Ellen and William Craft: Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom

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

COW­PER

PREF­ACE

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

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

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

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

W. CRAFT.
12, CAM­BRIDGE ROAD, HAM­MER­SMITH, LON­DON.

•  •  •  •  •  •

PART I

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

MIL­TON.

M

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I must now re­turn to our his­to­ry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In en­deav­our­ing to rec­on­cile a girl to her fate, the mas­ter some­times says that he would marry her if it was not un­law­ful. [It is un­law­ful in the slave States for any one of pure­ly Eu­ro­pean de­scent to in­ter­mar­ry with a per­son of African ex­trac­tion; though a white man may live with as many coloured women as he pleas­es with­out ma­te­ri­al­ly dam­ag­ing his rep­u­ta­tion in South­ern so­ci­ety.] How­ev­er, he will al­ways con­sid­er her to be his wife, and will treat her as such; and she, on the other hand, may re­gard him as her law­ful hus­band; and if they have any chil­dren, they will be free and well ed­u­cat­ed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"IN­DICT­MENT.

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

"VIC­TOR VAGABOND, Pros­e­cut­ing At­tor­ney."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unit­ed States, your ban­ner wears,
Two em­blems,—one of fame,
Alas, the other that it bears
Re­minds us of your shame!

The white man's lib­er­ty in types
Stands bla­zoned by your stars;
But what's the mean­ing of your stripes?
They mean your Ne­gro-scars.

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

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

"The hill, though high, I covet to as­cend,
The DIF­FI­CUL­TY WILL NOT ME OF­FEND;
For I per­ceive the way to life lies here:
Come, pluck up heart, let's nei­ther faint nor fear;
Bet­ter, though dif­fi­cult, the right way to go,—
Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I replied, "To Philadel­phia."

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

"Yes," I said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On re­turn­ing to my seat, I found the con­duc­tor and two or three other per­sons amus­ing them­selves very much re­spect­ing my run­ning away. So the guard said, "Boy, what did your mas­ter want?" [I may state here that every man slave is called boy till he is very old, then the more re­spectable slave­hold­ers call him uncle. The women are all girls till they are aged, then they are called aunts. This is the rea­son why Mrs. Stowe calls her char­ac­ters Uncle Tom, Aunt Chloe, Uncle Tiff, &c.] I replied, "He mere­ly wished to know what had be­come of me." "No," said the man, "that was not it; he thought you had taken French leave, for parts un­known. I never saw a fel­low so badly scared about los­ing his slave in my life. Now," con­tin­ued the guard, "let me give you a lit­tle friend­ly ad­vice. When you get to Philadel­phia, run away and leave that crip­ple, and have your lib­er­ty." "No, sir," I in­dif­fer­ent­ly replied, "I can't promise to do that." "Why not?" said the con­duc­tor, ev­i­dent­ly much sur­prised; "don't you want your lib­er­ty?" "Yes, sir," I replied; "but I shall never run away from such a good mas­ter as I have at pre­sent."

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

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

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

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

•  •  •  •  •  •

PART II

A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"My dear Mr Es­tlin,

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

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

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

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

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

"I am, very re­spect­ful­ly yours,

"SAMUEL MAY, JUN."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I ven­er­ate the man whose heart is warm,
Whose hands are pure; whose doc­trines and whose life
Co­in­ci­dent, ex­hib­it lucid proof
That he is hon­est in the sa­cred cause."
"But grace abused brings forth the foulest deeds,
As rich­est soil the most lux­u­ri­ant weeds."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How­ev­er, I am thank­ful to say she ar­rived; and, after lay­ing up at Liv­er­pool very ill for two or three weeks, grad­u­al­ly re­cov­ered. It was not until we stepped upon the shore at Liv­er­pool that we were free from every slav­ish fear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                        JAMES RUS­SELL LOW­ELL.

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

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

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

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

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