothes; they spoke to her as if she had
been a dog. I looked at them with as much astonishment as if I had
never heard of such a thing. I asked them if they believed there was
a God. "Of course we do," they replied. "Then why not obey him?" "We
do." "You do not; permit me to say there is a God, and a just one,
that will bring you all to account." "For what?" "For suffering these
men that have just come in to be taken out of these vessels, and that
awful sight I see in the streets." "O that is nothing; I should think
you would be concerned about yourself." "I am sure," I replied, "the
Lord will take care of me; you cannot harm me." "No, we do not wish
to; we do not want you here." Every ship that comes in, the colored
men are dragged to prison. I found it necessary to be stern with them;
they were very rude; if I had not been so, I know not what would have
been the consequences. They went off for that day; the next day some
of them came again. "Good morning," said they; "we shall watch you
like the d---- until you go away; you must not say any thing to these
negroes whilst you are here." "Why, then, do you talk to me, if you
do not want me to say any thing to you? If you will let me alone, I
will you." "Let me see your protection," they replied, "they say it is
under the Russian government." I pointed them to the eighteenth chapter
of Revelations and fifteenth verse: "The merchants of these things
which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off, for the fear of her
torment, weeping and wailing. For strong is the Lord God who judgeth
her." They made no answer, but asked the Captain how soon he should
get away.

On the 17th, the Captain put eight of us on board the bark H. W. Tyler,
for New York; we had about a mile to walk; the Captain was in honor
bound to return us our passage money, which we had paid him at Jamaica;
he came without it to see if we were there, and went away saying he
would soon return with it; but we saw no more of him or our money! Our
bark, and a vessel loaded with slaves, were towed down the river by the
same steamer; we dropped anchor at the bottom of the bay, as a storm
was rising. The 18th, on Sabbath, it rained all day. Captain Tyler
knocked at my door, wishing me to come out; it rained hard; the bulwork
of the bark was so high I could not look over it; he placed something
for me to stand on, that I might see the awful sight, which was the
vessel of slaves laying at the side of our ship; the deck was full of
young men, girls and children, bound to Texas for sale! Monday, the
19th, Captain Tyler demanded of us to pay him for our passage. I had
but ten dollars, and was determined not to give it; he was very severe
with all. I told him there were articles enough to pay him belonging
to me. Those who had nothing, were obliged to go back in the steamer.
Tuesday, the 20th, we set sail; the storm was not over. The 22d the
gale took us; we were dismasted, and to save sinking, sixty casks of
molasses were stove in, and holes cut in the bulworks to let it off;
all the fowls, pigs, and fresh provisions, were lost. We were carried
seventy-five miles up the bay of Mexico. The Captain was determined not
to pay the steamer for carrying him back to New Orleans, and made his
way the best he could.

The 3d of October we arrived again at Key West. The Captain got the
bark repaired, and took on board a number of turtles, and a plenty of
brandy. Friday, the 7th, set sail for New York; the Captain asked me
why I did not go ashore when there in the Comet; "had you," said he,
"they intended to beat you. John and Lucy Davenport, of Salem, laid
down the first ten dollars towards a hundred for that person who should
get you there." The Florida laws are about the same as those at New
Orleans. He was very talkative; wished to know if I saw any thing of
the Creole's crew while at Jamaica. I told him they were all safe, a
fine set of young men and women; one dear little girl, that was taken
from her mother in Virginia, I should have taken with me, if I had had
the money. He said his brother owned the Creole, and some of the slaves
were his. "I never owned any; I have followed the sea all my life, and
can tell every port and town in your State."

October 19th, 1842, arrived at New York, and thankful was I to set my
feet on land, almost famished for the want of food; we lost all of our
provisions; nothing was left but sailors' beef, and that was tainted
before it was salted. I went at once to those who professed to be
friends, but found myself mistaken. I hardly knew what was best. I had
put up at Mrs. Raweses; she did all she could to raise the twenty-five
dollars that I must pay before I could take my baggage from the vessel.
This seemed hard to obtain; I travelled from one to another for three
days; at last I called at the Second Advent office; Mr. Nath'l Southard
left his business at once, and took me to Mr. Lewis Tappan and others;
they raised the money, and went with me to the ship after my baggage.
It was three o'clock on Saturday afternoon when I called on Mr.
Southard; the vessel and Captain belonged to Virginia, was all ready
for sea, waiting for a wind; they had ransacked my things. I took from
Jamaica forty dollar's worth of preserved fruits; part were lost when
we were cast away in the Cornet, and some they had stolen. At eight
o'clock on Saturday evening, I made out to have my things landed on the
wharf; it was very dark, as it rained hard. My kind friend did not
leave me until they were all safely lodged at my residence. I boarded
there three weeks, thinking to come home; but it was thought best for
me to wait, and see if Captain Miner came or not, hoping that I might
recover my loss through him. I took a room and went to sewing, and
found the people very kind.

February, 1843, the colored men that went back to New Orleans, for
the want of passage money, arrived at New York, wearied out. All the
white people remained there. I waited in New York until the last of
July, when I started for Boston. August 1st, 1843, arrived, poor in
health and poor in purse, having sacrificed both, hoping to benefit
my fellow-creatures. I trust it was acceptable to God, who in his
providence preserved me in perils by land and perils by sea.

     "God moves in a mysterious way
       His wonders to perform;
     He plants his footsteps on the sea,
       And rides upon the storm.

     "Deep in unfathomable mines
       Of never-failing skill,
     He treasures up his bright designs,
       And works his sovereign will."

Having lost all, I determined, by the help of God, to leave the event;
some of my friends in this city sympathized with me, and others took
the advantage to reproach me. But in the hands of the Lord there
is a cup; the Saviour drank it to the dregs. They gather themselves
together; they hide themselves; they mark my steps; they waited for my
soul, but the Lord is my defence, the Holy One of Israel is my Saviour.
I'll trust him for strength and defence. What things were gain to me,
I counted loss for Christ, for whom I have suffered all things; and
do count them nothing, that I may win Christ and be found in him, not
having mine own righteousness, which is of the Lord, but that which
is through the faith of Christ, that which is of God by faith, that I
may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of
his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death, strengthened
with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and
long-suffering, with joyfulness, thinking it not strange concerning
the fiery trials, as though some strange thing happened; for saith the
apostle, it is better if the will of God so be that ye suffer for well
doing, than for evil; they think it strange that ye run not with them
to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you. If they do these
things in a green tree, what shall be done in a dry?

     "I hate to walk, I hate to sit
       With men of vanity and lies;
     The scoffer and the hypocrite
       Are the abhorrence of my eyes.

     God knows their impious thoughts are vain,
       And they shall feel his power;
     His wrath shall pierce their souls with pain,
       In some surprising hour."

The first twenty months after my arrival in the city, notwithstanding
my often infirmities, I labored with much success, until I hired with
and from those whom I mostly sympathized with, and shared in common the
disadvantages and stigma that is heaped upon us, in this our professed
Christian land. But my lot was like the man that went down from
Jerusalem and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment,
and wounding him departed, leaving him half dead. What I did not lose
when cast away, has been taken from my room where I hired. Three times
I had been broken up in business, embarrassed and obliged to move, when
not able to wait on myself. This has been my lot. In the midst of my
afflictions, sometimes I have thought my case like that of Paul's, when
cast among wild beasts. "Had not the Lord been on my side, they would
have swallowed me up; but blessed be the Lord who hath not given me a
prey to their teeth."

In 1848 and '49, the Lord was pleased to lay his hand upon me. Some
of my friends came to my relief; but the promises of God were neither
few nor small; he knows them that trust and fear him, and in his
providence had reserved the good Samaritan. One of my unretired friends
made my case known to the Rev. Dr. Bigelow and wife, who sought me out
in my distress. I shall not soon forget the morning she came to me,
with an expression of love and kindness, wishing to know my case. Mrs.
Bigelow was the daughter of Captain Theodore Stanwood, of Gloucester,
whom Mr. Prince sailed with as steward the first time he went to
Russia. Mrs. B. is one of the kind friends I speak of, when carried
to Gloucester sick, in 1814; she was then a little miss. A friend of
mine lived with her mother; she used to say that Amelia would not rest,
when she came from school, till she had something to bring to my mother
and me. Mrs. Bigelow and family were very kind, doing all in their
power to make me comfortable, and even moved me from the house of the
tyrant that I then hired from, and raised me up other kind friends;
and, with the blessing of God and the counsel of Dr. Grey, my health is
much improved. "I am as a wonder unto many, but the Lord is my strong
refuge." Underneath him is the everlasting arm of mercy; misfortune is
never mournful for the soul that accepts it, for such do always see
that every cloud is an angel's face; sorrow connects the soul with the

O Father, fearful indeed is this world's pilgrimage, when the soul has
learned that all its sounds are echos, all its sights are shadows. But
lo! a cloud opens, a face serene and hopeful looks forth and saith,
"Be thou as a little child, and thus shalt thou become a seraph, and
bow thyself in silent humility and pray, not that afflictions might
not visit, but be willing to be purified through fire, and accept it


_Advancement of Faith is Necessary._

All our disquietnesses do issue immediately from unbelief. It is this
that raiseth the storm of discontent in the heart. Oh, set faith at
work! It is the property of faith to silence our doubtings, to scatter
our fears, to still the heart when the passions are up. Faith works the
heart to a sweet serene composure: it is not having food and raiment,
but having faith, which will make us content. Faith chides down
passion; when Reason begins to swim, let Faith swim.

_Quest._ How doth Faith work contentment?

_Answ._ 1. Faith shows the soul that whatever its trials are, yet it is
from the hand of a kind Father: it is indeed a bitter cup; but "shall I
not drink the cup which my Father hath given me to drink?" (John xviii.
11.) It is love to my soul; God _corrects_ with the same love that he
_crowns_ me. God is now training me up for heaven; he carves me, to
make me a polished pillar, fit to stand in the heavenly mansion. These
sufferings bring forth patience, humility, even the peaceable fruits of
righteousness, Heb. xii. 11. And if God can bring such sweet fruit out
of a sour stock, let him graft me where he please. Thus faith brings
the heart to holy contentment.

2. Faith sucks the honey of contentment out of the hive of the
Promise.[A] Christ is the Vine, the promises are the clusters of
grapes that grow upon this Vine; and Faith presseth the sweet vine of
contentment out of these spiritual clusters of the promises. I will
show you but one cluster,--The Lord will give grace and glory, and
no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly; (Psal.
lxxxiv. 11,) here is enough for faith to live upon. The Promise is
the flower out of which Faith distils the spirits and quintessence of
divine contentment. In a word, Faith carries up the soul, and makes it
aspire after more noble and generous delights than earth affords, and
to live in the world above the world. Would you lead contented lives,
live up to the height of your faith.

_Breath after Assurance._

Oh, let us get the interest cleared between God and our own souls!
Interest is a word much in use; a pleasing word: interest in great
friends, interest-money. Oh, if there be an interest worth looking
after, it is an interest between God and the soul. Labor to say with
Thomas, my Lord and my God. To be without money and without friends,
and without God too, (Eph. ii. 12,) is said; but he whose faith doth
flourish into assurance, that can say, with St. Paul--I know in whom
I have believed, (2 Tim. i. 12.) Be assured that man hath enough to
give his heart contentment. When a man's debts are paid, and he can go
abroad without fear of arresting, what contentment is this! Oh, let
your title be cleared! if God be ours, whatever we want in the creature
is infinitely made up in him. Do I want bread? I have Christ, the Bread
of Life. Am I under defilement? His blood is like the trees of the
sanctuary; not only for meat, but medicine, Ezek. xlvii. 12. If any
thing in the world is worth laboring for, it is to get sound evidences
that God is ours. If this be once cleared, what can come amiss? No
matter what storms I meet with, so that I know where to put in for
harbor. He that hath God to be his God, is so well contented with
his condition, that he doth not much care whether he hath any thing
else. To rest in a condition where a Christian cannot say God is his
God, is a matter of _fear_: and if he can say so truly, and yet is not
contented, is matter of _shame_. David encouraged himself in the Lord
his God. Although it was sad with him, (1 Sam. xxx. 62.) Ziklag was
burnt, his wives taken captive, he lost all, and had like to have lost
his soldiers' hearts too--for they spake of stoning him--yet he had the
ground of contentment within him, viz., an interest in God; and this
was a pillar of supportment to his spirit. He that knows God is his,
and that all that is in God is for his good; if this doth not satisfy,
I know nothing will.

_Pray for an Humble Spirit._

The humble man is the contented man: if his estate be low, his heart
is lower than his estate; therefore he is contented. If his esteem is
the world below, he that is little in his own eyes, will not be much
troubled to be little in the eyes of others. He hath a meaner opinion
of himself, than others can have of him. The humble man studies his
own unworthiness; he looks upon himself as less than the least of
God's mercies, (Gen. xxxii. 10,) and then a little will content him.
He cries out with Paul, that he is the chief of sinners, (1 Tim.
i. 15,) therefore doth not murmur, but admire: he doth not say his
comforts are small, but his sins are great. He thinks it a mercy he is
out of hell; therefore, is contented. He doth not go to carve out a
more happy condition to himself; he knows the worst piece God cuts him
is better than he deserves. A proud man is never contented; he is one
that hath an high opinion of himself; therefore, under small blessings
is disdainful, under small crosses impatient. The humble spirit is
the contented spirit; if his cross be light, he reckons it in the
inventory of his mercies; if it be heavy, yet takes it upon his knees,
knowing that when his estate is bad, it is to make him the better.
Where you lay humility for the foundation, contentment will be the
superstructure, and Christ the topstone.

_Keep a clear Conscience._ 1 Tim. iii. 9.

Contentment is the _manna_ that is laid up in the ark of a good
conscience. Oh, take heed of indulging any sin! It is as natural for
guilt to breed disquietude, as for the earth to breed worms. Sin lies
like Jonah in the ship, it raises a tempest. If dust or motes be
gotten into the eye, they make the eye water, and cause a soreness
in it; if the eye be clear, then it is free from that soreness. If
sin be gotten into the conscience, which is as the eye of the soul,
then grief and disquiet breed there: but keep the eye of conscience
clear, and all is well. What Solomon saith of a good stomach, I may
say of a good conscience (Prov. xxvii. 7.) To the hungry soul every
bitter thing is sweet; so to a good conscience every bitter thing is
sweet; it can pick contentment out of the Cross. A good conscience
turns the waters of Marah into wine. Would you have a quiet heart?
Get a smiling conscience. I wonder not to hear Paul say, he was in
every state content; when he could make that triumph--I have lived in
all good conscience unto this day, Acts, xxiii. 1. When once a man's
reckonings are clear, it must needs let in abundance of contentment
into the heart. A good conscience can suck contentment out of the
bitterest drug: under slanders--This is our rejoicing, the testimony
of our conscience, 2 Cor. i. 12. In case of imprisonment, Paul had
his prison-songs, and could play the sweet lesson of contentment when
his feet were in the stocks, Acts xvi. 24. Augustine calls it the
paradise of a good conscience. When the times are troublesome, a good
conscience makes a calm: if conscience be clear, what though the days
be cloudy?... Oh, keep conscience clear, and you shall never want

             THE HIDING PLACE.

     Amid this world's tumultuous noise,
     For peace my soul to Jesus flies;
     If I've an interest in his grace,
     I want no other hiding place.

     The world with all its charms is vain,
     Its wealth and honors I disdain;
     All its extensive aims embrace,
     Can ne'er afford a hiding place.

     A guilty sinful heart is mine,
     Jesus, unbounded love is thine!
     When I behold thy smiling face,
     Tis then I see my hiding place.

     To save, if once my Lord engage,
     The world may laugh, and Satan rage:
     The powers of hell can ne'er erase
     My name from God's own hiding place.

     I'm in a wilderness below,
     Lord, guide me all my journey through,
     Plainly let me thy footsteps trace,
     Which lead to heaven my hiding place.

     Should dangers thick impede my course,
     O let my soul sustain no loss;
     Help me to run the Christian race,
     And enter safe my hiding place.

     Then with enlarged powers,
     I'll triumph in redeeming love,
     Eternal ages will I praise
     My Lord for such a hiding place.


[A] 'Tis a comfortable thought that the promises of God are
all given for the express purpose that we may have great and strong
consolations, who make our duty and our privilege to be found pleading
them at the throne of grace;

     O then be earnest, take no nay,
       He'll answer every good desire;
     Give him your hearts, though cold as clay,
       They'll melt like wax before the fire.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Narrative of the Life and Travels of Mrs. Nancy Prince" ***

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